Give all classes slots to use manuevers/spells

What about this idea to try to balance out martial classes manuevers and caster classes spells:  Give everyone "ability slots" like a caster.  Either that or power points to spend (like 4e psions or the 5e sorcerer that was out for a bit).

As you level up in any class you will get slots that you can us to memorize spells or have "strength reserves."  For casters, this will be just be their spells as classically done in 1-3.5e.  For martial classes this will be their manuevers.  The higher level that you put a manuever in the more of an effect that it will have.  So Cleave in a level 1 slot may only do +1d6 + Str damge to nearby enemies, for example.  At higher levels and in higher slots it will do more damage.  So a Cleave in a level 3 slot could do +6d6 + Str to nearby enemies.  Or maybe it could be a really good deflection, where you use a level 4 slot to deflect an attack's damage (reduce by 4d6) and bash the enemy off balance.  Or maybe an Arrow of Slaying in a level 6 slot that gets +2d4 attack and +8d10 damage for archers.  For rogues, things like sneak attach could scale with higher levels.  In essence, just like a wizard is storing energy to cast that one really big spell, a rogue could be waiting for the one really good sneak attack where he give it his all.

If you don't want to do slots, then do power points per day.  Lvl1 manuevers/spells cost 1 point, lvl2 costs 2, lvl3 costs 4, lvl4 costs 8, ect.  Make it to were you know different manuevers/spells and learn more per level.  Then, in combat or out, you can spend power points to use the abilities.  The more points spent on a manuever the more powerful it becomes.  Caster's spells will all have certain ranks that cost an exact amount of power points.  Enemies could have this as well.  Some classes, like a psion or something, will have the ability to either transfer or steal power points from others, and some attacks will be so brutally draining on the enemy that they will eliminate enemy power points.  I personally like this system and think that it has a lot of potentional.  The number of power points given could be determined from a base at level up + some stat modifier (Int for wizards, Wis for clerics, Str for warriors, ect.)

Make a diverse list of manuevers (there's already a pretty good start), both offensive and defensive, and give all classes "ability slots" to be able to "cast" their stored energy.  That will help out with balancing damage issues, give variety and strategy to how you play a character, and make it so that people will actually WANT to have more slots or power points to "cast" things, instead of taking away caster's slot because they are "overpowered."
pretty sure they tried this concept with 4th ed. and the main complaint was that all classes feel exactly the freaking same
pretty sure they tried this concept with 4th ed. and the main complaint was that all classes feel exactly the freaking same



Which was a completely unfounded and ridiculous complaint, because that wasn't the case.  But haters gonna hate.
pretty sure they tried this concept with 4th ed. and the main complaint was that all classes feel exactly the freaking same



Which was a completely unfounded and ridiculous complaint, because that wasn't the case.  But haters gonna hate.



True. In 4th ed our wizard always does things that feel completely different from the mundane classes (Arcane gate stands out). The wizard can change the whole nature of the fight in a way that my ranger cannot. But I still would like to see the possible of martial froms of influence - so I like to see a much greater choice of maneuvers with significant impacts especially for higher level martial types - for those who want this of course.
pretty sure they tried this concept with 4th ed. and the main complaint was that all classes feel exactly the freaking same



Which was a completely unfounded and ridiculous complaint, because that wasn't the case.  But haters gonna hate.



I disagree. If two classes use the exact same mechanics for executing their abilities, even if the abilities have nothing in common, the two stell feel exactly the same to me. Cleave and other similar combat options already have tactical conditions for use, they shouldn't be artificially limited by slots as well.
What about this idea to try to balance out martial classes manuevers and caster classes spells:  Give everyone "ability slots" like a caster.  Either that or power points to spend (like 4e psions or the 5e sorcerer that was out for a bit).



This is exactly why I never liked Psions.  Martial classes should NEVER play the same as caster classes because they will have fundamentally different capabilities.  Why should fighters have access to something that works like Cloud Kill?  You shouldn't make the classes more or less interchangeable in combat or out of combat because that removes the point of them being different.

The balance exists in the form of scope vs. frequency of use.  Wizard spells typically have a much greater scope than martial abilities.  I had an Aranea effectively one-shot a PC the other night with Charm Person.  A fighter's parry however, doesn't help him much outside of situations where he's being attacked.

Learning to play your class well is part of the fun of Dungeons & Dragons.  Using your specific party makeup to overcome challenges is also part of the fun.  If you make all classes more or less interchangeable in how they play, you runk the risk of reducing the fun.  The classes should not be readily interchangeable, period. 

There's no reason to limit martial abilities frequency of use, so instead their scope is limited.  Wizards on the other hand have spells with a much larger scope of potential uses, but their frequency of use is limited
pretty sure they tried this concept with 4th ed. and the main complaint was that all classes feel exactly the freaking same



Which was a completely unfounded and ridiculous complaint, because that wasn't the case.  But haters gonna hate.



You are very wrong, people's priorities are different. Maybe you and your group don't care that much about the similarity on the underlying class mechanics as long as everyone gets to do different stuff (powers having different effects), but there are most certainly people that were upset with all classes sharing the AEDU power mechanic.


The problem here is basically the same, you pretty much want to give the warrior "martial spells", but we'd end up basically all playing wizards with different spell lists and weapon/armor profs, and while some people wouldn't have a problem with that as long as their different spell lists make them that they have their own flavor and are feeling they they fill different roles.

But the people that complained that 4th ed classes felt exactly the freaking same would be angry again.

I see where OP is coming from and I agree with him in some ways, but I honestly believe that Wizards needs to at least consider developing a distinct daily resource systems for most classes and try to balance their power and utility level.

I'd hate this. Like others are saying, it makes me think of 4e classes feeling all the same. Besides, I don't see why Billy Bob, level 3 fighter of the royal army should be able to cast spells. Did he spend years studying spells? No he didn't. Does he possess the blood of a powerful ancestor? Nope. Did he make a pact? He has morgage to cover I guess. So why can he cast spells?
I think that some of you are getting completely confused on what I was saying.  A warrior wouldn't have the ability to cast a wizard's spell.  He'd have his own range of abilities (cleave or power blow, for example).  He would never get magic missle or burning hands, for example.  But as his moves are always determined by the range of his weapons, they would most likely be a bit stronger than a wizard's, since he can stand back out of danger.  The main point, however, that I was getting at is that it's completely unfair to severly limit actions other than a basic attack (ray of frost) that a caster can do but give martial classes infinite uses of their damage dice.  There is a complete inbalance in game mechanics there.

I do agree with the posters that say every class would start to feel the same.  Whether it's a "martial spell" or a "wizard spell," the game mechanics would feel the exact same for all classes in the end.  Though that isn't necessarily a bad thing, concidering that every game (video or table top) has a degree of similarity in it somewhere (usually in the combat).

I think that one of the great things that testing this out is that you give the martial class players a glimpse at why the caster class players are so frustrated right now.  It's not an issue about who's the ultimate badass, it's an issue of choices in and out of combat.  Martial dice are infinite usage, and thus offer different actions each round.  Spells are not.  With so very, very few spells to choose from, combat from wizards devolves into martial class fighting, but without the martical dice.  If you forced this upon everyone, you'd soon get both sides sympathysing with eachother that there just isn't enough options as things stand and that something needs to be done about it.

I gave two different ideas, but I'd love to hear other, possibly viable ones.
I like the middle ground that wizards has made with maneuvers. They're at-will abilities so they clear away the daily/encounter dilemma that 4e had, and they add battlefield utility. However, I hope they add more in the finished product, which I'm sure they will."
The only people who think 4e classes all feel the same are people who only glanced at the system, or are way too hung up on mechanics. A Sorcerer thrusts out his hand and a sizzling stroke of lightning blasts from his arm into an Orc's chest, hurling the creature off its feet. A fighter grabs a hobgoblin's sword arm in mid-swing and slams his shield into it's jaw with such force that it spins to the ground. In 4e terms, both powers pushed the target 1 square and knocked it prone, and maybe both did lightning damage if the fighter had a magic weapon.

It only feels "the same" because you're just glancing at a power block and reading it like a tech manual.
Yes they did that in 4th ed didnt work. Not all classes will be balanced. that is why you group so each other covers the others weakness
The issue here is a unified system (4E) vs. a multitude of subsystems (3E). As a fighter in 3E, I knew as long as I had hit points, I was ready to cause some havoc. As a wizard, though, once your spell reserve is depleted, you knew it was time to take a hike. Two separate systems with their own advantages and disadvantages. That changed in 4E when suddenly the fighter could run out of daily or encounter powers, much like the wizard. This was done in the name of standardization and ease of play. By the time Essentials came out, Wizards decided that maybe some classes SHOULD have more elaborate subsystems, and not everyone needs daily powers. However, I had definitely lost my interest in the system by that point, and I am sure others had too.

Multiple, complex subsystems can be a terrible idea too. Anyone remember the Tome of Magic from 3.5E? Let me copy and paste an Amazon reviewer's description the Truenamer class: "Every time a Truenamer wishes to use an Utterance (their version of a spell), they must make a Truespeak (new skill) check of DC 15 + (CR x 2) + (2 for each previous time the Truespeaker has used that utterance today). While this seems fine and dandy, remember that when you go up a level, your max ranks in a skill only increases by 1, while the difficulty of uttering a Truename of a like level creature (your ally, for example) increases by 2.... He becomes dependant on his Amulet of the Silver Tongue (a magic item which gives +5 or +10 to his Truespeak checks) to use his Utterances more than a couple times in a day. Additionally, to Utter defensively imposes a penalty on the Truespeak check, rather than requiring a Concentration check.... [and so on]"

What a nightmare it can be when a player drops a book down on the table and says "I want to be this guy!"
@Veggie-sama:  Thanks for the input.  I think that you did a good job of comparing the two different editions.  A few thoughts on the 4e section are that, since encounters recharge, it allows for ALL classes to continue into the next battle without a need for an extended rest, not just the warriors.  A lot of people seem to have issues with how 4e was done (and I've got a few myself), but it did at least mean that a warrior wasn't stopping after a 5 min work day for an extended rest because his wizard buddy was out of spells and needed to rest.  That was one VERY good advantage about it.

Personally, I find most Essentials characters to be completely boring to play because many of them tend to use the same at-wills over and over again to attack, leading to the issue that another thread on hear is talking about with the monotomy of combat.  I think that this same tactic was taken into mind when they sent out the latest test packet.  A wizard would have a basic at-will that would be used all the time with the occasional "daily" he could throw for big(-ish) damage.  This basically devolved him into an archer with a small spell list to make up for the fact that he doesn't get martial damage dice or additional damage on his attack (meaning that there was a decrease of "subsystems" in the overall mechanics).

I agree with you in 3.5 that when the casters ran out of spells they basically would just have to take a hike and run.  Which meant that the warriors were screwed in having to deal with all the enemies themselves.  They needed a balance where the warrior wasn't just auto-attacking all the time (one reason why I rarely play one) and were the wizard wasn't saying "Oh, last spell.  See you guys later.  Hope you make it."  Having more spell slots is one way of doing that.  Spells don't have to be uber damaging or massively crippling, but having more just means that the wizard has more diversity in their "subsystem" than their at-will, auto-attack, ray-o-pain.  The other way of balancing would be to essentially give everyone about the same amount of "slots" (number, limit, points, what have you) to do extra stuff besides swinging away with a weapon.  As it stands now though, the wizard has far more limited numbers of options, and the warrior can infinitely swing away with bonus damage or dodging or whatever manuevers he has.

That's why I was thinking that limiting the numbers might be good.  Mechanically, yes, they will share some similarities, so the means by which they are used will be similar, but the actual abilities themselves will not be.  To liken it to other RPG's, it's like saying that will everyone in Final Fantasy uses MP to perform skills, the actual skills themselves will be dramatically different.  A mage uses fire/ice/lightning magic, a healer uses healing and buffs, a fighter uses MP to increase damage or attack all enemies, ect, ect.  This would be similar to that, with each class being unique in what they do, though similar in the mechanics of how they play.  It would also allow for "subsystems" without (hopefully) have so many different ones that it's overly complicated.

I think that this blurs the distinction between classes far too much.  I think that the common thread between the classes is that they already have one action that can be performed once per round.  More than this, and I think it starts to feel like less than D&D (or at least what the core should feel like). 

A lot of people think that the idea makes the classes too similar.  "Blurs the distinction."  So then, what does everyone see as being the main distinct features with each class and how can they be incorperated such that everyone can contribute equally but distinctly?  That seems to be the heart of the debate.

From what I've been seeing, casters seem to function far too similarly to warrior as they don't have many unique things to rely upon and just end up going back to their ray gun for damage in the end.  They also have no use for their primary stat (wisdom or intelligence) and have limits on the number of turns that they are useful.  Melee classes don't have these problems.  And from what a lot of the other posts on this forum are saying, they like that wizards have less choice, less selection, and are more like warriors.

So how would one of you guys resolve this issue?

I would prefer that casters spells be more tactical and not something that shoots a ray gun every round, and if they must do damage every round I would prefer that they be more like Flaming Sphere that take up the wizards concentration slot.  I for one would like to see Cantrips that can be cast every round removed from the game.

Primary stats have traditionally given more spells per level and I think returning to this would be a positive for the game.  I would also point out that primary stats are too powerful in the bounded accuracy system and in my opinion should be lowered in effectiveness across he board.

I would also point out that primary stats are too powerful in the bounded accuracy system and in my opinion should be lowered in effectiveness across he board.



Could you define the "bounded accuracy system."  I'm sure that I've used it in some addition, I just don't know which you're talking about or exactly what it is.

I agree that if they do spell slots (my preference), then they should tie in your primary stat to increase the number of slots.  This should go from a decent amount to a great amount, not from 1 spell slot per tier to *maybe* having 2.  Casters need spells to be unique.  That's their whole point.

RE Bounded Accuracy System: If you look at the DCs for skill checks and the to hit rolls in this game vs armor class both change very little as you level up.  Your primary stats on the other hand give a very big boost at level 1, and seem kind of out place in this system.  Further because the primary stats are so important you get forced into a stat buy system.

My problem with the system you're describing is that it gets back toward the 4E style "powers", which is what turned a lot of people off who enjoyed the basic "I attack with my sword" old school feel of the game.


Not that I would really know: I started with 4E and loved it, but having fighters say "I hit him with my pounce-of-the tiger blah blah move" was sort of immersion breaking. I know that you're just talking about using the maneuvers already in the game but a "6th level cleave" isn't too different.