Monday, 26 December 2016

Fighter & Rogue write-ups for "RedNext" (B/X-5e hack)

I've finished my write ups of both the Fighter and Rogue for my B/X-5e "RedNext" hack. Unlike the Halfling, which was mostly written from scratch, these were a lot easier. Copy-paste from the SRD, trim and re-organise to make it easier to scan and fit into 3 pages each.

The Figher (PDF)

The Rogue (PDF)

There are a few differences from the 5e PHB version though. No sub-classes, no feats, no race to be chosen (since race is a class), skill lists dumped and only the four core classes (+3 optional race-classes), trims a lot of the fat from the character dev mini-game that modern D&D so wants to become. There are two changes I use to cover the difference:

A much increased focus on the simple combo of (4 core classes + background) to define your proficiency and 'adventuring identity' as opposed to a proliferation of classes and long lists of skills (I do appreciate that 5e vastly cuts down on the skill lists. Still a bit too long for my taste).

A choice of "Class Feature" at 1st level - This is my own innovation and only the human classes have one. It hearkens more to the AD&D notion of the various later classes (ranger, druid, paladin, bard) being a kind of sub/prestige-class of the four Originals and, in tandem with background, goes a long way towards emulating the proliferation of classes with much simpler means.

Under the hood, they are a a 1st lvl class feature of some sort already given in the PHB/SRD + a
feat (since I have baked the variant human into each of the four classes) that adds some oomph to it.
So for Fighters, the Class Feature is still the existing Fighting Styles that now more of pack a punch to create properly hard hitting barbarians, sharpshooting rangers and tactical "warlords" (including a a new more generic one for those who just want to be heroically generic Champions).
For Rogues, it is Rogue Schemes, such as Thief, Wanderer, Acrobat, Arcane Dabbler and Charmer to create your bards, thief-acrobats, duellists, scouts and indiana jones'.
Priests will two Divine Orders choices - Cleric and Druid, built out of feat + domain. Will be interesting to see how much druid I can manage to pack into that combo.
And Magic-users three Arcane Schools - Wizard, Warlock and Sorcerer, with the difference being how to new learn spells and ritual magic + a featlike punch to back up each tradition.

When it is all said and done, I'll make a 1-page spreadsheet to make it super easy to see how a ranger=(fighter+deadeye feature+woodsman background) and scout=(rogue+wanderer feature+woodsman background) and so forth. It adds two layers of choice complexity that isn't there in B/X (feature+background) but much less than what 5e has. I think, given all the characterisation+punch you can get out of these two basic choices and the attention I am putting to make these two choices clear and simple, it's a decent tradeoff and middle ground between the two.

Any and all feedback is of course greatly appreciated.