Saturday, 9 July 2016

The World of Sahana: Classes

The world of Sahana is designed as a Dungeons and Dragons campaign world, specifically D&D 3.5. So it stands to reason that all of the usual classes are available to all of the players right?
Well, not really.
See, the country of Ardale is also partially based on Far Eastern cultures, so there are additional classes pulled from the Oriental Adventures book.
This left me with a mild dilemma. See, one of the classes is called the Samurai class, but it outright sucks. There's no reason to use it over the basic Fighter class. It loses out on Base Attack Bonus (Seriously), gains a crippling Honour system and its' main gimmick requires you to invest precious Skill Points into a new skill which doesn't do much.
So I decided to boost the Samurai class to match the Fighter class, granting it better BAB and Feats and reducing the cultural limitations of the Bushido code (I personally never liked the Bushido way, some of its' principles seem counter-productive).
This came with the ironic problem of it now being better than the Fighter class. So, after much head-scratching, I came up with a way to balance them out.
I just combined them.
You can be a Fighter as normal, but if you're Lawful you can walk the Samurai path. This grants all of the typical advantages of being a Samurai, but if you ever act dishonourably you lose the benefits (Boosted Will save and ancestral weaponry) until you atone.
But since I was fiddling around with one of the most basic classes, I figured I might as well fiddle around with some of the other ones.
First off, I removed the Druid class due to it being waaay overpowered. Some of its' abilities got wrapped up with the Spirit Shaman class, which I'll explain later.
I also removed the Monk, since I was including Sohei, who're basically the same thing but with magic and armour. They had some drawbacks, which I chose to meld into the Sohei, to hep distinguish it from the Paladin.
So, without too much further ado, I'm going to explain the available classes and, more importantly, explain what changes I've made, if any.

If you don't recognise his race, it's because it's an Orc subrace.
That I made.
The Barbarian is considered a classic class. I've made no technical differences, so I can just talk about how they fit into the world of Sahana.
To the South of Ardale lies the Barbary Plains, also known as Barbaria.
I'm so imaginative.
The main races that live there are Catfolk, Dwarfs, Orcs (The red-skinned subrace, though they have no stat changes) and Humans.
In the primary Dwarf nation (That I've named Rekdar), the class is used to represent Oathbreakers, who are, as the name implies, people who have broken some kind of oath and are trying to atone. They fight with a frenzy uncharacteristic of Dwarfs and rarely worry about defending themselves, since an honourable death in battle would be atonement in and of itself.
In the Hobgoblin country, 'Barbarians' are known as Berzerkers and have a habit of biting into their shields with anger. It's incredibly rare for a Hobgoblin soldier to succumb to such battle rage, but it does occur.
For the other races the class is also rare, but possible.
In extremis, that guitar is also a weapon.
Once again, the Bard is a classic class that I haven't messed with. Every culture in the world loves stories and songs, so they can be any race or come from any country.
Clerics come in many flavours, though most players only think of them in one way.
Like this, but with the addition of armour.
Clerics are of course the primary followers of the Gods. While the world of Sahana technically has one pantheon split up into four sub-pantheons, players only really have access to two of them, neither of which include any Evil Gods.
Seriously, players are supposed to be the good guys here.
The only major change that I've made is the removal of any 'Raise Dead' style spells. I know that a lot of people would think badly of me due to this decision, but I want player deaths to mean something.
Also, as a GM I rarely allow characters to die that easily anyway, so it doesn't come up for me.
There is an in-game reason for this, which I'll explain later when I post about the cosmology.
No, that's not a lightsabre.
A Duskblade is a warrior with arcane magical power. Their main trick is that they can focus their spells through their weaponry, which doesn't actually need to be a blade, it can be a mace or even their unarmed attacks.
Duskblades are particularly rare, since it requires both mental discipline and physical training.
Duskblades are common among Elves, to the extent that they're common anywhere.
Favoured Soul
Not an angel, but close.
A Favoured Soul is someone who has been chosen by their God to have powers on par with those of a Cleric. This may seem redundant, but it basically boils down to the same difference as that exists between Sorcerers and Wizards.
A Favoured Soul need not understand where their power comes from, nor even know much about their God. But their God always chooses them for a reason and as such every single one of them becomes an adventurer of some sort.
As iconic as it gets.
Within Ardale there are two main orders of Paladin. There are the Knights of Celestia and the Order of Odin. Both of them are dedicated to the protection of the innocent and the destruction of evil. The Knights of Celestia prioritise protecting the innocent whilst the Order of Odin prefer punishing the wicked.
Like Legolas, only they also get pets.
Another classic class, the Ranger is the primary tracker.
There's nothing unique about Rangers within Ardale.
AKA Sneaky blighters.
Rogues are another classic. They can be stealth experts, pickpockets, assassins and more.
They of course come from all races and all countries, so they're pretty much what you would expect.
What? Monkeys are cool.
As mentioned, Samurai are a combination of the Samurai and Fighter classes. If they are Lawful they can be a Samurai and gain a boosted Will Save, along with the Ancestral weaponry class ability.
If you're not Lawful (Or just don't want to be a Samurai) you can be a regular Fighter. So nothing's actually being lost.
In case you didn't know what a non-Samurai Fighter looked like.
This one might take some time to explain. Basically, it's like Benders from the Avatar series.
A Shugenja is someone who gained arcane power by combining their soul with that of an Elemental (Hence the elements theme). They get access to spells based on their element, as well as a limited amount from the two adjacent element, but are barred from their opposing element. 
There are also a few bonuses I've given due to their dual-soulled nature. They can resist a certain damage type and know an additional language, all based on their element.
Like Monks, but better in every way.
Sohei are spiritual warriors dedicated to a temple. They spend their lives in quiet contemplation in search of enlightenment.
That said, the land of Ardale is not exactly safe, and temples tend to be in isolated locations. As such, while the people who live there are peaceful, they know how to defend themselves.
Sometimes the temple leader will send a Sohei out into the world. This may be done for many reasons, sometimes to teach the Sohei an important lesson, sometimes with a specific mission.
Sohei have a handful of Divine spells, similar to a Paladin. I have also given them a few tricks that Monks had, in order to keep them even with the other classes.
I love this picture. Because it's mine.
Sorcerers are innate spellcasters. They're power is roughly equal to that of a Wizard, as such children in Ardale are watched carefully in case they display magical traits. Because the king of Ardale is not an idiot, they are not removed from their friend or family, but they are still trained to keep their powers in check.
Spirit Shaman
Spirit Shamans are individuals with a deep connection to the spirit world. They each have a spirit animal that serves as their conduit, granting them Divine magic and other abilities.
One thing I've chosen to give them is Wild Shape, but a much more restricted form of it, based on which spirit animal they chose.
Fire or lightning? Your choice.
Wizards are pretty much the most well-known class in DnD. I have seen no reason to change anything about them. 
Each major city in Ardale has a mage's college where people can learn to cast magic.
Unlike Sorcerers, anyone can learn to become a Wizard, but it is not easy and most are refused before learning their first cantrip.

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