Favored Class: Still Needed?

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Do we still need the Favored Class rules? This seems like an unneeded part of the game that just adds an unnecessary element of complexity.
I'd say we don't need them anymore, given what we've heard about the impact race will have on characters throughout the game. For instance, if the designers want to encourage dwarves to be fighters, they can just give dwarves abilities that complement the fighter class very well.

-Will
I think it isn't needed because it just makes it harder to be what you want to be.

I think they should put a two class limit instead of the current 'favored class doesn't count' system.
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I'd wager they'll drop favored class entirely.

They showed in SWSE that you can have a pretty good force-user who is not of the Jedi class. So, you can be "jedi-like" even if you do not have many levels in Jedi.

I think the same will be true for 4e. You will be able to be "dwarf-like" because of your racial abilities. It should not be necessary for you to advance in fighter. If handled elegantly, the dwarf abilities will work well with a fighter-type without forcing you to take the class. (e.g., a dwarf rogue will probably have some racial abilities that help him to withstand or recover from damage--potentially more useful for a defender role than for a striker role, but useful nevertheless, and obviously dwarf-like in the D&D context).
I wouldn't quite bet my life that favored class will go, but I'm fairly confident that it will.

One problem with them is that you limit the utility of classes that appear after the race is mentioned. So if you say "Wizards are a favored class of elves." in PHB1, then in PHB3 you release a class that is wonderfully suited to elves, you either have to add it as a second favored class or live with elves passing up the class because it's not favored. But if you go with the first option, you unbalance the elves in relation to other races which still only have one favored class - unless you then go and bring the other races 'up to speed' by giving them new favored classes of their own.
Favored classes were basically tacked on to 3E to try to push old-E race/class stereotypes into the then-new system, presumably in the name of ensuring that it "still felt like D&D". They didn't work for that, and the idea of enforcing old stereotypes is one which has largely been abandoned anyway, so I suspect that favored classes will be too.
I hated the favored class idea. In fact, I broke that rule completely. Just because I want to be a dwwarven cleric, or and elf rogue, or even a halfling ighter, I should be penalized? I think it was all some lame thing that nearly killed interesting characters.
Gone. It must go. That stupid multiclassing penalty had absolutely no basis for existing. All it did was destroy interesting multiclass combinations (on top of the fact that non-caster/caster combinations basically totally sucked).
It should have been gone with 3.5 already.
Yep favoured classes were awful.

Sandulax

I entirely agree. It was an an artifact from earlier editions when it was introduced in 3.0, and ignored in the groups I played with (along with multi-class XP penalties). It frankly serves no useful purpose but to enforce a multi-class-XP rule that few adhere to anyway and racial stereotypes.
I, what, tenth the motion? Toss the rule. It was never needed in the first place.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Agreed, it must go. It's one of the reasons I stopped playing 3.x. I prefered Conan's setup more, it's still in there but they don't penalize you for multiclassing.

I want a multiclass friendly game, developing a character on concepts rather than be shoe-horned into a prestige class...
I hope and suspect it will be gone. Everyone I've ever played with has ignored the Favored Class rule anyway.
I'll step out on my own and say that, while I hated the implementation of Favored Class in 3x, I liked the idea of racial proclivities.

I'm hoping the new racial advancements serve that purpose (dwarven resilience may encourage tanks rather than blasters). I'll be very disappointed, though, if the elven advancement doesn't give them a bit of magic/magely feel.
I'll step out on my own and say that, while I hated the implementation of Favored Class in 3x, I liked the idea of racial proclivities.

I'm hoping the new racial advancements serve that purpose (dwarven resilience may encourage tanks rather than blasters). I'll be very disappointed, though, if the elven advancement doesn't give them a bit of magic/magely feel.

I agree with you. I think that if you take away favored classes but, for example, give elves a 'magely leaning', this is a net gain. Elves will benefit from any casting class that can take advantage of the magely leaning, not just wizard or sorcerer. So if the Nature Sage class is published in PHB5, elves who take it will benefit from the rules in PHB1 rather than be penalised.
For me, the biggest flaw in favored class was the idea of the exp penalty. Games should be about fun, not getting "penalized". The exp penaly just pushed meta-gaming and character planning, instead of character playing.

In the 3.x rules, imho, a better implementation would have been to give some kind of bonus when a character leveled up in a favored class. It would not have to be an exp bonus, it could be a bonus feat from a select list, or the ability to chose a feat where the character does not quite meet the pre-requisites.

Anything that would result in the idea that "elves tend to be better wizards" or "dwarves tend to be better fighters" instead of "elves that are not wizards will stink at something else unless they are meta-gamed correctly during levelup".
I tossed the favored class rule and the XP penalty and I'd bet a ton of coppers that it won't be in 4e. It wasn't needed, for all of the reasons mentioned before. By multiclassing, players traded greater power in a specific profession for versatility and (in regard to saving throws) survivability. But boy was there a price...

And I'm the sort who loves to multiclass because it's hard to consider myself (in real life and in the game) as just one thing.
In my opinion, they are most likely to give Favored Classes to boot and use a mechanic to somewhat replicate 3.xE Racial Substitution Levels via Racial-Class Talent Trees that give bonuses. This rewards players that stick to a racial stereotype instead of penalizing ones that do not.
I never used the Favored Class aspect. I nver agreed with how it was done. It should have given you some kind of bonus to the class, not remove an experience penalty that should not have been given in the first place for multyclassing. I took out the favored class and took out the xp penalty for have more than 1 or 2 classes.
Is there actually anyone who is in favour of the favoured class rule?
Unless you are...I don't think anyone else in this topic is.
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Get rid of it. It is a horrible mechanic and was killed pretty quickly in my gaming group shortly after 3E came out. Why it made it into 3.5E, I will honestly never know.

WOTC needs to save the cost of ink and leave this out of the game completely. Because I think most of us will be ignoring it anyway.
Is there actually anyone who is in favour of the favoured class rule?

I think we have unanimity on the topic. I can't remember seeing this anywhere else on the boards, even on material components.

The hoi polloi speaks. We want our classes flavoured, not favoured.
I thought it was an OK rule... its pretty much just in there to keep players from mixing/matching classes too much to come up with some broken game combo.
I thought it was an OK rule... its pretty much just in there to keep players from mixing/matching classes too much to come up with some broken game combo.

How?

Every level you taken in another class means means you aren't progressing in the others. Let's try this for visual effect:

A) Ftr 10 or Rog 10 or Wiz 10

vs.

B) Ftr 5/Wiz 5 or Ftr 5/Rog 5 or Rog 5/Wiz 5

vs.

C) Ftr 3/Rog 4/ Wiz 3

Please tell me how much more powerful B) and C) are compared to A). They gain some versatility but at the cost of higher progression, especially considering the nature of most CR 10 monsters and EL 10 encounters. A better range of saving throws doesn't outweigh better attacks or magical firepower.

By choosing more classes to progress in, ultimately, you already pay a cost. Thus it was balanced. 3.5 isn't as front-loaded as 3.0 anyhow, so it's not like you get as much from taking a few levels here and there. No need for anything more.
Replace Favored Class with 'Suggested Classes' so newbies still sorta get where the race is intended to go as well as what the race's culture typically goes into.

Example:

Dwarf
Suggested Classes: Cleric, Fighter, Knight, Samurai

Dwarven society favors Dwarves who are stout, brave and respectful. Dwarven adventurers are often drawn to classes that possess rigid codes of conduct, like Chivalry and Bushido. Dwarves are also very pious, many become priests to Moradin, their founder god. Above all Dwarves favor a gungho approach to adventuring and the subtlety of Arcane Spellcasting, especially illusions and enchantments, is often beyond the Dwarf's interest, especially when it comes to combat.

~~~~

Ok, I know the fluffy bit was ilconceived, but you get the idea. List off a few Classes that the race's society often enters into.
How?

Every level you taken in another class means means you aren't progressing in the others. Let's try this for visual effect:

It was allegedly there to discourage "dipping", not necessarily because dipping was overpowered, but because it hurts the flavor of the classes. (At least in WotC's opinion). For example, in 3.0, every rogue dipped 1 level in ranger if they could for dual weild. So it made it so that you had to be a halfling, human, or half-elf to be a dual weilding rogue, instead of a dwarf, which somehow made people feel better. Especially since 2e folk were already frothing at the mouth and claiming apocalypses at the idea that dwarves could be paladins or halflings could be wizards.

3.5 fixed the front-loaded class problem from 3.0 though, and by that time people got over the racial class limitations, so I'm not sure why they kept it. It was probably that they didn't want to cause too much of a change from 3.0 on something that was so easily removable by most DM's.
I entirely agree. It was an an artifact from earlier editions when it was introduced in 3.0, and ignored in the groups I played with (along with multi-class XP penalties). It frankly serves no useful purpose but to enforce a multi-class-XP rule that few adhere to anyway and racial stereotypes.

Some restrictions should be. Certain races tend towards certain things. Dwarves tend to be fighters. They're built for it. Their bodies are set for mining and fighitng in heavy armor. Elves tend to be mages. Their light bodies don't wear heavy armor well and their intune with magic as a part of the natural order of the world. Multiclassing penalties were there for a reason. Your character was training in a way that was very stressfull. Each time you take a first level in a non prc you're basically gaining a young lifetiem in abilities. That is why its strenuous. I think the 4e racial mechanics they are unveiling will make favored class moot. I also think they're going to clean up multiclassing so that taking that first level won't be like packing in a lifetime overnight. From what they've shown already it looks good.
Is there actually anyone who is in favour of the favoured class rule?

Yep! I don't have a problem with this rule whatsoever. Coming from 1e and 2e, the then new multiclassing of 3.0e was an unprecedented degree of freedom. I really don't see it as limitating, but I agree that a new racial concept with racial abilities unfolding while a character gains levels, and these abilities adding to the character concept no matter what classes have been taken might be even better!

---
Huldvoll

Baron von Bomberg

Huldvoll

 

---Baron von Bomberg

 

Former DDI subscriber

It was allegedly there to discourage "dipping", not necessarily because dipping was overpowered, but because it hurts the flavor of the classes. (At least in WotC's opinion). For example, in 3.0, every rogue dipped 1 level in ranger if they could for dual weild. So it made it so that you had to be a halfling, human, or half-elf to be a dual weilding rogue, instead of a dwarf, which somehow made people feel better. Especially since 2e folk were already frothing at the mouth and claiming apocalypses at the idea that dwarves could be paladins or halflings could be wizards.

3.5 fixed the front-loaded class problem from 3.0 though, and by that time people got over the racial class limitations, so I'm not sure why they kept it. It was probably that they didn't want to cause too much of a change from 3.0 on something that was so easily removable by most DM's.

It did make sense in 3.0 as far as dipping goes, I'll grant that. Now that the abilities are spread out (and considering how it'll be in 4.0), it would make as much sense to keep as a pack of matches when scuba diving.
You all seem to forget: Humans had no favored class. The whole rule was invented to give Humans an edge. They have no spiffy abilities, no see-in-the-dark eyeballs, no special saves. The perk of playing a human was an extra feat and the flexibility to multi-class any damn way you wanted. If Humans gain some sort of racial edge (which seems to be likely) then, yes, get rid of favored class.
I HATE FAVORED CLASSES!

I have never given myself an exp penalty. even when the group was doing it (or at least the gm trying to enforce it) we all ignored it and he would never notice cause he wasnt exactly sitting their recording everyone's exp.

The big swing now is that no matter what you are you can be nearly anything you want to be. Hopefully we are getting out of this tolkien phase. I want my kobold paladin of pelor dangit! Or my elf barbarian! Or my half orc wizard! Or my human.....well they can be anything.

either way, KILL favored classes. Nobody lives by them anyways.
My group comepletly ignored the Favored class rules and either build characters so it did not matter or just did not levy the xp penalty.
To me it felt like a relic from the past, like the xp bonus for a high primary score for you class
It kind of looks like part of this discussion is moot. They ARE having favored classes but if you take those classes you will get some kind of bonus it looks like. Sort of what I suggested. Also, you will have more than one favored class. Mentioned in teh Staff Blogs recently. Not sure which one though, sorry.