© 2003 Rafael S. Arrais
From the frozen wastes of the North and the hellish jungles of Chult come brave, even reckless, warriors. Civilized people call them barbarians or berserkers and suspect them of mayhem, impiety, and atrocities. These "barbarians", however, have proven their mettle and their value to those who would be their allies. To enemies who underestimate them, they have proved their cunning, resourcefulness, persistence, and mercilessness.
It is said that music has a special magic, and the bard proves that saying is true. They wander across the land, gathering lore, telling stories, working magic with his music, and living on the gratitude of his audience: such is the life of a bard. When chance or opportunity draws them into a conflict, bards serve as diplomats, negotiators, messengers, scouts, and spies.
The handiwork of the gods is everywhere, in the places of natural beauty and in mighty crusades, in the soaring temples, and in the hearts of worshipers. Like people, gods run the gamut from benevolent to malicious, reserved to intrusive, simple to inscrutable. The gods, however, work mostly through intermediaries--their clerics. Good clerics heal, protect, and avenge. Evil clerics pillage, destroy, and sabotage. A cleric uses the power of his god to make his god's will manifest. And if a cleric uses his god's power to improve his own lot, that's to be expected too.
CORE VARIANTS: Ancestral Speaker, Aspirant, Benevolent, Crusader, Evangelist, Rage Cleric
The fury of a storm, the gentle strength of the morning sun, the cunning of the fox, the power of the bear--all these and more are at the druid's command. The druid, however, claims no mastery over nature. That claim, she says, is the empty boast of a city dweller. The druid gains her power not by ruling nature but by being at one with it. To trespassers in a druid's sacred grove, to those who feel the druid's wrath, the distinction is overly fine.
CORE VARIANTS: Wild Reaper, Wind Walker, Metal Master, Winter Warden, Storm Druid
The questing knight, the conquering overlord, the king's champion, the elite foot soldier, the hardened mercenary, and the bandit king--all are fighters. Fighters can be stalwart defenders of those in need, cruel marauders, or gutsy adventurers. Some are among the land's best souls, willing to face death for the greater good. Others are among the worst, those who have no qualms about killing for private gain, or even for sport. Fighters who are not actively adventuring may be soldiers, guards, bodyguards, champions, or criminal enforcers. And adventuring fighter might call himself a warrior, a mercenary, a thug, or simply an adventurer.
CORE VARIANTS: Bodyguard, Commander, Corsair, Exoticist, Fencer, Horseman, Knight, Pugilist, Shield Bearer, Targetteer
Combining the dynamic powers of martial prowess, and arcane might, the hexblade presents a deadly challenge to opponents unused to such a foe. This class often seeks self means such as wealth, power or prestige, sometimes all the above. Like that of the sorcerer, the power of the Hexblade often displays itself at an early age. Though the Hexblade is usually self taught, many receive rudimentary training from older Hexblades, Sorcerers (Who they envy for arcane talent), Wizards (who they shun as weak book learners more often then not), or bards before going out on their own. Though a capable melee combatant, the Hexblade relies on opportunistic use of their spells and special abilities.
Gifted from birth with natural beauty, imagists parlay their physical attractiveness into potent magic. Like a sorcerer, an imagistís power is inborn. She does not need spell books, training, or practice. Imagists seek to make the world a better and more beautiful place. Anyone who is lovely or committed to making the world more beautiful, can become an imagist.
Creatures or things that are evil, ugly or perverted in nature, conflict with the imagist.
(NOT recommended for this campaign, choose at your peril! This is up here to be fair and offer "goodness")
A blend of martial prowess and mystical energy, a kundala embarks on a physical and mental journey toward perfection and enlightenment. Their training combines physical discipline and a spiritual quest for understanding the universe through mastery of their minds and bodies.
Unlike the monk, they gain a limited amount of spells, and they travel, observe, and experience the world first hand, exposing themselves to its challenges.
A martial artist is a character devoted to mastering combat, much like a fighter or a monk. Unlike the fighter, the martial artist avoids heavy weapons or armor and relies more on precision, knowledge, and skill than brute force. Unlike the monk, the martial artist is focused purely on combat techniques, and doesnít seek spiritual enlightenment or gain much in the way of supernatural powers.
Dotted across the landscape are monasteries--small, walled cloisters inhabited by monks. These monks pursue personal perfection through action as well as contemplation. They train themselves to be versatile warriors skilled at fighting without weapons or armor. Monasteries headed by good masters serve as protectors of the people. By contrast, monasteries headed by evil masters rule the surrounding countryside through fear, virtually as an evil warlord's castle might. The individual monk, however, is unlikely to care passionately about championing commoners or amassing wealth. She cares for the perfection of her art and, thereby, her personal perfection. Her goal is to achieve a state that is, frankly, beyond the mortal realm.
CORE VARIANTS: Holy Monk, Hunter Monk, Martial Monk, Raging Monk, Steadfast Monk, Sidewinder Monk
The compassion to pursue well, the will to uphold law, and the power to defeat evil--these are the three weapons of the paladin. Few have the purity and devotion that it takes to walk the paladin's path, but those few are rewarded with the power to protect, to heal, and to smite. In a land of scheming wizards, unholy priests, bloodthirsty dragons, and infernal fiends, the paladin is the final hope that cannot be extinguished.
CORE VARIANTS: Sentinel (NG), Avenger (CG), Enforcer (LN), Incarnate (N), Anarch (CN), Despot (LE), Corrupter (NE), Anti-Paladin (CE)
The striking fist or flashing sword pales beside a psion's focused stare. Psionic powers arise from a regimen of strict mental discipline developed over months and years of self-scrutiny and subconscious discovery. Those who overcome their personal demons, fears, and other pitfalls of intense self-reflection learn to call upon an internal reservoir of psionic power
Psionís depend on a continual study of their own minds to discover an ever wider range of mental powers. They meditate on memories and the nature of memory itself, debate with their own fragment personalities, and delve into the dark recesses of their minds' convoluted corridors. "Know thyself" is not just a saying for a psion--itís the road to power.
One who turns the mind's potential to the warrior's art is known as a psychic warrior. Where psionís devote themselves wholly to the development of mind-engendered abilities, psychic warriors give emphasis to the development of the body. With mental and physical energy working in unison, the psychic warrior strives toward martial perfection.
The sword, axe, and bow are physical tools that psychic warriors embrace along with their psionic abilities. Well trained in both physical and psionic matters, the psychic warrior are a formidable adversary.
The forests are home to fierce and cunning creatures, such as bloodthirsty owlbears and malicious displacer beasts. But more cunning and powerful than these monsters is the ranger, a skilled hunter and stalker. He knows the woods as if they were his home (as indeed they are), and he knows his prey in deadly detail.
CORE VARIANTS: Planar Ranger, Urban Ranger
Rogues share little in common with each other. Some are stealthy thieves. Others are silver-tongued tricksters. Still others are scouts, infiltrators, spies, diplomats, or thugs. What they share is versatility, adaptability, and resourcefulness. In general, rogues are skilled in getting what others don't want them to get: entrance into a locked treasure vault, safe passage past a deadly trap, secret battle plans, a guard's trust, or some random person's pocket money.
Known for their matchless bravery and strict code of honor, the Samurai were the noble soldiers of feudal Japan. In a Fantasy setting, the Samurai brings that courage and honor to the service of a lord, general or other leader. The reputation of samurai for being tenacious in combat often precedes them in battle, and their mere presence is often enough to make dishonorable enemies slink away into Darkness.
Sorcerers create magic the way a poet creates poems, with inborn talent honed by practice. They have no books, no mentors, and no theories--just raw power that they direct at will.
A swashbuckler embodies the concepts of daring and panache. Favoring agility and wit over brute force, the swashbuckler excels both in combat situations and social interactions, making them very versatile. Very action oriented, they jump into it as the call comes. They combine skill and finesse with sheer combat prowess as well.
Able to metamorphose sexual energy into magical power, the tantrist practices his art and improves through interacting with other skilled arcane spell casters. He uses personal rune scar glyphs as a form of spell book. Sex powers his magic.
A tantrist acquires spells through study, practice and partnerships. They need sex to renew their spells and often have a cadre of lovers to associate with.
The psion draws his psionic ability from strict mental discipline and intellectual development. Not so the wilder--for her, raw emotion is the source of psionic power.
Emotion-triggered psionic ability is not a science, but a passion. The zeal with which the wilder pursues the use of her psionic ability is so extreme that she can occasionally trigger a surge of power far beyond her normal capacities. But with this ability comes a price: By exceeding her limits, the wilder may injure herself with psychic feedback.
A few unintelligible words and a fleeting gesture carry more power than a battleaxe, when they are the words and gestures of a wizard. These simple acts make magic seem easy, but they only hint at the time the wizard must spend poring over her spell book, and the years spent in apprenticeship to learn the arts of magic.
Wizards depend on intensive study to create their magic. They examine musty old tomes, debate magical theory with their peers, and practice minor magicís whenever they can. For a wizard, magic is not a talent but a difficult, rewarding art.
CORE VARIANTS: Abjurer, Conjurer, Diviner, Enchanter, Illusionist, Necromancer (Deathwalker, Fleshcrafter, Soul Reaper), Transmuter
Page Last Updated September 24th, 2005
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