A note on OSRIC’s character classes

While I’ve noted that reading OSRIC has every bit the feel of reading through an old D&D rulebook, there are some things in it that strike me as odd. It’s more the little things that I hadn’t given much thought to when I first started gaming many years ago. In particular, I’m speaking towards the specific characteristics of the different classes.

This is the kind of thing that’s present in every game, and I remember first playing D&D hoping that my rolls would be good enough to create the exact character I wanted. Small things such as, a minimum Strength of 9 to be a Fighter. It seems just kind of arbitrary on a certain level. During my read-through of OSRIC something I’d never really given much thought to was the idea of level caps. A lot of the classes cap out at levels significantly lower than other classes. Since I stopped playing older versions of games a long time I’d stopped incorporating ideas like these into my games, but what makes this interesting is that having more than one class could become a very real necessity for most people playing these games. It’s a different way of looking at the games.

If people knew in advance that they weren’t going to be able to progress indefinitely in their class, how would they plan out character advancement? I mean, no one starts a game assuming their character will die, right? Like, that’s just kind of weird. So, the idea of capping levels has to assume that, if you’re taking on that class, then you’re probably taking on another class as well, which means characters will be assumed to be diverse in their skill sets.

Planning out character development in these circumstances is a bit different from how I normally think about it. Not that this is bad, but it means that the what comes next requires thinking about how a completely different set of abilities and skills compliment those I already have.






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