Sunday, February 20, 2011

Heroic Archetypes

The original Resolute: Towers of Arvandoria rules (that I’m endeavoring to emulate here as much as possible, considering how much I like them) don’t have a ‘class system’ for character building. The class system is completely optional, but my players tend to want guidance in terms of how to build a hero. Having 50+ abilities to choose from can prove intimidating for a new player, and even my experienced players like to be able to say “I’m playing a paladin” rather than just “I’ve created a holy knight of sorts”…

That said, I only have room for 6 archetypes in the core rules (3 per page over two pages). Here are the ones I’m considering:

- Barbarian: A savage warrior
- Cleric: A holy defender
- Myrmidon: A highly-trained combatant
- Paladin: A holy knight
- Stalker: A secretive assassin
- Warden: A woodland defender
- Wizard: wielder of arcane forces

I see the core rules leaning towards dungeon crawling, seeing as these are ‘classic adventure’ sort of rules. If I have to choose between the paladin and warden (for instance), I should go with paladin and leave the warden for later. However, the warden fills a nature niche whereas the paladin falls midway between the cleric and myrmidon… The barbarian and myrmidon are pretty close together, although I see a huge difference in play style between the two experiences.

One of the design decisions I have to make (business, design, expansion, game growth are all linked together, you’ll recall), is how the game will grow. Since “Into the Wild” is an area for further development, intentionally leaving some archetypes for there is a good idea. The druid, ranger, warden… these are all nature-based heroes, and can go there. It shouldn’t be hard to come up with a few more (i.e. elementalist, maybe even bard) to round it out.

Warden waits for now.