Thursday, June 21, 2018

"Like someone wearing an Edgar suit" - Skindancer v.1

While this little class might work better as a spell, I'm quite fond of the leveling up mechanic. It's a common enough trope, but this version is based on the novel Touch by Claire North, using the same name as the creatures from the Kingkiller Chronicles. Skindancers will probably spend a lot of their time hunting down and posessing prime physical specimens, interesting bodies and important public figures. This is both excellent and good.

In regards to the prerequisite, my experience system is measured in the single digits, and rewards 1xp for a near death "experience". Thus, becoming a Skindancer requires a fair amount of luck! This idea is based off of Touch, where the first body these 'ghosts' possess are usually the ones that are killing them. For your system, being within 10% of levelling up should be appropriate.

The Church will treat you as some kind of demon or hostile ghost, and rightly so. Once they get a hint of your presence, expect lockdowns and quarantines, searches and questioning. They'll try and force you to jump out of important individuals into a prisoner, but when push comes to shove, they'll be happy to burn you at the stake. Turn Undead and similar spells will deal damage to you, but not your host.

I'm really not sure about "Transmission". I feel like it allows you to break a few of the rules, at considerable risk to yourself, but it just doesn't quite seem to... fit. If a player wants to take a single level in Skindancer then go back to their original class, more power to them. However, if they are more interested in stealing power than making their own, the B template is keyed towards rewarding that playstyle.

If you are a spellcaster, your MD will come with you no questions asked, but your spells will have to be persuaded to make the jump as well. Moving into a hostile wizards or psions brain is not something to be taken lightly!

I haven't had a chance to playtest this yet, but the changes I would be looking out for would probably include:
  • Mild penalties when you first inhabit a body
  • The host being capable of fighting you for control
  • Changes to hitpoints (they aren't solely a physical concept, there are mental elements as well)


Prerequisite: You must be within 1 experience of levelling up, and die in skin contact with someone.

A The Waltz

B Muscle Memory, Transmission

The Waltz

You can switch into the body of any living humanoid through an instant of skin-contact. This requires an unarmed attack roll, and the target can save to pull away at the last moment. You don’t gain any of their memories. Use their physical stats, your mental stats, and average your HP with theirs. The body you leave is stunned for one round, they don’t perceive the passing of time while you are riding them. If they are possessed or their brain contains any spells, you may have to fight them for control

Muscle Memory

If the body you possess has any bonuses to derived stats like Attack, Defense, Stealth, Save etc. you can use them in place of your own.


You can try and switch bodies with a ranged attack. If you miss, save or die! If you succeed, you still take 1d6 damage to a random mental stat. In addition, you can choose not to stun your host when you change bodies.


  1. For the Waltz, how do you determine the stats of a random bandit or such?

  2. Depending how I was feeling: All 10s (eh), roll 3d6 but ONLY when you try and use them (or take a moment out of combat to take stock of this new body), or 7+1d6 to keep things a little... tidier? Less swingy? I've changed my mind, option 2. Can sometimes result in people described as normal suddenly having 4 Strength and broken legs. But I think that just adds to the *charm* of the whole thing.


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