The Future of Character Classes

121 posts / 0 new
Last post
I think they may be be moving towards less classes, similar to the 2nd Ed Groups, and have subclasses as options within (like Kits); instead of a plethora of independent classes.

So you might have Warrior (Defender Warrior = Fighter, Leader Warrior = Warlord etc); Wizard (Controller Wizard = Mage, Defender Wizard = Swordmage, Striker Wizard = Warlock etc).

Anyone else get that feeling? 
What, you mean in 4e?  No?  Swordmage is its own class, with its own powers.  Unless they do something like merge the two, but I honestly can't see them doing that, particularly since Bladesinger is 'Swordmage, but Wizard'.

I do think that we have probably seen the last of straight AEDU classes, though.  I highly doubt any new 'base' class will ever get published, and from here on out all classes will be subclasses.  While I am on one hand sad, at the same time it does sort of make sense.  Eventually, you just run out of design space.

Now what I'd like them to do is put in more support for the existing base classes. Not just more powers/paragon paths (though those are good too -- I really enjoyed the recent Artificer article).  I really, really liked what they did with Martial Power 2, providing the ability to change your existing class features out for other things.  They sort of continued that trend with Battle Cleric's Lore.  Now, gib moar.  
Not really. That was sort of the design direction they've been in for the entirety of 4th ed when you consider the power sources. They have since made sub-builds of certain classes like the knight/slayer for fighter for example. I think they are more just trying to expand the existing options of classes that already exist rather than add new power sources or fully brand new classes. This way a lot of the feat support already in print can cover more classes instead of a bunch of seperate classes with hardly any feat support.

Off the top of my head we've got...
3 fighters
2 assasins
2 druids
2 rogues
2 warlocks
2 wizards (almost no difference)
2 clerics(see above comment)
2 rangers
3 paladins

All those are due to essentials making narrower builds. I do like my broader more option heavy 'core' classes but I'm also really partial to the focused path of essentials if it fits what I had planned for my character. If you wanted to play a certain type of fighter/wizard/cleric before you'd only have maybe 1-2 options to choose from per level anyway if that so it's not like much has changed in that regard. I mean all the alternate builds in the power books like rattling rogues and tempest fighters already feel close to essentials classes as far as build options go the only difference being a reliance on mba's for the most part.

tldr: Tons of choice currently, not much different than before, play what fits your character.
Actually, there's three Wizards.  Arcanist, Mage and Bladesinger.  With Witch coming in November.

EDIT: And three Warlocks (Warlock, Hexblade, Binder).

EDIT2: And three Rangers!  Ranger, Scout, Hunter.  I should really read more.
I think they may be be moving towards less classes, similar to the 2nd Ed Groups, and have subclasses as options within (like Kits); instead of a plethora of independent classes.

So you might have Warrior (Defender Warrior = Fighter, Leader Warrior = Warlord etc); Wizard (Controller Wizard = Mage, Defender Wizard = Swordmage, Striker Wizard = Warlock etc).

Anyone else get that feeling? 



Future as in a newer edition?
While I don't see D&D ever doing it (classes are too much a part of D&D), I have long thought it would be fun if they implemented something like the following:

Pick a race.
Pick a role.
Pick a Power Source.
Pick your powers from a large list that is at the intersection of your preferred role and power source.

For example:

I want to be Eladrin. Done. Note any racial features.
I want to be a striker. Okay. Notated for later use.
I want to have the Martial power source. Check.
I flip to the list of powers for Striker/Martial and choose 2 at-will, 2 encounter, etc.
Pick weapons / armor / equipment.
Pick a title for the "class" I just created.
Done.

There would still be a several "example" classes, such as the traditional Fighter, Wizard, Cleric, etc., and they would contain all of the info needed to play them. Call them "pre-packaged classes" so to speak. These would be good for those people who either want a quick-play option, don't really care about "total customization" quite as much, or are simply happy with them as they are presented.

I realize D&D would not likely ever reach this point, but since we're just tossing stuff out, there ya go.
Well, I think I remember reading something about getting the E-Sorcerer and Wu Jin(subclass most likely wizard because they get everything) in I think Heroes of the Plane Above or something, can't remember specifics.

Then again, during a convention or interview or something one of the D&D guys said that after Heroes of the Feywild they wont be doing any new classes or races, which every assumes means any classes will just be subclasses. 
I think they may be be moving towards less classes
[...]
Anyone else get that feeling?

As much as I would prefer a fewer-classes approach for D&D, I do not get the feeling that such a preference will be honored in the least. Fine-grain class differentiation is the way D&D has operated in the past, how it currently operates, and how it will operate in the future.

Unless you mean a reduction in the rate at which 4e adds new classes, inc which case, I think that is the norm for every edition. There are fewer ideas left.
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.
I think they may be be moving towards less classes, similar to the 2nd Ed Groups, and have subclasses as options within (like Kits); instead of a plethora of independent classes.

So you might have Warrior (Defender Warrior = Fighter, Leader Warrior = Warlord etc); Wizard (Controller Wizard = Mage, Defender Wizard = Swordmage, Striker Wizard = Warlock etc).

Anyone else get that feeling? 

That's certainly how Essentials is organized, only not so much around roles.   For instance, all the Wizard sub-classes are controllers.  It /is/ very much like 2e, you have the Class taking the place of the 2e Group, and the sub-class taking the place of the 2e Class.  The odditty is that Class still has it's own, legacy, write-up, which had to be re-defined as a subclass.  So we now have, for instance, Archanist, Mage, Bladesinger & Witch - but no /actual/ Wizard.  Wizard is no longer a playable class, but an umbrella for those subclasses.

Themes are a lot closer to Kits than sub-classes or builds are.

To further confuse the issue, there are still builds.  An Archanist can still be one of several implement-masteries, a Mage can be specialized in one of several schools.  The complete list of Wizards really looks like this:

Orb of Imposition Archanist
Staff of Defense Archanist
Wand of Accuracy Archanist
Orb of Deception Archanist
Tome of Readiness Archanist
Tome of Binding Archanist
Enchanter
Illusionist
Evoker
Pyromancer
Necromancer
Nethermancer
Bladesinger
Witch

And, like I said, they're /all/ controllers.   Clearly, the game needs 14 arcane controllers.

Then there's the Fighter with:

Gaurdian Weaponmanster
Greatweapon Weaponmaster
Battlerager Weaponmaster
Tempest Weaponmaster
Arena Weaponmaster
Brawling Weaponmaster
Knight
Slayer

All but one Defenders - clearly, the game needs 7 martial defenders.  And, in spite of the number of Ranger and Rogue striker variation, an extra martial slayer, too.

Prior to Essentials, Builds were much like sub-classes or kits, anyway.  Six of those wizards ands 5 of the fighters are all pre-E builds.  So there was always some flexibilty in using a class to represent different concepts, even different secondary roles.

I think what's really behind the shift is a different way of building classes.  In 4e, for a class to justify it's existance, it had to propperly fill a Role, and it had to clearly represent a Source.  That's not to say classes existed just to fill a 'grid' with Source & Role each being an axis - though, every Source but Martial /did/ have it's 'grid' filled.   Rather, if a class concept didn't clearly belong in a Source or didn't clearly fulfill a role, it was deemed an inadequate concept.   In Essentials, concept comes first.  So if there's a class concept that blurs Martial & Primal, that's OK.  If there's a class concept that can't quite fulfill either the Controller or Striker roles, but does quite a bit of each, that's OK.  If as concept is too weak or too powerful, again, doesn't really matter, get it as balanced as possible within concept. 

They may also be consciously or unconsciouly immitating AD&D  - Mr Mearls has frequently waxed rhapsodic about his early gaming experiences.


Now, another question is:  will classes keep heading that way?  Well, as long as the game orbits Essentials, sure.  In a possible future 5e, maybe not.   Industry rumor has it that Mr. Cook is on board to develop 5e, and he developed 3e.  3e did /not/ take the heirarchical aproach to classes that 2e did and Essentials does - rather, classes were modular.  You created a concept by building it with class-levels, like creating a mosaic picture from different-colored bits.  I'd expect him to provide the player with a lot of mix-n-match options.  Maybe not via multiclassing as it existed in 3e or 4e, but through some mechanism.  If there are still powers, for instance, it'll probably be possible to lay your hands on just about any power combination, given sufficent system mastery.


Personally, from the moment I first started paging through 4e, I saw another way the system could have developed:

Instead of having each class have it's own exhaustive (cool-name-consuming) list of powers, have powers grouped by Source, and have Role-support handled by class features.  Players would have more power choices for their charcters, while developers would have to create fewer powers.

The big stumbling block, of course, is the Controller role.  To an extent, I think, the controller doesn't exist as a role, so much as a way to grandfather in the Wizard.  Wizards, and the other controllers who followed, have their role support wrapped up in their powers - big areas and heavy conditions - effectively, they have better powers than other roles.









 

 

Oops, looks like this request tried to create an infinite loop. We do not allow such things here. We are a professional website!

Actually, there's three Wizards.  Arcanist, Mage and Bladesinger.  With Witch coming in November.



And Sha'ir (apparently) coming up in Heroes of the Elemental (plane below) Chaos.
While I don't see D&D ever doing it (classes are too much a part of D&D), I have long thought it would be fun if they implemented something like the following:

Pick a race.
Pick a role.
Pick a Power Source.
Pick your powers from a large list that is at the intersection of your preferred role and power source.

For example:

I want to be Eladrin. Done. Note any racial features.
I want to be a striker. Okay. Notated for later use.
I want to have the Martial power source. Check.
I flip to the list of powers for Striker/Martial and choose 2 at-will, 2 encounter, etc.
Pick weapons / armor / equipment.
Pick a title for the "class" I just created.
Done.

There would still be a several "example" classes, such as the traditional Fighter, Wizard, Cleric, etc., and they would contain all of the info needed to play them. Call them "pre-packaged classes" so to speak. These would be good for those people who either want a quick-play option, don't really care about "total customization" quite as much, or are simply happy with them as they are presented.



Exactly the type of spit-balling I'm talking about:

'I want to be an Arcane Leader.'  'Well, what type of Arcane Leader would you like to be?'

Assuming of course Power Sources
Well, I think I remember reading something about getting the E-Sorcerer 



I was hearing it was the Elementalist in the Heroes of the Elemental (plane below) Chaos.
While I don't see D&D ever doing it (classes are too much a part of D&D), I have long thought it would be fun if they implemented something like the following:

Pick a race.
Pick a role.
Pick a Power Source.
Pick your powers from a large list that is at the intersection of your preferred role and power source.

For example:

I want to be Eladrin. Done. Note any racial features.
I want to be a striker. Okay. Notated for later use.
I want to have the Martial power source. Check.
I flip to the list of powers for Striker/Martial and choose 2 at-will, 2 encounter, etc.
Pick weapons / armor / equipment.
Pick a title for the "class" I just created.
Done.

There would still be a several "example" classes, such as the traditional Fighter, Wizard, Cleric, etc., and they would contain all of the info needed to play them. Call them "pre-packaged classes" so to speak. These would be good for those people who either want a quick-play option, don't really care about "total customization" quite as much, or are simply happy with them as they are presented.

I realize D&D would not likely ever reach this point, but since we're just tossing stuff out, there ya go.



I would love a system like that. Basically incorporating a "skill" derived game instead of "class" derived.

Basically, I would allow any power to be used assuming you had the prereqs for it.

Prereqs would include race, power source(s), attributes, skill level, character level, feats.

Elf, arcane and martial power source selection, high int, low level  you could choose stuff analgous to swordmage, bladesinger, bard, ranger, rogue, warrior classes now.  Perhaps have X amt of slots per level to make playing a character manageable.

I think the classess are going to be more focused and they will drop the generic one size fits all class structure used at the beginning of 4e.  Although I really liked the idea when it first appeared, I found I prefer the more focused classess released with essentials.  I think starting with a core set of focused classess with later supplements to expand player option is the way forward with any new edition.  I also think that multiple power sources for the classess will carry the day over single power source classes, if power sources as we understand them in 4e remain in a new edition.  I also think we will see the four core classess Cleric, Fighter, Rogue and Wizard in any release of a new edition.  I also  think they will expand on the theme concept.  Thats my two cents.
I think the classess are going to be more focused and they will drop the generic one size fits all class structure used at the beginning of 4e.  I also think that multiple power sources for the classess will carry the day over single power source classes, if power sources as we understand them in 4e remain in a new edition.  I also think we will see the four core classess Cleric, Fighter, Rogue and Wizard in any release of a new edition.

I can't disagree with the above, it all sounds pretty likely given how things are going now. 
Can't agree that throwing D&D into full reverse like that is a good thing, though. 

I mean, if we want to play D&D, and have each class have it's own unique progression, and some of them merge two or more sources (like, say a Ranger that casts magic-user and druid spells at high enough level), and starts with the 4 iconic classes, we can just get out our /old/ Red Box sets, and move on to AD&D when we feel like a bit more complexity.

 

 

Oops, looks like this request tried to create an infinite loop. We do not allow such things here. We are a professional website!

Add class feature slots to the role/source/race layout suggested, and I don't hate it.
Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
Add class feature slots to the role/source/race layout suggested, and I don't hate it.



Like ability to mark for example?
Add class feature slots to the role/source/race layout suggested, and I don't hate it.



Like ability to mark for example?

Defender:   mark
Striker:  extra damage 1/round
Leader:  heal/buff
Controller:  ?  ...someone at EnWorld suggested metamagic  ... increase AEs/durrations, maybe?


 

 

Oops, looks like this request tried to create an infinite loop. We do not allow such things here. We are a professional website!

I think that, for the immediate future, they're going to do what they did with Wizards in past editions, and as they're doing with wizards now... just tack an existing class's powers to as many other classes as they can, so they can maximize the benefit of existing material and encourage people to pick up as much of it as possible.

I'm sure they'll eventually release fully new classes again, but I think they're waiting for either a particularly strong nostalgia trip, or a very strong new idea to hit them, that they just can't jurryrig out of anything else.
Fire Blog Control, Change, and Chaos: The Elemental Power Source Elemental Heroes Example Classes Xaosmith Exulter Chaos Bringer Director Elemental Heroes: Looking Back - Class and Story Elemental Heroes: Complete Class Beta - The Xaosmith (January 16, 2012) Elemental Heroes: Complete Class Beta - The Harbinger (May 16, 2012) Check out my Elemental Heroes blog series and help me develop four unique elemental classes.
if power sources as we understand them in 4e remain in a new edition.



Yes, Power Sources are pretty much just fluff, so they might break it down into just Roles.
I'm sure they'll eventually release fully new classes again




I don't think in this edition, I think they decided there's only so many AEDU classes you can bring out (1st level Features, 100+ Powers, repeat).
I think the classess are going to be more focused and they will drop the generic one size fits all class structure used at the beginning of 4e.  Although I really liked the idea when it first appeared, I found I prefer the more focused classes released with essentials.



Yep, I have to agree, while I still totally dig the original AEDU format (so many great classes), it does sometimes come across as a bit too homogenised (you could have one class, pick initial set number of features, then any powers you want).

That was part of the E-Action: complaints that all classes felt a bit too similar in play-style. 
I'm sure they'll eventually release fully new classes again




I don't think in this edition, I think they decided there's only so many AEDU classes you can bring out (1st level Features, 100+ Powers, repeat).



The recent magazine submission article even hinted that while they're 99.9999% not likely to take a class submission, it's not a "banned" submission type. They'll release new classes when they're compelled to, just not before they think it will have a major value.
Fire Blog Control, Change, and Chaos: The Elemental Power Source Elemental Heroes Example Classes Xaosmith Exulter Chaos Bringer Director Elemental Heroes: Looking Back - Class and Story Elemental Heroes: Complete Class Beta - The Xaosmith (January 16, 2012) Elemental Heroes: Complete Class Beta - The Harbinger (May 16, 2012) Check out my Elemental Heroes blog series and help me develop four unique elemental classes.
The recent magazine submission article even hinted that while they're 99.9999% not likely to take a class submission, it's not a "banned" submission type. 




That's Dragon.
The recent magazine submission article even hinted that while they're 99.9999% not likely to take a class submission, it's not a "banned" submission type. 




That's Dragon.



Which is as core as the PHB anymore.
Fire Blog Control, Change, and Chaos: The Elemental Power Source Elemental Heroes Example Classes Xaosmith Exulter Chaos Bringer Director Elemental Heroes: Looking Back - Class and Story Elemental Heroes: Complete Class Beta - The Xaosmith (January 16, 2012) Elemental Heroes: Complete Class Beta - The Harbinger (May 16, 2012) Check out my Elemental Heroes blog series and help me develop four unique elemental classes.
The recent magazine submission article even hinted that while they're 99.9999% not likely to take a class submission, it's not a "banned" submission type. 




That's Dragon.



Which is as core as the PHB anymore.




Not for people who don't subscribe to DDI.

Not for people who don't subscribe to DDI.



And Psions aren't core if you didn't buy the PHB3. Regardless, WotC is very likely to release new classes again, just not for awhile, and not without a very compelling hook.
Fire Blog Control, Change, and Chaos: The Elemental Power Source Elemental Heroes Example Classes Xaosmith Exulter Chaos Bringer Director Elemental Heroes: Looking Back - Class and Story Elemental Heroes: Complete Class Beta - The Xaosmith (January 16, 2012) Elemental Heroes: Complete Class Beta - The Harbinger (May 16, 2012) Check out my Elemental Heroes blog series and help me develop four unique elemental classes.

1) And Psions aren't core if you didn't buy the PHB3.

2) Regardless, WotC is very likely to release new classes again, just not for awhile, and not without a very compelling hook.




1) So if you don't subscribe to DDI, you're not really on the ball?

2) What makes you so sure (in this edition)? 
1) If you don't purchase a thing you don't have a thing, but it still exists, and it's ALL core unless it's Unearthed Arcana. If you only have Essentials, Invokers are still 100% core material. If you only have the PHB, Knights are still 100% core material.

2) Because making rules makes them money.
Fire Blog Control, Change, and Chaos: The Elemental Power Source Elemental Heroes Example Classes Xaosmith Exulter Chaos Bringer Director Elemental Heroes: Looking Back - Class and Story Elemental Heroes: Complete Class Beta - The Xaosmith (January 16, 2012) Elemental Heroes: Complete Class Beta - The Harbinger (May 16, 2012) Check out my Elemental Heroes blog series and help me develop four unique elemental classes.

1) unless it's Unearthed Arcana.

2) Because making rules makes them money.



1) Yes, bring on a juicy 4th Ed UA (ala 3rd Ed).

2) Are new classes, new rules? 
..,

Can't agree that throwing D&D into full reverse like that is a good thing, though. 

..,



You see it as throwing D&D into full reverse, I see it as ditching a restrictive methodology in class design.  The generic one size fits all class structure, forces game mechanics to drive character concepts i.e. the wonky and difficult concept of the assassin's shroud.  The assassin shroud concept was developed, for no other reason, than to fit the striker class structure.  So, to make the assassin concept fit into striker class structure, they attach a weak concept to add dice to an attack, because that's how strikers are designed.  IMO, that is weak sauce and lazy class design. 

Returning to a more focused class design methodology, requires more work on each class, but it allows class build concepts to drive game mechanics instead of the other way arround.  This allows for a clearer and stronger class/ build concept.  I've played every edition of D&D since 1981 including 2e and 3.5 and enjoyed every edition.  I have no desire to go back and play those editions and look forward to playing 5e in a few years.  4e made some great changes in improving D&D, IMO.  But the generic one structure fits all class design methodology is not one of them.
..,

Can't agree that throwing D&D into full reverse like that is a good thing, though. 

..,



You see it as throwing D&D into full reverse, I see it as ditching a restrictive methodology in class design.  The generic one size fits all class structure, forces game mechanics to drive character concepts i.e. the wonky and difficult concept of the assassin's shroud.  The assassin shroud concept was developed, for no other reason, than to fit the striker class structure.  So, to make the assassin concept fit into striker class structure, they attach a weak concept to add dice to an attack, because that's how strikers are designed.  IMO, that is weak sauce and lazy class design. 

Returning to a more focused class design methodology, requires more work on each class, but it allows class build concepts to drive game mechanics instead of the other way around.  This allows for a clearer and stronger class/ build concept.  I've played every edition of D&D since 1981 including 2e and 3.5 and enjoyed every edition.  I have no desire to go back and play those editions and look forward to playing 5e in a few years.  4e made some great changes in improving D&D, IMO.  But the generic one structure fits all class design methodology is not one of them.



Getting this out of the way, I love classes, mainly because Final Fantasy games were my intro to RPGs.

I think the problem with the above stated dislike of "one size fits all" design is that you are assuming that Assassin's Shroud was well designed for that paradigm.  For example, the design of the ability did not factor in the death of the target (i.e. the ability to transfer that extra dice to another target as a free action) which puts it squarely in the less than ideal stage, whereas many other strikers have ways to refocus their damage dice extras at will (hell, the barbarian does it simply by picking another target ).  So it was weak design, but it was weak because it did not achieve what the standardized other strikers achieved up to that point and even beyond. 

Now generic structure has one thing going very well for it: it is simple to teach a whole table how to play their powers, build their characters, etc.  Mechanically each class had the same number and type of cogs, wheels, springs, etc.  But each was a different machine.  Many games do this and do it well, some do it poorly.  I think the biggest hit early on in the life of 4th ed is the assumption by the design team that all that was needed was to lay out a few example skill challenges and page 42 and all the zany out of combat and outside of power actions would take care of themselves; while I got their intention, not many people seemed to.  What I would argue is that all the classes looked the same to a player's point of view, and a DM had no reason to discourage players from only using powers, so what may have ended up happening (not in my game, but somewhere) is that the players and the DM would see less and less use in having different characters.  And then came the "divine wizard" and "primal wizard" comparisons when the Invoker and Druid came out because they all had similar structure, people assumed that same role=same class with different fluff power source.  When in fact the classes were anything but that.  Each one had a similar amount of powers, but each one does it's "job" in different ways.  Which I think is the other sore point; if you really wanted a blaster wizard, you may have actually been looking to play the sorcerer, but nothing beyond Power Source and Role might have told you that.

I think when people saw words like builds, roles and sources, they assumed they were being put into a little box of a little box, that their favorite quirky All fists no healing cleric or their oddly pacifistic fighter were no longer valid.  And if we look by class and role, they are damn right.  When playing a game with someone, if they pick a fighter class they sure as hell better not be planning to heal me; that's not their job.  So I wholeheartedly supported ideas such as the Warlord, the healing fighter if you will, because his role spoke to what he did and his power source spoke to how he did it.  Just as much as I support the decision to give clerics and other "leader" types more battle options while still letting them heal. 

Now, if they can create classes that can get people to play their roles and still balance the game, I'll see what they have in mind.  Hell, I don't even mind the idea of one overarching, well archetype (such as fighter) being home to all manner of different roles.  In fact, if they did that I'd almost insist on the dreaded "grid filling" so that each archetype had a sub class for each role.  But I really do think that a solid, some might say standardized structure is what they must start with.  Otherwise I can't see any other path than what came before.  Which was commonly a high mechanical difference in the swiss army knife nature of caster classes over non-caster classes. 

That said, if there were more examples of how to use rituals, skills, skill challenges, and other out-of-power-card, out-of-combat techniques, maybe those classes we got in 4th edition would have felt more genuinely independent of each other even when just reading them. ;)
"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." --Bill Cosby (1937- ) Vanador: OK. You ripped a gateway to Hell, killed half the town, and raised the dead as feral zombies. We're going to kill you. But it can go two ways. We want you to run as fast as you possibly can toward the south of the town to draw the Zombies to you, and right before they catch you, I'll put an arrow through your head to end it instantly. If you don't agree to do this, we'll tie you this building and let the Zombies rip you apart slowly. Dimitry: God I love being Neutral. 4th edition is dead, long live 4th edition. Salla: opinionated, but commonly right.
fun quotes
58419928 wrote:
You have to do the work first, and show you can do the work, before someone is going to pay you for it.
69216168 wrote:
If you can't understand how someone yelling at another person would make them fight harder and longer, then you need to look at the forums a bit closer.
quote author=56832398 post=519321747]Considering DnD is a game wouldn't all styles be gamist?[/quote]
..,

Can't agree that throwing D&D into full reverse like that is a good thing, though. 

..,



You see it as throwing D&D into full reverse, I see it as ditching a restrictive methodology in class design.  The generic one size fits all class structure,



Getting this out of the way, I love classes, mainly because Final Fantasy games were my intro to RPGs.

I think the problem with the above stated dislike of "one size fits all" design is that you are assuming that Assassin's Shroud was well designed for that paradigm. ..,



I am not sure where you get that I am assuming that assassin's shroud was well designed for that paradigm.  IMO, the assassin's shroud is poorly designed. 

I think you mistake my criticism of the generic class structure methodology for criticism of the 4e powers concept in character actions.  I think the 4e power concept and its use across classess to define character actions, one of the strengths of the system.  It unifies and simplifies combat resolution and makes the system easier to teach and learn. I could go on and on about the 4e power concept. 

My critic is for the one size fits all character class/ build design methodology.  A proccess of developing classes arround a fixed structure i.e. 2 @-will, 1 encounter, 1 daily attack powers, all defenders have a mark, all strikers add extra damage dices, one power source for a class, one role for a class, etc.   Using a methodology free of those restricitions allows for a better concieved class/ build, one where concept drives what those powers, roles, sources and abilities are and how they are strucutured for each class/ build instead of the other way arround.
My critic is for the one size fits all character class/ build design methodology.  A proccess of developing classes arround a fixed structure i.e. 2 @-will, 1 encounter, 1 daily attack powers, all defenders have a mark, all strikers add extra damage dices, one power source for a class, one role for a class, etc.   Using a methodology free of those restricitions allows for a better concieved class/ build, one where concept drives what those powers, roles, sources and abilities are and how they are strucutured for each class/ build instead of the other way arround.



The only problem with that is that I never have a concept first.  I have mechanics first, and then build a concept out of them.  So the original way does me a world of good, where your proposed way just leaves me with nothing.  Normally, I want to play a mage in most RPGs (note: those were all computer/console games before 4th ed) because casters got flashier cooler spells and stuff.  Action hero stuff.  4th ed, I could play pretty much any class and any race.  And I would have no idea about what or who the character would be like until after I get the ability scores down, the skills and powers picked out, the weapons picked based on powers I want, etc.  After all that I go back and look at background, motivation, etc for someone with what I have given the character mechanically.

Also, I presonally prefer the baseline to be 2 at-wills, 1 encounter, one daily (though instead of daily they should be recharge powers), plus whatever your race, theme, etc gives you; small deviations in said system (such as pisonic power points, or some of the essentials classes) should be just that, and keeping within a similar amount of overall ability.  What I am saying also is that for most classes such as the fighter, wizard, cleric, etc.  one power source works better to define what they do.  Adding on more than one power source should be the province of meshing classes together via a multiclass/hybrid mechanic.  Base classes should, in my opinion, be a pure power source. 

"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." --Bill Cosby (1937- ) Vanador: OK. You ripped a gateway to Hell, killed half the town, and raised the dead as feral zombies. We're going to kill you. But it can go two ways. We want you to run as fast as you possibly can toward the south of the town to draw the Zombies to you, and right before they catch you, I'll put an arrow through your head to end it instantly. If you don't agree to do this, we'll tie you this building and let the Zombies rip you apart slowly. Dimitry: God I love being Neutral. 4th edition is dead, long live 4th edition. Salla: opinionated, but commonly right.
fun quotes
58419928 wrote:
You have to do the work first, and show you can do the work, before someone is going to pay you for it.
69216168 wrote:
If you can't understand how someone yelling at another person would make them fight harder and longer, then you need to look at the forums a bit closer.
quote author=56832398 post=519321747]Considering DnD is a game wouldn't all styles be gamist?[/quote]
My critic is for the one size fits all character class/ build design methodology.  A proccess of developing classes arround a fixed structure i.e. 2 @-will, 1 encounter, 1 daily attack powers, all defenders have a mark, all strikers add extra damage dices, one power source for a class, one role for a class, etc.   Using a methodology free of those restricitions allows for a better concieved class/ build, one where concept drives what those powers, roles, sources and abilities are and how they are strucutured for each class/ build instead of the other way arround.

The only problem with that is that I never have a concept first.  I have mechanics first, and then build a concept out of them.  So the original way does me a world of good, where your proposed way just leaves me with nothing.

I don't much see the benefit of making it more difficult to compare classes, but - aside from the obvious problem that it would be more difficult to compare classes - I also don't understand how this would impair your ability to start from a mechanical concept and then build a character.

Of course, that depends on what sort of a mechanical concept you need to have. 

I have a character that started with "A Tempest Fighter would make a great striker". (It developed quite a lot from there.) Is that the sort of thing you need?

To go to the opposite extreme, could you do "I think this movie character would make a really fun D&D character; what mechanics can I put behind her?"? I'm playing such a character currently. 

Or pick a point in between... I recently worked on
 "Must be hybrid, must paragon multiclass, must make sense as a character". Also "Worst possible race/class combo for a leader - but best possible leader with that combo, and who cares if it makes sense". (Genasi Vampires make lousy leaders - but it can be done.) A while back I built "Optimize for largest possible number of cats". 
"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose
I think they may be be moving towards less classes, similar to the 2nd Ed Groups, and have subclasses as options within (like Kits); instead of a plethora of independent classes.

So you might have Warrior (Defender Warrior = Fighter, Leader Warrior = Warlord etc); Wizard (Controller Wizard = Mage, Defender Wizard = Swordmage, Striker Wizard = Warlock etc).

Anyone else get that feeling?

No. But that would be awesome. I'd really like to see more builds (or subclasses) and fewer classes going forward. With too many classes you can end up putting off new players.

About.me

Drive like you love your children

Through faith you have been saved by grace and not by works. -Ep 2:8-9

Grammar Made Easy – now there's no excuse for sounding like an idiot online.
Games From the Mind of fewilcox – my blog about writing; games, including, character sheets and other roleplaying accessories; and game design.

My critic is for the one size fits all character class/ build design methodology.  A proccess of developing classes arround a fixed structure i.e. 2 @-will, 1 encounter, 1 daily attack powers, all defenders have a mark, all strikers add extra damage dices, one power source for a class, one role for a class, etc.   Using a methodology free of those restricitions allows for a better concieved class/ build, one where concept drives what those powers, roles, sources and abilities are and how they are strucutured for each class/ build instead of the other way arround.



The only problem with that is that I never have a concept first.  I have mechanics first, and then build a concept out of them.  So the original way does me a world of good, where your proposed way just leaves me with nothing.  Normally, I want to play a mage in most RPGs (note: those were all computer/console games before 4th ed) because casters got flashier cooler spells and stuff.  Action hero stuff.  4th ed, I could play pretty much any class and any race.  And I would have no idea about what or who the character would be like until after I get the ability scores down, the skills and powers picked out, the weapons picked based on powers I want, etc.  After all that I go back and look at background, motivation, etc for someone with what I have given the character mechanically.

Also, I presonally prefer the baseline to be 2 at-wills, 1 encounter, one daily (though instead of daily they should be recharge powers), plus whatever your race, theme, etc gives you; small deviations in said system (such as pisonic power points, or some of the essentials classes) should be just that, and keeping within a similar amount of overall ability.  What I am saying also is that for most classes such as the fighter, wizard, cleric, etc.  one power source works better to define what they do.  Adding on more than one power source should be the province of meshing classes together via a multiclass/hybrid mechanic.  Base classes should, in my opinion, be a pure power source. 




We have different experiences, approaches and opinions.  I prefer a character concept first approach to class design methodology, you prefer a more generic mechanical approach to class design methodology.  You  prefer classess to follow the exact same use of attack powers without variation.  I prefer more freedom dictated by cclass concept when it comes to attack power use.  Even though we have difference of opinions I can understand and respect your point of view, except the idea of a pure power source, there seems no reason for that other than that is the way I learned it.  But that is unimportant to my point.  So, what I think the challenge for the designers of a new edition is balancing the needs of the player community for some kind of symetry in class design and freedom to allow strong character concepts.

Thanks for the debate.
OK, keep attack power use the same for everyone, and I don't mind most of the ideas being thrown around.


Also, I'd be fine with mostly ditching daily powers.


the basic mechanics of the game should work about the same all over. I don't mind things like defender auras, but the Assassin's Shroud power, for instance, wasn't really a bad idea. It was just missing a way to throw three or four shrouds on a target for your first attack, every encounter, and then have to build up shrouds from there.

In fact, the whole class is just missing better powers. The only power slot that isn't really lacking is the utillity slot. Give them good powers* and you have a solid striker class with a controller secondary.


*I'd like some good zone powers that do some minor controll in an area, while allowing non standard attacks to be focused on a single target, or maybe give bonuses to the assassin's attacks based on enemies hit by zone, etc.
Basically, the assassin should be throwing out control in order to get to the target and then get the hell away once the job is done/get to the next target. I also think that charge support fits the fluff more than multi-attack support, but that some amount of multi-attack support would be a huge boost.

With the right mix of powers, and whithout even making those powers too powerful for powerswapping, you could make the assassin a top teir striker.
Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
Also, I'd be fine with mostly ditching daily powers.



Totally second this (the last Vancian vestige, and can cause meta-gaming).
 
My critic is for the one size fits all character class/ build design methodology.  A proccess of developing classes arround a fixed structure i.e. 2 @-will, 1 encounter, 1 daily attack powers, all defenders have a mark, all strikers add extra damage dices, one power source for a class, one role for a class, etc.   Using a methodology free of those restricitions allows for a better concieved class/ build, one where concept drives what those powers, roles, sources and abilities are and how they are strucutured for each class/ build instead of the other way arround.

The only problem with that is that I never have a concept first.  I have mechanics first, and then build a concept out of them.  So the original way does me a world of good, where your proposed way just leaves me with nothing.

I don't much see the benefit of making it more difficult to compare classes, but - aside from the obvious problem that it would be more difficult to compare classes - I also don't understand how this would impair your ability to start from a mechanical concept and then build a character.

Of course, that depends on what sort of a mechanical concept you need to have. 

I have a character that started with "A Tempest Fighter would make a great striker". (It developed quite a lot from there.) Is that the sort of thing you need?

To go to the opposite extreme, could you do "I think this movie character would make a really fun D&D character; what mechanics can I put behind her?"? I'm playing such a character currently. 

Or pick a point in between... I recently worked on
 "Must be hybrid, must paragon multiclass, must make sense as a character". Also "Worst possible race/class combo for a leader - but best possible leader with that combo, and who cares if it makes sense". (Genasi Vampires make lousy leaders - but it can be done.) A while back I built "Optimize for largest possible number of cats". 



The thing is I don't start with a concept.  I start with, "X abilites or powers or skills make this class/race interesting.  So, what matches the class/race as a race/class that makes it more interesting while still having the bonuses to it's secondary and main stat?"  Write out everything from the race and class so far, then look at what I have. 
For example, Ranger.  If I want a Str/Dex mix I'd go with Half-orc, If I want Dex/Wis I'd go for Drow, Elf, Githzerai, Razorclaw Shifter, Wilden or Shadar-kai; if I'm not sure yet I'd probably pick Thri-kreen. I have tables to line up the best possible races for each class; I even have tables to tell me where hybridizing would align my stats the best so as not to waste points and make me weaker.  So, Ranger, I'll pick up close two-handed fighting style. That narrows it to Half-Orc or Thri-kreen.  Half-Orc is going to give me one set of racial abilities, Thri-kreen another; the former largely abandon and more damage and the thri-kreen largely balance, and an options for drwaing more weapons quickly.  Sure, striker is supposed to care about damage first, but in my heart of hearts I want the options this time, so I'd pick Thri-kreen.  Start off with some powers, think about what one handed weapons are around that will give me constant damage range, since this is options over brute force.  Brutal weapons work best to increase my average damage, but all the one handed ones are 1d8.  Either the Carrikal (Brutal 2) or the Kopesh (Brutal 1, versatile which I'll almost certainly never use), Kopesh is both blade and axe whereas Carrical is just axe.  If I pick the Kopesh I could increase my damage and fighting prowess later with feats for both axes and heavy blades, and since he's mainly shaping up to be weapon focused, I might as well.  The Kopesh or the Carrikal gives me better than or equal to what Axe Expertise gives, so I'll probably take Heavy Blade expertise.  Once feats, items and powers are chosen, I'll go look at skills; Nature for the first Ranger either or choice, then Acrobatics, Athletics, Endurance and Perception.  Big bug, I want him to be swift, dodgy, jump far, last in and know nature and see what his buddies don't always catch.  Which is now when I start really thinking of this thing as a character, and not just a bundle of mechanics.  So I think about how he got his weapons, skills, powers, etc and go pick a background, maybe a theme, and really start to get a feel for this wandering crazy bug man with scything blades. I'd probably pick the explorer or merc theme since it's starting to fit this thing in my head, a bugman without a home, and only one thing to do: find as many ways to hunt and kill stuff as possible.  If this is Dark sun I might instead give him a proper Dark Sun theme, but I'm going to assume this is a generic world that allows bugdudes.  So I settle on Merc, and then I ask why is he a merc?  The answer is in his background, a thri-kreen who is the "last of his clutch" and "out for revenge".  I also pick the explorer/guide background for it's mechanical benefit and that it fits him; with it he has another language and a few more points in Nature (this bastard knows nature, bitches).  He's been hunting for what killed all his clutchmates since he was young, and the merc part, to quote Inigo Montoya, is "just to pay the bills" since "There's not a lot of money in revenge".  So now I have a character.  I flesh out his mannerisms, what he looks like, and last, I'd name him.  Maybe even give him a Bow and a bow at-will, since his stats are so close that he can be a back-up archer and his arms give him a quicker draw.  Makes him feel more well rounded.

And that's how I build every character.  Now my problem comes when people say they want to recreate a character and start looking for the options to do so.  I don't ever intend to remake a popular character, nor do I sit around commonly thinking of X tortured/destined/whatever individual.  I think, that class is neat or that race is neat.  It's usually a single mechanic and usually one of those two that leads me to create a character. I don't set out with a single goal in mind, other than I want to use or (if the party is missing a role) need to fill a hole in the tactics/strategy with something, so what is there?  I don't aproach character building with a character in mind, they get in my mind by the time I'm done crafting them.  So preconcieved concepts (minuse backgrounds and themes, which ask more questions than they give answers) do not help me in the least; in fact they commonly jam me up with thinking, "I don't want to be or do that concept".

And now I kinda want to play my scarab green dual kopesh wielding Drak'lah, last of a ruined clutch out for revenge.  But I didn't when I started this post. ;)
"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." --Bill Cosby (1937- ) Vanador: OK. You ripped a gateway to Hell, killed half the town, and raised the dead as feral zombies. We're going to kill you. But it can go two ways. We want you to run as fast as you possibly can toward the south of the town to draw the Zombies to you, and right before they catch you, I'll put an arrow through your head to end it instantly. If you don't agree to do this, we'll tie you this building and let the Zombies rip you apart slowly. Dimitry: God I love being Neutral. 4th edition is dead, long live 4th edition. Salla: opinionated, but commonly right.
fun quotes
58419928 wrote:
You have to do the work first, and show you can do the work, before someone is going to pay you for it.
69216168 wrote:
If you can't understand how someone yelling at another person would make them fight harder and longer, then you need to look at the forums a bit closer.
quote author=56832398 post=519321747]Considering DnD is a game wouldn't all styles be gamist?[/quote]
I don't ever intend to remake a popular character, nor do I sit around commonly thinking of X tortured/destined/whatever individual.

Without casting any judgment on the rest of your post, I wanted to (and shall) note that if this is true of you, I suspect you are in the smallest minority of players in the history of the game -- perhaps even a minority of one. I'm not saying that is a bad thing. Just a thing.

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.