The Known Lands is a d20 system compliant product taking advantage of some of the innovations by independent companies that has happened over the years. The biggest one happened to be Advanced d20 Magic. It is also OGL compliant and is planned to be released under a Community Commons Commercial Share-and-Share-Alike license (version 3.0).
So, why the title of this Blog Post?
So you know what kind of classes will be included in the campaign setting. Here's the list:
* Barbarian -- Quite the staple, isn't he? A barbarian is truly a lifestyle; a foreigner that is strange to civilization. Conan the Barbarian is the most famous of this stereotype. His stories are basically how a barbarian from Cimmeria interacted with the civilized world outside of his homeland. Orcs typically fit the Barbarous lifestyle, but there are humans that do too.
* Bard --- Not included. The Bard's abilities are taken over by the commoner and aristocrat. Such professions as Jester, Cook, Painter, Dancer, Acrobat, and so forth are all handled by the commoner and aristocrat.
* Courtier -- the courts of the Known Lands can be interesting places for storytelling. Courtiers are specialists in the so called Great Game, where people play politics and intrigue. Often the fate of commoners and nations are decided in the Throne Room, where courtiers try to bend the ear of leaders. Orcs, Elves, and humans have courtiers.
* Cleric -- The cleric stands, representing the religious and spiritual world of the Gods or Organized religion. Such as the Ancients or Christianity, Tantra, or the Sacred Light.
* Druid -- The druid seeks spirituality from pastoral forests and nature. Druids represent the ancient, pagan religions of Western Europe or the Celtic Culture of Western Europe. Their culture extended from the Danube and deep into Spain and up into the British Isles. There was also a small island of Celts in Asia Minor called Galatia. The Picts are possibly an exception -- which is true since everyone knew they existed but no one really can tell who they are. In the Known Lands, druidism is practiced by High elves and humans.
* Fighter (called Warrior or Soldier in other sources) -- Fighters study fighting and warcraft in the Known Lands. They study primarily armed combat learning the ways of Mars.
* Hunter -- the Hunter is imported from the World of Warcraft RPG and reduces the amount of magic in the Known Lands considerably by replacing the ranger. This also helps keep spells within a manageable amount of classes (with priests, druids, shamans, paladins, wizards, necromancers, and warlocks running around -- who needs a ranger?).
* Monks -- are not included in the initial campaign setting. The reason is simple, the Monk class is much, much too oriental in taste. While monks exist, monks usually follow a circular pattern of thought rather than a linear pattern of thought. The difference can be illustrated in this article . Unarmed Martial Artists have to come from a different class.
* Paladins -- The Champion of the Sacred Light or a Christian Knight in Caithness, a Blood Knight in Massalia, and the Chosen of the Orcs -- the Paladin is susposed to be a fighter that follows a bizarre path of fighting and piety. Many paladins are the paragons of their culture -- they are what defines a follower of the sacred light, a Champion of righteousness and virtue. Paladins protect their people from the undead and demons. Paladins are members of the organized Knights of the Platinum Dragon, the unorganized Christian knights, the organized Blood Knights of Massalia, and the unorganized Chosen of the Cross among the Orcs.
* Rogue -- There is always a need for rogues, whether lawful as part of an intelligence agency, or unlawful part of the crime scene. Rogues make up the seedy part of the underworld (some fighters do too, but rogues do it best). The class "rogue" covers everything from Intelligence gathering, to espionage, to assassination, to pickpocketing, to burglarizing, to petty theft. Practically all races available for play has the rogue -- the Humans have the Impossible Mission Force or the "Department" ("As always, the Department will disavow of your actions should you be captured or die."), the High Elves the Lia-Kavir, the Massalian Elves have the Prince's Hands, and the Orcs have the Shadowed Hand. Rogues can also play a part in court intrigue, so the rogue class can also include such characters as Silverblade in the "Lady and the Highwayman."
* Shaman -- Available almost exclusively among barbarian tribes and the orcs, the Shaman class comes from the World of Warcraft RPG (there is a version produced by Wizards of the Coast, but it's not shared -- which is a good thing since the WoW shaman is a LOT better). The shaman follows a different path of nature than the druid. While the Druid's path of spirituality is much more visceral reverence of nature, shamans seek communion with the spirits or the four elements (Earth, Fire, Air, and Water). A WoW Shaman have a lot in common with Rokugan's Shugenja than they do with Druids or Clerics.
* Warlocks -- Also taken from WoW, Warlocks are Wizards who the premier Conjuration specialists. Warlocks give up knowledge from the schools of Divination, Transmutation, and Necromancy in order to focus on magic that allows them to Traffic with demons and use demonic magic (Afflictive, Demonologic, and Destructive magic primarily). Warlocks are universally feared or shunned. But practice of the dark magic began in the Known Lands with the arrival of the Orcs from Outland. Warlocks cast curses, use magic that summon and control demons, and can cause destruction.
* Wizards -- Wizards represent the other side of Arcane Magic. Wizards may specialize in any school -- giving up two schools in the process. Typically, though, wizards who specialize in Conjuration are better off taking the Warlock class.