Cyberpunk Red Homebrew: Australia in the Time of the Red

I have been playing Cyberpunk for many, many years now, and as an Australian always had my games set in Australia. Cyberpunk 2020 had the Pacific Rim sourcebook that covered the situation in Australia at that period of time, but with Cyberpunk Red, the timeline has shifted forward a quarter of a century. Apart from a couple of very minor mentions, what has happened to Australia in the intervening time remains unknown.

So I have homebrewed up a version of Australia in the Time of the Red.

Economically depressed, politically unstable, with high levels of unemployment and poverty, Corps trying to muscle back in and a half built city that acts as a focal point for smuggling and piracy – government sanctioned as well.

These are just early notes. It still needs a bit more fleshing out and expanding on.

Lets Create: AD&D 2E Character: Faolan Whisperwind: Gnome Cleric/Thief

Before we return to creating our Dark Sun characters, I want to go back to vanilla AD&D 2e and have a look at it, and one of the most interesting multiclass choices available – the gnome cleric/thief.

For those who haven’t experienced 2e, not all classes were available to all races. The humans could be any class, and the half-elves anything but paladins, but the others had limitations, such as dwarves only being able to be fighters, clerics and thieves. On top of that, there were level limitations for demihumans as well, preventing them advancing far in the classes they did have access to. There were a number of reasons why this was put in place, and it was one of the most houseruled parts of the game.

Another difference between humans and demihumans was that demihumans could multiclass – the ability to be leveling in 2 (or 3 in the case of elves and half-elves) classes at a time. There were also limitations as to what classes could be combined. Only gnomes could be cleric/thieves for example. The classic gnome multiclass combo was the illusionist/thief, but the cleric/thief deserves a look at, if not for the fact that it is the fastest leveling of all the multiclass combos. On top of that, the gnomish gods are generally of the trickster and mischief maker types, so cleric/thief that follows in that vein is pretty thematic.

We are actually going to be looking at two variants of the character, starting with plain vanilla PHB only.

So what do we need to be a gnome cleric/thief. For cleric we need 9 WIS and for thief we need 9 DEX. A gnome needs a minimum of 6 STR, 8 CON and 6 INT, and has a racial modifier of +1 INT and -1 WIS. The last one hurts a little being a cleric but it cant be helped. All in all, not too difficult – we should be able to manage that with our rolls.

For this we are going with probably the most popular method of dice rolling for 2e – 4d6 drop the lowest. The average for 4d6dl is around 12.24, which means we should be able to roll up 2 9s, 2 6s and an 8, and hopefully higher, but it doesn’t eliminate bad rolls due to the small number of dice involved. So lets kick off and see what we get.

Roll 1; 6, 5, 5, 5 = 16

Roll 2; 2, 3, 1, 3 = 8

Roll 3; 3, 6, 2, 2 = 11

Roll 4; 6, 4, 3, 2 = 13

Roll 5; 4, 3, 5, 1 = 12

Roll 6; 6, 4, 5, 4 = 15

Getting a 16 is good while the 8, though not the best, could have been worse. We assigned them as follows;

STR 8, DEX 16, CON 11, INT 13, WIS 15, CHA 12. With racial modifiers that ends up as STR 8, DEX 16, CON 11, INT 14, WIS 14, CHA 12.

We do get a few bonuses from those stats; +1 reaction, +1 missile attack, -2 defense from DEX, 4 bonus NWPs from INT and 2 bonus 1st level spells from WIS.

Gnomes have a number of benefits. One of the languages they can learn is burrowing mammal. Basically they can speak with moles, badgers, weasels etc. It may not get much use but why wouldn’t you take it? They are also highly resistant to magic, getting a bonus to saves vs spells, rods, staves and wands based on their CON, the same as dwarves do. The down side is that they suffer a 20% failure chance any time they use a magic item except for weapons, armour, shields, illusionist items and items that duplicate thieving abilities if they are a thief. They have 60′ infravision, get +1 to hit against kobolds and goblins and when large monsters like giants, trolls, ogres and the like attack them, they suffer a -4 to hit. Also being exceptional miners, they can detect distance, direction and slope underground, as well as how safe walls and ceilings are, though I haven’t seen it used much at all.

A first level cleric gets 1d8 HP and a first level thief gets 1d6. We roll a 5 for cleric and a 5 for thief, for a total of 10. Divided by 2 equals 5 HPs.

Taking the best saving throws per class we get PPDM 10; RSW 14; PP 12; BW 16; SP 15. Due to his CON, he subtracts 3 from the RSW and SP saves for PPDM 10; RSW 11; PP 12; BW 16; SP 12. In addition, if it can be dodged, like a lightning bolt, he also reduced the save by a further -2.

For proficiencies he receives 2 WP and 4 NWPs, with a bonus 4 due to his INT.

One of the conditions of being multiclasses is that he must abide by the weapon restrictions of a cleric, which is they must be blunt only. He takes sling and morningstar, giving him one ranged and one melee weapon. As he is a small creature, he must wield the morningstar 2 handed.

For his NWPs, he can select from the general, priest and rogue groups. He chooses Read/Write (INT +1), Language (borrowing mammal) (INT), Religion (WIS), Spellcraft (INT -2), Tumbling (DEX), Juggling (DEX -1), Ventriloquism (INT -2) and Rope Use (DEX). Its a mix of practical and fun as befits a gnomish cleric/thief who is probably a bit of a trickster and mischief maker.

A 1st level Cleric starts with 1 1st level spell, but due to his WIS he gets 2 bonus ones. The three that he starts with are Bless, Cure Light Wounds and Sanctuary, though that can change as needed.

Next the thieving skills. In 2e they worked a little different than later editions. They were a percentile check where you had to roll under the points you had assigned in them. At creation you had a base score, modified by race, dexterity and armour, and at each level you got 60 discretionary percentage points to assign, with no more than 30 per skill.

As a gnome we get +5% to open locks, +10% to find/remove traps, +5% to move silently, +5% to hide in shadows, +10% to detect noise and -15% to climb walls. Our DEX also gives us +5% to open locks. As long as he is wearing leather armour he suffers no penalties, but going up to studded leather or padded incurs fairly hefty ones, so he will stick at leather. One option is to wear no armour and get bonuses, though that is risky.

We go with putting +15% into Detect Noise, Move Silently, Hide in Shadows and +5% into Read Languages, Open Locks and Find/Remove Traps. Our final totals are;

Pick Pockets 15%, Open Locks 25%, Find/Remove Traps 20%, Move Silently 30%, Hide in Shadows 25%, Detect Noise 40%, Climb Walls 45% and Read Languages 5%.

For gear, we start with 3d6x10 gp as a priest. Our roll gives us 110gp, with which we purchase leather armour (5gp), a morningstar (10gp), a sling (5cp) and 20 sling bullets (2sp). We also get a set of thieves picks (30g), and a holy symbol (25gp). The remaining 37 gold, 5 silver will be spent on gear and clothing, and maybe even a mule to ride.

Leather armour gives him AC of 8, reduced to AC 6 with his dexterity.

His base THAC0 is 20, reduced to 19 with ranged weapons. With the morningstar he is THAC0 20, speed 7 doing 2d4/1d6+1 damage. With the sling he is THAC0 19, speed 6 doing 1d4+1/1d6+1 damage.

And lastly age, height and weight. Faolan is 60+3d12 years old (77), living to 200+3d100 (340). He is 38+1d6 inches tall (44) and weighs 72 +5d4 pounds (87).

So there you have him, a fairly rounded character. Can fight a bit (though preferably from range as they are a little squishy), cam cast a few spells, do a bit of sneaking and has some interesting proficiencies to use.

Faolan Whisperwind: CL/TH 1/1; AL CG; AC 6 (Leather & dex); HP 5; THAC0 20 (19 with sling); #AT 1; DMG 2d4 (morningstar), 1d4+1 (sling); Str 8, Dex 16, Con 11, Int 14, Wis 14, Cha 12.

Saves; PPDM 10, RSW 11, PP 12, BW 16, SP 12.

Weapon Proficiencies; Morningstar, Sling

Non-weapon Proficiencies; Read/Write, Religion, Spellcraft, Tumbling, Juggling, Ventriloquism, Rope Use.

Languages; Common, Gnomish, Burrowing Mammal.

Spells; 3 x 1st (Cure Light Wounds, Sanctuary, Bless).

Thief Skills: Pick Pockets 15%, Open Locks 25%, Find/Remove Traps 20%, Move Silently 30%, Hide in Shadows 25%, Detect Noise 40%, Climb Walls 45% and Read Languages 5%.

Gear; Leather armour, morningstar, sling and 20 sling bullets, holy symbol, thieves tools.