As for character classes, things in this setting are a bit different than is typical.
All races can be any class, with some restrictions on level based on what race they are. Only humans can be barbarians. There are more druids among the wild and wood elves than the other elven races.
Humans can be dual-classed, in that he can change from one class to another. He keeps his current HP, Saves, and Attack roll, unless his current level in the new class yields a greater value than his old, but all experience gained is divided in half until he gains the same experience he had in his former class. Except as noted above, until his new experience equals the old, he must also only use gear of, and act only as, the new class in all situations. A cleric who changes class from a cleric to some other class other than Bastion can never regain his cleric abilities. A character who changes to the mage class must undergo between 5-8 years of magical training, determined by intelligence, before he can gain one level in that class. Other classes may need training as well for some lesser duration. No one can multiclass into a barbarian, since barbarian is a race as much as a class.
The demi-human pantheons created their races with the ability to be many classes at once. There is no limit to the number of combinations a demi-human can be, though there are level limits.
Training is an important factor in a character's development. Just because a character gains sufficient experience in a class to advance a level, doesn't mean he automatically advance. No one can go to sleep with enough experience to get to level 5, and wake up level 5 the next day. All characters must train for an amount of time equal to 1d4 weeks plus 1 week for each level the character has advanced to. This represents the digesting of the experiences he just had, as well as time training to gain the skills of the new class. In any case, after 5th level, no human can gain more than 3 levels per year.
Level advancement training times for demi-humans is significantly longer, ranging from months of training needed for some halfling levels, to years needed for elves at the higher levels. This is primarily the reason why humans were seen as such a threat to the elder races.
Fighters: The grunt soldiers of any operation, fighters excel at combat. They are trained in all forms of basic non-exotic weaponry and armor, and have been fighting and dying for causes and lies beyond their comprehension for millenia. Some do it for the love of combat, some because its all they know. HD d10.
Thieves: If someone has something desirable, there are always those whose desire will cause them to take it. Beyond the blunt “kill 'em and take their stuff” approach, there is the subtle way. In and out with the item, with no one the wiser. This is what thieves excel at. They can only wear light or no armor if they want to be effective at the sneaky stuff, and they generally use the most basic of weapons, though nothing says they can't learn how to use martial weapons and heavier armor, at an xp cost of course. HD d6
Assassins: Wars have need of assassins. A good assassin can save the lives of thousands of troops by taking out a leader and demoralizing the enemy, causing them to run away to fight another day...or not. They are skilled at the sneaky arts like thieves, as well as all weapons and armor, disguises and poisons. Formerly the black ops outfits in wartime, they have branched out since the last wars, and now serve whoever pays the highest. HD d6
Woodsmen: Deadly foes in their home terrain, whether that terrain be mountains, woods, the underground, or anywhere else civilized men shun. They are skilled in tracking, hunting, bows or other missile weapons appropriate to their environment, survival, and sneaking around while using the natural terrain to their advantage. They are also usually trained in special ways to kill the most fearsome beasts in their local environment. They are rarely surprised by foes, their senses having been honed to razor sharpness by the forces of nature. It is said that some woodsmen have made alliances with elves, and have been taught the basics of magic, while others have aligned themselves with druids and have learned the basics of druidic spellcraft. Rarest of all are the woodsmen who have aligned themselves with the wild elves, and have learned both forms of magic. These are also the least likely woodsmen to wander very far from home. It is said to be harder to progress in experience, the more one has to learn. HD 2d8 at 1st level, 1 d8 after.
Clerics: The once dominant force in all societies, their power has waned over the centuries. In addition to what is described above, it should be known that clerics can wield only the weapons associated with their god. They can wear any armor. All that they seek to achieve in life is for the benefit of both their own power and that of their god. HD d6
Bastions: These fierce warriors fight for their gods. They are considered the martial arm of the church. As such, they follow the church's tenets as do the clerics, but their focus is not on followers, but on conquest for the greater glory of their god. They always operate in conjunction with a cleric and local temple of their god. Any plunder they gain is given to the church for the greater glory and power of their god. They can only use the favored weapon of their god, but can use any armor, as well as any other items their church gives back to them. As a result of their devotion, they are gifted with the ability to cast low level spells at higher levels. HD d10
Druids: Believers in the divinity of the planet, and in her perfection before the outsider gods dropped the abominations they called “life” onto her, druids would like nothing better than to see the end of all god-created life on the planet, even though it would result in their own destruction. It is believed that upon the annihilation of all such life, they would be joined in union with the Earthmother forever. Once all races are either destroyed or worshiping the Earthmother, they feel the Earthmother will have the power to expel every aspect of alien gods from her surface. As such, druids generally seek to destroy clerics whenever they can, and then try to take their followers. Especially friendly with the more primitive subsets of the races, like wild and wood elves, primitive humans, and barbarians (whom they see as their special tool of vengeance on “civilization”), they seek to preserve nature from the destructive forces of man wherever possible. Since the last war, they have gained in followers, since many people turned from their gods, and from civilization as a beneficial force. Especially helpful is that unlike clerics, druids do not have to seek out ancient lore to gain the power to cast higher level spells. The intuitive knowledge to cast such spells comes to them directly from the Earthmother. HD d6
Barbarians: Wherever living is the toughest, and conditions the harshest, there barbarians have carved out a space. They are stronger, quicker, and tougher than most men, but also more stupid, less wise and overall aren't the most charming of people. In general they are distrustful of magic, except that wielded by the local druid. Having absorbed the druids' nihilistic attitude on life, they live to crush the life out of the softer weaker races, and destroy all vestiges of civilization. That being said, there are always those freaks of barbarian nature, who having been shunned, expelled, or just out of some odd curiosity, wander into civilized lands to see what more there is to life. They often retain some of their old ways, but usually are more open-minded (yet suspicious) about new things. Basically, the only barbarians one is likely to meet are those wanderers, or members of a horde. Either way, it would be prudent to step aside for them and let them pass. HD d12
Mages: Shunned, feared, respected or revered, depending on the region and situation, mages are at times the weakest or most powerful members of any group. Many mage disciplines and specializations were developed and lost during the last war. Mostly all that remain are the standard class...but who knows what arcane treasures that shell of a tower on the mountain will yield. Initially the weakest of any class, as was demonstrated during the war, mages can rise in power to challenge the gods themselves. HD d4
The Art of the One-Shot Character - Today’s guest article is by Angela Murray (aka Orikes), an occasional graphic designer, a sometime photographer, and one of the voices over at Rogue Prince...
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