Friday, September 27, 2013

30 Days of D&D Challenge Day 28: Future Characters

A designer at heart I don't think of playing a new character so to speak but in the future but whenever I see a new class or game system I am excited to give the class or archetype a try.  Rather than try to find a class to fit my concept I prefer to find a class and build a character concept around it.  Playing a new class is getting a chance to try another creative expression the designer advocated in their system and playing it is the best way to appreciate the strengths and flaws in their design.  It is also the best way to learn to improve upon your own design.  So I'll list a few classes that have piqued my interest but I have not gotten around to playing because nearly all my time is spent behind the screen.

OSR Retroclone
Labyrinth Lord AEC

Monk, just the simple fact that the monk can be quite capable with a melee weapon as he can be with his fists is very appealing to me.  As an avid lover of kungfu flicks I've never actually played a martial-artist but this particular rendition of the Monk would be where I start.  Out of all the editions this is my favorite version of the monk.

Of course the next OSR game I run will likely include Dyson's d12 Subclasses

Dungeon Crawl Classics

While I've been avoiding reading the ruleset so as to not conflict with the one I'm designing I've read a few of the reviews of DCC and I have very high expectations and an unabashed love the artwork covers.  The talk I heard surrounding Mercurial Magic seemed like a very fun concept so once I get around to finishing this behemoth of an endeavor I plan on trying out DCC right away.


When it comes down to kits I've always found the Kensei very appealing and he makes for an excellent dual-class into Wizard to create a magic swordsman.  In addition to that the Blade kit for Bards was always exciting.  Looking back at Baldur's Gate, Xan was very difficult to play my first time around.  As I grew more experienced in AD&D I thought that playing a character who cannot rely on traditional damage spells makes for a very exciting Wizard archetype and I would gladly hop into his shoes in an AD&D game.  So we have:
Fighter: Kensei; Bard: Blade & Wizard: Enchanter.

3rd Edition

Beguiler by Christopher Rush
I love the rogue-mage concept and it's nice to see a class that performs this well but also specialized into a very fun character type.  One who seeks to dowse or knock unconcious rather than kill, one who relys on sly words as well as small glamours.  The abilities provided encourage a particular archetype, of the dashing rogue who steals hearts but is honorable enough to spare lives.

by ValeLuche
As I mentioned back in the Favorite Deity post I once played a sword-arm of the church who was convinced he was Judge, Jury and Executioner.  The inquisitor fits this bill quite nicely in concept although the actual abilities are another story altogether.  When I first looked at the inquisitor during the playtest I was wondering why know one had thought of creating a Bard type spell progression with Divine spells before.  It seemed like an obvious choice and the mechanics provided seem interesting enough although my problem nowadays is that after joining the Old School Renaissance I really don't have patience for intrinsically mechanically crunchy systems so my days as a Beguiler or an inquisitor may be numbered.  On a side note though, the artwork for character archetypes is very enthralling and it alone almost makes me want to pick up a few books.

D&D Next
 Likewise with DCC I have kept my nose out completely of all developments to avoid any conflict of interests.  However, the easiest way for me to judge an edition of D&D is how they present the Fighter.  Is he the castoff for those who can't roll decent enough stats, ala OD&D? Will he be definited entirely by his weapon specialization ala AD&D?  Is he the highly customizable but pales in comparison to most other classes after a few levels ala 3rd Edition?  Will he be an excellent front linesman whose goal in life is to keep enemies from getting to his companions while dishing out a good deal of pain himself ala 4th ed?  The fighter is a classic archetype of any and all fantasy literature and if the newest edition of D&D cannot create an enticing and mechanically effective Fighter then they are doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past.

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