I’ve been doing research into camouflage, subterfuge, espionage, and information gathering as part of my research for the Sneak classes, and do you want to know what one of the largest obstacles I’m facing right now is? Seriously, just finding names for the classes is giving me grief. Seriously.

I’ll be the first to admit that I might have settled a little too soon on the names for the Hunter classes, as cool as it would be to have a class called “Nemesis,” “Shadow,” “Scourge,” or “Daemon,” they really don’t fit in with the positive-to-neutral naming convention I’m following. Sneaks look to be more difficult — nobody likes a liar.

While I may eventually settle on “classic” names, like rogue, scoundrel, and thief-acrobat, I’d like class names to fit their State theme as well as possible, so they’re better able to evoke the themes of the State, and vice versa. I mean, this can and will get better once I’ve finished the “rough draft” of the classes.

This has necessitated a certain amount of, I don’t know — “soul searching,” which regard to the nature of the States. They’re still in a condition of relative uncertainty. While I have pretty clear ideas of what each State represents and does, there are still some ambiguous areas, which I hope to continue filling with Class development.

Since Deception is crucial to the Sneak class, I’ve been examining the motivations that characters of each State might have reasons for hiding something, and how they might go about it. I figure those in the “upper half,” constituting the Natural, Spectral, and Primeval States, are more subtle, while the others are more overt.

What that means, is that the three or four “subtle” States are more about concealment and misdirection to avoid attention, while the remainder are more about ostentatious displays and creating diversions. Covert versus overt at its most basic. The other difference is in whether things are actually hidden, or their importance obfuscated.

The “leftmost” States (Spectral and Sidereal) are more prone to actually shrouding or obscuring the targets of their concealment, whereas the “rightmost” States (Elemental and Empyreal) are more prone to diminishing the apparent importance of whatever they’re concealing, usually by presenting another target.

So you can imagine a character of the Empyreal State nuking a city to cover up an assassination. Well, with a modern spin, anyway. A setting-specific example would be conjuring up a huge lightning storm instead to strike one heretic dead. *shrugs*