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Common Character Classes

In AD&D, characters must belong to a class. A class can be thought of as a character's occupation. There are many optional 'kits' that can be used in conjunction with a given class, but many DMs do not care for these, (and they are quite numerous) so I will not go into them at this time. Following is a description of the typical classes that you will find in an AD&D campaign.

The most popular classes are the warriors - in game terms, warriors are divided into three classes. These are are fighter, the ranger, and the paladin. The fighter is the most basic AD&D class. He can use any weapon and wear any armor. Fighters can be big, burly, axe-wielding barbarians, or slim, unassuming asworsmen. This is up to the player. The ranger is an outdoorsy sort. Rangers can use any weapon, but tend to prefer lighter armor. Rangers have skill at stealth, tracking, and outdoor survival. Rangers must have good alignments. Paladins are rare holy knights. They must act in a lawful, good manner, and have other severe restrictions on what they can own and do. They can use any weapon or armor, and have some magical abilities.

What would any fantasy campaign be without a wizard? In AD&D, wizards are either mages or specialist mages. The mage is a studier of all arcance knowledge. Unfortuantely, they can wear no armor, and use few weapons (staff, dagger, dart, sling). They are phsically weak, and begin their careers with little power. However, an experienced mage commands awesome spells. A specialst mage is one who has chosen a particular school of magic - issusion, necromancy, conjuration, etc... at the expense of others. They gain bonuses with their own type of spells, but cannot cast certain other types.

Priests are healers and workers of miracles. Usually priests come in two forms - cleric and druid. A cleric is a warrior-priest. Depending on their mythos (religion), they can wear most armor, but their weapon selection is limited usually to blunt weapons (mace, flail, staff, etc). No party does very well without the healing powers of a cleric, who posseses a lot of useful (mostly supportive) magic. The druid is nature's gaurdian. They have similar powers to a cleric, but they gain their power from the earth itself. Their armor and weaponry are very limited, but powerful druids have some spells like no other.

Rogues are the troublemakers. Sometimes they seek adventure, sometimes fame... but always fortune. Thieves and bards are the common rogues. Thieves are not necessarily evil. Many simply have advanced "treasure hunting" skills. They can use many weapons, but only lighter armor. The bard is the jack of all trades. Bards can do alittle bit of everything, but they rely on their charm and sometimes magical songs.

In addition to the standard classes above, non-human characters (elves, dwarves, half-elves, and such) can be multi-classed characters. Common multi-classes include fighter/mage, fighter/cleric, thief/mage, etc. The bonus to this, of course, is increased power and range of abilities. However, multi-classed characters do not gain levels as quickly, and face some restrictions (fighter/mages, for example, usually can't cast spells while wearing armor). Finally, humans can be what is known as dual classed. After a character has obtained some levels in a given profession, they switch to another (i.e., a thief takes up studying magic). One the character has reached an equal level in his new class, he can freely use the abilities of both classes



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Thanks to t_catt11 for this contribution!

 


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