Most every individual, human and monster, has a profession. They cook, clean, cobble, weave, or craft. But not very many are recognized as having a class, which is the secondary profession. A cobbler might be a retired soldier, a scullery made an Elementalist. Any case, the following classes are recognized all over Paradigm. Because no two individuals are alike, the appearance and abilities of members of the same class can vary wildly, or be very similar.
Men at ArmsEdit
The Men at Arms classes are those men and women that put their finest weapons to good use to defend, or destroy, the nations of Paradigm. It takes a great deal of bravery to face the horrors of a violent world with naught but a sword in your hand and so these men and women are often accorded great respect.
- Constables make their livings by defending the policies and enforcing the laws of the particular city in which they make their abode. Constables are almost always consummate professionals, dedicating themselves to serving and protecting the residents of their cities even to the point of an altruistic willingness to lay down their lives to protect the protectionless. As duly appointed representatives of the law, Constables are always trained in the lastest weaponry, unarmed combat techniques, and an encyclopedia-like knowledge of the law; making them formidable advisaries for professional criminals. Unlike any other Man-at-Arms, Constables are allowed to detain, question, and arrest suspicious people and enabled to enforce their local laws by whatever means necessary to keep the peace.
- Detectives are not often considered part of the men at arms class, for their weapons are their keen, analytical minds and observation skills. Detectives are law enforcement officials whom focus on the solving of crimes and bringing the guilty to justice–but as they are often called upon to be judge, jury, and executioner all in one, they are highly skilled in the use of weaponry.
- Fighters are people who's only teacher is experience. Unlike the soldier or the warrior fighters have no formal training or martial discipline. There are some who may laugh at the young farmhand grabbing a weapon but laughter will quickly turn to fear if that farmhand is a skilled fighter.
- Forest Guardians are usually reclusive individuals who have taken an oath to defend a particular wooded area from forces that would despoil it. They often can be found with an animal companion, though this partnership is almost always one of amicable cooperation rather than imposition of will. The Guardian's bond with their chosen forest is so strong that to be taken from the wilds they call home burdens them with a crippling anxiety until they are returned to the sheltering arms of the trees. A Guardian's stern demeanor makes them an intimidating force when they encounter another with information they feel is vital to the well-being of their home.
- Gladiators are professional entertainers. The professional wrestlers of the era, Gladiators come across as larger than life heroes and villains mauling each other as public spectacle. Despite being showmen the Gladiator is actually a capable fighter though they are most at home in the arena, not the battlefield.
- The Martialist is a person whom has trained their body to be their greatest weapon. Thought they can, and often do, learn to use weapons they rely on bare-handed techniques to disable, disarm, cripple, or even kill an opponent. Far too many bullies have run afoul of a Martialist and learned that picking a fight with that weakling or gentle butterfly is a terrible mistake.
- The Outrider is a military infiltrator and point man. They are masters extraordinaire at scouting out the enemy's forces and delivering tactical plans to their own superiors. In some cases the Outrider will fully immerse himself in the enemy's environment, living as one of them and weakening them slowly until the day their home army arrives to deliver the killing blow.
- The Protector is a brave soul that either through choice or on the needs of a benefactor has trained himself/been trained to be the bane of a single type of enemy in service of the public. Paladins, Cavaliers, and Knights are all examples of Protectors.
- Samurai are the elite fighters of the Eastern Dynasty. They fight in service of a lord and are unquestionably loyal, even if that loyalty will cost them their own lives. They don't have a vast an arsenal is weapons as other fighting classes do, but their ability with a sword has no peer.
- Shih are wandering knights of the Eastern Dynasty. Following nothing but their own individual codes of honor, Shih are always good-intentioned men and women whom seek out evil and bring justice to towns in need. They are the dire enemies of corrupt nobility, tyrannical law enforcement, and other such types. Shih are exceptional unarmed combatants and skilled with weapons as well. Shih are always a welcome sight to the poor and innocent whom are being opressed. Shih combine the unarmed skills of the Martialist with the weapon skills of the Warrior.
- Soldiers have devoted their entire lives to military service. Always ready to answer the call to duty, soldiers are unquestionably the most skilled of the fighting class. Soldiers are most often skilled in a variety of weapons and always ready for action.
- Warriors are men and women that do have formal training with weapons, most often through a mentor that has devoted time and patience to hone the warrior's skills. Warriors are better in battle than fighters tend to be, but then they also have the wisdom of a mentor to help guide their hand where a fighter does not.
The servitor class is made up of men and women whom have devoted their lives to the service of others. They may not always be powerful casters, skilled swordsmen, or any good in a fight at all but they all have skills and talents that make them invaluable in a party of adventurers.
- The Acrobat is a public performer that thrills and enthralls an audience by stunning feats of balance, contortionism, and tumbling. Many a dungeoneering party has refused to accept an acrobat into their ranks, much to their woe. Acrobats can traverse areas and fit into spaces the fully armored hulk could never do, and history is rife with tales of acrobats saving their entire party.
- The Apothecary specializes in the healing arts. They are masters of flora lore, making potions and salves, and performing surgeries. Most cities have many apothecaries on hand, and these people are always a welcome relief whether they be an Imperial Doctor, an Eastern Healer, or a primitive shaman.
- The Dancer earns her living by entertaining. Lithe and agile, skilled in the arts of acrobatics and contortion; the dancer uses her body and motions to garner and keep attention. She may seem the least likeliest person to find in a band of armed adventurers but don't be deceived. The Dancer's innate athleticism makes her very good with a sword, once properly coached.
- Guides make their living, and sometimes fortunes, by escorting people thither and yon. Guides are true outdoors men, and know the safe ( and sometimes not safe ) passages to anywhere anyone wishes to go. They excel in outdoor survival and archery, and are sometimes called rangers for the way they range all over the world.
- The Minister is the authority of a particular religion or sect. While the zealot will travel the world proselytizing, the Minister tends his flock at home. They are the learned and scholarly of their faith, knowing tenets, rituals, and dictates by heart and living by them in service of the public. Ministers are often capable swordsmen as well, and have no hesitation in undertaking a mission or quest to retrieve an artifact, track down holy writ that has been lost, or defending his flock.
- Missionaries are people that devote their lives to a specific goal, ideal, or philosophy and seek to share their beliefs with others. Philosophers, scientists, politicians, and soothsayers all fall under the Missionary heading.
- Performers make their living by entertaining others in the theater arts. To find one as an active, brave adventurer is cause for some to scoff, but the scoffers fail to realize that a skilled Performer can make the difference between life or death in a volatile encounter.
- Scribes are the lore masters and teachers of the world. Mastery of languages, diplomacy, and knowledge of other cultures makes them invaluable in barter and trade, or turning a hostile situation into a peaceful one. There are very few experienced adventuring groups that would think to travel without a scribe among them.
- Traveling Cooks are unlike other cooks in that they are experts at taking their culinary skills on the road. Though the traveling cook is often considered an underclass, every single one of them is a master of recognizing edible plants and animals and know a given region like the back of their hand. When in the region they know the best they can, in a pinch, become guides-and heroes-by leading a lost party to safety.
- Zealots are the members of a specific religion and travel the world, preaching their philosophers and seeking converts. Zealots often have highly prized social skills and are also fairly well versed in the combat and healing arts.
'Caster' is a universal and collective term for individuals that consciously investigate and manipulate and unknown energy form that emanates from every living thing. This energy, called Qi, was first discovered thousands of years ago by the scholars of the Eastern Dynasty. It has since spread outward and been adapted into many forms.
- Animists are one with nature. Whether they call themselves pagan, or witch, or druid, the Animist eschews society in favor of a quiet, secluded life with his animal friends and serenity of the outdoors. Sometimes, thoughtless or arrogant people make the severe mistake of underestimating and provoking the animist and then learn their folly when nature itself rises up against them.
- Artificers are specialized craftsmen that have learned to channel their Qi into objects, tools, and weapons. Artificers are capable of making any sort of item magical given enough time, from little marbles that detect secret passages to hundred feet tall bronze statues to defend a city.
- Dabblers refuse to tie themselves down to any one specific style of magic use and instead dabble in them all. Dabblers are incredibly versatile, but because they lack the focus and concentration of dedicated stylists their spells and rituals can often go astonishingly wrong.
- Elementalists are the original Qi masters. Long ago in the Dynasty monks learned that proper breathing, body motions, and concentration would not only allow Qi to move freely through them but also allow them to manipulate the very building blocks of the universe. Elementalists are as creative as they are intense; they can utilize only one specific element but many have learned different sub-elements, such as lava, snow, or sand manipulation.
- Enchanters are the qi manipulators that are universally hated and feared. Enchanters are never good people, for they channel their Qi to rearrange thoughts, emotions, and the senses of others at whim and take delight in such acts. Both the Eastern Dynasty and the Western Empire have given their law enforcement standing orders to execute enchanters the instant they are detected.
- Macabres are often mistaken for Necromancers, a fact that those whom study necromancy truly detest. Whilt Necromancers serve a useful purpose in society, Macabres do not. The Macabre is the intimate lover of death in all its forms and stylings. They learn anatomy to a microscopic detail, and then use that knowledge and Qi to infuse a state of mindless semi-life to the undead. Though many superstitious villagers are made nervous when a Necromancer is in their midst, they are truly in need of help when a Macabre dwells nearby.
- Mages are men and women that intensely study Qi and it's applications. They are more interested in learning then they are using, but even so they tend to have a few tricks up their sleeves. No profession is more skilled at detecting, recognizing, and expounding on Qi than is a mage.
- Necromancers are devotees of death. Becromancy has it's origins in the Al-Kabir, where the Faydakeen discovered that Qi does not end when life does. Necromancy is the specialization of communing with the dead. Though many legends have sprung up about evil wizards raising zombii armies, raising the dead is factually beyond the necromancer's ability. Necromancers call upon the dead and the forces of death to glean information whether past, present, or future.
- Seers specialize in using QI to manipulate time. Most often, the Seer uses his power to gain insightful glimpses of past or future events then which are interpreted and disseminated. Seers are often considered the wisest man or woman in the town in which they live, owing to their unique application of Qi. Many Seers are content to stay at home, using their abilities to assist their neighbors but often a vision of some future event will spur the Seer into joining an adventure party ro ensure the future event comes to pass, or to head it off and change the future if the premonition is dire.
- Sorcerers channel qi into raw destructive power. Matter crumbles at their touch or is redirected into explosive blasts. Very few harness their particular arcane force for the benefit of mankind and many a sorcerer has been executed, making sorcery a very dangerous mastery to openly live by.
- Thaumaturists, also called Dragonmagi, are the brave men and women whom specialize in the magic of the dragonkind. Dragons early on learned that Qi to be focused by and into the written and spoken word, and disseminated their teachings to other species. The Thaumaturge is the result. A Thaumaturge expertise lies in the written and spoken word, sigils, glyphs, and wards are all the specialties of the Thaumaturge for good or for ill. Thaumaturgists can be some of the most powerful casters in the world and most adventure parties are quite happy with a Thaumaturge among them.
The rogues mainly constitute the criminal element of society and although often frowned upon or actively hunted by law enforcement, a rouge need not necessarily fit into the mold of the selfish bastard out only for himself.
- Thieves make their living through pilfering the goods of the unsuspecting. Masters of picking pockets, guile, and misdirection, it is said that a good thief can walk off with an armload of cash and jewelry before anyone even knows he was there.
- Cat-burglars specialize in home invasion. They pride themselves on the philosophy that there is no security system they can't get by, no safe they can't crack, and no trap they can't disarm. While some cat-burglars commit their crimes out of desperation, most are in it for the thrill of the deed itself.
- Con Men eschew violence and thuggery in place of a glib silver tongue, cunning, and the exploitation of ignorance and confusion. Con men weave elaborate stories and schemes to run off with the money of the gullible. There are very few situations that a slick con man can't talk his way out of...or into.
- Masterminds are the head honchos of the criminal underworld. These men and women have aquired enough wealth and/or political power to seize control of crime operations through fear and intimidation. Masterminds are relentless foes of Law Enforcement, weaving plots within plots within plots to achieve their goals. When fear and intimidation won't get them what they want, their readily available army of brutes, thugs, and cut throats will.
- Swashbucklers are often considered the heroes of the rouge classes because they were once normal men and women but were somehow wrong by authority. A victim of a corrupt noble, or a scapegoat for a crime; whatever the cause the swashbuckler now lives to fight tyranny and corruption within the government. Swashbucklers rarely bring down the corrupt for the sake of wealth or fame, and are famous for taking the corrupt officials' goods and property and redistributing it among the disenfranchised.
- When a criminal mastermind needs a quick army, the Thug is the person he calls on. Thugs are dangerous foes, combining a skill with weapons and a thorough knowledge of criminal activities. Most often the thug is a strongman or criminal foot soldier but every so often a thug rises through the ranks to become a crime lord.
- People forget, sometimes, that they should be afraid of the dark. The Assassin reminds them. Born into and living in shadows and darkness, the assassin earns his keep by taking the lives of others. More often than not there's no emotional involvement, the assassin is doing his job. Sometimes, though, a wronged assassin will take a job for free as a means of revenge. Almost all assassins live by a Creed, the peculiar code of honor important only to themselves.
- Scoundrels are men and women whom earn a living by defying the letter of the law or, at the least, skirting it. Scoundrels are not usually evil men, but are either unable or unwilling to find other lines of work. Many times, scoundrels are simply shaking their fist at what they see as the ruling class denying the lower classes basic rights and freedoms. Pirates, smugglers, bootleggers, and fencers are all examples of scoundrels.