In 1974, the original Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game introduced to the world three classes: Fighting- Man, Magic-User, and Cleric. The Cleric class being described as having some of the advantages of both the other classes making the class essentially a fighting Magic-User.
While the Fighting-Man, and Magic-User are definitive archetypal classes, the Cleric despite its history is but a hybrid of the other two classes thereby disqualifying the class as archetypal (in the author’s humble opinion), instead that title goes to the Thief class.
The Thief class first appeared in its official form in the 1975 Greyhawk supplement. The Thief class had no spells and a limited combat ability. The Thief class did come with a slew of special skills all their own, including Open Locks, Remove Traps, and Sleight of Hand to name a few. It was these skills that separated the Thief from the original classes, earning its spot as one of three archetypal characters.
It is with this concept of a ‘Big Three’ of fantasy character archetypes that the BeaR-PiGS game uses as the basis for their class system which includes the Magic class, the Skill class, and the Combat class.
BeaR-PiGS does encourage multiclassing for players interested in characters that can perform in melee combat as well as cast spells, like the Cleric. There is no stopping a players from playing a Magic class character whose entire focus is healing spells in BRPGS.
There is no Skill-Combat combo for players who are used to playing Fighter-Thieves in BRPGS due to the skill system that governs non-combat actions. The skill system allows the Combat class to perform at about half as well as their Skill class counterparts of the same level. In the same regards, the Skill class, like the Thief of D&D, can serve as a backup fighter in melee. In BRPGS the Skill class is also the class that exceeds at ranged missile combat. In short, both classes already mimic the abilities of the other making a multiclass of both a moot point.
Do you agree that there are only three archetypal classes?
Should the Cleric be the fourth archetypal class?