I re-sorted the archetypes into four documents: all the leaders in one, all the defenders in another, all the controllers in a third, and finally all the strikers in their own document. Then I made a spreadsheet for armor proficiency.

It’s my aim to make armor important, but not necessary.

There are six types of armor proficiency: cloth, hide, leather, chain, scale, and plate. I’ve decided to swap leather and hide from the 3e/4e position to be in line with armor from Skyrim. I like it, and it suits my purposes.

My simple reason is this: leather is “more processed” than hide.

For me, that helps justify the higher cost and price, the better armor bonus, and so on, and so forth. We’re talking about the difference between +2 and +3, which really isn’t such a big deal — there will also be different magic enhancements.

Next I came up with a set of rules to define which classes received automatic access to which armor types. I want more than half of all classes to be proficient in the use of heavy armor — I settled on 60%, and rounded up to 17 classes.

My rules are as follows:
– All classes can use cloth armor.
– Only defenders can use scale armor.
– No classes can use plate armor.
– Divine classes prefer cloth armor.
– Psionic classes prefer cloth and hide armor.
– Elemental classes prefer light armor.
– Shadow classes prefer heavy armor.

Perhaps interesting to note, “spell failure” isn’t a thing, and the Arcane/Divine armor dynamic is reversed. Arcane magic-users can trot around in heavy armor while the Divine magic-users tend to eschew armor in favor of robes.

There are perhaps a zillion reasons for these changes.

First among the reasons is that I want to dispel any idea that Divine magic-users are goody-goody, happy, healing hippies. I haven’t witnessed this attitude in years, but the repercussions can still be felt. A Divine class is just a class.

I think the imagery of the ‘wizened old man with a long beard wearing robes’ is better suited to the Divine magic-user than the Wizard. When that character is a Divine class, they could be anything — a Monk, an Oracle, or an Exorcist — but as an Arcane class, they’re only a Wizard. Just a Wizard — nothing else.

There’s a tangible “Ten Commandments” feeling in the robe-and-beard combo.

To a certain extent, I want to distance myself from Dungeons & Dragons. That includes some basic ideas and of course, the images evoked by the archetypes. I’m making a new game and that requires a few fundamental differences.

Additionally, I like the imagery of a physically-fit Arcane magic-user.

Next, I’ll want to figure out who can use which weapons and implements. I have four (technically five) weapon grades, and seven implements. There will be some classes with no weapon proficiency whatsoever — they’ll deal minimum damage (d4) with any “weapon” attacks they happen to use.