The Dev Pit: Tales from Azeroth Part 3, Class and Race

Welcome back to Guidance! I’m Alex Augunas, the Everybody Gamers, and today I’m continuing my multi-part series on adapting Tales from the Loop to serve as conflict resolution tool for in-game roleplaying in World of Warcraft! You can check out other installments in the series HERE: Part 1, Setting the Stage | Part 2, Attributes and Skills| Part 3, Class and Race (You are Here) | Part 4, Running Tales from Azeorth.

I want to design Tales from Azeroth as an optional conflict-resolution system that allows in-game roleplayers in World of Warcraft to have a fun, low-rules way to resolve conflict in their In-Game World of Warcraft RP. To this end, I can’t be bothered with any serious character building mechanics; the point of the system is to align with World of Warcraft as it is now and to never truly need a new edition, which means it needs to be able to accommodate the game as it is currently and how it could evolve years in the future.

This week’s installment in the series is Class and Race. Let’s go!

Class: What You Do

Tales from the Loop has a mechanic has rules for what “Type” of kid you are, which includes labels like “Jock” or “Nerd” or “Hacker” or, in the sequel game Things from the Flood, “Party Animal.” In terms of your mechanics, your Type does very little for you; you get a list of three key skills and an iconic item of your own design, and then everything else is roleplaying hooks: your problem, drive, shame, relationships, story hooks, and anchor. There’s also a list of sample names for your character, but considering World of Warcraft has races with diverse cultures and naming conventions, that feels more appropriate there than here.

As mentioned, the big mechanic that your Type gives you is your key skills. When you’re allocating your Skill Points at the start of the game, you’re allowed to have a maximum of 1 Point in each Skill unless it’s a Key Skill; you can have up to 3 points in those. Your iconic item is an item that gives you two bonus dice in any situation where it might be useful. This is sort of a tricky mechanic in World of Warcraft, as its probably REALLY tempting to pick a weapon or a spellbook or something so you have the extra dice for stuff like fighting. Honestly, though, that’s probably fine. A game called Warcraft should let you have good ways to deal with problems using, well War.

So with this in mind, let’s take a minute to look over World of Warcraft’s classes and see what we can do to make them fill the roll of Tales from the Loops’ type.

Death Knight

Key Skills: Inscription, Martial Arts, Shadow

Iconic Item: Deathgate, Mortal Token, Runic Weapon

Demon Hunter

Key Skills: Fel, Martial Arts, Move

Iconic Item: Blindfold, Scars, Warglaives

Druid

Key Skills: Arcane, Druidism, Martial Arts

Iconic Item: Druidic Mark, Nature Effigy, Staff

Hunter

Key Skills: Empathize, Martial Arts, Trapper

Iconic Item: Animal Companion, One-Handed Weapon, Ranged Weapon

Mage

Key Skills: Arcane, Comprehend, Inscription

Iconic Item: Spellbook, Staff, Wand

Monk

Key Skills: Chi, Martial Arts, Move

Iconic Item: Brew, One-Handed Weapon, Staff

Paladin

Key Skills: Lead, Light, Martial Arts

Iconic Item: Prayer Book, Shield, Two-Handed Weapon

Priest

Key Skills: Lead, Light, Shadow

Iconic Item: Dagger, Prayer Book, Staff

Rogue

Key Skills: Martial Arts, Sneak, Toxicology

Iconic Item: Daggers, Dice, Weapon Set

Shaman

Key Skills: Empathize, Martial Arts, Shamanism

Iconic Item: One-Handed Weapon, Staff, Totem

Warlock

Key Skills: Charm, Fel, Shadow

Iconic Item: Grimoire, Rune-Scribed Skull, Staff

Warrior

Key Skills: Force, Martial Arts, Move

Iconic Item: Banner, Two-Handed Weapon, Shield

 

Looking over this list, I feel like the only thing that’s really missing is a skill for Death Knights to have Death Magic, so maybe that’s something to include in a revision. After all the Shadow isn’t really the same as a Death Knight’s powers, and in Battle for Azeroth death magic definitely started being more of a thing. However, this is a pretty helpful list overall! Let’s move on to Species.

Race: Into the Unknown

When we’re talking about race, we’re moving into unknown territory as far as Tales from the Loop is concerned. After all, Tales from the Loop assumes a mostly real setting, so you can only really play as humans in Tales from the Loop. That being said, we can use Race as a way to get additional customization into our game by looking at World of Warcraft’s racial traits and using that to inform our decisions. Namely, we can have race give the player access to an additional key skill. In addition, we can add some extra flavor to the races by having a mount category. In World of Warcraft, your mount is a large part of how you travel from place to place, and in Tales from Azeroth it would basically be how your character gets around. No real game mechanics, just flavor that your race probably informs. Similar to iconic items, you don’t HAVE to use one of the examples here; its just a common choice for members of that race.

So you get a flavorful mount and one additional key skill from a list of three. Lets check them out!

Alliance

Draenei, Exodar

Key Skill: Comprehend, Inscription, Light

Mount: Elek, Faerie Dragon

Draenei, Lightforged

Key Skill: Comprehend, Light, Martial Arts

Mount: Elek, Lightforged Golem

Dwarf, Dark Iron

Key Skill: Armorsmithing, Martial Arts, Weaponsmithing

Mount: Drill, Ram

Dwarf, Mountain

Key Skill: Gathering, Investigate, Martial Arts

Mount: Griffon, Ram

Gnome, Gnomergan

Key Skill: Arcane, Engineering, Investigate

Mount: Mechanostrider, Plane

Gnome, Mechagnome

Key Skill: Comprehend, Engineering, Investigate

Mount: Aerial Assault Unit, Mechanostrider

Human, Kul Tiran

Key Skill: Alchemy, Inscription, Martial Arts

Mount: Griffon, Horse

Human, Stormwind

Key Skill: Charm, Contact, Empathize

Mount: Griffon, Horse

Night Elf

Key Skill:  Druidism, Move, Sneak

Mount: Griffon, Nightsaber

Void Elf

Key Skill: Arcane, Investigate, Shadow

Mount: Voidstrider

Worgen

Key Skill: Druidism, Martial Arts, Move

Mount: Horse, Running Wild

Horde

Blood Elf

Key Skill: Arcane, Enchanting, Light

Mount: Dragonhawk, Hawkstrider, Horse

Goblin

Key Skill: Alchemy, Contact, Engineering

Mount: Rocket, Shredder, Trike

Orc, Feltouched

Key Skill: Lead, Martial Arts, Shamanism

Mount: Kodo, Wolf, Wyvern

Orc, Maghar

Key Skill: Martial Arts, Shamanism, Trapper

Mount: Rylek, Taubulk, Wolf

Nightborne

Key Skill: Arcane, Comprehend, Inscription

Mount: Fox, Magic Carpet, Nightsaber

Tauren, Highmountain

Key Skill: Force, Gathering, Shamanism

Mount: Eagle, Moose

Tauren, Thunder Bluff

Key Skill: Gathering, Martial Arts, Shamanism

Mount: Plainstrider, Kodo, Wyvern

Troll, Jungle

Key Skill: Martial Arts, Move, Shamanism

Mount: Raptor, Wyvern

Troll, Zandalari

Key Skill: Contact, Druidism, Shamanism

Mount: Direhorn, Pterredax, Raptor

Undead

Key Skill: Alchemy, Martial Arts, Shadow

Mount: Bat, Bone Mare

Vulpera

Key Skill: Alchemy, Toxicology, Trapper

Mount: Alpacca, Buzzard, Hyena

Neutral

Pandaren

Key Skill: Alchemy, Empathize, Martial Arts

Mount: Kite, Tiger, Turtle

Moving Forward

And that’s the end of Part 3 of Tales from Azeroth! I hope you’ll join me again next time for Part 4, where I’ll talk a bit about playing Tales from Azeroth at the table. See you soon!

Alexander “Alex” Augunas, the Everyman Gamer, has been playing Tabletop Roleplaying Games since 2007 after a friend pretended to be his father in order to smuggle him out of high school so his gaming group had enough people to run a module. Today, Alex is the owner and publisher of Everybody Games, a co-host on Know Direction: Beyond and RPG Design Club, and a player on Stellar. You can follow Alex’s exploits on Twitter (@AlJAug), on Facebook, or on Patreon. Know Direction fans are also welcome to “@Alex” him on the Know Direction discord server!

Alex Augunas

Alexander Augunas lives outside of Philadelphia, USA where he tries to make a living as an educator. When he's not shaping the future leaders of tomorrow, Alex is a freelance writer for esteemed Pathfinder Roleplaying Game publishers such as Paizo, Inc, Radiance House, Raging Swan Press, and more, and also acts as a co-host and blogger on the Know Direction Network, where he has earned the nickname, "The Everyman Gamer." Recently, Alex has forayed into the realm of self-publishing through his company, Everyman Gaming, LLC.