M20 is a great system for several reasons, my favourite is that i can make new rules on it. I try again with the Character Builder because the standard classes are not enough “low Fantasy” for my game style. For this purpose i had to split the Attack Bonus in its 3 components, every class will have 3 different progressions of it (most probably). As i said before after the post of The Bane, I think it is needed for the versatility of the class, more hybrid classes with different offensive powers in melee and missile. by the way here is a first idea about it, a descriptive method. The DM thinks a class (not a specific individual) and visualizes it, then he choses a bonus that describes it best from the list. I used this method for the classes i posted here before, now I am writing down the tables i had in my mind 😀
As usual this is a DM tool, at the end he still has to check and do some “labor limae”.
Armors, weapons, casting skills, skills, special abilities and everything will follow, here is the Attack Bonus
First of all you should have an idea about what your class will be, take inspiration from books, movies, drawings and of course try to match the new class with the style of playing of your players, cut it on them.
Then ask yourself which are the weak spots of that career, in game terms you have to emphasize weaknesses.
Don’t be generous or your new class will be over powered.
Melee Attack Bonus
Be sure to see if a class is used to fights or if that class is made for it.
+1/lvl: Pure Melee Fighter, Professional Soldier, Mercenary, Knight, Master Assassin, Tribal Champion, Duelist.
This bonus is for people who live in constant training of martial arts, and fight is a common part of their lives.
+1/2 lvl: Militia/Levy Soldier, Thug, Primitive/Clan Member, Scout, Spy, Trader (carovan).
This bonus is for people who face violence often but it’s not their true profession, they are used and ready to fight but they will never reach the perfection of a pure warrior.
+1/3 lvl: Common Man, Trader (shop), Artisan, Charlatan, Inn Keeper.
This bonus is for people that would never start a fight but that can defend themsleves if needed, common people that had few or no experiences with violence.
+1/4 lvl: Academic, Librarian, Alchemist, Wizard, Politician, Shaman, Sage, Doctor, Priest, Healer.
This bonus is for people with no experience or affinity with combat, they will avoid all combat situations until escaped or cornered.
Missile Attack Bonus
Most missile weapons are difficult to handle and master, if everyone can kill with a club few can aim and shot with a bow.
+1/lvl: Ranger, Hunter, Sniper, Archer, Mecenary Cossbowman.
This bonus is for people who live with their bow and uses it daily, for training or survival.
+1/2 lvl: Levy Soldier, Primitive/Clan Member, Spy, Trader (carovan), Trapper.
This bonus is for people who often use missile weapons for more than one purpose, but consider it just an useful tool and not a way of living.
+1/3 lvl: a Common Man, Thug, Artisan, Charlatan, Militia.
This bonus is for people that can use a missile weapon, but due a lack of training and real need isn’t properly skilled.
+1/4 lvl: Academic, Librarian, Alchemist, Wizard, Politician, Shaman, Sage, Doctor, Priest,
This bonus is for people that will hardly use a missile weapon if not as last resource in a desperate situation.
Magic Attack bonus
Turn Undead and Read Scrolls are special abilities that should be accessibile only to classes with a positive Magic Attack Bonus. It is possible to limit the cast of high level spells from scrolls for classes with a low Magic Attack Bonus.
+1/lvl: a Wizard, priest, Shaman, Alchemist
This bonus is for a pure spell user, people who studied and still study the magical forces.
+1/2 lvl: Treasure Hunter, Charlatan, Spy.
This bonus is for a trained individual that with study or field experience can manipulate/use magical powers and items.
+1/3 lvl: Cultured, Noble, Academic, Sage.
This bonus is for people that have some knowledge about magic and supernatural, they studied something in their youth but are not familiar with magic.
+1/4 lvl: Healer, Doctor, Scientist.
This bonus is for people that know the basics of magical powers, but they use other means to reach that effect.
0/lvl: everyone else