Saturday, February 11, 2012

2D6: Class, Role, etc.

After a player selects the race of their character and generates the attribute ratings, the next step in the character creation process is the selection of character class or role.  In my 2D6 system, this class or role will basically be a bundled together group of talents and a few other options that help to mold the character into a more focused direction.

I am attempting to detail the classes or roles in a manner that does not straight jacket the character into being useful in only limited situations.  Yes, I want the characters to be "better" or "best" in certain situations BUT I also want there to be situations where other classes would better handle the situation so the team aspect is encouraged.  

My initial impression on how the class or role information will be formatted is detailed below.
Name: The name of the class or role followed by a few sentences explaining the functions of that class.
Talents: The bundle of talents that will be the core building blocks of that class or role.
Other: A short list of special abilities, bonuses, and penalties related to characters playing this class or role.  This will include stuff like clerical healing, the ability to detect evil, or other similar abilities.  (This should be where the difficulty columns of the Action Result Table get the most use.  For instance, on a successful roll in the Hard column against knowledge, a mage can decipher a magic scroll.)

I would like a healthy amount of variation among the classes or roles so the players will have plenty of options to choose from.  A few ideas for the list of classes or roles are listed below:

Barbarian: a warrior of the wild that is prone to fly into an uncontrollable rage during combat.
Bard: a traveling minstrel type character desiring fame and fortune.
Cleric: a warrior-priest.
Druid: a nature priest.
Elementalist: a mage that uses the forces of the elements to aid him.
Knight: a noble warrior.
Mage: a worker of arcane magic.
Monk: a spiritual warrior that commonly groups together in a monastery.
Paladin: a holy warrior.
Ranger: a warrior of the woods; typically prefers bows.
Thief: an adventurer typically from the "wrong side of the tracks".
Warrior: a typical sword for hire.
Witch: a misunderstood magic user that is often thought to be evil.

That is just a basic list showing the general idea; not much detail yet and I am sure that much of it will eventually change.  I just needed to get it out there.  Besides, I still have a list of talents to complete.  More later...


  1. Spells...How to do magic different? Possibly broad skills in one type of magic? For instance a Cleric gets Heal, Turn, Detoxify, and whatever else.

    Wizards get Pain, Compulsion, Harm, Domination, and Rite. Hehe I stole this magic from my LARP. Pain can cause pain, pleasure, tickle etc. Compulsion is a mind altering trick.
    Harm actually causes damage.
    Domination completely controls minds.
    Rite is a ritual that can do anything large.

    Broad abilities that can be used with the cleverness of the player and the die roll.

    Just a few ideas.

    Or just make a regular ol spell list.

    1. Good suggestions. I honestly have not given a lot of thought on spells yet but I have given a little bit. I am somewhat fond of the idea of avoiding a standard spell list and going with a list of variables that each mage can combine into their own custom spells. Of course, the GM will have guidelines on how to handle it and how to handle the difficulty rating. Simply put, something similar to the magic system from the Dragonlance: Fifth Age Saga game. Too bad I got rid of that years ago. You never know when something will need to be held onto for reference - d'oh!

    2. The list seems good, but it seems as though you have gone back to classes and away from roles. For example, you have three melee classes. Knight, Barbarian, and Warrior. What are the difference between theses? Maybe the talents you come up with will make them significantly different, but they seem just like all fighters to me. They would all play the same role in a group. This seems to get away from the role being used and then a list of examples that fit that role and instead back to D&D type classes. Nothing wrong with that, but such a move should be a conscious choice.

      For roles, I would go with:


      Damage would be elementalist and witch (depending on their spells. It would also include those who use a bow. This would be a sniper and ranger.

      People might not understand the "role" in that sense, so maybe

      Magic Damage
      Support Hyrbids (combine two or more roles so as a fighter/healer would produce a cleric. Meanwhile a pure healer would be just like any other magic user).

      Then what you can do is add maybe "flavor talents" What I mean is a fighter can take a rage in combat flavor talent to produce the Barbarian you want. It includes aspects of mechanics and role-playing descriptions. A sniper could take one that helps his role as a sniper and a ranger would take one for wilderness travel/combat.

      Anyway, that is the direction I thought you were going. Nothing wrong with the class idea. It is a good approach for a hybrid class/level system.

    3. Your perception is actually CLOSER to what I want to do. I was listing some of the character class types that I would like to be available in the game. I should have been clearer about my intentions. It all made sense in my head after waking up at 4:50 am this morning for no I was going to add something in about AD&D 2E really emphasizing the main four classes with fighter, wizard, rogue, and priest; everything else is some sort of specialization when you get down to it. I was nowhere near as clear as I wanted to be.

      I can see that I'm going to need to refine what I am doing with another post. I like your split on the roles:


      I don't have a lot of experience with MMOs but I can draw conclusions I think. The Melee role is, of course, about doing melee damage. Everybody character made with it gets a base package that is the same then through the selection of flavor talents, etc. the character is fully realized and customized. Correct?

      Working further along those lines, a few melee related flavor talents would be stuff like:

      Berserker Rage
      Two Weapon Fighting

      It makes sense to me but am I explaining it where you get it? I like the way I envision each character in a role starting off from the same rough cut and then getting individualized by picking different talents. Sounds interesting.

      Just to be clear, I definitely do not want to do classes that are very similar to the way D&D does them. I want something different like in your reply.

    4. I am attempting to get a rough version of this together for posting later tonight.

    5. Since you asked about MMO's, it sorta of depends. There can be a lot of variability in the older games. Anyway, here is how something like melee works in the older games.

      Melee: You have a heavy tank and a light tank. Heavy tank means you wear the best (heavy) armor. You often have a sword and a shield. Your job is to keep "agro." What that means is monsters aren't that dumb. They are going to go after the person doing the most damage - usually a caster, or after the healer who is keeping everyone alive. The heavy tank keeps the attention focused on him. This is why he needs to have the most health and the best armor.

      Light tanks, on the other hand, are melee damage focused. They wear light armor to be more maneuverable. They can take more damage than a caster, but they prefer to avoid being hit. They often positional attacks, some use two weapons, etc.

      Putting this in a D&D class mold, what melee would mean is something like a Knight for a heavy tank and a Barbarian for a light tank. The knight has the best armor, weapons, and training. For the Barbarian, he wears fur armor so he can move fast. It also permits him to use more of his strength to hit instead of bearing the weight of the armor. He is more concerned about doing damage, than they damage he is taking.

      In MMO's "thief" type classes would fall into the hybrid category. They are a light tank, but also have other tools such as picking locks, hide in shadows, etc.

      I actually think MMO are superior to table top in only one aspect - how they treat melee. Take a look at the PJ advanced combat section. That is the first time I tried to add in some insights from mmo's. In D&D, it is pretty much just hit and miss for combat. MMO's had to make it more interesting by thinking about what you are doing in combat.

      I doubt most people have mmo style combat for melee. Well, maybe if you play 4E. So you need to adjust things to fit how you game. I will offer a bit more explanation of the role categorizes I offered:

      Melee - wear metal armor and is focused on using melee weapons. Have high hit points and strength. Some are more defense oriented which is reflected in armor choice/shield. Others are more offense based and wear lighter armor and use say a two-handed sword to maximizes damage

      Ranged - These use bows/crossbows. The focus is on distance damage. They wear lighter armor for greater mobility. They have some melee ability, but it is worse than their bow damage. In addition to damage, they pay attention to combat. If they see a caster starting to cast, they shoot to interrupt.

      Magic - magic is mostly focused on magical damage. It does offer some other types of support spells depending on the specialty of magic.

      Healing - their job is to heal. It is just another magic class, but one that is focused on healing powers instead of destructive ones.

      Support/Hybrid - these combine unique non-combat abilities with one of the other roles. A thief is a light tank, but also pick locks, pick pocket, searches. A Cleric is a heavy tank, with healing magic, and special tools against undead. It usually focuses on healing. A Paladin is also a heavy tank with healing magic, but its focus is mostly combat and healing only if necessary. A Druid might be a light tank, combined with healing and nature spells.

      This would also be where you put things such as a fighter/magic user. The first class determines their primary role and the second their secondary role.

      The key with the hybrids is that by gaining extra abilities, they suffer in other areas. This can be extra XP required as well as not performing their roles as well as others. A Knight, for example, might be better at melee than a Paladin.

      Anyway, hope that helps.

    6. Yes, that all makes sense and serves as a good example. In the simplest of terms and examples, I am thinking of something similar to the classes in Diablo 2 that are basically the same until you start racking up skill points after level gains. The choice of skill point distribution makes a difference between two characters of the same class.

      I like your thoughts on the hybrid classes above. It makes a lot of sense and I get your point. Reward the character that specializes in one area or role instead of several. It makes sense because a single devotion is easier to increase than several minor devotion.

      Ideas are still coming...

  2. You could always have base classes then have a chart mixing the classes.

    Fighter Wizard Thief Cleric

    Fighter Fighter Spellblade Ranger Paladin
    Wizard Warmage Wizard Trickster Druid
    Thief Assassin Bard Thief Monk
    Cleric Templar Warlock Heretic Cleric

    Just a few ideas. Add is great! LOOK! a chicken!

    1. Hmmm...the chart is an interesting idea! I'm still plugging away at some ideas, so who knows?

      Yes, indeed, ADD is great!