New Classes from Old

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irichmond
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Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2020 10:56 am

New Classes from Old

Post Sun Oct 11, 2020 7:10 pm

Hello,

This is my first time posting on this forum. I started playing fantasy RPG's in 1982. I was 8. Ever since, I've had a love for them, and I really like the OSR and Basic Fantasy. It gets back to the old elegant simplicity I remember, rather than modern games that have so many classes, sub-classes, and core rules that they can't even allow you to make your own characters in their basic box sets anymore.

I have kind of a neat take, I think, on sub-classes. I'm very married to the four core classes: Fighter, Thief, Magic User, and Cleric as being at the heart of classes and I've always seen them as very broad categories. Each could imply a lot of different occupations, or a character's occupation might be something else entirely. I remember one adventure from the old days that had Magic Users serving as priests of a god of magic. It also had two deities served by Fighters as priests. So, Magic Users and Fighters can be priests. They can't get Cleric spells or Turn Undead, but still that's interesting. I assume Thieves could be priests of gods of thievery or something. That got me wondering what other types can we do just with those four classes, or sub-classes that are only slight tweaks from them. The result is my article, here: "New Classes from Old". Rather than trying to add classes from other FRPG's or create a new class with very different abilities, this article re-imagines the big four in new and surprising ways. I have Clerical Bards, Thieves re-imagined as village witches (called Cunning Men and Cunning Women), White Magicians who cast Cleric spells, and even fairies as a Magic User sub-type.

See what you think.
New Classes from Old.docx
New takes on the four core classes, this file suggests sub-classes of the traditional four that often look at the class askew and see how it could be reinterpreted in new and surprising ways.
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Rosisha
Posts: 185
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Re: New Classes from Old

Post Sun Oct 11, 2020 8:18 pm

There is a lot here and I spent the day writing a ton. I'll have to spend tomorrow reading this deeply, but some of this is interesting.
Seven
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Re: New Classes from Old

Post Mon Oct 12, 2020 10:02 am

In Basic Fantasy, thieves don' t have Read Language and magic scroll use, as far as I know.
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Solomoriah
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Re: New Classes from Old

Post Mon Oct 12, 2020 10:56 am

Not canonically, no.

Though now that I think about it, perhaps we should add this to Thief Options.
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daryen
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Re: New Classes from Old

Post Mon Oct 12, 2020 12:21 pm

Behind the scenes, I copied the Glain Companion document as a template and have been making my own version. In it, I am definitely giving Thieves the ability to Read Languages and use Magic Scrolls.
Seven
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Re: New Classes from Old

Post Mon Oct 12, 2020 8:06 pm

I'm fine with Read Language as an extra skill.
Forgery is a great thief skill too.

I let anyone use Clerical scrolls as a 0th level Cleric, since it's written in common.
I still require the Magic Users to use Read Magic on their scrolls, so I don't feel the thief can read them. I'm open to thieves using wands though.
I could make an exception for a player who invests himself in learning Read Magic.
It's kinda like a level 0 Magic User skill. Shades of Cugel and the Gray mouser.
irichmond
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Re: New Classes from Old

Post Wed Oct 14, 2020 2:39 am

Oh, my bad about Thieves not having Read Languages and Read Scrolls in Basic Fantasy :lol: . My intent was to say that my sub-classes are based on the core classes. Whatever those core classes get, the sub-classes get those +/- the tweaks. I'm hoping to make this as compatible with other OSR's as possible, so that folks will only have to take a core class, apply the changes for the sub-class, and it will still work regarless. So, how have to edit the Read Languages and Read Scrolls out and make the appropriate adjustments to my article. Thanks for pointing that out.

I'm hearing a lot of discussion about Thief abilities and reading scrolls, but I'd like to hear what people think my article :D .
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SmootRK
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Re: New Classes from Old

Post Wed Oct 14, 2020 7:39 am

irichmond wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 2:39 am
I'm hearing a lot of discussion about Thief abilities and reading scrolls, but I'd like to hear what people think my article :D .
I see your ideas as being very setting specific thoughts (but without citing the specific setting), and rather too radically altered from what most consider "traditional" to the point that I doubt you get very much traction with many people. That is not saying these are bad ideas, I just don't think you will gain much "audience" with this. Folks just have certain preconceptions about how certain fundamentals work... and this deviates from that substantially.

Perhaps just my own small take on this, so I would not want to stifle your creative energy. Please continue to gather thoughts from others and not base anything solely on my views here.
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irichmond
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Re: New Classes from Old

Post Fri Oct 16, 2020 1:13 am

Thanks for your feedback. Valid opinion. I guess a lot of folks are trying to gather ideas that are reminiscent of classic games they remember from 80's fantasy RPG's. I was thinking more of options to expand in new ways that keep with existing mechanics. Sort of like how Dark Dungeons has added Clockworks and Mountebanks to their class list in Dark Dungeons X. I'm finding it useful in the campaign I'm working on to have a lot of these in my back pocket in case players want to play something different. Am I going to get in trouble if I quote famous fantasy RPG authoer, here? I seem to remember Eric Holmes saying something about how DM's should allow their players to play whatever types of characters they want. So, that's one seed of my inspiration.
Seven
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Re: New Classes from Old

Post Fri Oct 16, 2020 12:36 pm

There's an obvious issue of balance to consider when deciding what type of character is playable. My opinion is that the DM need to sit down with the players and supervise the creation of the players' character. It's a game where the DM tries to surprise the players, not the other way around. Whatever uniqueness a player chooses to grasp for might just turn out to be fairly common down the road. So basically, change the characters, change the campaign. And that leads to a lot of work. Still, small changes are fine and exotic characters are mostly defined by their numerous flaws and weaknesses. I might let a player use a dog hybrid character, but soon he'll know by heart the surprisingly long list of human food that is toxic to dogs.

Now, your changes are interesting but real feedback would probably require hours of player driven playtesting.
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