A few months ago, I was playing the game Darkest Dungeon while watching Matt Colville's YouTube video talking about playing in a West Marches-style game.
Now admittedly, I have not run/played in a West Marches-style game, but from my understanding, it seems like the Darkest Dungeon setting might mesh pretty well it. I mean, you have a town that as the heart of the setting, a roster of characters for players to choose from, several different dungeons to explore, and a continually influx of new adventurers to replace the fallen (which makes it easier to explain a new player's character showing up). All that with the ultimate goal of trying to get a high-level party to explore the final dungeon.
My idea was as follows:
- Basic Fantasy for the game rules
- Characters start at 3rd-level, top at 12th-level
- Players weren't stuck playing a specific character, they could play any other in the town's roster
- Each game session was self-contained; if the party didn't make it back to town before the session ended, they were considered "lost", but players could form another party in a later session to go look for survivors or retrieve the lost treasure
- Rules for the unique elements of the Darkest Dungeon: light levels, stress, afflictions and virtues, building and managing the town, town events
- Camp skill, with fifth edition-style rules for short and long rests
- and the usual material covering new character classes, magic items, spells, monsters, etc.
Eventually I drifted away for various reason. Thinking back, I had written down quite a bit. Maybe one day I might go back to finish writing it all.
But with all that said, I'd thought I'd share something. So here is the Vestal, a sub-class of the Cleric. Now, this sub-class would certainly be more powerful than the regular cleric class of a standard Basic Fantasy game. But in a Darkest Dungeon game, where all the character types are sub-classes with their own unique abilities, not so much.