Not every adventuring warrior is a young pup, fresh out of learning the ropes as a caravan guard. A few of those men-at-arms stay on the job until they become sergeants-at-arms and then stay on a bit longer until, old and grey, they finally decide to go out with a bang. Thus, we have the curmudgeon.
Curmudgeons are a bit different than most starting PC’s. For one thing, they begin the game mired in old age, and suffering whatever penalties you decide to a lot to the elderly in your game. For another, while they’re not any more experienced as adventurers than the young folks, they are a bit more experienced than the young ones in other ways.
ROLL D6 FOR HIT POINTS
A curmudgeon must be old (and suffer all penalties that go with being old), and must have a Strength score of 9 or higher and a Wisdom score of 13 or higher. It also helps if they’re grumpy.
Any armor, all shields.
Bend bars, break down doors, find secret doors, riding, trickery.
Curmudgeons are men and women who have done years and years of service as men-at-arms, sergeants-at-arms, caravan guards, town guards, etc. In essence, they’ve been NPC’s all their life, and only when their hair turned silver did they finally decide to become adventurers. As such, they aren’t as green as the average 1st level character, and therefore begin the game with 2 Hit Dice.
Curmudgeons tend to be a bit on the grumpy side, and thus suffer a -1 penalty on reaction checks. They don’t scare easily, and enjoy a +1 bonus on saves vs. fear, but they also suffer a -1 penalty on saves vs. fatigue.
Curmudgeons have been around the block a few times, and have probably forgotten more stories and legends than they remember. As such, they can use the legend lore ability of a bard of equal level.
Curmudgeons are famous for their stubbornness and their so-called “old man strength”. Curmudgeons can continue fighting until they have reached -5 hit points, provided they have something worth fighting for. Once per day, they can boost their strength score by 1d6 points for 1 round per level (max. 6 rounds).
Curmudgeons have long experience in mentoring young whippersnappers. When adventuring with characters of 1st to 3rd level, they can, once per day, lend them a bonus equal to the curmudgeon’s own Wisdom bonus on a single attack roll or saving throw.
At 9th level, a curmudgeon can retire to a favorite tavern, attracting a retinue of 1d4 men-at-arms per level as flunkies and admirers. The curmudgeon gets free room and board at the tavern, and also receives 1d3 free rumors each month concerning possible adventures or opportunities.