Power Source

So it turns out that the other thread with a title related to power sources is actually just another wizard/fighter debate, so instead of derailing that I figured I would start a new thread.

What do people think of power sources? Would you like them to make a re-appearance in 5e the same way they were in 4e, just flavor and a quick one-word basic idea of the class? Or would you like to see them make a mechanical difference?

Personally, I think power sources are a good way to think of class concepts. Earlier in a thread about 5e classes I said I liked the idea of 6 core classes: fighter(martial), rogue(stealth), wizard(arcane), cleric(divine), druid(primal), and psion(psionic). Then other classes would be thought of as alternative versions and hybridizations of those classes. They would present two class lists, one would be the central class-list consisting of those above classes, and would emphasize multiclassing. Want to play a paladin? Fighter/Cleric.
Then they would have additional classes that would be the actual ready-made paladin that would function differently from a fighter/cleric. This list would also include things like barbarian and monk, which aren't really a hybrid, but aren't enough of a spring-board to create an entirely additional list of classes the same way someone can take a wizard and go, "How about we combine it with fighter for a swordmage? What about a stealthy spellthief? How about they have innate control over their spell power instead of studying a spellbook? What about controlling similar powers through a pact with a magical being?"

Essentially, I think power source should stay as nothing more than words. Having power source makes it much easier for a player to go, "Hey, what's the stealth/psionic class, Bob?"
"Oh, that's the 'lurk', Joe."
Personally, just personally I'd like for there to be Power Sources in 5E but I'm not married to the concept, if they don't get in it's no deal breaker.

If we were to have them I'd preffer them to have some crunch to them not only fluff, but again if they're only fluff it's no big problem.

I consider PS a elegant compromise for those that want 4 big classes and those who want a larger number of more focused classes.

I like power source for spell casters 'cause it tells me where they get their power from and supplies a broad framework for me to apply to character concept. Some mostly martial characters really work well with power source, like rangers and barbarians being primal fighters. The paladin as a divine fighter is a cool concept.


The mundane concepts weren't served as well by power source, I don't think. Maybe it's the term? I don't see a fighter as having some martial source of power that they bring to bear. I don't see how a rogue has an expert power source. What is an expert power source anyway? It conjures an image in my brain of a source of power that's particularly good at its job.. of supplying power.


So yeah the martial and expert umbrella of characters I never really liked that whole notion of a power source. It's skills. Maybe instead of power source it's training?


I think the other issue is you can apply a martial power source to pretty much any attack action, including aiming a spell. Any time someone attacks you and you get a dex mod to armour, you're using some kind of martial skill to take advantage of your reflexes there. You can't really universally apply an arcane power source to basic actions performed in the course of combat.


It doesn't make sense to my brain.



So yeah I've loved the idea of power source, but I would not personally apply the term to mundane characters that don't have any overarching theme like a life of worship or a primal rage.


Maybe what I'm troubled about is "power source" feels like an external thing you draw on. You don't really draw on external skills. Your skills are yours, they came from somewhere but once you're done learning them they don't come from anywhere. Magic is different, generally it taps some kind of "other." Also, the process of learning the skills necessary to tap that power are the same processes you use to learn how to fight or sneak or fish or talk to your neighbour.


So yeah, if we learn stuff in fundamentally the same way and mundane skills don't come from anywhere, the term "power source" doesn't really apply that well. However, it applies to magic and the supernatural really well.

The mundane concepts weren't served as well by power source, I don't think. Maybe it's the term? I don't see a fighter as having some martial source of power that they bring to bear. I don't see how a rogue has an expert power source. What is an expert power source anyway? It conjures an image in my brain of a source of power that's particularly good at its job.. of supplying power.




So yeah the martial and expert umbrella of characters I never really liked that whole notion of a power source. It's skills. Maybe instead of power source it's training?





There was no "expert" power source. Rogues fell under the Martial power source, just like Rogues. All the Martial power source does is identify that these characters gain their ability through self improvement and skill. That's literally what it is. All it does is identify and categorize classes that fall under that category in a way that other than "The classes that don't get spells".



As for the OP, I want to see Power Sources come back. I want to see them expanded upon, and made mechanically distinct. I want to see each power source have its own resource mechanic (example: Martial characters use expertise dice, arcane casters use spell slots, divine casters use Channel Divinity, Psionics use Power Points, and so on) and ability list that characters with access to that source draw from. Much like how the Wizard and Sorcerer draw from the same spell list, I would like to see a common maneuver list that Rogues and Fighters both have access to. Each class can have their own unique list made up of abilities from this list, but there should be overlap. For example, in later 3.5 supplements we started getting spells that were unique to the Sorcerer, despite drawing from the same list as the Wizard. I'd like to see an expansion on that, where you have a common core of abilities, most of which are shared by other similar classes, but each class has its own set of unique abilities that help define it as a separate entity. So a Fighter and Rogue might both have access to maneuvers that increase damage, gain advantage, and trip enemies, but the Rogue might lack access to the reduce incoming damage maneuver, or have access to a maneuver that lets him stealth better, or whatever. This obviously doesn't cover a fraction of it, but roughly that sort of proportion, 3/4 of the general list available to almost all, 1/4 that is restricted or unique.
All it does is identify and categorize classes that fall under that category in a way that other than "The classes that don't get spells".


This, exactly.  "Martial power source" is a bit more respectful than some of the other terms used on the forums in particular - "mundanes" comes to mind.  Furthermore, it emphasizes that their categorization is because of something they are, rather than something they aren't (spellcasters).

Power sources are a very good thing.  They convey a coherent similarity, yet still allow for differences among classes within one source.  They also can convey mechanical tendencies, as they did in 4e.  Martial classes tended to have an extra bit of damage to them, arcane tended to have more control, divine a bit more healing.  These associations are loose, but they are there, and that's something worthwhile.

Classes shouldn't exist in total isolation from another.  Wizards, warlocks, and sorcerers are related - distant cousins perhaps, but related nonetheless, and that relation should be recognized.  They're absolutely not related to things like druids, and power source is a great way of succinctly describing fundamental differences in origin, outlook, tendencies, etc.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
I like power sources, but I think it was a mistake to classify classes that way, as became apparent when they started mixing power source powers within a class, such as the seeker.

Individual abilities can be classified by power source.  Which isn't all that different from how it was classified before.  You have Arcane Spells, Divine Prayers, Psionic Disciplines, and Martial Maneuvers (or Exploits, but I really didn't like that term).  Fourth Edition added Primal Invocations and Shadow something-or-other, but I have no idea why Primal can't be shoved back into the Divine folder and why Shadow can't be shoved back into the Arcane folder.

Plenty of classes can crossover between sources.  An assassin may supplment his martial maneuvers with some shadowy arcane spells.  A theurge may mix divine prayers and arcane magic.  A ranger can employ martial maneuvers and divine prayer.

The power source classification always existed.  It just wasn't as in your face as it was in 4e, and there's really no reason to label a class with a power source. 
What do people think of power sources? Would you like them to make a re-appearance in 5e the same way they were in 4e, just flavor and a quick one-word basic idea of the class? Or would you like to see them make a mechanical difference?

As part of a class description they are fine, but once you try to work them into the game's organization they cause more problems then they fix. Trying to force classes into too rigid of an organization chart was one of 4e's problems. If you have power sources and roles, then people are going to want every role for every power source and you end up trying to force things to fill in the grid.

Plus, when you try to tie the mechanics into the system you run into numerous debatable points of organization and classification. Some class concepts don't neatly fall into one power source, an assassin might be shadow, arcane, divine or martial. Many combine a power source with a bit of martial, barbarian, is a good example. Others are debatable which power source they use, wizard manipulate arcane energy but only through mundane knowledge and skill, they have no inherent arcane energy. Then there are questions of why make one things a power source and not another, Shadow is really a subset of arcane that uses one particular element exclusively.

There are games that successfully tie power sources into mechanics but they are games where the games mechanics and story material are tightly tied together, not fairly generic games like D&D.

I like power sources, but I think it was a mistake to classify classes that way, as became apparent when they started mixing power source powers within a class, such as the seeker.

Individual abilities can be classified by power source.  Which isn't all that different from how it was classified before.  You have Arcane Spells, Divine Prayers, Psionic Disciplines, and Martial Maneuvers (or Exploits, but I really didn't like that term).  Fourth Edition added Primal Invocations and Shadow something-or-other, but I have no idea why Primal can't be shoved back into the Divine folder and why Shadow can't be shoved back into the Arcane folder.

Plenty of classes can crossover between sources.  An assassin may supplment his martial maneuvers with some shadowy arcane spells.  A theurge may mix divine prayers and arcane magic.  A ranger can employ martial maneuvers and divine prayer.


The power source classification always existed.  It just wasn't as in your face as it was in 4e, and there's really no reason to label a class with a power source. 



Mostly in agreement with you here, but I did like primal as a source. Shadow didn't have as much distinction I don't think but primal characters are definitely different from divine characters. I mean, you don't have to call all of a druid's components primal. Their wild shape could be primal, but their spells could be divine. If you don't box character classes into the source, it becomes possible to create broad classifications that all have certain common traits.


It serves the game much better as a classification for abilities, independent of classes. Seerow's mention of linking mechanics to power source could work with the various spellcasting systems that might precipitate someday.

I have no idea why Primal can't be shoved back into the Divine folder and why Shadow can't be shoved back into the Arcane folder.


Because non-deist natural forces deserve to exist, in my opinion.  Take Dark Sun as an example.  The gods are absent, but the world itself still has forces in it that can't be adequately explained by the remaining power sources.  Now, this is only an example, and it's easy to say that we should add it for Dark Sun only, but I would argue that Primal deserves to exist in its own right, independent of setting, the way Divine and Arcane do.

I agree on the shadow thing though, that one seemed forced.  Shadow mages are still using arcane magic.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
There was no "expert" power source. Rogues fell under the Martial power source, just like Rogues. All the Martial power source does is identify that these characters gain their ability through self improvement and skill. That's literally what it is. All it does is identify and categorize classes that fall under that category in a way that other than "The classes that don't get spells".

Oh yeah.. Wrecan's post reminded me tha rogue stuff was called exploits and I got muddled.


I still think that the phrase "martial power source" is weird. "Arcane power source" makes a narritive sense and I could use that as part of the language used by NPCs in a campaign world. "Martial power source" just sounds... I dunno. It sounds like they're relying on something outside themselves. Like their martial power source is the army stood behind them. That'd be one hell of a martial power source. Or maybe it's their tools or something... dunno, but it doesn't say to me the same thing as a divine power source.

If you have power sources and roles, then people are going to want every role for every power source and you end up trying to force things to fill in the grid.


Nobody has yet to adequately explain why this is bad.  If the resultant class is compelling narratively and mechanically, than what does it matter what the initial inspiration was?  Must we only restrict ourselves to existing archetypes, parroting what has come before?

Grid-filling is one of the ways for actually novel concepts to arise, and there should be new things in Next, not just existing things.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
"Martial power source" just sounds... I dunno. It sounds like they're relying on something outside themselves. Like their martial power source is the army stood behind them. 

I think you're overthinking it.  If you like, you can call it the "Physical Power Source".

If you have power sources and roles, then people are going to want every role for every power source and you end up trying to force things to fill in the grid.


Nobody has yet to adequately explain why this is bad.  If the resultant class is compelling narratively and mechanically, than what does it matter what the initial inspiration was?  Must we only restrict ourselves to existing archetypes, parroting what has come before?


Grid-filling is one of the ways for actually novel concepts to arise, and there should be new things in Next, not just existing things.



I don't wanna put words in Jay's mouth but I think really the concern has to do with people feeling like they need to have all the roles covered. All of D&D has suffered from this to a certain extent, particularly with regard to healers. "So who's gonna heal?" is a common question at my table when we start up a new game, and it's a totally valid one. If nobody wants to heal then nobody heals and everyone goes for magic items that will do it, but one needs to establish who's gonna heal (or not) pretty quick.


And it does get a little redundant, having a primal, martial, psionic, divine, and arcane guardian. Then again for a striker and so on. It feels contrived, like the divine guys are over there having a big power source cakewalk on their own and you need to have their power source to join their club.



That's why Wrecan's shout that it should describe abilities and not classes is a good one. It lets folks just make classes without worrying about representation.

That's a role argument, not a power source argument, however.

And to call the paladin, fighter, battlemind, warden, and swordmage "redundant" displays nothing but an extreme ignorance of the classes in question.  They're not really alike at all beyond having lots of HP and good AC, with a general goal of protecting their allies from getting squished.  How they do what they do, what things they're good at, what things they're bad at, the most basic tactics to the fanciest maneuvers, all of that is completely and utterly different.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition

"Martial power source" just sounds... I dunno. It sounds like they're relying on something outside themselves. Like their martial power source is the army stood behind them.

I think you're overthinking it.  If you like, you can call it the "Physical Power Source".


That's better. Maybe calling it a power source for all of it is a mistake. Maybe call them disciplines?


Mundane characters being of the martial discipline works really nicely. I could see that fitting into dialogue in game. Same goes for the arcane disciplines, divine disciplines... yeah. Primal discipline is a bit contradictory but it jives better than martial power source.

Nobody has yet to adequately explain why this is bad.


The grid itself was bad because it forced people to think of classes in terms of power sources, when only powers should be thought of that way.

I also had a problem with the roles they chose.  I felt "controller" was never very well defined and "striker" was what you did when you didn't have a good idea for how the class worked as a member of a team.  

Truly, I think the "combat roles" should be classified as follows: offensive (primarily impose conditions on enemies) vs, defensive (primarily ameliorate damage and conditions on allies), and vanguard (primarily close and melee) vs. rear guard (primarily ranged and area).  All classes should be doing roughly the same amount of damage, though for some classes (like bard and warlord) the damage may come in the form to boosts to damage the other PCs inflict.
Maybe call them disciplines?


I see no benefit to categorizing classes by power source.  The only thing that should be classified by power source are powers.
I think I'm opposed tip the idea of named power sources on the basis that they threaten immersion and creativity. A player who is playing the role of Bob the Barbarian may decide his desert-nomad would be interested in learning how to read...is he likely to pursue that role-playing and quest-hook possibility if he's thinking if his character as having a particular "power source?"
I think I'm opposed tip the idea of named power sources on the basis that they threaten immersion and creativity. A player who is playing the role of Bob the Barbarian may decide his desert-nomad would be interested in learning how to read...is he likely to pursue that role-playing and quest-hook possibility if he's thinking if his character as having a particular "power source?"



What on earth does having a declared power source have to do with a character deciding they want to learn how to read? This entire statement/objection is a non sequitor. It makes no sense.
Why shouldn't classes be thought of in terms of power source?  Describing a Wizard as an arcane class is perfectly fine, as is describing the Cleric as a divine class.  Sure, if your Cleric is whacking someone with a mace, he may not be channeling divine energy, but guess what:  that's exactly how 4e did it.  But the divine connection is still core to the identity of the Cleric, just as the arcane is core to the identity of a Wizard.

And CharOp has figured out what the roles mean.  Rather precisely, I might add.  That you find "striker" confusing itself confuses me:  how is killing the enemy as quickly as possible not working for your team?  It's like saying that a crack shooting guard isn't a team player because he scores too many of the points, while ignoring the fact that the other four members on the court are all playing their roles so that the shooting guard can do exactly that.  I could go on to the other roles, but roles are off-topic here.  This is about power sources.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
in my opinion power sources have always been in the game even though not explisity named in older editions.

the 4 main power sources present since ADnD 2nd are: 
phisical/martial
Arcane
Divine
Psionic 
in my opinion power sources have always been in the game even though not explisity named in older editions.

the 4 main power sources present since ADnD 2nd are: 
phisical/martial
Arcane
Divine
Psionic 



I pretty much agree with this. Primal I could see being argued either way, but I'm not attached to it. Shadow was really just WotC grasping for straws.
in my opinion power sources have always been in the game even though not explisity named in older editions.

the 4 main power sources present since ADnD 2nd are: 
phisical/martial
Arcane
Divine
Psionic 


Indeed.  So have roles, for that matter, but it's easier for people to stick their heads in the sand rather than re-evaluate their preconceptions.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
I'm not a big fan of over-classification. I'm not sure why a granular system of power classification is really needed. I think it's enough for the cleric class to say "the cleric draws his or her spells from a worshipped deity or force" and the wizard class to say "the wizard's spells manipulate arcane forces..."

I think professordaddy's example wasn't a very good one, but I agree with his general premise that too much classification can hinder creativity.
I have no idea why Primal can't be shoved back into the Divine folder and why Shadow can't be shoved back into the Arcane folder.


Because non-deist natural forces deserve to exist, in my opinion.  Take Dark Sun as an example.  The gods are absent, but the world itself still has forces in it that can't be adequately explained by the remaining power sources.  Now, this is only an example, and it's easy to say that we should add it for Dark Sun only, but I would argue that Primal deserves to exist in its own right, independent of setting, the way Divine and Arcane do.


Except in 2e, druids and clerics were allowed and used divine magic.  They just had unique domains that were not tied to specific gods.  If Dark Sun can say that druids and clerics call upon the ame power course, Next can too.

The divine power source means drawing on some otherworldly force that isn't arcane.  I know that sounds circular, and maybe it is, but that's how D&D has always been.  Divine and arcane are spearate and druids fall on the divine side of things.  

People always complain about wanting a paladin of Bane, but I don't see why I can't have a druid who worships Pelor.  Pelor is a god of agriculture.  No reason a druid might not think him to be totally awesome and I could completely see how to reflavor a druid of any edition to be a pelor worshiper (once you drop the alignment restrictions).  After all, the original druids (as far as we can tell) did worship gods.  They weren't utter animists.
I think 4e went about power sources in the wrong way. I think individual spells and maneuvers should have a power source but not necessarily entire classes. I also think a class should not be limited to a power source. I can see a Swordmage knowing some entirely martial attacks for example. I think basic attacks should be martial as well. I could also see many abilities being a mix of multiple power sources.
Why shouldn't classes be thought of in terms of power source?


Because classes shouldn't be limited by power source.  I already gave examples.  Rangers can have martial and divine powers.  Theurges can have divine and arcane powers.  Assassins can use martial and arcane powers.  Pigeoholing clases into power sources is stiflign and comepltely unnecessary.  yes, there are classes that don't stray from a single power source.  But there are classes that should and there's no benefit to defining a class by power source.

how is killing the enemy as quickly as possible not working for your team?


It works for your team.  but it isn't working with your team.

Maybe call them disciplines?



I see no benefit to categorizing classes by power source.  The only thing that should be classified by power source are powers.



Sure but I can learn a skill within a discipline. I am a theatre artist, which is in the discipline of fine and performing arts. Does that make me a sculptor? Hell no, but they're part of the same discipline. A rogue's sneak attack and a fighter's combat superiority could easily be described as part of a martial discipline without forcing the classes into that box.

Sure, 1e-3e had druids as divine.  It worked well enough.  But what your arguing is basically saying that the way it's been done before is the only way to do it now.  Why do druid fall on the divine side of things?  Why are there only two sides?

You aren't presenting any reasons beyond an appeal to tradition, and I can't accept that as a full answer. 
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
It works for your team.  but it isn't working with your team.

How is being the enable target for your Warlord not working with your team?
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Seerow,
I'm typing on a phone, and thus at less length than usual. My point was that a player who thinks of his character as a person may explore unlimited ways of developing that character. One who thinkpad off her character as being driven by a power source may well limit development if that character to developing that power source. Civilizing that barbarian is inconsistent with the "primal" keyword, by definition. Follow that pattern and I think you limit rp possibilities.
Personally I think classes that have access to more than one power source should be multiclassed or prestige classes anyway. If you want a character who fights like a Fighter and casts like a Cleric, you multiclass Fighter and Cleric.
And a Paladin casts and fights like neither.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
That's a role argument, not a power source argument, however.


And to call the paladin, fighter, battlemind, warden, and swordmage "redundant" displays nothing but an extreme ignorance of the classes in question.  They're not really alike at all beyond having lots of HP and good AC, with a general goal of protecting their allies from getting squished.  How they do what they do, what things they're good at, what things they're bad at, the most basic tactics to the fanciest maneuvers, all of that is completely and utterly different.



I said it felt redundant, and you are not in a position to evaluate my - or anyone else's - feelings on any topic. Feeling something does not speak of ignorance. It can speak of understanding just as much as it can of ignorance and you are not in a position to evaluate my - or anyone else's - understanding on the basis of what's been said in this discussion.


The classes could be very different, but still feel redundant. Feelings are ineffible and do not have to conform to logic or even reality.


However, since we're dealing with a game that is  basically a weighted random number generator that we impose a narrative to, that means that I can look at two classes and qualitatively say they feel the same or they feel contrived, even if quantitatively they are not.


Design deals in feelings. They do not always match up to hard numbers.



Anyway, sorry for going off topic but I felt this was rude enough to demand a response.

I can learn a skill within a discipline. I am a theatre artist, which is in the discipline of fine and performing arts. Does that make me a sculptor? Hell no, but they're part of the same discipline. A rogue's sneak attack and a fighter's combat superiority could easily be described as part of a martial discipline without forcing the classes into that box.


Right.  Their powers are classified.  The classes don't have to be.  I have now twice given examples of classes that should be so classified: theurges, assassins, rangers.  Others mentioned swordmages..  I could include paladins, bards, and monks as classes who might regularly access powers from multiple sources.

When you stick a label on a class you limit the designers to that label.  That's the point of labels.  That's why the monk never got a martial power in 4e.  That's why the ranger got now primal powers and we had to introduce the ridiculous seeker class instead.  

Sure, 1e-3e had druids as divine.  It worked well enough.  But what your arguing is basically saying that the way it's been done before is the only way to do it now.  Why do druid fall on the divine side of things?  Why are there only two sides?


Because nobody has given a justification for a primal source.  In fact the one reason you gave -- to allow non-theistic classes -- means you can't have theistic druids and you can't have animistic priests.  And I don't think that makes any sense at all.  A class should not be "theistic" or "animistic".  A class is a class and it may draw on powers that are divine, arcane, psionic, or even primal, if you can explain why a power should be classified as primal rather than divine.

You aren't presenting any reasons beyond an appeal to tradition, and I can't accept that as a full answer. 


It's not my burden to justify it.  If you want to multiply the mechanics of the game, you have to justify it.  The justification you gave, in my opinion, makes the game worse, not better.
Seerow, I'm typing on a phone, and thus at less length than usual. My point was that a player who thinks of his character as a person may explore unlimited ways of developing that character. One who thinkpad off her character as being driven by a power source may well limit development if that character to developing that power source. Civilizing that barbarian is inconsistent with the "primal" keyword, by definition. Follow that pattern and I think you limit rp possibilities.



Your argument applies equally, if not moreso, to the name "Barbarian". Civilizing a barbarian is inconsistent with the name "Barbarian" by definition. If you can ignore that and roleplay a barbarian getting civilized, there is absolutely no reason why a primal power source would do anything different.
I'm not evaluating your feelings, I'm evaluating your apparent lack of sufficient information to form judgments.

And that's my "feeling".
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
That's a role argument, not a power source argument, however.


And to call the paladin, fighter, battlemind, warden, and swordmage "redundant" displays nothing but an extreme ignorance of the classes in question.  They're not really alike at all beyond having lots of HP and good AC, with a general goal of protecting their allies from getting squished.  How they do what they do, what things they're good at, what things they're bad at, the most basic tactics to the fanciest maneuvers, all of that is completely and utterly different.



I said it felt redundant, and you are not in a position to evaluate my - or anyone else's - feelings on any topic. Feeling something does not speak of ignorance. It can speak of understanding just as much as it can of ignorance and you are not in a position to evaluate my - or anyone else's - understanding on the basis of what's been said in this discussion.


The classes could be very different, but still feel redundant. Feelings are ineffible and do not have to conform to logic or even reality.


However, since we're dealing with a game that is  basically a weighted random number generator that we impose a narrative to, that means that I can look at two classes and qualitatively say they feel the same or they feel contrived, even if quantitatively they are not.


Design deals in feelings. They do not always match up to hard numbers.



Anyway, sorry for going off topic but I felt this was rude enough to demand a response.





It is entirely possible for feelings to be objectively wrong. It is not rude to point out when that is the case.
It's not my burden to justify it. 


Yes, it is.  Everything has to be justified, even the choices we all know we're going to make.  Like deciding that PCs will have a thing called AC that determines how easy is to hit them with attacks.

I'm at least attempting to make a justification for my position, whereas you're just asserting that you're right.  If you really think you don't need to justify it, then your opinion doesn't deserve to be recognized.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Seerow, if you think slapping the phrase "primal power-source" on the barbarian has no new effect on the playing of that class, then there is absolutely no reason to do so.

I could have a stab at a primal justification -


Basically primal means wild and related to the natural world. So the difference between a druid and a cleric is the energies they tap into are less ordered and more animistic. Clerics use a more ordered discipline of study that revolves around the organised worship of their chosen deity. Some deities are more organised than others, but all of them demand certain things from their followers, especially their clerics. There's a code.


Primal energy need not come from any code. It simply is there. A barbarian's rage ability is primal because it is wild, unbridled fury that comes from somewhere buried down within everyone... some might call it our base desires. Basic. Primal is basic.


Fighters are not primal because they train. The strength of their discipline comes from their ability to practise and perfect forms, but not so for the barbarian. The barbarian is fury incarnate and his strength comes from unleashing his primal instincts.



So primal represents something that is of the natural world and is not controlled, as such. It's dangerous to use because of how basic and chaotic it is.

Sign In to post comments