New (meta) class: Athletes


Myths and legends abound about superhuman athletes and competitors; wrestlers, sprinters, long-distance runners, weightlifters and riders. The athlete is not just strong, fast or resilient, they are also fiercely competitive and resolved to meet or beat any challenge put before them. Anyone with a Health of 4 or higher can be an athlete—simply choose an initial class at character creation and proceed as a level 1 Athlete.

Class: Athlete (requires Health 4 or higher).

Raw Abilities: As per original class. Health cannot start lower than Will.

Skills: As per original class.

Special Skill (humans only): Criminal, Haggler, Pathfinder, Survivalist

Trait: As per original class, or Natural-Born Competitor.

Wises (humans only); Choose or create one wise.

Wises (others): Choice one of two specific wises, then player chooses or creates a second wise

Special Rules

Specialty Skills

Specialties are specific applications of existing skills. Tailor would be a specialty of the Weaver skill that allows you to craft clothing but not weave baskets or sailcloth. Leatherworker is a specialty of the Armorer skill that allows you to craft or repair leather armor but not create weapons or fashion metal armor. Specialty skills are always named for occupations, same as skills—Trapper, not Trapping. Calligrapher, not Calligraphy. Specialties for the Fighter skill, like Axe-Thrower or Sword-fighter, are specific to a weapon and/or use of that weapon. Similar specialties in different skills don’t stack (e.g., Bowhunter and Archer; Liar and Grifter).

Benefits: Specialties reduce obstacles by 1 when performing that skill for a specific application. Obstacles cannot be reduced below 1. You may only possess one specialty per skill.

Requirements: Gaining a specialty requires the normal number of passed tests to advance, but no failed tests are required. Tests toward gaining a specialty are tracked for that specialty—they do not count toward the root skill. You may only train toward one specialty at a time—if you switch tracks, reset those tests for advancement. For example: I have Hunter 3 and want a specialty in Fisher. After four passed fishing tests, I gain Fisher—I still need four passed tests and three failed tests to advance Hunter to 4. Someone with a specialty can use the Mentor skill to train another character in either a skill or a specialty. Even the Mentor skill may have a specialty (for example, an Alchemy Professor could teach Alchemist).

New Trait: Natural-Born Competitor

You are healthy, vital and strong; your mind is sharp and your will is indomitable— but you rarely back down from a challenge; for you, everything is an obstacle to be overcome or a test of your mettle.

Athlete Level Benefits

Level 1

Athlete: You may not wear heavy armor (chain, plate) while using any of your Athlete benefits. You may wield any weapon you learned from your previous class.

Level 2

Pugilism: You’ve trained as a wrestler or boxer and don’t suffer the usual penalty for fighting unarmed.

Beast Mode: Once per session, you may use your class trait while angry.

No Fear: Once per session, you may help an ally while afraid.

Level 3

Raucous Celebrant: Strong drink bolsters your courage and puts the wind in your sails. Drinking gives you +1D to boasting, demanding, merrymaking, avenging a Grudge or singing Nature tests (for unlisted Nature descriptors, anything loud and/or social could apply as well).

Invigorated: The Fresh condition grants +2D to your Health, Will and Nature tests.

Level 4

Skill Specialty: Gain a free specialty that lowers the obstacle by 1 for that specific application of a skill.

  • Fighter: Spear-thrower, Axe-thrower, Boxer, Archer, Knife-thrower, Fencer or Wrestler.
  • Hunter: Spear-thrower, Axe-thrower, Archer, Slinger
  • Criminal: Contortionist
  • Dungeoneer when traversing OR Pathfinder for traveling: Mountaineer, Acrobat, Pole-Vaulter, Long-Jumper, High-Jumper, Sprinter or Long-Distance Runner, Skier or Hiker.
  • Laborer: Weightlifter.
  • Rider: Equestrian, Jouster, Charioteer.
  • Sailor: Rower (when using oars or paddles) or Racer (for sailing ships).

Level 5

No Pain, No Gain: Gain +1D per additional condition (in order) you wish to take after passing or failing your next test. For example, add +1D to your test to risk Hungry and Thirsty; if you pass the test, you become Hungry and Thirsty. If you fail the test, you become Hungry and Thirsty and suffer a twist or condition. You may risk conditions up to and including Dead.

Eye of the Tiger: You may choose to use your trait for a +1D bonus after you make your test.

Level 6

Competitive Edge: Once per session, you may enter into a challenge or competition at +1s before you make the test (this includes rolls for disposition during conflicts). Any additional successes add to this.

Raise the Stakes: When involved in a bet or wager concerning your athletic ability, make a Haggling test. Your Margin of Success adds bonus dice to the skill test OR to the payout in bonus cash dice. You may raise the stakes once per session.

Level 7

The Underdog: When making a versus test against an opponent with a higher ability, this benefit allows you to earn two checks by giving your opponent +1D to their roll.

The Favorite: When making a versus test against an opponent with a lower ability, this benefit will break ties in your favor.

Level 8

Core Training: Replace any Nature descriptor with one that reflects a strenuous physical activity: e.g., Wrestling, Running, Jumping, Lifting, Tumbling, Throwing, Swimming, Climbing, Rowing, Skiing, etc.

Hypercompetitive: Replace any Nature descriptor with competing, coaching or boasting.

Level 9

Transformed: You gain an additional Core Training descriptor, bringing you to a total of four descriptors.

Heroic Ability: Your Nature, Health, Will or a specialty skill now succeeds on rolls of 3-6 on 1D6.

Level 10

Olympian: Your heroic exploits have achieved mythic status; your status as an athlete is unparalleled. Choose a legendary ability that reflects your best quality:

  • Stamina: You must gain an additional Exhausted condition before suffering the effects of Exhausted. Recover from each condition is as normal.
  • Strength: Gain +1 Might; increase this benefit to +2 Might when using your specialty skill.
  • Speed: At the start of a Chase conflict, roll 1D6; increase your starting disposition by this amount. Gain +1 starting disposition at the start of a Fight conflict.
  • Willpower: You cannot be made Angry. Your Might is +1 higher against effects to control your mind. Maximum Will is capped at 7.
  • Courage: You cannot be made Afraid. Your Might is +1 higher against fear-based effects. Maximum Will is capped at 7.
  • Vitality: You cannot be made Sick. Gain +1D to resist poisons and life-draining energies. Maximum Health is capped at 7.
  • Fitness: If you roll any 1s when testing Health or any skill with Health as a root, re-roll them. You may do this once per test.
  • Focus: If you roll any 1s when testing Will or any skill with Health as a root, re-roll them. You may do this once per test.
  • Wisdom: You may use your Wises to aid your own tests (+1D if applicable).
1 Like

Awesome TB character recipe:
Level 6 Human Barbarian with Nature (climbing, running or swimming), Swift of Arm and Brute Strength who becomes a level 1 Athlete and proceeds until they gain an additional Nature descriptor (throwing) at Athlete level 8.

I like it, but what is the difference between Underdog and the regular rules for breaking ties in the GMs favor?

You have to use a trait to break ties in the GM’s favor, which you can’t do if you already used a trait or if you’re all out of uses. This gets around the “one trait per test” rule. BUT i thought of a better way to use that benefit, so I’ve edited the text!

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