DESIGNER’S DIARY 13: CLASSES OF CONFLICT – SUBCLASSES
Designing new classes has been part of our plan from the beginning, but we also intended to create subclasses for existing classes. However, in this process, we have consistently aimed to provide options that cater to the needs and cultural inclinations of the Brutal Races. Our focus has been on offering alternatives that align with the preferences of most players when it comes to classes.
Deceiver Warlock, Menacing Slayer Ranger, and Phalanx Warrior Fighter were subclasses we had planned from the very beginning, in addition to designing new classes. However, we always aimed to provide options that align with the needs and cultural orientations of the Brutal Races, especially focusing on class preferences.
Deceiver Warlock has been a recurring theme since the early designs years ago. During the 3rd edition era, this theme existed as a standalone class idea since Warlock did not exist at the time. But now, it aligns with Warlock, so we decided to use it as a subclass. The core idea was clear: an agent who despises civilized races and their civilizations! A character who can blend in, living among them for years without being noticed. One who can take on many roles within a party, and is particularly useful in a party consisting solely of Brutal Races.
Menacing Slayer Ranger was inspired by gnolls. We were considering the inclination of terrifying gnolls toward rangers. The concept of a ranger who primarily uses fear-based abilities was quite appealing. If you take a look at existing ranger subclasses, you’ll notice that Menacing Slayer is quite unique.
Phalanx Warrior, on the other hand, is a Fighter subclass. As you might guess, it excels in defensive capabilities. However, thematically, it’s tailored to the expertise of hobgoblins: disciplined, tactical, and optimized for close combat. While it performs well on its own, it becomes even more effective alongside other melee characters, serving as a proper tank.
Doom Bringer, is essentially a Barbarian subclass that has undergone significant mutations from its original concept as Gutter Rager. Initially centered around consuming vile substances, spitting, and spreading foul odors, this subclass underwent changes as it didn’t become mechanically satisfying and appealing as expected. From a role-playing perspective, Doom Bringer remains in the same place – a dangerous yet isolated barbarian even shunned by their own tribe. Its current abilities have taken on a more necromantic nature, departing from the idea of a barbarian who fears magic.
Conflict Domain, as you might have guessed, is a Cleric subclass, and its identity and role have been clear from the beginning. It’s a combat leader with the ability to engage in combat and provide area-effect buffs. The main challenge here was to differentiate it from other cleric subclasses that wear armor and engage in combat themselves, a challenge we believe we’ve largely succeeded in.
Lastly, we have the Smuggler, a Rogue subclass. Unlike the others, this one is more suited for cities than the wilderness. As the name suggests, its abilities revolve around smuggling, making it a character well-versed in navigating urban environments. While as a member of the Brutal Races, you might face discrimination or even attacks in civilized cities, the Smuggler knows how to enter and exit most cities and survive there.
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