Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Who wants pie? The class building system of Neoclassical Geek Revival

One of the questions I have received a few times in the last few games deal with character class.  Neoclassical Geek Revival has a "build a class" mechanism known as the "Pie Piece System".

There are 5 different class groups (warrior, wizard, rogue, priest and bard),  each group has 5 powers related to that class to choose from.  So a warrior has for instance : Shield Use, Dual Wield, Weapon Specialization, Combat Tricks and Combat Awareness.  A character who puts one of their starting three pie pieces in warrior could select one power from that listing, perhaps shield use.  The character then puts the remaining two pie pieces in priest and chooses three powers from the following list: Miracles, True Belief, Fervour,  Dogma and Exorcism. The character chooses Miracles (think cleric spells), Fervour (bonus damage) and Exorcism (think turn undead, thematically anyway).

The pie pieces in each class determine how fast you gain a benefit in the score associated with that class.  So  the more warrior pie pieces you have, the faster your combat bonus increases.  For a rogue,  your stealth modifier increases faster, etc etc.

Lastly, each class has their own brand of a personal item that has a small chance of increasing in power (in effect becoming a magic item) based on the daring deeds of the character.  For the hypothetical character above that would be a trademark item (from a warrior) and a holy relic (from the priest).  So as the character wins battles they have the chance of one of their mundane items to become synonymous with the character and better represent their glory.  Perhaps the characters shield has their personal heraldry on it.  As the character furthers the aims of their faith they have a chance at one of their mundane items becoming a holy relic,  perhaps a holy symbol or perhaps something more mundane like their boots.  In 400 years after the characters death other adventurers may hunt for the boots of St.Cuthbert or the shield of Lord Cuthbert the bloody.

From Neoclassical Geek Revival,  Page 9


Many RPG’s feature a class or
archetype based system where a set of
abilities is selected to match a class.
NGR differs from this system; it uses the
‘pie system’. Everyone loves pie right?
Each character in NGR normally
has 3 pie pieces to define his class.
While this number could be altered from
as low as 2 to as high as 4 through traits,
3 pieces are the normal amount and the
maximum number that may be selected
from any one class at character creation.
At 10th level a character may choose
another pie piece, this can bring a
character up to 4 pie pieces in a single
Each pie piece within a class
gives a character a larger mechanical
benefit, partially by giving modifiers that
increase per level, and partially by
gaining new powers. A character may
choose 1 class power if they have one
pie piece in that class, 3 if they have two
and all 5 if they have three pie pieces. If
they have 4 pie pieces they receive a
special power for the class. Note that a
power may only be taken once.
The final benefit is that each
character class has its own type of
'personal items' that characters can
develop. These are methods that allow
characters to naturally develop magic or
magic-like items through adventuring. A
character may be able to have personal
items of multiple types if they have
training in more than one class



  1. It is one of the features I best like about NGR.
    --There are others that I had hoped to cover in the review. My house-move is somewhat interfering with that, unfortunately.

    The Awesomeness and your T#20 functions are also worthy of attention by fans of the D&Ds, as they are true innovations, IMO.

  2. I really like the sound of this system. I have to check this out. Thank you!