I know that Stonehearth doesn’t want to reward class switching in citizens, by wiping all XP from the character when they switch. But would it be possible / plausible to at least give hearthlings the ability to have two professions?
The ability to mix and match professions is already kind of in the game, but this feature would make it more organic. The example that comes to mind right now is the cook / farmer. Right now, the cook retains the harvesting abilities of the farmer, something no other profession has. This is kind of nice, especially in later games when you’ve got large harvests and often not enough farmers, the cook does a great job of helping out. But what if you could leave the choice of whether the cook can harvest up to the player?
A Cook/Farmer would, then, be great for mid-size games. You have one farmer and one cook who can also harvest (we can set restrictions on what secondary classes can do: a secondary farmer can harvest but not plant, a secondary blacksmith can smelt but not smith, etc). You have enough hands to turn the food you harvest into food, and then you also have enough during the busy harvest season to get the fields cleared. Then, as you advance your town, you can specialize your hearthlings by removing their secondary profession. Now there’s just enough farmers to farm, and enough cooks to keep them always occupied, so you don’t need nor want your cooks running off to the fields when there’s uncooked food.
Secondary jobs would, as I mentioned, come with limitations, but they could also confer some sort of boost onto the primary job. A Cook/Herbalist could make healing food, for example. A Ranger/Trapper could hunt small animals while on patrol to make quick food for the squad; a Trapper/Ranger could use a bow to hunt flying or larger prey; a Ranger/Herbalist might poison his arrows by default. But this is a frill: the core would be to separate each job’s tasks into basic and advanced ones, and allow primary jobs to do both, while secondary would only do the basics.
Even beyond special features, having a Herbalist/Weaver would be awesome, because she could then make her own thread from plant fibre, rather than relying on a separate hearthling to do it for her. Or you could make a Farmer/Cook who would be the reverse of the Cook/Farmer: cooks simple dishes (veggie stews) by himself, but mostly spends time out in the fields, to supplement the Cook/Farmer who can now focus on more advanced tasks than 50 orders of the same veggie stew.
Here are some of the combinations I thought of:
Any profession/Fighter: Hearthling is able to level up Fighter level and gets Fighter bonuses when defending town
Any profession/Archer: Same as Fighter, but for Archer. Hearthling uses a small bow when defending town.
Any profession/Cleric: Hearthling has much faster self-healing, and heals others when defending town.
Blacksmith/Mason: Hearthling can turn excess stone (often piled into the same stockpiles as ore) into decorative baubles for selling.
Mason/Blacksmith: Hearthling can turn ore into bars.
Trapper/Cook: Hearthling can cook food out in the wild. Perhaps could be relevant with some sort of exotic, quickly spoiling prey.
Cook/Trapper: Hearthling can catch small pests around food stockpiles, making food last longer. Cooks pests (?).
Trapper/Herbalist: Hearthling can find/harvest wild plants while out trapping.
What do you guys think?