Sunday, October 27, 2019
Nalfeshnee-Kin Racial Class — I Want My Flying Monkey-Boar Demon Class
Racial Class Nalfeshnee-Kin is the third demonic racial class from James Mishler Games, meant for Labyrinth Lord but should work with any B/X based game. Nalfeeshnee demons, better known at Type IV demons are perhaps a strange choice for a racial class, as they are giant winged boar-apes, but this works surprisingly well.
Nalfeshnees are normally 11 hit dice monsters (at least in 1e and Advanced Edition LL), which are more than other demons and to reflect that, they start off with 2 hit dice. Amusingly, they off start off as very small, only a foot and a half tall, growing half a foot or so per level. Their appearance is also randomized, with each body part potentially being from a different type of ape or pig, as well as random assortment of wings.
The previous two demon-kin racial classes were approaching human in form (less so with the Balor), but the Nalfeeshnee-kin is clearly quite monstrous. At lower levels its smaller stature might allow it to pass as a really ugly dwarf of gnome, but it would have to rely on its polymorph self ability to fit in anything resembling a standard campaign.
As with previous demon racial classes, they have natural armor class and natural attacks that improves as they level. Rather than the magical powers being fixed (as with the actual monster), it's treated like normal spellcasting ability, with a number of spells per day per level (starting with two first and reaching four first through fourth spells at 10th level). The spells are picked at random (12 different ones per level).
This comes at a very steep experience point cost, 5,666 to reach 2nd level and then following the usual doubling or so, up to 10th level and 1,500,666 xp which is the max. Based on my experiences with the UA Barbarian in 1E (and its 6000 xp for 2nd level) I probably would have spread it out over 20 levels, staggering the hit dice with a +1 every other level and kept the xp costs closer to normal.
This would also help the Nalfeshnee-kin's attack, since it uses the fighter table, while the actual Nalfeshnee of course uses the much better monster table (with an attack more or less that of a 13th to 15th level fighter). But this way keeps it closer to B/X norms (14 levels) as opposed to Labyrinth Lord (20) and its only a worse than the Elf, so I might be wrong. I am mostly a 1e DM/player.
As with pretty much all James Mishler PDFs, functionality and readability is the priority over fanciness.
Perhaps the biggest stumbling block this faces is "Does your game need a Nalfeshnee class?". Its polymorph ability would actually make it fairly playable and its abilities would be fun to play, so the answer to that could very well be "Yes, it does."