06 August 2010

Sneak Peek: Crayonian Classes

Today I'm going to write a little bit about a side project I've been working on whose working name is Crayonian Classes, based, of course, off of one of my pseudonyms. It's a basic rewriting of the classes in Labyrinth Lord, because variety isn't the enemy.

It uses a number of my houserules, which are all terribly minor things that shouldn't be a problem to anybody. First, is my Weapon Sizes and Damage modification, which assigns each weapon a damage die based on its size and whether or not it is blunt. In addition, it organized armor into three categories, which I'm not sure has been written just in this blog just yet.

To be clear:

Unarmored, Leather, Padded, and Studded Leather are "Light" armor.
Scale Mail and Chain Mail are "Medium" armor.
Banded Mail and Plate Mail are "Heavy" armor.
Shields are in their own category and are indicated individually.

Also, it features classes that go only to level 9, at which point they can build a stronghold and become  local rulers of some parcel of land or, if they choose, they can continue to wander about. There are a couple of reasons for that. Firstly, character classes gain only a tiny bit of hit points relative to the experience needed to gain a level. In essence, levels above 9 are a soft cap, providing the illusion of continued advancement while providing nearly nothing to characters who aren't magic users. Oh wow, an additional three hit points for getting 1.5 million experience? That sure was worth it.

Secondly, instead of a character limit of 36, why not just limit it at 9? At this point in the game, characters have changed role entirely, having gone from scrappy underdogs to local legends, folk heroes, and whispered names. They have entire castles, and are dealing with peasant's local land rights and diplomatic relations. By necessity of their increased power, they simply can't run around and continue slaying monsters, stealing their stuff, and finding ever more magical swords. It doesn't work that way any more than Superman can, for example, stop saving the world and fighting aliens and stuff.

Thirdly, it caps level inflation hard. Ninth level, that's it. At ninth level, you're nine times as tough as a normal man, and nine times as good at fighting. You're capable of incredible feats of magic, and you're a legend in your own lands. For the same reasons that you can argue that Holmes D&D is a complete set, or that level advancement should be limited to level six, I argue that level 9 is fine. You know what else has nine levels? Elephants, Chimeras, Bulettes, Dragons, Hydras, Vampires, Remorhaxes, Stone Giants. If you think that being as tough as a damn Stone Giant isn't quite enough power, then there's something wrong with you.

Before I get even more off track, here's a sneak peek of the Witchfinder, a new base class that I've been designing. I hope you like it as much as I do.

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