Some old Experiments that might deserve another look.

One big thing that I think should be done for 5th is to go over a lot of the old variant rules and ideas that were used in different systems. What I loved about 3rd was that it was the edition of experimentation, my favorite books from that period being the Book of 9 Swords, Tome of Magic, and Magic of Incarnum. Incarnum was admittedly kinda messed up, but I give them credit for gambling with an interesting if poorly exectured concept, I consider it a magnificent failure and something that I would like to see tried again.

What I mean is this, when I was waiting for 4th edition I was hoping for martial characters that would be clear evolutions from the tome of battle, the idea of stances and set manuevers were very appealing to me, and the class abilities coupled with that stuff made some very fun and interesting characters. I also remember the magic systems from tome of Magic, the Binder still blows my mind when I read it today. It was something that was simple, effective, mechanically viable and had some very cool and interesting effects. Always on abilities that might require recharges, a kind of cost in what would happen if you rolled badly when forging the pacts. Hell, with some tweaking that could make a very good kind of cleric. The shadowcaster while a little wonky might offer a more easily balanced version of the wizard without moving completely away from vancian roots. The truenamer...well there might be some things that need to be rebuilt entirely, but again, nice attempt.

Hell, the warlock might even be called a more realized version of the sorcerer concept as originally written. What I'm hoping is that when the new edition comes the classes will feel mechanically distinct and also there might be some attempts to ressurect old ideas that might be very useful in this go round.

What I mean here is that there were some very cool and innovative ideas, and I'm worried that because they weren't core they'll be forgotten. If anyone else has any favored variant mechanics or ideas that they think would be cool as possible addons or replacements in the new system might as well bring them up here.

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I'd like to see the Jester as an officially supported class.
My likes and dislikes are mixed with regard to martial manuevers.  But I do like stances in the abstract.
My likes and dislikes are mixed with regard to martial manuevers.  But I do like stances in the abstract.



I have to ask, what didn't you like about martial manuevers?
Loved Incarnum, have an important Aasimar Incarnate/Monk NPC in my Planescape campaign.

I love alternate systems (here comes the Balance Brigade). 
I absolutely love Incarnum. It's a pity I never managed to play an Incarnum character due to the awfully bad mechanics and because of the obvious balance problems in the 3.5 edition.
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Reflavoring: the change of flavor without changing any mechanical part of the game, no matter how small, in order to fit the mechanics to an otherwise unsupported concept. Retexturing: the change of flavor (with at most minor mechanical adaptations) in order to effortlessly create support for a concept without inventing anything new. Houseruling: the change, either minor or major, of the mechanics in order to better reflect a certain aspect of the game, including adapting the rules to fit an otherwise unsupported concept. Homebrewing: the complete invention of something new that fits within the system in order to reflect an unsupported concept.
Ideas for 5E
My likes and dislikes are mixed with regard to martial manuevers.  But I do like stances in the abstract.



I have to ask, what didn't you like about martial manuevers?



I've been on dozens literally threads debating the pros and cons of the way they did martial manuevers in 4e.   I hate to hijack an innocent thread that has nothing to do with that subject.

Let's just say I don't like plot coupons.  If you want to email about it Archangel62 thats fine.  Let's no distract this thread.

*Edit*

Emawasick is right. I just couldn't let it pass unchallenged earlier.

I'd like to not turn every thread into the same thread. Confronting Emirikol yet again about his issue with martial dailies is another step towards every conversation in this forum converging.

truth/humor
Ed_Warlord, on what it takes to make a thread work: I think for it to be really constructive, everyone would have to be honest with each other, and with themselves.

 

iserith: The game doesn't profess to be "just like our world." What it is just like is the world of Dungeons & Dragons. Any semblance to reality is purely coincidental.

 

Areleth: How does this help the problems we have with Fighters? Do you think that every time I thought I was playing D&D what I was actually doing was slamming my head in a car door and that if you just explain how to play without doing that then I'll finally enjoy the game?

 

TD: That's why they put me on the front of every book. This is the dungeon, and I am the dragon. A word of warning though: I'm totally not a level appropriate encounter.

I don't get the concept of warlock = sorcerer, yes I agree wiz and sorc need to be more distinct from one another, but warlock is a different beast entirely.

The way I see it Wizards have the brains, sorcs have the talent, and warlocks have the contacts.

The problem with incarnum was that it had a hundred little fiddly bits to figure out and keep track of, and was tied up in the alignment system. Fix those and we might be able to get something interesting. 

Shadowcaster style mechanics might be adapatable to wizards, but the class concept itself needs a major re-tooling.
I'd like to not turn every thread into the same thread. Confronting Emirikol yet again about his issue with martial dailies is another step towards every conversation in this forum converging.



Ah, ok, I haven't been on the forum for about...oh 3 or four years so I was unfamiliar.

@ Emirikol I would be happy to get an email explaining it, and thank you for avoiding derail, much appreciated.
I don't get the concept of warlock = sorcerer, yes I agree wiz and sorc need to be more distinct from one another, but warlock is a different beast entirely.

The way I see it Wizards have the brains, sorcs have the talent, and warlocks have the contacts.

The problem with incarnum was that it had a hundred little fiddly bits to figure out and keep track of, and was tied up in the alignment system. Fix those and we might be able to get something interesting. 

Shadowcaster style mechanics might be adapatable to wizards, but the class concept itself needs a major re-tooling.



I had meant more the style and the mechanics for the wizard, but yeah, I know the class itself had issues.

As to why I saw the sorcerer and warlock as being similar, or at least where the warlock kind of fit what I thought a sorcerer would be... it's a bit complicated but I'll try. The wizard is someone that studied magic, figured out how to harness that energy, direct and focus it, they have spell slots, they have to study and prepare and more or less 'capture' the energy in mental constructs that they will later unleash. The sorcerer is magic, they are someone whose very blood burns with arcane might. Things like DR, the ability to enter a trance to regenerate, constant access to blasts of magical power that could be reshaped, etc. That sort of thing seems more in line with someone that was basically born of magic and had the symphony of arcane might singing through their veins.

That being said the sorcerer system probably also helped give us an equivilency for the dragon, so I suppose there is that, just wanted to answer that question.

Incarnum had other issues too, the Incarnate was a wizard BaB character with full armor and weapon proficiencies, meaning that if you looked it over you'd think someone messed up somewhere in design. I think there was also some fear at the idea of a 'do anything' class that the Incarnate could be, even though in practical terms it was fairly unlikely that such a thing would actually come to exist, at least from a non vanican caster.
I agree a lot of the late 3.5 books were the best books Wizards made during that era.  I also liked incarnum and found it worked well if you ignored the alignment, or played the totemist.  Binders were also fun, never played a shadow mage, or word mage (both of these had good fixes on the message boards at the time).
I agree a lot of the late 3.5 books were the best books Wizards made during that era.  I also liked incarnum and found it worked well if you ignored the alignment, or played the totemist.  Binders were also fun, never played a shadow mage, or word mage (both of these had good fixes on the message boards at the time).



I did have a pretty functional totemist in a game that I was running, so I would say that the totemist at least worked correctly, wondering if maybe the Totemist should have been their flagship class for that system. A lot of their later releases were some of the more creative and actually well designed things IMO, which did still kind of surprise me when 4th came out, as I'd been expecting something like a mix between saga edition and the last few books instead of what we found.
I agree a lot of the late 3.5 books were the best books Wizards made during that era.  I also liked incarnum and found it worked well if you ignored the alignment, or played the totemist.  Binders were also fun, never played a shadow mage, or word mage (both of these had good fixes on the message boards at the time).



I did have a pretty functional totemist in a game that I was running, so I would say that the totemist at least worked correctly, wondering if maybe the Totemist should have been their flagship class for that system. A lot of their later releases were some of the more creative and actually well designed things IMO, which did still kind of surprise me when 4th came out, as I'd been expecting something like a mix between saga edition and the last few books instead of what we found.



Yeah from what I remember the totemist was generally the favorite of the char-op board.  I used an incarnate (was that the right name, I don't remember), and had no problems with him.  Mind you I played with a group that wasn't min-maxers at all.
due to the awfully bad mechanics and because of the obvious balance problems in the 3.5 edition.



Ah, so it's a shrouded bashing thing, yee-hee!

...or am I missing something? 

No; stop, edition, warriing, now, please.

...oh, and another thing (for many), please stop using the word "balance", it's embarrassing. 
due to the awfully bad mechanics and because of the obvious balance problems in the 3.5 edition.



Ah, so it's a shrouded bashing thing, yee-hee!

...or am I missing something? 

No; stop, edition, warriing, now, please.

...oh, and another thing (for many), please stop using the word "balance", it's embarrassing. 


Did you miss the part where he said he liked it?  I think you did.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Did you miss the part where he said he liked it?



...Liked what?

...see; this is why I shouldn't be taken outside... 
Another idea I remembered recently was something from unearthed arcana, the generic classes setup. In that one you were the 'warrior, expert, magic user' you got to choose your own skill list, the magic user could mix and match healing spells with damaging, and each class got a lot of feats that could be used to snap up various class ability options like sneak attack and the like. Now it had issues but it was a kind of cool idea, I even played in a game with someone who mixed that setup with the prestige-bard/paladin/something and it was fairly interesting. I don't know that it would work for the new system but the idea of having the class abilities be a kind of mix and match setup might be kind of fun, if a bit unbalancing.

Some of my favorite experimental rules are:


Variant class features: The 3rd edition Unearthed Arcana is a great resource.


Variant Race Features: Again the 3rd edition Unearthed Arcana is a great resource.


More special materials: Magic of Faerun had all kinds of rules for things like gold armor and platinum weapons. It is a neat way to create variety without using magic.


Meta Magic Spell Components: A great way to add spice to a game. Expensive for common use but at just the right moment they are great.


Flaws: I liked this idea although it can easily be abuse (a melee fighter taking a penalty to range) but in the right group it can be good


 


Experimental (or long discarded) classes I like


Warlock and Dragon Fire Adept: Neat classes limited scope but constant power I would like this concept expanded.


Swashbuckler: As its own class or a fighter variant but this character type is iconic.


Binder: Not perfect but a great idea for a more focused divine class.


Illusionist: I really like how 1st edition made this class different from the magic user. I think all specialists should have spells that only they can access.


Solomnic Knights: I like the concept of a class that spans multiple classes as requirements and you have to prestige from one to another.


Archivist: From Heroes of Horror a divine caster that has to carry a spell book around.


Spirit Shaman: From complete divine. A nice concept but needed some work.

due to the awfully bad mechanics and because of the obvious balance problems in the 3.5 edition.



Ah, so it's a shrouded bashing thing, yee-hee!

...or am I missing something? 

No; stop, edition, warriing, now, please.

...oh, and another thing (for many), please stop using the word "balance", it's embarrassing. 



Let me make myself clear: I am here because I want a better edition. I hope this new edition has concepts like Incarnum, because I seriously like it. I was hoping that once they published PHB 4 with Shadow they'd do PHB 5 with Incarnum, before the Essentials madness hit. I also know that in 3.5, Incarnum was a non-option due to all the crazy brokenness of the system. Incarnum classes were unviable except as a one-two level dip. The inherent brokenness of the system that led us all away from it utterly ruined a very cool concept. I hope it ends up being better represented in D&D Next, because I love it and would like to play with it a bit.
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Reflavoring: the change of flavor without changing any mechanical part of the game, no matter how small, in order to fit the mechanics to an otherwise unsupported concept. Retexturing: the change of flavor (with at most minor mechanical adaptations) in order to effortlessly create support for a concept without inventing anything new. Houseruling: the change, either minor or major, of the mechanics in order to better reflect a certain aspect of the game, including adapting the rules to fit an otherwise unsupported concept. Homebrewing: the complete invention of something new that fits within the system in order to reflect an unsupported concept.
Ideas for 5E
I'm just like you. When 4th edition came out, I was expecting something like 3rd edition with fixed math, fixed spells when needed and non casters with cool colorful abilities like in Tome of Battle.

4th edition is probably my biggest disappointment in life so far.
I am here because I want a better edition. I hope this new edition has concepts like Incarnum, because I seriously like it.  I hope it ends up being better represented in D&D Next, because I love it and would like to play with it a bit.



Me too, in my ongoing Planescape campaign one of the key NPCs is an Aasimar Incarnate/Monk (haven't converted him to 4th Ed yet).  I really like the alignment connection fluff.

And I liked all 3 classes (Binder, Shadowcaster and Truenamer) in Tome of Magic.
I am here because I want a better edition. I hope this new edition has concepts like Incarnum, because I seriously like it.  I hope it ends up being better represented in D&D Next, because I love it and would like to play with it a bit.



Me too, in my ongoing Planescape campaign one of the key NPCs is an Aasimar Incarnate/Monk (haven't converted him to 4th Ed yet).  I really like the alignment connection fluff.

And I liked all 3 classes (Binder, Shadowcaster and Truenamer) in Tome of Magic.



Oh, I almost forgot the alignment stuff. Well, as long as it's not mechanical I'll just disregard it like I did in the previous edition. I seriously hope there's not that much connection though, Incarnum is too cool for that crap.

Also, Vestiges are definitely cool, Shadowcasters and Shadow as a Power Source was a big letdown in 4E (I wanted more, and better, stuff), and the Truenamer... well, that one is kinda wonky, really, I wouldn't mind losing it for something cooler like a mix of Runepriest and Invoker based on Words and the True Language of the Cosmos.
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Reflavoring: the change of flavor without changing any mechanical part of the game, no matter how small, in order to fit the mechanics to an otherwise unsupported concept. Retexturing: the change of flavor (with at most minor mechanical adaptations) in order to effortlessly create support for a concept without inventing anything new. Houseruling: the change, either minor or major, of the mechanics in order to better reflect a certain aspect of the game, including adapting the rules to fit an otherwise unsupported concept. Homebrewing: the complete invention of something new that fits within the system in order to reflect an unsupported concept.
Ideas for 5E

Oh, I almost forgot the alignment stuff. Well, as long as it's not mechanical I'll just disregard it like I did in the previous edition. I seriously hope there's not that much connection though, Incarnum is too cool for that crap.



More shrouded insults...I hope there is a connection (not mechanically), this so called "crap" (more passive-aggressive rubbish I should expect) is what added to the flavour, IMO.

 

Oh, I almost forgot the alignment stuff. Well, as long as it's not mechanical I'll just disregard it like I did in the previous edition. I seriously hope there's not that much connection though, Incarnum is too cool for that crap.



More shrouded insults...I hope there is a connection (not mechanically), this so called "crap" (more passive-aggressive rubbish I should expect) is what added to the flavour, IMO.

 



Wow someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.

Yeah the alignment connection really added nothing to the incarnate.  Anyone remember the 3rd class incarnate, totemist, and  ?.  It was more of a fighter type one, anyways of the three it was pretty unintresting, also the races in there were pretty lame.  If something similar to this returns I hope they focus on just the totemist and incarnate.
Anyone remember the 3rd class incarnate, totemist, and  ?.  It was more of a fighter type one,



Soulborn, very cool (the paladins of Incarnum), they had to be one of the 4 extreme alignments (LG, CG, LE, CE), I believe.
Too bad they sucked, I mean they were ok on a point-to-point comparison with the actual pally, with certain advantages and disadvantages on both ends, but then the pally got that big bucking horse and ran the poor soulborn down like an animal.

 Variant class features were prminent in 4e don't act like it was a 3e only thing, they're cool, they work, and it sounds like they're here to stay judging by the beyond clas and race article.

 Admitted 4e didn't see as much play with alternate racial features but they were there.

The simplification of the magic items meant that materials now function in the same design space as enchantments, I'm not certain this is a good thing, it's not a bad thing, it's just a thing. I wouldn't mind materials being their own space again though.

Meta magic spell components only work if you have meta-magic. Consumable items that modify powers would be coool though. 

I don't like flaws, the concept is well ... flawed,  you can't expect a flaw chosen by a player to balance a feat chosen by the same player for the same PC, they'll place it somewhere it won't hurt much without even thinking about it. The only way to prevent this is to make very few but signifgant flaws that hurt things all players care about, like the defenses and saves, or make the benefits you can derive from flaws limited, like how pathfinder only lets you grab skill ranks.

Ok constant power, check, expanded options, check, ok seriously what's wrong with the 4e warlock? or is it because he's not the only caster with constant power anymore?

I like the concepts tossed around as much as the next guy, ... probably more than the next guy because he's a frigging purist, but you gotta be aware of how the concept has evovlved and recognize it in the current system, 4e.  Otherwise you sound like a you have no clue what you're talking about and the idea goes nowhere.

The problem with swashbuckler is that he ends up being the bastard child of a fighter and a rogue, and generally less capable than even the most ham-fisted multi-class there of. In order to be a class he needs a schtick, he'd work great as an alternate set of class features for rogue or fighter, or even a theme. If I were to build it as an out and out class I'm thinking a melee type controller making use of taunts to distract enemies, and then using precise strikes and deft maneuvers to leave enemies helpless. Sound cool?

Binder was incorporated into the 4e warlock, was there something wrong with that impementation?

Dragonfire adept was too narrow for a class, although a dragon pact for warlocks would be interesting.

Illusionist as a class was a good idea, I'd personally like to do all the wizard schools as different classes and have the master of many magics concept be sent upstream to prestige/paragon.

Ok how is the 4e shaman NOT the 3.5 spirit shaman?

Archivist is just a cleric with a book, it's basically a class variant. Maybe if we had something more to go on than just cleric with a book it could be a decent class. 
I'd like to see the Jester as an officially supported class.



Call it the fool and base it on the better kits in the Bard's Handbook, and I'm sold.

Deception > Rogue > Bard > Fool < Noble < Nobility
Options are Liberating

Oh, I almost forgot the alignment stuff. Well, as long as it's not mechanical I'll just disregard it like I did in the previous edition. I seriously hope there's not that much connection though, Incarnum is too cool for that crap.



More shrouded insults...I hope there is a connection (not mechanically), this so called "crap" (more passive-aggressive rubbish I should expect) is what added to the flavour, IMO. 



Well. Ok. I am one of the people that believe that alignment should die in a hole, but if you want it, good. Make it a module inside the Incarnum book. I'm cool with it. As I said, as long as I can just ignore it, I'm good.

But seriously, don't try to sell me an Incarnum book that is deeply interwined with alignment, because that's just ruining one of the best ideas you had.
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Reflavoring: the change of flavor without changing any mechanical part of the game, no matter how small, in order to fit the mechanics to an otherwise unsupported concept. Retexturing: the change of flavor (with at most minor mechanical adaptations) in order to effortlessly create support for a concept without inventing anything new. Houseruling: the change, either minor or major, of the mechanics in order to better reflect a certain aspect of the game, including adapting the rules to fit an otherwise unsupported concept. Homebrewing: the complete invention of something new that fits within the system in order to reflect an unsupported concept.
Ideas for 5E
I liked the Truenamer too - still do, open my sig - but it had a mechanical issue that I could spot even though I never played one.

To use 4e terms, Truenamers suffered from an Inverse Oath of Emnity mechanic.  That is, you had to make several rolls and succeed on all of them to hit your target.  (OoE lets you roll twice and pick the better result.)  Statistics shows that the more tough rolls you have to make, it gets impossibly hard to succeed in the end.  If I could just trade out the Wizard spell list for Truenamer spell list and use Wizard mechanics... yeah, that sounds good.

The fluff begins good - although, like a Bard, you can be nerfed if the enemy/DM thinks to put a gag in your mouth - and becomes awesome if you watch movies or learn a foreign language, to give you some "words" of "Truespeech" to say when your character casts a spell speaks an utterance.  Dies Irae with your Dailies FTW.*

* Poem written in Latin during the Black Death plagues, begins "Day of wrath and day of woe", done with drama has rhythm like somebody pounding a hammer on an anvil... or nails in a coffin.

Another kewl idea that I don't know how to bring out mechanically was Rune Magic - each letter of the alphabet had a set of spells associated with it.  Some sort of theme was embodied in the letter.  You could learn the spells only by attuning yourself to the letter.  Sort of a literate Truenamer.  And just to mess with peoples' minds: How do you Rune Magic a hieroglyphic language?

Best complements I have yet received:

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Making it up as I go along:

{BRJN} If I was writing the Tome of Lore, I would let Auppenser sleep. But I also would have him dream. In his dreaming he re-activates the innate powers of (some) mortal minds. Or his dreaming changes the nature of reality - currently very malleable thanks to Spellplague &c. Or whatever really cool flavor text and pseudo-science explanation people react positively to.

{Lord_Karsus} You know, I like that better than the explanations for the Spellplague.

 

Prepped ahead of time:

I started the thread "1001 Failed Interrogation Results" (which seems to have faded into that great electronic goodnight, alas)

{ADHadh} These are all good and make sense! I just can't come up with something that's not covered here and is not completely ridiculous.

 

My 4e characters:

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Active:

LFR Half-elf StarLock8 Gondolin Nightstar

AoA Dwarf Guardian Druid8 Narvik from House Wavir

Character Ready-to-go:

Neverwinter Dwarven Invoker / Heir of Delzoun, worships Silvanus (!) "Truenamer" - speaks Words of Creation

Concepts I'm kicking around:

"Buggy" Wizard - insect flavor on everything.  His DMPC version is going to become a Lamia.  Becauae lichdom is so cliche.

Halfling Tempest Fighter - just because nobody else is doing it

Shifter Beast-o-phile Druid - for Nentir Vale campaign

very carefully

otherwise you end up fused to a sphinx's bum 
How about Dragon Magic?  Anybody remember that one?
How about Dragon Magic?  Anybody remember that one?



Oh yeah, that's one book I don't have, what was the deal with that again (the Dragon Shaman class?)
How about Dragon Magic?  Anybody remember that one?



Oh yeah, that's one book I don't have, what was the deal with that again (the Dragon Shaman class?)


Hmm, I don't remember exactly.  I think there were some new classes...  but I think moreso there were a lot of game options.  The thing I remember most was this system where you do pacts with dragons to get dragon magic.  I'm really not sure, but I think you would lose somethings from your class in exchange for dragon traits.  Sort of like weapons of legacy or something.  I'm really having a hard time remembering.  I don't think most of the options were really that great, in the end, but the ideas were kinda cool.  You had to be loyal to the dragon, and he granted you powers, and the dragon would probably have you do some bidding here and there.  I think it was pretty late in 3.5's run, so I don't think too many people ever used it much.

Hmm, I don't remember exactly.  I think there were some new classes...  but I think moreso there were a lot of game options.  The thing I remember most was this system where you do pacts with dragons to get dragon magic.  I'm really not sure, but I think you would lose somethings from your class in exchange for dragon traits.  Sort of like weapons of legacy or something.  I'm really having a hard time remembering.  I don't think most of the options were really that great, in the end, but the ideas were kinda cool.  You had to be loyal to the dragon, and he granted you powers, and the dragon would probably have you do some bidding here and there.  I think it was pretty late in 3.5's run, so I don't think too many people ever used it much.




Yeah, a sort of Council of Wyrms for 3rd Ed; but this is gonna bug me, which book was the Dragon Shaman in (Miniatures Handbook?)?
1. The playable dragon options were presented in dragon magazine. Draconomicon reprinted them. They weren't very good.

2. The dragon pact was not so nearly as cool as all that, you lost hp and gained a couple of magic tricks.

3. Dragon shaman was in phb2, dragonfire adept was in dragon magic.

4. Races of dragon had the better overall character options. 
How about Dragon Magic?  Anybody remember that one?



Oh yeah, that's one book I don't have, what was the deal with that again (the Dragon Shaman class?)



One of my personal favorites, it had:

1) Dragonfire Adept: A wielder of dragonfire and different breath attacks. There were breath weapons that did some pretty spiffy debuffs too (big fan of debuffs I am).

2) Unique dragonblood options for classes, for example the ability to get a paladin a flying mount (Drakkensteed!) and some other cool stuff too. Including scales for martial characters, unique familiars and some other cool dragontype options.

3) Dragon pacts, an actually really spiffy idea. You play a sorc (and if memory serves other kinds of spontaneous casters) and could swap out one of your spell slots along with treasure to a dragon, in exchange you could actually get a series of spell like abilities that could offer you some pretty neat powers, your character also got some new appearances and modifications.

4) Options for new mechanics, there were actually new invocations for warlocks. New vestige (!) and even new stuff for a totemist.

5) Also, new spells, some of which were sorcerer only which could do things like self healing, energy auras, etc. There were even special alignment ones that gave you DR, gave your spells certain extra kickers....

As I said, one of my favorites. Cool
1. The playable dragon options were presented in dragon magazine. Draconomicon reprinted them. They weren't very good.

2. The dragon pact was not so nearly as cool as all that, you lost hp and gained a couple of magic tricks.

3. Dragon shaman was in phb2, dragonfire adept was in dragon magic.

4. Races of dragon had the better overall character options. 




Ah, yes, thank you; was there a Dragon Warlock option as well (I seem to remember).
Dragonfire adepts was essentially a warlock with a dragon theme instead of an infernal one.
Too bad they sucked, I mean they were ok on a point-to-point comparison with the actual pally, with certain advantages and disadvantages on both ends, but then the pally got that big bucking horse and ran the poor soulborn down like an animal.

 Variant class features were prminent in 4e don't act like it was a 3e only thing, they're cool, they work, and it sounds like they're here to stay judging by the beyond clas and race article.

 Admitted 4e didn't see as much play with alternate racial features but they were there.

The simplification of the magic items meant that materials now function in the same design space as enchantments, I'm not certain this is a good thing, it's not a bad thing, it's just a thing. I wouldn't mind materials being their own space again though.

Meta magic spell components only work if you have meta-magic. Consumable items that modify powers would be coool though. 

I don't like flaws, the concept is well ... flawed,  you can't expect a flaw chosen by a player to balance a feat chosen by the same player for the same PC, they'll place it somewhere it won't hurt much without even thinking about it. The only way to prevent this is to make very few but signifgant flaws that hurt things all players care about, like the defenses and saves, or make the benefits you can derive from flaws limited, like how pathfinder only lets you grab skill ranks.

Ok constant power, check, expanded options, check, ok seriously what's wrong with the 4e warlock? or is it because he's not the only caster with constant power anymore?

I like the concepts tossed around as much as the next guy, ... probably more than the next guy because he's a frigging purist, but you gotta be aware of how the concept has evovlved and recognize it in the current system, 4e.  Otherwise you sound like a you have no clue what you're talking about and the idea goes nowhere.

The problem with swashbuckler is that he ends up being the bastard child of a fighter and a rogue, and generally less capable than even the most ham-fisted multi-class there of. In order to be a class he needs a schtick, he'd work great as an alternate set of class features for rogue or fighter, or even a theme. If I were to build it as an out and out class I'm thinking a melee type controller making use of taunts to distract enemies, and then using precise strikes and deft maneuvers to leave enemies helpless. Sound cool?

Binder was incorporated into the 4e warlock, was there something wrong with that impementation?

Dragonfire adept was too narrow for a class, although a dragon pact for warlocks would be interesting.

Illusionist as a class was a good idea, I'd personally like to do all the wizard schools as different classes and have the master of many magics concept be sent upstream to prestige/paragon.

Ok how is the 4e shaman NOT the 3.5 spirit shaman?

Archivist is just a cleric with a book, it's basically a class variant. Maybe if we had something more to go on than just cleric with a book it could be a decent class. 

I think you pretty much said whatever I would have said. IMHO 4e core design was a great basis to build variant classes on. It certainly was successful for psionics, the Runepriest, most of the e-classes, etc. I don't think this has had more than the surface scratched. There's still a huge amount of design space that can be explored, as well as possible tweaks to the existing implementations.

On the subject of design space of items. I think it was a good idea that items have powers. It created a very nice meshing of class and item mechanics. Properties allowed for some things that weren't well represented by powers. I'm not sure what exactly from previous edition items can't be done mechanically speaking in 4e as it is now. It may be that people want items to be different in some ways, but I don't think you'd have to really change the mechanics of how they work now to do that. Worst case you can add to what exists, like MME and BoVD both do.

Meta-magic ingredients actually DO exist in 4e as consumables. There are in fact many of them. They just have relatively minor effects in general. The nice thing is that because the system is common between classes they can be used with things besides just spells.

4e could do something a lot like incarnum pretty easily IMHO.
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