Saturday, 1 September 2012

Professions to add flavour to PCs

This is an idea that I have used on occasions, and I suppose in a way it is not that big a change from other folks' use of non-combat skills. Within the game rules for each class there is considerable scope for variation as to culture, lifestyle, earning a living and attitude. These professions are ideas rather than solid game rules for exploring what a member of each class could be. Think of them as character concepts - given the rules for a class, how might such a character fit into a campaign?
My inclination is to not give each profession any special rules, bonuses or penalties. Although I remember and enjoyed 2nd Ed AD&D kits, I want to keep this game as simple as I can. 

  • Infantry - the fighter has been trained to fight on foot in the melee.
  • Archer - the fighter is practiced with the bow, or crossbow. 
  • Cavalry - the fighter knows about fighting from horseback and looking after his steed
  • Engineer - the fighter knows about both building and knocking down structures and fortifications. 
  • Gladiator - the fighter fights to entertain crowds, either for a fee or he has been enslaved. 
  • Bodyguard - the fighter's job is to protect another, vulnerable and important person
  • Trader - the fighter has an understanding of buying and selling goods for profit and heads into dangerous areas to trade
  • Explorer - the fighter frequently sets off far away from civilization to find new resources, new peoples and new territories
  • Militiaman - the fighter has a day job such as woodcutter, blacksmith or stockman, but can pick up weapons and armour when danger arises. 
  • Outlaw - the fighter is effectively a bandit, pirate or highwayman, making his living robbing anyone weaker than him. 
  • Squire - the fighter is of noble birth, and although not yet formally knighted, he still trains with lance, warhorse and heavy armour
  • Barbarian - the fighter is not native to civilization, though he may get used to it. He understands living and fighting in his wild homeland. 

  • Scholar - The magic-user comes from an academic institute, and is familiar with libraries and logical debate
  • Innate Sorcerer - the magic-user has had no formal training but magic seems to flow in his veins. 
  • Consultant Mage - the magic-user uses his knowledge to help and inform others about magic, for a small fee
  • Cult Mage - the magic-user is allied to a secretive sect, and may gain his powers from a dark source
  • Building Mage - The magic-user has powerful spells such as Wall of Stone, Stoneshape, Move Earth and Disintegrate which he uses for construction.
  • Military Mage - The magic-user is used to working along side large numbers of soldiers and using spells on the battlefield
  • Mentalist - the magic-user uses enchantments such as Charm Person and ESP to get inside others' heads, either for criminal or investigative purposes. 
  • Arcane Shadow - The magic-user uses spells such as Invisibility, Knock, Fly and Clairvoyance to sneak around like a thief for stealing or spying 
  • Witch-Doctor - the magic-user is from a primitive society where his powers are held in awe and fear. 
  • Hedge Wizard - The magic-user lives in a small village or out in the countryside, and may help villagers and peasants with minor magics
  • Diplomatic Mage - The magic-user has a good charisma as well as intelligence, and his spells, though kept covert, are useful for influencing people. 

  • Spy - the thief uses his talents to gather information, either for a particular cause, or for the highest bidder
  • Smuggler - the thief is skilled at handling and moving items that authorities want to seize or destroy. 
  • Burglar - the thief breaks into buildings using stealth and agility, usually to steal valuables. 
  • Street Thug - the thief doesn't mind using muscle and intimidation to get what he wants. 
  • Assassin - the thief is a killer for hire, who prefers to use stealth and subtlety to get close to his victim. 
  • Con-Man - the thief talks his way into getting people to hand over their money or other valuables to him before they realise their mistake
  • Trap-Master - the thief is an expert at setting, detecting and removing traps and may be hired to secure an area with traps or to disarm it. 
  • Scout - the thief works outdoors, either scouting ahead of a body of troops or patrolling an area for enemies or unusual changes.  
  • Tomb-Robber - this thief steals from the dead, which should be easier than stealing from the living but often isn't. Traps, undead and vermin are common problems. 
  • Entertainer - the thief uses a combination of acrobatics, juggling and sleight-of-hand to entertain people.  
  • Fence - the thief is ostensibly a merchant, but he is quite happy to buy and sell stolen goods.
  • Missionary - the cleric is sponsored by his church to go into new areas (possibly dangerous ones)  and convert the heathen where possible, establishing new congregations
  • Military Chaplain - the cleric is attached to a military unit and is expected to give spiritual and moral support, as well as healing and other helpful spells. 
  • Hospitaller - the cleric works to help and heal people, regardless of their faith. The hospitaller may have an established place or wander around. 
  • Vicar - The cleric looks after a community in both spiritual matters and in healing and other spells. Depending on his importance, this may be a village, town or city
  • Cultist - The cleric works hidden from authority and may well be a wanted criminal.  The cultist may gather followers around him to establish a power-base
  • Cleric-for-hire - the cleric may have ideals and principles, but these do not stop him from finding employment with whoever pays well. 
  • Inquisitor - the cleric is authorised by his religion to seek out enemies of the faith within the church. This may expand to other crimes and wrong-doings. 
  • Crusader - This cleric leads the fight against enemies of the church. The crusader will be more proactive than the chaplain and less subtle than the inquisitor
  • Ghostslayer - the cleric specialises in hunting down and destroying the undead, probably with his turn undead ability. 
  • Guardian - the cleric is tasked with using his strength and powers to protect an important place such as a shrine, tomb or monastery
  • Vocational Cleric - the cleric looks after and advises those whose work is part of his deity's domains, such as a cleric of Nemesis helping gravediggers, or a cleric of Vought helping sailors and fishermen. 

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