I’ve made a few posts about the setting for the game I’ve been working on, working name Dinosaur Riding Barbarians, and the “working for [whoever]” sections gave some idea of what you can actually do in this game. In the interests of providing a closer look at the game as a game, here’s a quick rundown of the ten classes that will probably be in the game. Not all of these classes have actually been designed yet, so some of them may prove unworkable once I get into the nuts and bolts, but I feel pretty confident about them.
The Beastmaster commands a small pack of dinosaur minions, usually velociraptors or deinonychus. In addition to the obvious benefit of leading something like a half-dozen allies into battle, the Beastmaster can set up pack attacks. For example, when one of the Beastmaster’s pets is adjacent to an enemy and another pet charges from the opposite direction, the charging pet pounces and gets extra bonuses to attack and damage, if three pets have a single enemy surrounded, they each get heavy bonuses to their attack rolls, and so on. The Beastmaster himself has respectable attack and defense, and when he has all of his pets available and fighting effectively, he can deal more damage per round than any other class (counting the pets’ damage).
The Berserker has a big weapon and knows how to use it. At the beginning of each of his turns, the Berserker gains fury, and at higher levels of fury, the Berserker gains higher bonuses. The Berserker can also expend his fury on devastating attacks, dealing bonus and gaining extra attacks damage based on the amount of fury built up, but after this devastating frenzy the Berserker is left exhausted and without any fury left over. Fortunately for the Berserker, survivors are unlikely.
The Captain is a leader and a tactician. He shouts advice and encouragement to his allies amidst the fray. Though no pushover in combat himself, his greatest contribution is his ability to shout out commands like “go for the eyes!” that allow the targeted ally to blind any enemy they deal at least one point of damage to with their next attack (provided they attack the head, if the enemy is big enough to have body parts in different hexes) and “stand your ground!” that give temporary HP to all allies in earshot. What commands will be effective varies from second to second in combat, which is abstracted out by having the Captain roll on a table to see what commands are available.
The Enchanter binds magical power into magical charms and etches mystic runes into equipment in order to provide small, passive bonuses. These bonuses can be sacrificed to discharge the power in a spectacular attack. A rune on a sword that gives a bonus to accuracy and damage can be discharged to set the sword ablaze with magic flame for one round, causing any struck by it to be lit on fire. A charm of healing that doubles all incoming healing effects (including natural healing) can be discharged to provide immediate healing. A bow charmed for higher range and accuracy can be discharged to fire a magic arrow that detonates on impact for AoE damage. The Enchanter can only maintain so many charms at once and replacing them takes several hours, so he must choose carefully what enchantments to make and for who when at camp.
The Hero has a lot of extra feats. Feats can be anything from fighting styles that allow you to deal extra damage with certain weapons to professions like “Soldier” or “Priest” that give bonuses to certain skills to general capabilities like being unusually strong or unusually charming. Everyone gets a handful, but the Hero gets lots of extras, including several that are unavailable to non-Heroes. This makes the Hero class easy to run (almost all of your class features are just passive bonuses) and highly customizable.
Necromancers have a pool of stolen life essence which they can use to power their hideous powers. A Necromancer might choose to spread her essence out to make a swarm of weak skeleton minions or concentrate it into a single, powerful undead abomination. She might reserve some essence to power her attack and debuff spells, or she might concentrate all of it into her minions. A Necromancer’s ability to shift her essence around mid-combat makes her extremely flexible, although she pays for that flexibility with a lack of raw power. Her minions are weaker than the Beastmaster’s, her attacks are weaker than the Ranger’s or Warlock’s, her debuffs are less effective than the Shaman’s.
A Ranger is first and foremost a powerful ranged attacker. By spending a full-round action aiming her bow, the Ranger can set up a devastating sniper shot that deals unmatched damage to a single target. Other trick shots require less time to set up, like a crippling shot to the leg that reduces movement speed or an aimed shot between the chinks of armor that can be used to ignore damage reduction.
The Raptor Knight is a powerful mounted combatant. Her schtick is called forks, a set of abilities in which she uses a minor action to ready an attack, and if the enemies don’t meet some condition before her next turn, the attack goes off. A Raptor Knight might threaten a devastating lance charge if someone doesn’t attack them before her next turn, forcing enemies to peel off of squishy casters to target the fairly durable Raptor Knight and her mount (although the Raptor Knight must wear light armor to avoid overburdening her chicken-legged utahraptor mount, both she and her trusty raptor have plenty of HP). She might also threaten to attack everyone nearby her on her next turn, forcing everyone to leave and take an attack of opportunity on the way out or else be hit by the blender.
The Shaman makes alliance with wild and untamed spirits, using their primal powers to aid the party in combat. At the start of each of their turns, the Shaman rolls a number of different colored dice equal to the number of spirits they’ve made alliance with (2 in the early game, 5 when maxed out). Each spirit grants a number of powers ranked from 1 to 6, and whatever the result is on the die with the spirit’s appropriate color, the Shaman can use that power or any lower ranked power. Most of the Shaman’s powers are debuffs, causing terror, sickness, blindness, and so on in the ranks of the enemy, although some spirits specialize instead in damage or buffs.
The Warlock channels the power of dark spirits from the underworld to burn enemies to ash. He can channel his Hellfire into a number of different attacks, from single target to extremely wide area of effect, and many of his spells cause lasting damage by lighting enemies on fire or give them hideous burns which impair their capabilities until they are healed. Every time a Warlock casts a spell, he must roll to try and contain its power. If he fails, the darkness he is channeling eats away at his body, causing him to take some damage as well.