Sep 30, 2019

The Sentinel

35 years ago in the September 1984 issue of Dragon Magazine #89 appeared an article describing the Sentinel character class. Back then Dragon regularly published non-player character classes; unofficial characters classes meant only as NPCs. Of course most of us tried these out as player characters and often found them either way over, or under powered, but that didn't matter. Was the class cool or not was all that did.

The Sentinel wasn't exciting by any means. No unusual powers or spells. No weird or exotic flavor. Just a straight forward guard who took his duty seriously. And I always liked them! Maybe because Judas Priest had a cool song called The Sentinel released that same year on their seminal Defenders of the Faith album.

I've done a few revisions and updates to the class over the years, including one I blogged long ago when I first dived into the OSR. Now with the Sentinel's 35 year anniversary here is a new O5R version, optimized to fit on a bookmark similar to the Bookmark Dungeons I've been drawing lately.

Here is the text if you want to copy and paste and fiddle with it to your own taste.

The Sentinel
An alert fighter class.

LVL XP PB Features
1 0 +2 Hear
2 1,750 +2 Defense
3 3,500 +2 Find Hidden
4 7,000 +2 Ability+
5 15,000 +3 Veracity
6 30,000 +3 Ability+
7 65,000 +3 Detect Invisible
8 140,000 +3 Ability+
9 295,000 +3 Gut Feeling
10 455,000 +4 Wary

(PB = proficiency bonus, Ability+ = gain 1 point to put on any ability)

HD: d10 Armor: All armor, no shield Weapons: Simple weapons, Martial weapons Tools: None Saves: Strength, Dexterity Skills: Athletics, Insight, Intimidation, Investigation, Perception

Hear the sentinel has keen hearing, +2 and advantage to all rolls involving hearing.
Defense +1 bonus in armor
Find Hidden +1 bonus to find hidden objects on a person or in a room.
Veracity can tell when a prisoner is lying in interrogation.
Detect Invisible can sense where an invisible creature is within a 10’ radius.
Gut Feeling can tell when something is wrong or doesn’t make sense, even if they don’t know exactly what it is.
Wary cannot be surprised.

If the class feels underpowered you could change Veracity to Extra Attack, like a regular fighter has. And/or give it access to Martial Archetype features, but then it is just changing into a regular fighter.

If you're curious about the art, I stumbled across an old sketch of a knight I did many years ago, and recently did a repaint on it for fun.

As a side note, the cover of Dragon #89 was one of Den Beauvais' epic Fantasy Chess covers. Here is as high resolution image of it as you'll find anywhere. The original sold a while back for nearly $4000.