Friday, January 14, 2011

Rethinking 2E Character Kits

Just a few random thoughts I had that I'd like to get down.  I've been having another busy week, so not much blogging.  I figured in lieu of an actual post, I'd jot these ideas down here instead of on some scrap paper like I normally would.

Kits--give a small bonus, and a small penalty, to a character class in order to distinguish them from all the other members of that class.

Ideas for Magic-Users:
"Sorcerer" Bonus: No spell book.  All spells are known, and may be prepared as desired.  Penalty: No more spells known than castable per day (as btb in Moldvay), no automatic Read Magic, can't use scrolls to gain new spells.

"Witch" Bonus:  Access to select Cleric spells as well as M-U spells.  Penalty: Severe magic item restrictions (still thinking which ones)

"Magus" Bonus: Bonus spells per day for high Int bonus.  Penalty: Spells in spellbook determined randomly.

Ideas for Fighters:
"Archer" Bonus: Dex bonus to hit and damage with ranged weapons.  Penalty: Str and Dex as Prime Requisite.

"Berserker" Bonus: +2 damage in melee against humaniods.  Penalty: Save vs. Spells (each round) to avoid attacking allies when enemies defeated.

Just a couple ideas, like I said.


  1. My only problem with kits as they were in the 2E books was that they often seemed to be mostly about the penalty with a relatively little bonus to counter it. It always felt like to take a kit was asking for your character to be penalized, and who wants that? If you keep them more balanced, it's actually a fine idea.

  2. I always felt the problem with kits is that all the bonuses were front-loaded. I had a grand plan long ago to develop kits that gave gradual bonuses every 2-3 levels. Frex, the Myrmidon fighter might get a +1 damage at 1st level, gain a +1 to-hit at 3rd, etc.

    Good start here.

  3. Kits were great for exactly the reason you state - to help make two same class characters have some distinction. They also were a great tool to help new players think about all the different possibilities a class might offer.

    I like the ones you suggest, they seem reasonable.

  4. I also think you may be on the right track with this idea... if you want to go that way. Many will not. I think it's really neat though. My problem with kits back in 2nd edition was the same as the first two commentators - everything seemed front loaded, and not really worth it.


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