The scout is a warrior with wilderness skills. Most commonly, they are outriders and skirmishers for armies, but may also be trappers, hunters, hermits, or barbarians.
- Hit die: d6
- XP advancement as fighter
- Attack bonus as cleric
- +1 individual initiative
- +1 missile attack
- Hide: wilderness 5 in 6, underground or in civilization 2 in 6
- Bonus to “getting lost” throws (see below)
- Tracking 5 in 6 (one check required per 6 mile hex)
- May use any weapons and any armor (though armor penalizes stealth)
Adventurers have a chance to get lost when adventuring in the wilderness. Standard probabilities by terrain type can be found here. A party that contains at least one scout improves those chances by 1 pip in each category, and thus will never get lost in average terrain, will get lost on 1 in 6 in moderate terrain, and on 2 in 6 in difficult terrain.
Edit: changed attack bonus progression from fighter to cleric based on comments.
This is the third of my human replacements for the demi-human classes. The scout is a substitute for the halfling. My first attempt at a halfling replacement was actually a monk, but monks don’t fit all settings (though I am still fond of that saving throw dodge mechanic); I think the scout is more general. The scout is intended to represent the ranger archetype, though without the magical accretions that have built up around that class over the years (animal companions, druid spells). Incidentally, I would probably allow any character class to have an animal companion using standard retainer and morale rules if they role-played it out.
As Charlatan notes on the ACKS forum, this is very similar to the ACKS explorer class. I have been considering this replacement for the halfling class from before I knew about ACKS (credit should probably go to this post over at B/X Blackrazor and this comment by BlUsKrEEm). My scout does not rely on a general skill system (like the explorer relies on ACKS proficiencies), so I still think there is some independent value to an explicitly B/X ranger option.
My other demi-human replacements are the fighting magic-user (for the elf) and the scientor (for the dwarf). I’m very happy with the fighting magic-user and the scout. I like the scientor, but it is only appropriate for a certain kind of science fantasy or gonzo campaign.
Originally, my ideas for dwarf replacements included a morlock racial class (not really appropriate now, as I’m going for all human PC classes) and a dungeoneer class. Perhaps it’s still worth writing up the dungeoneer for use with a more vanilla B/X setting. Or maybe I should just ditch the dwarf archetype (underground mechanically-oriented class) entirely or replace it with something entirely different like a necromancer (but then that deviates even more from the core B/X seven classes).
The problem with the dwarf class is that, absent the culture elements, the dwarf is not a very distinctive class mechanically. And, in a traditional D&D game, pretty much everyone is a de facto dungeoneer. This is an argument that I have seen made about the thief too, but I think it is even more true for a potential dungeoneer class. Any other ideas for a new human class that can take on the dwarf abilities?