Tuesday, 21 July 2015
The Village Idiot - A bardic varient
"A dunce is an idiot who is specifically incapable of learning. An idiot differs from a fool (who is unwise) and an ignoramus (who is uneducated/an ignorant), neither of which refers to someone with low intelligence"
"The village idiot in strict terms is a person locally known for ignorance or stupidity, but is also a common term for a stereotypically silly or nonsensical person. The term is also used as a stereotype of the mentally disabled. It has also been applied as an epithet for an unrealistically optimistic or naive individual."
A village idiot is a specialty bard - many less dumb than they look. Some have fools wisdom. If your village does not have one you are unlucky. In big towns and cities they are everywhere begging on street or in carnivals or bars. Many are deformed or have a crippling injury or madness or other disability. A great dumpstat class for sub normal roll characters - the class gate keepers don't care.
Some people fake being idiots they are actually thieves or opportunistic rogues trying to use the wholesome image real idiots have fought for over the aeons.
Idiots don't use instruments on the whole. A few like drums a flute or a rattle or lute. They perform clowning routines like funny dances, buttock slapping, pratfalls, funny faces and more. They cheer on companions and distract enemies. Some make all actions look accidental and act foolish. Often they are competent medics and drag wounded away to care for in battle.
Idiots are very popular and even monsters like some entertainment. Idiots earn their keep in donations, are allowed to sleep in stables and receive all kinds of goods and services. It is lucky to help a idiot, the gods like those who care for idiots. Idiots make great scouts as most enemies will capture them and not think idiots able to escape.
Idiots may know interesting things and people talk freely near them. Idiots may learn things ordinary people would never think of. Even animals think twice before eating or fearing a good idiot. Some idiots keep pets and a may have a foolish notion of a what a good pet mght be. Owlbears or giant leeches are bad pets to most people. To a idiot an owlbear might be a cuddly buddy who shares his hole.
Idiots of different areas may compete in contests and a local idiot might be challenged for the territory by a newcomer or a local rival. Most villages don't need more than one idiot. In the city every tavern might have a drunken idiot who gets free drinks for the company. Idiots known to act evil are driven away and end up living in dungeons or serving evil wizards.I will do a d100 village idiots if I'm not drowned out in outrage
CHA is the most important. CHA is often more from being a adorable simpleton than ordinary attractiveness. DEX and INT are handy. STR and CON more popular than with bards. Surprisingly many idiots have high WIS with good instincts. Your other stats might help decide what spell list to use.
Idiots use standard abilities of bard except use gesture and body movements not verbal or musical as per normal bard. They may make strange noises and say foolish things but the ability is based on seeing the idiot not hearing them.
Clowning, Climbing, Juggling, Muscle, Tumbling, Dancing, Acrobatics, Balance, Fast Talk, Ventriloquism, Swinging, Voice Mimic, Escapology, Survival, Run Away, Disguise, Sleight, Listen, Streetwise, Shadowing, First Aid, Sleight of hand, Sneak, Hide, Healing, Herbalism, Song Lore, Kingdom Lore, Gossip, Judgement, Train (Animal), Animal Handling, Jump, Leaping, Wallrunning. Idiots may learn any knowledge skills. Idiots might make some things seem easy and might have speciality skills like numeracy or heraldry making idiots protected by local leaders.
Idiots mostly inoffensive looking arms. Most carry club, rock, staff, dart, knife, dagger, short sword, hand axe, hammer, maul, javelin, blowpipe, net, mancatcher, whip, lasso, maul, flail, sling. Some learn unarmed combat and excel at brawling and wrestling. Many wont trust a fool with a weapon and looking harmless and amusing is useful. Many stick to one simple weapon honed to a martial artist excellence. Prefer not getting hurt but willing to keep back or run. Only wear light armour and don't use shields. Willing to learn defencive moves.
A beginning idiot knows a zero level spell or cantrip and eventually will cast spells but not as well as core classes. Spells per day same as an elf or bard, spell lists chosen from these. Idiots often acquire magic skills to work in spells in secret.
Holy idiots use priestly spells often deal direct to local priests CHA WIS
Wild idiots use druid spells have a burrow and lots of pets CHA CON
Sage idiots use wizard magic often from fragments of spellbooks CHA INT
Mystic Idiots use sorcery from pacts with other planar beings CHA
Spiritualist idiots use mentalism the powers of the mind CHA WIS INT
Im keeping it all rule light so can be adapted to various systems
Might do something more detailed