[DMG] Any Chance Of ...

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... having rules in place that would outline the creation of balanced classes, races, spells, magic items and artifacts? I'd love to have a toolbox approach to some of those. So whatcha think? Any hope?
... having rules in place that would outline the creation of balanced classes, races, spells, magic items and artifacts? I'd love to have a toolbox approach to some of those. So whatcha think? Any hope?

I would love to see something.

This is a case where a section of guidelines would be the most useful. Class design in D&D is not mechanical enough for there to be a rigid set of rules. But some basic rules for things like balanced talent trees, spell progression and such could be included. And the logic behind the power sources, roles and level progressions should be laid out someplace.

Jay
... having rules in place that would outline the creation of balanced classes, races, spells, magic items and artifacts? I'd love to have a toolbox approach to some of those. So whatcha think? Any hope?

Interestingly enough, a rough formula can be derived to create balanced D20 Modern classes (based on everything other than skill list and class features). Unfortunately, D&D's class features vary too wildly for such a thing to be accurate without taking into account the exact nature of each class feature.

Thus, I think that the best they can do is simply state, "Look at what we made, and compare anything you make against it." I mean, they gave a single formula for creating magic items, and there seems to be a weekly post of some At Will low-level spell magic item that completely unbalances game mechanics. So, really, I think the best advice possible is to compare it to what the designers felt was balanced.
Given how long it takes to write and playtest the basic GAME, much less classes and their abilities, I'm guessing anything more than general guidelines in the first core books is going to be a stretch.
There's gotta be a formula to make stuff. Even doing something like the old MSH modeling system would be really cool. Something besides "Set and Whirl".
There's gotta be a formula to make stuff. Even doing something like the old MSH modeling system would be really cool. Something besides "Set and Whirl".

Formulas generally only screw things up. Anytime there has been a formulaic construction method for anything, be it magic items, spells, monsters or whatever it hasn't worked.

Look at the track record:

Magic item formulas (failure)

Monster Advancement (failure)

Epic Spellcasting system (Epic failure)


In the end, you're much better just eyeballing stuff in this game and comparing it to existing items.
Formulas generally only screw things up. Anytime there has been a formulaic construction method for anything, be it magic items, spells, monsters or whatever it hasn't worked.

Look at the track record:

Magic item formulas (failure)

Monster Advancement (failure)

Epic Spellcasting system (Epic failure)


In the end, you're much better just eyeballing stuff in this game and comparing it to existing items.

I guess we'll agree to disagree on this one. Be honest with you, the fact that there aren't solid rules on creating anything is one of the things I really dislike about D&D.
In the 3.5 DMG, there were rules for creating your own classes and races. I think it would be silly for the designers NOT to include something like this in 4e.
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In the 3.5 DMG, there were rules for creating your own classes and races. I think it would be silly for the designers NOT to include something like this in 4e.

Not rules, just guidelines. There's a big difference.

Half the problem with the item creation guidelines is that everyone started assuming they were ironclad rules.
I'm probably one of the only people who will say this, but I rather liked the item creation rules in 3E (especially the addendum to them in 3.5 and in MIC). I believe that basing magic items off of spells was a sound idea; if the spell is balanced, an item of it should be balanced too. Any incidents of imbalance in item design could be traced to item creation "cheating" (like wanting a constant "True Strike" item, which doesn't work because the spell is discharged upon attacking), or imbalance in a spell.

Potion, Wand, and Scroll prices were perfectly fine formulized; if they weren't, the spell was to blame, not the formula. Most magic items had formulaic prices (such as anything that granted a specific bonus). All other benefits should have been balanced if the spells were balanced.

I never had an issue. Even with the most power-gamey player in my group.
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