One class, four OSR games: the Yogi for Whitehack, The Black Hack, Macciato Monsters and Into the Odd

Today, let’s talk about the Yogi as character class. Because, you know, I practice yoga, and I love the OSR. I’m using bullete’s version for this experiment.

First, a write-up of the yogi’s abilities that I find interesting in close to reality:

  • ahimsa (nonviolence) practice is key
  • focus on own willpower rather than on supernatural beings
  • must be lawful
  • may never possess more than what they can carry on their person
  • avoid contact with precious metals or jewelry
  • no use of magic items
  • no use of weapons
  • no armor
  • yogi spells are called “siddhis” (“powers”). Choose only nonviolent spells: The following siddhis may be chosen: All cleric spells except spells against Law and the following: Hold Person, Sticks to Snakes, Insect Plague, Quest, and Raise Dead. Magic user spells: Read Languages, Detect Invisibility, Knock, ESP, Levitate, Darkvision, Fly, Protection from Normal Missiles, Water Breathing, Wizard Eye, Contact Other Plane, Passwall, Telekinesis, Teleport, and Anti-Magic Shell.
  • 3rd level:  Simulate Death, lowering his heart beat and body temperature, and appearing not to breathe. This state can be maintained for d6 turns per level, once per day.
  • Saving Throw: Yogis receive a +3 bonus on saving throws vs. poison and paralysis.
  • Obtain devotees: At ninth level, the Yogi will attract a large number of loyal followers who will swear fealty to the character and wish to do good deeds in his or her name.




Let’s play with Whitehack first:

Is the yogi deft, strong or wise?

I’d argue a yogi is, first and foremost, a Wise Yogi. This also gives him the ability to “use siddhis” (cast spells). So, a Wise Yogi it is.

On level 1, Wise characters have: 1d6+1 HD, Attack Value (roll on or under) 10, Saving Throw 6, 2 Slots (special abilities, one active, the other one inactive), and belong to two Groups.

Let’s do this:

Mahadev, level 1 Wise Yogi
Str 7 (Truly Lawful), Dex 10, Con 12, Int 14, Wis 12 (Yogi), Cha 7; Saving Throw 6 (9 vs. poison/paralysis), HP 6, AC 0, Attack Value 10, Siddhis: “Eternal Peace” (active)/”Joyous Freedom” (inactive); Common tongue; loincloth, skull cup, small bag of bhang

If you’re wondering what the remarks behind Strength and Wisdom (in parantheses) mean: Those are the yogi’s “groups” (affiliation and vocation). Whenever a Str or Wis save is in order and the group is appropriate for the task, the save is rolled with advantage.

Supernatural powers in WH are freeform and powered by hit points; each time one is used, the player specifies how exactly he wants to interpret it at this moment. Then, DM and player negotiate the price in hp.

If the WH yogi had to defend himself physically, he would try to roll on or under his Attack Value, but over the opponent’s Armor Class. Successful roll means: inflict unarmed damage (1 point). If the opponent attacked him, the DM would try to roll the d20 on or under the opponent’s Attack Value (HD+10)




Now, The Black Hack (1e):

A long time ago, I converted the Yogi class to TBH:

Starting HP: d4 + 4
HP Per Level/Resting: 1d4
Weapons & Armor: no weapons and shields at all, yogis practice ahimsa (non-violence) 

Attack Damage: 1d4 / 1 point Unarmed or Improvising
Ahimsa Die: Levels 1-2: 1d4; levels 3-8: 1d6; levels 9-10: 1d8

The Ahimsa Die is a Usage Die that tracks the non-violent behavior of the Yogi. Patience is a virtue, but it‘s also hard work. When the Yogi runs out of patience, he loses his special powers for that day. More on that in the following paragraph.
Siddhi Points: Level+2; cast spells of any level. Casting a successful spell requires a WIS check as per TBH rules. Spells don’t work automatically, you have to pass the check. On a failed roll, it costs Siddhi Points to cast the spell (cost  = spell level). On a successful roll, you cast the spell for free. 



SPECIAL FEATURES
Non-violence: (ahimsa): Yogis must begin as lawful in alignment and remain so or else lose the special powers given to them. Also, if they use violence „in word, thought or action“, they roll their Ahimsa Die. If the die comes up a 1 or 2, reduce it by one step, as usual. If the Ahimsa Die is a d4 and is reduced further, the Yogi loses all their siddhis (spells) for that day. After sunrise and a meditation that lasts (Exyperience Level) hours, the Ahimsa Die is „re-charged“ again. Yes, that‘s right, the higher up you get in Yoga, the longer it takes to recover from lapses.
Possessions: Yogis are severely limited in the amount of possessions they may have – they may never possess more than what they can carry on their person, they avoid contact with gold or jewelry, and may not carry more than the equivalent of 1 coin worth of other types of treasure. They may not use magic items.

Spell casting: A Yogi gains siddhis, or supernatural, mental powers which correspond to some cleric and magic user spells. In order to obtain these, the yogi must spend one hour in meditation per spell, per day.

In addition, at 3rd level the Yogi may Simulate Death, lowering his heart beat and body temperature, and appearing not to breathe. This state can be maintained for d6 minutes per level, once per day.
Saving Throw: Yogis receive a +3 bonus on saving throws vs. poison and paralysis.
Charisma Bonus: At 2nd level and every level thereafter, Yogis automatically add 1 point to their

charisma score, up to a maximum score of 20.
Obtain devotees: At ninth level, the Yogi will attract a large number of loyal followers who will swear fealty to the character and wish to do good deeds in his or her name.
SIDDHIS
The following siddhis may be chosen:

All cleric spells except spells against Law and the following: Hold Person, Quest, and Raise Dead. • Magic user spells: Read Languages, Knock, Levitate, Darkvision, Telekinesis, Teleport 

The TBH Yogi looks like this:

Mahadev, level 1 Yogi
Str 7, Dex 10, Con 12, Int 14, Wis 12, Cha 7; HP 10, damage: d4/1, Ahimsa Die: 1d4; Siddhi Points: 3, loincloth, skull cup, small bag of bhang

If the TBH yogi had to defend himself physically, he would try to roll on or under his Strength. Successful roll means: inflict unarmed damage (1 point). If the opponent attacked him, the player would try to make a STR save, or (house rule) the DM would try to roll on or over the yogi’s Str, or simply roll higher than the yogi.





Macchiato Monsters

Macchiato Monsters takes inspiration from The Black Hack and Whitehack, as the name implies.

  • In MM, you first roll the stats: we have already done that.
  • Then, you invent a Trait (origins, factions, occupations, race): Yogi. Whenever the trait is relevant, roll with advantage.
  • Now, record your hit die; this always starts with a d6.
  • Now, pick two: add a d6 to a low stat, write down another trait, add another hit die, martial training (step up your hit dice), specialist training (a daily special ability), or magic training (come up with two freeform spells, essentially like Whitehack) –
  • First pick: specialist training (“Simulate Death”, as described in the ability list in the beginning of this blog post: The yogi is lowering his heart beat and body temperature, and appears not to breathe. This state can be maintained for d6 turns per level, once per day)
  • Second pick: magic training – the siddhis are: “Eternal Peace” and “Joyous Freedom”

The MM Yogi looks like this:

Mahadev, level 1 Yogi
Trait: Yogi, Str 7, Dex 10, Con 12, Int 14, Wis 12, Cha 7; HP 6, no armor, no weapons, Siddhis: “Eternal Peace” and Joyous Freedom”, loincloth, skull cup, small bag of bhang

If the yogi had to defend himself physically, he would try to roll on or under his Str. Successful roll means: roll damage (2d4, take lower). If the yogi rolled higher, that would mean the opponent hit him.



Into the Odd

Into the Odd is the enfant terrible in the OSR scene. No because it’s not behaving well (author Chris McDowall is one of the nicest guys I know online), but because it’s breaking traditions deliberately. As a result, ItO is not only very slim, but it plays lightning fast.

So let’s try to fit the original class into ItO.

First of all, stats: only three of them: Str, Dex und Cha.
HP: 1d6, further damage is subtracted from Str; If Str=0 then dead
There are no classes in ItO, but at the moment, more and more people are creating them, anyway (even Chris himself)
Spells are either spell items or skills. For the yogi, it has to be skills.

So, the ItO Yogi:

Reach Eternal Peaceful Liberation by unmasking not-reality as illusion. Do this by practicing non-violent (ahimsa) and introspective methods. If you reach Level 5 without harming anyone on purpose, you reach Moksha (liberation) and can rest, finally.

Choose something that disturbs your peacefulness.
  1. Cruelty against insects.

  2. Cruelty against animals.
  3. Cruelty against human beings.
  4. Injustice.
  5. Loud children.
  6. Busy marketplaces.


UPGRADES
Start with 1.
Take 1 when you:
  • lived an entire month in the world (“in the marketplace”), in ahimsa

  • stayed peaceful in the middle of raging violence

  1. Move Immovable Objects: You can persuade small doors and walls to move.
  2. Create gems: You can create gemstones out of thin air.
  3. No pain: You feel no pain. Critical injuries don’t exist for you. You keep moving and standing till you die with Str 0. 
  4. Come closer, Beloved One: You can move the sun closer to you or farther away from you.

The ItO Yogi looks like this:

Mahadev, level 1 Yogi
Yogi, Str 7, Dex 10, Cha 7; HP 6, no armor, no weapons, Siddhis: “Eternal Peace” and Joyous Freedom”, loincloth, skull cup, small bag of bhang

If the yogi had to defend himself physically, he would simply roll 1d4 for damage (no to-hit roll). The opponent would do the same.










New GLOG class: Whitehack Brave

A week ago, I presented my new GLOG class, the Whitehack Strong. Now’s the time for

The Whitehack Brave 

Starting Equipment: d6 weapon, leather armor
Starting Skill: A Man of Honor, Patience

The Brave can use all weapons.

A: Losing is winning, No!
B: Pack Mule, Helping a Friend
C: Resistance to Curses, All but invisible
D: Divine Grace, Good Enough

Courage trumps both lack of skills and prowess. Brave characters are underdogs and unlikely heroes. 


Losing is winning: Every time a Brave character fails at a roll (attack rolls excluded), he gains a Comeback die (1d6). Add a Comeback Die to any attribute, armor or to use it as damage die when rolling for something else. You can use more than one Comeback Die, but only the highest die counts. If a roll fails despite a Comeback Die, all Comback Dice used for that roll are lost and the roll does not generate a new Comeback Die.

No!: Once per session, the Brave can deny an enemy a successful attack, miracle or fear effect directed at him. 

Pack Mule: The Brave character disregards disadvantage on encumbrance tests.

Helping a friend: The Brave character chooses a party member at the beginning of the session. When he rolls to protect them, the Bravegains one free Comeback Die to his AID.

Resistance to curses: The character rolls with advantage against cursed objects.

All but invisible: At the start of a battle, enemies always choose to attack someone else first — if there is someone else to attack. This feature can be inverted if the player wishes.

Divine Grace: Once per session, the character‘s god will hear his prayer. GM decides in what way this prayer is heard.

Good enough: Any improvised weapon does 1d6 damage.

New GLOG class: Whitehack Strong

Headlopper, by Andrew McLean. One of the best comic books I’ve ever read.

Christian Mehrstam’s Whitehack has some very interesting character classes. They’re more like broad character catagories. One of them is called “The Strong”, and it covers every character who uses strength, power and physical might to get things done.

This is my attempt to GLOGify The Strong.



Class: The Strong

Starting Equipment: leather armor, sword, bow, 20 arrows
Starting Skill: Repair armor, or Patch wounds

You gain +1 Hit Point for each Strong template you possess.
Fighters can use all weapons.

A: Protect, Push, Monster Power
B: Cling, Battle Frenzy
C: Tactics, Encourage
D: Hit and Fire, Opportunity Attack

Protect: Forsake all other actions in a round, and you may protect an adjacent character by attracting all attacks on you. This last till your next turn. Enemy can save vs. this effect.

Push: After a successful attack, push an opponent backwards 10 feet (save negates) and move into their space.

Monster Power: You gain one single power (special attack, trick, substance extracted from their body, supernatural ability) from a killed enemy. You must deliver the killing blow. This power can be exchanged if you kill a new enemy. Use your Monster Power (Level) times per day.

Cling: You can cling onto huge monsters and even climb them (DEX check). When you cling to a monster and attack it, gain +4 to Attack and damage as long as you hang on.

Battle Frenzy: Spend one round of concentration and work up a battle frenzy (+2 Attack and damage, but -3 Defense). When the battle is over, save vs. frenzy or continue your attacks for another round. The one standing closest to you is your target.

Tactics: Bestow +2 Attack and +2 Defense on an ally, once per battle.

Encourage: Encourage all friends who stand close to you (15 feet radius), giving them +1 Defense and +1 Save. Invert this to put fear into your enemies’ hearts.

Hit and Fire: Forsake your move and make a one-handed melee attack AND a one-handed ranged attack in the same round.

Opportunity Attack: Instead of attacking, gain a +2 to Defense in a round. In exchange, you get +4 Attack and damage against one of the enemies you parried. Parry instead of attacking for two consecutive rounds, and you gain +6 Attack and damage. If you take damage in any parrying round, you lose these bonuses.