student 20 Productions

Random Thoughts of a Game Developer

Like Kermit and Fozzie Said…

It’s been a while since I posted anything… It’s been kind of busy around here. I have a sick girlfriend,  a crazy 2 year old, and more housework than I seem to be able to keep up with, so I haven’t had much time to work on my games. I have managed to come up with a class building system and a preliminary class list for 16 Bit Heroes – I’m not happy with it, though. Here’s the list:

  • · Barbarian (Tough but finesse-free warrior)
  • · Bard (Low level magic user who empowers his companions)
  • · Cleric (Masters of Defensive “White” Magic and the enemies of undead and demons – called White Mages in some games.)
  • · Dilettante (The true jack of all trades and master of none)
  • · Fighter (A Martial Artist)
  • · Hunter (Ranged attacking warrior/tracker/outdoorsman)
  • · Mage (A magic user who specializes in Utility or “Gray” magic)
  • · Psychic (Warrior who supplements his abilities with psychic powers)
  • · Sorcerer (A spell slinger who can enchant weapons temporarily)
  • · Summoner (Summons monsters to attack on their behalf)
  • · Thief (Exactly what it says on the tin)
  • · Warrior (Powerful and skilled melee combatants)
  • · Wizard (A magic user that specializes in Offensive or “Black” magic – called Black Mages in some games…)
  • I had a longer class list initially, but I cut some. I wanted to conserve space (class descriptions are taking about a page each, sans illustration), and because I didn’t want to spend forever doing classes. My problem is this: I cut some of my favorites. I cut them because of space and time constraints (which makes me feel like a Time Lord to say, so I guess it’s not a total loss), The classes I cut were variations on a theme, or were there because I thought they were fun. For the record, I cut:

  • Adventurer (Essentially divided up amongst Dilettante and Thief – but I still miss them)
  • Archer (a ranged weapon expert – too similar to the Hunter to keep… although I might swap the name and change the Class Ability and eliminate the Hunter instead)
  • Blue Mage (A melee combat class that has the ability to imitate the special attacks of monsters – cut because of the bizarre mechanics involved)
  • Druid (A spell caster with a nature theme; they would have powers similar to a Trainer (see below) as well, but to a much lesser degree)
  • Engineer (An inventor class that based its powers on creating new items for themselves – added a lot of mechanics I didn’t want to deal with, but it pisses me off to cut them, since I put them in specifically for a friend in the first place…)
  • Gambler (A class based on Critical Hits and random magical effects… I thought they might do better in a follow-up book)
  • Goof-Off (A completely pointless class whose only saving graces were their high Luck stat, their bizarre weapon and armor skills, and the fact that they were fun. They were taken directly from Dragon Quest/Warrior III©)
  • Merchant (A warrior merchant… if you haven’t played Dagon Quest© III or IV, you just won’t get wht this is truly cool)
  • PsiWarrior (The only class I’m glad I cut, since it covered the same ground as the Psychic)
  • Trainer (similar to the Summoner, except they would keep a collection of monsters who just hung out with them instead of being summoned for a single attack – try the Dragon Warrior Monsters© games for the Game Boy©, or Dragon Quest© V for the Super Famicom© to get specifics… or, hell, if you’ve played Pokemon© or Digimon©, you still probably get the idea)
  • Warlord (A Technique expert who specialized in buffing his allies)

I mean, these are good, in-theme classes… But I needed to have at least the basics covered. Which brings me to the point of this post (finally).

I know I don’t have a lot of readers, and Game Design by Committee is probably the worst idea ever conceived by man (genocide not withstanding)… but I thought I might spend the next couple posts talking about how Classes work, followed by class descriptions of my favorites of these, and ending up with a poll about which classes should be in the book, and which classes shouldn’t.

I can tell you right now which classes I’m not sure about including and which classes I want to restore from the cut (and I will, in a moment or two), but I’m very interested in what my few readers might think. I’m also interested in any additional class ideas you might have, which is why I intend to post the rough class creation rules I have right now. So, if you read the next few posts and have class ideas you want to contribute, you have the tools you’ll need to do so. I promise, it’s pretty simple.

For the record, I would personally like to see the following three classes make a comeback:

  • Blue Mage
  • Engineer
  • Trainer

But I won’t bring them back without  public outcry. In order to keep the final class count where it is, I would eliminate the following classes in this order:

  1. Dilettante (I love these guys, but at the same time, if anything can be dropped in favor of the above, it’s a class that’s too generic)
  2. Bard (I only include them in the first place because they’re a genre trope. I’d rather have them in a later book where I can address “Bard Magic” as it’s own type of special ability)
  3. Barbarian (They’re flavor-cool but execution weak; I’d rather have “barbarian” be an origin story for a character than a class itself)
  4. Mage (Alright – a specialist in Utility Magic is a neat concept, but who actually wants to play one?)

In the next few posts, I’ll make sure all the classes specifically mentioned get more description. But I encourage my five or six readers to read all of the next several posts (until the Poll shows up) to read everything I provide before they come to a final decision.

Anyway, it’s close to three thirty, and I need to get some sleep. Stay tuned. I promise my next post will happen within the next few days.

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9 thoughts on “Like Kermit and Fozzie Said…

  1. Bring back Goof Off.

    You heard me.

    On a more serious vein – Do you really need Psychic? 1.) I sort of think a Swashbuckler type character would be more appropriate. B.) With all the Fantasy names, it sort of sticks out. III.) No one ever really wanted to play psionic characters; that’s a myth TSR started.

    That third one might be a joke.

    I can see keeping a Psychic type character, but how about a name change? Oracle, maybe. Not a perfect fit, needless to say, but it would work.

    Were you to bring back say, Blue Mage (or even… shudder… Goof Off), you really would need a name change. Jester might work for Good Off, but I dunno about the Blue Dudes.

    Also, I don’t think you need to put in © after every copy written title. After being on-line for the better part of this century I can honestly say you are the only person I’ve seen to do this.

    And now I hit submit, feeling dirty. So much writing… it really feels like it should be in my blog…

    (Oh! Indentation is your friend. ;-) )

  2. Also, your movie? Not loading.

  3. Actually, I like Oracle for the Psychic… it’s very flavorful. I will need to rationalize the warrior aspect into the name, but that shouldn’t be hard. Thanks for the suggestion – I’m taking it.
    Psychic powers word differently from Magic or Combat Techniques. It’s a little hard to explain in the small space of “Comments”, but I’ll have a post about it eventually. I suppose I could just call them something else – “Oracle Magic” maybe.
    Blue Mage would need a name change, but I have no idea what to change it to. As for Goof-Off, that’s what they’re called in Dragon Quest III, so that’s the name I went with. I suppose Jester would work, but I’m not convinced I want them back in any case.

    • Here you go. Here’s another one for free: Blue Mage = Beast Master.

      Or a Singer.

      Dar, i made a funny, so I did.

      (God I love in-jokes)

      Anyways, Beast Master would no doubt fit the genre and sounds like something out of Tactics Ogre.

      Goof-off… I’m not serious about it. Not at all.

  4. Beast Master sounds more like an alternate name for the Trainer to me… You know what I’m talking about when I say Blue Mage, right? They’re a Final Fantasy staple.

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