Journey: Classes

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We're not here yet, but we have some ideas for what classes we want, so this page is being made so that we can track the list.


Specifically talking about things like spells and einhander maneuvers, here.

4e is problematic in that everyone has at-will, encounter, and daily abilities. There is no resource management there - you don't have spell slots, you don't gain armor tokens, nothing. You can use this ability once per encounter, and that's it.

I think this takes a lot of the flavor out, in some cases.

So maybe everybody uses tokens... hrm.

Free, Tokens, and Points

Every class uses one of three resource types: free, tokens, and points.

  • Free: These abilities are freely used. They typically fall into one of three categories: at-will, encounter, and daily. The abilities are simply used, with no additional tracking required. Einhander maneuvers are a good example of free abilities.
  • Tokens: These abilities require the expenditure of tokens, which are a fluctuating gauge mechanic; each ability set that relies on tokens will usually provide a method for gaining tokens. A good example of token usage is armor tokens, from Trinity defenders. Token abilities are usable whenever you have the tokens to use them.
  • Points: These abilities require the expenditure of points, which are a constantly-decreasing gauge mechanic; you start out with so many points, with limited ways to replenish them once spent. A good example of point usage is power points, from psions in 3.5. Point abilities are usable whenever you have the points to use them.

It is probable that the token/point distinction is a thin one, but I want the distinction made, just in case.

Caster Level

For Force abilities, your caster level equals your base Force bonus of all your classes. So a Journeyman(7)/Mage(4) has a caster level of 7 (Journeyman 7th has +3 FRC, Mage 4th has a +4 FRC, 3 + 4 = 7).

This way, caster/melee'er hybrids work.

Class Theory: JP System

Part of the issue with class-based systems is that they sometimes provide a very rigid method of character growth. In the core of 3.5, look at the barbarian and monk for examples of what I'm talking about - these are core classes that are very restrictive in terms of what the character can do. If you are an 8th-level monk, you mechanically behave pretty much the same as any other 8th-level monk out there.

That's where JP come in.

JP are similar to XP, in that you gain them for task resolution. However, while you gain XP based upon your character's goals, and increase your overall power, you gain JP for using your class's particular approaches to task resolution. If you are an einhander, you gain JP for doing einhander-like things.

XP is a representation of personal growth and experience; JP is a representation of the application of class-based knowledge.

In a JP system, every class feature has a JP cost. Not only does this include things like evasion, uncanny dodge, and barbarian rage, but it also includes things like einhander maneuvers and arcane spells. The JP system is a point-based approach to class design, and rather than the designer telling you where those points are spent, the player decides what abilities to purchase.

There are possible issues with a JP system. Multiclassing may pose issues, and there is the possibility that a player will wait until sufficient JP is gained to purchase more powerful abilities that shouldn't be had until later levels. However, this second concern is possibly balanced out by the fact that the character would have only that one ability.

JP is a possible way to implement a more free-form class design, while still maintaining the class system.

Class Theory: Paths

Another way to go about designing classes is the idea of paths, from Szatany's ultimate classes project. There has been a bit of naysaying about this particular approach, specifically that it only gives the illusion of good class design and, in actuality, sucks.

I don't know why that's said, but it is what it is.

Moving on. The general idea behind Szatany's ultimate classes was (1) power-creep, and (2) to provide a metric crapton of options for each class. I mean, take a look at the barbarian: there are loads more options there than there are for the 3.5 core barbarian.

The idea here would be that each class has a wide variety of abilities to choose from throughout its progression.

Class Theory: Talents

This would be essentially porting 3.5 core to Journey, and relying upon the talent idea to allow for greater customization. I'm a bit leery of the idea, primarily because I'm not sure how talents will work. This seems to be the base assumption, at the moment, so I don't think any more detail is really necessary.

Class Types

Classes fall into three general types.

  • Combat: This is a class that focuses on physical combat. Combatants run the gamut from stealthy assassins to honorable knights.
  • Force: This is a class that focuses on the use of a force. To be a force-user is to strongly align oneself with a particular worldview.
  • Hybrid: This is a class that combines multiple styles. A hybrid could attempt to take the best of two combat styles, attempt to reconcile two forces, or intertwine a fighting style with a force.
  • General: This is a class that is not necessarily focused on the use of a force or a particular fighting style. While such classes have some skill with fighting or a force, that is not usually their focus.

Class List

This is the list of classes.


Archer (Arrow)

Skilled with bows, crossbows, and similar weaponry, the archer excels if he can fight his foes from afar.

Assassin (Dynamite)

A cunning, secretive death-dealer, the assassin's skill lies not with raw combat ability, but instead in stealth, poison, and deceit. An assassin strikes without her target's knowledge, then slips into the shadows.

Defender (Rock)

A warrior who focuses on his armor and defensive skills. Heavily-armored and armed with simple weapons or polearms, the defender's fighting style is one that emphasizes patience and using attrition to your advantage.

Einhander (Scissors)

A warrior who focuses on skill with weapons over all else. Lightly-armored but heavily armed, the einhander is a force to be reckoned with, using the philosophy that the best defense is a perfect offense.

Unfettered (Paper)

A warrior who focuses on speed, agility, and footwork. Lightly-armored and armed with light weapons, the unfettered's strength lies not with his offensive or defensive prowess, but with his sheer mobility.


Akashic (Blue)

The memories of the world run deep, flooded with the knowledge of all the beings that have ever walked upon it. The akashic learns to tap into this pool of knowledge, allowing him to pull upon lost knowledge or secrets that have been kept for ages, and use this information to his advantage.

Anarch (Chaos)

Luck, randomness, entropy, freedom - the anarch emphasizes these tenets and beliefs over all else. Drawing upon the impersonal force of probability and the perhaps too-personal force of luck, the anarch exerts his will onto the world in a seemingly nonsensical fashion.

Druid (Nature)

While some look to the skies for something to believe in, others look only to nature, and find something powerful lying dormant in the earth itself. Druids learn to call upon this power, enabling them to manipulate the elements.

Inventor (Technology)

Science in a world where magic roams is an unusual tool, but some things can only be done with proper knowledge of engineering and physics. The inventor utilizes a wide variety of technological devices to great effect.

Mage (Magic)

Years of reading esoteric tomes and attempting to understand arcane scrolls culminates in the trade of the mage. Able to call upon arcane forces and bend the world to his will, the mage is a force not to be trifled with.

Priest (Divine)

A devout follower of a deity or saint, or perhaps even someone with a strong belief in a cause, the priest calls upon the source of their inspiration and smites foes, protects the weak, and heals their allies.

Psionicist (Psionics)

Deep and careful personal reflection unlocks abilities latent within the mind; those who overcome their inner demons earn the right to be called psionicists. Wielding a skill with no outward sign, the psionicist's domain is the mind.

Templar (Time)

Tested to ensure that she will not abuse her power, taught the secrets of manipulating both time and space, the templar gradually gains the ability to manipulate, distort, then outright change time and space itself.

Voidchild (Void)

Every light casts a shadow; existence itself is like a light, in that it casts the shadow of nonexistence. The voidchild walks a fine line between these two, becoming a conduit for this nonexistence into the world, and - in the process - becomes a dangerous being.


Gambler (Hybrid: Chaos General)

Wit, charm, and a bit of luck are the gambler's weapons of choice. Using the power of chaos to manipulate probability, he succeeds where others fail.

Harrier (Hybrid: Time Paper)

Combining a combat style focused on speed and mobility with the ability to manipulate time and space, the harrier is blindingly fast and strikes just as quickly.

Karateka (Hybrid: Scissors Paper)

Unarmed and dressed lightly, the karateka is a master of fighting using only his own body as a weapon. Extensive training allows him to move quickly and strike hard, but he cannot pierce heavy armor.

Knight (Hybrid: Rock Scissors)

Trained to fight in honorable combat, the knight comes to master both the sword and the shield, making him a dangerous adversary - if he can get into close combat.

Learner (Hybrid: Blue Rock)

Taught an unusual application of world memory, the learner gains power by observing the powers of monsters. As this is a dangerous job, the learner is also taught combat methods that give him a greater chance to survive.

Medic (Hybrid: Technology General)

Taught the basics of medicine and equipped with some knowledge of chemistry, the medic is able to provide better healing for those in her care, though such methods take time.

Metamorph (Hybrid: Nature Scissors)

A follower of nature who has given himself up wholly to the ideal that only the strongest survive. Able to change himself into more and more of a monster, the metamorph is an able combatant.

Ninja (Hybrid: Void Dynamite)

An understanding of nonexistence combined with stealth, the ninja is a deadly combatant. Not only is he able to slip into the shadows, but with the assistance of the void, he is able to become one with them.

Paladin (Hybrid: Divine Rock)

A warrior whose devotion to a deity, saint, or cause equips him with divine strength and perseverance. Where other warriors call only upon their skill and have mortal limits, the paladin calls upon a higher power to transcend such limits.

Swashbuckler (Hybrid: Paper Rock)

Lightly armed and armored, the swashbuckler is an unlikely combatant: however, he fends off attacks by parrying, and his speed allows him to strike faster than one would otherwise think; however, he cannot stand toe-to-toe with a true swordsman.

Wuxia (Hybrid: Psionic Paper)

The ability to manipulate one's movements with psionic power is the key to the wuxia's abilities. Able to jump, tumble, and fight farther, further, and faster than others, the wuxia is a dangerous foe.


Journeyman (General)

A skilled craftsman whose knowledge of itemcraft goes beyond mundane materials. Equipped with the knowledge necessary to temporarily enhance items to nigh-magical levels, the journeyman's specialty is items, both their construction and destruction.

Mediator (General)

Not all conflicts must be resolved with swords - some can be resolved only with words. The mediator's trade is speech, and his ability to encourage rational discussion can be useful even for those who risk their lives for adventure.

Rogue (General)

Rogues are quick of tongue and fleet of foot. Rogues tend to have a realistic view of the world, and tend to have several skills that make it easier for them to get by in it.

Class-Related Ideas

Random stuff.


There are three possible setups for the hybrids...

Setup 1

  • Rock/Scissors: Knight (weak to Paper, because of lack of mobility)
  • Scissors/Paper: Karateka (weak against Rock - can't hit very hard)
  • Paper/Rock: Swashbuckler (weak against Scissors - defends with weapon, but is not as good as a scissors)

Setup 2

  • Rock/Scissors: Knight (weak to Paper, because of lack of mobility)
  • Scissors/Paper: Samurai (weak against Rock - emphasis on swordplay and footwork)
  • Paper/Rock: Karateka (weak against Scissors - sword beats hands)

Damage Progressions

Here's an idea of what the damage progression table will look like.

Lvl	Worst	Inf	Poor	Avg	Good	Best	Legend
1	1d2	1d3	1d4	1d6	1d8	1d10	1d12
2	1d2	1d3	1d4	1d6	1d8	1d10	1d12
3	1d2	1d3	1d4	1d6	1d8	1d10	2d8
4	1d2	1d3	1d4	1d6	1d8	1d12	2d8
5	1d2	1d3	1d4	1d6	1d10	1d12	2d10
6	1d2	1d3	1d4	1d8	1d10	1d12	2d10
7	1d2	1d3	1d6	1d8	1d10	2d8	2d12
8	1d2	1d3	1d6	1d8	1d10	2d8	2d12
9	1d2	1d4	1d6	1d8	1d12	2d8	3d10
10	1d3	1d4	1d6	1d8	1d12	2d10	3d10
11	1d3	1d4	1d6	1d10	1d12	2d10	4d8
12	1d3	1d4	1d6	1d10	1d12	2d10	4d8
13	1d3	1d4	1d8	1d10	2d8	2d12	4d10
14	1d3	1d4	1d8	1d10	2d8	2d12	4d10
15	1d3	1d4	1d8	1d10	2d8	2d12	4d12
16	1d3	1d4	1d8	2d6	2d8	3d10	4d12
17	1d3	1d6	1d8	2d6	2d10	3d10	5d10
18	1d3	1d6	1d8	2d6	2d10	3d10	5d10
19	1d3	1d6	1d10	2d6	2d10	4d8	7d8
20	1d4	1d6	1d10	2d6	2d10	4d8	7d8
21	1d4	1d6	1d10	2d8	2d12	4d8	6d10
22	1d4	1d6	1d10	2d8	2d12	4d10	6d10
23	1d4	1d6	1d10	2d8	2d12	4d10	8d8
24	1d4	1d6	1d10	2d8	2d12	4d10	8d8
25	1d4	1d8	2d6	2d8	3d10	4d12	7d10
26	1d4	1d8	2d6	2d10	3d10	4d12	7d10
27	1d4	1d8	2d6	2d10	3d10	4d12	9d8
28	1d4	1d8	2d6	2d10	3d10	5d10	9d8
29	1d4	1d8	2d6	2d10	4d8	5d10	9d10
30	1d6	1d8	2d6	2d10	4d8	5d10	9d10

Classes will not normally be able to access "legendary." It's there for comparison purposes.

May need to reconsider this later - there's got to be a better way to do it... hold on, I think I might have it.

We're going to build off of the idea that you can separate the damage dice from the rate at which they increase. Duh - why didn't I realize that you could do it this way before?

So, here's the deal. Every class is given a base damage for each type of weapon (or whatever), then given a progression for it.


2							+1
3						+1	
4					+1		
5				+1			+2
6			+1				
7		+1				+2	
8	+1				+2		
9							+3
10				+2		+3	
12			+2		+3		+4
14		+2				+4	
15				+3			
16	+2				+4		+5
17						+5	
18			+3				
19							+6
20				+4	+5		
21		+3				+6	
23							+7
24	+3		+4		+6	+7	
25				+5			
26							+8
28		+4			+7	+8	
30			+5	+6			+9

These numbers indicate how far up the scale you move at any given level.


1	1d2	1-2	1.5
2	1d3	1-3	2.0
3	1d4	1-4	2.5
4	1d6	1-6	3.5
5	1d8	1-8	4.5
6	1d10	1-10	5.5
7	1d12	1-12	6.5
8	2d8	2-16	9.0
9	2d10	2-20	11.0
10	2d12	2-24	13.0
11	3d10	3-30	16.5
12	4d8	4-32	18.0
13	3d12	3-36	19.5
14	4d10	4-40	22.0
15	4d12	4-48	26.0
16	5d10	5-50	27.5

So a defender might have something like, "Melee: 1d8 (Good)" as its damage progression. This indicates that it starts at 1d8, then, at each point listed on the damage progression table for the "good" progression, it improves to the next die size.

Light weapons use one lower. Two-handed use one higher. Bam.

So this means that you could have dude who is Legendary, but with a base of 1d4 damage - that means he'll be doing 4d8 damage at 30th level.

Fantastic. This does exactly what we want it to do - it separates the damage progression into rate of increase and base damage.

Class Design: JP System

Rather than gain JP for task resolution, similar to XP, JP will instead be granted at each class level. You'll gain some amount of JP at each level.


1	  5	   5		10	 10		 5	  5
2	 10	  15		10	 20		 5	 10
3	 15	  30		10	 30		 5	 15
4	 20	  50		10	 40		 5	 20
5	 25	  75		10	 50		 5	 25
6	 30	 105		10	 60		10	 35
7	 35	 140		10	 70		10	 45
8	 40	 180		10	 80		10	 55
9	 45	 225		10	 90		10	 65
10	 50	 275		10	100		10	 75
11	 55	 330		10	110		10	 85
12	 60	 390		10	120		10	 95
13	 65	 455		10	130		10	105
14	 70	 525		10	140		10	115
15	 75	 600		10	150		10	125
16	 80	 680		10	160		15	140
17	 85	 765		10	170		15	155
18	 90	 855		10	180		15	170
19	 95	 950		10	190		15	185
20	100	1050		10	200		15	200
21	105	1155		10	210		15	215
22	110	1265		10	220		15	230
23	115	1380		10	230		15	245
24	120	1500		10	240		15	260
25	125	1625		10	250		15	275
26	130	1755		10	260		20	295
27	135	1890		10	270		20	315
28	140	2030		10	280		20	335
29	145	2175		10	290		20	355
30	150	2325		10	300		20	375

Mage could use talents to gain access to all spells of given type (like "fire" or "illusion"), then spend jp to improve them, or something.

Class Design: Trees

So the JP thing is something of a bust.

What about this?

A sample class feature tree.

That's all well and good. I think the idea has merit.

I think that each class will probably wind up following a general tree format; that is, there will be a "core" set of abilities that follow the tree outlined below. Each class will probably have one or two such trees. Because variety is good!

The class feature tree template. Numbers indicate minimum level to hit that tier of the tree (the 12 is an exception, since it combines the two parts of the two halves of the tree).
...the journey of a thousand miles...
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