May 14th, 2002

How to be an sneaky evil git in a D20 world

Legend of the 5 Rings makes much use of social activity, and the old Clan Scorpion book has lots of hints and tips for making a Scorpion Samurai into a properly devious soul. With the D20 system creeping in like the Shadowlands Taint itself, thought I'd throw out a thought or two on how to be a sneaky git in level-based play. Please note that most of these can work for non-Rokugani games too.

- Use Gather Information in reverse: If you're so good at picking up info from the locals, why not take the opportunity to share the wealth? Try using Gather Info as a spread info roll. Start a rumor campaign, smear someone's reputation.

- The Veteranmaker: This is stolen from an old swordsman school system used in AD&D. An easy conversion is as a feat for folks with a decently high Sneak Attack (say +4d6, about twice what you need for the hamstring feat from Song & Silence). The result: one arom lopped off at the elbow. For Samurai this is devastating, costing you the ability even to commit seppuku with any level of skill (Imagine trying to gut yourself with your off-hand!). For other worlds, it's still terribly debilitating, especially if in the middle of a dungeon or other isolated area.

Any other ideas? Share the dark wisdom!
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