As some of you may have noticed, yesterday’s post featured a special kind of character class: the Musician. The Musician is one of 10 “pre-tier” classes, generally referred to as “Acolyte” (if you look closely at yesterday’s image you can see in red text the words “Will be Acolyte” indicating Fredrick to be an Acolyte class).
A character is an Acolyte when one or more of its six attributes falls short of the minimum required for its stated class. For example, if a character desiring to be a Magic-User has less than 16 intelligence, then the character will begin as a level one Acolyte, having to advance to Magic-User later in the campaign.
Each of the seven First Tier classes has a corresponding Acolyte class:
- Drunk (Brawler Acolyte)
- Disciple (Cleric Acolyte)
- Herbalist (Druid Acolyte)
- Soldier (Fighter Acolyte)
- Magician (Magic-User Acolyte)
- Samanera (Monk Acolyte)
- Padfoot (Thief Acolyte)
There are also three special Pre-Tier or Acolyte classes that can advance directly to a Second Tier class when their attributes are sufficient:
- Musician (Bard)
- Squire (Paladin)
- Hunter (Ranger)
These Acolyte classes are options immediately at character creation because Second Tier classes require attributes too high to be achieved at Level 1 (with the exception of exceptionally lucky halflings starting as full Bards and fortunate Dwarves beginning as full Paladins). A player might choose one of these classes for their character for a number of reasons, among them the desire to have a character made of undiluted Bardness, Paladinhood, or Rangerity. Choosing these options can also result in a more powerful, but often less versatile, character in the middle- to long-run.
Pre-tier characters get special consideration when leveling. Most characters upon leveling receive 3 points to be spent (generally) 1 each in the categories Soft Attributes (Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma), Hard Attributes (Strength, Constitution, Dexterity), Abilities, and Skills. Pre-tier characters receive 1 extra point for a total of 4 points and all four must be spent on the Attributes the character lacks to achieve its chosen class. For example, a Soldier with 10 of each attribute (totally average in every way) would only be able to spend his 4 points on Strength, Constitution, or Dexterity upon leveling up. As soon as the character has sufficient Attributes to achieve the target class and at least 1 point remaining, he uses one point and become the target class. This allows Pre-Tier characters to advance more quickly in Attributes (which are core to a character’s effectiveness) more quickly than other characters. For Musicians, Squires, and Hunters this also allows the character to climb to Second Tier far more quickly than First Tier characters. (For more information on leveling see that section in the Player Guide.)
While a character is an Acolyte, he does not have the option to spend points on Abilities and Skills. However, like any other character, he receives 1 point from the Master Weaver each level. As with other characters, this point goes toward Attributes, Abilities, or Skills that have been developed by the character in the game over the course of the last level. They Master Weaver point can even go toward Abilities or Skills not inherent to the class of the character. This point is even more important for Pre-Tier characters who have no other way to get valuable abilities and skills. This lack of Abilities and Skills is the greatest weakness of Pre-Tier characters until they reach their First or Second Tier class and are able to get Abilities and Skills normally.
For more information about the Mind Weave tiered class system, see the section on classes in the Player Guide. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask them below.