No Class

I haven’t GM’d a session of Shattered Empire for about six months, but this weekend will be a finale of what used to be a steady weekly game. Diving back into a fantasy world after spending months on sci-fi is a little bit of a system shock for me. But going over the monster manual and roll charts and spell lists has reminded me of something that Distant Earth is missing: Classes.

Shattered Empire was supposed to be classless too. Or rather, limitless in which kind of class you wanted. Instead of predefined Classes, it used a class point system that allowed players to craft their character in any way they wanted. A priest could wield a battle axe and cast fireballs, a ranger could wear heavy armor and cast necromancy spells. You just had to put points into the right place.

What I found is that most of my players took this system and still made the basic archetypes, but with perhaps one “multiclass” element. Is the Class system so common because it’s what players want? Is more direction better than more freedom? It’s tough to say, but I wonder if Distant Earth might benefit from some pre-made classes to help guide players through character creation.


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Way into anthropomorphic cats.

One thought on “No Class”

  1. I think if you didn’t have a class system players wouldn’t necessarily miss it. It does provide a way to role play through the level up point-buy systems of whatever is the game engine. If you need a class feature to use a kind of tool or weapon or whatever, and it’s something a player wants for the aesthetic if their character, they can pursue it through the class system. If they can get it another way, through normal leveling or just straight RP, then they can; I guess in case a thing isn’t explicit someplace then they have to know they want it. So maybe class systems actually serve game masters. Is that a reasonable supposition?


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