Archive for February, 2015

February 15, 2015

Druid Specialties for Class Warfare

I didn’t break down the Druid into specialties for Class Warfare because when I wrote that book I didn’t really see how to do it well. I had already figured out the first step, which was realizing that there are only two archetypes to the Druid: a shapechanger and a nature person. The Mechanic class from Inverse World gave me the idea to allow character classes made of 2 specialties, with an advanced move from one of them as an additional starting move. But even then, the Druid has a whole bunch of powers clustered around shapechanging. Spirit Tongue is underpowered compared to the Ranger’s Wild Empathy, while Born of the Soil and Shapeshifter seem inseparable. But if we consider most of these to be half-strength moves, we can bump each of them up a bit and build a specialty based on Shapechanging with the other aspects of it as advanced moves.

Like so:

Druid Specialty #1: Shapeshifter

Starting move is the Druid’s Shapeshifter, but use this rule instead of Born of the Soil:
Choose 3 monster moves and distribute them between 1-3 other forms that you can assume through shapechanging. You can only assume these 1-3 other forms, and you can only spend your hold on the move or moves you have assigned to that specific form.

Example: Dracula can turn into a bat and use the move Fly Away, or he can turn into a wolf and use the moves Track Prey by Scent and Bite the Shit Out of a Foe. Dracula’s other starting moves are probably blood drain and hypnotize.

Advanced Moves levels 2-5:

Born of the Soil, but with this caveat:
Choose a category of creature, and you can assume any form in that category, but the GM assigns that form’s moves. You could also select a category other than “land type,” the same as taking Thing-Talker or World-Talker. And maybe you can take this move more than once, as with The Druid Sleep. The actual categories can be anything, and should probably be based on the campaign setting.

Studied Essence
Add the form of any spirit you contemplate (not just animals). If you can observe a creature or spirit or a spirit teaches you its form, you can transform into that type of creature or spirit.

plus:
Formcrafter
Red of Tooth and Claw
Shed
Thing-Talker

Advanced Moves levels 6-10:
Blood and Thunder
Chimera
Doppelaganger’s Dance
The Druid Sleep
Embracing No Form
Formshifter
World-Talker

As you can see, this is one big-ass specialty, with tons of moves. But I think it balances against the other specialties in Class Warfare okay.

The specialty left over after shapechanging is removed from the Druid is not quite as coherent though:

Druid Specialty #2: Nature Hippy

Either one of these as your starting move
1. By Nature Sustained, the Druid starting move.

2. Wild Empathy (the Ranger move).
(This is basically halved for Druid starting moves, since you can only speak to animals you can change into).

Advanced Moves levels 2-5:
Balance
Barkskin
Communion of Whispers
Elemental Mastery
Eyes of the Tiger

Advanced Moves levels 6-10:
Weather Weaver

This one either needs more moves to fill it out, or we should just redistribute these moves to other specialties. Which is basically what I did. These moves are all in Class Warfare, though I think Barkskin only appears as a Dwarven racial move.

So anyway, this breakdown of the Druid also proposes an interesting way to make classes. Take more than three moves, but reduce the effectiveness of each of them and group them around a theme. It won’t feel like a disparate collection of different abilities if they are arranged around a theme, and by putting greater limits on them, the class won’t be overpowered compared to others or steal spotlight time away from them.

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