Saturday, June 19, 2021

GLOG Class Attempt: Garden Hermit


Eremit in Flottbeck,
Johann Baptist Theobald Schmitt

You are, or were, a professional Garden Hermit.

What that means is that you dedicated a large portion of your life to being a living, breathing curiosity. You would seek out, or be sought out by, a wealthy and eccentric patron interested in writing up a contract to have you live as their novelty guest in a cottage, cave, or other secluded area of their property for a set number of years. During this period you would try to live up to their (at times extremely exacting) stipulations.

What these stipulations are vary from patron to patron. Sometimes they wanted you to be seen but not heard, acting as a distant piece of ornamentation for their estate, to be studied and appreciated from afar. Others actively engaged you, bringing guests to seek your earthy and introspective brand of wisdom. Still others wanted you to live like a ghost, hiding from the outside world and leaving only mere hints that your garden or grotto were inhabited- a pair of reading glasses left out on a table here, a half-eaten apple there.

It is a slow, isolated, oftentimes tedious way of life, and recently it has come under existential threat with the invention of lawn gnomes. But you make it work. The job pays surprisingly well. It offers a unique perspective on many aspects of life. It is a window into the natural world, albeit one made tame and a little less deadly. It also offers a window into the lives of the aristocrats who employ you. Much juicy gossip can be learned while legally lurking around the gardens of an affluent and well-connected noble family.

Garden Hermit

Starting Equipment: anachronistic faux-druidic robes, philosophical text, pruning shears.
Starting Skills: Gardening and Philosophy. Also, roll on the adjacent table.

A: Part of the Scenery
B: Dispense Wisdom, Land Lore
C: Used to Boredom
D: Mistaken for Magic

You gain +1 Stealth for each Garden Hermit template you possess. You get +2HP if you possess 2 or more Garden Hermit templates.

A: Part of the Scenery

If you are in any sort of manicured nature such as a public park, noble's estate, or garden, you can choose to blend in and become part of the scenery. While blended in, no one will notice or pay much heed to you so long as you spend your time doing Garden Hermit Things. These include studying/picking plants, reading old-timey philosophical texts, pretending to be an ornamental statue, etc.

B: Dispense Wisdom

You've played the part of the wise hermit long enough that it occasionally does some good. Make an opposed Wisdom roll to drag someone into dialogue about any topic. On a success, you trap them in engrossing or tedious debate for up to 1 hour. At the end of that hour your combination of platitudes and elenctic interrogation leads them to form their own good advice, giving them +1 to their next roll related to the topic of the debate.

B: Land Lore

Years of quiet observation have given you familiarity with the land, and you can identify most garden-variety plants and animals by sight or sound. Once per session, you can also declare a little-known but "interesting" fact about a type of plant or animal. The base chance of the fun-fact actually being true is 50%.

C: Used to Boredom

It's a dull affair, being a Garden Hermit. You sit around a grotto or hovel day after day, year after year, waiting to be stared at like a zoo animal or asked what the meaning of life is by a bunch of addled nobles. Occasionally an interesting bird lands nearby. You are immune to the negative effects of magic that slows down time or puts you to sleep, and you can never go mad from isolation.

D: Mistaken for Magic

You have become rustic and sagely-looking enough that you appear to the average person as a Chartered Garden Wizard of good repute at first glance. You can choose to pass as one by rolling under Charisma. Carrying a spellbook or scroll gives you +4 Charisma for the roll. Note that you cannot actually use spellbooks or scrolls, most people will be angry if they discover you are a charlatan, and druids will probably catch your scent and try to hunt you down sooner or later.


Garden Hermit Skills


You picked up woodcarving to pass the time, and have gotten good at it. Gain a small knife, quarterstaff, and 1d6 scars on your hands.


You use the isolation to further your studies. Gain 1d3 extra philosophical texts and 1 treatise penned by you.


Your last contract was terminated after you were found drinking at a tavern. Gain 2 bottles of beer.


You used garden hermeticism as a cover to steal from your employers. Gain a pair of nice boots and 1d6 pieces of cutlery.


You were also the groundskeeper for your stingy former employer. Gain a box of really rich dirt.


You are more proactive about your job security than other Garden Hermits. Gain a carpenter's hammer and 3d6 trophies from defeated lawn gnomes.


  1. Interesting concept, it is as if an anti-adventuring class.
    Might work well for places such as Gardens of Ynn.

    1. Thanks for the comment! I forgot my disclaimer promising zero balance or gameplay functionality, as with most of my class concepts. But you raise an interesting point. I got a copy of Ynn some months ago and really need to read through it sometime.