Feature image by Manuel Cabral y Aguado Bejarano, from: Wikimedia Commons. (Public domain in the USA.)
A ruffian is an unusual kind of adventurer, good enough to turn on their own in a fight, but choosing to scare away any potential opponents by boasting on their own abilities, which can sometimes makes them be hoisted by their own petard, much to their chagrin. Ruffians can be found with ease in towns and cities, brawling away at the streets, drinking away at the taverns, and sleeping away in the gutters. Ruffians are quick to turn to a life of dungeon crawling, usually for the promised gold, but just as often to prove their worth and to shut the mouths of those who dared them into it.
Requirements: DEX 9, CHA 9
Prime requisite: STR
Hit Dice: 1d8
Maximum level: 14
Armour: Leather, no shields
Languages: Alignment, Common
Although they often fight unarmed or choose to pick blunt weapons, ruffians can use any weapon. Ruffians eschew armor heavier (and clunkier) than leather to keep up their movements free during a brawl.
When in melee during combats, a ruffian may use a boastful move and try to scare their opponent away. The player must declare it before doing the attack roll; if it’s a hit, the player may choose to trade the damage roll for a morale check for the opponent. If the morale check is a success, aside from keeping up the fight, the opponent is also unimpressed by the ruffian’s bravado and can’t be intimidated by them again.
When trying to subdue an intelligent opponent, a ruffian’s player makes their damage rolls twice, picking up whatever of both results they want.
A ruffian can pick pockets as well as a thief of the same level. (For more details, see Thief Skills.)
After Reaching 9th Level
The ruffian becomes head of their own gang, establishing a front (such as a seedy tavern in a city’s poorer neighbourhoods) and attracting 1d6 first level ruffians that are loyal to the character as long as they remain undefeated in street brawls.
Ruffian Level Progression