Sunday, August 16, 2015

New BX/LL Character Class: The Archer-Rogue

Guess what kids! IT'S NEW BX CHARACTER CLASS WEEK! That's right! A week's worth of new classes for BX. Kicking it off is this Robin Hood inspired class... the archer-rogue.


The archer-rogue is more scoundrel than thief. Often living by a unique agenda, the archer-rogue relies mainly on cunning and deception in furtherance of his or her goals. Although archer-rogues may sometimes choose the lifestyle of a bandit, they are not trained in the same manual dexterity skills as common thieves (e.g., archer-rogues are not trained to pick pockets or pick locks).

The prime requisites of an archer-rogue are Intelligence and Dexterity. An archer-rogue with Intelligence and Dexterity scores of 13 or greater will gain a +5% bonus on earned experience points. An archer-rogue with an Intelligence of 13 or greater and a Dexterity of 16 or greater will gain a +10% bonus on earned experience points. Archer-rogues use the same attack and saving throw tables as thieves.

RESTRICTIONS: Archer-rogues use six-sided dice (d6) to determine their hit points. They may use any weapon with the following exception: they are prohibited from using any two-handed weapon except a quarterstaff. Archer-rogues may only wear leather armor and they may not use a shield. Archer-rogues may use only those magic items generally permitted thieves. However, archer-rogues do not gain the ability to read languages or magic, nor the ability to use existing magic-user/elf scrolls. They may advance to a maximum of 14th level. An archer-rogue must have a minimum Charisma score of 9.

Like thieves, archer-rogues may not build a castle or stronghold. However, at name (9th level), they may build a hideout. Any archer-rogue that builds a hideout will attract 2-12 individuals to serve in the archer-rogue’s band. These individuals will generally be fighters of various levels. However, there is a 50% chance that one of these individuals will be a cleric, and a further 50% chance that 1-2 of these individuals will be thieves.

SPECIAL ABILITIES: The ability which sets the archer-rogue apart from all others is the character’s skill in archery with the short bow and long bow. As the archer-rogue rises in level, the character becomes more proficient with these bows, providing greater chances to hit, increased damage with successful blows, and even the ability to shoot at multiple targets within the same round. Beginning at first level, the archer-rogue begins to earn “to hit” and damage bonuses for a single shot made during a melee round. Beginning at 4th level, the archer-rogue may choose to make 2 shots per round at a single target (instead of 1). Various “to hit” and damage bonuses apply to each shot in the sequence. Similarly, beginning at 9th level, the archer-rogue may choose to make 3 shots per round per round against a single target, or 2 shots per round against multiple targets within a 45° arc. Finally, at 14th level, the archer-rogue may make up to 4 shots in a single melee round vs. a single target, or up to 3 shots per round at multiple targets within a 90° arc. All indicated bonuses are in addition to those bonuses provided by a high Dexterity.

Level Single Target Multiple Targets
1-3 1 shot/round
4-8 2 shots/round
9-13 3 shots/round 2 shots/round
14 4 shots/round 3 shots/round

As an archer-rogue rises in level, the character becomes increasingly proficient in a number of of special abilities per below:
Hear Noise: As the thieves’ ability.

Detect Snares & Pits: Allows the archer-rogue to detect traps (e.g., missile traps) and pits to a distance of 10' in the direction the archer-rogue is searching.

Climb: Represents the chance of success for the archer-rogue to climb trees, rock faces, overhangs on building, or similar pinnacles. Wet surfaces will modify the attempt by -10%. Slick surfaces (e.g., covered with oil) are impossible for an archer-rogue to climb. A failed climb attempt will result in a fall (which does 1d6 per 10' fallen to a maximum of 20d6). The roll should be made for each 100' climbed.
Catwalk: This ability permits an archer-rogue to move across very narrow surfaces at their normal movement rate (even with running/fleeing). The archer-rogue is able to walk across the indicated width for their level without any chance of falling.

Hide: This works similarly to the thieves’ ability Hide in Shadows. Additionally, it allows the archer-rogue to camouflage him or herself in the wilderness and to go unnoticed when hiding behind minimal cover. All attempts should appear to succeed to the player (with the GM reacting accordingly if the attempt actually fails).

Surprise: This ability allows the archer-rogue, when standing/acting alone, to surprise opponents with a greater chance of success than normal. This ability only works if the archer-rogue is separated from his or her party, and is actively attempting to surprise a known adversary. A successfull Hide roll (see above) is required before an archer-rogue may attempt to Surprise. This ability does not apply to standard encounter surprise rolls.

Trip/Disarm: Represents the chance for an archer-rogue using a quarterstaff to trip an opponent of roughly human-size or smaller, or disarm them of a single melee weapon. There is a –25% penalty for opponents of ogre-size. An archer-rogue is unable to trip or disarm creatures of larger than ogre-size. If an archer-rogue fails in the attempt, he or she must make a Dexterity check or drop their quarterstaff.

Disguise: Allows the archer-rogue to disguise him or herself as someone else. The percentage noted represents the chance of the archer-rogue passing off as the alternate identity with someone familiar with the archer-rogue. The chance of success is increased by +25% for total strangers, and by +10% for those with Intelligence scores of 8 or lower. Additionally, the archer rogue is able to appear as ±1" taller/shorter per level, to a maximum of 12".

Distract: This ability permits the archer-rogue the following opportunities:
1) hold a person or monster’s attention while performing
another unnoticed action

2) move a person or monster’s attention from one point
to another (e.g., moving the monster’s attention away
from the archer-rogue to another character)

3) intentionally draw a person or monster in motion to
a specific area or object


  1. I like it. I have always been a big fan of Robin Hood and outdoor oriented classes suit my campaigns well.

  2. I rather like this. It would be perfect for by youngest son to play.

  3. Cool! Is the "Character Class Codex" going to be available in print sometime soon?

    1. Probably not as soon as most people would like. I need to finish the Basic Psionics Handbook first, then I have a yet-to-be-announced 5e project, and the maybe the class codex.