Perhaps you are considering a Warrior who, like Conan, can climb walls and locate traps. Perhaps you want a Thief who, like the Gray Mouser, knows a bit of magic. Perhaps you would rather your Halfling caused birds to fly away and rabbits to flee when e stoops to pick up a rock, as with Bilbo in The Hobbit. Or maybe your elf is more fight-y and less spell-y than the average elf.
The Occupations roll in Dungeon Crawl Classics goes a long way to differentiate characters, if you can remember that your Wizard was once also a blacksmith (or, in Toronto Crawl Classics, possibly a bike courier). There is a big chance between a skill check made with 1d10 and 1d20. Even a lowly gongfarmer should hope to find situations where his knowledge is handy…perhaps even a +1d bonus when saving to tolerate a foul odor!
Sometimes occupation is insufficient for what you want, though. Other game systems use widgets like feats and skill points to differentiate characters. Dungeon Crawl Classics says, “Quest For It”. I will take a middle road and say, if you want to make a minor adjustment to your character’s class…or, hell, even a moderate adjustment….propose it.
“Bob’s never going to be a Lucky Halfling…could I give up a Halfling’s special relationship with Luck to gain a full complement of Thief skills?”
Depending upon what you are asking, the answer will be “Sure” or “Quest For It”. In the event that you need to Quest For It, I will either give you something specific to accomplish or leave it to you to discover, probably with some clue as to how to go about it. I.e.:
“Your elf might be able to tolerate iron if she bathed in the blood of the dragon that dwells in Wonder Mountain.”
“Your warrior wants a Luck Die like a Thief? Well, the nomadic Bone Folk might know a way, but they are only in the area of Ruined Toronto around the springtime, and they are known to eat people.”
The only important restriction here is that, in Toronto Crawl Classics, humans are special. Only humans have a clerical relationship with the gods.
You have two options. One, you can use “half-levels”, as described here and in Crawl #10. This method trades XP for versatility.
The second option trades time and effort for versatility. You need to locate a powerful mentor, who can train you in the second class. In this case, you trade game time (when the character is training, he is not available) for the additional class.
In neither case do benefits “stack”: you gain the more favourable of the two possible benefits. Each time you gain sufficient XP for a new level, you decide which class it applies to. Since no character can have more than 10 total levels, both methods ensure that no character can possibly be the best in all things. You either have a great deal of ability in a narrow focus, or you have a smaller amount of ability with a wider focus.
Finally, if you wish, you may devise an entirely new class for your PC. The same rules apply here as with any third-party class: You must have a copy, I must have a copy, and I require time to okay the class. If you aren’t trying to “game the system”, I will probably approve it. I might approve it contingent on one or more adjustments, however.
If you devise a new class, I will also determine that it is a “one off” (i.e., no one but you will get to play it, and no other character of yours will get to be it) or open it up to the table.