Class (Life) Paths?

Something that I’ve been messing around with for a long time is taking the concept of life or career paths and applying it to classes. I can’t say that GLOG inspired me, per se, as the idea in my brain predates my exposure to the GLOG but it has helped crystalize some of my ideas a bit.

The current iteration of my idea runs something like this:

  • the original classes remain pretty much the same (though I’ve been also toying internally with getting rid of the cleric and replacing it with a priest type-- a topic for another discussion!) but with the bulk of their progression finished by level 4;
  • after that level, a character can keep iterating up the original class (the equivalent of those end-game class levels in b/x ) or transition to another class;
  • that class could be another basic class (so a fighter + priest = paladin/cleric type) or a “prestige” type class that would combine potential mechanical prerequisites with in-game pre-requisites;
  • these “prestige” classes would confer some extra benefits as well as, in my mind, help set the path for mid and end game but offering different paths towards different ends.

Let me present a couple of examples:

  • fighter > knight > lord: this path is for the fighter character who wants to engage with domain building; the in-game pre-requisite for knight might be perform a service for a lord.
  • fighter > hero > legend: this path is for the fighter character who isn’t interested in building castles and acquiring lands; the in-game pre-requisite for hero (not a great title but it’s just a placeholder, bear with me) might be to defeat a truly monstrous foe in single combat (maybe HD 4? 8?).

In generic terms, each class would have some options to lean into a couple of different elements of the developing game: domains, adventure, or any other pursuit we might want to emphasize (exploration, revolution, innovation, whatever). and get some perks that align with that pursuit.

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Here’s another couple that I ponder for cleric types:

  • mystic > priest > high priest: this is the path for the domain-centric character.
  • mystic > hierophant > avatar: this is the path for the adventure-centric character…

For a paladin/cleric type:

  • fighter > mystic > paladin or mystic > fighter > paladin