Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Blood & Treasure: Test-Driving Character Creation

I recently discovered John Matthew Stater's wonderful Blood & Treasure roleplaying game and have been enjoying its skillful blend of the Third Edition SRD and AD&D. Here's a test character that exemplifies much of what I love about B&T:



STR 11 (+0) DEX 16 (+2) CON 12 (+0) INT 10 (+0) WIS 14 (+1) CHA 12 (+0)

HP 6 AC 15 ATK +0 FORT 15 REF 11 WILL 14

Languages: Common, Elven, Goblin

Skills: Climb 11, find traps 15, hide 11, listen at doors 14, move silently 11, remove traps 11, riding 11, survival 14, trickery 15

Abilities: Darkvision 30 ft., 30% magic resistance to sleep and enchantment spells, knack for trickery, backstab (x2 damage)

Feats: Magical aptitude (daze 1/day)

Armor: Studded leather (+3 AC)

Weapons: Short sword (1d6 damage), dagger (1d4 damage, range 20/40), short bow (1d6 damage, range 90/200)

Gear: Quiver with 20 arrows

Treasure: 68 gp

First of all, Jory's class demonstrates the flexibility of B&T's approach to classes: "Scout" is a wilderness variant of "Thief" that swaps out the skills "decipher codes" and "pick pockets" in exchange for "riding" and "survival." Each class in B&T has a variant in the core rulebook (e.g., you can be an "Aristocrat" instead of a "Bard" or a "Beastmaster" instead of a "Druid"), and Tanner Yea of Pulpwood has put together Heroes of Lore, a free supplement containing dozens more. These variants open up the class structure of the game without losing too much focus (or necessitating the creation of entirely new classes to handle minor variations in archetype). B&T also opts for the three saves of 3E, one of my favorite features in Wizards of the Coast era D&D. Skills are based on the save system: each skill uses a class save as its base and then modifies it in accordance with a relevant attribute—another instance of streamlining. Finally, B&T includes a short list of (entirely optional) feats; these are nice additions to characters, providing for some additional customization without encouraging the optimization culture of the post-2000 game. Characters only get a single feat every four levels (with humans picking up an additional feat at level 1), so even the most powerful of characters (a 20th level PC) will have no more than five feats in total. I'm looking forward to creating more B&T characters and seeing what John Stater comes up with next for the game.


  1. You're welcome. I'm currently toying with the idea of a cleric-themed version of "Magical aptitude," something like "Divine blessing." Jory's magical aptitude stems from his elven heritage; it only makes sense to me that some characters would be touched by the divine and have the ability to cast a 0-level cleric spell 1/day.