Classes (Dominaria Supplement)
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Creator's Note on Party Comp
Events over the course of domianrian history have made Dominaria a lower magic campaign (less magic NOT less powerful, in fact magic is almost more powerful because less people have it) and it's very important to the setting to have magic be an extraordinary thing. Powerful magic and powerful magical items are awe-inspiring and that feel is integral to how the world works. I mean magic is definitely an important part of the setting and is not restricted to the level of say Lord of the Rings, but powerful dedicated casters are the absolute upper echelon of the magical community. Powerful casters exist in Guilds who are mostly opaque to the average person and powerful magical items are usually named and known to those with the relevant knowledges. A three-to-one/five-to-two ratio of non-casters to casters should be followed as much as possible. Note that hybrid casters don't count as casters as far as this ratio goes.
Divine Casting Classes
Clerics are one of the most common form of caster in daily life on Dominaria. Ever since the fall of the Magocracy that ruled the Third Imperium, the power of the Gods and the Natural World became the most accepted forms of magic. Your average Dominarian will have many interactions with Clerics over the course of their lives as the Gods are a fact as opposed to a belief. Clerics can be encountered in all corners of Dominaria: from the gigantic temples of large cities, to small shrines in the wilds, and even in the ranks of armies as healers of battle casters. Clerics can come from anywhere, and each region and Deity will lend their own feel. From devout priest to crusading zealot or furred shaman, a cleric has the variability typical to core classes. Clerics will always have some sort of training through a temple or magical school, with a master/apprentice relationship satisfying loner-type players. Self-taught clerics are very rare but usually radical or unique in some way, and these radical beliefs can draw the ire of widespread churches.
Druids are the the guardians of the natural world and channelers of the raw power of nature. Druids draw their magical power from nature and can shape change and control natural forces. They are the sentinels of the wilderness, from the serene Wood Elf Druids of the West to the savage Rock Shamen of the Arixan Wastes they stand watch over the natural world, ensuring the 'Cycle' is maintained. They play an interesting and unique role in any party with their specific yet powerful magic. Motive should be carefully considered with Druids, because they do not leave their watch over the wilds for nothing or any petty reason. They are generally neutral, caring for their chosen environment and the overall continuation of the 'Cycle of Life'. Druids generally come from wilderness, where they can live alone or in colonies, but other origins are thinkable. A druid may hail from a large city, driven away by the rot of civilization and the stench of its growth.
The Favored Soul is a chosen agent of a Deity who gains their power through divine blessing rather than clerical study. As such Favored Souls come from a wide range of backgrounds. Prophets and 'Saviors' can and have been called forth from among the various flocks during times of trouble or upheaval. These beings discover their calling at different stages in their life, but when revealed the call of their deity is unmistakable. Favored souls will always have this purpose to which they are called and it will be their life's calling. It could be anything from reclaiming a stolen artifact to defeating a foe which now threatens the church from without or even within. Favored souls can work with their churches or singly, and there's no good guide besides one's soul as to which route they use. But whether they become pariahs for their struggle against an inept bureaucracy or heroes for saving pilgrims in a far land, the Favored Soul cares not. For their greatest end is the will of their deity.
Arcane Casting Classes
Sorcerers are arcane magicians who cast not with books and incantations, but with instinct. They have no books, no training, no theories – just raw magic that they direct at will. Their's is an unrefined art, and as such Sorcerers are almost never part of a formal Guild or Order, preferring to pursue their ambitions personally or in small cults. They are outcasts in the magical community, their natural ability to manifest magic a complete aberration among Humans especially, although they are far more accepted among the Dwarves and admired among the Elves as a next step in their relationship with the Prime. To be a Sorcerer is to be different; they may still adventure and commit themselves to causes like other classes, but it will be far harder for them to earn the trust of the established magical power (except for several more 'enlightened' areas of course).
Caveat: Sorcerers can and do join Guilds and Orders run by Wizards, and Wizards do the opposite. In Dominaria however, there is almost always a level of trust and respect that has to build up before this will happen.
Warlocks wield magic through their connection with an outsider. First bound for dark purposes, outsiders provide mortal creatures with the innate link to the outer planes that magical creatures have. In most Prime dwellers, this magic expresses itself as invocations of pure eldritch force. Magic courses through the Warlock in a way that is still poorly understood in the 4th Age. Most Warlocks have trouble adjusting themselves to their new power, and describe it as akin to developing a new sense. This utterly jarring experience often leaves marks on their psyche, making Warlocks withdrawn and prone to odd, though not necessarily violent ticks. But if the price of this bonding is steep, Warlocks consider the rewards more than worth it. A Warlock's powerful invocations come to the fore in combat or distress and they are able to strike foes or lash the environment to their will with capricious ease. Playing a Warlock in Domianria will highlight you as different and as a slight aberration even though the powerful magical orders of the last Age are gone or faded. Even among non-human races, binding yourself to an outsider for personal gain has never faded from taboo.
Caveat: It is possible to conceive of a warlock who is accepted by his society, but don't expect reciprocity with others. Some Warlocks are good, either bending the power to their will or having slowly clawed their way back into the light after a lifetime of darkness. But this pure good Warlock is a true rarity and should have a well developed backstory.
Warmages focus on the application of arcane magic to warfare. They are most at home on the battlefield, focusing on the magic of destruction and protection. They are usually trained at State- or Noble-run magical universities or a war colleges but they can also come from less savory backrounds such as gladiatorial fighters. Warmages can be lawful or chaotic, good or evil based on their backstory.
Wizards are arcane magicians who learn the careful art of greymare from ancient tomes and secret rituals. They gain powerful abilities through mastery of the languages magical races and the spells and incantations people have derived through the ages. Wizards have become the preeminent casters on Dominaria; this eminence was established long ago by powerful guilds who shepherded knowledge and artifacts over time. Wizards' power also flows easily from generation to generation through their master-apprentice relationship. This relationship assures that knowledge is passed on and gives Wizards who participate a solid foundation. Wizards are almost by necessity trained by a master, but it is possible to learn out of books by oneself.
Guilds: A natural extension of this relationship are the many Guilds and Orders of Dominaria. Magical knowledge is scarce, powerful, heavily guarded, and carefully dolled out to trusted allies, and in many cities this takes the form of a guild. These organizations facilitate training and the gaining of new spells, and serve the less well advertised function of giving each Wizard their place under the archmages. This holdover from the Magocracy is obviously played down but impossible to get away from. Each guild will have its secrets and 'artifacts' and they can be very clannish.
Note: Guilds and guild association are incredibly important in the wizarding world and rivalries are often deep seated. Being in an Order or a Guild is crucially important for a Wizard and the more powerful the better. Because of the way the 3rd Age played out, magical knowledge was found and concentrated quickly. This was made more so during the Purge, when magical knowledge was de facto further concentrated because so much of it was lost or destroyed. For this reason, it is very difficult to advance as a wizard without a network of allies or a guild membership.
The bard is your classic jack of all trades who uses their words and music to weave enchantments and other spells to help them and theirs and hinder the actions of their opponents. Thorough Arcane study of Bards reveals their craft to be most like sorcerers, although they unlock their door through music or really any craft which they enjoy. They are also not helpless in a fight and are skilled at being skilled. The traditional singing and dancing bard doesnt quite fit into Dominaria's 'Sword and Sorcery' or occasionally 'High Fantasy' feel but are perfectly allowable. Many of the Bards in Dominaria are more travelers and adventurers in the purest sense, who pursue adventure and knowledge and new places for the sake of it and are experienced and worldly. They use their magic through oration, dance, or song. Bards may very well use their talent for music as a living, but performing in taverns or the streets is looked on as a commoner's trade, although some may be very good and of course famous court Bards exist. A young Bard generally learns of their skill at a young age while doing something they enjoy, and by and large quickly adapt to it and accept it as normal. Most are self-taught although there are of course famous teachers of the craft.
The Hexblade is a mix of the trained fighting skills of a fighter and the innate magical skills of a sorcerer. their skills stem from the same root but a Hexblade comes from the child or young adult who chosses to use their abilities for fighting rather than pursue the Arcane extent of their abilities. This choice can come out of necesity or by choice, but if the Hexblade knows of the choice it is always a profound moment in their lives. They can excell as sneaks, frontline magical fighters and magical support, and are versitile. Arcane study of the fusion of a sorcerer's abilities with a fighter reveal that many Hexblades are of dark roots, and not necessarily dark by choice. the Hexblade is generally a hard individual and given their raw and mostly untrained magical power, they project their emotions. This is likely to make people unnerved by their very presence and these people may have a bad reputation easily. Hexblades can come from any background, good or evil, privilaged or poor, but don’t really slot into any really well other than one made hard by necesity. Trained Hexblades are few and far between but are a very dangerous breed of fighter.
Work in Progress
The paladin is the quintessential holy warrior. They are beasts of fighters clad in gigantic sets of armor, gifted with the ability to cast small but powerful amounts of healing magic. Paladins can come from any walk of life and are usually given some sort of formal training in war and religion. They are the first line of defense against evil and are the best at fighting it.
Rangers are a cross between skills and fighting ability. They come from the wild areas of the world and learn very quickly to become excellent fighters and skilled nature men. Because of their wild upbringing they tend to be chaotic characters, earning high skill points and the same attack bonus of fighters. A special trait of rangers is that they can pick a favored enemy.
"Watch Hill? That wasn't a proper battle boy. One Lord showing his manhood off to another, and a trophy hunt for their knights. We got off a good charge at Watch Hill, but Lord Gaimon's knights yeilded quickly - no one wanted to lose a horse after that harvest. And Summerdown Bridge, ha! It was a brawl more than anything else: neither Lord wanted his peasants, or much less his men-at-arms, dead. And the men? Who's going to die over their Lord's divorce. Even Tarim's Tower against the orcs, that was a bloody one wasn't it? A line 4 men deep, and too short at that, against three clans of Orc savages? My brother lost a hand there, and my squire lost his life in our charge. But when I took Darkath Shieldbreaker with that remise, well the orcs broke and ran. It was bloody that one, and a good fight, but no. We haven't seen a proper battle since the Dragon's Wars, and good riddance."
"In a proper battle, you'd be in the middle of the ranks - smelling it and hearing it until you were next in line to die. You'd have your shield up to ward off arrows flying thick and indiscriminate, but even that won't stop the spells. You better hope the closest mage is up to his task, and watching your troop. You might even trip and fall, and drown in blood and mud and piss. And all that without a single swing of the sword. And when the time came, pray your knights could ride...and thank the gods you weren't in the charge. I made a cavalry on cavalry charge twice, that fateful day at Nurim's Plains and in a skirmish in the Cormyri Reach. Gods protect me I shall never do that again. I was unhorsed at Nurim's Plains, my horse broke its legs on a fallen knight. I couldn't have told you what side he was on. I killed men who were half daemon, and some who weren't. I was toe-to-toe with a Myrdraal for 17 moves, moves I shall never forget, before Sir George Findlan buried a morningstar in it's skull. That's a 'proper' battle boy, pray you never see one."
Sir Cameron Karney, sworn bannerman to House Telas of Telasaro
A barbarian is an untrained beast of a fighter, who uses brute strength and rage to overwhelm their opponents. They have the most hit points of any of the classes and are fearless frontline warriors. A Barbarian usually comes from from untamed wilderness or sparsely populated areas, but a backstory of a gang tough from inside a city is even possible for a more urban barbarian feel. Basically Barbarians could have been raised anywhere from the untamed reaches of The Verge, to the wilderness of Arcadian Felix, one of the more open spaces inside The Imperium, and even the underbelly of a city. Barbarians are generally uncomfortable in larger cities (unless born there then flip this) but many in the West grow used to it, especially the seedier and rougher side of cities.
Fighters are highly trained disciples of the art of war. Where a barbarian uses raw strength, a fighter uses skill. Fighters are trained in combat at an early age and in world, fighters are knights and champions. Fighters get the most feats out of any of the classes.
A Marshal is a true practitioner of war and a student of tactics. They are adept at leading others and with the Leadership feat, can acquire NPC followers and cohorts. They usually come from royal families and learn the art of war from schools or old generals. The countryside hero makes a compelling Marshal too. They are good fighters and get feats that let them empower followers and allies.
The monk is the reclusive philosopher and the expert martial artist. They necessarily live at or come from monasteries deep within nowhere where they receive expert training in hand to hand combat as well as the more mystical practices like ki. They’re most comparable to a ninja or a watered down version of Neo. Monks are the best class at fighting when unarmed.
The tricksy and sneaky rogue is the other skilled character. Rogues excel at tasks such as breaking locks, disabling traps, evading enemies and other subtle sleight of hand tricks making them good thieves, assassins and scouts. Anyone wanting to play a sly, shadowy character or wanting to be able to do specialized tricks should be a rogue.
Scouts are characterized by their uncanny ability to navigate deep wildernesses, ruins and, with a feat, dungeons. They are usually born in the wild and live their formative years traversing the wild. They can track, evade and navigate with uncanny skill and are indispensible to any party travelling through the wilderness. They are most likely to live on their own, with druids or travel with a party.
A Swashbuckler is a flashy fighter: agile and swift, witty and charming. They are your Jack Sparrows and Will Turners. They are the talk of the town and more often than not the bane of the authority. Their abilities include and fast tongue and a swift blade and seek fame, praise and action. The storybook Swashbuckler also wants to right the occasional wrong but that is up to the player. Swashbucklers, for whatever reason, often show up in seafaring communities, coastal towns and river societies.
An adept is a spellcaster who utilizes a mixture of divine and arcane spells and usually comes from isolated humanoid or beastial communities. The adept class reflects a lesser general knowledge of magic and a more raw application of its power. In tribal or less sophisticated cultures they serve their communities as wisemen, shaman and mystics. Adepts gain their spells through meditation and can also summon familiars.
Aristocrats are wealthy, educated individuals who were born into high positions and are the politically influential people throughout the world. Aristocrats are able to train in whatever they want and have access to all the money, goods and opportunities of royalty. Rulers, nobles, and their families and courtiers are usually aristocrats, although many aristocrats multiclass at least once during their adventuring years.
Common folk farm the fields, staff the shops, build the homes and produce the goods. They do not have the desire nor the skills to undertake the life of an adventurer. Commoners are often highly skilled in their particular vocation be it farming, mining or mercantile. They make up the majority of the population. The few commoners that rise above their existence are true legends and usually folk heroes. Conscripts in any army will usually be commoners.
Experts are the smiths and skilled craftsmen of the world. Everyone from blacksmiths to judges, teachers to merchants and then back to shipwrights are experts. Anything that requires a skill, they can be the master of. Experts have a vast range of skills and most towns and communities have at least a few. These are the people in the town on which everyone relies and knows on first name basis.
The warrior is a combatant without the finesse of a fighter, outdoors skills of a barbarian or ranger, or the sophistication and religious focus of a paladin. The warrior is self-taught or has some minor military training and is straightforward and unsubtle opponent in a fight, but a respectable one nonetheless. Warriors are common among beast races as well as being soldiers, thugs, bullies and even the unusual commoner multiclass.
|Dominaria Campaign Settingv|
|Players' Handbook||Races, Languages, Classes, Magic, Religion, Literature and Lore|
|Dominaria Gezeteer||History, Geography, Climate, and Politics, Factions, Calendar and Holidays, Cosmology and the Planes|
|Dungeon Master's Guide||About, Items of Legend, Bestiary, Currency and Consumables, Law in Dominaria, Sample Places, NPCs, Variant Rules, Adding to Dominaria|