thread: 2006-02-27 : Unpopular Ideas for 2006 #1

On 2006-02-28, Bob the Fighter wrote:

Character classes are pretty unfashionable too, I'd say. I wonder if that'll make it in around #4 or so?

Classes, if used correctly, can provide archetypes, social roles within the setting, and serve as a macro of sorts for quick character generation. Granted, they won't fit in just *any* game, but they can have their uses.

The question at hand, then, would be: what settings would actually call for a strict delineation of social roles, particularly divisions that might give characters skills and abilities that are markedly different from one another. On one hand, classes could simply be rough sketches to follow. On the other hand, one could go farther (in a sense) than D+D does and demand that a particular class be visible or at least obvious in some fashion by its nature. If you've got class-as-social-caste, you're on the right track. In such a situation, however, it's not skills that are tightly guarded; it's knowledge and social privileges.

But dealing with issues of social caste can make for an extremely specific sort of game, one whose themes in that direction might be hard to push towards a more general, modern context.

Places to Go, People to Be ( touched on this in much more detail (for 3ed. D+D, anyway) in issue 19.


This makes BL go "I'm working on something"
Where you have two character classes at a time, and you can change them relatively easily.

This makes BL go "Oh, and also"
The following games all having classes built right in: Polaris, Dogs, the Mountain Witch, Sorcerer, My Life with Master, and Trollbabe.

This makes LP go "Go on."
What are the classes for those?

This makes XP go "Seems to me"
those games have classes, but not much choice. I.e., your character automatically is in the Sorcerer class, Dogs class, Minion class, etc.

This makes BL go "Christian's got it"
They are all games with character classes (player characters have roles which other people in the world emphatically don't) but there is only one class per game. Knight of the Order of the Stars, Dog, Ronin, Sorcerer, Minion, and Trollbabe respectively.

This makes TC go "Those games..."
I call those games "Mono-class" games. Cutthroat and Standoff are examples also. As for a game where characters switch classes, the Ronny game of Hierarchy has that built in as an essential part of play.

This makes PK go "class = difference"
There's no such thing as a mono-class game. Now, Vincent's discussion of protagonists vs. supporting characters would be a class distinction.

This makes DR go "DitV classes?"
Depending on how we're defining 'classes', DitV does have 'em. They're called 'Complicated History', 'Strong Community', etc.

This makes...
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