Following up from my previous posts on homebrew classes (part one and part two
here), today I finish off with concrete examples from my most recent
experiment. This for an eight-session fantasy campaign, with fairly
fixed class roles. Each character type got a list of six class
abilities, started with two of them and can buy more as the campaign
advances. There are a few other class restrictions (mostly the impact of
armor on spell casting). This is also the campaign where I'm
experiementing with adding aspects and tags to our homebrew engine.
there's some advice I'd give people wanting to take that leap into
building their own homebrew game engine or even heavily adapting an
existing set of rules. First, don't think broadly- there's often an
impulse to think about the next big thing in gaming or about how to
build an engine which everyone in the group can use. Think about what
your GMing or play style is an consider how you support that. Think
about what your players like to see- do they like points, do they want a
story emphasis, do they like classes. Think about what you do at the
table- are you comfortable crunching modifiers? Do you rush through
combat? What things do you enjoy focusing in on and what things would
you like to skip or move through faster? I hadn't quite realized what
we'd accomplished in our group with the rules we use until we had a
player sit in who had played with us ten years before. He said we'd
managed to build a game that played to my strengths as a GM and to the
players' focus as a group.
I'd also suggest that you be
willing to go even more micro. Build the rules you want for the
campaign you want. You should have a rough idea of how long the game is
going to be and what level of power would be fun at the end of the
campaign. Divide one by the other to get the average points or levels
you dole out and build your experience purchase and powers accordingly.
Focus on the key elements of the genre, especially if you're going to
have a short run campaign. Don't be afraid to fudge/worry less about
elements at the margins. Finally also be aware that if you do plan to do
a long term campaign with a newly minted system, you may see stresses
you hadn't expected especially in late play (after a couple of years).
Figure out how you want to deal with those things and discuss that with
Example Class Building from Treasure Hunters
1. Warlock Ways:
Warlocks begin with the methods Strike+ and Destroy. They may choose
three mediums, at least two of which must be elements. Warlocks may not
learn the mediums Holy, Life or Time. As Arcane casters, Warlocks use
"Mental" for their spell casting pulls.
2. Burning Mana:
Warlocks may use their own essence to fuel their attack spells. By
taking an additional casting wound, they may do +2d damage or add a tag
to their target. This damage may not be reduced.
3. Flee Puny Minions!: Warlocks kill any mooks or minions struck by a damage spell.
4. Master Blaster: The Warlock may spend a drama point to cast two damage dealing spells in the same action.
5. Inner Fire:
The Warlock does +2d damage with any attack spell. In addition, they
are no longer limited to spending one wound for additional effects, but
may spend multiple.
6. Master of Magics: The Warlock
may choose one bonus: either they can add the modifier "Seeking" to any
spell freely (meaning they don’t have to make a combat pull to hit) or
they can add the modifier "Extra Damage" to any spell freely (giving
them even more damage dealing). This must be chosen when this talent is
1. Ninja Magic: Ninjas begin
with the method Control and the mediums Light/Dark and Body. They may
not learn a magical expertise and may learn a maximum of three methods
and six mediums. Ninjas do not take a casting difficulty for wearing
2. Ninja Movement I: The ninja
may leap twice a normal distance, even straight up. He may climb at
walking speed. He can run along solid surfaces without making pulls. On
light surfaces, he leaves no tracks.
3. Ninja Weapons:
Ninjas gain a bonus to damage depending on their proficiencies. For each
of the three groups- Blades; HTH; and Ranged- they may select to do
+(1w+1d), +2d or +1d.
4. Ninja Stealth: By spending a
drama point, the ninja may hush and help conceal those with him. The
ninja suffers no environmental penalties for hiding- he can essentially
hide in plain sight if he remains still. On all moving stealth tests the
ninja gains a +1 bump.
5. Ninja Movement II: The ninja
can run up walls, leap prodigious distances, and balance on the most
absurd surfaces (tree branches, blades). In addition, when fighting, his
strikes and parries make almost no noise.
6. Ninja Strike: The ninja may spend a drama point to attack twice in a round without making an all-out attack.
1. Mighty Thews: The Barbarian does +2d damage. Always. With everything.
2. Skin Like Iron: When unarmored, the Barbarian take wounds on a 7+ and has DR1
3. None Will Stand:
When making an All-Out attack (+2d or two attacks) the Barbarian gains
+2 DR and does 2 wounds when he rolls a 9 or 10 on damage.
4. Towering Presence:
The Barbarian kills any mook or minion he strikes. If he kills a
target, he may choose to make a move or make an additional attack on a
target in range. He may do this once per round.
5. Fury of the North:
The Barbarian gains an additional line of five physical wound boxes.
When unarmored, the Barbarian takes wounds on an 8+ and has DR2.
6. Like a Cornered Beast:
The Barbarian only takes persistent wound tags for his last line. For
every physical wound tag he takes, he does +1d damage. He may use his
level four talent twice per round.
1. Wizard Lore:
Wizards begin with their choice of two methods and four mediums. As
Arcane casters, Wizards use "Mental" for their spell casting pulls.
2. Magical Specialist:
The Wizard may choose one method to gain an expertise (+) in. The
Wizard gains a familiar, which has four wounds- any damage from casting
spells may be applied to the familiar instead.
3. Mystic Training:
The Wizard may choose two mediums- when casting spells of those types,
the Wizard gains an extra repull. Additionally, the Wizard takes one
less wound when casting spells of that type.
4. Intense Study: The Wizard gains a +1 bump to all spell-casting pulls.
5. Magical Dueling:
The Wizard gains armor 7+ with 3DR versus any magical damage.
Additionally, if the Wizard has not acted this round, they may attempt
to intercept a spell cast in their vision as an action. This is done as a
contested mental pull.
6. Master Wizard: The potency of the Wizard’s spells mean that they do +2d damage and give a -1 penalty to all resistance attempts.
1. Druidic Channels:
Druids begin with the methods Imbue+ and Defend. They begin with the
mediums Nature and Holy, plus one more of their choice. Druids may not
learn the mediums Fire, Demon or Time. As Divine casters, Druids use
"Social" for their spell casting pulls.
2. Strength of Oak:
When a Druid casts a "buff" they may add an extra target to the casting
for free. In addition, the Druid’s buffs gain a bonus (add extra
damage, prevent more damage, last longer, add a tag) of their choice.
The Druid gains a pet. They share a mind-link, allowing the Druid to
pass commands to it and see through the pet’s eyes. In combat, the pet
functions as an additional aspect (which may be targeted by an
4. Animal Form: The Druid selects one of
the following animal forms which they may then freely transform into as
an action. While in this form, the Druid may not cast other spells: Bear
Form: gain ten temporary wounds, claw attack does 4w +5d, armor 7+ DR
2; Wolf Form: fast running, tracking and discriminatory scent; Hawk
Form: flight, small size, and keen vision.
The Druid adds +1d to all forms of attack. When casting an offensive
spell, the Druid may freely add a tag to the target if the spell lands.
The Druid gains +1 DR to all forms of damage. Additionally, they may
learn a second animal form. As a free action, the Druid may spend a
drama point to heal either five points of damage to themselves or remove
a non-persistent wound tag.
1. Jack of All Trades: The
Rogue does +1d damage with a weapon type of his choice (swords,
daggers, bows, etc). Additionally he gains +1DR to both physical and
2. Acrobat: The Rogue may attack and
then move. He can land without damage for any fall of 30’ or less. If he
successfully makes a Dodge pull vs. area attacks, he take no damage
instead of half damage.
3. Larceny: The rogue may
choose two specialties from the following list: pickpocket, detect
traps, lockpicking, disarm traps, shadowing and hide. Each specialty
gives him a +1 bump to attempts. Additionally when "casing a place" the
Rogue may use his assessment attempt to add two tags instead of one.
4. Combat Trickery:
When attacking a surprised target, the rogue may "backstab." Each
successful rolled die of damage does 2 points instead of 1.
Additionally, when the Rogue invokes an aspect to do extra damage he
adds +3d instead of +2d.
5. Striker: The Rogue now
does another +2d damage with attacks. If in Light Armor, he gains +1DR
to any physical attacks he’s aware of. As well, a successful fast
talk/persuasion attempt by the Rogue may add a free tag or effect.
6. Tricksy Minx:
The Rogue may make an extra free move each round. He gains a +1 bump to
all Dodge, Parry and Block attempts. The Rogue may attempt to
pickpocket an aware opponent- even in combat- instead of a movement