Super Dungeon Explore currently has over 40 different Heroes! Once the Super Dungeon Legends Kickstarter comes rolling around, there is going to be even more. One of the challenges we faced with Legends was: how do we advance Heroes? In most traditional RPGs a Hero’s advancement is two-fold: a path of advancement specific to the character type, plus advancement through a general pool of skills and abilities. Considering the large pool of Heroes which already exist, and many more on the way, it was quickly apparent that it was unrealistic to create unique cards representing every Hero, for every advancement, covering every possibility. That is, unless we wanted to severely restrict players’ ability to make their Heroes into unique creations all their own.
Fortunately, the affinity system already places both Heroes and monsters into groups of similar archetypes. Citrine Heroes are generally brawny: melee and strength-based. Sapphire Heroes are resilient: durable and armor-based. Ruby Heroes are magical: intelligent and willpower-based. Emerald Heroes are quick: nimble and dexterity-based. Affinity gave us our groupings so all we needed was a level progression system.
As we’ve mentioned in previous articles, one of the things that inspire Super Dungeon are classic Japanese video games. While many Japanese video games use traditional numbers to represent levels, we were far more attracted to many fighting and action games that proudly proclaimed a rank or class—C, B, A, or S— based on your incredible achievements. Why not apply that system to our own game? Thus, the Class system was born.
A Hero’s relative power level is gauged by six classes: C-Class, B-Class, A-Class, S-Class, X-Class, and XS-Class. The Consul uses the party’s class to help determine how powerful adventures need to be in order to remaining challenging. Premade adventures have a recommended Class level on them, so you can choose an adventure appropriate to your power level.
C-Class represents normal everyday people and creatures, whether they be human, horse, elf, emu, gnome, gnat, dwarf, dog, or something stranger. C-Class is reserved for nonplayer characters such as merchants, villagers, farmers or even basic combatants, such as town watch or basic 8-Bit monsters who are not as powerful as a Hero.
B-Class represents powerful warriors, sages, and creatures that are a cut above their normal ken, but which are still a little green around the ears. Basic 16-Bit monsters are considered B-Class. Heroes always begin a campaign at B-Class, and are represented by only their initial game card.
A-Class represents Heroes and creatures that are skilled veterans. Basic Super monsters are considered A-Class.
S-Class represents Heroes and creatures that are true masters of their craft. They have experiences that have elevated their capabilities to extraordinary levels.
X-Class represents Heroes and creatures that have reached the zenith of their skill and are living, breathing legends.
XS-Class represents those rare individuals who have transcended the bounds of mortal skill and knowledge. They are paragons of myth that shape the fate of Crystalia and have become demi-gods in their own right.
A Hero’s class and affinity determines what upgrade cards a Hero may possess. Heroes may only ever gain cards that are of equivalent or lower class. In order to advance through the classes a Hero must acquire crystals. Once a Hero possesses enough crystals, they are considered to have leveled up to the next class, and may begin to accrue items appropriate to their new class.