Sunday, September 22, 2013

Attributes and Classes in Wizards' Realm


Characters in Wizards' Realm possess eight Attributes:  Strength, Intelligence, Constitution, Dexterity, Agility, Charisma, Appearance, and Luck.  The value of each Attribute is determined by rolling 2d10.  Page 3 says, “1d20 may also be used, but tends to give a much more random and peculiar set of Attribute scores.”  Page 4 assures us, “If some Attributes are low when you first roll up your character, don't be dismayed.  A player's character will depend on the blending of his or her several abilities. and the others probably balance the scales.”

Attribute scores are modified based upon the character's race.  There's a distinct difference between the Free Peoples and the Forgotten Kin.  There are no negative Attribute modifiers for any of the 'Free Peoples' races while most of the 'Forgotten Kin' races have a net modifier of zero or less.  The only exception are Goblins; they receive +1 Dexterity and no negative modifiers.  Interestingly, humans have +1 Constitution.  Elves get a bonus to either Intelligence or Charisma.  Dwarves Dwergar get a choice between +1 Strength or +2 Constitution.  Hobbits get a bonus to both Dexterity and Luck.  I think that Hobbits are designer Cheryl Duval's pet race; the Hobbit depicted above, Pandro, is her character.  The poor Bogeys have a -2 Charisma and merely +1 Agility to compensate.

Various Attributes combine to determine a character's other abilities:
Attack Number – Aptitude with offense in combat.  (Strength + Dexterity + Agility)
Defense Number – Aptitude with defense in combat.  (Strength + Constitution + Agility)
Survival Points – “[T]he amount of damage your character could withstand.”  (Strength + Constitution)
Power Points – Endurance for casting magic spells.  (For 'normal' spellcasters:   [Constitution + Dexterity + (10 x Intelligence)]  For 'Wizards':  [Constitution + Dexterity + (20 x Intelligence)])
Power points must be calculated for all characters (“All characters have them”), even though only spellcasters actually use them.  With regard to Attack Number and Defense Number, page 4 says, “you may figure that a total of 36 or better reflects well on your combat ability.”  This may be discouraging for a player who wants his character to be a Warrior.  Regardless, page 4 also lets us know that:
A particular feature of Wizards' Realm is the fact you are not limited in your choice of a character profession by minimum requirements to qualify for the particular class Class which appeals to you.
There are three classes and a variety of sub-classes.

There are five sub-classes under the Warrior class.  Two of the sub-classses are 'no-frills' in my opinion.  For the Ranger and Martial Artist sub-classes, players are encouraged to pick appropriate skills from the skill list.  That's it – just recommended skills and nothing else.  Berserkers, on the other hand, can go into a “battle-frenzy.”  This means they ignore wounds until the end of combat and get an extra attack per round (or two extra attacks if not defending).  The downside is that they must make an Intelligence saving roll “to resist battle-frenzy in a given combat.”  There are no other limitations; Berserkers use the same experience progression as 'normal' Warriors.

The Knight-Trenfher sub-class is the Wizards' Realm version of paladin.  Their experience progression is somewhat more difficult than a typical Warrior's and they are expected to demonstrate “those qualities of goodness to which he or she is committed.”  A Knight-Trenfher provides his or her travelling companions with +1 Luck.  Does someone travelling with two Knight-Trenfhers (Knights-Trenfher?) receive +2 Luck?  For that matter, does each Knight-Trenfher get +1 Luck because of the other Knight-Trenfher?  Aside from the Luck benefit, a Knight-Trenfher obtains “a noble and intelligent steed” upon reaching the fifth level degree of advancement.  The last Warrior sub-class is the Anti-Paladin – essentially a Knight-Trenfher devoted to evil.

The Spellcaster Class has four sub-classes.  The 'Draoi' – which Google translate says is Irish for 'wizard' – are the equivalent of D&D druids.  “The only circumstances in which a Draoi will condone the taking of a life is in the just defense of another life,” according to the rulebook.  Also, “Draoi have a great affinity with wild animals, each developing a special bond with a particular creature – his totem.”  The actual effects in terms of game mechanics are not disclosed.

Page 14 suggests that each Spellcaster sub-class has certain favored spells.  Does this mean only the Illusionist sub-class can cast illusion spells?  Does it mean any Spellcaster can cast illusion spells but that Illusionists have some sort of advantage?  Again, the rules fail to enlighten.  At least Necromancers seem to have a monopoly on revivification magic.

The final Spellcaster sub-class is Wizard which – appropriately for a game called Wizards' Realm – is the most powerful character vocation.  Suitably, Wizards have the most arduous experience progression.  They get a boatload of Power Points more than regular Spellcasters (as noted above) and they have less of a chance of failure when casting.  This is because a Wizard's “genetic structure has created a natural recipticle (sic) for Magic.”  Only half-Elves can be Wizards and only one-out-of-four half-Elves “ever show the potential for wizardry.”

The third Wizards' Realm character Class is the Adventurer.  Page 14 tells us, “Some of the more familiar sub-classes in this category include Thieves, Traders, Clergy, Physicians, Alchemists, Armourers and Courtesans, but the possibilities are endless.”  Again, these are 'no-frills' sub-classes; you choose what you think are appropriate skills and that's the extent of a sub-class.  Adventurers have the exact same experience progression as Warriors.  You might think that Warriors possess some sort of combat advantage over Adventurers and that Adventurers have some sort of non-combat advantage over Warriors.  You would be wrong.  In Wizards' Realm, the difference between a Warrior and an Adventurer is the word that's listed next to “Class” on the character sheet.  Presumably, a Warrior would put more emphasis on combat skills, but both classes have identical access to the same mix of skills.

At the very least, the writers/designers could have established some kind of skill choice ratio, like Adventurers must have two non-combat skills for every combat skill and – likewise – Warriors can only have one non-combat skill for every two combat skills.  Since all characters have Power Points, why not let Classes other than Spellcasters use them?  For instance, Warriors could use Power Points to re-roll combat rolls or to perform special martial maneuvers while Adventurers could use Power Points to modify (non-combat) saving rolls or something similar.  This would make the Classes truly distinct.

1 comment:

  1. Google Translate is correct as far as it goes. Draoi can, indeed, be translated as "wizard", but it is actually the word "druid" as it has developed in Irish. It is pronounced /dree/.