Saturday, February 07, 2009

Warlord RPG : Greatest Idea Never Stolen

Because we were idiots and because I really couldn't come up with a better name than Race/Class abilities, the cross-referenced, 36-page, brilliantly conceived (ahem) concept of abilities that only certain races and classes get when "mixed" together, was never really clearly understood by the game community at large.

It didn't help that the game was four years late and monumentally out-moded in every other way when it finally released.

But, let me be very clear here. The 18 Classes and 7 Race (with three abilities for each combo) meant that Richard Faresse and I devised 378 new abilities for Warlord of the Accordland players.

378.

This is a monumental undertaking.

[Okay, Zinser helped.]

But it also turned a corner in 3.x "blandedness." It made sure that Dwarf fighters were a lot more different than Human fighters in more ways they just movement rates, Con bonuses, and Fort saves. And it also helped to FINALLY make a priest of one religion a lot more distinct than just "I cast an additional death spell each day, what do you cast?"

Nearly 10 pages of the book are devoted just to the Blessings that various clerics receive from their respective faiths. Couple this with the d20 Secrets book [where Clerics get different abilities based on alignment] and you have the makings of extremely divergent class ideas. In fact, you could possibly make a party of all Clerics and you'd be doing well and see very little overlap (except perhaps in saving throw scores).

Playing 3.x again, I'm reminded of the repetitious nature of the game and how so many things (especially at lower levels) feel the same and/or do the same thing. This is a crutch of the class-system, although some skill-based games aren't much better. Who hasn't taken FIREARMS in GURPS or Alertness in Vampire? It's been 8 years since the realease of 3.0, isn't it time for simplification and not bloat? Shouldn't bard songs (as useless as they are) be a must simpler system, just like picking spells? Does it really make any sense that it's based on skill level?

Sorry. Tangent there.

Anyway. Check it out, if you have a copy of the book. I think it seriously is one of the best ideas I've ever had, even if my execution misses the mark. Certainly a book of "combos" would be a good product… it would just mean finding the right races and classes to combine… with so much 3.x material, that's not an easy task. Maybe just the basics from 3.75?

Hmmm.... Eric Mona are you reading this?

1 comment:

ShadowcatX said...

I just came across your post and while I know its super late to mention this but I absolutely loved the race / class abilities. They were one of the best things about the RPG.