What do you think of the support post essentials and what do you want supported in the future?

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I'm casting because these two topic are not only related, but are derailing several threads to boot.

After the end of the essentials line, the production of new books have been ramped way down, so very little support is coming out for anything at all. As of you post-essentials printed support, as opposed to support from D&Di, for anything consists of two book, a tile set, and some of the fortune cards.

The books are of course Heroes of Shadow and the Shadowfell book. HoS contains many things that can be used by pre-E classes, but that is mainly do to the modular design. The content for HoS was likely set in stone before essentials finished off. Generally I like it , but it seem in some aspects a half-hearted attempt, most likely do to the format change from soft cover to hardcover pushing things out and the vampire lacking many options, like say Ki Focuses being printed in that book.

The Shadowfell book I do not have, so I do not know much about it.

D&Di has givens us reprints of several of the classes like the fighter, cleric (twice to to a SNAFU), rogue, and an erratta'd warlock. It also has the multiclass and hybrid rules for essentials and HoS classes. This was supposed to be in a book that was canceled. Also they have put out a number of useful generic themes and and a good article for the strength cleric.



As for future support, it seems anything other than D&Di is likely to be locked in for the rest of the year.
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I'm casting because these two topic are not only related, but are derailing several threads to boot.

After the end of the essentials line, the production of new books have been ramped way down, so very little support is coming out for anything at all. As of you post-essentials printed support, as opposed to support from D&Di, for anything consists of two book, a tile set, and some of the fortune cards.

The books are of course Heroes of Shadow and the Shadowfell book. HoS contains many things that can be used by pre-E classes, but that is mainly do to the modular design. The content for HoS was likely set in stone before essentials finished off. Generally I like it , but it seem in some aspects a half-hearted attempt, most likely do to the format change from soft cover to hardcover pushing things out and the vampire lacking many options, like say Ki Focuses being printed in that book.

The Shadowfell book I do not have, so I do not know much about it.

D&Di has givens us reprints of several of the classes like the fighter, cleric (twice to to a SNAFU), rogue, and an erratta'd warlock. It also has the multiclass and hybrid rules for essentials and HoS classes. This was supposed to be in a book that was canceled. Also they have put out a number of useful generic themes and and a good article for the strength cleric.



As for future support, it seems anything other than D&Di is likely to be locked in for the rest of the year.



I don't really expect much change in the immediate future. They changed their strategy when they released Essentials, and it looks like they're in the midst of changing it again and that takes time. I'd expect the rest of 2011 to be quiet. For the future, I'd like to see what comes from having a better system for guest contributions to Dragon(maybe they can get Dragon back to where it used to be), for them to continue what they started with the Battle Cleric and fill in all the holes in the old classes, and to give the new classes feat and item support on par with what the older classes got from Martial/Divine/ect books and the Adventurer's Vaults, and fill out the obvious things for the new classes like giving the missing weapon options for Knights and Slayers, or Sorcerer-King and Vestige Hexblades
...whatever
I'm satisfied. I don't need more support for older classes. More support = more choices at each point. And while I am not a fan of the Essentials "not many choices at all" approach, I am the kind of person that hates restaurants with huge menus because then I can't pick what to eat. So the more support they provide for older classes, the longer it takes me t decide what to choose.
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.
As long as Essentials is the new core, evergreen product, I would like to see support continue along the Essentials line. I'd be satisfied with one old school, core player book a year and have the rest devoted to the Essentials philosophy. Meaning- I'd still like to see the shadow source re-released under the AEDU format.

Regardless- the ship has sailed. Essentials is the current design philosophy. Then again- who is to say that 4th doesn't have any other new design philosophies to churn out. If it went from AEDU, to Essentials and then perhaps a hybrid of the two- I can roll with that.
As a general rule, more support (i.e. poweras, feats, builds etc) at this point is unnecessary.  There are, however, some specific exceptions:
Runepriests
Artificers
Seekers
Assassins (thoguh they have a class acts this month so fingers crossed)
Non-shielding Swordmages
General Epic tier stuff for the newer classes
Beastmaster ranger stuff that actually makes the beast useful.

Also needed, errata to update certain things which have been left behind by updates, such as the shielding Swordmage's damage reduction, which is not as potent as it used to be thanks to MM3 damage guidelines.  There's plenty else, but it's all been gone through in great detail in the past.
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While I miss the constant stream of books, I must admit that it probably needed to slow down a few notches.  I haven't much missed the stream of abundant new player content, with the quality of the stuff we have gotten.

As I see it, WotC has doubled down on DDI; I think they look at it as the real core of their business now, hence the book slowdown.  And honestly?  Since about February or March, DDI has been pretty stellar.  I feel like I've gotten my money's worth out of my year subscription already, and I'm only four months into it.

I kinda liked Heroes of Shadow, even though the best class from it - the Blackguard - is sadly inappropriate for my Dark Sun game.  (I did add in a Gloom Pact Hexblade and a Vampire as NPCs, but that's neither here nor there.)  The Shadowfell box is an excellent, amazing product that was completely worth the purchase ... but I rather fear I won't get much use out of it.

Threats to the Nentir Vale was simultaneously a showcase of the best monster design to come out of WotC to-date, and a letdown because of the tepid Paragon support and non-existent Epic support.  I also have to admit I don't like the backs of the new tokens, but that's hardly a critical failing.

If WotC can continue this same level of support, I expect I'll be a happy customer and a DDI subscriber for the near future.
I'd like to see some more support for the simple end of the character complexity spectrum.  Specifically, i'd like to see magic using classes with builds as simple in play as the slayer and knight. Perhaps a warmage built a long the lines of a hunter with a single target and AoE effect, with a rider that is attached to a variable elemental effect (ie. ice slows, thunder prones etc).  I'd like to see new classes but never as an excuse to fill a power source by role grid.

I would like ongoing support for AEDU to focus on quality not quantity and I think the best home for it is DDi, with the caveat that all AEDU support should be available in the annuals (do they even still print those?) for those that prefer print products.
I would like to see support for the aforementioned classes and builds and about four AEDU classes for shadow and elemental power sources. After that, the player side of things would be pretty complete for me in 4e. New useful DM content can be churned out ad infinitum, however (monsters, settings, adventures, etc.).
I welcome a slower pace of publication, on philosophical grounds.  A game like D&D has a tendency to collapse under the weight of its own suplements, and the pace of 4e was set to make that happen far too soon.  Moving at a more measured pace allows better development and testing to maintain balance/consistency/playability.   Add infrequent, small, well-thought-out errata to keep things balanced and consistent, and you can have a pretty stable game for a while.

I don't think that's what's behind the slower pace, though.  The pace has slowed, but quality hasn't improved in the new products, nor is it being maintained for the game as a whole.  In fact, in both cases it's consistently slipping.  DDI subscribers must apreciate the canabalization of scheduled print products to provide them with more content.  I don't object to the free Dragon re-reprints on principle, for instance, though, again, they're not exactly improvements - the best ones refrain from making the classes technically worse.


As far as the support strategy going forward, Essentials should be kept as an evergreen 'on ramp,' to the game for new players, much like BECMI was back in the day.  It's adequate for that, though by no means stellar, and it would be insane to whipsaw retailers by changing the vanguard product line /again/.  That should remain it's only function, though.  Existing core books and suplement should stay in print, and new ones should be hard bound and in the core style, building upon the game as a whole (existing print, /and/ DDI), rather than on the limitted sub-set of Essentials.  Perhaps it'd make sense to organize or label future content in a way that helps direct customers to the products it builds upon - it would encourage them to subscribe to DDI, if nothing else, and I don't think WOTC could ever feel they have too many DDI subscribers providing them with a regular income stream.

 

 

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I have enough material to run great games for a decade or more, so I don't really *need* anything else.  However, the things that would be MORE interesting would be:

1.) More support for new races, especially classic monster races such as goblin, kobold, orc, hobgoblin, etc...  I can see this being a great series of Insider articles: 1 race a month with mutiple articles.  One that introduces the species as a PC race, one that gives feats for the race to select, one that gives items that fit in with the race, one that gives a few optional class abilities / powers that fit in well with the race, etc...

2.) Detailed rules for interesting corner case situations that could inspire DMs for adventure ideas.  As an example: An article providing rules for melee fighting while the PC and its foe are in freefall.  An article that provides optional rules for naval combat.  Rules for fighting in a place with no gravity.  Etc...

3.) Additional coverage for classes that are underpowered or under utilized to increase their 'viability'.  I'd rather raise the old up than see new stuff.  This includes seeker, artificier, rune priest, etc...

4.) Take a look at all of the powers, feats, etc... in 4E that were good ideas, but were too weak to use.  Improve them.   Take a look at all of the feats in 5E that fall within the 'feat tax' discussions.  Figure out ways to keep them from being 'no choice' decisions.
D&D & Boardgames If I have everything I need to run great games for many years without repeating stuff, why do I need to buy anything right now?
At this point, I'd like some new stuff for the least supported pre-E classes (seeker, runepriest, artificer, assassin) and, if only for balance and fairness, a "simple" caster or two.  The magical version of the slayer, if you will.

Beyond that, I just want R&D to pay attention to lessons learned, and start 5e off on the right foot, 3 or 4 years down the line.  If they think the brand is best served by an "Essentials-style" on-ramp (simple to play, easy to grok, evergreen), then do it from the start.  If the whole thing needs to be simple, then do it.  If complexity needs to be optional, then do it.  Establish a modus operandus and stick to it.  Don't shift the tone midway through an edition.  That just drives people crazy.
Essentials zigged, when I wanted to continue zagging. Roll dice, not cars.
At this point, I'd like them to revisit classes that were completely undersupported via the Essentials method. So an Essentials Runepriest, Seeker, Runepriest, and Artificer, and another revisist of the Assassin.

New races, or at least more monster conversions to races; while I hate kobolds and goblins, I'd like to have anyone who wants them to be viable and interesting races.

Otherwise I don't really mind, I end up doing Homebrew more than any official material anyways.

Oh, I just remembered. A monster writing book. Or rather, a single place where it explicity explained thier monster design philosophy and the proper numbers.  
Artificer stuff.  'Cause I love me some artificer.

...

Yeah, that's all I got on the 'personal wants' level.

On the 'not for me personally but I know people who'd probably want it' level, finishing up PC writeups for the rest of the MM pseudo-playable lineup.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
I would like to see support for the aforementioned classes and builds and about four AEDU classes for shadow and elemental power sources. After that, the player side of things would be pretty complete for me in 4e. New useful DM content can be churned out ad infinitum, however (monsters, settings, adventures, etc.).



Yes please..

Beyond that, I just want R&D to pay attention to lessons learned, and start 5e off on the right foot, 3 or 4 years down the line.  If they think the brand is best served by an "Essentials-style" on-ramp (simple to play, easy to grok, evergreen), then do it from the start.  If the whole thing needs to be simple, then do it.  If complexity needs to be optional, then do it.  Establish a modus operandus and stick to it.  Don't shift the tone midway through an edition.  That just drives people crazy.



Yes, this. I am very happy with my current collection of 4e Classic and Essentials books and materials. I have enough to run for a long time. So, for 5e to convince me to move to it, it needs to not only be better but also be consistent.
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At this point I think they need to start thinking about supporting what is left of the 4th edition audiance and learn from their mistakes.  They have done a lot of damage to 4th edition with their current essentials design approach and far too many people have written off 4th edition as an undesirable miniatures game.  They need to focus on how to turn that image around and give Dungeons and Dragons some dignity as a game and earn some respect as a company.  They should start with delivering on some of the promised DDI features than follow it up by creating some strong content that highlights 4th edition strengths.  For example can 4th edition be run a as a political intrigue game?  Ok so create a campaign setting focused on that and prove it to us.  Can the game have less focus on combat and more focus on story?  Prove it by giving us some modules that do that, rather than the mish mash of combat encounter to combat encounter modules that have been so much people stopped buying modules all together.  Want to see a happy community, come on the forums and clear up the rumors and dooms day predictions, show us the numbers, give us some information about the plan for the future of the game and how it will be supported rather than having the community being forced to guess.

I think 4th edition could have some longevity but given the road its on I just don't see it.  They need to turn things around and bring some positive momentum to the game.

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I think support has been crap. I have had nothing to buy for some time. It had been so long I even bought the two essential players books even though I despise the soft cover digest format AND the absolutely atrocious pigeon-holing classes. I did play a hexblade for a short while and it was ok but the older classes just give me options at every level and I love that. If someone tallied it up and told me that the game already had 500 races, 1100 classes and 10,000 feats I would say "that is a good start, what else you got?"


Then again, it could have it and I just will never know since none of the 12 people I play with have DDI subscriptions.


Print up some books dammit!     
The horrible truth - "Their new marketing strategy (Evergreen Essentials) pretty much requires that anything new that sees print refer back almost exclusively to Essentials." Tony Vargas
Things I would like to see:

1) More support for Psionics - geez Psions still don't get life detection or mind reading powers - both of those are basic psion abilities that should have been included in PHB3 - PSICRYSTALS! - MINDBLADES/SOULKNIVES ! - some RANGED Ardent powers!  Kalashtar Atavist theme/paragon path!

2) Artificers

3) a Binder fix - I want to like the class but they are subpar to the normal Warlock - adapt the Curse ability to have them "control" instead of harming targets - give them summoning powers that last all day like the HoS wizards have

4) Dark Pact Hexblade

5) Eldritch Blast - ugh do something with this power

6) more Themes! I love them!
i looked at dragon 386 the other day, it contained 5 class acts, a paragon path for rogues, the rose king feats, the swords drizzt uses and familiars for sorcerers also a winning races changling

overall the less support has been crappy, it used to be they churned out support like nobodys buisness, playtests and the like.

i would like more support. just more, thats all i really dont care if its Essentials or Pre E i vastly want more stuff for the following classes

1. warpriest
1a.  seeker
2 artificer.
3 hexblade items that ACTUALLY work for hexblades
4. warlock feats not tied to the curse mechanic

now other than that i would like books galore

my idea of the perfect 4e is 50+ classes (essentials or AEDU, i dont really care) with as much support as fighters and wizards and 100+ races with as much support as the eladrin, dragonborn or dwarf. 

i highely that will ever happen, but baby step that way and im happy.  
While I have no expectation of it, I would like for the original span of 4E to be completed, and to raise all pre-Essentials classes and races to more or less the same breadth of options, and to make such options for the Shadow and Elemental power source. After that, I'd like to see some new ideas. Fantasy is the last thing that should ever be in a creative rut.
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As far as the support strategy going forward, Essentials should be kept as an evergreen 'on ramp,' to the game for new players, much like BECMI was back in the day.  It's adequate for that, though by no means stellar, and it would be insane to whipsaw retailers by changing the vanguard product line /again/.  That should remain it's only function, though.  Existing core books and suplement should stay in print, and new ones should be hard bound and in the core style, building upon the game as a whole (existing print, /and/ DDI), rather than on the limitted sub-set of Essentials.  Perhaps it'd make sense to organize or label future content in a way that helps direct customers to the products it builds upon - it would encourage them to subscribe to DDI, if nothing else, and I don't think WOTC could ever feel they have too many DDI subscribers providing them with a regular income stream.




This. You should be hired as the head of D&D RPG R&D.
This thread is full of good ideas. Mudbunny, please mention it in your report to the powers that be.
More vices and virtues for cavs and BGs and more flavourful subclasses like the one in the new NWCG. In fact more forgotten realms content and tie ins with the upcoming game.
would like some stances with shadow in them for knight and slayer, maybe a shadow def aura....will have to come up with some more
I miss the idea o concept of monster class. (dragons, genies, giants..)

I would like more PC races... for example hobgoblins. I want small races can do other thing apart form being rogues..

When I bought a D&D book (I did a lot) my preference is new PC classes and races. But I want PC classes I can feel inspiration to create a story about my characters. I don´t talk about build or daily powers, but I can feel my knight, gladiator, crusader, hexblade, duskblade, swashbuckler or samurai PC has got a special taste, style of game and backgroud. (for example knight has got vows, and code of honour about challenging current strongest enemies)  I want a necromancer, summoner or a elementalist character isn´t only a wizard with diferent list of spells. I don´t want Swashbuckler is only a warrior withour amour, or archivist is only a cleric withou amour.

 I wish classes of inquisitor/witch hunter (or avenger class concept is changed), and alchemist (with own system of powers, not a imitation of artificer). I would like subclasses or themes for socerer class for no-draconic origin. (but a celestial origin woulb be better for returned favoured soul class (what if its name is "chosen"?).

I would like create a story about how puremind (=divine  mind/ardent from complete psionic) having religious conflict againts divine spellcasters (not a heresy exactly). I want create a story about a hobgobling invader empire (with a background mixture klingons from star treck and planet of apes).


But if I buy book about new PC classes and I only see a list of powers of a character from a videogame.... Anything doesn´t work.    
   

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essential bard and sorcerer please!11!!!1!

i kno essential sorcerer is coming in the elements book but no mention of bard anywhere

oh and essential support for invokers. i'm newly in romance with them *SMILE* 
essential bard and sorcerer please!11!!!1!

i kno essential sorcerer is coming in the elements book but no mention of bard anywhere

oh and essential support for invokers. i'm newly in romance with them *SMILE* 


You could always play a PHB2 invoker...
Ahh, so THIS is where I can add a sig. Remember: Killing an ancient God inside of a pyramid IS a Special Occasion, and thus, ladies should be dipping into their Special Occasions underwear drawer.
@evilprincesssasha: What makes you so enamored of essential style classes? Just curious, not trying to start anything.
The horrible truth - "Their new marketing strategy (Evergreen Essentials) pretty much requires that anything new that sees print refer back almost exclusively to Essentials." Tony Vargas
@darkwolf: yeah, but im excited about what awesomeness may come by way of streamlined focus and fresh designer understandin!

@pyke: ease of play, tight mechanics & shiny perspectives. Would be best if all essential ized stuff came in cute little books like the official essentials but I'll suffer that loss haha
I love the new formatting, love the look of it....just easier and fun to read, hope they keep the new formatting with every book

Yeah I am not a fan of the formatting. And for me what you call ease of play means bored with lack of choices. I can undrstand why some people like the new designs but for the most part it has made me stop buying books.

The horrible truth - "Their new marketing strategy (Evergreen Essentials) pretty much requires that anything new that sees print refer back almost exclusively to Essentials." Tony Vargas

Yeah I am not a fan of the formatting. And for me what you call ease of play means bored with lack of choices. I can undrstand why some people like the new designs but for the most part it has made me stop buying books.




when did i say ease of play? all i said i love the new formatting....for me that is why i love the Class Compendium , great read and finally got me to read the older classes....for me...reading power after power was boring and really what makes a class for me are class features not powers so most of the time when i looked at a class i would go to lvl 3 or 5 powers...depending on the class,the paragon paths then to the next class to see the class features, i think that is also why i love the essentials sub-classes....it was not just power after power...there was also bonus along the way when lvling up
ease of play was aimed at evilprincesssasha. The class features as you level bit sours it for me too. It seems to make it harder to hybrid with the new classes. I love me some hybrids. I rarely build a character where I don't hybrid or multiclass.
The horrible truth - "Their new marketing strategy (Evergreen Essentials) pretty much requires that anything new that sees print refer back almost exclusively to Essentials." Tony Vargas
I really dislike the Essentials classes, and with the exception of the unsupported classes like Runepriest and Artificer I do not feel we need any more options for classic 4E classes.  I feel efforts should be turned toward adventures and campiagn setting support.  I realize that these products appeal mostly to DMs, so they wouldn't seel as well, but supporting DMs is key to supporting the game.

I love D&D more than I could ever love a human child.

Bad design is bad design regardless of what you call it.

As a player that hasn't read fluff sense late 2nd ed seeing nothing but in a rule book is a massive turn off. If I want fluff I'll write it. Likely better. Stop filling your page count with useless garbage that has no meaning to anyone.  



just because the fluff is useless to you, does not mean its useless to everyone, for me it is a great, read along side the boring reading of powers....i cant stand to read. for me the classes have came more alive for me with the fluff....with just powers info they are just classes i pick and go like WoW but with the fluff they had became something more then that. 
Bad design is bad design regardless of what you call it.

As a player that hasn't read fluff sense late 2nd ed seeing nothing but in a rule book is a massive turn off. If I want fluff I'll write it. Likely better. Stop filling your page count with useless garbage that has no meaning to anyone.  



just because the fluff is useless to you, does not mean its useless to everyone, for me it is a great, read along side the boring reading of powers....i cant stand to read. for me the classes have came more alive for me with the fluff....with just powers info they are just classes i pick and go like WoW but with the fluff they had became something more then that. 



I will say that fluff is important but so is good class design something Essentials does not have. The vamp is just plain sad and this bladesinger looks to be more crap just to name 2, I will not even talk about the warlock. The use of mage being the fall back plan for everything. Another thing the difference in difficulty between essentials classes is just not right, at least AEDU all classes were equal in difficulty. I have called essentials 4.5 in the past but the more I think about it its more like 3.75 to me. WOTC said it was designed as an entry point for new players but I think its true target was the 3rd and 3.5 holdouts.

Yeah I am not a fan of the formatting. And for me what you call ease of play means bored with lack of choices. I can undrstand why some people like the new designs but for the most part it has made me stop buying books.




when did i say ease of play? all i said i love the new formatting....for me that is why i love the Class Compendium , great read and finally got me to read the older classes....for me...reading power after power was boring and really what makes a class for me are class features not powers so most of the time when i looked at a class i would go to lvl 3 or 5 powers...depending on the class,the paragon paths then to the next class to see the class features, i think that is also why i love the essentials sub-classes....it was not just power after power...there was also bonus along the way when lvling up


But, the layout of the class compendium is barely changed from the original PHBs, as far as I can tell...

Class features -> Powers -> PPs.

Oh, right, adding fluff by saying (e.g.):

Shield smash
You can use you shield to do stuff.  With this exploit you can use your shield to do (this).

(Power Block)
Shield Smash
You can use your shield to do (this).

That adds so much depth to Shield Smash.

Seriously, I can't find a SINGLE thing that the CC does beter than the PHBs.  It's not easier to read, because there's all that immediate redundancy.

(immediate redundancy defined as saying the same thing, or almost the same thing, within one vertical inch of text)
Ahh, so THIS is where I can add a sig. Remember: Killing an ancient God inside of a pyramid IS a Special Occasion, and thus, ladies should be dipping into their Special Occasions underwear drawer.
i love reading all the fluff with all the powers.....with just one line of fluff with the powers....does not do it for me...i like the 3 to 4 or even more lines to get me to read the power and me to read all of the class....with just one line...i get bored and just go to the next class
I have mentioned it at least once - The flavor text for the power cleave presented in the articles perhaps only well 1/3 redundant... and the redundant part might actually be the original flavor text!

I starts off with a general description of when the power might be most useful and against what opponents (good for newbies), and follows it up with something technically repetitive of the original flavor text but in this case better because it isnt well trying to define what something does...by reusing the things name? - unlike the original flavor text.

I am not saying that it is the case for all the rewrites but .. for this case it is actually superior.
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"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

I haven't been happy with the post essentials support, to the point that I don't particularly want to see any more support for anything.  For instance, I might say I wanted more artificer support, but knowing how WotC operates these days, if they heard that they'd probably respond by lazily slopping together a 'tinker mage' subclass for the wizard.

As for my pie-in-the-sky, what would I want to see if everything magically got better tomorrow?  Same as I occasionally post in the '10 words or less' thread.


Full-Shadow full-classes.  That have options.  And don't suck.



Full-Shadow full-classes.  That have options.  And don't suck.



agreed, the binder and vampire are incredably weak 

but the blackgaurd and executioner are really good classes, the Oassassin has gotten a big leap in my book since the last article that gave feats to improve the shroud mechanic, to the point where i kind of want to play an Oassassin

the support for the Oassassin is the kind of thing i would like more, i think they should target to have 1 class act a week, 1 theme and 1 article with some new items 

and perhaps a new class every 6 months  this would give the support that i think all people crave