Legends & Lore: This One Goes to . . . Ten

Legends & Lore 
This One Goes to . . . Ten

By Mike Mearls

As I've mentioned a few times in the past couple weeks, we're primed to release levels 1 through 10 in the playtest packet later today. So, what's new? First, a confession. I'm thinking about, playing, and reviewing material that's a couple of packets ahead of you. Being ahead like this makes it fairly strange to go back and look at what's going out in the playtest packet.

Talk about this column here.

This Week in D&D

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Seems interesting that they're revising the monster math, but not for this packet. I guess they can still get value from feedback even if it's not with stats they'll be using?
Now that we get 1-10, this concerns me.

"You might be a little surprised to see that nothing really new shows up for the classes."

Maybe I'm not understanding that correct.

"The turning of the tide always begins with one soldier's decision to head back into the fray"

Now that we get 1-10, this concerns me.

"You might be a little surprised to see that nothing really new shows up for the classes."

Maybe I'm not understanding that correct.



It sounded to me like there haven't been any big new innovations to the classes. There's probably not going to be a bunch of new Arcane Traditions, Domains, Fighting Styles, or Schemes. Similarly, there's probably not going to be any new classes or any world-shattering changes to the ones we already have. But, as you'd expect, Wizards and Clerics will get new spells (and can cast more of them as they gain levels) and Fighters and Rogues get more ways to use their extra dice (and more dice to use as they gain levels). Nothing really NEW, just more of what we already had.

The rogue specifically gets expertise dice now. But really, he always had expertise dice. 2d6 of them at first level, and another 1d6 every level thereafter. He just only had one manuver (sneak attack). Now he'll have more things he can do with those dice besides extra damage on attacks with advantage. Again, it isn't REALLY new, it's just more of what we already had.
My understanding of that was that it's just levels 1-5, doubled.  Fighters continue to get more and bigger CS dice, wizards/clerics continue to get more spells, but they're not suddenly getting new features, just improving the old ones.  You're not going to get warlocks picking up DR the way they did in 3.5, or wizards picking up a familiar, or rogues picking up rogue tricks a la 3.5 (beyond an extension of the thug/thief benefits).  
We've dialed down the number of spells that casters get, capping them at two per level up to 5th level. We've compensated for that by holding on to at-will spells based on a wizard tradition or cleric deity. In addition, wizards now have signature spells. These are spells that a wizard can cast every five minutes. Wizards have one such spell, determined by their tradition.



This is a terrible idea. If you're going to keep vancian casting at all, don't leave people with only a couple of spells per level per day. The problem you end up with is that there are literally dozens of choices of spells at each spell level, but you only get 2 slots. That means that the vast majority of those spells never get used. This has always been a problem with vancian casting, but you're making it even worse. Rituals do help, but only with certain spells. What's going to end up happening is people will always use their spell slots for combat spells and utility spells will always be cast as rituals. They're just too situational to spend a slot on.

4th edition had a small number of daily slots, but it also had only 4 or so spells of each level to choose from, and utitlity spells and rituals were separate from combat spells. But even now, there are a dozen or more spells of each level to choose from, and that number will only continue to grow. I'm not suggesting you trim down the number of spells available. But I'm just baffled why you guys keep clinging to vancian casting even though it has always been problematic and hated by a large portion, if not a large majority of players. 

You keep trying to have it all ways with magic, and it just isn't going to work. It's time you accept that vancian casting needs to go. It has never been anything but a problem for the game. It wrecks game balance. It bogs things down with pointless bookkeeping. It doesn't even make sense from a roleplaying perspective. And most important of all, it just isn't fun. There's a good reason you don't see other RPGs use it, and it's not because they're afraid of copying D&D. It's because vancian casting sucks.

I know, you're worried about dropping something that has been a tradition of the game from the beginning. Well, don't. Vancian casting is NOT what makes D&D magic iconic and feel like D&D. It's the spells themselves that do that, not the resource management system that goes on in the background. I feel like a D&D wizard because I cast fireball, invisibility, Evard's black tentacles and Mordenkainen's magnificent mansion, not because I have X 1st level spells per day!
We've dialed down the number of spells that casters get, capping them at two per level up to 5th level. We've compensated for that by holding on to at-will spells based on a wizard tradition or cleric deity. In addition, wizards now have signature spells. These are spells that a wizard can cast every five minutes. Wizards have one such spell, determined by their tradition.



This is a terrible idea. If you're going to keep vancian casting at all, don't leave people with only a couple of spells per level per day. The problem you end up with is that there are literally dozens of choices of spells at each spell level, but you only get 2 slots. That means that the vast majority of those spells never get used. This has always been a problem with vancian casting, but you're making it even worse. Rituals do help, but only with certain spells. What's going to end up happening is people will always use their spell slots for combat spells and utility spells will always be cast as rituals. They're just too situational to spend a slot on.

4th edition had a small number of daily slots, but it also had only 4 or so spells of each level to choose from, and utitlity spells and rituals were separate from combat spells. But even now, there are a dozen or more spells of each level to choose from, and that number will only continue to grow. I'm not suggesting you trim down the number of spells available. But I'm just baffled why you guys keep clinging to vancian casting even though it has always been problematic and hated by a large portion, if not a large majority of players. 

You keep trying to have it all ways with magic, and it just isn't going to work. It's time you accept that vancian casting needs to go. It has never been anything but a problem for the game. It wrecks game balance. It bogs things down with pointless bookkeeping. It doesn't even make sense from a roleplaying perspective. And most important of all, it just isn't fun. There's a good reason you don't see other RPGs use it, and it's not because they're afraid of copying D&D. It's because vancian casting sucks.

I know, you're worried about dropping something that has been a tradition of the game from the beginning. Well, don't. Vancian casting is NOT what makes D&D magic iconic and feel like D&D. It's the spells themselves that do that, not the resource management system that goes on in the background. I feel like a D&D wizard because I cast fireball, invisibility, Evard's black tentacles and Mordenkainen's magnificent mansion, not because I have X 1st level spells per day!



I don't like this part either, but not because I don't like Vancian casting - I do like it. But I don't like the idea that they're watering it down into a handful of vancian spells and then some at-wills and encounter spells. I don't want to focus on at-wills and encounter spells, because I don't want to play a pew-pew wizard that just casts the same damn spells all the time. I don't mind having one or two of those that I can fall back on when all else fails, but I want my primary spellcasting to be based on a wide variety of spells that I have to choose carefully and use creatively. for me, that's most of the fun of playing a wizard - being unpredictable, finding clever ways to use magic to help the group out of a jam. I can't do that if I only have two spells of each level.

They keep saying "oh we get it! you want the method of magic use to be a system that's modular and independent of class! okay, we can do that!" and then just... not doing that. I don't want hybridized vancian, I want the real deal. I know others want full on AEDU and/or spell points. I wish that WotC could just get that through their collective head.

Just to temper the above post a bit.

I personally love the idea of vancian casting and a wizard actually having to think ahead.
As for the encounter spells... sorry the spells that return after five minutes... I would rather that be an option rather than core but I dont mind playtesting it first.

The reason I think anti vancian crowds get a lot of stick is because of poor wording though... "Playing a vancian caster isnt fun", is just wrong. Playing a vancian caster isn't fun for you is more like it. So lets pray for those modules before you spit your dummy out and take things away from other people.
I don't like this part either, but not because I don't like Vancian casting - I do like it. But I don't like the idea that they're watering it down into a handful of vancian spells and then some at-wills and encounter spells. I don't want to focus on at-wills and encounter spells, because I don't want to play a pew-pew wizard that just casts the same damn spells all the time. I don't mind having one or two of those that I can fall back on when all else fails, but I want my primary spellcasting to be based on a wide variety of spells that I have to choose carefully and use creatively. for me, that's most of the fun of playing a wizard - being unpredictable, finding clever ways to use magic to help the group out of a jam. I can't do that if I only have two spells of each level.

They keep saying "oh we get it! you want the method of magic use to be a system that's modular and independent of class! okay, we can do that!" and then just... not doing that. I don't want hybridized vancian, I want the real deal. I know others want full on AEDU and/or spell points. I wish that WotC could just get that through their collective head.



You bring up a good point that I forgot to address in my previous post. Even with the number of spells per day wizards have now, I find them boring and repetitive. Of course, that has always been the case with low level wizards in past editions, I'm just saying that it's not much better so far in Next. I do love having at-will cantrips, but you only get 4, and two of them are eaten up by magic missile and the absolutely mandatory detect magic. At least I'm not spending most rounds shooting a crossbow, but still. But with only 2 slots of each level per day, that's just going to be painful. I don't care about having an encounter power that is yet another spell I will use over and over and over again. 

If they're going to do vancian casting with at-wills, fine. I was able to tolerate vancian casting before and the addition of at-will cantrips and rituals makes it easier to endure than it ever was before. But this half-vancian half 4e or whatever it is ends up being worse than either vancian or 4e. It just seems to have all of the cons of both without any of the pros of either. 
What's going to end up happening is people will always use their spell slots for combat spells and utility spells will always be cast as rituals. They're just too situational to spend a slot on.

That sounds fine to me.

But I'm just baffled why you guys keep clinging to vancian casting even though it has always been problematic and hated by a large portion, if not a large majority of players.

Limiting spell slots keeps vancian blalanced.  It's only when vancian get's scaling slots and scaling spells that things fall apart.  Wizards where intended to be more powerful at later levels.  It may very well turn out wizards are too weak this time.

The 5-minute-work-a-day as the only actual issue.  And they seem to be fixing that by making wizards AEDU.  Where U is rituals.

You keep trying to have it all ways with magic, and it just isn't going to work.

Sure it can.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
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.

"Skills and Backgrounds: You get four skills now, rather than three. Skills are a little narrower. They also provide a bonus to any check. They are no longer tied to specific ability scores."


I like the idea of narrower skills within the framework of D&D Next.  The baseline is stat checks, with training in a skill actually making you better at something rather than simply keeping up with the math.  So in order to make this work (and not have the party trained at everything), skills need to be very narrow in scope.  The point is for you to not always use one of your skills, but when you do you feel cool because you are better at it.


"Classes: Obviously, these now go to 10, denying us a look at classes above level 10 and a cheap, easy Spinal Tap joke. You might be a little surprised to see that nothing really new shows up for the classes. They receive more hit points and improve in the areas you'd expect. The fighter's expertise dice improve, and clerics and wizards get more spells. Speaking of spells . . ."


Not a huge surprise to me.  Casters get bigger and better spells, fighters (and rogues) get more expertise dice.


"Spells: We've dialed down the number of spells that casters get, capping them at two per level up to 5th level. We've compensated for that by holding on to at-will spells based on a wizard tradition or cleric deity. In addition, wizards now have signature spells. These are spells that a wizard can cast every five minutes. Wizards have one such spell, determined by their tradition."


I am very curious to see how this plays out.  The good news is that numbers are an easy to alter.  If 4 was too much, and 2 turns out to be too little...


In addition, with wizards having a signature spell, they will be a bit more free to use their spell slots for non-combat spells.  Even so, the idea of making rituals free (perhaps limited in daily use though) is a good idea. 


"Healing: We have a few optional rules we want to look at for healing. Right now, healing sits at the center of a connected web of monster power, cleric healing, and lethality. For instance, healing feels off to people but at the same time testers are reporting that monsters feel too wimpy. If the monsters are weak, it's hard to get a clear view of how much healing the characters should have."


My hypothesis is that not having your character heal to full after each fight is what feels off to people.  So even though the monsters are too wimpy, there is the sense that healing isn't working out.


"Monsters: Speaking of monsters, we are revising monster math, but not for this playtest packet. We are adding monsters to the mix, fifty in total, to support higher-level play."


Sad, but I'm patient.  I can wait.  Also, this is an easy thing for us to implement on our own.  If monsters are too wimpy, just boost up their numbers a bit.  Give them all a +2 to hit, for example, or a +2 to damage, or both.  Give them all extra hp.  And then report the results!


"The Rogue: Rogues now use expertise dice. The fighter proved very popular, and to better focus on the rogue as a sneaky combatant, scout, and skill master, we imported the expertise concept to this class. Rogues get a different set of maneuvers than fighters (though there is some overlap) to give the class a distinct feel. You can think of it as being similar to how wizards and clerics both cast spells, but the spell lists they have access to give each class a very different flavor. Rogues use expertise dice to sneak attack, gain a bonus to skill checks, dodge opportunity attacks, and other things that are iconic to the class."


I think this will be very cool.  The mechanic of expertise dice is broad enough in scope (just like spellcasting) that it should be able to support a number of different classes and concepts without seeming overused. 

I like that Specialties are now more some form of specialization in a given field that a defining trait for an individual. It help alleviate the identity cisis some playtesters have expressed before IMO (ex. Halfling Rogue/Thug/Survivor). 

I am much in favor of getting 4 Skills rather than 3 and more importantly that they provide a bonus to any check without being associated to an ability score. It is really a strenght of this new Skill system i believe.

Classes don't seem to gain any new features or traits between level 6-10 it appears, just more abilities in the ones they already have. 

I am good with spell slots being dialed down, especially with wizards now having signature spells on a regular basis. We'll have to see how this change affect the cleric though in the absence of one. I am not particularly fond of the idea to make Rituals cheaper or free - at least not all of them should be IMO. I wonder what are the few optional rules they came up with for for healing too. 

I am glad to hear 50 new monsters are crawling in the playtest , always fun to have MOAR MONSTA !!. I was hoping to see monsters accuracy finally fixed though. In another packet i guess...

Rogues using expertise dice is cool i think, especially with different maneuvers than Fighters, as the dice trick mechanic in itself is neat. It look like Sneak Attack is now a maneuver much like Deadly Strike.

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Specialties: Sounds like nothing new, just some tweaking. Hopefully we get some more because right now the rules only support a few builds for most classes.

Skills and Backgrounds: Going back to the narrower and more skills design. I like it but I think they need to explain it better to people who are used to the 4e style of just having a few broad skills

Classes: About what I expected. There won't be any major changes in characters, just an expansion on what we have so far. I wonder if sorcerer and warlock are dropped entirely or we just get an expanded version of the old design they already said is going away eventually?

Spells: Heading in the wrong direction. They probably had to to cut down the number of spells to compensate for at-wills and signature spells. This will be a problem for clerics because obviously the healing can't be a signature spell unless there is something to cap using it and a healing cleric isn't going to want anything else as a signature spell. For wizards it is pushing the class in a direction I don't like, I want still want a wizard with no at-will or encounter spells at all. As for using rituals to compensate for limited spell casting, I will have to see how it works out but that is what they tried in 4e and it didn't work.

Healing: Sounds about right. You can't really tweak Healing in a vacuum because it effects everything. I'll be curious to see what the optional rules are.

Monsters: Boo, we don't get updated monsters yet, just some more to fill out the level chart.

Rogue: I shall have to see how it plays. Using dice for abilities the same way casters use spells is OK but I'm worried about how it will interact with sneak attack. The bonus to skill checks also worries me, because it would hard to do correctly in way that is balanced in and out of combat.



Setting aside my dislike for what they're doing with spell slots, I do want to take the time to praise the addition of an extra skill for characters, the decoupling of skills from ability scores, free rituals, and rogues getting an option to spend their sneak attack damage on other things.


Rogues using expertise dice is cool i think, especially with different maneuvers than Fighters, as the dice trick mechanic in itself is neat. It look like Sneak Attack is now a maneuver much like Deadly Strike.




It always was, really. A rogue had 2d6 expertise dice at first level and gained an additional 1d6 every level thereafter. He just happened to only have one maneuver, sneak attack, which was effectively a deadly strike that he could only use when he had advantage. I assume little if any of that is going to change, the only difference is the language is changing so that the two classes that actually had the same mechanic all along (and just used it differently) will be worded to reflect that, and the rogue will probably get more maneuver options in addition to sneak attack.


Rogue: I shall have to see how it plays. Using dice for abilities the same way casters use spells is OK but I'm worried about how it will interact with sneak attack. The bonus to skill checks also worries me, because it would hard to do correctly in way that is balanced in and out of combat.




What do you mean how it will interact with sneak attack? That's exactly what sneak attack has always been. Extra dice that you spent for a spell-like effect. That spell happened to deal a lot of damage to one target you had an advantage against. I highly doubt anything about sneak attack will change, except that you'll be able to use the dice for more than just extra damage, which makes sense to me. When the orc you're attacking only has 13 HP, dealing 6d6 damage is a little excessive. Why not trade in a few dice worth of that for some extra movement or something? The flavor being you don't focus as much of your energy on getting the perfect hit, you're just interested in catching the orc off gurad and then getting the heck out of dodge.
Spells: Heading in the wrong direction. They probably had to to cut down the number of spells to compensate for at-wills and signature spells. This will be a problem for clerics because obviously the healing can't be a signature spell unless there is something to cap using it and a healing cleric isn't going to want anything else as a signature spell.

Turn undead?  Seems like it would be a a pretty signiture spell for clerics.  At least some of them.

Though there's no indication that clerics are getting signiture spells.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
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.

My hypothesis is that not having your character heal to full after each fight is what feels off to people.  So even though the monsters are too wimpy, there is the sense that healing isn't working out.

That could be a lot of or even the entire source of the problem. Switching from starting most fights fully healed to HP as much more of a daily resource is going to be a big change for a lot of people. In 4e the players often top up their healing even if not near a full healing surge of damage because it is very rare for a character to go through all of their healing surges in one day. If that is the case, then most of the problem will simply be people getting enough experience with the new system to adjust.

I really got the impression that people just not being used to it was the problem with the original flexible skill system. A lot of people disliked it simply because they where used to the 4e style of having a few very broad skills and the rules didn't explain the new system very well. So the players didn't understand how to use the new skills, the DMs didn't know how to ask for skill checks clearly and the changes in the rule terminology confused people as to what applied when.

Though there's no indication that clerics are getting signiture spells.

That is true, he only specifically said at-will for clerics. The talk of signature spells was for wizards, and sorta implies it is wizard only. However, they said they are crimping all spell casters number of slots, so clerics need to be adjusted somehow. There are other options beyond encounter spells though, they could ramp up the power of cleric spells or give them some non-spell healing powers. Hopefully they are keeping in mind healing dedicated clerics. While only a subset of clerics, there are enough players that like that style that it needs to be covered.


I don't like this part either, but not because I don't like Vancian casting - I do like it. But I don't like the idea that they're watering it down into a handful of vancian spells and then some at-wills and encounter spells. I don't want to focus on at-wills and encounter spells, because I don't want to play a pew-pew wizard that just casts the same damn spells all the time. I don't mind having one or two of those that I can fall back on when all else fails, but I want my primary spellcasting to be based on a wide variety of spells that I have to choose carefully and use creatively. for me, that's most of the fun of playing a wizard - being unpredictable, finding clever ways to use magic to help the group out of a jam. I can't do that if I only have two spells of each level.

They keep saying "oh we get it! you want the method of magic use to be a system that's modular and independent of class! okay, we can do that!" and then just... not doing that. I don't want hybridized vancian, I want the real deal. I know others want full on AEDU and/or spell points. I wish that WotC could just get that through their collective head.


Agree - there should be real Vancian for the pre-4e fans, and real AEDU spells for the 4e fans - pick your Option*. But mixing the 2 like this risks tee-ing off the whole bunch.

*Although Lord help the person that has to balance these 2 casting options so they are equally powerful and play side-by-side -> dang

Agree - there should be real Vancian for the pre-4e fans, and real AEDU spells for the 4e fans - pick your Option*. But mixing the 2 like this risks tee-ing off the whole bunch.

*Although Lord help the person that has to balance these 2 casting options so they are equally powerful and play side-by-side -> dang


You can't please everyone, and if you try you often end up pleasing no one. One single system will not be able to satisfy both the vancian lovers and the vancian haters, trying to meet in the middle will only result in something neither camp likes. The best solution is to do some of that modular stuff they've been saying they're going to do since day 1 and have still not done at all, and give players the option of one or the other. Or if that proves truely impossible to balance, give that option to the DM.

I assume the only reason that hasn't happened yet is that they're trying to nail down a "default" magic system before they start messing with optional systems. 
Clearly the designers ran into some problems when they tried to extend their spell progression table into the high levels of play.

Here is a quick comparison.

AD&D (2e) & 3.5e











Wizard 

Spell Level 





















































































































































Level 












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-- 
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10 





-- 
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D&D Next











Wizard 

Spell Level 

































































































Level 












-- 
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 4


-- 
-- 
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-- 
-- 
-- 

D&D Next (new playtest) ?











Wizard 

Spell Level 





















































































































































Level 












-- 
-- 
-- 
-- 
-- 
-- 
-- 
-- 



-- 
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-- 
-- 
-- 
-- 
-- 
-- 




-- 
-- 
-- 
-- 
-- 
-- 
-- 




-- 
-- 
-- 
-- 
-- 
-- 
-- 





-- 
-- 
-- 
-- 
-- 
-- 





-- 
-- 
-- 
-- 
-- 
-- 






-- 
-- 
-- 
-- 
-- 






-- 
-- 
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10 





-- 
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-- 
--



I'm not really sure what he means by a cap of 2 slots, because the 5e table had no spell levels with only one slot.  Maybe he is going back to the orginal spell progression table from AD&D.


When I compare the tables I see that D&D already created problem by allocating more spells than wizards had previously, and that doesn't include at-wills and specialty spells .

A potential problem is that you only gain new spell slots every other level.    I think I'll be ok with that provided they hand out speciality spells or new at-will spells during those (even) levels.  In addition, I think that having a minimum of 2 spells of your highest spell level is a good trade off (compared to AD&D and 3.5).   As for the lower level spell slots being reduced it might not be so bad with the inclusion of at-wills and specialty spells.   

Lastly, I hope that the signature spells can also be memorized in the normal way.   That way if fireball is my signature spell I'll still be able to memorise two more at 5th level.    

At first I didn't think this would be a good change, but after looking at the old tables, it's clearly a needed change.     It's actually the only direction that makes sense once you include at-will and speciality spells.    I just hope that the at-will spells are not limited to low level spells at high levels. 


At first I didn't think this would be a good change but after looking at the old tables, it's clearly a needed change.     It's actually the only direction that makes sense once you include at-will and speciality spells.    I just hope that the at-will spells are not limited to low level spells at high levels.



Good points. It must be added to your equation, however, that the D&DN individual spells are nerfed when compared to 1e-3.Xe. First there is no scaling, second the individual spells are watered-down (look at mirror image for ex.), third (TBD) D&DN may restrict the breadth of spell powers (i.e. will effects like wish, teleport, polymorph, time stop, be banned in this edition?)

So comparing to prev editions becomes very difficult, goes beyond # spell slots.

From what I've read and seen so far from Mearls and co., I expect the Wizard to be generally weaker through the whole progression (not just early levels) than the other classes. I believe this is by design. The LFQW bugaboo is so feared by Mearls that I think he'll err to the safe side, perhaps with the thought that hoisting up the Wiz later via supplements would be easier than pulling him down.
At first I didn't think this would be a good change but after looking at the old tables, it's clearly a needed change.     It's actually the only direction that makes sense once you include at-will and speciality spells.    I just hope that the at-will spells are not limited to low level spells at high levels.



Good points. It must be added to your equation, however, that the D&DN individual spells are nerfed when compared to 1e-3.Xe. First there is no scaling, second the individual spells are watered-down (look at mirror image for ex.), third (TBD) D&DN may restrict the breadth of spell powers (i.e. will effects like wish, teleport, polymorph, time stop, be banned in this edition?)

So comparing to prev editions becomes very difficult, goes beyond # spell slots.

From what I've read and seen so far from Mearls and co., I expect the Wizard to be generally weaker through the whole progression (not just early levels) than the other classes. I believe this is by design. The LFQW bugaboo is so feared by Mearls that I think he'll err to the safe side, perhaps with the thought that hoisting up the Wiz later via supplements would be easier than pulling him down.



I think the table listed is correct. I kinda hate the speculation and find it useless though. Let's wait and see and then do the math.

Currently running a playtest, weekly, online D&D Next Session using a virtual table system called roll20.

Agree - there should be real Vancian for the pre-4e fans, and real AEDU spells for the 4e fans - pick your Option*. But mixing the 2 like this risks tee-ing off the whole bunch.

*Although Lord help the person that has to balance these 2 casting options so they are equally powerful and play side-by-side -> dang



Please define "real vancian" 

Real vancian as in the type of vancian that Jack Vance wrote about where wizards had a very small number of spells memorized- even a powerful wizard would probably have no more than 5 or so?

Real Vancian as in 1e and 2e where there were serious limits on spellcasters power due t the exp table, interuption, more limited spell slots, limited magic items low defenses, good saving throws for the people you really want to tag with spells

or Real Vancian as in 3e where most of those limits were thrown out the window or made so easy to get around it's not funny.

I'd love to see the caster supremacy folks deal with option 1, would grudgingly deal with option 2 as I did back in the day and won't go near option 3.

Although to be honest I'd be content to ignore the whole vancian thing if they give me options that don't involve Vancian at all as you said .
This thread is like Patch note threads in wow. 4 posts in I saw a "Don't nerf me bro!" post, lol. Just humorous to see the similarities.
My two copper.
We've dialed down the number of spells that casters get, capping them at two per level up to 5th level. We've compensated for that by holding on to at-will spells based on a wizard tradition or cleric deity. In addition, wizards now have signature spells. These are spells that a wizard can cast every five minutes. Wizards have one such spell, determined by their tradition.



This is a terrible idea. If you're going to keep vancian casting at all, don't leave people with only a couple of spells per level per day. The problem you end up with is that there are literally dozens of choices of spells at each spell level, but you only get 2 slots. That means that the vast majority of those spells never get used. This has always been a problem with vancian casting, but you're making it even worse. Rituals do help, but only with certain spells. What's going to end up happening is people will always use their spell slots for combat spells and utility spells will always be cast as rituals. They're just too situational to spend a slot on.

4th edition had a small number of daily slots, but it also had only 4 or so spells of each level to choose from, and utitlity spells and rituals were separate from combat spells. But even now, there are a dozen or more spells of each level to choose from, and that number will only continue to grow. I'm not suggesting you trim down the number of spells available. But I'm just baffled why you guys keep clinging to vancian casting even though it has always been problematic and hated by a large portion, if not a large majority of players. 

You keep trying to have it all ways with magic, and it just isn't going to work. It's time you accept that vancian casting needs to go. It has never been anything but a problem for the game. It wrecks game balance. It bogs things down with pointless bookkeeping. It doesn't even make sense from a roleplaying perspective. And most important of all, it just isn't fun. There's a good reason you don't see other RPGs use it, and it's not because they're afraid of copying D&D. It's because vancian casting sucks.

I know, you're worried about dropping something that has been a tradition of the game from the beginning. Well, don't. Vancian casting is NOT what makes D&D magic iconic and feel like D&D. It's the spells themselves that do that, not the resource management system that goes on in the background. I feel like a D&D wizard because I cast fireball, invisibility, Evard's black tentacles and Mordenkainen's magnificent mansion, not because I have X 1st level spells per day!



What would you think of splitting up the attack and utility spells as they did in 4e.  Have each spell level max out at 2 attack and 1 utility (because you can use most of the utility spells as rituals).  For folks that want to run a more pacifist type allow them to trade an attack slot for a lower level utility slot on a 1 for 1 basis.


At first I didn't think this would be a good change but after looking at the old tables, it's clearly a needed change.     It's actually the only direction that makes sense once you include at-will and speciality spells.    I just hope that the at-will spells are not limited to low level spells at high levels.



Good points. It must be added to your equation, however, that the D&DN individual spells are nerfed when compared to 1e-3.Xe. First there is no scaling, second the individual spells are watered-down (look at mirror image for ex.), third (TBD) D&DN may restrict the breadth of spell powers (i.e. will effects like wish, teleport, polymorph, time stop, be banned in this edition?)

So comparing to prev editions becomes very difficult, goes beyond # spell slots.

From what I've read and seen so far from Mearls and co., I expect the Wizard to be generally weaker through the whole progression (not just early levels) than the other classes. I believe this is by design. The LFQW bugaboo is so feared by Mearls that I think he'll err to the safe side, perhaps with the thought that hoisting up the Wiz later via supplements would be easier than pulling him down.





Yes, I'm worried that at high levels lower level spells slots might be useless.    I'm also not a fan of having an entire list of spells nerfed for at-will only purposes.       All I want is a pool of spells that classes, magical items, monsters, traps etc can make use off.     I really don't want any spell to be linked to a particular class or be labeled an 'At-will" only spell.   I'd rather have special class features modify spells and powers as needed. 

As for wish, teleport, and time stop spells I'm sure they will return to the game.          D&D has a natural tendency to re-introduce things that they once rejected by design.      We saw that with Gnomes and various sub races in 4e.  That's why I'm sure anything missing will be included again in one way or another.   

I'm not too concerned with what might happen to the mechanics of the wizard class.  What will make or break the game for is the inclusion/exclusion of open ended spells that spark creativity and imagination.   If all the spells turn out to be mechanical in nature I'll just go back to playing a previous edition of D&D.       





Yes, I'm worried that at high levels lower level spells slots might be useless.    I'm also not a fan of having an entire list of spells nerfed for at-will only purposes.       All I want is a pool of spells that classes, magical items, monsters, traps etc can make use off.     I really don't want any spell to be linked to a particular class or be labeled an 'At-will" only spell.   I'd rather have special class features modify spells and powers as needed.

I vote for using higher level spell slots to make low levels spells more frequent.  Like, burning hands in a 3th level slot is an encounter power, and using a 6th level slot let's you use burning hands at-will.

Thus a high level wizard could charm person someone indefniatly, at the cost of appropriate resources.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
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.

Yes, I'm worried that at high levels lower level spells slots might be useless.    I'm also not a fan of having an entire list of spells nerfed for at-will only purposes.       All I want is a pool of spells that classes, magical items, monsters, traps etc can make use off.     I really don't want any spell to be linked to a particular class or be labeled an 'At-will" only spell.   I'd rather have special class features modify spells and powers as needed.

I vote for using higher level spell slots to make low levels spells more frequent.  Like, burning hands in a 3th level slot is an encounter power, and using a 6th level slot let's you use burning hands at-will.

Thus a high level wizard could charm person someone indefniatly, at the cost of appropriate resources.


That's actually a really cool idea mello.
My two copper.

Please define "real vancian" 

Real vancian as in the type of vancian that Jack Vance wrote about where wizards had a very small number of spells memorized- even a powerful wizard would probably have no more than 5 or so?

Real Vancian as in 1e and 2e where there were serious limits on spellcasters power due t the exp table, interuption, more limited spell slots, limited magic items low defenses, good saving throws for the people you really want to tag with spells

or Real Vancian as in 3e where most of those limits were thrown out the window or made so easy to get around it's not funny.

I'd love to see the caster supremacy folks deal with option 1, would grudgingly deal with option 2 as I did back in the day and won't go near option 3.

Although to be honest I'd be content to ignore the whole vancian thing if they give me options that don't involve Vancian at all as you said .



You're mixing topics here IMO (caster power vs. casting structure), but to answer your Q 'real' Vancian to me is as per 1e-3.xe (not the novels).

I don't want to get into edition warring - I do believe that you experienced those problems; IME, in our 3.xe campaigns Wizards didn't even start to pull even until after suffering through mediocrity for ~10 levels, no house rules but the DMs enforced caster weaknesses and story didn't allow much scribing/crafting time or 5MWD. Most balance problems we encountered were with the Druid, 3.0 psionics, and dwarves ;)

Now that we get 1-10, this concerns me.

"You might be a little surprised to see that nothing really new shows up for the classes."

Maybe I'm not understanding that correct.



So I realized I misstated my original quote.  I took a look back over the last playtest.  I'm not so sure the class is my concern but the Specialties.  I like that (optional I realize) they gave you a new "ability" at 1,3 and hope this continues.  I can't really tell what they did by the description.

As for spells, is there a reason why they have to keep trying to combine vancian and (insert any other method)?  Why not simply list 2-3 pages of, if you want vancian then you get a per level.  If you take (4e) then you get b per level,  if you take spellpoints you get c per level and spells cost d

It simply seems to me, from what I am seeing, that people want the peanut butter and the chocolate separate...

"The turning of the tide always begins with one soldier's decision to head back into the fray"

I vote for using higher level spell slots to make low levels spells more frequent.  Like, burning hands in a 3th level slot is an encounter power, and using a 6th level slot let's you use burning hands at-will.

Thus a high level wizard could charm person someone indefniatly, at the cost of appropriate resources.


That's actually a really cool idea mello.



Indeed. I vote for something like this.


You're mixing topics here IMO (caster power vs. casting structure), but to answer your Q 'real' Vancian to me is as per 1e-3.xe (not the novels).

I don't want to get into edition warring - I do believe that you experienced those problems; IME, in our 3.xe campaigns Wizards didn't even start to pull even until after suffering through mediocrity for ~10 levels, no house rules but the DMs enforced caster weaknesses and story didn't allow much scribing/crafting time or 5MWD. Most balance problems we encountered were with the Druid, 3.0 psionics, and dwarves ;)




To me they are tied together  - in 1 and 2e casters had fewer slots, weaker effects, and less ability to distort the "Vancian" flavor by spell completion magic items.

Many of the proponents of "Vancian" casting tout the "resource management" and need to "pick the right spells" as benefits to that system.  When you have as many spells per day that have the power of 3e spells do and the ability to have rarely used but essential spells when they are needed "on call" all the time due to a wand, potion, or scroll it throws those benefits out the window.

That was my experience in 3e (not saying  that the other things you said werent problems - the major divide is caster/noncaster as each of the casters have broken things about their character ime)
I vote for using higher level spell slots to make low levels spells more frequent.  Like, burning hands in a 3th level slot is an encounter power, and using a 6th level slot let's you use burning hands at-will.

Thus a high level wizard could charm person someone indefniatly, at the cost of appropriate resources.


That's actually a really cool idea mello.



Indeed. I vote for something like this.



And here I stopped suggesting exactly that like 6 months ago because nobody liked it.
I vote for using higher level spell slots to make low levels spells more frequent.  Like, burning hands in a 3th level slot is an encounter power, and using a 6th level slot let's you use burning hands at-will.

Thus a high level wizard could charm person someone indefniatly, at the cost of appropriate resources.


That's actually a really cool idea mello.



Indeed. I vote for something like this.



And here I stopped suggesting exactly that like 6 months ago because nobody liked it.



Doesn't this all work better with spell points?

Like 2 points at level one (1 point per spell), then 4 points at level two.  You can cast 4 first level daily spells OR spend 3 points points to turn one spell into an encounter, and have a single daily left over.  And so on... (with some thought out cost and level chart)

"The turning of the tide always begins with one soldier's decision to head back into the fray"

From what Ive seen with the sorcerer, spell points are going to trouble at higher levels.

These new forums are terrible.

I misspell words on purpose too draw out grammer nazis.

I vote for using higher level spell slots to make low levels spells more frequent.  Like, burning hands in a 3th level slot is an encounter power, and using a 6th level slot let's you use burning hands at-will.

Thus a high level wizard could charm person someone indefniatly, at the cost of appropriate resources.


That's actually a really cool idea mello.



Indeed. I vote for something like this.



And here I stopped suggesting exactly that like 6 months ago because nobody liked it.



Doesn't this all work better with spell points?

Like 2 points at level one (1 point per spell), then 4 points at level two.  You can cast 4 first level daily spells OR spend 3 points points to turn one spell into an encounter, and have a single daily left over.  And so on... (with some thought out cost and level chart)




It depends on the spell point implementation. If you are doing prepared spell points, then yes it works. If it's spontaneous, it makes no sense, really. And unless you don't have a limiter on how many spell points you can put in one spell (a la 3.5 psionics), then you're not really getting much difference vs just using slots normally. 
It depends on the spell point implementation. If you are doing prepared spell points, then yes it works. If it's spontaneous, it makes no sense, really. And unless you don't have a limiter on how many spell points you can put in one spell (a la 3.5 psionics), then you're not really getting much difference vs just using slots normally. 



Correct, I was assuming if you're doing this, you are picking your spells.  For me, this math is easier to keep track of then the whole, this first level spell is put into a 3rd level slot and so on.

It costs 3x the cost to move the spell to an encounter, and 5x to an at-will.  So, for 5 points I can turn a 1st level spell into an at-will (when I wake in the AM and pick my spells)  Again, my numbers are crap, but someone could make proper ones.

"The turning of the tide always begins with one soldier's decision to head back into the fray"

Doesn't this all work better with spell points?

Like 2 points at level one (1 point per spell), then 4 points at level two.  You can cast 4 first level daily spells OR spend 3 points points to turn one spell into an encounter, and have a single daily left over.  And so on... (with some thought out cost and level chart)

You could convert spell points into a slot and expend that.  Or rather, spend spell points at the begninning of the day to get encounter and at-will versions.  Probably call it "reserving" spell points or something.

Burning hands takes 1 spell point to cast normally.
"reserve" 5 spell points, and you can cast burning hands as an encounter.
"reserve" 10 spell points, and you can cast burning hands at-will.

Or something similar.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
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.

To me they are tied together  - in 1 and 2e casters had fewer slots, weaker effects, and less ability to distort the "Vancian" flavor by spell completion magic items.



I agree about the more options to distort the 'Vancian flavor' in 3e vs 1-2e.

I would disagree, however, that 1e-2e spells had weaker effects. Quite the opposite, IMO, 1e-2e spells were nastier and more open-ended, whereas 3.5e spells contained much nerfing text to (try to) prevent abuse. Examples: Wall spells, Polymorph spells, Wish, SoD's like Disintegrate ... look at Fireball vs. monsters in 1e (far less HP) and where things like Evasion did not exist. Demon queen Lolth had 66 HP in 1e ;)