Sunday, September 25, 2016

Alternate race-based classes, and playable goblins, for DCC

This is the first of a series of articles where I'm posting alternative race-based classes for the Dungeon Crawl Classics (DCC) role-playing game.  I'm a HUGE fan of DCC, and I'm generally down with their class-as-archetype approach to character classes; indeed, that's one of the best reasons to embrace a class-based system.  And I also get the idea of how elves and dwarfs are supposed to be iconic and, well, archetypes.  Hence, race-as-class.

But maybe one race per class is a bit restrictive.  So I created one new class for each race. In addition, I replaced one race entirely: the halfling.  You see, I think that the point of fantasy is that you either want to go out of the deep end of gonzo, or you want to reference the rich textures of folklore.

With halflings, it's pretty much a direct reference to Tolkien.  As far as I'm concerned, that means it's neither.  Tolkien designed hobbits to reference a number of folkloric figures, such as hobgoblins (hence the name) of fairy tales.  But the hobbit itself ends up being something pretty specific, and when included in fantasy settings, manages only to reference Tolkien and little else.

Thus: I replaced halflings with goblins.  They actually occupy a very similar social niche, although they don't look as human, and I've thrown in some other folkloric elements (these goblins are tinkerers with a larcenous streak).  I'm basically trying to remove a bit of the specificity of halflings, and return them to their roots.

Since I added a new class per race, I didn't just rename them goblins, since I also added another goblin class.  So these goblins are called "gits."  Most goblins are actually quite cowardly and will avoid violence at all costs.  Gits, however, are cut from a different cloth, and some other goblins go so far as to claim that they are not true goblins.  These violently-inclined goblins are sometimes driven from their communities, or leave out of boredom, or some combination of the two.

Anyway, my next article will describe the other goblin class...gremlins!

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