The basic idea is that all classes should have thyeir own space in combat and in role play. A place where their separate abilities move the story forward or tips the combat in the party’s favor.
For the roleplay part there is an general idea on how to do this, partly described but in no way finished. I also hope to ave some help in this part fron an Ent-named friend of mine so this part will have to wait for a bit.
But for the combat part the general idea is that there are 10 basic functions to perform and I have tried to design one class soley dedicated to fill this role. Currently I am however thinking about modifying this or abandon that plan since these archetypes tends to be stiff and kind of one trick ponies.
The ten different roles suggested are:
The single target melee damage dealer
A role where all abilities are focused on grinding a single target to a pulp with melee attacks. This role is dedicated to fight big monsters with a lot of fatigue and abilities to counter vexations. This role can come in different forms: The defensive one, sticking out in the fight by keep standing regardless of the monsters attract or the all out attacker that sacrifices it’s own well being for the chance to inflict damage on the creature. Possibly the Knight and the barbarian.
Worth mentioning here is that there will be no tank in Approximated Fray in the “traditional” sense. Firstly the tank is a too gamistic concept for me, ripped from the world of multiplayer computer games. It seems to impausible to me with a creature that some how can attract all enemies to attack him and keep them occupied doing so. This mathematical follow the tactic, focus dps approach to combat in a roleplaying game is not what Approximated Fray intend to be. Approximated Fray is to be fray, a tumultuous experience in which planning and team work is the key to win the battle but not in a follow the motions kind of way.
This said there will be some classes filling roles thatkanbe tank-like. The Guard for example, designed to keep enemies from passing his area or the Keeper that can on occation take a blow intended for someone else in his area. But there will be no tank that magically and supernaturally keeps all enemies focused on him.
In terms of damage output over time this role is to be the most powerful in order to balance for the fact that it only concerns it self with a single target and wit out ranged attacks.
The single target short range damage dealer
This role is designed to deal with enemies that stay close but not keep then one area away from them selves in order to stay out of melee and focus on bombarding a single target with javelins or sling shots. The javelin thrower, or Peltast, is conceptualized as being the archetype for this role. The damage output for this role is to be the second highest as it has short range and very low melee capacity.
The single target ranged damage dealer.
This role concerns it self with dealing damage to single target, preferably a big fatigue boosted one, to bring it down by hitting it with ranged attacks. A pure form would be the dedicated archer that concerns it self with hitting a single target. When it comes to power this form should be. In terms of damage output over time this would be the the third in order to compensate for the lack of melee capabilities and the single target orientation.
Area damage melee
A role that can deal damage to all creatures in the same area as it self resides in. The damage can stem from several sources, cuts and stabs, fire magic or life draining abilities. The key thing is that all enemies in the area will receive damage. In the pure form all abilities are dedicated to this. As a design concept a Blade dancer whirling around in melee hitting all enemies could be the archetype for this role ( a bit to implausible for my taste somehow)but as the archetype (a more “plausible” is the barbarian but with clas design it is not a pure area damage melee class).
For damage output over time this role would be the fourth most powerful due to it’s limited range.
Area short range melee
Damage to all enemies in an adjacent area. My thinking here is some sort of sorcerers, warlocks or wizards that uses firestorms or breaths large cones of fire. There niche or role is to deal damage to all creatures in an adjacent area. In terms of damage they are the fifth since their range is limited.
Area damage ranged
The sweeping hailstorms and lightening strikes are abilities that can will the purpose of the role of area damage ranged. The role is dedicated to causing damage to all enemies in an area and can to this in a line of sight range. Hence their position as number six when it comes to damage over time.
The Booster is intended as the role that that does not deal very much damage over time itself but by empowering others increases the damage that others do. An archetype of this could be a magician that can do very little damage himself but by boosting others can increase the party’s total damage output substantially.
For damage over time the pure booster is on seventh place together with the other support roles.
The vexer is the opposite role of the Booster. The Vexer has its own niche by reducing the enemies opportunities and power for dealing damage to the party. One specific application of this is the Soldier class that reduces the defense of an enemy in order to make it easier for the rest of the party to kill it. Vexers also decreases the monsters ability to deal damage etc.
Seventh place for damage dealing over time but the vexing capabilities are to compensate for this.
The archetype controller does not deal damage directly but he dominates the battlefield by keeping the waves of enemies at bay so that the can be disposed of in an more orderly fashion. The can control larger groups of enemies and keep one or two bigger enemies occupied but heir damage dealing capacity as an archetype is on seventh place.
The counter damage archetype is really a booster but it is only concerned with keeping the parties other members up and fighting. The pure healer is the archetype for this. The last of the seventh place damage output holders.
There can be two different classes that have the same role but they perform the role in different ways. This variation in the how (not the effect) is termed flavor and can be different aspects of the same thing (like the night and the barbarian are both mele target damage dealers but they go about it in totally different ways).
Since I am to do a second semi reboot of the classes ( creation is an iterative process) I will consider the following things when designing the new iteration of the classes.
1) Any of these ten roles in it’s archetype form will be a one trick pony. Even if they are to have several different abilities/cards if all of them only concerns them self with the pure goal of their archetype they risk being repetitious and boring.
2) When playing most players want to have some direct involvement in the gaming and in instrumentally slaying the dragons, hence a pure support class will be a less playable option.
3) Classes are not only designed for combat but also to represent roleplaying aspects fitting into a fantasy world (and some of the archetype roles seems to me, from a plausibility perspective, not as attractive (might do them anyway, or somebody else will)).
Based on this the categorization of the classes will be according to the following:
1) If a character choosing a specific class inevitably will turn out to have three cards directly related to the archetype and the other two are supporting the archetype or are quite neutral it will be termed as of archetype
2) If the character will end up with three cards related to one archetype and two related to another it will be termed an X-Y-hybrid
3) If the character will end up with cards related to three different archetypes it will be termed an X-Y-Z-mix
(Post written without reading it through, it is to hot onZanzibar for me to endure a read through).