The civilized races of Primal Earth are split into the two categories:
Martial Classes: in a continent fueled by conflict, every tribe needs a line of defense. Barbarian armies, furious beast riders, lethal fighter brigades, stealthy rangers and rogue scouts all fill this need whether wielding club or spear. The five martial classes of Primal Earth represent the most common classes found on the continent.
Caster Classes: in Primal Earth, superstition is a staple of every tribe and tradition. Thus children showing early signs of magical potency are often sacrificed or slain. Those few who manage to hide their aberrant powers must develop a strong body that can withstand the draining force of their magical gifts. Warlord skalds, mystical druids, truth-seeing oracles, titan-blooded sorcerers and devious witches are incredibly rare in the world of Primal Earth. Yet those who exist and manage to survive their early and arduous life, can become as gods.
Because of the rarity and power of caster classes in this setting, all caster classes advance in level at half the rate of the martial classes. In addition casters must succeed a Caster Strain check whenever casting a spell or become fatigued. See the magic page for more information.
Players can play as one of the following classes:
For some, there is only rage. In the ways of their people, in the fury of their passion, in the howl of battle, conflict is all these brutal souls know. Savages, hired muscle, masters of vicious martial techniques, they are not soldiers or professional warriors—they are the battle possessed, creatures of slaughter and spirits of war. Known as barbarians, these warmongers know little of training, preparation, or the rules of warfare; for them, only the moment exists, with the foes that stand before them and the knowledge that the next moment might hold their death. They possess a sixth sense in regard to danger and the endurance to weather all that might entail. These brutal warriors might rise from all walks of life, both civilized and savage, though whole societies embracing such philosophies roam the wild places of the world. Within barbarians storms the primal spirit of battle, and woe to those who face their rage.
Starting Gear: 1st level barbarians begin play with light or medium bone or leather armor (not plate); 3 bone, leather or wooden weapons and a whetstone.
Most bards, find their place in society, as war-singers, work-chanters, or lore-keepers of the tribe. These mystical men and women hide their magic in song, dance and ritual in order to ensure not only their own survival, but the survival of their own people. Bards are often found in the center of the fray banging their shields or blowing on a ram horn, filling their allies with courage and consuming their enemies with dread. Most bards in Primal Earth have the Savage Skald archetype.
Archetypes: Archivist, Detective Magician, Sandman, Savage Skald, Sea Singer.
Starting Gear: 1st level bard begin play with light cloth, bone or leather armor and shield; 2 bone, leather or wooden weapons, a whetstone and a musical instrument.
Known as beast riders, this rare breed of fighters honor the traditions of their clans by bringing down mighty beasts and taming them to serve their purpose. Beast riders form a bond with their mount at an early age and are groomed by the elders of their clans to uphold the traditions of their people and lead them into battle when the horn is sound. In Primal Earth, cavalier orders are called clans. These represent the tribal code of the beast rider.
Orders (Clans): Order of the Cockatrice, Order of the Dragon, Order of the Lion, Order of the Shield, Order of the Star, Order of the Sword.
Starting Gear: 1st level cavaliers begin play with light or medium bone or leather armor and shield (not plate); 3 bone, leather or wooden weapons; a whetstone; bit and bridle and a saddle.
Within the purity of the elements and the order of the wilds lingers a power beyond the marvels of civilization. Furtive yet undeniable, these primal magics are guarded over by servants of philosophical balance known as druids. Allies to beasts and manipulators of nature, these mystical protectors are often spoken of in hushed tones, as few druids are open of their motives and most common folk mistake them to be witches.
Starting Gear: 1st level druids begin play with light cloth, bone or leather armor and shield; 2 bone, leather or wooden weapons and holly and mistletoe.
Some take up arms for glory, wealth, or revenge. Others do battle to prove themselves, to protect others, or because they know nothing else. Still others learn the ways of weaponcraft to hone their bodies in battle and prove their mettle in the fires of war. Lords of the battlefield, fighters are a disparate lot, training with many weapons or just one, perfecting the uses of armor, learning the fighting techniques of exotic masters, and studying the art of combat, all to shape themselves into living weapons.
Archetypes: Archer, Free Hand Fighter, Mobile Fighter, Phalanx Soldier, Polearm Master, Roughrider, Savage Warrior, Shielded Fighter, Two-Handed Fighter, Two-Weapon Warrior, Weapon Master.
Starting Gear: 1st level fighters begin play with light or medium bone or leather armor and shield (not plate); 3 bone, leather or wooden weapons and a whetstone.
Although the gods work through many agents, perhaps none is more mysterious than the oracle. These divine vessels are granted power without their choice, selected by providence to wield powers that even they do not fully understand. Socialized oracles act as spiritual leaders and soothsayer for their clans, while nomadic oracles do their utmost to keep their gift (or curse) a secret from those who might foolishly defy the spirit that protects them.
Starting Gear: 1st level oracles begin play with light cloth, bone or leather armor and shield; 2 bone, leather or wooden weapons.
For those who relish the thrill of the hunt, there are only predators and prey. Be they scouts, trackers, or bounty hunters, rangers share much in common: unique mastery of specialized weapons, skill at stalking even the most elusive game, and the expertise to defeat a wide range of quarries. Knowledgeable, patient, and skilled hunters, these rangers hound man, beast, and skae alike, gaining insight into the way of the predator, skill in varied environments, and ever more lethal martial prowess. While some track man-eating creatures to protect their lands, others pursue more cunning game—even fugitives among their own people. All rangers in Primal Earth must take the Skirmisher archetype.
Starting Gear: 1st level rangers begin play with light or medium bone or leather armor and shield (not plate); 3 bone, leather or wooden weapons and a whetstone.
Life is an endless adventure for those who live by their wits. Ever just one step ahead of danger, rogues bank on their cunning, skill, and charm to bend fate to their favor. Never knowing what to expect, they prepare for everything, becoming masters of a wide variety of skills, training themselves to be adept manipulators, agile acrobats, shadowy stalkers, or masters of any of dozens of other professions or talents. Thieves and gamblers, fast talkers and diplomats, bandits and bounty hunters, and explorers and investigators all might be considered rogues, as well as countless other professions that rely upon wits, prowess, or luck.
Starting Gear: 1st level rogues begin play with light cloth, bone or leather armor; 2 bone, leather or wooden weapons and a set of thieves’ tools.
Scions of innately magical bloodlines, the chosen of deities, the spawn of monsters, pawns of fate and destiny, or simply flukes of fickle magic, sorcerers look within themselves for arcane prowess and draw forth might few mortals can imagine. Emboldened by lives ever threatening to be consumed by their innate powers, tribal members and even families, these magic-touched souls endlessly indulge in and refine their mysterious abilities, gradually learning how to harness their birthright and coax forth ever greater arcane feats. Just as varied as these innately powerful spellcasters’ abilities and inspirations are the ways in which they choose to utilize their gifts. While some seek to control their abilities through meditation and discipline, becoming masters of their fantastic birthright, others give in to their magic, letting it rule their lives with often explosive results. Sorcerer’s as the rarest of spellcasters in Primal Earth, and the majority of them possess the elemental bloodline.
Starting Gear: 1st level sorcerers begin play with 2 bone, leather or wooden weapons.
Some gain power through study, some through devotion, others through blood, but the witch gains power from her communion with the unknown. Generally feared and misunderstood, the witch draws her magic from a pact made with an otherworldly power. Communing with that source, using her familiar as a conduit, the witch gains not only a host of spells, but a number of strange abilities known as hexes. As a witch grows in power, she might learn about the source of her magic, but some remain blissfully unaware. Some are even afraid of that source, fearful of what it might be or where its true purposes lie.