So we have talked a bit about Movement, Milestones, Encumbrance, Thief Skills, and Saving Throws so far… and today I want to talk a bit about how we’re restructuring classes. And yes, we’re still going to have classes and races in the next edition of Mazes & Perils. This is an Old School game after all, we can’t toss out the baby with the bathwater!
Today though we’ll just talk a little bit about the good old Fighting Man from M&P and how that’s going to change a bit going forward.
The Old Way
The “Fighting Man” was a throwback to an earlier era of gaming, but had all the earmarks of a traditional fighter: Strength, Weapons, and Armor. Not known for their sterling personalities or brilliance, these characters instead were combat machines who benefit from huge muscles and one track minds in combat. I always saw them a bit like Conan when he is asked what is best in life (Conan the Barbarian, 1982): “To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women!”
With that said, I need to add a couple of words here about gender bias and sexism right out of the gate. We had some complaints when Mazes & Perils Deluxe was released about the class name “Fighting Man” and the pronoun slant we used in the text itself, using he and him pretty exclusively throughout the book. This was a choice at the time to mimic the same tone as was used in the early versions of D&D we based the book on.
We did include a disclaimer at the front of the book to try and mitigate this a bit: “We use the word ‘He’ and ‘Him’ throughout the text, but we mean ‘He or She’ and ‘Him or Her’ wherever you see it mentioned. This game is meant for everyone to enjoy, regardless of gender or sexual orientation and the use of male pronouns is used for simplicity’s sake.” But we acknowledge that in this day and age, it may have been like slapping an adhesive bandage on an arterial bleed after a good swipe of the sword — not nearly enough.
However, even beyond that aspect, there really wasn’t a lot to encourage any player to go with this class right off the bat. Sure, they can use any weapon or armor and they had more hit points (if you used the Variable Hit Dice optional rule), but that’s really about it. There weren’t any cool powers or anything, just the theme of big, tough, and muscled.
We wanted to fix that.
The New Way
Modern editions of D&D and its kin have provided cool reasons to choose these fighter type characters, whether it is additional attacks, the ability to shrug off wounds, or bonuses with melee weapons. We definitely wanted to bring some of that “wow” factor back into the next edition of the game.
But it all started with the name of the class. That would set the tone right off the bat, so we decided to change the class name to “Warrior.” With that one simple change, we have made it more inclusive to anyone who seeks to wield a weapon on the battlefield. Man, woman, or otherwise. We thought that was a good start!
It goes well beyond that however.
Warriors have a few new abilities now:
- Bonus Life: Warriors gain Advantage when rolling their HD to determine new HP each level.
- Multi-attack: Warriors gain one attack every other level, i.e. a 3rd level Warrior has 2 attacks per round and a 7th level Warrior has 4 attacks per round. Maximum 5 attacks at 9th level.
- Surge: Once per encounter, a Warrior may “Surge” and roll their HD to regain that amount of HP. A Warrior’s HD is a d10.
And one big change we’re implementing is the ability to choose your Prime Requisite Score when you create a Warrior. You can choose Strength or Dexterity. This grants the ability to essentially specialize in Melee combat or Ranged combat from the beginning. That gives them one additional ability, depending on which they choose:
- Critical Melee Strike: On a Critical Hit, Warriors do double damage for any melee attack. (Prime Requisite: Strength)
- Critical Ranged Strike: On a Critical Hit, Warriors do double damage for any ranged attack. (Prime Requisite: Dexterity)
Other classes (and races) gain additional abilities as well, so we have a wide assortment of cool things for classes in this edition as we go forward, but we think this really sets Warriors apart in a cool new way and opens the door to some fun specializations with more classes later on.
What do you think of this new approach to classes? Leave us some feedback in the comments!