So it’s been a little bit once again! Sorry about that I ended up having to take summer courses so I have been working on starting those up, and seeing how much of a course load it was going to involve. In the meantime I been thinking about Anboc some along with messing around with the layout of the blog. Still not completely happy with it but this will do for now.
So what is this blog post about? Well it is a brief overview of the sort of system that the world of Anboc will use. I been thinking about this for some time now since Anboc was born, and I think I have more or less settled on what sort of system I am going to use. For the uninitiated a system is the framework that a RPG uses for resolving actions within the game. So for example Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition is a system. It uses dice to help create randomness with player actions within the game.
Currently my preferred system is 2nd edition Pathfinder.
However, despite how good that system is it has a lot of interconnected parts that are built around an assumed setting and style of game. I mused about changing these systems to fit the Anboc style of game though I decided against it. Mostly because while I do enjoy tinkering with existing rulesets I might as well come up with something that matches my vision perfectly rather than forcing a round peg into a square hole.
That being said I am going to be using an existing system as something of a framework, the skeleton of the system if you will. For the past several years there has been a online movement known as the Old School Renaissance/Revival or OSR.
The OSR is a complex beast (see the many answers given here: Link) though in brief in 2000 Wizards of the Coast who control the D&D IP created the OGL or Open Gaming License as a means for third parties to create their own works using the D&D system. Originally meant for the 3rd edition of that game people have taken that document to create a plethora of games based on the bones of D&D.
OSR games are typically built on earlier versions of D&D and often have certain “old school” mentalities to them. Again though there is no accepted definition, and what Anboc becomes may or may not be considered a OSR game depending on who you ask. In any event these games have a lot of commonalities since they are using the same skeleton: ability scores describing aspects of your character such as Strength or Intelligence, using a single score to determine how hard it is to deal damage to you, and many others.
Though there are many different variations even based on this skeleton. Today I want to briefly go over the classes that can be found in Anboc. Classes in this case are predefined roles that a character selects that defines the sorts of powers and abilities they have. Some systems like GURPS, Fate, and the World of Darkness line don’t use classes. These are the Anboc classes and a brief description of them (note that Chapter is my current term for an “adventuring party”):
“The guardian of a Chapter. The Curator makes sure everyone stays safe so they can do their jobs. Protection brings knowledge.”
The Curator fits the standard role of a D&D Fighter/Paladin/Fighting-Man or similar figure. They are the defenders of the group protecting them from those that seek to destroy or use knowledge in dark and sinister ways. They often wear heavy armor and are trained to use weapons the other classes know little of. But in return they know little of the bookcraft of the other classes and rely on them for the magic found within the knowledge of the distant past.
“The specialist of a Chapter. The Antiquarian knows about the many types of foul creatures in the world along with the dire traps created by them and the Immortals that came before.”
The Antiquarian fits two roles from standard D&D that of the rogue/thief and that of the more modern ranger class. They are experts not only in disabling traps and finding secret doors, but they are also knowledgeable about monsters and how to fight them. They know about as much about bookcraft and magic as the Curator though they have more knowledge in other matters.
It’s possible that Curator and Antiquarian might in fact be turned into a single class as my work on the system evolves. I am not sure how much I want to be front loaded into each class compared to the skill system I am going to use.
“The mender and repairer of a Chapter. They mend not just bones but the very fabric of reality itself. They rebuild knowledge destroyed by the Immortals’ avarice and the decay of time.”
The Preserver is what keeps the other members of a Chapter alive. They mend bones and also make repairs to books, scrolls, and other bits of knowledge (I am thinking about giving these a collective name. Maybe Qualia or Doctrina or something simliar). In the past before the collapse of the “Golden Age” Preservers were the servants of the Immortals who helped maintain their bodies and mend their works. They function as the Cleric or the Healer in D&D though again this brings another design point I haven’t figured out yet.
In D&D clerics (which are not always healers mind you) gain their spells from gods. Currently I have the Preservers gaining their powers in a similar way from those Immortals who wish to help the survivors. Though I am not sold on if I want to keep that or move way from the Immortals as gods and have them be more distant patrons instead.
In either case the Preserver would have the ability to not only heal but also repair, maintain, and protect the Chapter and the knowledge they find. Thus they perform Preservation and Conservation as defined by Library Science: Link.
“The primary spell-caster of a Chapter. They are able to use the Immortals’ knowledge to call forth any number of effects. However the exacting nature of this work makes them less capable when compared to the others within a Chapter.
These are the wizards/sorcerers/warlocks of Anboc. They directly use the knowledge of the Immortals in ways nobody else can. While everyone can use certain objects from the past, they are experts in this field. The Archivist help identify lost knowledge and codify it within the greater structure of the library. All Archivists know a bit of magic at the start in the form of permanent scrolls they have copied from master records.
They are not trained in the use of armor and weapons. Further using them disrupts their ability to use the magic they have learned.
Beyond these four there are other classes that would exist in the world mostly as NPC’s (Non-Player Characters) or characters run by the game master or GM.
Hedge Mage: These are in effect Archivists from outside the structure of the library. They have learned bits of magic from the world though often in unpredictable ways. They are both weaker and stronger than Archivists because their magic can be more powerful, but can not be relied upon.
Censor: If a special sort of magic comes from the Immortals to create Preservers then there will be a “dark” side of this as well. Those servants of the Immortals who destroyed the world, either in their memory or perhaps because some dark remains of those Immortals who want to remake the world as it was before. The Censors function as the Preservers of old aiding the Immortals though now as their agents in the world.
They seek to stop the activities of the library, and prevent more knowledge from falling into their hands. This might mean destroying that knowledge hence their common name, a censor.