Sorcerers and Warlocks: Here we come!

From the Keynote
Starting tomorrow, they will be releasing levels 1-5 of the sorcerer and warlock classes to highlight two more magic systems.

I am ecstatic to hear this.

That said, I'm concerned. I personally don't want to play in the AEDU style for 4th ed, but I quite like the flavour of both Warlocks and Sorcerers. I'm concerned that the AEDU style is going to be baked into one of these classes, forcing me to use a magic system I have no interest in or not play that type of character.

What do other people feel/think of the upcoming arcane classes?

Check out my 5th Edition Blog.

From the Keynote
Starting tomorrow, they will be releasing levels 1-5 of the sorcerer and warlock classes to highlight two more magic systems.

I am ecstatic to hear this.

That said, I'm concerned. I personally don't want to play in the AEDU style for 4th ed, but I quite like the flavour of both Warlocks and Sorcerers. I'm concerned that the AEDU style is going to be baked into one of these classes, forcing me to use a magic system I have no interest in or not play that type of character.

What do other people feel/think of the upcoming arcane classes?



I'm on the opposite side of the fence and pretty much feel the same way. If the only way I can play an AEDU class is to play one specific class with baked in mechanics, I will be very angry...
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
At the very least, they're handling the playtest a hell of a lot better now.
Rather than wait three months for new stuff in a whole new packet, they're just giving us the new stuff itself.

Unfortunatly, the details leaking out strongly suggest that to get the casting system you want, you will very likely have to also take baked-in flavor-mechanics you don't want, and vice-versa.  If three arcane classes each tie a specifc casting method to a specific flavor gimmick, that means two-thirds of potiential arcane-class players are going to be disappointed.
At the very least, they're handling the playtest a hell of a lot better now.
Rather than wait three months for new stuff in a whole new packet, they're just giving us the new stuff itself.

Unfortunatly, the details leaking out strongly suggest that to get the casting system you want, you will very likely have to also take baked-in flavor-mechanics you don't want, and vice-versa.  If the arcane classes each tie one of three casting methods to one of three flavor-packages, that means two-thirds of potiential arcane-class players are going to be disappointed.



Yeah, they show close ups of the character sheets on the keynote speech video. Both the Sorcerer and Warlock have baked in flavor mechanics...
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
In a nutshell:




























VancianPointsAEDU
You have a spellbookWizardnope!nope!
You are a mutant or somethingnope!Sorcerernope!
You sold your soul to a demonnope!nope!Warlock


I really hope I'm wrong.
In a nutshell:




























VancianSpontaneousAEDU
You have a spellbookWizardnopenope
You are a mutant or somethingnopeSorcerernope
You sold your soul to a demonnopenopeWarlock



Go watch the keynote video.

If you are a Sorcerer your hit points are based on your bloodline and you get a damage bonus to your spells, you also use the AEDU system and don't get to swap spells out at extended rests.

The Warlock has the Pact as a class feature that grants various things to their spells...
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
Oopsie.  Table edit ahoy!
Oopsie.  Table edit ahoy!



go watch the video I could have the AEDU thing backwards...
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
That's the worst thing in the news about Next. I hate Vancian casting so much, it makes my head hurts. I want it never to see the light of day in my games. But now WotC comes to me and tell me that, if I ban Vancian, my players won't be able to play one of the game's most iconic classes? After all they bragged about was the modularity thing? Total failure.
That's the worst thing in the news about Next. I hate Vancian casting so much, it makes my head hurts. I want it never to see the light of day in my games. But now WotC comes to me and tell me that, if I ban Vancian, my players won't be able to play one of the game's most iconic classes? After all they bragged about was the modularity thing? Total failure.



Not only that but out of 4 spellcasting classes only 2 don't use vancian...
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
I'd like for once, for Psionics to be introduced at the ground level with a version of D&D.
I'd like for once, for Psionics to be introduced at the ground level with a version of D&D.



but then where would the power creep come from?
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
I'd like for once, for Psionics to be introduced at the ground level with a version of D&D.



but then where would the power creep come from?



That's the point. No power creep. 

I'd like for once, for Psionics to be introduced at the ground level with a version of D&D.



but then where would the power creep come from?



That's the point. No power creep. 




But then the psionics would just be another class with poor fluff and not worth playing. Power creep is all it had going for it in previous editions...
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
I'd like for once, for Psionics to be introduced at the ground level with a version of D&D.



but then where would the power creep come from?



That's the point. No power creep. 




But then the psionics would just be another class with poor fluff and not worth playing. Power creep is all it had going for it in previous editions...



Nope, not totally sucking ass like the Wizard is what it had going for it in 2e. And Dragon Kings made Psionics really flavourful (for that matter, S&M did that for magic too).

Having seen the playtest sorcerer and warlock classes, we can say it's not easy to just refluff. Unless, for some reason, you want your wizard to suddenly grow claws and scales after lunch.
They are using these classes to show how different casting mechanisms can be used in the game.  Perhaps they will eventually get to the point where they give a Wizard a choice of spellcasting mechanisms.  Just because they haven't done that yet, does not mean that they won't.  In one of the earlier podcasts (or interviews...I can't remember exactly) Mearls said that they wanted to make a way for Wizards to draw from different traditions (spellcasting mechanisms?).

These classes also give a glimpse at a wider spectrum of character options and future possibliites.   They certainly help bring in 3e and 4e fans.

This is just a beginning that gives us much more to work with.   I'm excited.

     

A Brave Knight of WTF

 

Rhenny's Blog:  http://community.wizards.com/user/1497701/blog

 

 

Still going to hold out hope that what we get is a number of Spellcasting Options and the ability to pick the one that fits.  Each of the classes should come with their own thing yes, but then pick a Magic system.

Cleric - Domains + a Spellcasting system
Wizard - School of Magic + a Spellcasting system
Sorcerer - A Bloodline + a Spellcasting system
Warlock - A Pact + a Spellcasting system
Druid - Nature Affinity + a Spellcasting system


While I didn't like AEDU being the core of the entire system for 4E, there are plenty of character concepts where it would be good.   I liked the idea of a Cleric who goes through special rituals to call on his god to grant him with the power to work specific Miracles.  AEDU works great for a concept like that.  A Warlock who makes a Pact simply for the ability to cast spells I would probably go with Vancian or Spontaneous magic.  A Wizard who's magic comes from using long rituals to imbue himself with magical abilities I would probably go with AEDU.

It all comes down to the concept behind the character or how the DM feels magic should work in his world.

Traditional Fire and Forget Vancian Magic
Spontaneous prepared Magic (like we see in the playtest Cleric)
Fixed Spells know, Spontaneous Magic
AEDU

and my personal favorite

Skill Roll based Magical Lore (Ala Green Ronin's  True Sorcery Supplement)



I have to wonder, sometimes, why people only want to see the negative in a preview.

I took a look, and Warlock looks devestating powerful, but just squishy enough to worry. Sorcerer looks like a very interesting re-write to the class, and I personally like the direction it heads.

These are examples of a test of two other methods of spellcasting, they are far from final, and anyone throwing in their hats right now because of a beta-class (because they totally haven't changed the other classes based on feedback, right? ugh) is a fool. Try them, test them. You may find it's fun to play as the new version of X, Y, or Z.

As for those getting grouchy about Wizard not having an AEDU option YET, remember, that's YET, as in, it may still come, but more you kick and wail like an impatient toddler, the less likely the parents (read the Devs) will want to reward you. Provide constructive feedback and requests, but let's keep the discussion civil.
As for those getting grouchy about Wizard not having an AEDU option YET, remember, that's YET, as in, it may still come, but more you kick and wail like an impatient toddler, the less likely the parents (read the Devs) will want to reward you. Provide constructive feedback and requests, but let's keep the discussion civil.



Are you suggesting that the developers have some secret desire to spite anyone who gives strong negative opinions?

If they really intended to "reward" everyone who praises everything they present, that's not a playtest.  It's some cross between an exhibition and a very bizzare marketing strategy.
As for those getting grouchy about Wizard not having an AEDU option YET, remember, that's YET, as in, it may still come, but more you kick and wail like an impatient toddler, the less likely the parents (read the Devs) will want to reward you. Provide constructive feedback and requests, but let's keep the discussion civil.



Are you suggesting that the developers have some secret desire to spite anyone who gives strong negative opinions?

If they really intended to "reward" everyone who praises everything they present, that's not a playtest.  It's some cross between an exhibition and a very bizzare marketing strategy.

Not to mention that we've already seen instances in the playtest cycle of a lot of people complaining about something and it being changed (see: healing rates, alternate healing resources for Clerics, opportunity attacks, actual abilities for Fighters, and probably several more that I'm forgetting). Criticizing something is your way of letting the developers know that 1) you care about it, and 2) you think it can be improved, and when a lot of people are criticizing the same thing, the developers know that it's important to a significant portion (though not necessarily a majority of) the player base.
As for those getting grouchy about Wizard not having an AEDU option YET, remember, that's YET, as in, it may still come, but more you kick and wail like an impatient toddler, the less likely the parents (read the Devs) will want to reward you. Provide constructive feedback and requests, but let's keep the discussion civil.



Are you suggesting that the developers have some secret desire to spite anyone who gives strong negative opinions?

If they really intended to "reward" everyone who praises everything they present, that's not a playtest.  It's some cross between an exhibition and a very bizzare marketing strategy.



I don't think that's what he's trying to say.  Rather, the idea is that if they feel overwhelmed by vicious, negative feedback (not just negative feedback), it takes some of the joy out of the design.  It becomes a chore, and that probably will slow down their ability to design the desired systems (to say nothing of their drive).  Just a reminder to not forget the difference between constructive criticism and completely tearing them a new one over every little detail.
I, for one, am very excited to have some new classes to play with and new spellcasting systems to test. I feel mostly very positive that these exist (as promised) and that we have them so early in the process (so we can make sure they are balanced). It seems like it would be a fairly simple thing to pick-up and switch the spellcasting systems between classes, at least with the wizard and sorcerer, with only a few small changes needed for balance. It may be trickier with the warlock (having a mostly independent spell list) but it isn't impossible. I would be surprised if that possibility isn't included in the final product, seems fairly easy to do and it would make a lot of people happy.

In another vein entirely, at a glance the sorcerer seems very OP to me as it is written. Heavy armor and shields makes his AC as good as the fighters, weapon proficiency and the bonus to attack rolls makes him as good (or better) than the War cleric in melee, and he has access to some pretty powerful spells. Being in melee and being able to cast burning hands 8 times a day (at level 3) seems a little too good. And if they don't bunch up for you? Just channel that into your weapon and out-damage the fighter.

I'll have to see how it actually plays, but at a glance that all just seems too good.
Here's my take so far:


  • Sorcerer has an interesting spike in Willpower at 3rd.  That's a crapton of level 1 spells they get to cast at that level (since they don't have level 2 spells yet).

  • Sorcerer gets no increases to magic attack or spell DC.  So wizards and warlocks are flatly superior at spellcasting (by +2 at 4th level).  They're on par with clerics, though.

  • I like the dragon sorc as a new take!  Basically, again, like clerics: d8 HD, heavy armor and shields, martial weapons.  And the fact that you get new physical abilities as you expend magic is a novel idea, very much a warrior-caster.  It's not much like sorcerers of old, but it's pretty cool nonetheless.

  • There doesn't appear to be any way of actually using Dragon Breath.  No cost, no daily uses, and that's sure as hell not at-will.

  • Warlocks seem kind of like Binders now, with the setting baked in.  I dislike this intensely!  Your campaign setting  must include Verenestra or a similar entity for this pact to make sense.  The flavor is very, very specific, with the warlock trading their physical appearance (in very specific ways) for charm/fey realm powers.

  • Similarly, the "as a consequence of knowing this invocation" flavor things are pretty specific, although they're at least tied to specific powers rather than entities, so that's better.  But a high-level warlock is going to be burdenened with dozens of little quirks.

  • Warlocks are based on Int now.  Interesting.  I like that there's a second Int class, but I'm not sure that makes a ton of sense.  Then again, when your powers come from some other entity entirely, any ability score of yours is kind of arbitrary.

  • "Fabrication of the Weave" is missing a very important word at the end.

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Sorcerers just don't cut it for me at the moment. Their spell list is way too small and too focused on combat abilities, not to mention lack synergy with the Dragon bloodline features (except for self-preservation, if that counts for anything). That stunted spell progression and very strict limit on spells known also need to be revised or at least somehow alleviated by player choice somehow.

 Warlocks... I'm just very displeased in how they're done here. My biggest gripe is their entire disconnect from spells (other than invocations) outside of rituals, and even then chosen from a pathetically small list. Similar development led to many classes (including Warlocks) being difficult to support in 4E, and just dreadfully unsupported in 3.5. Just don't make each classes that self contained and such problems go away.

I dislike both classes a great deal, mainly because the mechanics are so intertwined with the fluff.

If I want to disentangle them, I basically have to rewrite the entire class.
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Here's my take so far:

  • There doesn't appear to be any way of actually using Dragon Breath.  No cost, no daily uses, and that's sure as hell not at-will.

  • Warlocks seem kind of like Binders now, with the setting baked in.  I dislike this intensely!  Your campaign setting  must include Verenestra or a similar entity for this pact to make sense.  The flavor is very, very specific, with the warlock trading their physical appearance (in very specific ways) for charm/fey realm powers.

  • Similarly, the "as a consequence of knowing this invocation" flavor things are pretty specific, although they're at least tied to specific powers rather than entities, so that's better.  But a high-level warlock is going to be burdenened with dozens of little quirks.




Well sorcerer powers are treated like spells just don't need hand motions/words/etc to cast.  So while it's not specifically stated it's pretty clear it costs an action like basically anything other than moving, to use it.  But yeah maybe a little more specifics would help people out because these are the things that cause problems in groups.

Well honestly the 4e warlocks weren't too much different.  They made pacts with fey beasts, demons, whatever else.  The only real difference is that these label costs of the power.  The nice thing is you don't have to follow them because they're still basically fluff.  And you don't even have to include Verenestra in your campaign either.  You can have some few goddess/creature/etc who grants the powers, but I would imagine a creature of war and destruction really isn't going to grant someone powers over illusions and charming effects so you'd have to make it something similar to her.

As for the quirks like a mole on the face, webbed scars, etc etc, again flavor.  Instead of having a mole on your face as the initial price for making the pact maybe your skin loses its luster, or your hair becomes grey and brittle, get olive spots, a scar, whatever.  That's the nice thing about that stuff, you don't have to copy it exactly.     

They are using these classes to show how different casting mechanisms can be used in the game.  Perhaps they will eventually get to the point where they give a Wizard a choice of spellcasting mechanisms.  Just because they haven't done that yet, does not mean that they won't.  In one of the earlier podcasts (or interviews...I can't remember exactly) Mearls said that they wanted to make a way for Wizards to draw from different traditions (spellcasting mechanisms?).

These classes also give a glimpse at a wider spectrum of character options and future possibliites.   They certainly help bring in 3e and 4e fans.

This is just a beginning that gives us much more to work with.   I'm excited.      





Agree with this. It's still 2 more years of playtesting and I think that so much will change until then that it will be unrecognizable from what we have now with the two first playtests.

 
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I dislike both classes a great deal, mainly because the mechanics are so intertwined with the fluff.

If I want to disentangle them, I basically have to rewrite the entire class.



And that's different from 4e how?  I mean I guess unless you disliked both classes in 4e, but even back in three they were similar just didn't have such mechanical tie-ins.  But really you don't need to rewrite the classes.  You don't want the sorcerer to have powers from dragons, but still use the dragon origin?  Fine, then instead of scales his body is just reinforced by magic, or a magical barrier coats him.  Instead of a dragon's breath attack it's just a blast of arcane power from his hands.  There, you're problem is solved without rewriting the class.

You don't even have to acknowledge the pact for the warlock, they could just get powers, or have powers.  Out of character on paper yes you would pick a pact and follow the chain of abilities but in play you don't have to acknowledge it at all.  Or as I mentioned above, if you don't want Verenestra in your campaign then have the character get his powers from some source of illusion and charm powers, or another fey creature or whatever.  No class rewriting. 
I dislike both classes a great deal, mainly because the mechanics are so intertwined with the fluff.

If I want to disentangle them, I basically have to rewrite the entire class.




dnd has an official campaign setting, thats as much of the rules as anything else, if you are doing a homebrew campaign not in the official setting, you can pretty much expect to have to re-write a lot of stuff, this isn't an issue with the system, this is you decided to do something different. you aren't being punished in any way for it.
Actually, the way they implemented this isn't so bad.  They've essentially stolen Talent Trees from SWSE.

The baked-in flavor has been cordoned off to Pact and Origin.  While we have exactly one way to do it now, if we pick up a half-dozen each there's a good chance anyone will find one he doesn't hate, or simply "chinese menu" one together out of the pieces of existing ones.

If Sorcerer and Warlock get a "fake wizard" Pact/Origin, and Wizard gets "fake sorcerer" and "fake warlock" gimmicks, we should be on to something.
i think it's kind of silly to expect that warlocks don't operate like this, the defining feature of their essence through fantasy literature is that they make pacts with deamons, devils, and fey creatures, to play it another way is to play something that is NOT in essence a warlock.
to play it another way is to play something that is NOT in essence a warlock.

Sure.  It's just some dude incidentally using the exact same dicerolls and tables as a warlock, but for some other reason.

My critique:


On Sorcerers:
- The number of spells they can cast each day is a little wonky. I mean, 3 spells on level 1, 4 on level 2, then suddenly... 8? Seems too much, especially considering the Wizard will be casting 6.
- Dragon Strength is a hell of a lame, generic, boring power.
- The claw things are... strange. I mean, if you suddenly develop claws, you deal more damage with your longsword? If anything, claws would likely make the person less able to swing a weapon properly.
- Dragon Scales suffer the same problem as many an Immediate Reaction power did in 4e: It's a reaction that ends on your next turn, which means its utility is very variable. Since they already established in the How to Play document that there is a duration of "one round", which ends on "the same turn during the following round", I don't see why they didn't choose this option for the power.

On Warlocks:
- Five levels on this class and I'm already a brooding, narcissistic, insomniac, kleptomaniac, golden-eyed fellow with strange scars, a British accent, and acne. Talk about character flaws. Roleplaying this class by the time it gets to level 20 would take a level of quirkiness only found in Johnny Depp movies. These roleplaying bits are very cool, but they need to be suggestions, and, as written right now, they read more like requirements. Seriously, all it would take is "some warlocks that choose this invocation develop this characteristic".
- Two powers per encounter up to level 5 seem too few. And they should get at least a couple more of minor invocations for free, if only to have different options for their at-will attack. And it would be nice to have Major Invocations that cost your favor until you take a long rest.
- The level 3 pact boon: Why the hell against living creatures only? So vampires aren’t appalled by my unnatural beauty, but owlbears do?
- The mechanic of “Known Spells, cast as Rituals” feels like a last minute add-on, and doesn’t fit well with the rest of the class. I don’t like it.
- Shadow Veil is weak, considering you have to spend an action to cast it. You could simply disengage and move away, which doesn’t cost one of your incantation slots, and still lets you move an extra 10 feet. The only real benefit is walking through the space occupied by an enemy, but if you consider that you can already circle around that enemy, then disengage, then continue your movement, you notice how lackluster the incantation is.
- I don’t like that you have to “beseech your patron for more power” every short rest. It is already assumed that the character is keeping his part of the pact, or else he wouldn’t have power at all. If I were an otherworldly entity of immense power and this jerk kept calling me every 5 minutes asking me to fill him up, I would devour him instead.  I mean, the Cleric doesn’t have to pray every five minutes for his powers (not that he doesn’t, but the rules don’t order him to do it, it is kinda assumed), right? So why does the Warlock?
- Using Incantations instead of actual spells for the warlock can prove a liability in the long run. One of the things that plagued 4e was every class getting its own power list. My fear is that, in the later books and magazines, the developers will create a ton of spells (which, in majority, can be used by Wizard, Sorcerer, Cleric) and the Warlock, which can’t share, will be left aside.

It reads like a lot of nitpicking, I know, but I love the Warlock class, and want it to be perfect.

maybe just a simple weekly goat sacrifice instead? or equivilent animal? that sounds like fun
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I currently don't see any once-per-combat/short rest/x minutes powers for the warlock or sorcerer. Are the classes just written in a confusing manner, or are there no encounter powers?
My critique:
 On Warlocks:
- Five levels on this class and I'm already a brooding, narcissistic, insomniac, kleptomaniac, golden-eyed fellow with strange scars, a British accent, and acne. Talk about character flaws. Roleplaying this class by the time it gets to level 20 would take a level of quirkiness only found in Johnny Depp movies. These roleplaying bits are very cool, but they need to be suggestions, and, as written right now, they read more like requirements. Seriously, all it would take is "some warlocks that choose this invocation develop this characteristic".
 - The mechanic of “Known Spells, cast as Rituals” feels like a last minute add-on, and doesn’t fit well with the rest of the class. I don’t like it.
 - I don’t like that you have to “beseech your patron for more power” every short rest. It is already assumed that the character is keeping his part of the pact, or else he wouldn’t have power at all. If I were an otherworldly entity of immense power and this jerk kept calling me every 5 minutes asking me to fill him up, I would devour him instead.  I mean, the Cleric doesn’t have to pray every five minutes for his powers (not that he doesn’t, but the rules don’t order him to do it, it is kinda assumed), right? So why does the Warlock?
- Using Incantations instead of actual spells for the warlock can prove a liability in the long run. One of the things that plagued 4e was every class getting its own power list. My fear is that, in the later books and magazines, the developers will create a ton of spells (which, in majority, can be used by Wizard, Sorcerer, Cleric) and the Warlock, which can’t share, will be left aside.

It reads like a lot of nitpicking, I know, but I love the Warlock class, and want it to be perfect.



Honestly this is the kinda thing I figured would happen.  People would start complaining about having to have X specific thing on their character due to the pacts.  When in truth they're really just RP fluff.  You don't want a wart as the cost for making the fey pact?  THEN DON'T!  Make your skin dry and more aged, your eyes lose their youthful luster, hair goes grey and brittle, a scar, etc etc.  It really isn't a big deal and wont destroy the game to exchange the wart for something else.  But like I said I think either in this topic or another similar one, their wording is going to cause people to complain about having to have a wart or some such because they wont just think for themselves and do something different.  It really just doesn't matter though, it's easy to change out wart for something else.

Eh, I like the ritual spellcasting.  It's a nice touch to the class which is basically just full of spell-like abilities.  They're still spellcasters so it works just fine that they learn spells to cast as rituals even if they can't cast them like a wizard could.

Again, complaining about them mentioning "asking for power" at short rests just makes me want to slap my head.  Who cares?  It's just fluff, it really doesn't matter it just describes the pact between warlock and pact creature.  They get their power from the creature so they have to keep in communication, so what?  It's just a fluff description of them getting their favors back after every short rest and such.

I gotta disagree about having invocations instead of spell lists causing problems.  Anyway it's more interesting than every spell caster having the same list of spells to pick from, that's far more boring.  The classes should have different abilities, why even bother making a warlock if you're just going to have him cast spells like a wizard?    Classes having different power choices is definitely not a drawback, it makes the classes unique and interesting.  Not to mention if they really want a warlock will get spell-like abilities(invocations) similar to wizard spells.  I mean it really doesn't matter.   

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I currently don't see any once-per-combat/short rest/x minutes powers for the warlock or sorcerer. Are the classes just written in a confusing manner, or are there no encounter powers?



The sorcerer uses a pool of willpower points to cast their spells.  Once out of will points they can only cast their 0-level spells and then gain abilities based on their origin and basically get a little boost to be in melee kinda.  They get their will points back after a short rest.

Warlocks are similar, they have a number of favors and it costs favors to use most of their abilities(or all, can't remember), and get their favors back after a short rest.  It's all there for both classes.
The sorcerer uses a pool of willpower points to cast their spells.  Once out of will points they can only cast their 0-level spells and then gain abilities based on their origin and basically get a little boost to be in melee kinda.  They get their will points back after a short rest.

Long rest for sorcs.

Makes me wonder how psions are going to work, as the sorc is kind of stepping on their traditional toes.  I'd rather see 3e-style spontaneous casting sorcs back and leave the point system for the psionicists.

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Sorcerers only regain willpoints or whatever after a long rest.

Also, the warlock's requiring a rite is a way to RP manage their power. If they are tied up or whatever, they cannot perform the rite and get their powers back. Similarly, a wizard who can't study his spellbook can't cast any spells he hasn't mastered.
They are using these classes to show how different casting mechanisms can be used in the game.  Perhaps they will eventually get to the point where they give a Wizard a choice of spellcasting mechanisms.  Just because they haven't done that yet, does not mean that they won't.  In one of the earlier podcasts (or interviews...I can't remember exactly) Mearls said that they wanted to make a way for Wizards to draw from different traditions (spellcasting mechanisms?).

These classes also give a glimpse at a wider spectrum of character options and future possibliites.   They certainly help bring in 3e and 4e fans.

This is just a beginning that gives us much more to work with.   I'm excited.

     



Different traditions - He was talking about evocers, pyromancers, and necromancers and whatnot. Specialty schools from older editions, not casting styles...
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1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
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The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
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