This is part of my RPG series of entries here at SOB. See the inaugural entry in the series for more details.
Four months ago, I wrote about the need to replace the Wizard class for OGL/d20 games.
A week later, I announced that one variant I had proposed, the Mage class, is now usable as a Wizard variant.
At the time, the character was indeed usable — but required a little bit of mental filling-in-the-blanks and thought to employ properly, because it wasn’t entirely laid out as a complete character class description. The bare minimum was there to make it playable. As such, I labeled it an “Alpha Test” version.
Now, I present the Mage (Beta Test), an essentially complete class write-up. All that’s missing is some flavor text (which can be mentally filled in using the relevant Wizard flavor text from the Pathfinder RPG Beta) and the rules for school powers and school specialization that should be employed exactly as they are for the Wizard in the PRPG Beta. Since a PDF of the PRPG Beta can be had for free, that’s hardly a restriction on one’s ability to make use of this new Mage class. It is because of this essential completeness that I decided to start calling it my “Beta Test” version of the Mage class. It is, indeed, being tested already in a game I’m running, where a player has a Mage character (originally conceived as a Wizard). So far, so good.
I’ve chosen to use Pathfinder RPG rules mostly for three reasons:
I want to support Paizo, who are creating a currently-supported, OGLed, bug-fixed, largely backward compatible update to D&D 3.5 — and thus providing me with an alternative to the restrictively licensed, dumbed down, conceptually discontinuous D&D 4E.
Paizo’s production quality is top-notch, as is the content development for its game materials. I really like high quality products and content.
The PRPG Beta is freely available — one might assume at least until the final release version comes out this August. There has been talk of a System Reference Document being released by Paizo that contains the OGL materials from the game shortly thereafter, too — but for now, even the flavor text and “product identity” can be had for free, though of course it’s not really (legally) redistributable.
I wish I could offer the Mage class under the terms of the Open Works License, but alas, I have to use the OGL at this time (thanks to the fact it draws upon OGLed materials — the game system itself).