In an effort to keep Simple System simple, advanced explanations for rules will be found in this section. Information in this section does not affect game play directly. It is merely a place to explain how certain rules work and why different concepts have been put into place.
The Dungeon Master
The Dungeon Master is a huge part of role playing gaming. The main difference between pencil and paper role playing games and computer games is the absence of the DM. Regardless of technology and visuals, DMs provide an infinitely expansive world that is dynamic at a moments notice. At the very least, a DM reading from a prewritten adventure script can make changes as needed to keep games from getting impossible, stale, or silly. Additionally DMs provide the means for effectively deterring power playing and even cheating. DMs glue the story and the role of the character into a world. Video games, and even board games, without a DM take the story away and boil gameplay down to earning points and looting items.
Simple System gives a lot of freedom to the DM. Although not immediately obvious, one of the biggest freedoms that the DM has is a solidly defined monster list and items list. Regardless of what your orc looks like, he has a very basic archetype to follow. Regardless of how fancy your sword looks, it follows the same rules as a similar type. This lets the DM focus on story and details, without caring how those details might affect a tangling web of rules and conditions.
Among other freedoms the DM gets, is the ease to add new skill actions, items, characters, monsters, and almost anything. One of the major goals for Simple System is to make sure that if the DM needs to roll an NPC on the fly, that he can. Very few systems allow a DM to bring in an unexpected NPC without spending significant amounts of time rolling up stats. Any new game element can be created very simply and any new game element can be based off of a similar game element that already exists. Orcs are good examples of melee combatants while an Imp represents a generic magical wielding creature.
Despite all the freedoms the DM may enjoy, the concepts that you see in this Advanced Reference will never really change. An effective DM should have a solid grasp of the how and why of each rule in order to follow it through. Any changes to the spirit of the rules will take much time to consider and implement. Although it's certainly welcomed and encouraged for DMs to change rules as needed, it's not recommended to try to change the spirit of the rules that are outlined in this reference.
A good example would be removing the need for a battle of wills roll when it comes to magical combat. This alone would change the dynamic of magic to become very powerful while simultaneously changing the way Wisdom is used. This kind of change could make skills based on wisdom useless and unintentionally make your system Melee heavy because new characters are no longer willing to invest in wisdom while leveling. Issues like these would need to be address through careful thought by making more changes and should certainly be made well in advance before playing.
Characters are the central focus of everything in Simple System. Every rule relates to what happens to characters and how that character is expected to react. A large amount of focus in Simple System is put into giving characters unique and useful ways to handle these situations. These ways are determined by statistics, traits, skills, equipment, and a little bit of luck.
The ability to create characters quickly is the largest influence to everything in Simple System. Players do not even have to learn all of the rules. Characters can be made in less than 2 minutes, and a majority of that time is spent writing things down. The history and custom traits of a character that are provided by the player do not interfere with the creation process. Most importantly character archetypes are both common and simple to assemble.
Because characters are easy to create, new players will find Simple System very easy to swallow. The second largest influence of Simple System is bringing new players and advanced players together. Everyone can find the kind of gameplay they want. Even high level and low level characters can perform well together. It's all about telling stories as a group, and the character enhances that experience, instead of getting in the way.
It was very important to make sure that all stats have a direct 1 to 1 relationship to their effects. Everything that a player can or cannot do should be clear to them. Having to do calculations or using large charts as a reference subtracts from the story being told. That is why the players stats are so basic.
The stats themselves lead to a wide variety of options. Players can define themselves by focusing in a single stat or many stats. They will see and learn quickly which stats compliment the others and will identify their weaknesses based on their stats. Stats will also show the players which areas they can improve by using skills and items. Players can even set themselves apart by focusing on different stats at different times. A fighter who focuses on str early and then focuses on dex later is a vastly different character from one who raises these stats in the opposite order.
It was also very important to make sure that stats are neither randomized or irrelevant. In many other role playing games equipment or skills will quickly overshadow the advantages of stats. By providing all characters a reliable and direct set of stats, this type of overshadowing is avoided as stats always are the driving force behind game play.
Strength is viewed as the main melee combat attribute. Instead of viewing strength as merely physical strength, it is modeled more to represent the power and efficiency behind str based actions. This is why str is used to determine the number of effective dice in combat and as a milestone for attack rolls. Skill checks using str still represent brute force comparisons, but this is a minor use of the stat.
Players who rely on strength are expected to never stop increasing their strength. Reaching milestones is a huge combat improvement and works to greatly increase the chance to land powerful hits. High strength players will stick to high potency weapons because of the increased possible damage and then rely on milestones for a higher chance to hit.
Dexterity is mainly a separation of defense. Since defense has an advantage over attacking, the driving forces behind defense had to be separated. Dex represents the effective use of armor as well as acts as a milestone. Dex also works as a combat attribute for archers. For this reason dex is a very powerful attribute and should be treated with care. Dex stat checks represent accuracy and effectiveness with larger maneuverability.
Players of all types will tend to raise dex only to a number they need. This can be based on an amount of attack dice for archers or a number of defense dice. Since dex is the driving stat behind defense from piercing attacks, characters with shields will also find a number of dex suitable to their needs. Dex is also used heavily by some skills which can be a determining factor for the number of dex to use.
Agility is possibly the most powerful stat. Agility acts as a base armor class and can quickly override armor bonuses. Agility is the primary defensive stat that represents how easy it is for a character to simply dodge, sidestep, or otherwise deflect an attack. Agility defense can be viewed as moving out of the way, or quickly placing something in the way to prevent the attack from ever hitting. Agility checks represents fine quick movements and balance while in movement.
Players who focus on agility will become highly resistant to most combat. This is why most characters do not start with high agility. However focusing on agility causes characters to focus solely on this stat. Most players will raise agility to a desired number and then stop to focus on other stats. However, players should be warned not to rely too heavily on this stat. Agile players are still very vulnerable to high chance to hit weapons and magic. One very effective use of high agl is to sneak in and out of combat situations unscathed in order to perform a single action.
Intelligence is used strictly to determine the number of magic points a player has. Int can also work as a milestone during magical combat. Many skills rely on int to learn spells. Int skill checks represent knowledge. This kind of skill check is very rare.
Only magical players focus on intelligence. Players who rely heavily on magic and avoiding combat will never stop raising int. Players interested in magical combat will raise int but not as fast as non-combative magical users.
Wisdom is meant for being the major stat in magical combat. Wis provides both attack and defense when it comes to magic. In order to avoid magic being indefensible, or a cryptic reference of resistances, wis is used to compete in a battle of wills. Magical combat is rolled as a skill check which represents that battle of wills. Other types of skill checks for wis are rare.
Characters focused on magical combat will never stop raising wis. Most players will raise wis to a certain number for defensive purposes only. Many skills rely on wis and this can also determine the number of wis that a player wants.
Constitution is only used for determining a player's life points. Players control their own toughness. Systems that have players roll for hit point increases create giant gaps between player levels. This practice also diminishes the impact of actual damage and separates simulation of combat from game play for the sake of game play. This practice is also unfair to players who roll poorly. Players who rely on hit points, who then receive poor hit point rolls, might as well have never gained their level. Because of this, con is entirely up to the player to raise or not raise as he sees fit. Con skill checks should never be performed.
All players will never stop raising con. The frequency and amount is the difference. Regardless of the type of damage dealt, a player's con keeps them alive and in good health through any assault. Some players will focus highly on this stat in place of worrying about any specific type of defense.
Movement is included to simplify turn order, initiative, and to easily support grid based play. Movement represents overall speed, such as the first person to draw their sword and the fastest runner. Movement skill checks should never be performed.
Players will most likely never raise their movement. Some combat heavy players will raise their movement to a specific number and then stop in order to gain a better initiative. It's perfectly acceptable and supported for DMs to cap movement or disallow increases in movement.
Even though many actions are governed by rolling dice, and therefore luck, another stat was established that can improve a player's chances on certain rolls. Luck was included to fill a couple of gaps that many role playing systems suffer from. The first is that if you rely on a die roll for item or spell effect duration then there is no way to clearly advance those spells or effects. New players have the same chance as experienced players to get a poor roll on an effect duration. The luck stat provides a way for that situation to be improved.
Additionally, if a player wants to play an unusually lucky character in other systems then the DM has to unfairly alter the game play to help that character. The DM might also choose silly rewards like finding extra money and items when searching. Some video games use luck as a padding to determine rolls, but instead of helping the lucky, the percentage gap added to the roll just hurts everyone else. In the case of a padded roll, the luckiest player excels only at being average at everything. In a fantasy setting the idea of being lucky should be more reliable to the character and represented as a tangible trait to set the player apart.
In all reality the stat of Luck in Simple System is just a bandage to treat the mentioned symptoms. It's even used in some cases to fill in for a miscellaneous skill requirement. Although the stat of luck serves its purpose well, it's concept could be dropped without adverse affects to game play.
The character races are made to be a generic expandable list. DMs are even welcome to replace the entire list as they see fit. The existing list is a guideline for differing starting points for characters. Although the existing list has been fine tuned, the races really only determine a base set of stats. There is little else to creating or adding your own set.
The existing list should cover most needs. When adding a race, consider using the same stats from an existing race and then changing the description and traits only. Also be sure not to give any race too much of any one stat. Wisdom and Agl are two stats that especially run a risk of hurting game play if overpowered at the start of a character. If you are ok with this, remind the player with high agl that he will probably be killed quickly by any magical creature, and vice verse.
Players are not expected to suggest new races. If a player wants a new race, then the DM should consider the request early on. With proper care, player suggested races can prosper. However, no effort was made make player suggested races quick to create.
The current list of races has a very basic description and list of traits. These traits are mostly a suggestion and the player may alter them to fit their character. These traits and descriptions are purposefully simplified and easy to change. Being that these descriptions and traits affect only the story element, then care to maintain simplicity and freedom should be exercised when creating new races. If not, the spirit with which races were created will be altered.
Classes further make a character unique, but only through use of archetypes. Characters are best suited when usual archetypes are used. However, it's very difficult to create a bad character. No amount of skills or equipment will truly counteract the actual stats that a character receives from the choice or race and class. A wizards with lots of str will still be adequate fighters. This was designed to prevent character creation from being complete trial and error, which in turn helps players create the right characters for them.
In other systems, the idea of combining classes becomes controversial. Excluding it alienates some players while including it runs the risk of unfair play, which then requires the concept to be riddled with a myriad of rules and restrictions. Many games already contain a multi-class that has become accepted into the fold, so further multi-classing is redundant.
Simple System has chosen the middle ground by including common multi-classes in the regular class list. The classes can be further separated using predefined skill sets that represent the common play styles. Players can very easily create clerics designed for fighting or clerics designed for healing. The way this is accomplished is by leaving the character open enough that playing the role that a player wants can be done without needing the extra rules for multi-classes. Even if a player does feel restricted in this regard, then the DM is free to expand the skill choices or create new skill sets for the player's needs.
It's important to note that the available list of skills for an individual class is purposefully limited. One major issue seen with leaving all classes open to all skill sets is the incentive of dropping character development for a focus on finding exploits. Players not destined for magic choose magical skills and unplayable characters are accidentally created when trying to optimize skills decision. Considering all of this, the biggest issue is the time that it adds to character creation when choosing skills. In any system in which skills are open ended, or come from a very large pool, character creation time tends to exceed a single play session and NPC creation becomes an a most unpleasant activity.
Many things are left to the discretion of the DM in Simple System. This gives the DM freedom to shape the effects of something to his own world or style. The three main reasons why DM discretion would be applied is for the sake of role playing, for the sake of house rules, and for the sake of holes in the rules set.
When DM discretion is used for role playing, it's usually because the outcome of an event relies heavily on the world around what's happening. In the middle of a large battle the alchemist is going to have a hard time mixing his reagents, yet if he's in a lab with a fight erupting on the other side of the door he can focus better. Sometimes being knocked over involves being knocked off a bridge, and sometimes it just means a disadvantage in combat. These situations won't be decided in rules, but in the DM and players' view of the world they are playing in
Many times house rules need to come into play. In a world of mythical heros a skilled acrobat can leap a gorge while in a realistic world that means certain doom. In this case the DM might create a chart for the distance that an acrobat can leap denoting which distances require a skill check. Another example is establishing a chart for difficult locks to pick or establishing that players are allowed to sprint 2 extra spaces as long as they don't attack. These changes exist to keep the actions within the DM's chosen setting in check with rules.
Lastly there are holes in the system left up for DM interpretation. These holes are intentionally left so that the DM can have the freedom to expand whatever he sees fit. Examples of holes are damage from falling, starting wealth and notoriety, horse riding, and how to operate ballistics or machinery. Many system holes are role playing aspects that can be established in the setting while others are uncommon mechanics that require house rules. Falling into a pit is bad, but how bad and whether or not a hero can roll to prevent taking damage is entirely up to the setting and style of the DM.
Allowing so much DM discretion is not only set up for freedom, it's also established for speed of play. If a DM knows that he can just decide what happens, he doesn't have to go look up a rule or a chart. However there is one problem with this approach. If the DM doesn't know about the hole then he'll spend a lot of time scouring the rule text in vain before finally deciding to make it up himself. So to assist with that, below are some common discretionary decisions that have been made while playing so far.
Common Rule Interpretations
If already engaged in combat and the attacker misses, the defender is not normally allowed to freely break combat. However, in cases where the defender is not planning on attacking another target immediately afterwards then this rule has been bent for role play. For example a healer might step back to cast a healing spell.
Just like in chess, much of the movements in combat are performed in sequence when they are simulating actions taken at the same time. If a monster runs by a player with a lower initiative, it's common for the DM to allow the player to roll the attack, even if the monster ended his turn out of range.
Common Skill Conflicts
Common Custom Characters
Warsor the Seer
A human wizard raised by elves who knows much of elf the culture and language. He does not fit in as well into human society. This customized character chose to have the divination skill set in place of one of the normal list of Wizard skills.
Pain and Envy
A demon encountered in a dungeon. Pain and Envy had the same stats and characteristics of Ethereals, except that it had 7con and a d8 claw attack.
Combat Rolls Explained
Each component of a combat turn is rooted to a specific concept. The main concepts being addressed in an attack roll are chance to hit, weapon potency, player capacity for damage, and skill improvements to weapon damage. The main concepts being addressed in a defense roll are evasiveness and protection, strength of materials, area of protection, and the player's ability to manuver.
Individual combat rolls do not necessarily involve a single swing of a weapon, but instead a single offensive maneuver that could encompass many actual swings, jabs, and thrusts. The individual compenents of combat also take this into account by allowing different portions of damage to land in different places of the target.
Attack Roll Explained
The attack roll consists of a predefined weapon roll. The possible value of each die represents the chance to hit. The higher the die value the greater chance that it will defeat a players AC rating. Similarly the total number of dice represents a weapon's potency. The potency of a weapon is represented by a greater number of dice to roll and therefore a greater chance to roll higer numbers. Swords naturally have a high chance to hit while blunt weapons have a much greater potency.
Weapon potency also works towards damage. Damage is specifically limited by weapon potency. Damage can only be done if a die was rolled to cause it. Damage caused by weapons with low potency will always be low regardless of who handles them. Additionally the potency of a weapon is limited by the player's capacity for damage. Capacity for damage is represented by the number of effective dice, often determined by strength. Players with higher capacity for damage tend to use more potent weapons while players with low capacity for damage focus on chance to hit.
Lastly skills can represent a specific player's abilty to improve the chance to hit, potency, and even capcity for damage. Skills that increase or decrease the size of dice deal only with chance to hit while skills that add additional dice deal with potency. Skills for weapon potency can make high chance to hit weapons more suitable for high damage capacity players. Some skills even increase effective dice which will in turn increase the player's capacity for damage.
Defense Roll Explained
The main line of defense that a player has is his evasiveness and protection. This is represented by the AC value determined by Agl or armor AC values. Attack rolls failing to defeat Agl are complete misses. Attack rolls failing to defeat the armor AC values have been entirely deflected by the armor. In both cases no hit was actually landed against a reasonably vulnerable spot.
The strength of materials in a piece of armor is represented by the value of the dice being used. After damaging die defeats the AC rating then there is a hit against a reasonably vulnerable spot and the defense roll will determine if the strength of the armor was sufficient to absorb the blow and prevent penetrating past the armor. However, the area of protection for a piece of armor makes the determination if an attack actually hit an exposed vunerable spot. The area of protection for armor is represented by the number of dice rolled. With more dice rolled the chances of rolling a higher number are greater, which represents higher coverage and more chance for the strength of materials to absorb the attack.
Lastly the area of protection also relies on the player's ability to manuver within the armor. The player's ability to manuver is represented by the number of effective dice in the defense roll, usually determined by dex. Even with a high area of protection, the player may still lack the ability to quickly move or cover his exposed vunlerable areas. When an attack die defeats the AC value and has no effective defense die to compare to then it is a hit on an exposed vunerable area which didn't even need to penetrate the armor.
Additionally skills can affect a defense roll. Since the strength of materials and area of coverage usually increase equally as the quality of armor improves, defensive skills improvements are equally suited for all players. Skills for defenses can be wide ranging from turning combat into a highly resistant roll to changing the type of defensive roll regardless of combat.
Types of Combat
Many types of combat work to create advantages and weaknesses to certain players in certain situations. Having multiple combat types expands the strategy needed to accomplish goals and breaks the monotony that is found in melee combat for some players in other systems.
Basic combat consists of melee weapons that do not cause significant piercing damage. This is the majority of attacks and weapons. This type of combat is found mostly with high damage weapons. Armor class and agl are the main defense against these attacks. A combination of body armor, shields, and a high dex stat is a strong defense against this type of attack.
Piercing combat usually involves high rolls and low potency. Most piercing attacks will be longer range than basic combat. The best defense against piercing attacks is shields and a high dex score. Agl is also useful but can fall short against high roll attacks. Piercing combat is a good alternative to basic combat and many characters will switch between the two to exploit weaknesses.
Long range attacks can be piercing or basic combat. The best way to defend against long range attack is with high dex and a shield or with a specific skill. Most of the time the best defense against long range attacks is to get close and force the opponent into melee combat.
Magical combat relies on a different stat than other forms of combat. Magical combat offers many advantages, including additional effects that alter play. Players can defend magical combat with a high wis stat. For high level players, high int will improve magical combat rolls. Magical combat is good for attacking characters with strong defenses against other kinds of combat.
Alternative combat involves altering the combat through skills. Players will cause affects against opponents designed to weaken them and ease their defeat. Alternative combat is wide ranged and includes many magical spells. Players engaging in alternative combat will be using it as an aid to one of the above combat styles, so the weakness to the above combat styles will apply.
With the story being infinite, there are still a finite number of strategies that a player can use to work within the rule set. These strategies are play styles. The play style doesn't drive the story, but a good player can let his own story drive his play style. Below is a list of generic play styles and how they are interpreted in Simple System.
Basic Play Styles
Certain play styles are directly encouraged in Simple System. These play styles describe mostly combat and should be decided based on the character, not the character decided based on the style.
Regular Melee Combat
The generic fighter in Simple System uses a low potency sword with a high chance to hit, has a medium type of armor, and uses a shield. This player is well rounded and very good at defense. The combat system was designed to give advantages to defense, so focusing on defense is one of the primary strategies.
An example of a regular melee combat character is a Lizardman Fighter who focuses leveling on dex, con, and str. Many melee combat characters will stick with piercing melee weapons and focus exclusively on dex.
Melee combat fighters have no real grave weaknesses. Some are weak to magic, however Humans, Elves, and Dwarfs make excellent melee combat players and start with enough wis to contend with basic magical foes.
Pikemen and Archers
The next type of play style revolves around piercing weapons. Pikemen and Archers choose to attack from a distance with weapons balanced between potency and chance to hit. These characters wear light to medium armor and tend not to hold shields. Because they rely on piercing damage, their combat style relies on a higher chance to hit. These kinds of characters will also rely on having initiative and being more mobile. They plan on using this mobility to get into position to attack quickly and to get out of a dangerous situation fast.
Pikemen and archers will rely heavily on dex and movement. They may have high agl or str to compliment their other skills. They may also carry another set of equipment and switch to another style of play if needed in a given situation. These characters often place little value on traditional defenses and will become vulnerable if an opponent gets close.
While most characters focus their combat on a one on one situation, some characters are best suited for taking on multiple enemies. Powerful warlocks, berserkers, and dual wielders fall into this category. These players tend to rely on dealing small blows to multiple enemies, or large blows expecting enemies to fall quickly. These players will use skills that are limited in duration or conditions. These players may also expect to otherwise incapacitate opponents one by one.
The real purpose for the crowd pleaser is to distract a large group of opponents and wait for backup to finish them off. Crowd pleasers will either stand back and use magical spells or rush in and rely on a large amount of life points to save them. Crowd pleasers usually rely on str and con or wis and int.
Another style of play is a character who expects attacks to do something other than damage. The most direct version of this is the Monk with the Unarmed Combat skill set. These characters fight with the intention of gaining an advantage other than weakening an opponent's life points. Examples are disarming opponents, distracting opponents, knocking opponents over, and damaging an opponent's equipment.
This kind of play style relies heavily on skills and each skill can alter the dynamic of combat. Because of this, it's hard to determine this character's biggest weakness as it may change. The stats that these characters rely on are related to their skill because completing skill checks and magical combat are a requirement to successfully execute an alternative attack.
The most important style of play for a role playing game is a puzzle solver. This style of play avoids combat in favor of solving puzzles and dissolving conflict through other means. Any skill that alters the playing field or allows access to otherwise inaccessible areas is an example of a puzzle solving skill. This includes picking locks, scaling walls, creating illusions, disarming traps, and even using intuition or divination.
The majority of all players will focus on puzzle solving aspects as opposed to combat. No puzzle should ever be exclusively solvable to a single skill set. While a lock on a door can be picked by one character, a crafty illusionist can convince the guards to open that door for them, or the agile thief can scale a wall and avoid the door. Puzzle solvers rely on their skills to navigate these situations and will focus on stats that compliment their skills.
Healers, Enchanters, and Alchemists
In many situations, healers and enchanters are invaluable. Although these characters will combine this style with another as a secondary playing style, it's certainly worth mentioning. The Healer, Enchanter, and Alchemist will excel as an aly between combat situations by providing themselves and their teammates with needed advantages. Groups that contain healers, enchanters or alchemists are more self sufficient. This will allow them to endeavor different risks for far longer.
Healers, enchanters, and alchemists rely heavily on skills, magic, and items. Simple System's skills were designed so that this play style can be effective without needed to be mastered. Because of this, healers, enchanters, and alchemists will more likely drive their stats by their primary playing style than these skills.
A play style unique to Simple System is the combat leader. These characters have skills that assist in the heat of battle only and rely on providing assistance at a moments notice. These combat leaders may not even be good combatants, but take charge during battles to help their comrades without fear of their own safety. Players with a quick initiative due to a high movement stat are only a small portion of this. Players with tactical strategy, field medicine, white magic, or even just equipped with many useful items will excel at this play style. What sets this play style apart from other systems is the cooperative nature of the skills involved and the use of non-combat skills.
Combat leaders will be very cooperative and will try to stay near the front of the group. They rely heavily on skills but can easily focus their stats on other play styles. These players will be rule minded and have a great grasp on what their character is and is not allowed to do. Although the actual weakness of this play style varies, these players may be either fool-hearty or overly cautious placing themselves closer to danger than they expected.
Starters and Finishers
Some players will rely on bonuses and combat advantages in order to cause a single high damage blow before bowing out of the fight. These players will use flanking maneuvers, surprise attacks, enchantments, and skills to improve their chance to hit. Players using this style are planning on accomplishing a very specific goal with their attack. This can include finishing off a wounded opponent, distracting an opponent, or inflicting the first blow to weaken an opponent for others to contend with.
Archers, thieves, warlocks, and fighters make good starters and finishers. These players will rely mostly on chance to hit as well as taking advantages of any bonus rolls as possible. Melee based starters and finishers will have high dex and relatively low str while magic based ones will have high wis and relatively low int. They will put little effort towards regular defenses and instead find ways to take the focus of an opponent's attack off of themselves. These players are also likely to employ problem solving and alternative damage as a cooperative play style to accomplish the best attacks.
Negative Play Styles
Some play styles are bleed over from other games, and usually a result of video game limitations and power play. Below are examples of how these play styles are handled in Simple System.
The most common play style in any RP game is the damage dealing character. The idea is for this character to kill enemies quickly so that defense does not become an issue. Damage dealing characters tend to also have significant health or armor, but the main focus is on damage.
There are many interpretations of damage dealing characters in Simple System. The most direct form of a damage dealer is a Dwarf Barbarian with the Berserk skill set. This character will focus mostly on strength and finding weapons with high potency. This character will quickly crush small unarmored foes.
The caveat to this is that this character will not be well armored and may not have high chances to hit. High damage dealing players may be killed easily by piercing attacks, or long range attacks, or magic. They may be easily overtaken by highly armored opponents or quickly overrun by multiple enemies.
The second most common play style in any RP game is the glass cannon. This describes a long range damage dealer that must be protected or else a close range attack will put the damage to an end. This class is almost exclusively avoided in Simple System. Boiling all magic down to long range damage dealing is a symptom of video games inability to allow magic to shape story telling elements.
If a glass cannon is desired then the best versions include Elven Rangers with Archery and Elven Warlocks with dark magic. It's difficult to cause either character to not excel in another field such as summoning or regular combat. Additionally archers are easily countered using shields and spells casting is purposefully limited to a low number of magic points. These design concepts were created to remove the problems associated with this play style.
The idea of a cleric is fairly loose between games. Many games feel that a cleric should be a fighter while others feel that a cleric is only a healer. Another symptom of video games is that healer's abilities are limited in usefulness to casting enchantments on other players.
There are many character types in Simple System that offer the advantage of buffers. Fighters with Tactical Strategy work as excellent buffers in combat. Wizard Enchanters offer a good buffer to players when used outside of combat. These characters will posses many other skills and abilities so a player who chooses a buffer will not be stuck into a combat support role only.