[MUD-Dev] Thoughts on Classless systems

Greg Miller gmiller at classic-games.com
Sun Jul 23 14:08:25 New Zealand Standard Time 2000

  Travis Casey wrote:

> However, this isn't the only sort of class system that exists.  Some
> games have what might be called "channeling" classes.  In these, a
> character can learn to do anything (generally via a skill system), but
> it's easier for characters to learn certain things, which are
> determined by their class.  The character's class also often sets
> starting skill levels.  Such systems usually restrict characters to
> having just one class.  Rolemaster is an example of this type of
> system.

It's always seemed to me that this was primarily a result of trying to 
encourage specialization while using a skill system that wasn't designed 
for it. As such, I've always preferred the idea of tweaking the skill 
system itself instead.

> Another is additive classes.  In these, a class is simply a package of
> skills; characters can take more than one class, in which case they
> have the skills of all the classes they've taken.  Advancing in the
> class advances the skills associated with it, and there's generally a
> way to buy skills that don't belong to any class you have.  This gives
> a sort of classless class system; you can effectively "change classes"
> at any time simply by stopping developing one class and starting to
> develop another.  Fantasy wargaming is an example of this sort of
> system, and 3rd edition D&D is approaching this sort of system.
> (Note that some RPGs use one of these class systems, but call it
> something else -- "professions", for example.)

Aturion Dynasty has a variation on this theme. It has a set of 
professions, and each prof is simply a prerequisite for certain skills. 
On the other hand, it does include a few special abilities for some 
profs (along the lines of restrictive classes) and this is used in 
combination with a simple prerequisite skill tree (which was apparently 
not considered sufficient to encourage specilization in and of itself).

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