Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Whence class level titles?
Here's a random encounter subtable from Hints for D&D Judges (Joe Fischer, Best of Dragon 1980):
5 Evil Priests
12 Evil High Priests
Which got me wondering, whatever happened to class level titles?
None of what I would consider the "bigger" retro-clones, SW, LL, nor OSRIC, saw fit to include them. I don't believe that was a copyright omission, as I'm pretty sure no one can copyright a word like "Thaumaturgist", even in the context of a 5th level Magic User.
Original D&D didn't even number levels originally - there was no such thing as a "5th level" Magic User , according to Little Brown Book #1 pg. 16. Yet by 2nd Edition AD&D, 1989, the class level title was gone completely, all that flavor gone, reduced to a sterile number. Something that seems to have been, for a good while, as integral and iconic a part of the game as AC, hit points, and alignment was lost to the mists of time after a scant 15 years of use.