PHB3 Classes: What went wrong?

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PHB3 Classes: What went wrong?

After reading over the Player's Handbook 3, I feel compelled to write this thread discussing the most significant element of the book- the classes, and why many of them leave something to be desired.

I would like to begin by stating that I feel the book overall isn't bad.  It has a number of strong points indeed.  However, in comparison to PHB and PHB2, its shortcomings are greater in number and deficiency.

So what, in general, is the major flaw of the PHB3 classes?  Lack of identity and lack of inspiration.  Countless times while perusing the book I got the sense that I had seen it all before.  To put it another way, the distinct archetypes and memorable powers featured in the previous two PHBs was either missing in part, or had apparently been rehashed with only small variations.  I can only speculate at this point, but here are a few theories:

*It was the intention of WotC to not stray too far from the streamlined template of 4e.
*The designers had reached a perceived "exerted point" in design space.  Or, somewhat differently, the designers are intentionally not wanting to produce too much unique content at once, in an attempt to avoid reaching "the bottom of the barrel" too quickly.
*The psionic power source is not very robust as a fantasy archetype, so it suffers, not only from lack of source material to draw from, but also from lack of real-world analogues to compare and contrast with.

The Classes

*The Ardent.  Melee-weapon-wielding psionic leader who utilizes influence over emotions.  Basically, take the Warlord, play up the inspiring abilities a bit, and give it a small touch of magic.  Here and there, I'd see a power that meshed well with other psionic classes, such as allowing allies to regain power points, which did feel pretty unique.  Other than that, everything felt all too familiar.

*The Battlemind.  Melee-weapon-wielding psionic defender who fuses phsyical combat with psionic magic.  So take the Swordmage and...uh...hmmm.  No, take a Fighter/Wizard and...um...I don't know.  It's a powerful class, that's for sure, but I am clueless as to the point of its existence.  It's a slightly different iteration of the gish archetype, which has already been done in 4e with the Swordmage and multi-classing/hybrid-classing.  As well, the class's description remains unnervingly vague as to why the Battlemind uses constitution for its attacks.

*The Monk.  Super-mobile martial artist that draws upon ki power, discipline, and meditation.  When I got to the Monk, I remembered why I bought PHB3.  The class draws from an exotic, robust archetype, and has a distinct theme that doesn't feel like its stepping on the toes of pre-existing classes.  Sure, many of the monk's powers are mechanically similar to other melee strikers, but I'd say it's safe to assume that when you play a monk, it will feel like a monk- and nothing else.

*The Psion.  Controller who uses psionic magic.  Take the Wizard, play up the telepathic, telekinetic, psychic, force, and attacks-vs-Will themes.  This class really is the psionic cousin of the Wizard; just as the Wizard represents mastery of arcane lore, the Psion is the epitome of pure psionic magic mastery.  If playing a Wizard who casts spells such as Phantom Bolt, Force Orb, Levitate, Shield, Twist of Space, and Dimension Door just doesn't quite do it enough for you, than take it one degree further, and play a Psion.

*The Runepriest.  Melee-weapon-wielding divine leader who bolsters his powers with divine runes.  This class was the biggest disappointment of the entire book, in my opinion.  When I first heard about the class coming out, I imagined a tome-wielding lorekeeper, an intelligence-based divine character that got to use some interesting rune system to create unique effects, and/or a class that used scrolls and rituals in a new, innovative way.  Instead, the runepriest is practically an exact copy of the battle Cleric.  I feel that WotC really dropped the ball on a chance to add a great class with traction.  I could go on about the Runepriest, but for the sake of remaining civil, I won't.

*The Seeker.  Ranged-weapon-wielding primal controller whose powers are imbued with primal spirits.  This class is essentially the primal version of the arcane archer, mixed with the Druid.  Speaking of which, read the quote of the Druid class from PHB2.  It says, "I am the seeker...".  It gave me a chuckle to think of a Druid and a Seeker arguing over who was "the seeker" first.  Anyways, I thought this was a fairly cool class all around.  It's nothing that blows me away, but I suppose it has an appeal to players that want to be more magical than an archer Ranger, but more weapon-based than a Druid.

So, all in all, the classes of PHB3 are varied in how appealing they are.  From the Monk (refreshing), to the Ardent (meh), to the Runepriest (shame/fail).  And this is a really different thing compared to PHB and PHB2, in which I felt each class had something going on, something new to offer.  Even if it wasn't a class I was particularly inclined to play, I saw its personal strength, and at the least, could recognize it.  Furthermore, at only few points in those books did I ever get the sense that the "spectrum of possible power effects" was getting scraped thin or regurgitated.  Unfortunately, with PHB3, that sense crept up on me many a time.

As I finish typing this, I know that at the end of day, I still love 4th edition, and I still think that WotC does a great job.  As well, I hope that my critiquing will serve to help improve things for both the developers and my fellow DMs and players.

Happy gaming,

Esper
I feel the sourc eof the problem lies in that: the source. In attempting to create a single-source book, the designers were forced to cater to that narrow foundation. It's not a "bad source" -- rather, it is simply a very narrow one.

[lots of other stuff deleted as it added nothing more.]
Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.
Eh, I was totally leaning towards hating the book but when I picked it up i was in love.  Honestly I dont see the issues with the Runepriest or the Ardent.  I think the "problem" is that you brought your own preconceptions into the picture and dont like that its not what you wanted.

Play whatever the **** you want. Never Point a loaded party at a plot you are not willing to shoot. Arcane Rhetoric. My Blog.

Put "imo" at the end of every sentence in the OP, because thats all it be.
Eh, I was totally leaning towards hating the book but when I picked it up i was in love.  Honestly I dont see the issues with the Runepriest or the Ardent.  I think the "problem" is that you brought your own preconceptions into the picture and dont like that its not what you wanted.



More or less what I read into it.  I kind of like the classes that don't draw so heavily on 'classic' archetypes as it means I'm less likely to be stereotyped in play.  Same reason I avoid the races that have been around forever.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
*The Runepriest.  Melee-weapon-wielding divine leader who bolsters his powers with divine runes.  This class was the biggest disappointment of the entire book, in my opinion.  When I first heard about the class coming out, I imagined a tome-wielding lorekeeper, an intelligence-based divine character that got to use some interesting rune system to create unique effects, and/or a class that used scrolls and rituals in a new, innovative way.  Instead, the runepriest is practically an exact copy of the battle Cleric.  I feel that WotC really dropped the ball on a chance to add a great class with traction.  I could go on about the Runepriest, but for the sake of remaining civil, I won't.


I disagree. While it is a melee divine leader like the cleric, it functions differently. It is by no means a "practically exact copy." I'd say it's about as much a copy of the cleric as the rogue is a copy of the ranger.
In response to the OP...
*Psionic Power Source: Eh, I find Psionics as much a "fantasy archetype" as most other things - maybe not "myths and legends" (except in so much as it overlaps with "magic" - mindreadings, thought-controlling, etc), but fantasy literature, sure.

*Ardent: I'm unhappy that "Empath" got rolled together with "Warlord", and that we have another weapon-using class where we could have had an implement-using Leader with interesting effects.  I'm mostly just bitter about a missed opportunity, at the moment.

*Battlemind: I don't have as many problems with the flavor as most folks, but the mechanics seem... just odd.  It hardly functions as a defender at all at the lowest levels.  I think it was apt when someone else called it a "bowling ball" defender (in another thread) - at least the Resilient form seems to be, from what I've played with it.

*Monk: I love the monk.  The monk is one of my favorite 4e classes, already - and its shaping up to be my absolute favorite class.  Rock on, monk!

*Psion: It's about as good as I was hoping.  A fun little class, even if the TK psion is a bit on the "circumstantially awesome/weak" side.

*Runepriest: I just don't care for it.  I don't know that there's anything wrong with it - other than walking familiar mechanical ground.  I'm just not a fan - but I'm not really a fan of any Divine classes (other than the Paladin), so it's not really a surprise.

*Seeker: Honestly, I keep forgetting it exists.  Like the Warden when I got PH2, I find the Seeker to be utterly forgettable.  Hopefully this will change over time, like it has for me with the Warden (which I now like - though it's not a favorite).

Anywho.  Quick thoughts, and I'm out the door!  Woosh!
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)

My takes on the classes from PHB3.


Ardent- Basically it is a warlord, but with some new mechanics. I really don't care at all about the class, and it doesn't feel any more psionic than the warlord does. (Keeping in mind that this very well could be a problem with the warlord feeling psionic and not the ardent)


Battlemind- See above, but sub in fighter for warlord.


Monk- Very cool, I love it. It feels totally unique, and I really am thrilled with it. This was the reason I cared about the book before it was released, and it did not disappoint.


Psion- I guess it works. Another flavor of wizard, but I think the 4e system really doesn't support the "Wizard" idea, and so thats fine. Necromancer, shadow power source. Evoker, sorcerer. Enchanter, we get a psion. That is fine with me.


Runepriest- I was really pleasantly surprised with this class. I am looking forward to playing one, and my next character will be either this or a monk depending on the role the party needs. My one complaint, is that it shouldn't be divine, but should have its own source "Runes". Especially with how they did rune feats.


Seeker- A bow archer ranger? Ok, I guess it can have its own class. I don't see anyone picking this class over ranger, but whatever.


Overall, most of the book put me in a "Whatever" mood, but runepriest and monk were cool.

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"

"Your advice is the worst"

New book comes out, this is what is said about each class by most of the community.

New leader with more buffs than heals: just a warlord with different flavor
New leader with more heals than buffs: just a cleric with different flavor.
New Defender: just a wosre version of a fighter
New striker: looks pretty ok
New Controller: Just a wizard with different flavor

Most people don't understand that classes with similar roles will have similar powers.
Put "imo" at the end of every sentence in the OP, because thats all it be.



That's all it'll be - in your opinion.

I happen to agree with OP. PH3 is second only to Arcane Power in terms of paper waste. I feel that it wasn't so much that the ball was dropped, than it wasn't necessary to pick the ball up in the first place. Before PH2, there were always small gaps in the range of characters, and since the beginning of D&D there have always been players clamouring for a barbarian or druid. But some of the classes are just looking for gaps that were never there. Seeker? Oh, that's going to sort out all the players looking for a primal ranger. That's a niche if ever I saw one.  Who really cares if a ranger is primal or martial? The ranger wears green and brown clothes and looks after Mr. Badger. Where he gets his powers from is entirely immaterial.

Same with the others. Maybe one or two psionic classes might have been worthwhile, say the Psion and maybe the Ardent - but purely for the novelty of the psionics. I don't imagine any players feeling let down because there aren't any psionic defenders, or clerics that are really into their runes. What is that all about anyway? Did someone on the design team overdose on Dan Brown novels before the development meetings?

Personally, I've always hated monks, but the Full discipline business is just too much. It's just a gimmick to get round the possibility that the limits of the character/power engine have  been reached. The psionic points I get - but the full discipline just didn't need to happen. The whole class didn't need to happen. The whole book didn't need to happen. Not like this.

I would have been far happier seeing a PH3 that was simply "all the characters and rules that have traditionally ended up being fleshed out in Dragon or White Dwarf".  A few funky races, maybe the Svirfneblin and Drow. A couple of psionic classes. A few of the classes that everyone thinks  they can design themselves, but epically fail to do so - like the Ninja, Samurai, Pirate and Knight. And finally a few side rules - martial arts feats and such like. At least it would be more honest as a minority manual than a book full of credibility stretching classes with no basis in anykind of literature or reality (as pointed out by OP).

The inevitable question is : Where do we go from here? With the advent of PH3, surely now the door is open for any silly book full of incredibly contrived characters. So what next? "PH4 - Lycanthropes for All?", "Oriental Power?", "PH5 - Pirates of the Carribbean Sword Coast?"
With so many people clamoring for the Necromancer class I wonder what would happen if it ture\ned out to be a summoner wizard clone.  Would the fact that it is so popular and something looked forward to that it would not be looked at in such a way.

I can imagine it now...

"Wow finally a necromancer!"

"Isnt that just a wizard with slightly different mechanics?"

"Shut up! ITs a necromancer not a wizard!"

I feel that the runepriest has suce a bad reception or at least a perceived perception because everyone was expecting something else.  If the runepriest has been previewed and we had time to get used to it I feel that there would be no backlash like this. 

Play whatever the **** you want. Never Point a loaded party at a plot you are not willing to shoot. Arcane Rhetoric. My Blog.

New book comes out, this is what is said about each class by most of the community.

New leader with more buffs than heals: just a warlord with different flavor
New leader with more heals than buffs: just a cleric with different flavor.
New Defender: just a wosre version of a fighter
New striker: looks pretty ok
New Controller: Just a wizard with different flavor

Most people don't understand that classes with similar roles will have similar powers.



The question should be - why are these new classes even necessary? If the natural limit of the classes that exist in literature/reality has been reached, why invent new ones? Surely the way to open up character options is to expand the existing classes. The Runepriest is case in point. Why is this class necessary? Why not simply chuck in a whole bundle of new powers in Divine Power 2, and then build the cleric as a Runepriest? Otherwise, you are asking very salient questions about the differences between builds and classes. Why play a Brawny Rogue? Why not have a new class in PH4 called a "Streetfighter"? Why have a Battlerager, when you could split up all the relevant invigorating powers and have a Berserker class? The dividing lines between some of these classes are so blurry now that it is becoming pointless. It used to be that players wanted a "Paladin" or an "Illusionist" or a "Bard" because that's what they wanted to play. Now are we really saying that players are thinking "I really want a Defendery Striker that can heal a bit too"? 

The inevitable question is : Where do we go from here? With the advent of PH3, surely now the door is open for any silly book full of incredibly contrived characters. So what next? "PH4 - Lycanthropes for All?", "Oriental Power?", "PH5 - Pirates of the Carribbean Sword Coast?"



Well there is the shadow powersource, and the Elemental powersource.

Necromancer, Elementalist, Planeswalker, Deathknight/Blackguard, Witch and all sorts of classes that probably have not been thought up yet. 

Play whatever the **** you want. Never Point a loaded party at a plot you are not willing to shoot. Arcane Rhetoric. My Blog.

"Wizards! STOP TRYING TO MAKE MONEY! You should be catering to what I feel is needed then just stop releasing stuff until I get bored with the entire edition."

I don't see why Wizards releasing stuff that you don't see as necessary is a problem.
Well new classes are needed because 4e is a class based system that is more expandable with adding a new class rather then altering an existing class so it goes in completely different directions.

By your logic the ranger and the rogue could be the same class with different builds, nevermind they both use different mechanics.  They both are melee/ranged strikers so lets merge them into the martial melee/ranged striker class right? 

Play whatever the **** you want. Never Point a loaded party at a plot you are not willing to shoot. Arcane Rhetoric. My Blog.

Well new classes are needed because 4e is a class based system that is more expandable with adding a new class rather then altering an existing class so it goes in completely different directions.

By your logic the ranger and the rogue could be the same class with different builds, nevermind they both use different mechanics.  They both are melee/ranged strikers so lets merge them into the martial melee/ranged striker class right? 



Not really. The rogue and ranger have always existed in literature, and I daresay most players have a clear idea what a rogue is, and what a ranger is. Therefore, the class types are justified. However, where the stereotypes don't actually exist - like most of the PH3 classes - why create new classes, when you could expand existing ones? It would certainly help the players understand what the new characters are supposed to be.

Many of the (as yet) non-existent classes that you mention, like Necromancer, Blackguard and Elementalist have a foundation before their existence in the game. Players have wanted to play characters like them. But I have never heard a player say that they wanted a Ranger that was more primal. 
A few things.

1. Regarding the Shadow power source. I'd bet money that if we ever get a Shadow defender, it will be a 4e Hexblade rather than a Blackguard. Shadow Powers are called "Hexes", after all.

2. Battlemind existed in 3.5. They were called Psychic Warriors, the class is not treading new ground.

3. Power point classes are a mess. They don't scale the way they should, optimizing them is counter-intuitive, and their damage output is pathetic.

4. Battlemind needs some serious work. Blurred Step needs to be a free action, Mind Spike needs to be a close burst power to make it not useless, and all of their Paragon Paths need to not be awful. Really hope they fix this in Psionic Power (somehow).

5. Runepriests are awesome. If you think they're occupying the same design space as the Cleric, you need to actually read the class description and its features / powers. Essentially, Runepriests have two modes: Buff and Debuff. While in Buff they're Warlords, and while they're in Debuff they're somewhere between a Bard and an Artificer. They can (and are generally encouraged to) switch between the two on a round by round basis. They are considered to be the worst leader in terms of actually healing things. They play aboslutely nothing like a Cleric does.
Not really. The rogue and ranger have always existed in literature, and I daresay most players have a clear idea what a rogue is, and what a ranger is. Therefore, the class types are justified. However, where the stereotypes don't actually exist - like most of the PH3 classes - why create new classes, when you could expand existing ones? It would certainly help the players understand what the new characters are supposed to be.

Many of the (as yet) non-existent classes that you mention, like Necromancer, Blackguard and Elementalist have a foundation before their existence in the game. Players have wanted to play characters like them. But I have never heard a player say that they wanted a Ranger that was more primal. 

so new classes are fine as long as the come from pop culture, and are not the creation of the game designers?????????????????

Completely worthless book.  Psionics shouldn't have been brought back into the game.


Not really. The rogue and ranger have always existed in literature, and I daresay most players have a clear idea what a rogue is, and what a ranger is. Therefore, the class types are justified. However, where the stereotypes don't actually exist - like most of the PH3 classes - why create new classes, when you could expand existing ones? It would certainly help the players understand what the new characters are supposed to be.

Many of the (as yet) non-existent classes that you mention, like Necromancer, Blackguard and Elementalist have a foundation before their existence in the game. Players have wanted to play characters like them. But I have never heard a player say that they wanted a Ranger that was more primal. 



So basically:  "Unless it has a mountain of references in literature or previous history of gaming it shouldn't exist."  right?

Who cares if the necromancer might be a wizard or cleric copy, its got history right?

Play whatever the **** you want. Never Point a loaded party at a plot you are not willing to shoot. Arcane Rhetoric. My Blog.

Completely worthless book.  Psionics shouldn't have been brought back into the game.



I'm gonna have to ask you to retract your statement, all things are made better with psionics.

I bought the book for the psion class, I'm happy with it. I'm only disappointed in the missing elan race.
Completely worthless book.  Psionics shouldn't have been brought back into the game.


Not contributing at all to the conversation here, Fey.

PHB3 has Runepriest, Monk, Seeker, Hybrid Rules, Skill Powers, Superior Implements, New Feats, New Magic Items, New Epic Destinies, New Races, and a lot of fluff. The book is well worth its price, even if it is marred by having three classes that need some serious reworking.
"Wizards! STOP TRYING TO MAKE MONEY! You should be catering to what I feel is needed then just stop releasing stuff until I get bored with the entire edition."

I don't see why Wizards releasing stuff that you don't see as necessary is a problem.



I'm all for Wizards making money, but releases like this will make me think carefully about the next time I buy a book.  Maybe you like PH3. Some people do, some don't. At D&D Game Day, I didn't meet anyone that thought PH3 was a worthwhile product. And every failed product puts pressure on the rest of the range and future products. You can't go back and correct it afterwards  if you release a core rulebook that players think is a waste.
But I have never heard a player say that they wanted a Ranger that was more primal. 



I have.  One of the first things someone complained about when 4e first came out was that the Ranger didn't have any 'nature spells', and many people on this board have complained about it prior to the existence of the Primal power source (where the Ranger could MC or Hybrid for powers).

Me, I always wondered why the Ranger had spells in the first place, so I didn't have that issue.

As far as other points go ... literature schmiterature.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Completely worthless book.  Psionics shouldn't have been brought back into the game.


Not contributing at all to the conversation here, Fey.



Par for the course, then.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Who here denies that the Seeker reeks a little of the Arcane Archer?
Completely worthless book.  Psionics shouldn't have been brought back into the game.


Not contributing at all to the conversation here, Fey.



Par for the course, then.


HIYOOOOO!

*rimshot*

I'm all for Wizards making money, but releases like this will make me think carefully about the next time I buy a book.  Maybe you like PH3. Some people do, some don't. At D&D Game Day, I didn't meet anyone that thought PH3 was a worthwhile product. And every failed product puts pressure on the rest of the range and future products. You can't go back and correct it afterwards  if you release a core rulebook that players think is a waste.



Ah, so my gameday, three full tables of happy people playing D&D with at least 7 or so buyers and not a single "aww man this book sucks" is worthless?

Just because you have an apathetic gaming group doesnt mean that they all are.

I find our game day to have been complete success.

Play whatever the **** you want. Never Point a loaded party at a plot you are not willing to shoot. Arcane Rhetoric. My Blog.

Completely worthless book.  Psionics shouldn't have been brought back into the game.



I'm gonna have to ask you to retract your statement, all things are made better with psionics.

I bought the book for the psion class, I'm happy with it. I'm only disappointed in the missing elan race.

Never. Psionics are the worst thing ever to add to any D&D game unless the setting is specifically Dark Sun. It's the only D&D source that I will accept psionics in. They should have printed all the psionic classes, feats, and monsters in a Dark Sun hardcover campaign setting book and left it there, rather than tainting the rest of the game.

Now I'm going to have to constantly tell whiny crybabies that no, they cannot play a psionic whatever and listen to their pathetic, peurile mewling as they try to convince me to let them.
Now I'm going to have to constantly tell whiny crybabies that no, they cannot play a psionic whatever and listen to their pathetic, peurile mewling as they try to convince me to let them.



Is your player turnover rate that high?  That you have to "Constantly" tell people they cant play stuff?

Play whatever the **** you want. Never Point a loaded party at a plot you are not willing to shoot. Arcane Rhetoric. My Blog.

Completely worthless book.  Psionics shouldn't have been brought back into the game.



I'm gonna have to ask you to retract your statement, all things are made better with psionics.

I bought the book for the psion class, I'm happy with it. I'm only disappointed in the missing elan race.

Never. Psionics are the worst thing ever to add to any D&D game unless the setting is specifically Dark Sun. It's the only D&D source that I will accept psionics in. They should have printed all the psionic classes, feats, and monsters in a Dark Sun hardcover campaign setting book and left it there, rather than tainting the rest of the game. Now I'm going to have to constantly tell whiny crybabies that no, they cannot play a psionic whatever and listen to their pathetic, peurile mewling as they try to convince me to let them.




Well, Fairyberry, You'll just have to settle for me not ever playing in your games, now go post in a forum specifically for DArksun and never taint this one again.
Now I'm going to have to constantly tell whiny crybabies that no, they cannot play a psionic whatever and listen to their pathetic, peurile mewling as they try to convince me to let them.



Is your player turnover rate that high?  That you have to "Constantly" tell people they cant play stuff?

I typically run two campaigns at the same time. Different days of the week with different players in each group. Each campaign lasts roughly six months. After which, I start a new campaign. Sometimes with same players, but there's usually someone new. I also get people who want to join an existing campaign or take an empty seat and they almost unfailingly want to play something banned for that campaign.

This increases whenever a new product is release, like the PHB3 and all the psionics bullshit involved.
Fey: look at the title of the thread. It is not "Whine about how much I hate psionics", it's "What went wrong". If you're going to try and claim that Psionics is bad for the game, you'll have to provide more evidence other than "I don't like it". Enough people like psionics that not introducing it to 4e would have been a stupid move.

Personally, I like Psionics. They have a pedigree that dates back to Gygax and a strong otherwordly flavor. It doesn't conform to the way the universe is supposed to work, and it's not magic as we know it; it's alien, foreign, and utterly other. It adds a deeper level of flavor to the game, gives the players more options, and genuinely contributes to the worlds where it is introduced (assuming it's introduced intelligently other than "oh, there are Psionics too, I guess").
Fey: look at the title of the thread. It is not "Whine about how much I hate psionics", it's "What went wrong". If you're going to try and claim that Psionics is bad for the game, you'll have to provide more evidence other than "I don't like it". Enough people like psionics that not introducing it to 4e would have been a stupid move.

Personally, I like Psionics. They have a pedigree that dates back to Gygax and a strong otherwordly flavor. It doesn't conform to the way the universe is supposed to work, and it's not magic as we know it; it's alien, foreign, and utterly other. It adds a deeper level of flavor to the game, gives the players more options, and genuinely contributes to the worlds where it is introduced (assuming it's introduced intelligently other than "oh, there are Psionics too, I guess").

"What went wrong?"

They added psionics to 4th edition with this book. That's what went wrong. So yeah, I'll bitch about it all I want to.


So basically:  "Unless it has a mountain of references in literature or previous history of gaming it shouldn't exist."  right?

Who cares if the necromancer might be a wizard or cleric copy, its got history right?



Frankly....yes.

The D&D game is all about stereotype and cliche. It's just the way that it is applied that makes it exciting and interesting. Players have obviously never raided a subterranean vault full of monsters in reality, so they draw on their fictional references. That's why so many players over the years have wanted to play the characters that were barbarians, ninjas, knights and pirates. If you make up classes just to fill the gaps in the party balance you end up retrospectively contriving a background to justify the class existence - which makes a nonsense of the game "logic".

Example: Rogues exist because there are thieves and vagabonds in fantasy society. Fighters exist as there are warriors in fantasy society. Sorcerers exist as we allow that there are individuals that can channel magical power in a certain way. These are traditional class archetypes.

However, lets say that we do it the "new" way. We want an entirely new class that is a defender/controller mix that can heal a bit too. Let's call it the WarCaster. A tough guy with loads of armour that can use AoE attacks that inspires his comrades on the battlefield when he blows up hordes of the enemy. A totally made up class - and yet now a justification for its existence has to invented and pitted up against all the classes that exist because they have a reason to do so.
 This increases whenever a new product is release, like the PHB3 and all the psionics bullshit involved.



I feel sorry for you, I mean playing a game that is around a year old and continuing to expand.  perhaps you should play a game that has ended its life, like 3.5 or earlier if you are looking for D&D, or many of the other countless RPGs that are older.

Play whatever the **** you want. Never Point a loaded party at a plot you are not willing to shoot. Arcane Rhetoric. My Blog.

I just realized a reason they may have left out the Elan, the 4e psionics seems like its trying to make aberrations a MAJOR baddy group, and elans are aberrations.  But maybe they'll be the first race to enter through a "power" book.


So basically:  "Unless it has a mountain of references in literature or previous history of gaming it shouldn't exist."  right?

Who cares if the necromancer might be a wizard or cleric copy, its got history right?



Frankly....yes.

The D&D game is all about stereotype and cliche. It's just the way that it is applied that makes it exciting and interesting. Players have obviously never raided a subterranean vault full of monsters in reality, so they draw on their fictional references. That's why so many players over the years have wanted to play the characters that were barbarians, ninjas, knights and pirates. If you make up classes just to fill the gaps in the party balance you end up retrospectively contriving a background to justify the class existence - which makes a nonsense of the game "logic".

Example: Rogues exist because there are thieves and vagabonds in fantasy society. Fighters exist as there are warriors in fantasy society. Sorcerers exist as we allow that there are individuals that can channel magical power in a certain way. These are traditional class archetypes.

However, lets say that we do it the "new" way. We want an entirely new class that is a defender/controller mix that can heal a bit too. Let's call it the WarCaster. A tough guy with loads of armour that can use AoE attacks that inspires his comrades on the battlefield when he blows up hordes of the enemy. A totally made up class - and yet now a justification for its existence has to invented and pitted up against all the classes that exist because they have a reason to do so.



I think theres a place for these mixed variants simply because sometimes kids want to be pirates, sometimes kids want to be ninjas, and sometimes kids want to be ninja pirates.

Your "Warcaster" example has a place because AoE has a place, our fantasy worlds are only based in Tolkien anymore, they've taken it and ran as fast as they could.
Again, Feyberry, "I don't like it" is not an appropriate responsse to "What's wrong with it". Can you elaborate on why you don't like it? Or why you think it's bad for the game?

You know, discuss the issue like a calm, rational human being?
Again, Feyberry, "I don't like it" is not an appropriate responsse to "What's wrong with it". Can you elaborate on why you don't like it? Or why you think it's bad for the game?

You know, discuss the issue like a calm, rational human being?

I've explained plenty of times why.
No, you haven't. At least, not in this thread. And you're deluding yourself if you expect people to dig through older posts and locked threads just to understand where you're coming from.