You know what Third Edition and Revised Dungeons & Dragons did well? They had loads and loads of bizarre little spells and prestige classes and races and feats that were loaded with interesting ideas, but rarely were as effective during gameplay as they sounded in the book. So, when I sorted my classes by roles (striker, defender, or leader) and then wanted to figure out how they differed depending on their power source, I turned to Third Edition.

I kind of figured that each class I came up with assumed for the mortal/natural state, and I could figure out what powers the man-powered versions of the classes could have once I figured out what all the rest of them could do. It’s necessary to maintain healthy, competitive balance, don’cha know!

So, I divided the classes I came up with along the lines of their preferred roles, keeping in mind that while they might gravitate toward one role or another, they can still be found in just about any role. Then again, I expect those roles to disappear quite quickly once the game reaches the next stage of design, because the simple truth is … there are no roles. *snerk* Every player and character is different.

Anyway, here’s the chart:

Brave (Athletics)
Hunter (Survival)
Scribe (Academics)
Sneak (Deception)

Soldier (Discipline)
Scout (Perception)
Smith (Creation)
Speaker (Persuasion)

Marshal (Initiative)
Mystic (Intuition)
Cleric (Cultures)
Bard (Theatrics)

One of the things you need to keep in mind when you look at this chart, if you’re assuming the game is based entirely around combat and you’re wondering how a speaker, a scribe, or a smith could ever measure up to a soldier or a hunter … the classes aren’t meant to rival each other on the same battlefield.

The other thing to keep in mind is that these classes are archetypes, rather than specific classes in and of themselves. Dungeons & Dragons has its iconic 4-person party (thief, mage, priest, and warrior), my game has twelve archetypes, designed to fight across social, intellectual, emotional, and magical battlefields, in addition to the relatively “normal” ones you get in D&D or Magic: the Gathering.

Oh yeah, it’s gonna be awesome.