Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Gondlir Class

Gondlir ("Wand-bearer")
The gondlir are a class of spellcasting warriors, and it is from their ranks that leaders of the Asyr are most often drawn. They are knowledge-keepers, decision-makers, sages, poets, and fighters. Their charge is to do what is best for the Asyr, by any means necessary.  Rymr or vindlir might lead in brawl or battle, but gondlir choose the war.

The nature of their role in society makes gondlir schemers, planners, and far-thinkers. A gondlir might go undercover as a wanderer to find out what is happening in other lands, or trick someone else into spying for him. They are not shy to directly intervene when trouble arises, but it is more typical that a gondlir will find a reason to send a rymr on a simple errand, one that just happens cross paths with the problem the gondlir wants solved.

Initiation to the ranks of the gondlir comes only after a long period of study and memorization in the accumulated knowledge of the Asyr and as a result, gondlir have an extensive store of wisdom and learning to call upon in the form of poems, stories, and tales. The heart and soul of a gondlir’s might are his secrets, mysteries, and lore - the spells of the gondlir. Even the best-intentioned gondlir knows things that cannot be spoken of, and the weight of their responsibilities makes them secretive and isolated, even among friends and companions. 

Gondlir are regarded as the most proficient magicians of the Asyr, although the slaegi dispute this. Gondlir magic focuses on divination, inspiration, deception, and manipulation, and they have some influence of the natural world and weather as well.

In fiction, JRR Tolkien's Gandalf is an excellent depiction of a gondlir. Manipulative spellcaster with a sword; dies and comes back stronger and better.

Prime Requisite: Intelligence, 13+ (+5% experience bonus)
Hit Dice: 1d6 per level (+2 hp per level after 9th level.)
Armor Permitted: Light or medium armor, shields
Weapons Permitted: Any one-handed weapon, plus bows, spears, and staffs.
Alignment: Gondlir are always Neutral.

Class Features
Gondlir Lore: Gondlir have a 1 in 6 chance of knowing something about a notable person, place, item, or creature. This improves to 2 in 6 at 3rd level, 3 in 6 at 6th level, 4 in 6 at 9th level, and 5 in 6 at 12th.

Spells: Gondlir cast spells from a personal list of spells they have learned. Each morning they prepare a number of spells equal to the Spells per Day entry for their level, chosen from the spells that they know. (A spell may be prepared multiple times if the appropriate “slots” are available.) Once cast, a spell is exhausted and must be prepared again (the next morning).

Gondlirs begin play knowing two spells, and automatically learn one additional spell each time they gain a level. Gondlir can also learn new spells through a process of experimentation and observation that takes at least 1d6 days per spell level, after which they make a percentile roll on the Chance to Understand New Spell column in the Intelligence table. Failure means the gondlir cannot learn that spell this level; success means the gondlir adds the spell to his list of spells known. A gondlir can only know a certain number of spells per spell level, however, as given on the chart below (note that this number is different from, and used instead of, the Min/Max Number of Spells Understandable per Spell Level on the Intelligence table.)

Trial of Shadows: Of all the Asyr, only the gondlir can enter Hel and return unaided. Anytime the gondlir is reduced to -1 hit points or less, he can attempt a Trial by rolling a saving throw. If the save is successful, the gondlir is restored to life with 0 hitpoints, and heals naturally thereafter (awakening in 1 day with 1 hit point). If the save fails, the gondlir dies. (If variant rules are used that normally cause death to occur at lower than -1 hit points, the gondlir automatically loses drops below that number with a failed save.) The gondlir may be restored to life as normal afterwards, but is still considered to have failed the Trial . If the gondlir died as a result of ongoing damage, that damage ends if the cause is internal (poison) and continues if the cause is external (engulfed in magma). A gondlir that dies as a result of disease continues to be afflicted (and may die again).

A Trial may be spontaneous (the result of battle) or planned (ritual sacrifice). The fates appreciate cleverness and forethought, so a prepared gondlir may undertake measures to increase his chances of successfully making the saving throw, but neither are the fates blind: the same methods cannot be used twice (this is not an automatic failure; the methods simply do not affect the save).

The greatest secret of the gondlir, however, is what they learn along the shadowy paths back from Hel. A gondlir that succeeds at a Trial returns to life increases their maximum number of spells known and the number of spells learned at each level increase. This happens only once per level, even if the gondlir undertakes (and succeeds at) multiple Trials.

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