This is a question for all those out there who have designed BASE classes.

This is a question for all those out there who have designed BASE classes.

This is a question for all those out there who have designed BASE classes.

I have a couple ideas rattling around and I am curious what your “development flowchart” looks like? Do you throw down a bunch of move trigger/move ideas, flesh them out, and then plug the into starting, 2-5, or 6-10 later?

That is sort of what I am doing, but would like to know what others are doing.

What is a good break down for advanced moves? — eg, 6 entirely new moves, 4 moves that improve a previously taken move (cannot miss, add an option, etc), and 4 moves that replace a previous.

How many, if any, multi-class moves should be available? It seems 1-2 is the norm with some restrictions.

Thanks in advance for your responses!

I hope to have something raw that I can share sometime next week.

5 thoughts on “This is a question for all those out there who have designed BASE classes.”

  1. I’ve probably designed more base classes than anyone except for that Adam guy (we’re tied) but it’s hardly a repeatable process. It looked much different between, say, the fighter and the druid.

    Generally we start with trying to figure out what this class is. We’ve mostly been approaching classes that have some prior uses, so we go and read those. Then we think about what characters in books or movies might fit that class. This is often a really informative bit, as the answers are sometimes non-obvious.

    If we can, we’ll find someone who really loves the class in question and talk to them too. You know the kind of person: the one who will always choose the druid first if they have the choice. Find out what the class means to them.

    Then we’ll start writing some core moves that do what the class is about. This has been a key thing for us: the class should do what it’s known for at level 1. Yes, even druid shapeshifting.

    From those we can usually come up with some advanced moves for the two different tiers pretty quickly that just build on those core moves. Better use of poison for the thief, more shapeshifting for the druid, etc. These are the moves that are easiest to have Replace each other, usually: a few more spells at 2-5, a lot more at 6-10 (or whatever).

    There’s no set formula we use, it usually depends on what moves make sense for Requires or Replaces. We tend to try to aim for at least a handful of replaces-moves, just so the class never becomes too complex.

    Multi-class moves depend entirely on the class we’re making and what we think they do. The bard is a jack-of-all-trades, so they get a lot. The barbarian draws on elements of a few other classes, so they are limited to those, etc.

  2. Well I was gonna answer, but Sage covered pretty much all of my talking points. Were I to add something, it would be that when I’m designing classes for my Adventure World hack, a big thing I think about is the ability for that class to interact with the setting, or the ability to creative more narrative potential. A good example of this in the DW classes is the Fighter’s Signature Weapon, which has the tendency to spawn a lot of backstory (and future story).

    And I want to re-emphasize the “talking to others” step. The most valuable parts of my design process has been asking myself, and more importantly, others, what “a hero” does, or what “a priest” can do in a story. Some of my best ideas came about that way.

  3. My Playbook design flowchart is this:

    Consult my “Ideas for playbooks” google doc. An idea will consist of a few ideas for class names or archetypes, and then have a bunch of evocative keywords or characters that i think describe the idea.

    I’ll then do some research, look at folk tales where appropriate, genre movies for the core idea, taking note of character interaction as well as action scenes. I also try to frame my ideas around action, not combat. action can mean a chase, an escape, an incredible physical feat, as well as a fight.

    I may jot down some rough ideas for Drives/Alignments and Races/Aspects, but these aren’t anything solid.

    After that, I’ll write a few ideas for the starting moves – these may start as nothing more than a group of triggers and a related stat. Then there’s a few frustrating hours of blank stares. Often the breakthrough comes when I go to explain what I’m trying to do to someone. “It’s a move about pushing through the pain and enduring beyond your limits for just long enough”

    Once I get a sentence like that, it’s easier to break down into trigger, rule, outcome. This is also the point I think about the other mechanics on DW like hold, choosing from a list, using up resources, etc, and see if they fit the concept.

    I’ll also usually share my concepts amongst creative peers for review – be it a single move or the class as a whole. This is very important, and can help pull you out of your own head to look at your stuff objectively.

    Once I have a few starting moves, I then write moves that enhance or modify them. These will mostly become 6-10 advanced moves, but some will creep into the 2-5 list. Then I think about other things the archetype does in stories, make them 2-5 advanced moves, and create a few upgrades for those. Then it’s time for more peer review and revision, revision, revision.

    I usually only include multiclass moves if I have room, I honestly don’t know how Sage and Adam get so many moves onto the sheet.

    After look, names, and gear, comes spelling and grammar check, I’ll read through the whole lot out loud, as this can help you find awkward phrasing and mkes you more conscious of errors. Then I format it into a playbook, spend way longer than it should take making some artwork, and it’s done!

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