The dawn of a new Wiki is an opportunity, not just to collect information about your game, but to add to the lore of the world. When we launched our Official Wiki a few days ago, it was with updated information about the nine classes in Dragon Oath, which we hope will form the basis of a shared cultural identity. When relating this archetypal identity to the classes, I tried to make every association both logical (tied to the stats/abilities of the class) and satisfying (easily related to Western imagery.) This is the kind of cultural translation that goes above and beyond localization, and seeks to provide a sense of meaning not directly embodied by the Chinese martial forms.
Wandering across the countryside, the Taoist martial artist is a drifter with no ties to any town. If they see a person in peril, they can shoot down the attackers from a distance with deadly accuracy. Their weapon is their will, honed through meditation and isolation. After saving the day they move on, not even waiting to be thanked. That is the Taoist way. To aid their nomadic lifestyle, they pass down the secrets of taming the giant and solitary Cranes to new members.
Damage that would kill a normal person is nothing to the Shaolin. These stoic warriors can shrug off fists, fangs, even blades, and keep fighting unfazed. Given their talents, they are highly sought after as bodyguards. Many do not choose this role, but frightened young heroes will hide behind them nonetheless, as if sheltering behind a wall. The fearlessness of the Shaolin makes them get along well with the giant tigers of their native land, which they tame and eventually learn to ride.
“To heal, to help, to teach and to guide” is the Lotus Order motto. These are martial artists who gained so much compassion for their opponents that they were driven to become healers, and repair the damage they had done over their lifetimes. Out of respect for this transformation, the Phoenix, who is reborn each year as a new creature, will consent to carry only members of the Lotus Order.
Entertainers, tricksters, clowns – those are the minstrels, the bards on their jolly reindeer. But one takes them lightly at their own peril. Their tricks can be downright deadly, and they will laugh merrily as you stumble into their traps or are confounded by their strange powers. It is traditional to give gifts of gold to a minstrel who has entertained you – whether to reward their performance or to stay on their good side, is unclear.
Practitioners of the Voodoo class are warriors who discovered that they could gain greater power through communion with the spirit world. To outsiders, their goals and eldritch preoccupations are mystifying. Others do not understand them, but they are right to fear them. The Voodoo practitioner’s intense connection to the spirit world allows them to inflict damage through their ghostly minions, and cast powerful curses on their enemies which drain health over time. Blood is required to speak with their Voodoo gods, so they ride an Ox which can be sacrificed if there are no enemies handy.
The Assassin is wedded to death, bound to the shadows. Silent, deadly, faceless, they are the last thing many an evildoer sees. They hide their face with a mask, to show that even when you can see them, you cannot know them. Their true nature is hidden, as are any human expressions or emotions that may cross their faces beneath the featureless masks. They have tamed the giant eagles as mounts, so they can strike from the sky without warning.
Most people care about wealth and status - not so the Beggars Alliance. Priding themselves on knowing what is truly important, they live a simple and austere life, focused on perfecting their combat abilities. While sharing a strong companionship with others of their class, they are self-reliant and do not need others to survive. As outcasts to society, they share a special bond with the lone wolves of the plains, whom they can tame and ride. They are not above using poison to get an edge over better-equipped foes.
The smoldering coal that becomes the uncontrollable rage of a wildfire – that is the temper of a Pyromancer. They are capable of channeling their anger into tangible form, which becomes a magical attack. Their aggression being their greatest weapon, they stoke the coals with resentments and rivalries, tending their anger like a flame. They make excellent brawlers, and can put aside their anger as quickly as it came, becoming calm and cheerful with mystifying swiftness. Two Pyromancers in love will either remain in love despite all of their arguments, or will end up killing each other. The great lions respect the fierceness of the Pyromancer and will carry them as mounts.