Harden Commoner (sage ability)

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Harden Commoner is an amateur-status sage ability, in the study of Instruction, empowering the character to adeptly elucidate and inspire ordinary persons, helping them come to terms with the brutal realities of combat. It recognizes that many such individuals may have never encountered such a dire threat in their lives and seeks to prepare them mentally and emotionally for the challenges they may face.

In the societal hierarchy of the game world, it's rare for commoners to have the chance to acquire these skills, except when a realm becomes desperate militarily. When the opportunity is given, the likelihood of commoners stepping forward to participate ranges from 80% to 95%. This probability is determined by rolling a four-sided die (1d4), multiplying the result by 5, and then adding 75%.

The training necessitates a substantial transformation in mindset, physical preparedness and skill development. Commoners, accustomed to labor-intensive occupations, possess a fundamental level of physical fitness, but activities like running, marching, and combat drills represent a distinct challenge. As students, commoners must embark on a journey to enhance their endurance, stamina and muscle strength to adapt to these new demands effectively.

Training Process

Each student requires only a modest amount of training, approximately six hours per week. To facilitate this instruction, an instructor can handle a group of up to 80 students per week, which amounts to 60 hours of instruction. These students are divided into smaller groups of eight individuals, with each group undergoing training in 2 to 3 hour intervals before being replaced by a new batch.

Following a week's worth of training, the student makes a constitution check. If the check proves successful, the commoner advances in combat prowess. However, if the check fails, no improvement occurs, and there's a 25% chance that the commoner may refuse to continue training. Those who persevere may receive further training in the subsequent week.

Once a commoner successfully completes six such checks, they ascend to the status of a "comrade," that is a hardened commoner. In the interim, even partial training provides a valuable advantage should the commoner find themselves in combat. As a reference, commoners typically possess one die for hit points (either d6 or d8), zero experience, a morale of 10 and a non-proficiency penalty of -6 with anything other than a familiar work tool (causing 1-4 damage). They may or may not be able to utilise armour.

Benefits from Training

Each success produces a specific received benefit.

In order, these are:

  • 1st success: morale improves to 9; character learns how to hold and use a shield in combat.
  • 2nd success: increase constitution ability stat by 1 point; reduce non-proficiency penalty to -5; they can wear a helmet in combat without being distracted by it.
  • 3rd success: add 1 h.p. to character's natural total; become proficient with a club, causing 1-6 damage.
  • 5th success: train in the use of the region's hereditary weapon (instructor's choice), so that the character is now -3 to hit with it.
  • 6th success: add another h.p. to character's natural total; improve use of the hereditary weapon, so the character is -1 to hit; increase strength ability by 1 point.

Furthermore, once a commoner has accomplished their fourth success, they are officially designated as "comrades" in name, even if they have not yet fully attained that status in practice. Consequently, they are exempt from the requirement of making a morale check before engaging in combat. Commoners are prohibited from having their ability stats elevated beyond a maximum of 18.

Further instruction can be had by training to be a soldier-at-arms.

See Level Training (sage ability)