Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Character Development

One of the things I particularly liked about Dark Age of Camelot (back in the day) was how you developed your character. You played levels 1 through 5 as part of a generic template, and then at level 5 selected your class.

I’ve been following several discussions online about limiting the options for starting players, and allowing characters to grow organically over time. This is exactly what DAOC did. You knew from the get go that you were going to be a ‘magician’, but you had time (while you were plunking spells at skeletons and badgers) to think about exactly what kind of caster you wanted to be. Options don’t ‘unlock’ for your hero until certain levels.

Here’s what I’m working on right now for the cleric...

Cleric
As a cleric, you are a holy warrior. You wield weapons and wear armor while also calling upon magical abilities to help your allies. You will ultimately take a vow to serve some higher force, although you begin play on a quest to find your calling.
  • Archetype Ability: Resolve (Roll D6 for CP investment)
  • Archetype Trait: Healing Word (2 CPs)
  • You begin with Armor +1, Might -or- Prowess +1, Weapons +1
  • During level 1, you may purchase Evade; Intuition -or- Lore; Might -or- Prowess (the one you didn’t take above)

In Play:
As a starting cleric, I roll D6 for my initial investment in Resolve (my archetype ability) and get 3. I have 3 CPs invested here, meaning that I have 2 CPs left to spend. I spend 1 CP in Resolve to increase it to 4 CPs (+3 rating) so I don’t have unused CPs in my initial build; I then put my final CP into Prowess (where I had already invested 1 CP), bringing this to +2.

Starting Sample Cleric (10 CPs):
Armor +1; Healing Word (+2); Prowess +2; Resolve +3; Weapons +1

***

Advanced Clerics (Options available starting at level 2)
  • You will be expected to select a belief.
  • You will take the limitation: vow. You must swear a vow to follow the tenets of this belief.
  • Special Resolve Option: Detect Evil or Good. You may use a resolve point to detect evil (or good), sensing all creatures/items/locations that emanate evil or good energy with Resolve rating units.

Cleric Beliefs:
  1. The Church of Yahalla. You become a templar. Your vow prevents you from wielding bladed weapons, since it was these weapons that slew your goddess.
  2. The Natural World. You become a druid. Your vow prevents you from wearing metal armor or wielding metal weapons. The base rating for non-metal items is +3. For example, the best non-magical weapon available to you would be a masterwork cudgel +5 (base rating +3; +2 shift from masterwork).
  3. The Cosmic Balance. You become a monk.
  4. The Common Man. You become a friar. Your commitment is to this world, and to its humble, poor and downtrodden. Your vow prevents you from every owning more than you can carry; you must give at least 25% of what you earn to others (and not other players!).
  5. Dark Forces. You become a dark priest. Your vow forces you to always submit your will to dark energies and more powerful entities of the lower realms.
  6. Your People. You become a champion. Your vow forces you to always act in the best interests of your nation or homeland, regardless of personal sacrifice or the good of your fellowship.

Table. Advanced Cleric Spells
  1. Banish Unhallowed.
  2. Boost Armor. Boost the target’s soak ratings based on your Resolve, for the rest of the scene.
  3. Boost Combat. Boost a target’s primary combat ability rating (either might or prowess) based on your Resolve, for the rest of the scene. The target must be within Resolve rating units.
  4. Light (or shadow). Use 1 turn to fiill a number of units equal to your Resolve rating with light for the rest of the scene, up to your Resolve rating units distant. As a dark priest, you may cast shadow instead of light.
  5. Neutralize Poison. Use 1 turn to end the effects of a poison. Roll Resolve vs. the DT of the poison. Success means that you end the poison altogether, although any damage the poison has already dealt remains.
  6. Stunning Word. Use 1 turn to roll Resolve vs. a living target within Resolve rating range. Targets roll the better of intuition or lore to resist. The target loses a number of turns equal to successes.