Occupational Theory

March 11, 2017

So I’ve got a few ideas for what Occupations should do for their half of Origin. Part of it is inspired by D&D5’s kind of ideal of how a class starts, and part of it borrows the Backgrounds from the same. It’s definitely more than that, though, I think and I’d like to call it “Background” but I’m afraid of calling it something that’d conflict with another system that’s copyrighted. Maybe History? I’m not sure. Anyway, let’s get into this.

First part is the history part – Occupations give either a handful of skill-type bonuses or a strict Ability bonus. These should be comparable across the board. This is the small things the character picked up through either tough scrabble living, learning at the knees of their parents, or paying attention to the town they were a part of. For most, they’re skills. Skills are the most simple things to attach to a history. This can also include languages, as learning a language is a skill like most others.

The second part is the immediate background; the starting gear, the pocket money, and the tools the character begins with. A Gambler might have fine clothes, a single weapon, light armor, a deck of cards, and a ton of money for instance. A Soldier, on the other hand, would have a full suit of armor and shield, one or two weapons, a bit of money, and some field rations.

The last part is a hint toward the future; Occupations, or Histories, or Backgrounds, or whatever they end up being called are a way of creating multi-class opportunities as well as granting access to class advancement options (like Prestige Classes but with stronger connections to their preceding classes).

The real question now is what should they be? Here’s my theoretical list to start with;

Mercenary/Soldier/Guard, Wandering Merchant/Tradesperson/Artisan/Caravaner, Town Merchant/Artisan, Serf/Slave, Urchin/Orphan, Noble, Farmer, Laborer, Gambler, Thief/Burglar/Bandit, Scholar, Apprentice, Refugee, Squire, Gladiator/Prizefighter, Healer, Runner/Courier, and Prisoner.

Let me know if you think of any others! And if you want just a long list of what these mean in mechanical terms.

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