D&D Next Q&A: Subclass Basics, Subclass Customizing & Non-Vancian Subclass Options

Why a archetype is a class and not only a subclass. For example the barbarian is a warrior, but it isn´t a D&D fighter. Why can´t be classes the gladiator, marshall, knight or samurai? 

I say the most popular archetypes ought to have got a list of class features as long as a true core class.  

I play Newerwinter online, and guardian fighter and great weapon fighter are two different class. (I mean they aren´t only two different build from same class, for example there is weapons and items can be used for one but it can´t be used by the other "subclass"). 

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

The great risk in #1 is the "Fighter Plus" problem.
An obvious solution would be the 'default' classes being implemented as subclasses.  That's what 2E tried to do.
I say the most popular archetypes ought to have got a list of class features as long as a true core class.

If "root" classes are just a pile of numbers and maybe some functionally essential abilites, the actual 'class abilites' would ideally be a function of the subclasses.

That's, essentially, what 2E actually did.  Paladin, Ranger, and Fighter were based (mostly) on the "Warrior" tables, and added their own things on top of that.  Thief and Bard worked similarly.  Unfortunately, the Wizard classes were incompletely implemented, and they didn't really bother with Cleric apart from Druid (which ignored the subclass concept anyway).
I kind of wish that subclasses were kept discrete instead of turning fighters into a build-your-own adventurer.

It becomes very hard to give focus to a particular class/subclass if all options are available to every subclass.  The warlord works because it does less damage than the fighter by itself. The knight works because it has good defender mechanics but less damage than the slayer. The ranger/archer works because it has mobility provided by light armor as well as a number of mobility enhancing powers. Shoving all of these features into the same class takes away from their indivual strengths as the abilities will either need to be watered down to uselessness or you get a superclass who can perform every "role" by themself.
It becomes very hard to give focus to a particular class/subclass if all options are available to every subclass.

Read #2 again.
It seems a-la-carte subclasses are technically possible, but heavily discouraged.

This is also one of those things that can be solved by all 'classes' actually being subclasses.

Moreover, the important thing to know about a subclass is that it’s not about mechanics, it’s about the archetype. That’s why we want to look at things like “Knight” for a subclass, not “Defender;” the word “Knight” puts a face on the subclass and describes its place in the world.



No way. The class is the archetype and should be big and broad to accomodate a lot of takes to it. Sub-classes should be for mechanics, so players can pick those who better suit their style of play and character concept.
Do-not-force-me-to-be-a-"Knight": we are roleplayers, we are perfectly capable of putting a face to our character. Thanks.

Right now, we are designing the subclasses as a complete package that you buy into completely or not at all.



You basically have no choice at this point. You could have designed a modular system instead, as initially claimed, but for a number of reasons, right or wrong, that didn't materialize. So now you have to hard-code your way out of this. Good luck.

Certainly we think that the ability to cast arcane spells is an essential part of the wizard class; the means by which it obtains the spells themselves, and the resources with which the class casts those spells, may be more flexible. It’s something we plan to experiment with and playtest.



Ok. Better late then never. Looking forward to this.  
Why a archetype is a class and not only a subclass. For example the barbarian is a warrior, but it isn´t a D&D fighter. Why can´t be classes the gladiator, marshall, knight or samurai? 

I say the most popular archetypes ought to have got a list of class features as long as a true core class.  

I play Newerwinter online, and guardian fighter and great weapon fighter are two different class. (I mean they aren´t only two different build from same class, for example there is weapons and items can be used for one but it can´t be used by the other "subclass"). 

It's a redefinitions of terms.

A sub-class is a class.  And a class is a catagory.


To put this into programming terms.

Class Fighter
{
HP = 1d10
W.Prof = All.
A.Prof = All.
To-Hit = Level/5+1
D.Strike = Level/5
}

Class Knight: Fighter ()
{
Social = Upper Circles.
Ability = Protect.
...
}


Class Gladiator: Fighter ()
{
Social = Masses.
Ability = Net Snare
...
}

Gladiator and knight both inherate the fighters HP, proficencies, to-hit bonuses, and deadly strike.  Otherwise they are different.

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 put this into programming terms.

The very suggestion of Object-Oriented RPG design has a huge stigma in some circles (particularly enworld, last I checked).

It's too bad, really.  Forty years of "just because" design has devolved into a mess of unmaintainable spaghetti code.

To put this into programming terms.

The very suggestion of Object-Oriented RPG design has a huge stigma in some circles (particularly enworld, last I checked).

It's too bad, really.  Forty years of "just because" design has devolved into a mess of spaghetti code.

*shrug*

Each has their advantage, but you should never be bound to either.

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.

Sounds to me like "classes" are more like categories. Several Subclasses (which are more like what we think of when we hear "class") grouped together by common traits like weapon and armor proficiencies, attack and spell casting bonus progression, feat/ability score bonus progression, spell lists, and that sort of thing. Then the individual subclasses would deliver subsystems like maneuvers, spell casting system, and other class features.

My question is if you'll be able to play a base class without any subclasses added on, and if you can, will you be roughly on par with other characters who did take subclasses?

I was a little hesitant about the idea at first, but the more details we get the more I find myself liking it.
My question is if you'll be able to play a base class without any subclasses added on, and if you can, will you be roughly on par with other characters who did take subclasses?

Probably not.

I mean, if wizard sub-classes have different ways to cast spells, then you need to be a sub-class to have a way of casting spells.


Even if you could play a base class, it would still basicly be a sub-class, and you'd have to call it Basic (Wizard), or Wizard (Wizard)

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 question is if you'll be able to play a base class without any subclasses added on, and if you can, will you be roughly on par with other characters who did take subclasses?

Doubtful, without subclasses being "class plus".  The alternative is subclasses removing and replacing abilities from the base class, which is just a convoluted implementation of that 'base class' actually itself having been a subclass the whole time anyway.
As a side note, this approach kind of solves class bloat for those who are bothered by it... Kind of... I mean, really it will just end up moving the problem without actually fixing it. But I imagine most people who want the number of classes to be kept small, subclass bloat shouldn't be a big deal. If you are able to play a class straight with no subclass, it's an easy enough thing to just outright ban all subclasses. In fact, I have a feeling the basic version of the game will do just that, reserving more complex subclasses for the standard and/or advanced rule set.

I wonder if "apprentice tier" will be the same for all subclasses within the same class, and subclasses will be an adventurer tier thing. I could get behind that. You could even add prestige classes as advanced subclasses that kick in at Legacy Tier. I would much prefer that over PrCs-as-feat-packages. At that point it does start to look a lot like adventurer/paragon/epic paths from 4E, but I'm ok with that. That was one of the things from 4E well worth keeping around.
I wonder if "apprentice tier" will be the same for all subclasses within the same class, and subclasses will be an adventurer tier thing.

Hey.  That's not a bad idea.

first, yea, they answered my quastions...



then boo for giving me the answer I didn't want... It should all work al a cart


      
then boo for giving me the answer I didn't want... It should all work al a cart

It does.  Classes and subclasses are just a wrapper for ability sets.

My question is if you'll be able to play a base class without any subclasses added on, and if you can, will you be roughly on par with other characters who did take subclasses?

Probably not.

I mean, if wizard sub-classes have different ways to cast spells, then you need to be a sub-class to have a way of casting spells.


Even if you could play a base class, it would still basicly be a sub-class, and you'd have to call it Basic (Wizard), or Wizard (Wizard)


Well, I doubt there will be parity between straight base class characterd and class + subclass characters, but I could easily see it being a table-level decision. I imagine players who prefer bare bones rules they can count on to facilitate quick rulings and then get out of the way saying "I don't want to mess around with all these unnecessary add-ons from subclasses. Just give me my Hit Die, proficiencies, bonus progression, and spell list and let me roleplay the rest." Though I am not that type of player, but I think it is very important that those players have the option to play that way if they want. A basic version with no subclasses at all would, in my opinion, be a good way to handle that. Gives groups who want the game as simple as possible a way of doing that, while allowing those of us who want more options than that to have them, without simplifying them to appease people who don't actually want them in the first place.
I wonder if "apprentice tier" will be the same for all subclasses within the same class, and subclasses will be an adventurer tier thing.

Hey.  That's not a bad idea.


Thanks. I think it would help the apprentice tier feel more apprentice-y if those levels just gave you your base class features. It would also (for me) help make starting at adventurer tier not feel like I'm being cheated out of those early levels. If my "real" class starts at level 3, that makes more sense as a starting point for me, even if its not called level 1.

Actually, if you recall the L&L that explained the whole Tier system, it did say that adventurer tier was when you got your class specialization (wizard tradition, rogue scheme, fighter style, etc.) If these subclasses are replacing the class specializations, I imagine that is in fact how it will work.
Well.. I'm very happy with this Q&A.

It seems clear that the "subclass"  is a new construct.   

I was even more pleased these lines. 

" The reason is that this allows us to take a look at the whole picture of a subclass’s features, looking not just at their individual effects but the effects of their combination. Moreover, some subclasses might have more complex or involved subsystems within them, and need more interlocking features than another subclasses, whose features might be perfectly functional independent of one another.... We still have feats available for fine-tuning characters"


I could be wrong, but it sound like feats will not be used to define a subclass.   The subclass will have exactly what it needs.  If it needs a new subsystem it will include it.     It will be free to expand upon the base class or override its features.     IMO, this is the ideal way to design subclasses and allows any character concept to be fully realized without restrictions.







I wonder if "apprentice tier" will be the same for all subclasses within the same class, and subclasses will be an adventurer tier thing.



they already kinda said that's how it is going to work.  wizards selecting their tradition at level 3 and things such as that.

I like the part where the subclass is supposed to "put a face" to the character. We need more integration of flavor with mechanics, to really flesh out the default world setting.

Then, if you're in a setting where one subclass doesn't make sense, we can just say "there are no knights in Dark Sun, but look at this new alternative we have."

The metagame is not the game.

So classes are just HD, proficiencies, base attack/spell bonus, deadly strike progression, and 1-2 class features. Subclass is everything else. Sounds very old school. Reminds me of 2e and all those video game RPGs of the 90s and early 00s.

As for nonvancian subclasses. I really don't see what is so hard as most of it is numbercrunching once you get the base caster system down.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

Well, I doubt there will be parity between straight base class characterd and class + subclass characters, but I could easily see it being a table-level decision.


No, it probably still wouldn't work for most classes. Take the Wizard as an example, given the description they have just given us, it would make no sense to define Vancian casting as part of the base class with the sub-classes re-defining how a wizard learns and casts a spell instead of making Vancian casting a sub-class, like Mage, of the Wizard base class. The reason being that Vancian casting is not something that all wizard sub-classes have in common. Now, I don't know what that leaves a wizard with as common uniting abilities, probably the knowledge check thing and maybe the fact that it has a Wizard Tradition with some traditions being defined in the base class, like the School of Evocation. The fact that some traditions are more aligned with a given casting style, like the Scholarly tradition, just means that they can show up in the relevant sub-class instead of in the base class's list.
So classes are just HD, proficiencies, base attack/spell bonus, deadly strike progression, and 1-2 class features. Subclass is everything else. Sounds very old school. Reminds me of 2e and all those video game RPGs of the 90s and early 00s. As for nonvancian subclasses. I really don't see what is so hard as most of it is numbercrunching once you get the base caster system down.



It's a page right out of 2e subclasses like the Viking berserker and Rune Caster.         

It's also fantastic that the DMG will have guidelines to help players and DMs create new subclasses.    

This means that some subclasses will be campaign world specific.   You'll see concepts like the swordmage and specialty priests presented as subsclasess in the FR campaign setting.    Darksun will have it's own set of subclasses as well.

We may even see a few different versions of the same concept.   For example, there migth be a few different berserker or swashbuckler subclasses.    


I really what's been talked about recently with stepping back, taking a second look at systems, and  redefining them to be more meaningful. Between classes becoming broad categories, subclasses being more meaningful (And eventually able to create your own for infinite variation), and feats being more powerful making for greater customization I'm seeing some really good possibilities. It seems like WotC is finally getting a cohesive vision together and it sounds like it could be really good.

I would like to see at least one subclass per class that has a particular focus on every ability score for multi-classing purposes so that we can get even more freedom to customize. For example:

Fighter:
Strength Fighter - Slayer
Dexterity Fighter - Duelist
Constitution Fighter - Gladiator
Intelligence Fighter - Warlord (Would prefer as it's own class but I'm okay with it now that subclasses are more meaningful)
Wisdom Fighter - Knight (Ala 4e Fighters getting better marking and thus defending abilities for having a higher Wisdom)
Charisma Fighter - Swashbuckler
Some class/subclass breakdowns I would like to see:

Class: Cleric
Subclasses: Priest, Hospitaller, Druid

Class: Fighter
Subclasses: Paladin, Ranger, Barbarian, Monk, Warlord

Class: Rogue
Subclasses: Thief, Assassin, Bard

Class: Mage
Subclasses: Wizard, Sorcerer, Warlock

But sadly, I know that won't happen. More likely, the classes will be Barbarian, Bard, Cleric, Druid, Fighter, Monk, Paladin, Ranger, Rogue, and Wizard, and the subclasses will mostly be little things like Knight and Gladiator, with some bigger things like Warlock and Sorcerer forced to fit in. But I can dream.

I could be wrong, but it sound like feats will not be used to define a subclass.   The subclass will have exactly what it needs.  If it needs a new subsystem it will include it.     It will be free to expand upon the base class or override its features.     IMO, this is the ideal way to design subclasses and allows any character concept to be fully realized without restrictions.



Well, at least that means that Fighter won't be "Feats: the Class". Probably. I wouldn't put it past them.

What I would want from this new system, as far as casters go, is to make each subclass provide a spell list. If you are a necromancer, you get necromancer spells. If you are an Illusionist, you don't. The "Wizard Who Is Simultaniously Every Wizard" of old is obnoxious and lazy, and it's about time that they fixed it. Throw a bone to those who SERIOUSLY need a Wizard who has all the spells by calling the subclass like the "Arcanist" or something, spell list: everything, but force them to use pure old school memorization vancian and no bonus features while the others can use the less restrictive casting method we have in the playtest and also a few other bonuses with a restricted list.
EVERY DAY IS HORRIBLE POST DAY ON THE D&D FORUMS. Everything makes me ANGRY (ESPECIALLY you, reader)
Well, I doubt there will be parity between straight base class characterd and class + subclass characters, but I could easily see it being a table-level decision.


No, it probably still wouldn't work for most classes. Take the Wizard as an example, given the description they have just given us, it would make no sense to define Vancian casting as part of the base class with the sub-classes re-defining how a wizard learns and casts a spell instead of making Vancian casting a sub-class, like Mage, of the Wizard base class. The reason being that Vancian casting is not something that all wizard sub-classes have in common. Now, I don't know what that leaves a wizard with as common uniting abilities, probably the knowledge check thing and maybe the fact that it has a Wizard Tradition with some traditions being defined in the base class, like the School of Evocation. The fact that some traditions are more aligned with a given casting style, like the Scholarly tradition, just means that they can show up in the relevant sub-class instead of in the base class's list.



The subclass design is akin to object-oriented design.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Object-oriented_de...

"The ability for a class to extend or override functionality of another class" 

It's a proven design methodology and I think it will work for D&D as well. 


For the design structure that you are suggesting the base class would become a virtual (imaginary) class because it wouldn't have a spell casting method associated with it.   In other words, you wouldn't be able to build a character with the base class alone.     Technically that design is valid (and even preferred in OOD),  but I think it would be confusing for new players.     





I could be wrong, but it sound like feats will not be used to define a subclass.   The subclass will have exactly what it needs.  If it needs a new subsystem it will include it.     It will be free to expand upon the base class or override its features.     IMO, this is the ideal way to design subclasses and allows any character concept to be fully realized without restrictions.



Well, at least that means that Fighter won't be "Feats: the Class". Probably. I wouldn't put it past them.

What I would want from this new system, as far as casters go, is to make each subclass provide a spell list. If you are a necromancer, you get necromancer spells. If you are an Illusionist, you don't. The "Wizard Who Is Simultaniously Every Wizard" of old is obnoxious and lazy, and it's about time that they fixed it. Throw a bone to those who SERIOUSLY need a Wizard who has all the spells by calling the subclass like the "Arcanist" or something, spell list: everything, but force them to use pure old school memorization vancian and no bonus features while the others can use the less restrictive casting method we have in the playtest and also a few other bonuses with a restricted list.


This. Please, for the love of Gygax, this! If the next packet is not done this way, I will be advocating strongly for it in my feedback.
This Q&A pretty much describes how I think of classes -- very 2e-ish. Fighter types under the Fighter (though I'd call it Warrior, personally), and different casting styles under Wizard (I'd call it Mage). I'll be very interested to see how it plays out in a packet.

As someone above said, they'd do well to have the basic classes playable so one doesn't have to take a subclass. Subclasses should be in Standard but still not required to play a good character.

In memory of wrecan and his Unearthed Wrecana.

In other words, you wouldn't be able to build a character with the base class alone.     Technically that design is valid (and even preferred in OOD),  but I think it would be confusing for new players.


Really, why would it be confusing?

1. Choose a race
2. Choose a background
3. Choose a class
4. Choose a sub-class from the list provided by your class.

Is not that much more "confusing" than
1. Choose a race
2. Choose a background
3. Choose a class

Sure, its an extra step, but with sub-classes being mostly presented as an arch-type instead of a mechanical excuse, it should work out pretty easily.
Very hopeful words from this Q&A. I'm happy to see that finally they seem to know where they are going to with classes. I will ardently await to see how they wrap that up.
I try mean the coolest archetypes if aren´t classes, would be designed as if they were really.

I would be really annoying if there is only two pages for a cool and popular subclass but later there are four pages for a prestige class what isn´t used by almost anybody.

I guess after first player handbook we will see a player handbook II and III. If WotC wish publish more classes to sell more books, we don´t need a warden, seeker, invoker, avenger and rune priest but the most popular archetypes (assasin, necromancer, ninja, samurai, gladiator, knight).


A D&D class needs three things:

- Interesting background
(For example the crusader from "Tome of Battle" was close to paladin, but with a different style. The soulborn and incarnate from "Magic of Incarnum" was too similar to paladin.
- Special class features, with own style, different but with balance of power.
- Fun gameplay. (What if I hate roleplaying the stupy taboos by wu jen PC, or I don´t play a psionic wilder because I never "bet" psionic power points for wild surge and psychic enervation?).

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

I like the part where the subclass is supposed to "put a face" to the character. We need more integration of flavor with mechanics, to really flesh out the default world setting.

Then, if you're in a setting where one subclass doesn't make sense, we can just say "there are no knights in Dark Sun, but look at this new alternative we have."



Agreed.  I'm much happier with the mentality that mechanics flow from flavour rather then the other way around.
My question is if you'll be able to play a base class without any subclasses added on, and if you can, will you be roughly on par with other characters who did take subclasses?

Probably not.

I mean, if wizard sub-classes have different ways to cast spells, then you need to be a sub-class to have a way of casting spells.


Even if you could play a base class, it would still basicly be a sub-class, and you'd have to call it Basic (Wizard), or Wizard (Wizard)

Well, I doubt there will be parity between straight base class characterd and class + subclass characters, but I could easily see it being a table-level decision. I imagine players who prefer bare bones rules they can count on to facilitate quick rulings and then get out of the way saying "I don't want to mess around with all these unnecessary add-ons from subclasses. Just give me my Hit Die, proficiencies, bonus progression, and spell list and let me roleplay the rest." Though I am not that type of player, but I think it is very important that those players have the option to play that way if they want. A basic version with no subclasses at all would, in my opinion, be a good way to handle that. Gives groups who want the game as simple as possible a way of doing that, while allowing those of us who want more options than that to have them, without simplifying them to appease people who don't actually want them in the first place.

IMO, there will be a "basic" sub-class for class.

Warrior - Weapons and stat boosts.
Mage - Spells and stat boosts.
Acolyte -  Spells and stat boosts.
Thief - Sneak attack, skill dice, and stat boosts,
ect...


In "standard" game play you get more complex stuff.

Weapon Master - Fighter with expertise dice.
Knight - Bonuses for high society, defender's aura.
Sorcerer - Wizard with spell points.
Priest - Cleric with channel divinity.
Assassin -  Sneak attack, skill dice, and poisons.


And finally "advanced" will net you a more al-a-carte style.

Custom Fighter - Choose between experties dice and defenders aura.

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.

Agreed.  I'm much happier with the mentality that mechanics flow from flavour rather then the other way around.

Flavor inspiring the mechanics is great.  Flavor as a mechanic is where the problems start.

There is a difference.
I do like the idea that subclasses are a complete package that you buy into completely or not at all, which can vary greatly between them in terms of ability and features not shared by the base class. Especially if it helps multiclassing or the Warlord...
I am cautiously optimistic. Between this and the feats-as-powers approach they have talked about, we might actually be able to play a fighter that isn't as boring as watching paint dry but still have room for a simple/beginner chassis for players that want that.
When we look at a class, its features should say, “This is what is true about all members of this class.” When we look at a subclass, its features say, “This is what can be true about certain members of this class.”

so what is the esence of each class ?


 
I do like the idea that subclasses are a complete package that you buy into completely or not at all, which can vary greatly between them in terms of ability and features not shared by the base class. Especially if it helps multiclassing or the Warlord...

That's actually my ownly concern.


How would a knight/gladiator/walord come out...

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.

This rule of 3 makes me happier than a corn snake in a sugar cane field!
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