Friday 26 June 2020

Class - Amazon Pairs

The Amazons are not quite a culture, and not quite a cult. It is perhaps more accurate to term them a social phenomenon. 

This is how it goes down:

Two women find one another. They form a bond, one they've never really felt before, and they realise the world has no place for them. That they will be torn apart by cruel and impersonal forces, forces that care more about preserving the social order than the happiness of anybody within it.
At this point, things can go one of two ways. Perhaps the see the writing on the wall, and go their separate ways. And this hurts, the deep soul-ache of having a part of yourself torn away. That pain never really leaves them, but they can go on to have reasonably normal, successful lives.
The other way, though, is to refuse such a fate. To fight back, rip down those forces that would keep them apart. The furious, stubborn struggle merely to be together takes its toll, of course. The descent into desperation, defiance and violence is a rapid one. By the time they've first killed, they've become Amazons. 

There is, of course, no place for such women in polite society. Many retreat into the wilderness, to the wild places of the world. And there, they are surprised to find others like them. Entire communities of similar women, the products of love and mayhem. Bandits, raiders and - at times - war-parties, plaguing the civilised world, exulting in wine, women, havoc and ruin.

They see the civilised world for what it is; a decaying, diseased hulk, a thing of filth and pain that traps those within in lives of toil, misery, and spite. They know, from bitter experience, that the world of men is ready to die, and deserves it. When it dies, they say, a new society will be reborn from the blood and ashes. It's birth might be painful, but - the Amazons say - the new world they usher in will be better than the current rotting carcass of a culture.

Their numbers are growing. They venture into civilised lands sometimes, as mercenaries or spies. They ally with the Corpse Dolls and the Wounded Daughters. Year upon year, they encroach on civilised lands more, draw more women to their cause, tear down more of the world that hurt them.

Amazons always come in pairs; one Shield-Bearer and one Spear-Bearer. If you're going to play as Amazons, a player has to play one of each; you can't have only one or the other, they have to come as a pair. Work out who plays which.

XP: As a Magic-user.
Hit Dice: D6
To Hit: As a Fighter
Saves: As a Fighter
Alignment: If your game uses alignment, Amazons are always Chaotic.
Equipment: If your game has equipment restrictions, Amazons work like Fighters. The Shield-Bearer, however, can only use one-handed weapons and the Spear-Bearer cannot use a shield at all.

The Bond: 
An Amazon always instinctively knows roughly where her partner is in relation to her, the state of her health, her mood, and any supernatural effects on her.
An Amazon carrying her partner over her shoulder is not encumbered or weighed down at all by doing so.
When the pair fall asleep together, their pain is shared. They can transfer as many HP as they want from one to the other; one Amazon loses some HP, and her partner heals by that many. Any other time spent in close intimate contact - sex, hiding together in a tight spot, etc - is likewise a chance to transfer HP in this way.
An Amazon cannot heal lost HP at all if her partner is not present. Natural healing doesn't kick in, and healing magic does nothing. This is a bit of a problem if they're temporarily separated on an adventure, and really fucking sucks if one of them dies.

An Amazon has a 3-in-6 chance to destroy anything built by the society of men, if she puts her mind to it. She might smash down doors, snap manacles, or even ruin magical items with her bare hands.
An Amazon takes no damage, ever, from a fire she or her partner set, although things like buildings collapsing on top of her might still be a problem.

Terror and Rage:
If an Amazon kills a member of civilised society, she can choose to make it brutal and gruesome, and make an example of her victim. If she does so, that victim's allies must make an immediate morale check, with a penalty equal to the Amazon's level. 

The Shield-Bearer in Combat: 
The Shield-Bearer gets an additional +1 AC if she's using a shield. This increases to +3 if she's fighting in front of her Spear-Bearer. If she chooses to forgo her attack for the round, concentrating on fighting defensively while her Spear-Bearer is present, this increases further to +5.
She can intercept attacks that would target her Spear-Bearer; it rolls to hit against her instead of against the Spear-bearer, and if it does, she takes the consequences. Each round, she can intercept as many attacks as her level.

The Spear-Bearer in Combat: 
The Spear-Bearer gets an additional +1 to hit with a spear. This increases to +3 if she's fighting from behind her Shield-bearer, or +5 if she does so in a round where the Shield-Bearer forgoes attacking to fight defensively.
When her Shield-Bearer is attacked, she can make a free attack against whoever made that attack if they're within stabbing-range. Each round, she can make as many extra attacks like this as her level.

Wilderness Skills: 
If both Amazons search, each day they can scavenge up enough food to feed both of them while in the wilderness. Likewise, given time, they can construct a functional shelter for the pair of them in the wilderness, using their equipment and scavenged materials, without needing a bedroll or tent.


  1. im just a lonely amazon looking for her shieldbearer

  2. This is truly wonderful. The rule about carrying their partner packs in so much thematic weight about the class, the world, and even the game itself <3

  3. This is awesome. I hope that I don't make myself enemies when I say that this would also make very interesting enemies. Because not only do they use different tactics than singular warriors, but they would also require creative strategies to be overcome. Excellent design.

  4. I'm now thinking of Shovel Knight and Shield Knight as a similar couple, separated by fate.

    (since you can now officially change the gender of all the main characters and bosses in the game)