Saturday, March 6, 2021

Class Matters - The Slayer player character class From Mayfair Games Demon Box set Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st & 2nd edition or Your OSR game Campaigns

 "FULLY COMPATIBLE WITH AD&D 2ND EDITION. Eons ago...they were imprisoned in a vast inferno for fomenting a conflict amidst the gods themselves. Now, they're loose and free to prey upon the will of man. Run out of challenges? Try matching wits with the embodiment of all evil. The Demons sourcepack includes: * 48 pages of hole-punched monster descriptions, covering the demons and the inhabitants of their inferno lairs, for your players to add to other game materials; * An 80-page game master's booklet; * The 64-page Infernicum Mallemancia, an ancient book of demon lore that provides your players with all the clues they need to tackle and defeat their diabolical adversaries; * New character classes, including the demon-summoning Thaumaturgist and the demon-hunting Slayer; * Rules for half-demon player characters; * Dozens of new spells and new magic items; * A Full color, 22 "x 34" map; * A complete adventure; and the most powerful spells in fantasy role-playing!"

Things have been very busy with a full on Hostile & Cepheus Engine rpg campaign ongoing on the other blog. But there's a great deal of player pressure to get back on the Dungeons & Dragons  or Advabced Dungeons & Dragons train. So last night out came the Demon box set binder. Started looking into the possibility of using The Demons I & II  box set as a sort of backbone with several of our on going campaigns. The demon slayer class is an old favorite of ours & it fits very well with what's an on going series of campaigns where demons play a sigificant part. 

So there are several reasons why the slayer class works in a number of areas when it comes to demon hunting, slaying, & banishing demons. The slayer is a  fighter subclass. The slayer uses the same skill progression as a paladin & has the same saving throws used by clerics. 
 They can work as a wandering bounty hunter of demons working the land for their ever going hunt against the Infernal. The fact is that slayers have to be very wary of the infernal or demonic taint that comes with dealing with the powers. And this leads into the lawful alignment aspect of the slayers. They can only be one of the three branches of slayers, white slayers who are lawful good, grey slayers  lawful neutral, or black slayers lawful evil. They will work together against any demonic or infernal threat. So this isn't a case of a Sith vs Jedi war or issue unless the DM needs there to be such a war. 

Slayers gain several abilities that help them in their struggle against the infernal; Detect demon within 12", Turn demon as if they were a cleric three levels higher then their own has no effect on other undead ( let this slide in several games), & they can cast wizard spells from a list within the demon box set that helps them in their battles. 
From all appearances these fighter subclasses are a wandering slayer of demons or the infernal. Slayers  have very little interaction with the infernal or the divine & those that do Fall. They lose all abilities if they have truck with the powers of chaos & the demonic. 
How do slayers work as a class for old school Advanced Dungeons & Dragons or in OSR games?! Well that's pretty simple actually. The slayer class is good for those players who want to do a rotating guest spot within your home campaigns. The guy or gal who wants to play once in a while for a Gothic or even a modern style of horror game. For OSRIC the slayer class could be used with impunity at the table top. With a game such as Castles & Crusades?! The slayer is going to require a bit of fiddling but its a pretty easy bit of kit to fit them into the mix of a C&C campaign. 

Slayers are the PC class that shows up like Jedi knights or Boba Fett in a campaign when that half demonic wizard shows up on his nightmare. The slayer has been tracking him or her for ages & now he or she has shown up in your game. 

Slayers should never be used with matters of the gods unless minions or  demon lords or ladies show up. They will not be impressed by the gods or by infernal or demonic royalty. Slayers want one thing the slaughter of the demonic full stop. From time to time I've used slayers as villains within games as well even the lawful evil ones intentions or goals are 'good' in a sense. The brutal methods they employ however are nasty & dangerous to the lives of PC's around them. 
Slayers at the table top level are a polizerizing force we've found. There are some players who love the 'lone wolf' aspect of the fighter subclass. And there are those players  who hate the class with a vengence. The slayer is a very polerizing figure at the table top. 
Slayers are never going to get their due at the table top level but paired with a paladin of equal alignment. These can be very nasty combinations indeed. The lone wolf nature of the slayer means that eventually in our experience that they will leave a paladin behind. 
Its too bad that given the storied legal history of Role Aids line we'll never get a slayer PC supplement. There is far more that can be done with this fighter sub class then merely as an NPC murder weapon or plot device. 
The slayer class represents a very in niche within a niche PC class but its one that can be used to great advantage with a clever player & DM. 

1 comment:

  1. Love the Slayer class. Have used them a couple times in campaigns with Infernal invasions. Used the whole Demons line for one of those campaigns. Too bad they weren't allowed to publish that 5th supplement.