There's a lot of talk on the forums about how simple the Fighter class is. Some people say it's too simple, that the only thing a Fighter can do is run up and bash things with an axe. Other people say that Fighters are supposed to be simple so the player can fill in with roleplay. The first group answers that all classes can roleplay like that, the second group says that fighters do it *more*, and the argument goes in circles from there.
What everyone forgets to say is what they actually want. No one wants to get rid of the simple Fighter design, and I don't believe that anyone wants to fill up the Player's Handbook with dozens of Fighter techniques. What people really want is a simple wizard. People want a wizard that is as easy to play as the basic Fighter.
So let me spearhead the campaign.
Dear Wizards of the Coast,
I want a simple wizard that can cast magic missile.
Specifically, I want my wizard to cast nothing but magic missile. I don't want to deal with a spell book or a spell list. I don't want to pick through dozens of supplementary books with hundreds of specialized spells that can collectively deal with every conceivable problem in the universe. I don't need those spells. I have magic missile.
Now, it will be a really nice magic missile. I mean, I'm giving up the ability to reshape reality with my magic, so I expect a little something in return. My magic missiles will turn corners and go through walls and and glow in the dark. My magic missiles will do an extra +3 damage. They'll have +5 to hit too, because it would be really embarrassing to miss with a magic missile.
Not that everything should be easy. There should be challenges too. Every once in a while I'll hit a monster with some sort of resistance to my favorite brand of magic missile. There will be a single monster attribute, tentatively called "incorpormagicmissile-eal", that will make all of my attacks completely useless against that monster. I won't complain. I'll research in the library to find a magic missile effective against incorpormagicmissile-eal monsters. I'll go on an epic quest across the world to find the magical staff that lets me cast magical magic missiles that bypass incorpormagicmissile-eality.
Others might join me on my quest. They'll laugh when they find out that I have only one spell. They'll think I'm a boring character, or that I'm just not interested in the game. I'll smile and laugh with them, because my simple character gives me more room for roleplaying. When we face a nest of ogres and they start hunting for spells of shielding and invisibility, I'll dazzle the ogres with my amazing skill at casting magic missile. The ogres will look at each other and say "Woah, he just cast magic missile! Did you see that? I don't want to attack him, he can cast magic missile!"
During my quest I'll grow and become stronger. I have all of my feats picked out. I'll take Weapon Proficiency (magic missile), Weapon Focus (magic missile), and Weapon Specialization (magic missile). Then I'll take Power Attack so I can trade my +5 to hit with magic missiles for +5 damage. I'll take Quicken Spell and Empower Spell and Maximize Spell and if I have any extra feats, I'll take Toughness.
Eventually my quest will end. Deep in a dragon's lair I will find the magical staff of magical magic missiles. Then I'll turn around to face the ancient multi-hued incorpormagicmissile-eal dragon. I'll look that dragon square in the eyes and say "Dragon, I'm a simple wizard. I can't cast Teleport, Fly, or Invisibility. I have no armor and no hit points, and I don't need any because I can cast magic missile!" Then I'll raise my staff and blast that dragon with the world's most awesome salvo of quickened empowered maximized power attack glow-in-the-dark magical magic missiles, and the world will know me, for I am a wizard.
And if that doesn't work, the cleric knows Healing Word.