So this idea occurred to me when I was ruminating about how to fit the Divine Gifts article from Kobold Quarterly 18 into Dragon Hack, and one of the ways I think the hack could really break some new ground for players is to take a page out of Steve Kenson’s book and drop (almost all) class restrictions. This was really driven home for me by the Nature domain in the divine gifts article. My basic thought was if a warrior or rogue took that domain talent, you would call them a ranger. If a mage took the talent you would call them a druid. In either case the character is receiving the exact same benefit, but the role-playing doors opened by that one talent completely open up the narrow, three-class system, once again reinforcing how Dragon Age design gets so much done with so little rules.
Some class talents would fit very well with a couple or all three of the Dragon Age core classes, and in each case would represent a unique take on that class. For example, why not let all classes choose the paladin talent? A warrior fits the classic image of a paladin, but wouldn’t a rogue be a great paladin for a goddess of luck, fate or wanderlust. And what about a god or goddess of the arcane, wouldn’t it make sense for their “holy warriors” to in fact be mages? It seems like you could get a lot more done this way, and allow two characters to play the same class talent in completely different ways. Imagine the differences between a warrior ranger and a rogue ranger. One could very well fit the trope of the dual-wielding badass, while the other might make a better sniper, or hit-and-run skirmisher. Both fit the ranger mold, they just arrive there from very different starting points.
The only problem with this is talents that interact directly with mana points and the Magical Training talent. While in older games like Pathfinder or DnD, a fighter or rogue could easily take one level of magic-user and all of a sudden they could cast spells, easy peasy, it doesn’t work quite the same in Dragon Age. I played around with the idea of having none of the pathfinder class talents provide any direct benefits to spell casting, so they were truly interchangeable, but I wasn’t happy with the results.
So for now, until I can come up with a better system, I want to open up the talent system a little wider, but not completely throw out class requirements. Even this small change means there will be some class talents already posted that I have to tweak. (The ranger talent already is a little too roguey, so I need to find something that’s equally attractive to warriors and rogues).
This system also opens up the possibility of something approaching the old dnd multi-classing system, and how it works is incredibly simple. If a character so chooses, they can forego one of the many specialization options at sixth level, and instead take a second class talent. They would then advance in that class talent (novice, journeyman, master) at level six, eight, and 10 just as the character with a specialization does.
My thoughts so far:
Barbarian: Rogue and Warrior.
Bard: All classes
Cleric: Mage (still reviewing this)
Druid: All classes (still reviewing this)
Paladin: All classes
Ranger: All classes? (Maybe just Rogue and Warrior, though)
Also, I guess that should serve as fair notice that for this round of the Dragon Hack revision I’m cutting back to the core classes minus the monk. I posted some ideas for monks a couple of weeks back, and I’m not ready to tackle them yet because I’m still not sure where I want them to fit.
So, how about it? Is this a crazy idea, or something Dragon Hack fans would want to see?