The Houri… Errr… I mean Tantric!

Those who know me in person know that I am not exactly a person who shies away from controversy, and for years I’ve had mages who at least in some form or another have been “sexy” and by “sexy” I mean mages whose abilities and studies owe something to the real world practices of tantra, karezza, and other forms of sexualized esoteric practice. When I decided to go back to AD&D I was trying to figure out how to model this sort of flavor-text (even if discretely “off-screen”) in the AD&D system and I tripped over the Houri in an old issue of White Dwarf, #13 if you are interested in looking up the class yourself.

It seems that I’m not the only person to do this.

I just happen to call mine “the Tantric”. These are the great courtesans of my game world, combining all the social savvy of the Greek hetaera, the entertainment skills of a Japanese geisha, along with mastery of analogs to the Kama Sutra and the Perfumed Garden. Tantrics are generally a highly respected profession, though there are groups which are less enamoured of them than others which hold them in high esteem. My version is substantially the same as the version from White Dwarf, the Hit Dice, spell list, and spell progression are the same. What is different? Well, the Seduction ability from the article doesn’t really work for me. That whole formula thing is way, way, *way* too complicated for use in the middle of a game session. So I’ve simplified the heck out of that.

Seduction – This ability cannot, without some form of magical enhancement, be used in combat (save to distract a opponent in order to bring some item or ability to bare- errr… bear….). It represents the highly trained wiles of the Tantric, in combination with techniques of voice, movement, meridian manipulation and bodily display that entice the target into an intimate amorous embrace. If the initial roll for Seduction is made, a second roll can be made in an effort to Charm the target (who gets a standard saving throw, -1 per three levels of the Tantric). If the attempt to Charm is successful then a roll may be made in an attempt to implant a Suggestion (at a -1 to the save per 3 levels of the Tantric). The chance for success at Seduction is 10% +5% per level of the Tantric, plus the Reaction Modifier of the Tantric as calculated by Charisma and Comeliness. Targets are allowed to subtract their own Reaction Modifier from the chance for success, or have some sort of special resistance due to mental or physical fortitude.

The article also mentioned that “Tantrics” could essentially “split-class” with Thieves if they had decent enough attributes, somewhat akin to how the Archer can be united with a Ranger to make “Archer-Rangers”. I actually have a small handful of classes that do this in some way, but that is a different post. Instead of Thief, I allow Tantrics to split-class with Assassin, the most common version of which are the Dakini – who essentially act as the “protection” for Tantrics as a whole. This is where the combat application of Seduction might get applied – usually for a backstab or an assassination attempt.

Treat your Tantrics nice, or the next one you meet might be a Dakini…



Categories: Campaign Development, Game Design, House Rules | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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