Fearless Jim, I knew it! Well, here it comes.
The Archeologist is an expert class for Spycraft 2.0
, freely inspired from d20 Dark Matter’s
Field Antiquarian and Hollow Earth Expedition
… as well as other obvious sources.Sample Archeologists
: Lara Croft, Benjamin Gates, Daniel Jackson, Indiana Jones, Dirk Pitt, etc.PrerequisitesCultures
: 6+ ranks.Search
: 4+ ranks.Feat
: World Traveler.
You are an academic passionate about field work, and you’re ready to go as far as necessary to extinguish your – actually inextinguishable – thirst for knowledge. You are a rugged, independent individual with strong beliefs – though strange from time to time. You will certainly refuse to ally with a financier or militaries whose bad intentions you suspect, preferring to go adventuring alone, only with your talents, your backpack and quiet a dose of sheer luck. Because you have put your life in danger so many times – and survived to tell your adventures – you’ve acquired a reputation of great explorer, daring tomb raider … and unstoppable charmer!Favored Attributes
: Intelligence and Charisma are your main assets, but you cannot allow any flaw in any attribute if you hope to live old.Vitality
: 1d10 + Con modifier per Level.Class Skills
Acrobatics, Analysis, Athletics, Blend, Cultures, Mechanics, Medicine, Networking, Notice, Search, Security, Survival.Skill Points per Level
: 6 + Int modifier.Core AbilitySense of humor
: Even in worse situations, your spirituality helps you carry on. You benefit from a stress damage resistance equal to your Charisma bonus (minimum 1). This resistance also applies to any of your allies who can see or hear you.Class AbilitiesGlobe-Trotter
: To go to the end of your research, you have to be able to communicate with locals, even on the other side of the globe. At level 1 and every 3 levels thereafter (4, 7, and 10), you gain one additional Cultures focus or forte.Talisman
: You are so often confronted to death and unexplainable – something some people don’t hesitate to call supernatural – that you’ve become a little superstitious and/or mad, like so many of your kind. Choose among your Possessions one common item or gear pick to become your talisman. If you ever loose, get confiscated, or are voluntarily separated from your talisman for more than one hour, you lose your Sens of humor, Amazing looks, “I’ve seen so many things”, and “That was really close…” abilities until you get it back.
A talisman? Seriously, what for?Archeologist’s Eye
Well, the talisman is there for two reasons.
First, for flavor. You must not see the talisman as a magical artifact, but rather as an object with a strong emotional value that you cherish a lot. An example of such a talisman would be Indiana Jones’s hat, to retrieve which he almost got his hand crushed under a stone door.
The second motivation behind the talisman is game balance. Whatever the care I build it with, the Archeologist is a “house-made” expert class. The talisman is some kind of power valve. If, as a GC, you have accepted this expert class at your table but you consider it, after all, a little bit too powerful or versatile, the talisman should give you a leverage to adjust the balance. But be careful not to abuse it: troubles tied to the talisman must spice the game … not slow it down. And as always, do never frustrate a player!
: By dint of seeing antiquities, you can authenticate them in the blink of an eye. Starting from level 2, your Analysis/Appraise and Analysis/Authenticate checks don’t have the Gear (Appraisal Kit) or Gear (Authenticate Kit) tag anymore. If you still possess the corresponding kit, you can increase your error range by +2 to make the check in 1 round instead of 1 minute. Finally, when you appraise or authenticate a rare or damaged object, the error range of your Analysis checks raise only by half the normal increase (rounded up).Survival Instinct I
. An uncaring Archeologist is as good as dead. During an exploration, your life is of course threatened by antediluvian traps, but also sometimes by truly alive foes. From level 3 on, you gain a +1 chance bonus on all saves, Defense, Notice, Search and Security checks in relation with traps or to spot an ambush. Further, when you spend an action die to boost such a throw, you roll and add the result of two dice instead of just one.Survival Instinct II
: At level 6, your chance bonus raises to +2. Further, your Security/Disable checks don’t have the Gear (Mechanics kit) tag anymore. If you still possess the kit, you can raise your error range by +2 to divide the necessary time by 10 (minimum 1 round). This doesn’t apply to checks with the Gear (Electronics kit) tag.Survival Instinct III
. At level 9, your chance bonus raises to +3. Further, all adjacent allies also gain the bonus, but they lose it as soon as they get away from you.Anything Useful
. You don’t choose when to face danger, neither do you foresee what you’ll have ready to face it then. At level 4, the penalty you suffer when you drive a vehicle for which you don’t possess the appropriate focus, or when you use a weapon you’re not proficient with, is reduced by half (including penalties induced by the UNF and QKY qualities).“That should do it…”
: Even in most specialized domains, you know how to deal with what’s most urgent. At level 5, when you attempt a Medicine/First Aid check on a character that has lost at least 1 wound point, you can ignore the DC raise. Further, when you attempt a Mechanics/Repair check, you can reduce the Project Investment tag from Moderate to Low. As a counterpart, the bandages you applied or the reparation you made are only temporary and will fail after 1d100 minutes (secretly rolled by the GC), unless you get a critical success.Amazing Looks
. When you have company, your teaching side easily overcomes you. Beginning at level 7, when you’re the leader in a directed skill check, the synergy bonus you provide your allies raises by your Charisma bonus (minimum 1). Further, you can raise your error range by +2 to accomplish the test in only twice more time than usual (instead of 10 times).“I’ve seen so many things”
: At level 8, your reputation precedes you … as does your boastfulness! Clearly, with such a culture, you can blow the minds of even the most bored persons. You can substitute your Cultures skill to any Impress check, but your error range raises by +2.“That was really close…”
: At level 10, you know death so well that some kind of romance seems to have grown between you two … but god knows how, you always manage to avoid her ultimate grasp. Anytime a danger should randomly target a member of the party, you actually become the target. Further, once per mission, when you’re reduced to 0 wound point or less, you’re considered dead or missing. Still, you come back to consciousness or magically reappear five minutes later, saved by your good fortune. The effect that should have killed you is simply cancelled (damage as well as other secondary effects, if any) but the violence of the shock or the tremendous effort you had to make leaves you fatigued (as always, if you were already fatigued before, you become exhausted). If, in the meantime, someone has the occasion to examine your body, a simple Medicine (Wis) check, opposed by your Bluff (Cha) check, suffices to notice you’re still faintly breathing.
“That was really close…” the come-back of TGCM*?How to become an Archeologist
That’s clearly not the goal! Like a revolving door campaign, the use of “That was really close…” requires a bit of work. The player or the GC doesn’t have to explain how the character survived, but just to make the “divine intervention” look plausible, if not realistic (after all, it’s a game!).
For example, when Indiana Jones falls from a cliff while on a tank, his miracle come-back clearly denotes a use of this ability (or an awesome Reflex save). Similarly, someone being shot in the heart can have his life spared thanks to the bible, the police badge, or the wallet he keeps against his chest.
* Ta Gueule C’est Magique: Shut the fuck up it’s magic!
You’re not born Archeologist. Even if most prerequisites are accessible, some base classes will achieve them more easily than others. Particularly, the Explorer, the Scientist, and the Scout are all excellent candidates, with the exact flavor, and a more or less pronounced taste for the intellectual or physical aspects of the job. The Faceman, the Pointman, and the Snoop are also good candidates, but the flavor is certainly less present.Advancement
Yeah, what feats for my Archeologist? There are several possibilities.
If you’re fond of “intellectual field work”, you would like to focus on your skills. Basic and Advanced Skill Feats will be your better assets. Particularly, Photographic Memory and Talented are two excellent choices (but to be taken at first level).
If you rather enjoy the “ranger” side, Basic Combat Feats will be very useful to you; particularly those that will help you weather the storm, like Great Fortitude or Iron Will. As well, one or two Unarmed, Ranged or Melee Combat Feats would give you a little more fighting capability.
And in the “useful for everyone” style, Chance Feats are able to get you out of trouble quite often, Gear Feats will help you use your backpack to its best, Terrain Feats will specialize you in certain exploration types, and Covert Feats will help you work sneakily. Also notice that the Animal Partner feat fits perfectly for many Archeologists.What about other Expert Classes?
There, you can use some other abilities, complementing your owns. Naturally, you will think of few Guide levels. Yeah, but not much. Instead, the Field Analyst, the Inventor, and the Schemer will put ahead your “I can do anything” side. Conversely, the Stuntman, the Tactician, and the Triggerman will boost your fighting skills.Table XX: The Aecheologist
Level BAB Fort Ref Will Def Init Wealth Gear Class Abilities
1 +0 +0 +1 +1 +1 +1 1 1E, 1S Globe-trotter (1 culture), sense of humor
2 +1 +0 +2 +2 +1 +1 2 2E, 1S Archeologist's eye
3 +2 +1 +2 +2 +2 +2 2 2E, 1S Survival instinct I
4 +3 +1 +2 +2 +2 +2 2 2E, 1S, 1V Anything useful, globe-trotter (2 cultures)
5 +3 +1 +3 +3 +3 +3 3 2E, 2S, 1V "That should do it"
6 +4 +2 +3 +3 +4 +4 3 3E, 2S, 1V Survival instinct II
7 +5 +2 +4 +4 +4 +4 4 3E, 2S, 1V Amazing looks, globe-trotter (3 cultures)
8 +6 +2 +4 +4 +5 +5 4 3E, 2S, 1V, 1W "I've seen so many things"
9 +6 +3 +4 +4 +5 +5 4 3E, 2S, 2V, 1W Survival instinct III
10 +7 +3 +5 +5 +6 +6 5 3E, 3S, 2V, 1W Globe-trotter (4 cultures), "that was really close"
Tell me what you like/dislike about it.