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5E Mythological Figures: Allan Quatermain

Indiana Jones won’t ever appear in the Mythological Figures column because he’s not in the public domain. The character that inspired him is however, so allow us to introduce to you Allan Quatermain!

Alan Quartermain DnD 5e banner.jpg


Allan Quartermain is a colonial gentleman, treasure seeker, and explorer of Africa. There’s something like a score of books about this guy but chances are good that if you’ve ever heard the name at all, it was in the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. The real takeaway is that he’s the 19th century’s version of Indiana Jones. Plundering tombs, getting involved in tribal skirmishes, saving white women from danger—you get the idea.

British users of EN World, I call upon you! Tell us more about Allan Quatermain! I’m sure you’re collectively much more familiar with him and his stories, and thus will do a better (and more accurate job) than any attempt I might muster. CORRECT ME! :D

Design Notes: Gentleman wilderness adventurer? I can do that! My strongest impression of this character (and I have seen more than one iteration—sup Swayze fans?) is when Sean Connery played him and I suspect most people checking out this article know that version so we’re generally aiming at that. Allan’s proverbial hat is hung on the sharpshooter fighter archetype, sprinkled with a little ranger to make him competent out in the wild and great at going after beasts, and then complemented with some feats to make him more survivable (upping his ability scores) and supplement that killer shooting accuracy.

With all that said: let’s do the numbers. Because of his Sharpshooter feat there are several ways this can play out—either with or without that damage boost. Note that statistically here the tradeoff is weighted negatively. The DMG rubric comes out to either a 9.75 for accuracy (8ac+3hp+21atk+7dam=39/4) or a clean 7 for damage (8ac+3hp+5atk+12dam=28/4), then the Blog of Holding at either a flat 10 for accuracy (9ac+6hp+14atk+9dam+12save=50/5) or for damage a 9.2 (9ac+6hp+4atk+15dam+12save=46/5). Averaging the higher scores brings it in as a high 9 while all four together are juuuuuuuust on the cusp (8.9875), so for Allan’s challenge rating we’re going with a 9.

Allan Quatermain
Medium humanoid (human), lawful good fighter (archer) 12/ranger 1
Armor Class 16 (studded leather)
Hit Points 96 (12d10+1d8+26)
Speed 30 ft.
STR
DEX
CON
INT
WIS
CHA
14 (+2)​
18 (+4)​
14 (+2)​
12 (+1)​
14 (+2)​
13 (+1)​
Saving Throws Str +7, Dex +9, Con +7
Skills Animal Handling +7, Athletics +7, Perception +7, Survival +7
Senses passive Perception 17
Languages English
Challenge 9 (5,000 XP)

Background: Wilderness Trained. Allan never forgets the geographic arrangement of terrain, settlements, and areas of wilderness. In addition, he can forage fresh water and food each day for as many as 6 people as long as the environment nearby can support it.

Action Surge (1/Short Rest). On his turn, Allan can take an additional action on top of his regular action and a possible bonus action.

Attentive Gaze. Allan can use a bonus action to take the Search action.

Excellent Aim (3/Short Rest). Allan can spend a bonus action to aim a wielded ranged weapon at a target within its range. Until the end of his turn, ranged attacks that Allan makes against the target deal an extra 5 damage.

Favored Enemy. Allan has advantage on Wisdom (Survival) checks to track beasts, as well as on Intelligence checks to recall information about them.

Feat: Resistant. Allan has proficiency with Dexterity saving throws (included above).

Feat: Superb Aim. Allan ignores half cover and three-quarters cover when making a ranged weapon attack, and he doesn’t have disadvantage when attacking at long range. When Allan makes his first ranged weapon attack in a turn, he can choose to take a –5 penalty to his ranged weapon attack rolls in exchange for a +10 bonus to ranged weapon damage.

Indomitable (1/Long Rest). Allan can reroll a saving throw that he fails but must use the new roll.

Marksman Combatant. Allan doesn’t have disadvantage from making ranged weapon attack rolls against targets within 5 feet of him. In addition, whenever he makes a ranged weapon attack against a creature on his turn, that creature is unable to take reactions until the end of his turn.

Natural Explorer: Grassland. When Allan makes an Intelligence or Wisdom check related to the grassland, his proficiency bonus (+5) is doubled if he is using a skill that he’s proficient in. While traveling for an hour or more in his favored terrain, Allan gains the following benefits:
  • Difficult terrain doesn’t slow his group’s travel.
  • Allan’s group can’t become lost except by magical means.
  • Even when he is engaged in another activity while traveling (such as foraging, navigating, or tracking), Allan remains alert to danger.
  • If Allan is traveling alone, he can move stealthily at a normal pace.
  • When he forages, Allan finds twice as much food as he normally would.
While tracking other creatures, Allan also learns their exact number, their sizes, and how long ago they passed through the area.

Second Wind (1/Short Rest). On his turn, Allan can use a bonus action to regain 1d10+12 hit points.


ACTIONS
Extra Attack. Allan attacks three times when he takes the Attack action.

Cutlass. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d6+4) slashing damage.

Dagger. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d4+4) piercing damage.

Dagger. Ranged Weapon Attack: +11 to hit, range 20/60 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d4+4) piercing damage.

Revolver. Ranged Weapon Attack: +11 to hit, range 40/120 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d8+4) piercing damage.

Hunting Rifle. Ranged Weapon Attack: +11 to hit, range 80/240 ft., one target. Hit: 15 (2d10+4) piercing damage.
 
Last edited:
Mike Myler

Comments





We have to remember this character uses firearms from the last decades of XIX. (if you want stats you could get them from d20 Past).

Have you thought about how would be your PCs from a low level tech civilitation (Hirboria Age, for example) facing alien invaders with steampunk machines? The power balance will be broken right away.
 


Dr. Bull

Explorer
Excellent build, but I would like to include a few considerations:

Quatermain was a gentleman and adventurer. He's a stereotype of the "great white hunter," with a pith helmet and Khaki pants. However, I don't see any social or knowledge skills. Is he essentially a barbarian/ranger who shoots a gun?

A Lawful Good, Victorian Englishman would possess a few more skills. Navigation? Language? Culture? Architecture? Military Traditions? Folklore?

Indiana Jones had a PhD...
 

Tonguez

Legend
Excellent build, but I would like to include a few considerations:

Quatermain was a gentleman and adventurer. He's a stereotype of the "great white hunter," with a pith helmet and Khaki pants. However, I don't see any social or knowledge skills. Is he essentially a barbarian/ranger who shoots a gun?

A Lawful Good, Victorian Englishman would possess a few more skills. Navigation? Language? Culture? Architecture? Military Traditions? Folklore?

Indiana Jones had a PhD...
No, according to the books he’s the son of a missionary, raised in Africa and described as being small, wiry, and unattractive. His only talent is his marksmanship so yes Alan Quartermain is a barbarian/Ranger with a gun.

infact later in his career Quartermain laments that as a Professional Hunter he has helped to destroy the wilderness he loves but relunctantly returns to hunting as that’s is the only thing he knows how to do
 
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Dr. Bull

Explorer
No, according to the books he’s the son of a missionary, raised in Africa and described as being small, wiry, and unattractive. His only talent is his marksmanship so yes Alan Quartermain is a barbarian/Ranger with a gun.

infact later in his career Quartermain laments that as a Professional Hunter he has helped to destroy the wilderness he loves but relunctantly returns to hunting as that’s is the only thing he knows how to do
So, in other words, Quartermain is not Indiana Jones? PhD v. uneducated? Big difference!
 

Tonguez

Legend
So, in other words, Quartermain is not Indiana Jones? PhD v. uneducated? Big difference!
Yeah and casting Richard Chamberlain and Sean Connery in the role has given most people the impression he was a handsome roguish type like Indiana Jones too - but then Hollywood doesn’t do unattractive/unkempt very well
 



Dr. Bull

Explorer
So, in other words, he was an "ideal," or paragon? I have no problem with that. He's an interesting character.

My point remains...

In the build displayed above, he does not possess a single knowledge or social skill.

That needs work, eh?

- Dr. Bull
 
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Tonguez

Legend
and yet, he managed to marry two beautiful women and was loved by another....
Well Marie was rebelling against her father (not to mention that Quartermain saved her life 3 times), his second wife grew up in the bush and he was the only eligible white man in the area.
 
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Tonguez

Legend
That does not preclude him being a gentleman.
no it doesnt, the discussion though was that his skillset were those of a professional hunter raised in Africa and that is covered by him being a Ranger. His marksmanship is his only major talent and he doesnt really need extra skills to illustrate his 'gentleman-ness'
 


Rafael Martin

Explorer
Its a great build as always, but I didn't see anything about his opium addiction, as shown in the The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen comicbook series. Can you modify the D&D rules to include that fact? By the way, when will we see Agent Tom Sawyer write up? Just wondering...

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Rafael Martin

Explorer
Also, since historical figures are in the public domain, I humbly request you write up President Abraham Lincoln...Vampire Hunter!!! Yes, the fact that by night he hunted vampires was excluded from the history books, but thankfully this story was told in the movie Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012). This is a highly underrated movie, and it has the greatest cameo EVER from another US President at the end...

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