Tuesday, November 4, 2008

New Castles & Crusades Classes I'm Working On

I've been really enjoying toying around with Castles & Crusades lately (with no Castle Keeper's Guide in sight, I've instead been having fun with the very compatible and hilarious charts and tables found in the Hackmaster Gamemaster's Guide). I've been adding a few things here and there, and have been really happy with simple it seems to use items from other legacy D&D products or OGL items.

One of the additions I've been looking at is tweaking or adding to the choices as far as classes go. There are 3 classes I've had in mind to add to my idea of Castles & Crusades--a Swashbuckler, a Scholar, and a Sorcerer.

I don't have the full writeups done yet, but wanted to sort of preview my thinking on each new class I'm working on:

The Swashbuckler is less robust than a Fighter (d8 Hit Dice), but has a nice weapon selection (anything but two-handed) and decent armor selection (any light, a couple medium). They take some of the more acrobatic class skills of the Rogue, but also boast Tumbling as a class skill, which reflects their incredible dexterity and specialty in agile combat. Master of the blade and the dashing fight, many young bravos off to see the world may be considered Swashbucklers, as can several wily rebels and highwaymen.

The Scholar is no great shakes combat wise (mediocre combat progression, d6 Hit Dice), but combines some of the better skill features of several different classes, to include the Bard (minus any of the inspiration stuff). Not practitioners of magic, they nonetheless can Decipher Script, have a chance at activating magical devices, and can use their Sage's Lore to remember a tremendous amount of information from their studies, no matter the subject.

The Sorcerer, unlike the Wizard or Illusionist, does not use a spellbook, but rather channels the raw energy of the universe into spell-like effects. Their powers are usually relatively less than that of a Wizard, but they eventually come to master many low-level effects, and can become quite formidable if they survive long enough to develop and refine their powers. Each time they "cast", there is a very real risk of minor-to-catastrophic failure (anything from a mild concussion to the wrong spell being cast to a rip in the space-time continuum. They are weak combatants (d4 Hit Dice) and cannot wear armor. Their weapon selection is slightly larger than that of a Wizard. (I'm working on making the Sorcerer a mix of a Wild Mage and the standard OGL Sorcerer).

Once these classes are done, I'll put them in a pdf for free download. I really want to get some more player feedback, since as much as anything they're designed with an towards my gaming group and their preferred styles of play.

I've looked at some of the other Castles & Crusades classes folks have made, and I think my takes on these will be different enough to continue with the design. I'm hoping they'll complement the other ones already in C&C without breaking anything. If anything, I'm thinking classes like the Scholar may be a tad underpowered (though I believe with all the class skills included, it should all shake out. Besides, striving for too much balance is overrated).


Jeff Rients said...

I like what you've got so far. I agree that you shouldn't sweat making the scholar balanced. That's the kind of class no one is going to select for uber power.

Zachary The First said...

Thanks! I don't think so, either. He's a chance to have a utility infielder and as much of a skill monkey as you'll see in Castles & Crusades. The players I have in mind for that class don't worry too much about combat balance or the like, and he'll still be at least on par with a couple of the main classes.

Walt Coen said...

Really good work, Zack--like you, I'm just really getting back into CnC, so this is the sort of thing that gets me thinking. Your blog continues to have new content when others falter. Keep it up, my man. :)