Tuesday, May 5, 2009

CLASS: Means, Ends, and Strategies

I recently read an interesting passage in one of my books for grad school. It had a useful way of defining strategy; To briefly paraphrase, strategy is the concept that informs how one uses means to attain ends.

In light of that, here is a way of looking at my 9-class structure and how it ties in to ability scores.

ENDS: Right now, all characters have pretty much the same ends.
  • Likely, a lot of Conan-style Swords & Sorcery: Loot, experience, and a bit of acclaim.
  • Characters also want to get magic.
  • Finally, some roleplayers might support their alignment's goals or goals of an NPC or organization.
MEANS: These are the tools a character has at their disposal.
  • CON: Lots of durability and a wide variety of weapons
  • INT: Arcane magic
  • DIV: Faith and divine magic
STRATEGIES: These are the methods that a player employs his means to achieve his ends.
  • STR: Exploit superiority in melee combat; carry the right tool for the job
  • DEX: Exploit superior maneuver to gain an advantage
  • CHA: Exploit followers to gain an advantage
For example, a CHA + INT Sorcerer/Beguiler uses Arcane Magic (the means) to gather, direct, and inspire followers (whether those followers be awed peasants, enchanted thralls, summoned or conjured creatures, a familiar, etc).

A STR + CON Warrior uses his durability in combat and wide variety of arms, armor, and equipment to achieve superiority in melee. A STR + WIS paladin uses a similar strategy, but different means; instead of the phenomenal durability and wide variety of weapons of a Warrior, the paladin has his god's faith.

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