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BX Options: Class Builder

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Take the guesswork out of creating new classes for B/X-style RPGs

The B/X Options: Class Builder is the only race-as-class creation system 100% compatible with the classic fantasy classes presented in the core rules. Infinitely scalable for any setting or genre, the B/X Options: Class Builder lets you create new (or modify existing) classes guaranteed to match the level progression rates of the canon.

Contained herein is everything you need to create perfectly balanced classes for BX-style RPGs, plus:

  • 30 variants of the existing classes
  • 13 new sub-classes
  • Optional d6 skill system
  • A d6 conversion of  the classic Thief skills
  • Optional spell failure guidelines
  • Animal totems and abilities
  • New armour and weapons
  • High-level options for advancing classes beyond 14th level
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Reviews (2)
Discussions (15)
Customer avatar
David F January 10, 2023 7:43 pm UTC
Hi Erin,

I'm looking for some tools to create some White Box classes and I found your book. Do you think it's easy to adapt your XP system to the 10 lvl scale ?
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Customer avatar
Erin S January 10, 2023 8:47 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Hi David,

The Class Builder assumes the same 14th level cap and race-as-class model as B/X/OSE, so you'd have to adjust the math accordingly. Off the top of my head, you might start all new classes off with -400XP to account for the 10th level cap and see how that pans out. BUT, there's no guarantee that classes you build would be on-par with other White Box classes in terms of abilities or level progression.
Customer avatar
Jeremy H October 13, 2022 1:36 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hi Erin,

I'm getting four new monstrous classes ready. I've got a couple questions for you.

1.) How would you rule on Attribute Requirements greater than 9? For example, I'm creating a spellcaster class based on this art...
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/394320/Demon-22-Stock-Art
... they're big, more tall really... with hollow bird-like bones... anyway, I digress. I want them to be able to cast arcane and divine spells plus a few other magical special abilities. I want to require an INT and WIS of both 13+, would you grant a larger XP reduction for these higher requirements?

2.) I'm also mulling how to create a sort of ethereal/wraith-like class. As they are essentially immaterial they will be without armor or weapons. So, they'd need a sort of natural attack... maybe something akin to the attack of a Shadow. I dunno... lol, it's a hard thing to wrap your head around in a BX format. Possibly some sort of high natural AC bonus? I might need to consult my...See more
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Customer avatar
Erin S October 13, 2022 6:20 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Hi Jeremy,

Full disclosure: I've been working on-and-off on XP costs for monster abilities, so what I'm suggesting here hasn't been fully tested. At first blush, the XP costs seem high to me, BUT the values are extrapolated from what's in the Class Builder, so (for now) they are what they are.

Ability scores: Continue to apply -100 XP for each ability that requires a minimum value. Since you're going for higher-than-average minimums, I suggest basing the XP cost on the score adjustment at a rate of 100XP per "plus". So INT and WIS 13+ comes out to 0XP (-200 XP for 2 ability score minimums, +200 for total base adjustment of +1 for each ability). If you were going for 16+, the cost would be 200XP.

Natural attacks: 100XP per damage dice of *each* attack, plus 100XP per maximum *number* of attacks. So Att: 1 x claw (1d6) is 600XP, while Att: 2 x claw (1d6) is 1,400 XP (600XP for each claw, plus 200XP for having 2 attacks). That seems high to me, but I haven't messed...See more
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Customer avatar
Jeremy H October 17, 2022 12:55 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hi Erin,

Here's my second release based on your work. I think I got a bit more handwavey and less crunchy with this one.

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/413655/Creature-Classes-vol-2-OSE

Customer avatar
Jeremy H July 20, 2022 3:04 am UTC
PURCHASER
I'm using this to create some monstrous/semi-monstrous Race as Class stuff. I'm guessing a lot of DMs will balk at these as too powerful, but we'll see.

Anyway, I am using the Dodge ability from the Barbarian Class you constructed. How much would you estimate that ability is worth?
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Customer avatar
Erin S July 20, 2022 10:58 am UTC
PUBLISHER
Hi Jeremy,

Dodge is based on the barbarian’s DEX adjustment and armour type; with a minimum DEX 9, you get 12 possible AC bonuses (+0 to +3) across three possible armour types (none, light, and heavy), which averages to a +3 bonus. The Defensive Bonus ability costs 100 XP per +1, so Dodge costs 300 XP.

Barbarian Dodge
DEX AC bonus No armour Light Heavy
9-12 0 0 0 0
13-15 1 3 2 1
16-17 2 6 4 2
18 3 9 6 3
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Customer avatar
Jeremy H July 23, 2022 2:40 am UTC
PURCHASER
Thanks! Is that in the book and I somehow missed?

How would you handle a winged character? Or a class with a minor At-Will Spell? I've got some ideas I want to try out but I don't want to make them too powerful.

I have gobs of art that I'll be using to make weird classes with. Probably four a month as filler between my other projects. Monsters. Planar beings. Etc. Here's my first one: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/403633/Creature-Classes-vol-1-OSE
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Customer avatar
Erin S July 23, 2022 5:51 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Hi Jeremy,

You didn't miss it - I neglected to include XP Worksheets in the book for the new classes, so my methodology isn't always clear. Despite the considerable supposition around the so-called "Welsh Papers," I have on unimpeachable authority that these worksheets do in fact exist, though actors have yet to ascertain their whereabouts or the disposition of any potential barriers to their recovery.

For movement (of any type), I assume a baseline of 120' (40') = 0XP (this is the default value for all core classes) and would adjust by +/-100XP for every 30' (10') increase or decrease to their base movement rate (e.g., 60' (20') = -200XP, 150' (50') = 100XP, etc.). For a second movement rate (e.g., winged), I'd add 100XP per 30' (10') of the new rate). So an avian with MV 90' (30') / 120' (40') flying would have an XP cost of (-100XP) + (400XP) = 300XP).

At-will spell is covered under Bonus Spells special ability, which costs 200XP per spell level (half for spellcasting...See more
Customer avatar
Andrew B April 25, 2022 1:07 pm UTC
PURCHASER
How well will this stack up with LL and S&W? I have both systems for different things. Both are BXs. Thank you in advance for your response.
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Customer avatar
Erin S April 25, 2022 2:51 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Hi Andrew,

I cannot say for sure, as the Class Builder was specifically built for BX and OSE. My understanding of LL classes is that they're *pretty* close to BX, but not precise, so the conversion may be off by a few hundred XP here and there. I make no guarantees with S&W, since (unlike BX) it separates race and class. You won't be able to reverse-engineer the S&W classes and get the same XP values as in the rules - again, you'll be off by a few hundred XP here and there.
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Customer avatar
Andrew B April 26, 2022 12:34 am UTC
PURCHASER
Thanks.

Made a pretty good flexible priest with your book. I hate how all clerics in fantasy rpg are all basicly crusaders. There are other types of priests, ya know.
Customer avatar
William L April 24, 2022 4:41 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Are you offering any sort of discount to those of us that bought the PDF, have read the product, and now find it worthy of space on our gaming bookshelf and would like to order a printed hardcopy? ;)
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Customer avatar
Erin S April 25, 2022 2:45 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Hi William,

Sadly, I'm not aware of an option to buy a print version at cost if you've already purchased a PDF, but I will check into it with DTRPG.
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Customer avatar
William L April 26, 2022 10:01 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I've bought a couple of PDFs that I've gone back and gotten the POD option and it automatically credited me the cost of the PDF ... only reason I asked.
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Customer avatar
Erin S April 26, 2022 11:30 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Completely understood - I didn't find anything the publisher FAQ, but I'll continue digging.
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Customer avatar
Erin S May 02, 2022 8:29 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Hi William - Apologies for the delay, but I've worked out a short-term solution using DTRPG's discount tool. I still need to work out some of the details to automate it, but for now, please use the contact form on our website (https://welshpiper.com/contact-us/) to request an at-cost POD version and I'll send you the discount link.

Please include your customer# or order# and whether you want the hard- or softcover book.
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Customer avatar
William L May 03, 2022 12:57 am UTC
PURCHASER
Done and MUCH appreciated.
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Customer avatar
William L May 14, 2022 4:07 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Got the book today :)
Thank you!
Customer avatar
Gary F April 04, 2022 9:43 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Looks cool. Should I be able to use the classes here with the normal classes from OSE advanced fantasy?
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Customer avatar
Erin S April 05, 2022 5:19 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Hi Gary - Short answer is yes, you can use the OSE Advanced Fantasy classes with Class Builder classes without any real issues.

However, the Class Builder is based on the core Classic Fantasy classes, so if you use it to "reverse engineer" the Advanced Fantasy classes, you won't end up with precisely identical XP values (e.g., compare the bard, barbarian, assassin, and knight in the two books). That's generally OK, since you can use different approaches to build a given ability, and new classes tend to be customized for individual settings anyway.
Customer avatar
JC C March 18, 2022 5:46 am UTC
PURCHASER
Hi Erin. Absolutely love this product. Great work! Just a question. Do we consider Illusionist spells as Arcane spells, and Druid spells as Divine spells in terms of computing for XP costs? Or do they have separate values? I'm trying to create a Thiefish/Illusionist Beguiler.
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Customer avatar
Erin S March 20, 2022 2:18 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Thanks for your kind words and support JC - much appreciated!

Because illusionist and druid spells aren't part of the Classic rules, we can't reverse-engineer their XP values. However, to keep things simple, I agree with your approach: illusionist = arcane and druid = divine. This is how I handled it for the variants and subclasses in the book. If only someone would put together a... I don't know... "worksheet" for these variants, it might be clearer... ;)
Customer avatar
STEVEN T March 11, 2022 9:12 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Just curious if the enigmatic and mysterious Welsh Papers ever came to light? Or did those pursuing these arcane documents meet a tragic end?
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Customer avatar
Erin S March 11, 2022 9:18 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Pursuit has not come to an end, though the effort is indeed tragic, having been marred by both my procrastination and penchant to over-engineer. The data have been extant since writing the book, but I've been struggling with presentation. A PDF that I can add to the DTRPG download is probably best, though clearly not the fastest approach. A spreadsheet or Google Doc is fastest, but not necessarily user friendly. So, ultimately, everyone is being held up by my indecision.

That said, how about I commit to having them before July 2022? At this point, I figure a year from the last request is a good target.
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Customer avatar
STEVEN T March 11, 2022 9:21 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I would say that you've done the gaming community quite a service already in writing BX Options. Thank you for this excellent product, and we look forward to the Welsh Papers with bated breath.
Customer avatar
Ian M August 06, 2021 6:07 pm UTC
PURCHASER
This is an awesome book and I look forward to the Advanced breakdowns that are hopefully on the way (more or less to see how well they match up with my own deductions)!

That being said, I've noticed that the full suite of Thief skills notes there being 8 skills, but I can only seem to find 7: Climb Surfaces, Find/Remove Treasure traps, Hear Noise, Hide in Shadows, Move Silently, Open locks, and Pick pockets. If the skills are 50 each, then that only brings us to 350 instead of the 400 listed in the book.

The way I've accounted for this disparity is treating Hear noise as a quasi-innate/learned skill worth 100 xp, but it's rather inelegant compared to the innate and learned skill guidelines set up later. Is there a better fix for this?
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Customer avatar
Erin S August 06, 2021 7:02 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Hi Ian,

Thanks for the kind words and support.

On thief skills, Find and Remove Traps are treated as two separate skills. While they're bundled together on the Thief Skills table, I separated them to provide referees with more granularity when creating/modifying classes.
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Customer avatar
Ian M August 07, 2021 7:12 pm UTC
PURCHASER
That makes sense, thank you for clarifying!
Customer avatar
Edward A July 28, 2021 2:46 am UTC
PURCHASER
Almost a perfect BX Supplement. But there's no Monk, Ninja or Samurai. The one AD&D book players coveted was Oriental Adventures. This book is great! Now we just need the Oriental Adventures for Advanced OSE and we can all go to our graves, happy men.
Just one man's opinion. But you know it's right. ;)
Peace our Girlscouts!
Ack
Customer avatar
Afonso F July 18, 2021 6:50 pm UTC
PURCHASER
You were probably asked this a million times already, but do you plan to release the worksheets from the new classes in your book? I'm having trouble deconstructing the new classes and would appreciate to have the XP cost for the abilities and the internal logic for it. As of now I will be calling those hypothetical worksheets "The Welsh Papers". Release The Welsh Papers!
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Customer avatar
Erin S July 19, 2021 12:41 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Hi Afonso,

Yes, the much-sought Welsh Papers will be released as a PDF companion to the Class Builder, free to existing customers. The agents responsible for this elusive document are even now working to obtain and deliver it. All will be revealed - The Welsh Papers are gonna blow this thing wide open!
Customer avatar
Chad K March 28, 2021 7:43 am UTC
PURCHASER
Could this be used to make humanoid classes like Orcs of Thar? Goblins, Orcs, Bugbears, Ogre, etc.
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Customer avatar
Erin S March 28, 2021 3:57 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Hi Chad,

Yes, you could figure out XP based on humanoid abilities and create Level Progression tables for advancement. However, you'd have to decide how you want to handle multiple HD at first level - the Class Builder doesn't deal with negative XP as used in Orcs of Thar or the Creature Crucible series.
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Customer avatar
Chad K September 02, 2021 7:54 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hmmm....maybe an idea for a future book?
Creature classes.
Thanks for the reply.
Reply
Customer avatar
Erin S September 03, 2021 1:05 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Hi Chad,

Funny thing...

I've already started working on this, though there's no deadline yet. Monster abilities are highly varied, so it's a deep rabbit hole. On the plus side, there's really no XP cost basis for them, so there's less work reverse engineering" them to work with the canonical classes.

First, I gotta get those worksheets done...

Cheers!
Reply
Customer avatar
Chad K September 04, 2021 3:36 am UTC
PURCHASER
Thats awesome news!!
Customer avatar
PHILLIP G November 28, 2020 4:09 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Just purchased and pleased. However, I would have really liked a detailed worksheet breakdown of the additional variant and sub-classes. For example, what was the cost breakdown for the shaman and beast-talked class; specifically, what is the xp value for the animal companion ability? I noticed such worksheets were requested at the forums, but still no such resource.
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Customer avatar
Erin S November 28, 2020 9:07 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Hi Phillip,

Thanks for your support, though I'm sorry to disappoint with the lack of worksheets for all the new classes.

As noted below, space considerations prevented their inclusion, but since it's come up a few times I have a cunning plan: In the short term, I'll post the additional worksheets to the Welsh Piper website (sometime this winter). In the long term, I may add them as an appendix to the next printing OR (preferably) create an online class-building tool that includes the new classes and variants as "templates" for cost analysis and tweaking.

More to come on this front - in the meantime, thanks again for your support!

Thanks again for your support!
Reply
Customer avatar
PHILLIP G November 28, 2020 10:55 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Thanks for the quick reply! I understand the need for space considerations, but it's definitely something that I feel would enhance the product in the future. That would be great if it was posted to your website (a site, by the way, that I have referred my B/X group to before). That way, I could better understand how you applied xp costs for things like animal companions, familiar territory/home terrain, and some other unique abilities. Maybe that's something I could ask in your forums? Again, great product with good value. Peace.
Reply
Customer avatar
Erin S November 29, 2020 1:31 am UTC
PUBLISHER
When the worksheets are complete, I'll announce on the site forums and both the B/X and OSE Facebook groups. I'm working on the next BX Options book now, so I want to clarify that this won't happen for a couple months.

Updating the 3rd printing will take longer - I also want to add a section on creating new abilities, and with extra pages comes a new cover spec, proofs, etc. I don't have a target date for that yet, but it's on my list.

Thanks again for the kind words and support. Cheers!
Customer avatar
Joshua L September 04, 2020 1:04 am UTC
PURCHASER
While the sample file has 17 pages, what it doesn't show is if there are worksheets for all of the new classes. For instance, does the Crusader's Clerical Spell casting cost 500 xp or fewer?
Reply
Customer avatar
Erin S September 04, 2020 1:24 am UTC
PUBLISHER
Worksheets are provided only for the "core" classes as proof of concept. They are not included for new classes to conserve space. If there's interest, I may provide these via spreadsheet or as an appendix in the next edition. In answer to your question, Crusaders have a maximum divine spell level of 3, for a cost of 300XP.
Customer avatar
Alejo T August 05, 2020 3:58 pm UTC
PURCHASER
When will this be available as PoD?
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Customer avatar
Erin S August 05, 2020 9:17 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Hi Alejo - I'm awaiting receipt of the print proofs from DTRPG now, so the POD versions should be available before the end of August.
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Customer avatar
Alejo T August 06, 2020 9:49 am UTC
PURCHASER
Fantastic, looking forward to it!
Reply
Customer avatar
Erin S August 25, 2020 12:23 am UTC
PUBLISHER
Hi Alejo - Hard- and Softcover POD versions are available now.
Reply
Customer avatar
Alejo T August 27, 2020 11:39 am UTC
PURCHASER
Fantastic, thanks for notifying me!
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