Friday, December 2, 2011

Land of Ice (PC Information, Part 2)

[continued from here]


As stated there are seven class choices in LAND OF ICE. The northmen (the descendents of those space wanderers that crashed so long ago) who choose a life of adventure fall into one of five classes: Fighter, Huntsman, Magician, Skald, and Thief. There are also two non-human classes players can choose for their characters: Dvergr and Alfr. Non-human adventurers do not exhibit the same variety of focus as the northmen; as such, all dvergar share the same capabilities, as do all alfar.


Most northmen adventurers are warriors and many warriors of the northmen race style themselves as adventurers. As explained in the Introduction, the northmen valorize martial prowess and most children receive at least some training in the use of arms for the defense of the community. Fighters, though, are professional warriors who do nothing but train for battle.

Fighter Advantages: Fighters roll D8 per level to determine hit points. Fighters receive a bonus to melee attack rolls equal to their level. Due to their training, fighters receive an additional +1 bonus to AC when using a shield. Fighters are decisive in combat, and receive a bonus to their initiative when fighting in single combat ONLY; this bonus is lost in group combat as the fighter must coordinate his efforts with his companions.

Fighter Limitations: Fighters are expected to be bold in battle, and seek out combat. They lose honor for being cowardly in battle, which penalizes their earned experience points. See Chapter 4 for information on honor. Fighters may achieve a maximum of 5th level of experience.


Some northmen live outside the community by choice; they do not mix well with their fellows, or they simply prefer a life of solitude in the wilderness. They may still have good relations with nearby settlements, trading the product of their labor (hunting, trapping, and fishing) for crafts they are unable to manufacture themselves. They are used to operating alone, and can provide valuable skills in the wilderness.

Huntsman Advantages: Huntsmen roll D6 per level to determine hit points. Huntsmen receive a bonus to attack rolls with ranged attacks equal to their level. They can travel very quietly and make good use of cover in the wilderness (being detected only 20% of the time, and surprising opponents on a 4 in6 chance), but only when operating independently or with other huntsmen.

Huntsman Limitations: Huntsmen lose their stealth abilities if wearing armor heavier than leather (any type of mail, for example). Huntsmen are expected to be rugged and self-sufficient. They lose honor for relying on other for help, which penalizes their earned experience points. See Chapter 4 for information on honor. Huntsmen may achieve a maximum of 5th level of experience.


Some northmen are born with a measure of psychic ability, genetic gifts that tend to run in particular families and bloodlines (especially those whose ancestors mixed with the native alfar). Those who develop these abilities, called seidhr, are viewed with equal measures of awe and suspicion by most northmen, but there is no denying the power they grow to wield.

Magician Advantages: All magicians are trained in the seidhr crafts and use “magic” as described in Chapter 3: Psychic Powers.

Magician Limitations: Magicians are expected to hold themselves aloof from “mundane affairs” and lose honor for being interested or mired in “baser” concerns (greed, romance, politics, etc.). Likewise, there is an expectation that magicians will rely on their magical abilities for their advantage; wearing armor like a warrior or using other mundane equipment can also result in a loss of honor for a mage, costing him in earned experience. See Chapter 4 for information on honor. Magicians may achieve a maximum of 5th level of experience.


Skalds are a combination of scholar, poet, and musician. They are responsible for chronicling the history of the northmen people, keeping record by memory, and sharing that history through story-telling and song. Many are wanderers that take tales from one settlement to another, recounting legends and learning new ones. Others reside in a single location, keeping the history of the place, and passing it on to both residents and visitors. Skalds occupy a place of honor in northman society second only to warriors.

Skald Advantages: Skalds roll D6 per level to determine hit points. Skalds can expect to enjoy hospitality (food, drink, and lodging) from any northmen encountered, and are generally considered “neutral” (even in wartimes) until proven otherwise by their actions. They receive an additional +1 bonus when making reaction rolls. Skalds have a chance to recall or know useful information on most any subject, checked by rolling their level or less on a D6. A skald can sing the exploits of his travelling companions, earning all party members a bonus to earned XP of +2% per level of the skald, so long as the skald survives the adventure (the skald herself does not receive the bonus).

Skald Limitations: Skalds must have a stringed musical instrument (cost: 4gm) to identify their trade. In exchange for hospitality, skalds are expected to entertain their host. Failing to do so can cost the skald honor, which penalizes her earned experience points. See Chapter 4 for information on honor. Skalds may achieve a maximum of 5th level of experience.


Not all northmen have the disposition for fighting, the skill of the skald, the ruggedness of the hunter, or the mental discipline of the magician, and yet still aspire to something more than the simple life of a farmer or craftsman. Such individuals are called thieves, for they seek to win fame and fortune not rightly theirs. To the northmen’s perspective such should be the reward of honest effort, not opportunist action.

Thief Advantages: Thieves roll D6 per level to determine hit points. Thieves add +1 pee level to attack rolls made against an opponent who is caught unawares. They can perform bits of petty larceny (picking pockets, jimmying locks, concealing objects, etc.) by rolling equal to or less than their level on a D6 roll. Thieves enjoy more than their fair share of luck to make it as adventurers; they may reroll a number of dice per game session equal to their level (for example, a 3rd level thieve can reroll up to three times during a game session). Any dice roll the thief’s player has made may be rerolled, but the result of the second roll must be accepted (i.e. it cannot be re-rerolled).

Thief Limitations: Thieves receive a -1 penalty to reaction rolls with northmen due to their poor reputation. Thieves may achieve a maximum of 5th level of experience.


The alfar are an indigenous species to the planet, and have been in the world far longer than the northmen. Immortal unless killed and inherently psychic, the alfar resemble northmen in many ways, but they are tall, slim, and exceedingly beautiful in appearance.

Alfr Advantages: Alfar roll D6 per level to determine hit points. The alfar enjoy the same psychic abilities as a trained magician (see Chapter 3: Psychic Powers). While not a particularly martial race, all alfar are trained to defend themselves against a hostile world and have many years of practice; they enjoy a +1 bonus to attack rolls (melee or missile). Alfar are telepathic and can freely communicate mind-to-mind with any creature they can see (though most animals have little to say); over the centuries, they have also learned the northmen’s language and can speak this as well. An alfr has especially keen senses and enjoys a +1 bonus to notice things; they are only surprised on a roll of 1.

Alfr Limitations: Alfar may achieve a maximum of 4th level of experience. Player characters must have an intelligence score of 9 or better to play an alfr.


The dvergar species was genetically engineered long before the northmen ever came into this realm. While diminutive (about half the height of the northmen), they are strong for their size, fully as capable as taller adventurers. Exceptionally long-lived, the dvergar are also exceedingly clever, especially with machines and smithing. They tend to live in the mountains, closer to scarce sources of metal, for use in their crafts and wares. Their small size makes them ideal spelunkers. They speak the same language as the northmen. They have no natural psychic talent.

Dvergr Advantages: Dvergar roll D6 per level to determine hit points. Their genetic engineering makes them a hearty race, and they receive an additional +2 hit points per level. In addition, a dvergr has natural healing abilities that allow them to recover damage at double the normal rate, and they will eventually heal even major wounds; see Chapter 5 for information on damage and healing. All dvergar are excellent smiths and craftsmen, dvergar with an intelligence of 13 or greater have the ability to manufacture machines that function like “magic.” They have excellent senses of smell and hearing and a good directional sense; dvergar are never lost underground.

Dvergr Limitations: As stated, Dvergar never develop psychic talents even with an intelligence greater than 13. They receive a -1 penalty to reaction rolls with northmen. Dvergar may achieve a maximum of 4th level of experience. Player characters must have a constitution of 9 or better to play a dvergr.


  1. I like the way your doing 'skills', rolling level or less; of course, only works since you have a level limit of 5, but still a nice and simple mechanic.

  2. @ Simon:
    Yeah, I just thought, why not take advantage of a design merit?

    For those who missed it earlier, here's are some of my thoughts on "level compression:"

    : )

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Didn't disappoint. The honor system is intriguing. Looking forward to more.

  5. Why the bonuses to acting solo for the fighter and the hunter? Do you want to incentivize PCs going off on their own?

  6. @ Brendan:

    They are designed to provide an advantage for characters that end up in a "solitary role." For example, the woodsman "scouting ahead" or the warrior that ends up being the "last man standing." Fighters, too, might be assigned to "rear guard" duty (while the rest of the party retreats), or seek glory by challenging a tough opponent to single-combat. Think Beowulf.

    [and, yes, I suppose...depending on how you look at it...this is meant to be an incentive towards a particular style of play. It's a different color of D&D, man]

  7. Thanks for the info, no criticism implied. I just thought it was distinctive. :-)

  8. @ Brendan:
    No offense taken...and constructive criticism is usually helpful (especially as it makes me think/consider my own reasons for doing things).
    : )