Races and classes



Hi everyone.
having been a fan of Lonewolf from the dim and distant past, i have, like many of you out their I guess, adapted various systems over the years, so i could run games in Magnamund. The new D20 game, even though i have never been a fan of the DandD game, does a good job in bringing the world to life. The problem i have with it is that it is not easy at all to create your own type of characters- the classes are more like archetypes. I think they are great, dont get me wrong, but the choices are quite restrictive. Personally, i would love the chance to play Noodnics, Ogrons, Kloons or even cowardly szalls. And taking the Magnamund companion as an example, the excellent Ragadorn tavern game is a tavern brawl where you can play Lonewolf, a druid,herbwarden, ranger,mercenary, assassin, Knight of the white mountain, and even a merchant, or innkeeper. I know these characters are not all hereoic, but they are still fun to roleplay.
I would appreciate more ordinary classes, such as Mercenaries or Rangers, or maybe a set of background skills each player would choose, representing their prior life to becoming a hero, which may help stop one gunner of bor looking like another. The emphasis here is roleplaying opportunities, not huge skill bonuses.
For example, a Kai Lord may have grown up on a farm, and begins the game with an additional rank or two in Profession (farmer). Now that may not sound that exciting, but suppose Brave Fox has to investigate a murder of a Border Ranger in the Fryeland forest. He visits a farm, and posing as a farmhand, overhears a dastardly plot concerning Jern, the Naar-sympathizing farmer....
One final note, before you all drift off into sleep. Having the races of Magnamund firmly associated with a class is like saying all Sommlending characters have to play Kai Lords. There is such a varied amount of cultures and races that have been created by Mr. Dever, it seems a real shame not to have such a variety of character options, without waiting for a whole load of source books, or having to give up work and spend my lonely hours creating new classes.
Of course, I could go ahead and convert WFRP to lonewolf, or other systems, but I wont give up on D20 just yet. Comments, especially those glowing with praise and financial benefits, are always welcome.
I agree that the character choices are a bit limited but they are enough for a start and future supplements will remedy that, I believe. August just couldn't fit everything in one book.

About non-human characters: yes, there are plenty of races in Magnamund, but the world is clearly human dominated. Too many non-human player characters would ruin the special Magnmund atmosphere, in my opinion. So for me at least rules for further non-humans don't have a high priority. But, of course, others may differ.

For example, a Kai Lord may have grown up on a farm, and begins the game with an additional rank or two in Profession (farmer).

A player creating a Kai Lord can already choose a rank or two in Farming (or whatever). Thus I don't think we need special rules for pre-adventure life.
I hope a races book, Minorities Of Magnamund (ouch :oops: :oops: ), does get done eventually. We already have two playable races however With the Dwarven Gunner and the Kundi Mystic, three if you include the Magician of Dessi. I agree with Confused Wolf though that one of the defining assets of Maganmund is that it is predominantly human and I wouldn't want to break that.

For low level adventures you could always use the supporting professions from the book. I can think of a whole slew of adventures that you could play criminal investigation in Holmguard, carry the message to the TRUE heroes etc.
Yeah, I agree about keeping things on a human scale. I guess what I am really trying to do is make characters a little more varied. One of the problems with the D20 system, at early levels, is the lack of skill points. Its ok if you are super intelligent, but warrior types tend to start with 8 to 12 points,and they dont go very far. This is all well and good preventing munchkins creating uber characters, but skills can really define a character, and tell you a lot about who they are and what they have done. It is highly unlikely that a player will choose to invest skill points early on, in say a seemingly useless skill, such as a profession, knowledge or perform skill (by useless i mean not that useful to surviving). Also bear in mind that many of these skills will be nonclass skills. I dont see a Dwarf Gunner, with just 8 skill points to play with, spending half those on 2 ranks Profession(brewer) just because they will enjoy the roleplaying aspect.
I tend to picture beginning characters as just starting out on the road to riches and heroism, but certainly not just fresh out of school. They will already have life experience, and historically medieval folk were pretty grown up even by their early teens.
Heres my solution. Every character chooses a background reflecting their childhood and early adolescence.
Each background grants 3 ranks in various skills, though no more than 2 in any one, and they should mostly be Craft, knowledge or Profession skills. There may be some exceptions but i would limit these to just 1 rank and avoid potential munchkin traps, such as Acrobatics, disable device, Forgery, Stealth, Disguise, heal, occult, or Use magical items.The important thing is to encourage players to think about their upbringing, rather than "ok what gives me 3 ranks in Stealth."
Heres some examples, off the top of my head:

Farmer: Profession(farmer) 2, Animal Handling 1
Scribe: Profession(scribe) 2, Concentration 1
Innkeeper: Profession(innkeeper) 2, Gather information 1
Sailor: Profession(sailor) 2, Athletics 1
Servant: Profession(servant) 2, Knowledge (royalty and nobility) 1
Carpenter: Craft(carpentry) 2, Appraise 1
Nomad: Handle Animal 1, Ride 1, Survival 1
Herbalist: Profession(herbalist) 2, Knowledge(nature) 1
Noble: Knowledge(nobility and royalty) 1, Ride 1, Perform(dance) 1
Beggar: Bluff 1, Perform(choose one) 1, Gather information 1
Town Guard: Gather information 1, Intimidate 1 Sense Motive 1
Miner: Profession(miner) 2, Appraise 1
Ostler: Profession(ostler) 2, Animal Handling 1
Troubadour: Perform(choose one) 2, Perform(choose another) 1
Scholar: Knowledge(History) 2, Knowledge(choose another) 1

Just a thought... [/b]
I understand your thought and (even if I find the original classes of the core book very well done) I agree with you.

Saying that, I've created two new "less heroic" or "more realistic" classes(depending on your point of view).
The "Free Bowman" and the "Troubadour" (kind of Bard).

Unfortunately for you: they are in french... :wink:

In my group of players:
- Two are playing Kai Lords
- One is a Brother of The CS
- One is a dwarven gunner
- One is a Troubadour (with a strange past)
- One is a Bowman (woman to be precise)

So 1/3rd of my players are not "corebook approved" classes :lol: and it fits very well!
I have just seen the reviews of Magic in Magnamund, and from what i have seen, the new classes seem very flexible. This bodes well i feel. If the same approach to warriors and other characters in the future is taken, the game will be great. I will probably try out some more mundane classes, maybe make them Advanced. That makes them a lot easier to create! So a character could be a sommlending knight, then take a few levels in Border Ranger, Toranese Archer or Kirlundin Marine, without having to drastically alter their character concept. Similarly, a Shadaki Buccaneer could become a Shanarzim Warrior, and a Bor Gunner could take a few levels in Skyship Sailor......