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Thread: No-magic settings: What would you do? (Ideas for a "Scholar" class)

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    No-magic settings: What would you do? (Ideas for a "Scholar" class)

    Hey!

    How would you deal with a setting where magic is really uncommon or even absent? Settings such as the Middle Earth or Planetos (from Game of Thrones). I thought about changing the classes into rogue, scholar, and warrior. But what should the scholar class look like, what could it do?

    I'm throwing this here to hear ideas and suggestions, anything you can share is welcome.

    Thanks in advance.

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    Re: No-magic settings: What would you do? (Ideas for a "Scholar" class)

    Disregard any mention of magic or arcana. Instead, I would make Lore skills and the Lore Talent have a bit more oomph to it.
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    Re: No-magic settings: What would you do? (Ideas for a "Scholar" class)

    I have thought of off-and-on too, more so because Iíve never liked the fact that in most RPGs the only ďsmartĒ characters are wizards-types. Tyrion Lannister would not be a wizard, even if he were on Middle Earth. With that in mind, the other two classes out there is the warrior who serves as the party tank and the rogue who is a primary damage-dealer. The big niche then that is missing is a buffer, which falls in-line with the Tyrion example; Tyrion often doesnít do his own dirty work, he has others (Bronn, hill tribesmen, etc.) doing it for him.

    The way then I would put together a class like this on the fly is take the Influence ability from the Diplomat class in my Star Wars hack (see sig), throw in gaining an extra focus at level 1 to reflect the extra education and so it can be somewhat of a skills monkey, then give the standard three options for talents with Lore being one of them. Since Lore does not provide much of a tactical benefit, I could see where they would get this automatically like the warrior gets Armor Training.

    Just my two copper. I may even write one out later this week now that Iím thinking about it. If you want, Iíll post it here when it is done?
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    Re: No-magic settings: What would you do? (Ideas for a "Scholar" class)

    I'm running a Game-of-Thrones campaign now, and all I did was tell players that mages had to match their arcana to their character and get GM approval. For example, a follower of the Lord of Light might have Fire, Healing, or Shadow arcana. A greenseer might have Wood and Wind arcana. I only have one mage, so it hasn't been too much of an issue. Magic is rare in Westeros, but not unheard of.

    Depending on your campaign setting, you could ban certain arcana that don't fit. And you can reskin certain kinds of spell effects so that they're nonmagical--maybe Heroic or Fate arcana aren't actually magic, but rather manifestations of the character being exceptionally inspiring or lucky, but they still work the same way mechanically.

    I also might remove arcane blast and just give mages access to a different accuracy-based weapon group.

    But I also think you could run a game with just rogues and warriors and it would go fine. You would just need to keep in mind the limited healing options available to your players, but honestly that can work in your favor considering the HP bloat you can run into later in the game.

    The bigger problem I had was adjusting character creation to being human-only without winding up with all the characters having the same focuses/ability bonuses.

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    Re: No-magic settings: What would you do? (Ideas for a "Scholar" class)

    Quote Originally Posted by Otog View Post
    I have thought of off-and-on too, more so because I’ve never liked the fact that in most RPGs the only “smart” characters are wizards-types. Tyrion Lannister would not be a wizard, even if he were on Middle Earth. With that in mind, the other two classes out there is the warrior who serves as the party tank and the rogue who is a primary damage-dealer. The big niche then that is missing is a buffer, which falls in-line with the Tyrion example; Tyrion often doesn’t do his own dirty work, he has others (Bronn, hill tribesmen, etc.) doing it for him.

    The way then I would put together a class like this on the fly is take the Influence ability from the Diplomat class in my Star Wars hack (see sig), throw in gaining an extra focus at level 1 to reflect the extra education and so it can be somewhat of a skills monkey, then give the standard three options for talents with Lore being one of them. Since Lore does not provide much of a tactical benefit, I could see where they would get this automatically like the warrior gets Armor Training.

    Just my two copper. I may even write one out later this week now that I’m thinking about it. If you want, I’ll post it here when it is done?
    Thank you for sharing. Great ideas here!

    Quote Originally Posted by redpandaalex View Post
    I'm running a Game-of-Thrones campaign now, and all I did was tell players that mages had to match their arcana to their character and get GM approval. For example, a follower of the Lord of Light might have Fire, Healing, or Shadow arcana. A greenseer might have Wood and Wind arcana. I only have one mage, so it hasn't been too much of an issue. Magic is rare in Westeros, but not unheard of.
    Agree. But even so, we should have an option for these characters - for example, Sam! He's a scholar, not a rogue or warrior, do you agree? And he doesn't have magic.

    Also: can you share more about this campaign? It sounds amazing!

    Quote Originally Posted by redpandaalex View Post
    Depending on your campaign setting, you could ban certain arcana that don't fit. And you can reskin certain kinds of spell effects so that they're nonmagical--maybe Heroic or Fate arcana aren't actually magic, but rather manifestations of the character being exceptionally inspiring or lucky, but they still work the same way mechanically.

    I also might remove arcane blast and just give mages access to a different accuracy-based weapon group.

    But I also think you could run a game with just rogues and warriors and it would go fine. You would just need to keep in mind the limited healing options available to your players, but honestly that can work in your favor considering the HP bloat you can run into later in the game.

    The bigger problem I had was adjusting character creation to being human-only without winding up with all the characters having the same focuses/ability bonuses.
    I agree with the part about making arcana effects non-magical, but i really want three classes Thank you for sharing these ideas!

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    Re: No-magic settings: What would you do? (Ideas for a "Scholar" class)

    Agree. But even so, we should have an option for these characters - for example, Sam! He's a scholar, not a rogue or warrior, do you agree? And he doesn't have magic.
    What I struggle with for someone like Sam as a player character is that him being a scholar doesn't contribute that much to combat--at least not in the show or books. He kills a white walker almost by accident, but other than that his expertise helps most in research, exploration, etc. If I had to place him somewhere in Fantasy Age, I'd probably say he was a rogue with a high intelligence score, lots of lore focuses, and non-combat talents.

    But anyways, if I was going to make a scholar class... Blue Rose includes an action called "Aid Ally"--it's communication based and allows you to spend a major action to give an ally an extra minor action and a +2 bonus on their next test, as the you give the ally extra tactical information and direction. That could be a place to start in creating a scholar--maybe instead of a flat +2 bonus, it's equal to the characters' intelligence score. Also, at level 10 there's the rogue's ability Lethality that adds INT to damage, which could be repurposed. Beyond that, I might give them the same weapon restrictions and talent abilities as mages get now, but give them access to talents and bonus focuses.

    Also: can you share more about this campaign? It sounds amazing!
    Sure, it's based in the Vale at the end of the last season. It's based on the show, but I'm drawing a lot of content from the books as background. With Littlefinger dead, the rule of the Vale has reverted to the Lords Declarant, serving as a council until Robin Arryn comes of age. The basic arc of the campaign is that the players need to convince the Lords and Ladies who make up the council to stay committed to the North instead of calling the Knights of the Vale back to defend their homes. To that end, they've had to fight Lannister-armed hillfolk, fend off assassins from beyond the Narrow Seas, and investigate a lost tribe of Children of the Forest in the Snakewood. Right now, they're in Gulltown trying to track down Qyburn's spies and investigate a Lord of Light cult in Gulltown. My goal is to wrap up the campaign right before the next season starts.

    I don't restrict myself entirely to supernatural elements that are in the show, but I try to keep it in the same neighborhood. For instance, the children of the forest had created were-beasts to defend themselves in a similar ritual to what originally created the white walkers. My philosophy is that the game wouldn't have enough intrigue if the players had a finite sense of the possible things they might encounter--after all, the characters in the show don't.

    I have a couple customized specializations (Wargs and Water Dancers) but other than that and having to adjust to being a human-only campaign, I haven't had to do too much adjusting.

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    Re: No-magic settings: What would you do? (Ideas for a "Scholar" class)

    Quote Originally Posted by redpandaalex View Post
    (...) But anyways, if I was going to make a scholar class... Blue Rose includes an action called "Aid Ally"--it's communication based and allows you to spend a major action to give an ally an extra minor action and a +2 bonus on their next test, as the you give the ally extra tactical information and direction. That could be a place to start in creating a scholar--maybe instead of a flat +2 bonus, it's equal to the characters' intelligence score. Also, at level 10 there's the rogue's ability Lethality that adds INT to damage, which could be repurposed. Beyond that, I might give them the same weapon restrictions and talent abilities as mages get now, but give them access to talents and bonus focuses.
    Agree. Adding your ideas to the pool


    Quote Originally Posted by redpandaalex View Post
    Sure, it's based in the Vale at the end of the last season. (...) I have a couple customized specializations (Wargs and Water Dancers) but other than that and having to adjust to being a human-only campaign, I haven't had to do too much adjusting.
    It sounds great! I'd love to see more about it. Thanks for sharing!

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    Re: No-magic settings: What would you do? (Ideas for a "Scholar" class)

    Quote Originally Posted by redpandaalex View Post
    Sure, it's based in the Vale at the end of the last season. It's based on the show, but I'm drawing a lot of content from the books as background. With Littlefinger dead, the rule of the Vale has reverted to the Lords Declarant, serving as a council until Robin Arryn comes of age. The basic arc of the campaign is that the players need to convince the Lords and Ladies who make up the council to stay committed to the North instead of calling the Knights of the Vale back to defend their homes. To that end, they've had to fight Lannister-armed hillfolk, fend off assassins from beyond the Narrow Seas, and investigate a lost tribe of Children of the Forest in the Snakewood. Right now, they're in Gulltown trying to track down Qyburn's spies and investigate a Lord of Light cult in Gulltown. My goal is to wrap up the campaign right before the next season starts.

    I don't restrict myself entirely to supernatural elements that are in the show, but I try to keep it in the same neighborhood. For instance, the children of the forest had created were-beasts to defend themselves in a similar ritual to what originally created the white walkers. My philosophy is that the game wouldn't have enough intrigue if the players had a finite sense of the possible things they might encounter--after all, the characters in the show don't.

    I have a couple customized specializations (Wargs and Water Dancers) but other than that and having to adjust to being a human-only campaign, I haven't had to do too much adjusting.
    This AGE of Ice and Fire sounds amazing!
    Star Wars: AGE of the Empire: An ever-expanding adaption of the Star Wars universe utilizing the AGE ruleset and compatible with the Fantasy Age Basic Rulebook.

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    Re: No-magic settings: What would you do? (Ideas for a "Scholar" class)

    The SAGE

    Not sold on the name, but wanted something a little more broad.

    Primary Abilities: Accuracy, Communication, Intelligence, and Willpower
    Secondary Abilities: Constitution, Dexterity, Fighting, Perception, and Strength


    Went back and forth with Communication and Perception. I decided that as a support class, they should be more adept at swaying people than finding them in the bushes. It could be interesting to swap out Accuracy and make this a truly non-combative/support class.

    Starting Health: 20 + Constitution + 1d6
    Weapon Groups: Brawling, Light Blades, and Staves.


    Health is on par with mage. Light blades include things like daggers that are simple enough to use, especially since they will not be getting spells.

    LEVEL 1

    Cunning: Whether by superior tactics, clever scheming, or quick wits, you can subtly manipulate the course of events, Once per round during an ability test, you may roll your own d6, and use your result to replace any single d6 used in the test. The ally or opponent whose roll you replace must be able to see and hear you. You may roll your own d6 at any time, but you must decide to use Cunning before the success or failure of the test is determined. You can use Cunning a number of times per day equal to your Intelligence ability (minimum one). You must be conscious and be able to use free actions on your turn to use this ability, but this does not require you to use an action.

    Love how this works in my Star Wars hack. It keeps the player engaged on off-turns and it can really sway rolls in combat.

    Starting Ability Focus: You receive one of the following ability focuses: Communication (Persuasion), Communication (Performance), or Perception (Searching).

    Extra skills that are not predetermined by race or background are always nice and these ones are particularly useful. I threw in Performance because I can really see this class filling the 'bard' role.

    Starting Talents: You become a Novice in one of the following talents: Chirurgy, Music, or Intrigue. You also start as a Novice in Lore.


    Chirurgy is HUGE without magical healing and Lore does not provide enough of a tactical benefit, so you get it for free

    LEVEL 2

    Rally Ally: When you take the Aid Ally action, your ally gains +3 on their next ability test instead of the normal +2.


    Like rogue's Take Aim ability, but you get it sooner and means you do not have to rely always on Cunning.

    LEVEL 3

    New Talent: You become a Novice in a new talent or gain a degree in a talent you already have.

    LEVEL 4

    New Specialization: You may choose one specialization for your class. You gain the Novice degree of its specialization talent.


    Anyway, this is a very rough draft. Let me know what you think!
    Star Wars: AGE of the Empire: An ever-expanding adaption of the Star Wars universe utilizing the AGE ruleset and compatible with the Fantasy Age Basic Rulebook.

    Expanded Classes Playtest: Adding the Bard, Swashbuckler, and Templar classes. As well as introducing archetypes that gives players different options from the start of play.

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    Re: No-magic settings: What would you do? (Ideas for a "Scholar" class)

    Quote Originally Posted by Otog View Post
    The SAGE

    (...)

    Anyway, this is a very rough draft. Let me know what you think!
    I think it's great! I'm gonna playtest something like this tomorrow and maybe change something (or not)... THANKS for sharing!

    Quote Originally Posted by Otog View Post
    This AGE of Ice and Fire sounds amazing!
    An "Age of Ice and Fire" game sounds so logical and fun... Honestly, I think it would be better than the SoIF system.

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