Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Tattoos as Unarmored Defense

The Rock voiced the big guy and it was actually pretty good

I watched the movie Moana and it was very pretty looking and fun.

It also got me thinking about how cool Polynesian tattoo culture is. It's a nice half way between geometric and natural art. So let's use sweet tattoos as a stand in for armor, because a big muscely guy with a ton of tattoos is protected by his shocking look as much as by his ferocious speed.

(Some other bloggers have talked about this kind of idea before. Arnold K's fashion idea mostly)

Your tattoos only protect you when they are uncovered, so you gotta run around showing a lot of skin so everyone knows how cool you are. You get the basic (+1 AC) tattoo for free if you are a barbarian or a monk using the unarmored defense class option in addition to the Con/Wis and Dex bonuses. Other classes can use the tattoos instead of armor, AC=10+Tattoo bonus+ Dex bonus.

You can get more tattoos, but you'll need better and better tattooists for the new ones to be effective, and finding a grand master tattooist in Ánemos is hard, and the right to be tattooed by one is worth shedding blood over. The new tattoos must represent one of your great deeds.

Let's see a price chart. Tattoos are never going to be quite as effective as plate, but they don't weigh anything, you just gotta scrap off that mud and show em off. You also get an extra bonus to intimidation/persuasion type rolls corresponding to the bonus of your tattoos. This represents the fear and respect your mighty tattoos instill in strangers.

Tattoo Bonus
Tattooist Level
Cost (Drachma/Silver Pieces)
Time to Tattoo
1 week
2 weeks
1 month
2 months
4 months

You have to get tattooed with every successive level of tattoo, any Expert tattooist worth their ink will laugh you out of their studio if you show up clean and blank as a baby.

There are of course magical tattoos you can get, perhaps finding the design in ruins or tattooed onto the corpse of a long dead Sea King. You may even be given one as a reward. Magical tattoos is probably a blog post itself.

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