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High/er-level "subclasses"

Posted: Mon Mar 13, 2023 12:30 am
by paladinn
Hola all,

This might take a bit to 'splain.. In BECMI, one of the interesting-yet-annoying features was the ability for higher-level (9+) fighters and clerics to "branch off" into a rendition of subclasses. Fighters could become paladins, knights or "avengers" (basically an anti-paladin). Later the "Voyage of the Princess Ark" articles in Dragon introduced the "druidic knight", sort of a ranger-analog. Clerics could become druids. VotPA also introduced the bard as a higher level thief option.

I've had mixed feelings about all this. I cut my teeth on the Mentzer Basic and Expert sets, and looked forward to seeing the "Classic" take on paladins and such. I was honestly a bit disappointed at the path they took. Over time it started to grow on me a bit. Why shouldn't players of "core" classes (fighter, mage, cleric and thief) have something to look forward to exploring once they have a bit of experience?

Some of the original Companion set options were not logical. Why on earth would clerics, after 9 levels of serving their deities, choose to reject most of their armor and weapons and a lot of their better spells in order to become druids? Druids definitely work best starting at L1. The druid aside, I think it not a bad thing for a fighter, for example, to get some experience proving him/herself before being "ordained" as a paladin, or recruited as a ranger.

I'm considering some framework to allow higher-level fighters to become paladins or rangers, in addition to having the current "full class" options from L1. It would definitely alleviate some of the "identity crisis" that accompanies those classes, as paladins are often seen in D&D as junior clerics and rangers as junior druids. Bards, according to the BECMI model, would start at rogues, and branch off after at least a few levels.

Has anyone ever looked into something like this? How/would this be workable in C&C?