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When I started roleplaying back in the day, my main games were AD&D 1e and Classic Traveller, I was always somewhat frustrated by the class restrictions in AD&D although I could see the point as a matter of gameplay and strategy, but I longed for the skill based system that games like Traveller provided, why not have a Thief who could just learn the Lock/Knock spell to make his life easier instead of being another cookie cutter elf/half-elf multi-class? I gravitated towards The Fantasy Trip and later GURPS to get a skill based system, but these turned out to be a bit complex and favoured min-max strategies for character creation, they tended to miss the traditional style of roleplaying that AD&D provided.

So eventually I sat down and sketched out an idea, recently I have put pen to paper (or keyboard to word processor) and came up with a plan to incorporate into traditional AD&D without hopefully ruining the basic experience and gameplay.

I feel this amendment could be applied to 1e, with or without UA, or any of the 1e clones out there.

Comments and playtesters welcome.

But isn't that essentially what 2e accomplished?

Pladohs Ghost:
That's just something I'd never use.

First, it removes a great deal of the game experience. One of the hallmarks of the Old School approach is providing limited tools for players to use when approaching challenges. That means your favorite mercenary fighter uses the skills of a mercenary fighter and not the skills of a ninja or wizard or cat burglar. The challenge is to figure out how to use the skills available to address the challenge at hand.

Second, within the game universe, the approach that a level in any given class is simply a matter of short training debases the notion of class training. It's nothing noteworthy to be a fighter if all it takes to get a level in the class is a couple of weeks of swinging 'round a sword. A magic-user need not spend long hours developing the ability to focus her will--a couple of weekends at a new age convention will have her working magic with gusto, ya know. Bleah.

I've usually allowed players to have characters switch to another class. The PC disappears from play for months and months while going through the apprentice-level training required to become 1st-lvl in the new class. The rest of the party continues on during that time. The player can wait until the PC's training is finished and then resume play (spectating for that time) or create another character to play in the mean time. I've never had anybody take me up on that process.

So, if a player should decide that her favorite cat burglar PC should take up magic, the burglar would disappear from play for a long time. When re-appearing, though, as a newly-minted journeyman magic-user, the burglar would be able to use 'knock' during a heist--if still interested in thievery. Would have to decide if pursuing magic or thievery were more important or progress only slowly in each alongside the other.

The approach I have tried to represent is flexibility.

2e just tried to address this by hundreds of prestige classes, but the class restrictions remained.

In the example of the thief retraining as a mage, the point I was trying to show is why they could not switch between the two and when appropriate, say, train to a competent thief level, do a bit of training as a mage to learn the Knock spell, then switch back to thievery.

All this could be done without the restrictions of the dual or multi-class rules, which I think were added on to the existing class rules that were inherited from original D&D, I have tried to maintain as much of the existing rules as possible, and accommodated the "specialist" classes as well, as it happens I wasn't eschewing the training aspects of DMG 86 either, this is purely creating an alternative to the class restrictions.

The game system I have completed the rules to (am now trying to get the GM section of rule book finished) allows just what you are talking about. You can be a whatever & learn a skill from another class. It does not change what you are ie fighter, thief, whatever, but just gives you another class ability to use.


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