Generalist Character Type

The distinction between heroes and wizards is arguably an odd feature in a system that's basically classless. Its main effect is to make it difficult to generate a character who uses both magic and non-magical methods. Wizards specialise in magic and everyone else pretty much leaves it alone.

This makes sense for some settings and some cultures but not for all. The Gray Mouser, for instance, a swordsman and thief who learns magic, would be an inefficient build in TFT. The nomadic tribes of RuneQuest, where everyone who's anyone knows some battle magic, aren't practical either. Nor is a first edition D&D elf. I think it would be good to have the option available for characters to be magic users without being magic specialists.

Generalist is an alternative to hero and wizard. Characters choosing it use the following rules:

  • Talents that cost the same for heroes and wizards (e.g. languages, Scholar) also cost the same for generalists.
  • If you are using the rules for basic talents then they cost the same as for a hero.
  • Other talents cost 25% more than they do a hero. Keep track of the quarter-points.
  • Spells cost 25% more than they do a wizard. Keep track of the quarter-points.
  • Spells are cast at -1 DX.
  • A generalist is not considered a wizard when the rules say that matters.

Not all of hero, generalist and wizard might be available in any particular culture. For instance:

  • The barbarians of the Tarsial semi-tundra grudgingly admit a shaman can occasionally be useful. But they would never feed someone who could only do that -- everybody has to take a turn sleeping in a megabison's stomach and watching the herd. Tarsial barbarians may be heroes or generalists but not wizards.
  • The mage-princess of many-towered Nu regards her city-state as primarily a breeding ground for assistants. Magical education is mandated for all children to the age of two hundred lunar months and practically the entire population has at least mastered Aid. Nuvians may be generalists or wizards but not heroes.
  • The wizard's guild of Pacifis requires all magicians to be members and does not train dilettantes. Characters from a Pacifian emirate may be heroes or wizards but not generalists.
  • The elves of the Silverwood are called high elves when they live in the magic-intensive cities and forest elves when they live amongst the trees. But outsiders often don't realise that any individual elf alternates frequently between the lifestyles. Silver elf characters must be generalists, they cannot be heroes or wizards.

Page last modified on May 16, 2016, at 11:27 PM