e20 Core Classes

Discussion of e20 System classes: their roles, class features, and talent trees.

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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby Kaldaen » Thu Jan 28, 2010 9:09 pm

JaredGaume wrote:
babs wrote:If you don't like SKirmisher as a dex class, what about Ranger? I know it sounds very D&D'ish, but I think it also extremely well fits modern (Texas Rangers anyone?) and Sci-Fi (Sector Rangers anyone?).

Babs out!

I think that can work, so long as we are coming at it from a more broad based idea. As opposed to say a warden of the wilderness.
On the other hand it does conjure the impression of a law-man or a more "genre" based class.

(...still thinking...)


Ranger is indeed much more limiting than what we're going for here. I don't think Skirmisher is any more "combat-centric" than either of the other physical class names, though. Some attributes are going to be more beneficial in combat than in other types of encounters, and their class names should reflect that. Conversely, some attributes are more useful in social encounters, and their class names will imply a more diplomatic role.

On the other hand, if Sentinel sounds to Wisdom-based, then I guess Guardian would work, too. :)
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby JaredGaume » Fri Jan 29, 2010 1:22 am

Okay running with a Dex based class, some ideas:

Skirmisher - feels more combat heavy, in line with Vanguard, though different focus. A skirmisher tends to approach conflict from the oblique.

Rogue - delving into more genre or more precisely defined roles. A character that is looking to take advantage of the situation.

Scout - similar to skirmisher, but more "skills" divergent. A scout is more interested in survival than direct conflict.

Trickster - less combat heavy, similar in feel to rogue without the "criminal" connotations. Has broad literary and theme roots.

...still thinking...
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Fri Jan 29, 2010 1:53 am

JaredGaume wrote:Okay running with a Dex based class, some ideas:

Skirmisher - feels more combat heavy, in line with Vanguard, though different focus. A skirmisher tends to approach conflict from the oblique.

Rogue - delving into more genre or more precisely defined roles. A character that is looking to take advantage of the situation.

Scout - similar to skirmisher, but more "skills" divergent. A scout is more interested in survival than direct conflict.

Trickster - less combat heavy, similar in feel to rogue without the "criminal" connotations. Has broad literary and theme roots.

...still thinking...


How about Sneak for a Class name? You can either be sneaky with stealthy, sneaky with attacks, or sneaky with deception. Like my cat. ;)
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby JaredGaume » Fri Jan 29, 2010 9:55 am

(Insert Class Name Here): Dex based class. Enjoys high mobility, subterfuge, and is highly accurate (though not necissarily highly damaging).
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Fri Jan 29, 2010 4:43 pm

JaredGaume wrote:(Insert Class Name Here): Dex based class. Enjoys high mobility, subterfuge, and is highly accurate (though not necissarily highly damaging).


Shift(er)
Sylph
Sneak
Sifter
Syphon
Super Duper Dextrous Person :) idk...
Scoundrel
Harrier
Skirmisher
Rogue
Burglar
Robber Baron
Duelist
Ranger

idk /shrug
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby Animus » Fri Jan 29, 2010 5:21 pm

Hello all,

I really believe in this project and if it strikes the right chords like SWSE and some of the concepts of 4E, e20 will become my system of choice.

I have nothing more to add to this discussion, so here is my preferred list:

Strong/Tough Hero (I think Strength and Con roles should be merged): Sentinel
Fast Hero: Expert
Smart Hero: Savant
Dedicated Hero: Devoted
Charismatic Hero: Advocate
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Fri Jan 29, 2010 7:30 pm

Whatever names we finalize on, the last thing I think they should do is be one trick ponies. By this, I mean that they shouldn't be so focused on a single Ability score that having multiple dump stats is the only way to design the character. That's how 4e does it for most of their classes, and they've made Abilities and roleplaying very arbitrary in the process.

I think all our classes should cross the spectrum into other Abilities in some unique way that is unique to each class, so no class duplicates over any other class.

SWSE classes did this really well. Our classes should do this, only better.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby j0lt » Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:10 pm

Animus wrote: Strong/Tough Hero (I think Strength and Con roles should be merged): Sentinel

When I was tinkering with doing my own d20 Modern revision I was thinking along the same lines. I'm still not sure which I prefer, merged or separate...

Stacie_GmrGrl wrote:Whatever names we finalize on, the last thing I think they should do is be one trick ponies. By this, I mean that they shouldn't be so focused on a single Ability score that having multiple dump stats is the only way to design the character. That's how 4e does it for most of their classes, and they've made Abilities and roleplaying very arbitrary in the process.

I think all our classes should cross the spectrum into other Abilities in some unique way that is unique to each class, so no class duplicates over any other class.

SWSE classes did this really well. Our classes should do this, only better.

Definitely. I'm really hoping this turns out to be somewhat similar in feel to "d20 Modern Saga Edition". d20M has the most flexible character class mechanic I've seen to date (without going classless, that is), and Saga runs so smoothly that finding the happy middle ground would be excellent.

I'd already started using Saga for other games as well. I've been running a Play-By-Email fantasy game with my brother using Saga rules and aside from having to build each and every monster from scratch, has been quite good.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby jazzencat » Sat Jan 30, 2010 3:22 pm

Three classes: Mental, Physical and Hybrid. Occupation and other choices will create different characters.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby Elsidar » Sat Jan 30, 2010 3:57 pm

jazzencat wrote:Three classes: Mental, Physical and Hybrid. Occupation and other choices will create different characters.


If we do that, how would you determine what abilities are exclusive to any one class? What makes X Strength-based Talent exclusively physical, and not available to the Hybrid class?

If you make one Physical or Mental ability accessible to the Hybrid, then it stands to reason that every Physical and Mental ability could and should be accessible to the Hybrid, and then there's no point in having classes at all, since nobody would play the Physical or Mental classes.

Besides, a class build of Physical 2/Metnal 1/Hybrid 3 is even less descriptive, much less exciting than even Strong 2/Smart 1/Dedicated 2/Fast 1. The whole point of this thread was to fix that.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby jazzencat » Sat Jan 30, 2010 4:27 pm

Elsidar wrote:
jazzencat wrote:Three classes: Mental, Physical and Hybrid. Occupation and other choices will create different characters.


If we do that, how would you determine what abilities are exclusive to any one class? What makes X Strength-based Talent exclusively physical, and not available to the Hybrid class?


Employ Aspects. Physical, Aspect Strength etc. Levels also will limit access. If you don't have necessary level in the class or aspect then you can't access it as a Hybrid. With dual-classing or multi-classing it's kind of a moot point (if a 20th level fighter can take Mage as their next class and work their way up in that. As they reach the requisite levels the ability becomes available. Hybrids are more along the lines of a generalist than a specialist class.

If you make one Physical or Mental ability accessible to the Hybrid, then it stands to reason that every Physical and Mental ability could and should be accessible to the Hybrid, and then there's no point in having classes at all, since nobody would play the Physical or Mental classes.


Slippery slope argument. Why would people choose to play a specialist mage with a more limited access to spell schools if the generalist had the same access? Why play a bard when you can just multi-class rogue/mage, why play a Sorcerer instead of a Mage? Because it fits the concept or because not every player is concerned with combat prowess or who has access to how much.

Besides, a class build of Physical 2/Metnal 1/Hybrid 3 is even less descriptive, much less exciting than even Strong 2/Smart 1/Dedicated 2/Fast 1. The whole point of this thread was to fix that.


Well specialisation has benefits. If you go Physical, you focus on physical aspects, this isn't to say that they can't use any mental-based skills, but that the focus would give the physical class more oomph in that area. Hybrids are more balanced, not quite as powerful in the fields as specialists but can deal with more diverse situations. I had thought along the lines of broad-based class titles and then the player customises the class.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Sat Jan 30, 2010 6:37 pm

Combatant, Backer, Talker, Specialist, Wildcard, Solver...

These are the six roles that the classes in Fantasycraft are based on... How would using these names work for our game? Each fills a special knack and place within a party of adventurers, they are genre neutral, and they can specialize to be distinct from the rest. Plus it would be rather unique and it would distinctify us.

Another reason why these could be good is that it would show that this game is more than just about combat...its about everything. Most d20 games generally focus on the combat element of the game more and leave the rest out.

What do you think for 6 Core Class names?
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby jazzencat » Sat Jan 30, 2010 8:18 pm

Stacie_GmrGrl wrote:Combatant, Backer, Talker, Specialist, Wildcard, Solver...

These are the six roles that the classes in Fantasycraft are based on... How would using these names work for our game? Each fills a special knack and place within a party of adventurers, they are genre neutral, and they can specialize to be distinct from the rest. Plus it would be rather unique and it would distinctify us.

Another reason why these could be good is that it would show that this game is more than just about combat...its about everything. Most d20 games generally focus on the combat element of the game more and leave the rest out.

What do you think for 6 Core Class names?


I like those names.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby j0lt » Sat Jan 30, 2010 8:53 pm

The more I think about this, the more I'm wondering if we shouldn't just go with SWSE-style generic archetype classes. The classes in SWSE were flexible enough to play several different roles. We're already focusing most of what you can do around Talents, which are class-based, so it makes sense that way as well. For the basic game, you'd have genre-neutral classes, and for each additional setting, you could add a couple setting-specific classes, much like they did in d20M with AdCs.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby Shawn Burke » Sun Jan 31, 2010 12:56 am

The more I think about this, the more I'm wondering if we shouldn't just go with SWSE-style generic archetype classes. The classes in SWSE were flexible enough to play several different roles. We're already focusing most of what you can do around Talents, which are class-based, so it makes sense that way as well. For the basic game, you'd have genre-neutral classes, and for each additional setting, you could add a couple setting-specific classes, much like they did in d20M with AdCs.


I tend to agree.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby jazzencat » Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:10 am

I remember Gary talking about occupations as well as classes and talent trees in e20. How do occupations and classes mesh with each other? What is the purview of each and how do they influence access to talents and progression along the talent trees? What is the game-play and mechanical difference in terms of advancement and talent/skill/ability access between being a Fighter with Occupation Fletcher and Fighter with Occupation Weapon-smith?
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby JaredGaume » Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:44 pm

Previously I mused about the different stuff that races, occupation, and classes bring to the table. (page 2 of this thread, about half way down)

Occupations would probably handle your list of skills that you can pick from for "free" skill training, among other possiblities.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Mon Feb 01, 2010 1:13 am

JaredGaume wrote:Previously I mused about the different stuff that races, occupation, and classes bring to the table. (page 2 of this thread, about half way down)

Occupations would probably handle your list of skills that you can pick from for "free" skill training, among other possiblities.


Occupations can handle the background elements for characters as well.

Fantasycraft has a superb system for something like occupations.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby Kaldaen » Mon Feb 01, 2010 7:56 pm

j0lt wrote:The more I think about this, the more I'm wondering if we shouldn't just go with SWSE-style generic archetype classes. The classes in SWSE were flexible enough to play several different roles. We're already focusing most of what you can do around Talents, which are class-based, so it makes sense that way as well. For the basic game, you'd have genre-neutral classes, and for each additional setting, you could add a couple setting-specific classes, much like they did in d20M with AdCs.


The way I understood it, that's what these suggested sets -- Vanguard, Sentinel/Guardian, Skirmisher, Savant, Disciple, Advocate, for example -- are supposed to be. While each one will be strongly associated with a particular attribute, each class will also have abilities that leverage secondary attributes.

The idea is not to have to change the classes for different genres. Making different sets of talent trees available to each of the core classes should provide plenty of variety and flexibility.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:39 pm

Kaldaen wrote:
j0lt wrote:The more I think about this, the more I'm wondering if we shouldn't just go with SWSE-style generic archetype classes. The classes in SWSE were flexible enough to play several different roles. We're already focusing most of what you can do around Talents, which are class-based, so it makes sense that way as well. For the basic game, you'd have genre-neutral classes, and for each additional setting, you could add a couple setting-specific classes, much like they did in d20M with AdCs.


The way I understood it, that's what these suggested sets -- Vanguard, Sentinel/Guardian, Skirmisher, Savant, Disciple, Advocate, for example -- are supposed to be. While each one will be strongly associated with a particular attribute, each class will also have abilities that leverage secondary attributes.

The idea is not to have to change the classes for different genres. Making different sets of talent trees available to each of the core classes should provide plenty of variety and flexibility.


Those are pretty much my favorite class names still...

Vanguard (idk but i love this name)
Warden
Sneak/Explorer (instead of Skirmisher)
Savant
Sentinel (instead of Disciple)
Advocate

I listed Explorer as either an option in place of Skirmisher, or possibly could work as a 7th Core Class. Idk why but having a class that fits the generic mold of exploration and can focus and train to specialize in different forms of exploration could work as an archetype...fits for Scouts, Rangers, Thieves, etc. Could get terrain talents for different terrains, abilities for going behind enemy lines, perfect for trap finding like things, and learn different ways of fighting among different cultures and also adapting to different situations... it'd be like the perfect Wildcard type class. Someone who isn't really strong, but is quick on his feet and is more likely to have a wanderlust that takes him from home.

Possibly can get talents that lets him tap into talents of other classes that might be class specific, and only from a select few, and possibly would have the most diverse bonus feats list. The jack of all trades generic class. Can be good in combat, can be good in social, really good in scouting and rangery and roguish things and sneaking around and being stealthy and sneaking in attacks when he's not spotted, but also can be a back up anything else.

What do you think?
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby Kaldaen » Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:51 pm

Stacie_GmrGrl wrote:Those are pretty much my favorite class names still...

Vanguard (idk but i love this name)
Warden
Sneak/Explorer (instead of Skirmisher)
Savant
Sentinel (instead of Disciple)
Advocate

I listed Explorer as either an option in place of Skirmisher, or possibly could work as a 7th Core Class. Idk why but having a class that fits the generic mold of exploration and can focus and train to specialize in different forms of exploration could work as an archetype...fits for Scouts, Rangers, Thieves, etc. Could get terrain talents for different terrains, abilities for going behind enemy lines, perfect for trap finding like things, and learn different ways of fighting among different cultures and also adapting to different situations... it'd be like the perfect Wildcard type class. Someone who isn't really strong, but is quick on his feet and is more likely to have a wanderlust that takes him from home.

Possibly can get talents that lets him tap into talents of other classes that might be class specific, and only from a select few, and possibly would have the most diverse bonus feats list. The jack of all trades generic class. Can be good in combat, can be good in social, really good in scouting and rangery and roguish things and sneaking around and being stealthy and sneaking in attacks when he's not spotted, but also can be a back up anything else.

What do you think?


The name "Sneak " indicates a very specific style of combat and also suggests a particular moral bent of the character. That's exactly the kind of thing we're trying to stay away from.

"Explorer," on the other hand, doesn't say much of anything about how the character operates, so it has the opposite problem. Literally any of the other classes could be described as an explorer, depending on how the characters live their lives.

And Sentinel is not synonymous with Disciple, so substituting one for the other really doesn't conjure the same image.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:27 am

Kaldaen wrote:
Stacie_GmrGrl wrote:Those are pretty much my favorite class names still...

Vanguard (idk but i love this name)
Warden
Sneak/Explorer (instead of Skirmisher)
Savant
Sentinel (instead of Disciple)
Advocate

I listed Explorer as either an option in place of Skirmisher, or possibly could work as a 7th Core Class. Idk why but having a class that fits the generic mold of exploration and can focus and train to specialize in different forms of exploration could work as an archetype...fits for Scouts, Rangers, Thieves, etc. Could get terrain talents for different terrains, abilities for going behind enemy lines, perfect for trap finding like things, and learn different ways of fighting among different cultures and also adapting to different situations... it'd be like the perfect Wildcard type class. Someone who isn't really strong, but is quick on his feet and is more likely to have a wanderlust that takes him from home.

Possibly can get talents that lets him tap into talents of other classes that might be class specific, and only from a select few, and possibly would have the most diverse bonus feats list. The jack of all trades generic class. Can be good in combat, can be good in social, really good in scouting and rangery and roguish things and sneaking around and being stealthy and sneaking in attacks when he's not spotted, but also can be a back up anything else.

What do you think?


The name "Sneak " indicates a very specific style of combat and also suggests a particular moral bent of the character. That's exactly the kind of thing we're trying to stay away from.

"Explorer," on the other hand, doesn't say much of anything about how the character operates, so it has the opposite problem. Literally any of the other classes could be described as an explorer, depending on how the characters live their lives.

And Sentinel is not synonymous with Disciple, so substituting one for the other really doesn't conjure the same image.


It does in my mind...guess we have different ways of viewing it. Like Alignments, everybody has their own view on what they mean, nobody can agree on them. ;)

And to me Disciple doesn't conjure anything, but I can go with it.

Explorer does conjure a more specific archetype of character than the other classes. Plus, I ripped it from FantasyCraft, where it is a seperate class. Pretty cool one too. Its a broad name, it can be viewed a variety of ways, but it does have a very core specificity to it, like the other class names.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby JaredGaume » Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:48 am

Class name observations:

Vanguard - Seems to be pretty well accepted as the "Strong" class.

Savant - Looks to be a lock for the "Smart" class.

Advocate - May be what we are calling the "Charismatic" class.


Sentinel - Looks like a favorite for the "Tough" class.
Guardian - Seems to be a runner-up for the "Tough" class.

Disciple - Looks like the default for the "Wisdom" class. Don't like it for the same reason as Gunslinger, Rogue, and other ummm.... more "pigeonhole" classes seem to feel.

Skirmisher - Not much else popping out for the "Dexterity" class. Similar feeling about it as Disciple.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:57 am

JaredGaume wrote:Class name observations:

Vanguard - Seems to be pretty well accepted as the "Strong" class.

Savant - Looks to be a lock for the "Smart" class.

Advocate - May be what we are calling the "Charismatic" class.


Sentinel - Looks like a favorite for the "Tough" class.
Guardian - Seems to be a runner-up for the "Tough" class.

Disciple - Looks like the default for the "Wisdom" class. Don't like it for the same reason as Gunslinger, Rogue, and other ummm.... more "pigeonhole" classes seem to feel.

Skirmisher - Not much else popping out for the "Dexterity" class. Similar feeling about it as Disciple.


Vanguard, Savant, Advocate, i'm all for :)

the others, by their definitions: Disciple pretty much means follower of someone else. I don't really get much of a strong vibe from this. What are the primary themes of this archetype that we are trying to convey?
--- Wisdom, if you look at what that stat focuses on, is Perception and Senses, why they even tie Will to it is way beyond me, since Will should truly be based off Charisma since Charisma is force of will and personality presence. That's more Will like to me than Wisdom.

Skirmisher sounds pretty cool, but its basically somebody who fights skirmishes, which are small battles. Approaching from a wider theme, I guess it would represent anybody who goes out and fights. It might, thematically, work better for the Strength themed class by the definition of it. But Vanguard just sounds so much cooler to me.

I could see Skirmisher being the "Strength" class and Vanguard being the "Con" class. so either way we'd be using them.

Skirmisher
(dex)
Vanguard
Savant
(wis)
Advocate

I think Wis and Dex should be combined into one class and we should settle on 5. I think perception and sneakiness and dextrous hands and quick wit and common sense all tie in together rather well thematically.

The name for this one... Scoundrel, Scout, Explorer, Warden, Tracker, Sentinel (I love the name Sentinel, I have nooo idea why but it just sounds so cool). :)
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby Shawn Burke » Tue Feb 02, 2010 6:41 am

(Continuing from my last post up there)

We could still have classes based off of the Star Wars classes and then just add a few more to make it more generic.

Jedi is out

So we have:
Soldier
Noble (charismatic guy)
Scoundrel (roguish guy)
Scout (sneaky and/or fast guy)

Just add an Adept class to cover Wizard/Scientist niche
and an a Monk class to cover shaman/druid/priest maybe mystical martial arts guy?

We end up with 6 classes again though.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby JaredGaume » Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:07 pm

Shawn Burke wrote:(Continuing from my last post up there)

We could still have classes based off of the Star Wars classes and then just add a few more to make it more generic.

Jedi is out

So we have:
Soldier
Noble (charismatic guy)
Scoundrel (roguish guy)
Scout (sneaky and/or fast guy)

Just add an Adept class to cover Wizard/Scientist niche
and an a Monk class to cover shaman/druid/priest maybe mystical martial arts guy?

We end up with 6 classes again though.

Yes, however, that idea was squished pretty early on in this thread for a variety of reasons.

The concept is to have 6 core classes that you can then branch out and grab "genre" feat and talent trees, including a system of multi-classing to get at feats and talents from other classes.

That requires "genre neutral" class concepts including names and ability scopes.

The feel I am getting is to get away from "Class Inflation" where you get a few core classes and then more and more new classes every time another book gets released.
By the time D&D 3.0/3.5 stopped production, what were there, like over 100 different classes...
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:34 pm

JaredGaume wrote:
Shawn Burke wrote:(Continuing from my last post up there)

We could still have classes based off of the Star Wars classes and then just add a few more to make it more generic.

Jedi is out

So we have:
Soldier
Noble (charismatic guy)
Scoundrel (roguish guy)
Scout (sneaky and/or fast guy)

Just add an Adept class to cover Wizard/Scientist niche
and an a Monk class to cover shaman/druid/priest maybe mystical martial arts guy?

We end up with 6 classes again though.

Yes, however, that idea was squished pretty early on in this thread for a variety of reasons.

The concept is to have 6 core classes that you can then branch out and grab "genre" feat and talent trees, including a system of multi-classing to get at feats and talents from other classes.

That requires "genre neutral" class concepts including names and ability scopes.

The feel I am getting is to get away from "Class Inflation" where you get a few core classes and then more and more new classes every time another book gets released.
By the time D&D 3.0/3.5 stopped production, what were there, like over 100 different classes...


Oh god yea...core classes I didn't mind, it was PrC's... great concept, bad implementation.

I like what we are doing... having our Core Classes, and I think 5 to 6 would be really good. Genre Neutral classes, then for genre specific things we can have genre talents and talent trees, same with genre feats, and all those can be picked by any of the Core Classes.

Then, taking the concept/idea of Advanced Classes and Prestige Classes, have specialized Talent Trees for these, and just say:
Advanced Trees are available when you are level 5.
Master Trees are availablel when you are level 10.
And maybe.....maybe have a tie in prerequisite or two, but nothing to the level of Prestige Classes of the past.

And by using these Talent Trees, we keep the Core Game at just the Core Classes.

Under the assumption that this game will be just a single book, we're going to have to cram a lot of stuff in this book. That's what small print font size is for after all. ;)
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby Kaldaen » Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:22 pm

Stacie_GmrGrl wrote:Vanguard, Savant, Advocate, i'm all for :)

the others, by their definitions: Disciple pretty much means follower of someone else. I don't really get much of a strong vibe from this. What are the primary themes of this archetype that we are trying to convey?
--- Wisdom, if you look at what that stat focuses on, is Perception and Senses, why they even tie Will to it is way beyond me, since Will should truly be based off Charisma since Charisma is force of will and personality presence. That's more Will like to me than Wisdom.


In 4E, if your Charisma bonus is higher than your Wisdom bonus, your Will Defense is calculated using Charisma. This is something we should absolutely be doing in e20, as well. But being wise will also allow a person to focus his or her mind to resist mental assaults, so both attributes fit the bill, here.

Stacie_GmrGrl wrote:Skirmisher sounds pretty cool, but its basically somebody who fights skirmishes, which are small battles. Approaching from a wider theme, I guess it would represent anybody who goes out and fights. It might, thematically, work better for the Strength themed class by the definition of it. But Vanguard just sounds so much cooler to me.


It can also imply a highly mobile fighting style. So in this sense, a Skirmisher would be one who takes advantage of greater speed and mobility to maximize his effectiveness on the battlefield. This way the term covers many archetypes who prefer to move around, strike quickly, and never stay in one place for too long.

Stacie_GmrGrl wrote:I think Wis and Dex should be combined into one class and we should settle on 5. I think perception and sneakiness and dextrous hands and quick wit and common sense all tie in together rather well thematically.

The name for this one... Scoundrel, Scout, Explorer, Warden, Tracker, Sentinel (I love the name Sentinel, I have nooo idea why but it just sounds so cool). :)


Others have stated several times why we're using 6 classes, and why none of the stats should be combined into a single class. If you combine Wisdom and Dexterity into a single class, both will get short-changed in terms of how many talents utilize each ability. Plus, regardless of how well they fit together in certain archetypes, you'd be denying other players the ability to mix one of these stats with others to create their own archetypes.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby Kaldaen » Wed Feb 03, 2010 1:08 am

After talking over the subject of class names with another collaborator, I'm leaning in a slightly different direction for a couple of them.

  • Strong - Vanguard
  • Tough - Sentinel (or Guardian)
  • Fast - Skirmisher (or Harrier)
  • Smart - Savant
  • Wise - Warden (or Sentinel)
  • Charismatic - Envoy

After going through the classes that primarily relied on Wisdom, we concluded that most of them had to do with healing or watching over the group, so a name like Warden was a better fit. And in this case, Sentinel actually would work there, but then a different name would be needed for the Tough class, so Guardian could fill in.

The name Envoy for the Charismatic class just hit me as I was writing this, and I think it takes care of all of the hang-ups I had with the other names. It is perfectly applicable in all of the settings that have been talked about, and doesn't preclude traditional Charisma-based archetypes like the Bard.

And while I still like Skirmisher as the name for the Fast class, the name Harrier does have a nice ring to it. The implications of the name are nearly the same, but the usage is much more obscure, which is my main concern.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Wed Feb 03, 2010 4:54 am

Harrier I like more for the faster class, and by defination alone Skirmisher is a person who fights skirmishes... they are people who fight. That is a better fit for Strength than Vanguard, but Vanguard is also really neat, and both are way cool. Either way it works. I'd go with Vanguard. I see it both ways. Same for Skirmisher and Harrier, they both work. I'm 50/50 here.

I never though to of Envoy as a class name. Interestingly cool.

Sentinel for Wise, Warden for Wise... I really like Sentinel here. It just pops for me.
Warden for Con
Vanguard
Skirmisher/Harrier
Savant
Envoy

I can go with this list.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby fodigg » Wed Feb 03, 2010 3:06 pm

JaredGaume wrote:Gary indicated he was starting with the 6 d20M basic classes as inspiration for the e20 classes. Unless there are any better ideas that would mean Strong, Tough, Fast, Smart, Dedicated, and Charismatic as the system's core classes.


Just a thought, these sound like core stats to me. Would this system allow us to essentially do away with stats and instead just have class selection determine anything stats would determine?
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby bone_naga » Wed Feb 03, 2010 3:12 pm

I think breaking away from the stats is a much larger change than we should be making if we want to appeal to the d20 crowd. I don't see anything really wrong with the stats and thus I don't see any reason for us to ditch them. They help differentiate between different characters. They give you an idea of who this person is even before hearing anything about classes, skills, etc.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby fodigg » Wed Feb 03, 2010 3:31 pm

bone_naga wrote:I think breaking away from the stats is a much larger change than we should be making if we want to appeal to the d20 crowd. I don't see anything really wrong with the stats and thus I don't see any reason for us to ditch them. They help differentiate between different characters. They give you an idea of who this person is even before hearing anything about classes, skills, etc.


Well, that's an argument for stats, but perhaps not the traditional stats. Cross-posting from the Let's get radical: back to the blocks thread:

fodigg wrote:I'm wondering exactly how radical e20 will go. I wouldn't mind seeing a primarily skill-based D20 game, but with class selection determining what talent trees you have access to.

For example, what about the death of core stats in favor of "class skill" as another bonus under "trained" and "focused"? Is that possible? Or perhaps linking pre-made stat arrays to class. Or perhaps rejiggering the core stats to something less traditional:

Traditional stats:
  • STR
  • CON
  • DEX
  • INT
  • WIS
  • CHA

Rejiggered stats:
  • Strength
  • Speed (Initiative and ground-speed)
  • Agility (defense component of DEX)
  • Coordination (attack component of DEX)
  • Intelligence
  • Wit (WIS + CHA)

And yes, I don't like CON. I feel like HP should be given out according to class with bonus HP from feats.

I dunno. Just an example. I'm wondering how far these rules will be from SWSE rules. If it's essentially just house rules for Saga Edition, well I already own Saga Edition. I understand that this is an evolution of d20 and not a new system from scratch, but I'd like to know how deep the changes run.


Although this discussion should probably fork back over there, as it's more about stats and the level to which e20 will attempt to alter the game than about core classes.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby babs » Thu Feb 04, 2010 3:35 am

Stacie_GmrGrl wrote:Harrier I like more for the faster class, and by defination alone Skirmisher is a person who fights skirmishes... they are people who fight. That is a better fit for Strength than Vanguard, but Vanguard is also really neat, and both are way cool. Either way it works. I'd go with Vanguard. I see it both ways. Same for Skirmisher and Harrier, they both work. I'm 50/50 here.

I never though to of Envoy as a class name. Interestingly cool.

Sentinel for Wise, Warden for Wise... I really like Sentinel here. It just pops for me.
Warden for Con
Vanguard
Skirmisher/Harrier
Savant
Envoy

I can go with this list.


I agree with Envoy. I really like it. Another alternative is Vassal, altough I think Envoy is certainly better.

This is my preferred list at this stage:
STR: Vanguard (I think everyone agrees on this one)
DEX: Harrier or Ranger or Sentinel (I just dislike Skirmisher)
CON: Warden (Altough I think Warden could also be the WIS class I think this is the best choice we have so far for CON)
INT: Savant (everyone seems to agree on this one)
WIS: Sentinel or Warden or Disciple or Monk (this one is just so difficult)
CHA: Envoy (an absolutely great suggestion!)
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby jazzencat » Thu Feb 04, 2010 1:03 pm

vanguard |ˈvanˌgärd|
noun
a group of people leading the way in new developments or ideas : the experimental spirit of the modernist vanguard.
• a position at the forefront of new developments or ideas : the prototype was in the vanguard of technical development.
• the foremost part of an advancing army or naval force.

Does bring to mind the image of a shock-trooper. Good one for a class that focuses on dealing damage.
sentinel |ˈsentn-əl|
noun
a soldier or guard whose job is to stand and keep watch.
• figurative something that appears to be standing guard or keeping watch.
• Medicine a thing that acts as an indicator of the presence of disease : [as adj. ] the first national HIV sentinel surveillance program in the developing world.

Sentinel might work better for a Wisdom based class.
harrier 1 |ˈharēər|
noun
a person who engages in persistent attacks on others or incursions into their land.

ranger |ˈrānjər|
noun
1 a keeper of a park, forest, or area of countryside.
2 a member of a body of armed men, in particular
• a mounted soldier.
• a commando or highly trained infantryman.
3 a person or thing that wanders or ranges over a particular area or domain : rangers of the mountains.

Harrier is a good description for someone focusing more on hit & run tactics. Though I wonder if there is a more inclusive word that would work for a Dex-based class?

warden |ˈwôrdn|
noun
a person responsible for the supervision of a particular place or thing or for ensuring that regulations associated with it are obeyed : the warden of a local nature reserve | an air-raid warden.
• the head official in charge of a prison.
• a churchwarden.
• Brit. the head of certain schools, colleges, or other institutions.

guardian |ˈgärdēən|
noun
a defender, protector, or keeper : self-appointed guardians of public morality.
• a person who looks after and is legally responsible for someone who is unable to manage their own affairs, esp. an incompetent or disabled person or a child whose parents have died.
• the superior of a Franciscan convent.

I would pick guardian over warden for Constitution.
savant |saˈvänt; sə-|
noun
a learned person, esp. a distinguished scientist. See also idiot savant .

This is a good one for intelligence/scholarly class.
envoy |ˈenˌvoi; ˈänˌvoi| |ˈɛnˈvɔɪ| |ˈɑnˈvɔɪ| |ˈɛnvɔɪ|
noun
1 a messenger or representative, esp. one on a diplomatic mission.
2 short for envoy extraordinary

This one is really good. Arbiter possibly as well, but that is a bit more restrictive in meaning.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Thu Feb 04, 2010 1:13 pm

Warden over Guardian and we have an agreement :)

Warden just has more impact as a name...Guardian is to specific in tone, IMHO. Warden is a little bit more broad in scope, more can fit under its umbrella.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby Elsidar » Thu Feb 04, 2010 4:34 pm

I dunno. "Warden" always carried a connotation of "watching over" for me, especially in the sense of the "air-raid warden." So does Sentinel, but that one works equally well for the Tough Hero or the Dedicated Hero. If we use "Warden" for Dedicated, it frees up "Sentinel" for Tough.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby babs » Thu Feb 04, 2010 5:15 pm

Just some that popped into my head for consideration.

DEX: Corsair
CON: Juggernaut

Babs out!
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby GMSarli » Thu Feb 04, 2010 5:42 pm

babs wrote:Just some that popped into my head for consideration.

DEX: Corsair
CON: Juggernaut

Babs out!


Those have some serious potential ... corsair is even derived from the word "to run" in Latin. Juggernaut might have the same problem as "dreadnought" (which doesn't seem to have much popularity), but I think it's workable.

Hypothetically, what would everyone think of this:

  • Strength: Vanguard
  • Dexterity: Corsair
  • Constitution: Dreadnought (literally "fears nothing," so I think it might be a slightly better fit than juggernaut)
  • Intelligence: Savant
  • Wisdom: Sentinel (the "watching over" connotation seems to fit better here than as the Con-based class)
  • Charisma: Envoy (this seems to "pop" a little more than Advocate, which is my second choice here)

Thoughts?
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby bone_naga » Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:01 pm

Vanguard: I like
Corsair: I would rather this be Harrier or Skirmisher
Dreadnought: I like that too. Juggernaut is also a good one.
Savant: I like
Sentinel: I prefer Warden for this one.
Envoy: It works.

I know people like to pull out dictionary definitions, but honestly who cares? In D&D, Fighter is a class. Yet a fighter is just someone who fights, so usually all the characters would be fighters. Yet the simple name fighter is very appropriate for that class and evokes a certain image in the player's mind. By that same token, who cares what Webster has to say about a name like Skirmisher? If people like it and it gets the point across by evoking the right image, then go with it.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:22 pm

bone_naga wrote:Vanguard: I like
Corsair: I would rather this be Harrier or Skirmisher
Dreadnought: I like that too. Juggernaut is also a good one.
Savant: I like
Sentinel: I prefer Warden for this one.
Envoy: It works.

I know people like to pull out dictionary definitions, but honestly who cares? In D&D, Fighter is a class. Yet a fighter is just someone who fights, so usually all the characters would be fighters. Yet the simple name fighter is very appropriate for that class and evokes a certain image in the player's mind. By that same token, who cares what Webster has to say about a name like Skirmisher? If people like it and it gets the point across by evoking the right image, then go with it.


Vanguard
Skirmisher/Corsair
Warden/Juggernaut
Savant
Sentinel
Envoy

Ok, so we pretty much agree on 4 of 6... we are doing ok then ;)

And on the Dex and Con ones, I can really go with either of those. But I'd lean towards Corsair just because we already have two classes that begin with 'S', and Juggernaut just sounds so freaking cool... oh yea...that's cool. Such a good idea.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby Animus » Thu Feb 04, 2010 10:05 pm

GMSarli wrote:
Hypothetically, what would everyone think of this:

  • Strength: Vanguard
  • Dexterity: Corsair
  • Constitution: Dreadnought (literally "fears nothing," so I think it might be a slightly better fit than juggernaut)
  • Intelligence: Savant
  • Wisdom: Sentinel (the "watching over" connotation seems to fit better here than as the Con-based class)
  • Charisma: Envoy (this seems to "pop" a little more than Advocate, which is my second choice here)

Thoughts?


All of them works for me 8-).
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Thu Feb 04, 2010 11:49 pm

Yea, we can't use Juggernaught, although it would be awesome...because every game we'd hear this most famous line from a particularly really horribly done xmen movie, "You cant hurt me, I'm the Juggernaught b***h." :twisted:

I guarantee it. :) That line is the only reason to watch that really bad super hero movie...

So I say use Dreadnaught.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby Kaldaen » Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:21 am

GMSarli wrote:
babs wrote:Just some that popped into my head for consideration.

DEX: Corsair
CON: Juggernaut

Babs out!


Those have some serious potential ... corsair is even derived from the word "to run" in Latin. Juggernaut might have the same problem as "dreadnought" (which doesn't seem to have much popularity), but I think it's workable.

Hypothetically, what would everyone think of this:

  • Strength: Vanguard
  • Dexterity: Corsair
  • Constitution: Dreadnought (literally "fears nothing," so I think it might be a slightly better fit than juggernaut)
  • Intelligence: Savant
  • Wisdom: Sentinel (the "watching over" connotation seems to fit better here than as the Con-based class)
  • Charisma: Envoy (this seems to "pop" a little more than Advocate, which is my second choice here)

Thoughts?


I said in the beginning that I liked the name Dreadnought, but at the time I thought it would work better as the name for a talent tree. But matching it up with Constitution seems to work well, too. Yeah, Dreadnought is definitely too cool a word not to be used as a class name. :D

Your above list works great, and I would be perfectly happy if that were the final roster. If I were writing it, though, I might do something like this:

  • Strength: Vanguard
  • Constitution: Dreadnought
  • Dexterity: Harrier or Corsair (pretty much a toss-up on this one)
  • Intelligence: Savant
  • Wisdom: Warden (Sentinel would be my second choice, though it seems to imply a more physical aspect of "watching over")
  • Charisma: Envoy

I have to admit, though, that Harrier vs. Corsair and Warden vs. Sentinel are both tough choices. With either list, I can see the class names fitting in just about any setting I'd want to run.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby babs » Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:41 am

GMSarli wrote:
babs wrote:Just some that popped into my head for consideration.

DEX: Corsair
CON: Juggernaut

Babs out!


Those have some serious potential ... corsair is even derived from the word "to run" in Latin. Juggernaut might have the same problem as "dreadnought" (which doesn't seem to have much popularity), but I think it's workable.


Well thank you. Here's another, altough cheesy, alternative for CON: Hulk. Also, CON: Titan, stolen straight from borderlands, a game I am currently playing.

Hypothetically, what would everyone think of this:

  • Strength: Vanguard
  • Dexterity: Corsair
  • Constitution: Dreadnought (literally "fears nothing," so I think it might be a slightly better fit than juggernaut)
  • Intelligence: Savant
  • Wisdom: Sentinel (the "watching over" connotation seems to fit better here than as the Con-based class)
  • Charisma: Envoy (this seems to "pop" a little more than Advocate, which is my second choice here)
Thoughts?


I can live with that list, but if I could choose it I'd do Juggernaut above Dreadnought (a slight preference) and Warden instead of Sentinel. I just don't like the sound of 'a Sentinel of Bahamut'. I'd rather see a 'Warden of Bahamut'. Also the advantage of Warden is that every class will then have a different starting letter.

Also, I really like Vanguard, Envoy and Corsair. They are really just cool and fresh names which aren't used much in other systems, which immediately give our system it's own character and flair.

On something completely different: Talents and Prestige classes and multiclassing.
Talents: A choice we could make is to name every talent tree after a prototype. I think that that would really help people into defining their character. Examples: Wizard Talent Tree, Berserker/Barbarian Talent Tree (giving Rage), Paladin Talent Tree, Soldier Talent Tree, Officer Talent Tree, Noble Talent Tree etc. etc. I was wondering on thoughts of everyone else or would that be too much of a constraint?

Prestige Classes. I don't think we should have prestige classes, but instead we should have prestige talent trees. Talent trees who are only accessible if certain prerequisites are met. Once again, we can tie it to stereotypic prototypes. For example: Assassin Talent Tree. etc. etc.

Multiclassing: What are the current thoughts about multiclassing. I am under the impression that we adopt the SAGA system (i.e. you get a free starting feat and some minor defense bonusses), but since we have no BAB penalties, I realized that there would be completely no penalties for multiclassing and wondered if that wouldn't make multiclassing too good! What are the thoughts on this. Also, do we differentiate on hit points for each class? This would mean that the talents of the class with fewer hit points should such be built that they are slightly superior than for those classes who get more hit points.

Babs out!
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Fri Feb 05, 2010 2:19 am

I can totally go with Warden for our Wisdom class, I can see that totally.

Vanguard
Corsair
Dreadnought
Savant
Warden
Envoy

For Prestige classes, I hope to hell not. Besides static defenses, which I know we'll keep (grrrr), PrC's are my biggest pet peeves. I can totally live with static defenses, so easy to house rule and of course I will, but PrCs please say we won't do this...

Going the Prestige Talent route is so much better... make them easy to get into. Maybe....and this is stretching it, MAYBE one or two prerequisites, one of them has to be a Career level requirement... you have to be a certain level to branch into them. Keep it all the same for all of them. Pick a level between 7 and 10, there we go. This way all of them follow the same rules.

Then have Advanced Trees, set them to about level 12 to 15, for those real focused and specialist trees. If we want to go that far.

Babs ideas are good... As far as multiclassing... I'm thinking each class will be determined by their how many skills they can train in, and their starting Hit Points... Severing BaB from class actually helps quite a bit. I was wondering if we wanted to have seperation of combat and noncombat skills within the class design... like:

Vanguard - Combat Skills Trained: 5
Non-Combat Skills Trained: 3

compared to
Savant - Combat Skills Trained: 3
Non-Combat Skills Trained: 8

This could really keep the distinction between the classes even more, and this way the Vanguard will have more combat skills than the Savant, which he should, and the Savant will have more Noncombat skills, which he should.

For Multiclassing - maybe have a distinction within each class where if somebody multiclasses into the class, they can pick from a specific list of options to choose. Like,
-- Entering Savant can provide you a bonus Noncombat Trained Skill, or choose from the following Three Feats (Insert 3 Feats).
-- Entering Vanguard can provide you a bonus Combat Trained Skill, a bonus Talent from (Insert Tree), or choose from the following 2 Feats (Insert 2 Feats).

I also think that each class should have a very unique, very class specific Ability that you can ONLY get in the first class you pick at first level, and even multiclassing into later you can't get. This will really make that first class choice very important. It could be a reroll ability using certain skills, or a bonus use of Action Points pertaining to a select option of choices, or a bonus to something. It could be that Defining thing about the class that unifies everything within that class to what the Core of the class is supposed to be.

What do you think?
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby JaredGaume » Fri Feb 05, 2010 2:29 am

Just the feel I am getting from different class names:

Vanguard
* Key Abilities: Strength; also Constitution, Dexterity, and Intelligence.
* Front line character. Obviously combat centric. More broadly, looks for the most brutally efficient solutions. More likely to kick in a door than try to pick the lock.
* Key abilities revolve around delivering massive damage, breaking enemy formations, and reaching/achieving objectives.
* One ability might be a feat that allows the Vanguard to ignore a certain amount of damage reduction, Vanguard hits are more effective at dealing damage.

Corsair
* Key Abilities: Dexterity; also Charisma, Intelligence, and Strength.
* Middle line character. Getting visions of a pirate or a swashbuckler. A highly mobile character. Looks to gain advantage, the oblique or cunning solutions.
* Key abilities revolve around moving, evading, striking, and withdrawing.
* One ability might be a talent that allows the Corsair to not trigger opportunity attacks when moving.

Dreadnought
* Key Abilities: Constitution; also Strength and Wisdom
* Front line character. Ultimate defender, a real tank. Possibly a carbon copy of D&D's Fighter.
* Key abilities revolve around massive hit points, personal survival, and area control.
* One ability might be a talent that allows the Dreadnought to shift damage to Reserves, allowing him to ignore massive damage or be reduced to 0 hit points.
* Another ability might be a feat that allows the Dreadnought to gain bonus damage reduction while wearing armor, Dreadnoughts are hard to knock down.

Savant
* Key Abilities: Intelligence; also Wisdom, and Dexterity
* Back line character. The brains of the operation. Good with skills and tactics. Fills a variety of "support" roles, but can be a master of dedicated martial techniques.
* Key abilities revolve around skill use, tactics, and specializations.
* One ability might be a feat that lets the savant take more trained skills than normal. (say 4 trained skills would be normal; but the savant may take 2 + Intelligence bonus or 5, whichever is greater).

Sentinel
* Key Abilities: Wisdom; also Charisma, Strength, and Constitution
* Middle line character. The observant one. In the right place at the right time.
* Key abilities revolve around detection, denial of opportunities/actions, and healing.
* One ability might be a talent like "medical miracle" where the Sentinel finds that what you thought was an injury was not much more than a scratch.

Envoy
* Key Abilities: Charisma; also Intelligence, Dexterity, and Wisdom
* Back line character. The leader, or at least the voice of the group. Makes allies better at what they do, and/or saps opponents of their abilities.
* Key abilities revolve around coersion, leadership, and diversions.
* One ability might be a talent that "flags" an enemy, any allies that attack that enemy gain a number of temporary hit points equal to 1 + the Envoy's Charisma bonus.
* Another ability might be a talent that lets the Envoy spend an Action Point to give an ally another standard action to take (on the Envoy's turn).


Multiclassing
* You start with your first class pick.
* You basically get access to feats and talents from your second class.
* Not sure if multiclassing should be controlled by feat(s), or if you just get to take levels in classes whenever you feel like it. Worth more exploration.

Skills
* Your choice of occupation gives you a skill list, maybe 6-10 skills.
* Either you get a base number of skills you can train for "free" or get a number of "training" points based on your intelligence modifier.
* Different occupations have differing mixes of combat and non-combat skills. Taking the Military occupation, for example, would probably give you a ton of combat skills.
* You can always take a skill training feat to get skills you don't have for "free".

Specializations
* These might either be class specific, or genre specific, or both.
* You have to meet the pre-requisites for the specialization to take it.
* A specialization gives you a few unique feats and talents that you can use.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby astralcataclysm » Fri Feb 05, 2010 3:55 am

I only just found this, and am quite excited. I've been pondering classes extensively in my own homebrews over the last year, so please excuse me for a little bit for being long-winded, giving my own 20 cents on the subject.

What does being a class mean? Thematically, it says something about what the character is, what they do, and what they can do. Mechanically, for vanilla D&D, as a reference, it amounts to the following:

HP at level 1
Skill points at level 1
Save bonuses at level 1
Class Skills list
Weapon and Armor proficiencies
Base attack bonus progression
HP progression
Save progression
Skill progression
Class features
Spell progression

Now, IMO, the multiclassing system in 3rd ed has 2 real faults. Giving out too much to starting level nonspellcasters, and too little to starting level spellcasters. The difficulty is presenting a level 1 character with enough to feel fully a part of its class, without making it superior to play a Ftr1/Bbn1/Rgr1/Rog1 over a standard 4th level character. (I've seen it done.) Add another, lesser fault of being unable to play a multiclass character concept at 1st level.

I'll get back to that in a sec. d20 Modern has all of those mechanical qualities of your base class, with a fraction of the thematic elements. Instead, your Occupation told you more about what your character is and does than your class. It really didn't fill the role of what your actual Occupation was often in practice, in my experience anyway, instead mostly being a "what I did before my life was hijacked by this adventuring" thing, or sometimes a "what I do as a day job to finance these crazy expeditions" thing.

So, here's what I propose: take all the "at first level" stuff out of classes, and wrap it into Backgrounds. (especially since I hate characters with absolutely no history or background at all, and having more specific background options than "I'm a cleric of pelor" ought to help there.) So a background would contain starting HP, starting saves, class skills, starting skill points, starting wealth/gear, starting proficiencies, perhaps an exclusive background talent, or whatever permutation of these things stays relevant to character creation in e20.

Given that, what would class mean? What's left? Well, now that who you are and were is no longer revolving around that decision, gaining a level in a class would mean how you grew and what you learned since your last level. Ie, the distribution of many hit points, new skill points, saves, talents, spells, and whatever you acquired.

For example, relative to the average as a baseline, a level in fighter would mean something like +2 hp, +0.16 fort, +0.25 base attack, 1 fighter talent, -2 skill points.

That breaks down into 2 parts: making you a more effective tank by trading some skill for some durability, and gaining iconic powers.

Assuming you want heavy multiclassing to be possible, and even encouraged if you're looking at very generic classes such that you expect most people to mix them to get their character concepts, like in Modern... what's the point of having 6 classes? What makes them sufficiently distinct in what they offer to be meaningfully different?

I'm asking a lot of rhetorical questions to try to elucidate my point, excuse me. I can't manage to be more direct and concise at 3am. Anyway; where I'm going with this, is that in effect, classes as you've been suggesting are mostly just arbitrary silos for talents. If a character can take no more than 1 talent per level, tracking your level in a given class is really just tracking your progress along the tree of one silo over another. The remainder is choosing where you want to be on the trade-off between durability, skills, and specials.

So ultimately, while this might be counterproductive to this conversation, I feel that the way to go is towards a point of classes=talent trees. Not a class contains talent trees, but a class is a talent tree. Wrap the small mechanical increases into progression along given talent trees, like +2 hp whenever you take a Dreadnought talent, or the like. This also preserves uniqueness and interestingness of your classes, without needing a bunch of totally generic classes struggled to name ungenerically. Any character could take a talent they meet the prereqs for from any tree; it would just be normal multiclassing. Classes wouldn't need to all be the same length, and it allows easy, natural progression into advanced/prestige classes as just talents with steeper pre-reqs. It also might make balancing classes against each other easier; you just balance each talent individually with pre-reqs vs benefits against other talents.

I understand that this might be taking things a little too far off the beaten path, but I figure, if anything, that's what e20 is for, so hopefully this will at least be food for thought.
-astralcataclysm
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby babs » Fri Feb 05, 2010 6:16 am

astralcataclysm wrote:I only just found this, and am quite excited. I've been pondering classes extensively in my own homebrews over the last year, so please excuse me for a little bit for being long-winded, giving my own 20 cents on the subject.


Welcome to e20! Don't forget to make your pledge to support the system!

What does being a class mean? Thematically, it says something about what the character is, what they do, and what they can do. Mechanically, for vanilla D&D, as a reference, it amounts to the following:

HP at level 1
Skill points at level 1
Save bonuses at level 1
Class Skills list
Weapon and Armor proficiencies
Base attack bonus progression
HP progression
Save progression
Skill progression
Class features
Spell progression

Now, IMO, the multiclassing system in 3rd ed has 2 real faults. Giving out too much to starting level nonspellcasters, and too little to starting level spellcasters. The difficulty is presenting a level 1 character with enough to feel fully a part of its class, without making it superior to play a Ftr1/Bbn1/Rgr1/Rog1 over a standard 4th level character. (I've seen it done.) Add another, lesser fault of being unable to play a multiclass character concept at 1st level.

I'll get back to that in a sec. d20 Modern has all of those mechanical qualities of your base class, with a fraction of the thematic elements. Instead, your Occupation told you more about what your character is and does than your class. It really didn't fill the role of what your actual Occupation was often in practice, in my experience anyway, instead mostly being a "what I did before my life was hijacked by this adventuring" thing, or sometimes a "what I do as a day job to finance these crazy expeditions" thing.

So, here's what I propose: take all the "at first level" stuff out of classes, and wrap it into Backgrounds. (especially since I hate characters with absolutely no history or background at all, and having more specific background options than "I'm a cleric of pelor" ought to help there.) So a background would contain starting HP, starting saves, class skills, starting skill points, starting wealth/gear, starting proficiencies, perhaps an exclusive background talent, or whatever permutation of these things stays relevant to character creation in e20.

Given that, what would class mean? What's left? Well, now that who you are and were is no longer revolving around that decision, gaining a level in a class would mean how you grew and what you learned since your last level. Ie, the distribution of many hit points, new skill points, saves, talents, spells, and whatever you acquired.

For example, relative to the average as a baseline, a level in fighter would mean something like +2 hp, +0.16 fort, +0.25 base attack, 1 fighter talent, -2 skill points.

That breaks down into 2 parts: making you a more effective tank by trading some skill for some durability, and gaining iconic powers.

Assuming you want heavy multiclassing to be possible, and even encouraged if you're looking at very generic classes such that you expect most people to mix them to get their character concepts, like in Modern... what's the point of having 6 classes? What makes them sufficiently distinct in what they offer to be meaningfully different?


They can access different talents! Anyways, just a quick comment. I don't get the impression from your post that you are very familiar with Star Wars SAGA edition, which already dumped a lot of cows you are still mentioning. The e20 system will already use many of the evolutions SAGA edition introduced and which are superior to previous d20 (D&D 3e and 3.5) editions.

I'm asking a lot of rhetorical questions to try to elucidate my point, excuse me. I can't manage to be more direct and concise at 3am. Anyway; where I'm going with this, is that in effect, classes as you've been suggesting are mostly just arbitrary silos for talents. If a character can take no more than 1 talent per level, tracking your level in a given class is really just tracking your progress along the tree of one silo over another. The remainder is choosing where you want to be on the trade-off between durability, skills, and specials.

So ultimately, while this might be counterproductive to this conversation, I feel that the way to go is towards a point of classes=talent trees. Not a class contains talent trees, but a class is a talent tree. Wrap the small mechanical increases into progression along given talent trees, like +2 hp whenever you take a Dreadnought talent, or the like. This also preserves uniqueness and interestingness of your classes, without needing a bunch of totally generic classes struggled to name ungenerically. Any character could take a talent they meet the prereqs for from any tree; it would just be normal multiclassing. Classes wouldn't need to all be the same length, and it allows easy, natural progression into advanced/prestige classes as just talents with steeper pre-reqs. It also might make balancing classes against each other easier; you just balance each talent individually with pre-reqs vs benefits against other talents.

I understand that this might be taking things a little too far off the beaten path, but I figure, if anything, that's what e20 is for, so hopefully this will at least be food for thought.
-astralcataclysm


I think you are just taking it a single step to far. I think that the classes as talent tree containers approach has shown in SAGA edition to work fantastic. However, while the classes = talent trees approach seems nothing more than a mere cosmetic chance it is one with important, and in my opinion detrimental consequences. Namely page-count. If you use class = talent tree you have to introduce every class and write every basics out for each talent tree. That takes up pages! Also, it also perceive that it impacts on the 'genre-neutral' objective of e20. Suddenly we have specific classes for all the genres! Thats not the objective.

Babs out!
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Fri Feb 05, 2010 6:22 am

So, Jared, your proposing to divorce skills from classes as well, like say class skills and non class skills...another seperation from previous versions of the system? If so, then that's totally cool.

So classes won't give the Bab, because of the combat skills, and they won't really provide skills either? Leaving that to Occupations. Is that what you mean?
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