The Mascot Class, for 5e

There’s a character that shows up fairly often in fantasy fiction, that is rarely taken as a player concept in RPGs. This is the brave hireling who tries to defend you with a cooking pot, the gardener and family friend who carries you when your legs give out, the faithful tutor who takes an assassin’s dagger so you can defeat the villain.

They aren’t mages, or warriors, or treasure acquisition experts. They are commoners or civilians, who love the heroes enough to go with them, and are often described as the “heart” of the group… because “hanger-on and potential hostage” doesn’t sound as complimentary.

Basically, they are adventuring group mascots. They DO make appearances as NPCs in some games, and I have seen GMs do great jobs with them. But I also know a lot of players who would LOVE to roleplay the team mascot… as long as they could still DO something.

And I think it’s possible to build a class that gives a player game options that are fun, while still preserving the “civilian” nature of a mascot.

I think this idea works REALLY well for 5e, so I am using that for my framework. We’ll need to start with some basics.

ErgaTheMagnanimous-color-01
(Art by Jacob Blackmon)

Mascot Class Features
As a mascot, you gain the following class features. (Where the advancement chart shows a hyperlink, that feature is defined in another blog post you can reach from the link.)

Hit Points
Hit Dice: 1d6 per mascot level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 12 + your Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d12 (or 8) + your Constitution modifier per mascot level after 1st

Proficiencies
Armor: Shields
Weapons: Simple weapons
Tools: Pick any four
Saving Throws: Wisdom, Constitution
Skills: Choose two skills from Animal Handling, Insight, Investigation, Medicine, Perception, Survival, and Religion

Equipment
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
(a) a simple weapon and a shield or two simple weapons
(a) Two tools you are proficient with
(a) a dungeoneer’s pack or (b) an explorer’s pack

Table: The Mascot
Level Proficiency Bonus Bonus Features
1st +2 Mascot Archetype
2nd +2 Shtick
3rd +2 Inspiring failure (one use)
4th +2 Ability Score Improvement
5th +3 Shtick
6th +3 Ability Score Improvement
7th +3 Mascot Archetype feature
8th +3 Ability Score Improvement
9th +4 Shtick
10th +4 Mascot Archetype feature
11th +4 Inspiring failure (two uses)
12th +4 Ability Score Improvement
13th +5 Shtick
14th +5 Ability Score Improvement
15th +5 Mascot Archetype feature
16th +5 Ability Score Improvement
17th +6 Inspiring failure (three uses), shtick
18th +6 Mascot Archetype feature
19th +6 Ability Score Improvement
20th +6 Inspiring failure (four uses)

Okay with that we can begin to build out the game options. So, what are the mascot archetypes?! What shticks can you pick from?! How does FAILURE inspire?

Come back over the course of the week, and we’ll investigate these intriguing options. (Or, follow the links to those articles, no that they’ve been written and linked!)

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About okcstephens

Owen K.C. Stephens Owen Kirker Clifford Stephens is the Starfinder Design Lead for Paizo Publishing, the Freeport and Pathfinder RPG developer for Green Ronin, a developer for Rite Publishing, and the publisher and lead genius of Rogue Genius Games. Owen has written game material for numerous other companies, including Wizards of the Coast, Kobold Press, White Wolf, Steve Jackson Games and Upper Deck. He also consults, freelances, and in the off season, sleeps.

Posted on July 7, 2020, in Game Design and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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