Continuing with my series on Dragon Quest-inspired random advancement tables, we’re taking a slight thematic detour to bring you the Delinquent. It’s a reference to the Yanki subculture of Japan, and while “delinquent” is not a perfect translation of that term, it should suffice for the role this class will play in your game. The Delinquent is not a specific class from any Dragon Quest game, but it should evoke memories of characters like Yangus or Erik. It’s also right at home next to some of Dragon Quest’s comedy manga-esque gags. Mechanically, the Delinquent is a combination of Fighter- and Thief-style abilities.
HP: Start the game with either 10 HP or the amount of HP your system starts you with, and increase every level as directed by the game. Assume d8 hit dice if your game uses per-class hit dice. Shadow of the Demon Lord doesn’t use hit dice, but increasing health by 1d8 per level (or 4 every level) should work fine.
Saves: If your game uses old-school D&D style saves, progress as a Fighter.
Weapons: If your game uses weapon proficiencies, a Delinquent is proficient with unarmed strikes (d4; d6 if both hands are free), simple weapons and improvised weapons.
Armor: Wears only light armor. Can use shields.
Magic: You don’t start with any magic points (MP) or spells. If you do end up with a maximum of 1 MP or more, however, you can restore 1 point by either defeating an enemy who has damaged you in combat, or each time you significantly break an enforced law in plain view of non-party members.
You may gain more MP than your maximum, but your MP becomes equal to your maximum when you complete an adventure and enter downtime.
Fight Dirty: You know how to get what you want in a fight, and you’re not worried about how it looks. You have a boon (or advantage) on any attempt to inflict a status condition (or an enemy has banes or disadvantage if applicable) or otherwise sabotage an enemy in combat, which must replace your attack. You cannot use this ability to inflict damage and you must have the gear the table deems necessary to inflict a given status condition.
Delinquency: Choose a field of delinquency from the list below. You gain a Background/Profession in this area and have mid-level connections to a faction that works in this field. This also determines your starting equipment.
- Art: You express your rebellion through shockingly talented artistic performances. Your choice of form and genre. Gain an appropriate instrument and/or set of supplies.
- Criminal: Gang violence, theft, protection rackets, loan sharking, etc. Anything you’d expect a low level participant in organized crime to do. Start with a pocket knife and a set of thieves’ tools. If you use B/X percentile skills, treat this as Thief skills at half their normal value (and follow this pace as you level up).
- Gearhead: Engineering, mechanics or a similar practical application of an academic study. Start with an appropriate toolkit.
- Sports: Whether organized sports or just a latent talent. If it’s a combat sport, the skills are already assumed to be part of your fighting ability and don’t grant any combat bonuses. Either way, you will almost always win this sporting event and can get boons when performing physical feats using what you’ve learned from this sport. Start with a makeshift weapon made from sporting equipment and a medal from a prior victory — one that many would recognize.
- Rider: Expert at riding or piloting setting-appropriate vehicles, such as horses, motorcycles, cars, airships, etc. If it’s closer to a horse, start with one. If it’s closer to an airship, pick one:
- 1) You’ve got the plans or blueprints for one, handed down to you from a mentor of your choice.
- 2) You used to have one, but a major faction owns it now or it’s otherwise inaccessible without a lot of work.
- 3) You own a rare and essential component to this vehicle. You may be able to repair a broken one if you have help.
Debt: A Delinquent chooses the life of an adventurer to escape their past mistakes or deal with their unlucky lot. Pick one of the following bits of baggage to come to terms with. Even if the Delinquent ended up in this situation through no fault of their own, they are still expected to “atone” for it.
- You’ve left your family in a bad situation, financially or socially.
- You owe a retirement’s worth of money to a criminal faction or to the law.
- You have a bounty on your head for a high crime. Choose whether you actually did it and why.
- You hurt a close friend or let them take a fall for you.
- You had an immense obligation, and you ran from it. You and your GM pick a terrible consequence for your dereliction.
Getting rid of this burden generally requires some kind of adventure or other major price you must pay. When you and your GM agree that you’ve solved, discarded or otherwise reconciled this baggage, you may pick any single entry (other than an entry that grants multiple other entries) on this table and gain it immediately.
Random Advancement: At level 1, roll twice on the table below. At subsequent level ups, roll once on any random advancement table in this series.
Games with an Attack Bonus: +1 ATK and +1 HP
The Black Hack 2e or Into the Odd stat gains: Follow the normal rules for level up with regards to stats (i.e. you get a chance to raise each stat once). When you roll an asterisked entry, you get +1 extra HP and get to increase any single stat by 1, even if you’ve already increased that stat once this level.
Shadow of the Demon Lord: When you roll an asterisked entry, increase any stat by 1 and Health by 1. You cannot gain more than 14 in any single stat other than Health by doing this. If you have increased no stats by level 4, increase a single stat by 1. Do the same at level 7 and at level 10.
Random Advancement Entries
01-02 **Bodyguard Training: You can deflect a hit away from an ally in a pinch. If you’re standing directly next to an ally who takes damage and the source is something you can touch (e.g. an axe or a laser beam), you may opt to receive half of that damage for them.
03-05 **Military Training: You’ve gotten a bit more practice in the art of conventional warfare. You can now use the same weapons as a Fighter (or any non-exotic weapon), and you can wear any sort of armor other than plate.
06-07 **Vandal: You have advantage on damage rolls against objects, including worn objects.
08-10 **Smuggler: You can conceal any object the size of a peach or smaller on your body, even when naked. You decide what this means.
11-12 **Flopper: You’ve figured out how to make altercations look like someone else’s fault. If law enforcement catches you in a fight, you have advantage on rolls to prove the other person started it and to fake significant injuries.
Second Roll: You now have advantage on rolls to frame someone for any illegal activity if you are both caught doing it at the same time.
13-16 **Come on, Baby!: You can make any non-functioning machine with some observable moving parts or electronics work a bit longer by hitting it. The GM decides what happens after (e.g. the machine may break down entirely, become inert for a bit, or miraculously fix itself), but you will always be able to eke out at least one benefit from the machine. You can only use this ability once per machine per day.
17 **Punchable Face: You are very good at irritating authority figures. You always know exactly what will get you arrested/detained in any situation for the least work necessary. You also know exactly what would push that authority figure to violence against you.
18 **Animal Companion: You form a close bond with an animal (or have trained an animal companion you already have)! Pick an animal no larger than a dog. They’re no good in combat by default, rolling the lowest damage die on a successful attack. They have the equivalent HP of a Magic User (usually d4). If it dies, you can use this ability to form a bond with a new animal, but it will take at least a week.
Choose one of the options below (they do not stack):
(A) When you enter a room, they have a 2-in-6 chance to communicate to you whether treasure is in it and where.
(B) When you meet a stranger, they can alert you to whether that person intends to attack you in the immediate future. You cannot be surprised in combat as long as your pet sees the attacker and is able to use this ability.
(C) They can track a scent once exposed to it. They give you advantage/boons on any attempt to track a creature.
(D) They can be used to send messages. They take an amount of time appropriate to the distance covered and their speed, but they will not die on the way to the recipient or back. If they cross particularly dangerous territory, they have a 25% chance of collapsing dead after bringing you a reply.
Second roll: Your companion has grown, evolved, mutated or otherwise changed. They act as a first level fighter hireling in combat, using the appropriate stats. They consume rations and now each as much as you do.
19 **Call Favor: You did something unsavory once and bailed someone out of a tough jam. Your GM adds them to an encounter table appropriate to their identity. When you first meet them again, their reaction roll (invisible to you) produces the following results:
1-2: They will pretend to still be your friend, but have already betrayed you or will at their earliest convenience. They still possess something you need, but you can no longer get it from them peacefully.
3-5: Their opinion of you has soured. Will not attack on sight, but will take a lot of convincing to help you. They would prefer this favor to be called at a different time.
6-8: They will attempt to perform the favor for you with few questions asked, and their disposition to you is currently neutral.
9-12: They regard you as a friend. They will attempt to perform the favor for you, and are happy to reunite with an old ally. They will become a hireling if you want them to (but must still be paid). They get a boon on loyalty rolls.
20–23 **Entourage: When you go to a settlement at least as big as a town, you attract 1d10 young ne’er-do-wells who admire your toughness and style. They will perform at least one task for you (as a collective), and can be persuaded to do more. Getting them to put their life in obvious danger is a big ask — you can’t do that with just this ability, and will need a bit more to persuade them. Getting them to leave their town and become a permanent hireling follows the same rules as normal hirelings.
24 **Local Expert: Choose a settled area on the GM’s map that you could have believably lived in or worked at. You immediately know all rumors from that location and which are true. If you don’t use rumor tables, treat this as a very powerful knowledge profession that applies to one area. You additionally have a valuable dossier on every faction and major figure in the area, what they want, what they can accomplish, etc. You also know one shortcut between two locations in that area that no one else has ever found.
25-26 Stomp Out: You have advantage on damage rolls against a prone enemy.
Second Roll: You and everyone standing next to you have advantage on damage rolls against a prone enemy.
27 **Paralegal: You’ve been in and out of the system so much that you’ve picked up just enough law to get you out of trouble. You aren’t a licensed attorney, but you can assess the likely legal consequences of an action and can point out the most basic and obvious arguments against your detainment. You can treat this as a Lawyer profession in all ways other than being formally recognized as one.
28-31 **Martial Arts: You’ve perfected the art of fist-based persuasion. You now deal d6 unarmed damage if one hand is free, and d8 damage if both are.
Second roll: You gain the Suplex ability. If you successfully grapple an enemy, you may on a subsequent turn choose to deal damage to them equal to half your HD, no attack roll necessary (e.g. a 2HD Delinquent deals 1d8 damage). The grapple ends when you do this, and they wind up on the floor somewhere near you.
32 **Ain’t Nothin’ Sweet: If someone outside of your party calls your bravery, competence, or coolness into question, you gain a boon on all rolls to avoid fear, intimidation, or mind control for the next dungeon turn.
33-34 **Parkour: Your many narrow escapes from local police has made you adept at traversing complex terrain. Vertical movement of less than 10 feet at a time is “free” for you and does not count as your normal expenditure of movement. Additionally, you automatically succeed on/are unaffected by attempts to move through difficult terrain or across treacherous footholds.
35 **Confidence: Whatever may have be weird or edgy about your style, you’ve figured out how to rock it. You have advantage on any roll to impress an NPC with your unusual clothes, mannerisms, or speech when relevant. If you use this ability but still fail, it’s a critical failure.
36 **Good at Eating: Your body can take in an incredible amount of calories, most of which seem to be stored in your burning aura. Whenever you have a meal that doesn’t use strictly-rationed supplies (usually a meal in town or perhaps right after a successful hunt), you can choose to overindulge, eating a seemingly impossible amount of food. If you do, you spend half as many rations for a day the next time you start tracking them again. If you want, you can at any time give up the benefits of this extra food and manifest your burning aura to make it briefly visible to all. It has no real tangible effects, but it always reads as proof of your resolve, dedication or strength.
37-38 **Con Artist: You can choose to have advantage on rolls to persuade an NPC that a given good, service or other trade is more beneficial to them than it actually is. Using your patented method (and thus invoking this ability for advantage) means the NPC will always know you conned them; it’s just a matter of time. It will always be after you’ve had a chance to escape, however.
39-40 **Fuck Your Badge: When a person attempts to leverage their public or social authority to persuade or threaten you or another person, you have advantage on rolls to mock them, diminish their presence, or otherwise subvert their influence. Successful rolls render whatever they were attempting to accomplish ineffective in the eyes of those around them. For example, a crowd may suddenly see an attempt to arrest an NPC as illegitimate.
41-43: **Tight Belt: You’ve often had to live on very little, and you can stretch limited resources far. You can sleep and eat comfortably for a night in town even if you can’t afford room and board. Additionally, if you can’t afford dungeoneering and travel supplies, you can find a way to exchange any object in your inventory for the same weight/encumbrance in a single other resource.
41-48 Loan Shark: You gain 1 magic point. You may as an action loan any of the following to another creature via touch:
1) 1d6 magic points.
2) 1d6 HP.
3) 1d6 of an ability score/attribute of your choice.
If you do not have enough of a given stat when you select it, it goes to 0 and you take 1d6 damage.
Every 10 seconds or round of combat (whichever is shorter) thereafter, that creature loses 1 point of that stat and you gain 1 point. If they reach 0 points of the stat, or if they are incapacitated, they are “insolvent” and the effect ends. You cannot gain more than 10x the amount you loaned to that creature, and you do not regain the balance of your loan if they become insolvent. You can voluntarily end this effect at any time, including immediately after the transfer, by informing them the debt is paid.
You may only have one outstanding loan in existence at a time. If you ever attempt to make a new loan, the debt on the previous loan is immediately considered paid.
49-50 Burning Spirit: You don’t go down easily. Every time you would drop to 0 HP (or become Incapacitated in ItO), you have a 50% chance of getting right back up at 1.
51-55 Stubborn: Whenever you are subject to a mind-affecting ability or attack, you may choose to take 2d6 damage instead of being affected. This applies to a single source of an effect, regardless of its duration. If the effect ends and is re-activated, or if you are hit by another mind-affecting attack from a different source, you must use this ability (and take damage) again to avoid those effects.
56-60 Rampage: You gain a damage die (d6)! Whenever you attack an enemy during your turn, you may assign this damage die to another enemy within your range. If your game uses to-hit rolls, you must roll an attack for each creature targeted.
61-65 Improvised Weapon Master: You always deal at least d8 damage with any improvised weapon that is harder to find than a rock. You gain any benefits that are logical for that improvised weapon to provide. Improvised weapons that are large enough to require 2 hands deal d10 damage instead.
66-67 Imposing: Monsters with the same or less HD than you roll morale twice, and you pick the result.
67-70 Turn the Tide: Your damage rolls that use a d8 or higher can explode.
71-73 Tough as Nails: You gain permanent damage reduction 1, regardless of whether you are wearing armor. This stacks if you roll this result again.
74-77 Security Expert: You’ve learned how to apply your criminal skills to more outlandish situations. You get a boon (or advantage) on rolls to find and disarm traps in situations where a Thief or Rogue would be entitled to such a roll.
78-80 Last-Ditch Attack: When you hit an enemy with a weapon, you may choose to break the weapon you’re using on them. If you do, roll your damage twice and select the better result.
81 Daysleeper: Your history of night time activities has made you absurdly efficient at day-sleeping. At any time when you have the ability to spend the equivalent of a dungeon turn (roughly ten minutes) not doing anything, you can choose to sleep instead, which you can initiate with disturbing speed and in any position. If you do this for a of 8 times (a total of 160 minutes) in a given day, you only need to take a quick couple hour nap at night to get the normal benefits of sleep. You can then spend the night hours doing whatever activity you like. (GMs: in downtime, just abstract this as an extra downtime action).
This change to your body’s internal clock also unlocks some latent magical ability, granting you 1 magic point.
Second Roll: You gain 1 additional magic point and can now sleep while walking. You just need someone to gently guide you back towards your desired path.
82-87 Rage: Something sets you off, making you stronger and faster in a fight.
Choose a condition:
1) An ally becomes incapacitated or otherwise unable to act.
2) An animal is injured.
3) A non-party member directly insults your hair, your clothes, or something else you feel insecure about.
4) A non-party member who is not your enemy is killed.
When your conditions are met, you gain 2 damage reduction plus advantage on attack and damage rolls, as well as contested rolls of any kind for 1 minute.
88-89 Combat Expertise:
If you are a Delinquent: If you are in a situation where you would have advantage on an attack, you may instead elect to use your Fight Dirty ability and deal d6 damage in addition to the status effect you inflict.
If you are not a Delinquent: you can give up advantage or a boon on an attack to accomplish something extra (I.e. a normal attack plus try to trip an enemy), which may include more damage dice. Offer what you want to do to your GM and negotiate. You are always able to gain some kind of benefit for doing this. Depending on your system, this may result in needing to make a check where you otherwise would just deal the damage.
90-94 Animal Friendship: You have an inexplicable kinship with animals in general. They tend to flock to you, and will sometimes help you if you treat them well. You gain advantage on rolls to befriend or make requests of animals.
95 Determination: You may use a triggered action/minor action in combat to immediately heal 1d3 HP. You may do this a number of times per day equal to your level.
96 Career Development: You gain a Profession. You either picked it up during downtime or always had it and never brought it up/couldn’t put it into practice until now. You also gain 1 magic point.
97 Strong Mind: Choose one mental stat. You make rolls to avoid harm using that stat with advantage.
98 Strong Body: Choose one physical stat. You make rolls to avoid harm using that stat with advantage.
99 Epiphany: Choose any lower-numbered entry on this list.
100 Remarkable Growth: Roll twice on this list, ignoring this result and re-rolling if it comes up again. You may not gain more than 2 magic points in a single level up this way.
Akira: Significantly darker than most of the other works on this list, and also ridiculously famous, but it bears mentioning if you haven’t read it yet. It’s a science fiction manga about a kid in near-future Tokyo whose latent psychic powers are suddenly awakened. Many of the principle characters are in bousouzoku motorcycle gangs. A good read in general, but especially if you want to see a grittier take on the subject matter.
Bakuon Rettou: As an autobiographical work about an ex-bousouzoku member, this is one of the most realistic series on this list, and probably my most recommended next to Akira. Where most yanki media turns into fighting manga, high school comedy or both, this work is very specifically about the socioeconomic and cultural pressures that shape yanki culture. Read this if you want to know more about the actual kinds of things that other entries on this list are parodying, romanticizing or otherwise reacting to.
Crows: A fighting manga focusing on drama between high school delinquent students. There’s a movie adaptation, too.
Great Teacher Onizuka: A comedy manga about a former street gang member who decides to be a teacher. It is a sequel to another yanki manga, Shounan Junai Gumi, which starts out as the opposite premise of Kyou Kara Ore Wa!! (two tough guys want to become ladies’ men).
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Another action manga. This one isn’t specifically about yanki or street gangs, but features a lot of characters who embody the archetype discussed here.
Kamikaze Girls: A movie (adapted from a novel) about a yanki high school girl who becomes friends with a girl who’s really into Gothic Lolita fashion.
Kyou Kara Ore Wa!!: A comedy manga about two teenagers who move to a new high school, seeing it as a chance to establish themselves as tough guys. It’s also where the header image comes from!
Kunio-kun video game series: A video game series about yanki kids beating each other up, sometimes under the pretense of playing sports.
Rival Schools: A fighting game about high school cliques beating each other up. A number of characters fit the yanki archetype.