Beastmaster: New Hero Type
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This is a new Hero type, based on the Beastmaster from the Wood Elf Army in Warhammer Fantasy Battles.

Wood Elves are very close to the natural world in which they live, and many can communicate with the animals that live alongside them. A small number of Wood Elves can even talk to animals and also shift their shape, taking on the forms of beasts. Powerful magic is required for them to make a change that lasts, but it is easy for them to shift shape for a few moments. The metamophosis of Elf to savage beast is a horrible sight to see, as they bones crack and stretch, fur sprouts from their bodies and teeth-laden muzzles extend from their faces.

A Beastmaster Hero is a rarity, as these reclusive Wood Elves rarely associate with anyone, and have little interest in the accumulation of treasure. However, they may certainly join forces with brave Heroes in order to fight monsters and other followers of Chaos, or to perform other great deeds from time to time.

There are a number of special rules that apply to Beastmasters, who are otherwise rolled up as normal Elf characters.

Beastmasters may communicate with animals, though it gives them no particular control over them. The exact information that may be gained from such communication is dependent upon the situation. (In random dungeons, this gives no particular information, though a GM may make use of this ability in a pre-generated adventure.)

Beastmasters and their Beasts may pass through a Rat, Bat or other animal Hazard unharmed by the creatures, as long as they do not harm in return. (No rats or bats are automatically killed by the Beastmaster's passage.) This ability does not extend to other Heroes or their Henchmen, however.

As Wood Elves, Beastmasters and their Beasts may move through wooded areas without the normal penalty to movement.

Due to their familiarity with the woods, they have +2 to detect and avoid (but not to disarm) any traps set up in a wooded area, and they may attempt to "track" -- The utility of this latter ability is entirely dependent upon the GM for a pre-generated adventure.

Beastmasters may not wear armor or carry shields.

Beastmasters care little for worldly possessions and have no one place to call "home", and therefore cannot keep any possessions in addition to what can be carried on their person. They keep no wills, and do not keep money or equipment in lodgings or with the money-lender.

  If a Beastmaster should have no business to do in town (training, buying equipment, selling items, etc.), he or she has the option of "living off the land", going off to spend the time in the woods between expeditions, and therefore avoiding any Cost of Living expenses (including that for the Beast) entirely.

Beastmasters who are able to fully shift into the forms of beasts are quite reclusive, dealing with mankind (and even other Elves!) seldom. Beastmaster Heroes are assumed to be those who still maintain some ties with the outside world, and therefore are not quite as bestial in nature. They still have some ability to shift shape, but this is restricted to relatively minor changes in the middle of combat, in order to make use of natural claws or fangs to strike an opponent. It can be quite a surprise to approach an apparently unarmed Elf, only to see him sprout claws that slash and then disappear, leaving gaping wounds!

A Beastmaster counts as having Claws and Fangs (doing damage as appropriate) which can be used to make two attacks each combat turn. If the Beastmaster chooses to use any weapon, it may not be used in addition to a second attack with claws.

When a Beastmaster has gained 2 Fate Points, the first time that he or she chooses to "live off the land" (visiting the woods), a Beast may be encountered which will follow the Beastmaster at no cost for the next expedition. For subsequent expeditions spent in town, however, a cost of 50 GCs must be paid for living expenses, or the Beast will be forced to leave, and the Beastmaster will not be able to gain another until earning another 2 Fate Points.

There are many kinds of wild beasts that roam the forests of Loren which may be chosen from. When the Beastmaster first begins his or her adventures, a "totem" should be chosen immediately. Only a Beast of that toem will follow the Beastmaster. Most commonly chosen are Boars, Hunting Dogs, Eagles, Wild Horses, Stags, Foxes, Wild Cats, Wolves or Bears.

No more than one Beast may follow a Beastmaster at any one time, and the Beastmaster will not employ other Henchmen. Beasts are special Henchmen, having 1 Fate Point (and appropriate statistics), and the death of a Beast results in the permanent loss of 1 Fate Point from the Beastmaster. They may not be trained (except for the normal cost for increased Fate Points), and of course there is little in the way of equipment that can be of any use to them.

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