AD&D Class Remix & Godless Priests

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FaerieGodfather
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AD&D Class Remix & Godless Priests

Post by FaerieGodfather » Sat Aug 03, 2019 11:32 pm

So I am gearing up for an online game of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons following a number of overly ambitious houserule goals simultaneously.

The one I wish to discuss, and for which I might require some guidance, is that I wish to radically revamp the class system:

1. More, narrower classes (especially casters) for Humans, with extensive multiclassing options.
2. Replacing the PHB classes with more archetypal classes for Nonhumans. (Think race-as-class with multiple options)
3. Really tailoring the variety of casting classes to the setting.

Human classes are easy, as they follow the basic Warrior - Rogue - Priest - Mage categories.

Warrior: Fighter, Barbarian (PHBR), Ranger, Kensai, Paladin (maybe)
Rogue: Thief, Bard... Assassin (1e) and/or Ninja (PHBR) or some combination of the two.

There's no Monk class because Monk is traditionally the martial arts class... and I intend every class to be the martial arts class.

And, of course, Priest and Mage are where we're going to town. Gonna bring that up last.

For nonhumans, I'm going to try to have at least two options for each along the lines of the Dwarf/Dwarf Cleric in BECMI and based on Racial Kits.

Dwarfs would have Dwarf Fighter and Dwarf Cleric (and maybe Other Dwarf Cleric) and Dwarf Thief wiith free multiclassing.
Elfs would pretty much all be some variation of Fighter/Mage or Fighter/Priest, with some Ninja options.

Other races I am definitely including are Thri-Kreen, Xixchil (maybe combined), Tortle, Hadozee or Vanara, GIff, Gith (combined). I'm open to other options if players express a strong interest. Or a moderate interest, really.

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Re: AD&D Class Remix & Godless Priests

Post by FaerieGodfather » Sun Aug 04, 2019 12:24 am

As far as Human Mages go... my general thought is that I'd like to start with Specialist Mages as the baseline, but then grant less spell access in exchange for other powers.

Not sure I'd want to go with simple School specialists, though. They are at least an option. I definitely want some non-standard Mage classes, like the Witch.

Priests... given the nature of the Spelljammer setting and my general stance on mixing campaign settings and my burning hatred for how D&D completely misrepresents polytheistic religions, I want to go with a godless setting with Priests empowered by different divine sources.

Like, for instance, how Dark Sun has Elemental Clerics, Druids, and Templars as competing variants of Priest.

I'm defintely doing the Elemental Clerics.

I've considered having Dragon Priests based on the 10 True Dragons, but that seems excessive under the circumstances.

Trying to think of other options, except I'd like to avoid the staples of the Great Wheel cosmology and have an entirely Prime-centered cosmology.

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Re: AD&D Class Remix & Godless Priests

Post by Havard » Sun Aug 04, 2019 12:05 pm

Interesting! I always like to see experimentation with the game rules like this!

What do you mean by every class being into martial arts? :)

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Re: AD&D Class Remix & Godless Priests

Post by agathokles » Sun Aug 04, 2019 12:16 pm

If you want widespread martial arts, you could look for the DragonFist AD&D variant, which does exactly that. It uses kits to provide variants of the 4 base classes. While the number of options is smaller than what you want, and there are no non-human PCs, it can still serve as inspiration.
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Re: AD&D Class Remix & Godless Priests

Post by Illuminatus » Sun Aug 04, 2019 3:28 pm

One of the advantages of what you’re doing with a “race as class” overhaul is that you could do away with those 1e/2e demi-human level caps and instead balance those race/classes in other ways. Like, ways that actually balance them.

Re: priests: one of the things I never liked about D&D priests is the automatic assumption that they’re trained in arms and armor. This is such a weird divergence from most real-world priests of almost every religion. If I was going to do a complete reworking of the classes, I’d switch the rogue and priest combat charts and hit die, and make the “standard” priest an unarmored caster with other advantages to compensate for the loss of weapons & armor. (Maybe standard protection from evil, better defensive and buff spells, the ability to cast any spell from their list without having to “memorize,” and the ability to cast even while under attack. After all, they’re calling on their deity for help, not doing interpretive dance like a wizard.)

Warrior priests would be just that. Warrior/priests.

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Re: AD&D Class Remix & Godless Priests

Post by agathokles » Sun Aug 04, 2019 9:15 pm

Here you can see Pope Julius II in full plate....

In RW, priests wear whatever the culture and technology mandate.

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Re: AD&D Class Remix & Godless Priests

Post by Illuminatus » Mon Aug 05, 2019 12:03 am

I guess it's just a feature of the internet that no matter how many qualifiers like "most" and "almost" you use, all your comments will be interpreted as if you were trying to state absolutes.

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Re: AD&D Class Remix & Godless Priests

Post by agathokles » Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:39 am

Illuminatus wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 12:03 am
I guess it's just a feature of the internet that no matter how many qualifiers like "most" and "almost" you use, all your comments will be interpreted as if you were trying to state absolutes.
No, it's just that your comment does not apply to the vast majority of RW priests... the "fact" that they don't wear armor is simply not a fact. Any priest involved in combat wears appropriate combat gear in RW. In the case of Pope Julius II, it is of course a matter of appearances, since he wasn't likely involved in any actual combat -- much like most military commanders.

The armor limits of the various D&D iterations relate exclusively to balance and aesthetics. The RW has really no relevance.

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Re: AD&D Class Remix & Godless Priests

Post by FaerieGodfather » Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:22 am

I have been giving a lot of thought to the matter of Human Mage classes.

First, Specialist Wizards (classic) have access to between 5 and 7 of the eight Schools. Specialists in Schools of Effect or Thaumaturgy are weird, and seem to grant greater spell access. I am not a terribly big fan of the Schools of Philosophy, but they are generally much more convenient for measuring how "much of the pie" a caster actually has access to, because they overlap less.

In generally, I think I want Human Mages to have access to between 4-6 schools, and maybe some mechanism for broader access. I might be adopting an alternate spellcasting system-- not spellcasting, properly, but spell acquisition-- that maybe allows something like "minor access".

Part of my problem is that I don't have a solid paradigm for differentiating Mages. Or even really a starting point like Final Fantasy or Magic: the Gathering.

I definitely want to have some kind of Warmage who combines the functions of the 3.5 Warmage and the Pathfinder Magus. I want to have a Witch who functions like the various Dragon versions and the PF version. Some kind of illusionist/shadow caster, some kind of mentalist.

EDIT: I'm really having a hard time with this. I'm not sure how to balance the classes, I'm not sure how to divvy them up. And I really need to avoid the temptation of going overboard with them. I probably do not want to exceed five, and should really try to stick to three or four.
Last edited by FaerieGodfather on Sun Aug 11, 2019 9:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: AD&D Class Remix & Godless Priests

Post by FaerieGodfather » Sun Aug 11, 2019 8:56 am

Priests are a matter of Divine Sources, and aside from disinviting The Gods from the party, I have no idea what I'm doing. Without The Gods and the Great Wheel, I'm not sure that Angels and Demons make a whole hell of a lot of sense-- pun intended--but maybe I can get some mileage out of some sort of "pure ideal" priesthoods.

Name pending, but I want to mash up the Dark Sun Elemental Cleric and the Rokugan Shugenja. Air, Earth, Fire, and Water. They all get 3/4 elements plus the corresponding Mage School for their chosen element. Kinda like Clerics, kinda like Druids.

Ranger spellcasting is Animal, Plant, Healing, Travelers, Element Sphere plus Mage School.

I had originally planned, instead of Elemental Clerics, to have 10 Priest Classes for the 10 True Dragons. Seems excessive unless they're going to be the only Priests I'm using in the game.

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Re: AD&D Class Remix & Godless Priests

Post by FaerieGodfather » Sun Aug 11, 2019 9:15 am

Minor spellcasters:

Ranger: as noted, Rangers gain spellcasting from the Elemental Powers. Animal, Plant, Healing, Travelers. the Sphere and the School of their Chosen Element.

Paladin: I'm not sure I want to deal with Paladins. If I do, they're going to be based on a different divine source and I'm going to try to wrap the class around it,.

Bard: Again not sure here. I want to replicate the 3.X Bard spell list and the 5e ability to learn spells off-list.

Assassin: Shadow, Illusion, Mentalism.

MIght make Warmage into a Warrior class, actually.

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Re: AD&D Class Remix & Godless Priests

Post by talsine » Sat Aug 17, 2019 3:39 am

Not to derail, but have you looked @ Adventure, Conqueror, King? Its a OSR inspired game that might do exactly what you want here. Its very much a mash up of RC era D&D with 2E design. I own a lot of it in hard cover and, sadly, have never managed to bring it to the table because most of m y friends aren't interested in the design it is trying to emulate.

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