Slothjemian Squires

In some places a squire is a wealthy landowner, or an apprentice knight who learns from their master as they make the journey to become knights themselves. In Slothjemia, though, a squire is in a class all to themselves. Neither warrior nor wizard, rogue or priest (and certainly not psionicist), the squire is something akin to a bard in many respects. Combining elements of a fighter, rogue, and spells from both sorcery and divine origin, a squire has a lot of strengths. But they also have a slew of weaknesses, most especially their need to have a lord or lady to serve. A squire is formidable on their own, but when in the service of another they can be incredibly helpful.

Squires go up in levels in the exact same fashion as do rogues, but they have the hit die of a cleric, and the saving throws and THAC0 of a warrior. They are confined in choice of armor to nothing heavier than chainmail, and their weapons can only be sized small or medium. Only smaller races can serve as squires, so this leaves out humans, elves, half-humans, and every other race that is at least five feet tall (dwarves can be squires, but they are usually the biggest squires to be found). There are a lot of small humanoids that are ideal for the role of a squire, including kobolds, goblins, xvarts, and even urds, to name a few. The role of a squire can be demanding but it also requires a level head and ability to keep one’s lord or lady out of trouble. A squire must have an intelligence score no less than 12, and a charisma of at least 12. A squire must also have a either a lawful or neutral alignment, and as far as good or evil goes, it is always advisable to match the mood and temperament of your lord or lady.

Squires get a number of bonus abilities right at the start. First, they learn languages quicker than most folk do, spending only half a point for each new language they wish to learn. Second, they can choose nonweapon proficiencies from every class in addition to general. At first level a squire can cast the wizard spell “Cantrip” at will once per day. This ability goes up every three levels, so at 12th level they can cast it four times a day. Squires can also cast the 3rd level priest spell “Create Food and Water” once per day, however they never gain more volume as per the spell each level as do priests (just enough to keep their lord or lady alive while on a quest). In addition to these abilities, all squires have the ability to cast the priestly spell “Cure Light Wounds” once per day, gaining another use every three levels the same as their ability to cast “Cantrip.”

At fifth level the squire gains an additional power that enables them to roll a wisdom check to determine another person’s motives and reveal something about their general alignment. To use this skill, the squire has to engage the person in conversation for a full turn, or be present while their lord or lady engages the subject in conversation for a full turn (obviously the squire needs to share a common language with the subject). This skill allows the squire to help their master to gain an upper hand in negotiations, parlays, and even lay groundworks for future schemes more successfully. This ability can be used as often as the squire likes, but may be affected by certain charm spells or similar abilities at the GM’s discretion.

The biggest hindrance to a squire is that in order to flourish they must have somebody to serve. Without a proper lord or lady to attend to, the squire will go up in experience at half their normal rate (every allotted experience point total must be halved if the squire is adventuring on their own or in a group that does not contain their lord or lady). Squires can, through the course of their adventures, acquire titles and wealth of their own, but a squire must always check with their patron before claiming any loot found during the adventure. A dutiful squire always places the well-being of their lord or lady above their own, and especially before the needs of anyone else. Their purpose is to make life easier for exactly one person, and that one person will make sure that their squire is also taken care of properly, or else they may find themselves abandoned and their former companion will find somebody else who would be thrilled to have a dedicated squire. Squires do not attract followers as do most everyone else, because they are by definition the very best follower a character could have. They do however boost the amount of followers that a player who has a squire attracts; Warriors get double their normal allotment of followers and everyone else gets an allotment of followers equal to what a warrior would normally attract. These bonus followers will only stick around as long as the squire is attached to that player, though. If the squire leaves their service or is killed the extra followers will simply wander off to seek their fortunes elsewhere.

There are reports of squires that have additional skills, such as more access to priestly magic, proper sorcery, or thieving skills. An NPC squire might have a good many tricks up their sleeve, and a wise adventurer would take note during any encounter that the perceptive little fellow standing behind the noble they are dealing with might be doing more than just providing atmosphere to the interaction. Never underestimate the abilities of a proper lackey; more than one has proven a tougher foe than their master.