For Nurns, classes are more than simple jobs or personal carrers: they represent Aspects of the warrior or the shaman, great archetypes from within the Great Dream. This is true in the fact that some people in Nurna dream about their classes before finding that they suit them. Some warriors dream of themselves achieving great deeds before even lifting their first macahuitl and some sages dream about the secrets of the world before they start studying them. Some people even need to induce themselves into dreams before they choose a path in their lives. That's what the rites of passage are about in every Nurn culture. When children become adults, it is expected from them that they have already dreamed about their future or that they have to.
Since some dream about the gods when they look for their archetypes in the mists of the Great Dream, some Aspects are naturally connected to some deities. Ra is the patron of many warriors and templars, while Mu often chooses thieves and dancers. That's why some Nurn races started to merge academies with the temple of their patron god, until the time they became just one: the Aspect Temples.
Aspect Temples are common through all of the human lands, and also in the halfling islands and the dwarven kingdoms. Even in the wild lands of the Nacheca and the Hiva, Aspect Temples also exist. Orcs, elves and Nunnehi also have Aspects, but since most of their tribes are nomadic, they prefer to train them "on the march", by the tutelage of a chieftain or a shaman.
Aspect Temples do not necessarily need a "place", like a temple or an academy: sometimes they can be just training grounds hidding in sacred places or tombs. It's not uncommon that some Aspect Temples have a dungeon or two, that they use as "training ground" for their newbies or as rite of passage for their leaders.
Following, there is the list of the classes allowed in Nurna, with the expected variations for this setting. Feel free to modify them if you consider it. Aspect names can be considered the name of the classes in this setting, but you can call them whatever you feel it.
THE ASPECT OF THE CHAMPION (Barbarian)
Most warriors fight together and die together, as warriors they are. However, some of them fight also alone and die as heroes. These are known as champions, and they are the heroes of the tribes and the people that legends tell about.
Since Nurna is in such a pristine state of civilization, barbarians are quite common, even in cities. However, champions are an exception: they are those tribal warriors that have special deeds to fulfill (by prophecies or dreams), or those who have ties with an ancient lineage of legendary tribal heroes. All barbarians below level 3 can be considered normal tribal warriors, but when they choose a Primal Path they can be considered champions. They are quite rare, so bear in mind that only but a few of the warriors and hunters of a tribe can become a champion.
In the same way that barbarians are common in Nurnan cities, Primal Paths like the Totem Warrior, the Beserker or the Ancestral Guardian can also be found in cities. Only the Primal Path of the Storm should be restrained to the nomadic tribes, while the Zealot should be restrained to cities.
Gods that are more likely to have Champion Aspect Temples are Akna
. However, any Nurnan god can have champions by their side.
THE ASPECT OF THE DANCER (Bard)
Acrobats, dancers and musicians are commonplace through all of Nurna, and they're considered more than simple entretainers: music is the passage of the dreams, the way the soul overcomes the body and reaches the secrets beyond the naked eye. They participate in rituals, dance festivals, temple ceremonies and exorcisms. Drums, flutes, dwarven pipes and percuted bones, these are weapons of power in the hands of a ritual dancer.
In Nurna, bards represent ritual dancers, tribal musicians and all kind of city acrobats that live between villages or in the temples or palaces. They can be entretainers with secret rituals hidden in their lore or witch-doctors that manifest their powers via music and dance. The College of Lore can be used to represent people with extensive knowledge of the tales and legends of their tribe, while the College of Valor can be used to represent those musicians that accompany warriors to war with the drums of battle. The College of Glamour can represent those witch-doctors whose music connect with the Great Dream
and the College of Whispers are those shamans that their musical magic has ties with the Great Dark One
Since metallic swords are absent in Nurna, the College of Swords is discouraged in this setting.
Gods that are more likely to have the Dancer Aspect Temples are Akna
. However, any Nurn god can have dancers in their temples.
THE ASPECT OF THE DREAMHUNTER (Sorcerer)
Dreamhunters are people marked by the Great Dream
. They're people born with strange visions, that suffer trance or possesion during rituals and that are often cast off their villages because of the terrible omen that they sometimes represent. The force of the Great Dream
is manifested with full force in their bodies, to the point they bend reality around them and sometimes they bring to this world monsters of forgotten ages or from zones of the Great Dream
that shouldn't be opened.
In Nurna, sorcerers are doomed people. They are often cast out of their homeland and many of them are hunted down by their own tribes. Others enjoy a respetable life as special mediums or shamans, but they always live far from their people: in sacred caves, wild forests or lonely temples. There's only one thing sure about dreamhunters: they cause fear.
Sorcerer Origins in Nurna can be used to represent the type of energy the dreamhunter weaves with its trances. Dragon Bloodline sorcerers represent those that can summon the power of antediluvian creatures, like kawak dragons and dinosaurs. They ruled the land in the past, so their spirits in the Great Dream ask to rule it now. Divine Soul and Storm Sorcerers can represent shamans of warriors gods like Ra
(respectively), born with special marks and deeds to fulfill. Wild Magic and Shadow Magic Sorcerers represent normal dreamhunters, those who cause fear because they cannot control their powers of because they're connected to the Great Dark One
Dreamhunters study by themselves, so no Aspect Temples will be found in cities or the wild. However, if they exist, they are more likely to be connected to gods like Chaak
and, of course, the Great Dark One
THE ASPECT OF THE HUNTER (Ranger)
Hunters are an important part of every culture in Nurna. Some tribes are still hunter-gatherers, and others use game as way of obtaining food that would be imposible to have otherwise. They are just as normal as warriors in the wild lands and they can also be found in the cities, where cattle is making of hunting a sport. But don't be fooled: they aren't just normal people. Just as some warriors dream of great deeds, some hunters dream about great hunts. Some of them are obsessed with one creature that appears every night in their dreams and some others are commited to balance the actions of civilization and the resources of nature. They can be considered the veins of Nurn cultures, redistributing resources in a way that pleases the spirits of the Great Dream
and the ever-hungry stomachs of the tribes and the civilization.
In Nurna, rangers represent tribal hunters, from those whoe seek mighty preys (Hunter and Monster Slayer Archetype) to those who want to restore balance (Beastlord Archetype). Their magic is achieved via understanding: they fight with nature every day in order to understand it. Nature is the constant fight for survival, so they need to fight for their survival in order to understand nature. Only those courageous and expert enough might find the way in their dreams to the secrets of nature.
Gloomstalker archetype and Horizon Walker archetypes are rare in Nurna, since they break their rules. Not many hunters will ever abandon their tribe to explore subterranean zones or strange dreamlands. However, some of them exist: there are hunters dedicated to the hunting of creatures of the Great Dark One
, that travel to secret caves or to lands that exist only within the Great Dream
Gods that are more likely to have Hunter Aspect Temples are Akna
. However, any Nurn hunter can worship any god.
THE ASPECT OF THE KEEPER (Druid)
Keepers, also known as nature guides or totem people, are those granted with the powers of nature. Their dreams are primal and beastlike: since they're children, they dream of becoming animals or plants and they can listen to nature in those dreams. Then, nature tell them its secrets. But only if they abandon their tribes to live lonely lives in the wilderness will only nature reveal all of its secrets to them.
Keepers is the Nurn name for druids. Just as hunters hunt animals to restore balance, keepers keep balance by protecting nature places. They represent the forces that guide nature from within the Great Dream
, too big and too primal for Thinkers
to understand them. With their knoewledge, they can "skindance" into animal forms and they can make nature answer their calls, with storms and earthquakes.
Druidic Circles in Nurna are known as Keeper Paths. The Path of Mother Earth is the name for the Circle of the Earth and the Path of Queen Moon is the name for the Circle of the Moon, which are also known as "skindancers". The Path of the Dream Spirits (the Circle of the Dreams) represent those keepers that have connections to the secret places of the Great Dream
, which are often connected to Nujalik
and the Nunnehi
. An the Path of the Beast Guide (The Circle of the Shepherd) represent those keepers that live between animals, guiding them and protecting them from civilization and the Great Dark One
Gods that are more likely to have Keeper Aspect Temples are Akna
. Civilized gods like Ra
are discouraged, but can be used too. The Great Dark One
shouldn't be used.
THE ASPECT OF THE PRIEST (Cleric)
All shamans, keepers and dancers connect with the Great Dream
in some manner, and priests do it as well, but with an special focus: while others let themselves to navigate the mists of the the Great Dream
by their intuition or their knowledge, priests do it by guiding themselves with the light of the gods
, that illuminte the mists like great lighthouses.
Clerics in Nurna act the same way as other clerics do: they use divine powers, that result of the manifestation of the gods in the world. They conduct ceremonies and pray for their people by using psalms inscribed in glyphs. In the wildlands, clerics may look and act as shamans, but they always conduct their ceremonies in the name of one of the gods
of Nurna. Of course: as you may guess, their Aspect temples are, in fact, the temples of their patron gods.
You will find the Divine Domains associated to each Nurnan god
in their respective pages. We tried to use only the core rulebook Domains. However, you may use the Forge Domain with Viracocha
and the Grave Domain with Ahkin
Any god can have priests, so every temple is an Aspect Temple for priests.
THE ASPECT OF THE SAGE (Wizard)
Shamans and dancers try to connect with the Great Dream
. Keepers and priests try to understand the Great Dream
, by following the dictates of nature or from the gods. But sages don't do any of these things: they try to command the Great Dream
. All dreams, big or small, are part of a greater substance that is the Great Spirit, the demiurge of the universe. Sages study this substance and their knowledge is so extense that allows them to change the reality by making it dream
: when the sage summons fire out of thin air they command the mind that dreams everyhting in the reality, the Great Spirit itself, to dream a different reality, where fire is in the place of that air between the hands.
Mages in Nurna are more than scholars: they are philosophers that bear an understanding of reality so vast that allow them to manipulate reality itself. They are as revered as feared wherever they go: some people say that the things they do are akin to what the Great Dark One
does. They study secret codices in the vaults of pyramids and observe the movement of stars in the great observatories above the mountains, always in the craving of knowing more, looking to unravel the secrets that govern reality itself. Some may say that they are doing bad by looking so deep into the foundations of reality, but they know that their path could be necessary to save the world: maybe only understanding how to be a god could someone achieve the goal of defeating the ever menacing pressence of the Great Dark One
In Nurna, Schools of Magic are quite dilluted: sages study magic as a whole, so the fact that some mages had specialized themselves in Abjuration or Transmutation isn't important. They all study together, and try to avoid unnecesary competition. They don't look like an university: they're more like a conclave of philosophers that spans worldwide.
Since this philosphers try to apply their knowledge to peace and wellfare, the War Magic tradition is discouraged in Nurna. However, it is known that Aztlan had their own magical artifacts made for war. Many say that these artifacts were those which caused the legendary continent to sink into the ocean.
The god that is more likely to have Sage Aspect Temples is Viracocha
, however, civilized gods like Ra
may have their own Sage Aspect Temples. The Great Dark One
might also have some of his own.
THE ASPECT OF THE SHAMAN (Warlock)
Shaman, in Nurna, is a word that can describe almost every person with connection to the Great Dream
. However, only some of them are real shamans. These are people with one feet in the realm of the souls and the gods and one feet in the world of the living. They commune with those departed, the spirits of nature or even with the forces of the the Great Dark One
. Some of them are dangerous, while others act as important members of their community: while the chieftains debate the options, shamans chant and dance, connecting to the Great Dream
and the souls of the ancestors of the tribe, to summon help for the matters to come, maybe in the form of a prediction, maybe in the form of a mythical creature or maybe in the form of a powerful artifact.
Warlocks in Nurna are more than magical researchers with a pact with a supernatural master: they are people tied to the realm of the spirits and the Great Dream
. In Nurna, Otherworldly Patrons are not neccesary: warlocks can have their powers only by connecting themselves to the souls of the underworld (the Great Old One can be used in these matters), the spirits of nature (the Archfey can be used for this) or the light of the ancestors (the Celestial can be used for this). However, they can have patrons: the Fiend and the Great Old One can be used to represent aspects of the Great Dark One
. The Celestial can be used to represent a great ancestor spirit of old (maybe the founder of a clan or a mythical hero) and the Archfey can represent great spirits of the forests or godlike spirits from the courts of Nujalik
, deep into the Great Dream
Since in Nurna metallic swords are not present, the Hexblade patron is discouraged. In the same way, the Pact of the Blade should be used to obtain weapons that are common in Nurna sacred ceremonies, like the macahuitl
, the sacrificial knife, the stone axe, the stone hammer or the ceremonial mace.
Gods that are more likely to have Shaman Aspect Temples are Ahkin
and the Great Dark One
. However, there are shamans in almost every tribe of Nurna.
THE ASPECT OF THE TEMPLAR (Paladin)
Gods, in Nurna, are at war. They fight each day against the Great Dark One
, delaying the last and most powerful Destruction. Since war is normal to gods, war is normal to their temples: many people, often those of noble birth, train themselves in temples, learning how to smite the evil pressence of the Great Selfish One and how to combat its monsters. They are templars, guardians of the sanctums and keepers of the Tribal Traditions and Commandments
Paladins in Nurna have a deeper connection with religion than paladins in other settings: they are sacred warriors and temple guardians, living embodiment of the wrath of the gods. They often wear the totem animals of their patrons as armor (like jaguar skin for Mu
warriors and hawk feathers for Ra
knights). They are revered wherever they go, since they carry not only the weight of a Tradition and a Commandment, but also the vow of making war to everything that is evil.
Paladin Oaths are very similar to Commadments, so many templar knights are easy to locate to many Nurnan temples. The Oath of the Ancients represent the typical vows of Akna
followers, which are know as Eagle Warriors, Jaguar Warriors and Flower Templars, respectively. The vows of the Oath of Devotion are typical for an Ahkin
follower, which are known as Keepers of the Old Flame. The Oath of Vengeance represent those who follow Chaak
, which are known as Wolf Hunters and Killer Whale Warriors, respectively. You can use also the Oath of Devotion or the Oath of Vengeance to represent a Hawk Warrior, the followers of Tama-Nui-Te-Ra
, however, their best suited to the Oath of Conquest. Finally, Viracocha
is the only god that defends a defensive and reflexive attitude towards the Great Dark One
. So, the sage god followers (known as Wanderers) are best suited to use the Oath of Redemption.
THE ASPECT OF THE THIEF (Rogue)
In Nurna, for many tribes, "stealing" is just a matter of deserving more a thing because you're more quick and have more cunning than its original owner. This is true for most elven
tribes and for some of the Nunnehi
. In the Great Dream
live spirits that accept laws as they are, but there are others that believe in the rule of the strongest and the fastest, just as nature is.
In Nurna, rogues are more likely to be considered barbarians than rogues by other settings standards. They're quick, agile and have more cunning than the rest of the people in their tribes, but they often do what their tribe does for a living. In cities, many criminal organizations are more likely to be comprised of ethnic groups that understand stealing, smuggling and other delicitive activities as a form of survival. However, cities are more common to be tainted by the Great Dark One
. So, many thieves in the cities are more likely to be considered true criminals than their counterparts that live in the wild.
Of all Roguish Archetypes, Thief is the most common in Nurna, followed by the Scout, which can be found either in cities or in the wild. There are Assasins and spies (Masterminds and Inquisitives) too, but they're only present in cities. Finally, Arcane Tricksters are those thieves that have made a pact with powerful trickster spirits of the Great Dream
, like the Raven
or the Magpie
, which allow them to break the rules.
Since metallic swords are not present in Nurna the Swashbuckler archetype is discouraged in this setting.
Most Thief Aspect Temples are secret and hidden, but anyone in Nurna knows that Akna
favor those more cunning and agile. Since they're goddesses, they are often called as "the Three Ladies" between thieves, and they're summoned by this name by those thieves that value honor, while other live by the standards of the Great Dark One
. Lawful gods like Ahkin
can't have Thief Aspect Temples.
THE ASPECT OF THE TOTEM FIGHTER (Monk)
There are many fighting and hunting styles in Nurna and some of them doesn't even need the use of weapons. Many warriors and hunters train themselves in these fighting styles, sometimes for ceremonies or as a sport. However, only but a few of them train themselves to use it as totem fighters, guardians of the sacred places in Nurna, who use their abilities to protect ancient artifacts or powerful enclaves. Some of them are so well trained that can defeat an enemies much more equipped than them.
There are no monasteries in Nurna: only sacred places like volcanoes, mounds, groves or caves. Monks in Nurna act more like barbarians with the Primal Aspect Totem Warrior that have dedicated themselves to the the protection of a sacred land of their totem, rather than experts in martial arts trained in far away places. They are people devoted to protect ceremonial sites or ancient artifacts, with the use of techniques that doesn't allow for bloodshed or weaponry. Thus, they keep themselves away from the selfishness that sometimes weapons have associated to them, which makes them prohibited in some sacred places. By fighting with ancestral martial arts they make sure to be as far as possible from the Great Dark One
Nurna is a Native American-Precolombine-Polynesian setting, so Ki is not present as it is described in the core rulebook. Rather than ki, totem fighters use the power of animal spirits, the force of nature or the will of a god. Given this, some monastic traditions are discouraged in Nurna: the Way of the Shadow, the Way of the Druken Master and the Way of the Kensei are discouraged choices. However, the Way of the Open Hand can be used to represent martial artists trained in old, weaponless fighting techniques. And the Way of the Four Elements can represent those totem fighters attuned to the elements. Finally, the Way of the Sun Soul can be used to represent special warriors from Ra
Since some of the totem fighters may mix dance with their fighting techniques, Performance is considered a Skill that monks can have Proficency with.
Gods that are more likely to have Totem Fighter Aspect Temples are Akna
. However, any Nurnan god can have totem warriors to protect their sacred lands. Since the Great Dark One
is the enemy of the sacred lands, only him might not have his own totem fighters.
THE ASPECT OF THE WARRIOR (Fighter)
War is a normal part of life in Nurna. For Nurns, everything dies at some point and everything dies with a purpose. Warriors are those prepared for death, those who welcome it, for it is them who will die to protect those who shall not die. They hunt for food, they protect the boundaries of the tribe and they defend the sacred places of their people. They might be more common and powerless than champions or totem fighters, but they're just as important as they are.
Fighters in Nurna are just as common as barbarians and hunters are. Wether it is in the city, in the tribe village or in the nomad camp, you will find warriors, with their own tribal customs and ceremonies.
In Nurna Martial Archetypes act like tribal traditions for each race. The Champion is more likely to be found between races that worship strength, like orcs
and the human
tribes of the Hiva
or the Nacheca
. The Battle Master is more common, however, in those races with civilized history, like the Naacal Empire
or the dwarves
. Elves may use Champions and Arcane Archers depending of the tribe, while magic warriors like the Arcane Archer and the Eldritch Knight might be found between the Nunnehi
. Cavaliers are rare, but the orcs
know how to fight from the back of a worg.
Since this is a Native American-Precolombine-Polynesian setting, the Samurai Martial Archetype is strongly discouraged.
Every god can have Warrior Aspect Temples, even the the Great Dark One
has them between those races that live afar from Tribal Traditions and Commadments, like gobelins and kobolds.