"Black Dougal gasps 'Poison!' and falls to the floor. He looks dead."

Monday, November 9, 2009

B/X S&S: Classes so far

Here are the classes I have so far for a B/X Sword & Sorcery game:

Fighter - as B/X
Thief - as B/X

And three more I am currently considering:

Mystic - spellcasters from the eastern kingdoms which have strong traditions in mind-affecting sorceries. An illusionist with a coat of paint.

Borderer - a variation of a Ranger. There would be some overlap with some of the other classes though so I am still thinking about this one.

Shaman - spirit totems, etc. This one would be largely taken from one of the BECMI gazetteers with some OD&D Druid thrown in.


  1. Your selection looks good, very 'S&S' in flavour.

    For my own S&S house rules, I opted for a different approach, specifically, three classes: fighter, thief, and magician. I use a simple system of 'fighting styles' to help distinguish between different kinds of fighters (e.g., 'berserker', 'shieldmaster', etc.). I also have a simple system of 'background professions' to help distinguish different characters (e.g., 'hunter', 'scholar', etc.). The magicians are distinguished depending on whether they focus on 'white', 'grey', or 'black' magic. 'Black magicians' would correspond to classic 'sorcerers', 'grey magicians' are 'mystics' (illusionists/enchanters), and 'white magicians' are 'protectors'. However, any magician can cast any kind of spell (thus risking 'corruption' and insanity if casting a 'black magic' spell).

    Here is a summary of all my house rules for 0e/S&W (compatible with B/X D&D), designed to promote a 'S&S' flavour:

    (I know that I've linked to my houserules before when commenting on your ideas, and my apologies for the self-promotion! I certainly don't mean to suggest that my take on S&S is superior to your own. Not at all! Rather, people interested in infusing their classic D&D games with a 'S&S ethos' might be interested in looking at a variety of approaches.)

  2. These are pretty cool! I've been enjoying these posts.

    May I recommend the name Borderlander, Pathfinder, or Scout over the awkward "Borderer"?

  3. Akrasia - no problem. I hadn't seen that you were posting those on your blog so it was good to see them. I have enjoyed going through them the last couple of days.

    Thomas - suggestions noted - they do sound better.

  4. I'm a newcomer to your blog and just want to say how much I'm enjoying your posts. A great read...and an inspiration. Any plans to put together a pdf or something on Lulu?

  5. Wulfgar - Thanks for the compliment! I might put it all together in a pdf but I will just post it here.

  6. I like the translation of Dwarf and Halfling to Barbarian and Savage - it works surprisingly well. However, the Priest and Sorcerer classes seem redundant - I'd go with one or the other. Maybe consider the idea of combining all spells into one class and having white and black magic as Akrasia suggested. In that case, I'd beef up the magic users by giving them Thief level combat abilities and armor use. That would make up for the limited magic use.

    If you want to reconsider the Amazon class, you might take the B/X cleric, drop Turning Undead and healing spells, add use of all weapons and maybe a few more nature spells and call the class the priestess of some nature deity. That keeps the class focus on holy warrior.

  7. It's one of those damned if you do, damned if you don't things.
    Some people commented they wanted two classes, some commented that they only want one ;)

    Again, both the sorcerer and priest class are designed so that there will be very few PCs that take either of those classes - the drawbacks are too great. That is intentional and true to the genre.

  8. Mystic, shaman, priest...all these seem to be the same thing but with different income levels. A civilized priest might sneer at a village shaman, but to the villager the shaman IS their priest. The mystic doesn't even have the village.

    Have to say I am a big fan of this series. Looks totally cool and exciting. Not sure you need as many classes as you have; hell, I think the savage is the only "ranger-type" class you need. If you want a less "primitive" version I'd simply call it the "woodsman" and leave it as is...I'd also hesitate giving it more levels than the 8 it already gets.

    Why? 'Cause the main thing levels do is give a character more combat prowess (ability to hit, ability to take damage) and a woodsman is not a fantastic fighter in the S&S genre (you won't find Aragorn and the Dunedain here!). Halfling still get excellent saving throws (as one might suspect of a cunning woodsman)...no need to tart 'em up with spells and such.

  9. Yeah, I have decided that I would stick to the "adapted" classes instead of adding "new" classes.

    If seven classes was good enough for B/X, it is good enough for my B/X S&S hack.