Thursday, 30 April 2015

Odd Classes and Orders

This week,  I played a Dinosaur Cleric in +Arnold K.'s game. Why it's taken this long for someone to use the idea of extinct dinosaurs eating their way up the timeline is beyond me.

The class hooked me onto the character straight away. As an advocate of classless play, this surprised me.

It worked because it was more evocative than the classic D&D classes, but not at all fiddly or front-loaded. You worship the dinosaur god and hate mammals. You get dino-gear and three spells.

I tried to put little character hooks into the Starter Packages of Into the Odd, but I'd like see what happens if I take it a little further.

I don't want classes that tell you what you can do. I want something that adds spice to both your character, and the world around them.

A Fighter is anyone with a sword, but a Worldkiller wants to fight the planet itself.
A Thief is anyone that steals, but an Under-Kin is one with the Underground.
A Magic-User is anyone that's managed to get hold of an Arcanum and some robes, but an Arcphager eats Arcana to gain permanent benefits.

There will never be a pseudo-class in Into the Odd for someone that's simply better at fighting, sneaking, or using Arcana.

And these aren't Classes. They're Orders that any character can join.

Brand new members take the Pledge in italics, and are given the Order's Paraphernalia to show their allegiance. Breaking the Pledge requires atonement, or in more serious cases, expulsion.

Each time the character returns from an Expedition, if they can explain what they have achieved or learned in relation to the Order's philosophy, they are taught a new Secret.

When a characters knows all of the secrets, the Order begins them on the path towards their Destiny, which requires a lengthy pilgrimage or ritual. Refusing this is considered the ultimate heresy against an Order.  

Starting characters can roll d10 to start as an Order brand new member.

1: Populads - We're all insignificant together. 

Paraphernalia: Dark grey clothes and skin-paint.
Faceless: Nobody can describe you, or recognise you from even moments ago.
Selfless: When it suits you, you do not count as a living being.
Shadowless: You leave no mark on the world around you. Things just fall back into a natural place and nobody will know you were here.
Destiny: Become invisible to all except those who share this destiny.

2: Horrorists - Present a horrible visage to keep the real terrors at bay. 

Paraphernalia: Horrible masks and hairy suits.
Shock: Anyone you surprise must pass a WIL Save or blurt out a secret. If they don't have any secrets, their imagination creates one.
Disgust: Anyone watching you eat must pass a WIL Save or vomit.
Fear: Anyone that locks eyes with you must pass a WIL Save or reveal something they fear.
Destiny: Transform into a true monster and lose all humanity.

3: Arcphagers - For all I eat, I must bring equal to Big-Eater. 

Paraphernalia: Smart red dress robes, black circle painted around mouth.
Material Ingestion: Eat a pure piece of an otherwise inedible material and have a bodypart of your choice turn to that substance.
Arcane Ingestion: Eat an Arcanum. If you pass a WIL Save you can control its power at will, if you fail it's always on.
Self Ingestion: Eat a portion of your own flesh to re-live any memory of your life.
Destiny: Eat a star, and never eat again.

4: Time-Enforcers - The great pendulum is all that keeps order in the world. 

Paraphernalia: Blue uniforms and ceremonial pendulum-baton (d6).
History Adjustment: Meditate for an hour to adjust one trivial fact about history.
Possibility Sever: Once a day, announce a specific outcome of the current situation. That cannot happen.
Union of Presents: Once a day, summon an alternate version of any object or being. It stays for a minute, and varies slightly from the original, but is not bound to serve without reason.
Destiny: Go into hibernation until the end of time.

5: Fly Heralds - Prepare the consumption by the cosmic swarm. 

Paraphernalia: Compound-eye goggles and proboscis mask. Ceremonial fly wings for special occasions.
Congregation: All insects in your sight gather on a point of your choice.
Feast: All insects in your sight begin to feed at a frenzied rate.
Metamorphosis: If you sleep in a cocoon with a corpse, you awaken in their body in the morning, and your old body is melted into goo.
Destiny: Be the first meal for the cosmic swarm.

6: Carcass-Sons - Pay no heed to flesh, do no harm to mind. 

Paraphernalia: Loose sack clothes.
Shed Flesh: Your wounds do not visually heal, and you feel no pain from external damage. This has no mechanical effect on damage and healing.
Project Mind: If you sit still you can transfer your being into an held inanimate object. It remains inanimate but you control it up to the degree that an automatic version would behave (pull triggers, push buttons).
Banish Meat: Once per day you can repel a meaty being, or object forcefully away from you and prevent it approaching unless it passes a WIL Save.  
Destiny: Become a brain in a jar.

7: Under-Kin - The Underground is truth.

Paraphernalia: Black smart clothes.Pouch of gravel from the deepest cave you've visited.
Drop of Faith: As long as you're falling into darkness, the landing will never harm you.
Tunnelgaze: When you look into a dark tunnel you see right the way to the end of the tunnel.
Cave Call: Once per day you can ask the darkness a question, and it answers as best it can.
Destiny: Move permanently to the Underground, except during Solar Eclipses.

8: Worldkillers - A new world must be born from the destruction of this one.

Paraphernalia: Broad white hats or armour, with bold red stripes.
Un-Bloom: Touch an object or being to immediately halt its growth and development.,Unwilling intelligent beings get a WIL Save. The target does not progress to any state more advanced than its current one, but will decay as expected.
Catastrophe Haste: If a natural disaster or mishap (anything from a bad storm upwards) is approaching, you can cause it to happen immediately. This also applies to rituals that would harm the planet.
Wreck Earth: Once per day, you create a sinkhole d20 meters wide.
Destiny: Break off a part of the world and launch it into space. 

9: Fictioneers - If it's written, it is real. 

Paraphernalia: Multi-coloured robes, big empty book.
Creation: If you write a description of a made-up thing, person, or place, the next person you tell about it believes it's real.
Fictive Jaunt: When you dream, you go into a made-up place you created, and bring back a single object that could exist in reality. When you next go to sleep, it vanishes.
Exposition: If you write a plausible explanation for something, and burn the paper, it becomes reality, but always finds a way to bite you.
Destiny: Leave reality to live within your fiction.

10: Unpairers - Nothing is more unnatural than a gathering of two. 

Paraphernalia: Single-colour one-piece boiler suit. Paired body parts have one covered with black cloth, but removal is encouraged.
Separation: Make two paired objects repel each other with great force. When used on the paired body parts of a being, this causes d8 damage.
Fission: Two paired objects fuse into one. If they are unwilling, they get a WIL Save to resist.
Summation: Use once per day. A third object is created from two paired objects. It has some properties of each original object.
Destiny: Split apart a binary star system when they line up right.

1 comment:

  1. Arcphagers and Fly Heralds are my favorite. I love that advancing an Order requires advancing the philosophy--that's a real good hook.