What Class options/restrictions does Lankhmar have?

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What Class options/restrictions does Lankhmar have?

Post by Big Mac » Sat Oct 29, 2016 10:28 am

I was talking about CA1 Swords of the Undercity, when Boneguard came up with an interesting point about PCs needing to be thieves or multiclass thieves. He also expanded on that a bit, when I asked him about it.

What this has me wondering is: what are the class options...and class restrictions, in the Lankhmar Campaign Setting?

I'm primarily interested in the 1st Edition AD&D version of Lankhmar: City of Adventure and the 2nd Edition AD&D version Lankhmar: City of Adventure (and their supporting products) but I would also be interested in hearing how the non-D&D versions changed things.

We never got a CGR product for Lankhmar, but were there ever any 2nd Edition Kits for the setting? And, if so, were they all tied into the thief class?
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Re: What Class options/restrictions does Lankhmar have?

Post by Boneguard » Sat Oct 29, 2016 11:39 am

I'm working this weekend, but I'll put down the class and racial changes on Monday.
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Re: What Class options/restrictions does Lankhmar have?

Post by Big Mac » Sat Oct 29, 2016 12:58 pm

Boneguard wrote:I'm working this weekend, but I'll put down the class and racial changes on Monday.
Thanks Boneguard. I'll look forward to it.

Anyone else have thoughts on this?
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Re: What Class options/restrictions does Lankhmar have?

Post by Boneguard » Sat Oct 29, 2016 1:17 pm

Big Mac wrote:I was talking about CA1 Swords of the Undercity, when Boneguard came up with an interesting point about PCs needing to be thieves or multiclass thieves. He also expanded on that a bit, when I asked him about it.
To clarify my statement a bit, the setting strongly encourage players to be (multiclass) thieves (detailed thief guild, rules for income through thievery, how powerful the thief guild is in Lankhmar itself) . However the GM could take it in any direction s/he wishes as in every other settings.

Now of to work
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Re: What Class options/restrictions does Lankhmar have?

Post by Boneguard » Mon Oct 31, 2016 1:47 pm

Here`s a quick overview of the main changes between Lankhmar and your usual AD&D setting. I'll mostly give you the 2st ed stuff, but 2nd edition specific will be in Italic.

Race
Only human are available. They make mention of different bonus/modifier depending of what culture you are from but it has been cut out.
2nd: Only Human are available, but include cultural package for Northerner, Mingol, Eevanmarenseer, Kleshites and Nehwon ghoul

Classes All class are capped at 15th level (2nd Ed: No level restriction)
Thief, assassin and fighter are unchanged.
Ranger and Paladin are not native of the city and does not gain spellcasting ability. 2nd ed: Bard also cannot cast spells
Monk are non-existant
The book predate Unearthed Arcana so Cavalier, Barbarian and Thief Acrobat are in limbo. Cavalier doesn`t really fit the setting, but the 2 others would.
The Magic-user, Illusionist, Cleric and Druid are merged into 2 new classes: Black Wizard and White Wizard.
- Black Wizard cannot be good and must have an intelligence of 15. They choose spell from the Magic-User AND Illusionist table with the magic-user spell progression table. A Black wizard must be evil to gain 5th level unward. They also suffer from corruption.
- White Wizard cannot be Evil and must have a wisdom of 15. They choose spell from the claric AND druid table with the cleric spell progression table. They are quite rare.
2nd ed: Elemental magic: A black Wizard aligned with one of the Element (Tome of Magic). They must have Intelligence AND Wisdom of 15th. Otherwise Unchanged.

Multiclassing
A character with a 12 in the prime requirement from a class can multiclass
Multiclass wizard are limited to 4th level. If they wish to progress to 5th level, they forgo all benefit (except Hit points) of their other classes.
Allowed combination:
Fighter/Thief
Fighter/Assassin
Ranger/Wizard
Fighter/Thief/Wizard
ranger/Thief
Fighter/Wizard
Assassin/Wizard
Wizard Can be Black or White.

2nd ed Dual Class
They can dual class as normal, but dual class wizard are limited to 4th level


Spell casting
The Spell casting time in increased to the next time increment (ex: Segment becomes Round)
It takes 1 week to recover a spell
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Re: What Class options/restrictions does Lankhmar have?

Post by Big Mac » Tue Nov 01, 2016 7:04 am

Boneguard wrote:Here`s a quick overview of the main changes between Lankhmar and your usual AD&D setting. I'll mostly give you the 2st ed stuff, but 2nd edition specific will be in Italic.

Race
Only human are available. They make mention of different bonus/modifier depending of what culture you are from but it has been cut out.
2nd: Only Human are available, but include cultural package for Northerner, Mingol, Eevanmarenseer, Kleshites and Nehwon ghoul
Hmm. So that rat-dude on the front of Cutthroats of Lankhmar is not available to PCs. I wonder if that would have changed for a 3rd Edition Lankhmar (to fit in with the LA mechanic that made most sentient monsters into playable races).

Are those cultural packages the human subraces get anything like the Regional Feats that Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting has?
Boneguard wrote:Classes All class are capped at 15th level (2nd Ed: No level restriction)
Thief, assassin and fighter are unchanged.
Ranger and Paladin are not native of the city and does not gain spellcasting ability. 2nd ed: Bard also cannot cast spells
Monk are non-existant
The book predate Unearthed Arcana so Cavalier, Barbarian and Thief Acrobat are in limbo. Cavalier doesn`t really fit the setting, but the 2 others would.
The Magic-user, Illusionist, Cleric and Druid are merged into 2 new classes: Black Wizard and White Wizard.
- Black Wizard cannot be good and must have an intelligence of 15. They choose spell from the Magic-User AND Illusionist table with the magic-user spell progression table. A Black wizard must be evil to gain 5th level unward. They also suffer from corruption.
- White Wizard cannot be Evil and must have a wisdom of 15. They choose spell from the claric AND druid table with the cleric spell progression table. They are quite rare.
2nd ed: Elemental magic: A black Wizard aligned with one of the Element (Tome of Magic). They must have Intelligence AND Wisdom of 15th. Otherwise Unchanged.
Does the 1st Edition Lankhmar book suggest anywhere for Rangers and Paladins to hail from?

The Black Wizard/White Wizard thing is something that sounds like it comes from the novels/short stories. I'm guessing that a 3rd Edition conversion would have had to have built two new classes for that. :)

Do any of the other Lankhmar RPGs include Black Wizards and White Wizards? Are they anything like the AD&D versions or are they radically different?
Boneguard wrote:Multiclassing
A character with a 12 in the prime requirement from a class can multiclass
Multiclass wizard are limited to 4th level. If they wish to progress to 5th level, they forgo all benefit (except Hit points) of their other classes.
Allowed combination:
Fighter/Thief
Fighter/Assassin
Ranger/Wizard
Fighter/Thief/Wizard
ranger/Thief
Fighter/Wizard
Assassin/Wizard
Wizard Can be Black or White.
If Rangers are from "out of town" does that mean that all Ranger/Wizards and Ranger/Thief PCs are also from out of town?
Boneguard wrote:2nd ed Dual Class
They can dual class as normal, but dual class wizard are limited to 4th level

I've never did the duel class thing during my 2e days. Would PCs normally start as wizards to gain this benefit?
Boneguard wrote:Spell casting
The Spell casting time in increased to the next time increment (ex: Segment becomes Round)
It takes 1 week to recover a spell
A week to recover a spell is a major change. That must make both PCs and NPCs change their tactics (compared to other campaign settings). I like it!

(I think this is the sort of rule that could be applied to an individual Spelljammer crystal sphere to make it play differently and feel different. :cool: )
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Re: What Class options/restrictions does Lankhmar have?

Post by Boneguard » Tue Nov 01, 2016 1:08 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Boneguard wrote:Here`s a quick overview of the main changes between Lankhmar and your usual AD&D setting. I'll mostly give you the 2st ed stuff, but 2nd edition specific will be in Italic.

Race
Only human are available. They make mention of different bonus/modifier depending of what culture you are from but it has been cut out.
2nd: Only Human are available, but include cultural package for Northerner, Mingol, Eevanmarenseer, Kleshites and Nehwon ghoul
Hmm. So that rat-dude on the front of Cutthroats of Lankhmar is not available to PCs. I wonder if that would have changed for a 3rd Edition Lankhmar (to fit in with the LA mechanic that made most sentient monsters into playable races).

Are those cultural packages the human subraces get anything like the Regional Feats that Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting has?
Indeed, the Rat-man are not available as PC-Race as they as essentially wererats thus a monster in 1st/2nd edition. They are described in the bestiary, so you might be able to work something out if you want a whole Ratman party.

Yes, somewhat. Regional package will give you stats modifier and usually either a weapon proficiency bonus, bonus non-weapon proficiency or another mechanical bonus (say a +1 Vs cold resistance for Northerner IIRC). It's allow you to play somethnig other than a run-of-the-mill human and makes your cultural background relevant.
Big Mac wrote:
Boneguard wrote:Classes All class are capped at 15th level (2nd Ed: No level restriction)
[...][/i]
Does the 1st Edition Lankhmar book suggest anywhere for Rangers and Paladins to hail from?

The Black Wizard/White Wizard thing is something that sounds like it comes from the novels/short stories. I'm guessing that a 3rd Edition conversion would have had to have built two new classes for that. :)

Do any of the other Lankhmar RPGs include Black Wizards and White Wizards? Are they anything like the AD&D versions or are they radically different?
Yes, Ranger hail from the wilderness, especially the Cold Waste (so most are Northerner) and most Paladin hails from the City of Tisilinilit (so most are Eevanmarenseer). Whereas these are the most likely point of origine, they can come from other area, they are simply Rare in Lankhmar city proper.

Oh yes, the spellcaster have been modified a lot to get the proper fell of the novel. As I do not own any other Lankhmar version, I could not tell you if they kept this or not.
Big Mac wrote:
Boneguard wrote:Multiclassing
A character with a 12 in the prime requirement from a class can multiclass
Multiclass wizard are limited to 4th level. If they wish to progress to 5th level, they forgo all benefit (except Hit points) of their other classes.
[...]
Wizard Can be Black or White.
If Rangers are from "out of town" does that mean that all Ranger/Wizards and Ranger/Thief PCs are also from out of town?
Most likely yes.
Big Mac wrote:
Boneguard wrote:2nd ed Dual Class
They can dual class as normal, but dual class wizard are limited to 4th level

I've never did the duel class thing during my 2e days. Would PCs normally start as wizards to gain this benefit?
That would be the smartest choise yes. Until the 2nd class is of equal or higher level as their former class, a dual-class character is penalized if they use ability of their former class while "training" in their new class. And since Wizard is limited at 4th, you better start with this class or change class before you hit the 5th level of yuor former class. Aslo a dual-class character can never progress in their former classes after they left them.

That's why I prefer the 1st edition multi-class approch as yuo can still advance in all your class (except Wizard once you reached the 4th level).
Big Mac wrote:
Boneguard wrote:Spell casting
The Spell casting time in increased to the next time increment (ex: Segment becomes Round)
It takes 1 week to recover a spell
A week to recover a spell is a major change. That must make both PCs and NPCs change their tactics (compared to other campaign settings). I like it!

(I think this is the sort of rule that could be applied to an individual Spelljammer crystal sphere to make it play differently and feel different. :cool: )
Oh yes. Lankhmar/Newhon is not magic dead, but it's a low-magic setting...despite having a lot of sorcerer villains. Magic is hard to master and demanding, so you do not have a lot of Magic-user/Cleric as in most AD&D games.

And a not on this is the Prist of the various Gods. The world has a rich Pantheon of Gods and the Priest can equaly be a 0-level Commoner as a 15th level Fighter.
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Re: What Class options/restrictions does Lankhmar have?

Post by agathokles » Tue Nov 01, 2016 3:23 pm

The idea is that Lankhmar adventurers are not primarily magic users of any kind. In the books, the Gray Mouser is a former wizard apprentice (i.e., a black wizard of level lower than 5th) turned thief while Fafhrd is a barbarian (and a non-spellcasting bard to some extent). Spellcasters are typically patrons or enemies.
This explains why the classes are changed as they are -- spells are not very appropriate for most classes, "Clerics" don't exist as such, and magic is difficult. Note that advancing the casting time to the next step is as limiting as the recovery time: a spell that is normally cast in a single action with a +X penalty to Initiative (the "Segment" time) is modified to be cast in X rounds instead. So if casting a Fireball is as fast as attacking with a short sword in standard AD&D, it becomes an action that takes multiple rounds in Lankhmar, making combat spellcasters all but impossible (unless they are shielded by the fighters for multiple rounds).

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Re: What Class options/restrictions does Lankhmar have?

Post by Big Mac » Thu Nov 03, 2016 12:30 pm

Boneguard wrote:
Big Mac wrote:
Boneguard wrote:Here`s a quick overview of the main changes between Lankhmar and your usual AD&D setting. I'll mostly give you the 2st ed stuff, but 2nd edition specific will be in Italic.

Race
Only human are available. They make mention of different bonus/modifier depending of what culture you are from but it has been cut out.
2nd: Only Human are available, but include cultural package for Northerner, Mingol, Eevanmarenseer, Kleshites and Nehwon ghoul
Hmm. So that rat-dude on the front of Cutthroats of Lankhmar is not available to PCs. I wonder if that would have changed for a 3rd Edition Lankhmar (to fit in with the LA mechanic that made most sentient monsters into playable races).

Are those cultural packages the human subraces get anything like the Regional Feats that Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting has?
Indeed, the Rat-man are not available as PC-Race as they as essentially wererats thus a monster in 1st/2nd edition. They are described in the bestiary, so you might be able to work something out if you want a whole Ratman party.

Yes, somewhat. Regional package will give you stats modifier and usually either a weapon proficiency bonus, bonus non-weapon proficiency or another mechanical bonus (say a +1 Vs cold resistance for Northerner IIRC). It's allow you to play somethnig other than a run-of-the-mill human and makes your cultural background relevant.
Are these Rat-men supposed to be "monsters" or are they supposed to be an unusual monster-like race? Are they actually wererat like, as in having lycanthropy and changing from human form during the full moon, or are they always in their rat-humanoid form? (Are there specific novels/stories that feature them?)

One of the things I recall about 2e and specialist rules for human groups, is that it felt to me very much like humans with racial modifiers felt very much like different D&D races (from a rules point of view) but with those "different races" being handwaved as humans (from a storytelling point of view).

This never felt quite right to me. I couldn't put my finger on the exact part of the mechanics I didn't like (although it might have been down to some human groups getting adjustments and other human groups being just a name (with identical stats). This was where the Regional Feats system (from Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting) just felt right to me.

So I guess that, if I was to attempt to use the human groups, from Lankhmar, I would want to review all of the abilities from the 2e or 1e Lankhmar core rulebook (and I'd probably go for the 2e book on the grounds that it probably has evolved a bit) and see what would translate into a regional feat. :)
Boneguard wrote:
Big Mac wrote:
Boneguard wrote:Classes All class are capped at 15th level (2nd Ed: No level restriction)
[...][/i]
Does the 1st Edition Lankhmar book suggest anywhere for Rangers and Paladins to hail from?

The Black Wizard/White Wizard thing is something that sounds like it comes from the novels/short stories. I'm guessing that a 3rd Edition conversion would have had to have built two new classes for that. :)

Do any of the other Lankhmar RPGs include Black Wizards and White Wizards? Are they anything like the AD&D versions or are they radically different?
Yes, Ranger hail from the wilderness, especially the Cold Waste (so most are Northerner) and most Paladin hails from the City of Tisilinilit (so most are Eevanmarenseer). Whereas these are the most likely point of origine, they can come from other area, they are simply Rare in Lankhmar city proper.

Oh yes, the spellcaster have been modified a lot to get the proper fell of the novel. As I do not own any other Lankhmar version, I could not tell you if they kept this or not.
When I first learned D&D (back in 2nd Edition) I played a generic game (with no campaign setting) and I always thought that the "Schools of Magic" should be some sort of actual organisations that various wizards join.

I do like the idea of Rangers and Paladins being associated with these regions (and presumably the playable human groups). I get the impression that Lankhmar could give players a full package to base their PCs on (although I'm not sure that the canon actually has the details on that).
Boneguard wrote:
Big Mac wrote:
Boneguard wrote:Multiclassing
A character with a 12 in the prime requirement from a class can multiclass
Multiclass wizard are limited to 4th level. If they wish to progress to 5th level, they forgo all benefit (except Hit points) of their other classes.
[...]
Wizard Can be Black or White.
If Rangers are from "out of town" does that mean that all Ranger/Wizards and Ranger/Thief PCs are also from out of town?
Most likely yes.
I think I would play them that way.

I guess that Rangers could come in and learn how to be a thief, but thieves could travel into the wilderness and hook up with someone who would teach them to be a Ranger. I think this is where PC mentors can help. :)
Boneguard wrote:
Big Mac wrote:
Boneguard wrote:2nd ed Dual Class
They can dual class as normal, but dual class wizard are limited to 4th level

I've never did the duel class thing during my 2e days. Would PCs normally start as wizards to gain this benefit?
That would be the smartest choise yes. Until the 2nd class is of equal or higher level as their former class, a dual-class character is penalized if they use ability of their former class while "training" in their new class. And since Wizard is limited at 4th, you better start with this class or change class before you hit the 5th level of yuor former class. Aslo a dual-class character can never progress in their former classes after they left them.

That's why I prefer the 1st edition multi-class approch as yuo can still advance in all your class (except Wizard once you reached the 4th level).
Duel-class PCs sound a bit bananas to me. If I was going to run a 2e game, I'd probably bring back multiclassing from 1e.
Boneguard wrote:
Big Mac wrote:
Boneguard wrote:Spell casting
The Spell casting time in increased to the next time increment (ex: Segment becomes Round)
It takes 1 week to recover a spell
A week to recover a spell is a major change. That must make both PCs and NPCs change their tactics (compared to other campaign settings). I like it!

(I think this is the sort of rule that could be applied to an individual Spelljammer crystal sphere to make it play differently and feel different. :cool: )
Oh yes. Lankhmar/Newhon is not magic dead, but it's a low-magic setting...despite having a lot of sorcerer villains. Magic is hard to master and demanding, so you do not have a lot of Magic-user/Cleric as in most AD&D games.

And a not on this is the Prist of the various Gods. The world has a rich Pantheon of Gods and the Priest can equaly be a 0-level Commoner as a 15th level Fighter.
Yep. I like this idea of low magic.

I've heard of people talking about low magic before and then putting all sorts of penalties in that make it harder to cast spells. But this sort of low magic rule actually makes spellcasting more "special".

Are you saying that "Priest" is just the title of a profession (rather than a class) in Lankhmar? (I think The Complete Book of Priests called that a "lay priest".)
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Re: What Class options/restrictions does Lankhmar have?

Post by Big Mac » Thu Nov 03, 2016 12:34 pm

agathokles wrote:The idea is that Lankhmar adventurers are not primarily magic users of any kind. In the books, the Gray Mouser is a former wizard apprentice (i.e., a black wizard of level lower than 5th) turned thief while Fafhrd is a barbarian (and a non-spellcasting bard to some extent). Spellcasters are typically patrons or enemies.
Thanks. That's good to know.

Do you know if non-D&D versions of Lankhmar have continued that?
agathokles wrote:This explains why the classes are changed as they are -- spells are not very appropriate for most classes, "Clerics" don't exist as such, and magic is difficult. Note that advancing the casting time to the next step is as limiting as the recovery time: a spell that is normally cast in a single action with a +X penalty to Initiative (the "Segment" time) is modified to be cast in X rounds instead. So if casting a Fireball is as fast as attacking with a short sword in standard AD&D, it becomes an action that takes multiple rounds in Lankhmar, making combat spellcasters all but impossible (unless they are shielded by the fighters for multiple rounds).
Nice! That's another interesting "house rule" for Lankhmar.

(This is the sort of logic I would like to see applied to some individual Spelljammer crystal spheres, so that they feel different to each other. However, I'm not going to start building "Lankhmarspace" as I don't know Lankhmar well enough.)
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Re: What Class options/restrictions does Lankhmar have?

Post by agathokles » Thu Nov 03, 2016 2:23 pm

Dual-classing is necessary for characters such as the Gray Mouser, who is a former wizard apprentice turned thief. If such a character was designed as a multiclass Wizard/Thief, it would lose 1/2 experience after level 4, since for multiclasses experience is split evenly between the two classes. On the other hand, as a dual-class character, the character would progress normally until level 4 as wizard, then progress with the dual-class penalty until level 5 as thief, due to the XP progression. Let us assume two classes (C1 and C2), each needing 2000 XP for second level.

Code: Select all

Multiclass:
C1 lvl 2 XP: 2000
C1 lvl 3 XP: 4000
C1 lvl 4 XP: 8000
C1 lvl 5 XP: 16000
C1 lvl 6 XP: 32000
C1 lvl 7 XP: 64000

Code: Select all

Dual class:
C1 lvl 2 XP: 2000
C1 lvl 3 XP: 4000
C1 lvl 4 XP: 8000
C1 lvl 4/C2 lvl 2 XP: 8000+2000 = 10000
C1 lvl 4/C2 lvl 3 XP: 8000+4000 = 12000
C1 lvl 4/C2 lvl 4 XP: 8000+8000 = 16000
C1 lvl 4/C2 lvl 5 XP: 8000+16000 = 24000
C1 lvl 4/C2 lvl 6 XP: 8000+32000 = 40000

Code: Select all

Multiclass:
C1 lvl 2/C2 lvl 2 XP: 2000+2000 = 4000
C1 lvl 3/C2 lvl 3 XP: 4000+4000 = 8000
C1 lvl 4/C2 lvl 4 XP: 8000+8000 = 16000
C1 lvl 4/C2 lvl 5 XP: 16000+16000 = 32000
C1 lvl 4/C2 lvl 6 XP: 32000+32000 = 64000
As you can see from the example, the multi-class spends a large number of XP on the first class, for which it has a level limit (pointless), whereas the dual-class does not. Note that the dual class overcomes its limitations by 24000 XP. At that point, the multi-class is one level behind on the second class, and a single class character is mid-way to the next level -- which is reasonable. In general, the multi-class lags one level behind the single-class, but the dual-class lags only be as much as it has progressed in the first class (which may be very little if only an initial "dip" is taken in the first class).

A bit on the power-player side and in the case of generic AD&D 2e, dual-class thief turned wizard is a very effective combination in AD&D, as it allows the wizard to use a wide range of weaponry, and increases the initial durability of the character. Besides, high Dex is useful to the wizard, and allows a good selection of specialist wizards. I used the Baldur's Gate NPC, Imoen, as a Thief/Illusionist dual class character :-)

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Re: What Class options/restrictions does Lankhmar have?

Post by Cthulhudrew » Thu Nov 03, 2016 3:13 pm

Big Mac wrote:Hmm. So that rat-dude on the front of Cutthroats of Lankhmar is not available to PCs. I wonder if that would have changed for a 3rd Edition Lankhmar (to fit in with the LA mechanic that made most sentient monsters into playable races).
IIRC, the ratmen in Fritz Lieber's stories were only rat-sized (though there were some rat-human crossbreeds). They definitely weren't wererats, though, in the traditional D&D lycanthropy/shapechanging sense of the term.
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Re: What Class options/restrictions does Lankhmar have?

Post by ripvanwormer » Thu Nov 03, 2016 10:50 pm

The Rat Empire of Lankhmar Below was detailed in the novel The Swords of Lankhmar. As Cthulhudrew said, they're the size of normal rats. The Gray Mouser infiltrates their miniature society by drinking a potion that makes him rat-sized. Later in the novel, some of the rats use potions to make themselves human-sized.

In 1e's Lankhmar: City of Adventure two NPCs, Hisvet and Hisvin, were simply described as wererats. They were noted to be nobility in the rat kingdom. In the book they seem to be the products of humans and rats somehow interbreeding, as Cthulhudrew said, but they're defined as wererats in the AD&D version.

There were other sentient species in Nehwon, like (non-undead) ghouls and ice gnomes, but humans were the only kinds of characters available simply because the stories were human-centered. [Edit: as Boneguard said, ghouls were available as PCs in 2nd edition]
Last edited by ripvanwormer on Fri Nov 04, 2016 12:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What Class options/restrictions does Lankhmar have?

Post by Cthulhudrew » Thu Nov 03, 2016 11:52 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:In 1e's Lankhmar: City of Adventure two NPCs, Hisvet and Hisvin, were simply described as wererats. They were noted to be nobility in the rat kingdom. In the book they seem to be the products of humans and rats somehow interbreeding, as Cthulhudrew said, but they're defined as wererats in the AD&D version.
Again, this is just from memory, but IIRC Hisvet appears in one of the later Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser stories. As I recall, she was a sort of human/rat hybrid or something there, but not a wererat. Maybe it was just easier to make them wererats in AD&D?

EDIT: Google tells me that she was in Swords of Lankhmar that ripvanwormer mentioned above, and the one I'm thinking of is likely The Knight and Knave of Swords.

EDIT2: Ninja'd by rip! :lol:
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Re: What Class options/restrictions does Lankhmar have?

Post by ripvanwormer » Thu Nov 03, 2016 11:54 pm

Cthulhudrew wrote: Maybe it was just easier to make them wererats in AD&D?
I think this is the right answer. Hisvet is from the novel Swords of Lankhmar, but the AD&D designers thought it was simpler to call her a wererat and move on rather than create a new monster entry for what she was.

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Re: What Class options/restrictions does Lankhmar have?

Post by Big Mac » Sun Nov 06, 2016 10:16 pm

agathokles wrote:<snip - examples of duel-class progression vs multi-class progression>

As you can see from the example, the multi-class spends a large number of XP on the first class, for which it has a level limit (pointless), whereas the dual-class does not. Note that the dual class overcomes its limitations by 24000 XP. At that point, the multi-class is one level behind on the second class, and a single class character is mid-way to the next level -- which is reasonable. In general, the multi-class lags one level behind the single-class, but the dual-class lags only be as much as it has progressed in the first class (which may be very little if only an initial "dip" is taken in the first class).

A bit on the power-player side and in the case of generic AD&D 2e, dual-class thief turned wizard is a very effective combination in AD&D, as it allows the wizard to use a wide range of weaponry, and increases the initial durability of the character. Besides, high Dex is useful to the wizard, and allows a good selection of specialist wizards. I used the Baldur's Gate NPC, Imoen, as a Thief/Illusionist dual class character :-)
Thanks for that GP.

I guess that people who play with other editions of D&D could easily use duel-class progression as an optional rule, if they like how this works.
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Re: What Class options/restrictions does Lankhmar have?

Post by Big Mac » Sun Nov 06, 2016 10:25 pm

Cthulhudrew wrote:IIRC, the ratmen in Fritz Lieber's stories were only rat-sized (though there were some rat-human crossbreeds). They definitely weren't wererats, though, in the traditional D&D lycanthropy/shapechanging sense of the term.
...and...
ripvanwormer wrote:The Rat Empire of Lankhmar Below was detailed in the novel The Swords of Lankhmar. As Cthulhudrew said, they're the size of normal rats. The Gray Mouser infiltrates their miniature society by drinking a potion that makes him rat-sized. Later in the novel, some of the rats use potions to make themselves human-sized.

In 1e's Lankhmar: City of Adventure two NPCs, Hisvet and Hisvin, were simply described as wererats. They were noted to be nobility in the rat kingdom. In the book they seem to be the products of humans and rats somehow interbreeding, as Cthulhudrew said, but they're defined as wererats in the AD&D version.
I've seen some D&D products where the designers tell people to use a certain monster, but change some sort of aspect of it. (I'm pretty sure there is a Spelljammer sun full of talking pegasi or something similar.)

It seems like the Lankhmar "wererats" were supposed to be that sort of thing. Statistically identical to wererats, but not lycanthropes. :?

I'm getting off the point of class options/restrictions, but I think I would want to go back to the novels and then tweak Lankhmar's wererats.

I really like the idea of them being small and using potions to expand to human size. That sounds fun.
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Re: What Class options/restrictions does Lankhmar have?

Post by Big Mac » Sun Nov 06, 2016 10:26 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:
Cthulhudrew wrote: Maybe it was just easier to make them wererats in AD&D?
I think this is the right answer. Hisvet is from the novel Swords of Lankhmar, but the AD&D designers thought it was simpler to call her a wererat and move on rather than create a new monster entry for what she was.
Are there any later editions of D&D that have rat-headed humanoid monsters (as opposed to wererats)?
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Re: What Class options/restrictions does Lankhmar have?

Post by ripvanwormer » Sun Nov 06, 2016 10:35 pm

Big Mac wrote:Are there any later editions of D&D that have rat-headed humanoid monsters (as opposed to wererats)?
There's the nezumi from 3e's Oriental Adventures and the ratmen (Slitheren) from the Scarred Lands setting. Pathfinder has ratfolk (Bestiary 3).

The rats of Lankhmar Below aren't generally represented by wererats, only two specific characters who have rat heritage but appear as normal humans. The rats of Lankhmar Below are just unusually intelligent rats, rather than "rat-headed humanoid monsters." The AD&D supplement Cutthroats of Lankhmar added a pack of wererats allied with (but not the same as) the rats of Lankhmar Below.

For more on Lankhmar's super intelligent rats, see 2nd edition Legends & Lore, page 156.

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Re: What Class options/restrictions does Lankhmar have?

Post by ripvanwormer » Mon Nov 07, 2016 12:26 am

Cthulhudrew wrote:IIRC, the ratmen in Fritz Lieber's stories were only rat-sized (though there were some rat-human crossbreeds). They definitely weren't wererats, though, in the traditional D&D lycanthropy/shapechanging sense of the term.
While they aren't standard D&D wererats, I notice that a character in The Swords of Lankhmar actually refers to Hisvet as one.
Fritz Leiber wrote:The sailors crowded aft as Slinoor emerged from the cabin with his officers and began to issue low-voiced orders. The Mouser caught, "Slay Hisvet or her maid on sight. They're not women but were-rats or worse."
So at least the concept of wererats exists in Fritz Leiber's world.

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Re: What Class options/restrictions does Lankhmar have?

Post by Big Mac » Tue Nov 08, 2016 7:55 am

ripvanwormer wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Are there any later editions of D&D that have rat-headed humanoid monsters (as opposed to wererats)?
There's the nezumi from 3e's Oriental Adventures and the ratmen (Slitheren) from the Scarred Lands setting. Pathfinder has ratfolk (Bestiary 3).

The rats of Lankhmar Below aren't generally represented by wererats, only two specific characters who have rat heritage but appear as normal humans. The rats of Lankhmar Below are just unusually intelligent rats, rather than "rat-headed humanoid monsters." The AD&D supplement Cutthroats of Lankhmar added a pack of wererats allied with (but not the same as) the rats of Lankhmar Below.

For more on Lankhmar's super intelligent rats, see 2nd edition Legends & Lore, page 156.
Thanks for that. I'll go check out Legends & Lore when I get home.
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Re: What Class options/restrictions does Lankhmar have?

Post by Big Mac » Tue Nov 08, 2016 7:59 am

ripvanwormer wrote:
Cthulhudrew wrote:IIRC, the ratmen in Fritz Lieber's stories were only rat-sized (though there were some rat-human crossbreeds). They definitely weren't wererats, though, in the traditional D&D lycanthropy/shapechanging sense of the term.
While they aren't standard D&D wererats, I notice that a character in The Swords of Lankhmar actually refers to Hisvet as one.
Fritz Leiber wrote:The sailors crowded aft as Slinoor emerged from the cabin with his officers and began to issue low-voiced orders. The Mouser caught, "Slay Hisvet or her maid on sight. They're not women but were-rats or worse."
So at least the concept of wererats exists in Fritz Leiber's world.
I guess that wererats don't "belong" to TSR/Wizards of the Coast and don't necessarily need to be defined in terms of D&D's lycanthropy (and all that goes with it).

If Ghostwalk can reboot the ghost into something that is different from a D&D ghost, the Lankhmar designers could have redfined the wererat into something that didn't conflict with novel canon. :)
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Re: What Class options/restrictions does Lankhmar have?

Post by Cthulhudrew » Tue Nov 08, 2016 7:33 pm

Big Mac wrote:Are there any later editions of D&D that have rat-headed humanoid monsters (as opposed to wererats)?
The Thunder Rift module "Quest for the Silver Sword" has ratlings, which are humanoid rats.

EDIT: There are also Moonrats, from 3E Bestiary III, which- while not humanoid- seem sort of like the Lankhmar rats.
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Re: What Class options/restrictions does Lankhmar have?

Post by agathokles » Tue Nov 08, 2016 10:38 pm

Big Mac wrote: I guess that people who play with other editions of D&D could easily use duel-class progression as an optional rule, if they like how this works.
Maybe, but 3e's multiclassing is quite similar (although more flexible at the expense of character effectiveness), and 4e has too different design principles (you'd probably use Initiate feats to cover the same ground). It could work in BECMI for humans (indeed, Haldemar of Haaken is described as a mage who also has some thieving skills, and one NPC in Wrath of the Immortals is a former Cleric turned Fighter, but retraining could better cover this latter case, and General skills could cover the former), and possibly in AD&D 1e if not already present (I'm not familiar enough with 1e). As for 5e, I don't know it nearly enough to say whether the principle could be adopted or not.

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Re: What Class options/restrictions does Lankhmar have?

Post by thorr-kan » Wed Nov 09, 2016 5:11 am

Boneguard wrote:Spell casting
The Spell casting time in increased to the next time increment (ex: Segment becomes Round)
It takes 1 week to recover a spell
The time increment increase is a frequent rule change for "low magic" campaigns. It was used for Gothic Earth and for a few of the HR (green book) series.

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