Monday, June 27, 2016

Player Classes

So one thought I had had was about how although they GM is playing the RPG,  they are a different class of Player than PC's.   But what if each Player also had a unique player class to set their role in the party similar to roles in a sport?

Ideally each player would choose a single player class before they roll up a character (the GM taking the GM player class).  That would set their role in the game and possibly help it run more smoothly.

The Leader

The Leader should be a player who is always or almost always present.  They play a standard character, generated as normal with normal campaign limitations (such as being human in a human only campaign or one of the core classes etc).   They are not the boss of the game group in character (or don't need to be),  rather they play the character the game follows.  This is in the end their story.  While Thorin Oakenshield may be the leader of the band in The Hobbit,  the leader from a gameplay perspective doesn't follow either him or Gandalf, but follows Bilbo.   In practical game terms,  this means that regardless of what the party decides to do in any split decision,  the game follows The Leader and other characters can find a reason to tag along or be "off camera".

The Optimizer

Only a player who takes the Optimizer class can what is colloquially known as "Min-Max". While they still must follow basic tenants of the campaign (such as an all human or all rogue game) they can bend those requires.  They are also allowed options such as point buy where normally results would be rolled,  They alone can take specialty options from "Splat Books" and in all ways try to "break" mechanics without being called on it or house-ruled in a way to keep them from being overpowering characters.  The Optimizer and the Optimizer alone can "Rules Lawyer".

The Snowflake

Similar to the Optimizer but different,  the Snowflake can play whatever she wants.  If it is a human only campaign she can play an elf,  if all the standard species are allowed but its a western European setting she can be a half-aarakocra ninja from Australia.  Everyone else follows the basic setting.

The Zone Out

Everyone is expected to pay attention to whats going on, follows the events and make decisions based on the information.  Except the Zone Out.  When the deadly trap is sprung and the map is being drawn, forcing the Zone Out to look up and ask "So what exactly is going on", the Zone out can respond with such things like  "We'll I'd be behind the statue so the blast wouldn't hit me" or "I didn't go into the room, I am back in the hall" and get away with it.  Sure,  you are in the hallway,  or you never started climbing the cliff and are down with the horses.

The Trickster

Actions have consequences and pissing off NPC's can result in the entire party getting in serious campaign ending problems because you thought it would be funny to pants the crown prince.  The Trickster however prevents this problem,  as by some bizarre cosmic coincidence only they will suffer the ill effects of their shenanigans unless someone else gets involved (or egged them on).   So while they will still be eaten for trying to drop a deuce in the dragon's hoard while it slumbered, everyone else in the party will be able to sneak away unseen exactly as if no one had been dumb enough to bother the sleeping dragon.

The Drop In

How you get to and from adventure sites has great importance, as does who carries important gear such as quest important macguffins, the map, or the food and water.   Sometimes people are just eager to pop in to a campaign in progress.   Due to adventures happening off camera,  the Drop In can appear anywhere at the start of a game, and escape from anywhere at the end of a game.   The party is trapped in an extra planaar prison?  Somehow the Drop In also stumbles upon them.  Still in the extra-planaar prison at the end of the night?  The Drop In wanders off,   and when everyone else uses the once in a billion years method to escape and return to the normal world... well the Drop In will be able to find them in 2 weeks when he shows back up to play, none the worse for wear.

Furthermore,  he will never be important to any major events.  If he pulls the sword from the stone,  somehow he isn't king, someone else in the party gets credit.   If he is holding the only map, key, or other item,  someone else will find it wrapped up and left with them.  His inventory for important items is fluid.

The Planner

There will often be a desire to set grand schemes in motion that don't involve the adventure.  To set up a kingdom, business, mercenary company, or settlement.   Between games there will be "Downtime" activities involving accounting and book keeping and making NPC contacts and resolving events.    Only the Planner is allowed to make these schemes and plans that eat up the GM's time.    Note this doesn't involve planning an adventure (such as a heist or exploratory expedition into the wilderness)  this means "domain level" play generally, but also includes things like running an inn or setting up a trading post.

The Game Master

This one is self explanatory.

So once each player has a player class, the game should run smoother in a way that could only be surpassed without player classes by the players and GM communicating with each other like adults and then acting that way through the entire campaign.