Forgotten Memories, Slumbering Thoughts
Here is a description of how each class fits into the setting. After the class descriptions, there are links to homebrew classes.
Whether secreted away in a smoky basement laboratory or gleefully experimenting in a well-respected school of magic, the alchemist is often regarded as being just as unstable, unpredictable, and dangerous as the concoctions he brews. While some creators of alchemical items content themselves with sedentary lives as merchants, providing tindertwigs and smokesticks, the true alchemist answers a deeper calling. Rather than cast magic like a spellcaster, the alchemist captures his own magic potential within liquids and extracts he creates, infusing his chemicals with virulent power to grant him impressive skill with poisons, explosives, and all manner of self-transformative magic.
Alchemists are more common in large cities or in or close to arcane universities, though some nomadic races also have Alchemists that heal their wounded and form weapons to use against their foes and prey. As you stray further and further away from established civilization, the practice and study of science and the arcane or just plain experimenting becomes increasingly more rare.
For some, there is only rage. In the ways of their people, in the fury of their passion, in the howl of battle, conflict is all these brutal souls know. Savages, hired muscle, masters of vicious martial techniques, they are not soldiers or professional warriors—they are the battle possessed, creatures of slaughter and spirits of war. Known as barbarians, these warmongers know little of training, preparation, or the rules of warfare; for them, only the moment exists, with the foes that stand before them and the knowledge that the next moment might hold their death. They possess a sixth sense in regard to danger and the endurance to weather all that might entail. These brutal warriors might rise from all walks of life, both civilized and savage, though whole societies embracing such philosophies roam the wild places of the world. Within barbarians storms the primal spirit of battle, and woe to those who face their rage.
Barbarians tend to be more nomadic than other group. Not all Barbarian’s “rage” is necessarily derived from rage; in fact, some Barbarians are driven by sadness and pride, among other things. Barbarians are usually found in races that tend towards violence; for example, there are very, very few Elven Barbarians, though that’s not to say that there aren’t any at all.
Untold wonders and secrets exist for those skillful enough to discover them. Through cleverness, talent, and magic, these cunning few unravel the wiles of the world, becoming adept in the arts of persuasion, manipulation, and inspiration. Typically masters of one or many forms of artistry, bards possess an uncanny ability to know more than they should and use what they learn to keep themselves and their allies ever one step ahead of danger. Bards are quick-witted and captivating, and their skills might lead them down many paths, be they gamblers or jacks-of-all-trades, scholars or performers, leaders or scoundrels, or even all of the above. For bards, every day brings its own opportunities, adventures, and challenges, and only by bucking the odds, knowing the most, and being the best might they claim the treasures of each.
Bards are found everywhere. Some choose the path of studying and teaching, while others may choose to tag along with an adventuring group, hoping to record the luster of their experiences and live to tell about them.
While many warriors strive to perfect their art, spending all of their time honing their skill at martial arms, others spend as much effort dedicating themselves to a cause. These warriors, known as cavaliers, swear themselves to a purpose, serving it above all else. Cavaliers are skilled at fighting from horseback, and are often found charging across a battlefield, with the symbol of their order trailing on a long, fluttering banner. The cavalier’s true power comes from the conviction of his ideals, the oaths that he swears, and the challenges he makes.
Cavaliers are less common than Fighters, though there are many, and they are proud.
In faith and the miracles of the divine, many find a greater purpose. Called to serve powers beyond most mortal understanding, all priests preach wonders and provide for the spiritual needs of their people. Clerics are more than mere priests, though; these emissaries of the divine work the will of their deities through strength of arms and the magic of their gods. Devoted to the tenets of the religions and philosophies that inspire them, these ecclesiastics quest to spread the knowledge and influence of their faith. Yet while they might share similar abilities, clerics prove as different from one another as the divinities they serve, with some offering healing and redemption, others judging law and truth, and still others spreading conflict and corruption. The ways of the cleric are varied, yet all who tread these paths walk with the mightiest of allies and bear the arms of the gods themselves.
Clerics work the same mechanically as they do in other games; here, however, they have a different flavor than you might be used to. The deities are no longer gods and goddesses but are dragons. More explanation of how religion works in this world can be found here.
Within the purity of the elements and the order of the wilds lingers a power beyond the marvels of civilization. Furtive yet undeniable, these primal magics are guarded over by servants of philosophical balance known as druids. Allies to beasts and manipulators of nature, these often misunderstood protectors of the wild strive to shield their lands from all who would threaten them and prove the might of the wilds to those who lock themselves behind city walls. Rewarded for their devotion with incredible powers, druids gain unparalleled shape-shifting abilities, the companionship of mighty beasts, and the power to call upon nature’s wrath. The mightiest temper powers akin to storms, earthquakes, and volcanoes with primeval wisdom long abandoned and forgotten by civilization.
Druids are an extremely secret group and have few numbers scattered about across the land. Most simple folk don’t know of the existence of Druids. Druids are the guardians of the aspects of the land.
Fighters are everywhere. Some take up arms for glory, wealth, or revenge. Others do battle to prove themselves, to protect others, or because they know nothing else. Still others learn the ways of weaponcraft to hone their bodies in battle and prove their mettle in the forge of war. Lords of the battlefield, fighters are a disparate lot, training with many weapons or just one, perfecting the uses of armor, learning the fighting techniques of exotic masters, and studying the art of combat, all to shape themselves into living weapons. Far more than mere thugs, these skilled warriors reveal the true deadliness of their weapons, turning hunks of metal into arms capable of taming kingdoms, slaughtering monsters, and rousing the hearts of armies. Soldiers, knights, hunters, and artists of war, fighters are unparalleled champions, and woe to those who dare stand against them.
For a renegade few, battle sounds different than it does for the typical fighter. The clash of steel and the sizzle of spell energy are drowned out by the thunderous rhythm of gunfire—the pounding beat of the gunslinger.
Gunslingers are a bold and mysterious lot. While many treat the secrets of black powder with the same care and reverence that a wizard typically reserves for his spellbook, most gunslingers know that firearms are a secret that cannot remain concealed forever. While current firearms are simple, often imprecise, and even dangerous devices, they are a technology on the move, and one that will become even more powerful when it is fully fused with magic.
Gunslingers are incredibly rare in this world; in fact, they could not exist at all. They merely might just be a myth created by sorcerers that imbibed far too much wine one night.
Grim and determined, the inquisitor roots out enemies of the faith, using trickery and guile when righteousness and purity is not enough. Although inquisitors are dedicated to a deity, they are above many of the normal rules and conventions of the church. They answer to their deity and their own sense of justice alone, and are willing to take extreme measures to meet their goals.
There are those who spend their lives poring over ancient tomes and texts, unlocking the power of magic, and there are those who spend their time perfecting the use of individual weapons, becoming masters without equal. The magus is at once a student of both philosophies, blending magical ability and martial prowess into something entirely unique, a discipline in which both spell and steel are used to devastating effect. As he grows in power, the magus unlocks powerful forms of arcana that allow him to merge his talents further, and at the pinnacle of his art, the magus becomes a blur of steel and magic, a force that few foes would dare to stand against.
For the truly exemplary, martial skill transcends the battlefield—it is a lifestyle, a doctrine, a state of mind. These warrior-artists search out methods of battle beyond swords and shields, finding weapons within themselves just as capable of crippling or killing as any blade. These monks (so called since they adhere to ancient philosophies and strict martial disciplines) elevate their bodies to become weapons of war, from battle-minded ascetics to self-taught brawlers. Monks tread the path of discipline, and those with the will to endure that path discover within themselves not what they are, but what they are meant to be.
Although the gods work through many agents, perhaps none is more mysterious than the oracle. These divine vessels are granted power without their choice, selected by providence to wield powers that even they do not fully understand. Unlike a cleric, who draws her magic through devotion to a deity, oracles garner strength and power from many sources, namely those patron deities who support their ideals. Instead of worshiping a single source, oracles tend to venerate all of the gods that share their beliefs. While some see the powers of the oracle as a gift, others view them as a curse, changing the life of the chosen in unforeseen ways.
Through a select, worthy few shines the power of the divine. Called paladins, these noble souls dedicate their swords and lives to the battle against evil. Knights, crusaders, and law-bringers, paladins seek not just to spread divine justice but to embody the teachings of the virtuous deities they serve. In pursuit of their lofty goals, they adhere to ironclad laws of morality and discipline. As reward for their righteousness, these holy champions are blessed with boons to aid them in their quests: powers to banish evil, heal the innocent, and inspire the faithful. Although their convictions might lead them into conflict with the very souls they would save, paladins weather endless challenges of faith and dark temptations, risking their lives to do right and fighting to bring about a brighter future.
For those who relish the thrill of the hunt, there are only predators and prey. Be they scouts, trackers, or bounty hunters, rangers share much in common: unique mastery of specialized weapons, skill at stalking even the most elusive game, and the expertise to defeat a wide range of quarries. Knowledgeable, patient, and skilled hunters, these rangers hound man, beast, and monster alike, gaining insight into the way of the predator, skill in varied environments, and ever more lethal martial prowess. While some track man-eating creatures to protect the frontier, others pursue more cunning game—even fugitives among their own people.
Life is an endless adventure for those who live by their wits. Ever just one step ahead of danger, rogues bank on their cunning, skill, and charm to bend fate to their favor. Never knowing what to expect, they prepare for everything, becoming masters of a wide variety of skills, training themselves to be adept manipulators, agile acrobats, shadowy stalkers, or masters of any of dozens of other professions or talents. Thieves and gamblers, fast talkers and diplomats, bandits and bounty hunters, and explorers and investigators all might be considered rogues, as well as countless other professions that rely upon wits, prowess, or luck. Although many rogues favor cities and the innumerable opportunities of civilization, some embrace lives on the road, journeying far, meeting exotic people, and facing fantastic danger in pursuit of equally fantastic riches. In the end, any who desire to shape their fates and live life on their own terms might come to be called rogues.
Scions of innately magical bloodlines, the chosen of deities, the spawn of monsters, pawns of fate and destiny, or simply flukes of fickle magic, sorcerers look within themselves for arcane prowess and draw forth might few mortals can imagine. Emboldened by lives ever threatening to be consumed by their innate powers, these magic-touched souls endlessly indulge in and refine their mysterious abilities, gradually learning how to harness their birthright and coax forth ever greater arcane feats. Just as varied as these innately powerful spellcasters’ abilities and inspirations are the ways in which they choose to utilize their gifts. While some seek to control their abilities through meditation and discipline, becoming masters of their fantastic birthright, others give in to their magic, letting it rule their lives with often explosive results. Regardless, sorcerers live and breathe that which other spellcasters devote their lives to mastering, and for them magic is more than a boon or a field of study; it is life itself.
While many who dabble in the arcane become adept at beckoning monsters from the farthest reaches of the planes, none are more skilled at it than the summoner. This practitioner of the arcane arts forms a close bond with one particular outsider, known as an eidolon, who gains power as the summoner becomes more proficient at his summoning. Over time, the two become linked, eventually even sharing a shard of the same soul. But this power comes with a price: the summoner’s spells and abilities are limited due to his time spent enhancing the power and exploring the nature of his eidolon.
Some gain power through study, some through devotion, others through blood, but the witch gains power from her communion with the unknown. Generally feared and misunderstood, the witch draws her magic from a pact made with an otherworldly power. Communing with that source, using her familiar as a conduit, the witch gains not only a host of spells, but a number of strange abilities known as hexes. As a witch grows in power, she might learn about the source of her magic, but some remain blissfully unaware. Some are even afraid of that source, fearful of what it might be or where its true purposes lie.
Beyond the veil of the mundane hide the secrets of absolute power. The works of beings beyond mortals, the legends of realms where gods and spirits tread, the lore of creations both wondrous and terrible—such mysteries call to those with the ambition and the intellect to rise above the common folk to grasp true might. Such is the path of the wizard. These shrewd magic-users seek, collect, and covet esoteric knowledge, drawing on cultic arts to work wonders beyond the abilities of mere mortals. While some might choose a particular field of magical study and become masters of such powers, others embrace versatility, reveling in the unbounded wonders of all magic. In either case, wizards prove a cunning and potent lot, capable of smiting their foes, empowering their allies, and shaping the world to their every desire.