This thread picks up from a thread on GitP
, which isn’t available ATM, but hopefully you can understand my rambling. To summarize:
I'm still trying to decide how to divide my classes for my WarCraft game. I've mentioned how the multiclassing system works, which is part of what makes the class divisions an important factor in the game. What concepts are more baseline, core-class worthy, and which concepts are more of a hybrid, mixing core concepts to create a specific blend?
Here's the last list I posted on the GitP thread, cleaned up a little, with short descriptions:
Adept (varies) - Generic caster class, can be flavored arcane/light/primal/etc to suit, 3e-warlock-like simple-to-run caster for newbs and NPCs
Death Knight (Martial/Shadow) - Could be just multiclass necro/warrior (if I did PrCs, this would SO be one, but I want to avoid them..) but WoW's DK is my fave class, lots of concept fodder..
Druid (Primal) - Hybrid class, like a 3e shapeshift druid that gets a few ToB maneuvers for each form, with summoning and plant-themed spells
Mage (Arcane) - Base arcane, but more akin to fleshed out warmage with good utility variety, in function
Mount Rider (Martial) - Companion class, gains mount as main class feature, for fighting while riding
Necromancer (Arcane/Shadow) - Arcane addendum (multiclasses with Mage well, adding new variety to their casting), focused on necromantic minions
Paladin (Martial/Light) - Could be priest/warrior multiclass, not sure, will explain below
Priest (Light) - Light-armored priest, think more like expanded healer with dark psychic counterpart effects for evil chars
Rogue (Martial/Skill) - Melee focused, some Shadow Hand style effects
Savage (Natural) - Animal companion class, plus feral evolutions like scent, claws, etc
Scout (Martial/Skill) - Ranged focus, as much D&D-style-Ranger as scout, but mundane
Shaman (Primal) - Hybrid class, most similar to 3e cleric, mix of fighting skill (w/self-buffing) and elemental casting
Tinker (Skill) - Technology focused class, uses prepped mechanical devices, most similar to 4e artificer
Warlock (Arcane/Fel) - Arcane addendum (multiclasses with Mage well, adding new variety to their casting), focused on demonic minions and demonic mutations
Warrior (Martial) - melee focused, mix of 3e Warblade and some versions of 5e fighter, will explain below
I actually have an interesting position for justifying my classes. Unlike in regular D&D, where you would say a class needs to be able to cover bases A, B, and C, while this other class covers B, C, and D, instead, I need to ask, Do these bases overlap, or are they mutually exclusive? A and D in these two concepts are obviously mutually exclusive from each other, so if they share any mechanical similarities, they need to be alternating options in the same class's structure. Meanwhile, maybe C is a hefty enough concept to build into a class of its own. What can I add to it to make it viable alone that it might otherwise lack? So, we're settled then, we have one class with B, plus either A or D, and another class with C.
So now let me explain my main ideas for each main class mechanic. These tie into power sources (the parentheticals after each name) which basically are each a set of mechanics.
So, first off, let me reiterate some stuff from my Rules Changes thread which is important (since apparently nobody reads it..)
Stamina and Mana are two main resources. They share some base functionality, and are both boosted by high stats. Mana functions just like power points from XPH, in terms of bonus points, and in how several classes contribute to a common pool. (basically, anything with a caster level. Highest single one counts.) Stamina functions much the same, except the formula is halved, and it's based on 'fighter level' which is my unified term for martial initiator level. (also my answer to the 'fighter dilemma', where in my other stuff, I answered the problem by eliminating the Fighter as a standalone class. Warcraft has less issues with the Warrior concept, and its more centrally placed with a unified fighter/berserker feel, but I still like putting Fighter level into use this way in my D&D-derived game.)
Now, let's go through the main power sources: First off, we have the united group of Skill and Martial.
Martial isn't just anybody using a sword, it's more or less the Maneuvers concept from ToB, in primary function. I'm currently going with a once-per-encounter structure, though I'm experimenting with the idea that Stamina could be used to either recover maneuvers mid-combat, or to directly spend on using them after the first usage. The main difference in structure is that maneuvers can be gained by *anyone*, as an extension of the Skill Trick system. Specifically, the idea that they're tricks with a higher point cost than 2, probably maneuver level+1. Anyone could buy them (assuming they meet the prereqs and are suitable level) but martial classes have a default granted progression. High-int warriors would just be able to buy *more* of them, is all.
This is why Martial is lumped in with Skill, because I want Tinkers (and a few other mundane concepts) to be skill-trick based, with his tricks based on his Engineering devices. This of the way the 3e artificer gets crafting feats for free in his progression, the Tinker would get the same for engineering tricks. But by making them part of the skill system, anyone could figure out how to use a particular 'trick' (IE device) to function every once in a while.
Maneuver tricks would be per-encounter, but have some kind of refresh mechanic. Right now, my preferred method is based on the main mechanic I’m building for the Warrior, Rage dice. For every 10 points of damage taken, the warrior gains a rage die, a d6 which by default can be spent to add to damage. Every round the Warrior is not in active combat (either attacking or in the threatened space of an enemy) these dice decay, but while in-combat, they also have an amount based on their Warrior level that generates automatically, up to a cap. (damage-earned dice wouldn’t cap, but would have to be spent before the end of the next turn.) These dice could also be spent to activate maneuvers.(Now, theoretically I could fold a lot more into the trick system.. I'm strongly considering dumping weapon proficiencies into skill tricks. Hell, if I really wanted to go all-out I could make all kinds of spells into high-cost tricks with caster level prereqs. Not sure if I want to go there though. I'm wary of over-unifying my power systems, to keep from being too 4e-like. But, who knows, maybe keeping it simpler in build-structure but more complex in usage, as you'll see, will let me create a more structured system. Let me know what you think of the idea in the replies!)
The other three sources (well, five, technically, but two are more like subgroups) each operate with a specific structure. They all use Mana, in some form or another, but I’m trying to incorporate it in different ways.
Next up is Arcane magic. Arcane is probably my most ‘new’ system, in that it’s not really directly based on existing casting. The closest similarities are Epic spellcasting’s seeds system, and PF’s words of power. Arcane spells are ‘woven’ from pre-existing components (which I might call words for ease of use). A simple spell could be woven in a single turn, like (as a non-specific example) using a standard action to generate an energy blast (selecting the energy type word), and then a move action to project it (by setting the target, a distinct word). Neither works without the other, and after both words are supplied, the spell is cast, and the mana spent. More complex spells would require more turns, making the caster vulnerable to an extent. Optionally, they could use some of their actions to move, make attacks with weapons (including wands), or do other things, while weaving complex spells with the off-hand at a slower rate, as long as they spend at least one of their actions per turn continuing to construct the spell.
Holy magic functions in the most classic sense like 3.5-style spells, though it still uses mana for extended usage. Each prayer is one of four grades, orisons, supplications, intercessions, and miracles. You start off with orisons (level 0) and supplications (levels 1-3), casting orisons 1/encounter and supplications 1/day each, though you can spend mana points to use them additional times. When you gain access to intercessions (levels 4-6), useable 1/day each, orisons become at-will, and supplications become per-encounter. Likewise, when you gain miracles (levels 7-9), intercessions go to encounter, and supplications become at-will. In some ways, this is based on a hybrid of the Shadowcaster and clerical domains, since each of the prayers in the three higher grades are also arranged into domains of associated powers within that grade. When you learn any one of the prayers in a domain, you gain the base benefit of that domain, which might augment prayers or change things up. Then, if you do learn all three prayers, you get a completion benefit, which either expands the base benefit, or does something else in that same direction. basically, prayers themselves are action-items, while the domain benefits are the more passive options.
Primal magic functions most like 3.5 psionics, with their major abilities, known as ‘calls’ that have a base point cost for a fixed effect, with the ability to spend extra points to enhance or empower that effect. On the other hand, primal magic will also have access to ‘pacts’ (which I may use with warlocks too), which function like Incarnum, allowing you to invest mana into an ability, locking those points away for a static enhancement. This would function in the place of self-cast long-term buffs, you’d just invest them into a pact for an always-on buff. Divest the buff if you need extra points, for added flexibility.
I need to do more research on how paladins in WarCraft work, but my main idea for both paladins and death knights is to use alternate-resource mechanics, with my main thought being to attach them to special-access maneuvers (most maneuvers being general-use, pre-req gated rather than class-limited) that are outright magical compared to other maneuvers. Death Knights, in particular, would generate ‘runes’ whenever they take damage (as a takeoff of the Warrior’s rage mechanic), rolling a d6 (or d3) for every 10 damage taken and getting either a Blood(1-2), Frost(3-4), or Unholy(5-6) rune, which are in turn spent to power his DK-specific maneuvers. (a DK/Warrior multiclass would likely have to choose whether each die generated was a rage die or rune die.) Paladins would probably use a similar mechanic, though I’d like to keep them from being entirely renamed clones of the other mechanics. Need more time to think of something.
Now, as for Fel and Shadow magic, well, there’s some cross-over there. Fel magic is Warlock magic, but it’s really just the demon-flavored Arcane magic that Mages would reject. No need for new mechanics, really. Shadow magic is likewise the dark part of both Holy magic (Shadow priests) and Arcane magic (necromancy effects in particular). I’m tempted to say Shadow is just a broad-base keyword added to a bunch of effects which can be boosted, and that synergize well for multiclass characters in some way.
Part of the issue is that Holy magic is entirely faith-driven, the Light is entirely accessible by evil priests and paladins, because it’s based on their own faith and self-confidence, not some actual divine authority. There are also various ‘priests’ in WoW lore that worship other beings or powers aside from the Holy Light, like Fire priests who serve Ragnaros the Firelord, troll priests who worship the Loa, and the big one, night elf priests who worship Elune, the moon goddess (the only confirmed actual god in the setting). Domains will cover a big part of this, with a wide range of them for various priesthoods. The Forgotten Shadow of the Forsaken is the main mentioned Shadow-faith, though some troll stuff likely applies.
Maybe I don’t need to make it distinct. In that case, we could strip the terms ‘fel’ and ‘shadow’ from the class list above.
Anyhow, this post has been lingering in my WIP file for too long, I need to get it out there. What do you guys think?