Sunday, 2 June 2013

Elfmaids and Octopi DnD = BX+NWP? Class Struggle

Found this list while looking up dragon mag alchemists
alchemist research turned up this

My system was originally meant to be stripped down simple version of DnD. Inspired by Castles and Crusades alot (influenced several classes). Old player has rule in his DnD game - if everybody wants a new ability then it is probably too good.

I am happy with even four classes - some reason i like to do in sets of four and of course i broke this rule. This is a recap of how they fared so far in playtest before my next big draft of EMO (Elfmaids and Octopi) DnD rules.

Warrior (Fighter)

Not one played in last year. Fighters are guys you hire as meat shields and ablative armour for spell casters. So a good case to not need paladin etc.... Even though I built WP system for them. Showing fighter progressions and organizing into a basic list and a expert list will help. Ive basically given fighters best specialized weapons, criticals and still no bite. Modern feats and maneuvers ive made NWP or WP.

Rogue (Thief)
Not one pure thief played in any game since 84. I built my NWP system to benefit them, beefed HP and still no bite. Similar conditions to above warrior. Sample development and two versions of skill list will help. Thinking of class choice NWP lists and possibly giving rogues best level bonuses for NWP success as they are skill masters (bards and monks do this too but hopefully not too well).

Priest (Cleric)

A few priests but no straight undead turners. Current priestess player uses speak to dead holy power to interogate dead enemies all the time. Getting more word answers and uses per day which is pretty cool. Seems viable as is. As Psychon game has no god specific priest abilities will probably use my crazy alignment system to instead to mix up priests more.

Wizard (Magic User)

Iv managed to convince  or scare players away as most of mine are new into sorcery. But viable and fine as is.

Current monk in play i was worried about then he started using 2 weapons sticks and snuck out on assassination ninja type missions alone with disguise and forged documents so I will wait and see. Ideal player to abuse and min max proficiencies. Like castles and crusades increased hp and made more like a fighter in general.

I have 2 bards in two groups and my most popular class i blogged. Yet some hate bards so much. Letting bards pick choce of magic system from wizard, sorcerer, druid, priest and psion has worked well. Have a middle eastern priestly bard and a druidic bard. I was wondering if id made too lame but i will let them have a instrument/sing/poetry nwp for free. Worried compared to elf most.

Had several, really just alt wizard but concept of as lazy drug addled dreamers and cultists appealing as is bloodline stuff. If I crunch class list smaller id offer as alt wizard system. Three in play all fine. Slightly better fighters, slightly dumber.

Two druids in play now and another popular class (pets and pagans!). Pretty happy with these in play and my revised spell list the most changed of any. All those weapon proficiency based spells like flame blade and others now replaced with generic cast on many weapon spells. Having to learn a WP to use a spell sucks. Lighter armour and less fight than priest but better combat spells. Must revise spell list so matt cannot create 100 good berries a day and get rid of one spell..... Bless players for finding flaws.

A feature of BX DnD keeps non humans more non human. I dont want multi classing but would consider class shifting - my Psychon game will be standard. Id also kinda wanna have weird fx for extra otherworldy non humans but still thinking.

None in play and i may revise so higher level more supernatural and otherworldly. Mostly worried as comparison to bard. A little bit of tweaking still. Was my fave class when i started and played many magic user-fighters. Eldarin is cool idea but should just reskin elves. On a poll of thousands 4th ed players elves ranked very low in popularity -  proves something broke. Dwarves unchanged as top race, eldarin more popular than elves. See under spirit folk below for other ideas.

A player playing one and pretty impressive, should keep dwarf fanatics happy. I was worried was too good but that 9 move thing is a killer. Crappy jumping, being hated by horses doesn't help. Throw Dwarf weapon proficiency might be handy. My dwarfs live under bridges, tree stumps, under stoves and in barns not just in megadungeons in waiting under the earth.

Not played in any game of DnD since i think 84-85 and wasnt memorable. Shitty ones in some club games when were thieving backstabbing jerks. Matt said he might try or recruit one as a anti spell caster specialist (max out in rock throwing specialist). I might start using as monsters so people respect them. One high level one beating party might be a laugh. Will see...

This is my token gonzo class and fits into the name of my game. Should have some in play. As a race of octopus fairies from japan they are kinda like elves with extra attacks. revised once may still need work. Fishermen have only themselves to blame if wives like Tako more.

Goblinoids and monsters
Lotsa goblinoids as monsters. Goblin, Hobgoblin and kobold and bugbear nifty. Orc was most boring but kinda has possibilities and needs a tweak. Sacrifice hp for priest spells was a ok option but will think more. Had a bugbear player who took over a dungeon and bred monsters.


Psionic or mentalist spell list Classes - Psion and Shaman
Psion and Shaman I built from a mentalist spell list. Basically take any spell from other list and put in mentalist list divided into 4 types. Possible rules on making anyone have a few mentalist spells -10% xp. But as i dont record xp too carefully isnt really gonna work. I need to print list and get someone to play or at least try spell list as elf or bard. If im too lame to be XP cop, perhaps I should have something like tabus under barbarian class below instead. This spell list made illusionist even more nonviable.

Possible Classes

Short shelf like potions made over 8 hour cooking session (methlab in the dungeon). Basically like sorcerer would be alt version of spell system. Better long life potions at high level and a cap on hoarding needed but most tempting class in a while. Start with incendiary and gunpowder and poison lore possibly.

Ill wait till im flooded with fighters. Main point would be d12 hits, a bit more athletic, less armour, possibly anti magic powers, beserker ability, shape shifting at later levels. I considered a berserk class but barbarian is kinda classic.  I could build most of this with NWP. I like the idea that barbarian (and some other classes make you adopt a tabu each level. People think your stupid, your just profoundly religious. Could be linked to later more magical powers (ie no were beast beserking for you). Eg - never start fire, never wash with water, never shave, never cook meat, never let a wizard live, burn all buildings, only eat meat etc. Somebody else suggested barbarians should be dumb but real barbarians assimilated very fast - they are very class mobile really. Most best fantasy barbarians do thieving too. Tabu system has other perks too could be used for alighnments and for non class based psionics. Needs a think.

I altered my alignment rules to make anyone capable of being an alignment fanatic for bonuses that can make any class look a bit paladinish. Gandalf grey becoming gandlaf the white is example of a wizard going alignment charged. Only thing a fighter using this wouldn't have is cleric spells but this power is pretty lame. Perhaps if my tabu to gain psion or alignment powers rule system i could develop a pious ability for others to get a few measly priest spells. Anyway im not in love with class in play but does have sentimental touch. Only one player in last year had a stat over 16 and he had two 18s and a 17 so charisma wise very unlikley. Seem very monotheist based. Split the party badly sometimes. I also kinda think it has sentimental appeal and most requests to have come from my most most evil player (???). All clerics are more like templars than old men bossing around villagers with moral horor stories. Oriental adventures 2nd ed had a warrior priest monk class that seemed more playible - had priest spells. Will think on this one a while.

As above a rogue or fighter could do all of the ranger stuff with just lack of spells and perhaps exotic pets. Id like too see more warrior and rogues first. Could push missile fire etc but like paladin i will wait. Also very tolkien based.

A priest but with spell system more like a sorceror - more flexible and independant but limited spell list. Could be like Sohei - more hp than priest, less spell choice, no hly power or weaker with some other power like healing. Mystic was name on basic dnd monk class.

If i add paladin and ranger and barbarian from sentimentalism then i have to consider cavalier. I loved dragon 72 version based on specialization, new armour types, and horse powers. Castles and crusades one has interesting ideas with follower morale which in my follower rich setting would be handy. Problem is everything the class can do is possible with my fighter class - i have about a dozen horse NWP if you wanna be a living tank. Didnt ever use unearthed arcana version - only thing in book i didnt use. Man people rag on that book now. My complaint was the binding. Everything else was in dragon before and was in most games i saw before book release.

Every level you get a new cosmetic feature and random ability. Both my worlds feature mutants. Some risk of becoming a proto shoggoth or shoggoth. Mongrel men would fit in too. Also im interested in haveing more gammaworld things in my dnd.

Awakened Animal
I love Narnia and animals in gamma world. I had a RQ goat pc who made farm animals sentient and join her earth goddess sect everywhere she went. Also had demonic soull draining skull cap from a horned demon if she was really pissed. Made milk too. Nuff said. Some party sidekick animals being made sentient would work well.

Beast Men
All kinds of beast men. I could just use orc but variations might be worth it - a lizard man might have better hp than serpent man who has spells. Could keep brutish or let have some slow progression spells.

Spirit or fairy Folk
Oriental adventures animal spirits were super cool. Bamboo and water spirits nice too but could be types of elves really as cound many other sprit fairy type folk. I winged 3 foot fairy race more appealing to me than some fey ive seen. A winged race could be cool but i think ill fit into my revised elf class later.  Demonic angelic elemental and beast lord elves could be workable sub types of elves. Swanmays, dryads all sorts could be built from elves.

Ive never seen the point. I play in other peoples games as cleric illusionist but fighter or monk seem too physically weak. The steampunk thing not really tempting. Possibly i could concede that a spell casting short dwarf is a gnome. Garden gnomes in germany are dwarves but could be the Gygax being of Swiss decent thing. The nature thing of gnomes has been pushed more post 80s. Why are they not druids? I dont have illusionists as separate class. Work best as a specialist wizard.

Kinda cool but i could just sex up elves as demonic....

Synthetics: golem/robot
Prefer this to warforged

Tabus and spell side effects
Tabu mechanic workable - a post on some lists of class and alignment tabus could be a goer. Player I can test this on now a lawful sorceror. Could even work for clerics - tabu to use edged if good or evil priest or tabu to use blunt if lawful or chaotic. Would a choice from many things. More later. Side effects could be a fun spell mechanic. Save when spell casting or cosmetic awkward side effect occurs. Will dwell on more.


  1. the math major in me found an answer to rules bloat years ago . .. the key is specialization thru play . . . not class bloat . . . send me an Email at clovisCithogAThoTmailDOTcom if interested in a protracted 'conversation'

    1. I will some time during week - I like characters getting new NWP and martial art WP - In many ways Id prefer to play BRP which is all about specialization through play but DnD is lightweight fun and least record keeping needed for DM of games i played. I like having lots of choices but i see how it is intimidating for newbs. Reason I have not done a typical build up to say 10th for classes and instead did bunch of 1st level kits (recommendations for basic NWP and WP builds) is that i expect people to pick new abilities in play depending on what they are doing in my sandbox. If they all go to sea and want swim, sailing, ropes etc they can. I have been tested for brain damage because of numerical issues. Im unlikley to develop the above really - 8 classes and 4 race based classes doing fine to date.

  2. I think cultural or world specific ones usually the poorest. Recapping my own classes in play the main point of this blog but i like to consider new ways of using same spell list with varied casting systems - of all the above newbs to consider alchemist and possibly mystic because i like mechanics. Recreating old classes appeals more from trying to make classic trope work in my worlds than actually use much. Trying to mashup dnd and gamma world another interest.

  3. Sadly paladium fantasy had some good classes and we played for a twist on normal dnd. Some guys played palladium and or DnD with rollmaster combat and skill mechanics.

    Giant class i like and forgot to put here - 1st lv a tough thuggy largish guy. Every level gains a foot. A few powers or mutations at high level depending on breed and grow 1 foot per level and +1 Strength every second level. Of course becomes very hard after a while. Could retire at "ogre" name level...

    In RQ i played a goat a griffon a broo a imp a shapeless chaos spawn a duck a orc a vampire and lotasa cool stuff. RQ troll as a DnD race would work well actually. I had always wanted moomintrolls as a race - I had as Sun trolls in my Glorantha as there is a incongruous opposite to every rule in this world. So there would have to be Yelmalio worshiping trolls who like light and breed true on some chunk of the spike somewhere.

    Best of all in RQ I was a notorious body hacker. Step one get certain spirit powers, step two hop from body to body till you get to be an incomplete being (a basic stat is absent, for supernatural otherworldly beings). Step 3 work way up through the ranks of demonic hierachy till your one of 666 kings of a Sephira of hellspawn and step 4 start a new character. Was once a gigantic chaospawn shoggoth and could superleap across land crushing vampire guards and absorbing chaos gorps and sealing chaos plane gates. Sigh! the good old days....

  4. Assasin? - more recent version made magic ninja guys

    I like idea of specialists of rogue but not anyone racing to play rogues yet, bards more popular. Still thinking is a mystic a fighting monk with some magic or a type of spell caster who can use any list as if a sorcerer.???