24 March 2012
In Rodiel, the city-state champions are broken up into four roughly basic styles, each encompassing a basic attitude towards combat (and determining very little else about your character by design). The Sentinel is one of them.
Sentinels are the stalwart warriors who help guard the weaker member party members from harm. They prefer to counterattack instead of strike, to deflect instead of advance, and to stride where others might run. They wear down their enemies by simply lasting longer and being tougher than anybody else. Sentinels aren't "tanks", that use some sort of gimmicky "threat" or "guarding" mechanic so that the "damage" classes can do their thing- they're just as deadly as the flashier Slayers. They just like to fight differently.
This is the style that you'd use to model hoplites, legionnaires, and other soldierly types that rely more on skill at arms than raw savagery. Where a Slayer is red-handed and bloody, a Sentinel is measured and precise, although not necessarily calm.
Every character has to roll on the Random Background table, as normal, to determine a facet of their character that will affect their play for the rest of their character's lifetime. Since this game is designed around tournament module styled one-off games in addition to being rolled randomly, I'm not too concerned about balance. Instead, we're looking for interesting things that add to the spice of the game. A couple of random Sentinel backgrounds follow:
BEASTMASTER: You have a special relationship with an unusually intelligent animal. This can be any non-magical animal you desire. If your companion is slain, it will take you weeks to find and train a new one.
MYRMIDON: You have been called through the ages in your nation's time of need by incredible magics. If slain, you regenerate entirely within one day, and you have no need for sleep. Your other bodily functions are as normal. You are immediately destroyed if the circlet is removed from your brow or destroyed, as it is the artifact holding you through the ages.
MIGHTY THEWS: You are a musclebound barbarian, and your Might counts as 1.5x higher than what it actually is. Unfortunately, you are also a bit of an idiot, and cannot understand how to use any device more complicated than a door without having it explained to you multiple times.
BLADE-BORN: You are a master of all kinds of weaponry. Lesser warriors hear of your feats of arms and tremble. If you would miss an attack, roll it again. You are so confident in your abilities as a swordsman you disdain the use of armor, declaring it for knaves and ruffians with no skill at arms.