My Vision of the 5e Battlefield

Here is the how I would like 5e/Next battlefield to look.  This is in general terms without getting too much into actual mechanics. I am going to focus mostly on the 4 main classes and their combat roles/abilities.


Fighter: I want the fighter to primarily be the badass on the battlefield like he was in 1e (yes I know some disagree with this assessment of the 1e fighter but it is my opinion and I am sticking to it and won’t debate it in this thread).  He should have the most HP, the best AC, and consistently hit the hardest in straight up (i.e. non-sneaky) situations.


Secondarily I would like him to be the defender.  He won’t defend through his own abilities but the general rules would allow him to defend by being the badass (he may have some abilities that help this). I would like to see shifting go away (or at least be limited to moving around a combatant instead of away from him) so that once the fighter is adjacent to a foe that foe would suffer an AoO if he tried to get away from the fighter.  Maybe the fighter can have access to a pulling mechanic that gets foes adjacent to him.  No marking, no (or very little) defender mechanics.


Rogue: The rogue would have crazy good movement abilities.  He could move around or past foes without generating AoO and could attack at any point during his movement.


So an example that combines these two classes would be: a fighter is engaged with three orcs.  The rogue starts 3 squares a away from the closest orc.  He moves three, squares attacks the orc (he would get his sneak attack), and then moves three more squares and is out of the orc’s reach when the orc starts his turn.  The orc cannot pursue or else the fighter can give him a good whack as he moves away.


Wizard: The wizard would be a combination of old and new.  He would have an at-will attack or two that wasn’t very strong (but not exceptionally weak either) and then he would have his Vancian spells to provide better attack options from time to time.


Cleric: I would like to see the cleric go back to being the knight-type that 1e described him as.  He would have heavy armor and could stand in the front line with the fighter-types (possibly doing some defending) and use his magic to buff his allies and de-buff his enemies.  He would have some offensive capabilities sometimes (an occasional flamestrike).  He would do most of his healing outside of combat.  I wouldn’t want to go back to the blunt weapon thing of 1e though.

 Any Edition


Fighter: I want the fighter to primarily be the badass on the battlefield like he was in 1e (yes I know some disagree with this assessment of the 1e fighter but it is my opinion and I am sticking to it and won’t debate it in this thread).  He should have the most HP, the best AC, and consistently hit the hardest in straight up (i.e. non-sneaky) situations.


Secondarily I would like him to be the defender.  He won’t defend through his own abilities but the general rules would allow him to defend by being the badass (he may have some abilities that help this). I would like to see shifting go away (or at least be limited to moving around a combatant instead of away from him) so that once the fighter is adjacent to a foe that foe would suffer an AoO if he tried to get away from the fighter.  Maybe the fighter can have access to a pulling mechanic that gets foes adjacent to him.  No marking, no (or very little) defender mechanics.



Then you should love 4e style fighters, they do pretty much everything from what you outlined here.  High defenses and HP, check.  Striker class damage on a defender, check.  He defends by limiting enemies ability to shift by threatening them with AoO's and has a plethora of abilites that either bring enemies to him or move him to enemies.  Possibly you would prefer defenders aura over marks?

 

Rogue: The rogue would have crazy good movement abilities.  He could move around or past foes without generating AoO and could attack at any point during his movement.



You just explained the Theif, and I must say I agree with you.  Aside from the lack of versitility presented in the essentials classes I greatly enjoyed the movement options offered by the Theif and felt that they really helped define the characters skirmishing role in combat.

 

So an example that combines these two classes would be: a fighter is engaged with three orcs.  The rogue starts 3 squares a away from the closest orc.  He moves three, squares attacks the orc (he would get his sneak attack), and then moves three more squares and is out of the orc’s reach when the orc starts his turn.  The orc cannot pursue or else the fighter can give him a good whack as he moves away.



I have seen almost this exact same thing done by a theif and fighter duo in so many sessions of my campaign that I have lost count.  Those two and the warpriest are really good about co-ordinating their attacks.

 

Wizard: The wizard would be a combination of old and new.  He would have an at-will attack or two that wasn’t very strong (but not exceptionally weak either) and then he would have his Vancian spells to provide better attack options from time to time.




Well if you are allowing at-will spells why not allow encounter spells as well.  I am not against spell preperation and could easily see it expanding in the next iteration of the wizard to include encounters or even at-wills.  The real concerns with the vancian system are: seperation between mechanicaly defined combat spells and ephemral fluff based utility powers that allow for broad interpretation and keeping game breaker spells out of the system.

 

Cleric: I would like to see the cleric go back to being the knight-type that 1e described him as.  He would have heavy armor and could stand in the front line with the fighter-types (possibly doing some defending) and use his magic to buff his allies and de-buff his enemies.  He would have some offensive capabilities sometimes (an occasional flamestrike).  He would do most of his healing outside of combat.  I wouldn’t want to go back to the blunt weapon thing of 1e though.




Well outside of the OOC healing all your wishes for the cleric are fuffiled in the 4e version of the class.  If you take battle clerics lore he gets access to scale (+7) and a +2 shield bonus, giving him a base AC of 19, comprable to a level 1 fighters.  4e's desicion to relegate the majority of healing to minor actions, opened up a lot of design space for the beat em up and buff em up sides of the cleric to shine, and the occasional flamestrike is perfectly resonable.  Also the basic charging storm warpriest uses Spears so there you go


It looks like you would be really into 4e.

Yep 4e is my favorite version of D&D so far.

So take 4e and
-- make it simpler
-- remove marking and defender auras
-- remove shifting
-- give fighters striker damage by default
-- allow rogues to be immune to AoO
-- take away AoE at-will powers
-- take away most in-combat healing
-- take away "laser" cleric powers

This is for the core game. Modules can add this stuff back in for those that want it. 

 Any Edition

Well that would explain it then wouldn't it. 

-- Possibly, I personaly never had much trouble dealing with the complexity, but it seems a common enough issue so doo eet.

--  I think if something has to go (an idea I don't agree with) it should be the opposite, Defenders & soldier monsters should keep their auras and AoOs for everybody should go away.

-- Shifting and other movement effects are part of what makes the tactical combat aspects interesting.  Why do you want them to go away?

--  Umm why would they need striker damage if they were defenders.  I am all for having a striker option in the fighter class but I don't see why defenders should get striker damage.  Unless of course we are getting rid of the striker/DPS concept all together.

-- That is certainly an interesting idea for making the rogues a more mobile class, I do think that the mobility aspect of the rogue is an important part of the archetype. I personaly prefer the concept of Movement 'tricks' for rogue at-will powers.

-- This I don't get,  controllers like AoEs because they help them minonslaughter which is a big part of what they do and AoE powers are a big component for a lot of classes.  Why do you want AoE at-wills to go away?

--Why?  How does this improve the game? What would leaders get to replace it?

--"laser"?
 

IMO defending should be a decision and not a role.  Actually I would get rid of all formal roles, including striker.


On the complexity issue, I am talking about how I would like to see the base game.  Complexity can come back in with modules (e.g. shifting and marking can be part of the advanced tactical module).


On “minion-slaughter,” I am really not a fan of that type of thing.  I would prefer a limited resource be used for mass minion killing.  The at-will AoE and damaging auras makes minion too weak for my taste.


On the laser thing I am referring to ranged magical attacks by clerics.  I prefer my clerics to be weapon wielding melee fighter with limited magical offensive abilities.


Clerics = melee combatant + utility spell user + healer (primarily out of combat)

Getting rid of most in-combat healing would speed up combat since there would be less hp to burn through and since I also want to see minor actions go the healers don't have to worry about burning another action to heal (unless it was a desperate situation).

 Any Edition

I understand your preferences, but I hate to picture a game based on limiting everyone to those preferences.  Just because you think clerics should be up front and swinging a blade, why does that overrule someone else's idea that a cleric should be using a holy symbol to blast the light of his deity at the enemy?  I agree that we need to limit some aspects of the game in order to get started, but defining classes this narrowly will alienate people, not unite them.
I agree with dreamwolf; the options presented are nice, but they shouldn't be the only ones.

Regarding marking: I think for someone to actually serve as a defender they need a mechanic besides just opportunity attacks if the creature moves away.  This works fine for monsters that are already isolated when the fighter attacks, but what about if the monster is next to the wizard?  The fighter can certainly go up and attack, but the monster has no reason to turn and start hitting the fighter.  This is why I really like the mechanic of marks (and even moreso, the auras used in Essentials builds).  It is a way to represent the fact that ignoring the fighter is a very, very bad idea, and ignoring is more than simply moving away from them.

I think it would be cool to expand upon the concept of what a defender's aura does.  For example, perhaps monsters in the fighter's aura grant combat advantage to the fighter's allies. 

Yep 4e is my favorite version of D&D so far.

So take 4e and
-- make it simpler
-- remove marking and defender auras
-- remove shifting
-- give fighters striker damage by default
-- allow rogues to be immune to AoO
-- take away AoE at-will powers
-- take away most in-combat healing
-- take away "laser" cleric powers

This is for the core game. Modules can add this stuff back in for those that want it. 




I've really only played 4th an a little of 1st/2nd and I agree the game could be simpler in the hopes of making combat faster, but I know that's not always true or that simple = more fun.
Here's my suggestion:  remove minor actions, especially minor action attacks.  Most minors would now be free actions or no actions. 
Healing in combat: make it as part of the Leader's standard action.  Attack enemy and a nearby ally regains X HP or surge + X.  Second wind is not a Standard action, but an immediate reaction to being dropped to 0 or below.  Bring that typical Epic Destiny feature in earlier. 
Out of combat- Leader classes have abilities to let allies regain X additional healing during rests.

Changing the OP's terminology a little, I don't want Defender's to have Striker level damage.  A Defender should be the role that marks opponents and the only one who gets Opportunity Attacks as a form of Mark Punishment.  Then Movement would not trigger OA's, except for Defenders, which eliminates the shift or 5 foot step.
The Striker role could either be moved to brute, skirmisher or artillery.  The big guy who stands his ground and pounds enemies, but has weaker defenses.  The rogue-like guy who darts in and out of the melee and the guy in the bakc with a bow or shooting single-target spells.  If you stay with strikers getting some sort of damage boost- either by adding damage die (quarry, sneak attack, curse) or by adding a set modifier, you could also include a means for a skirmish build- additional damage die if you've moved 2+ squares on your turn.
I'd love to see more movement in combat, but since most movement trigers OA's, combat's generally a scrum and slugfest which I think can be boring.

Here's how I see the roles:

Defender: high HP's, High AC, moderate to high single-target damamge.  function is to draw enemies to him and punish those who go after his allies.  The Defender gets the Mark as it's mechanic.  They are the only ones who get to make OA's (except for ranged attacks while in melee).


Striker:  medium HP, medium AC/Defenses.  High single target damage.  Should be more mobile than the Defender.  Striker's mechanic is either a set damage bonus to attacks (sorceror, hexblade, etc) or adding in extra damage die (rogue, ranger, warlock, etc). 


Controller: low HP's, medium AC/Defenses. The Controller's mechanic is combined with AoE and debuffing the enemies.  A melee controller would have more penalties to inflict (prone, slide, push, -AC, etc) whereas the ranged controller would have more AoE powers and have similar penalties.  Dazing/Stun shoudl be reserved for 1 or 2 enemies in a single attack, not every enemy in a burst.


Leader: medium HP, Medium to high AC/Defenses.  Leader's mechanic is to buff the allies, and to heal.  They can give out free attacks, heal as an effect of their attack, grant bonus to defenses, bonus to hit, etc. 

I think you guys are going to be disappointed if you think combat roles and marks and such things are going to be in the core game.  That would really surprise me.  I think that kind of stuff if going to be in an advanced tactical module, but I was trying to keep this discussion to the core rules.


The laser cleric could exist in the core rules, but if it is I hope it is a separate class (maybe a priest).  I like the cleric being a holy knight-type like the 1e PH described him.


In the core game I don’t want defender abilities.  So if a wizard and a fighter are engaged with the same bad guy then the wizard may be in trouble.  However, the wizard isn’t likely to be a major threat in melee and the fighter would be so the bad guy will probably focus on the fighter.  If the wizard tries to move away so that he can be more effective then the bad guy gets an AoO.  Bottom line is that the wizard needs to stay away from the bad guys.  That’s why it would be good for other classes (like clerics) to be able to be defenders to keep the wizard safe.  If the game is simple enough then having henchmen fighter to be meat shields (I mean defenders) would help that wizard a lot.

 Any Edition

I would actually prefer things such as AoO be something that fighters and similar get, rather than being a default for everyone.

Likely for the minimal core rules, it'll be close to what you're envisioning. Probably not exact, but that sort of thing. It'll be useful for quick pickup games or ones focusing more on story than game tactics. 
"I don't want to fight dragons." - Hiccup If dragons are to be invovled, I much prefer to play as a dragon, dragon rider, dragonslayer-slayer, dragonfriend, or anything else *but* a dragonslayer.
My concern with your vision is that it means there isn't much to make the fighter or rogue stand out.  The wizard, once again, gets to shine as the flashy, interesting character, and the melee guys all get lumped in as pure damage dealers.  The only difference being jumping around or wearing armor.  Henchmen as meatshields might be fine for solo games, but does anyone really want to play a campgain with four wizards and four NPC fighters?  If we return to the days of bland fighters and rogues who suck against undead or constructs, we might be looking at that as an alarming trend.

I honestly don't understand why so many people think it's a good idea for fighters to be boring and ineffective.
Not everyone likes or wants tactical combat... for them it's a drawback and not a draw.
Not everyone likes or wants tactical combat... for them it's a drawback and not a draw.



That's fine, and as much as I love tactical combat, I can understand the lack of appeal it holds for others.  However, if the goal is to make the game fun for everyone, then it seems to be a mistake to give the wizard back his infinite variety and superior firepower while reducing the fighter and rogue to doing nothing but swinging swords the same way every turn. 

If you're not going to do tactical combat, then remove it from every character at the table, the wizard included.  If the wizard can use tactics in spell preparation and selection, but the martial characters can't use tactics, the game will be designed to highlight one player at the expense of the others.  If you want to go back to the days of fighters with basic attacks alone, then give your wizards magic missile and a weaker fireball, but nothing else.  Then everyone is on the same, level playing field.

Yes, I know hundreds of players who favor wizards just started swearing at me for that suggestion.  That feeling you've got, that's how many of us who love the 4E version of martial characters feel about your suggestions to dump their powers.
I would like to see core combat be able to be played fairly easily without minatures and a map. I don't mind using that stuff at times, but I like to be able to have the combat going on in the player's heads rather than out on the mini's map from time to time.
"If it's not a conjuration, how did the wizard con·jure/ˈkänjər/Verb 1. Make (something) appear unexpectedly or seemingly from nowhere as if by magic. it?" -anon "Why don't you read fire·ball / fī(-ə)r-ˌbȯl/ and see if you can find the key word con.jure /'kən-ˈju̇r/ anywhere in it." -Maxperson
Not everyone likes or wants tactical combat... for them it's a drawback and not a draw.


And I suppose that is a requirement of non-tactical game play? Ie the fighter needs to be boring and repetitive, just wondering where this idea leads us.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"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."

 

Not everyone likes or wants tactical combat... for them it's a drawback and not a draw.


And I suppose that is a requirement of non-tactical game play? Ie the fighter needs to be boring and repetitive, just wondering where this idea leads us.


If putting words in my mouth is the only way to validate your standpoint, you might want to rethink something. How about doing something for fighters that doesn't involve grids--because gridless combat is going to be supported in the core rules and your needless derision and villifying of playstyles other than your own isn't doing anything constructive.
The laser cleric could exist in the core rules, but if it is I hope it is a separate class (maybe a priest).  I like the cleric being a holy knight-type like the 1e PH described him.




Which very well might happen from what I've read (the unarmoured more caster-type cleric; I always thought the Invoker could have been a cleric subclass, or build etc).
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