Hi folks, X-humed here.
I have been playtesting 6d6 for the best part of six months now and Chris has asked some of us to write a little about our playtesting for your viewing pleasure. So let me start by telling you a little about a ‘class’ that we’ve tried to redesign from the ground up: The Cleric.
In the 6D6 RPG the concept of ‘class’ is an odd one. You aren’t forced into a role as many other system but instead allowed to build a character that resembles something you’d like to play. If that resembles a Fighter type, or a Mage, then you can call it that. But the only thing that stops you creating an acrobatic clown* to accompany those two standard archetypes is what you and DM decides fit the universe you’re playing in.
That being said, why would anyone want to play a ‘cleric’? What benefit is there to being the party medicine cabinet? Well, it’s pretty simple. The cleric is SO much more than that.
Divine (or Karmic) magic works in a interesting way in the 6d6 RPG. It partially to do with the way Chris envisioned the concept of karma and it’s partially to do with my stubborn refusal to let this ‘class’ become the party ambulance.
It works like this.
The game is all about the cards in a character’s deck and using them to perform actions. The cleric is all about putting cards where they shouldn’t normally be. The first thing a cleric can do (through a skill called Karmic Transfer) is that they can move cards from their own deck to other decks. So a cleric who has Movement and Karmic Transfer in his pool allows other players to take the card out of his pool and add it to their own, lending his speed to his friends while he stands still.
This is true of other cards too. Want to boost the strength of your friends? Make sure you have a Brawn card is available. How about making sure they hang on a little bit longer? Your Toughness is there to lend.
What it does is mean that the cleric divine powers are an extension of what the cleric can give. If you want a cleric of a paranoid thieving god, you build your cleric with cards like Alertness, Speed and Quick Wits. If you want a battle cleric, stock your deck with Brawn, Toughness and Endurance. If you really want to play the cleric of an ancient god of dance, then you better hope you friends really want to use the Rhythm card. This way, your cleric not only resembles a proper champion of his god, the abilities at he grants to other players are the similarly themed – because they’re the same cards. In short every cleric specialises in granting whatever he does in the name of his god.
But this is just the start. A cleric can also inflict special cards (known as status cards) on others. You can fill an enemies pool by transferring a card like Paralyse on to them, stopping them using move cards until you drop the power or they mange to overcome your ability. For real fun, one of the status cards is called Divine Body and is adds itself to any body card. It’s a status you transfer to your friends. If you spend time putting all your cards in the right order, you can add a Brawn card to a friend and then dump Divine Body on them.
This gives your alley an extra 2D6 dice to roll in his attack, allowing them to punch through the protection of heavy armour and is the sort of maneuver than can turn the tide of a battle.
These actions come with a price. Whilst your Cleric is busy pumping cards into other people, he’s open to attack. Plus, you should see the faces of people listening to the game when you say “Do you want my Divine Body?’ in all seriousness.
The cleric is now far from the character no one wants to play. He’s still a team player but his now options are limited only by your imagination and your ability to get the cards in the right order.
And that’s before he even breaks out the healing…….
* X-humed has tried an acrobatic clown which was proven to be ineffective in combat but did raise all sorts of interesting questions about how to handle distractions, bluffs and feints.
X-humed (aka Ben Jackson) is one of 6d6 RPG most dedicated and imaginative playtesters. He is also a cracking Mutants & Masterminds GM and when he is not gaming or inventing game systems based on the dial of a clock, he finds time to be an actor. This is his first guest post on 6d6 Fireball and I look forward to many more.