Tuesday, September 8, 2020

100 Knacks for B/X D&D

I cooked up this Knack system some time ago, and have been using it to good effect in my ongoing OSE campaign. It provides a simple approach to skills while adding flavor and customization to character backgrounds and level progression.

Art by Larry Elmore

Character Knacks are a modular sub-system for B/X D&D (and various retroclones), and fills the niche that skills might take in other games (also compatible with my Character Boons subsystem). The purpose of Knacks is to provide more varied options when leveling up, to give the character a small numerical bump with related tasks, and to speak a little to the character's personality, background and interests. Although the utility and power of a Knack are somewhat limited and specific, I tend to give my players broad ground to argue for their application.

KNACK SYSTEM

A Knack is a minor skill, hobby, or area of knowledge. They are always narrow in scope, non-combat oriented, and can’t take the place, or reproduce another class ability. If your Knack can be plausibly applied to a (non-combat) related ability check (or x in 6 test), the GM may award a small bonus to the dice roll (typically +1, +2, or advantage). 

Knacks can be created by the player, selected from the big list below, or rolled randomly on a d100. If the GM agrees, a Knack may be taken twice, granting superior expertise in the field. Each character starts with 1 Knack, and gains another every two levels (2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, etc). 

100 KNACKS

1. Fire Building

21. Herbalism

41. Scribe

61. Grave Digging

81. Geography

2. Rope Tricks

22. Leathercraft

42. Gardening

62. Archivist

82. Predict Weather

3. Direction Sense

23. Barber

43. Investigation

63. Taxidermy

83. Wayfinder

4. Cooking

24. Brewer

44. Appraisal

64. Torturer

84. Occult Lore

5. Carpentry

25. Seduction

45. Gem Cutting

65. Makeup Artist

85. Architecture

6. Painting & Drawing

26. Intimidation

46. Stone Mason

66. Apothecary

86. Engineering

7. Musical Talent

27. Disguise

47. Fortune Telling

67. Folklore

87. Drinking

8. Hunting

28. Legerdemain

48. Dancing

68. Philosophy

88. Holding Breath

9. Plant Lore

29. Card Games

49. Perfumer

69. Theology

89. Inspiring Oratory

10. Animal Lore

30. Etiquette

50. Horse Riding

70. Natural Science

90. Rhetoric

11. Animal   Handling

31. Fashion

51. Chess

71. Midwifery

91. Lip Reading

12. Tailor

32. Ventriloquism

52. Pottery

72. Mimicry

92. Acting

13. Haggling

33. Juggling

53. Metallurgy

73. Comedy

93. Subterfuge

14. Blacksmith

34. Bureaucracy

54. Improvised Devices

74. Animal Traps

94. Foraging

15. Boatcraft

35. Medicine

55. Forging Documents

75. Escape Artist

95. Swimming

16. Fishing

36. Boyer/ Fletcher

56. Poet

76. Iron Stomach

96. Empathy

17. Basket   Weaving

37. Beekeeping

57. Astronomy

77. Dowsing

97. Light Sleeper

18. Cobbler

39. Whittling

58. Competitive

Sports

78. Throwing Objects

98. Politics

19. Detecting Lies

40.Tattoo Artist

59. Jeweler  

79. Court Decorum

99. Double Jointed

20. Cartography

41. Puppeteer

60. Mathematics

80. Monster Lore

100. Ambidextrous



 

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