In [[{{RolePlaying Game}} RPGs]] a Character Class is a job that determines a player's abilities and fighting style (and depending on the game possibly even their origin, education, and home area). While still most common in RolePlayingGames, they have recently began to appear in other genres. A character class is defined by the abilities that it lends to a character as such, two different characters of the same class are theoretically interchangeable, in that they can play the same role in the game because of their similar abilities. However, character class systems have varying levels of Character Customization ranging from characters of a given class being literally identical to having so much variety that character class is no longer even a good indicator of that character's abilities.

Many game systems allow players to dual-class in some way, or may have a more flexible class system. Sometimes, a player will be able to start as a more general class ("My character is a wizard.") and specialize into a more specific class ("My character is a '''[[PlayingWithFire fire]]''' wizard."). Many of these may be [[PrestigeClass Prestige Classes]]. The opposite may also happen if a character is multiclass.

The FighterMageThief trio covers the three most basic character classes which serve as categories that most other classes are based on. This page aims to list some of the more common character combat classes in games - both electronic and pen and paper.

See also CommonCharacterClasses, AnAdventurerIsYou, JobSystem, SquareRaceRoundClass, and ModernDaySciFiRPGClassEquivalents.
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* '''The Fighter Classes''': Other Names: ''Warrior'', ''Knight''[[note]]When Knight isn't separated into it's own class[[/note]]. In any game with classes, the most basic usually maps to the Fighter. Fighters are [[CloseRangeCombatant melee attackers]] wielding close range weaponry and good at fighting enemies in head-to-head combat where they are at the most danger. They typically lack range, but have high [[MadeOfIron stamina]], [[StoneWall defense]], and attack capabilities to make up for it. Because they are usually able to equip a wide variety of weaponry and armor, fighters are often considered a good class for beginners. Variations include:
** '''[[KnightInShiningArmor The Knight]]''': Other Names: ''Cavalier''[[note]]Whenever the Cavalier isn't its own class[[/note]], ''Guardian'', ''Sentinel''. When Knight isn't the same as the Fighter it is often considered an upgrade to it. They typically wear bigger, heavier armor and weaponry, sacrificing speed for [[StoneWall defense]] and power. In [[PlayerParty team]] based games they may gain support abilities to aid their allies in battle (such as the ability to shield the group from enemy attacks, or a "taunt" command that forces foes to direct attacks towards them and away from allies, and/or the ability to make powerful {{Counter Attack}}s against enemies who ignore them). Knights may be able to employ [[CoolHorse mounted combat]], if there is no dedicated Cavalier class.
** '''[[{{Swashbuckler}} The Swashbuckler]]''': Other Names: ''Fencer'', ''Duelist''. A fighter who tends toward light or no armor and prefers agility, cunning, daring and technical skill to sheer force. Tends to be rogue-like in his or her trappings (though usually more flamboyant than subtle) and is often used to evoke the Rogue archetype in games where skills and stealth play a small or no role. A likely default class for TheHero, especially in {{JRPG}}s and adventure novels after Creator/AlexandreDumas.
** '''[[ThePaladin The Paladin]]''': Other Names: ''Holy Knight'', ''Crusader'', ''Templar'', ''Inquisitor''[[note]]Whenever the Templar isn't its own class[[/note]]. The Paladin is a Fighter with the power of [[LightEmUp Light]] and [[WhiteMagic healing]] magic, as well as defensive buffs for their allies. Their devotion to their god or deity gives them various prayers, healing abilities and [[HolyHandGrenade light-based]] spells to protect themselves and others. Naturally, they are a type of MagicKnight. They are also quite good at [[GoodHurtsEvil laying the smite down on undead, demons and other traditionally evil supernatural creatures]]. However, they may have behavioral limits: some rulesets impose varying penalties on taking actions that stray too far from LawfulGood, which can lead to weakening of abilities, loss of abilities or sometimes even being kicked out of the "Paladin" class entirely. If the setting doesn't have behavioral limitations they may have lower [[GlassCannon stamina]] or [[MightyGlacier speed]] to balance out their magic.
** '''[[BlackKnight The Dark Knight]]''': Other Names: ''[[TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons Blackguard, Hexblade]]'', ''Antipaladin'', ''[[VideoGame/WarcraftIII Death]] [[VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft Knight]]''. The Dark Knight class is the [[EvilCounterpart opposite number of the Paladin]], possessing the power of [[CastingAShadow Darkness]] and often [[{{Necromancer}} necromantic]] or [[BlackMagic dark-magic oriented abilities]] that deal large amounts of damage to enemies, although often [[CastFromHitPoints at the cost of their own HP.]] They may have abilities that lower their target's stats or inflict StandardStatusEffects also. As the opposite of the Paladin, they may do more damage to [[ElementalRockPaperScissors light based enemies]] such as angels, fairies or other traditionally good/holy creatures even if LightIsNotGood or find such foes to be [[HolyBurnsEvil their biggest weakness]]. They generally do not suffer the behavioral limitations of Paladins, except possibly when they are the literal counterpart of Paladins and need to behave accordingly.
** '''[[DragonKnight The Dragon Knight]]''': Other Names: ''Dragoon'' (though this term originally meant a soldier who [[DualModeUnit could fight mounted or as infantry]]). A Fighter who either is in the employ of, powered by, [[HalfHumanHybrid part]], owns, or specializes in hunting, dragons. A Dragon Knight usually has a variety of abilities that mimic or relate to dragons in some way -- flight or high jumping ability, fire breath, and dealing extra damage to dragons are all common. Some are able to [[InstantAwesomeJustAddDragons tame or train dragons]] (typically [[DragonRider either big ones large enough to ride on]], [[ShoulderPet or smaller species/hatchlings]]) or even transform into a dragon themselves. They seem to be associated with [[BladeOnAStick spears]] for [[FinalFantasyIV some reason]].
** '''[[BarbarianHero The Barbarian]]''': Other Names: ''[[TheBerserker Berserker]]'', ''Gladiator''. The Barbarian is a breed of Fighter focused more on damage than defense. Note that in systems where Barbarians have normal or greater than normal physical defense compared to other warriors, such as D&D, they will usually have no defense whatsoever against magic. Often characterized by wearing less armor, being less civilized, and being able to fly into a berserker rage that increases damage output or allow them to do more damage based on how hurt they are.
** '''[[EverythingsBetterWithSamurai The Samurai]]''': Other Names: ''Yojimbo'', ''Kensai'', ''Weapon Master'', ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblem Myrmidon]]''. Samurai wear less armor than regular Fighters, which leads them to have less defensive abilities. In general, they commonly have access to KiAttacks, [[GlassCannon higher damage]], and higher speed and mobility, along with abilities related to {{Counter Attack}}s, [[KillingIntent sensing hidden enemies]], or [[SpeedBlitz acting before their opponents can act]]. Some Samurai can wield [[BowAndSwordInAccord both swords and longbows]] (and occasionally [[BladeOnAStick spears]]), but the majority focus on [[KatanasAreJustBetter the sword]] to the [[WeaponOfChoice exclusion of all other weapons]]. Generally restricted to Asian settings, but can appear outside them under more generic names like '''[[MasterSwordsman The Swordmaster]]'''. After the Hero, Samurai are the class most likely to have unique weapons which other classes cannot use. Because Yojimbo are mercenaries, they may be literally able to [[Franchise/FinalFantasy spend money to deal more damage]].
** '''[[FourStarBadass The Warlord]]''': Other Names: ''General'', ''[[TheStrategist Tactician]]'', ''Marshal'', ''Commander''. The Warlord is a tactical master. He can hold his own in frontline combat as well as giving out buffs to his underlings and allies, usually by commanding them to superior positions than the ones they would have thought of on their own, and he may have protective auras made of his own charisma to increase a team's effectiveness in battle.
** '''[[CoolHorse The Cavalier]]''': Other Names: ''Knight''[[note]]Whenever that name isn't taken by the Knight class above[[/note]]. The Cavalier fights from the back of a mount, whether a normal horse or something more exotic. Cavaliers have higher movement speed than other Fighters and may be able to [[FoeTossingCharge charge through groups of enemies]] or perform HitAndRunTactics. However, [[NecessaryDrawback they also have more weaknesses]]: their large size can make them easier to hit or prevent them from travelling through certain terrain, and they may be vulnerable to specialised AntiCavalry weapons or attacks which frighten[=/=]control animals. Cavaliers with [[{{Flight}} flying]] mounts also tend to be {{Fragile Speedster}}s, presumably because heavy armor would hinder their ability to fly. Sometimes a cavalier's mount can be separately targeted and killed, which either kills the cavalier or [[ClippedWingAngel turns them into an infantry unit with poorer stats]]. In games where a lot of fighting takes place indoors, the Cavalier is usually folded into another Fighter class such as Knight or Dragon Knight, and they may be able to [[DualModeUnit switch between infantry and cavalry modes]]. [[HorseArcher Mounted archers]] are comparatively rare, and tend to be closer to Rangers than Fighters.
** '''TheHero''': Other Names: ''[[FireEmblem Lord]]'', ''Protagonist''. This is the class generally used exclusively used by RPG protagonists, the protagonist of the game will be the only character able to become this class (usually) and may become it as a plot point. Although they are definitely a type of physical class, and sometimes referred to by one of the names of the classes above, they aren't a MightyGlacier or StoneWall; but much closer to being the JackOfAllStats. They may gain [[MagicKnight some magic]], and will almost certainly have unique skills. [[HeroesPreferSwords Almost always uses a sword]], and possibly a shield. Sometimes they will have exclusive access to powerful items like the InfinityPlusOneSword.

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* '''[[FunctionalMagic The Magician Classes]]''': Other Names: ''Mage, Wizard, Sorcerer, Witch, Warlock, [[OverlyLongGag Magi, Magus, Sage, Magician]]''. By whatever name you know this class by, you know this class. In any game with classes, there will always be one that maps to the Magician. These have the widest variety of any set of role-playing classes simply because there are so many varieties of FunctionalMagic. In a FantasyKitchenSink setting, there can potentially be an infinite number of magic users, so long as there is justification for considering them each their own type. A Magician is usually a GlassCannon, blasting away at long range, but easily taken down at close range. Variations include:
** '''[[WitchSpecies The Inherent Gift Magician]]''': Other Names: ''Sorcerer''. This magic-user was born with abilities they don't need to study, and can use more readily than other magicians. This is sometimes explained as being [[HalfHumanHybrid descended from a magical creature]], other times as being part of a WitchSpecies. However, they are often much less versatile than other magic-users, being limited to a smaller or much more tightly-themed pool of spells. Commonly, their powers manifest at adolescence.
** '''[[SuperEmpowering The Theurgist]]''': Other Names: ''Warlock''. The Magician makes a pact with a higher spirit (although not usually a god since those tend to be distinct in fantasy settings), who supplies him with magical powers. This is usually flavored with a DealWithTheDevil. While healing class pacts are seen as good, a magician that makes a pact with an entity that gives them the power to [[BadPowersBadPeople harm or destroy]] is usually flavored in a darker light - and it may turn out to be with [[TheLegionsOfHell demons]] or [[EldritchAbomination Eldritch Abominations]]. Thus, this type of magic is usually heavily offensive and nasty.
*** '''[[SummonMagic The Summoner]]''': Other Names: ''Conjurer''. A higher level in which the caster summons the entity to them to do its bidding. [[EvilIsNotAToy Usually even more dangerous than regular Theurgists.]] Usually supplemented with some magic of another type. If the summoned entity sticks around for a while to assist the summoner, then they may learn magic that allows them to support it. If the summoned entity simply uses a single powerful attack or ability before vanishing, then the summoner is likely to have weaker abilities of roughly the same type, with the summons themselves serving as a form of LimitBreak.
** '''[[VancianMagic The Vancian Magician]]''': Other Names: ''Wizard'', among many others. These casters rely on [[MagicAIsMagicA Rule Magic]] and study to learn and wield magic, usually taking years, leaving their bodies squishy and out of shape... most of the time. Dusty tomes and candlelit towers are what you should associate with these guys. If there's a distinction between this and the Inherent Gift Magician, it will be that these ones have some kind of limitation -- like needing to prepare which spells they'll use ahead of time -- in exchange for more versatility if prepared.
** '''TheRedMage:''' A magician who does not specialize in one school or tradition and studies the magic of various types. They tend to be rare, and depending on which limitations they have, [[JackOfAllTrades may be very powerful thanks to their versatility]] or [[MasterOfNone very weak thanks to their lack of focus]]. In any case, they usually aren't able to use the more complex spells their specialized brethren use, or at least not nearly as often. Of all the kinds of magician, they tend to be the most open minded and least prone to think there are UnEqualRites. May also have more [[MagicKnight physical prowess]] than most other mages to be even more versatile.
** '''[[PowerCopying The Blue Mage]]:''' Other Names: ''Mime, Mimic''. A magician who does not usually rely on standard spells, but instead learns various spells and special abilities from monsters encountered in travel. Often they will need to see the spell or special ability in action, or cast their own unique spell to 'absorb' the ability. Traditionally will develop to be as diverse as the Red Mage, except with unique monster-like abilities to supplement them.
** '''[[{{Necromancer}} The Necromancer]]''': A magic-user who wields power over the dead, blood, and "death energy". They're usually antagonists, but if DarkIsNotEvil, may be a playable class. Often they employ a ZergRush - creating [[TheMinionMaster hordes of weak undead and sending them after a problem till it dies]]. Any other abilities will likely be curses that weaken or sap away strength.
** '''[[MasterOfIllusion The Illusionist]]''': A magic-user who casts illusions. Generally considered weak, with no real damage output, and has been phased out of most settings - their abilities are generally given to characters with Psychic powers and Bards.
** '''[[NatureHero The Nature Magician]]''': Wields power over the [[NatureHero natural world]], often including [[ElementalRockPaperScissors elements]], [[FriendToAllLivingThings animals]], and [[GreenThumb plants]].
*** '''[[ElementalPowers The Elementalist]]''': A specialized Magician who can only use ElementalPowers in some way. They may be able to use all the elements, or may specialize in one or two. Often, they are the key to winning ElementalRockPaperScissors in their setting.
*** '''The Druid''': A jack of all trades nature magician. They often have a mix of elemental offense, healing, and the [[VoluntaryShapeshifting ability to morph into animals]] or elemental spirits to become melee fighters. To further the overlap with the Cleric classes, is often a ''worshiper'' of nature.
*** '''The Shaman''': A nature magician with a Summoner twist. This class generally revolves around bargaining with spirits and building a PlaceOfPower for yourself. (Although since a story about someone who stays in the same place is likely to get boring, this place may become more or less mobile in practice.)
** '''The Elemental Magician''': Usually a subtype of the above, This class (variant) is characterized by an almost [[CripplingOverSpecialization exclusive focus]] on a particular [[ElementalPowers Classical Element]]. Air, Earth, Fire, or Water, and/or derivatives thereof (Lightning, Plants, Ice, etc...). This can be inborn, a pact/link with an ElementalEmbodiment as opposed to a demon, or simply their personal preference.

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* '''The [[TheSneakyGuy Rogue]] Classes''': Other Names: ''Thief'', ''Assassin'', ''Ninja''. Rogues are a diverse class that contains everything from dexterous thieves, to treasure-hunters, to assassins. Masters of stealth and infiltration, Rogues prefer to attack when their opponent is [[BackStab least aware]]. They are [[FragileSpeedster quick but fragile]], unable to take heavy damage, and instead rely on their speed to dodge attacks and slip in and out of the shadows to catch their opponent off guard; [[TrapMaster setting traps]] and inflicting [[StandardStatusEffects status effects]] on foes to give them the edge. Outside of battle Rogues usually have a wide range of helpful [[UtilityPartyMember utility abilities]] such as [[MasterOfUnlocking lockpicking]] to allow them to open locked doors and treasure chests without needing to find/buy keys or the ability to detect and disarm traps. Some can even [[VideoGameStealing steal items directly from enemies]] allowing the player to obtain items that otherwise might be unobtainable. Sometimes Rogues are lumped in with the Ranger class, but more commonly they are differentiated by specializing in melee - particularly with light blades and daggers or ranged attacks using throwing weapons such as knives and shuriken. Variations include:
** '''[[VideoGameStealing The Thief]]''': The Thief, when it is a separate class, is a version of the Rogue with lower damage, but the ability to steal items from enemies. Sometimes, this can extend even to intangible items, such as experience points, but more commonly includes rare items that [[VideoGameStealing cannot be obtained in any other way.]]
** '''[[ProfessionalKiller The Assassin]]''': A more offensive rogue, who sacrifices technical expertise for better stealth and killing abilities. Often have a variety of weakening and poisoning abilities and are able to cripple a foe to leave him open for allies or to let him die from damage over time.
** '''TheGambler''': The Gambler is a fairly rare variation more often seen in video games than in pen and paper settings. The Gambler is a rogue who has a set of magical powers that [[ConfusionFu rely more on chance than usual]]. They may have to draw a card, spin a roulette, roll magical dice, or activate a magical slot machine to get a desired effect which may be positive or negative depending on their luck. Very likely to attack with [[DeathDealer playing cards in lieu of throwing knives.]]
** '''[[{{Ninja}} The Ninja]]''': [[GratuitousNinja Generally, the highest tier of Rogue-type classes.]] The Ninja is a rogue who may have a long list of useful skills. Stealth and backstabbing are universal, but beyond that, it gets hazy. Invisibility, smoke techniques that increases evasion, long-range elemental powers, and sometimes special bonuses to combat like dual-wielding. They also tend to excel at throwing items like shurikens, daggers, and kunai. Often a GameBreaker. May be combined with the Assassin or distinct.
** '''[[CastingAShadow The Shadow]]''': Other Names: ''Nightblade''. Occasionally, Rogue-types will specialize in magic or powers that augment their stealth, and when they do, those powers generally feature darkness, shadows or the occult as themes. May be distinct or combined with the Ninja or Assassin.
** '''The Bandit''': Other Names: ''Burglar, Thug, Brigand''. A Bandit is a Rogue whose stealth skills are either downplayed or non-existent. While they have all the standard Rogue abilities, they tend to use them in less subtle ways - instead of unlocking a door they'll kick it down, and instead of stealthily pickpocketing their enemies they'll simply walk up and grab things from them. Sometimes they also have the ability to intimidate their enemies or are good at destroying structures. Bandits are generally the MightyGlacier of Rogue classes, having stats more similar to a Fighter (though they may still be a FragileSpeedster compared to non-Rogues). While they display slightly more variation in weapons than standard Rogues, most Bandits still cannot equip heavy armor and are thus not as tough as Fighters.
** '''[[{{Pirate}} The Pirate]]''': Other Names: ''Corsair, Privateer, Swashbuckler''. Currently a rare variation of the Rogue, but gaining popularity thanks to MemeticMutation. The archetype for pirate isn't yet set that hard in stone, but in general, a Pirate will [[ChoiceOfTwoWeapons use a combination of weaponry instead of specializing]] - usually being able to switch freely [[TheMusketeer between pistols and swords]]. They may also receive bonuses for fighting in water terrain or on ships, or be the best class at swimming. May have some aspects of the Bandit, or the Bandit class may be folded into Pirate entirely. When this class specifically represents a pirate ''captain'' it sometimes overlaps with Warlord.
** '''[[ArmyScout The Scout]]''': Other Names: ''[[LeParkour Acrobat]], Operative''. Another rare variation on the Rogue, the Scout combines high movement rate with superior sensory and information-gathering skills, and often emphasizes stealth as well. Not guaranteed to be as good at combat as other Rogues; may overlap with the Ranger archetype if they are. May also favour ranged weapons more than other Rogues. Sometimes combined with the Thief to give them more things to do.

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* '''[[ReligionIsMagic The Cleric Classes]]''': A Cleric is usually TheMedic -- some variation on dedicated healers. Unlike Magician-classes, the Clerics usually draw their powers from either Faith, a god, or some variation of the two. Their magic generally requires them to stick to a certain doctrine to access it, but usually comes with less of a price or chance of backfiring like some Magician classes might experience. Clerics often focus on healing and party buffs, but sometimes they are offensively useful against "unholy" enemies such as demons and undead. Often draw their powers from CrystalDragonJesus and may be [[ChristianityIsCatholic suspiciously Catholic]] for a fantasy setting. Cleric-type classes generally have the least amount of variation, simply because healing is so vital and important that distracting a healer generally isn't seen as a good idea. Variations include:
** '''[[WhiteMage The Priest]]''': Other Names: ''Healer, White Mage''. A squishy dedicated healer with little abilities at offense aside from specific types of enemies, most commonly [[GoodHurtsEvil demonic entities]] and [[ReviveKillsZombie the undead]].
** '''[[CombatMedic The Battle Priest]]''': A badass, tough warrior, carrying [[HolyHandGrenade blessed weapons]]. This version of the Cleric can dish out melee damage and heal. They tend to be closer to Clerics than Paladins, who tend to be closer to Fighters.
** '''[[WitchDoctor The Witch Doctor]]''': A version of the cleric flavored for a more shamanic, nature-worshiping culture as opposed to the generally Monotheistic religion most Cleric-using settings use. May be slightly more magically offensive and overlap with the Shaman (see above).
** '''[[GoodIsNotNice The Templar]]''': Other Names: ''Inquisitor''. Named after UsefulNotes/TheKnightsTemplar, the Templar is more of an assassin mixed with a Cleric. The chief role in the story is generally to do the church's dirty work, ferreting out heretics and covering up the great conspiracy. In battle, they may be anything, but tend to be a [[JackOfAllStats jack of all trades]], weaker than a Paladin, Cleric, or Rogue in their specialties, but able to handle all of their roles to one extent or another. They can also be defined as MageKiller / TheWitchHunter, especially in settings where the Church is very much at odds with some, if not all, mages. If the Cleric class normally comes with innate restrictions or drawbacks (e.g. [[CannotTellALie must always tell the truth]], [[ArmorAndMagicDontMix cannot wear metal armor]], must avoid contact with TheDarkSide) then a Templar can usually [[OneHeroHoldTheWeaksauce ignore at least some of them]].
** '''The Caster''': In some settings, the Cleric will be combined with the Magician to create the Caster. The Caster isn't so much TheRedMage as they are the SquishyWizard; the physically weak magic user. This character is usually female. Story-wise, they will be in the party because no-one else can use magic. This is more common in modern settings, but some medieval works will still use this class for the heroine.

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* '''[[ForestRanger The Ranger Classes]]''': Other Names: ''[[VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft Hunter]]''. {{Ranger}}s are woodsmen skilled at surviving in the wild. They may be lumped in with Fighters or Rogues (above) but more often than not are a separate tree of classes all their own. Archery is generally their favored skill, although most can fall back on swordplay if necessary. Rangers may also be skilled in some form of wilderness or nature magic. They may be very good at fighting a specific type of enemy, and often take on the role of TheHunter against such foes. [[FantasyGunControl Rarely]], a Ranger may have access to guns as well as bows.
** '''[[ArcherArchetype The Sniper Ranger]]''': This version is totally reliant on archery, but usually does higher damage because of it. May have a variety of status-inflicting arrows to slow or otherwise annoy enemies. Keeps to the back of a battle.
** '''[[BowAndSwordInAccord The Bow and Blade Ranger]]''': A version of the ranger that can handle bladed weapons as well, allowing them to defend themselves against approaching enemies or close in for the kill. The most likely Ranger to overlap with the Fighter archetype.
** '''[[DualWielding The Dual Wielding Ranger]]''': The Dual Wielding Ranger most famously represented by the famed Drow ranger Drizzt Do'Urden, who [[DualWielding uses two melee weapons]], though [[OlderThanTheyThink it does predate him by quite some time]]. Very common in ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons''-based material, but less so elsewhere.
** '''[[TrapMaster The Trapper Ranger]]''': The Trapper is a character who can lay down various traps in an area that the enemy can walk into, making them vulnerable to ambushes or follow-up attacks.
** '''[[MageMarksman The Magical Ranger]]''': A version of the ranger who can use enchanted or {{Trick Arrow}}s to take advantage of ElementalRockPaperScissors, or slow down and disable enemies with "net arrows" or "freezing arrows" and the like.

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* '''Rarer Class Archetypes''': The following character classes appear often but non consistently, depending on the type of world the author is attempting to create. In general, they are often seen as clashing with science fiction or with a European medieval setting in some way (but so do the Samurai and Ninja, above).
** '''[[MagicKnight The Magic Knight]]''': Other Names: ''[[TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons Spellblade, Hexblade, Eldritch Knight]], Rune Knight''. The Magic Knight is a hybrid Fighter/Magician. The key distinction between different versions of this class is how connected the Fighter and Mage parts are: there is a difference between using a sword and magic, and using magic to improve your sword/fighting abilities. Sometimes split into multiple classes based on different kinds of magic or fighting styles - e.g. the same game might have both "Spelldancers" who are highly trained Vancian-Swashbucklers, and "Elemental Blades" who are Elementalist-Knights born into their powers. Usually, they tend to be worse at fighting than Fighters and magic than Mages, but that's the price of versatility.
** '''[[WanderingMinstrel The Bard]]''': The Bard is a class specializing in music. Perhaps understandably, they're [[QuirkyBard butt of a lot of jokes in fantasy settings]], however, depending on the game, they may be useful. Bardic songs are generally useful for buffing allies, weakening enemies, status effects, and occasionally damage, and of all the classes, Bards are the most likely to be good at diplomacy with [[NonPlayerCharacter NPCs]]. Sometimes they act as the JackOfAllTrades.
*** '''The Dancer''': A rare variation of the Bard, who tend to get the same jokes made, but for dancing instead of music. They tend to do the same things as Bards, too, so perhaps they deserve it. A variant is '''The [[DanceBattler Whirling Dervish]]''', who looks to the casual observer like an ordinary dancer but is actually a spinning buzz-saw of slice-and-dice death; she'll give new meaning to Music/AramKhachaturian's Sabre Dance and have ''way'' too much fun doing it.
*** '''The Cantor''': The Cantor sings not just songs but ''hymns'', acting as a cross between the Bard and the Priest. Cantors generally have more focus on healing abilities than a standard Bard, but instead of having attacks which harm demonic creatures and TheUndead, a Cantor makes his allies better at fighting such creatures. Alternatively a Cantor may specialize in supporting other Cleric classes, such as restoring their {{Mana}} or increasing the potency of their healing spells. Can overlap with Dancer for characters who use religious dances, such as {{Miko}}.
*** '''[[WarriorPoet The Skald]]''': A more "savage" version of the Bard, who charges into battle himself so that he can write epic stories about [[WarIsGlorious how glorious it was]] afterwards. Tends to be less of a JackOfAllTrades than a standard Bard in favor of combat abilities similar to the Barbarian. He might also have buffs which turn his allies into {{Glass Cannon}}s, affect larger numbers of allies than a standard Bard, or allow allies to march or fight continuously without rest. Usually acts as a substitute for Bards in whatever culture Barbarians come from, but they can show up in just about any military setting as "morale officers" or similar.
** '''[[BareFistedMonk The Monk]]''': Other Names: ''[[Franchise/FinalFantasy Black Belt]], Martial Artist, Pugilist, Fighter[[note]]If fighter isn't already taken as a class name[[/note]], [[TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons Mystic]]''. The Monk is partway between the Fighter and the Rogue... kind of. They are usually bare-fisted warriors who either eschew weapons entirely or use only martial artsy weapons like nunchucks and staves. They are often {{Glass Cannon}}s, or if the Knight is a GlassCannon, they'll be {{Mighty Glacier}}s. They often have access to some sort of {{Ki Attack}}s and build up attacks. Self-sufficiency is what sets them apart from classes relying on fragile magics, higher powers or expensive items.
*** '''[[OurWerebeastsAreDifferent The Beast]]''': Other Names: ''[[Franchise/ShiningSeries Wolfling]], [[VideoGame/FireEmblem Laguz, Manakete]]''. The Beast is either a non-human creature, or [[OneWingedAngel can turn into one]], and fights with their own body in place of weapons. As such, they are generally even less tied to equipment than Monks are. Beasts often lack versatility compared to other classes, but compensate with [[UnskilledButStrong high stats]], high movement speed, and/or [[GeoEffects terrain-based abilities]] (either gaining bonuses in certain terrains, moving through rough terrain without being slowed, or just being able to [[{{Flight}} fly over obstacles entirely]]). Sometimes combined with the Barbarian, Nature Magician or Dragon Knight; alternately they may possess similar wilderness skills to the Ranger. If a Beast has access to {{Prestige Class}}es, they will usually represent a physical metamorphosis or simply getting larger and stronger.
** '''[[TheEngineer The Engineer]]''': Other Names: ''Tinker, Artificer, Machinist, Gadgeteer, Alchemist''. This is a character class that relies on technology, often of the SteamPunk or {{Magitek}} variety, to achieve ranged controlling effects similar to a wizard. They most likely have guns and bombs as primary weapons, and employ stationary and/or mobile machines on the battlefield. May be seen as "too sci-fi".
*** '''TheGunslinger''': TheGunslinger is the wielder of firearms [[FantasyGunControl in a fantasy setting that has them]], when guns aren't common enough to be in the hands of regular people (or, if they are in the hands of regular people, the gunslinger tends to use them with much greater effectiveness and panache). Different from the Engineer in that guns are all he has, as opposed to bombs and such. Generally involves, well, guns, and all of the tropes that come with them. Often [[LongRangeFighter weak or useless at close range]]. Sometimes given a nerf or weakness in order to keep people playing the ''Ranger'' class (assuming it isn't ''merged'' with the Ranger class) - for instance guns might have lower damage or a slower rate of fire than bows, in exchange for longer range or the ability to [[AntiArmor pierce armor]]. Gunslinger and Ranger are the only classes likely to have WildWest motifs, though even then, they don't always have them.
** '''[[AlchemyIsMagic The Alchemist]]''': Other Names: ''Chemist, Brewer''. An Alchemist combines items, magic or otherwise, to create [[ItemCaddy potions or bombs to use in battle]], often mixing them together ''during'' battle. Oddly enough, of all of the classes, they're the ones most likely to be good at throwing things, partly because bombs aren't going to deliver ''themselves'' to his enemies.
** '''[[PsychicPowers The Psychic]]''': Other Names: ''Psion, Mentalist, ESPer''. Psychics generally employ a combination of telepathy and psychokinesis to attack the opponent's mind directly, or to deal damage to his body. Distinctions between psychic powers and magic may be difficult to make. In addition, the list of PsychicPowers potentially available is often seen as too long and generalized. Was generally restricted to science fiction settings before the popularity of ComicBook/XMen prompted its controversial inclusion in ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' decades ago, and has appeared only sporadically in other fantasy settings since then.
** '''[[TheBeastmaster The Pet Master]]''': Other Names: ''Beastmaster, [[MarionetteMaster Puppet Master]], [[Franchise/FinalFantasy Trainer]]''. Pet Masters specialize in controlling a powerful "pet" to fight by their side. The pet can be anything from a tamed animal to a summoned [[ElementalEmbodiment elemental]] to a constructed {{Golem}}, but usually it serves as a front-line melee combatant while the master hangs back to support it with healing and long-range attacks. In extreme cases the master does not take part in combat at all. If the pet is an animal then this class is often folded into Ranger or Nature Magician, and comes with [[FluffyTamer the ability to control animals in general]]. If folded into Summoner then the character might have access to multiple pets, but only be able to use one at a time. Sometimes a Pet Master can ''ride'' their pet and function somewhat like a Cavalier, except that the pet does most of the fighting. An MMORPG Pet Master will ''always'' have some way of summoning their pet to their position.
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