I'm still waiting on a few things for Crawl! number 6, the Classic Character Classes issue, sorry. But it's coming! That's all I really got for that, but I'm already beginning work on number 7, the Judges Issue, so hopefully that won't take as long as number 6 to come out.
So, I've been thinking about expanding the demi-human classes a bit. By adding another class option to each demi-human, me thinks, will help solve a problem I've been having in my gaming group. First the lack of Clerics and Thieves. Ironically the first issue of Crawl included tips to omit those classes, and they've been put to good use. But it's been inconsistent because sometimes the Thief's player shows up, sometimes not. Sometimes the Cleric's player shows up, sometimes not. It's kind of frustrating to one week have players burn stamina for hit-points, etc. But the Wizard and Warriors are never short because even if the Wizard is missing, the Elf is there, and even if the Warrior is on some cruise to Alaska, the Dwarf is there to pick up the slack. The Halfling, on the other hand has been missing for over a year and no one has missed him (sorry the character, not the player. The player is totally missed!) When we play-tested a high-level adventure a while back, the Halfling was considerably weaker than everyone else. He needed to be buffed up a bit. This is what I've been thinking:
First, the creation of a Dwarven Priest. This would be part Warrior, part Cleric. The standard Dwarf would become the Dwarven Fighter. I like Fighter because it'd be an homage to the Iconic AD&D Race & Class, and not confuse it with the standard Human Warrior. The specifics aren't settled yet, but Iron Tavern has already taken a stab at it here: http://irontavern.com/2013/01/04/dwarven-cleric-for-dcc-rpg/ and it's excellent. We plan to tweet it a bit more, and after some play-testing it should be solid. It looks really good as it is now. This would create another Cleric class that is much needed. To make the class special than the "standard" Dwarf [Fighter] I'd give the new class an alignment restriction, I was thinking Lawful only or maybe also allow Neutral.
Next, the addition of another Elven class. I'm not totally sure how to do this, but I'm thinking of *my* favorite class combo from the AD&D days, the Elven Fighter/Magic-user/Thief. This may be pure nostalgia, but I like making this class available. I just don't know what it would be called. I was thinking of calling the class a Dark Elf. This would be a sort of an Assassin Elf, and for those that want to play a Drow, I think it would be very suitable. It would also solve my Thief problem. I was also thinking of calling it an Elven Rogue. I like how that sounds, and it is a bit more flexible than the Dark Elf. I'd also give this class an alignment restriction of Chaotic and Neutral. The standard Elf will become an Elven Swordmage (or Arrowmage for the Bow & Arrow types) otherwise unchanged.
And finally the Halfling. The Halfling, in my opinion, needs to be buffed up a bit. Not a complete overhaul, but some added abilities. I'm thinking of two new Halfling classes to replace the standard Halfing. The first would be the Halfling Burglar, in homage to the original halfling, Bilbo Baggins. "If I say that he is a Burglar, a Burglar he is. or will be when the time comes."--Gandalf the Grey. He would have full access to thief skills in addition to standard Halfling abilities. A pretty simple fix, and takes care of my thief problem. The addition of a fighting Halfling of some sort. I'm not sure what direction to go here, first I'm thinking a barbarian-sh type ala Dark Sun's cannibal halflings. I'm thinking of calling them a Wild Halfling or "Wildling". But I was also thinking of a noble halfling, kind of a knight in the vein of the Halfling gods Arvoreen and Yondalla, both are gods of Protection, the former known as The Defender. So I was thinking of a Halfling Protector, and I like the ring of it. The Halfling Protector would be dedicated to Law, and appropriated restricted to it.
And a quick word on alignment restrictions. I think alignment restrictions are the best way to create a type of prerequisite for these new classes. I know some will be pretty opposed to alignment restrictions, but tons of people were opposed to random occupations to begin with. I really like random characters, and I subscribed to AD&D's use of ability score prerequisites, level limits and alignment restrictions as a campaign tool to "limit" certain classes. I think alignment restrictions of these new classes, and only these classes would be a fair compromise. Of course they can be optional for your own game, but I write for my personal game so I'll be pretty strict with them in mine.
Let me know what you think!