In the game, there are only four classes: cleric, fighting man, magic-user, and thief. However, each of the classes also has one or more specialties, often alignment-based, that a player can choose for his character once he's reached 5th level. These specialties minor but flavorful tweaks to the class's normal abilities to represent what in some editions would be a sub-class. For example, a Neutral cleric is a druid, one of whose abilities is to control forest animals, an ability that replaces the turning of undead but uses the same game mechanics to do so. Meanwhile, a Chaotic cleric is a cultist -- I actually like that name better than "anti-cleric" -- and gains the ability to control the undead under certain circumstances. The changes to the base classes are generally fairly small, but I think they're conceptually significant enough to matter in actual play. That's what I like about the design of Old Dragon, from what I've read so far: it does a lot with only a few minor tweaks to the familiar rules of Dungeons & Dragons.
In the interests of inspiring others, here's a listing of all the specialties in Old Dragon:
- Cleric: Druid (Neutral), Cultist (Chaotic)
- Fighting Man: Paladin (Lawful), Warrior (Neutral), Barbarian (Chaotic)
- Magic-User: Illusionist (Neutral), Necromancer (Chaotic)
- Thief: Ranger (Lawful), Explorer (Lawful), Bard (Neutral), Assassin (Chaotic)
I'll likely talk more about this game in the days to come, but it's slow-going for me, since, as I said, my command of Portuguese is limited. Still, I've been enjoying this game a great deal, so it's well worth having to move slowly, dictionary in hand, as I make my way through it.