After taking into consideration all the input I received on Monday in regards to my dissatisfaction with the “Race as Class” syndrome, I started looking again at the article, “Customized Classes.” The more I thought about it, the more I realized that my problem isn’t so much with the idea of races as classes, but more with the limitations that way of portraying races imposes upon the game. In retrospect, I’m a little enamored of the idea of having race built in, so to speak. The idea of having to pay a little extra in experience point costs in gain the special abilities that demi-human races provide appeals to me more than divorcing race and class, a la AD&D. It still gives the player the option of running a demi-human race, but keeps the game more inclined to be anthrocentric.
On my second go at “Customized Classes”, I started monkeying with the number values presented in the system in the attempt to alter their values enough that the system would generate the original seven classes with experience point costs more in line with those presented in the basic rule variants. With a little trial and error, I managed to make enough changes that, when using this system, you end up with classes whose experience costs are within 60-80 points of the original rules. Close enough for me. I can just rule of thumb from there.
I have a sneaking suspicion that I might have compromised the custom build system on some level that I can’t quite put my finger on. As I mentioned, mathematics is a field where I suffer some delinquency in ability, and I’m fairly certain that someone more left-brained than myself might be able to see the central flaws in my monkeying. But from my experiments with the altered system so far, and by using it in the somewhat limited manner that I intend, I haven’t seem to have broken the rules too much. Time will have to tell.
As a test run, I puzzled out a Dwarf Cleric variant to see how the numbers would look. I’m about 95% satisfied with the result. There’s a little bit more work I’d like to do with the experience point costs, but if I’m successful, I think I’ve found the Rosetta Stone for solving my long-running problem with the earlier systems of the game. So without further ado, I give you the Deeppriest.
Deeppriest (Dwarf Cleric)
Requirements: CON 9
Prime Requisite: WIS and CON
Hit Dice: d6
Maximum Level: 9
Attack as: Cleric
Save as: Dwarf
Deeppriests are the rarely seen clergymen and women who attend to the spiritual needs of their clans. In recent years, some of the more fervent churches of the dwarven strongholds have been sending representatives of the faith to interact with the surface folks. The primary mission of these deeppriests has been to help reclaim ancient dwarven delvings and to carry out their holy crusade against their ancient humanoid foes. To help complete these missions, it is not uncommon for a deeppriest to join bands of adventurers, since the explorations of these reckless folks often take them into areas once occupied by dwarfs, where they commonly encounter the ancient enemies of the dwarfs.
Deeppriests may wear any armor and use shields. Like their surface counterparts, the clerics, deeppriests generally shun the use of bladed weapons, with the sole exception of the axe. The religious heritage of the dwarves is rife with axe symbolism, and a deeppriest’s own axe often serves as a symbol of his faith and devotion as well as a weapon. They cannot use two-handed weapons of any type.
Deeppriests possess all the racial abilities of Dwarves (60’ infravision, detect traps, false walls, hidden construction, and sloping passages). They cast spells and turn undead with the ability equal to that of a cleric of the same level. A deeppriest must have at least 13 in both prime requisites in order to get the +5% to experience. They must also have a WIS of 16 and a CON of 13 to get the 10% bonus. Deeppriests speak the common tongue, dwarvish, and his own alignment tongue. Because of their frequent interaction underground with these creatures, deeppriests will also speak goblin, gnome, and kobold.
Reaching 9th level: When a deeppriest reaches level 9, he may establish or build an underground stronghold that will attract devout dwarven followers of the deeppriest’s faith. If the deeppriest is in favor with his deity, the cost of constructing this stronghold will be half the normal price for such a structure. After completing construction of the stronghold, the deeppriest will attract 1st and 2nd level dwarf followers (numbering 5d6x10). They are completely loyal (never checking morale) to the deeppriest.
Deeppriest Level Progression
Hit Dice (1d6)