Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Class Consciousness

Talifer (aka Dean, who plays in my games and DMs what he calls Ozberron, now back to 4E rules) pointed out on my last post that most players are more familiar with AD&D and up editions where race and class are separate. But there's a part of me that really wants to get my game back to the simplicity of the four basic classes, plus demi-humans.

And really, Jeff Rients pointed this out in his blog a long time ago, the four Basic human classes really can represent any type of character in an Asian inspired game (along with some demi-humans). Now I'm going for something a bit more pan-Asian inspired in my home game, but the concept is valid.

Looking at the BX/BECMI options, the demi-humans are two variant Fighters and a single multi-class combination.

If I were to remodel my house rules on the idea of four basic classes but each can choose a specialty, I could cover a lot of demi-humans that way. Being a Dwarf is basically being a Fighter but with a few special abilities, and limited to 12th level. So if I were to make a general Fighter class with options to specialize as a Barbarian, Paladin, Ranger, or just better Fighter, I could also throw in Dwarf and Halfling as options for specialization.

In an OA setting, some yokai (demi-humans/fae) options might be options for another class. Kitsune (fox-spirits) could become a specialization for Magic-Users, as one example. A few non-human options might be like the Elf, with a multiclass combination specialty class, but most could be covered under the basic 4, just with some alternate abilities (and a level cap).

Of course, the danger is going overboard on this, like 2E kits, and overloading players with specialization options. That would just re-complicate things instead of simplifying. Having a big menu of options but only allowing a subset of them to fit the campaign looks good on paper, but some players inevitably want to play the banned content.

This will probably end up being just a thought experiment in the end, since the rules I use now do seem to work pretty well (a few tweaks here and there still needed). It's still fun to think about it, though.

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