Sunday, September 6, 2009


Unless otherwise stated, these classes are for human characters. There are four main categories for classes: warriors, which includes barbarians, fighters and rangers; magic-users, comprising of druids and wizards; holy men, which are clerics and paladins; and finally rogues, which includes bards and thieves. For non-human, we have the following standard classes: elf ranger, dwarf fighter and orc barbarian.

· BARBARIAN: A primal warrior, an unleashed powerhouse, a barbarian is a powerful foe. Most barbarians come from uncultured, almost primitive, cultures, such as Nhorbar; but there are also those that come from advanced kingdoms but proudly retain the old ways of war. Barbarians disdain armour and self-preservation: for them, the best defence is a good attack, and they happily charge into their enemies, crushing them before they have the chance to react. There's even a certain brutal beauty of seeing a barbarian hack his enemies to pieces; or so the brave warriors from the north say. Their abandon may make for short lives, but that won't matter a barbarian, because all he hopes for it's to die in a blaze of glory. Fighting alongside one can be dangerous, but fighting against him is deadly.

· FIGHTER: In Ajsalium there's never lack of fights. But you must do much more than enter a fight to deserve the title of "fighter". A fighter is also more than just a soldier. A true fighter is someone who soughts to reach always higher levels of martial prowess, and test them in battle against formidable foes. A fighter can't just imagine life without violence and conflict, and is ready to accept them as a way of life, forever sacrificing a peaceful existence. No wonder this psychology has prevailed in Ajsalium given its dark past and uncertain future; in fact, maybe it's because of this toughening of the soul that mortals were able to rival their fiendish enemies. Although fighters tend to be loners at their heart, they are willing to cooperate with others as they understand the tactical advantages of it, so they commonly join parties of adventurers. With them they can keep on fighting, honing their skills until they become legendary heroes; or they may die in a damp corridor, their corpses to serve as a warning of the dangers ahead.

· RANGER: Rangers are the scouts and spies from ajsalian armies, trained to survive alone in the wilds or to leave without a trace in the cities. Loners by nature, rangers soon take to the woods and become hunters or trappers; if they hone their skills enough they may attract the attention of the military, whom can put their abilities to other uses. Yet the individualistic nature of rangers usually makes them abandon their careers and either establish themselves as hermits or join a group of adventurers and quest all around the world. A ranger is always a valuable mate not just for his understanding of the wilds, a place that becomes the second home of most adventurers, and not just for his hunting skills, but also for his tracking ability and good fighting prowess. It's interesting noticing that rangers can still employ much of their knowledges in urban areas, and some even consider themselves urban rangers, in the constantly evolving world of Ajsalium.

· DRUID: Druids are the keepers of the Old Faith: way back in time, humans paid devotion not to the gods, but to Nature itself and every aspect of it. It was believed that there was power everywhere, and it was true, because everything was impregnated by magic. Druids are magic-users, but very different from wizards, because the former have a religious respect for magic, considering it a divine bond that merges the world and its inhabitants together. And despite the fact that religion has changed a lot since the naive old days, and today only god worship is approved, druids keep their simple and naturalistic spirituality. They seek to maintain the natural balance, a pro-active neutrality that often makes them despise the so called "progress"; something that has relegated them to the frontiers of the world. But in no man's land, theirs is the voice of Nature.

· WIZARD: Dragons brought magic to Ajsalium. It's a force that impregnates everything and unites the world. It may be invisible, but still it's there. And wizards learn the ways to manipulate it, and thus, manipulate the world. Wizards are amongst the most ambitious people in the world, as they seek what's considered the ultimate power, the power of the spell, that which equate mortals with immortals. Of course, that is not an easy task to accomplish, and learning the winding ways of magic takes long years of hard study. Only the very disciplined, centered and even stubborn, can hope to achieve a good mastery of magic. That's not the type of people that get along well with others, as they're usually introverts and rather egoistic. The disrespect with which they treat magic puts them at odds with druids; and their lack of faith in the gods does the same with clerics. But nobody will be such a fool as to anger a wizard without good reason, because everybody knows magic is the most formidable weapon.

· CLERIC: Clerics are the ultimate believers; the life of a cleric is devoted to being a perfect mirror of his god. They go far beyond the standard obligations of a devout person, self-imposing a strict code of conduct based on the ethos of a god. For this they can expect the gift of being personally heard by a god, and being rewarded with power, including the holy power over life and death. It is this what grants them important political power, and the basis from which Churches were built. In them, clerics are the focal points, whereas priests, zealous people that conduct masses but lack the true powers of a cleric, are their backbones and the ones who truly constitute the hierarchy. Only old clerics will settle long enough for them to hold some place in a Church, with younger ones travelling in an unending mission of evangelization in the name of their gods, showing their power through their deeds and smashing their enemies.

· PALADIN: A paladin is a shining beacon of light amidst the darkness of the world. They are considered living saints by many, and dangerous fools by others; and both may be right. A paladin feels he must become a perfect embodiment of some virtue, such as valour, love, light, honour... and defend it with the sword, a strong arm and a stronger heart. It's the abstract approach to the divine what differentiates them mostly from clerics, as their faith is of a different kind. And it's what explains why they don't belong to any Church; although all of the latter try to befriend the paladins and give them shelter and support, if only for the popular estimation they (usually) have. Yet no paladin will stay anywhere for long, for they can't never overcome the impulse to search for new lands to cleanse, and fight the darkness till death claims them. Unfortunately, in Ajsalium there's never a shortage of deeds and quests for them to perform.

· BARD: Seeing them in their colourful clothes and cheerful playing you wouldn't imagine them crawling in the darkest corridors of forgotten dungeons, would you? But you'd be wrong. A bard is, first and foremost, the ultimate hedonist, but a consequent one: he's ready to put his life at risk in a quest for strong emotions. It is from the raw flush of adrenalin that his odes come. When a bard sings about desperate struggles against horrid monsters, he knows what he's talking about. And a good bard, who's a master of his arts, is able to transmit those emotions to their spectators, up to a point where he can give hope to the desperate and valour to the coward; truly there's magic in their music. Bards also join adventuring parties to travel around the world, meet new cultures and learn from their traditions, later to re-tell them elsewhere. Thanks to them the world is a richer place.

· THIEF: Swift hands and disdain for the law define a thief. Beyond that, everything is possible: from idealistic revolutionaries that steal from the rich and give to the poor, to ugly faced thugs that break the fingers of the enemies of "the guild". As long as you can make a living and it doesn't seem like proper work it's fine. And what better promise than an ancient tomb full of gold for anyone who finds it? And when you have problems with the law wherever you go, keeping on moving is a good idea. Thus it's common for thieves joining other adventurers, beneficial both to them and their mates. Because even though you'll always have to keep an eye on your possesions, a thief's numerous and varied abilities can be helpful: unlocking doors, disarming traps, entering supposedly impenetrable fortresses, getting funds when things are tight... A thief is a jack-of-all-trades , and proud of it.

· ELF RANGER: Given that elves have accepted the inevitability of their demise it's rare to see one outside the limits of their domains (Vidolgreen, Rintölle and Yanathanil); the very few that leave them are likely to be rangers. An elf ranger is charged with patrolling their woods and make sure no enemies penetrate them. Elf rangers are legendary archers; in fact, legends go as far as suggesting that elite rangers practice a weird magical archery unknown to other races. This active duty make them less passive than the rest of their kind, and some may go as far as deciding the best way to protect the inner peace of elven sanctuaries is to patrol the frontiers and beyond them. Yet, it's very rare for an elf to leave his land, and when they do so is just because given their long lifespans travelling for a couple of decades seems like a mere moment. They learn as much as they can about the current situation of the world and later go back to spread the word amongst their elders.

· DWARF FIGHTER: Dwarves have a fame for being stubborn and unshakable; and when it comes to war, they know how to make them into two martial virtues. Dwarven fighters are soldiers, heirs of a millennia long military tradition that has imbued its tactics in them almost innately. Perfectioned by long years of continuous training dwarves can built phalanxes as impenetrable as a stone wall. But lately they've been charged with another duty, for the mines that are the core of the dwarven race are getting depleted. Young and intrepid fighters are now discreetly searching across the world for new ores and a place for their people to settle, far from the ancient mountains of Eternock and Drakpac. They are slightly more common to see than an elf (or an orc), but yet most humans will die without ever seeing one. The minering knowledge every dwarf has makes them capable prospectors, and their fighting abilities ensure their survival.

· ORC BARBARIAN: Most humans, and elves, and dwarves, think that orc and barbarian are synonymous. Orcs themselves couldn't agree more. Orc society is primitive, compared to that of the other major races, as it's based on savagery; and that is translated into the behaviour of orcs, who are feral warriors. But unlike human barbarians, there's little in the field of honour and courage for orcs, being replaced for sheer brutality and animalistic aggressiveness. For all of this, and more reasons, orcs will never be accepted amidst mankind, so you can only expect to see one near the orc territories of the Isles of Broken Spine and Nhorbar (or very cosmopolitan and tolerant cities such as Lonjhumar). If he's not up for hire as mercenary he may join a party of adventurers of dubious morals.

Lastly, I admit that in my original sketches, there were more classes. Those ones have been eliminated so far just because I know myself well enough to know that unless I keep the development of the game small and easy I'll never finish it. But should I release the completed rules someday, next expansion would include those classes, which are the following: for humans, martial artist, sorcerer, witch hunter and duellist; for elves, wizard and wardancer; for dwarves, cleric and inventor; and finally three "overpowered" classes, for races whose natural talents make them perfect for specific roles: half-dragon paladin, half-infernal wizard, and half-ogre barbarian.

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