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Wandererby Rodger Burns
A wanderer is slightly shorter than a human, but stockier and broader in the chest. Wanderers are obviously goblinoid in ancestry, with features similar to a hobgoblin's or bugbear's, but less feral and monstrous - larger eyes, smaller and less obvious fangs, finer and straighter hair, and smoother and more expressive facial features. Skin tone ranges from yellow-tan to medium-brown. A typical wanderer stands some 5 1/2 tall, and weighs between 170 and 200 pounds.
Wanderers are nomadic by nature, living as herders, hunters, raiders and sometime thieves. They greatly prize weapons skill, quick wits, deft hands and above all a refusal to panic or be caught off guard by the unexpected. The ancestors of modern wanderers migrated to Skothar from the west some 3,000 years ago, and over centuries of struggle and exposure to strange magics evolved away from typical goblinoid savagery into a more refined ruthlessness and will to dominate and prosper. Though wanderers can be cruel and destructive, they generally don't practice wickedness for its own sake - only to threaten or dissuade those they come in contact with, in order to claim tribute or prevent a perceived attack. Wanderer clans lay claim to much of the wilderness territory of eastern Skothar, living easily off territory too rugged or barren for human settlement and agriculture and keeping worse monsters from lairing therein.
Though most human kingdoms consider wanderers to be savages and barbarians, wanderers are in fact surprisingly advanced. Their technology is limited more by lack of raw materials than pure knowledge - most wanderer clans of any size have at least a few craft-wagons to call their own, in which to carry and use a loom, anvil and travelling forge, millstone for grinding wild oats and barley, or similar craft work. The wanderer clans trade with each other and human frontier cities for the resources needed to put these tools to use, or else hire themselves out as mercenaries, monster-hunters or act as bandits for a season to gain the materials they need. Likewise they are more than able to hire or extort clerical and magical assistance when needed, though they have no talents of their own in such arts (not even shamans or wokani). Any outsider who assumes that wanderers are savages or easily fooled will be in for a rude and painful disappointment.
Wanderer adventurers are generally those who - for whatever reason - have chosen to seek their fortune outside the clan. An adventurer might be on the losing side of a feud with a prominent clan member, such that seeking a prosperous new life elsewhere is needed, or might be seeking strength or skill that the clan elders can't teach directly. The clan might have fallen on hard times and have little to offer an ambitious youngster, or might be trying to settle a particularly disreputable and unpleasant stretch of wilderness. In any case, the clanless adventurer will find himself without the close family ties that most of his kindred take for granted, but in return will have a certain status among wanderers of any clan - able to ask for at least the most basic courtesies and looked for to bring news of distant lands and unexpected opportunities wherever he may travel.
Prime Requisite: A wanderer has two prime requisites: Strength and Dexterity. If a wanderer has a score of 13 or more in both ability scores, he gains a 5% bonus to experience points earned. If his Strength score is 16-18 and his Dexterity is 13 or more, the bonus is 10%.
Minimum Scores: A wanderer must have a score of 9 or greater in both Dexterity and Constitution.
Hit Dice: Roll an 8-sided die (1d8) to determine a wanderer's hit points. A wanderer starts with 1d8 (1-8) hit points (plus Constitution bonus, if any) and gains 1d8 more hit points (plus bonus) with each level of experience.
Armor: A wanderer may wear any type of armor, and may use a shield. Thieving skills of Move Silently, Hide in Shadows and Climb Walls cannot be effectively used if chain mail or better is worn, however.
Weapons: A wanderer may use any kind of weapon.
Wanderer Experience Table
Thief Skills Level XP Atk Rnk CW MS HS HN 1 0 87 20 10 30 2 2,000 88 25 15 35 3 4,000 89 30 20 40 4 8,000 90 35 25 45 5 16,000 91 40 28 50 6 32,000 92 44 32 54 7 64,000 93 48 35 58 8 130,000 94 52 38 62 9 260,000 95 55 41 66 10 390,000* C 96 58 44 70 600,000 D 98 64 50 78 800,000 E 100 68 56 84 1,000,000 F 102 72 60 90 1,200,000 G 104 76 64 94 1,400,000^ H 106 80 68 98 1,600,000 J 108 84 72 102 1,800,000** K 112 88 76 106 2,000,000 L 116 92 80 110 2,200,000 M 120 96 84 114
Special Attacks: A wanderer may use the Lance Attack and Set Spear vs. Charge maneuvers, like fighters.
Fighter Combat Options: When the character's experience point total reaches 390,000, the character receives access to most of the Fighter Combat Options. For the multiple attacks option, two attacks are possible at 390,000 experience points, and three attacks at 1,800,000 experience points. The wanderer may use the smash and parry options, but may not attempt to disarm; wanderers prefer a less subtle approach to stopping an opponent's attacks.
Thief Special Abilities: Wanderers have certain talents of stealth, used in the same manner as a human thief. Of the skils available to a wanderer, only Hear Noise can be used freely when wearing armor heavier than chain mail, however. At the Dungeon Master's discretion, a wanderer may attempt to Hide in Shadows when wearing heavy armor, but only in noncombat situations where the wanderer can remain motionless (preparing an ambush, for instance).
Precision Attack: A wanderer striking at a surprised or unsuspecting opponent may attempt to make an attack that hinders the opponent's combat ability. This is similar to a thief's backstab, but may be made with any weapon (including a two-handed weapon, or a missile weapon), receives only a +2 bonus to hit, and does only normal weapon damage if the target is hit. However, the target also takes a -2 penalty to attack rolls for the next 6 combat rounds; if the target is a spellcaster, characters affected by his spells receive a +2 bonus to any Saving Throws they make.
Special Defenses: At 1,400,000 experience points, a wanderer gains resistance to attacks made by magic wands (and other attacks that require a save vs. wands, such as a scything blade trap). The wanderer automatically only takes half damage from these effects - divide the rolled damage by 2 and round down. If the effect allows a saving throw, a successful roll indicates that he only takes 1/4 damage; divide the rolled damage by 4 and round down. (If the result is 1/2 point of damage or less, the character takes 1 point of damage.)
Infravision: Wanderers have infravision, similar to that of a dwarf or an elf.
Wanderer Saving Throws Table
Levels 1-3 4-6 7-9 10 Death Ray/Poison 13 9 5 2 Magic Wands 12 8 4 2 Paralysis/Turn to Stone 13 10 7 3 Breath Attack 14 11 8 5 Rod/Staff/Spell 16 12 8 4
Higher Experience Levels
A wanderer who reaches Name (9th) level is known as a wanderer chieftain. This is in most cases a purely honorary title, and does not entitle the wanderer with followers or leadership over a clan. The wanderer's words carry a certain weight, however, and in times of turmoil the wanderer can expect to convince other clans to go to war (or to make common cause with sometime rivals, or stand down from a needless conflict) if he can provide a good reason and the promise of good loot.
A wanderer can build a stronghold in borderlands or wilderness territory. (Human nobility will greatly frown on any attempt by a wanderer to build a stronghold in claimed, civilized lands). Unless the new stronghold owner indicates otherwise, local wanderer clans and other nomadic groups will come to view the new stronghold as neutral territory - not to be threatened or attacked, and a good place for rival clans to meet peacefully to discuss old grievances. The new stronghold owner may even be asked to pass judgement on such disputes - a chance for a clever or wise adventurer to gain renown, or for a clumsy and tongue-tied adventurer to make a fool of himself. In any case, the local clans will pass warning to the stronghold of any threat or enemy army they learn about, and may take reasonable (minimally risky) action to aid its defense.