Class, as a word, really doesn’t capture what these different roles really are. Profession better describes the combination of skills, feats and capabilities provided to a character. The term profession also clarifies that this is what the character does, not who they are. Thus, I tend to use the terms class and profession interchangeably.
Standard fantasy role playing games have been using the same core classes since the 1980s. Fighter, Wizard, Cleric and Rogue are the stock standard in every fantasy setting. There are many variations on the theme but all of them can be traced back to one of these core classes.
In creating a world I wanted to create uniquely flavored classes with significant ties to the world lore. What I ended up with, after digging around for OGL rules are mostly archetypes that modify core class features to better fit a specific role or story.
For warriors I created the honorable Odakaar. A combination of Samurai and Cavalier, these masters of combat focus their martial skills on a single combat style. Blade, bow, hand, shield and spear are common themes with room for individual taste. Pathfinder provides Archetypes for the standard Fighter class to achieve the goal of building an Odakaar soldier. No muss, no fuss.
Wizards are so typical of fantasy settings that I felt they needed to be more rare and maybe even suffer from being feared. I’ve given spell failure teeth by establishing that bending the arcane power to an spell caster’s will is a dangerous thing. If the caster loses control they and those close by pay the price.
Clerics lead the faithful and generally provide healing in fantasy settings. Preaching their deities tenants and trying to convert people to their beliefs. I decided to try a different tactic on Andrus; no deities, no pantheons. The theme of a raw, primal and untamed world lends itself to such a standard.
Luckily the mechanics for the cleric class are flexible enough to allow players to build a traditional cleric with no declared deity. This allows players to tie their preachers into their culture and personal beliefs instead of having to adhere to a specific deity’s agenda. This lends itself to animism, totem spirits, ancestor worship and any other number of cultural belief systems.
Stealth, a glib tongue and light arms are usually the hallmark of a rogue. A rogue is much the same in every setting; cat burglers, street urchins, rat catchers, wilderness scouts and traders. It’s more of a catch all class with so many archetypes that the variations are super flexible. I didn’t have to do much to adjust this class for Andrus.
I always liked the psionic rule set even in 2nd edition it provided a definitive flavor to a game. Dreamscarred Press revised and expanded the psionic classes and powers for use in Pathfinder or any OGL compatible setting. Pathfinder finally released their take on psionics by converting it into psychic magic in their Occult Adventure source book.
I decided the Psion class would be more common than a Wizard on Andrus due to the threat of arcane spell backlash. The Occult Adventure Kineticist are a great fit on Andrus because of their elemental connection and the overall feel of the class they’re called Maje on Andrus. The psionic Vitalist provides a perfect platform for the Ley Healer on Andrus.
Instead of creating unique classes/professions for Andrus I managed to use what already exists and add flavor background to provide a different feel.