Saturday, November 23, 2013

A Proto-idea

This only just came to me over morning coffee. I don't have time to dwell on it this morning, and it is so nascent I may forget it if I don't record it. So, here goes . . .

Start with the four main classes, cleric, fighter, magic-user, thief. Everyone selects one at character generation like always. But instead of limitless levels, or a cap at 10, 14, or whatever, each basic class only goes to 3rd level. At 4th level you essentially choose a new class.

Here's the thing, though: the new class is a natural progression of the old class. So, someone who starts as a fighter would progress to a "fighting" class. Say, a ranger, or a paladin, or barbarian. There could be a lot of these classes. Progress through three levels of this new class, then change again. Subsequent changes become increasingly restrictive, based on the "class path" up to that point. That isn't to say you couldn't go back to a "branch point" and start along a different path, there would just be some sort of penalties for doing so.

I'm not sure if this would work with OD&D. I like the idea of it, though. Hopefully I'll have time to develop it, and see how it shapes up.


  1. Sounds good to me, itks worked for other games in the past.

  2. IMHO you could take inspiration from Secret of Mana 2, an old J-RPG for SNES.

    In that game your characters had to choose advancemente on a binary tree: for example your starting fighter can become a Gladiator (melee based) or a Knight (soft holy powers).
    The Gladiator can switch later to a Duelist (good vs single enemies) or Swordmaster (good vs multiple enemies).
    The Knight, on the other side, can become Paladin (obviously) or Lord (less versatile than Paladin and more defensive).

  3. I have had similar thoughts myself. I am very intrigued by this idea. It reminds me of the old Final Fantasy game where your characters could progress through various classes like White Wizard, Black Wizard, etc. and sounds like it shared some similarities with Secret of Mana 2 mentioned above. I think it could definitely work and I will be tracking development of this idea.

  4. So, you want to have prestige classes. :) I do it in a similar way in my DCC RPG campaign. You have four basic classes, but you can do quests or join orders or find masters to enter an elite class and gain further abilities.

  5. They're not really prestige classes though because nyou don't have the option to just remain a fighter (or whatever). It's somewhere between prestige classes and WFRP's career approach. It's an interesting idea.

  6. Yes! This is exactly what I am doing with Dagger RPG - Character classes max out at 6th level (with optional "prestige classes" like ranger, bard, paladin, knight, specialized wizard, etc available beginning at 4th level). In addition, elves (which are a combined fighter/magic-user class from levels 1-3) may also decide to just focus upon either class upon reaching 4th level). Halflings top out as fighters at 4th level, if they do not chose a halfling "prestige class," then the optional additional things
    7th level characters are considered beyond mortal - saints, liches, quasi-gods, etc.