Class – Urchin

Written for AD&D

Work in progress, fleshing out some ideas here! 


This character class is a street kid that has learnt to survive. This class is blessed with intuition, insight and pluck.

You can’t be a kid forever, so at some stage the PC must dual class to their true calling (but hopefully picking up some grifter-like urchin skills on the way).

ChancerRace & Age

Human who is D8+6 years old

Thief-like progression

XP progression; HD (i.e. D6), saving throw and combat tables as a thief. If in doubt, use the thief table.


May use any weapon, armour or magic item that suits their small size. So two‑handed weapons, big (x)-bows and the heaviest armour is generally not permitted.

Ability scores are linked to growing up

Urchins grow up. The mechanism for growing up is linked to their ability scores (i.e. stats). In Step (1) determine the stats the urchin will have when they grow up, and in Step (2), the stats they have now as the urchin.

  • Step (1) Roll up the adult ability scores in the normal manner e.g. 3D6 or 4D6 and drop the lowest etc.
  • Step (2) With the above rolls in hand, now work out the (child) urchin’s stats:

(a) STR, CON and WIZ – select and add the the highest two dice rolls. The Urchin is not fully developed physically and emotionally yet.

(b) DEX, INT and CHA add +D4 to each of the adult stats (but not exceeding 18). The urchin is small, limber and willing; their imagination/thoughts are flexible and free, they have great empathy.

Keep a note of both the adult and child stats.


  • STR (rolls 5 + 1 + 3 + 3) –> 8 (of 11)*
  • CON (rolls 2 + 5 + 5 + 6) –> 11 (of 16)
  • DEX (rolls 3 + 4 + 5 + 5; D4 = 4) –> 18 (of 14)
  • INT (roll 1 + 5 + 1 + 5; D4 = 2) –> 13 (of 11)
  • WIZ (rolls 2 + 4 + 5 + 4) –> 9 (of 13)
  • CHA (rolls 1 + 2 + 1 + 6; D4 = 1) –> 10 (of 9)

* = urchin’s stats with the (would-be) adult stats given in brackets

Stats on levelling & growing up & dual classing

Each time the urchin gains a level, the child stats move one unit nearer the adult stats (more adult like). In the above example, moving from 1st to 2nd level this would happen:

  • STR:    8 –> 9 (of 11) – more strength
  • CON: 11 –> 12 (of 16) – more robust
  • DEX: 18 –> 17 (of 14) – less limber
  • INT:  13 –> 12 (of 11) – less imaginative
  • WIZ:   9 –> 10 (of 13) – more worldly
  • CHA: 10 –> 9 (of 9) – stat has decreased to the adult level

When ALL the urchin’s stats are the same as the adult stats (in this case, this will occur at Lv 5), the child has fully matured as much as they ever will, and this class essentially ends. Thereafter the character must dual class to grow further.

The PC may dual class at any time once 2nd level is obtained. If done the stats are locked in at the urchin’s current level.

The PC keeps the class abilities they have gained while an urchin (for abilities see later).

Peter Panning (optional)

When levelling up, the PC may try to prevent one stat from progressing towards adulthood (i.e. one of DEX, INT or CHA, as these are the child-boosted stats). This comes at the risk of harming one of STR, CON or WIZ (so one must be nominated in the test).

Test: Pick the two stats (e.g. one of DEX, INT or CHA, and one of STR, CON or WIZ) and roll a D20.

If the roll is equal or above the adult ability score for that stat, the adult stat moves one unit towards the child stat (i.e. more child like, rather than the other way round).

Personally, I think the STR, CON or WIZ part of the test should only be considered if the DEX, INT or CHA part of the test was successful. 

Two abilities are gained by the urchin at each level

1st level (Jub)

  • Thief skills: Move silently + Hear noise + Hide in shadows
  • and one of (D10):

1-4 Live for free off surroundings

5-7 Entertain

8-9 Collect information in urban area

10 Pick any ability from above


2nd level (Scab)

  • Thief skill: Pickpockets 
  • and one of (D10):

1-4 Fit in, including fitting in socially (CHA test + Urchin Lv)

5-7 Create a widespread rumour (INT test + Urchin Lv)

8-9 Lucky (once a session can reroll a die roll)

10 Pick any ability from the above lists (including Lv1 abilities)


3rd level (Scruff)

Thief skill: Climb walls 

and one of (D10):

1-4 Track a ‘mark’ without being noticed (DEX test + Urchin Lv)

5-7 Make a plausible disguise (INT test + Urchin Lv);

8-9 Estimate the non-magical value of an item (once a session)

10 Pick any ability from the above lists


4th level (Scallywag)

  • Thief skill: Thief chant
  • and one of (D10):

1-4 Swindle & deceive (CHA test + Urchin Lv)

5-7 Senses an exit or way out (once a session)

8-9 Cast one non-offensive 1st Lv MU spell per day §

10 Pick any ability from any of the above lists


5th level (Rascal)

  • Thief skill: Open locks
  • and one of (D10):

1-4 Implicate a person in a crime (DEX or INT test + Urchin Lv)

5-7 Sense a weakness physical or mental (once a session)

8-9 Cast one 1st Lv MU or illusionist spell per day §

10 Pick any ability from any of the above lists


6th level (Chancer)

  • Thief skill: Find and remove traps 
  • and one of (D10):

1-4 Read body language once a day (DEX test + Urchin Lv) (effectively detect lie)

5-7 Guess a riddle or gain an insight into a puzzle (once a session)

8-9 Cast one non-offensive 2nd Lv MU spell per day §

10 Pick an ability from any of the above lists


7th level (Dodger)

  • Thief skill: Read languages 
  • and one of (D10):

1-4 Intuition once a day (ANY STAT test + Urchin Lv) (know if person is hostile or friendly; or a situation feels wrong)

5-7 Learn or guess a password (once a session)

8-9 Cast one 2nd Lv MU or illusionist spell per day §

10 Pick an ability from any of the above lists and can swap one ability

(Bolded abilities text is a simplified version – where only these are the abilities gained)


Thief abilities – the urchin has the thief abilities as if they were a thief of the same level. If the PC dual classes as a thief, the highest score is used.

§ Magic level – the urchin casts spells as if they were a MU at a level one below the urchin’s class level (but clearly not less than 1st level)

§ Magic spells – the spells gained are not picked as of right when levelling up. Instead, during an adventure, something will happen and the player may declare that’s when this spell ability manifests itself e.g. Featherfall is gained when the PC topples from a roof; or the Hold Portal spell gained when needed etc. Thereafter, the urchin has gained that spell ability inherently (once per day after 8 hours rest – no books or spell components are required; the spell is usually instantaneous but may require a word, item and/or gesture linked to the time the ability manifested itself).

Where does the magic come from? Well something in fate’s tangled web has touched the urchin, they seem destine to rise beyond the simple hunt for the next meal that consumes most urchin kind. Even in the biggest cities there will only be a handful of urchins that have progress beyond being a Scruff (Lv 3), therefore magic in urchins is a rare gift, a gift that rarely goes unnoticed for long.