I'd love to reproduce these charts in full, but I'm sure the folks at Emperor's Choice wouldn't appreciate it. Each one is a percentage throw with about 30 to 40 possible results. Most of the results are positive or a mixed bag, with a few outright character flaws. Here are three results each from the first two charts.
Fighter et al.
17. +1 with all crossbows, javelins, and throwing darts, but -1 versus cold
62. A coward, -8 save versus fear and always have a 50% chance of fleeing
95.** You are a secret were-creature, roll to see what kind.
The double asterisk indicates that anyone rolling that result is 98% likely to be secretly chaotic and 50% likely to be secretly evil. One other result is so marked, the one where your dad is a demon.
MU and such
09. Fire and light competent, _3 versus blindness but -3 versus insanity.
42. Ability to smell poison (50% accurate), but -3 to its effects
54. Dragon friend (also speak high and low dragonish)
"Competent" is a term used in many entries on the MU chart and a few on the cleric chart. It's obviously related to spellcasting is some way, but if there's an explanation of the term in the first Grimoire I have yet to find it. Armed with just this book a DM would have to figure out what that means in their own campaign. If you own Welcome to Skull Tower, the second volume in the series, you can find an explanation in the second section labeled "Notes on Magik" (p. 76). It means that saving throws, damage dice and other variables are 2 pips or dice in the caster's favor. E.g. A fire competent MU is +2 on all saves versus fire and lobs fireballs that are -2 to save and do 2 extra dice of damage.
Folks who own the book should feel free to share a favorite result I missed in the comments, cause I need to move on to the new classes. Hargrave introduces seven new classes in the first volume of the Grimoire: trader (merchant), psychic, barbarian, rune weaver, techno, medicine man and witch hunter. Most of these classes come with so many oddball rules and weird abilities that I could do a whole blog post about each. Here I'll just hit the highlights that interest me the most.
Gain 10xp per 1,000gp profit from their mercantile ventures. Cannot advance past tenth level unless they lead a caravan or command a trading ship. Gets monk abilities (??) starting at ninth level. At 100th level they automatically become guildmaster of their country.
To qualify for this class all your stats except intelligence must be lower than 13. I keep this class in my back pocket for when someone throwing 3d6 in a row comes up with a complete dud. So far no takers. Over the course of their level progression they get a passle of percentage abilities, mostly detects. At first level all you get is "Intuit Traps" but at base 75% it beats the pants off the thieves and dwarves in the party. At 50th level you gain the ability to explode people's heart with your brain.
A berserker type. As written the class pretty much plays the game for you. 50% chance of charging every fight, except versus undead where you have a 10% chance of fleeing in terror and a 60% chance of an orderly retreat. At first level you have a 60% of berserking against your will, which will last 19 rounds. You get more control of your own PC if you survive to higher levels, but I just don't see the point of undermining player autonomy the way this class does.
In short these are slow magic-users. They take much longer to weave their spells but can attempt to cast spells at a higher level than MUs and are really good at unweaving (i.e. dispelling) spells. The details of this class tie directly in with Hargrave's mana-based magic system, so I won't say anything more until we get to the magic section.
I written about this delightful class before. I can't hardly oppose a D&D class that allows you start tinkering with atomic reactors at 40th level.
|from The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island.|