Class Creation

Base Classes

Vitality & Skills.
These 3 values are inversely linked.

Quote from: Spycraft

d12 + Con modifier vitality = 9 class skills = 4 + Int modifier skill points per level.
d10 + Con modifier vitality = 12 class skills = 6 + Int modifier skill points per level.
d8 + Con modifier vitality = 15 class skills = 8 + Int modifier skill points per level.


Quote from: Fantasy Craft

12 + Con modifier vitality = 8 class skills = 4 + Int modifier skill points per level.
9 + Con modifier vitality = 10 class skills = 6 + Int modifier skill points per level.
6 + Con modifier vitality = 12 class skills = 8 + Int modifier skill points per level.

Remember that in addition to the smaller amount of skills in the game, you also begin play with at last 2 Origin skills.

Exceptions: Some classes such as the Priest mess around with skills as one of their abilities -- that choice of 4 Alignment skills comes at the cost of reducing the class skill list by 4 for their standard total of ten. The pointman does something similar.

Weapon Proficiencies.
A base class gives between 2 and 6 weapon proficiencies, derived from 2 different sources -- vitality and base attack.

High BAB or vitality = 3 proficiencies.
Medium BAB or vitality = 2 proficiencies.
Low BAB or vitality = 1 proficiency.

Level based values.
Each standard class has 8 progressions: BAB, Fort save, Reflex save, Will save, Defence, Initiative, gear stat 1 (Wealth in SC, Lifestyle in FC) & gear stat 2 (Gear Picks in SC, Legend in FC). Some classes have a 9th progression, some form of power point (currently limited to Spell Points in both systems). You have 8 design points to spread between these 8 or 9 progressions, each of which can have a value of 0, 1 or 2 points.

2 points = high progression.
1 point = medium progression.
0 points = low progression.

If you can't find the progressions spelt out on the wiki, it's stupidly easy to work them out from the classes in the core books. Spycraft and Fantasy Craft progressions are different in some cases.

Class Abilities
The abilities of every base class are constructed around a uniform skeleton.

Base class skeleton

1. A. Core.
2. B1.
3. C1.
4. D1.
5. C2.
6. E1.
7. C3.
8. D2.
9. C4, E2.
10. F1.
11. B2, C5.
12. D3, E3.
13. C6.
14. H.
15. C7, E4.
16. D4.
17. C8.
18. E5.
19. B3, C9.
20. D5, F2.

Multichoice Abilities:
Class abilities such as the Sage's Cross Training that allow you to customise the progression of your character's development through the class are most frequently placed in the E ability slot. They can alternatively go in the D slot -- which as with the Sage might be a valuable opportunity to provide the player something for themselves given the focus of the class on buffing up the rest of the team. Though unusual you could conceivably even use a CODD or CEVEN progression though this may present problems when it comes to the power of the optunes you grant.

Speaking of Cross Training...

There's a lot of leeway in what you can do, but some abilities can only every go in certain slots: for instance, the Uncanny Dodge progression can never be put in a progression that introduces it earlier than 4th level or has less than 4 levels between each iteration.
     Similarly, Cross Training is something you should consider very very carefully before using in a base class. First, because it treads pretty heavily on the toes of the Pointman / Sage. Second, because it can never ever grant access to an ability before that class would get it (frex, if Sage had instead had Cross Training as a level 3 class ability, it would not be able to grant Uncanny Dodge I, which 1st appears as a level 4 ability.

The Gamebreaker:
The 14th level ability is essentially the ultimate summation of the concept behind the class. For this reason, you never ever steal the game breaker from another class and you should think damn carefully about intruding in similar conceptual waters.


Expert Classes (ExC)

These tend to be balanced to a point formula -- look at some published examples to get a feel of what adds up. Any character option can be a valid requirement -- feats, species, skill ranks, save bonus, interests are all fair game, as are origin or class abilities if they really fit the concept and aren't overly restrictive.

For instance, Favoured Foe is currently only available via the Ranger specialty and is thus far too restrictive for an Expert class. Uncanny Dodge however is offered by enough classes to be a suitable if slightly unusual requirement.

A good rule of thumb when considering requirements is that if someone taking levels in the ExC would be insane not to have the option then they should probably need it before taking levels. If you can use the ExC to build upon the mechanics of that option then so much the better.

Vitality & Skills.
As per Base Classes

Weapon Proficiencies.
Expert classes do not automatically grant weapon proficiencies; they may however be granted as a class ability.

Level based values.
As per Base Classes

Class Abilities
The abilities of every expert class are constructed around a uniform skeleton.

Expert class skeleton

1: A. Core.
2: B1.
3: C1.
4: D1. E.
5: C2.
6: F.
7: B2. C3.
8: D2. G.
9: C4.
10: H.

Multichoice Abilities:
These are governed by much the same considerations as base classes. The B slots or E & G are good locations

More or less as per Base Classes

The Gamebreaker:
The 10th level ability is analogous to the 14th level level ability of a base class in terms of power and cool factor, and can be conceptually a little more tightly focused.


Master Classes (MaC)

Essentially as per Expert Classes, though as you're not entering one of these generally untill level 10 the requirements are perforce somewhat steeper.

Where as base classes and for most part expert classes are generic, master classes are very setting specific and are usually employed as a means of representing the epitome of a concept (such as the various Legendary species classes from Origin of the Species releases) or organisation (such as the Centurian from World on Fire).

Talent and Specialty qualities are thus entirely valid entry requirements -- Favoured Foe works as a key to a master class for an organisation comprised of xenophobic elves, who probably also have levels in Monster Slayer to boot.

Vitality & Skills.
As per Base Classes.

However, the skill lists for many master classes in Spycraft are somewhat akin to those of the Priest; they're down 3 skills, the shortage being made up by any 3 class skills coming from any of the base and/or expert classes the character have levels in; these are generally referred to as Continuity Skills.

Though there are no official Master Classes currently extant in Fantasy Craft, Scott's sample MaCs seem to have eschewed Skill Continuity though this doesn't rule out its use.

Weapon Proficiencies.
As per Expert classes.

Level based values.
As per Base Classes

Class Abilities
The abilities of every expert class are constructed around a uniform skeleton. MaCs uniquely do not grant core abilities.

Master class skeleton

1: A, B1.
2: C.
3: D.
4: B2. E.
5: F.

Multichoice Abilities:
These are typically absent from MaCs. At best you might get a single instance in the D slot.

More or less as per Base Classes. Given the stage in their careers at which they will enter this class, abilities can be more powerful than starting abilities in Base and Expert classes.

The Gamebreaker:
The 5th level ability is analogous to the 14th level level ability of a base class in terms of power and cool factor, and can be conceptually quite tightly focused. Bear in mind that while it's entirely possible for this to be the 2nd game breaker a character possess by the time they hit level 19.


Some final considerations

aka the Received Wisdom of Scotty back on the AEG boards:

For Base and Expert classes, the A abilities can be combined with C abilities; the Soldier is a perfect example of this. Similarly, an Expert class's E & G slots are often paired. Also as aluded to, the C abilities can be hived off into CODD and CEVEN; check out the Snoop to see this in action.

For Expert classes, it's a good suggestion that the D abilities be somehow team related -- while individuals should shine at their special subject, they typically have to bring their less adept friends along.

Other important things:
1: Would you be willing to take EVERY level in the new class? Yes is good.
2: Does the new class have an ability that people would enter that class for then leave? Yes is bad.
3: Will a player think twice before sacrificing a core ability? Yes is good.
4: Is there any way the new class ability might combine with something else to REALLY disrupt game balance? Yes is bad.

For base classes the 2/11/19 slot and the 10/20 slot give larger bonuses (typically a +2 to one stat, +1 to two stats or +1 and some other benefit). The 6/9/12/15/18 slot gives a +1 when used for an attribute bump. Fixer is getting an odd one, but it's at about the +1 benefit level. It shows slightly early but is offset by a max cumulative bonus of +4.

In the Expert classes the D slot (4/8; granting +1) is similar to the 4/8/12/16/20 or 6/9/12/15/18 slots of base classes. The F (6) slot is rated on par with the 2/11/19 set and so if that's where the class gets an attribute bump, it's one of those larger bumps. Provocateur is a bit of an odd duck as it is getting an attribute bump not in the D slot (filled by sidetrack) but in the unique 'E' slot that Expert classes have. Unusual, but not strictly prohibited.