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February 5, 2012 / Wythe

Classes/character creation/possibility/arbitrary cool

This is totally what P.D. and I have been working on. From this excellent DnD With Pornstars post about RPG design:

Character Generation That Gives New Players Ideas Is More Important Than “Being Able To Build Anybody”

One of the obvious design goals of very fiddly systems is everybody in the genre (Elric is the classic example) can fit into it. Believe it or not, I can do that myself. What I’d prefer is that character generation give new players some interesting options and combinations of options. Like in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles the fact that the game suggests possible mutant animals to you and makes them seem worth playing is more important than the system being able to handle a 2-headed whale or a prairie dog seamlessly. If somebody wants to make a sword-wielding wizard, I can bend the rules, but if they look at chargen and it’s a heap of elemental particles saying: “Decide what you want and then join these parts together to fit that” the system isn’t helping.

What it means to us: We like crazy new ideas. Our own ideas. We don’t want to write “the best post-future setting for DnD,” nor “the best post-future game that encompasses all your ideas you’ll ever have.” We want to write a really good, cool, quick, awesome book about our own specific post-future that works super well for us. We’ve played the fuck out of it. We like it; we think you will, too.

But it doesn’t really matter if you like all our own weird ideas: You just have to find a few/some/many/most of them useful.

That’s how any GM/DM/ref/MC tells any good RPG story, right? She finds a bunch of random not-quite-going-together ideas and throws them into a blender (a milieu, usually—”oh, well, regardless of the PCs/other choices, I do know I want to run this game in some sort of Necromunda super post-city, and have a plot with frog mummies and hologram hookers…”) and BAM, fun is mixed.

So we have to hand you neither a) The Perfect RPG Playable Forever For Super Funzies Out of the Box —NOR— b) All The Good Ideas Ever Within Genre X. We merely have to give you a bunch of cool ideas, which I think we are doing. Which is what we really, really want to do.

That said, here are our crazy new ideas—pairs of post-future archetypes, with the usual intro:

Usually, your options are things like “wizard” and “paladin.” In this world, the classes are somewhat different. Notice there are no magic-users nor priests of any type. In the future, in fact, there is no magic. In some cases, the species you chose will determine which class you can take (you can only be a class that uses pG if you are a Human, Green, Varanid, or Mantid). Certain species might also be better suited to certain classes based on their ability score modifications, but the choice is ultimately yours!

BADASSES (no PSI)

  • Soldier – the fighting wo/man, able to refine their body and fighting style. Generally good with guns. Does not use psi.
  • Barbarian – the savage berserker, able to rage. Less “skillful” than a soldier, but capable of hitting harder. Does not use psi.

LONE WOLVES (uses pK)

  • Gunslinger – the shooter, capable of establishing a near transcendent relationship with their carefully crafted firearms. Uses pK to accomplish shocking deeds.
  • Monk – the unarmed fighting expert, able to evade attacks and use a flurry of quick, unarmed blows: you don’t use weapons, you are better at healing, you use pK.

BADASSES FROM HELL (uses pG)

  • Black Legionary – the hell science fighting adept, able to manifest some hell science powers while also training for physical combat: you are the psi special forces; you are an assassin. Uses pG.
  • Malmain (AKA devileer, soulknife) – the hell science adept who manifests their own weapon: you use a blade made; you are a specialized fighter who can never lose their sword. Uses pG.

ARCHAETECHNICIANS (uses pK)

  • Blooder – the master of the nanofluid Blood, able to manifest a small range of uniquely impressive combat- and Code-oriented powers: you aren’t a psion, per se, but a la/dy/ude who drank “The Blood” (nanorobots suspended in blood); you can stretch your body like Dhalsim in Street Fighter, and you can vomit up powerful corrosive nano-breath once in a while; the Blood, however, is addictive—and hungry…  (Blooder is a very powerful, very risky occupation). Sort of like if heroin addicts had super powers.
  • Reverberator – a healer who uses the sounds of Red Crystals to repair living tissue. Reverberators also create hell science tattoos: you use a very special crystal xylophone thing to heal other super efficiently; you have very cool crystopathic psi powers but are not very fighterly.

HELL SCIENTISTS (uses pG)

  • Hell Scientist – the master of the mind, able to manifest the widest range of powers: our world’s version of the wizard; you went to psi college and got special horrible mind-fuck training and can warp heads; very specialized but with a ton of psi. Primarily uses pG, but also some pK.
  • Snakehead – the wild master of the mind, able to manifest fewer powers but much better augment them than the hell scientist: you don’t use pre-scripted psionic techniques so much as apply your pG to the elements of the world around you. Without the discipline of the hell scientist, you risk losing control of your power.

DOCTORS (no PSI – object-creation based)

  • Phyisotech – the obsessive technologist: you invent weird science contraptions and weapons to mimic lost archaetech effects; you dig up and hack together the wires and power supplies of past eras while also creating new plans of your own design. Does not use psi.
  • Mutagenicist – the holder of biological truth, able to glimpse the underlying order in other bodies, in your own: you research retrogenetic algal infusions that effect changes on the organisms around you; you treat your body as an ever evolving experiment in perfect, growing your own wings, claws, or extra arms if necessary (or possible). Does not use psi.

COVERT OPERATIVES (no PSI – ninjas of different environments)

  • Hacker – the classic burglar, pickpocket, and/or backstabber: you have the most skills and (minor) special powers of any class; you are most at home around people and buildings, where you can con fools and pick locks with equal aplomb; you understand Archaetech, but often just enough to disable it quickly. Does not use psi.
  • Scout – the wilderness fighting expert, able to use various special combat skills related to his roving: great with ranged weapons; great with animals; the choice of snipers and hippies; happy when foraging for sustenance or tending the fire beneath a lean-to; even happier when bearing down on prey through the scope of a rifle. Does not use psi.

MIMICS (pK and pG)

  • Zanni – the wanderer, the explorer, the mimic: you don’t put stock in any type of training, and everything comes easily; you only need see or hear something once to perform it yourself, but you’ve never had the patience for seeing things through to the end; you improvise, you adapt; if the going gets tough, you cut your losses and move on. Can use some pK and pG, depending on the situation.
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