martial controller

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Now i could be way off base here, but would an acceptable martial controller be something along the lines of an alchemist or a gadgeteer, as someone who uses thier own skills and abilities without it coming from an ouside sorce such as arcane divine ect

just a thought
Personally, I think you are far from off base. Having an alchemist as a base class would far and away be one of the most exciting things that 4ed. could offer. I love Eberron's artificer, but having something that can make gadgets and potent potions without a lick of "spellcasting ability" would be a great idea. (Yes i know the artificer is not technically a spellcaster, but he uses infusions that are either similar to spells or outright copy what spellcasters do.)
Let's not forget that in 3.5, you had to have spellcasting ability to use the craft alchemy skill to its fullest effect. Let's hope that this is something that will change in 4ed. as well!
I too share a love for Eberron's Artificer. However, the problem with classes like this is that characters who require items to work either use obscene amounts of magic, or require a lot of out of combat time to prepare. Truth be told, however, even if they could manage both these things, I am not sure how much I would enjoy it. A Controller is basically Wizard modified for another power source, and I don't quite see how an Alchemist, Gadgeteer, or Artificer would be able to handle this and still be considered Martial. :/
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Well considering that all classes will be able to do amazing and extraordinary things that may seem magical even if they are not, i do not believe that a martial alchemist/gadgeteer is out of the realm of possibility for 4 ed. Things that fighters and other non-magical classes will be able to things deemed quite impossible for their 3.5 equivalents. Certainly there would be room for a non-magical class that is nevertheless mechanically/alchemically savvy enough to create amazing gadgets/formulas that do extraordinary things. Just my 2 cents.
Well considering that all classes will be able to do amazing and extraordinary things that may seem magical even if they are not, i do not believe that a martial alchemist/gadgeteer is out of the realm of possibility for 4 ed. Things that fighters and other non-magical classes will be able to things deemed quite impossible for their 3.5 equivalents. Certainly there would be room for a non-magical class that is nevertheless mechanically/alchemically savvy enough to create amazing gadgets/formulas that do extraordinary things. Just my 2 cents.

It is my opinion that Item Magic and Alchemy are poorly defined fields of magic, however, I do think that they are less Martial and more Arcane. Yes, a Fighter will get magic (and yes, it is magic)... but not in the sense of "I cast Fireball!" And while I think that a Fighter should be able to make magical weapons, I do not think that the sort expertise that would allow you to be a Warlord, Rogue, or Ranger would also give you the insight to become a person who can create a Rod that can shoot fire.
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I prefer to think of the Martial power-source as revolving around skill at arms, not just a lack of overt magic.

With that in mind, an Alchemist as a Martial Controller makes a lot less sense to me than a Monk-type trip/disarm/stunning/grappler.
Or an archer, with more controllery-based ranged powers than the ranger...
For a while I had actually been assuming the archery-specialized Ranger would be the martial controller. Small damage to lots of creatures courtesy of Many-Shot-like abilities seemed perfect for a martial controller, and it wouldn't be difficult to use arrows to impede movement or to launch nets or something... It kind of makes me sad that they're Strikers, because that makes 3 strikers and 1 controller in core. :P

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I'm not at all denying that item magic/alchemy seems to be more arcane than martial. I am a big fan of 3.5 arcane spellcasters. I just hope that item creation in general becomes open to more classes in 4 ed., not just the "spellcasters". However, just because something feels magical, does not mean that it is magical. Technology can often seem magical. Alchemist fire and its ilk may seem magical, but they can certainly be explained without having to resort to "A wizard did/made it." While this may not fit within the framework of medieval fantasy roleplaying game, I think that some kind of mechanically savvy class is not out of the realm of possibility.

The biggest concern with a character like this is, of course, the downtime, which 4 ed. is supposed to be reducing. *sigh* Oh well, looks like my dreams of a martial style alchemist are will simply remain dreams. Perhaps a paragon path will become available?
The biggest concern with a character like this is, of course, the downtime, which 4 ed. is supposed to be reducing. *sigh* Oh well, looks like my dreams of a martial style alchemist are will simply remain dreams. Perhaps a paragon path will become available?

More than likely, IMO. :D
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For a while I had actually been assuming the archery-specialized Ranger would be the martial controller. Small damage to lots of creatures courtesy of Many-Shot-like abilities seemed perfect for a martial controller, and it wouldn't be difficult to use arrows to impede movement or to launch nets or something... It kind of makes me sad that they're Strikers, because that makes 3 strikers and 1 controller in core. :P

Many shots , rapid shots and "volleys" will affect a relatively low number of oponents, (2 to 5 maybe in the lower heroic tier). A fireball can crush 20+ minions in a single shot. Manyshots isnt exactly a AOE ability, unless you pull it into Diablo2 Amazon skills. But those are epic tier, or high paragon tier at the very least, and probalby beyond "martial".
The martial controller should be the hunter!

A guy expert in using boomerangs, nets, arrows with ropes, and bolas in combat to inmovilize. He can also act as a anti-warlord.

Or an alchemist that has mastered the use of an unsual weapon: a sticky, elastic substance that lets him do spidermanish things...
The martial controller should be the hunter!

A guy expert in using boomerangs, nets, arrows with ropes, and bolas in combat to inmovilize. He can also act as a anti-warlord.

Or an alchemist that has mastered the use of an unsual weapon: a sticky, elastic substance that lets him do spidermanish things...

Alchemist/gadgeteer are the two only real options for controllers i think. While you can build some other martial "debuffers" with nets, trips and what not, they still lack one of the basic controller premises: to modify the battlefield itself. Wizards (and probably other controllers as maybe druids, sorcerors, illusionists, etc) can create Walls of force, Blade Barriers, Entangles, Walls of Brambles, Illusory Walls, Stone to Mud and Flaming Pits of Dont Enter Here spells, that create or modify the battlefield. A tripping monk or an archer couldnt do that. A hunter *might* be an option (with traps), but it will be tactically limited, as traps have to be set beforehand.
I think that the only answer for a Martial Controller is someone who uses magic, but it is disguised as great strength. For instance, a character with "ground shattering strength," who can make earthquakes by punching the ground, move so fast his fists catch on fire, or who is otherwise able to pull off Final Fantasy/Tales of Symphonia/Soul Calibur style sword magic would be a good Martial Controller... But few other things would cut the budget for a generic setting.
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I think that the only answer for a Martial Controller is someone who uses magic, but it is disguised as great strength. For instance, a character with "ground shattering strength," who can make earthquakes by punching the ground, move so fast his fists catch on fire, or who is otherwise able to pull off Final Fantasy/Tales of Symphonia/Soul Calibur style sword magic would be a good Martial Controller... But few other things would cut the budget for a generic setting.

That could be an option for an epic destiny, maybe for a paragon path. I would not "swallow" a first level "earthshaker" that can provoke earthquakes through *martial* skill
I will admit that I was initially in favor of the Ranger as controller (now definitely false) and against the alchemist on the basis if costly material components. (I think that any class that requires large cash expenditures is flawed).

However...

It has occured to me that it might actually be entirely possible to make a martial alchemist using the same brand of handwavium that powers per day and per encounter magic.

Martial, as has been pointed out many a time, isn't the non-magic power source, it's the skill-magic power source, the ability to do more with skills and training than others, and to rival more obvious magic. The Alchemist applies this to certain sciences, such as chemistry, to achieve results beyond what others can. Their special knack and training lets them have ingredients on hand to mix together to achieve the desired results, where an ordinary person would just get foul smelling goo.

The key here would be to have most of their primary powers ones that are in component form and mixed up as used, in much the same way as a wizard casts spells when needed. The "Martial" nature of the power explains why Joe the Commoner can't just mix the ingredients, so we dodge one bullet of disbelief. Processes that actually create longer term items (flasks of alchemist fire, for example) become the equivalent of rituals. The fantasy level alchemy can be used as an explanation for a wide variety of controller effects (tangling masses, temporary blockades, explosions), as well as a few buffs/healing effects. (Including cures for poisons or other effects that would be difficult to handle in a pure martial campaign.)

Truthfully, I'd love to see alchemy stand on its own, seperated from the arcane or divine, being as much science (skill) as magic (because all power sources are magic.)
I think it would be possible to have a sword and board (or other similar weapon) using Martial Controller, which would also get archery abilities. Examples of it's abilities would be "Flurry of Blows" and "Whirlwind Attack" as well as rain of arrows-like abilities. It could get trips, disarms and such and also charisma-based "reverse-warlord" abilities. It would start pretty minor, but so does the wizard.

I do think that more magical abilities could be available to the Martial classes earlier on in the Heroic tier. But maybe that could be left for a later Blade Magic book.

Also I think that alchemy should be a possible tool used by all of the Martial classes including this one.
I forgot to mention in my earlier post that, in general, there would be no more cost to the alchemists "slot" (per day, per encounter, at will) abilities than to a wizard or cleric's. They would either have an alchemy kit that covers it like a component pouch, or be assumed to be gathering materials all the time. Their ritual's to create items would be in line with other creation ritual costs.

As for alchemy as an ability for all martial characters... I have to say it seems odd to have it as a default. I'm a fighter, so I can make flash bombs and tanglefoot bags? That really seems like a cross-training feat to me. Anyone could use the stable (ritual) items, of course, that's the point. Just not the on the fly abilities.
Yeah, it makes plenty of sense to me. A guy that uses alchemical items to fend off enemies sounds like a fighter to me. A guy who uses alchemical items to attack enemies behind enemy lines sounds like a rogue or ranger. They don't need the alchemy skill to fight with alchemical items. And if they're an alchemist they're fighting style isn't necessarily based around alchemical items. But one of the classes I mentioned above should be able to take the alchemy skill. But as I said, alchemy isn't necessarily necessary to have a martial controller.
I personally envisioned a martial controller as something along the lines of a White Raven user from ToB, who could grant his allies bonuses and the abilities to move around the field with his abilities and such.
That's a martial leader, like the Warlord.
That's a Leader, Keru.

Something I'm pondering is where they'll put Eastern inspired martial arts capabilities. A martial artist who trains, becomes capable of focusing inner ki, and fires a hadoken (Street Fighter games). Is that martial? Arcane? Or a new "Ki" power source?

If it's Martial, an anime-style warrior could pull off the Controller role.

Otherwise, Alchemist sounds good to me :D
But one of the classes I mentioned above should be able to take the alchemy skill. But as I said, alchemy isn't necessarily necessary to have a martial controller.

It is the only logical answer i can think of to have a *martial* character able to *modify* battlefield.
The Wizard's abilities aren't all about modifying terrain. There's stuff like grease that does that, but that's not necessarily an essential part of the controller role. The wizard is mostly about damaging multiple enemies and debuffs and disabling enemies and such. A martial character could do those things with sword or bow or charisma.
Something I'm pondering is where they'll put Eastern inspired martial arts capabilities. A martial artist who trains, becomes capable of focusing inner ki, and fires a hadoken (Street Fighter games). Is that martial? Arcane? Or a new "Ki" power source?

Personally I'd take the supernatural parts of the monk and make it a psionic striker... The unarmed strike/trip/disarm stuff however should remain martial... So I guess I'm proposing a splitting up of the monk into two ....
Of course, an alchemist would not be all about modifying the terrain either. The original post is about whether or not an alchemist would be a good idea for a martial controller, not whether or not there may be other options. There may be other ideas, some may claim them to be better ideas. I personally feel as though a fighter with a whirlwind attack or an archer that uses debiliating shots, snares, bolas, etc. is stepping on the toes of classes we are already familiar with: the fighter, and the ranger. IMO, an alchemist as a martial controller would be something unique and would add an interesting dash of flavor to a group of classes that are less "flashy" than classes from the other known power sources.
The Wizard's abilities aren't all about modifying terrain. There's stuff like grease that does that, but that's not necessarily an essential part of the controller role.

Not *all* the wizard abilities are about modifying terrain, but *some* are. Just like not *all* the wizard powers have area of effect, but *some* have. And i think i have read several times that it is an *essential* part of the controller role. They specifically mentioned Wall of Force several times i think.
I think its entirely possible. You can have a Martial controller. Lets call him an alchemist for the sake of simplicity. Okay NO MAGIC. He could easily modify terrain with items like tanglefoot bags(although a mundane version), caltrops with numbing agents, or greases. He could cause damages with simple acids or flammable solutions. He could cause effect such as blindness, smoke, or distractions. Some good examples of real alchemy:

Goblin Dust(sorry Palladium Games, I am gonna borrow this) Goblin Dust was sold as a 'magic item' by less honorable alchemists. All it was was dust and soot from their fire place in a bag. Had a 50% chance of blinding.

Itching powders. My aunt who's a native American and a botanist showed me an itching powder made from plants around her house. It itched so bad I was ready to tear my skin off. It only took a few seconds to work. Washed off with water. No ill effects

Drying liquid. My aunt uses this in her 'pepper spray'. Its made from a few common plants and one not so common plant. The pulp can be diluted in water and still have the effect. Though she uses vinegar to make it last longer. When she dripped some on my tongue it 'dried out' like I hadn't drank anything in days. If it comes in contact with your eyes it causes them to 'dry out' and tighten shut. Note: its just a sensation of drying. It to can be washed out with water. And it tastes horrible

Greek Fire. The ancient Greeks had weapon that launched a 'ball of fire' onto ships and troops causing them to catch fire and was VERY difficult to put out. Much like modern napalm. We recreated the effect at a friends house using what WE thought it was made of. Note: We have a friend who has a masters in Chemistry...do not try this unsupervised. It worked and was made of all home made products. Not the least of which was fruit pulp.

Flashviles. Using magnesium and some other cool chemicals, my buddy was able to make these cool little capsules that when you throw them they break and make a huge flash and bang. The capsule was two inches long and about the diameter of an American nickel.

So you see, there are lots of cool things that can be done with natural substances. Why is it such a far fetched concept that a person can create items of great power, in a short time with natural substances? I mean we are talking about a world of FANTASY! Anyone disagree? That sounds like martial and controller to me. In fact it will be a class in my game.

I know that allot of people have this concept of the controller being the mass damager. I feel that the role will be more of directing the battle, producing mass effects and impeding certain opponents. Why couldn't an Alchemist do that? Even the mass damage?

The 'martial power source' has never mentioned that it will be "magic" in nature. I have seen it described as on par with magic of equal level and "seemingly" magic. So couldn't chemistry be "seemingly" magic?

A rogue passing by several opponents unnoticed and unscathed to deliver that perfectly placed fatal blow. Its seemingly magical, almost like a teleport. But its mundane in nature.

:fight!: A fighter delivering a crushing blow with a hammer sends an orc toppling over a few of his buddies. On par with magic, but NOT magic.

Thats just my opinion. And the above example are how I feel it will work in 4th based on what i have read.

Thats my two cents.
When I think of Martial Controller, I think of an alchemist, using potions and tinctures and other things to modify the battlefield or create conditions that hamper adversaries. I also think of an artificer who employs fantastic technology, like primitive firearms, clockwork automata, gear-and-spring weaponry, and other gadgets such as a walking wall of whirling blades. Another option is the hunter mentioned earlier, a guy who uses traps to stymie foes, knowledge of terrain to put people at disadvantages, and animal companions as a means to "spread out" damage out put. There is also a "weapon master" controller, who uses things like bolas, nets, and disarms to muck around with foes. Finally, I think of a someone like a mastermind, using detailed plans to place foes in a pickle and an assortment of debuff powers that are described as extremely skillful intimidation.

Either as a talent tree or a suite of powers, I believe Rangers will be given the "hunter" aspect. I'm fairly sure Fighters will get the lion's share of "weapon master" abilities, probably as a talent tree. I also believe Rogues will likely get "mastermind" abilities. Not being Controllers, these classes will not be as efficient at controlling the battlefield as Wizards or other pure Controllers, but they will probably be viable builds and will add some further utility to the base Role.

The tech-based Controllers could indeed make a class. They probably could be talent trees or power suites of the same class - maybe an Alchemy talent tree and Artifice talent tree. I'd name the class "Savant" or (even though it's "boring" ) "Expert." I like Savant, so I'll use that one.

Example powers would be potions that make a mist, a blunderbuss, or a bladed whirly-gig. Even though the Savant's power are gadget based, to maintain balance the power structure has to follow the same at will/per encounter/per day set up that other classes use. At the very least, they may be required to purchase specific weapons or kits, but most of their combat powers would be free (from a money perspective) modifications.

The way to explain the three tier power setup with tech based characters is that the more powerful potions or gizmos require more prep time or more upkeep. For example, an at will potion could be something simple that the character whips up on the spot. A per encounter potion is something that probably needs a few minutes to mix up. A per day potion requires lots of brewing (about a day) to make.

Similar, a per encounter piece of tech is something that can be utilized easily. A per encounter gadget might take a few minutes to be "wound up" or reloaded. A per day gizmo would require lots of upkeep - after its use, the gadgeteer probably has to spend several hours doing minor repairs and the like.

I think for this class to "make sense," players are going to have to assume that the Savant is doing a lot of upkeep "off panel." So when the party takes a break, the Savant is spending time winding up gadgets or organizing ingredients. But I think we can assume that all classes will be doing similar "upkeeps" - wizards will probably review spell books, fighters will practice a few moves, clerics will recite a few prayers, warlords mentally review strategies, and so on.

Related to this is the question "Why don't PCs just stockpile potions?" Because the powers are free from a monetary perspective, this is a potential balance issue. It must be assumed that the technology that explains Savant powers isn't very robust - when potions are made, they "go bad" soon and have to be remade. When a gizmo is built, most of the Savant's attention is spent keeping the machine in good working order - he simply can't dedicate enough time to building more. Again, most of this upkeep will probably be assumed to be happening off panel.
That could be an option for an epic destiny, maybe for a paragon path. I would not "swallow" a first level "earthshaker" that can provoke earthquakes through *martial* skill

Well, there ya go! :D

-edit-
My only real problem with item based classes is that most items are expendable, and take a long time to make.
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I think its entirely possible. You can have a Martial controller. Lets call him an alchemist for the sake of simplicity. Okay NO MAGIC. He could easily modify terrain with items like tanglefoot bags(although a mundane version), caltrops with numbing agents, or greases. He could cause damages with simple acids or flammable solutions. He could cause effect such as blindness, smoke, or distractions. Some good examples of real alchemy:

I completelly agree. I dont know if you was answering me, but to clarify further, that is exactly what i said. The only Martial Controller that makes sense imho, is the Alchemist. Becouse he is the only one that can have a few battlefield controlling powers.

You can come with a few other char concepts that have one, two, or five powers that are "controllish". But it is REALLY hard to find one that can fill thirty levels of it in 3 paths of talents without looking silly.
You can come with a few other char concepts that have one, two, or five powers that are "controllish". But it is REALLY hard to find one that can fill thirty levels of it in 3 paths of talents without looking silly.

Martial Controller - Monk

Low-Level (Heroic Tier):

Single Target Effects:

Trip
Grapple
Stun
Throw/Reposition
Disarm

Multi-Target Effects:
Area Shuriken Attack (low accuracy)
Enemy distraction/Attack redirection

Medium-Level (Paragon Tier):

Single Target Effects:

Ability Damage/Drain
Paralysis
Blindness
Improved abilties from Low-Level list
Sunders

Multi-Target Effects:
Grapple (yes, Multi-Grapple)
Kiai/Intimidation
Area Trips
Improved Area Shuriken Attack

High-Level (Epic Tier):

Single Target Effects:

Petrification
Unconciousness
Greater Ability Damage/Drain
Improved Medium-Level Effects

Multi-Target Effects:
Multiple Disarms/Sunders
Area Pushbacks
Terrain Manipulation (Stomp causes earthquakes, kick down a tree to block movement, etc)

If you can't think of enough abilities for a Monk to be a 30 level controller, you're not thinking hard enough. The vast majority of these are things that can be done now. Paragon and Epic get into splats, but I don't see that as a problem when we're talking about rolling "Chemistry" into the Martial powersource.
If you can't think of enough abilities for a Monk to be a 30 level controller, you're not thinking hard enough. The vast majority of these are things that can be done now. Paragon and Epic get into splats, but I don't see that as a problem when we're talking about rolling "Chemistry" into the Martial powersource.

Problem is:
1) most of the powers you suggest for low level heroic path probably are already in the game, and used by defenders, as they are not "controllish" enough. You cant really compare "trip" to "hold person", do you? I would be rather surprised if a regular fighter do not have "disarm", "trip" or some sort of "stun" and "enemy distraction". The arcane defender swordmage is already confirmed to have a power that teleports an enemy if he strikes him with his sword, which kind of compare to "reposition". The "control powers" of a monk arent "controllish enough". Comparing an area trip to "entangle" (or "alchemybasedentangle") is pointless.

2) you really have to stretch the concept of "martial" too much in the higher tiers. Not to mention that a monk probably wont be "martial" but "ki"...

3) You did not give the monk a single terrain manipulation effect until level 21+. "obscuring mist" and "grease" are level 1.

4) the AOE effects are rather limited as well. Throwing a bunch of shurikens cant compare to a fireball, unless you conjure 100 shurikens. And that is not "martial"

5) i still cant see 3 full paths of 30 powers for a controller martial, without repeating himself with "trip" "another Trip" " a trip that affect 2 creatures" "ranged trip" "a trip that works on gargantuan monsters" and "most boring trip of the game". I can see a wizard or alchemist or gadgeteer doing dozens and dozens of different Controllish cool powers though.
Problem is:

Let's see, shall we?

1) most of the powers you suggest for low level heroic path probably are already in the game, and used by defenders, as they are not "controllish" enough. You cant really compare "trip" to "hold person", do you? I would be rather surprised if a regular fighter do not have "disarm", "trip" or some sort of "stun" and "enemy distraction". The arcane defender swordmage is already confirmed to have a power that teleports an enemy if he strikes him with his sword, which kind of compare to "reposition". The "control powers" of a monk arent "controllish enough". Comparing an area trip to "entangle" (or "alchemybasedentangle") is pointless.

The difference between Controller and Defender, even in terms of Fighter vs Wizard, isn't a matter of ability, it's a matter of focus. They both try to limit an opponent's options while killing him. To be perfectly honest, "Defender" is very ill-defined as we've seen it so far.

A Martial Controller, particularly one that was melee based, would be better at non-damage dealing things than the Fighter, while not being able to manage the same level of pain output. They will have more bonuses (and therefor a higher success rate) at tripping and disarming and other "normal" melee stuff, and they will be able to do it more often and with better results, and eventually against more enemies at once.

Like I said, it's a matter of focus.

2) you really have to stretch the concept of "martial" too much in the higher tiers. Not to mention that a monk probably wont be "martial" but "ki"...

We're going to have to stretch the definition of Martial for anyone in the higher tiers. Fighters are going to be moving faster than is physically possible and Rogues are going to be "teleporting across the battlefield." If we're loosening restrictions for them, why not the Monk?

As to the powersource, Monk can be whatever they decide it will be. A martial Monk will focus more on the things I'm describing (trips, disarms, feats of arms effectively) while a Ki monk will probably be more the walks-on-clouds, heals-self, dimension door style Monk. You know, the non-Martial stuff.

3) You did not give the monk a single terrain manipulation effect until level 21+. "obscuring mist" and "grease" are level 1.

First off, we don't know that Obscuring Mist and Grease are even in 4e, much less what level they'll be available at.

Second, and this is the big one, the Monk has one major advantage over the Wizard when it comes to Terrain Manipulation; He IS hazardous terrain. He's his own Wall of Ice, Grease or Telekinetic Thrust. Closing with a Wizard takes a good number of their options away, but closing with a Monk (as I've laid out) only makes them better.

4) the AOE effects are rather limited as well. Throwing a bunch of shurikens cant compare to a fireball, unless you conjure 100 shurikens. And that is not "martial"

You don't have to have hundreds of shuriken to force your opponents to react to them. They were originally designed to trigger their target's duck-and-cover instinct, not to actually deal damage. If you chuck 3 or 4 concurrently into a mass of enemy troops, they're going to be moving to avoid them and probably cause themselves a lot of problems. Controllers aren't about damage, they're about chaos.

And when you consider that the average Monk is basically a walking spell with radius 15 (under the current rules) that's going to have AoO's and special abilities based on melee combat, Area Effect isn't really an issue.

5) i still cant see 3 full paths of 30 powers for a controller martial, without repeating himself with "trip" "another Trip" " a trip that affect 2 creatures" "ranged trip" "a trip that works on gargantuan monsters" and "most boring trip of the game". I can see a wizard or alchemist or gadgeteer doing dozens and dozens of different Controllish cool powers though.

And I can see one tree associated with trips and attacking downed enemies, one revolving around stunning fist and it's use and another that deals with grappling. There's three trees right there, each with hundreds of possible options as far as how to implement it. Then we add in abilities based on curtailing enemy movement, bull rushes and throwing techniques and we've got more than enough for a solid concept.

What I really can't see is lumping a character who spends all his time in a lab formulating potions into the Martial Category with Fighters and Rogues. I also don't see what the Alchemist has to offer that the Wizard or Warlock wouldn't be able to do better.
What I really can't see is lumping a character who spends all his time in a lab formulating potions into the Martial Category with Fighters and Rogues. I also don't see what the Alchemist has to offer that the Wizard or Warlock wouldn't be able to do better.

"martial" power also revolve about the idea of empowering the *skills* beyond logic. A rogue that get "near invisible" through sneak, or can run up walls through climb is already in. A character that can bend "alchemy" (or engineering if you choose gadgeteer instead) beyond what alchemy would normally do is perfectly Martial. Also, the alchemist has a good thing to offer: a "wizard" with martial flavour. That is, a controller with martial flavour. The monk is gonna be a striker (confirmed), although we dont know if he is going to be martial, psi or ki.

All controllers would have *similar* powers to wizard (The archetype of controllers). Just like all defenders will have powers similar to a fighter. That does not mean Paladins or Swordmages do not offer things to the game, they offer flavor. A monk is not controllish enough, and rather underpowered when you compare to a wizard-like (ie: shaman, illusionist, psion, alchemist...) controller. Once again, "trip" is a joke effect when compared to "hold person".
The difference between Controller and Defender, even in terms of Fighter vs Wizard, isn't a matter of ability, it's a matter of focus. They both try to limit an opponent's options while killing him. To be perfectly honest, "Defender" is very ill-defined as we've seen it so far.


In adition, you dont need to make the alchemist more "spending his time in the laboratory" than the artificer in eberron is. Artificier might be a good base class to expand into 4e as an alchemist, and they are not either boring or "lab rats". Change some of the magical-like "infusions" and trade them for alchemy-powered effects, and you are done.


Now addresing your points:

The difference between Controller and Defender, even in terms of Fighter vs Wizard, isn't a matter of ability, it's a matter of focus. They both try to limit an opponent's options while killing him. To be perfectly honest, "Defender" is very ill-defined as we've seen it so far.

Actually, i find Defender to be crystal clear defined in R&C, as well as Controller.

A Martial Controller, particularly one that was melee based, would be better at non-damage dealing things than the Fighter, while not being able to manage the same level of pain output. They will have more bonuses (and therefor a higher success rate) at tripping and disarming and other "normal" melee stuff, and they will be able to do it more often and with better results, and eventually against more enemies at once.

The problem is that a martial melee controlled, based on trips and such, would be drastically worse than a wizard/elementalist/sorcerer/ilusionist/psion at controlling the battlefield, both terrain and oponents. They might be marginally better at disarming than a fighter (or incredibly better for that matter), but still "trip" is a condition that you remove when you stand up. "force cage" is not. It is easier to model believable competitive control powers with an alchemist (like a tanglefoot bag effect for example)

We're going to have to stretch the definition of Martial for anyone in the higher tiers. Fighters are going to be moving faster than is physically possible and Rogues are going to be "teleporting across the battlefield." If we're loosening restrictions for them, why not the Monk?

You are goint to stretch it too much for the monk remaining competitive in the controller spot as a controller. A fighter might get a power that allow him to cut a golem in two or survive a meteor without a scratch or maybe charge lightning-fast 200 yards in a round. However, that, although above the boundaries of "real life" is in the boundaries of "martial". To be able to compete with "meteor swarm" or "prismatic sphere", a monk would need to cross the boundaries of "martial", even of "fantasy martial".
First off, we don't know that Obscuring Mist and Grease are even in 4e, much less what level they'll be available at.

Moot point, we dont know "trip" is either. The fact is that those kinds of powers have been suggested to controllers, and they are easily explainable bluff-wise even for lower level wizards (that can follow a obscuring mist->nauseating cloud->damaging cloud->death cloud progresion for example). Monks wont have terrain effect abilities at low level if they want to remain "martial",period. At epic tier, i have no problem with an earthquake made with a kick to the floor and being still "(epic) martial". At level 1-5, i cant see a monk ability that modify battleterrain that does not leave the "martial" tag.

Using the monk himself as "hazardous terrain" is not controllish, it is defenderish. Exactly the RC definition of defender, as "abilities that make him sticky, in other words, a defender should be difficult to move past or to ignore ". A "wall of force" or "obscuring mist" is clearlly controller, a hard-to-pass-threatening-area is not.

You don't have to have hundreds of shuriken to force your opponents to react to them. They were originally designed to trigger their target's duck-and-cover instinct, not to actually deal damage. If you chuck 3 or 4 concurrently into a mass of enemy troops, they're going to be moving to avoid them and probably cause themselves a lot of problems. Controllers aren't about damage, they're about chaos.

You need them to keep martial controller competitive to arcane, divine, shadow or primal controllers. 4 shurikens that force enemy to duck is more like a "area fear" than a "fireball". Fireball also force enemies to duck *and* kill those that dont. Controllers are, following the RC definition, about "inflicting damage or hindering condition on multiples targets. Controllers sacrifice defense for offense, and they want to concentrate on taking down the enemy as fast as possible" A rocket-launcher gadgeteer, or greek-fire alchemist can do this. A bunch of shurikens wont.
"martial" power also revolve about the idea of empowering the *skills* beyond logic. A rogue that get "near invisible" through sneak, or can run up walls through climb is already in. A character that can bend "alchemy" (or engineering if you choose gadgeteer instead) beyond what alchemy would normally do is perfectly Martial. Also, the alchemist has a good thing to offer: a "wizard" with martial flavour. That is, a controller with martial flavour. The monk is gonna be a striker (confirmed), although we dont know if he is going to be martial, psi or ki.

First, where was the Monk as a Striker confirmed? I honestly haven't heard this. If you've got a link I'd appreciate it.

Second; your definition of Martial seems very wide. Basically, you're just lumping everything that's not inherently magical into it and calling it good. Somebody should tell the Barbarian, I guess.

I don't see an Alchemist as being a) a legitimate Martial character type and b) being far enough removed from the Wizard class to warrant it's own existance.

All controllers would have *similar* powers to wizard (The archetype of controllers). Just like all defenders will have powers similar to a fighter. That does not mean Paladins or Swordmages do not offer things to the game, they offer flavor.

Paladins are going to differ from Fighters on a lot more levels than "flavor." What you're basically saying here is that we really only need 4 classes; one for each role. Everything else about "powersources" and such is fluff we lay over the top of that. That's a very limited way of looking at things.

A monk is not controllish enough, and rather underpowered when you compare to a wizard-like (ie: shaman, illusionist, psion, alchemist...) controller. Once again, "trip" is a joke effect when compared to "hold person".

In it's current incarnation, you're right; the Monk is a very, very weak Controller. Of course, in 3e the Monk is a joke, so it's inability to play one specific role is largely irrelevant.

Add to that the fact that they've moved away from Hold Person and other types of save-or-lose spells, and that whole line of arguement evaporates. A Wizard can't to save-or-dies any better than a Fighter anymore, so they can't really be factored in to a discussion.

In adition, you dont need to make the alchemist more "spending his time in the laboratory" than the artificer in eberron is. Artificier might be a good base class to expand into 4e as an alchemist, and they are not either boring or "lab rats". Change some of the magical-like "infusions" and trade them for alchemy-powered effects, and you are done.

Bottom line, it's very different from the other concepts we see of Martial classes. Weapons and Armor vs Acid and Napalm. It could theoretically fit into it's own powersource, but I really don't think you'll be able to do enough mechanically to make it something other than "Potion Wizard."

Actually, i find Defender to be crystal clear defined in R&C, as well as Controller.

Basically, they call it a Melee Controller. What defines a Defender, exactly? Is it high numbers of hit points? A high AC? The ability to deal damage? What abilities are indespensible to the defender, and how are they going to be using them? What methods do they have of directly effecting the fight?

There's a lot put out there about "protecting" and "stopping," but when it comes down to it, they're just Controlling an area. Is a Fighter a weaker Wizard too?

The problem is that a martial melee controlled, based on trips and such, would be drastically worse than a wizard/elementalist/sorcerer/ilusionist/psion at controlling the battlefield, both terrain and oponents. They might be marginally better at disarming than a fighter (or incredibly better for that matter), but still "trip" is a condition that you remove when you stand up. "force cage" is not. It is easier to model believable competitive control powers with an alchemist (like a tanglefoot bag effect for example)

But we don't know that anymore. We've seen offensive powers, but we don't know what the average wizard is going to be able to pull off in terms of battlefield manipulation. We don't even know if Grease still exists, much less what casting Wall spells is going to look like.

Even if an Alchemist would do a better job of producing Wizard type effects (and I maintain my feeling that they're not Martial), a Monk could do an excellent job of mimmicking Wizard-type effects. Where a bottle of greek fire might look and sound like a Fireball, a monk with a Kusari-Gama could do just as good an impression.

I think the real sticking point is the idea that a Controller must somehow be "hands-off." I see no reason for this to be the case.

You are goint to stretch it too much for the monk remaining competitive in the controller spot as a controller. A fighter might get a power that allow him to cut a golem in two or survive a meteor without a scratch or maybe charge lightning-fast 200 yards in a round. However, that, although above the boundaries of "real life" is in the boundaries of "martial". To be able to compete with "meteor swarm" or "prismatic sphere", a monk would need to cross the boundaries of "martial", even of "fantasy martial".

I don't see how making a dozen trip attacks in one turn or paralyzing someone with pressure points is somehow any more outrageous than running 200 yards in 6 seconds or surviving massive impacts.

You're drawing lines that don't really exist.

At epic tier, i have no problem with an earthquake made with a kick to the floor and being still "(epic) martial". At level 1-5, i cant see a monk ability that modify battleterrain that does not leave the "martial" tag.

I can see an ability that lets me kick a chair across the floor to impede enemy progress or throw an enemy onto the ground to create hazardous terrain for his allies. I can also see thrown shuriken sticking foes to walls/furniture and making them into obstacles.

Bottom line, though, I can see that you're not trying to see those things.

Using the monk himself as "hazardous terrain" is not controllish, it is defenderish. Exactly the RC definition of defender, as "abilities that make him sticky, in other words, a defender should be difficult to move past or to ignore ". A "wall of force" or "obscuring mist" is clearlly controller, a hard-to-pass-threatening-area is not.

There's a difference between being "sticky" and being hazardous or unpassable. Nothing says the Monk is trying to keep them next to him/her, just keeping them from passing through a specific area without potential harm. It's the Fighter's job to collect bad guys and absorb damage, the Monk would impede their movement and funnel them towards the party Defender or into position for the Striker.

You need them to keep martial controller competitive to arcane, divine, shadow or primal controllers. 4 shurikens that force enemy to duck is more like a "area fear" than a "fireball". Fireball also force enemies to duck *and* kill those that dont.

You don't think those shuriken are going to sting if they hit?

Honestly, I don't see this as a problem. "Comprable" does not mean "identical." If it did, we'd only have 4 classes.

Controllers are, following the RC definition, about "inflicting damage or hindering condition on multiples targets. Controllers sacrifice defense for offense, and they want to concentrate on taking down the enemy as fast as possible"

If that's a quote from R&C, it sounds like they got their Controllers and Strikers mixed around. That aside;

"Inflicting damage or hindering conditions on multiple targets" sure sounds a lot like the mass trip/stun/etc I was advocating earlier, doesn't it?

A rocket-launcher gadgeteer, or greek-fire alchemist can do this. A bunch of shurikens wont.

Those things could do it, but not as a Martial option. Maybe in PHB4 when we get "Chemistry" or "Engineering" as powersources (yay for Optimus Prime-esque Defenders ;) ), but not in the same terms as Rogues and Fighters. A Monk makes a lot more sense for a Martial Controller than someone who is going to run into combat covered in vials of flammable and corrosive liquids.
No one said the barbarian was not going to be somewhat magical.

If an alchemist is not far enough separated from a wizard to warrant its existence, then why did artificer exist in 3.5. Obviously, there is a niche here that needs to be filled that cannot be done well enough with a paragon path. Most of all, I think people would like to see something new and different instead of relying on old, outdated, stereotypical standbys.

Monk as controller= nothing really new. Oh here comes the monk again, ready to do his little tricks and tumbles and throwing shurikens. How innovative... Engineer/alchemist artificer as martial controller= something new, fun, and most of all, interesting. Just my opinion on that, but I think it is a shared opinion.

No alchemist is going to run into combat covered in his mighty alchemical goodiness than the other controller we know about (wizard) would.
I'm fully in Batshido's boat with Monks as Martial Controllers, though I think they'll probably be closer to a hybrid Striker/Controller, either being average at both roles or really good at one or the other with path specialization.

For controlling, take trip. It's not Hold Person, it's a one-round disabler that (if like 3.5) causes the victim to draw AoO while getting up. Grapple is Hold Person. In many situations it's also greatly superior to those Controller stand-bys Hold Person, Sleep, and Entangle/Grease. Hold Person only works on certain creature types, and is hard to use on casters (high Will Defense); Sleep has a HD cutoff/; Entangle and Grease don't work on flying creatures.

Hurricane kicks or naginata techniques for close range area damage.

A Monk makes a lot more sense for a Martial Controller than someone who is going to run into combat covered in vials of flammable and corrosive liquids.

Amen. Imagine the guy getting hit with a flask of Alchemist's Fire and taking out himself and half the party.

Amen. Imagine the guy getting hit with a flask of Alchemist's Fire and taking out himself and half the party.
Not with the alchemists implements of course. You know, the fireproof/waterproof bag he has to carry his chemicals and keep them safe. :P

For those that have asked, the Races and Classes book is quoted as saying that "the monk is still in the design stage but it will be a mobile striker." (emphasis added.)
First, where was the Monk as a Striker confirmed? I honestly haven't heard this. If you've got a link I'd appreciate it.

Cant provide a link, but Races and Classes page 83:
Since the monk rely on mobility, the class will be probably a striker, putting down high damage with unarmed attacks

Second; your definition of Martial seems very wide. Basically, you're just lumping everything that's not inherently magical into it and calling it good. Somebody should tell the Barbarian, I guess.

Same definition that WotC use:http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/drdd/20070820a


"Just as fighters do more with weapons than any other character, rogues push skills beyond the limits that constrain other PCs.
Alchemy is a skill, so the analogy is valid imho.
Barbarians on the other hand do not "train" or "focus" or seeks to master his potential—to convert it to a fully realized mastery of a fighting form as the article says. It's just pure "talent", a primal (pun intended) rage that flows through him. No focus or training there. The alchemist on the other hand...


I don't see an Alchemist as being a) a legitimate Martial character type

That's our only point of disagreement i bet. However, he is *martial* by the martial definition. Maybe the word *martial* brings a problem, as it suggests "physical prowess and personal fighting skill", while, by the definition, "expert" would be a better choid for a name. Hoever, Alchemists do exactly what Martial Power Source means: they focus and train on a skill, to bring it beyond what is normally possible for other classes through pure training.

Paladins are going to differ from Fighters on a lot more levels than "flavor."

On the basic, no. They tackle enemy, stick them to their threat area, soak up their damage with high AC and hitpoints, and pounds them in melee. The mechanics they use are widely different (they use auras, smites, lay on hands and what not instead of combat stances, maneouvers and strikes), but *what* they do is basically being a Defender. So does the Swordmage through magical defenses, touch-attack-spells and instant sorcery.

Add to that the fact that they've moved away from Hold Person and other types of save-or-lose spells, and that whole line of arguement evaporates. A Wizard can't to save-or-dies any better than a Fighter anymore, so they can't really be factored in to a discussion.

"save or die" is out, but "save or impair is not". Petrification is still in, except you *start* to petrify and have several rounds to solve the problem instead of instantly getting out of combat. Trip is still a "stand up and problem solved" condition.


Basically, they call it a Melee Controller. What defines a Defender, exactly? Is it high numbers of hit points? A high AC? The ability to deal damage? What abilities are indespensible to the defender, and how are they going to be using them? What methods do they have of directly effecting the fight?

Quoting wizards
A character with high defenses and high hit points. The character you want getting in fornt of the monster and absorbing their attacks. [...] to have some abilities that make him "sticky"[....] difficult to move past[...]

They will
1) get to the enemies, and lock them (making hard to past through him)
2) absorb most of the attacks through AC, HP, or self-recovery
3) deal damage in melee

There's a lot put out there about "protecting" and "stopping," but when it comes down to it, they're just Controlling an area. Is a Fighter a weaker Wizard too?

Completelly different role. The wizard does not absorb damage, is not hard to pass by, and is not "sticky"

But we don't know that anymore. We've seen offensive powers, but we don't know what the average wizard is going to be able to pull off in terms of battlefield manipulation. We don't even know if Grease still exists, much less what casting Wall spells is going to look like.

However he have had several hints that controlling the battelfied *itself* is part of the controller duty. Be it a "wall" spell or a "barrier" one, calling it "grease" or "spicky terrain" changes nothing. The wizard (and the alchemist) can modify battlefield with ease and remain "on fluff", but the monk cant, unless he is already into the epic-paragon tier.



Even if an Alchemist would do a better job of producing Wizard type effects (and I maintain my feeling that they're not Martial), a Monk could do an excellent job of mimmicking Wizard-type effects. Where a bottle of greek fire might look and sound like a Fireball, a monk with a Kusari-Gama could do just as good an impression.

Nope. The Alchemist and the Wizard still can produce persistent contitions to the oponents and the terrain (like caltrops-tanglefoot-smoking bombs or grease-nauseating cloud-wall of ice). The monk cant produce persistent changes (not until lvl 15-20)

I don't see how making a dozen trip attacks in one turn or paralyzing someone with pressure points is somehow any more outrageous than running 200 yards in 6 seconds or surviving massive impacts.

You're drawing lines that don't really exist.

But making a dozen trip attacks at epic level isnt "controllish" at all. Creating death clouds, black tentacles of evard, or prismatic walls is. The problem is that the monk can trip 12 guys in a turn, but cant produce persistent battlefield modifying effects without getting out of "martial".

I can see an ability that lets me kick a chair across the floor to impede enemy progress or throw an enemy onto the ground to create hazardous terrain for his allies. I can also see thrown shuriken sticking foes to walls/furniture and making them into obstacles.


Bottom line, though, I can see that you're not trying to see those things.

I can see those. What i disagree is taht throwing someone to create 1 single square of difficult terrain qualify as "controlling battlefield". That is not much different to what every character and his pet can do with "bull rush". I can see how "iron wall" or "rock to mud" controll battlefield. Monks simply cant compete on that. They are a striker type with a few low power and short term "control" debuffs. The fighter might disarm and the rogue be able to blind as well and that does not make them "controllers"

There's a difference between being "sticky" and being hazardous or unpassable.

Yep. Defenders are sticky (lock enemy around them and absorb their attacks), controllers create hazardous (poison cloud) or impassable (wall of force) terrain at range.

Nothing says the Monk is trying to keep them next to him/her, just keeping them from passing through a specific area without potential harm. It's the Fighter's job to collect bad guys and absorb damage, the Monk would impede their movement and funnel them towards the party Defender or into position for the Striker.

The monk is the striker. He might be a striker with some "controllish" aptitude just like the paladin is a Defender with a bit of leader flavor, but he does not control the field or their oponents good enough to qualify. The alchemist does. The only problem the alchemist has is that *you* dont believe "martial" can mean "focused on a skill" instead of "focused on arms", but WotC description of Rogues show otherwise.


You don't think those shuriken are going to sting if they hit?

I doubt each of those shurikes would do damage comparable to a single unarmed attack from the monk. So the damage output would be very low, and will effect 4 guys. Compared to a fireball, that will affect much more people for much more damage, is as much a "range aoe attack" as the wizard hitting you with the staff is a "melee power."

If that's a quote from R&C, it sounds like they got their Controllers and Strikers mixed around. That aside;

It is, and i don't find them mixed. I see Controllers as the Air force, and Strikers as the Special Forces Cover Team. Completelly different weapons for completelly different situations.


"Inflicting damage or hindering conditions on multiple targets" sure sounds a lot like the mass trip/stun/etc I was advocating earlier, doesn't it?

Except that the monk would need a lot of levels to do what the other controllers would be doing since level 1.


Those things could do it, but not as a Martial option. Maybe in PHB4 when we get "Chemistry" or "Engineering" as powersources (yay for Optimus Prime-esque Defenders ;) ), but not in the same terms as Rogues and Fighters. A Monk makes a lot more sense for a Martial Controller than someone who is going to run into combat covered in vials of flammable and corrosive liquids.

I stand with my first comment in the post. Focusing into a skill to get more from it than other pc can do is Martial. Martial is not related to focusing with "combat skill". Just skill. A Sage or Athlete would be martial classes (even if they would be NPC classes as they arent cool enough to be PC probably)
Not with the alchemists implements of course. You know, the fireproof/waterproof bag he has to carry his chemicals and keep them safe. :P

That's a little different than Batshido's situation. But in that event, how is the flask master getting in and out of the bag/case, selecting and retrieving the flask, closing and fastening/tying it back, and then using the item in a controlled manner, all in a brief few seconds that would probably include AoOs from the menacing swords and claws lurking nearby?

Here's a fun experiment. State the readied action: "When he opens the bag/case I'm throwing my Alchemist's Fire/Acid flask/torch/bead of force/thunderstone/Fireball/Melf's Acid Arrow at it."