Hybrid Classes Discussion (Paladins/Rangers)

Does anyone have any speculation as to what is going to happen with Paladins and Rangers?

What I'd like to see/think we'll see is the classes gaining some Expertise dice themselves along with minor spellcasting.  Maybe not as many/large of Expertise dice as Fighters/Rouges/Monks, but if that's what they're doing to represent martial prowess, it would only make sense.  Maybe Paladins will get a Miracle mechanic like the Monk's Ki, I think that would be interesting.  What would you like to see/can honestly speculate?

I'd like to see Swordmages come back or something similar in it's place like Hexblades.  Then we'd have something divine/martial, primal/martial, and arcane/martial (sorry if I'm attached to 4E Power sources, I felt they were a good way to describe the classes).  Even after I cracked open my first 3rd Edition book at it's first release, I was disappointed that there was no hybrid class for wizards, as it were.

Even psionics had the Battlemind and Incarnum had the Soulborns, so it makes sense to me at least.  
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Honestly I'm kinda sick of expertise dice. We've already got 3 out of 7 classes using them in almost identical ways with the same progression. Until they come up with a new spin i think there needs to be a ban on additional expertise classes.
I'm kinda on the fence and find myself changing my mind over and over.  Ultimately, I feel expertise dice are fine, PROVIDED that the additional classes that use them have maneuvers that give them a distinct feel
Honestly I'm kinda sick of expertise dice. We've already got 3 out of 7 classes using them in almost identical ways with the same progression. Until they come up with a new spin i think there needs to be a ban on additional expertise classes.



I already gave up on expertise being the fighter's defining thing at the second playtest. Now they're trying to give it to everyone. At some point, someone needs to stand up and say, "enough is enough."
What I'd like to see/think we'll see is the classes gaining some Expertise dice themselves along with minor spellcasting.  Maybe not as many/large of Expertise dice as Fighters/Rouges/Monks, but if that's what they're doing to represent martial prowess, it would only make sense.  Maybe Paladins will get a Miracle mechanic like the Monk's Ki, I think that would be interesting.  What would you like to see/can honestly speculate?

Unlike others, I actually think Expertise Dice is a cool mechanic that works well for many classes.  Many classes get spells, so I don't see anything wrong with many classes having ED.
I really like your idea of daily Miracles for Paladins, but they could also just call them spells.  I can easily see them getting a few spells (less than the cleric) and some ED (less than the fighter).

I'd like to see Swordmages come back or something similar in it's place like Hexblades.  Then we'd have something divine/martial, primal/martial, and arcane/martial (sorry if I'm attached to 4E Power sources, I felt they were a good way to describe the classes).  Even after I cracked open my first 3rd Edition book at it's first release, I was disappointed that there was no hybrid class for wizards, as it were.

Even psionics had the Battlemind and Incarnum had the Soulborns, so it makes sense to me at least.  

Yeah, I would like that also. 

That said, while I don't think that they should avoid using ED just because one class already has them, I also don't think they should use them automatically.  Luckily, I don't think that is what they are doing.  I really liked the part of the GoogleHangout where they talked about Diversification and Unification.  So when we first see Ranger and/or Paladin, they might have mechanics that closely resemble other classes (unification) or they might be totally different (diversification).

So... I'm pretty okay w/ Expertise Dice being the martial power mechanic. I think fighters, rogues, and monks need tweaks... but, all-in-all not a bad direction. I can totally see rangers getting expertise dice for maneuvers and other bonuses in terrains or against kinds of enemies/attacks. Like... passive, but situational, buffs. I can see paladins getting ED for some magic-infused smites (kinda' like the monk's hurricane-thing) which do more damage against demons/devils/undead... (or... whatever the paladin's deity opposes). I could see the paladin snagging some spells from the cleric spell list as well. Since I'm guessing the ex-sorcerer will be back as something else, I could see it easily becoming a swordmage who increases his expertise dice pool as he casts spells (which could probably be used to buff melee attacks w/ elements or something). Oh... and I could see them having marking because it could be enforced with "Oh, it's magic!"


I'm just spitballin', but I do like these ideas. (But, I would like to see the fighter have some type of forced opening/marking mechanic)

I want to see how they handle barbarians and rages and ED. 
"What's stupid is when people decide that X is true - even when it is demonstrable untrue or 100% against what we've said - and run around complaining about that. That's just a breakdown of basic human reasoning." -Mike Mearls
i think expertise is a fairly decent go-to mechanic to add some depth to martial classes. however, the designers really need to work on making it unique. the monk's magical effects based on #of die used is a good start.
I'd like to see them implement the orzel method for favored enemies and terrains.
I'd like to see them implement the orzel method for favored enemies and terrains.



Seconded. 
I'd like to see them implement the orzel method for favored enemies and terrains.



Seconded. 



That one is indeed a winner
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"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

Something about dice that feel more substantial than spell slots. I can't put my finger on it but when I see expertise dice in a character table I think a lot more of it than spell slots.


It could be 'cause it's new. It could be because it's more meaningful to see dice than it is to see numbers on a table. Maybe both? Or something else...



Still, I've not really figured it out but expertise dice everywhere feels excessive even if spells everywhere doesn't.

Expertise dice are the equivalent of spells slots or even a point system, so I expect if you change the monk to ki points, versus expertise dice, you would get the exact same thing. Basically anything you do in the game involves dice, so as long as you give each class its niche, I do not think using expertise dice for martial classes, however it is presented, is a big deal. It is more important to keep martial classes viable in relation to spell casters. The only common ground all classes share are skills, versus combat or spell use.

Since I believe the ranger is more like a rogue, and a paladin is similar to a cleric, I would actually like to see the barbarian next to round out the fighter based classes. If they take the superstition route akin to first edition, then it would be easy to add an advantage/disadvantage angle to barbarian abiltiies based on superstitions, taboos, etc. 
Assuming both paladins and rangers are mixed classes (meaning both have limited casting capability), then I could see them getting both a slower ED progression as well as spells. Ideally, there can be a balanced mix of ED progression and spell progression such that a true hybrid can be made that is both functional and balanced. Rangers should be able to use their ED for more and better movement manuevers, such as moving through difficult terrain, etc. I've never been a fan of paladins in general (although I thought the first packet's cleric had a great "paladin" feel to it).

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  Ideally, there can be a balanced mix of ED progression and spell progression such that a true hybrid can be made that is both functional and balanced. 


I want to see that with the WP based mechanic ... ie Channeler/Sorceror on one side and the Fighter on the other half. Maybe some of the enhancements for his transformation could interact with the ED.

I think magic which impacts its caster has a more authentic feel than most of the designs they have done in the past.... most of D&D magic feels anti-septic in comparison. 
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Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
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Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

not sure if this helps, but:


So, the monk was a quick turnaround because it used maneuvers. Don't expect paladin, ranger, or <redactedx3> to use them via class features.

— Mike Mearls (@mikemearls) November 14, 2012

html_removed
it does't necessarily seem that ED is assumed to be the default. 

i actually don't mind expertise dice being used for multiple classes, but i wouldn't turn away something new and awesome. i almost wonder if we could get a unique mechanic for hybrid classes in general. Spells for casters, ED for pure martial, ? for hybrid. of course we might need more, or less, just a random thought.    
 
@Respen Starym:  Hmm, good point.  Maybe they'll get something akin to what the Sorcerers used to have before they were thrown back into the basement with Warlocks and the other classes?

Maybe something similar to Paladins having Lay on Hands/Smites based on a point system where the more they use those, the more their physical abilities grow?  They could even have different paths depending on their Oath and what have you (Paladins of Justice vs. Paladins of Freedom).

I like the idea of Rangers having the enhanced mobility due to their ED/points/hootinany.  What if they were given something like pet tricks and the things that seperate Rangers from one another are maneuvers that are based on the kind of animal companion that is in their tow?

I actually really liked where Sorcerers were going before - I was a little disappointed that they were being thrown back to the chopping block.
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@ZarJarMar

i actually really like the idea of a pet class, and was really thinking ranger might go that way, but Mearls & Co have said that animal companions and henchmen were likely going to be an optional rules module. If done well, this could be extraordinarily cool. Still, if they went the pet route i think abilities based on animal companions would be a good way to sort it out. Also, i don't know if you've seen it, but Orzel has a pretty brilliant way for them to handle favored enemies. 

I think having oath based paladins would be an excellent idea. They could be very broadly defined much like the cleric deities/domains so that you could fit into any campaign world, and it would be a great way to differentiate between types of Paladin. A points system would be pretty good, much the same way they did the. Maybe a mixed daily encounter powers? I'm thinking something like the pathfinder lay on hands system where it heals and can remove an effect? its still daily, but its something like your ability modifier plus half your level, so even at level one you have multiple uses a day. not sure if any of that really fits with DNDN, but brainstorming is fun.

 
i also really liked how they did the sorc. I would like to see that come back in some element, 
 
I know I saw Rampant mention something about it, before, but I didn't have time to look into it.

*looks up Orzel's Favored Enemy post*

 Ah, NOW I see what all the hooplah is about.  :P  Yes, I agree Orzel has a very good idea for Rangers, but do you think it's a good idea for Maneuvers for the Ranger or that's a good way to differentiate one ranger from the next, like a Wizard's Tradition or a Rouge's Scheme?

I was going to suggest something akin to Rangers that come from different environments - like Arctic Rangers vs. Desert Rangers vs. Forest Rangers.  If you learn to hunt in a certain environment, you're going to have a different set of abilities at your disposal, but I'm not so sure...to be honest, my thoughts on how I believe Rangers should opperate are not nearly as fleshed out as my opinions for Paladins - I'm just blathering at this point.  ^^;
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Here's the thing about the Swordmage:

I'm perfectly fine with the class having EDs and spells (gaining them at 1/2 the rate of the fighter and wizard, or something like that).  What I'm worried about is that that's all it will be.  They'll just say "ok you have access to the fighter maneuver list and this subset of the wizard spell list and we're done".

The 4e Swordmage was a really mechanically distinct thing.  Yes, it was AEDU like everyone else, and its powers were "Spells" just like the Wizard's, but its power list was was unique and focused on the theme of the class - a lightly armored swordsman who used on-the-fly teleportation and shielding magic to prevent enemies from harming his allies.  Spells like Dimensional Vortex are the sort of thing that define the class, but as far as I know they don't really have any analogues in prior versions.

I don't object at all to there being a damage-focused version of the Swordmage, but I hope they make it possible to play the defensive one too.
I don't object at all to there being a damage-focused version of the Swordmage, but I hope they make it possible to play the defensive one too.

I really like Pathfinders Magus class, which essentially is a dual-wielding warrior-mage. The exception is that the "offhand" weapon is actually a spell.

What I'd like to see is a class that has both ED and spells (as manuevers). This is where we can determine a decent balance between the two systems.

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@AtG

Well,  what if we were to look at the Mage Blade* for inspiration?  It's built similarly to the Swordmage in 4E and I'm fairly certain that some of the features can be retained or repurposed in a DnD Next incarnation.  I believe the class even had it's own spell list (to a point) seperate from Wizards...though I think in that book everyone for the post part shared the same spells, so it's possible that it's not the strongest example, but it's a start.

Combine it with the Hexblade of the Swordmage, and you got yourself a unique sword-swinging battlecaster.  I had an idea, but I kind of forgot what it was.  ^ ^;  Perhaps I'll post it later if I can think of it.


@Mithrus

I'm going to have to look into the Magus class now.  Having a spell as an offhand weapon seems like a really interesting concept.



*Monte Cook's Arcana Unearthed, pg. 39-42
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I don't object at all to there being a damage-focused version of the Swordmage, but I hope they make it possible to play the defensive one too.

I really like Pathfinders Magus class, which essentially is a dual-wielding warrior-mage. The exception is that the "offhand" weapon is actually a spell.

What I'd like to see is a class that has both ED and spells (as manuevers). This is where we can determine a decent balance between the two systems.




The 4e bladesinger (was that the name? ) felt that way.
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"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

@Garthanos

I don't think I've heard much about them, actually, but I have seen Bladesingers in the Character Builder.  Let's see...oh, that's a great find!  Surely with this many options supporting a class like this R&D could come up with something. 

Edit:  I think I remembered what I was going to suggest!  Maybe we could have Sword Styles - each Style grants the Swordmage proficiencies in certain types of swords (those favored by their style) with certain signature techniques that require blades from their style to perform?  What do you think of that?
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I don't object at all to there being a damage-focused version of the Swordmage, but I hope they make it possible to play the defensive one too.

I really like Pathfinders Magus class, which essentially is a dual-wielding warrior-mage. The exception is that the "offhand" weapon is actually a spell.

What I'd like to see is a class that has both ED and spells (as manuevers). This is where we can determine a decent balance between the two systems.




I've read the entry for the Magus (haven't played it), and based on that, I despise it and desperately hope that we get some kind of Swordmage/Spellsword/whatever that is different from it in Next.  Almost all of its features are based around just doing more damage.  Boring!

As I mentioned above, Dimensional Vortex was a class-defining spell for the 4e Swordmage.  It was an immediate interrupt triggered on an enemy hitting an ally with a melee attack - if you succeeded vs the enemy's Will, it would be teleported 10 squares and the attack redirected at one of its allies.  There was another, higher-level spell (Surprising Transposition) that instead let you swap the positions of the ally who was hit and a different enemy.

One build of the Swordmage, as its class ability, could erect a shield around an ally (again as an interrupt), reducing damage taken from an attack; another build could teleport adjacent to the attacker and attack him in retaliation.

Those sorts of mechanics are way, WAY more interesting than "oh, you cast Shocking Grasp as part of a fully attack". 
I've read the entry for the Magus (haven't played it), and based on that, I despise it and desperately hope that we get some kind of Swordmage/Spellsword/whatever that is different from it in Next.  Almost all of its features are based around just doing more damage.  Boring!

As I mentioned above, Dimensional Vortex was a class-defining spell for the 4e Swordmage.  It was an immediate interrupt triggered on an enemy hitting an ally with a melee attack - if you succeeded vs the enemy's Will, it would be teleported 10 squares and the attack redirected at one of its allies.  There was another, higher-level spell (Surprising Transposition) that instead let you swap the positions of the ally who was hit and a different enemy.

One build of the Swordmage, as its class ability, could erect a shield around an ally (again as an interrupt), reducing damage taken from an attack; another build could teleport adjacent to the attacker and attack him in retaliation.

Those sorts of mechanics are way, WAY more interesting than "oh, you cast Shocking Grasp as part of a fully attack". 



Ah, thanks for looking into it, AtG.  I think Swordmage was one of the few classes that I couldn't decide which class feature I liked more for, making it easily one of my favorite classes for 4E (second only by Runepriests, especially after they released the Serene Blade option) - I wouldn't want them to mess up in any way that would take from it's flavor.  :/
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I just had an idea:  What is they had maneuvers that one could expend dice for and then use spell points/whatever to enchance the product?  Something like:

Unseen Hand
You level a crushing blow against your foe, and an unseen force grasps an enemy and drags it around the battlefield.
  Effect:  When you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack, you may spend an expertise dice to make an additional attack against a creature of your choice within 50 feet of you.  On a hit, roll the expertise dice.  The target takes damage equal to your Intelligence modifier in place of the normal weapon damage and is pushed a number of squares equal to the result of the expertise dice.

Option 1:  You may spend a spell slot to add that spell's level to the damage dealt by the secondary attack.
Option 2:  You may spend a spell point to add 1 to the number of squares the target is pushed.

(Example power derrived from the Bladesinger's Unseen Hand At-Will power from 4E)

Please note that this is a very VERY rough example - sleep depervation in addition to barely soming up with this (didn't want to forget it).  Do you think something similar is plausable opr maybe they should go in a different direction?
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These are not hybrid classes.  A paladin is not simply part figther part cleric.
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He is and he isn't.

Conceptually he's supposed to stand out, however prior to 4th edition, he was mechanically represented that way with a few little add-ons. 3e was pretty bad about this since he got essentially nerfed cleric casting plus a weak version of the turn undead cleric power.

 The paladin/whatever they call it so the alignment freaks don't go crazy when they don't make a special snowflake LG only class needs to carve out it's own identity mechanically and conceptually, the concepts involved are fairly sound and distinct (admittedly there is some blurring with more militant deities but not over much) however mechanically the pally has a history of being rather uninspired (except for 4e).

I would suggest the ability to burn their recovery die to heal allies (and make it worthwhile for whatever action cost you invoke), smites that inflict status effects (encounter powers?), and immunity to supernatural fear such as that inflicted by dragons. Immunity to natural fear is more of a weakness than an advantage.

I prefer Paladin's, Barbs and Rangers as fighter specialties. The 4e Paladin was more like what I would expect from a god template or epic class. It was constant underpowered compared to description “kewl” stuff. The Ranger as the designated dual weapon/archer has always been a terrible concept and the Barbarian has always bothered me. I always pictured the Barbarian as being the "in part" wrestling class. I figured the 4e Barb would deliver. It was just a refluff. Too spellish too with stuff like Frost Wolf, Stone Bear and Primal Instinct. 

These are not hybrid classes.  A paladin is not simply part figther part cleric.


I truely hope that they are so (distinct classes rather than just built in multi-classes)) in form and function as well as theory.
I have an answer for you, it may even be the truth.

I prefer Paladin's, Barbs and Rangers as fighter specialties. The 4e Paladin was more like what I would expect from a god template or epic class. It was constant underpowered compared to description “kewl” stuff. The Ranger as the designated dual weapon/archer has always been a terrible concept and the Barbarian has always bothered me. I always pictured the Barbarian as being the "in part" wrestling class. I figured the 4e Barb would deliver. It was just a refluff. Too spellish too with stuff like Frost Wolf, Stone Bear and Primal Instinct. 




I think I can manage to agree strongly with every other sentence and disagree less strongly with the others... 

I also prefer fighter specialties (and fighting styles). I think the 4e paladin as a whole, was not what I think of for paladin but many of its moves were pretty fine paladin ones. The wrestler doesnt need to be a barbarian.. .here is a wrestler paladin (Sampson)... and a Berserker Paladin(Lancelot/CuCulaine both) and CuCulaine is also probably Barbarian. Many berserkers in legend and myth were described as actually shifting forms... so inspite of the spellish ness (it had connections). I think barbarian needs a more "singular' totem feal.  Your totem represents you and isnt normally one time one thing and the next another.
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Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

Yeah if we're gonna do the whole totem rage dealy I'd prefer there be a limit of 1-3 totems. I've never heard tell of a 'zerk with more than 3.
What is a zerk with more than 3 totems?

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A non-entity to my knowledge.

'zerk = berzerk 
I think I can manage to agree strongly with every other sentence and disagree less strongly with the others... 

I also prefer fighter specialties (and fighting styles). I think the 4e paladin as a whole, was not what I think of for paladin but many of its moves were pretty fine paladin ones. The wrestler doesnt need to be a barbarian.. .here is a wrestler paladin (Sampson)... and a Berserker Paladin(Lancelot/CuCulaine both) and CuCulaine is also probably Barbarian. Many berserkers in legend and myth were described as actually shifting forms... so inspite of the spellish ness (it had connections). I think barbarian needs a more "singular' totem feal.  Your totem represents you and isnt normally one time one thing and the next another.



 

Good path for the Barbarian. Multiple yet optional totem feat types, an affinity for wrestling and 4e style athletic maneuvers with the existing survival skills. Just need something to trade literacy and armor proficiencies for and a jump in hitdie.

 and a jump in hitdie.


just pick up a toughness feat.. which is also a paladin thing being robust its a chosen emphasis.
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Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

These are not hybrid classes.  A paladin is not simply part figther part cleric.



I didn't mean to imply that they were.  By 'Hybrid' I simply meant that they are capable of excelling in hand-to-hand combat, but as opposed to other classes that are able to do so, they are capable of some spellcasting, though they don't focus on one or the other.  Therefore, 'Hybrid'.  I derrived the term from Everquest, where they had 4 'hybrid' classes - Paladin, Ranger, Beastmaster, and Deathknight - though they weren't specifically meant to be fighter/cleric, fighter/druid, fighter/shaman, nor fighter/necromancer.


Rampant:  I actually really like those ideas.  ^ ^  I'd play a Paladin like that.


Garthanos:  Ooooh, that would be awesome!  o_o  I like the Totems idea.  And then they could recieve benifits depending on the chosen totem(s)?  Maybe totems could be treated similar to fighting styles/stances?


Hmm...what if they were given a some what "Diablo II"-esc inspired spells?  There were some powers in there that surely we could use to inspire some spells or abilities?
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I too think Orzel's idea for rangers is the place to start. I don't care if they use XD or not, as long as the final product is fun and distict. I feel like the real hook should be finding new and interesting ways to use XD.
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I too think Orzel's idea for rangers is the place to start. I don't care if they use XD or not, as long as the final product is fun and distict. I feel like the real hook should be finding new and interesting ways to use XD.



I concur wholeheartedly.
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Kt'Lahn (Last Update: Oct 22, 2010)
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I too think Orzel's idea for rangers is the place to start. I don't care if they use XD or not, as long as the final product is fun and distict. I feel like the real hook should be finding new and interesting ways to use XD.



I concur wholeheartedly.



+1 here too.

Even as a whole I think Hybrid classes are must haves for me. I know they look like just mash ups of two classes but with a little care and attention and some unique mechanics each class can have it's own feel.

I don't want to just play a Fighter/Cleric some times when I want to be a hero of justice. I want to be a Paladin and to me that should FEEL like more than just a hybrid class. Same with the Ranger, Bard and Barbarian. Same with a Gish class if ever we get one.
I too think Orzel's idea for rangers is the place to start. I don't care if they use XD or not, as long as the final product is fun and distict. I feel like the real hook should be finding new and interesting ways to use XD.



I concur wholeheartedly.



+1 here too.

Even as a whole I think Hybrid classes are must haves for me. I know they look like just mash ups of two classes but with a little care and attention and some unique mechanics each class can have it's own feel.

I don't want to just play a Fighter/Cleric some times when I want to be a hero of justice. I want to be a Paladin and to me that should FEEL like more than just a hybrid class. Same with the Ranger, Bard and Barbarian. Same with a Gish class if ever we get one.



Very well spoken.  Why would I want to play a Paladin when a Fighter/Cleric would get the job done for me?  Make it unique; make it stand out.  Make it something more.  That's what I want to see.
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Kt'Lahn (Last Update: Oct 22, 2010)
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Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.