So here's a question for you all; should Code Black use classes?
In a traditional RPG classes are things we see all the time ranging from the tanking Warrior and Healing Cleric, to the DPS Rogue and Archer. These are all tropes that are used as nauseam.
Of course Code Black will not use these fantasy style classes, but it could use others.
Looking at possibilities, there are two ways I see a character could be created to begin with:
1). The WoW Model.
This is what we see with a lot of MMOs, most famous being World of Warcraft.
First you pick a Race, that will give you certain stat benefits and deficits, and maybe access to a skill or two that are treated as 'Racial'.
Second you pick a Class, this could be determined to a degree by Race, so for example the Red Claw are less technologically advanced than the rest of the Outer Fringe, so perhaps the Mechnomancer (example) would not be a Class that would be available to them.
Once race and class is determined you have a rigid progression of skills as you earn XP and level up.
2). The Free Form model.
With Free Form you pick a race for starters, and you may or may not pick a class depending on if they are available, but then you have a large pool of skills available.
Now if you take this model you can go down the route of having classes, in which case skills are blocked together, maybe say 25 skills available for every class, but you only get 1 skill per level and there are 10 levels.
Or you can try it another way, having no classes and instead a pool of skills available to all, so if someone wants to pick a skill that would normally be a 'tank' skill and marry that up with a 'heal' skill and a 'DPS' skill, then so be it!
The first of these would be restricted free form, while the latter is true free form.
I am personally drawn towards a free form model myself, but whether to restrict it or not is still undecided.
One thing I would like to look at, and this is a knock back from my original design plan of Override is to include Combo Powers. That there are certain abilities that can only be learned after you have learned others:
Bull Charge: You run 10 feet in a straight line knocking anyone your Height or less and who is not Steadfast in your way to the floor.
Requirements: Sprint skill, Toughness skill
Conduit: Any data access point becomes a potential weapon for you. By standing next to the access point and touching it with your bare hands you are able to release a discharge of electricity in a 90 degree arc of you choice up to 6 feet.
Requirements: Electrical Resistance, Data Affinity
You see, since day one of mentioning the Mantiverse I've talked about how the Hackers are the superheroes of this place, and this is how that is realised.
Pick the right sets of skills and you could see yourself turning into Neo from the matrix, or at least in one or two ways.
What we will probably see is a progression tree, where every 'level' you get something, but you should only end up with maybe six skills total, of those 4 might be base skills, which in turn unlock 2 additional skills.
But what if it went further? What about if you could pick unlock able skills, but get the right combo of unlockables and you then get another.
We've already mentioned as an example the Unlockable skill Conduit allowing you to unleash energy from a data point. What about if there was another Unlockable that allowed you to generate energy from nothing at all, by itself this would be useful for countless reasons, but in this instance would combine with Conduit allowing you to fire off bursts of energy almost whenever you wanted!
Creating these skill combos would require both planning and time from the player, but that is why I'm the Mantiverse there is belief in the existence of those capable of superhuman feats, but little to no proof: because they're few and far between (and probably all working for Code Black).
So what are your thoughts? Is this something that would interest you?
Let me know!
Until then; stay safe and be excellent to each other!
- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley