Thursday, February 19, 2009

Classes and Characters

Like the original white-box D&D rules, Swords and Wizardry only includes three classes: Cleric, Fighter and Magic-user. Even the familiar Thief Class from Supplement I and beyond is skipped. I don't see this as a problem. The three types of characters are those who rely on faith, steel and sorcery, and players will be able to fit their concepts into these classes.

Clerics, as I see it, represent not the average priest, but crusading warrior-priests, monster-hunters, or crusaders. They are equal bits Knight Templar and Van Helsing, and are distinguished by their reliance of religious trappings and ritual tied to strength of arms and faith.

Fighters are actually all charaters who live by the sword -- from Fahrd and the Gray Mouser to Conan, these are the warriors, thieves, con-artists, and other non-magical characters of he world.

Magic-users are those who rely on arcane power. They tend to be scholars and thinkers more than warriors, and have limited but powerful resources that can change the tide of battle.

None of these three classes is all-powerful, which is a plus, since that encourages group play.

Note that the rules are very vague in character abilities, which is a good thing. Bringing the character to life is the player's job, using the rules as litle more than a loose framework for imagination.