The Base Classes
While often seen as deranged and deluded, even by those that know his arts, the Alchemist does serve a noble purpose in the realm through advancing magical theory and it’s more practical uses. As such, nearly every magical academy in the realm has an alchemy laboratory where those with an eye towards this art can practice in relative safety. Well… as safe as the practice of this volatile nature ever gets. As such, very few people tend to pursue it.
While much of the land has been civilized under the rule of the Alesian Empire, there are always those places that fall outside of their borders or the edges of the Empire where the forces of order are spread thin, where monsters still stalk the lands. People must survive on their own wits and their own strengths out on the frontiers and in the “uncivilized” lands, and certain people are able to tap into their primal fury and spirits of battle to protect their people. Most of these “rage howlers” come from a few tribes of like minded individuals on the far frontiers of the land, but a few people from the lands of the Empire do feel the call of the fury.
Wherever there are stories to be told, legend to be blended with history, and songs to be sung, the bard will answer the call. The great College of the Bards exists within the borders of the city of Alesia and helps to teach those that desire to learn to blend magic with legend lore.
The main roads and highways in the realm are much safer places then they are in most other worlds. One of the main reasons for this is the various knightly orders of Cavaliers that work to protect the realm and it’s inhabitants. Whether they’re looking to protect the civilians on their travels or simply making the world a better place by questing for their own personal glory, they all help in their own way.
The gods do exist in the realm of Alesia, but they are distant, unknowable beings. It is up to the clerics to interpret the will of these divine beings and instruct their earthly followers in their ways. They wield magic and and abilities granted to them by agents of their deities to aid them in this task and to protect them from the agents of their enemies, both earthly and divine.
As the clerics are to the civilised lands, the druids are to the untamed frontiers. The ancient order of the druids champions the cause of nature, oftentimes coming into direct conflict with the forces of civilization. Still, not all of their actions are at odds with each other, and some may actually attempt to work with those forces to preserve the sanctity of nature while still allowing the “progress of civilization” to take place.
Wherever there are wars to be fought and creatures to be vanquished, the fighter will exist. A stout shield and a sharp sword can do much to help on make his name in this realm.
Though they are advanced in the ways of warfare and weapon design, black powder in anything but crude explosives is still a mystery to the realm, and as such, the Gunslinger does not exist in this realm.
Where the cleric upholds the teachings and faith of his god, the inquisitor excises the tumors on the faith and the church by taking out it’s enemies from the shadows. It may not be a pretty or glorious job, but it’s a necessary one, unfortunate as that may be. Seen
Steel and spell are both a firm part of this realm, but neither of them has all of the answers. Where one serves well, the other may fail and vice versa. The practice of blending the two into one fluid style has been a dream of many individuals. This is a difficult path to walk, with two incredibly different and at the same time divisive philosophies competing for the users time. It’s a rare individual that can attain this level of focus and mastery, but they are there, and are well respected because of it.
Even though they are considered a “core” class and the idea has moved from a straight up eastern mystic to a character that could possibly exist in a western setting, they have just never jived with me in a game that is set in a very western world. Monks straight up do not exist in this realm.
Ninjas straight up do not exist in this realm. Just no.
The gods in the realm are distant, unknowable beings. None knows this better than the oracle. “Gifted” with abilities that they did not ask for nor fully understand, they wander the realm looking for answers to their many questions as unwitting and sometimes unwilling agents of their deity or cause. The only Mystery that is unavailable to the oracle is the Bones mystery.
While both the paladin and the inquisitor deal with threats to the faith and the church, they do it in completely different ways. The paladin is a champion of their god, a shining beacon of hope to those of their faith. They are very visible reminders that the church does not broke ill will towards itself or its parishioners.
Rangers can take a number of guises in this realm. They are guides, they are hunters, they are scouts, they are pathfinders. Whatever their job, their particular set of skills makes them suited to living in the wilderness for days or weeks at a time, living off of the land and surviving where others might not be able to, and their ability to thrive in certain terrains makes the invaluable assets when things go wrong in the realm.
Where there is law and order, there will always be those that chafe under that yoke and buck the trend. Those that would prefer to live under their own rules and get by on their own wit and skill will always have a place in the realm. It may just be a jail cell depending on who you ask.
Samurai straight up do not exist in this realm. Just no.
While the wizard must work and study for his power of the arcane arts, the sorcerer gets by on his blood, with arcana literally flowing through his blood. While some may be jealous of the sorcerer for so easily mastering the art which they had to work so hard for, few understand the struggle they face from themselves every day of their life, fighting to stop their power and their legacy from consuming them. For every power there is a price. The only bloodline that is unavailable to the PCs is the Undead bloodline.
Coming into their powers naturally like sorcerers, the summoner walks a different path, trading raw power for potent skill in one arena of the magical arts, bonding with a powerful creature from another realm he is able to enhance through his own power.
Magic is born of sacrifice. There are those that sacrifice their blood, their sweat, and their tears to study the power. There are those that never had a choice and were born into the art. Then there are those that risk sacrificing their very humanity in exchange for their power. They are often misunderstood, feared, and even hated, meaning they often live away from civilization, working on their own to perfect their art.
Formalized schooling in the magical arts is a tradition that is widely respected within the realm and a number of academies to teach the art can be found in the various cities, though the largest and most prestigious is found in the city of Alesia. But for every academy trained wizard, there is also one who received one-on-one tutelage from a master in a less formal, less structured setting and learned his craft that way.