Is an outlaw who hides in a secret base in the forest
Leads a band of Merry Men
Principally opposes the Sheriff and Evil Prince
Is highly skilled with a bow (thought still capable with a sword)
Is a member of the nobility
Is a fox
I’ll be looking at the 5e player’s handbook and the Old School Essentials system reference document (available online here). OSE matches the 1981 Moldvay edition of D&D.
Robin Hood in OSE
OSE has six classes in the base game:
The Cleric and Magic-User can be discounted as Robin Hood does not do magic. He is also not an Elf, Dwarf or Halfling. So the only reasonable candidates are the Fighter and Thief.
The Fighter gets more HP, can use all types of weapons and armour and can make a stronghold at any level. Robin’s base in the forest could be a stronghold, and the Fighter allows him to use a bow and a sword.
The Thief can also use a bow and a sword, and can establish a Thief Den (which could also be the secret forest base), though they can only establish it once they are 9th level. The thief get’s increased hit-chance and damage against unaware targets which it is attacking from behind with the ability Back-Stab – which does work for arrows, despite its name and therefore fits with Robin. The thief can’t use heavy weapons or shields which is fine, and gets a bunch of skills relating to exactly the type of skullduggery that we expect from Robin Hood, including:
Climb sheer surfaces
Hide in shadows
So the Thief fits pretty well with Robin Hood, as long as we ignore the Roll Languages and Scroll Use features, which are unlocked at higher levels.
Robin Hood in D&D 5e
Robin is not a Barbarian, Bard, Cleric, Druid, Monk, Sorcerer, Warlock or Wizard.
He could be a Fighter, Paladin, Ranger or Rogue.
The Paladin is the biggest stretch. The reasoning is that a Paladin is defined by an oath, and the oath to ‘rob the rich and give to the poor’ is quite central to Robin. However, the mechanics of the Paladin are centered on melee fighting and divine magic. Additionally, there is minimal mechanical support for the oath the Paladin takes, and so the Paladin fails to emulate the idea of Robin Hood.
The Ranger could fit Robin’s ‘lives in a secret base in a forest’ concept, they start with a longbow, and they can take the Archery Fighting Style at level 2. While this is not the rules as written, a GM could reasonably allow the Favored Enemy to be those working for the local sheriff.
Much of the Ranger’s abilities would be fine with Robin, even if they do not directly support the archetype. Extra attack, Vanish and Hide in Plain Sight both work well, and Primeval awareness and Natural Explorer are fine.
Of the subclasses in the PHB, Hunter would be fine, as there are options that fit with the idea of robin as a ranged menace and a swashbuckler.
The big issue is that Rangers get spells, and Robin is not magical. Whilst the spells could be flavoured as feats of skill, especially ones like Hunter’s Mark, the class ends up leaning too far into the whole ‘woodsman’ concept.
Both the Fighter and Rogue fit Robin better than the Ranger (there is some nice symmetry here with OSE).
Robin as a 5e Fighter
Nothing in the Fighter’s kit is a problem for Robin Hood – its basically a big list of buffs to your fighting. Both the Champion and Battle Master are viable as subclass choices too. The Champion gets improved critical hit chance, which fits with the idea of Robin as a devastating archer, whilst the Battle Master has combat maneuvers, which fit with Robin as a scrappy outlaw eternally fighting against larger organised forces.
There is no support for stealing and sneaking around, and nothing for the idea of leading a band of Merry Men. However, the Fighter gets a lot of ability score improvements, which can (using variant rules which I’ve never seen anybody not use) be traded for Feats. Inspiring Leader, Lucky, Martial Adept, Mobile, Sharpshooter, Skilled and Skulker are all viable for Robin, and can go some way to supporting the leadership, sneaking and shooting elements of the character.
If Robin has Dexterity as a primary attribute, then he can shoot and swing a sword. Making Charisma a high scoring attribute will help too.
So Robin as Fighter-as-fine, but is Robin-as-Rogue better?
Robin as a 5e Rogue
The 5e Rogue starts of with Expertise, doubling proficiency bonuses for 2 skills, and again gets proficiency at 6th level. This goes a long way towards rounding out Robin as a character from the very start. The Rogue gets lots of support for sneaking, and is a capable fighter, so the expertise can be spent on rounding out Robins leadership, daring acrobatic feats or woodsman-ship. Or it could double-down on his thievery with stealth and slight-of-hand.
Sneak Attack, the Rogue’s big thing, leaves me in two minds. It feels unsporting of Robin Hood to start a fight with a sneak attack, and I’m not sure every Robin would do that. It also encourages the rogue to dip in and out of combat to get new sneak attacks which is unbecoming of a major antagonist. But it’s not that detrimental, these are minor gripes.
Most of the Rogue’s other core features are about dodging and sneaking, which is fine, but the Thieves’ Cant can be reflavoured as a dialect used by Robin and his Merry Men to communicate surreptitiously whilst near the forces of the Sheriff. The Thief archetype works well for a Robin who sneaks into castles and loots chests, but the Assassin actually fits Robin better. All of the disguise and infiltration abilities fit the concept of Robin sneaking into an important event before whipping back his hood to reveal himself, much to the irritation of the Prince or Sheriff, before a snappy fight ensues wherein Robin rescues Maid Marion or steals the Prince’s coronet etc.
(Throughout this I didn’t mention the nobility element of Robin Hood, as that is easily handled by choosing Noble as a background.)
In OSE Robin should be a Thief or maybe a Fighter.
In 5e Robin should be a Rogue (subclass Assassin) or a Fighter.
Class structures can be limiting. If we could get the Oath from the Paladin, matching it with some forestry skills from the Ranger, some fighting skills from the Fighter, and the Rogue’s expertise and sneaking. Multi-classing would be doable. A total mess, but a doable mess.
However, the class structure is not so limiting that we’re left with no options for Robin Hood. In fact, we are left with two options in both systems. I don’t know if that is a win or not. I do know that it would be easier to represent a pre-defined character idea in skill based system than a class based one.
Also I have twitter, where you can follow me for occasional hot takes, blog updates, and highlights from the rpgs I am running.
I think there is a (rough) trope within multi-species worldbuilding to include species in three (fairly broad) categories – The Warrior, The Brain and The Utility. Its also a gamebuilding trope to have three categories of player character – which often fit this Warrior, Brain and Utility triple.
Often species and classes actually end up as some sort of hybrid cross between these three concepts.
I think the origin of the trope is that worldbuilders and gamebuilders (new favorite word) are looking for ways to have their species differ from humans, without being some sort of uber-human. Therefore they need to find niches for their species relative to humans, and these three niches are the most obvious. Ancient and experienced Elves are really cool to have in game but (1) how do you play something so alien and (2) how do you balance something so experienced? You can do it, but its not easy.
I’ve compiled a few examples below. Often there are multiple entrants within a niche in more broadly built worlds. Sometimes I’ve written the name of a character when we only really see one member of a species. It’s a point in favour of the existence of this trope, that it sometimes occurs for just groups of characters not whole species.
Okay so using Eragon is a bit of a cheat since it’s a composite of Star Wars and Lord of the Rings anyway but I think the point is being served.
Warhammer 40k doesn’t quite fit, but within each faction you’ll find examples of The Warrior, The Brain and The Utility, as evidenced by the 40k assassins. It’s just a matter of game balance really, most factions need to be able to do a variety of things.
Using (and inverting) this trope
It’s a good trope.
It provides distinction between in-world groups and between players.
It’s worth being aware of it and bearing it in mind when worldbuilding or gamebuilding (I’ve used it three times so that means it’s a real word now).
Invert the trope
A nagging voice at the back of my head
No (or minimal) inherent specialisms
Some games do this – for example in Knave what you can do is based on your inventory, not a race or class
Continuum, the time travelling roleplaying game allows you to jump out to another time, take months learning a skill, then jump back and resume what you were doing. You’re spending your age to skill up, and everyone can learn new languages and skills.
Similarly, a game based on The Matrix would fit this because characters can download skillsets and just learn, for instance, kung-fu from a program. They are distinct due to their personality, destiny, fate and will.
Mono-class (or archetype) campaigns
A campaign where every PC is a Wizard (or Fighter or Bard or what-have-you) would enable the party to solve certain problems really well, whilst struggling with others. Even with the (massive) variations you get with 5e subclasses, a group of Wizards will struggle with healing whilst a group of Barbarians will struggle with utility.
Everyone is The Warrior
Games can (and do) differentiate between lots of types of warrior quite easily. From the top of my head there’s
The Honourable fighter / The Fighter with a Code
The Ranged attacker
The Sneaky warrior
Everyone is The Brain
When I used to run Star Trek Adventures (which I once accidentally reviewed) the players had different competencies, but everyone was a brain. They could all find solutions to problems, or clues to mysteries with treknobabble in a way relating to their character. They were actually all the utility too. I think Star Trek actually has too much utility to be easily gameable, but that’s a post for another time.
Everyone is The Utility
I’ve been working on-and-off for a while on a gamebuilding a magic school rpg. When its finished (if its finished) – everyone will be the utility, delineated by knowing different spells.
The opening to The All Guardsman Party is a classic inversion of this trope. If an Ork WAAAGH! are going to kill you all in ten minutes, it doesn’t matter that much if one player is a bit more of a warrior than another.
Let me know of any others I can add to either this list or the table further up.
In part 1 I discussed some things I do and don’t like about character progression in games.
From the observations in part 1, I’ve made a simple criteria to examine character progression, specifically, the mechanical abilities and features that characters get (I’ll be calling them all features because its a reasonably generic term).
The DAQ criteria
Is it appreciable?
When the features comes into play in the moment, at the table, do we appreciate it?
Can we point to something happening in the game and say ‘that is happening because of this feature’?
Do the other players at the table notice the impact of the feature?
For instance: if a character has a +2 bonus from proficiency, a +3 bonus from dexterity and a +2 from a feature, then all of those sources contribute to a success, so its hard to credit any of them in particular. However if the feature gave a +10 and the margin of success meant that they could only have succeeded due to the +10, then it is appreciable.
Is it qualitative?
Does the feature have a tangible effect on things in the world or is it only a numerical impact?
A feature can have quantitative effect and a qualitative effect, they are not mutually exclusive.
Just because a feature can be roleplayed doesn’t mean its qualitative. Whilst you can turn things which are just numbers into character moments but we want to know if the feature itself is just numbers.
For instance: if a character has a +1 sword that has +3 against goblins then it is quantitative. It’s just numbers. But if the character had a +1 sword has +3 against goblins, and which glowed bright white and whispered shouted hateful messages in elven whenever it was drawn near goblins, then that is qualitative.
EDIT: I’ve since done a whole blogpost about qualitative design here
Is it distinctive?
Is the feature something that everyone can do or is there limited access?
Can only this class do this thing? Can only this subclass do this thing?
If others can do this thing, how common is it?
For instance: if a character can cast a spell to let them fly, and another character can shapeshift into a falcon, the the flight spell is somewhat distinctive, whilst the shapeshifting is more distinctive. This is because whilst they both have ways to fly, only one of them can also shapeshift. The distinctive quality is on more of a sliding scale than the others and is more affected by having a larger pool of options.
Another way of thinking of these qualities:
Appreciable: does it make me think ‘thank goodness I have that feature’
Qualitative: does it make things happen in the world that de-genericises play?
Distinctive: is it something that helps define my character and creates opportunities to move the spotlight to them?
I’m going to apply these criteria to fighting classes from a few games to see how they fare. I’m looking at fighters because they should be harder to hit these criteria with than, say, wizards or clerics.
I’ll look at Fighters in 5e D&D , Old School Essentials and GLOG, scoring each feature out of 3.
(I’ve used Appreciable, Qualitative and Distinct as the ordering throughout but DAQ is more pronounceable than AQD so I’m calling it the DAQ criteria.)
The Fighter in 5e
I won’t explain each feature because that would take too long but you can check out their wording here.
Feature and score
Fighting Style 0/3
Most of this is just +1 or +2 bonuses. The most appreciable is great weapon fighting but its not very good statistically.
Again it’s mostly just numbers.
These features are shared with the paladin and ranger.
Second Wind 1/3
Yes – I declare that I use it and I get to heal 1d10+level hit points.
No, again its just numbers.
While Second Wind is unique, healing is pretty ubiquitous so its not really distinct.
Action Surge 2.5/3
It is very appreciable, but in my experience it is mostly used to just do another attack.
+1 action this turn is a quantity increase, but because you use that action to do something in the world, it is qualitative.
Everyone has actions. Actions can also be gained through the haste spell so its partially distinct
Extra Attack 2/3
Yes, though as time goes on it becomes less appreciated and more something you just do.
As above, it is a quantity that gives you something tangible, though that thing is generally just ‘I swing my sword again’.
Other martial classes have extra attacks.
Ability Score Improvements 0/3
It is appreciated just after levelling up but after a session or so it just becomes part of the overall modifier and is not appreciable.
Quantitative. You could trade it for a feat but that’s optional and beyond the scope of this assessment.
Everyone gets this
Rerolling saving throws is very appreciable
There are lots of ways to gain a reroll or reroll-like effect
Hit Points 1/3
Yes – I often hear ‘that would’ve killed me if I had as few hit points as the wizard’ or some variation on that theme
Again, entirely quantitative.
Everyone has hit points and the barbarian’s hit points are larger. The ranger has as many hit points as the fighter too.
Weapon and Armour Proficiencies 0/3
Because access to weapons and armour is so widespread in 5e, having access to all types is hard to appreciate.
This is quantitative because it’s saying: anyone can use the weapon but only you can get a +2 bonus
Other characters can get access to the weapon/armour proficiencies, some more easily than others.
Yes it is well appreciated at 1st level. This tails off as the party gets money and everyone gets the best equipment they can use.
This is qualitative but because the type of weapon you are using so rarely matters in 5e (past its damage dice and whether it is ranged) its a weak quality
Anyone can buy this equipment and many others start with it too
We’ll look also at the Champion and Battle Master subclasses. The Eldritch Knight has spells and so I’ll be ignoring it because as I said earlier, magic is much easier to hit these criteria with.
Improved Critical is very appreciable – the player will appreciate it every time they roll a 19. It’s a quantitative improvement for sure – though rolling extra dice is tangible for the players it is not tangible in the world. It is pretty distinctive – as far as I know it is the only rules-as-written way to crit on a 19 in 5e. Score 2/3
Remarkable Athlete reads
Starting at 7th level, you can add half your Proficiency Bonus (round up) to any Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution check you make that doesn’t already use your Proficiency Bonus.
In addition, when you make a running long jump, the distance you can cover increases by a number of feet equal to your Strength modifier.
This is not appreciable because it gets added into your tally of modifiers, and I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a GM use the written rules for jumpable distance (although I’m sure it happens at other tables). The first half is not qualitative. The second part does give is a quantity but that quantity is saying ‘you can jump further than other people’ which is tangible. It is not distinctive because the Bard has a similar, but strictly better, feature called Jack of All Trades. Score 0.5/3
Additional Fighting Style is a re-run of Fighting Style 0/3
Superior Critical is also a re-run of Improved Critical 2/3
Survivor gets you some hit points back as long as you are in the lower half of your hit points. This might be appreciable in a fight, but not that much. It is entirely qualitative. Though it is a distinct method of healing, as I said earlier, healing is pretty common in 5e. Half points for distinctive and appreciable gives a score of 1/3
Battle Master is not on the link from earlier so here’s one just for it’s features.
Combat Superiority is great. You pick some ‘maneuvers’ and can expend ‘superiority dice’ to use those maneuvers, buffing their result.
Example maneuvers: Disarming Strike (chance to disarm an opponent and bonus damage); Menacing Attack (chance to frighten an opponent and bonus damage; and Commander’s Strike (forgo an attack to allow an ally to make an attack).
Many of these features are also appreciable – we all notice when Jimmy gives up his attack to let Timmy make one, or that Billy’s fighter just shouted that ogre into temporary submission.
Frightening opponents, disarming them and allowing others to move are all qualitative. Though some of the features are just quantitative buffs, there are enough choices to give this a pass.
The list of maneuvers has 16 entries, many of which allow you to do things which there is no other mechanical way to do in 5e, or things which you cannot do without casting a spell, so this is distinctive.
Student of War gives the Battle master proficiency with one type of artisan’s tools of their choice. Whilst that sounds like a flat bonus, it’s probably going to make the player buy and use those tools when they otherwise wouldn’t, and so is potentially appreciable, if the player remembers where they got their proficiency from. It is quantitative and indistinct though. 1/3
Know Your Enemy is a nearly-great feature. Essentially, spending 1 minute in a non-combat interaction or observation with another creatures grants some knowledge of its statistics. This is appreciable only if the party is going to act on the information, which is not very likely as it is all stuff that a reasonably experienced player could guess at. Maybe they couldn’t guess the exact number, but they could guess if a stat will be relatively high or low. It is quantitative which is a big shame – if it gave you knowledge about the creature’s mood or motivation then it would be so much more tangible. It’s a pretty distinct feature. Score is 1.5/3 but with a few tweaks it could easily be 3/3
Improved Combat Superiority just changes your superiority dice from d8s up the dice ladder to d12s. Marginally appreciable (because an numbers added to a check from an additional dice are more noticeable than say a flat +2 bonus which gets folded into the modifier), quantitative and not distinct. 0.5/3
Relentless also interacts with superiority dice, giving you one if you have none at the start of a fight. Appreciable when it is used but not qualitative or distinct. (the dice are distinct but replenishing things is not). I expect it would push the player to use up their dice knowing they get one back which I suppose increases its appreciability (is that a word) 0.5/3
5e fighter summary
Battle Master is better than the Champion using these criteria. Most of the features are not very interesting. I should note that the Fighter gets a lot more ability score improvements than other classes, which (using optional rules) can be turned into feats. This does allow for a fighters to get some very distinct, appreciable and qualitative features and therefore to increase the distinction between any two fighters, but it does so by accessing features from a communal pool. IE the fighter gets more interesting by accessing features that are not part of their core design. Doesn’t that say something about the core design by itself?
The Fighter in Old School Essentials
The system reference document for Old School Essentials (OSE) can be found online here. It’s an excellent tool, I generally have several tabs open while running my weekly game. As OSE is a re-rendering of the 1981 D&D rules there is less of an emphasis on class features which are gained while levelling up, and far less push-a-button style features.
Feature and Score
Hit Dice 1d8 1/3
Even more appreciable than in 5e since being reduced to 0hp kills you instantly and bonus hit points from constitution are much less generous.
The Dwarf class also gets 1d8 for its Hit Dice.
Weapon and Armour 2/3
More appreciable than in 5e again (the fighter can use any weapons and armour) because some of the other classes are so limited in their access – the magic user can only use daggers. Treasure is also more often magic weapons which the Fighter can always make use of.
Unlike in 5e where a proficiency gives you +2 at 1st level, in OSE it allows you to use the weapon. Being able to pick up and use a fallen enemy’s bow (when others cannot) is qualitative.
This is shared with the Elf class.
Fighters know the bare minimum of languages so its pretty impossible to appreciate this.
Knowing or not knowing a language is about as qualitative as it comes.
The Fighter, Cleric, Magic-User and Thief all have the same language options.
These next two features need more unpacking than the table can provide.
Stronghold: Any time a fighter wishes (and has sufficient money), they can build a castle or stronghold and control the surrounding lands.
This feature requires the context of other classes: all the non-Fighters have a specific feature explaining what level they have to be to build a base and the nature of that base . For instance a Thief can establish a Thief-Den at level 9.
For the kind of game I run I would assume that the fighter has to still contend with issues such as the supply of materials and access to specialist workers, especially in more remote locations. There is also the political concern of neighbouring factions and rulers.
So this is appreciable because being able to make a castle when others cannot, which might serve as the base of operations for the party, is going to be appreciated. It is also definitely qualitative (a castle is not a quantity, right?). It’s not very distinct because everyone can make a base and both Halflings and Dwarfs can make a Stronghold. Score 2/3
After Reaching 9th Level: A fighter may be granted a title such as Baron or Baroness. The land under the fighter’s control is then known as a Barony.
So right out of the block this is qualitative. Lets just get that out of the way.
At 9th level (or 11th, around that mark anyway) is when most classes can make their stronghold, but since the Fighter can already do that, instead they can become a Baron(ess). This is basically saying that the fighter is not just a warrior who has a keep but a noble, a recognised member of the feudal hierarchy. Skerples has a great post about what this means in a medieval society. Anyone who has played Crusader Kings or watched Game of Thrones will know the potential for gameplay to come from this. So it is definitely appreciable, as long as the NPCs in the game react appropriately to the character’s rank (including other nobles holding them to certain expectations).
It is distinct too, no other class gets to become a member of the nobility through a class feature.
Attack modifiers (THACO) and saving throws: The fighter also gets very good attack modifiers and saving throws as they level up. This is not distinct or qualitative. It is more appreciable than the modifiers that a 5e fighter gets just because there are so few ways to get modifiers. Still 0/3 though.
OSE fighter summary
There is so little in the class but once you ignore the features which are common to all classes (attack modifiers, saving throws, languages and hit dice) everything that remains meets the DAQ criteria really well.
The Fighter in GLOG
Goblin Laws of Gaming (GLOG) is a ruleset made by Arnold K and can be found here (wizard rules are here). We’re looking at the Fighter on page 6 of the Goblin Guts pdf, which is the class list. Often GLOG is played using the Rat-On-A-Stick hack (or hacks of that hack) where HP is limited to 20hp at max level, and I will be taking this into account, especially when considering how appreciable abilities are.
Feature and Score
Yes – potentially mitigating 2d12 hp in an fight is really big and might keep you alive.
Both parts of this ability are quantitative but the sundering of your shield is also quantitative so half marks for this.
The knight also has this feature, so it’s somewhat distinct with 10 classes. Half marks again
If you choose the right upgrades then they will be appreciable. +1 damage is generally not appreciable, crit on a 19-20 is.
Some of the potential upgrades to your weapon are qualitative – like with the battle master’s maneuvers I’ll assume those are the options which will be chosen.
No other class has this feature
+1 Attack 2.5/3
You will appreciate getting a second attack in when HP values stay low as your level progresses.
Like the 5e fighter’s extra attack, this is qualitative. A tangible thing is happening, not just a number change.
The Really Good Dog class also gets +1 attack features so this is at half marks.
You should appreciate the chance to smooth social tensions by winning a fight.
A +4 bonus is quantitative, but what’s really happening is that you’re getting a second chance at a first impression, which is qualitative.
Yes nobody else can do this.
When you get a free chance to trip, shove or disarm someone then you will really feel it, however I think this ability might go forgotten due to its unusual trigger conditions
The second part of the feature is qualitative but the first part is just a +2 bonus. Half marks again.
The Acrobat can also do this so half marks again. Bit of a running theme here.
Extra attacks in such a low-health and low-power game is highly appreciable, much more so than in a game with massive HP values for monsters like 5e.
Another way to get extra attacks, which are qualitative.
Whilst other classes get extra attacks, none get them this way. Half marks.
GLOG Fighters also get +1HP per level which is not distinctive, qualitative or appreciable. That extra hit point might keep you alive but you probably won’t appreciate that you are alive because of this feature. 0/3
Starting equipment for GLOG fighters is very good, though narrowly focused on combat. Having a bow or chainmail will probably be appreciated in the same way that the OSE fighter’s weapon access was. Other classes have some of the same equipment so its partially distinct. Having a thing is qualitative so that makes it 3/3
GLOG fighter summary
Some really good features here. In fact I think the ratio of really-good-idea/total-rules is part of the reason behind GLOG’s success.
I might do a post in the future assessing my own classes using the DAQ criteria.
The GLOG and OSE fighters perform very well in the DAQ criteria, far better than the 5e fighters. In general, a more niche game will perform better on these criteria as abilities will probably be more distinct and qualitative. It might be a good project to scalp the most DAQy features from the 5e battle master and make a glog class, though someone has probably already done that.
I am well aware that the DAQ criteria is just one measure of quality when assessing character abilites in games. Features which score poorly such as hit points and proficiencies may really drive the flavour of the class without being unique press-me buttons which this criteria is looking for.
This criteria wouldn’t work for some systems I’ve played such as Chaosium’s Call of Cthulu, Star Trek Adventures or The Burning Wheel. That’s fine. Character progress in those systems is handled differently, and your character is more often differentiated by you skill lists or areas of expertise.
There is no Joesky Tax with this essay since I’ve already given you something useable.
When designing a feature ask yourself:
Is it distinctive?
Is it appreciable?
Is it qualitative?
But don’t forget that the design doesn’t need to be those things to be good.
I wrote these glog classes some months ago for a game I didn’t end up running. I probably borrowed some of the abilities from somewhere else but I can’t find them now (inbox me if you recognise something so I can stick a link to it here and give credit where it’s due).
You are a dedicated warrior, focusing on the killing of your enemies to the exclusion of the development of wider abilities.
Focus: You have an extra chance to crit when attacking (crit on 19 or 20)
Attack Surge: When you defeat an enemy, or crit, you may make an additional attack
Called attack: You can choose a particular spot on your target to strike at when attacking. You get a -2 modifier (-4 if it is the head) to your attack roll but if you hit the attack will inflict an additional debilitating effect appropriate for the location.
Named Weapon: Name your weapon, when you kill a new type of enemy with it you can increase its damage or attack bonus by 1 up to a maximum of +3 each.
Feud: You gain advantage when attacking individuals you have previously fought against in deadly combat
Focus+: You have another extra chance to crit when attacking (crit on 18, 19 or 20)
Double attack: You can attack twice when you make an attack or an additional attack. This includes all sources of attacks.
You are a trained warrior and leader, skilled in personal combat and the inspiration of your allies, at the sacrifice of your own fighting potential.
A: Guardian Coordinate B: Captain’s Speech Battle Master C: Sacrifice Bring it down D: Coordinate+ Focus
Guardian: You may sunder your shield to reduce incoming damage to yourself or an adjacent ally by 1d12.
Coordinate: When you defeat an enemy in combat, you may direct an ally to make an additional attack or combat maneuver.
Captain’s Speech: You may give a five minute speech to your allies before beginning a difficult endeavour, increasing their potency during the initial segment of the endeavour (+2 bonus to the first roll made by each character during the endeavour).
Battle Master: Your combat maneuvers, or combat maneuvers that you direct allies to make through your abilities, have a greater likelihood of success (+2 bonus to the roll).
Sacrifice: You may declare that you are sacrificing yourself for your allies, massively increasing your fighting potential (advantage to all attack and damage rolls), for as long as all your allies disengage and flee.
Bring It Down: You can mark a target by directing allies to focus on it, your allies will be more effective against this target (+2 bonus to their roll). This ability resets when spells reset.
Coordinate+: When you attack or make a combat maneuver, you can additionally direct an ally to make an attack or combat maneuver. [This functions like attacking twice when you attack, except your second attack goes to an ally]
Focus: You have an extra chance to crit when attacking (crit on 19 or 20).
You have wilderness expertise and some fighting skill.
Silent Walk: You can move silently when outdoors in a natural environment, except when moving over/through really loud surfaces like gravel.
Practiced Eye: If you miss with an attack, your next attack against that target has advantage.
Shelter: You can always quickly (1d6 x 10 minutes) find or make shelter in the wilderness.
Tracking: This ability buffs the wandering monster/random encounter rolls [highly dependent on the other subsystems you are using. Suggestions: rerolling a dice on the reaction roll; rerolling a dice on the wandering monster table; rerolling spoors/tracks etc.]
Forager: You have a +2 bonus on rolls relating to foraging.
Animal Whisperer: Non-sapient wild animals have a more trusting view of you, as long as you do nothing to counter this view. You can easily infer what they want and what they don’t want.
Silent Walk+: You can move silently even on loud surfaces when outdoors in a natural environment.
Opportunist: Your hits are always crits if you have a situational advantage (elevated position, surprise,…) [I am almost certain I stole this ability from somewhere].
These three classes are quite strong compared to the original fighter over on goblinpunch, but I think they’re pretty in-line with each other, and with my Dragon Wyrmling class, which is a pseudo-fighter itself. The Slayer has the potential to get really dangerous at 4th level, but has no defensive or utility abilities so is pretty one note and quite vulnerable. I’d be certain to telegraph this to a player considering playing as a Slayer.
The Captain is almost entirely inspired by things that Aragon does in the LOTR movies. The Ranger forgoes the common ‘animal familiar’ trope, I’d prefer a pet focused class for that idea. Maybe a Falconer or Kennel Master or Knight. In fact I guess it could be a single Pet Master class with three subclasses: flying pet; mount; and dangerous beast. I do like the Critter Master class by Type1Ninja, but that’s more focused on manipulating a swarm.
None of the classes posted above have skills or starting equipment as those are more table-specific, but if you want guidance I would use the fighter’s setup from Goblin Guts for the Fighter and Slayer, and use the Ranger setup from the same for the Ranger.