Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Big Twelve

You know, I almost forgot to mention a thunk I had.

Holmes (as adapted by me) has a total of four classes and seven subclasses. For the record, they look like this:


Obviously, basic symmetry demands an additional subclass to go under the Thief heading. 

I am very seriously considering an adaptation of the bard for the gig, though it will be a lot simpler (i.e. "Holmesian") than what you've seen in the past. I found a copy of The Strategic Review in which a suggested bard first appeared (penned by Doug Schwegman, February 1976). It is the clear precursor to Gygax's appendix class in the AD&D PHB and is a "hodgepodge" of Norse skald, Celtic bard, and southern European minstrel (the author describes it as such). Unlike the PHB version, there is no "class switching" involved in the class's actually looks quite a bit like the version I cobbled together for my B/X Companion and (later) developed for The Complete B/X Adventurer.

Anyway, as I said way back in my post on thieves and assassins, I think the bard is an easy subclass fit under the thief (despite being its own class in AD&D), and...well, if I'm going to do a half-orc, I might as well round out the class list to twelve.

Hey...six races (human, elf, dwarf, halfling, half-elf, half-orc) and twelve classes. There's some nice symmetry there, too. I'll take it as a (positive) sign.
: )


  1. Personally, I'd say that if you are going to pull something from not-Holmes to fill it out, you should take the idea of the Mountebank instead, which is decidedly more Thiefly than the Bard is.

    1. @ Faol:

      I hear what you're saying (really), but to me the mountebank is TOO "thiefy." That is to say, while the SKILL SET might differ from the thief, the motive doesn't...the mountebank is still looking to steal money/loot from the rubes. Whereas both the assassin and bard are looking to steal other things.

      But I'm glad you reminded me of the mountebank...I'm going to have some use for that skallywag!
      : )

    2. That's cool (and I like your Bard writeup). I tend to think of the Bard from the Irish point of view, and I'd note - in relation to adventuring matters - that they are related to the Satirist (Cáinteóir in Irish). Satirists were complained about in a lot of early Christian Irish writings, as at that point in Irish history they would go around and effectively extort chieftains by (implicitly) threatening to compose satires about them, which would both be a terrible blow to the chieftains' honor and also leave them with no effective recourse, as no one could harm a Bard or Satirist without damaging his honor (like punching a skinny guy with glasses in early 20th century America). So, I see them as going after money and goods as well. I guess that it's a third approach of extortion, along with the classic Thief's housebreaking and lifting, and the Mountebank's con-artistry.

      I look forward to see what you do with the Mountebank.