Adrent! New phb3 class

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Looks like we are getting a new class this month. the Ardent. Bet it is divine. 



www.wizards.com/dnd/TOC.aspx?x=dnd/4new/...

Plus a cat hero on the cover of Dragon. Do we have our last race for phb3? 
Plus a cat hero on the cover of Dragon. Do we have our last race for phb3? 



I think that anthropomorphic tiger is being attacked by a familiar, so I believe it is supposed to be a monster.
I for one am hoping Battlemind = Ardent = same thing. 

I hope Battlemind was a previous name for the Psionic Defender dropped in favour of Ardent, but the Wilden Article missed the change like the ECS. 

It would fall in line with the slipped race reveals (Warden with the Minotaur, Seeker with the Githzerai, etc).

In related news, the Wilden gets its Debut article now, a month late. Interesting.

Before posting, why not ask yourself, What Would Wrecan Say?

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A great man once said "If WotC put out boxes full of free money there'd still be people complaining about how it's folded." – Boraxe

I for one am hoping Battlemind = Ardent = same thing.



Me too, though I'd guess leader.

Despite much earlier suggestions that Empath would be a psionic leader, I'm not sure an empath would be particularly different than a psion: same basic motif of telepathy/telempathy. The 3.5 Ardent was more of a Cleric devoted to a philosophy, which make it conceptually very different. Ardents didn't get power from their minds per se, but rather from their beliefs.

Though, I'm afraid Battlemind doesn't evoke anything significantly different from Psion either. Maybe the powers will be different though, focusing on clairsentience like a prescient bard.
I know I'm in the minority here, but I think that "Ardent" is a stupid-sounding name, and I much prefer "Battlemind". Further, I loved the Psychic Warrior last edition, so I hope that it's 4E incarnation is the Battlemind and that the Ardent is something totally different that I can not care about.

That being said, the name "Ardent" implied passion and zealous devotion, so if I had to take a guess, it would be Divine Striker, preferably a ranged implement-user as opposed to a melee weapon-user to keep is separate and distinct from the Avenger. It's a role that I wouldn't mind seeing represented in the Divine Power Source.

Also, just to pick on Bera, I hate the term "Clairsentience" as it has been used in D&D. While it is an existing term, it was always very misused when it came to D&D. "Clairsentience" is the "feel" counterpart of "clairvoyance" being "sight" and "clairaudience" being "hearing". Lesser known are "clairalience" as "smell" and "clairgustance" as "taste". "Clairvoyance" is often used as a blanket term for these, but I personally prefer "Extra-Sensory Perception", aka "ESP", even though that covers even more than these.
Furthermore, none of these necessarily have anything at all to do with perception of the future, and so that terminology is really just completely mistaken. More appropriate terminology for what you're looking for would be either "prescience" (what the Bard correctly used) or "precognition".

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
Now we're getting somewhere! Indeed, the Ardent is a familiar name. ... Here, let me get "Complete Psionic." .....

Ah yes. The Ardent used Psionic Mantles, and they are, in fact, powered by the Ardent's beliefs. He is pictured wearing scale armor, a large shield, and a mace (somewhat like a cleric), and holding out a glowing blue hand as if ready to channel its energy into an enemy.

The original (which is to say 3.5) version chose 2 mantles (more later on) and could only choose powers within that sphere. Obviously, that's unlikely in 4E, but I would postulate that "Spheres" will also be "Builds" for the Ardent. Or, at least, a sub-function of the builds themselves.

I imagine that the Ardent's class features will flow from these Mantles, just as a Sorcerer's Spell Source controls his class features. It is also possible that there is a longer list of class features (mantles) that you can choose 2 or three options from to form your core abilities (like passive At-Wills).

The reason this is likely is because the original Mantles were not mere "Schools." They were quite different, conferring passive abilities on the Ardent without requiring power points. This ranged from raising the level of a power, to increasing ability scores for a short period, to actual feats. In short, they were varied and the main ability that seperated this class from others.

He has a high Will Save, a mid-range attack progression, and slightly lower than mediocre hit points. In short (and I'm surprised to say this), I think this may be our Psionic Leader.

Certainly, the Ardent straddles the line between Divine and Psionic, but it seems unlikely that the class would make the jump considering the general lack of Psionic classes in the first place. Losing one to another power source seems weird. Possible, of course, but weird. Honestly, the name sounds more Divine than Psionic, but I thought the name "Seeker" was thoroughly more Divine too.

I'll be interested to see what he ends up as, but, for now, that's about all there is to know about the old Ardent.

What do you think?

Jared
Host of The Power Source
www.powersourcepodcast.com
Ardent sounds like an update of either the "battlemind" or "empath" classes mentioned earlier. Battlemind might have been renamed because it sounded unwieldy, or empath in favor of a name with less of a science fiction sound.

Then again, it could be a Divine class with less focus on deities and more on pure Astral power and philosophical concepts. We won't know for sure until the article comes out. (Do we have an exact date for when to expect the article? Didn't see it on the calendar for December.)
I assume they'll add it in later this month on the day with the Compendium and CharBuilder update.

But there are two Debut articles, so maybe they'll space them across the next three Tuesdays?

Before posting, why not ask yourself, What Would Wrecan Say?

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A great man once said "If WotC put out boxes full of free money there'd still be people complaining about how it's folded." – Boraxe

I personally think (and hope) this is a rename of the Battlemind. Mainly because we're getting a Wilden article in the same month, and Battlemind was a recommended class for the Wilden, so it makes sense that they'd be released side by side. Also, I think Battlemind is a silly name for any Psionic class, and that Empath is a really neat name for a Psionic Leader.

Actually, is it possible that we get two Psionic Leaders in this book, the Ardent/Battlemind and the Empath? The Ardent being more tactical, and the Empath being more healy and buffy? After all, the Martial power source started out with two Strikers (and has stayed that way so far), and Wizards has said several times that they're not interested in role symmetry for the sake of such. Not to mention that psychics are generally kind of sqishy and not very good at defending themselves.

In any case, cool and interesting that we're getting another Class Debut this soon. I hope we don't see all of them before PHB3 actually comes out, though. It'd be nice to have a surprise or two left.
Actually, is it possible that we get two Psionic Leaders in this book, the Ardent/Battlemind and the Empath? T



No.  Because we're either getting six classes period, and two Psionic Leaders would mean no room for the Divine Class.  Or we're gettnig eight classes, and there's no way WotC will break it down as 5/2/1 or 6/1/1.
Actually, is it possible that we get two Psionic Leaders in this book, the Ardent/Battlemind and the Empath? T



No.  Because we're either getting six classes period, and two Psionic Leaders would mean no room for the Divine Class.  Or we're gettnig eight classes, and there's no way WotC will break it down as 5/2/1 or 6/1/1.



I hardly find this to be impossible. In fact, with Divine and Primal already at 4 each, one or another Power Source presented in PH3 is going to end up with more than another presented therein. After all, Arcane is sitting pretty at 6 classes right now, why is it so odd to think that Psionics would get 5, while the other two get 2 and 1 classes? Or even 1 each?

I actually believe there is precident for an abundance of Psionic classes in PH3. Think about it: the Monk did not start out as Psionic, but we all knew that Psionics has been planned from the beginning (with most speculating it would appear in PH3, in fact). Can you imagine a situation where the role of Psionic Striker sat empty until the Monk showed up? Highly unlikely. Bordering on impossible, if you ask me.

Frankly, I think it is likely that we haven't seen the second Psionic Striker yet. Does this mean that there would be more than 4 Psionic classes in PH3? No. After all, two Martial Strikers in PH didn't mean more than 4 Martial classes. It is, however, far more likely that there will be more than 4 Psionic classes in PH3, than not.

Just my opinion, but we don't want to rule anything out just yet. If we do that, WotC may change something perfectly good just to surprise us. ;)

Jared
Host of The Power Source
www.powersourcepodcast.com
Well, because frankly with everything we know is going to be in PPHB3, it's a near certainty there will only be 6 classes.  And since we know there are 3 power sources in the book, it's obvious it will be 4/1/1.
You mean because of the Hybrid rules? Possible, I guess, but, again, unlikely.

Allow me to explain. The entire article for the Playtest for Hybrid characters was 20 pages. We can assume that the rules in the PH3 will take up a similar length and space in the book (plus the new classes, which would add 6-8 additional pages, give or take).

Now let's look at the length of the PH2. If we were to remove 2 of the races presented there, we would have 4 left, which is the number of races to appear in PH3. Each race is 2 pages, so removing 2 races gives us 4 pages.

Now the Racial Paragon Paths. If we removed all except 4 of those (because each of the new races will have one, at least), we would have 12 less pages in the PH2. We're now to 16 less pages.

Then we could remove the Backgrounds section because those rules need not be reprinted. Leave one page, just in case you want to make new Backgrounds for the new races. Now we're to 21 pages out of the PH2, which is more than the original Hybrid rules article.

Then again, we could be talking about the Skill Powers. Let's do that too.

The Skill Powers article stretches across 10 pages in the debut article. We are told that this constitutes about half the amount in the PH3. Now, we could be lazy and say that we'll have 20 pages of it in the PH3, but then we would be missing something important.

Commentary. By removing commentary, we would remove about three pages (count the columns) worth of space in that article. This leaves us with 7. Also, when we put in the additional three powers (give or take) for each skill, also be aware that we don't need to reprint  the name of the skills or paragraph about them. Top that with the lack of a need to reprint the first page of rules, and you're left with about 11 pages of skill powers (give or take).

I do want to point out that I'm assuming that New Rituals and Rules Updates will be included in PH3. This might not be so, but it's better to hedge my bets.

Now, what are we left with? Well, we start with more or less the same number of pages as the PH2. Now subtract 21 for Backgrounds and Racial Paragon Paths. Add about 11 pages back in from the Skill Powers. (10 pages less) Add in Hybrids at about 28 pages, and we now have about 18 more pages than we started with.

That's about the page length of a single class, not including feats, magic items, or special rituals.

In short, if the PH3 has only what we now know it will have and only 6 classes, the PH3 will be significantly shorter than those previous. That is, unless each class takes up a larger amount of pages than before (which isn't impossible either).

I guess what I'm saying is: 18 pages more ... 18 pages less ... it could be either. To me, it's a coin toss, not something set in stone.

LOL! Longest post ever! In my defense, I've been writing a class all day, and this class has forced me to think of nothing but math for hours.

Jared
Host of The Power Source
www.powersourcepodcast.com
The math adds up more for 6 classes than 8.

4 races

4 racial PPs

6 classes, each with 4 PPs

Hybrid rules for a minimum of 24 classes, with at least 2 - 4 pages for rules, and 2+ pages per class

Skill Power rules

Masterwork Implement rules

Other new equipment, inclduing Ki Foci

unknown number of EDs, probably 3 - 6

Hybrid and/or Multiclass specific PPs, I'd guess 4 - 8

Backgrounds for the new races, classes, and likely for Hybrids

Racial Feats

Class Feats

Hybrid Feats, other than the one that gives you class features

Possibly generic feats (Focus Expertise or whatever, the one that applies to both Weapon and Implement, at minimum)

Rules Updates, aka Errata ala the Stealth Update

Fluff for the Psionics/Primal/Divine/Far Realms connections and war, which will take up a page or two at least

All of that combined easily takes up the same page count as PHB2 (PHB3 has the same page count), leaving little to no room for two more classes.

It's possible, but don't count on there being 8.
Like I said, it's possible, but I have my reasons for believing 8.

... The biggest of which is that there is no way on earth that Hybrids or Skill Powers make up for two classes to me. Sub-par combo-classes and less-than-amazing powers that anyone can take are a far cry from real and balanced classes, and WotC knows this. I don't think they'd risk putting Hybrids (which a lot of people dislike) and Psionics (which is still suffering from the stigma of earlier editions) into the same volume that has less than the standard number of classes. It would easily become the least selling PH of all.

I'm not saying I won't buy it. I love Psionics and Skill Powers are a cool idea, but I doubt WotC would take such a risk. It doesn't make a lot of buisness sense. At least, not to me.

Jared
Host of The Power Source
www.powersourcepodcast.com
Actually, is it possible that we get two Psionic Leaders in this book, the Ardent/Battlemind and the Empath? T



No.  Because we're either getting six classes period, and two Psionic Leaders would mean no room for the Divine Class.  Or we're gettnig eight classes, and there's no way WotC will break it down as 5/2/1 or 6/1/1.


Oh, guess I didn't make myself as clear as I thought. I meant that we would still only get 4 Psionic Classes, but that we would get 2 Leaders, a Striker, and a Controller instead of one of each role. All the stuff I said about not needing symmetry wasn't just rambling, you know!
I'm hoping Ardent is the new name for the Empath, it adds a little more flavor to the empath concept and makes for a good alternative to Divine for philosophical and morally focused characters

I'm really not interested in another zealous Divine class, I want some Divine classes that are not hung up on dogma for a change. 
... The biggest of which is that there is no way on earth that Hybrids or Skill Powers make up for two classes to me.

Maybe they don't make up for 2 less classes, but they do take up just as much space.  Hybrid classes need 1 pager per class plus a 1-2 page intro (25-26 pages, assuming only 6 classes in PH3), and skill powers looks to take up around 8 pages (bringing the total to 33-34 pages).  A typical class take up 16 pages between description, class features, powers, and paragon paths (so 2 classes equal about 32 pages).  With these facts in mind it shouldn't take a math genius to figure out why it seems doubtful that PH3 will contain 8 classes.
So why is nobody guessing 7 new classes? 

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

7 actually makes more sense to me than anything else.  Nobody ever said we had to have an even number of classes in the book.  And that makes up the smaller difference.

Before posting, why not ask yourself, What Would Wrecan Say?

IMAGE(http://images.onesite.com/community.wizards.com/user/marandahir/thumb/9ac5d970f3a59330212c73baffe4c556.png?v=90000)

A great man once said "If WotC put out boxes full of free money there'd still be people complaining about how it's folded." – Boraxe

I'm really not interested in another zealous Divine class, I want some Divine classes that are not hung up on dogma for a change. 

Ah yes, the classic "apathetic holy warrior" archetype! ;)



I'm really not interested in another zealous Divine class, I want some Divine classes that are not hung up on dogma for a change. 



This gets filed under 'easily mutable fluff'.  You don't want your character to be hung up on dogma?  Play him that way.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.


I'm really not interested in another zealous Divine class, I want some Divine classes that are not hung up on dogma for a change. 



This gets filed under 'easily mutable fluff'.  You don't want your character to be hung up on dogma?  Play him that way.



OFT. You can have a pious character who isn't a zealot, just because they get powers doesn't mean they also go insane, unless you want them too.
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This gets filed under 'easily mutable fluff'.  You don't want your character to be hung up on dogma?  Play him that way.



Usually I'm all for that mentality, but not when it comes to future releases.

Because then you are saying that you don't care about the quality of writing in the books you just want crunch, and if you really don't care about fluff then go play Mutants & Masterminds where there is no fluff and you get to make up all the crunch yourself.

It's one thing to say okay, what do I have to work with and how can make the most out of it, but it's another thing to have no standards and to accept a pile of dog**** with a smile on your face.
Because then you are saying that you don't care about the quality of writing in the books you just want crunch, and if you really don't care about fluff then go play Mutants & Masterminds where there is no fluff and you get to make up all the crunch yourself.



Actually, I play Dungeon and Dragons where you get to make up all the fluff yourself.
Actually, I play Dungeon and Dragons where you get to make up all the fluff yourself.



Ok, if you want to play that game...

The thing is, what is the point of making or wanting a new class if you don't care what the class is? If you take fluff out of the equation then what would a new class have to offer you?

Are you advocating that fluff be removed altogether??? Seriously, would you just prefer if the books were just cold hard mechanics that had no flavor or archetypes behind them? 
Actually, I play Dungeon and Dragons where you get to make up all the fluff yourself.



Ok, if you want to play that game...

The thing is, what is the point of making or wanting a new class if you don't care what the class is? If you take fluff out of the equation then what would a new class have to offer you?

Are you advocating that fluff be removed altogether??? Seriously, would you just prefer if the books were just cold hard mechanics that had no flavor or archetypes behind them? 



I wouldn't mind, no.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
I wouldn't mind, no.



Let me ask you this; why do you need rules? You're a sensible person, you don't need to be refereed in order to have fun and tell a story.

Isn't the crunch getting in the way just as much as the fluff? 
I wouldn't mind, no.



Let me ask you this; why do you need rules? You're a sensible person, you don't need to be refereed in order to have fun and tell a story.

Isn't the crunch getting in the way just as much as the fluff? 



No, because the crunch ensures (or at least encourages, there are holes here and there) fair task resolution, something I don't believe I could do without rules guidance.  Without the rules framework, it would all just be me spitting out arbitrary rulings without rhyme or reason.

I really can't see where you're coming from with this line of reasoning.  I look at the fluff in the books as basically being there for beginners or people new to RP, so they have a place to start.  Most dwarves act like this.  A typical rogue acts like this.  So on, so forth.  There's absolutely nothing binding about it.  If you want a non-gruff dwarf, or a non-stealing rogue, non-singing bard, or a non-hippie druid, that's 100% fine and more people need to realize this.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
No, because the crunch ensures (or at least encourages, there are holes here and there) fair task resolution, something I don't believe I could do without rules guidance.  Without the rules framework, it would all just be me spitting out arbitrary rulings without rhyme or reason.

I really can't see where you're coming from with this line of reasoning.  I look at the fluff in the books as basically being there for beginners or people new to RP, so they have a place to start.  Most dwarves act like this.  A typical rogue acts like this.  So on, so forth.  There's absolutely nothing binding about it.  If you want a non-gruff dwarf, or a non-stealing rogue, non-singing bard, or a non-hippie druid, that's 100% fine and more people need to realize this.



First of all I think thats a very inimprusting answer and I applaud you you for that, although some would take offense to that.

So you think that because fluff is not an absolute, it has no use. Fluff can be ignored there for it does not matter.

Interesting... 

McNancy, I think we're blowing it a bit out of proportion here.  None of the Divine classes released say you have to play a zealot in their fluff.  The fluff doesn't tell you what your character's believes in, it tells you what sort of things your character does, and what background s/he is come from. 

The Commanding Avenger is a good example of this - a more team-player build of the Avenger leaves itself to somewhat of a different feel than the other builds.

That's why classes are supposed to be broad, rather than just a build (hence why I was/a bit am skeptical about the Swasbuckler class you proposed).  That broadness should includes thousands of different combinations of character, powers, feats, backgrounds, races, skills, etc.  Your character is what you make of it.  The class doesn't dictate it.

Yes, the fluff is mutable, and WotC have said this.  But the fluff is also a great starting point, and I usually keep to the fluff for basic tropes of the classes and races and such.  But I create my own setting too, so that means I'm immediately rendering some of the fluff obsolete (and in my case, more than just some).  Think of it more as a toolbox (or sandbox) to work (or play) with.  D&D should be primarily about you and your game, and what works for it.  The fluff is great – that's why I continue to buy the books despite having Compendium access from DDi.  But it doesn't always work for me, and I often find that it inspires me to do something variant on it – like this new Dusk Elves article in Dragon.  I really like it, but some of the ideas don't mesh quite well with my setting.  So I'm adapting them into my story of the Elven peoples, but doing it a bit differently, though using their fluff as a starting point.  Similarly, my Haflings began with the normal river-boat fluff from the book, as I tried to escape Hobbiton-type fluff, and eventually became a race of swarthy, swashbuckling pirates and smugglers from swampy, marshy, sub-tropical coastlines.  In my game, the Great Elder Spirits are older than the Gods and Primordials, and see both as interlopers towards the world, though the three races of great powers (along with Archfey and other great powers as well) have interwedded and gotten muddled. 

I really don't think that you should get caught up over some people playing Avengers, Clerics, Invokers, and Paladins with zealotry.  They don't need to.  I know Clerics that are timid, some Invokers that are religious scholars that stay in their studies until they're forced into adventuring, and Avengers who's only real purpose in serving their deity is because they have a common enemy, and aren't all that reverent.  And especially with the last one, there's established fluff to back it up.

So we don't need a non-Zealot class.  That would be like the old 3.5e classes like the Healer that were really just aspects of an already established class, for the sake of trying to emphasise one small detail. 

Again, I'm really hoping this Ardent turns out to be the Psionic Defender (but I wouldn't be TOO upset if the Empath was just renamed Ardent, since Ardent has fiery emotions by dictionary definition and would probably be Charisma-based - hopefully with a Wis secondary or Con secondary).

Before posting, why not ask yourself, What Would Wrecan Say?

IMAGE(http://images.onesite.com/community.wizards.com/user/marandahir/thumb/9ac5d970f3a59330212c73baffe4c556.png?v=90000)

A great man once said "If WotC put out boxes full of free money there'd still be people complaining about how it's folded." – Boraxe

Crunch is mutable too, but not as easilly. You can choose to houserule/homebrew from the framwork WotC provides, but you do so at your own risk.

Fluff, on the other hand, is a less grave matter. I can declare that in my setting, Shifters are fuzzy, Devas are all Rakashas, Changelings are Kitsune, and that the civilized races are Shifters, Gnolls, Minotaurs, Dragonborn, Kobolds, Kenku, Bulwugs, Rakashas and Kitsune, and things will still play just as smoothly as if I was playing the book straight.
< Mcnancy: I want some Divine classes that are not hung up on dogma for a change. >

Preach on!



I want Divine classes whose fluff lacks polytheistic gods.



For those of you who want your Divine characters to worship the creatures of the Astral Sea, you are welcome to refluff your characters any way you want. But I want the official fluff to not.
Isn't "Powers originate from Dieties" kinda the definition of the Divine source?
Sure you can have a religious class unassociated with the Astral, but that wouldn't be Divine anymore.
You will fear my Laser Face!
The 3.5e Ardent was originally supposed to have Auras which gave certain bonuses to allies that were dependant on the Mantle they chose, but they were somehow deemed too powerful so this was split off into another class called the Divine Mind.

I could see the 4e Ardent having something similiar to the auras given to the Divine Mind, especially if the Ardent is a Leader class.  Maybe it'll be as a class ability or as an aspect of powers.  And I could see them getting this regardless of what their power source might be.
< Ax: Isn't "Powers originate from Dieties" kinda the definition of the Divine source? >

Rather, the definition of the Divine source is, 'powers originate from the Astral Sea'.

The Astral Sea is a realm of Divine light. Divine classes can tap this Divine energy directly to use Divine powers. Immortal intermediaries are unnecessary. A Natural mortal can even become an Immortal emself, by tapping this Divine energy and transfiguring.

The polytheistic deities are superfluous.
< Ax: Isn't "Powers originate from Dieties" kinda the definition of the Divine source? >

Rather, the definition of the Divine source is, 'powers originate from the Astral Sea'.

The Astral Sea is a realm of Divine light. Divine classes can tap this Divine energy directly to use Divine powers. Immortal intermediaries are unnecessary. A Natural mortal can even become an Immortal emself, by tapping this Divine energy and transfiguring.

The polytheistic deities are superfluous.



Point to me where WotC says that Divine gods get all their power from the Astral Sea, and that that's what the Divine Power Source means.

If it was what you say, it would be the 'Astral' Power source.

The Divine Power source is inherently tied in with the gods; otherwise, it would not be Divine.
Again, Haldrik, you're oversimplifying it.  Beings of the Astral Sea don't grant divine spells.  In fact, nobody grants divine spells – divine characters get their power from their faith.  But you seem dead set on making each power source derive from a plane, rather than from what they actually derive from.  Divine characters deal with divinities.  The only reason why Invokers summon angels is because the Gods those angels have sworn to send them down at the Invoker's request. 

Infernal Warlocks aren't divine, Dark Warlocks aren't Shadow, Vestige Warlocks don't derive their power form the source of whatever is associated with their current Vestige, and Fey Warlocks aren't Primal, nor are Star Warlocks Psionic or Divine.  Illusionists, Charm-users, Psychic-damage power users, etc aren't Psionic unless the same power says "Psionic" within it's keywords. 

The Astral Sea is the natural home of Divinities, but Divine characters share a special relationship with the Gods, rather than with Angels or Devils or Maruts.  I've argued that there shouldn't be an Angel pact simply because Angels are most often seen in service of the Gods, and that would blur the territory a bit too much for some people.

The point is that Power Sources have more to do with mindsets and relationships, and might have nothing to do with planes.  Martial has to do with self-empowerment, as does Psionic, but in different ways – Martial empowers through matter over mind, Psionic mind over matter.  Primal deals with a relationship with the Spirits and animals and nature.  Arcane deals with the fundamental laws of the cosmos.  Divine deals with the powers of the gods and of the user's own faith in them.  Shadow... we don't have a precidence enough to say, though it seems that it might deal with bargaining away a part of the self to the Shadowfell itself to gain power, making it the FIRST power source that derives particularly from a single plane.

WotC said from the very beginning they didn't want Power Sources based off planes, because then they'd become less effective when you go travelling to other planes. 

Important tandum, Warlocks are not the catch-all class, drawing from each power source per pact; they're a class that makes deals with non-divine, non-primal beings of great power that can manipulate some of the laws of the cosmos, fitting it neatly in with the other Arcane classes that manipulate the cosmic physics, such as with the Artificer's trasmutation of local materials for his/her spells, the Wizard's understanding of the physics to manipulate pretty much anything, the Bard's music striking at a cosmic aesthetic, the sorcerer understanding his/her own body and it's relation to power, and the swordmage fusing the cosmic-knowledge with swordplay.

Before posting, why not ask yourself, What Would Wrecan Say?

IMAGE(http://images.onesite.com/community.wizards.com/user/marandahir/thumb/9ac5d970f3a59330212c73baffe4c556.png?v=90000)

A great man once said "If WotC put out boxes full of free money there'd still be people complaining about how it's folded." – Boraxe

< Rose: Point to me where WotC says that Divine gods get their power from the Astral Sea. >

Full self-disclosure: Both. .. There are genuine ambiguities within the official flavor/mechanics. Plus. Personally, I dislike 'worshiping' creatures who have power over me (or my character). I despise loss of power. I dislike the 'servile' classes, that must cowtow to a 'more-powerful' creature. Such a relationship is slavery, obsequiousness, dehumanization ... disgusting.

Personally, only *infinity* (including ones own infinite potential) is worthy of worship. Worshiping a finite creature - with its limitations and errors - disgusts me. The moment an 'object' of worship becomes finite, it repulses me. It isnt plausible for me (or my character) to worshiping a fallible creature. Its disgusting.

Im not the only one who feels this way. Many have voiced similar objections.



< Maran: Haldrik, you're oversimplifying it. >

To be fair, its difficult to express a complex point-of-view, in 100 words or less.



< Beings of the Astral Sea don't grant divine spells. >

That is exactly the official ambiguity Im talking about: the creatures of the Astral Sea, themselves, dont actually grant the Divine powers.

So, what grants the powers? I say, the energy of the plane itself, which the 'beings' tap.



< In fact, nobody grants divine spells – divine characters get their power from their faith. >

You say, subjectively, an individuals 'faith'. I say, objectively, the plane itself. Yes, your statement correctly expresses the 'worldview' of the D&D tradition.

However, the criticism of the D&D tradition is, 'faith-alone' can become absurd. The D&D webcomic, Order Of The Stick, parodied this tradition by having a Bard character multiclass, in order to worship the handpuppet, 'Banjo The Clown', to acquire Divine powers. Pure 'faith' isnt convincing enough.

Having the plane of the Astral Sea (not the individual) grant Divine powers, gives the DM a position of 'objectivity'. In reallife, what makes a religion a 'religion' is the ability of its archetypes to organize actual cultural 'reality' and behavior. While the archetypes of an individual are insanity (compare schitzophrenia!), the archetypes of a whole culture are 'truth' (what society takes for granted as true).

It can make sense to 'personify' such an archetype as if a person ... poetically. It even makes sense to have a finite creature 'represent' an archetype. (Eberron does this by having a finite human 'prophetess' speak on behalf of the infinite Silver Flame.) However, it is the archetype itself that matters, the way it abbreviates categories that the culture uses to function, not the creature itself.

Anyway, as far as the D&D game goes ...

Letting a characters 'faith' grant Divine powers invites too many obsurdities. By contrast, saying the Astral Sea itself grants Divine powers gives the DM a reasonable position to define what 'religious concepts' make sense or not, because the societies themselves - as the DM defines them - may perceive these ideals-or-nightmares as meaningful or not.

In sum, its better for both players and DMs to say the Astral Sea grants the Divine powers. For the players, their character concepts wont be limited to officially published gods. For the DMs, the Divine powers must cohere within the DMs campaign setting. 
Usually I'm all for that mentality, but not when it comes to future releases.

Because then you are saying that you don't care about the quality of writing in the books you just want crunch, and if you really don't care about fluff then go play Mutants & Masterminds where there is no fluff and you get to make up all the crunch yourself.

It's one thing to say okay, what do I have to work with and how can make the most out of it, but it's another thing to have no standards and to accept a pile of dog**** with a smile on your face.



Having played both Mutants and Masterminds and D&D 4E, I can tell you how 4E, with an understanding of completely immutable fluff, would be much more preferable to Mutants and Masterminds, even though it has less fluff to ignore.

Points bloat.

Get high enough up in the levels and your character can have points spread out so wide that he is basically capable of everything and reliably capable and competant at nothing.  Or you can have a character with his points sunk into so few things that he is unchallengeable at those tasks and completely incapable of anything else.  Or you can have your character be anything else along that spectrum.

And if the other players and/or the GM aren't building their characters at the same point along that spectrum that you are, then you risk a very unfulfilling game experience.

Tying everyone down to pre-planned classes with a highly specific progression eliminates the vastness of the spectrum by a large degree and gets everyone closer to being on the same page.

And as for the question of why should there be fluff attached, loosely as it is, to the classes if all we need is the mechanical framework?

Because this is supposed to be a "new-player friendly" game.  Having fluff there for if it's needed (if the new players in question can't think of anything on their own or in quite such eloquent terms), but also easily dismissed if the new players already do have something in mind instead, comes close to the best of both worlds.

It's like a springboard in gymnastics.  Envision one if you will.  The gymnast is running towards the bar, ready to vault over it with the assistance of the springboard and what happens?  Does the gymnast plant her feet on the springboard, stick there, and not move (just swaying back and forth)?  Hilarious (absurd, but something I'd still love to see on AFV).  No, the springboard gets used for what it can provide and then it is good and rightly left behind.
I've finally figured out how to put in a sig. Yes, I'm including this here for no other reason than to express how happy I am that I could finally do this. For goodness' sake, change these forums back (or just change, I don't care).
In fact, nobody grants divine spells – divine characters get their power from their faith.

No, divine characters usually get their powers from a ritual.
Pages 61-62 of the Player's Handbook explains this for clerics.
Pages 90-91 for paladins.
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