Tuesday, April 7, 2020

D12 Wilderness Subclasses for B/X or Old School Essentials

Here's another set of D12 Subclasses for B/X games, inspired by a series of posts by Dyson Logos a few years ago in which he provided small tweaks to each of the main B/X classes and even added additional ones for Assassins, Druids, Illusionists, Monks, Paladins, and Rangers (rounding out the classic classes from 1st Edition AD&D). He also provided subclasses for two modified classes of his, the Elven Warder and the Enchanter, as well as some fun stuff like Snail Lords, Centaurs, and "Gibberings."

I first started doing these as a way to distinguish the different sorcerer bloodlines for the B/X - Old School Essentials version of the Sorcerer class I created. I had so much fun creating the subclasses and it occurred to me it would be a good way to convert the 3.5 material I'd written as a proposal for a Quintessential Expert book that I never version, so I created D12 Expert/Specialist Subclasses. When I posted my initial draft of those on social media, I got some commentary by a few folks on MeWe (namely Kyrinn S. Eis and Phil Viverito) who suggested some additional class abilities I could apply to the Pathfinder subclass, but I felt that the class already had enough modifications, so I suggested that I could perhaps create a second set of D12 Expert/Specialist subclasses, with one called a "Trailblazer" that would include some of the suggestions they made. 

I started with the Trailblazer subclass of Fighters, and began making a list, going back to a few of the character concepts, multi-class combinations, and prestige classes from my proposal that I hadn't used yet, and as I went through them, I began to organize them into buckets based on the environment. That's where this list of D12 Wilderness Subclasses comes from.

As a reminder if you haven't read Dyson Logos' posts, the idea is that every character would take a subclass. If you don't want to play a subclass, but rather just a straight "by the book" version of a class, you should gain an additional +10% XP to account for having fewer abilities than these subclasses.

Please continue to offer your thoughts, suggestions, changes, or general commentary on these classes. My plan is to continue to update them to make them better, especially if people catch mistakes or see things that could easily be abused by players.

Hanging: Home office (laptop) and living room (original notes in a small notebook)
Drinking: "That's the Kind of IPA That Makes You Wish You Spoke a Little French" by Evil Twin Brewing Company
Listening: "Johnny Appleseed" by Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros, from "Global A Go-Go"


  1. Very cool; thanks for making more (& more?) of these. :D

    I especially like the, Hedge Wizard, and the, Explorer.
    The Fighter ones are sufficiently different from each other, which is tricky.
    The two Cleric choices are cool.

    1. Great! Glad you like them.

      Yes, I've got one more already finished, one that's about 3/4 finished, and some rough notes on yet another one. And then last night I thought of three-four other genres for sublclasses.

      The Explorer is an idea that goes back to my proposal for the Expert book I was writing for 3.5. It was originally a Prestige Class based on the idea of Indiana Jones. I stripped it down to its bare essence to make it a thief subclass, and kept the "luck" element because I felt it was integral to the character.

      All the rest of these are new. The list was inspired when you and Phil came up with those ideas to add to the Pathfinder subclass from my D12 Expert/Specialist Subclasses, and I thought it would be a cool opportunity to share a few more classes, and then it just kind of blew up from there.

      My thinking at this point is to blog about different genres of fantasy and include a D12 Subclasses table for each one, and then maybe at some point, I can clean them up, get some art, and publish them.

      Cheers, and thanks again!

    2. OOh, that'll be cool. Dark Fantasy, High Fantasy, Fantasy Post-Apoc, Kitchen Sink Fantasy... I'm looking forward to them.

    3. Thanks so much. And thanks for commenting. I always appreciate comments in general, but they're especially appreciated now.

      I don't want to spoil the surprise, but I have a few I'm working on, and interestingly, none of them fall into of your buckets above! (One is tangentially related). It would be awesome if this became a theme in the old-school blogosphere!


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