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The tenth, eleventh, and twelfth updates to The Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter campaign are now available, with this trio of entries covering the fact that they've reached the first two stretch goals (more companion NPCs and Enhanced Crafting) along with sharing some intricate details on their plans for the game's classes and races (from associate producer Thomas Beekers, no less). On to the classes:
If you are unfamiliar with the original The Bard's Tale trilogy, it used a class-based character system, meaning the (Class) or profession of your characters was one of the first things you could choose. There were ten different classes in the first The Bard's Tale, eight of which could be picked from the start: Warrior, Paladin, Rogue, Bard, Hunter, Monk, Conjurer and Magician.
With Chris (The Director) Keenan taking point on all things design, we absolutely want to bring back each of these classes. Many of the character class concepts from the original trilogy serve as a great base to make them interesting and unique. Each character class will have a very distinct role that they play, with the ability for you to make decisions along the way on how you want to tweak and modify their core class abilities. We want to give you more freedom in how you put together a party, so you're not dictated a specific balance in melee or ranged, in weapons or magic, and you're not required to take certain classes. Of course, this doesn't mean that every party make-up is as viable as the next. A healthy mix is encouraged.
Each class has a unique function within the party, though that comes with some flexibility depending on the class. Some, like Warrior, Monk or Paladin, are best taking the direct approach, jumping straight into the fray, but their particular role in that position is unique for each. Warriors can use just about any weapons or armor and do very well taking and dealing as much damage as possible. Monks will embrace a bit of a unique combat concept, where they will continue to get stronger as fights or even dungeon exploration progresses, making them more powerful the more you push on (incidentally discouraging rest spamming!). Finally Paladins (with requisite +1 Holy Sword) serve as your faithful shield, protecting the party and providing various status modifiers to your party or enemies. It will be fun to explore more of these concepts with you moving forward.
In addition to the starting eight classes, we will be expanding the class roster. For example: currently we're adding a Cleric, who will be a master of the healing arts, able to use restorative blessings. While not usually one of the main damage dealers, they can be surprisingly effective when fighting the undead and dark magics.
One of the more interesting notions in the original trilogy was the idea of magic users starting out as Conjurers or Magicians but evolving into different types later on, like the Archmage. Never fear, this is another concept we fully intend to maintain and expand to cover more classes, but that's a giant system that we will save for a later update.