While fighters cover a huge range of different types of warrior, the Paladin is a very particular form of combatant in this case. Here we are talking about martial orders, warrior monks (of the non-Eastern variety). These are Templars,
Hospitallers, Knights of the Sepulchre, Knights of Lazarus or similar orders. They are empowered by their faith and their oaths of chastity, poverty, obedience and sometimes fourth, solemn vows of particular import to that individual.
Paladin’s in this write-up have ‘power’ as a result of their zealotry and religious faith, more than by magic or divinity per se, as with the cleric the truth of divinity is more of a question requiring faith.
- Hit Points: 6+Con Bonus.
- Heroism: 1d8/Level
- All armour, shields.
- Simple weapons, martial weapons.
- Wisdom and Charisma saving throws.
To read this full article, please donate $1 a month on my Patreon to get articles like this, access to me and discounts on apparel and PDFs of RPGs. You can get many of the same perks (but fewer) by following me on Minds.com and donating 1 token a month.
As is typical with most RPGs, characters are defined by their attributes (their natural, innate capabilities) and their skills (their learned and applied knowledge). The two combined give you the number of dice you roll to perform actions and you roll against a target number to see if you succeed. The more you succeed, the better you do.
Characters are primarily defined by a template, which gives you some starting attributes and skills which you can then customise (don’t worry, there’s an option to create a character from scratch if you want).
Templates suit Gorean characters uniquely well because much of Gor (civilised Gor) is based upon a caste system with each caste having semi-rigid roles within Gorean society. The high castes (Physicians, Warriors, Scribes, Initiates and Builders) rule the society while the lower castes such as the Peasants, Leather Workers and – much to their chagrin – Merchants make everything work smoothly day to day.
Each caste has its own secrets, methods, honour codes and its own proud traditions and the lowliest peasant is as fierce and proud of his position and caste as the loftiest and most pretentious initiate.
While it might seem like a group entirely made up of warriors is a no-brainer, a spread of castes is not only useful but can be justified in many ways such as being a band of outlaws or attached to a mercenary company. Even within castes there is more variety than you might expect as well, within the caste of physicians you might find herbalists, delivery riders, researchers, doctors, midwives, veterinarians, field medics and even caravan guards for shipments of medicine. Even slaves can be productive characters – so often being beneath notice – and free women can do everything that free men can, with the additional advantages of the respect and deference offered to free women.
I’m just over half-way through writing up the racial traits, which is one of the key aspects to Machinations of the Space Princess and not something I’m sure has been done before. Going through the various species, culture and exotic traits available to potential characters, it’s pretty obvious that the potential for min-maxing is huge.
Is this a problem?
I don’t know that it is. While I expect the game to be reasonably deadly I think more competent characters will compensate a bit for that and be in keeping with the genre.
After all, when you look at science fiction of all sorts, the aliens aren’t so alien after all. they’re specialised and extended versions of us. The klingons in Star Trek are a warrior culture with redundant organs and great martial skill and they’re hardly the only ones. Aliens of all sorts in all kinds of fiction exemplify particular traits.
The traits in Machinations aren’t that major in effect, they’re more than cosmetic but they’re not earth-shaking. It’s more about a way of guiding how you play the characters and giving them colour and flavour that goes far beyond just picking a class and race.
If people want to min-max, more power to them. If that’s wrong, it’s a failure of the player, not the game and hey, who doesn’t want to be the best at what they do? Bub.