K.R. Stevens
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Rethinking RPG Classes - Throwing the Bo ...

Rethinking RPG Classes - Throwing the Book Out of the Door.

Mar 29, 2022

With the World of Oraspire RPG system, I wanted to completely break all the rules when it comes to RPG classes. When you make a character, you don't pick a class. In fact, you conceivably could go through several whole campaigns with a single character and never have a class.

In place of what would normally be Classes, you have Technique Schools, basically a set of powers, abilities, and upgrades that follow a certain theme. Say one is a Stealth Melee Assassin type build, another is a Stone Mage, or another a Sword and Boarder. There are several Schools that provide options both exotic and mundane. You can freely pick techniques across several schools to build your ultimate character, but some of the strongest upgrades and powers are locked behind deeper point investments in a particular School.

A Class is earned through meeting certain criteria in a given School and represents a significant character achievement. Every class has an investment prerequisite, requiring a certain number of points spent on Techniques and Augments in the school. Some classes may require a certain action or actions to be performed, or even a certain item to be owned or crafted as well.

But meet the prerequisite, and you will earn the respective class. NPCs will even take notice of that achievement. And, you will unlock the Class's Ultimate Technique, and an exclusive Augment for free. These both are massive leaps in terms of power, even completely changing how a build might work. Burn foes to ashes with the Fire Herald's Ardent Sword and Bonus Augment to get a guaranteed critical hit with an Inferno spell against a target that is Burned. Or devastate the battlefield with the Whisperblade's Clear The Room and never be without a weapon, even when strip searched, with the Always Packing augment.

The point is, you decide what is right for your character. Do you focus in on a specialty, or make a jack of all trades? Unlike most games, the various Techniques and Augments are meant to be open and fit into more than just their respective class's playstyle.

Maybe the Shaman's Roots spell, which allows you to recover Vitality each round at the cost of being unable to move, is a good fit for your Shield-Welding Vanguard Stalwart. The Storm Warden's Jetstream Leap, allowing you to jump to any target on the map, could be just the advantage a Blademaster needs to unleash Twister Sweep. It is all open. You just need to put together what you need

But in the end, the major point I had with this system was to encourage creativity, and break down all the barriers that normally exist in Classes. I always felt like Multiclassing in Tabletop is more of an afterthought than it is a deeply fleshed out and considered option.

With the School system, we get rid of that entire issue, and make more opportunities to earn your titles and roles, rather than them being given to you. You get a deeper connection to your character because you aren't just fulfilling a predetermined set of skills and functions, you are crafting your character's capabilities and their niche yourself, whether that means specializing in a Class or otherwise.

Thank You!

Let me know what you thought about this article in the comments, or on social media! I hope it brought a smile to your face and helped you learn a little more about the vast world of Oraspire! Please share it in any way you can, and spread the love!

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