Ok, so, I've begun creating a pen and paper game after various trials as a kid. But this time I'm actually doing it right, not thinking about how cool it would be if there were dragonmen who wielded two-bladed swords or some stupid crap I used to fantasize about. The real kicker is, I haven't had much experience outside of d20. Thus I have some questions I've been hoping you guys could answer.
I like free-form RPGs that pretty much allow you to do whatever you want within the system, like Elder Scrolls: Oblivion. My main problem is that I like the idea of special moves or spells for characters, but I have no idea how to implement them into a free-form game. I've seen some examples in various threads or the Mutants and Masterminds picking point based things, but I don't want to read something else and say, "I'm going to steal that idea."
The sticking point for me is that if I make special moves (however modular or character created) then it seems like dividing them up between things is just another form of character classes. So you all have a gist of what I'm expecting, these spells and abilities are divided into combat techniques, enhancements, and defenses.
Techniques are the actual spells, enhancements are one-time use bonuses you can apply to a technique, and defenses are the ways your character defends himself. (A character can have only one defense activated at a time, but they're pretty powerful.)
So what I'm asking is, would it be possible for a game to still be free-form even if there are special moves? Second, if they were divided into multiple types, say melee skills requiring adrenaline or focus, would it be easier to just call them classes and be done with it?
TL;DR: I'm making a game for eventual indie publishing. Can classes work in a happy medium with a free-form system?