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The Purifiers

September 05, 2015

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May 05, 2015

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September 05, 2015

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Whirling Dervish O.C.C.

Men of Arms


Design Note: While I realize that the Dervish is an actual group, this is a different group and should not be confused. I do admit to taking some elements from the concept of a real Whirling Dervish, but deviated from those concepts largely in favor of story. I kept the name as it's been used in other settings, and the person who inspired this O.C.C. once used the term descriptively. As a result I felt that the name would be fitting, and could make an interesting story. No offense is meant to any actual Whirling Dervish, and this is meant solely in fun.


Even during the height of the Age of Elves, like little kids trying to impress mommy and daddy the elves desperately sought the praise and approval of titans, dragons, and gods. This led them to often act better than they were and pretend to be something they're not. In this effort, many elves sough spiritual enlightenment. While for some this meant trying to be closer to nature (leading to a common misconception that all elves are connected to nature), for others it meant an internal search (or at least the appearance of).

One particular order of elves, known as the Whirling Dervish, practiced enlightenment through a combination of meditation and physical purification. Their name is derived from the elven word "dervish," which means demon (general term). The term "whirling" is a result of a dance they'd perform to expel dark forces and energy from within (inner demons) and, by doing so, a higher enlightenment. This dance involves wide arm movements and lots of spins, all performed at a dizzying fast pace. A common dwarven joke at the time is that the Whirling Dervish weren't expelling demons from all that spinning, just their lunch.

Part of the Whirling Dervish practice involved never harming another living creature. As a result they developed and practiced a martial art that focused entirely on shield and total defense. This art had absolutely no offensive techniques, at least not in theory. However, theory is easier than execution and in the end the elves were elves. Expelling the violent nature at the heart of most mortals was not so easy, and while many techniques were said to be used for defense, at their heart they were attacks against enemies.

When the Elf-Dwarf War came the Whirling Dervish entered into the war to act as a shield and prevent fighting, at least that was their official stance. As the war dragged on, the Whirling Dervish fought in countless battles, often serving on the frontline of a battle as a defense to break through the enemy lines. By the end of the war the Whirling Dervish no longer deluded themselves as enlightened beings of peace. They finally accepted the truth of their natures as men of arms, and perhaps in doing so reached their first true level of enlightenment by accepting the truth of their natures.

Today, whirling dervish is the term used to describe any who practice their fighting style and can be a member of any race. The fighting style relies heavily on the use of shields, and is mostly defensive, but also has many moves about how to use the shield as a weapon. A true whirling dervish can leap into the heart of a group of enemies armed only with a shield on each arm and come out not only victorious, but with barely a scratch.


Whirling Dervish & Armor

Despite being men of arms, at the heart of the fighting style is a dancing monk that relies on fast and unrestricted movements. For this reason a typical Whirling Dervish will wear light armors, with studded leather being on the heavy side. In many cases armor is a second thought as the only armor a "real" whirling dervish needs are his shields.


Special Abilities of the Whirling Dervish

1. W.P. Ultimate Shield (Special!): The dedication and martial art training of the Whirling Dervish give them superior skill with the shield. This skill replaces the standard W.P. Shield known other classes, and the bonuses do not stack.

Bonuses: Primarily a defensive tool, the shield is +2 to parry at level 1, with an additional +1 at levels 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, and 15. The shield can be used to attack opponents. This can involve using it to butt someone with the shield surface, attacking with the edge, or throwing the shield as a projectile. +1 to strike 2, 5, 7, 10, and 13. +1 to strike thrown at levels 4, 8, and 12. Damage is dependent on the type of attack used.

Shield Butt: Using the surface to hit an opponent inflicts 1D4 damage. This is the equivalent of a quick boxer jab, designed for speed and to keep an opponent off balance than damage and receives a +1 to strike as a result, in addition to the W.P. bonuses.

Shield Bash: Putting full weight and force behind the attack, the surface of the shield can be turned into a deadly weapon. The attack inflicts 2D4 damage. A shield bash to the head also has a 01-40% chance of momentarily stunning an opponent for 1D4 actions. Stunned opponents lose initiative and suffer -2 to strike, parry, and dodge.

Shield Slash: Attacking with the edge focuses the damage all into one edge. This is often used to attack the throat of an opponent, or break a shoulder or arm by coming down with full force on that one spot. Focusing all the damage in one area instead of spread out over the entire forces allows for optimized damage, inflicting 2D6 damage to opponents.

Shield Throw: The shield can be thrown 15 feet (4.6 m) plus 1 foot (0.3 m) per level of experience. Thrown shields inflict 1D6 damage. Note: Thrown shields do not return to the wielder.

Combination Parry/Bash: This is a special technique that uses the shield and surface of the shield to deflect an incoming attack and hit the opponent in one move. The Whirling Dervish must first roll to parry. If successful, roll to strike (no strike or damage bonuses allowed). Opponents must spend a melee attack/action to defend (automatic parry won't work!). This technique counts as one attack and cannot be used in combination with W.P. Paired Shields. While this does limit the benefits, this serves as an added combat option and beneficial when only one shield is available. Note: Also see Attribute Requirements (below) for this technique.

2. Dodge & Parry Arrows: Whirling Dervish martial art training is focused heavily on defense. With the benefit of this training, the Whirling Dervish can attempt to parry or dodge arrows, crossbows bolts, thrown spears and similar thrown or fired projectile weapons/attacks. Such attempts are done with a penalty of only -3; normally a character is -10 to parry or dodge projectile weapons. As always, a dodge counts as one melee action/attack, but full bonuses apply when parrying with a shield. Note: This special parry and dodge bonus does not apply to energy blasts like magical fire balls, lightning, eye beams, and dragon's breath (nor bullets and higher energy weapons); dodge as normal.


Whirling Dervish O.C.C.

Alignments: Any.

Attribute Requirements: M.E. 10 and P.P. 12 or higher. Because the technique requires strength to push through an attack, to use the Combination Parry/Bash also requires a P.S. 12 or higher (can still be a Whirling Dervish with a lower P.S., just not use this special attack).

O.C.C. Skills:

Dance (+20%)

Land Navigation (10%)

Languages: Native Tongue 98% plus two of choice (+10% each)

Lore: Religion (+15%)

Mathematics: Basic (+20%)

Wilderness Survival (10%)

W.P. Paired (Shields)

Hand to Hand: Expert (no substitution allowed!)

O.C.C. Related Skills: Select two additional skills from the category of Military or Physical, and seven other skills at level one, plus select one additional skill at levels two, five, eight, eleven, and fourteen. All new skills start at level one proficiency.

Communications: Sign language only.

Domestic: Any (+5%).

Espionage: Any.

Horsemanship: General or Exotic only (+5%).

Medical: First Aid only (+5%).

Military: Any (+5%).

Physical: Any, except Acrobatics.

Rogue: None.

Science: Mathematics only.

Scholar/Technical: Any (+10% to Language, Literacy, and Lore only).

Weapon Proficiencies: Any, except Shield (see Ultimate Shield above).

Wilderness: Any.

Secondary Skills: The character also gets to select four secondary skills from the previous list, and two at levels four, eight, and twelve. These are additional areas of knowledge that do not get the advantage of the bonus listed in the parentheses. All secondary skills start at the base skill level. Also, skills are limited (any, only, none) as previously indicated in the list.

Starting Equipment: Two sets of clothing, boots, a pair of gloves, belt, bedroll, two large sacks, two small sacks, a water skin, and a tinder box.

Armor: Starts with a suit of hard leather (A.R. 11, S.D.C. 30), or studded leather (A.R. 13, S.D.C. 38); player's choice.

Weapons: Starts with two small shields (between 30 and 50 S.D.C.), a dagger, and one additional weapon of choice; all are basic S.D.C. weapons of very good quality. Magic weapons and other items must be acquired later. Note: Many Whirling Dervishes select a third shield for their additional weapon as a back-up and/or to be worn on their back for additional support while they actively use the other two.

Money: The character starts with 200 in gold, which can be used immediately to purchase more equipment or saved. Additional money will come from payment for jobs and/or booty.


Experience Point Table: Same as the Knight & Noble.