For Hybrids they could choose a primary recharge mechanic that would work for all their powers regardless of source. Or they could have a special mechanic, but I think that's more trouble than is worth, choosing one from the power sources you are going to dable with is the best option.
Meaning, my multiclass Fighter/Mage is a "Duskblade", his power source is Arcane, so he uses Spells and recharges with a swift action and only move actions allowed. The flavour is that he instills his magic on his blade to enhance his fighting style.
I want to see this elaborated on, and will gladly lend any assitance needed.
Under the current system, there's three ways of creating that character. You could decide that your character's background makes him a fighter who served in the military before he was an adventurer, working alongside war wizards, and he had them teach him some of the basics of magic. The fighter takes a feat to multiclass into wizard. He has the fighter's stats, class features, school list and maneuver progression, but he gains access to one school from the wizard list for him to pick his maneuvers from when he's choosing maneuvers known. He still refreshes those spells like they were maneuvers. He can take additional feats to learn additional wizard schools if he wants.
You could decide your character is a wizard whose choice of electives in college were mostly focused on physical combat, and spent some time training with a sword so he wouldn't be helpless if his magic ever failed him. The wizard takes a feat to multiclass into fighter. He has the wizard's stats, class features, school list and spell progression, but he gains access to one school from the fighter list for him to pick his spells from when he's choosing spells known. He still refreshes those maneuvers like they were spells. He can take additional feats to learn additional fighter schools if he wants.
And finally, you could decide your character is a duskblade, someone who studies the arcane and martial arts in equal measure. The duskblade class is as you say, a character with the Arcane power source who refreshes his spells the way arcanists do. He has his own unique stats, class features, school list and spell progression, with his schools known featuring some of the schools the fighter has and some the wizard has, plus a school unique to duskblades that covers instilling magic into his blade for tricks only a devoted student of both arts would be able to pull off. If he wants to focus in either direction, he could multiclass fighter or wizard, picking up the schools that his own talents don't naturally cover.
Under this system, all three of these characters have similar concept, but the way they play is slanted in a certain direction depending on your views on the character.
My 2 cp on the matter: low-level powers should be usable more frequently with time. Comparing it to 4e's AEDU format, I never liked how as you leveled up, you'd just forget moves. Seems to me it would have been better to become more proficient at moves. So as you gain power, low-level dailies become encounter powers, low-level encounter powers become at-will. Would've felt more right to me at least. If it could be balanced, of course.
In this system you wouldn't have the need for something like that. Your signature move grows with levels, becoming stronger as you go on (all detailed in the spell/manoeuvre's description), and you gain more intresting and strong powers. You can still use your old powers, and as they grow with you, there's a benefit to using the old spells. I think that has the same impact as what you say.
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Reflavoring: the change of flavor without changing any mechanical part of the game, no matter how small, in order to fit the mechanics to an otherwise unsupported concept. Retexturing: the change of flavor (with at most minor mechanical adaptations) in order to effortlessly create support for a concept without inventing anything new. Houseruling: the change, either minor or major, of the mechanics in order to better reflect a certain aspect of the game, including adapting the rules to fit an otherwise unsupported concept. Homebrewing: the complete invention of something new that fits within the system in order to reflect an unsupported concept.
A friend of mine suggested I take a look at wrecan's blog article about redistributing magic. It's quite well thought-out, and though I'm not entirely comfortable with the exact form it ends up taking, I believe there's some good concepts to take from the nonants system.
As shown here, under the nonants scheme of magic, wizards (an Arcane class) gain access to the Transmutation, Transformation and Enchantment schools, sorcerers (an Elemental class) gain access to the Evocation, Abjuration and Transformation schools, necromancers (a Shadow class) gain access to the Necromancy, Illusion, and Abjuration schools, clerics (a Divine class) gain access to the Divination, Conjuration and Evocation schools, psions (a Psionic class) gain access to the Divination, Illusion and Enchantment schools, and druids (a Primal class) gain access to the Conjuration, Transmutation and Necromancy schools.
The main issues I have with the nonants scheme is that there's quite a bit of overlap between Conjuration, Transmutation and Transformation, with non-obvious features going to what seem like the wrong parts, and that some of the schools have what they do redefined, Abjuration being the most immediate example. For this reason, I don't think I would use this system directly, especially since power schools allow for more overlap without the classes directly treading on one another's toes. However, it raises some good points in particular about how one might undergo differentiating the sorcerer and the wizard, which has been the bane of every designer since the dawn of the sorcerer itself.
My reading of the two classes is that the wizard is about book magic. Wizards spend years studying their craft as the fantasy version of ivory-tower intellectuals, their powers should be about the subtle and the collection of information. Sorcerers are bright, loud, flashy, they have inside them blood of kings and they know it. The guy chucking fireballs and blowing up hordes, that's the sorcerer. The guy turning the ground in front of the horde to mud and then dropping a poisonous cloud on them while they're down, that's the wizard.
Thus, of the seven traditional schools of magic, the wizard gets the Divination, Abjuration, Enchantment and Illusion schools, the schools of magic that let him be a puppetmaster instead of a cannon. Of the PHB classes only the wizard is capable of the level of intricate attention to detail required to create Abjuration's complex barriers.
The sorcerer gets the Evocation, Illusion, Conjuration, and Dragon's Heart schools, the ones that let him be a spectacle. Of the PHB classes only the sorcerer is capable of calling on the power of dragon blood to toughen his body and enhance his presence.
The cleric gets the Conjuration, Evocation, Transmutation and Divination schools, with healing magic falling under Transmutation's domain. Of the PHB classes only the cleric's devotion to his deity is capable of calling upon the power to remake the body of another and enhance it with divine strength.
The necromancer, the wizard's dark counterpart and a Shadow class, gets the Necromancy, Enchantment, Illusion and Divination schools. Only the necromancer would be so daring as to raise the flesh and bones of another and animate it with shadowstuff for his own gain, and while he knows many of the same spells as the wizard (though no wizard would ever admit their powers are so similar), rather than mana he fuels those spells with the darkness drawn from the heart of the Shadowfell itself.
One of the nice things about the power schools system is that if you don't like not having a certain school, gaining access to it is easy. If you want your wizard to be able to sling fireballs and lightning bolts, a feat gets him the Evocation school. If you want your sorcerer to be a little darker than the norm, a feat gets him the Necromancy school.
While the idea obviously isn't fully fleshed out, dividing up schools like this might help reduce a bit of the everything nature of the wizard, while still giving them a style no other class can duplicate and distinguishing them from the sorcerer.
I do, however, think the number of classes should be reduced and simplified. Take the Wizard for example... Why not simply allow the Wizard access to any 3 of the Spell Schools, and allow they player's choices to determine if the Character is a "Necromancer" or a "Sorcerer", ect.?
I agree breaking related powers into schools is a good approach, both for martial powers and for magic. I think the base classes can be very simply broken down into martial, magical, and hybrid. While people insist that a cleric and wizard are distinctly different, I only see the real difference being fluff. From a mechanical standpoint, a cleric of a fire god and a pyromancer could (and perhaps should) potentially have identical powers (mechanically), but the fluff behind how they appear in game can be managed by pure roleplaying. You see that a lot in 3e and PF, where certain spells are shared between clerics and wizards. I don't want to see a "divine fireball" power and an "arcane fireball" power if mechanically they both do XdY fire damage. While I agree power source can help with expanding the mechanical rules, I don't want to see that in the core rules. Just give me 3 types of base classes that are relatively balanced regardless of level, and then allow me to build characters to match my concept. I would rather see a pretty thin core PHB, with several other "advanced" versions expanding the rules in different ways based on my preferences. One could use wrecan's version for organizing magic, another could use an entirely different breakdown, but both could use similar (or at least reasonably compatible) rules. I don't think it would be wise to try to blend two different rulebooks of the same type into the same game, but different people want differing levels of complexity for different aspects of the game.
I am both orderly and instinctive. I value community and group identity, defining myself by the social group I am a part of. At best, I'm selfless and strong-willed; at worst, I'm unoriginal and sheepish.
I agree completely with this idea. Not only would it solve my main problem with 4e (class homogenization), but it would provide a much more modular and customizable skillset for characters. With this, classes can just be a list of features and usable spells, with different classes getting some of the same spells, something I've never seen in 4e.
I agree breaking related powers into schools is a good approach, both for martial powers and for magic. I think the base classes can be very simply broken down into martial, magical, and hybrid. While people insist that a cleric and wizard are distinctly different, I only see the real difference being fluff. From a mechanical standpoint, a cleric of a fire god and a pyromancer could (and perhaps should) potentially have identical powers (mechanically), but the fluff behind how they appear in game can be managed by pure roleplaying.
One mans Divine Miracle Worker is his enemies Witch..... yup... applies to real life too.