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Using Ability Combinations to Prototype Classes

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  • Using Ability Combinations to Prototype Classes

    Hi all, I have a new theory of potential classes in AGE based on ability combinations. In the past I had created a 4 class pantheon using STR DEX PERC WP and pairings to base warrior (STR DEX), rogue(DEX PERC), mage(PERC WP), monk (WP STR) themes.

    Recently there has been a lot of talk about hit mechanics and their ability basis. I took that as another core idea, focusing first on the difference between physical and magic classes where the hit stat is dexterity and intelligence. With dexterity/intelligence used that left three major abilities to make classes. The categories seemed to thematically work and also automatically created a symmetry that include the three class archetypes that are missing the most in FAGE (bolded are current FAGE classes)

    Defining Primary Ability Hit Ability Example Class Name
    Strength Dexterity Warrior / Fighter
    Perception Dexterity Rogue / Ranger
    Will Power Dexterity Monk / Shaman
    Strength Intelligence Cleric / Paladin
    Perception Intelligence Bard / Druid
    Will Power Intelligence Mage / Warlock
    All classes will have the same ability groups with STR PERC WP as primary, and DEX INT COM CON as secondary. I think there is a lot of depth to this grouping.
    • The secondary group is more appealing here than in the FAGE book where almost all secondary abilities had little combat value.
    • The forums were agreeing a single hit stat was desired, this framework also works in extra depth by mirroring the defining abilities with magic users and intelligence. This created the basis 2 additional magic classes without any effort.
    • By identifying a defining class primary ability it creates a pillar for creating class mechanics that stay consistent with theme of the class.
    • Keeping COM and CON as support abilities keeps the classes more distinct (COM as a primary for mages made zero sense).
    • Seven total stats is easier to keep tabs on, and the same ability groupings among classes can help standardize the character sheet helping remove some barriers to new player in how fast they digest the rules.

    As a note, i do not think the class labels are important. The combo of a defining primary ability and a hit stat is enough to start a compelling story. A swashbuckler would be WP DEX class. A barbarian would be STR DEX. Difference between cleric/paladin/core healer may just be context and what kind of armor they wear. Druid? Perception, Intelligence. A class can be a simple core of a defining primary stat and its hit stat (magic or physical) and that is enough for my mind to flood with imagination.

    Questions, comments, leave them underneath
    [URL="http://herdingdice.tumblr.com/"]Herding Dice[/URL] - A tumblr where I put things about Adventure Game Engine design.

  • #2
    Re: Using Ability Combinations to Prototype Classes

    Interesting, but I think that AGE doesn't rely on hit attribute, but rather damage type. As such:

    Warrior - melee damage
    Rogue - ranged damage
    Mage - magic damage

    Granted, there is some crossover. As such, I don't see F-AGE expanding in the other hit types because the damage is already covered. The only ones truly absent are social and holy... And holy could easily be compiled with regular magic.

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    • #3
      Re: Using Ability Combinations to Prototype Classes

      Originally posted by shonuff View Post
      Interesting, but I think that AGE doesn't rely on hit attribute, but rather damage type. As such:
      Warrior - melee damage
      Rogue - ranged damage
      Mage - magic damage
      I would disagree with your breakdown of damage type. Rogue damage and Warrior damage is physical damage where fleshy bits are cut and stabbed. Doesn't matter if its sword based or arrow/bullet based. So in AGE there are two types of damage, physical and magic. Each type of damage has its own hit mechanic because they are fundamentally different in their creation (whatever magic comes from and physics)

      AGE does not have an avenue of melee magic. The cleric STR INT class would be a place to put magic infused weapons.
      [URL="http://herdingdice.tumblr.com/"]Herding Dice[/URL] - A tumblr where I put things about Adventure Game Engine design.

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      • #4
        Re: Using Ability Combinations to Prototype Classes

        I think that every rule should have an exception, the odd man out. In this case the social, nonmagical guy, (kinda like the leader, aristocrat or noble from other games), with COM/Something else.

        Other than that I think it's quite easy to create archetypes (i wouldn't create whole new classes) for the core classes by giving them a favored secondary attribute and building the lore around that.
        DiBastet's Homebrew - My own homebrew. Use them, mine them for ideas, change them, as you see fit.
        AGE of Darkness - Converting World of Darkness to Fantasy Age.
        AGE of Wacraft - Playing AGE in Azeroth.

        Age of Homebrew - Links to other homebrew. Feel free to add more.

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        • #5
          Re: Using Ability Combinations to Prototype Classes

          Originally posted by mdlthree View Post
          I would disagree with your breakdown of damage type. Rogue damage and Warrior damage is physical damage where fleshy bits are cut and stabbed. Doesn't matter if its sword based or arrow/bullet based. So in AGE there are two types of damage, physical and magic. Each type of damage has its own hit mechanic because they are fundamentally different in their creation (whatever magic comes from and physics)

          AGE does not have an avenue of melee magic. The cleric STR INT class would be a place to put magic infused weapons.
          It was a more pronounced split in D-AGE, where Lethality added CUN to ranged damage, but it is still present in F-AGE, where rogues get a free second ranged attack. But I think the split between types of ranged/melee damage is unnecessary for class discussion because it's overly specific. Warriors are melee, and mages are magic; but a paladin could easily be a warrior specialization (or two if you wanted to long game it), and a cleric could be a Mage specialization. I think specific separate classes would have two much general overlap in general abilities and specializations.

          So IMO the focus should be on general roles: melee attacker, ranged attacker, magic user, face, and crafter. I don't see AGE ever really using crafter, though.

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          • #6
            Re: Using Ability Combinations to Prototype Classes

            Originally posted by DiBastet View Post
            I think that every rule should have an exception, the odd man out. In this case the social, nonmagical guy, (kinda like the leader, aristocrat or noble from other games), with COM/Something else.

            Other than that I think it's quite easy to create archetypes (i wouldn't create whole new classes) for the core classes by giving them a favored secondary attribute and building the lore around that.
            I'm kind of surprised that F-AGE doesn't have a more detailed social combat system. SIFRP has one, and it's really the only role that isn't present - maybe in Blue Rose?

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