Introducing the Archetype System (Apr 10, 2012)

A little over a year ago, I finished the first version of my class system — which I called the Archetype system. It combined each of the Seven States of magic with one of the Twelve Trades to create a unique character concept.

Even as the project neared completion, I found lots of problems with it — little logic issues, lots of problems with the names themselves, not to mention the fact that despite numerous iterations, I didn’t know what each magical state represented.

Edit: “You don’t know yet!” — FF13 video drop

By maybe August of last year, I had revised and tweaked a lot of the magic concepts to fit something more to my understanding of them — based in no small part on the D&D campaign I was running — and had started anew with class concepts.

The new concepts were designed to be more thematic than the originals — and yet at the same time more generic. I revised my naming conventions so the class names all had to have simple plurals (one ranger, two rangers) and fairly easy to pronounce.

Names now have to be more indicative of what the class actually does. While I’m still capitalizing on the recognition of certain class names and concepts, it’s a little less pronounced than before. I’m also avoiding names with too much real-world usage.

…And you know, a year after a year-long class design project, I’m still only closer to achieving the goals I had considered near completion. Definitely closer, but still not within publishing distance. I don’t know whether I’m better or worse off, really.

I’ve made some important system-wide changes, set down rules for things I thought I’d never touch (including armor, weapons, and other equipment), and hacked out a few basic class concepts. I’ve discovered quite a few things in the process too.

Firearms and Magical Implements (Nov 27, 2012)

My research into firearms led to some interesting developments in weapons, magic items, and armor. Actually, the armor part was only very recent — melee weapons, firearms, and magic implements were all more or less figured out at the end of 2012.

Admittedly, there’s more work to be done on them, but I reached some milestones, got some things on paper, and it’s a big deal. Things I didn’t think possible are now part of the framework — though firearms are definitely getting shelved for mythical Greece.

Physics and the Seven States (Dec 21, 2012)

During the winter I developed a hierarchy of energy types, to better represent concepts I was trying to convey, and I’ve been using that hierarchy in nearly every project since then — though my projects been largely confined to D&D and D&D-related material for some months — the hierarchy has proved invaluable.