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Author Topic: Class Benefits Tables, Multiclassing and Prestige Classes in Lion & Dragon  (Read 64 times)


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Hey all.

I'm a huge L&D fan and I'd like to share some thoughts about the mechanics of class benefits tables. So, L&D has a very simple and fast system for leveling up characters, where upon level up the Player can choose one single Benefit from the list on the class table or roll randomly for two benefits and keep both. I love this mechanic, especially because in most d20 games, two mid-to-high level characters will almost always look exactly the same mechanically. This system, on the other hand, creates characters who are completely different from each other.

So, I was reading the class benefits tables over and over and noticed that they are much more versatile than I first imagined. From the mechanics of choosing or rolling for benefits and from some experiences in my table, I devised some "multiclassing" and "prestige classes" for Lion & Dragon. I also wrote about it in the fanzine for L&D/medieval-authentic/OSR games I put out recently, but now that I found this forum, I'd like to share this with you and get ideas from other people who also enjoy the system. (Edit: corrected the link)

So, here's how it works. In my games, I only limit the abilities characters can learn to their class table and things they can get in the world, playing. If you take the time to go after someone to teach you what you want to learn (and you survive the adventures or pay the price), you get what you want, within reason. What I don't allow is trying to break the niche protection of other classes. So, to preserve the distinctive feel of each class, some Benefits remain exclusive to that class. Other Benefits (like languages or mundane knowledge or training) can reasonably be learned.

So, a character living, training, and learning from a companion or tutor from a different class might gain a Benefit from that class upon leveling up. This is the same as choosing a single non-random Benefit (thus the character gains only that single Benefit for that level) and not all Benefits can be chosen.

Hit Dice, Saving Throw DC reductions, and Saving Throw Bonuses can only be chosen from the character’s original class. Miraculous Powers (from the Cleric class) or Magical Skills (from the Magister class) can never be chosen. Class-defining traits (Thief class Backstab, Fighter damage bonus, etc.) can never be chosen (they're not part of the "class benefits table" anyway, but it's better to say it).

Now, what can you choose? (Check Lion & Dragon, pages 14-19, for each class Benefits table to get the specifics.)
From the Cleric class, a character could choose the Benefits 7 or 8-9.
From the Fighter class, a character could choose the Benefits 6, 7, 8, or 9-10.
From the Magister class, a character could choose the Benefits 6-8 or 10 (for summoning only).
From the Thief class, a character could choose the Benefits 5, 6, 7, or 8.
From the Cymri class, a character could choose the Benefits 7-8 or 9 (lore or language only).
From the Scot Man class, a character could choose the Benefits 5, 6, or 7.

"Prestige Classes" (I don't like the term, but it's there and it's recognizable) are different. To enter a prestige class the character needs to have specific training with a member of that class, or unlock it by reading a specific text or manual, receiving instruction from a demon or spirit, or undergoing some kind of change. Whatever the method decided by the GM, once the prestige class is available, upon level up the Player can choose a Benefit from the character’s original class’ Benefits Table or from the prestige class’ Benefits Table. If rolling randomly for the improvement, the Player can roll once on the original class table and once on the prestige class table, but not twice on the prestige class table. I also don't limit access to any specific character or class without good reason - and even if I do, that character should be able to use multiclassing (as above) to get any requirements. Most requirements in my games are social, not mechanical anyway.

I won't go into the specifics of how I included the "Dragonslayer" prestige class in my Dark Albion game (check the Dragonslayer/1981 or Dragonheart/1996 movies, that's pretty much what I ripped off), but I did... Here's the class table.

1d10.....Class Benefits Table
1..........+1d4 hit points, modified by CON
2-3.......+1 Dragon Lore (knowledge about powers and weaknesses of dragons and clues about their habits, also applies to attempts to notice and track them)
4-5.......+1 damage with melee weapons against dragons and similar creatures (drakes, wyverns, etc.)
6..........+1 to combat bonus with one type of weapon
7..........+1 bonus to-hit when charging on horseback
8-9.......+2 to saving throws against area effects OR +1 to any other saving throw category (magic, poisons, etc.)
10........-1 point of damage per die of damage from a dragon’s breath weapon

So, if a Fighter (for example) is trained as a dragonslayer and gets a new level, the Player can: (a) choose a Benefit from the Fighter class or the dragonslayer table; (b) roll twice on the Fighter class table (1d12) and keep both results; or (c) roll once on the Fighter table (1d12) and once on the dragonslayer table (1d10) and keep both.

Does it make sense? What would you change? Or what other classes/types of training/benefits do you think are possible or would like to see for a Dark Albion / Lion & Dragon game?
« Last Edit: February 21, 2021, 06:13:21 PM by PFrota »