Possibility Of More Than PH1 Classes

It was said from the begining that DDN would have all PHB 1 Classes. Today Mike Mearls answered on Twitter that they were now looking at more than just PHB 1.

What would be your favorite non-PHB 1 Class to get a treatement ?   
 
  
 
@Gaven_Morren: What are the casting classes you have planed?

@mikemearls: We're looking at all the PH 1 classes, plus a couple others.
Honestly I see the majority of those as themes, backgrounds or schemes




No, no, no...I mean they should give those mentioned classes the "Warlock" treatment. For example: Take an iconic class name (say for example, "Wizard"), look in a thesaurus to find an alternate name, then make that a separate class by creating mechanics that make the class unique so it stands out thematically and mechanically from the class it originated from so it's different and fun to play.

I figure if they can do that with classes like Warlock and Warblade, they sure as heck can do that with Bandit or Cavalier...or Death Master.


EDIT: I mean "Warblade" isn't even a real name...it's a made up name stolen from a superhero. So, there's absolutely no reason not to have a Death Master as a separate class. Or a Cavalier. Or a Bandit. They all can stand on their own as classes if they were given the proper "Warlock" treatment.
D&D Next - Basic and Expert Editions

I firmly believe that there should be two editions of the game; the core rules released as a "Basic" set and a more complicated expanded rules edition released as an "Expert" set. These two editions would provide separate entry points to the game; one for new players or players that want a more classic D&D game and another entry point for experienced gamers that want more options and all the other things they have come to expect from previous editions.

Also, they must release several rules modules covering the main elements of the game (i.e., classes, races, combat, magic, monsters, etc.) upon launch to further expand the game for those that still need more complexity in a particular element of the game.


Here's a mockup of the Basic Set I created.



(CLICK HERE TO VIEW LARGER IMAGE)
  

Basic Set

This boxed set contains a simple, "bare bones" edition of the game; the core rules. It's for those that want a rules-light edition of the game that is extremely modifiable or for new players that get intimidated easily by too many rules and/or options. The Basic Set contains everything needed to play with all the "classic" D&D races (i.e., Human, Dwarf, Elf, and Halfling) and classes (i.e., Cleric, Fighter, Rogue, Wizard) all the way up to maximum level (i.e., 20th Level).

The Basic boxed set contains:

Quick Start Rules
A "choose your own way" adventure intended as an intro to RPGs and basic D&D terms.

Player's Handbook
(Softcover, 125 pages)
Features rules for playing the classic D&D races and classes all the way up to 20th level.

Dungeon Master's Guide

(Softcover, 125 pages)
Includes the basic rules for dungeon masters.

Monster Manual
(Softcover, 100 pages)
Includes all the classic iconic monsters from D&D. 

Introductory Adventure
(Keep on the Borderlands)
An introductory adventure for beginning players and DMs.

Also includes: 

Character Sheets
Reference Sheets
Set of Dice


Expert Set

A set of hardbound rules that contains the core rules plus expanded races and classes, more spells and a large selection of optional rules modules — that is, pretty much everything that experienced players have come to expect. Each expert edition manual may be purchased separately, or in a boxed set. The Expert set includes:

Expert PHB (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes core rules plus 10 playable races, 10 character classes, expanded selection of spells and rules modules for players.)
Expert DMG (Hardcover, 250 pages. $35 Includes core rules plus expanded rules modules for DMs.)
Expert MM (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes an expanded list of monsters and creatures to challenge characters)


Expansions

These expansion rules modules can be used with both the Basic and Expert sets. Each expansion covers one specific aspect of the game, such as character creation, combat, spells, monsters, etc.) 

Hall of Heroes (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes a vast selection of playable character races and classes, new and old all in one book)
Combat and Tactics (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes dozens of new and old optional rules for combat all in one book)
Creature Compendium (Hardcover, 350 pages.$35 Includes hundreds of monsters, new and old all in one book)
The Grimoire (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes hundreds of new and old spells all in one book)





A Million Hit Points of Light: Shedding Light on Damage

A Million Hit Points of Light: Shedding Light on Damage and Hit Points

In my personal campaigns, I use the following system for damage and dying. It's a slight modification of the long-standing principles etsablished by the D&D game, only with a new definition of what 0 or less hit points means. I've been using it for years because it works really well. However, I've made some adjustments to take advantage of the D&D Next rules. I've decided to present the first part in a Q&A format for better clarity. So let's begin...

What are hit points?
The premise is very simple, but often misunderstood; hit points are an abstraction that represent the character's ability to avoid serious damage, not necessarily their ability to take serious damage. This is a very important distinction. They represent a combination of skillful maneuvering, toughness, stamina and luck. Some targets have more hit points because they are physically tougher and are harder to injure...others have more because they are experienced combatants and have learned how to turn near fatal blows into mere scratches by skillful maneuvering...and then others are just plain lucky. Once a character runs out of hit points they become vulnerable to serious life-threatening injuries.

So what exactly does it mean to "hit" with a successful attack roll, then?
It means that through your own skill and ability you may have wounded your target if the target lacks the hit points to avoid the full brunt of the attack. That's an important thing to keep in mind; a successful "hit" does not necessarily mean you physically damaged your target. It just means that your attack was well placed and forced the target to exert themselves in such a way as to leave them vulnerable to further attacks. For example, instead of severing the target's arm, the attack merely grazes them leaving a minor cut.

But the attack did 25 points of damage! Why did it only "graze" the target?
Because the target has more than 25 hit points. Your attack forced them to exert a lot of energy to avoid the attack, but because of their combat skill, toughness, stamina and luck, they managed to avoid being seriously injured. However, because of this attack, they may not have the reserves to avoid your next attack. Perhaps you knocked them off balance or the attack left them so fatigued they lack the stamina to evade another attack. It's the DM's call on how they want to narrate the exact reason the blow didn't kill or wound the target.

Yeah, but what about "touch" attacks that rely on physical contact?
Making physical contact with a target is a lot different than striking them, so these types of attacks are the exception. If a touch attack succeeds, the attacker manages to make contact with their target.

If hit points and weapon damage don't always represent actual damage to the target, then what does it represent?
Think of the damage from an attack as more like a "threat level" rather than actual physical damage that transfers directly to the target's body. That is, the more damage an attack does, the harder it is to avoid serious injury. For example, an attack that causes 14 points of damage is more likely to wound the target than 3 points of damage (depending on how many hit points the target has left). The higher the damage, the greater the chance is that the target will become seriously injured. So, an attack that does 34 points of damage could be thought of as a "threat level of 34." If the target doesn't have the hit points to negate that threat, they become seriously injured.

Ok, but shouldn't armor reduce the amount of damage delivered from an attack?
It does reduce damage; by making it harder for an attack to cause serious injury. A successful hit against an armored target suggests that the attack may have circumvented the target's armor by striking in a vulnerable area.

What about poison and other types of non-combat damage?
Hit point loss from non-physical forms of damage represents the character spitting the poison out just in time before it takes full strength or perhaps the poison just wasn't strong enough to affect them drastically, but still weakens them. Again, it's the DMs call on how to narrate the reasons why the character avoids serious harm from the damage.

If hit points don't don't represent actual damage then how does that make sense with spells like Cure Serious Wounds and other forms of healing like healer kits with bandages?
Hit points do represent some physical damage, just not serious physical damage. Healing magic and other forms of healing still affect these minor wounds just as well as more serious wounds. For example, bandaging up minor cuts and abrasions helps the character rejuvenate and relieve the pain and/or fatigue of hit point loss. The key thing to remember is that it's an abstraction that allows the DM freedom to interpret and narrate it as they see fit.

What if my attack reduces the target to 0 or less hit points?
If a player is reduced to 0 or less hit points they are wounded. If a monster or NPC is reduce to 0 or less hit points they are killed.

Why are monsters killed immediately and not players?
Because unless the monsters are crucial to the story, it makes combat resolution much faster. It is assumed that players immediately execute a coup de grace on wounded monsters as a finishing move.

What if a character is wounded by poison or other types of non-physical damage?
If a character becomes wounded from non-combat damage they still receive the effects of being wounded, regardless if they show any physical signs of injury (i.e., internal injuries are still considered injuries).

Ok. I get it...but what happens once a character is wounded?
See below.
 

Damage and Dying

Once a character is reduced to 0 or less hit points, they start taking real damage. In other words, their reserves have run out and they can no longer avoid taking serious damage.

  1. Characters are fully operational as long as they have 1 hit point or more. They may have minor cuts, bruises, and superficial wounds, but they are are not impaired significantly. 
  2. Once they reach 0 or less hit points, they become Wounded (see below).That is, they have sustained a wound that impairs their ability to perform actions.
  3. If they reach a negative amount of hit points equal or greater than their Constitution score, they are Incapacitated. This means they are in critical condition and could possibly die.
  4. Characters will die if their hit points reach a negative amount greater than their Constitution score, plus their current level.

Unharmed: 1 hp or more
Wounded: 0 hp or less
Incapacitated: -(Constitution) to -(Constitution+Level)
Dead: Less than -(Constitution +Level)

Wounded
When the character reaches 0 or less hit points they become wounded. Wounded characters receive disadvantage on all attacks and saving throws until they heal back up to 1 hit point or more. This allows for a transitory stage between healthy and dying, without having to mess around with impairment rules while the character still has hit points left.

Incapacitated
Characters begin dying when they reach a negative amount of hit points equal to their Constitution score. At which point, they must make a DC 10 Constitution saving throw on each of their following turns (the disadvantage from being wounded does not apply for these saving throws).

If successful, the character remains dying, but their condition does not worsen.

If the saving throw fails, another DC 10 Constitution saving throw must be made. If that one fails, the character succumbs to their wounds and dies. If successful, the character stabilizes and is no longer dying.

Finally, if a dying character receives first aid or healing at any point, they immediately stabilize.

Dead
Characters will die if they reach a negative amount of hit points equal to their Constitution, plus their current level. Thus, if an 8th level character with a Constitution score of 12 is down to 4 hit points then takes 24 points of damage (reducing their hit points to -20) the attack kills them outright.

4e Warlord (already in there?  I just hope there's a bit of nerfing I.E. inspiring word causes temp HP)

so he can be inferior.. yeh that sounds likely.




Not quite.  I always thought that a commander person shouting at you would make you feel pumped, not healthier...  Since he/she is just shouting at you.  Temp is a good measure for an adrenaline rush IMO, perhaps with brief bonus to an attack or defense.  An easy house fix can say normal HP. 


Given the differing value of temp hit points and normal ones the translation is not direct
HP not = health that is CON isnt it? and HP loss not = wounds 

For those who want it give an actual wound mechanic and ritual magics tht remove it and leave  
All the preists poets and politicians there in battle inspiring there allies to fight on..  
  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."

 

I would like to see the classes from the Dragon included.


Good point.  I'll add "Savant" to my list (although preferably move up the spellcasting to level 1).



I totally agree with including ALL of the NPC and PC classes from Dragon magazine. I also 1000% concur with the addition of the Savant...That one slipped my memory for some reason and it  should be added to my new list below.

They should include EVERY class that has ever been and make them fit into the game somehow with new fantastical powers/abilities to justify their existence, because that is clearly the best way to design a fun game. It's about making new inexplicable classes...just because. I can get behind that. 

Savant
Bandit

Oracle
Death Master
Shaman 
Duelist
Witch
Cavalier
Acrobat
Scribe
Jester
Smith
Ninja
Samurai
Bushi
Shukenja
Wu-Jen
Yakuza
Mariner
Jonin
Geisha 

EDIT: Actually, that list looks a little empty...I think they should ad some more classes with some ingenious made-up names like Swordmage, BloodAxe, Mudslaker, Cloudbringer, and Slaad-Tosser.

 
D&D Next - Basic and Expert Editions

I firmly believe that there should be two editions of the game; the core rules released as a "Basic" set and a more complicated expanded rules edition released as an "Expert" set. These two editions would provide separate entry points to the game; one for new players or players that want a more classic D&D game and another entry point for experienced gamers that want more options and all the other things they have come to expect from previous editions.

Also, they must release several rules modules covering the main elements of the game (i.e., classes, races, combat, magic, monsters, etc.) upon launch to further expand the game for those that still need more complexity in a particular element of the game.


Here's a mockup of the Basic Set I created.



(CLICK HERE TO VIEW LARGER IMAGE)
  

Basic Set

This boxed set contains a simple, "bare bones" edition of the game; the core rules. It's for those that want a rules-light edition of the game that is extremely modifiable or for new players that get intimidated easily by too many rules and/or options. The Basic Set contains everything needed to play with all the "classic" D&D races (i.e., Human, Dwarf, Elf, and Halfling) and classes (i.e., Cleric, Fighter, Rogue, Wizard) all the way up to maximum level (i.e., 20th Level).

The Basic boxed set contains:

Quick Start Rules
A "choose your own way" adventure intended as an intro to RPGs and basic D&D terms.

Player's Handbook
(Softcover, 125 pages)
Features rules for playing the classic D&D races and classes all the way up to 20th level.

Dungeon Master's Guide

(Softcover, 125 pages)
Includes the basic rules for dungeon masters.

Monster Manual
(Softcover, 100 pages)
Includes all the classic iconic monsters from D&D. 

Introductory Adventure
(Keep on the Borderlands)
An introductory adventure for beginning players and DMs.

Also includes: 

Character Sheets
Reference Sheets
Set of Dice


Expert Set

A set of hardbound rules that contains the core rules plus expanded races and classes, more spells and a large selection of optional rules modules — that is, pretty much everything that experienced players have come to expect. Each expert edition manual may be purchased separately, or in a boxed set. The Expert set includes:

Expert PHB (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes core rules plus 10 playable races, 10 character classes, expanded selection of spells and rules modules for players.)
Expert DMG (Hardcover, 250 pages. $35 Includes core rules plus expanded rules modules for DMs.)
Expert MM (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes an expanded list of monsters and creatures to challenge characters)


Expansions

These expansion rules modules can be used with both the Basic and Expert sets. Each expansion covers one specific aspect of the game, such as character creation, combat, spells, monsters, etc.) 

Hall of Heroes (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes a vast selection of playable character races and classes, new and old all in one book)
Combat and Tactics (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes dozens of new and old optional rules for combat all in one book)
Creature Compendium (Hardcover, 350 pages.$35 Includes hundreds of monsters, new and old all in one book)
The Grimoire (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes hundreds of new and old spells all in one book)





A Million Hit Points of Light: Shedding Light on Damage

A Million Hit Points of Light: Shedding Light on Damage and Hit Points

In my personal campaigns, I use the following system for damage and dying. It's a slight modification of the long-standing principles etsablished by the D&D game, only with a new definition of what 0 or less hit points means. I've been using it for years because it works really well. However, I've made some adjustments to take advantage of the D&D Next rules. I've decided to present the first part in a Q&A format for better clarity. So let's begin...

What are hit points?
The premise is very simple, but often misunderstood; hit points are an abstraction that represent the character's ability to avoid serious damage, not necessarily their ability to take serious damage. This is a very important distinction. They represent a combination of skillful maneuvering, toughness, stamina and luck. Some targets have more hit points because they are physically tougher and are harder to injure...others have more because they are experienced combatants and have learned how to turn near fatal blows into mere scratches by skillful maneuvering...and then others are just plain lucky. Once a character runs out of hit points they become vulnerable to serious life-threatening injuries.

So what exactly does it mean to "hit" with a successful attack roll, then?
It means that through your own skill and ability you may have wounded your target if the target lacks the hit points to avoid the full brunt of the attack. That's an important thing to keep in mind; a successful "hit" does not necessarily mean you physically damaged your target. It just means that your attack was well placed and forced the target to exert themselves in such a way as to leave them vulnerable to further attacks. For example, instead of severing the target's arm, the attack merely grazes them leaving a minor cut.

But the attack did 25 points of damage! Why did it only "graze" the target?
Because the target has more than 25 hit points. Your attack forced them to exert a lot of energy to avoid the attack, but because of their combat skill, toughness, stamina and luck, they managed to avoid being seriously injured. However, because of this attack, they may not have the reserves to avoid your next attack. Perhaps you knocked them off balance or the attack left them so fatigued they lack the stamina to evade another attack. It's the DM's call on how they want to narrate the exact reason the blow didn't kill or wound the target.

Yeah, but what about "touch" attacks that rely on physical contact?
Making physical contact with a target is a lot different than striking them, so these types of attacks are the exception. If a touch attack succeeds, the attacker manages to make contact with their target.

If hit points and weapon damage don't always represent actual damage to the target, then what does it represent?
Think of the damage from an attack as more like a "threat level" rather than actual physical damage that transfers directly to the target's body. That is, the more damage an attack does, the harder it is to avoid serious injury. For example, an attack that causes 14 points of damage is more likely to wound the target than 3 points of damage (depending on how many hit points the target has left). The higher the damage, the greater the chance is that the target will become seriously injured. So, an attack that does 34 points of damage could be thought of as a "threat level of 34." If the target doesn't have the hit points to negate that threat, they become seriously injured.

Ok, but shouldn't armor reduce the amount of damage delivered from an attack?
It does reduce damage; by making it harder for an attack to cause serious injury. A successful hit against an armored target suggests that the attack may have circumvented the target's armor by striking in a vulnerable area.

What about poison and other types of non-combat damage?
Hit point loss from non-physical forms of damage represents the character spitting the poison out just in time before it takes full strength or perhaps the poison just wasn't strong enough to affect them drastically, but still weakens them. Again, it's the DMs call on how to narrate the reasons why the character avoids serious harm from the damage.

If hit points don't don't represent actual damage then how does that make sense with spells like Cure Serious Wounds and other forms of healing like healer kits with bandages?
Hit points do represent some physical damage, just not serious physical damage. Healing magic and other forms of healing still affect these minor wounds just as well as more serious wounds. For example, bandaging up minor cuts and abrasions helps the character rejuvenate and relieve the pain and/or fatigue of hit point loss. The key thing to remember is that it's an abstraction that allows the DM freedom to interpret and narrate it as they see fit.

What if my attack reduces the target to 0 or less hit points?
If a player is reduced to 0 or less hit points they are wounded. If a monster or NPC is reduce to 0 or less hit points they are killed.

Why are monsters killed immediately and not players?
Because unless the monsters are crucial to the story, it makes combat resolution much faster. It is assumed that players immediately execute a coup de grace on wounded monsters as a finishing move.

What if a character is wounded by poison or other types of non-physical damage?
If a character becomes wounded from non-combat damage they still receive the effects of being wounded, regardless if they show any physical signs of injury (i.e., internal injuries are still considered injuries).

Ok. I get it...but what happens once a character is wounded?
See below.
 

Damage and Dying

Once a character is reduced to 0 or less hit points, they start taking real damage. In other words, their reserves have run out and they can no longer avoid taking serious damage.

  1. Characters are fully operational as long as they have 1 hit point or more. They may have minor cuts, bruises, and superficial wounds, but they are are not impaired significantly. 
  2. Once they reach 0 or less hit points, they become Wounded (see below).That is, they have sustained a wound that impairs their ability to perform actions.
  3. If they reach a negative amount of hit points equal or greater than their Constitution score, they are Incapacitated. This means they are in critical condition and could possibly die.
  4. Characters will die if their hit points reach a negative amount greater than their Constitution score, plus their current level.

Unharmed: 1 hp or more
Wounded: 0 hp or less
Incapacitated: -(Constitution) to -(Constitution+Level)
Dead: Less than -(Constitution +Level)

Wounded
When the character reaches 0 or less hit points they become wounded. Wounded characters receive disadvantage on all attacks and saving throws until they heal back up to 1 hit point or more. This allows for a transitory stage between healthy and dying, without having to mess around with impairment rules while the character still has hit points left.

Incapacitated
Characters begin dying when they reach a negative amount of hit points equal to their Constitution score. At which point, they must make a DC 10 Constitution saving throw on each of their following turns (the disadvantage from being wounded does not apply for these saving throws).

If successful, the character remains dying, but their condition does not worsen.

If the saving throw fails, another DC 10 Constitution saving throw must be made. If that one fails, the character succumbs to their wounds and dies. If successful, the character stabilizes and is no longer dying.

Finally, if a dying character receives first aid or healing at any point, they immediately stabilize.

Dead
Characters will die if they reach a negative amount of hit points equal to their Constitution, plus their current level. Thus, if an 8th level character with a Constitution score of 12 is down to 4 hit points then takes 24 points of damage (reducing their hit points to -20) the attack kills them outright.

I really want to see a psionicist in the core rules...
I really want to see a psionicist in the core rules...




Savant
Bandit
Oracle
Death Master
Shaman 
Duelist
Witch
Cavalier
Acrobat
Scribe
Jester
Smith
Ninja
Samurai
Bushi
Shukenja
Wu-Jen
Yakuza
Mariner
Jonin
Geisha 
Psionist
Fire Starter
Telepath
Psychic
Gun Fighter 
Lawnmower Man (Gnome-only class that uses arcane magic to invent weird contraptions)
Nuclear Physicist (arcane based spell-caster that uses science and magic to confuse people)

 
D&D Next - Basic and Expert Editions

I firmly believe that there should be two editions of the game; the core rules released as a "Basic" set and a more complicated expanded rules edition released as an "Expert" set. These two editions would provide separate entry points to the game; one for new players or players that want a more classic D&D game and another entry point for experienced gamers that want more options and all the other things they have come to expect from previous editions.

Also, they must release several rules modules covering the main elements of the game (i.e., classes, races, combat, magic, monsters, etc.) upon launch to further expand the game for those that still need more complexity in a particular element of the game.


Here's a mockup of the Basic Set I created.



(CLICK HERE TO VIEW LARGER IMAGE)
  

Basic Set

This boxed set contains a simple, "bare bones" edition of the game; the core rules. It's for those that want a rules-light edition of the game that is extremely modifiable or for new players that get intimidated easily by too many rules and/or options. The Basic Set contains everything needed to play with all the "classic" D&D races (i.e., Human, Dwarf, Elf, and Halfling) and classes (i.e., Cleric, Fighter, Rogue, Wizard) all the way up to maximum level (i.e., 20th Level).

The Basic boxed set contains:

Quick Start Rules
A "choose your own way" adventure intended as an intro to RPGs and basic D&D terms.

Player's Handbook
(Softcover, 125 pages)
Features rules for playing the classic D&D races and classes all the way up to 20th level.

Dungeon Master's Guide

(Softcover, 125 pages)
Includes the basic rules for dungeon masters.

Monster Manual
(Softcover, 100 pages)
Includes all the classic iconic monsters from D&D. 

Introductory Adventure
(Keep on the Borderlands)
An introductory adventure for beginning players and DMs.

Also includes: 

Character Sheets
Reference Sheets
Set of Dice


Expert Set

A set of hardbound rules that contains the core rules plus expanded races and classes, more spells and a large selection of optional rules modules — that is, pretty much everything that experienced players have come to expect. Each expert edition manual may be purchased separately, or in a boxed set. The Expert set includes:

Expert PHB (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes core rules plus 10 playable races, 10 character classes, expanded selection of spells and rules modules for players.)
Expert DMG (Hardcover, 250 pages. $35 Includes core rules plus expanded rules modules for DMs.)
Expert MM (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes an expanded list of monsters and creatures to challenge characters)


Expansions

These expansion rules modules can be used with both the Basic and Expert sets. Each expansion covers one specific aspect of the game, such as character creation, combat, spells, monsters, etc.) 

Hall of Heroes (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes a vast selection of playable character races and classes, new and old all in one book)
Combat and Tactics (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes dozens of new and old optional rules for combat all in one book)
Creature Compendium (Hardcover, 350 pages.$35 Includes hundreds of monsters, new and old all in one book)
The Grimoire (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes hundreds of new and old spells all in one book)





A Million Hit Points of Light: Shedding Light on Damage

A Million Hit Points of Light: Shedding Light on Damage and Hit Points

In my personal campaigns, I use the following system for damage and dying. It's a slight modification of the long-standing principles etsablished by the D&D game, only with a new definition of what 0 or less hit points means. I've been using it for years because it works really well. However, I've made some adjustments to take advantage of the D&D Next rules. I've decided to present the first part in a Q&A format for better clarity. So let's begin...

What are hit points?
The premise is very simple, but often misunderstood; hit points are an abstraction that represent the character's ability to avoid serious damage, not necessarily their ability to take serious damage. This is a very important distinction. They represent a combination of skillful maneuvering, toughness, stamina and luck. Some targets have more hit points because they are physically tougher and are harder to injure...others have more because they are experienced combatants and have learned how to turn near fatal blows into mere scratches by skillful maneuvering...and then others are just plain lucky. Once a character runs out of hit points they become vulnerable to serious life-threatening injuries.

So what exactly does it mean to "hit" with a successful attack roll, then?
It means that through your own skill and ability you may have wounded your target if the target lacks the hit points to avoid the full brunt of the attack. That's an important thing to keep in mind; a successful "hit" does not necessarily mean you physically damaged your target. It just means that your attack was well placed and forced the target to exert themselves in such a way as to leave them vulnerable to further attacks. For example, instead of severing the target's arm, the attack merely grazes them leaving a minor cut.

But the attack did 25 points of damage! Why did it only "graze" the target?
Because the target has more than 25 hit points. Your attack forced them to exert a lot of energy to avoid the attack, but because of their combat skill, toughness, stamina and luck, they managed to avoid being seriously injured. However, because of this attack, they may not have the reserves to avoid your next attack. Perhaps you knocked them off balance or the attack left them so fatigued they lack the stamina to evade another attack. It's the DM's call on how they want to narrate the exact reason the blow didn't kill or wound the target.

Yeah, but what about "touch" attacks that rely on physical contact?
Making physical contact with a target is a lot different than striking them, so these types of attacks are the exception. If a touch attack succeeds, the attacker manages to make contact with their target.

If hit points and weapon damage don't always represent actual damage to the target, then what does it represent?
Think of the damage from an attack as more like a "threat level" rather than actual physical damage that transfers directly to the target's body. That is, the more damage an attack does, the harder it is to avoid serious injury. For example, an attack that causes 14 points of damage is more likely to wound the target than 3 points of damage (depending on how many hit points the target has left). The higher the damage, the greater the chance is that the target will become seriously injured. So, an attack that does 34 points of damage could be thought of as a "threat level of 34." If the target doesn't have the hit points to negate that threat, they become seriously injured.

Ok, but shouldn't armor reduce the amount of damage delivered from an attack?
It does reduce damage; by making it harder for an attack to cause serious injury. A successful hit against an armored target suggests that the attack may have circumvented the target's armor by striking in a vulnerable area.

What about poison and other types of non-combat damage?
Hit point loss from non-physical forms of damage represents the character spitting the poison out just in time before it takes full strength or perhaps the poison just wasn't strong enough to affect them drastically, but still weakens them. Again, it's the DMs call on how to narrate the reasons why the character avoids serious harm from the damage.

If hit points don't don't represent actual damage then how does that make sense with spells like Cure Serious Wounds and other forms of healing like healer kits with bandages?
Hit points do represent some physical damage, just not serious physical damage. Healing magic and other forms of healing still affect these minor wounds just as well as more serious wounds. For example, bandaging up minor cuts and abrasions helps the character rejuvenate and relieve the pain and/or fatigue of hit point loss. The key thing to remember is that it's an abstraction that allows the DM freedom to interpret and narrate it as they see fit.

What if my attack reduces the target to 0 or less hit points?
If a player is reduced to 0 or less hit points they are wounded. If a monster or NPC is reduce to 0 or less hit points they are killed.

Why are monsters killed immediately and not players?
Because unless the monsters are crucial to the story, it makes combat resolution much faster. It is assumed that players immediately execute a coup de grace on wounded monsters as a finishing move.

What if a character is wounded by poison or other types of non-physical damage?
If a character becomes wounded from non-combat damage they still receive the effects of being wounded, regardless if they show any physical signs of injury (i.e., internal injuries are still considered injuries).

Ok. I get it...but what happens once a character is wounded?
See below.
 

Damage and Dying

Once a character is reduced to 0 or less hit points, they start taking real damage. In other words, their reserves have run out and they can no longer avoid taking serious damage.

  1. Characters are fully operational as long as they have 1 hit point or more. They may have minor cuts, bruises, and superficial wounds, but they are are not impaired significantly. 
  2. Once they reach 0 or less hit points, they become Wounded (see below).That is, they have sustained a wound that impairs their ability to perform actions.
  3. If they reach a negative amount of hit points equal or greater than their Constitution score, they are Incapacitated. This means they are in critical condition and could possibly die.
  4. Characters will die if their hit points reach a negative amount greater than their Constitution score, plus their current level.

Unharmed: 1 hp or more
Wounded: 0 hp or less
Incapacitated: -(Constitution) to -(Constitution+Level)
Dead: Less than -(Constitution +Level)

Wounded
When the character reaches 0 or less hit points they become wounded. Wounded characters receive disadvantage on all attacks and saving throws until they heal back up to 1 hit point or more. This allows for a transitory stage between healthy and dying, without having to mess around with impairment rules while the character still has hit points left.

Incapacitated
Characters begin dying when they reach a negative amount of hit points equal to their Constitution score. At which point, they must make a DC 10 Constitution saving throw on each of their following turns (the disadvantage from being wounded does not apply for these saving throws).

If successful, the character remains dying, but their condition does not worsen.

If the saving throw fails, another DC 10 Constitution saving throw must be made. If that one fails, the character succumbs to their wounds and dies. If successful, the character stabilizes and is no longer dying.

Finally, if a dying character receives first aid or healing at any point, they immediately stabilize.

Dead
Characters will die if they reach a negative amount of hit points equal to their Constitution, plus their current level. Thus, if an 8th level character with a Constitution score of 12 is down to 4 hit points then takes 24 points of damage (reducing their hit points to -20) the attack kills them outright.

Honestly, I hope they fill the first book up with classes to choose from. That would be awesome. An entire book of classes to choose from.
D&D Next - Basic and Expert Editions

I firmly believe that there should be two editions of the game; the core rules released as a "Basic" set and a more complicated expanded rules edition released as an "Expert" set. These two editions would provide separate entry points to the game; one for new players or players that want a more classic D&D game and another entry point for experienced gamers that want more options and all the other things they have come to expect from previous editions.

Also, they must release several rules modules covering the main elements of the game (i.e., classes, races, combat, magic, monsters, etc.) upon launch to further expand the game for those that still need more complexity in a particular element of the game.


Here's a mockup of the Basic Set I created.



(CLICK HERE TO VIEW LARGER IMAGE)
  

Basic Set

This boxed set contains a simple, "bare bones" edition of the game; the core rules. It's for those that want a rules-light edition of the game that is extremely modifiable or for new players that get intimidated easily by too many rules and/or options. The Basic Set contains everything needed to play with all the "classic" D&D races (i.e., Human, Dwarf, Elf, and Halfling) and classes (i.e., Cleric, Fighter, Rogue, Wizard) all the way up to maximum level (i.e., 20th Level).

The Basic boxed set contains:

Quick Start Rules
A "choose your own way" adventure intended as an intro to RPGs and basic D&D terms.

Player's Handbook
(Softcover, 125 pages)
Features rules for playing the classic D&D races and classes all the way up to 20th level.

Dungeon Master's Guide

(Softcover, 125 pages)
Includes the basic rules for dungeon masters.

Monster Manual
(Softcover, 100 pages)
Includes all the classic iconic monsters from D&D. 

Introductory Adventure
(Keep on the Borderlands)
An introductory adventure for beginning players and DMs.

Also includes: 

Character Sheets
Reference Sheets
Set of Dice


Expert Set

A set of hardbound rules that contains the core rules plus expanded races and classes, more spells and a large selection of optional rules modules — that is, pretty much everything that experienced players have come to expect. Each expert edition manual may be purchased separately, or in a boxed set. The Expert set includes:

Expert PHB (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes core rules plus 10 playable races, 10 character classes, expanded selection of spells and rules modules for players.)
Expert DMG (Hardcover, 250 pages. $35 Includes core rules plus expanded rules modules for DMs.)
Expert MM (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes an expanded list of monsters and creatures to challenge characters)


Expansions

These expansion rules modules can be used with both the Basic and Expert sets. Each expansion covers one specific aspect of the game, such as character creation, combat, spells, monsters, etc.) 

Hall of Heroes (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes a vast selection of playable character races and classes, new and old all in one book)
Combat and Tactics (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes dozens of new and old optional rules for combat all in one book)
Creature Compendium (Hardcover, 350 pages.$35 Includes hundreds of monsters, new and old all in one book)
The Grimoire (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes hundreds of new and old spells all in one book)





A Million Hit Points of Light: Shedding Light on Damage

A Million Hit Points of Light: Shedding Light on Damage and Hit Points

In my personal campaigns, I use the following system for damage and dying. It's a slight modification of the long-standing principles etsablished by the D&D game, only with a new definition of what 0 or less hit points means. I've been using it for years because it works really well. However, I've made some adjustments to take advantage of the D&D Next rules. I've decided to present the first part in a Q&A format for better clarity. So let's begin...

What are hit points?
The premise is very simple, but often misunderstood; hit points are an abstraction that represent the character's ability to avoid serious damage, not necessarily their ability to take serious damage. This is a very important distinction. They represent a combination of skillful maneuvering, toughness, stamina and luck. Some targets have more hit points because they are physically tougher and are harder to injure...others have more because they are experienced combatants and have learned how to turn near fatal blows into mere scratches by skillful maneuvering...and then others are just plain lucky. Once a character runs out of hit points they become vulnerable to serious life-threatening injuries.

So what exactly does it mean to "hit" with a successful attack roll, then?
It means that through your own skill and ability you may have wounded your target if the target lacks the hit points to avoid the full brunt of the attack. That's an important thing to keep in mind; a successful "hit" does not necessarily mean you physically damaged your target. It just means that your attack was well placed and forced the target to exert themselves in such a way as to leave them vulnerable to further attacks. For example, instead of severing the target's arm, the attack merely grazes them leaving a minor cut.

But the attack did 25 points of damage! Why did it only "graze" the target?
Because the target has more than 25 hit points. Your attack forced them to exert a lot of energy to avoid the attack, but because of their combat skill, toughness, stamina and luck, they managed to avoid being seriously injured. However, because of this attack, they may not have the reserves to avoid your next attack. Perhaps you knocked them off balance or the attack left them so fatigued they lack the stamina to evade another attack. It's the DM's call on how they want to narrate the exact reason the blow didn't kill or wound the target.

Yeah, but what about "touch" attacks that rely on physical contact?
Making physical contact with a target is a lot different than striking them, so these types of attacks are the exception. If a touch attack succeeds, the attacker manages to make contact with their target.

If hit points and weapon damage don't always represent actual damage to the target, then what does it represent?
Think of the damage from an attack as more like a "threat level" rather than actual physical damage that transfers directly to the target's body. That is, the more damage an attack does, the harder it is to avoid serious injury. For example, an attack that causes 14 points of damage is more likely to wound the target than 3 points of damage (depending on how many hit points the target has left). The higher the damage, the greater the chance is that the target will become seriously injured. So, an attack that does 34 points of damage could be thought of as a "threat level of 34." If the target doesn't have the hit points to negate that threat, they become seriously injured.

Ok, but shouldn't armor reduce the amount of damage delivered from an attack?
It does reduce damage; by making it harder for an attack to cause serious injury. A successful hit against an armored target suggests that the attack may have circumvented the target's armor by striking in a vulnerable area.

What about poison and other types of non-combat damage?
Hit point loss from non-physical forms of damage represents the character spitting the poison out just in time before it takes full strength or perhaps the poison just wasn't strong enough to affect them drastically, but still weakens them. Again, it's the DMs call on how to narrate the reasons why the character avoids serious harm from the damage.

If hit points don't don't represent actual damage then how does that make sense with spells like Cure Serious Wounds and other forms of healing like healer kits with bandages?
Hit points do represent some physical damage, just not serious physical damage. Healing magic and other forms of healing still affect these minor wounds just as well as more serious wounds. For example, bandaging up minor cuts and abrasions helps the character rejuvenate and relieve the pain and/or fatigue of hit point loss. The key thing to remember is that it's an abstraction that allows the DM freedom to interpret and narrate it as they see fit.

What if my attack reduces the target to 0 or less hit points?
If a player is reduced to 0 or less hit points they are wounded. If a monster or NPC is reduce to 0 or less hit points they are killed.

Why are monsters killed immediately and not players?
Because unless the monsters are crucial to the story, it makes combat resolution much faster. It is assumed that players immediately execute a coup de grace on wounded monsters as a finishing move.

What if a character is wounded by poison or other types of non-physical damage?
If a character becomes wounded from non-combat damage they still receive the effects of being wounded, regardless if they show any physical signs of injury (i.e., internal injuries are still considered injuries).

Ok. I get it...but what happens once a character is wounded?
See below.
 

Damage and Dying

Once a character is reduced to 0 or less hit points, they start taking real damage. In other words, their reserves have run out and they can no longer avoid taking serious damage.

  1. Characters are fully operational as long as they have 1 hit point or more. They may have minor cuts, bruises, and superficial wounds, but they are are not impaired significantly. 
  2. Once they reach 0 or less hit points, they become Wounded (see below).That is, they have sustained a wound that impairs their ability to perform actions.
  3. If they reach a negative amount of hit points equal or greater than their Constitution score, they are Incapacitated. This means they are in critical condition and could possibly die.
  4. Characters will die if their hit points reach a negative amount greater than their Constitution score, plus their current level.

Unharmed: 1 hp or more
Wounded: 0 hp or less
Incapacitated: -(Constitution) to -(Constitution+Level)
Dead: Less than -(Constitution +Level)

Wounded
When the character reaches 0 or less hit points they become wounded. Wounded characters receive disadvantage on all attacks and saving throws until they heal back up to 1 hit point or more. This allows for a transitory stage between healthy and dying, without having to mess around with impairment rules while the character still has hit points left.

Incapacitated
Characters begin dying when they reach a negative amount of hit points equal to their Constitution score. At which point, they must make a DC 10 Constitution saving throw on each of their following turns (the disadvantage from being wounded does not apply for these saving throws).

If successful, the character remains dying, but their condition does not worsen.

If the saving throw fails, another DC 10 Constitution saving throw must be made. If that one fails, the character succumbs to their wounds and dies. If successful, the character stabilizes and is no longer dying.

Finally, if a dying character receives first aid or healing at any point, they immediately stabilize.

Dead
Characters will die if they reach a negative amount of hit points equal to their Constitution, plus their current level. Thus, if an 8th level character with a Constitution score of 12 is down to 4 hit points then takes 24 points of damage (reducing their hit points to -20) the attack kills them outright.

 
Lawnmower Man (Gnome-only class that uses arcane magic to invent weird contraptions)

 



maybe also add a theme for gnome rangers, showing their afinity with gardens and their ability to stand very still for long periods of time.
EDIT: I mean "Warblade" isn't even a real name...

The warblade exists because they wanted to introduce a new resource mechanic late into the product cycle, so all of the reasonable names had already been taken.

Even though I hope you're kidding about a lot of these, there has been every indication that they will introduce additional classes in order to let basic classes use different resource.  If basic fighter is simple at-will attacks with multiple themes, and warrior is an NPC class that doesn't advance very well, and barbarian is iconic enough to count as an entirely separate thing with its own iterations, then they very well might need to bring in the warblade for something like an AEDU fighter.

The metagame is not the game.

I would like to see:
Psionic
Psionic Warrior
Swordmage
Shaman
Witch
Artificier
I would like to see the classes from the Dragon included.


Good point.  I'll add "Savant" to my list (although preferably move up the spellcasting to level 1).



I totally agree with including ALL of the NPC and PC classes from Dragon magazine. I also 1000% concur with the addition of the Savant...That one slipped my memory for some reason and it  should be added to my new list below.

They should include EVERY class that has ever been and make them fit into the game somehow with new fantastical powers/abilities to justify their existence, because that is clearly the best way to design a fun game. It's about making new inexplicable classes...just because. I can get behind that. 

Savant
Bandit

Oracle
Death Master
Shaman 
Duelist
Witch
Cavalier
Acrobat
Scribe
Jester
Smith
Ninja
Samurai
Bushi
Shukenja
Wu-Jen
Yakuza
Mariner
Jonin
Geisha 

EDIT: Actually, that list looks a little empty...I think they should ad some more classes with some ingenious made-up names like Swordmage, BloodAxe, Mudslaker, Cloudbringer, and Slaad-Tosser.

 


    They are talking about adding one or 2 more classes, not 25+.  You likely will do better by suggesting which which should be added, not saying that all should bd added.
A lot of what I want to see depends on what directions the other classes go in. For example, the PF summoner is totally awesome (if a hair on the aggressive side power-wise), but it's something I'm more or less eager for depending on to what extent other classes (ranger and druid) spend their power budget on their pet. (For anyone for whom the notion of a "power budget" is kind of nauseating, just pretend I said "how pet-centric the ranger and druid are.")

I have mixed feelings about the artificer; on one hand, I think it's an amazing concept and I'd love to see it supported on the class level; on the other hand, it's a class that I feel like has historically struggled for defintion. I think that 3.5 Artificers are cool and imposing and 4e artificers are a blast to play with and as, but I don't think either really nails the feel all that well. (And both are among the more complex classes in their respective editions, so it's not like they didn't spend the complexity.)

I am full of love for the Warden, but I also recognize that it's not really as much of a resonant fantasy concept as many other classes and thus would be neither surprised nor heartbroken to see the concept pushed back.

I assume that some kind of even-less-vancian-than-the-cleric divine caster is likely to be a thing, and I wouldn't be surprised if they dropped the "invoker" or "favored soul" names there. (I like "invoker" a little better; I have a slight preference for one-word class names.)

Love the visuals on the Psychic Warrior and/or Battlemind, but that's an even more nonstandard concept than the warden, so I'm willing to wait on that.

Finally, I'd really like support for the character that has a single or a very small range of magical powers but is otherwise largely martial. I don't mean like "fighter has a move that pushes people and that move has a name therefore the fighter is magical hurr hurr hurr". I mean more like the trope - much more common to superheroes than to fantasy - of the character who can teleport, or shoot electricity, or jump really high, or see ten seconds into the future, or regenerate quickly from injuries, or breathe underwater, or turn their body to iron, or slow time, or climb walls like a lizard - but is otherwise more or less a standard martial character besides their one or two special abilities. I don't think this would necessarily be a class, and it's kind of different from what D&D normally does, but I think it's really cool and the difficulty in pulling it off well in most cases is something I wish were better.
Dwarves invented beer so they could toast to their axes. Dwarves invented axes to kill people and take their beer. Swanmay Syndrome: Despite the percentages given in the Monster Manual, in reality 100% of groups of swans contain a Swanmay, because otherwise the DM would not have put any swans in the game.
I like that my tweet spawned a whole speculation thread (I'm @Gaven_Morren), but I think people are jumping a little far here. Mike said "PHB 1" classes. There's only ever been one "PHB 1," and that was 4e...all the other PHBs were assumed to be the only PHBs for their respective games and only got additional PHBs as option bloat.

This suggests that the classes being presented is going to be much smaller than that list of every class from every PHB ever. This means the list will be:

Cleric
Fighter
Paladin
Ranger
Rogue
Warlock
Warlord
Wizard

Plus whatever other classes they add in. My hope is that they have Bards, Sorcerers, Barbarians, and Druids, but that answer was very specifc and that worries me.

When the Cat's a Stray, the Mice will Pray 

The only thing I feel missing from player handooks 1 classers is a good arcane fighter. Put it and everything is done.

I do not belive psionics should go into the core, there are many people ho don't like them, and I do not want to see any sort of magical tecnology classes in the core. I do not like and they do not belong to my games, as wella s many others. They are good on eberron, bad on almost everything else.
Wow 6 pages and no one has mentioned the Invoker! +1 for the Invoker.


I am full of love for the Warden, but I also recognize that it's not really as much of a resonant fantasy concept as many other classes and thus would be neither surprised nor heartbroken to see the concept pushed back.

I assume that some kind of even-less-vancian-than-the-cleric divine caster is likely to be a thing, and I wouldn't be surprised if they dropped the "invoker" or "favored soul" names there. (I like "invoker" a little better; I have a slight preference for one-word class names.)

Love the visuals on the Psychic Warrior and/or Battlemind, but that's an even more nonstandard concept than the warden, so I'm willing to wait on that.

Finally, I'd really like support for the character that has a single or a very small range of magical powers but is otherwise largely martial. I don't mean like "fighter has a move that pushes people and that move has a name therefore the fighter is magical hurr hurr hurr". I mean more like the trope - much more common to superheroes than to fantasy - of the character who can teleport, or shoot electricity, or jump really high, or see ten seconds into the future, or regenerate quickly from injuries, or breathe underwater, or turn their body to iron, or slow time, or climb walls like a lizard - but is otherwise more or less a standard martial character besides their one or two special abilities. I don't think this would necessarily be a class, and it's kind of different from what D&D normally does, but I think it's really cool and the difficulty in pulling it off well in most cases is something I wish were better.



Glad to see all this love for the Warden Laughing

And as for your last paragraph, Lesp, that is how I primarily conceived of Battleminds in 4E-- with Con-based powers, and the ability to turn to metal, or teleport, or move super-fast, or turn insubstantial-- they seemed to be fantasy versions of X-men style mutants, with a Fighter's weapon and armor proficiencies. Sure, it was hard to have ALL of your powers fit the one or two special abilities in your concept (without multiclassing/hybriding), but that was one problem I had with a lot of chracters in 4E (no encounter or daily power that matched your fire/cold/lightning/bestial etc. concept, when you gained one at a new level).
Personal opinion...

As for what classes I'd personally like to see: some sort of fighter/wizard gish class like the Swordmage and a dedicated "pet" class that has a critter or summonable thingy. 



Definitely, an arcane gish, Swordmage (but Warmage sounds better).

The pet might work best as a theme that any class can take.



Evoker: Id like the elementalist to be called an “Evoker” (Fireball, airy Lightning Bolt, watery Ice Storm, earthy Stoneskin, and so on).

Then the “sorcerer” can focus more on the sinister flavor of “sorcery” (meaning black magic).
I'd like to see a Swordmage merged with the Duskblade. That is to say more emphasis on the touch spells and channeling spells than on area blast powers. But definitely keep the teleporting and shielding powers the Swordmage had, and preferably a more varied spell list (at the very least include a lot of the self buff spells, particularly for defense).
I'd like to see a Swordmage merged with the Duskblade. That is to say more emphasis on the touch spells and channeling spells than on area blast powers. But definitely keep the teleporting and shielding powers the Swordmage had, and preferably a more varied spell list (at the very least include a lot of the self buff spells, particularly for defense).



At first I was about to agree, but really there are two kinds of gish.

For me the perfect gish is the Jedi. Melee attacks and distant attacks. This is more like a War Cleric. (I see the Sun Cleric as a divine distant-combat Wizard.)

Another kind of gish is an arcane melee combatant. This one is more like an arcane Paladin. I think of it as an “Eldritch Knight” using Int and Cha for melee attacks. But Duskblade could make sense in this context.
I'd like to see a Swordmage merged with the Duskblade. That is to say more emphasis on the touch spells and channeling spells than on area blast powers. But definitely keep the teleporting and shielding powers the Swordmage had, and preferably a more varied spell list (at the very least include a lot of the self buff spells, particularly for defense).



At first I was about to agree, but really there are two kinds of gish.

For me the perfect gish is the Jedi. Melee attacks and distant attacks. This is more like a War Cleric. (I see the Sun Cleric as a divine distant-combat Wizard.)

Another kind of gish is an arcane melee combatant. This one is more like an arcane Paladin. I think of it as an “Eldritch Knight” using Int and Cha for melee attacks. But Duskblade could make sense in this context.



See, to me the first one to me is a caster who happens to use a weapon when the situation warrants it. 

When I think of a Gish class, I expect the magic to be an integral part of how they fight. That magic infuses them subtely, making them stronger offensively (buffs to attributes, hit bonuses, etc) and defensively(Buffs to AC, resistances, miss chances, etc).  It also is used more obviously for things like mobility(teleporting, flying), special attacks (channeling touch spells), and party support (Shielding Aegis).

As it stands, the Duskblade fills about half of these, and the Swordmage fills about half of these. There's a couple of holes in there, and a couple of extraneous things in there, but overall merging the two gets pretty close to an ideal Gish to me.
   My dream PHB

Fighter for the guy who beats enemies in the face
Rogue for the guy who beats enemies with cunning/guile
Sorcerer for the naturally magic guy
Priest for the guy who wants to serve a higher power
Swordmage for the guy who wants to beat face and cast a couple of spells
Paladin for the guy who wants to beat face and smite in the name of a higher power
Warlord for the guy who wants to be a crafty leader-like warrior
Bard for the guy who wants to be a manipulative spellcaster
Avenger for the guy who wants to be a hunter/assassin of his faith
Wizard who can learn both priest and sorcerer type spells through artifical means somehow

 
I would like to see the classes from the Dragon included.


Good point.  I'll add "Savant" to my list (although preferably move up the spellcasting to level 1).



I totally agree with including ALL of the NPC and PC classes from Dragon magazine. I also 1000% concur with the addition of the Savant...That one slipped my memory for some reason and it  should be added to my new list below.

They should include EVERY class that has ever been and make them fit into the game somehow with new fantastical powers/abilities to justify their existence, because that is clearly the best way to design a fun game. It's about making new inexplicable classes...just because. I can get behind that. 

Savant
Bandit

Oracle
Death Master
Shaman 
Duelist
Witch
Cavalier
Acrobat
Scribe
Jester
Smith
Ninja
Samurai
Bushi
Shukenja
Wu-Jen
Yakuza
Mariner
Jonin
Geisha 

EDIT: Actually, that list looks a little empty...I think they should ad some more classes with some ingenious made-up names like Swordmage, BloodAxe, Mudslaker, Cloudbringer, and Slaad-Tosser.

 


    They are talking about adding one or 2 more classes, not 25+.  You likely will do better by suggesting which which should be added, not saying that all should bd added.



Well, hopefully whatever class they add will be a made up name that's cool sounding (like "Battlemind" or "Warblade") or a name variation of one of the four main classes (like "Invoker" or "Magician").

D&D Next - Basic and Expert Editions

I firmly believe that there should be two editions of the game; the core rules released as a "Basic" set and a more complicated expanded rules edition released as an "Expert" set. These two editions would provide separate entry points to the game; one for new players or players that want a more classic D&D game and another entry point for experienced gamers that want more options and all the other things they have come to expect from previous editions.

Also, they must release several rules modules covering the main elements of the game (i.e., classes, races, combat, magic, monsters, etc.) upon launch to further expand the game for those that still need more complexity in a particular element of the game.


Here's a mockup of the Basic Set I created.



(CLICK HERE TO VIEW LARGER IMAGE)
  

Basic Set

This boxed set contains a simple, "bare bones" edition of the game; the core rules. It's for those that want a rules-light edition of the game that is extremely modifiable or for new players that get intimidated easily by too many rules and/or options. The Basic Set contains everything needed to play with all the "classic" D&D races (i.e., Human, Dwarf, Elf, and Halfling) and classes (i.e., Cleric, Fighter, Rogue, Wizard) all the way up to maximum level (i.e., 20th Level).

The Basic boxed set contains:

Quick Start Rules
A "choose your own way" adventure intended as an intro to RPGs and basic D&D terms.

Player's Handbook
(Softcover, 125 pages)
Features rules for playing the classic D&D races and classes all the way up to 20th level.

Dungeon Master's Guide

(Softcover, 125 pages)
Includes the basic rules for dungeon masters.

Monster Manual
(Softcover, 100 pages)
Includes all the classic iconic monsters from D&D. 

Introductory Adventure
(Keep on the Borderlands)
An introductory adventure for beginning players and DMs.

Also includes: 

Character Sheets
Reference Sheets
Set of Dice


Expert Set

A set of hardbound rules that contains the core rules plus expanded races and classes, more spells and a large selection of optional rules modules — that is, pretty much everything that experienced players have come to expect. Each expert edition manual may be purchased separately, or in a boxed set. The Expert set includes:

Expert PHB (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes core rules plus 10 playable races, 10 character classes, expanded selection of spells and rules modules for players.)
Expert DMG (Hardcover, 250 pages. $35 Includes core rules plus expanded rules modules for DMs.)
Expert MM (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes an expanded list of monsters and creatures to challenge characters)


Expansions

These expansion rules modules can be used with both the Basic and Expert sets. Each expansion covers one specific aspect of the game, such as character creation, combat, spells, monsters, etc.) 

Hall of Heroes (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes a vast selection of playable character races and classes, new and old all in one book)
Combat and Tactics (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes dozens of new and old optional rules for combat all in one book)
Creature Compendium (Hardcover, 350 pages.$35 Includes hundreds of monsters, new and old all in one book)
The Grimoire (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes hundreds of new and old spells all in one book)





A Million Hit Points of Light: Shedding Light on Damage

A Million Hit Points of Light: Shedding Light on Damage and Hit Points

In my personal campaigns, I use the following system for damage and dying. It's a slight modification of the long-standing principles etsablished by the D&D game, only with a new definition of what 0 or less hit points means. I've been using it for years because it works really well. However, I've made some adjustments to take advantage of the D&D Next rules. I've decided to present the first part in a Q&A format for better clarity. So let's begin...

What are hit points?
The premise is very simple, but often misunderstood; hit points are an abstraction that represent the character's ability to avoid serious damage, not necessarily their ability to take serious damage. This is a very important distinction. They represent a combination of skillful maneuvering, toughness, stamina and luck. Some targets have more hit points because they are physically tougher and are harder to injure...others have more because they are experienced combatants and have learned how to turn near fatal blows into mere scratches by skillful maneuvering...and then others are just plain lucky. Once a character runs out of hit points they become vulnerable to serious life-threatening injuries.

So what exactly does it mean to "hit" with a successful attack roll, then?
It means that through your own skill and ability you may have wounded your target if the target lacks the hit points to avoid the full brunt of the attack. That's an important thing to keep in mind; a successful "hit" does not necessarily mean you physically damaged your target. It just means that your attack was well placed and forced the target to exert themselves in such a way as to leave them vulnerable to further attacks. For example, instead of severing the target's arm, the attack merely grazes them leaving a minor cut.

But the attack did 25 points of damage! Why did it only "graze" the target?
Because the target has more than 25 hit points. Your attack forced them to exert a lot of energy to avoid the attack, but because of their combat skill, toughness, stamina and luck, they managed to avoid being seriously injured. However, because of this attack, they may not have the reserves to avoid your next attack. Perhaps you knocked them off balance or the attack left them so fatigued they lack the stamina to evade another attack. It's the DM's call on how they want to narrate the exact reason the blow didn't kill or wound the target.

Yeah, but what about "touch" attacks that rely on physical contact?
Making physical contact with a target is a lot different than striking them, so these types of attacks are the exception. If a touch attack succeeds, the attacker manages to make contact with their target.

If hit points and weapon damage don't always represent actual damage to the target, then what does it represent?
Think of the damage from an attack as more like a "threat level" rather than actual physical damage that transfers directly to the target's body. That is, the more damage an attack does, the harder it is to avoid serious injury. For example, an attack that causes 14 points of damage is more likely to wound the target than 3 points of damage (depending on how many hit points the target has left). The higher the damage, the greater the chance is that the target will become seriously injured. So, an attack that does 34 points of damage could be thought of as a "threat level of 34." If the target doesn't have the hit points to negate that threat, they become seriously injured.

Ok, but shouldn't armor reduce the amount of damage delivered from an attack?
It does reduce damage; by making it harder for an attack to cause serious injury. A successful hit against an armored target suggests that the attack may have circumvented the target's armor by striking in a vulnerable area.

What about poison and other types of non-combat damage?
Hit point loss from non-physical forms of damage represents the character spitting the poison out just in time before it takes full strength or perhaps the poison just wasn't strong enough to affect them drastically, but still weakens them. Again, it's the DMs call on how to narrate the reasons why the character avoids serious harm from the damage.

If hit points don't don't represent actual damage then how does that make sense with spells like Cure Serious Wounds and other forms of healing like healer kits with bandages?
Hit points do represent some physical damage, just not serious physical damage. Healing magic and other forms of healing still affect these minor wounds just as well as more serious wounds. For example, bandaging up minor cuts and abrasions helps the character rejuvenate and relieve the pain and/or fatigue of hit point loss. The key thing to remember is that it's an abstraction that allows the DM freedom to interpret and narrate it as they see fit.

What if my attack reduces the target to 0 or less hit points?
If a player is reduced to 0 or less hit points they are wounded. If a monster or NPC is reduce to 0 or less hit points they are killed.

Why are monsters killed immediately and not players?
Because unless the monsters are crucial to the story, it makes combat resolution much faster. It is assumed that players immediately execute a coup de grace on wounded monsters as a finishing move.

What if a character is wounded by poison or other types of non-physical damage?
If a character becomes wounded from non-combat damage they still receive the effects of being wounded, regardless if they show any physical signs of injury (i.e., internal injuries are still considered injuries).

Ok. I get it...but what happens once a character is wounded?
See below.
 

Damage and Dying

Once a character is reduced to 0 or less hit points, they start taking real damage. In other words, their reserves have run out and they can no longer avoid taking serious damage.

  1. Characters are fully operational as long as they have 1 hit point or more. They may have minor cuts, bruises, and superficial wounds, but they are are not impaired significantly. 
  2. Once they reach 0 or less hit points, they become Wounded (see below).That is, they have sustained a wound that impairs their ability to perform actions.
  3. If they reach a negative amount of hit points equal or greater than their Constitution score, they are Incapacitated. This means they are in critical condition and could possibly die.
  4. Characters will die if their hit points reach a negative amount greater than their Constitution score, plus their current level.

Unharmed: 1 hp or more
Wounded: 0 hp or less
Incapacitated: -(Constitution) to -(Constitution+Level)
Dead: Less than -(Constitution +Level)

Wounded
When the character reaches 0 or less hit points they become wounded. Wounded characters receive disadvantage on all attacks and saving throws until they heal back up to 1 hit point or more. This allows for a transitory stage between healthy and dying, without having to mess around with impairment rules while the character still has hit points left.

Incapacitated
Characters begin dying when they reach a negative amount of hit points equal to their Constitution score. At which point, they must make a DC 10 Constitution saving throw on each of their following turns (the disadvantage from being wounded does not apply for these saving throws).

If successful, the character remains dying, but their condition does not worsen.

If the saving throw fails, another DC 10 Constitution saving throw must be made. If that one fails, the character succumbs to their wounds and dies. If successful, the character stabilizes and is no longer dying.

Finally, if a dying character receives first aid or healing at any point, they immediately stabilize.

Dead
Characters will die if they reach a negative amount of hit points equal to their Constitution, plus their current level. Thus, if an 8th level character with a Constitution score of 12 is down to 4 hit points then takes 24 points of damage (reducing their hit points to -20) the attack kills them outright.

Is that the 4e PHB1? I imagine the druid, bard, monk, and barbarian would also warrant inclusion. 

Other than that, there's little apart from the psion that really screams to be a unique class. Maybe the swordmage, or something simmilar. 

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The compilation of my Worldbuilding blog series is now available: 

Jester David's How-To Guide to Fantasy Worldbuilding.

   My dream PHB

Fighter for the guy who beats enemies in the face
Rogue for the guy who beats enemies with cunning/guile
Sorcerer for the naturally magic guy
Priest for the guy who wants to serve a higher power
Swordmage for the guy who wants to beat face and cast a couple of spells
Paladin for the guy who wants to beat face and smite in the name of a higher power
Warlord for the guy who wants to be a crafty leader-like warrior
Bard for the guy who wants to be a manipulative spellcaster
Avenger for the guy who wants to be a hunter/assassin of his faith
Wizard who can learn both priest and sorcerer type spells through artifical means somehow
 


     Some changes...
     Fighter is routinely split several ways, Barbarian-guy who really likes to bash and doesn't mind being bashed/archer-guy who stays away from the fight/basic fighter-who takes some care for his health in melee, and the health of others in 4e....
     Wizards are routinely assumed to know little in the way of holy powers, tho there is overlap.
     Avenger should be replaced by Assassin, who kills for a much wider range of purposes [tho the word itself originated with those who killed for his faith.]  We would want to include the hit-man and other killer types.
     The druid, as nature priest, has been a common class as well.
   My dream PHB

Fighter for the guy who beats enemies in the face
Rogue for the guy who beats enemies with cunning/guile
Sorcerer for the naturally magic guy
Priest for the guy who wants to serve a higher power
Swordmage for the guy who wants to beat face and cast a couple of spells
Paladin for the guy who wants to beat face and smite in the name of a higher power
Warlord for the guy who wants to be a crafty leader-like warrior
Bard for the guy who wants to be a manipulative spellcaster
Avenger for the guy who wants to be a hunter/assassin of his faith
Wizard who can learn both priest and sorcerer type spells through artifical means somehow

 

Fun! My dream PHB:

Fighter: any weapon, any armor, combat features 
Rogue: simple weapon, light armor, skill features 
Cleric: simple weapon, medium armor, domain features, spells: ally buff, ally heal 
Wizard: implement, no armor, school features, spells: utility, enemy control, school specialty 
Barbarian: big weapon, light armor, rage features 
Bard: martial weapon or instrument, light armor, knowledge and inspiration features, spells: enemy charm
Paladin: big weapon, heavy armor, resolve features, spells: personal buff, ally defend
Sorcerer: simple weapon, no armor, bloodline features, spells: enemy damage
Ranger: martial weapon, light armor, tactical features 
Monk: no weapon or simple weapon, no armor, self-mastery features
Druid: simple weapon, no armor, nature features, spells: utility, ally buff, enemy damage 
Warlock: martial weapon, light armor, pact features
Witch: simple weapon, no armor, coven features, spells: enemy debuff
Priest: holy symbol, no armor, faith features, spells: enemy damage, ally defend 
Shaman: simple weapon, light armor, shapeshift features, spells: personal buff


Danny

I have mixed feelings about the artificer; on one hand, I think it's an amazing concept and I'd love to see it supported on the class level; on the other hand, it's a class that I feel like has historically struggled for defintion. I think that 3.5 Artificers are cool and imposing and 4e artificers are a blast to play with and as, but I don't think either really nails the feel all that well. (And both are among the more complex classes in their respective editions, so it's not like they didn't spend the complexity.)

I feel the same way.

In all honesty, I've never even played one, but the imagery is evocative, the presentation is unique and inspiring, and I'd love to see something so imaginative really work within the game.


I'd like to see a Swordmage merged with the Duskblade. That is to say more emphasis on the touch spells and channeling spells than on area blast powers. But definitely keep the teleporting and shielding powers the Swordmage had, and preferably a more varied spell list (at the very least include a lot of the self buff spells, particularly for defense).



At first I was about to agree, but really there are two kinds of gish.

For me the perfect gish is the Jedi. Melee attacks and distant attacks. This is more like a War Cleric. (I see the Sun Cleric as a divine distant-combat Wizard.)

Another kind of gish is an arcane melee combatant. This one is more like an arcane Paladin. I think of it as an “Eldritch Knight” using Int and Cha for melee attacks. But Duskblade could make sense in this context.



See, to me the first one to me is a caster who happens to use a weapon when the situation warrants it. 

When I think of a Gish class, I expect the magic to be an integral part of how they fight. That magic infuses them subtely, making them stronger offensively (buffs to attributes, hit bonuses, etc) and defensively(Buffs to AC, resistances, miss chances, etc).  It also is used more obviously for things like mobility(teleporting, flying), special attacks (channeling touch spells), and party support (Shielding Aegis).

As it stands, the Duskblade fills about half of these, and the Swordmage fills about half of these. There's a couple of holes in there, and a couple of extraneous things in there, but overall merging the two gets pretty close to an ideal Gish to me.

I kinda feel like the Warlock should kill the gish concept and take its stuff.

I'm of the opinion that the gish idea never takes flight because it's born of meta-thinking. We're looking at the game construct and building a class that melds two aspects of the mechanic. If we start with a story-driven aspect, like the ambition of a would-be hero lusting for the power to destroy his enemies leading him into an unspeakable pact with an otherworldly being for a taste of their magic, and look at it through the lens of being infused with magic that now affords your human martial capabilities with arcane might, we have a flavorful, spicy, fun gish concept that we can run with.

Warlocks shouldn't be shooting spells, they should focus more on personal buffing and further differentiate as the quintessential Hexblade.

Danny

I'd like to see a Swordmage merged with the Duskblade. That is to say more emphasis on the touch spells and channeling spells than on area blast powers. But definitely keep the teleporting and shielding powers the Swordmage had, and preferably a more varied spell list (at the very least include a lot of the self buff spells, particularly for defense).



At first I was about to agree, but really there are two kinds of gish.

For me the perfect gish is the Jedi. Melee attacks and distant attacks. This is more like a War Cleric. (I see the Sun Cleric as a divine distant-combat Wizard.)

Another kind of gish is an arcane melee combatant. This one is more like an arcane Paladin. I think of it as an “Eldritch Knight” using Int and Cha for melee attacks. But Duskblade could make sense in this context.



See, to me the first one to me is a caster who happens to use a weapon when the situation warrants it. 

When I think of a Gish class, I expect the magic to be an integral part of how they fight. That magic infuses them subtely, making them stronger offensively (buffs to attributes, hit bonuses, etc) and defensively(Buffs to AC, resistances, miss chances, etc).  It also is used more obviously for things like mobility(teleporting, flying), special attacks (channeling touch spells), and party support (Shielding Aegis).

As it stands, the Duskblade fills about half of these, and the Swordmage fills about half of these. There's a couple of holes in there, and a couple of extraneous things in there, but overall merging the two gets pretty close to an ideal Gish to me.




Out of curiosity how would you classify/call a class that is somewhat competent with a sword to use it on regular basis but uses a limited magic for utility and occasional edge in combat. Gish it is not I think. So... simply a fighter-mage?
Out of curiosity how would you classify/call a class that is somewhat competent with a sword to use it on regular basis but uses a limited magic for utility and occasional edge in combat. Gish it is not I think. So... simply a fighter-mage?

Historically, the Gish was a multi-class fighter-mage which fought with a sword mainly but still had a fireball up its sleeve when the situation called for it.  It was a competent fighter, and a competent wizard, but there was no integration between the two.

The concept of multi-class melee/caster really fell out of favor with third edition, where the linear experience curve and greater contribution from attributes (the rise of SAD vs MAD) meant that it was no longer feasible.  The self-buffing melee caster was... an interesting side-effect of the attempt to salvage the old fighter-mage style in the face of the new rules.

Really, I don't see how they can include a class dedicated equally to both fighting and casting as long as the spectre of the Unified Ability Modifier looms over the game design.  It will be interesting to see how they try and deal with this situation.

The metagame is not the game.

Abilities are no obstacle to a gish.

A gish is a mage. Uses Intelligence, for example. The smarter he or she is the more deadly the sword and the harder it hits.

Its no different from a Dancing Sword, in concept.
As long as it is a Constituion based class.

I don't care HOW.
Casting from HP.
Bodily spell focusing.
Empowerment of natural racial features.
Dragon breath
Tapping into strange sources of power

I just want to beat up a dragon with my 17 Con.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

As long as it is a Constituion based class. I don't care HOW. Casting from HP. Bodily spell focusing. Empowerment of natural racial features. Dragon breath Tapping into strange sources of power I just want to beat up a dragon with my 17 Con.

The gish? I can easily see an Int-Con class.

Personally, I want an Int-Cha “Eldritch Knight” class that the High Elf/Eladrin can rock at. But an Int-Cha Bladesinger - I can live with that.
As long as it is a Constituion based class. I don't care HOW. Casting from HP. Bodily spell focusing. Empowerment of natural racial features. Dragon breath Tapping into strange sources of power I just want to beat up a dragon with my 17 Con.

 

Danny

There's a few classes I want.

A ranged Psionic, ima break into your mind character.
A melee Psionic, ima create weapons with my mind character.
A wizard swordsman, ie Swordmage.
An at-will wizard that gets only at-will spells that he always has access to.

A freaking Alchemist, a mundane (Read: Not magical like the Artificer) character that relies on his own intelligence and experimentation to defeat his opponents with alchemicals and inventions.
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