Breaking down the classes

Yeah, I realize there probably is about a hundred similar threads with no replies in this section by now, but because there's a hundred of them, there's no way to decide which should I bump. Also, this is my own look at it.

So when we look back at all the classes we currently have, most of them have behind them pretty strong and cool themes. But there's so many of them, there's bound to be some more basic breaking down of the system - the possibility to break it down to the absolute core concepts that can't be broken even more because it'd be just redundant. So if we do it, and look at the results, I think all of us can agree the four really, really core classes of D&D are Fighter, Wizard, Rogue and Cleric. The fighter is the dude with the sword and shield, the wizard is the frail guy casting spells, the rogue is the one sneaking up and opening locks, while the cleric is the healer. Those are the absolute core concepts. However, as I said before, there are lots of classes that feel pretty strong on their own. The question is - can we express them all as combinations of the aforementioned?

Let's look at it that way: take each of the four classes and establish two things for both: power source and role. We would re-create the class system from those basics, by taking two of those four concepts and exchanging their aspects. For this purpose Fighter will be Martial Defender, Rogue - Martial Striker, Wizard - Arcane Controller and Cleric - Divine Healer. Now what do we get if we combine those?



  • Fighter and Wizard - on one side, we get arcane defender, who's pretty much what we expect from a fighter/wizard combo. The classical Swordmage.

  • On the other side, the coveted martial controller. And I frankly have no idea how to make it work, given the assumptions behind this exercise. To revert the swordmage, it'd have to be someone wearing heavy armor, standing behind the lines... and using his own expertise to controll the battlefield? How? By shouting insults at people? That might sound kinda fun, but it'd be hell of an exercise to properly design such a class. Also, naming the dude who's just shouting insults at people while you're fighting would be kinda difficult. I'd vote [Edited]. (Wait, martial, behind the lines, controls the field - Oh right, Ranger)

  • Fighter and Cleric create some of the most iconic and useful combos. The first and most obvious response to that is the Paladin - the divine defender, heavily armored man, able to heal himself and others.

  • Going the other way, we get martial healer and an extremely populat in 4E Warlord. Both of those are strong and popular classes.

  • Fighter and Rogue are kind of a tough nut to crack... combining them one way sounds redundant on the grid (martial striker - that's already what the rogue is) and redundant conceptually (so it's a brutish thug, eh? that fits pretty well under either of those and doesn't need its own class - maybe a theme). Combining them the other way is again useless. If we definitely want to have a fighter-type who's doing damage as opposed to defending others, we can just go with Essentials' Slayer, which can be just a variant build of the Fighter.

  • Combining Cleric and Wizard gives us some options which are less iconic, but can still be, given proper support. One way, we get Divine Controller, which is the Invoker. No matter how much I like the Invoker, while it was popular, it was mostly because it was just the choice people taken when they wanted to play a wizard with divine flavour. I can't find a way to work around that, but maybe that's just what it needs.

  • Combining those two the other way, we get what I think is the most curious example on this exercise. We're getting an arcane leader, who is neither a bard (more on that later) nor the artificer. We're talking guy in medium-heavy armor who specialises in healing and helping people. As far as I know, there's no class fitting this description in 4E, nor a base class in 3E. Perhaps it's some kind of Thaumaturgist who uses the arcane forces to heal.

  • What's left now is combining wizard and rogue. From one side we're getting an arcane striker, who I wanted to say seems to be some kind of arcane trickster and wanted to proclaim another unused but potentially strong concept, when I realised that's pretty much what Bard is. The only difference is it's not really a striker, it's an arcane... something. Bards always muddle the roles and borders of their usefulness due to their "jack of all trades" nature. On the other side, we're again getting into the [Edited] territory, and I'm not going there again (I still got bruises from the first time).

  • And there's the last but not least combination. Clerics and rogues. On the one side, we're getting a holy assassin, a zealous divine striker with personal connection to a deity. A cool concept, realised in 4E's Avenger (who could probably use a better name).

  • The other way we get a sneaky leader type. Some kind of... alchemist... I don't know. I don't feel like there's a lot to do with this concept, nor it is easy to realise in a game format. I'm welcoming any ideas to fill that out.


So that's it, fixing together the core archetypes and realising some base classes: Fighter, Rogue, Wizard, Cleric, Swordmage, [Edited], Ranger, Paladin, Warlord, Invoker, Thaumaturgist/Artificer, Bard and Avenger - all of which bring us up to 12. Hey, a good, nice number. But we still lack some things. And that's when we can utilise certain other classes as variants of the existing ones:


  • The aformentioned Slayer is essentially a fighter variant who's more into damage than protection. I don't think it merits its own class mechanically, and would be a best fit as a fighter build/variant.

  • Sorcerer whom I never got why was his own class. Of course, he got different mechanics to get spells in 3E, but now it seems pretty redundant. Without a Vancian magic system, we're probably looking at a wizard variant who's more into damage than control.

  • Now I don't know what to do with the warlock. I think I will have to tell him "we'll contact you later, sir". We already have an arcane striker, and one with longer tradition in D&D. If people want that particular flavour ("I gave my soul to the devil" kind of deal) I think it can be dealt with by themes tacked on - as mechanically it'd be virtually identical to wizard or sorcerer, the way I see it.


We're now up to twelve (fourteen with unique builds) but we still lack certain classic classes. Namely, psion, monk, barbarian and druid. Two of those are psionic, while the other two are primal. Given that we weren't able to really deconstruct the system enough to warrant the re-creation of those, I dare to argue they're outside the "core four". While it might take another post of this size to fully estabilish what would they mean on the longer end of the spectrum, we can give it a quick look.


  • Let's take druid as the core "primal" race, primal controller. By combining him with cleric, we essentially get the shaman, with the fighter we get the barbarian (who's oddly enough the striker, not the defender), with the wizard we get... redundancy, or a Warcraft druid (the primal caster), and with rogue... I'm again kinda drawing a blank. Maybe it's the seeker, but given the response he got in 4E, I'm not vouching for him. Build for a barbarian based on stealth?

  • I think monk deserves to be the core psionic class, as a psionic striker. Combining him with the fighter grants us battlemind/psychic warrior deal (which I'm not sure works on its own), with the wizard we get the psion back, with cleric... we get something, probably the ardent who wasn't too popular in 4E (perhaps we can replace the ardent with something more interesting fluff-wise - more monk-ish? more of an oracle?), and finally by combining monk with the rogue we get a class I always felt underestimated - the soulknife. Cool fluff, cool potential mechanics - while it's hard for it to get outside "it's just psionic rogue", it can work. Hey, let's give it a literal soul-knife - a blade created out of his mind-power, while he carries around only a hilt - and BAM, you've got a Jedi but without the Lucasfilms lawsuit.

  • Don't try to mix monk with a druid. You'll get some crazy hermit, who's probably not out for adventures.


So to sum it up. By using just the "four core", I was able to deconstruct the class system and reconstruct most of the classic classes, bringing us up to 12 (14). By tackling on the primal and psionic classes (which I hesitated to call "six core", because it sounds kinda dirty), I got up to 19 (22) - plus [Edited] and Hermit, if one's up for those.
Can it work? Would people play all those? I believe so - after all it's just breaking down the core principles of the system. I believe most of the classes I construct above have their own legs to stand on, and the system as I construct it here would be pretty strong. You disagree? Comment below. You think I'm a [Edited]? Comment below (even though I don't fulfill the Str requirements for [Edited]).  You would organise it differently? Comment below. I'll be glad to hear other people's opinions on what I did here.

(Wow, it's much longer than I expected when I started writing this)
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I think is more or less correct, a lot of classes are born by mixing archetipes.
On the other hand, a lot of classes are not really tied to two archetipes or are just new concept (for exemple the Monk).

A couple of possible corrections:

- Arcane Controller + Rogue is the Warlock, explecially in 4e, with his focus on single damage, debuffs and being generally stealthy and roguish. The direct opposite could be the Assassin (since he is a rogue who uses arcane/shadow powers to do better his job). Maybe even the bard is a good pick, being a "Wizadish rogue".

-  The druid is probably a variant of Wizard+Cleric, being a caster with some heavy ties to animism (so, divine concepts). Druid+Warrior is the Warden, at least in 4e. The barbarian is an oddball, it does not really fit the druid+rogue concept... Is probably a Druid+Warrior+Rogue. Or, even better, Warden+Rogue :p



Edit: Oh, mixing classes is a fun game, but i don't know how this discussion has ties to the 5e :o 
I think is more or less correct, a lot of classes are born by mixing archetipes.
On the other hand, a lot of classes are not really tied to two archetipes or are just new concept (for exemple the Monk).

A couple of possible corrections:

- Arcane Controller + Rogue is the Warlock, explecially in 4e, with his focus on single damage, debuffs and being generally stealthy and roguish. The direct opposite could be the Assassin (since he is a rogue who uses arcane/shadow powers to do better his job). Maybe even the bard is a good pick, being a "Wizadish rogue".

-  The druid is probably a variant of Wizard+Cleric, being a caster with some heavy ties to animism (so, divine concepts). Druid+Warrior is the Warden, at least in 4e. The barbarian is an oddball, it does not really fit the druid+rogue concept... Is probably a Druid+Warrior+Rogue. Or, even better, Warden+Rogue :p



Edit: Oh, mixing classes is a fun game, but i don't know how this discussion has ties to the 5e :o 



I kind of get your point about the warlock, but then where and who's the bard? Is it possible then to reconstruct him from base elements?

I mentioned barbarian as a rogue equivalent because I couldn't find a palatable druid/rogue, so I mentioned a stealth-based build for the barbarian - one more focused on prowling like a cat, than lashing out like a bear or a wolf. More Amazonian than Norse barbarian.

I did not absolutely mix any class with any class - because then I'd have potentially infinite classes. I just tried to extract the very core concepts and mix those - trying to get back the iconic classes of D&D, and looking at any possible new/other combinations. So Warden kinda got left out... I suppose it's a better fit for Druid/Fighter mix. Maybe the Barbarian can have three builds - Warden, who's a druid/fighter, Barbarian who's a druid/slayer and then the "Cat Barbarian" for a druid/rogue mix.

It ties to 5E by me trying to extract the core basics for a class system for 5E and realizing what really is core to D&D, or can be derived from it - so what is really iconic enough to make it into the next edition. 
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I tried making a chart of what was said in the original post, instead I created a list of mix matching roles and power sources. Note: The first class defines the power source/base, while the second usually defines the role. For example, a Monk is basically a fighter who chooses to hone his mind while a Battlemind is a psychic who chooses to hone is body.

So if the variables are:
Fighter - Defender
Rogue - Striker
Wizard - Controller
Cleric - Leader
Druid(If druid is the Primal Base) - Consider this Chaos or uncontrolled ID.
Monk/Psion (If Psion is the Psionic Base) - Consider this Discipline/Psychic powers.


Combos(Considering the Base class as defining the class role)
Fighter + Rogue = Slayer
Fighter + Wizard = Ranger (Favorite Combo that was missed out in 4e, martial controller)
Fighter + Cleric = Warlord
Fighter + Druid = Barbarian
Fighter + Psion = Monk


Rogue + Fighter = Swashbuckler
Rogue + Cleric = Alchemist(Rogue + Healer, with poisons and potions)
Rogue + Wizard = Bard
Rogue + Druid = Survivalist/Hunter(Striker with animal companion)
Rogue + Psion = Soul Knife


Cleric + Wizard = Invoker 
Cleric + Fighter = Paladin
Cleric + Rogue = Avenger
Cleric + Druid = Elemental Priest
Cleric + Psion = Divine Mind(3.5 class, uses Aura effects to support)


Wizard + Fighter = Swordmage
Wizard + Rogue = Sorcerer(Base class)
Wizard + Cleric = Mage(Cloth armor healer)
Wizard + Druid = Sorcerer(Wild Magic track)
Wizard + Psion =  Illusionist

Psion + Fighter = Battlemind
Psion + Rogue = Lurk(3.5e class)
Psion + Cleric = Ardent
Psion + Wizard = Psion
Psion + Druid = Wilder(3.5 class, 4e Theme)

Druid + Fighter = Warden
Druid + Rogue = Seeker
Druid + Cleric = Witchdoctor
Druid + Wizard = Shaman
Druid + Psion = Beastmaster(Controls animals) 
Ant Farm
That's certainly an interesting alternate way of doing it. I, for example, preferred to take the monk as the basis of psionics, because not only monk has a higher chance of being published before other psionicists, but also it's an older and more "iconic" class for D&D (also, psion feels like monk/wizard to me). I didn't even give psionics and primals a full write-up - because not only it would bloat the post beyond anyone wanting to read it, but also deviate from my original assumption of "four core" too much. We are indeed both doing the same thing and arriving at slightly different conclusions.

In case anyone doesn't want to invest time into reading my incoherent gibbering, here's my table (without psionics and primals):
( Power source of + Using tactics/role of = Result)
Fighter + Cleric = Warlord
Fighter + Wizard = Ranger
Fighter + Rogue = Slayer

Cleric + Fighter = Paladin
Cleric + Wizard = Invoker
Cleric + Rogue = Avenger

Wizard + Fighter = Swordmage
Wizard + Cleric = Thaumaturgist/Artificer
Wizard + Rogue = Warlock & Sorcerer

Rogue's power source is identical to fighter's, he differs by his tactics, so the table would be identical to fighter's.

Wildcard: Bard

Unaccounted for (and possibly relegated to future books): Druid, Barbarian, Monk, Psion. Possibly doable with them:


  • Druid

  • Barbarian (Warden - bear barbarian?, Barbarian - wolf barbarian?, Cat Barbarian)

  • Shaman (druid/cleric)

  • Monk

  • Psion

  • Battlemind and Soulknife (as vaguely Jedi-like characters)

  • Some kind of monk-ish psionic healer


Also, sadly, my jokes about Douchebag and crazy old Hermit being classes seem to be lost this way.
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That's certainly an interesting alternate way of doing it. I, for example, preferred to take the monk as the basis of psionics, because not only monk has a higher chance of being published before other psionicists, but also it's an older and more "iconic" class for D&D (also, psion feels like monk/wizard to me). I didn't even give psionics and primals a full write-up - because not only it would bloat the post beyond anyone wanting to read it, but also deviate from my original assumption of "four core" too much. We are indeed both doing the same thing and arriving at slightly different conclusions.


True it is a long post. Though I felt there was need to go over the 4 power sources and the 4 Class roles.
Leader, Striker, Defender, Controller
Martial, Arcane, Primal, Psionic


Rogue's power source is identical to fighter's, he differs by his tactics, so the table would be identical to fighter's.



True. There wouldn't really be any need for the slayer then. Then again we aren't taking into account sub-classes/builds. In that respect right now in 4e the Fighter has the Knight and the Slayer subclasses, if essentials is considered.


Wildcard: Bard


yeah, when I made my list I was considering putting him as the Rogue + Cleric build. Though the bard has been a spell caster since its inception so I doubt I could get away with a Martial Bard.




  • Battlemind and Soulknife (as vaguely Jedi-like characters)


Also, sadly, my jokes about Douchebag and crazy old Hermit being classes seem to be lost this way.



lol
Ant Farm
True it is a long post. Though I felt there was need to go over the 4 power sources and the 4 Class roles.
Leader, Striker, Defender, Controller
Martial, Arcane, Primal, Psionic



In the core of my post, in the "four core", there are three power sources (no Psionic) but four roles.

I'm still putting a slayer there as a fighter build based on damage - there is still difference between the style of fighter and rogue, and one might prefer the style of a fighter, but damage like a rogue. 
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I agree that most of the major classes come from mixing the four "classic" classes. There really is a spectrum in class design between the four points, four quadrants of classes with fighter, rogue, cleric, and wizard at the extremes, defining each quadrant.

Here's an image I'm stealing from a math website to illustrate:

And you can place classes at various places at various combinations, such as the paladin being halfway between fighter and cleric. And the bard fits neatly in the middle, as a combination of all four. 

You can simplify it even more, and combine the spellcasters (clerics and wizards) for three classes (fighter, rogue, magic-user). Dragon Age does this and there was a class system that used this in Unearthed Arcana.


I just don't want this to be the direction we go for 5e, because it leads to so many classes. When you start combining classics you can get an infinite number of "classes", which we really need to move away from. We don't need a fighter that does everything  fighter does only it deals damage instead of tanks, so it's a seperate class. 
We needed fewer classes than can do more, rather than very niche classes.

I think we need to completely and totally divorce role from class, divorce role from the chart. Classes have to be larger, they have to encompass multiple roles, they have to be "big tent" concepts. If, when you think of a "class" it cannot fill multiple roles then it probably doesn't deserve to be a full class. 
Smaller classes, the grid-filler classes from 3e and 4e should be folded into existing classes or as multiclass options. There could be speciality options when you combine two classes. Prestige Classes did this well, enabling you to be a functional wizard-rogue or rogue-cleric or monk-paladin. 

We simply do not need more than a dozen really solid classes. Everything else is padding.  

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Well, my original speculation got me exactly a dozen, so there's that.

I do agree that we can't combine classes into infinity, that's why I limited myself to get the combinations only between the "four core". To me, the chart above is a proof that paladin is a concept no less unique than an invoker - as both pretty much stem from a combination of two core concepts - a cleric and (respectively) fighter and wizard.

 The slayer fighter I differentiate out only to have something in that field - but I see at as a build, not a separate class, so I agree with you there.

Taking wizard and cleric into one is a bit far, IMHO. They definitely have different roles, and are concepts strong enough to warrant them separate positions in the "four core". 
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Well, my original speculation got me exactly a dozen, so there's that.

I do agree that we can't combine classes into infinity, that's why I limited myself to get the combinations only between the "four core". To me, the chart above is a proof that paladin is a concept no less unique than an invoker - as both pretty much stem from a combination of two core concepts - a cleric and (respectively) fighter and wizard.

 
The paladin is a rather iffy class, being such a clear combination of two classes. The invoker... he's not really a combination of classes but all the tropes of a role (staves, light armour, AoEs) being overlaid with the flavor of a class. 
Not the best design, as the big four classes don't always work perfectly as one combat role. I've seen clerics built to tank, wizard buffers, and fighters deal damage (just not in 4e). 

Classes should not define role. They should define the roles independantly and figure out how classes fill it. The big four iconic classes were important before there were the MMO/video game roles. They should focus first and foremost on iconic, defining classes with multiple varied archetypes and worry about roles after.

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The paladin is a rather iffy class, being such a clear combination of two classes. The invoker... he's not really a combination of classes but all the tropes of a role (staves, light armour, AoEs) being overlaid with the flavor of a class. 
Not the best design, as the big four classes don't always work perfectly as one combat role. I've seen clerics built to tank, wizard buffers, and fighters deal damage (just not in 4e). 

Classes should not define role. They should define the roles independantly and figure out how classes fill it. The big four iconic classes were important before there were the MMO/video game roles. They should focus first and foremost on iconic, defining classes with multiple varied archetypes and worry about roles after.



Of course. My whole post, while still long because of the sheer number of combinations I had to consider back and forth, is only skimming the surface. I can easily see invoker becoming a cloth healer, or avenger doing "evasion tanking", like a rogue. Bards can - and always did - fulfill multiple roles, often at once. Paladin, similarily, can be able to heal, defend or deal damage. The thaumaturgist up there - my solution for "healing arcane class" - is normally a healer, but I don't think it's impossible to see him "reverting" those same "wondrous incantantions" to control the field. Ranger, while filling the slot of "martial controller", can very competitively be a striker, as 4E proves - or perhaps even defender with a help of his trusty beast. Barbarian, as mentioned multiple times, even on this stage got from me three builds for different roles.

What I'm not trying to do in the OP is making a ready end-all solution for whole class system. It's a skeleton upon which you may base your class system - the sheer combinations which create the basic classes. 
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Everyone involved in this thread so far has been kind of doing something similar, they are looking at the classes that we have in 4e (and to a limited extent 3.5), looking at how they fit on "the grid" and how most of the classes are just variations of the 4 "original" classes of cleric, fighter, rogue and wizard.

Jester pointed out that the problem with 4e is the number of classes, something that started in 3.5 and sadly carried through to 4e. My personal belief is that the number of classes can be cut down by at least half, if not more, and we would be fine. I wouldn't cut it down to just 3 or 4 (although it is tempting), but limiting ourselves to say approximately 12 is not a bad target. The question then becomes, "What would we do with all of those classes we get rid of?"

Once again Jester made a solid point (one that I have been toying with for a while myself); a class should not be defined by a single role. Each class should be able to fulfill several roles, and should offer a good amount of customization that allows the player to choose what roles they want their character to fill. Our next question then becomes, "How do we offer this customizable format?"

Back before 4e, there was this great little project done by WotC called D20 Modern. Part of d20 modern's character creation was this concept that they came up with called Talent Trees. The team developing the Saga Edition of Star Wars saw the merits of this system and took the ball and ran with it. Talent Trees offer player's the ability to pick and choose what features (read as Talents) they want their character to possess and choose those talents, leaving off the ones that don't fit the player's concept. This gives the player the ability to make their character fit the vision in their head, not make the vision in their head fit what the book tells them they can do.

4e introduced a great mechanic with the A/E/D/U powers system. This went a long way towards bringing classes to a fairly balanced level of power, and cutting down on class disparity at the ends of the spectrum (low level mages being worthless, high level fighters being equally worthless). I personally feel like the system works very well, and can be carried over into 5e with some modification.

"How do we make the powers system work with the Talent tree system?" funny you should ask that question, that's exactly where I was going next.

Tie the powers into specific talent trees. The character chooses two talents at first level. They can be from the same talent tree, or 2 different talent trees. Each talent tree has anywhere from 2-4 @will powers associated with it. The character chooses 2 @will powers from those offered. The talents on the trees may be the equivalent of Encounter attack powers, or they may the equivalent of 4e Utility powers, or 3.5 class features, or even Essentials style class features. The main idea to take from this is that the player can choose what talents their character possesses giving the player the ability to customize their character as they see fit.

"What does this have to do with this entire thread?" Hold your horses, I'm getting there.


Now, as has been pointed out in this thread, and I'm sure probably at least a score more, some of the 4e classes (and 3.5 ones as well) are just redressing some of the iconic classes, or a combination of 2 or more existing classes. Many of 4e's classes can be done away with and turned into build options for other classes. The easy example is the poor Warlord. The Warlord as a class looks like the Fighter class, but fills the Leader role. When we take the idea of Talent trees and run with them instead, we can offer the Fighter class a talent tree called warlord. The warlord talent tree offers the Fighter a selection of 2-4 (or more) @will powers that the Warlord class formerly possessed, and several talents that allow the Fighter to fulfill a Leader-like role.

"What classes remain then Mr. Smarmy Pants?" That's a good question, and one that I have taken a while to consider. 4e had a lot of fun concepts that were made into classes, and some of them are easy to justify keeping and others less so, there are a few that are hard to justify getting rid of as well, but here is my attempt at it.  I will provide a list of classes and the roles that they can fill by offering them talent trees.

Artificer (Defender/Leader/Controller) (Can fill the defender role with a Swordmage talent tree, using infusions to augment their armor and weapons.)
Bard (Leader/Controller) (Iconic class that has been around since AD&D 1e. )
Wizard (Controller/Striker/Leader) (Iconic class, one of the original 4 and not going anywhere. Offered talent trees that allow for Warlock and Sorcerer builds.)
Cleric (Leader/Controller/Defender) (Iconic class, one of the original 4 and not likely to go anywhere. Offered an Invoker talent tree that allows for control options.)
Paladin (Defender/Leader/Striker) (Iconic class, it has been around since AD&D 1e and has traction. Offered the Avenger talent tree to act as a striker.)
Fighter (Defender/Leader/Striker) (Iconic class, one of the original 4 and not likely to go anywhere. Offered a Warlord talent tree for leader options.)
Ranger (Striker/Controller) (Iconic class, it has been around since AD&D 1e and has traction. Offered Seeker talent tree for control options.)
Rogue (Striker/Controller) (Iconic class, one of the original 4 and not likely to be going anywhere. Offered a talent tree that has lots of control options.)
Barbarian (Striker/Leader/Defender) (A class with traction, Barbarians have been around in some form since AD&D 1e. A Warden talent tree allows for the defender role.)
Druid (Controller/Leader/Striker) (Iconic class, it has been around since AD&D 1e and has traction. Offered the Shaman talent tree to fill leader role.)
Psion (Controller/Leader) (Iconic class, although the class has only been around since 3e, the idea has been around since AD&D 1e. Takes the Ardent's bag of tricks as a talent tree.)
Soulknife (Defender/Striker) (This is a 3.5 class, uses psionic powers to manifest a weapon, shield and armor, has a Battlemind talent tree for defending, and a mind blade tree for striking.)
Monk (Striker/Controller) (Iconic class, it has been around in some form since AD&D 1e and has traction. Options for different control powers found in different combat styles.)

All of that brings us to 13 classes total. We have pared down the 24 classes of 4e by nearly half. Each class now has options for filling various roles, and the ability to fill multiple roles at once. If a player wishes to focus on a single role the ability to do so is there, but the option of also being a jack of all trades exists for more than just one class (looking at you Bard).

"But what about mutli-classing?" That's a good question, and one that can be easily handled. For multi-classing we look at the power sources. Each of those classes will fall into a power source just like in 4e. Some of them will move (the monk just isn't Psionic if you ask me, and the ranger can easily be seen as a primal character instead of martial). Now with the idea that each class is part of a power source, with multi-classing we aren't looking at changing classes as much as we are looking for a new source of talent trees. There can be a set of feats that allow the player to choose a power source (Arcane Student, Divine Devotee, Primal Urge, Psionic Wild Talent, Martial Practice) each time the player selects that feat, they can choose one talent tree from any class in that power source. From that point on, whenever the character gains a new talent, they can choose to take a talent from that out sourced talent tree in addition to any talent tree that they have access to from their class.

Sorry about the length of the post there guys, but it was necessary.  Please feel free to critique this post, beat it to death with a hammer take a saw to it, whatever you feel like doing. Tell me how this idea would never work, what have you. All I ask is that you keep it civil, we're all adults here.

Sorry about the length of the post there guys, but it was necessary.  Please feel free to critique this post, beat it to death with a hammer take a saw to it, whatever you feel like doing. Tell me how this idea would never work, what have you. All I ask is that you keep it civil, we're all adults here.



I'm not going to pull any hammers on you (maybe light combat pickaxe, tops). Yours is another opinion of how it should be tackled, and I don't have much to say about it, as it bites the problem from completely different side. What we can all agree about is that they need to break down the whole system and rebuild it from the very basics, trying to get back the iconic classes. How exactly would they do it is where we differ, sometimes on principle. I believe my way of doing it is superior, as it just neatly crosses out everything with everything, and manages to get back most of the important stuff. The only major problem I see is and agree with is that is still has quite a lot of classes - but believe me, it's already very limited for the kind of stuff I generally pull off.
Check out my D&D-based play-by-post game, based on exploration and roleplaying. Agora
I don't want to sound like a noob....even though i am. but where does it say what class they are? or do you choose it? because i have this want figure i want to play as named War Ape, but it only says animal. So can i not play as him roleplaying, or can I only use human figures, or whatever? Please help. Thank You.
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