Split Classes in B/X D&D

If you've been following along with the recent posts I've done with new character classes for Basic/Expert D&D they were in part to fill in these gaps.
In B/X you have the Elf which is a Fighter/Magic-User, and Dwarves & Halflings which mix some Thief like abilities in with those of the Fighter. To this I've added the the Witch who is a kind of Cleric/Magic-User, and the Bard who is a mix of Magic-User and Thief. The Paladin & Anti-Paladin are Cleric/Fighters and finally the Monks & Assassins are Cleric/Thieves.

Each of the 4 main classes (Cleric, Fighter, Magic-User, Thief) can be combined with any of the other 3 by choosing one of the specialized classes.


The Jovial Priest said...

What's missing is a warrior-mage (perhaps a warlock) on the horizontal axis. An elf, I agree is closer to magic-user than fighter, being so magicky!

Ranger perhaps?

Stuart said...

I think the Elf is a good balance of Fighter and Magic-User -- I just moved it to one side so it wasn't mixed up with the Cleric/Thief line. :)

I think the Ranger is a Fighter / Thief -- I was going to do that class as well, but I thought the Dwarf and Halfling had that covered so I'd leave it (along with Barbarian, Acrobat, Druid, and Illusionist) for now.

porphyre77 said...

Wasn't the original "Eldrith Wizardry" Druid supposed to be the "missing link" between the Cleric and the Magic-User?

Mike Monaco said...

Not sure I get how assassins are related to clerics...I'd have called them another fighter/thief combo.

Stuart said...

@Mike Read the Monks & Assassins post

Brendan said...

I've really enjoyed reading all of these, and I really like the underlying logic you lay out here. What's really important is that each class has its own distinct flavor and rules without needing 3 pages of description.

Zzarchov said...


Rather than having distinct classes:

Why not let people built their own class by mixing levels of classes?

I added a fifth basic class when I did it for NGR, but it saves you both a tonne of work and removes the "can I play a dragonshadow bladedancer!" discussion by saying "Sure!, here are the class building tools, let me know what you come up with!"

Ranger? 2/3rd warrior 1/3rd rogue!, Halfling? 1/3rd warrior, 2/3rd rogue! etc etc.

You'd probably want to shave it to just the 4 classes, change the abilities...

But you could also shift what the 4 "points" are.

Is a cleric really not pretty far along the warrior path already? Not as far as a Paladin, but more so than you would expect for an exorcist for example.

Smokestack Jones said...

Great posts Stuart. This fills in a lot of gaps in Basic. For me though, I;d to jettison the Bard as I was going to slot Gnomes into the M-U/Thief position.


infornific said...

I personally prefer the idea of a three way division - Combat Specialist (Fighter), Magic Specialist (Magic User) and Skill Specialist (Thief.) Magic is subdivided in Secular and Divine. The Cleric combines divine magic and combat. That division reflects fantasy hero abilities better - muscle guy, magic guy, smart guy. It also suggests other hybrids -

secular magic and skill: Alchemist, Sage?

secular magic and combat: humans emulating BX elves? Call it an Adept - a Turjan class.

Divine magic and skill: Diviner?

Pure divine magic user: Mystic.

Skill and combat: Variant Ranger? Or variant Assassin? Or the Rake from Thyatis.

Of course after all these years you could argue the cleric has distinguished himself enough to deserve equal billing with the big three. Tastes vary.

Roger the GS said...

That is a good scheme for building on the Basic classes. I would personally add another "orbital" to Cleric that covers nature-magic. This would allow for Druids, Rangers and Witches, while Clerics, Paladins, and Sages or Mystics would partake of celestial magic.

By the way, your comment buttons and text are coming through in French for me.

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