Player's Companion Classes

Never mind the Tolkien, gimme ancient:
‘alms for the dude!’
MYSTIC (neutral cultist) - divination/self-healing/astral travelling/lotus-tripping/yoga-contortionist/self-righteous wiseass - smell the patchouli: form a commune, fleece the punters, become a guru. OMmmmm…

sean wills: MYSTIC (neutral cultist) - divination/self-healing/astral travelling/lotus-tripping/yoga-contortionist/self-righteous wiseass - smell the patchouli: form a commune, fleece the punters, become a guru.
me: this rocks, but why not combine it with monk? lotus-tripping, neck-snapping, patchouli-smelling, guru devoted to whatever man. finally a non-kung fu exclusive monk class, i can smell the possibilities from here.

After reading this thread and thinking some more, I’d like to retract my earlier vote for Dwarven Vagabond and Elven Scoundrel.
I’m with the crowd who thinks that most of these new classes can be better achieved with proficiencies/templates/lifestyle-choices. However, I also think that is worth putting in the Companion–examples of how to achieve the Ranger, the Barbarian, etc.
Give us the weird stuff like the Centaur. :slight_smile:

Alex: I like the idea of a ‘Bestial Bloodline’ but what advantages would that proficiency offer ?
Longshanks: ‘lotus-tripping, neck-snapping, patchouli-smelling, guru devoted to whatever man’ - agreed, that would be cool.
cr0m: I think you’re right, maybe the Players Companion would be of more use by including several ready-to-use templates that show the versatility of the classes in the corebook (SURELY A SELLING POINT FOR ACKs) and also include some weird stuff - wilmer’s mindworm is a great example.

The Player’s Companion is definitely going to include templates. There will be 96 templates. 68 of those are, in fact, already written. For example:
Fighter Template: Corsair Starting Proficiencies: Swashbuckling, Seafaring
Starting Equipment: Scimitar, shortbow, quiver with 20 arrows, 2 well-balanced daggers with boot-sheathes, leather armor, colorful silk girdle, high boots, wineskin with good wine, large sack, 50’ rope, grappling hook, hammock, 1 week’s iron rations
Mage Template: Necromancer Starting Proficiencies: Black Lore of Zahar, Alchemy, Healing
Starting Equipment: Curved sacrificial dagger, grey robes, backpack, unholy symbol, black-bound necromantic tome, medicine bag with 1lb birthwort, 1lb goldenrod, and 1lb woundwort, spellbook with darkness, protection from evil, 2 week’s iron rations, 4gp
I’m not personally a fan of “wierd” character classes, I think that classes should be representative of reasonably common archetypes within the fantasy world, and the default Auran Empire setting is meant to be mainstream swords and sorcery. It’s unlikely we’d have mind-eating worms as a character class in the Companion, thus.

Alex, what is the core purpose of the Players Companion? What do you want it to contribute to the ACKS line?
So far I see potential for:
Additional Templates - customise your character with one of dozens of archetypal roles covered by your class.
Extra Core Classes - add variety to your class roster, with classes specificially designed for ‘Low Magic’ Campaigns, ‘Chaotic’ Campaigns and ‘Primitive’ Campaigns.
New Proficiencies - to run alongside the new Core Classes, and also provide some additional options when designing your characters.
At the moment it’s not really clear to me what you’re aiming for and it feels a bit unfocused. It’s kinda like ‘Here are a bunch of ideas, what’s cool?’ rather than ‘Here is the scope of what we’re doing, and here are a bunch of ideas to go with that scope, what’s cool?’
Don’t get me wrong, it’s all good, I just feel it could be improved with more focus on what it is you’re after.

Here’s me being pedantic (semantic?) - but I don’t like the idea of Extra Core Classes - that’s a bad concept - I would rather they were introduced as examples of how to build a class, so you could have 2 or 3 hybrids (e.g. barbarian) build from existing classes, and some others (centaur or something) built with some new proficiencies/abilities added.
I’d rather the PC was an encouragement to experiment rather than just a vast range of pre-builts to pick from. But that’s just me :slight_smile:

Well, maybe my labelling was wrong. Perhaps ‘Campaign Classes’ is more appropriate, given that’s what the Explorer, Bladedancer, etc… are in the ACKS rules.

The point of the Player Companion is to expand options for players. To that end it has a template system for quick character creation, new character classes, and a custom class system.

Alex: The point of the Player Companion is to expand options for players. To that end it has a template system for quick character creation, new character classes, and a custom class system.
Me: And spells?

Alex: The point of the Player Companion is to expand options for players. To that end it has a template system for quick character creation, new character classes, and a custom class system.
three tiers - good.
It’s the tone I’m being picky about, most splatbooks are only about ‘here it is -canon-’ and I think it would be better to make it ‘here’s what you can do, but go ahead, make it your own, here’s the tools’.

Hi Sean, I don’t really believe in “canon” per se. Every campaign is its own law. I take for granted that anything and everything will get kitbashed, tweaked, and modified…

I like the low magic class ideas, the dwarven adventurer and elven scout. It would be cool to have the humanoid/orc raider, though that immediately calls for a shaman class as well, if we’re going to start statting up orc tribes.
I’d kind of like to see a non adventuring class or two, like noble or merchant, to build on the alternatives to dungeoneering.

“Possible Racial Classes (6 will appear; either 3 Elf, 3 Dwarf, or 2 Elf, 2 Dwarf, 2 Special)”
If we’re taking votes, I’m very much in favor of the second option. I think it’d be nice to have some kind of sneaky racial class, and maybe a big/strong racial class as well. I know Alex hates halflings, but something that fits that sort of niche could be useful. Maybe a goblin or gnome, or something along those lines? For a brutish class, the orc is an obvious choice, but you could also create something a bit less villainous, like a wild-man, neanderthal or wodewose kind of thing.

here i my 2 cents without great an explanation:
in general i dislike the idea for orcs or goblins being player character races and do not use monks and other “oriental classes”. so these are out for me.
my personal preference would be…gnomes. when playing and not gamemastering, i nearly always played gnomes: so
for the two special classes, i would choose fighter and druid.
for elves i would choose druid and scout (a hunter-like class).
for dwarves i would choose a marshal and mechanic (a thief-like class)

An idea about small or otherwise silly races:
Maximum stat requirement. So if you’re a goblin windowcreeper you can’t have more than 12 STR. Another way to balance classes and something to rejoice over if you rolled poorly.

I’m mostly agreeing with everyone saying fewer additional core classes, more interesting options for classes in general.
Nearly all of the listed choices could be addressed by providing different class lists (maybe including a few new proficiencies/spells). As mentioned above, the difference between a Fighter and a Berserker and a Paladin is a few proficiencies. A Monk is a Fighter with proficiencies that improve unarmed damage, special maneuvers and dodging. Cultists and Priestesses and Witches sound like a Mage with a different spell list. Etc.
I also agree that there’s definitely room to expand on the “uncivilized” options, so most of the ones I like fall in that category. Tie them to nature, maybe with bonuses in un-Civilized hexes, benefits from using animal-hide armor and unforged stone or wood weapons, that sort of thing.
My choices would be:
Druid - There’s a definite place for a spellcaster with access to both the Plant and Animal spells, which are otherwise mostly divided between Arcane and Divine without much overlap. Animal companions, meh. I’d rather see an uncanny ability to hide in a natural environment (similar to the thief’s hide in shadows) combined with the ability to possess a nearby animal for x rounds. If animal companions are really necessary, just allow them as retainers or somesuch. This would be a good candidate for an elf-only class.
Loremaster - As described in the other thread, sounds awesome.
Shaman - Let the Druid deal with the material world of plants and animals, give the shaman the spirit world of plants and animals. More of a healer than the druid, gets a bonus on the raise dead side effects table because bringing souls back from the other world is what a shaman does, maybe some creation abilities where infusing an animal spirit into an item provides a small temporary bonus. Spirit lore, that kind of thing.
Warlock - I’d call it something else, but yes, some kind of very lightly armored warmage could be fun. I like the Elric pact-based demon summoning. Maybe something where the magic is used outside of combat.
Dwarven Spelunker - I’d roll a few thief abilities into this one, keeping the explorer cave-fighter theme, and drop any other kind of dwarf thief. If every core class has a racial equivalent, you might as well just have Race abilities and Class abilities and pick them separately.
Monk - If there’s a way to completely de-orientalize it, sure. Kind of a Friar Tuck thing, maybe. Or call it a Brawler and give a bonus in taverns. Or maybe it’s a Savage instead - fights like an animal, predatory instincts give bonuses in combat, limited to fur/hide armor and extremely simple weapons like rocks and clubs or bare handed, that kind of thing.
I am also fond of gnomes as sort of the smarter, more magically-inclined cousins of the dwarves with fewer scruples - basically the gnome mage/thief compared to the dwarf fighter/cleric.

Good thoughts, all.
I actually designed the shaman class today. My inspirations were the shamanic tradition of totem animals and ancestral spirits. Starting at level 1, each shaman has a totem animal. The totem animal serves as an animal companion. At higher levels the shaman can shape change into the form of his totem animal. Shamans can also commune with their tribe’s ancestral spirits and perform shamanic rituals to regain their spells. They get access to a variety of healing, spirit, plant and animal spells. It will definitely warm the hearts of druid lovers, but I think it feels more like an authentic shamanic tradition than the D&D druid, which doesn’t seem to have anything to do with anything historical.
I see the cleric as a priest for any game culture emulating the tradition of Judeo-Roman antiquity (including Zoroastrian priests, Judaic priests, Catholic inquisitors, Mithraistic priests, etc) while shaman is a priest for game cultures in the shamanic tradition, such as Celtic druids, Norse seidr, Siberian shamans, North American shamans, and so on.