D&D2E: The Charlatan

So, I’ve been running the Kingmaker AP and working like mad on my Masters Thesis (in the Summmer? I know!) as well as job-hunting, so the rest of my mental energy these days has been devoted to reading some older gaming materials I just wanted to revisit. Specifically, I dug out my first, very well-worn copies of the PHB and DMG for Dungeons and Dragons, 2nd Edition. I love(d) 2e. It’s probably the edition of D&D I’ve played the most — from ’89 right through until it was replaced by 3e. I had several homebrew worlds and was lucky enough to play in some fun games with people I don’t see much anymore these days. That said, one of the coolest things about 2E (for me at least) was the section in the DMG on making your own classes.

I spent a lot of time with that little section of the book and most of what I came up with — I don’t even know where I’d find it these days, but digging out that old 1989 DMG, a paper fell out of it, and when I looked, it was the Charlatan. I was transported. I made this class up for a Ravenloft-like game (not set in Ravenloft though) that I got to play in — and used this as my gypsy-like character in the story. He was something between a con-man, a rogue and an enchanter wizard (though he wasn’t spectacular at any of them). He was also inspired by the Charlatan class from the Bard Games, Arcanum though they didn’t really work the same mechanically — I just liked the idea of a less-than-wizardly-spellcaster. I remember having so much fun with this class though that I didn’t care that it was probably under-powered comparatively. Heck, when I pulled it out I wished that I knew someone running a 2E game now. Ha!

Anyway — I just thought, since there are plenty of people out there who still appreciate the older editions, I’d toss this out there. I had a lot of fun with this character. Am I the only one who spent hours making up new character classes? Am I the only one who pestered DMs to let me play them?

The Charlatan

Race: Other (+1)
Combat Value: Rogue (-1)
Saves: Rogue (0)
Hit Die: d6 (+0.75)
Armor: None (-1)
Weapons: Limited (-1.5)
Hit Points/Level past 9th: 1 (+0.5)

Optional Abilities
5 Initial Proficiencies (1 Weapon, 4 Non-Weapon) (+1.25)
Read Languages (+0.5)
Pick Pockets (+1.0)
Cast 3 Schools of Magic (Alteration, Enchantment/Charm, Illusion) (+9)

Non-human Level Limit of 12 (-0.5)

Total: +10 (So this meant it took 2,000 xp to reach level 2, etc.)

As always, thanks for reading.


2 responses

  1. In principle it was pretty cool, in practice though it was pretty crappy because it didn’t match up with the existing classes. I much preferred the race creation guidelines.

  2. Nice to see 2e getting a little love lately. I’ve just started running a 2e game and realized how much I missed that edition. I’m actually teaching new(er) players 2e because I plan on running a fairly long campaign with 2e if the players are ok with it.
    I love me some 3e/Pathfinder, but 2e either ties for top spot or comes in a very close second.

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