... now with 35% more arrogance!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Thinking about Leeches

Yesterday's post about healing was not, completely, about healing or healers. But it tied in with something I've been thinking about for the last week or two: the leech.

I've told before how I started playing modified White Box OD&D. I never saw the rule books, but my GM had mimeographed tables and materials, which I laboriously copied on a typewriter. But there were some changes, one of which was the Leech, meaning a healer. This was what people today would call a prestige class; you could add it to your main class if you met certain criteria. My GM never used it, and I skipped the "extra" typing, so I don't really have a good idea about how it worked. I wish now I had.

What I've been thinking is: how would I re-create something like the Leech? Perhaps, using the build-a-class rules I've been working on? It's possible to view a potential Leech class as variant of the Talent class described in the Zero Classes. The problem is that a Thief has three broad abilities: stealthy, clever, and surprise attack. "Healing" is really only one ability; in a sense, the Leech isn't beefy enough to be a stand-alone class.

A possible solution: use multi-classing, but add another "class" called "Single Talent" with a lower experience point cost. This is a class that only has one ability or variant ability from the Talent class. So, you could add just the stealth abilities to an ordinary fighter and call that character a Fighter/Stalker, let's say.

I'm thinking the experience progression should probably be half the normal Thief (Talent) progression, with a 6th level cap or lower, so that characters who take Single Talents can't match the level of ability of dedicated classes or hybrid classes.


  1. What if the Leech is something akin to a combat medic? No army would send an individual into combat with nothing but medical training. There would definitely be a need for stealth and being clever, so you could just swap out backstabbing for healing.

    1. That's possible, under the tentative class-building rules I linked. But I also tried a full write-up. (I scheduled the Leech class post for this morning, but it hadn't appeared yet when you wrote your comment, so you wouldn't have known about that...)