MotRD Classes

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Digitalelf
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MotRD Classes

Post by Digitalelf » Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:07 am

I run 2nd Edition AD&D, and for my next campaign, I've been thinking about running the campaign set within the "standard" (i.e. The Domains of Dread)Ravenloft setting. I would like the players to make characters using the classes (as well as any appropriate to the standard setting kits) from the Masque of the Red Death boxed set.

I have long wanted to run a campaign with players running NPC classed characters. And while the classes in MotRD are not "NPC classes", they are of a lower power level compared to their standard AD&D counterparts, especially if one of the more mundane kits are used (e.g. a Tradesman that has the Scholar kit with its d4 HD).

Does anyone here have any experience using these classes and kits outside of the MotRD setting?
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Re: MotRD Classes

Post by Big Mac » Sat Sep 15, 2018 1:11 pm

3rd Edition had some NPC Classes: I don't know what is in Masque of the Red Death, but if you any of the above options look good to you, you might want to see if anyone has retro-converted them to 2e rules.
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Re: MotRD Classes

Post by agathokles » Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:16 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 1:11 pm
3rd Edition had some NPC Classes: I don't know what is in Masque of the Red Death, but if you any of the above options look good to you, you might want to see if anyone has retro-converted them to 2e rules.
Masque has already several classes that correspond to the same concept -- in particular, the Soldier maps the Warrior concept, the Mystic maps the Adept, the Tradesman maps the Expert, the Laborer kit for the Tradesman maps the Commoner, and the Dandy kit for the Tradesman maps the Aristocrat. Furthermore, Masque as several more character kits, for a total of 16 kits over 4 classes. All in all, there is IMO a sufficient variety.

Back to the original question, note that the Soldier is not that different from a standard Fighter (the only difference is the lack of weapon specialisation). The Thief is also quite similar to the Tradesman (assuming the right proficiencies are selected). Obviously, the main difference is the more limited access to magic, which is somewhat compensated by the lack of weapon restrictions. Thus, MotRD parties are going to be weaker then standard D&D parties especially when magic is needed -- e.g., to perform area attacks and healing. In MotRD, there are some compensations via explosives and the improved Medicine NWP.
Anyway, it is obvious that such compensations are limited, and that a MotRD party cannot face the same level of combat as a D&D party. I'd likely alter any combat encounter accordingly, especially if firearms, explosives, and modern healing are not available.

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Re: MotRD Classes

Post by Digitalelf » Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:44 pm

agathokles wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:16 pm
Anyway, it is obvious that such compensations are limited, and that a MotRD party cannot face the same level of combat as a D&D party. I'd likely alter any combat encounter accordingly, especially if firearms, explosives, and modern healing are not available.
Yeah, I am going for a less combat oriented game, which is the reason for wanting to use the classes and kits from MotRD even though the campaign will be set in the regular/standard Ravenloft setting. I will be including the kits from Dragon and Polyhedron as well as those from the MotRD boxed set (at least those that would make sense in a regular RL setting).

I won't be using firearms/explosives that are not already present in the core Ravenloft setting (e.g. no dynamite or repeating rifles). I might use the healing rules from Masque however (in addition to magical healing via magical items and NPC clerics).

The campaign will feature NPCs with both standard AD&D classes as well as MotRD classes, and the standard classes would be available for the PCs to dual-class into should they really want to later on during the course of the campaign (all of the PCs will be human).
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Re: MotRD Classes

Post by agathokles » Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:08 pm

I think an interesting combination could be to use the MotRD classes with (some) of the kits from Champions of the Mists.

Regarding dual-classing, I think it is an obvious choice to dual class into Cleric/Anchorite or Wizard/Arcanist. The Mystic and Adept classes have only minimal spellcasting abilities, so they're not really a good option if the standard classes are in play. On the other hand, Soldiers and Tradesmen are not too different from the standard Fighter and Thief (except that the Thief may have a more complete set of skills).
Thus, if you plan to allow dual-classing into standard (spellcasting) classes, it's probably better if all PCs start out as Tradesmen or Soldiers, avoiding Mystics and Adepts altogether. Also, since you're not using the MotRD firearms, probably giving back Weapon Specialisation to Soldiers and an extra skill to Tradesmen would put them back on par with the standard Thief and Fighter.

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Re: MotRD Classes

Post by Digitalelf » Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:40 pm

agathokles wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:08 pm
I think an interesting combination could be to use the MotRD classes with (some) of the kits from Champions of the Mists.
I will be allowing kits from various sources on a "kit-by-kit" basis. For example, there are a few kits from Dragon Magazine Annual 3 that I like, such as the Investigator. And there are other kits that just wouldn't fit the campaign's theme, such as the Athlete from the MotRD boxed set.

But yeah, I will probably give the Soldier WS, but I don't think I'd give the Tradesman (or any other class for the same reasoning) any extra proficiencies as they already receive three more NWPs and one more WP than the standard AD&D rogue receives at 1st level; plus, most of the kits grant an additional 3 NWP and 4 WP on top of that, for a total of 9 NWP and 7 WP at first level. This is in addition to any slots the character may receive due to a high INT score.

So for this reason I will use the thieving skills as proficiencies as per the MotRD boxed set, most of the expanded NWP list used in MotRD (but like kits, each proficiency will be on a case-by-case basis to make sure that any given proficiency matches the setting, and isn't out of place), as well as using any setting appropriate weapons and equipment.

The reason I am not just going with MotRD in the first place, is that I like the standard Ravenloft setting, and have no interest at this time at least, to run a campaign set in the "real world". I don't want to feel the need to be historically accurate (even if that feeling is "self inflicted"). Besides, I like the variety of Ravenloft's various progress/tech levels... The characters can be in a domain much like 1890s earth for one adventure, and then in a domain that is more like 1190s earth the next. :cool:
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Re: MotRD Classes

Post by Angel Tarragon » Thu Sep 20, 2018 2:02 pm

The classes from MotRD 3E are pretty lame though. I'd suggest kitbashing it with D20 Modern classes along with D20 Past supplement.

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Re: MotRD Classes

Post by Digitalelf » Fri Sep 21, 2018 7:45 am

Angel Tarragon wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 2:02 pm
The classes from MotRD 3E are pretty lame though. I'd suggest kitbashing it with D20 Modern classes along with D20 Past supplement.
Not sure how the d20 Modern classes would convert retroactively to 2nd Edition AD&D (which is the system I use, having left d20 based games more than 6 years ago)... But yeah, the 3e MotRD classes left a lot to be desired. However, the original 2e versions of the MotRD classes are much better IMO.

Were I still running 3e/d20 games, I would go with the "classes" in d20 CoC before I used the 3e MotRD classes.
Last edited by Digitalelf on Fri Sep 21, 2018 7:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: MotRD Classes

Post by agathokles » Fri Sep 21, 2018 7:50 am

I hardly see the point of backporting the 3e classes, as they are already a conversion of the original 2e classes (or class/kit combination).
A more interesting task would IMO be to adapt other kits -- the ones in MotRD are appropriate to a Victorian era setting, not much to the more medieval or renaissance lands of Ravenloft.

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Re: MotRD Classes

Post by Digitalelf » Fri Sep 21, 2018 7:56 am

agathokles wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 7:50 am
I hardly see the point of backporting the 3e classes, as they are already a conversion of the original 2e classes (or class/kit combination).
I think that perhaps Angel Tarragon thought I was using 3rd edition, and not 2nd edition.

But I do plan to make use of kits from a variety of sources, while making sure that the kits fit (as well as they can) in a standard Ravenloft setting.
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Re: MotRD Classes

Post by Angel Tarragon » Fri Sep 21, 2018 11:27 am

Digitalelf wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 7:56 am
I think that perhaps Angel Tarragon thought I was using 3rd edition, and not 2nd edition.
Yeah, my mistake. I was thinking that you were using 3E classes.

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Re: MotRD Classes

Post by thorr-kan » Mon Oct 01, 2018 12:31 am

This will make for an interesting game.

Would you be using the casting times from Ravenloft or from Masque? I'd stick with Ravenloft, as you're still playing DnD.

I think the kits from Masque will be fine. The list of Ravenloft kits I've come up with (viewtopic.php?f=6&t=11387) is sourced from:
Champions of the Mists
Denizens of Dread, p28 of Dragon Annual 3, 1998
The witch/warlock kit, in Van Richten's Monster Hunter's Compendium, Vol. 3.

Masque had further kits:
Donning a New Masque in Dragon 215
Mystics, Miracles, & Meditations in Dragon 236

The master proficiency list from the Domains! of Dread hardback would be good to include as well.

For even lower-powered fun, include the Normal class from the Dragonlance Tales of the Dragon boxed set.

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Re: MotRD Classes

Post by Digitalelf » Wed Oct 03, 2018 3:14 am

thorr-kan wrote:
Mon Oct 01, 2018 12:31 am
This will make for an interesting game.

Would you be using the casting times from Ravenloft or from Masque? I'd stick with Ravenloft, as you're still playing DnD.
I hope it will be an interesting game.

I thought about using the casting times from MotRD, but like you said, this will still be an AD&D game. So I'll probably stick with the standard casting times.

I have those kits from Dragon, as well as those found in Polyhedron. I even have a few from a couple of the Netbooks found on the Kargatane web site.

Thank you for providing the list of kits you sourced as well as mentioning the master list of proficiencies from the DoD book, I had forgotten about that.

I also forgot about the Tinker and Commoner classes from the 2e Dragonlance boxed set, I will think about adding those to the list of usable classes (after reworking them both to better fit the setting of course), as I am going for a lower powered game.

Thanks again. :D
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Re: MotRD Classes

Post by thorr-kan » Wed Oct 03, 2018 5:46 pm

Digitalelf wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 3:14 am
I have those kits from Dragon, as well as those found in Polyhedron.
Polyhedron? Tell me more...
Digitalelf wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 3:14 am
Thank you for providing the list of kits you sourced as well as mentioning the master list of proficiencies from the DoD book, I had forgotten about that.

I also forgot about the Tinker and Commoner classes from the 2e Dragonlance boxed set, I will think about adding those to the list of usable classes (after reworking them both to better fit the setting of course), as I am going for a lower powered game.
Quite welcome.

I don't think Commoner will require any modification. There's not any Dragonlance specific crunch to it.

But I wouldn't touch Tinker with a 10-meter cattle prod. :)

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Re: MotRD Classes

Post by Digitalelf » Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:48 am

thorr-kan wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 5:46 pm
Polyhedron? Tell me more...
Polyhedron was the RPGA's "magazine" that started in 1981, and it typically ran 32 odd pages once it got going strong. During the last few years of 1st edition, and pretty much all of the 2nd edition era, it tended to focus on The Forgotten Realms (specifically the City of Ravens Bluff, which was set aside for them to use and detail as they saw fit). But it had other D&D related articles featuring other campaign settings. There were 4 articles for MotRD in the pages of Polyhedron. Three of those provided stats for various fictional and real life personalities of the period, and one had new character kits.
thorr-kan wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 5:46 pm
I wouldn't touch Tinker with a 10-meter cattle prod. :)
Yeah, it would need a considerable amount of tweaking before I'd even think about using it.
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Re: MotRD Classes

Post by thorr-kan » Thu Oct 04, 2018 4:32 pm

Were the new kits in Polyhedron 124?

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Re: MotRD Classes

Post by Digitalelf » Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:24 pm

thorr-kan wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 4:32 pm
Were the new kits in Polyhedron 124?
Yes. The kits were:

Cowboy (A Soldier Kit) (YeeHaw!)
Servant (A Tradesman Kit)
Gnostic (An Adept Kit)
And the Dilettante (A Mystic Kit)

It also introduced the Arithmology proficiency. Which is the practice of finding the numerical values of letters, words, and names, and using those values in magical equations to discover truths about the subject.
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Re: MotRD Classes

Post by thorr-kan » Mon Oct 08, 2018 6:00 pm

Shiny. Thanks.

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Re: MotRD Classes

Post by Big Mac » Sat Oct 13, 2018 12:16 pm

Digitalelf wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 7:45 am
Angel Tarragon wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 2:02 pm
The classes from MotRD 3E are pretty lame though. I'd suggest kitbashing it with D20 Modern classes along with D20 Past supplement.
Not sure how the d20 Modern classes would convert retroactively to 2nd Edition AD&D (which is the system I use, having left d20 based games more than 6 years ago)... But yeah, the 3e MotRD classes left a lot to be desired. However, the original 2e versions of the MotRD classes are much better IMO.

Were I still running 3e/d20 games, I would go with the "classes" in d20 CoC before I used the 3e MotRD classes.
I can't find a d20 Past section in the Modern SRD. (I do see a Future section.) So I'm guessing there might be less 3PP products with material (including possible new d20 Modern Past Classes) that would be worth looking at to see if they could be retroconverted.
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Re: MotRD Classes

Post by Angel Tarragon » Sun Oct 14, 2018 1:42 am

WotC put out a D20 Past sourcebook for D20 Modern, I suspect (though I'm not 100% sure) that the material from it is has little to no Open Content.

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Re: MotRD Classes

Post by Ashtagon » Sun Oct 14, 2018 11:41 am

Can confirm: no d20 Past content ever made it into the MSRD. However, enough fragments of rules exist between 3.5 SRD and MSRD that a lot of it could be re-created by pointing to features from assorted creatures, spells, or classes.
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