On the Nature of Classes

Here I'd like to break the primary archetypal classes down into what makes them what they are, and make some suggestions concerning how they could be different from previous editions.  As with my suggested Warlord, I'm only tossing out food for thought.  With no further delay, let's get into this.

Fighter: A master of the martial, the Fighter specializes in whatever he damned well pleases, insofar as combat is concerned.  If he decides to take up unarmed combat, he can tangle with a monk and have a good chance of success.  If he chooses archery, he can castrate a flea at a hundred yards and leave the poor critter alive.  He's no mere thug, handing out pain and standing like a moron while people hit him.  That's for lesser warriors, not the master of his chosen domain.  In a setting where magic rules, this man has chosen to perfect his body instead of learning to wield magic, and by God, he's gonna show those finger-wigglers who's boss.  So, I suggest that he have the highest saving throws, to-hit chance, damage, and AC/Defense.  Whether he's got maneuvers or not, he needs to be one mean bastard, and almost impossible to defeat on any field of battle.

Cleric: The ultimate crusader.  This is no priest, to tend to a small flock of followers' needs in the day-to-day.  This is a chosen champion of the divine, trained in war and given the power and authority to guide his comrades towards the righteous path and just maybe save the cosmos on the way.  This warrior-monk needs to have strong will saves, medium AC, medium armor proficiency, medium attack, and some magical ability.  I posit that the cleric should get some channeling that he can alter in lieu of divine spellcasting.  A finite list of effects his channeling can accomplish, altered by the domains of his deity.  Perhaps have a full spellcaster in an NPC priest class, since they don't have to devote a large portion of their time to martial training.

Wizard: This occultist looks at things man was not meant to know, and uses them to change the multiverse to better suit his liking.  As a master of the arcane, he is empowered by his ever-growing knowledge of dark mysteries that mankind isn't ready for.  Mysteries that would break lesser minds.  The wizard's mastery of the arcane could apply metamagics to every spell they cast, as they don't master spells, they master the nature of magic itself.  Strong will, little attack, little armor, little AC.  They have no time for the physical silliness of those morons in steel, they have a universe to call to heel.

Rogue: Ah, the rogue.  A thief and a swashbuckler, he---You know what?
Thief: The ultimate skillomancer, this cunning trickster makes up for his lack of combat training with his mastery of traps, psychology, and stealth.    His wit is sharper than any knife, and he can talk a king out of his kingdom.  Give this rake the most skills, but the combat ability of the wizard.  This is the master of improvisation, and he'd much rather drop a chandelier on his opponent than go toe-to-toe with him.  He is separate from the
Assassin: This slippery bastard takes the combat abilities of the Rogue, and ends lives before they're aware of his existence.  Part sniper, part knife-fighter, this knife in the dark brings terror and death to his foes.  He's no less skilled than the fighter in combat, but his skills lie in ambushes, sneak attacks, and poisons.  Medium attack, high reflex saves, medium AC, massive damage from stealth and in surprise rounds.

What say you?
This sounds awesome and I totally agree with all of it.  It all seems very balanced and the discriptions seem perfect.
A pleasure to read those well-written descriptions 
Am I the only one who finds them incredibly one-dimensional, old-fashioned, and against the stated goal of Next to provide everyone with meaningful contributions toward the three pillars of combat, exploration, and interaction?
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Am I the only one who finds them incredibly one-dimensional, old-fashioned, and against the stated goal of Next to provide everyone with meaningful contributions toward the three pillars of combat, exploration, and interaction?


I have to agree with Mand12. This feels like only one fo the ways these roles can be played. While these feel like some of the old , traditional roles these do not fill all the roles that D&D has given them over the various editions.



Yeah, these descriptions are all... kind of dark.  That's not how I play.  None of these describe anyone I would enjoy meeting, and definitely none of them describe anyone I would enjoy being.

The metagame is not the game.

In addition to what's been said, while I love the Warlord in 4e, without the roles matrix, I'd really prefer it if the Fighter could just eat the Warlord and take his stuff.
While I like the descriptions -- they're incredibly well-done -- I hate seeing that word 'metamagic' attached to wizards.  I think those should be scrapped for the terrible idea they are, or limited with a -very- heavy hand.

"Lightning...it flashes bright, then fades away.  It can't protect, it can only destroy."

don't care much about those description, but mainly becuse they don't do anything to draw me to the class in the first place.

The Fighter fights! He fights with swords! He fights with bows! He fights with fists! fightfightfight! the fact that D&D wants one class to be swordguy/bowguy/fistguy/axeguy/nunchuckguy/bowstaffguy/etc... means to me that there will be far less design space making those concepts interesting and simply having a lot of design space used to make him passibly competant or giving him so many static bonuses that the reason he's "good" with the weapons is that the weapon itself is meaningless. 

same with "classic" D&D wizard: it's a catch-all class that supposed to be every fantasy caster all at once, but mechanically fails to do so, instead giving us a kitchen sink. i would much prefer to see specialized illusionists, enchanters, evokers, transmuters, etc... with different styles (a shapeshifter transmuter, a terrain manipulation transmuter, an equipment enhancer transmuter, an enemy debuffer transmuter, etc...) rather then have it all under the umbrella of "wizard". 
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"All right, I've been thinking. When life gives you lemons, don't make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back. GET MAD! I DON'T WANT YOUR **** LEMONS! WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH THESE?! DEMAND TO SEE LIFE'S MANAGER! Make life RUE the day it thought it could give CAVE JOHNSON LEMONS! DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?! I'M THE MAN WHO'S GONNA BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN! WITH THE LEMONS! I'm gonna get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that's gonna BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN!" -Cave Johnson, Portal 2
Let's have a think about this.

Assassin: It's a dirty job, but someone's got to do it; you're a contract killer, although maybe that's not how you'd describe yourself at a first introduction. A hired blade, perhaps, or a private operative. Maybe you're a freelancer, or maybe someone powerful keeps your name on their books for when something messy needs to be sorted out. You wouldn't admit to enjoying your job - not in polite company at least. But you are very good at it.

Barbarian: You've come far from home. These city folk may not appreciate your style, but your new companions are glad of your strong arm and long strides. When one of your fell moods takes you, you're the most dangerous person in the room. Most problems in life can solved by plain talking and swift blows. For those that can't, well, you're more than happy if someone else gets to handle the magic side of things. It's just not your style.

Bard: This is it! Your big break! Every singer needs a heroic ballad, every actor needs a thrilling play, and every orator needs great deeds to invoke. You're going to be there; you'll see it done, or even do mighty things for yourself. You'll be more than just an observer - your friends will always need cheering up and urging on, and perhaps a little magic on the side as well. Come to that, they'll need introducing to local leaders; someone who's got an ear to the ground; someone who knows about more than just fighting. Anything can happen!

Cleric: The divine call comes to precious few. You're one of them; you answered your vocation to the priesthood, and have been blessed with some handy minor miracles in token of your faith. Now the call has led you out into the wider world. Instead of a shrine or a congregation to care for, you've got a ragtag band of thrill-seekers. They share some of your concerns, but most of them aren't as loyal as you. Some of them don't even follow the same path as you - but you could change that, if you set a good enough example. Luckily, you're more than able to defend yourself, as well as patch up your companions.

Druid: Can you feel it? The earth groans under the weight of civilised people. Humans, orcs, dwarves, dragonborn all alike; they take what they need and they never give back. Well, you can change that. You serve nature, and your affinity for the natural order gives you the power to call on its forces when you need them. It's time to get out there and prove to the world that there's another way to live. And although they may not be the most diligent of people, these adventurers that you've met have the will and the competence to fight some of the greatest threats to the natural world - if you show them the way.

Fighter: When danger calls, you're already halfway there. You don't just work out - you never stop exercising, practising your skills, honing your body to perfection. Other people get into fights; you come out of them. You're a front-line warrior, and there's none better. You're a dependable defender of those weaker than you (which is pretty much everyone), and when you go on the attack, you're unstoppable. You hit harder, dodge faster, know more tricks, and handle your weapon better. You know that armour isn't just to hide behind - it's part of good tactics. And your tactics are the best.

Monk: Your feet stand upon the Way. You've meditated on the enigmatic teachings of your elders, and you've humbled yourself to serve others. Now, sure-footed, you step out into an unenlightened world to discover the hidden truths it contains. Your clothing may be simple, and your tools very few. But your mind and your body are a single union, and the Truth is written in your heart. Where others spend their toil on arms and armour, spells and sorcery, you give all that away; you yourself are all you need. If anyone crosses you, you can beat them like a harsh master thrashes a lazy student, before they have even seen you move.

Paladin: When the Call came, you answered. The enemies of the faith are numberless, and many are unseen. But you have the divine power resting on you, and you are here to pour that power out into the world. Your weapon is blessed by the holy ones, and your hand is guided by them. Spirits come when you call, and flee when you abjure them. And always, the memory of the Voices draws you onward. With these simple souls as your helpers, you can make your beatific vision a reality in the world around you.

Ranger: This land is your land. Not outright, but it's yours to guard and defend. Its people are your people, by blood or adoption. And its foes are your foes, and you know them of old. You can strike them from a place of secrecy, or face them on the battlefield. You know every hidden way, and can see the misplaced twig that shows where the intruders passed by. Your new allies need a wise head to lead their steps, and none is better than yours. With the beasts of the land and spirits of the air at your command, you will be an unbeatable bastion of strength.

Coming soon: Rogue, Sorcerer, Warlock, Warlord and Wizard.

Thoughts?

Z.
a description with no goal is not helpful though.

what makes a monk a "Monk"? how is an unarmed, disciplined "Rogue" any different from a monk as he keeps striking for the vital areas when the opportunity arises?

i see nice flashy descriptions, but not of classes, but of character concepts. 

i don't want to be forced into a certain class unless my concept is build around the very idea of that class. many of those concepts are too general that i could fit many different characters of different "traditional" classes in each of them. 
3rd ed SRD, character sheets, errata & free modules 4th ed test drive - modules, starter rules, premade characters and character builder & character sheet, errata Free maps and portraits, dice, printable graph paper, campaign managing website, image manipulation program + token maker & zone markers

"All right, I've been thinking. When life gives you lemons, don't make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back. GET MAD! I DON'T WANT YOUR **** LEMONS! WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH THESE?! DEMAND TO SEE LIFE'S MANAGER! Make life RUE the day it thought it could give CAVE JOHNSON LEMONS! DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?! I'M THE MAN WHO'S GONNA BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN! WITH THE LEMONS! I'm gonna get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that's gonna BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN!" -Cave Johnson, Portal 2