OSH Origins

A new character creation method for Old School Hack.

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Designer(s) and Publisher(s): Chris Sakkas.


Game: Old School Hack

Copyright Information

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial


Get It Gratis

These rules are an alternative to the classes presented in Old School Hack.

Pick two origins. You can take neither limitation, one origin's limitation or both. You get both origins' innate powers.

At second level, you choose the talent from either of the origins; at third level you get the other.

At fourth level, you get the face smashes of both origins.

At fifth level, you gain the ascension of one origin.

At sixth level, you can gain the ascension of a second origin or choose a new origin, for which you gain the limitation (if you wish) and the innate power.

Face Smash: If, in combat, you roll a 10 on your face die or a 12 on an attribute check, this power activates. You can spend 1 awesome point to delay the activation of one or both face smashes by a round.


IMPETUOUS * Limitation

While others plan, negotiate and watch, you do!

SPARKER * Innate; focused; once only after rested

Your entire body bursts into flames. You now ignore any ranged attack that does only one damage. At Turn 7 of any round you have remained undamaged, a minion in this or an adjacent arena dies.

This effect lasts for five minutes.

MANIPULATE FLAME * Talent; shooting equivalent; once only per arena

Your attack is made as if your opponent is unarmoured. If they are undamaged by the attack, they gain an awesome point.

Outside of combat, you can control flame as if it were a person open to cajoling, bribing and intimidation.

BURN, BABY, BURN * Face smash

Every enemy in an arena of your choice takes one damage.


Your body becomes living flame.

You never take fire or cold damage. You no longer need to eat, breath or drink provided you can burn small objects — that energy provides you with sustenance. You can perform mighty rituals by creating wildfires. Whenever you smell smoke you know exactly where that fire is burning, who or what lit it, what substances are burning and similar details. When you heal burns, even by mundane means, they leave no scars.


WILD SIDE * Limitation

You don't understand this big city life, its rules or expectations, or its laws. Maybe you can't even speak a human language.


You can constantly speak to animals, and often they take a shine to you.

Once per arena, in combat, you can ensorcel an animal. It makes an immediate attack against an adjacent enemy of your choice – whether the animal is allied with you or not.

ANIMAL FORM * Talent; once after rest; focused

You take the form of any animal you choose. After you have transformed, you cannot return to your own form until sunset or sunrise.

The animal form grants you a +1 bonus to whichever attribute seems appropriate.

RAGE * Face smash

You gain a +2 bonus to Brawn and do one extra damage. If the round ends and you have done no damage this round, your rage ends.


Even in human form you take on animal-like features. You gain a formidable sense of smell. You can communicate through subtle signals, smells and sounds with all animals. Animals acknowledge you as a god. You can summon your closest animal friend by letting out a call; at most it takes them one hour to reach you — no matter where you are. You can perform a ritual to grant one animal the attributes of another.


GREED * Limitation

You can't pass up an opportunity to make money – be it in business, crime or by gambling.


You can smell nearby precious metals and your sense is so acute you can function well in perfect darkness.

The thick stench of magic also allows you to identify any spell being cast in your arena.


If you are moved against your will, make a melee attack against whoever moved you, even if they're not in your arena.

AXE-GRAB * Face Smash

You take the weapon of an enemy in your arena and attack him or her with it.

DWARF IDEAL * Ascension

Metal obeys your commands. No metal object will ever harm you. You can speak with metals, even the deep and arrogant veins through the earth. Once in your life, you can summon Sickened Iron, the dwarf god.


PRIDE * Limitation

You are arrogant and dangerously confident in your abilities and self-sufficiency.

PERFECT BODY * Innate; once per arena

Ignore a condition imposed upon you.

FLY * Talent; constant

You can fly!


You learn something you should, by rights, not know.


Choose any non-ascension power. You have that power. You can only choose one such additional power at a time.


LONELY * Limitation

For all the strength of your mind and your powers, there are none who understand you or whom you truly understand.


You and your allies always win initiative.

MIND RUPTURE * Talent; per arena; immediate

You change an enemy's choice of action of this round. All other particulars of the action are still GM controlled.

BRAINWAVE * Face Smash

You can ask up to five minutes worth of questions of the person you just damaged or affected. If you killed them, their mind is downloaded into your own for you to search at leisure.


Whenever someone calls out for help without expecting to be heard, you hear them.


MORBID * Innate

You have an obsession with death and decay and find life and birth deeply discomforting.


You can converse with any dead soul exactly once. If the soul lived a virtuous life it is stubborn and uncooperative, but the sinners are easy to bribe.

SKULL'S REVOLT * Talent; per arena; focused

A creature's skull turns against them for a round. They cannot speak or cast spells, but only scream swearwords and gibberish.

BONE MARK * Face Smash

The creature you just damaged or affected will – when dead – return as one of your shambling slaves.

LICH * Ascension

After you cocoon yourself in silk and cotton wraps for a week, you emerge undead. Damaging magic does not affect you. You do not need to eat, sleep or breathe. You do not age or die of old age. No ailment affects you. All undead understand your commands, though they may not heed them. You recognise all types of undead, no matter how well disguised.



Whispers from conversations yet to come or flashes of times before you were born distract and confuse you.

TIME AND TIME AGAIN * Innate; rested

Every die rolled this round is rolled twice. You can pick to use the second roll instead of the first on three such rolls – after seeing the results.

TEMPORAL SWAP * Talent; once per arena; focused

Use this at the beginning of the round. Choose any two turns and swap them for this round. If Turn 7 is swapped, all focused powers activate if their users have not yet been injured – but if the user is later damaged this round its effects are reversed.

If this power doesn't result in a hero being dramatically killed and then revivified at the last moment, you're doing it wrong.

TIME BLAST * Face Smash

A creature in this arena or an adjacent one disappears and will return in 1d10 rounds.

MASTER * Ascension

You can travel to any time of your choosing, though you cannot change the past, the future you see may not eventuate and you do not change location when you time shift.



You have a staunch but unusual code of justice that permits you only to exploit the rich and to serve the poor.

BAND OF BROTHERS * Innate; per arena; immediate reaction

Use this power when an ally's focus was interrupted. If an ally is in the same arena as the one who was interrupted, the focus remains.

TO ME * Talent; rested; focused

All of your allies may move one arena closer to you if they so desire.

THE KING'S SLICE * Face Smash; weapon's range

You kill every minion in one arena.

OUTLAW KING * Ascension

You gain followers, towns and tributaries worthy of a king, though they are spread through different lands. All outlaws and bandits know and respect you, no matter how far away they live. You can spot any ambush or trap well before it threatens you, and turn the ambush or trap back upon the person who set it up.


CLAN HONOUR * Limitation

You are sworn to protect your clan, its people and its reputation, and you cannot allow anything to threaten that.


If fighting in a Hazardous arena, each round you go without taking damage you successfully Corner every foe in that arena.

CHARGE-BY * Talent; once per arena

When you Push one or more targets, as well as moving into the arena with them to may then move one further arena (though not back into the arena you just left).

Your one use of this power per arena is expended at the end of this action, meaning you must move arenas before using it again.

BATTLECRY * Face Smash

All your allies receive a +1 bonus to attack rolls for the rest of the encounter.


All the clans could unite behind one such as you. At least two clans swear allegiance to you. You receive or acquire one of the artifacts of the old Great Chieftains. A lost or hidden clan emerges and present themselves to you.



You have sworn to serve the beautiful and good nymph called the Sargasso Princess. Her wish is your command.

RIGHTEOUS PUSH * Innate; rested

Every enemy in an arena of your choice is moved to one or more adjacent arenas of your choice. If this would result in them taking damage or dying, you must beat their Commitment with your own.

EBB AND FLOW * Talent; per arena

A wave of energy dispels the effects of a spell or enchantment of your choice. Alternatively, it doubles the effect for one round, as you wish.

LIKE WATER * Face Smash

The next time you are the target of an attack, Push, Throw or the like, it fails.


The Sargasso Princess asks for your hand in marriage. Your wish is her command.



You and all your kind speak a thick brogue which immediately marks you as an outsider and – in the eyes of many – a good-for-nothing thief.

DON'T MAKE ME LAUGH * Innate; per arena

Ignore an attack that does only one damage.

ME 'N MY MATES * Talent; rested; out of combat

In a scrape you can call up half a dozen or more of your muscled friends to give you a hand on something that needs doing.


You take an item from the person you damaged or affected.


You ain't a king, or nuffin' like that. But you know a man what's worthy for the kingship of the Marches, and by damn you're gonna get him it.

If there is gossip in the Grey Marches, you know it. Your resolution on any dispute is immediately and unquestionably accepted. People begin bringing their disputes to you. You and your men develop a new fighting technique. Women show great interest in you. You discover you have a son.

Gentleman Assassin


You have a strict code of conduct and if you fail to behave like a proper gentlemen your peers will not be impressed.

Always a Blade


You always have a knife on hand, no matter what. In addition, you perform your action in the turn ahead of the usual one (so, for example, you move while others are shooting).

Poison Sense

Talent; rested; out of combat.

You can always detect and identify poisons. You receive a +4 bonus to resist them; those you treat receive the same benefit.

Arterial Cut

Face Smash.

Any poison on your blade instantly affects the target, even if it normally takes some time to have an effect. The poison may be resisted but cannot be treated.



You command the Gentlemen Assassins. You can always recognise their work. You decide the curriculum at the school and may introduce new classes.

You are utterly inaudible unless you choose to make a sound.

You acquire a noble title of some sort.



To raise a longbowman takes three generations. There are heavy expectations on you.

Sure Sight


You can see distant objects as surely as if they were right next to you. You can attack any arena in sight with a ranged weapon.


Talent; per arena.

If you do damage on an attack, the target is Cornered.


Face Smash.

Your arrow pierces the target and hits another in that same arena. They take 1 damage.

Master Bowman


You are a master bowman. You know the flaws and strengths - including those magical - of any bow which you inspect.

Your enemies can never score a face die when making ranged attacks against you. You learn the art of crafting bows from magical trees.


Loves a Bargain

When someone offers you a good deal you can't help yourself - you have to take it even if it's illegal or dangerous.

They Speak to Me


You know the secret histories of objects - their past owners, their creators and what they are made of, and so on. Your weapons never break or run out of ammo and your attacks ignore shields.

Doctor Item


You can make one item appear another.

In combat, per arena, change the type of your weapon.


Face Smash.

You destroy any one item the target possesses.



You immediately know who in a day's travel would be most interested in buying any item that you handle.

You know the current price of any commodity in any town or city you've ever visited.

You can buy goods at lower prices than any of your competitors.



You have a fearsome reputation and your appearance is frightful. You struggle to convince people you are kindly or trustworthy.

Divining Tools


You have chicken bones, runesticks, turtle shells, the innards of an ox, or the like. You receive occasional flashes of the future.

After you have rested, you can see your next threat. You are told one word that describes that threat.

Bottled Spells

Talent; after rested.

You can store a spell in a bottle. When drunk or smashed, it takes effect. Choose any per arena or constant talent - it's in your potion.


Face Smash.

The target of your face smash is marked. If it dies, you can receive a clear vision of the present by investigating its entrails. This revelation is clear and explicit, runs for half an hour and shows what is happening in a location of your choice or to a person or thing of your choice.