One notable thing about Wyrlde’s Class System – Professions — that is different is that it doesn’t have sub-classes and it lacks Feats. It has Aspects. An Aspect is any capability that is not derived from a Profession’s Fortes, Spells, Ability Scores, or Proficiencies. Aspects can add to those things, but are not derived from them.
Wyrlde’s Aspect System is a way of adding capabilities to a particular character. These are extra abilities and features, enabling the character to accomplish incredible things in a way that is not normally possible for someone in that profession.
This allows for us to both have a class-based system, and yet still have the intense flexibility and ease of a feature based or “skill system”. Another way of looking at it is that we took all the special abilities of the subclasses and the feats and made it so you can choose from them to create your character.
Creative players will be able to take a sub-class and turn it into a class here, but it may take a lot of work if the character isn’t based in the world, or setting (Wyrlde), itself. An example is a direct conversion of some subclasses may not be possible because abilities from what is a sub class normally here being a core, essential component of a class here. It is important to note that Aspects replace the concept of Subclasses and the use of Feats.
Note that the ability to cast spells of certain complexities, the ability to cross affinity or blend axioms, bodily modifications, and more are all Aspects, so they may not be unique to that general person – but they all have certain capabilities. This includes certain Combat Orders as well.
Each class has five permanent Fortes assigned to them. These are exclusive to that Class, linked to the archetype for that class. A Forte is a special capability of a given profession, something that acts as a defining characteristic for that profession and is only available to members of that profession.
Fortes are the core components of each profession, the things that make them who they are. The framework for each profession is a set of Fortes, a series of core specialties that only those who follow that profession have access to.
If something is a Forte of one class, it cannot be used by another class. As a result, Fortes are described in the sections on Professions, by profession.
Some professions have required or strongly suggested Maxims, Precepts, Orders, Mysteries, and similar elements that limit the number of options available in some cases or are just a very limited Aspect otherwise.
The most common form of Aspect is something that adds a new aspect to a character. To add the new Aspect, the player must find someone in-game who already has it and can teach it to them.
Aspects enable you to craft the Profession to your character’s desires – and can sometimes change the whole of the way you play the game or exist as that archetype.
Note that Aspects can only do 1 thing. They grant some kind of Ability or Feature, but it cannot be something that does multiple things – only one. Thus, you cannot create an Aspect that you can use to do more than one specific thing. Typically, Aspects provide a mechanical improvement to the character they would not normally gain.
There are seven kinds of Aspects. They are Forte, Maxims, Precepts, Orders, Mysteries, Psychics, and Esoterica. Each type has a particular kind of capability that falls under it. Fortes are described above.
Maxims reflect things that the character has worked to develop over time.
Precepts are based on the idea of a skill that might be magically related, or has hints of magic around it, but could be reasonable explained (albeit if stretching the truth, a bit).
Orders are Combat Orders, and there are five, with the first level replacing and adding to the assorted special feature of different weapons, representing a particular skill or facility with that kind of weapon. So, the weapons no longer have finesse, the user does.
Mysteries are all linked to magic, and all are directly related to using magic. Like Combat Orders, they enable Mages to do more and be more, but taking a Mystery will have an impact on the levels of spells that are available to the character as well – a character who never takes the Advanced or Expert level mysteries for their affinity will never be able to achieve the casting of 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th level spells. Mysteries require that one have taken the proficiency in that kind of magic.
Psychics represent the development and improvement of mental powers. Anyone can have psychic powers, but they require a great deal of effort to develop and master, and this is reflected in the sacrifices one has to make to achieve them.
The largest section is Esoterica, which are Aspects and abilities that are magical in nature and that can completely change the nature of a given character without altering the class.
One never knows what skills, talents, and abilities will come in handy in the future, and different lives have led people to learn things they might not otherwise have learned. This knowledge is often jealously guarded, protected, passed down only to those who have earned the right to it.
For some professions, the skill, craft, art, or knowledge is considered useful, if not critical, and so in some professions it is common to teach a particular bit of knowledge.
However, not all knowledge is seen as useful, and the vagaries of need change over the times, and sometimes one chooses not to learn a bit of secret skills in favor of a different sort.
Precepts can be traded for other Precepts in many cases that depend on the profession. One Veiled Aspect is earned at each of 3rd Level, 7th Level, 11th Level, 15th Level, and 19th Level. Thus, a character will have five bits of Veiled Knowledge that they may be called upon to pass on or to share with those who are deserving of it.
Some professions have default Precepts. These are always optional and can be traded for a different veiled Aspect; but the choice must be made and cannot be taken back. A character can learn a Veiled Aspect from any level equal to or lower than their own whenever they gain a slot.
Precepts can include proficiencies, secret arts, and subtle gifts; some may require mana, some may not, but none are considered magical unless explicitly stated.
Maxims are the core efforts of that profession to improve themselves, refining their self-discipline, and training the mind and body. Maxims are gained at 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th, and 20th levels. Some classes start out with one to two disciplines. Disciplines do not require the expenditure of Mana to use.
Additionally, some capabilities are able to be learned that feed into the work of a given profession, and require the same degree of focus, intent, and desire.
Some Professions have honed their skill with weapons to a degree that is often terrifying and shocking. These special abilities are focused on the different Weapon Types: Axe, Bow, Hammer, Stave, Rod, Sling, Spear, Sword, Thrown, Firearm, and Wild (which includes unarmed combat)..
This specialty allows one to add a Technique or an additional Technique to one’s repertoire. It requires one to focus on a single weapon type, however, as you take it.
Combat Orders replace the system for adapting the weapons by property, and add in additional capabilities. Thus, any weapon can have a particular property and it is dependent not on the weapon, but on the person who uses it, having developed the ability to use it in such a manner. Vanguards who use a two-handed sword with the light property are an example of this.
These are the groups of martial skills, combat and weapon techniques.
A Combat Order is a way of using a weapon that enables the user to achieve certain effects that seem to exceed the bounds of reality, such as cutting a foe down from a distance, or breaking through a defense to land a series of blows in a single action.
Combat Orders are sometimes called sword skills, although they do not apply only to swords. Each of the Twelve Weapon Types has a special technique within each of the different movements.
An Order is the term for the particular kind of technique being used, with each one having an impact on the wielder once the first Orders are learned. Combat Orders are a kind of feat, available to everyone, but there is a tradeoff – one must choose between learning magical skills or weaponry skills, as one cannot learn both.
Combat Orders often use Mana to achieve certain goals, and require the wielder to have mana to use, and those who run out can suffer the same effects as a mage.
To use a technique, you state you are going to use it when you perform an attack or seek to strike something using your weapon.
There are Eleven Weapon Types. Each type can take a Technique, and some Techniques are specific to a particular type of Weapon. All weapons will fall into one of the Eleven Weapon Types.
There are also Martial Techniques, which are limited only Monks.
Combat Orders exist for each of the Eleven Weapon types.
There are five Orders of Techniques, gained at different degrees of mastery:
First Order Techniques can be gained at 1st level. They do not require Mana to use them. They are Foundational skills that lead to the higher Order techniques with focus, practice, and development, such as breathing and strengthening. The first Order gives a benefit to the user of the weapon, and first order options can be taken whenever one gains access to a Combat Order in place of a Higher Order.
Second Order Techniques are gained at 5th Level. They require 1 point of Mana to use them. Second order techniques involve controlling a battle for the most part.
Third Order Techniques are taken at 9th Level. They require 2 points of Mana to use them. Third order techniques are focused on developing remarkable capabilities, building on previous efforts.
Fourth Order Techniques are taken at 13th Level. They require 3 points of Mana to use them. Fourth order techniques begin to combine previous techniques into powerful assaults.
Fifth Order Techniques are taken at 17th Level. They require 4 points of Mana to use them. Fifth order techniques are able to challenge even an equivalent level Wizard.
Weapon Techniques always apply to a particular Weapon Type, and so any to any weapon within that type. Some Professions gain additional Combat Orders at different levels, but they are limited to Nulls. It is not necessary to take an order in the same Weapon Type as a previous order.
Each time one gains access to a Weapon Technique, one can choose to take a Technique from a lower order, but not one from a higher order.
Secret Knowledge taught by to those who show promise or potential, hand picked by rare few Masters and Grand Masters who have developed and learned them, Esoterica are acroamatic, handed down only through word of mouth and only to specially chosen students, and deal in the often magical or nearly magical capabilities of certain people.
This is called Esoterica, or esoteric knowledge. Esoterica are very powerful, almost always magical, and available to any unless explicitly limited. Esoterica are available at 1st, 5th, 9th, 13th, and 17th levels, provided you can find a teacher, who will guard their secrets well and often require some great task be accomplished in order to be willing to teach.
Esoterica comprise the largest group of Aspects and are a key to enabling Players to build the character they long for.