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The variety of class options available to characters can seem overwhelming. Though that variety can lead to interesting and exciting combinations, a game master who desires to run a simpler campaign (while still allowing for character variety) can use these "generic" character classes in place of the standard character classes.
The three generic classes here — warrior, expert, and spellcaster — cover the common roles of a group of adventurers. (Despite sharing names with NPC classes, the warrior and expert presented here are very different from those classes.) But despite these classes' basic approaches to character building, each one allows a wide variety of archetypes through the selection of skills and feats.
If you use these generic classes, you shouldn't also use the standard character classes (or variants of those classes). You can still include prestige classes, if you wish to add that level of complexity to your game, but you may have to tweak some prestige class prerequisites that include class features not available to these classes.
Each generic class has one or two good saves and one or two poor saves. At 1st level, the character designates which saves are good or poor. If the character later gains a level in a different class, he designates which saves are good or poor for that class.
For example, a player is creating a 1st-level warrior, a class with one good save and two poor saves. He wants to create a swashbuckling-type character, so he designates his good save as Reflex and his poor saves as Fortitude and Will.
Later, the player's warrior gains a level of expert, a class with two good saves and one poor save. He wants to keep his Reflex save high, so he designates that as a good save. He also decides that he wants his character to become better at resisting enchantments, so he designates Will as his other good save, and Fortitude is left as his poor save.
Each generic class has a specific number of class skills, as given in the class description. When a character takes his first level in a generic class, he chooses which skills to designate as class skills. Once these are selected, the character can't change his choice of class skills (though if he gains a level in another class, he can choose different skills as class skills for that class).
For example, a warrior has six class skills, plus Craft. Dana wants to play an agile, crafty warrior who uses his high Dexterity and Charisma scores to good effect. At 1st level, the character designates his class skills as Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), and Tumble (Dex).
When Dana's warrior gains a level of expert a class with twelve class skills plus Craft and Profession, he must choose a new set of class skills. Dana wants his character to be able to continue purchasing the same skills as class skills, so he starts by designating all the skills he chose for his warrior as class skills. Since his character has taken up life as a thief and second story artist, he adds Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Disable Device (Int), Knowledge (local) (Int), Listen (Wis), and Open Lock (Dex) to his list of class skills.
Each class gains a bonus feat at 1st level, and additional bonus feats at specific levels throughout the character's career. Each time the character gains a bonus feat, he may select any feat for which he meets the prerequisites. There is no list of bonus feats to select from.
For the purposes of these classes, the following class features can be selected in place of bonus feats (unless noted, each may only be selected once).
As the monk ability. Prerequisite: Base Reflex save +3.
Favored Enemy (Ex)
As the ranger ability. May be selected more than once; each additional selection improves any one favored enemy bonus (including the one just selected) by 2.
Greater Sneak Attack (Ex)
Improved Evasion (Ex)
Improved Sneak Attack (Ex)
Smite Evil (Su)
As the paladin ability, once per day, plus one additional daily use per five character levels. Prerequisite: good alignment.
Sneak Attack (Ex)
Turn Undead (Su)
As the cleric ability. Prerequisite: ability to cast divine spells.
Trap Sense (Ex)
Uncanny Dodge (Ex)
Combines the barbarian class features uncanny dodge and improved uncanny dodge. All class levels stack to determine the minimum character level required to sneak attack the character.
Wild Empathy (Ex)
You can't recreate all of the standard character classes with these generic versions, particularly classes with complicated, unique, or specialized features such as bardic music, a wizard's familiar, or a druid's wild shape ability. If your game master allows it, you might be able to select other class features in place of one or more feats.
Multiclass Generic Characters
With only three classes to choose from (four if you count arcane spellcasters and divine spellcasters as separate classes), multiclassing in this variant system offers a much smaller variety of combinations than in the standard game. Thus, the DM probably shouldn't apply an experience penalty for characters who multiclass.
If you wish to retain the "favored class" element of the standard game, treat any race whose favored class is barbarian, fighter, monk, or paladin as having warrior as its favored class. A race whose favored class is bard, ranger, or rogue has expert as its favored class. A race that has cleric or druid as its favored class treats divine spellcaster as favored, while a race with a favored class of sorcerer or wizard treats arcane spellcaster as its favored class.