LEVIATHAN EATER (Into the Archipelago Custom Class)
Updated: Jun 8
“Consider the subtleness of the sea; how its most dreaded creatures glide under water, unapparent for the most part, and treacherously hidden beneath the loveliest tints of azure." - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, or the Whale
So it happened. I started working on my own piratey OSR heartbreaker. A Southeast Asian/Chinese/Japanese/Carribean inspired mess of ghosts, swashbuckling, colonial awfulness, coy djinn, unknowable strangeness deep beneath the waves, opium and frilly silk shirts.
It's basically Into the Odd/Cairn jammed into a big witch's cauldron with the class system from the GLOG (and the GROG Pirate Hack by Skerples) heavily inspired by Troika! and BX, not to mention World of Dungeons.
I want to to be fast, light, and fun, with evocative classes that nevertheless don't get in the way of the real important shit: being a pirate.
I have magic that's about as freeform and story-game adjacent as it's possible to get (bargain with spirits, drag fire from hell itself, call on the deep ones - probably at the expense of your mind, body and soul). Yes, because it's fucking legally stipulated somewhere in the base code of the universe, I have come up with my own masturbatory set of ship combat rules. Everything else is straight up stolen from the influences I listed above (like Skerples' dueling rules - both of you roll a D6! Lowest dies!).
So what's this Leviathan Eater thing? It's the furst custom class I made, not for myself, but for someone else. My friend Logan (upon whose precious 5e soul I have left the black spot of the OSR) is going to be playing this game and, when he heard me bragging about how easy it would be to "just make up weird ass custom classes for whatever sort of thing you want", took me up on it by dropping the live grenade of an article about whale cults into the chat and going to bed. Bastard played me like a fiddle.
So, here it is. Hopefully a decent way to put the classes (called Mantles, because I'm a very unique and original boy) through their paces.
If there's interest in seeing more classes (or the magic system or, god forbid, the ship mechanics) I'll start sticking them up here semi-regularly. If you have ideas for classes, drop me a contextless link to an article about the esoteric things that inspired you and I'll get right on it.
For now, enjoy...
Also, you can download the Leviathan Eater in pdf format, here.