Heroes can rise from unfortunate circumstances, and few circumstances are less fortunate than to begin life as a penniless street urchin in a hard, unforgiving city. Orphaned, abandoned, or mistreated as children, guttersnipes can grow into hard-bitten, cynical adults. Marked by the lower-class manners and speech patterns of the poorest quarters, guttersnipe heroes struggle to be seen as something more than the dregs of society. Guttersnipes live their lives under constant suspicion from the more fortunate people in the world. Most are seen as greedy, lying cutpurses, footpads, or ruffians who would slit a throat for a handful of silver pieces. Common people openly distrust them, constables and watch officers routinely harass or question them, and aristocrats are surrounded by watchful guards or counselors who make it a point to keep the riffraff, especially dangerous riffraff, away.
    Under this cloak of distrust, some guttersnipes choose to live down to others’ expectations, nursing bitter grudges against their “betters.” Others desperately try to escape their poor origin by concealing their street manners and lack of education behind carefully rehearsed facades of gentility; they dread the day when someone sees through the disguise. Some happy-go-lucky souls choose not to be troubled by suspicions and slights, refusing to be defined by others’ ill-informed judgments. Finally, benefactors who see potential in them pluck a lucky few guttersnipes out of the streets and give them a chance to make something of themselves. A powerful wizard might detect a spark of greatness in a street urchin and teach the boy or girl a few tricks; a compassionate priest might offer a poor child a chance to become an acolyte in a temple. As recounted in more than one legendary tale, guttersnipes are sometimes picked up from the streets by royalty or high nobles and adopted after doing some great service or showing tremendous pluck.
    Whether a guttersnipe meets life with wry wit or scheming self-interest, every one is a survivor who excels in recognizing and seizing opportunity. Guttersnipes who through good fortune or hard work leave the streets behind to become wizards, clerics, or wards of nobles might not look or sound much like the beggar children they once were, but inside they still have the quick wits and daring that got them noticed in the first place.

    Guttersnipe Starting Feature (1st level): You gain the running slash power.
    Guttersnipe Level 5 Feature (5th level): When you buy an item, you pay 90 percent of the listed price. When you sell an item, you receive 10 percent more than the price normally quoted for selling that item.
    Guttersnipe Level 10 Feature (10th level): You gain a +5 power bonus to Streetwise checks. You can make a Streetwise check once per day as a free action as long as you are in a town or a city.

Guttersnipe Attack Running Slash

You dart past a foe, attacking as you pass by.

Encounter        Martial, Weapon
Standard Action      Melee 1

Effect: You move up to your speed and make the following attack at any point during your move. This movement does not provoke an opportunity attack from the target.

Target: One creature

Attack: Highest ability modifier vs. Reflex

Hit: 1[W] + highest ability modifier damage, and the target is slowed until the end of your next turn.
    Level 11: 2[W] + highest ability modifier damage.
    Level 21: 3[W] + highest ability modifier damage.

Guttersnipe Utility 2Infuriating Taunt

You enrage an enemy by mocking its failure.

Encounter        Martial
Immediate Reaction      Close burst 5

Trigger: An enemy within 5 squares of you misses you with an attack.

Target: The triggering enemy in the burst

Effect: Until the end of the encounter, the target takes a -2 penalty to attack rolls (including rolls against you) until it hits you with an attack.

Guttersnipe Utility 6Fools' Dance

When pressed by your enemies, you turn their numbers against them. The closer you are to your enemies, the farther you are from harm.

Encounter        Martial
Minor Action      Personal

Effect: Until the end of your next turn, each time you are attacked, you gain a power bonus to all defenses against that attack. The bonus equals the number of enemies adjacent to you when the attack is made. In addition, until the end of your next turn, each time you are missed by an attack, you can shift 1 square as a free action.

Guttersnipe Utility 10Unlikely Escape

With a quick twist of your torso, you slip free from a situation that impedes you.

Encounter        Martial
Move Action      Personal

Requirement: You must be restrained, slowed, immobilized, or flanked by enemies.

Effect: You end one effect on you that is immobilizing, restraining, or slowing you, and you shift up to 3 squares.

Published in Dragon Magazine 399.