Power Sources - Worthwhile addition?

I for one found the power sources of 4e (martial, arcane, etc) to be a cool idea.  Of course, like much of 4e, the implementation made them of little consequence beyond another stat to track.  However, Next has already taken mechanics like skills and feats and made them much more meaningful in terms of roleplaying by tying them to backgrounds and specialties.  (I love it that a specialty really describes something about your character - says something about him/her that will stick in your mind - as opposed to the concept of picking from a mind-numbing list of feats every couple levels.)

I think there's potential for optional power source rules to get similar treatment.  A particularly strong case for them is this:  Next seems to be doing a great job so far of making classes feel very distinct from one another, but inevitably as new classes get introduced, there will be a risk of them beginning to feel "same-y."  Traits/mechanics derived from a class's power source could help make a paladin feel different from a fighter, a druid different from a warlock, or a monk different from a rogue.

Anyone else feel power sources are worth another go? 
Sure, as long as they're written in invisible ink in someone elses book ten years after 6e is released. Sure I'm all for it.

 
Only as pure flavor text without mechanical consequence.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
power sources are like roles, they WILL exist regardless of what people want, its only a mater of how well they are handeled.

they were very much underused in 4e, I would love to see them work to try and make those of the same power source feel similar, maybe even have power source powers that you can choise from.

and for the love of all that is holy, dont have primal classes use divine powers, it makes no freaking sence.

it probably wont happen because they seam to be activly stearing away from everything they learned in 4e, for no other reason then because they can, but it would be nice.
Insulting someones grammar on a forum is like losing to someone in a drag race and saying they were cheating by having racing stripes. Not only do the two things not relate to each other (the logic behind the person's position, and their grammar) but you sound like an idiot for saying it (and you should, because its really stupid )
I preferred it when there were two sources of magic: "arcane" and "divine", and each class with spells chose from the same list (but were limited in what they could take). I didn't like 3rd edition's "101 ways of casting magic...how will you get yours??" thing.

And "martial" isn't a "power source". It's just combat training.
Everything expressed in this post is my opinion, and should be taken as such. I can not declare myself to be the supreme authority on all matters...even though I am right!
Only as pure flavor text without mechanical consequence.



To the contrary.  If power sources are to be mentioned at all, there needs to be mechanical consequence.  Fluff is fine... as long as it informs mechanics.

Only as pure flavor text without mechanical consequence.



To the contrary.  If power sources are to be mentioned at all, there needs to be mechanical consequence.  Fluff is fine... as long as it informs mechanics.



I find I agree with both statements. 
Yes, these really are just fluff, arcane, primal, divine, martial. They really don't do anything, or mean anything, of consequence other than slap in redundancy on a character sheet or be used to slap together another set of books.
However, and here is where I agree with Eisenritter, if any effort is used to apply "power sources" than there must be some mechanical value given to them.  The mechanical value also must be greater than "Arcane power has no effect on monster X" or "Monster X is particularly vulnerable to primal power spells and effects."
For the most part the power sources really seemed to have come from, or at least seem tied to, the newer cosmology of 4e.
Only as pure flavor text without mechanical consequence.

Dunno, there's probably a few ways people could work it in and not be completely horrible. For example, dead magic zones that only affect Arcane, Divine casters not being able to use most of their Domain abilities in a sphere away from their patron, training manuals for Martial characters, and so forth. Its easier to list a power source than a bunch of classes and themes.
No.

While it kinda made sense in a world symitry kinda way, i felt it only added restrictions.

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my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

I wouldn't state it as strongly as that fluff should never exist without accompanying mechanics, but generally I agree that both are strongest and more enriching to the game when they come together.  That's why I think the mechanics of backgrounds and specialties were such a brilliant stroke.  Someone realized "Hey, we have this roleplaying concept hanging over here, and this character customization mechanic hanging over there.  Let's put them together and make them both more meaningful to the game."

So with power sources, I basically enviosion that they could confer some kind of exceptional benefit very much like the background traits.  (Like how a Charlatan can craft a false identity.)  Something far more general, of course.  As far as specific examples, I just . . . don't know.  If I was that good at this, I could make my own game! But the unique asset they serve is that they provide something unifying that gives common ground to, say, wizards and bards, while making them both a bit more distinct from functionally similar classes.

One last thought, to the people who have vehemently expressed that, basically, power sources should never, ever appear on the pages of the rules:  Please note that I did say "optional" in my suggestion.  I always have a hard time understanding when people have such a strong reaction to something that's completely optional.  Why is it a bad thing for other players to have the option to use something that you choose not to?  Ah well.  That's well-tread ground, I think; I don't want to start up a whole discussion about it.  But at the very least, I think Next as a whole will grate on such players, as flexibility/modularity is one of its keystones.
I preferred it when there were two sources of magic: "arcane" and "divine", and each class with spells chose from the same list (but were limited in what they could take). I didn't like 3rd edition's "101 ways of casting magic...how will you get yours??" thing.

And "martial" isn't a "power source". It's just combat training.



martial means you have martial training/talant that allows you do things that the average pesant can't.

there really does need to be 5 power sources, marshal, arcane, divine. as well as primal for druids and whatnot, plus psionic.

if an ideal world the only shared spells would be amoung the same power source, I can totaly see a warlock, sorc, and wizard all casting a fireball that is for all intends and purposes the same. but why would a god grant the same spell to his followers? or the primal spirits (or whatever druids get their power from) grand the same spells to druids?


Insulting someones grammar on a forum is like losing to someone in a drag race and saying they were cheating by having racing stripes. Not only do the two things not relate to each other (the logic behind the person's position, and their grammar) but you sound like an idiot for saying it (and you should, because its really stupid )
I preferred it when there were two sources of magic: "arcane" and "divine", and each class with spells chose from the same list (but were limited in what they could take). I didn't like 3rd edition's "101 ways of casting magic...how will you get yours??" thing.

And "martial" isn't a "power source". It's just combat training.


Martial is as much a power source as arcane is.

Martial=you know how to use your muscles and skill to hurt people and achieve goals. You may be innately good at this, have studied, or have recieved training.

Arcane=you know how to use your voice and hands to hurt people and achieve goals. You may be innately good at this, have studied, or have recieved training.

In the standard D&D world magic is something you can learn to do, a wizard is just someone who's studied how.
 
Martial is not a power source. I do not "draw upon the powers of the *insert name* and imbue my sword with lightning, so that it doth striketh my foe until he beeth dead".

"Divine" is a power source that you get because you are blessed by the gods - a priest can learn to do it but it still comes from somewhere, and something is created/emitted as a result of it.
"Arcane" is a power source that you get because of the Weave, or whatever they call it - a wizard can learn how to do it, but it still comes from somewhere, and something is created/emitted as a result of it.
"Martial" is a skill that you learn to use by training. You draw upon nothing but your own stamina, and you emit nothing but carbon dioxide (which is not what does the damage to your foes). You simply know how to wield your weapon with great skill.

As for "primal", that's a new 4th edition creation. It was never called that before. Druids used the same magic as clerics did. "Psionic" was an optional addition that has always been an add-in, and never a part of D&D's core ruleset.
Everything expressed in this post is my opinion, and should be taken as such. I can not declare myself to be the supreme authority on all matters...even though I am right!
Martial is not a power source. I do not "draw upon the powers of the *insert name* and imbue my sword with lightning, so that it doth striketh my foe until he beeth dead".

"Divine" is a power source that you get because you are blessed by the gods - a priest can learn to do it but it still comes from somewhere, and something is created/emitted as a result of it.
"Arcane" is a power source that you get because of the Weave, or whatever they call it - a wizard can learn how to do it, but it still comes from somewhere, and something is created/emitted as a result of it.
"Martial" is a skill that you learn to use by training. You draw upon nothing but your own stamina, and you emit nothing but carbon dioxide (which is not what does the damage to your foes). You simply know how to wield your weapon with great skill.

As for "primal", that's a new 4th edition creation. It was never called that before. Druids used the same magic as clerics did. "Psionic" was an optional addition that has always been an add-in, and never a part of D&D's core ruleset.




a power source is nothing more then a source of power, how you do what you do. how do I hit that bad guys so hard they stagger back, or die? marshal knowledge.

and primal is one the things that needs to be in 5th because it makes no sence for druids and such to either A) have no spells whatsoever B) use arcane magic or C) use divine spells even though they dont get any power from gods.


Insulting someones grammar on a forum is like losing to someone in a drag race and saying they were cheating by having racing stripes. Not only do the two things not relate to each other (the logic behind the person's position, and their grammar) but you sound like an idiot for saying it (and you should, because its really stupid )
I liked the power sources because they brought shared mechanics to classes.  With arcane feats/PP's/ED's/etc.  But aside from feats I think they were underused, would've liked to see more uses.

In the end though, the power sources are already there they just don't have mechanic value.  Wizards/sorcerers/warlocks are all arcane classes while clerics are divine and fighters/rogues are martial.  It's just a matter of whether or not we'll see then try and do mechanical benefits again or not.  So far nothing has indicated they will but it's still early in the playtest. 
Only as pure flavor text without mechanical consequence.



To the contrary.  If power sources are to be mentioned at all, there needs to be mechanical consequence.  Fluff is fine... as long as it informs mechanics.




I disagree.  Fluff and mechanics need to be kept as separate as possible so the player has the most possible freedom in visualizing his character.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Only as pure flavor text without mechanical consequence.



To the contrary.  If power sources are to be mentioned at all, there needs to be mechanical consequence.  Fluff is fine... as long as it informs mechanics.




I disagree.  Fluff and mechanics need to be kept as separate as possible so the player has the most possible freedom in visualizing his character.



So you'd rather have everything presented as dry, tasteless numbers, then?  No names, no nothing but "roll d20+X, deal 1d10+5 damage if successful"?  That's fine, but EVERY bit of text needs to have mechanical meaning, or else it's a waste of space.  IF power sources are mentioned, THEN they must have mechanical consequence, OTHERWISE they're wasting valuable print that could have been spent on bringing down the sorcerous overlords.
Only as pure flavor text without mechanical consequence.



To the contrary.  If power sources are to be mentioned at all, there needs to be mechanical consequence.  Fluff is fine... as long as it informs mechanics.




I disagree.  Fluff and mechanics need to be kept as separate as possible so the player has the most possible freedom in visualizing his character.



That's all well and good, but I think a lot of people need a roleplaying boost. Their feats/skills just become a bunch of numbers and stats to them. And it doesn't necessarily mean they don't care to role play; it's just that mentally they're naturally going where they're led, and breaking out of it to create more on your own is tough. So to me, marrying fluff and crunch is a huge boon to typical players of the game. Those who don't need the tools don't need to use them; they can jettison existing fluff and create their own to their hearts' content.
I never liked power sources, for basically the reason people just illustrated.  Either it's fluff and serves no purpose, or it's crunch that I don't see any particular reason for.  4e had this thing where people seemed to think it was crunchy and a "real thing" and not realize you could say that the fighter used the Flugelbargen power source and it wouldn't really make any difference.  (Later on they added some source-specific feats, but they didn't really add anything.)

I personally don't think purely physical abilities need a power source, and some of the fine-grained things they did later on (tapping into specific planes) seemed unnecessary.  Psionics are a traditional thing and should be kept as a power source, in so far as that's a thing.  Wizards, sorcerers, bards, and warlocks have also all traditionally gotten their magic from the same place, as have clerics and paladins, and druids and rangers (and sometimes clerics, paladins, druids, and rangers all together).

So basically, I like psionics, arcane, divine, and maybe primal as power.  Qi, shadow, elemental, and I don't even know what they added later on were unnecessary, and I also dislike how they kept trying to "fill out" each power source.  We didn't need an arcane defender (though I did like the swordmage), or a psionic leader, etc., etc.

Oh, also I want sword magic (Tome of Battle/Book of Nine Swords) back, but not in core. 

"Edison didn't succeed the first time he invented Benjamin Franklin, either." Albert the Alligator, Walt Kelly's Pogo Sunday Book  
The Core Coliseum: test out your 4e builds and fight to the death.

We didn't need an arcane defender (though I did like the swordmage), or a psionic leader, etc., etc.. 



I disagree with this completely.  I loved the idea that there was more than one type of character for each job in the party, especially since it meant the end of the stupid 'only divine magic heals' nonsense and let me run a game with no magic in it whatsoever that worked smoothly.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
We didn't need an arcane defender (though I did like the swordmage), or a psionic leader, etc., etc.. 



I disagree with this completely.  I loved the idea that there was more than one type of character for each job in the party, especially since it meant the end of the stupid 'only divine magic heals' nonsense and let me run a game with no magic in it whatsoever that worked smoothly.



Interesting point.  I'm really excited to see what unique capabilities a Next edition warlord has.  (Bard would be the other class I'm most excited to see.)
I disagree with this completely.  I loved the idea that there was more than one type of character for each job in the party, especially since it meant the end of the stupid 'only divine magic heals' nonsense and let me run a game with no magic in it whatsoever that worked smoothly.

Well, Next does away with roles, for the most part.  Classes just Do Stuff and what it means for party balance is a secondary consideration if it is a consideration at all.  Roles are part class, part specialty, and part not really there at all.

I've seen strong proponents on both sides of the "only divine magic heals" camp.  Some people like no-magic games with healing; other people think that closing up wounds with anything other than magic makes no sense (despite explanations that wounds != HP).

"Edison didn't succeed the first time he invented Benjamin Franklin, either." Albert the Alligator, Walt Kelly's Pogo Sunday Book  
The Core Coliseum: test out your 4e builds and fight to the death.



I've seen strong proponents on both sides of the "only divine magic heals" camp.  Some people like no-magic games with healing; other people think that closing up wounds with anything other than magic makes no sense (despite explanations that wounds != HP).



These people just just choose not to play non-magical or non-divine healers.  Problem solved.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
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