Friday, August 14, 2020

Small GLOG Critique + 20 GLOG 'A' Templates

Please don't take this as a negative criticism of the GLOG system. I haven't ran it and haven't played in it. This also isn't a criticism of the dice mechanics or anything like that; this is about classes and templates. There's just some things I don't get the reasoning behind, or don't agree with.

The idea behind the GLOG classes is that multiclassing is very easy. You have classes with templates; ABCD. You can only have a maximum of 4 Templates, so you can either get all of them in one class, or spread out into multiple classes. To be fair, the GLOG system grants bonuses to characters for taking any template in a class-type (like taking a template in Fighter grants +1 to hit regardless of what level of template it actually is) and most templates grant special powers or moves unique to that class. This means that your character power is less effected by your choice of class, moreso just what they can do changes with Templates, because Templates are almost always a specific, unique power as opposed to a straight upgrade to your characters power. This implies heavily that picking and choosing different classes to dip into is part of the fun of creating a character and kitting them out with all kinds of weird, disparate abilities. However, two things annoy me about this system.

Firstly, simple due to the nature of this idea and the specific number of templates you get, there is basically no reason to not specialize in a class. Not only are D template abilities always the most powerful and game changing, but once you have AB and C templates the only option from then on is to either get the D template in that class, or branch out and get one A template in another class, which tends to have the weakest or most underwhelming abilities. Now obviously if you decided to multi-class earlier in the game that would make more sense, but now the player is just locked into an earlier decision, which is less of a choice and just seems more annoying.

Secondly, every class in the game is presented as an “equal” choice or character path. Every GLOG class I've seen and can recall is a straight ABCD- the only class I can think of that doesn't work exactly this way is Skerples's Goblin GLOG class- which has a randomized bonus you get as you level. (I did a similar concept for the Many-Faced Man.) This I feel is a more interesting because you might actually want to dip into it, perhaps either at character creation or later on due to a personalized story-beat that makes you want to be a part of that class, group, monastic wizard order, etc. This isn't necessarily a bad thing; giving people a powerful bonus for specializing in one class is fine, but the problem is you have this interesting system with lots of possible combinations and choices that I feel nobody will ever experiment with because it's in their best interest not to. Of course, some people will always do the unoptimal thing in the pursuit of fun or dynamic role playing, much like masochistic Dungeon-Masters turned players like myself, but I feel like it could be designed in a slightly better way.

Proposed solution; Characters get Five Templates instead, or you stat-squish the abilities of all the D templates into the C templates (and move C templates into B templates, etc.)- the idea being that more powerful abilities come online faster or the players get more abilities to work with in general. This might mess up the math that Arnold has already been designing his games with of course, so you could take this idea with a grain of salt (or maybe like in D&D, you just stop getting hit dice at 4 Templates, but can still acquire more Templates?)

Then, you include E Templates for every class. (Or change all the D templates)- these new templates still provide a powerful bonus, but not to the character. Instead, all of these lead into Domain level play. For example, a Fighter gets all of their powerful class abilities at ABCD templates, but if they decide to take the E template, their personal power growth stops; but instead they get a fort with men to lead. This still encourages specializes in one class, but allows for further flexibility. Since your most powerful character abilities were already unlocked when you got the D template, you might be more willing to branch out and take an A template somewhere else. Also due to getting an extra template slot, you are now more encourages to multiclass earlier in the game; a character could start with one class, then pick a second class, and then pick which one to invest in fully without already having screwed themselves out of their most powerful abilities by straying from their one-and-only shot at the D template for their class.

The other “problem” I mentioned above is that every class is presented as a path for a character's growth. While this works double duty as each class is both a source of random abilities you might pick or go into for fun (templates A and B for multiclassing), they are also all their own full class pack (ABC and D). This is a good design thing, but the problem here is it is harder to imagine weird or fun classes, or quirky classes, as full “classes” in a game. Having a character take a template in something like “Rat Trapper” is a fun idea, and fits with the idea of the GLOG template system, but actually designing an entire class about trapping rats (unless if you're playing in Warhammer) wouldn't be very useful to the party and would be a bit of a stretch. Therefore, this could be fixed by having intentionally bad or overly specific and random classes with not a full set of abilities- a class like a Rat Catcher would just be an A template.

Maybe this could be presented a bit like a level 0 funnel character's background that develops into a full class ability. I also like the idea of having you randomly roll one of these as an “nerf” mechanic for really strong characters, maybe if you rolled too high of an ability score you are punished by never reaching full potential (D template) in a class, but get this little class which then leads you into picking a real class that has a complimentary ability? Something like a Jester may be just an A and B template, and so on. This does require the character to multiclass, but only “that guy” is going to want to fully level up as a fucking clown anyway.

So, here's 20 GLOG A Templates.

[1] Spiderbitch
Equipment, Skills, Bonus- As Thief or Acrobat

Maybe you fell into a very obvious spider web and were nearly eaten by it, a fact which everyone in your town makes fun of you for. “How do you fall for something so obvious?” Maybe you were literally molested by a particularly randy and sexually adventurous giant spider, drider, or some other spider-like creature. Maybe this is a euphemism for being the favorite slave for a Drow matriarch. Regardless of the actual reason; at some point in your life, you were a spider's bitch.

As a Spiderbitch, you gain the following abilities;

One Hand Free
Whenever you are totally tied up or immobilized, you can make a saving throw to get one hand free, regardless of how hard that would actually be for you to accomplish. If you fail this saving throw, your hand isn't freed and whoever or whatever has immobilized you will notice you trying to escape and will promptly either punish you for it, recheck your bindings to make escape impossible, or eat you first.

Spider's Scars
You have a higher pain tolerance to normal people, and can resist torture or interrogation much better then most. This ability can be limited to once per adventure, a bonus to a save, or just a permanent and unlimited immunity to painful interrogation techniques depending on how important or serious of a threat this would actually be in your campaign.

Also; there is a chance that some Spider laid their eggs in you at some point. When you get your fourth and final template, the next night there is a 1 in 6 chance you'll die from the eggs hatching and you are eaten from the inside out. Your body will then loose 2d20 Giant Evil Spider hatchlings, which will scatter. As a bonus, anyone present for this will be imprinted on those spiders' memories; they and their descendants are less likely to be attacked by the Giant Evil Spiders as they recognize them from when they were first hatched.

[2] Wish-Waster
Equipment, Skills, Bonus- As Wizard (except for the Magic Dice)

You were very fortunate. Maybe you caught a golden fish which promised to grant you your heart's desire if you freed it, or maybe you actually found a genie in a lamp. Maybe you wished on a star and it twinkled three times. Regardless, a miracle happened and your wish was granted. The problem was you were too young, short sided, or stupid and you ended up wasting your wish on something extremely stupid. Even now you probably seek to find another genie in the lamp just for a second chance at getting your wish right, or maybe you need to find a source of magic strong enough to cancel the effects of your first stupid wish.

The Wish-Waster gains only one ability;

The Wish
You made a Wish. Whatever that wish was, it is still here, even if it is stupid. You must pitch an idea to your DM of a wish you made that was stupid, but not totally useless. The effects of that wish are still in the world, or still present with your character, but isn't as powerful or game breaking as a more well thought out wish would be. Think of this wish as a constant, passive first level spell effect that either flares up occasionally or comes with a drawback. You could also think of this as being about as good as any A template skill that any other class could have, but is something directly supernatural or too strange to be a class ability.

For example, wishing to be immune to all poison would be too powerful for this, but being immune to snakebites wouldn't, and would qualify as a dumb or short sighted wish. This also applies since an actual wish you could get as a reward for adventuring could make you immune to all poisons (or maybe just make you immortal), but you weren't specific enough the first time, hence this dumb power.

Another example is a large fortune or powerful connection to something that is no longer useful or too hard to reach in your current state. Perhaps you wished to own a solid gold boat, which then sank to the bottom of a deep lake. Now you adventure to find a way to get to the bottom of the lake reliably so you can harvest the gold and make your fortune. Another example would be wishing to be the long-lost son of a powerful king or making a powerful person indebted to you, only to find out they are now dead or deposed. You wished that the mad old archmage would teach you every spell in his arsenal, and he would, except now he's senile after casting his final spell and experiencing his Doom. You have to find a way to recover his memory or go back to the past to get your wish as you meant it.

[3] Royal Food Taster
Equipment, Skills, Bonus- As Noble or Thief

You were once a loyal, dedicated taste-tester for a Lord. In their paranoia or urge to fit in with the other nobility, you were hired to sample each and every dish for the lord as to avoid his untimely demise from a would be assassin. The job was dangerous indeed, not that you every actually got poisoned, but you took your duty with pride; each bulging step of your chunky thighs to report to your lord that, indeed, the food was safe. But then you were fired. Maybe the lord decided they no longer needed you, or he died from getting stabbed- not much your lips can do against that.

The Royal Food-Taster gains the following abilities;

Packing it Away
You're fat. Even if you don't look that fat, you have the pudginess to make clothes hard to fit. This has the advantage of giving you +1 maximum hit points, but -1 to your movement or reaction checks, whichever you think is more fitting. Secondly, you now take an extra week to starve to death. For whatever reason, even if you lose a bunch of weight from intentional diet or from a near-death experience of starving in the wild, you will gain it back just as quickly from your habits and tastes.

You have a higher standard of “rations” now after many years of being spoiled in a noble court. Whenever you decide to roll on a Carousing table, you gain a bonus +10% experience if there is a fancy restaurant on one of the results, even if you don't actually roll it- as long as it is in town you'd probably make a stop there even if you don't remember it.

However, your gluttony is a hard habit to break. If you make camp with your fellow adventurers and don't have at least one rare spice or herb to enhance the meal, aren't cooking with all fresh ingredients (eating hardtack or trail rations), or don't have a professional cook with your camp followers, you can't gain the benefits of a rest in the camp. This means you can't prepare spells if you're a magic user, lose out on healing if you're wounded, and so on.

[4] Castaway
Equipment, Skills, Bonus- As Ranger

At one point in your life, you were stranded. All alone on a tiny deserted island. This “island” could be a literal island, or like a tiny living cave ecosystem during a harsh long winter where you couldn't leave, or in the bowels of an otherwise abandoned ghost ship with rats living in the hold and so on. This went on for months; you were totally isolated and had to push yourself just to survive. But worse then the physical struggles were the mental ones; boredom and isolation made you go a bit crazy.

The Castaway has the following abilities;

Making your own Fun
You spend so long in a tiny place that every single detail was cataloged in your mind. You still feel as though you remember exactly how many leaves were on all of the trees on your island; you had nothing better to do all day then wait for rescue. Now this eye for detail has leaked into your every day life. If you spend at least an hour in a single place (such as during a long rest, when camping, or when imprisoned) you will start to notice tiny details others will miss; you've counted the number of tiles and can see where the pattern isn't quite right. This means you can detect hidden doors or switches from the tiny irregularities in the stonework and so on.

No Manners
Even though you've been brought back to civilization, you still have a bit of the wild in you. Mostly this manifests as having zero common decency. Long periods spent with yourself with no judging eyes really degraded your table manners and personal hygiene standards; you might forget about the unspoken rules of society since you view the world in more practical, real terms. Randomly picking your nose or simply not washing yourself in days (since that's how you smelt on the island anyway) are common flaws that people cite about you.

You can also channel the above ability at will; by sitting by yourself and intentionally just doing gross things, you create a 5 ft space where civilized, health creatures will simply not want to get near you. You can't do something so egregious that you'd get arrested for it, but picking the lice out of your own hair and eating it is enough to make most civilized folk balk. You could use this ability to reserve several seats or some space at a crowded gathering place, to quickly clear a corner of a party or block the entrance to a sensitive location by parking you in the doorway and being gross to yourself. If you're doing this ability around elves, expand the space to 15 ft but one of them will totally start plotting to kill you for dirtying up their sight.

Flavor Fatigue
While you were stranded, you had to adjust to a new diet. All you could eat was what you could find or hunt in your isolation, and it wasn't good. Maybe you just ate coconuts that fell from the trees, or you could only eat one specific type of mushroom since the rest were poisonous, or maybe you had to catch and bash the heads of rats every day just to survive. Regardless of what it was, your constitution was permanently improved by +1 point for this rough trial. However, you refuse to ever eat that food item again. Even in a life or death situation, you will never eat coconut, or rat meat, or woodland berries, or whatever food item you relied solely on during your isolation. You hate it so much after getting so tired of it you'd rather destroy it even if it was the last food item on Earth.

[5] Doom-Speaker
Equipment, Skills, Bonus- As Cleric

The Doom Speaker sounds badass but really wasn't. You are the kind of guy who stands at the edge of a town near a long winding road and tell everyone who comes near that going past this point or down that road means that they will meet their DOOM and demise in a dramatic fashion. You're kind of like a theater performer mixed with a danger sign that's harder for people to ignore and also helpful since most of the dumbfucks in your village probably can't read anyway.

The Doom Speaker has the following abilities;

Dire Warning
As long as you look appropriate (torn rags for the wilderness, fancy attire at a nobleman's ball, etc.) and you stand in the way of an entrance to warn people off, it will succeed against all but the most determined of foes. This even works against beings of other races or monsters who will see you not as an adversary but as an honest and true warning of things beyond. This only works if whatever threat your make sounds credible enough. For example, you could sit on a rock in the sea and warn away nearby ships from crossing into the straight; where the deadly LEVIATHAN lurks. Almost all will take your advice and go around, even if they're in a rush. The same warning will also work against Mermen, unless the Mermen know that the leviathan is away for this part of the year and call your bluff.

Couldn't have Expected That
You get +2 to saves vs death if you DID NOT receive an obvious, fair, and well marked warning of the danger beforehand. You lose this bonus if any sort of warning or sign of the danger ahead was shown to you; such as a pile of bones on the floor leading to a monster's lair, which will disqualify you from the bonus. Random attacks of surprise however do grant you the bonus, since you had no way of knowing of the danger about to befall you.

[6] Brownshirt
Equipment, Skills, Bonus- As Thief or Fighter

You worked for some kind of political organization or private group which used less then ethical (or just straight illegal) methods of drumming up popular support. Beating people up who tried to speak out against your group, blocking the entrances to voting-houses, modifying census reports to hide evidence of demographic displacement, and so on. You're a bit of a thug. Maybe your organization fell apart or was routed out by a more powerful authority, or perhaps you were just trained in these techniques or they came to you naturally from your own personal might-makes-right philosophy.

Brownshirts gain the following abilities;

Thuggish Presence
You are intimidating and know just how to stand with your buddies to make you all look a lot tougher. Whenever enemies size up your group and consider the difference in numbers, you treat your group as though you were two creatures larger. For example, if a group of goblinoids will only attack if they outnumber your group, and they have 7 goblins while your party has 5 adventurers, they will not attack the group with the Brownshirt because their presence makes them seem much scarier then they actually are- you project a presence that keeps enemies at bay.

Barroom Brawling
Whenever you get into a fight, lethal or otherwise, you never unintentionally kill your target unless you choose to. Your fatal blow is downgraded to just a bad bruise or knocked about head. You well know how to beat people up that just hangs on the edge of murder and legality versus a less serious but still very painful beatdown. You use clubs to crack ribs and beat muscles sore, not to crack skulls or break vertebrae. Even bladed weapons result in superficial injuries. You can take this as your attacks dealing regular damage but never being lethal (unless you choose it) or that your victims do not roll on the Death & Dismemberment table OR you can choose the least serious entry on that table whenever they do- such as severing a finger instead of a hand. Obviously, this ability means your battles don't escalate to outright murder and as such any legal fines or penalties for you picking fights will be much less then if you were killing people in the streets, letting you skirt serious punishment.

[7] Aquarius
Equipment, Skills, Bonus- As Cleric or Wizard (No magic dice)

You are a carrier of the water vase. At sacred temples or special banquets, you were or are trained in the art of carrying the water, oil, or wine to the tables and altars. You have been taught graceful movements of gently pouring water from a vase in a respectful or almost seductive dance. You are also used to the weight of your cargo, small as it may be, and how to balance it on your frame.

The Aquarius gains the following abilities;

Hiding in Plain Sight
You can disguise yourself by performing simple tasks (usually filling wine glasses) without much trouble; as long as you aren't too outlandishly different in race, sex, or appearance from what is normalized as a 'servant' in your current culture. Your movements are refined and elegant enough that it looks like you belong, and people are easy to skip right over their notice of you; giving you a chance to sneak around in plain sight.

Carrying the Hydria
You gain +1 to your maximum load in standard units or coin-bag values, regardless of your level of Strength or carrying capacity of your body. Alternatively, you can ignore any encumbrance penalties you would take when carrying a heavy urn or vase of water or other liquid- this means you can ignore the penalties for wandering monsters, stealth, speed, and so on.

[8] Witchdoctor's Apprentice
Equipment, Skills, Bonus- As Wizard or Druid

Once, you were a Witchdoctor's Apprentice. You had a gift for magic and the unnatural, and began your training underneath a tribal sorcerer. But you never finished it, this is because you were rescued (or perhaps colonized) into a proper, real school of sorcerers and academic study.

In order for this class to function in the GLOG system- you must pick a monastic wizard order. This is your “real” class that you must take at least one more template in to complete your Wizardly training. You retain the taboo and drawback of that school, but do not gain the perks or cantrips of that school until you level up in that school at least once more- you still retain the magic die from this template, and gain the random starting spells of whatever Wizard school you will advance in later as usual. As an added penalty for this A Template's ability, the DM may also remove one of your eventual cantrips from your Wizard school from your character which can never learn. Think of your wild magical heritage taking up the space in your mind that you would otherwise dedicate to a trick of your more academic background.

You could also theoretically take this class template after you already are an advanced Wizard. In which case, just get rid of one of your cantrips permanently- you spent some time learning the ways of primitive magic and you'll continue to be a bit frazzled because of it.

The Witchdoctor's Apprentice also gains the following ability;

Big Mojo
By setting yourself in a trance state and with some ritual accouterments, you can perform some big magic. This means you have to decorate yourself in some kind of tribal garb, get drunk or high, and dance and sing some wild pagan dance when casting your spells. Imagine a proper Elementalist or respected Orthodox Wizard suddenly putting feathers in their hair, decorating themselves with face paint, and wearing their robe around their waist tied into a knot. It's a savage, tribal magical tradition that is sure to offend any civilized folk while giving you a boost in power.

Whenever you decide to use this ability; you may add a 1d4 roll to all spells you cast. The result of this die roll is added to the result of all of your spells, but the die itself does not count towards the [dice] effects of any given spell. However, doubles and triples to activate mishaps and dooms do count with this extra die. The normal die rules of GLOG casting (roll 1 to 3 to return dice for the day, or 4+ to lose it for the day) still apply, so once this dice rolls a 4 you can no longer use it until you fully rest or otherwise regain your magical abilities.

[9] Crystaltech Engineer
Equipment and Bonus- As Thief or Wizard (No magic dice)
Skill- Crystaltech Engineer (explained below)

Imagine a high fantasy location, like a magical flying city, or the city of ancient elves. These places are personified Magitek- magic that has become so common or industrialized that it is used in everyday life. Perhaps the streets are lit by glowing magic crystal lanterns, or a giant crystal protects your town from dark magic. Maybe you immigrated from Endon, or perhaps you just dreamed it all from false memories of your ancestor, slaving away in the ancient city of R'lyeh. Not all of your setting has to be this way, just one part. Maybe it isn't even still standing.

The truth is that, like any industry, there are those who invent and develop the techniques and technology, and those that maintain it. And unfortunately, those who maintain it are never quite in the same league as those who invented it in the first place. You might have worked in the magical factories or repaired the magic crystal arrays, but you still suffered from it. Perhaps you inhaled a lot of crystal dust from your training or long term exposure as a crystal guinea pig did a number on you. Regardless of the reason, you have incredible skill with magical crystal technology, though it took a toll on your body. Select either your Strength or Constitution- reroll it and take the lower result.

You also treat yourself as though you have the character skill or background as Crystaltech Engineer, regardless of when you actually took this class template. Use the GLOG rules for this skill, however that works, but you can repair crystals and shit. I dunno.

The Crystaltech Engineer also gains the following ability;

Resonance Cascade
By simply touching and arranging magical power crystals, you can cause them to create an ever more unstable feedback loop or set them to explode. These bombs are roughly as powerful as all of the energy the crystal can produce but released all at once; even simple street lamp crystals or small mana crystals used to cast basic spells could be used to blow up houses or perhaps worse! You can set the explosion to either happen right now, or in one turn. Being anywhere near the explosion is a save vs death situation.

[10] Bow Levy
Equipment and Skills- As Fighter or Tactician
Bonus- +2 to hit with Bows (explained below)

You were never properly trained in a fighting art. You aren't a landed knight of nobility, nor were you a brigand or criminal who learned the skills from that profession. You were just a normal, average member of the Third Estate. But you were part of the Levy- by the King's decree, all people of your age and sex had to practice with the bow every week. As such, you became quite good at it. You're not a soldier, but you are a levy. You trained enough that now you can fight as well as a professional... but only with the bow.

Instead of the normal +1 to hit with all weapons that Fighters get per template, you get +2 to hit with Bows for this template. Only Bows.

Additionally, the Bow Levy gains the following abilities;

If you are firing your bow with at least 3 other archers, you can count your entire attack as a volley. This means at least one arrow is guaranteed to hit the target. If you and a bunch of other archers fire at a dragon and technically none of you were able to hit, instead at least one of you hits, damage is rolled as normal- determine the actually successful arrow hit by either the character with the highest To-Hit bonus, highest HD, or just randomly.

Well Oiled
The next time the DM tells you that any piece of equipment related to archery (your quiver, arrows, thumb-ring, bowstring, etc.) breaks or wears out due to the weather or entropy, tell him to fuck off. Your bow and string don't break if left out in the rain once or twice.

[11] Loony
Skills and Bonus- As Wizard or Cleric (No magic dice)
Equipment- None (for starting characters)

You went crazy. If you select this template at character creation then you're a lunatic that just got released from the asylum, or perhaps you just got back on your vision quest/rite of manhood that didn't go so well. If you take this template after already having another class's template, you take a brief period to lose your shit and come back, slightly unhinged but still retaining your old class skills and abilities, in addition to these.

Optionally, you can take this class without any downtime as a consequence for a spellcasting Doom. You still advance a step towards your 3rd and final Doom, but you don't take the consequences for your first or second Doom by taking this instead; however your class is permanently stunted as you don't get a magic dice for taking this template.

In exchange for this class's features and the strain that such insanity would plague you with; you must choose your Wisdom or Charisma. Reroll the stat and take it if it is lower.

The Loony has the following abilities;

Contort Mind
You can view things that would make lesser men go mad. I mean, you're already mad, so it's not as big of a deal for you. Using this power, you can experience one round of wizard vision, cast read magic, or view the ancient tablets of madness without going mad. You could also do things like read a letter with explosive runes inscribed on it without triggering it, or mention an Unspeakable without bringing it back. You can only do this if whatever you want to experience has a mechanism to do so, even if a normal person couldn't activate that mechanism. Ie; you can look through a piece of glass to see an infinite reflection even if a normal person couldn't.

Beyond being able to experience these without losing your character or suffering the consequences, you can also pledge yourself to otherworldly powers if you so choose. You're the only person in the party who can worship Ungoloc the Devourer of Infinity and still just sit around the campfire and have a pleasant conversation with them. This is once again due to your contorted, otherworldly mind.

Skeevy Dedication
As a mentally deranged crazy guy, you have that sort of almost-supernatural level of dedication and work-ethic for doing things. You know, the crazy guy who writes eight hundred pages of the exact same text in his “book” or that crazy lady who makes a doll of every single person who sleeps in her house using a clipping of their actual hair? You're that person.

You can dedicate yourself to a task that would take two exploration turns and do it in only one. In the same way, a task that would take three days can be done in one. If you have a task that would take a month, you can do it in one week. Finally, a task that takes one year takes you two months.

Whenever you use this ability, you lose maximum hit points permanently from the strain of sleepless nights and total isolation, your single-minded energy draining your body and sapping you of your youth. The number of hit points lost is determined by the DM but should be based on the length and difficulty of the task; only things too physically demanding or mind-numbing for a normal person with a strong work ethic to do should count.

[12] Cynic
Equipment, Skills, Bonus- As Cleric

You see the bad in everyone, and everything. You're not necessarily a bad person, just a huge party pooper. Maybe you took this template after a bad falling out or hitting rock bottom, or maybe you started with this template meaning you had a troubled and dark past.

This class primarily influences Conviction, the GLOG meta-currency for characters. Your character can no longer gain or spend Conviction. You are a worldly, dour person who does not hold any serious beliefs beyond expanding your own power or wealth, and are quick to critcize others who hold ideals you view as false. To put it bluntly, you're kind of hard to be around.

If you do not use Conviction, then you can instead replace this with something like daily class powers that aren't based on a resource in-setting, a scaling morale penalty, or perhaps a sort of “unlucky” roll where a character must roll with disadvantage after the Cynic criticizes them.

The Cynic has the following abilities;

The Critic
You can criticize others- for how they waste time, work towards impossible causes, remain ignorant towards statistical facts, or how none of their accomplishments will matter in the end. Whenever a character would gain Conviction (for GLOG), Inspiration (for 5e style games), a morale or hunch roll, or a free experience point- they don't get it instead. You get one Cynic point.

Note: Obviously this is a kind of character ability that is directly working against the party, and probably shouldn't be used as written. Perhaps if both players agree to it, then the ability still works; moreso trading one point for another. Or if your game is intentionally antagonistic.

You can also choose to gain a Cynic point in exchange for ½ of your experience points to the next experience level; essentially delaying it. You whine about the futility about life instead of learning and reflecting on it.

Party Pooper
Whenever you are swept up into a whimsical moment, a fairy-tale chase, affected by a cool spell, or otherwise inconvenienced by something mysterious- you ruin it. You just shit on it. This ability costs a Cynic point.

Imagine if your party finds a talking pig in a fairy tale village which will tell you what way to go to find the secret treasure, but only if you find the best mud-hole in the village for the pig to wallow in. The Cynic just kicks the pig in the ribs until it tells everybody what it knows, and you move on. If you get caught in a magic spell which causes you to fight your inner demon personified in front of you, then the Cynic would just see an inky black void and step through it to stab the spell caster. You can ruin anything cool or fantastical in this way, or use this ability to bypass something that would take precious time you don't want to spend otherwise not working towards your main goal.

[13] Horse Whisperer
Equipment, Skills, Bonus- As Ranger or Tactician

You're good with horses. You can tell their moods, their health, their personalities just from a little time spent with them. Needless to say, you can ride well and know all the steps to properly care for and groom your horses.

Firstly, this ability makes you really good at telling out horses. Whatever rules you use for horse riding or horse stats in your horse game- you know them and are good at it. You can tell the best horse from a group, and can ride around on your horse real good without a check or whatever. I'm not listing this as a class/template ability because it should be obvious that you get this without it.

Second, the Horse Whisper should probably only be in a setting or location in a setting where horses are going to matter a lot. Like don't put this class in the game if you're going to be mostly doing a megadungeon or pirate island adventurers, it's not very fitting for horses.

Also, the Horse Whisper gains the following ability;

Horse's Friend
If your horse dies under no fault of your own; the horse's spirit will return to aide you. More often, you will simply find a new horse that is about as good as your old one, though maybe not as well trained. Your new horse will be able to be tamed very easily and acts as a good replacement.

However, if your horse dies and you need to ride a horse right after (such as your horse dying when you get captured by bandits, and they're going to execute you in the morning)- you will instead be visited by the ghost of your horse. It will appear miraculously alive, as normal, and you can ride your horse to safety. But the moment you get off you horse and turn around it will be gone.

Finally; if you ever talk to a talking horse get +1 to the reaction check. Maybe give this character a +1 to reaction checks when talking with centaurs just cuz.

[14] Fireworks-Man (Fireworks Conspiracy-Theorist)
Equipment, Skills, Bonus- As Alchemist or Wizard (no magic dice)

You make fireworks. Whenever the harvest festival comes up, you prepare by creating rockets and stages of burns in the firing-tubes so they show up as flowers in the night sky. Whenever a King needs to impress his court, you pack rare metals into gunpowder to make fabulous explosions or every color. You work with dangerous materials and need a careful and steady hand, but have a first rate understanding of chemistry and practical (not magical) alchemy.

However, you're also a bit of a conspiracy theorist. You keep telling people that your fireworks, this materials? They could be used for so much more. Imagine packing them into an iron ball filled with shrapnel, and then throwing it an enemy to make an explosive weapon. Or imagine packing an iron tube with gunpowder, and using it to propel a collection of arrows or even a heavy iron ball! But no matter what you try to do, nobody wants to experiment with your ideas. You loudly proclaim that your lord could benefit from this improvement in warfare, but he just whisks you away and silences your every protest! Fools! Why do they keep practicing with swords and spell when flaming steel could revolutionize the world?!

The Fireworks-Man has the following abilities;

Selectively Deaf
You listen to loud explosions all day, and have probably lost some of your hearing. But in general, this means you have a pretty good tolerance for loud noises. Whenever subject to a loud noise with magical or dangerous effects (Hideous Laughter, the cry of a wampus, mandrake scream, etc.), you get advantage on your saving throw to resist the effect. If an enemy has a sonic spell or attack, then you get to drop one die off the total damage, ignoring it completely if it just has 1 dice of damage.

It's a Conspiracy!
During downtime, you develop black powder and your fireworks into weapons. You know there is potential here, and you are obsessed with finding it. You must spend at least 10% of your earnings on your research. As you develop more advanced forms of rocketry and find new uses for your explosive powders, you will keep running into snags, your laboratory accidentally burning down, your contacts disappearing, and sudden freak weather events ruining your most important firing exercises and big test days. It's like fate is trying to keep you from uncovering a potential weapon from your fireworks; if you progress too far in your research too publicly, your character may just disappear without a trace.

Also, when you reach 4 total templates you achieve a breakthrough. You have developed a small, one handed weapon that appears like a tube with a fuse on one end. By packing this weapon with a special fireworks charge and lighting it, it can be used as a one shot 1d8+1 weapon which can only be reloaded between combat encounters. It shrieks and explodes on contact in colorful lights, and counts as magic to hit things like ghosts, demons, or other supernatural creatures. Unfortunately it's just a prototype and probably isn't practical enough for mass production.

[15] Pink Fortress Mason
Equipment, Bonus- As Fighter or Noble
Skills- Mason / Architect or Engraver

The Pink Fortresses. Made of magical pink stone, located far away. Perhaps you lived a past life defending their halls, or maybe your fortress fell many years ago. Perhaps you were just trained by one, it's a genetic duty after all, your father teaching you the rites and powers of this most illustrious profession. In the land of the pink fortresses, a Mason is a position of respect and prestige, and above any common solider.

The Pink Fortress Mason is exceptionally skilled at whatever GLOG skill you have given them. Make it a +1 in 6 chance or whatever. They're really good at Architecture and detecting those hidden walls and hidden slopes and stuff.

The Pink Fortress Mason has the following abilities;

Pinch of Pink Dust
Whenever a spell is cast in your presence, you can toss out a pinch of pink dust, which is found only in the walls and shedding of the great Pink Fortresses. The dust makes the spell “heavy”. Heavy spells have their range reduced by one category (any distance to sight, arrow-shot range to throwing distance, throwing distance to close, close to touch, touch to self, etc.), but have their power increased by one [Dice] worth of magical power. If the caster of the spell suffers a Mishap or a Doom, you do too. Use this before a magic user casts a fireball and make it blow up at their feet, but you'll also get sucked into a portal to the forbidden-zone along with them.

You begin each adventure with 1d4 pinches of dust, which you find or make each time you return to civilization. Maybe there's a brick you grind bits off, your last treasure from the old land.

Masonry Magic
If given enough time, a chalk outline, and a pinch of your pink dust; You can draw a recess in a stone wall or section. This recess is then pushed in and the stone will move back. This lets you create things like small hiding places, shelves to put useful stuff, defensive positions, etc. This recess cannot break into another chamber and has a maximum depth of 6 feet or shorter if that would break through a shallow wall in the dungeon. It has a maximum height of as tall as you can draw without a ladder, and a maximum width of 20 ft.

This magical recess slowly goes away over time as the chalk is worn away. If it is erased, the recess will fill up and the wall will return to smooth uniformity by 1 ft of depth per turn.

[16] Bull-Wrestler
Equipment, Skills, Bonus- As Fighter or Barbarian

You're a strapping lad who wrestles bulls to entertain crowds. Truthfully, the bulls aren't very vicious in your town and it's less about how strong you are and more about how you throw your weight. Still- increase your Strength score to 11 if it's lower.

The Bull-Wrestler has the following abilities;

If someone or something charges at you, you can brace yourself for impact. This reduces the distance you are knocked or pushed back by half, or ignores any effects that would knock you prone.

Against anything with horns, you get +3 to rolls to grapple or restrain them. This includes horned viking helmets.

Town Hero
Being a Bull-Wrestler gives you a sort of heroic figure. While this mostly applies to your home town, any small or rural community that appreciates that sort of thing will admire your scars and think of you as a brave and accomplished person, if nothing else. This only applies to rural communities or places where bull fighting or bull wrestling are common or accepted- giddy socialites and sensitive, animal rights pansies (like elves) will look at you with disdain.

[17] Fly Guy
Equipment, Skills, Bonus- As Acrobat

At some point in your life, you flew. Maybe you found a magic carpet, or had a dragon to ride around on. Maybe you once were a powerful sorcerer in a past life, but have since been reborn and lost everything except dreams of flight. Whatever source of flight you once had is now gone, but its left its mark in your mind.

The Fly Guy has the following abilities;

Not Afraid of Heights
Your character isn't scared of heights, illusions of heights, or climbing up things at all. Give a +2 to saves to avoid falling from a lethal height, just because.

You've seen breath taking vistas and felt the wind rush past your hair, you know what it's like to feel alive on the cusp of peril. If you're one hit away from death (being attacked by something that could kill you in one hit), you get +2 MV or can run faster and jump higher then the average person.

[18] Penguin
Equipment, Skills, Bonus- As Ranger or Druid

No, you're not an actual penguin. But you like penguins. You joined a bunch of kooks that dress up as penguins, fish while diving in full-body fursuits (not fun) and endured the harshest winters to feel the animal spiritual connection with all penguin-kind. Many also become criminal masterminds, for some reason. Your little cult was either broken up, or maybe you left out of disagreements of if the Emperor Penguin was truly more regal then the Rock Hoppers.

You can also swim, if you couldn't already.

The Penguin has the following ability;

Penguin Endurance
You have adapted to a very harsh climate, or maybe Penguins are just your spirit animal. You can survive the cold. You don't need “cold weather” or “warm” clothes in harsh snowy places or tundra, you can survive just in regular clothes by bundling up and waddling around happily. Also, you take half damage from Cold spells and Frost-Dragon breath.

[19] Candlestick Maker
Equipment, Skills, Bonus- As Rogue or Cleric

Every town has them; the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker. You're supposed to be the kind of characters dying in droves in a level 0 funnel; not you. You're PROUD of your craft.

The Candlestick Maker has the following abilities;

Spare Candle
If you run out of torches or lantern oil in a dungeon, you can pull out a spare candle from your pant leg at just the last second before the torch burns out and light it up. This candle has half the duration of a torch (30 minutes), will go out automatically if you make an attack roll (moving too fast), and only gives off barely enough light to navigate and read a map- not enough to see far or do big puzzle stuff in the dungeon. Still, this beats dying.

When in dark places, you can treat the ambient light level as one higher for your character's perceptive ability. Dim lights become as bright as torches, torch light is as bright as midday. This isn't dark vision, your ability still requires some light to work, it's just improved senses.

Wax Burns
You have incredible patience from dipping candles over and over to fatten them up, plus years of burning your skin with dripping wax. You get +2 maximum HP. Also, if an enemy tries to torture you, ignore the first turn or roll you have to make to resist torture; just assume they tried dripping wax.

[20] Guy with Ray Gun
Equipment, Skills, Bonus- As Rogue or Noble

You're just a guy with a ray gun. How you found the gun is the question. If you're a human, you probably just found it somewhere, or maybe it was passed generation to generation before being activated by you. If you're a dwarf, maybe you made it in a strange mood. Regardless of how you came into possession with the weapon, you now own it.

There is no way to recharge this raygun. The only ability of the Guy with Ray Gun is owning the ray gun. Here's what it does;

Ray Gun
You have a ray gun. It probably looks futuristic. The DM will roll a secret 2d4+1 roll. This roll is the number of charges it has left. Whenever you aim and pull the trigger, the ray gun will emit a stream of super charged particles that superheat the target and explode. The ray gun can blow up just about anything, but is especially powerful against living things.

The Ray Gun deals Xd6 damage, where X is the number of charges when the trigger is pulled. The damage is rolled by the DM in secret and is the only indication of how many charges this weapon has left. The weapon is ergonomic and has a +2 to hit, but otherwise has no other special properties.


  1. I like the idea of unlocking domain level play at a mythical E template level. Very clever.

    Something that you glossed over in your criticism of GLoG classes is the roleplaying aspect. You seem to suggest that players make quasi-builds with the templates and are incentivized to always go 4 templates in one class to unlock the good D template. Something that is recommended in the GLoG is _restricting classes until players unlock them through play_. So something that I think is very cool is to start off with a few mundane classes (fighter, thief, acrobat, whatever) and then going to the wizard tower and getting wizard added to the list. You never PLANNED to take a level of wizard--you were aiming for that sweet level D thief power--but all of a sudden it makes sense for your character. Suddenly you're Thief A, B, Wizard A. Later, you might unlock another bonkers class and take that to round out your fourth template.

    1. That's an approach I really like. The campaign starts with only a few classes available, but as you introduce more classes to your mercenary band/ town/ pirate gang/ whatever more classes become available from character creation. It's a good way to establish domain play and give a campaign focus.

  2. Why not just let people take any template of their "level" or lower when multiclassing e.g. if I have ABC from one class, when multiclassing I can take any ABC or D from the new class?

    Or alternatively, do it like spells, where you have X templates per level and choose which ones to "equip" on a given day e.g. a level 5 GLOG character could have ABC/AB or ABCD/A, and choose which combination of A or AB (depending on configuration) to "equip" that day. Spells already have an atypical lore behind them in GLOG, you could imagine a similar logic for class abilities.

    Or you could just let them have access to all abilities without limit, as theoretically it's lateral advancement, although admittedly that could lead to unintended interactions that have crazy effects, but I dunno, that sounds like fun anyway...

  3. Firstly, great list. I guess these are almost in the same vein as the Curse or Parasite classes?

    I had some race-as-classes that only go up to C, or require you to have A in something else first, and then get the BCD in your cultural/biological heritage.

    Orrrr just go full class-less level-less and just have an absolute pile of Cool Things that can be rewarded as loot or bought during downtime!

    I think treating Template A as the weakest isn't quite the right thing to do when designing a class. It should be simple, straightforward and often improved by the C Template, but it should be a crunchy and useful ability for anybody to have. Parry is a good example, everybody likes not dying. And maybe if you have 1 MD it means you can use a bunch of magic items in a new way, if a weak one. But what does Thief get? That's where I think it falls down. Rage is a good A template as well.

  4. I really like the central gist here- GLOG mechanics lean towards multiclassing, even if that wasn't something intended or even really desired by the "mainstream" of GLOGers.
    One thing that always bugged me is that the levels in GLOG classes are instead "templates" listed alphabetically instead of numerically. Why? I could get it if they were some sort of alternate leveling system in your D&D game, but if you're playing GLOG then it's just how leveling works and regular leveling terminology works fine.