Variant Classes in C&C.

In the Castles & Crusades Castle Keepers Guide we have examples of variant races, but what do you think of variant classes with a different prime attribute from the Players Handbook?

Background for this question:
I liked the AD&D 1st ed. triple-class options for elves and half elves, such as the cleric/fighter/magic-user, and the fighter/magic-user/thief. That can’t happen in C&C due to the fact that you would need three prime attributes for half-elves (elf lineage) and elves, and they only get two. I have looked at the multi-classing, class and a half, and expanding classes options and I currently don’t feel they provide a satisfactory solution. There is also the possibility of mixing and matching the very niche classes from the Adventurers Backpack and the Codex books. Finally, I thought about bringing in primary, secondary, and tertiary attributes, but think that overcomplicates things. What can I do?

AD&D 1st edition Players Handbook (1978)

Race-Class Variant 1:
What if you have a race-specific class variant? For example, elves are quick on their feet, could there be an Elven Fighter class with Dexterity as prime instead of the PHB Fighter with strength as prime? That would make an elven fighter/rogue/wizard a reality. What about Elven Cleric or Elven Wizard classes that are charisma based? That could allow cleric/fighter/wizard.

Castles & Crusades Players Handbook, 7th printing (2017)

Race-Class Variant 2:
I also want to bring in the B/X and BECMI-inspired Race-as-Class to represent a sort of elder version of the elves and dwarves in my campaign world. I’ve already outlined versions of them but have yet to playtest them. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Elder Dwarf class is a strong fighter type with strength and constitution as primes for their race-class. The Elder Elf class will be a mixture of wizard, sword/bow fighter, and a little rogue stealthiness. Their primes would be dexterity and intelligence. Using this approach I could achieve a sort of elven fighter/thief/wizard, but this would require being an Elder Elf. However, this again would not allow for an elven cleric/fighter/wizard.

Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set Players Manual (1983)

Why am I so hung up on race-as-class and the AD&D elven triple class? They were a very important part of my D&D upbringing in the 1970’s and 80’s, and I want to bring that into my Castles & Crusades game. I just have to find the right way to bring that about.

Difficulty finding the right fantasy RPG art (especially females)

Trying to find good art to represent a character can be such a difficult time-sink. I have two major NPCs that I will be introducing to one of my campaigns (luckily, not for a year, so I have time). My challenge is finding art for a human male monk, and an elven female dragonslayer (she’s actually three classes, but dragonslayer dominates). Here’s what I face with my requirements.

Human Male Monk:
– My monks are not the eastern ki-energy martial artists. Mine are the medieval fighting monks from the crusades, much more like medieval friars, although some also take classes in cleric, paladin, or knight to fit into a Templar Knight mold. I wish we had more practical medieval friar style crusading monk art.

Female Elven Dragonslayer:
– No chainmail bikini/boobplate armor.
– No armor in high heels.
– No cutesy anime.
– No over-sized MMORPG-type weapons or armor that are impossible for any person to wear or wield.

This Elven Knight by Alexandra Valentine approaches what I am looking for, although there should still be more protective armor on her.

My C&C games are located in a High Middle Ages timeframe (c. mid-12th century), so only dwarves have the ability to make plate armor (they are a couple centuries ahead of humans in armor making), only elves make or use rapiers, firearms do not exist, and magic is difficult and can’t be cast constantly.

By contrast, so much current D&D 5E-inspired art looks really cool, but it is Renaissance-era in how it represents clothes, weapons, and armor. Firearms are available. And everyone can casts spells that never run out and they are very flashy. So the art looks good, but it doesn’t relate to the look and feel of my game at all.

Is it possible to get any female fantasy RPG representation that is not over-sexed, overly cute, or turned into some superhero/MMORPG exaggeration? I’m glad I don’t need this NPC art until next year, since I suspect I’ll need that much time to find it! But as I scour the web for other general art from week to week for my games, this is a daily challenge, since most of the art is the current D&D 5E-inspired art. The old school art from the 70’s-90’s is a bit more rational, although this was also the heyday of chainmail bikinis. As a result I frequently end up with the more limited options found in history magazine/book art, such as Osprey Publishing.