List of BECMI/RC Classes

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Havard
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Re: List of BECMI/RC Classes

Post by Havard » Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:43 pm

agathokles wrote:No, as far as I am aware there's no Amazon class or even monster in BECMI. Probably the Amazon went out of fashion sometimes between 1979 and 1983 :D
Note that the Warrior Maidens of Madarua in B4 are sort-of Amazons, but they are (mostly) classed as Fighters, so it is possible that there was a time of class deflaction in the early times of BECMI where people did not make up new classes for everything. This obviously ended at some point when specialist priests and other classes were introduced, but at that time Amazons were probably really out of fashion :-)
The only other reference I can think of is the Matriarchy of Pelatan from the Master Set Map. I think Bruce Heard was the one who suggested there might be Amazons (Culture or class) in that part of Mystara.

I also thought like you that Amazons might be more of a 1970s concept, but Amazons do turn up in AD&D 2nd Edition as a Kit in the Complete Figther's Handbook (and I think other handbooks too?).

If you look at the list of classes in Agathokles' original post though, the vast majority of classes are actually non-human races.

In a system with broad generalized classes such as BECMI, is there really room for an Amazon class though? Not saying there shouldn't be a class like that, but what makes Amazons different from female Fighters?

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Re: List of BECMI/RC Classes

Post by LimeOdyssey » Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:30 am

The main differences I identified for the ur-Amazon are:

much higher AC than they should have when wearing skimpy outfits

must be female

very limited weapon and armour choices

extremely consistent appearance in original artwork

very distinctive and easily described society and culture - comparable to Dwarves and Elves, far superior in clarity to Halfling / Hobbits / HHoobbiittss etc.

clear links to myth and specific pantheons, African example of real Amazons up to 19th century


...

The danger with classes and monsters is, if we take a reductionist view, there should really be far fewer monster entries, with variations all under Cat (such as Manticore, Sphinx, housecat, Lion, Tiger, etc.) Human (about a hundred different slight variations) and the same with classes - no options, no other variations -- just Fighter, Magic-User and Cleric. Thieves are just lousy fighters who use lighter weapons and armour for practical reasons and so on.

I think the style, spirit and flavour of OD&D to Classic justifies including a range of "weird" stuff as classes, and had the halcyon range of gaming books from 1970-1979 persevered, it seems to me the real reason Amazon wouldn't have made it in would be the lack of girl gamers rather than any inherent pointlessness or defect. :)

...

In terms of Amazon 9th level options, it resolves really plainly to three different constantly illustrated name level types: bondage mistress with thigh boots, a whip and usually a barbed or flaming sword; Red Sonja in chainmail bikini with an axe; classical Greek Amazons with plumed helms, aegis shields and spears. It's so plain, this is why I was super surprised that it never evolved and made it in. :)

By the time some kind of all-inclusive barrel scraping exercise was carried out in 2e they had every conceivable and many basically unnecessary options thrown against the wall. Amazon being part of that giant list is a sad end for one of the "big seven" from the 1970s. :(

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Re: List of BECMI/RC Classes

Post by combatmedicreturns » Tue May 15, 2018 5:52 pm

RE Amazons

I think they really only make sense if you go with a historically-informed vibe, in which female professional warriors are exceedingly rare in most cultures. If you assume that there's nothing unusual or remarkable about women putting on armor, killing men and monsters in melee, and adventuring for loot and glory, then Amazons lose much of what makes them stand out.

The Greeks who told stories of Amazons lived in a culture, like most historical cultures, in which women hardly ever fought except in emergencies.
Albanian Sacred Virgins, 'Amazons' of Dahomey, and so on stand out precisely because they are exceptions to a rule.

A lot of people play D&D in settings, homebrew or published, in which female fighters aren't all that unusual or are actually commonplace.
The rules remain silent (yes, there's a rule about exceptional STR in 1E, but that only applies to a tiny fraction of random rolled characters and doesn't appear in other editions. I actually like that rule, but it's of marginal importance to the discussion, in my opinion).
Female fighters show up in early books.

One could argue that Amazons are fictional casualties of sex equality. :lol:

Of course, they do show up in 2E as both monsters and a kit. Havard has mentioned the kit.

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Re: List of BECMI/RC Classes

Post by Havard » Tue May 15, 2018 9:34 pm

I don't mind Amazons as a concept in my fantasy campaigns, but I don't see any particular need to distinguish them from Fighters in game mechanical terms. I could see the reason to have a Barbarian or Berserker Class or a Swasbuckler or Hunter Class because these have significant abilities, fighting styles etc that require different in game abilities, but to me an Amazon would just be a female Fighter, just like a Celtic Fighter, or a Roman Fighter etc.

AD&D 2nd Edition added kits for cultural types, but that adds another level of complexity that isn't really appropriate in BECMI. Also, the AD&D 2nd Ed Amazon Kits were incredibly poorly designed.

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Re: List of BECMI/RC Classes

Post by agathokles » Tue May 15, 2018 9:43 pm

Havard wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 9:34 pm
AD&D 2nd Edition added kits for cultural types, but that adds another level of complexity that isn't really appropriate in BECMI. Also, the AD&D 2nd Ed Amazon Kits were incredibly poorly designed.
Even in AD&D, kits mostly represent class variants rather than mere cultural background (which might be represented more easily by an appropriate selection of weapons, armor and non-weapon proficiencies).

In BECMI, there are instances of such class variants (e.g., the Robrenn Bard and the Thyatian Rake are both Thief variants, and the Milenian Empire sourcebook has what essentially are character kits for BECMI). However, no special rules are needed for Amazons, as you say, because the only special aspect of Amazon is being female, which in D&D (and especially in BECMI) is not accounted in the rules.

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Re: List of BECMI/RC Classes

Post by Havard » Wed May 16, 2018 9:20 pm

agathokles wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 9:43 pm
Even in AD&D, kits mostly represent class variants rather than mere cultural background (which might be represented more easily by an appropriate selection of weapons, armor and non-weapon proficiencies).
True.
In BECMI, there are instances of such class variants (e.g., the Robrenn Bard and the Thyatian Rake are both Thief variants, and the Milenian Empire sourcebook has what essentially are character kits for BECMI).
Yeah, good point. I am not sure a huge fan of the Milenian Empire and other HW class tweaks, but they are interesting as ideas.
However, no special rules are needed for Amazons, as you say, because the only special aspect of Amazon is being female, which in D&D (and especially in BECMI) is not accounted in the rules.
Agreed. The only exception would be if one invented some kind of fighting style that would be unique to the Amazons, but then we are talking about a very specific interpretation of the Amazon concept.

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