Sunday, August 23, 2015

New BX/LL Character Class: The Bogatyr

Welcome to week #2 of "New BX Classes" week. For a while, Welbo and I have been trying to develop a steppe-warrior class--the baghatur. Today's new class obviously comes from the same root language, and has the same underlying meaning of "hero"--the bogatyr (a Russian/Slavic inspired class). The differences between the two as classes are pretty drastic, despite the similarity in name. The baghatur is mounted bowman who's eventual goal is starting his own khanate. The bogatyr is more of a knight-errant, wandering in search of adventures to prove his heroic worth.

I'm taking a little liberty with the source materials, and drawing more from the legend of Svyatogor and stretching it a bit. Though Svyatogor was a giant bogatyr, he is the antagonist of the tale, and did not change size from normal human to giant (though my bogatyr below does). I just thought that made for a cool concept--a paladin-like figure whose deeds are rewarded with the supernatural ability to grow to giant size. The concept of premonitions comes from the same legend, and the Feats of Competition come from similar stories. All around, I think this gives some nice flavor to what is otherwise a fighter class.


The bogatyr is a paladin-like fighter akin to the knight-errant—a warrior who wanders the land in search of adventures to prove his or her chivalric virtues. Unlike normal knights, however, bogatyrs possesses a number of supernatural abilities that truly set them apart. Though bards have been known to sing the praises of bogatyrs as being demigods, there is no proof of such a thing being true.

The prime requisites for bogatyrs are Strength and Wisdom. A bogatyr who has an Strength Score greater than 12 will earn a +5% bonus on earned experience. A bogatyr with an Strength score of 13 or greater AND a Wisdom score of 15 or greater will gain a +10% bonus on earned experience.

Bogatyrs use the same attack and saving tables as fighters.

RESTRICTIONS: Bogatyrs determine their hit points with eight-sided dice (d8). They may wear any type of armor and use a shield. Bogatyrs are permitted any type of weapon, as well as any magic item normally permitted a fighter. Bogatyrs may progress beyond the 14th level of experience, but all of their special abilities (e.g., giant growth), max out at 14th level. A bogatyr must have a minimum score of 9 in Charisma.

SPECIAL ABILITIES: A bogatyr benefits from a number of special abilities as outlined below:
Premonitions. Bogatyrs are predisposed to having premonitions—dream-like visions of people, places and things they are destined to encounter. The distance and the clarity of these premonitions increase with level (e.g., a 1st level bogatyr would have a much fuzzier vision of something no more than a day or two away, while a 14th level bogatyr would have a much clearer vision of something that may not happen for months or even years). The type, clarity, and frequency of premonitions is at the discretion of the DM, but provide opportunities to create suspense and intrigue for players in the adventure or campaigns.

Giant Growth. Every day, a bogatyr is able to grow to a larger size, temporarily increasing his or her Strength and the damage caused in melee combat (similar to a potion of growth). The number of turns per day that the bogatyr may spend in giant form rises with the character’s level, as does the height to which the bogatyr may grow, and the damage done while at that size.

Feats of Competition. At each level, beginning at 1st level, the bogatyr acquires one Feat of Competition. This feat can be used to automatically defeat an opponent in a contest that might otherwise seem unwinnable by the bogatyr (e.g., footrace against a character with a movement rating greater than the bogatyr’s). The feat must be accomplished in direct competition with a single NPC (and may not be a member of the bogatyr’s party). The bogatyr may use the feat at any time he or she wishes, but once used it is permanently lost. Unused feats may be “carried over” to the next level.
At 9th (name) level, the bogatyr may petition for ennoblement to the highest ranking noble in his or her district. Those bogatyrs that have proved themselves greathearted will generally find their request fulfilled. Once the bogatyr has been designated as aristocracy, he or she may choose to build a barony (at his or her own expense) by building a palace, clearing the land around it, and maintaining control of the area (by retaining footmen, horsemen, etc.). There is a 50% chance that the king will allow the bogatyr to clear an area of his or her choosing. Otherwise, the area of land on which the bogatyr will establish his or her barony will be chosen for him, based on the strategic needs of the kingdom.

1 comment: