Random Advancement Class: The Sellsword

So, as promised here, let’s have a shot with random classes. A Fighter variant should be easy enough of a starting point, I guess?

A lot of it is snatched from the previous advanced tables by Zak, Jeff et.al., so credit there where it’s due. All of this is untested, so feedback welcome.

Note: assume Lamentations of the Flame Princess as the system framework – that means that all player characters have a +1 on their to-hit by default, AC values are ascending with an unarmoured base of 12, and all that. You should know.

Also, stuff like dual-wielding and gambits and such are a thing that’s available to everyone in my table, so if you feel like something is missing, it might just be because you’re supposed to be able to do it already anyway.

Anyway, let me present to you;


Your class hit die is d8. Write down the following as your starting saves:

Paralyse 16, Poison 14, Breath 17, Device 15, Magic 18

That’s the “normal man” array from B/X, or -2 to the saves of a LotFP 1st-level Fighter.

Then roll twice on the table below. Every time you level up, increase hit points like you normally would, and roll twice on the table instead of checking your regular level-up schedule for attack bonus and saves.

As a martial type, you can add your Dexterity modifier to your AC for Medium or Heavy armour (or chain, or plate), and wield a weapon in each hand without checking your Strength score (the others need to have a Strength at least as high as the base AC of worn armour, or the combined total of maximum damage to pull that off – shields count as a d4 weapon for the latter).

Anyway, get rolling.

The Table:

01-30: increase all of your saves by +1.

31-53: gain +1 to hit.

54-55: In battle there is no law, but you’re kinda in charge. You can give one other player character / henchman an extra non-attack, non-spellcasting action ((i.e. anything else than “roll to hit, roll for damage” or “cast a spell”) once per fight. Re-rolling this gives one more action per fight to share.
(to clarify: that’s “one action per battle”, not “one action per character per battle”.)

56-57: Things you hit tend to stay hit. add +1 to damage you do. If you roll this again, increase the bonus by 2, so second roll is +3, third +5, fourth +7, and so on.

58-59: +2 to Breath saves (or Reflex or whatever, if you’re playing a system that uses that – the one that helps with getting out of the way).

60-61: +2 to Poison saves (or Fortitude, or whatever represents toughness and good health).

62-63: Not your first rodeo. If you observe a creature you’re fighting for a round (meaning you spend a round in melee without rolling to attack) or take the aim action for missile attacks, your next attack against that thing does triple damage (or adds two “weapon dice”, with any possible bonuses). The target creature needs to have some sort of reasonable fleshy anatomy for this to work, so no go on golems or oozes or stuff like that.
This works once per opponent, unless you roll it multiple times. In that case you get extra damage attacks equal to the number of times you’ve hit this entry. No need to observe the same target twice, either.

64-65: Dirty fighter. You know better than to fight fair. Once per encounter, you may declare that you are fighting dirty before rolling to hit – you get +2 to-hit for your next attack, and if it hits the target is stunned for d3 rounds (as if they were surprised and unable to act, so your backstabby friends might want to take advantage of that) in addition to taking regular damage due to getting sand in their eyes, a pommel to the temple, a knee to the groin etc. The target needs to have discernible weak point for this to work. If you get this again, reroll.

66-67: The sword is but a tool. Your unarmed attacks do d4+Strength modifier damage. If you roll this again, it’s d6, then d8, and so forth. Re-roll if you’d be upgrading from d12.

If you get your Strength to all damage anyway, and/or the regular unarmed is d4 already, start with a d6 or something?

68-69: All that scar tissue seems to be working out for you. +1 AC for having boot leather for skin. Reroll if you get this again – you’re just a human after all, not a goddamn lizardman.

70-71: This is my weapon. pick one type of weapon you’re familiar with. You get +2 to-hit with all weapons of that type (like swords, axes, bows etc. – keep it generic). Pick another type on re-rolls, or take advantage to damage with it. Your choice.

72-73: Get an extra attack, split attack bonus between the two strikes. Re-roll if you get this result a second time.
Alternatively, if your Ref doesn’t want class abilities that fuck with the action economy: add one die to all of your your damage rolls, but also drop the lowest roll. This can be re-rolled, unlike the extra attack option. (So if you get this twice, you roll 3d8 and take the highest roll. If you do a crit with double damage, roll four and keep two – i.e. this gives you no increase to the maximum value.)

74-75: If you have a weapon in hand, you can swat away arrows, bolts and thrown weapons with it. Treat the weapon as it was a shield against missile attacks (so +2 AC). If you roll this a second time, you can snatch the missiles out of the air and throw/shoot them back if you have a hand free and succeed on a Paralysis save (two-handed weapons are fine, and why would you carry a shield if you’ve got this?). If you get this a third time, you can deflect bullets too (but still can’t snatch them). After that, re-roll.

76-77: It’s better to lose a limb than your life. You can use the Shields Shall Be Splintered! rule on a limb of your choice – a single hit that would’ve normally killed you just maims you instead (or, you know, if you’re willing to get crippled for lesser concerns – the standard negate damage taken deal applies). Lose an arm or leg of your choice.

If you re-roll this, you can “bank” an use, or if you’ve already lost a limb, it grows back the next time you get magically healed. (Essentially, you only lose the limb when all of the available uses are gone.)

78: The rumours are true – that thing you wanted? The riding panther? The Axe of Ninety Nymphs? That king totally willing you lend you his army? The parasitic extra limb that grants you immortality? That romantic subplot? It’s there. 4 sessions worth of adventure away or less. Tell your Referee, who then must place it.
You must have a fair shot at it – like any other treasure, but there’s no guarantee you will get it. If you don’t get it by the fourth session you can keep trying or let it go and roll again on this table. However, if you choose to roll again and then you do get the thing somehow anyway, you lose whatever gimmick you rolled. your Ref needs to think up some clever reason why.

79: You inspire awe in lesser beings. You get an exceptionally (but not supernaturally) intelligent and loyal henchman, hound or horse (or any other reasonably normal pet – your choice). They cannot be slain, kidnapped or otherwise traduced offscreen by the Ref, so you get to play out any situation in which they would get into trouble. If you re-roll this result and your previous one isn’t dead yet, add one HD to your pal.

80-81: Your crit range extends by one (so you do criticals on a natural 19 and 20 when you first get this, 18-20 the second time around, and so on).

82-83: You’ve seen some shit. Immune to fear effects. If you re-roll this, your companions get +2 to saves vs. fear if they can witness your resolve, then +4 and so on.

84-86: Pick an environment you’ve spent a lot of time fighting in: city, dungeon, wilderness, desert, sea, etc. Whatever it is, you can now anticipate wandering monsters a round ahead of time in that environment and are immune to (mundane) surprise there. If you re-roll this, pick another environment or get an extra round of anticipation, your choice.

87-88: Armour is like second skin to you. Any protection you wear counts as one step less encumbering. If you can already waltz around in full plate like it wasn’t there, reroll.

(For LotFP, this would mean that medium/chain is just an encumbering item for you instead of giving a point, and plate is as chain. If you get this twice, chain is nonencumbering and plate is just one slot, and so on.)

89-90: You can either shove a creature back ten feet or knock it prone in addition of doing your regular damage on a melee hit, if you declare your intent and take a -2 penalty to hit. They can be no larger than a bear (or an ogre, or something in that ballpark) for this to work, and they get to save vs. Paralysis to just take the damage and keep their footing. If you roll this again, no more size restrictions. Re-roll the third time you’d get this.

91-92: Even a fool can see you’re not to be trifled with. You can force a morale check on an enemy group by just staring them down, even if they outnumber you (but they should probably get a bonus of some sort in that case). This takes no action, but you can do it only once per encounter. Failure means they either run away or freeze in fear (so no fighting retreats). Only works on intelligent enemies with less HD than you (or HD1, in case you get this at first level). Treat your level as one higher than it actually is in case of rerolls.

93: Well that rash was more serious than expected. Gain a random mutation from a source of your choice. (Preferably one that is beneficial or a mixed bag, it kinda sucks to be just plain crippled as an “advancement”. I recommend The Metamorphica for helping with that.)

94-95: Get stronger/tougher/more limber. Increase a random physical attribute score by +1, up to your maximum value. If you would go over that, pick one of the other two to add to instead. If you’ve somehow maxed out everything already, no re-rolls.

96-97: Add an extra weapon damage die to critical hits. (or, increase multiplier by one if that sort of lingo pleases you.)

98-99: You know how to make blades go snicker-snack. If you roll a natural 20 against something with a head in melee and it’s level/HD is equal to or less than yours, it doesn’t have a head anymore. (Effectiveness of head loss may vary depending on the enemy, your Referee will tell you.)
Treat your level as one higher than it actually is (for purposes of decapitation only) for each re-roll of this.

Also, for whatever reason you can come up with, works with hammers and the like. (Maybe you just cave their heads in or something?)

00: Some of that wizardry seems to have rubbed off on you. You get a random Magic-user spell of d6 level that you can cast once per day as an action, but you have to roll Conduit of the Cosmos for it each time. No fucking around with custom effects, and if the spell level is higher than half your level, take the difference as a penalty to the conduit roll. (So, a 4th-level character trying to cast a 5th-level spell is going to roll 3d6-3 on the Conduit table and so on.)
Get a second spell known if you roll this again. You can still just cast one of them in a day.

One More Thing

Since you’re going to be keeping a tally of your kills anyway, might as well make that have an useful in-game benefit (like the Warrior does). So:

Keep a tally of monsters/combatants you kill (that is, you land the killing blow on) by species (or race, or group, or general type – Ask your Ref if killer bees and giant ants and whatnot are close enough to be the same thing or not). Once per encounter with that species, the Sellsword’s player may assess the creature. You assess by rolling a d100:

  • if the tens die is under the number slain, the player gets to know the AC, current hit points, and attack bonus of the those creatures in the encounter
  • if the whole percentile result is lower than the number slain, the player knows what the creature(s) will do in the next round of combat (action taken, and target, if any.)

Swarms don’t count for the tally, and number of kills in excess to 90 is just bragging rights.

The Light version

So, what if you’re not that hot for the random save advancement?

Just start with the regular 1st-level saves of the Fighter class in your system, and roll a d30 once on this trimmed-down table for every level you have instead of improving your attack bonus. Advance saves and hit points on schedule just like you’d do normally.

Note: the idea here is to make the class less chaotic by removing the randomized save progression. Since there’s a bit less of “extra” rolls, some specials with less-than permanent gains have been trimmed, and some results are made slightly stronger.

That kill score rule above also applies.

Light Table:


Source: Will Kirkby

1-10: +1 to-hit.

11: You can give one of your companions a single non-attack, non-spellcasting action once per encounter. (see 54-55 above)

12: +1 to all damage rolls. extra +2 on top of that for each re-roll.

13: If you spend one round in melee without attacking, or take the aim action for missile weapons, your next attack against that opponent deals triple damage. Only works once per opponent per fight, and the target needs to have a discernible weak point. See 62-63 above for details and what to do on rerolls.

14: Dirty fighting. You can stun enemies for d3 rounds on a successful attack with +2 to-hit once per combat, if you declare it before rolling. See entry 64-65 above for details.

15: Increase the damage die size of your unarmed attacks by one. Also add your Strength modifier to unarmed damage if it isn’t a thing already. Reroll if your damage die is already a d12.

16: +1 to AC, to a maximum of +1 – if you’ve been here already, re-roll.

17: +2 to-hit with a specific type of weapon, of your choice. On rerolls, choose a different type or get advantage to damage for an old one.

18: Gain an extra attack per round. You need to split your attack bonus between the two attacks. Re-roll if you get this again.
Add one damage die to all your attacks, but drop lowest (i.e. you have 5e-type Advantage on damage rolls). This can be rolled multiple times for more dice to be rolled and dropped.

19: You can deflect missiles. When you have a weapon in hand, it counts as a shield for missile attacks. See entry 74-75 above for elaboration and what to do with rerolls.

20: Can use Shields Shall be Splintered! on a limb. See entry 76-77 above for details.

21: Like second skin. Armour is less encumbering for you. See 87-88.

22: You can stare down a group of enemies to force a morale check on them. See entry 91-92 for details.

23: Critical hit range extends by one.

24: Immune to fear. Companions that can see you get +2 to their saves vs. fear for each re-roll.

25: Pick an environment. (city, dungeon, desert etc.) You cannot be surprised there, and can anticipate wandering monsters one round ahead of time. If you re-roll this, pick another environment. (Also, see entry 84-86.)

26: You can shove or knock prone an opponent in addition to dealing damage, like in entry 89-90 above.

27: +1 to a random physical attribute score. If the new score would be greater than your maximum value (usually 18, but I’ve no idea what sort of house rules you’re running so you do you), pick one out of the other two and increase that instead.

28: Critical hit multiplier goes up by one / crits do an extra weapon die of damage.

29: Attacks with a natural 20 decapitate, or cave heads in or whatever. see entry 98-99 above.

30: Learn a spell, see entry 00 above.


4 thoughts on “Random Advancement Class: The Sellsword

  1. Pingback: Cutting up the Random Classes | Die Uncast

    • I cracked the numbers for fighters, and the vanilla equivalent would be essentially rolling a +1 to hit every level and +1 to all saves 2 out of 3.

      The initial drop in saves and a splattering of weaker specials is to tax that extra 1-in-6, and hopefully balance out the stronger abilities by making the save progression lag slightly behind.


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