Friday, January 6, 2017

Colonial Era 5e Class Musings

On breaks from getting other projects done, I've been working adapting some of the classes in Adventures in Middle-Earth (due to their low magic setup) for a hypothetical 5e game set in a game in the America Colonies just before the Revolution War. Thinking the fighter classes will (hopefully) but pretty straight forward. I've started with the (quasi-)magc-using classes.

AiME has the Scholar, which is mostly a healer. While conceptually, I might have wished for a nonhealing scholar, the rules sort of require some healing, and this class can reasonable reskinned as the Enlightment version of a sort of Paracelsus alchemist-physician type, possibly with a little of the faith healing aspect of a Valentine Greatrakes, or pseudoscience theorists the likes of Mesmer. I plan to make the two different specialties of the class Master Healer and Master Alchemist (or something similar), which would require a bit of a change.

The Scholar's abilities are easy enough to reskin. "Hands of the Healer" becomes "Curative Arts," "News from Afar" becomes "The Republic of Letters," and "Tongues of Many Peoples" becomes "Able Linguister."

The only class that may need to be largely made from whole cloth is a sort of magic-user to represent the esoteric magic tradition, likely taking advantage of 5e's ritual magic rules, the Magus. These guys will probably have Lodges or Societies to join.


Chris C. said...

This sounds awesome, and I like the lodge idea for the esoteric type. I have seen rules that just basically transplant the magic-user into the 18th century like Simon Washbourne's Sabres and Witchery (which is essentially Swords and Wizardry set in the Age of Enlightenment). Don't know if that would be of any help at all, but I thought I'd toss it out there just in case.

Anonymous said...

The Lodge, something nice and quasi-masonic, would be an excellent framework to bring characters together in this kind of setting. After all, they can all be members of the Lodge some for practical reasons others for more metaphysical ones.

Anonymous said...

You may also want to look into the little-known Pennsylvania Dutch tradition of pow-wowing, which is basically a folk tradition derived from German grimoiric magic. It's little known today outside Pennsylvania, and even there you'll have to look hard to find someone who both knows about it, and is willing to talk. It can be definitely dated to at least 1820, but probably goes back to when Germans first started immigrating to Pennsylvania in the 18th century.