Custom Profession Creation

Copyright John Duffield © 2011

Edited by Aaron Smalley for The Guild Companion

"John decides that his new profession for his character Cyrian is going to be a mix of both warrior and necromancer and names it the Bleak Blade profession. Happy he has the concept in mind John begins to look at his options."

Overview

My goal in creating these rules was to allow players to create their own character concepts from scratch but which fit within the precepts of the HARP game. To do this I created the below rules but I also allowed for the players to create slightly more powerful 'classes' then were in the core rule book.

This was a reward for them taking the time to come up with a rich character concept.

Step 1 - Profession

Unlike normal HARP there are no fixed professions, instead the player follows the below process.

Step 1.1 Select Favoured Skill Categories

Select between 4 and 6 skill categories, these are now your Favoured Skill Categories

Step 1.2 Assign Skill Ranks

Assign 20 skill ranks across these categories with no single category having less than 2 or more then 10 points assigned to it.

Step 1.3 Buy Profession Traits

Using 20 trait points buy the characters profession traits using the table below.

Notes

Spell Sphere: The player has access to a given Sphere of Spells, for example, Ranger, Cleric or Mage. The player must also buy one of Fixed or Learned Spells as the means to cast and access these spells.

Fixed Spells: This mimics the Cleric ability to have a fixed number of spells available which are selected at creation time from a Spell Sphere.

Learned Spells: This ability is identical to the Mages ability to learn all the spells in a given Sphere of Magic and the player starts with between 4 and 6 spells known.

Reflex Spells: The player is able to cast a number of spells as a reflex action. No spell can cost more than 4 PP to cast and instead of PP the spells consumes Endurance. The spell may be a scaled version as long as it keeps to the 4 PP limit.

Minimum Cost: The minimum cost for ANY of the below is 1 point.

Table 1 Class Trait Costs
Trait Effect Cost Notes
Spell Sphere Grants access to a given Sphere V** Requires Mystical Arts Favoured Category with a min of 8 skill ranks Must buy Fixed or Learned
Custom Sphere You can select up to 30 spells from a maximum of 3 spheres or clerical spells domains. A maximum of 12 can be drawn from any single sphere. (X / 10) × 2* X = number of spells selected
Fixed Spells Purchase X spells as base list. You know all these spells (X / 5) Must have at least 1 Spell Sphere X bought in increments of 5 Maximum X = 30 Cannot buy Learned Spells
Gain Fixed Spells @ Level Gain X spells to base list @ level Y (X/4) + ((4-Y)/2)*** Must have at least 1 Spell Sphere X bought in increments of 2 Maximum X = 4 Minimum Y = 2 Cannot buy Learned Spells
Gain Fixed Spells / Level starting at a Level Gain X spells every Y levels starting at level Z with cap at level W (X/4) + ((4 -Y)/2) + ((5-Z)/2) + ((W-15)/4) Must have at least 1 Spell Sphere X bought in increments of 2 Maximum X = 4 Minimum Y = 2 Minimum Z = 2 Minimum W = 15 Cannot buy Learned Spells
Learned Spells You must acquire and learn all the spells you wish to cast. Applies to all known Spell Spheres. 5 Must have at least 1 Spell Sphere Cannot buy Fixed Spells
Reflex Spells You can cast N spells as an innate ability N × 2 N maximum = 4 Can buy from any Sphere Can also buy Spell Sphere & Fixed or Learned Spells
Gain Talent @ Lvl 1 Purchase any talent as a profession talent Talent DP /5* Talent must be suitable as a class talent (GM decision)
Gain Talent @ Lvl N A talent is gained at a level greater than 1st Talent DP / ((5 + (N / 4))* Talent must be suitable as a class talent (GM decision) N maximum = 8 N minimum = 2
Improve / gain another Talent @ Lvl N A class granted talent is improved (eg minor->major->greater) OR granted again at a given level Talent DP / (8 + (N / 4))*** Talent must be suitable as a class talent (GM decision) N maximum = 30 N minimum = 4
Skill Bonus (Favoured Category) Gain a +X Bonus to one Skill in a Skill Category per N levels to a maximum of Y (X/2) + (5-N) + (Y/5)* X maximum = 10 Y maximum = 30 (in increments of 5) N maximum = 8 Minimum Cost = 5
+X Bonus to Skill (Favoured Category) Gain +X Bonus to one Skill (X / 5) × 2 X must be in increments of 5
+X Bonus to Skill (Favoured Category) -Level > 1 Gain +X Bonus to one Skill (X / 5) × 1.25*** X must be in increments of 5 Gained at a level greater then 1
+X Bonus to Skill Category Gain a +X Bonus to ALL skills in a Category (X/5) × 6 X must be purchased in increments of 5 X maximum = 10
+X Bonus to one Spell Type Gain +X Bonus to all spells of one type (X / 5) × 2 Valid Types: Attack/Elemental/Utility X must be purchased in increments of 5 X maximum = 15
+X Bonus to Resistance Gain a +X Bonus to one Resistance type (X / 5) × 2 X must be purchased in increments of 5 X maximum = 25 Valid Types are: Stamina, Will & Magic
+X to Stat Bonus Gain +X to a Stat Bonus (X / 2)* X maximum = 6
Reduce Armour Spell Penalty Reduce the CP of armour by X every N levels starting at level Y (X × 4) + (6 - N) - (Y/2)* X maximum = 2 N maximum = 6 Y maximum = 6
Reduce Skill Penalty Reduce the penalty for a skill by X every N levels starting at level Y to a minimum of Z X + (3 - N)/2 - (Y/2) - Z/2 X maximum = 10 X minimum = 5 N maximum = 6 Y maximum = 6 Z maximum = 5
Increase natural attack size For each level above Small 2X X is the number of size increments

* Round up all fractions ** See Sphere Costs Table *** Round 0.5 Up

Table 2 Sphere Costs
Sphere Cost Sphere Cost
Cleric 8 Shadow Blade 4
Harper 4 Elementalist 8
Mage/Magician 8 Necromancer 8
Ranger 4 Thaumaturge 8
Warrior Mage 4 Vivamancer 8
Adventurer 4 Paladin 4
Druid 8 Witch 4
Mystic 4

Step 1.4 Determine Spell Casting Stats

Unlike the normal process where the Profession determines the Spell Casting stats the player chooses his Spell Casting stats from two possible sets of candidates.

The two Stat Pools are listed below and the player chooses one stat from each pool based on his view of how his power works. I have allowed SD to be replaced with CO in the first pool. SD appears in both but can only be selected once.

Table 3 Spell Casting Stat
Pool 1 Pool 2
CO, SD SD, IN, RE, PR

Step 1.5 Left Over Trait Points

If the player has any Trait points left over they convert to DP to be used during character creation at a rate of 5 DP per point left over. A maximum of 15 DP can be gained this way with any leftover points lost.

Example 1 - Base Classes

The examples given below demonstrate the creation of the Cleric, Fighter, Mage and Ranger Professions from the core book. As you can see the most classes have left over points and I have suggested other traits to balance this under this system in Blue. In some cases I have reduced a trait which is in shown in Red.

Note - the Shadowblade drops their Subterfuge bonus to +5 and the Elementalist receives +20 DP towards purchasing Affinity for a chosen element.

A Comment on the Changed Professions

Monk Profession

The Monks as presented in the HARP book break this system. They are simply, under this rule system, broken. I have presented below a version which is balanced under these rules.

I am also treating their Monk Attacks as a talent with a cost of 30 DP and assuming the reduction of 5 per 5 levels is a facet of the talent. In my games I have made this available to all players to buy.

Rouge Profession

Rouges were under powered and as such gain a +10 to two favoured skills and 10 extra DP.

Thief Profession

Thieves were underpowered and gained a +5 bonus to two favoured skills and 5 extra DP

Adventurer Profession

Adventurers was the underdog of the whole set and gained +10 to one favoured skill and +5 to three favoured skills along with a +5 bonus to Stamina RR and an extra 5 DP.

Shadow Blade Profession

The Shadow Blade was also slight too powerful and has had a small change to re-balance it under this system.

Elementalist Profession

With the Elementalist the addition of the Affinity Talent overbalanced this class so I made the decision to instead grant 20 DP towards the purchase of the Talent.

Beastmaster Profession

The Beastmaster was underpowered and gained a +10 bonus Stamina RR and a +5 bonus to three favoured skills.

Table 4 HARP Professions
Class Favoured Skills Trait Cost Balance
Cleric General 3
Physical 3
Mystical Arts 3
(As Divine Patron) 3
(As Divine Patron) 3
Sphere -Clerical
Fixed Spells 20
Gain a +10 Bonus to 1 Favoured Skill aligned with Patron
Gain a +5 Bonus to 2 Favoured Skill aligned with Patron
8
4
4
4
12
8
4
0
Fighter Athletic 2
Combat 8
General 2
Physical 8
Gain Talent - Shield Training
Gain Talent - Lightening Reflexes
Skill Bonus
[+10 Wpn Group or Combat Style / 5 levels / max +30]
+10 Bonus to Stamina Resistance
Convert remainder to DP - 5 DP bonus
2
2
(10/2) + (5-5) + (30/5)=11
4
1
18
16
5
1
0
Mage /
Magician
Artistic 2
Influence 2
Mystical Arts 10
General 4
Physical 2
Sphere - Mage
Learned Spells
Gain Talent - Sense Magic
+10 Bonus to Magic Resistance
8
5
3
4
12
7
4
0
Monk Athletic 4
Combat 5
Concentration 5
General 3
Physical 3
Skill Bonus
[+5 Martial Arts Style / 5 levels / max +25]
Reduce Skill (Chi Defence) Penalty
[Reduce by 5 / 4 levels / min 0 / Start 1]
Increase Attack Size to medium
Gain Talent - Monk Attack
(5/2) + (5-5) + (25/5)= 7.5 = 8
5 + (3 - 4)/2 - (1/2) - 0/2 = 4
21 = 2
6
12
8
6
0
Ranger Outdoor 6
Combat 4
Mystical 3
General 3
Subterfuge 2
Physical 2
Sphere - Ranger
Learned Spells
Skill Bonus
[+10 Outdoor / 5 levels / max +30]
4
5
(10/2) + (5-5) + (30/5)=11
16
11
0
Rouge Athletic 3
Combat 3
Mystical Arts 2
Outdoor 3
General 3
Physical 3
Subterfuge 3
Skill Bonus
[+5 Fav Cat / 3 levels / max +25]
Gain a +10 Bonus to 2 Favoured Skill
Convert remainder to DP - 10 DP bonus
(5/2) + (5-3) + (25/5)=10
8
2
10
2
0
Thief Athletic 3
Combat 3
General 3
Influence 2
Physical 3
Subterfuge 6
Skill Bonus
[+10 Subterfuge / 5 levels / max +30]
Gain Talent - Subtle
Gain a +5 Bonus to 2 Favoured Skill
Convert remainder to DP - 5 DP bonus
(10/2) + (5-5) + (30/5)=11
4
4
1
9
5
1
0
Warrior Mage Combat 6
Mystical Arts 6
General 3
Physical 5
Sphere - Warrior Mage
Learned Spells
[+10 Wpn Group/Combat Style / 7 levels / max +30]
Gain a +5 Bonus to 1 Favoured Skill
4
5
(10/2) + (5-7) + (30/5)=9
2
15
11
2
0
Adventurer General 3
Combat 3
Physical 3
Mystical Arts 3
+ 2 Extra @ min 2
8 Points to place
Sphere - Adventurer
Fixed Spells 15
Gain a +10 Bonus to 1 Favoured Skill
Gain a +5 Bonus to 3 Favoured Skill
+5 Bonus to Stamina RR
Convert remainder to DP - 5 DP bonus
4
3
4
6
2
1
16
13
9
3
1
0
Mystic Artistic 2
General 2
Mystical Arts 10
Concentration 2
Influence 2
Physical 2
Sphere - Mystic
Learned Spells
Gain Talent - Sense Magic
Gain Talent - Enhanced Vision
+10 to Will RR
4
5
3
4
4
16
11
8
4
0
Shadowblade Combat 4
Influence 2
Physical 2
General 3
Mystical Arts 4
Subterfuge 5
Sphere - Shadowblade
Learned Spells
Gain Talent - Enhanced Vision
Gain a +5 bonus to all Subterfuge skills
Convert remainder to DP - 5 DP bonus
4
5
4
(5/5) × 6 = 6
1
16
11
7
1
0
Druid General 3
Physical 2
Outdoor 5
Mystical Arts 7
Influence 3
Sphere - Druid
Fixed Spells 30
Gain Talent - Speak with Normal Animals
Gain Talent - Influence Animals (Greater)
4
6
4
6
16
10
6
0
Elementalist General 4
Mystical 10
Physical 2
Influence 2
Outdoor 2
Sphere - Elementalist
Learned Spells
Sense Magic
Convert remainder to DP - 20 DP bonus*
* Use towards Affinity (element) only
REMOVED Affinity Talent
8
5
3
4
12
7
4
0
Necromancer Combat 2
Influence 2
Physical 2
General 2
Mystical Arts 10
Subterfuge 2
Sphere - Necromancer
Learned Spells
Gain Talent - Sense Magic
+10 Bonus to Attack Spells
8
5
3
4
12
7
4
0
Thaumaturge Influence 2
Mystical Arts 10
General 6
Physical 2
Sphere - Thaumaturge
Learned Spells
Gain Talent - Sense Magic
Gain Talent - Master Craftsman
Convert remainder to DP - 5 DP bonus
8
5
3
3
1
12
7
4
1
0
Vivamancer Outdoor 2
Influence 2
Mystical Arts 10
General 4
Physical 2
Sphere - Vivamancer
Learned Spells
Gain Talent - Sense Magic
Gain Talent - Physick
Convert remainder to DP - 10 DP bonus
8
5
3
2
2
12
7
4
2
0
Beastmaster Athletic 3
Outdoor 7
Combat 3
General 4
Physical 3
Gain Talent - Speak with Normal Animals
Gain Talent - Influence Animals
+10 Bonus to Stamina RR
Gain a +5 Bonus to 3 Favoured Skill
4
6
4
6
16
10
6
0
Paladin Combat 5
Mystical Arts 5
General 4
Physical 4
(As Divine Patron) 2
Sphere - Paladin
Learned Spells
Reduce Armour Spell Penalty by 1 every 4 levels
starting at level 4
Gain Talent - Succor(Minor) @ 5th
Gain Talent - Succor(Major) @ 15th
Gain Talent - Succor(Greater) @ 25th
4
5
(1 × 4) + (6 - 4) - (4/2) = 4
10 / (5 + 5 / 4) = 2
20 / (8 + 15 / 4) = 2
30 / (8 + 25 / 4) = 3
16
11
7
5
3
0

Example 2 - Custom Class

John decides that his new profession for his character Cyrian is going to be a mix of both warrior and necromancer and names it the Bleak Blade profession. Happy he has the concept in mind John begins to look at his options.

First he selects his Favoured Skill Categories and select Combat and Mystical Arts up front along with General and Physical. He now has the minimum of 4 selected but thinking a bit more about his character he decides as he is a necromancer he should add Subterfuge category, thinking that his character could well use these skills and that they fit his concept.

Assigning his skill ranks to his Favoured Skill Categories he ends up with:

  • Combat 5
  • Mystical 6
  • General 4
  • Physical 3
  • Subterfuge 2

Looking at this he is happy and turns his eye towards the class traits. He opts for the following abilities:

  • Spell Sphere (Necromancer) 8 [12]
  • Learned Spells 5 [7]
  • Skill Bonus (+5 per 5 levels to Combat skill - max 10) (5/2) + (5-5) + (10/5) = 5 [2]
  • Bonus DP - 10 DP 2 [0]

John is happy with this. He access to the full Necromancer realm, a good bonus to his Combat skills allowing him to focus on a weapon and 10 DP to spend as he likes.

Finally John decides that his character will use the CO and IN stats as his Spell Casting stats and writes this down.

John is now happy that he has the character 'profession' he wanted.

Step 2 - Generate Stats

The only change here is to ensure that the bonus DP from step 1.5 are added to the players available DP.

Option - Total Stat Bonus Based DP

In many of my games we use a different DP calculation method which is based on the Stat Bonus rather than the Stat itself. This allows for races which have a bonus to benefit from that bonus (and suffer from any negatives). The DP given by a Stat is equal to the Total Stat Bonus and can never be less than 0.

Step 3 - Chose Race & Culture

No Change

Step 4 - Buy Skills & Talents

No Change

Step 5 - Purchase Equipment

No Change

Step 6 - Final Touches

No Change