Sunday, July 8, 2012

Subclasses in High Fantasy

In addition to a main class, each High Fantasy player character has a subclass. (In small parties, each character might have two subclasses.) Any of the eight subclasses can be paired with any of the four main classes. While the main classes (other than Warrior) use Innate Ability as a gauge of aptitude, competence with subclass abilities is based exclusively upon experience level. A character has a 5% chance of success with a subclass ability per level. Thus, all first level characters start with a 5% chance. “However, if the judge feels that he will never play a long campaign game...he may opt to increase their chances of using the subclass abilities.” The suggested base chance is 20% plus 5% per level.

Armorer: Armorers get discounts when buying armor. They can also repair armor. Yes, armor in High Fantasy takes damage. (Imagine that! Three decades before Atlantasia!) Also, an Armorer “can identify either magical or non-magical abilities in weapons...”

Healer: Since there is no cleric class in High Fantasy, the Healer subclass functions to keep player characters alive. Healers can heal others as well as themselves. At higher levels, Healers can do things like cure blindness and reattach severed limbs. At even higher levels, Healers can restore life to the dead; however, a character or creature “can only be restored to life twice.” Healers must use units of “herbs and elixirs” when performing their work. Where does one obtain these herbs and elixirs? High Fantasy is silent on the matter.

Historian (Archeologist): Historians can read runes as well as “sense” and recognize artifacts. This subclass is a convenient means to feed plot hooks to the players since Historians have “[a]ccess to legends and folklores the judge wishes to disclose.”

Hunter/Huntress: A Hunter/Huntress has knowledge of flora and fauna and can locate/track such. A Hunter/Huntress can also set traps, but only in natural settings and only for unintelligent beings. As a corollary, they can detect traps in natural settings. Furthermore, a Hunter/Huntress possesses preternatural senses. He or she knows “the correct direction,” has a chance of avoiding being surprised, can see “further in the dark than normal,” and can “[s]ense the nearness and number of creatures.”

Jeweler: Jewelers can “automatically” determine the worth of non-magical gems and have a chance of determining “if a gem is magical and what properties it has.”Appropriately, Jewelers can craft jewelry.

Sensitive: “This subclass deals with abilities of the mind.” Sensitives have a chance of detecting magic, detecting truth, locating a person they know, and send or receive “a thought sentence to [or from] another willing sentient organism.” Lastly, Sensitives can attack with a “psychic blast.” However, a Sensitive takes half-damage when attacking this way; not half of the inflicted damage, but half of rerolled damage. So, it is possible for the Sensitive to sustain more harm than he or she caused.

Thief/Assassin: This subclass confers an assortment of abilities typically associated with 'classic RPG' thieves. The abilities include: detect/remove traps, open locked containers, disguise, 'pick pockets' (although that exact phrase is not used), and “hide in dark places if unseen when entering it and doesn't move once in it.”

Martial Artist: A Martial Artist must choose one of five schools (called 'sects' in High Fantasy): Tiger, Hawk, Praying Mantis, Dragon, and Serpent. Each sect provides a bonus to Quickness and – as the character gains experience levels – increases to Defense and weaponless damage. The differences among the sects are the extent of the bonuses and the rate at which they accrue. Also, each sect has a signature weapon: Tiger – The Claw (like a morning star), Hawk – The Talon (like a throwing star), Praying Mantis – The Strike (a pair of flails), Dragon – The Flame (“a small spear that ignites on the end”), and Serpent – The Jaw (“a three-bladed dagger”). Finally, Martial Artists also possess some 'escape artist' abilities, regardless of sect.

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