Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Review & Commentary On PC2 - The OSR Exorcist From Jeremy Reaban For Your Old School Campaigns

There are few classes that can put the fear of the gods into vile villains like the exorcist, this class has so much potential for solid gaming goodness and so much abuse as well.
Grab It Right Over Here
Straight out the gate this class is more Hollywood then witch's hammer so let's make that clear and this class has all of the facilities to allow it you the DM or player to use this one with anything from OD&D to straight through to AD&D 1st edition or any of the retro clone gaming rpg systems.
 So what is the exorcist and how is it put together? Well believe it or not this class isn't a variation of the cleric. Instead we get a fulfilled developed fighter variant.
According to the pdf's introduction;'The Exorcist is a warrior dedicated to combating
supernatural evil. As such, the Exorcist has an immunity to baleful magic which increases as he gains in level.

In advanced and original systems, the Exorcist is a sub-class of the fighter."
Looking into exorcists in fiction we don't find a lot of parallel's really. Well, not good ones that really capture the essence of these fighters of evil.

There are very few fictional paragons who capture the essence of the exorcist but one does spring to mind. Gabriel The Devil Hunter was a supernatural hunter of evil whose exploits while modern conceits. He's appeared as an adversary to many of the 70's Marvel monsters and as a rather obscure main character in several adventures. Marvel's writer's finally rendered him insane and left him in the care of the Gargoyle. This was sort of a waste of a character but with the recons,revamps, and resorts who knows if we'll see him in the future battling the forces of evil. But what stands out at least to me is the parallels between what happened to this character and adventurers in games such as Lamentations of the Flame Princess.  And in fact this is a perfect addition to the Lamentations line up of PC classes.

Basically this is a perfect class for either Lamentations of the Flame Princess set during the height of a fictional witch infestation in a pseudo historical Europe or other setting infected with the demonic or supernatural. The PC class reads like a variation of the fighter from LoFP whose seen far too much action and perhaps has had a brush with the demonic at the cost of a bit of their sanity only to have it replaced with faith to help pull them through. This sets up the class for all kinds of bits and pieces of the burned out veteran of wars whose turned to hunting and battling the supernatural on their own terms. Using this sort of set up allows the DM to use this class for all kinds of NPC's. This means that with a little imagination the DM could use the class for a Wild West setting as the victim of the Civil War, the War of the Roses, etc. Now please bare with me but I don't see this class as something that would stand up the horrors of something like 40K or Warhammer. Instead what we get is a PC class that dove tails right into a party of fighters, paladins, clerics and blends into the background to provide leadership, support, and to help beat back the forces of Hell itself. But this class can easily lend itself into other fictional settings and circumstances.
This class could easily be added into Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea as a very welcome addition to an adventuring party. Seriously with the zeal and pulp  nastiness of the setting these guys would fit right into the wood work of Hyperborea. The OSR exorcist and the witch hunter PC class make excellent additions to that game as well.
I'm also reminded of certain episodes of Lost In Space when rereading this entry this morning. There always seemed to be a burned out veteran of some interstellar war. A crusading adventurer who would save the petty humans once again. This kinda brought home the fact that the OSR exorcist might make an excellent investigator of those supernatural or xenomorphic threats in the Outer Reaches of space.

All in all I think that the OSR exorcist is a really interesting and surprisingly useful niche PC class that can easily be added right into the backdrop of any OSR adventure with little issue. Reaban does a fine job with the material giving exactly what's needed to bring this class to life for your games.


  1. I was thinking about using a modified version of the Exorcist as an NPC in my upcoming White Star game. Maybe an Exorcist and a Witchhunter are both trying to put a stop to some menace, but using different very different methods.

  2. Well, given the circumstances and some of the methods of operation, these are very different characters in some respects in how they approach the supernatural. These differences might also come down to faith so their plenty of grist for the mill in how these NPC's might come into conflict.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.