Tiny d10

The tiny RPG!


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Home-brewing Session: Classes

Tiny d10’s classes are designed to be easily extended. It’s simple to create additional class abilities, as well as entirely new classes. In this, the first of many home-brewing sessions, we explore the principles of class design.

There are three main components of a class: the description, the characteristics, and the abilities. Each component will be explained in detail during this session.


Class Description

The class description, while not a mechanical component like characteristics and abilities, is still of critical importance. In three to four brief sentences, the essence of the class should be summarized. Some information to include might be their histories, strengths, beliefs, or how they are perceived by others.

Class Characteristics

Class characteristics consist of toughness, usable weapons, usable armor, and any bonuses or class specific features (like beginning spells). This is easily the trickiest part to balance. In general, the following are guidelines:

Strong classes (emphasizes physical strength and melee combat, e.g. fighters, wanderers):

  • High toughness (T9)
  • Uses heavier weaponry and armor
  •  few (if any) bonuses

Moderate classes (emphasizes a balance of physical strength and dexterity, e.g. thieves, legionnaires):

  • medium toughness (T8)
  • uses either heavier weaponry or heavier armor
  • some bonuses (usually enhancing weak areas, like HP)

Weak classes (emphasizes high intelligence or dexterity, e.g. magic-users, bards):

  • low toughness (T7)
  • uses lighter weaponry and armor
  • numerous and/or higher bonuses (usually to compensate for weak/ineffective melee attacks)

Certain unique classes (like a ‘spell knight’, for instance) might contradict these guidelines by being both strong and magical. To prevent overpowering the class, consider adding restrictions to its class abilities.

Class Abilities

Class abilities are special skills that are granted to each class a character creation. They generally fall into two categories:

  • Level-amplified – these abilities are designed to become stronger as levels are gained. The amount of damage a certain attack inflicts, the bonus to a certain action, or the amount of targets an ability affects can increase based on a character’s level. Level-amplified abilities are essential to character growth, and should always be included when developing a new class; however, they can also be quite powerful, so it’s best to use just one.
  • Core – these abilities usually express something particularly unique to the class. Their benefit should be applicable in a multitude of different situations, resulting in a more flexible ability than level-amplified abilities.

Canonically, each class has two abilities (though the magic-user has three to balance the low toughness); however, more abilities can be designed and granted to characters upon gaining higher levels.


Hopefully this analysis is detailed enough to make designing classes easy, fun, and balanced. If you use these guidelines to home-brew unique classes (or if anything needs to be more clear), let me know in the comments!


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New Class: The Legionnaire

Legionnaires are members of an ancient order of people’s heroes devoted to upholding good, aiding the downtrodden, and vanquishing evil. While wise and tactful, they can be prone to outbursts of swashbuckling heroism.

T8; may only use lightweight weapons; may only use lightweight armor; +1 PP.

Legionnaire Class Abilities

  • Riposte: If an opponent’s attack roll against you is 5 or less, you earn an immediate attack against them with a bonus equal to your level.
  • Heroic Reputation: Legionnaires have the trust of the poor, the disenfranchised, and the downtrodden; as a result, you immediately gain favor among them.


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New Class: The Bard

Bards are masters of music and lore, spinning grand tales of mighty battles, epic heroes, and histories almost forgotten. They are charismatic, light on their feet, and extremely street smart.

T7; may only use mediumweight weapons & below; may only use lightweight armor; +2 PP.

Bard Class Abilities

  • Bard’s Song: Once per game, play a song, recite a poem, or sing lyrics that have one of the following effects, all of which last as many combat rounds or minutes equal to your level: hypnotism, inspiration (+1 to ATK roll), or slumber. This ability will affect your level times five creatures.
  • Entertain: Raise spirits with humorous banter and lighthearted song; if you succeed a T8 Aspect check, heal one creature (1HP).
  • Spell Casting: Bard’s may cast any magical spell for their cost in MP, but may not cast natural spells.


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Update: New content is on the way!

I’ve been coasting on the completion of version 4 for far too long now. It’s time to get back to making stuff! In the coming months, you can expect to see:

  • New classes (at least four: the bard, the wanderer, the legionnaire, and one more to be determined)
  • New races
  • More weapons
  • More class abilities
  • An adventure?

We’ll see about that last one. It’s currently under development, but I’ll leave you with a teaser map.The Mystic Island (labelled)

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