Freelance. Soldier of fortune. Mercenary. On the fringes of civilization, one can find an assortment of individuals willing to trade blood and steel for silver and gold. But adventurers beware – when one fights for coin, their allegiance is to whomever offers the most of it.
Hit Points: 3d10 (each d10 roll also determines an aspect of the character, see tables below); saves as a 3rd-level fighter
Armor Class: equivalent to Medium/Chainmail
Movement: As a normal human.
Tools of the Trade (1st d10)
A sellsword has a +3 bonus to attack rolls.
1 – An arquebus. Deals 1d8 damage; treats armor as one level lower (heavy is medium, medium is light, light is none). Loud as hell and takes a full turn action to reload. Carries a light melee weapon (1d6 damage) as a sidearm.
2 – Recurved bow. Incurs no penalties to ranged attacks while on a moving vehicle. Carries a cavalry saber as a back-up weapon.
3 – Crossed bandoliers of knives. Deals 1d6 bonus damage when attacking a helpless or unaware target with a knife.
4 – Spear and heavy shield. Spear extends melee range by 5 feet, shield grants +2 bonus to AC. If they don’t move on their turn, they gain advantage on any roll to resist forced movement until the beginning of their next turn.
5 – Barbed javelins. If they move at least 15 feet before attacking, they deal 1d6 bonus damage on a hit.
6 – Masterwork heirloom weapon. Deals 1d8 damage wielded in one hand, or 1d10 damage with two hands. Gains a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with the weapon.
7 – Gnarly two-handed weapon (like a tetsubo or a zweihander). Deals 2d6 damage; knocks down target when doubles are rolled.
8 – Longsword and buckler. Buckler grants +1 to AC. Whenever an enemy misses with a melee attack, they can use a reaction to disengage or shove the attacker 5 feet.
9 – Paired light melee weapons. If they don’t move on their turn, they can make an extra attack or inflict disadvantage on the next creature that attacks them.
10 – Doesn’t carry a weapon. Unarmed strikes deal 1d6 damage and they don’t suffer any penalties for fighting with improvised weapons.
One Weird Trick (2nd d10)
Being “skilled” in something means the sellsword gets a +3 bonus to the relevant roll. All sellswords are skilled in negotiating the terms of their employment.
1 – Courtly manners. Skilled in etiquette and polite society. When present, the party has advantage on reaction rolls regarding nobility and aristocracy.
2 – And for my next impression… Skilled in voice impersonation and ventriloquism.
3 – Cunning linguist. Starts with fluency in 1d3+1 additional languages.
4 – Just rub some dirt on it. Skilled in medicine. Can use their action to restore 1d6 lost hit points to another character.
5 – Nothing up my sleeves. Skilled in sleight of hand. Always has a dagger hidden on their person.
6 – Baby, you got a stew going. Skilled in cooking and foraging. Has a 2-in-6 chance of identifying if food or beverage is safe to consume.
7 – Go, go, gadget hand. Has a prosthetic hand that can emulate any tool found on a Swiss Army knife. Skilled in mechanical tinkering.
8 – Whip it good. Carries a bullwhip and skilled in using it for stunts (for example: swinging from a rafter, or grabbing a beer out of someone’s hand).
9 – Boom, baby, boom. Skilled in making and deploying explosives. Carries 1d4 grenades.
10 – Strapping young lad (or lass). Skilled in grappling and feats of strength (bending bars, lifting gates, etc.).
Complication (3rd d10)
Sellswords start with average morale.
1 – Writes checks the party can’t cash. Loudmouth braggart and shit-stirrer. While present, the party suffers disadvantage on rolls dealing with negotiation and diplomacy. Attempts to curb their disruptive behavior will trigger a morale check.
2 – Uncultured swine. Has atrocious manners and personal hygiene. Consumes double rations. Depending on the circumstances, the party may suffer disadvantage on reactions when sellsword is present. They also have disadvantage on rolls to hide from creatures with a heightened sense of smell.
3 – Price on their head. Wanted by law enforcement and/or pursued by bounty hunters.
4 – Never tell me the odds. Must succeed a morale check with disadvantage to pass up an opportunity to gamble.
5 – Phobic. Has an intense fear of a specific object or situation (heights, snakes, fire, clowns, whatever). When confronted by their trigger, the sellsword most succeed a morale check or become paralyzed with fright.
6 – This just gets me to normal. Hopelessly addicted to a highly illicit substance. Suffers disadvantage on all rolls if they can’t get their fix.
7 – Double agent. Secretly working for an enemy or competitor of the PCs; will undermine the party when given the opportunity.
8 – Craven. Must make a morale check every time they take damage. (If you want to make them really chickenshit, add a cumulative level of disadvantage for each subsequent hit they take.)
9 – A devil made me do it. They’re possessed by a malign entity that urges them to commit acts of depravity. (It depends on your game’s cosmology whether it’s an actual alien intelligence, or just pathological.)
10 – Berserker. A failed morale check during battle triggers a violent frenzy. The sellsword becomes unable to tell friend from foe or disengage from combat. The frenzy ends after 1 minute or if the they lose consciousness.