Monday, 15 November 2010

New OSRIC Class: The Houri (Part I)

Please take note: While the flavor of these rules has changed somewhat, mechanically there are very few differences from the original version of this class as written by Brian Asbury and originally published in White Dwarf issue number 13.

The class is not in the least politically correct (thank god) but does allow players interested in portraying the temptress style character (or, for that matter, a "
charmer" such as James Bond) the chance to do so. Although the class was originally envisioned as an NPC class in the White Dwarf article, as recent entertainment trends have shown, the Houri makes for an effective (and interesting) player character as well. The Annora and Saffron characters from Firefly are prime examples of Houri in modern media.


Houris, or Nymphs of Paradise, as they are commonly known, are a very specialized class of Rogue, combining elements of the magic user and the cleric in terms of their party role and special abilities. Trained and educated from a very young age in diverse means of pleasuring both themselves and others, often by a Temple or faith-sponsored brothel, Houri wield power over t
he manifold desires and lusts in the heart's of others. Their powers, while spell-like in effect, derive from their long years of training and, while having in-game effects that greatly resemble certain spells, are entirely natural in origin.
Although Houri are rarely found in the midst of common prostitutes, some few do leave the confines of their temples and Harems to establish themselves as especially desirable an expensive prostitutes. These in turn may go on to found brothels or even "training houses" of their own, in which they very best girls often become Houri themselves. They may also be found outside the temple in the company of especially rich and powerful men, either as a treasured wife, concubine or particularly favored slave. In either case, a wily or intelligent Houri may very quickly rise to find herself an effective force in local politics and an invariably powerful woman.

In Harn, Houri are most often found in the service o
f the Temple of Halea or (more rarely) as unusually talented members of the Courtesan's' Guild. A few rare women might even have stumbled upon such abilities of their own accord. In Harn, such a woman could rise to a position of very great power indeed, perhaps as the wife or mistress of a mighty nobleman or even a King. Houri are considerably more common in the world of Hyboria, where they are found in great numbers in the Harems of rich Easterners and the Temple's of those Goddesses of a more sensual nature, such as Ishtar, the Ivory Goddess and even those of the Snake-God, Set. Finally, certain slavers have made s speciality out of capturing, tormenting, training and (finally) selling slave girls of unusual beauty and grace. The very best of these undoubtedly qualify as Houri themselves.

Most (but by no means all) Houri are female.

The Houri Character Class:

Minimum Ability Scores:
Cha 15, Dex 10, Int 10
Hit Dice Type: D4 (max 11)
Alignment: Any
Experience Bonus: Dex and Cha both 15+

Armour/Shield Permitted: Leather Armour and Small shield (which often features in certain erotic dances) only. Generally speaking, the wiles of a Houri are more effective with less (and scantier) clothing. As such, a Houri will often e found very nearly naked, even when adventuring. Several of her class features and spell-like abilities function less effectively when the character is wearing bulky clothing or armor.
Permitted Races: Human, Elf, Half-Elf
Weapons Permitted: Dagger, Concealed Pin, Flaming Oil, Scimitar (again, all used in certain performances)
Weapon Proficiencies: 1 + 1 every four levels.
Penalty to hit for Non-Proficiency: -4.

Saving Throws and Attacks: As per thief of same level

Houri Class Abilities:

Pick Pocket: As a thief of the same level.

Seduction: Seduction is an ability that can be used (and maintained) against one individual target at a time. it is usable once per day per level of the Houri. The class ability can only be used against members of the opposite sex or individuals interested in same-sex relationships). It cannot be used in combat. Chances of success are based on the seduction value of the attempt. Calculate the seduction value as follows:

10 -  Houri's level/Victims level +/- modifiers.

The seduction succeeds if the Houri rolls higher than the seduction value on a D20. The victim receives no saving throw. If the seduction attempt fails, the Houri may not attempt to seduce that same target for at least 24 hours. Witnesses to an unsuccessful seduction attempt count as having a seduction value 3 points higher than normal for every such failed attempt witnessed in a 24 hour period.

Seduction Modifiers:

Class of Victim: Fighter/Barbarian/Bard/Thief (+0), Magic User/Illusionist (+2), Cleric/Demonologist/Druid/Assassin (+4), Necromancer/Paladin/Ranger/Houri (+7)
Alignment of Victim: Lawful (+1), Each Neutral element (+0), Chaotic (-1), Good (+1), Evil (-3)
Situational Modifiers: (examples only) Immediately after Combat in which Houri and Victim fought on same side (-3), Immediately after Combat on Opposite Sides (+3), In setting conducive to seduction including taverns, bordellos, moonlight etc (-1 to -7)
Houri is: Dressed in Bulky clothing (+1), Normal Clothing (+0), Scantily Clad (-1), Semi-Naked (-3), Naked (-5)

A seduced victim will drop any weapons held in hand, lose awareness of his surroundings and attempt to embrace the Houri in a passionate clench. The victim counts as being charmed thereafter. In such a state he is extremely vulnerable to any of the Houri's Kiss Spell-like abilities. However, any attempt by the Houri to use one of these kiss abilities (or otherwise use a special ability on the victim) allows the victim a saving throw versus death magic to realise he is being taking advantage of, breaking the seduction effect. He cannot be seduced again immediately thereafter. However, he may still fall victim to the spell like effect regardless....

Seduction lasts for a number of turns equal to the Houri's level plus 5. Aside from the means discussed above, it can also be broken by the following effects:

  • Victim is attacked by Houri
  • Allies attacked within line of sight by Houri or Hour's know companions
  • The Victim is allowed a saving throw vs spell to break seduction each time his advances are refused or spurned by the Houri.
  • The victim is the subject of an unsuccessful spell attack from any source.
  • Victim see's Houri attempt to seduce someone else (or engage in sexual acts with someone else, even a simple kiss might be enough depending on the tolerance levels of the victim). In this case, the effect is not automatically broken but the victim receives a saving throw vs death magic to break the seduction.
  • The victim is alarmed by the Houri's use of a Kiss of spell like ability and passes a saving throw vs death (as discussed above).
Spell-Like Abilities:
All the following abilities are treated, mechanically, as spells with verbal and somatic components (words and seductive gestures), components (oils, lotions, potions, scents and so forth) and savings throws as outlined in the description of the spell-like ability. However, they are NOT magic effects and cannot be overcome with Dispel Magic, Mordenkainen's disjunction  and the like. Like the Magic User, Houri keep a coded Journal, known by a variety of names (such as the Book of Manifold Pleasures or the Ninety Small Deaths) in which the Houri keeps a record of all her seductive secrets such as perfumes, poisons, oils, lotions, potions, massage techniques and recipes for incense and aphrodisiacs of all kinds. She gains spell like abilities at the same rate (and by the same means) as a Magic User gains spells. Like a magic user preparing spells, the Houri must prepare her like spell-like abilities in advance. This preparation period requires eight hours of uninterrupted rest
("beauty sleep") followed by preparation time equal to that of a magic-user memorizing his or her spells. In the case of the Houri however, this preparation period represents time spent applying make-up, hair-styling, bathing, applying various lotions and perfumes to the skin, limbering up (yoga), prayer, meditation and the brewing of poisons and aphrodisiacs.

Spell-Like Abilities by Level:

Level One:
1 Charm Person
2 Ventriloquism

3 Detect Charm
4 Fascination
5 Silver Tongue
6 Impotence
7 Kiss of Healing

8 Kiss of Sleeping
9 Kiss of Waking
10 Read Languages

Level Two:

1 Charm Normal Animal
2 Influence
3 Transfer Charm
4 Jealousy

5 Ecstasy
6 Dispel Charm
7 Kiss of Strength
8 Kiss of Weakness
9 Kiss of Wounding
10 Communicate

Level Three:
1 Hold Person
2 Love Spell
3 Resist Charm
4 Suggestion
5 Charm Giant Animals
6 Bodyguard
7 Kiss of Slavery
8 Disguise

Level Four:
1 Charm Monster
2 Resist Charm 10' radius
3 Love-sickness
4 Confusion
5 Hate Spell
6 Enchant Female (or Male)
7 Kiss of Paralysis
8 Kiss of Linking

Level Five:
1 Change Sex
2 Hold Monster
3 Kiss of Disfigurement
4 Kiss of Death
5 Kiss of Change
6 Stop! Spell

Level Six:
1 Heartbreaker
2 Mass Charm
3 Blown Kiss
4 Kiss of Regression
5 Geas
6 Kiss of Life

Note that the Kiss spells allow no saving throw, save that to break the state of seduction and then oly if the victim has previously been seduced using the Houri's seduction power.

OSRIC rules for all the above spell-like abilities will appear in part Two.

Continued Here: Link


Dangerous Brian said...

I apologise for the many problems people had viewing this post when it first went up over three hours ago. Any difficulty you might have experienced trying to access it was no doubt due to my efforts to resolve the problem. That should be it up and running properly now.
If there are any further problems, please let me know.

Ian Coakley said...

That's pretty awesome.

It is also ridiculously un-PC, but never the less, I think it makes a good addition to the genre that OD&D emulates so well.

This may in fact be the first character I try to roll for the Expeditionary campaign...

Kudos on the OSRIC update!

Dangerous Brian said...

Well you know me. I've never been for being PC :)