I have seen several post and read several survey questions posing the question of "are the classes balanced?" When did this become a problem or a concern. In 1st edition, if you played a monk you knew he was probably going to die, but you hoped he wouldn't so you could have an awesome character later, same with the mage classes, cast that one spell and then find a weapon that you could wield (or hide out) until you got a chance to rest. If you didn't want the risk you could play a fighter or cleric. What happened to those high risk, high reward classes. I don't get it are we trying to make it fair? Did Gandalf sit down with Elrond and have a conversation about making sure the party setting out from Rivendell was "balanced"?