While developing character classes per the Seven States, I’ve been simultaneously working on better developing the roles that characters play in combat, sort of like “field positions.” Some of my earlier work shows up in my entry “Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock.” Unfortunately, I reached a point where the position names were obstructing my ability to design powers around them.

So, I came up with names that were less limited by range or distance, and were more descriptive. They became shorthand for different “tactical effect bundles” instead of field positions. Currently, the terms I’m working with are:

Harriers (skirmishers) — hit and fade
Chargers (brutes) — shock and awe
Keepers (soldiers) — advance and hold
Trappers (leaders) — divide and conquer
Seekers (artillery) — seek and destroy

One of the first things I wanted to fix about each one of the tactical positions was that its name should be as close to what it does as possible. And preferably a modification of a verb. A harrier harries. A charger charges. A keeper keeps. A trapper traps. A seeker seeks. They all work out wonderfully well. And their tactics are different. You can tell because their tactics can all be described by a pair of verbs!

…So, beyond thinking about field positions (which involved some reading into sports), I’ve been thinking about the classes, their skills and powers, and the roles I assigned them of “offense, defense, and support.” Now, I remember designating those back when I was still working with a three-role system. Since then, I decided to go with something more complex. The roles were more ambiguous back then.

I’m left in the weird position that I’m designing the classes to specifications that not only no longer exist, but have been replaces by a system that doesn’t readily conform to them (or vice versa). *flat note* So there’s a question as to whether I should continue developing the classes as is, or if I should start over with new parameters.

…No, I didn’t think so. Of course I’m going to finish developing the classes around the parameters I set out before, while I continue to develop the roles they will eventually become. The reason for this is that developing the classes isn’t just about the classes. I’m also working out kinks in the magic and skill systems.

Once I’ve finished hammering out the magic system, the skill system, and the class system (not to mention the role system), I hope to make the whole thing modular. Any class will be permitted to fill any role, using any magic and any skill on the battlefield. The focus of the game will no longer be on what kind of character you aren’t playing, it’ll be how you decide to meet challenges with the character you are playing.