KI IS DEAD: Let's discuss what Classes are in PH3

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So, the Monk Design & Development article makes the statement that Ki got killed off - I quote:

"The monk ended up where it did because the ki power source proved untenable and psionics is the next best fit."

This means that Ki classes, as they were an Asian Ghetto anyways, are being incorporated into other Power sources, and Samurais are going the ways of Gladiators and Assassins, as later detailed in the article. What's really important is that this will change the make-up of PH3.

So, what does everybody think about how PH3 will be?

I'm suggesting 4 Psionic / 2 Shadow, and thus still splitting Shadow halfway along with Elemental in PH4; and filling in the gap-space with Hybrid Classes. Alternatively, they could release all of Psionic and nothing else, or all of Psionic and all of Shadow, or all of Psionic and all of Elemental, or some weird mixture. What are everybody's thoughts?

Before posting, why not ask yourself, What Would Wrecan Say?

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A great man once said "If WotC put out boxes full of free money there'd still be people complaining about how it's folded." – Boraxe

I could see Psionics potentially breaking the 4 or 2 mould established so far. With Monk being added to Psionics there is a chance that they had already fully established 4 Psionic classes as well as the Monk. As such Psionics could potentially have 5.

I could see Shadow either having 4 or 3 thus. Hmm...Hybrid Classes will take up a fair amount of room, but I dunno how much. Also, could maybe see stuff like the Gladiator articles in PHB instead as well?
The 4/2/2 scheme is certainly not an absolute. It seems to have been used in the first two books to get all of the "classic" D&D classes out there .

I would not be surprised with a 4/4 or 5/3 scheme if only because it gives them two more "complete" power sources with enough classes to publish more "power books".

Of course, it is possible as many have said they are only having the 5 confirmed power sources and folding all the other classes into them. Elemental and arcane certainly seem to overlap somewhat, though I still think shadow could be a unique form.
Considering the Hybrid bit is also in this book (18 half- classes, assuming we get hybrid Swordmage and Artificer, and not even counting whatever's new), I'm wondering if this won't be a single power source book.
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I disagree about Elemental - The article mentions that Shugenja and Wu Jen got moved, as did Ninja. This pretty much screams the Ninja is the "True Assassin" of the Shadow Power Source; and the one thing that both the former two classes had going for them were elements - Shugenja's Japanese elements (Book of Five Rings - Earth, Fire, Wind, Water, Void) and Wu Jen's Chinese Elements (Taoism - Earth, Fire, Water, Gold/Metal, Wood).

Those are both very viable classes to fit to Elemental, and they don't seem to necessarily have anything to do with Primordials. In fact, Wu Jen, with all it's taboos, makes me think of the Githzerai who make their homes in the Elemental Chaos and yet have a rigid monastic structure; as does the Void Adept PG for the Shugenja from 3.5e, which had some of the more balance elements of the Githzerai's reason for being in the Chaos.

Before posting, why not ask yourself, What Would Wrecan Say?

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A great man once said "If WotC put out boxes full of free money there'd still be people complaining about how it's folded." – Boraxe

I think this might herald quite a few big changes in the power source setup.

For instance, Elemental might be the next source to go. Between the Arcane and Primal sources, there isn't much of an unique niche left for the Elemental source to fall into. The prior two sources cover most of the elemental attack powers, as well as summoning and elemental transformation. What would be left for the Elemental source to do?

That leaves us with:

- Martial: Training the human(oid) potential beyond its upper limits.
- Divine: Power gained through pledging oneself to a deity.
- Arcane: Discovering arcane secrets through study, bargains, or inborn ability.
- Primal: Communing with the spirits of the natural world.
- Psionic: Unlocking the power of the mind through sheer will.
- Shadow: Harnessing the secrets of dark entities of the shadows.

Shadow seems unique enough to remain as a power source. There's at least three classes it could cover (Illusionist/Beguiler, Necromancer, Assassin/Ninja), which are somewhat archetypical.
Shugenja never really fit as a Divine class. Wu Jen could possibly be Arcane, but it really is something of it's own (Arcane is catch-all enough to be able to fit it in). I still think that these two may herald in Elemental, and perhaps the classes WON'T just deal with elemental damage, but have the elements in their entire existence instead.

Before posting, why not ask yourself, What Would Wrecan Say?

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A great man once said "If WotC put out boxes full of free money there'd still be people complaining about how it's folded." – Boraxe

I'm thinking that Elemental is most likely dead as well, if Ki is. Way too much overlap with Arcane. Not only will it be too hard to differentiate Elemental into its own source mechanically, but I can't fathom why there would actually be demand for the source. If you want to play an elemental character, the Sorcerer and Wizard are both viable. You could even do a Sorcerer/Wizard hybrid for kicks.

I also can't really see Shadow being its own source. Same deal as Ki; there are a few classes that could be classified as Shadow, but Shadow in and of itself isn't broad enough to encompass several classes of different roles.

Thus, the PHB3 will either essentially be the "Psionics Handbook 4.0," or more classes from existing sources will be added. I hope it's the latter.

For Psionic classes, Monk is our Striker. The Psion will almost certainly be the Psionic controller, minus the Empath (which was a specialized Psion in 3.x). Empath will be the leader. The Psychic Warrior will most likely be the Defender. It would be really cool if the Soulknife showed up as a Paragon Path that any Psionic class could take (though it'd be pretty useless to the Psion...unless you want another controller like the Druid that can do both melee and ranged). I don't see the soulknife showing up as another Psionic striker, and to make it a defender would be way too reminiscent of the Swordmage.

Not sure about other classes from existing sources, but I doubt we'll see any more arcane classes since we already have 6 (Wizard, Warlock, Swordmage, Sorcerer, Bard, and Artificer). Conceptually, I feel like the Martial source is pretty much tapped out (unless WotC really wants to please everyone who wants a Martial controller, despite the fact that it doesn't make much sense). So perhaps two more Primal and two more Divine? Or if they want to equalize the numbers a bit more (which I don't condone if the concepts aren't there), they could go one Primal, one Divine, one Martial, and a fifth Psionic (either the Wilder, the Soulknife as its own class, or another class that was formerly lumped up into the Psion).

And that's if we assume that they stick with 8 classes per PHB.

Alternatively, they could throw us a curveball and make a basic class that mixes sources like the Mystic Theurge.

Or not.


EDIT (because I was ninja'd):

Shadow seems unique enough to remain as a power source. There's at least three classes it could cover (Illusionist/Beguiler, Necromancer, Assassin/Ninja), which are somewhat archetypical.

I disagree. The Wizard already has a very effective Illusionist build, and the Fey Beguiler is already a Gnome Racial PP. Plus Warlocks kind of do this too.

The Necromancer could easily be fit into either Arcane or Divine.

Assassin/Ninja, IMO, is a specialized Rogue. Could get some Dragon coverage to flesh it out, but I don't see this as being its own class.
Conceptually, I feel like the Martial source is pretty much tapped out (unless WotC really wants to please everyone who wants a Martial controller, despite the fact that it doesn't make much sense).

Maybe, but with Martial Power 2 announced as part of the 2010 release schedule there is definite fuel to contemplate that martial will indeed return with more classes in PHB3.
One problem to the Shadow will die theory: Shadow is already in two books - the Forgotten Realms Player's Guide and the Manual of the Planes. It's used as a secondary Power Source in two PP, one in each. This sort of thing appears in FRPG also with Divine and Arcane, and in this very Monk Playtest with Psionic and Divine. Assuming that they only do this with real Power Sources, Shadow is staying.

Plus, Ninja needs somewhere to move to, and they already made a statement that they've moved it: none of the other power sources created fit it, save Martial, where it would be called Rogue. No, only Samurai of the four "Ki" (or rather Asian) Power Sourced classes is getting class-scrapped in favour of a feat build a la Gladiator and Assassin. My theory is Ninjas are these "True Assassins" spoken of in the Assassins article, which also heavily emphasised Shadow.

Before posting, why not ask yourself, What Would Wrecan Say?

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A great man once said "If WotC put out boxes full of free money there'd still be people complaining about how it's folded." – Boraxe

Yeah, Elelemental is gonna be hard, if it even pulls through.

Shadow will be decidedly easier. Shadowcasters, Illusionists, Beguilers, Necromancers, Ninjas, Shadowdancers, Blackgaurds, etc. Any mystical dark or deceptive class could potentially be Shadow. All you need is 4 classes, and you don't even need to fill all the roles (Martial has 2 strikers, a leader, and a defender).
The Primordial based Wizard and Sorcerer PPs in Arcane Power scream to me that Elemental is dead.

Could Duskblade or Hexblade function as Shadow strikers? Also, is Dark pact warlock sort of Shadow (or did I miss something in the FRPG)?

Monk in Psionic is awesome, especially for Githzerai monks.

I agree with the Psion, Empath, Monk, Psychic Warrior model, although I think Nomads would be a cooler leader. Yay short range teleportation for allies and screwing up enemy positions!

Or they could just make Elocator a paragon path.

-Drillboss
With this new information, here's some ideas for future classes.

Monk - Psionic Striker:
We know this one already.

Psion/Mentalist/Esper - Psionic Controller:
Key Stats: Constitution, Intelligence, Charisma

The basic psychic class. Will probably focus on two main builds: a psychokinetic/pyrokinetic (CON/INT) and a telepath (CON/CHA).

Empath - Psionic Leader:
Key Stats: Charisma, Wisdom, Dexterity

Not sure what powers the empath would have, but it may focus on channeling mental energy to others.

Soulblade - Psionic Defender
Key Stats: Intelligence, Strength, Dexterity

A fusion of the psychic warrior and the soulknife. Channels psychic energy into a mental blade, and utilizes mental disciplines to aid his combat prowess. May end up resembling a fantasy version of a Jedi.

Ninja - Shadow Striker
Key Stats: Dexterity, Intelligence, Wisdom

May combine elements of a planned "Ki Ninja" class with the "true assassin" described in the assassin article.

Necromancer - Shadow Controller
Key Stats: Intelligence, Wisdom, Strength

A shadow controller focused on summoning undead and "death spell" attacks.

Beguiler/Shadowcaster/Illusionist - Shadow Controller
Key Stats: Intelligence, Dexterity, Charisma

The sneaky, subtle mage focused on befuddling his enemies with the power of shadow.

Elementalist - Primal Striker or Controller
Key Stats: Constitution, Wisdom, Charisma

If they can't find any more elemental classes to fill out an elemental source, the Elementalist might get moved to Primal (which sort of fits since elementalists could be based on channeling elemental spirits rather than natural spirits). The elementalist may end up eating the Shugenja and/or Wu Jen and absorbing their capabilities.


Just throwing down a few concepts.
People are ignoring the idea that perhaps it'll only be 4 psionic classes. They are, after all, including Hybrid rules, and they could always make it more race-heavy, or include some other new kind of mechanic.

I hope they wouldn't do Shadow, Elemental, or any of those other half-baked ideas. Shadow is more of a theme, and doesn't leave enough room for a full range of classes; it'd be pretty contrived. As for Elemental, at this point, they can't do it, because it would inherently leave out Sorcerer, which is a HUGE discrepancy.

Let's see 4 psionic classes (maybe even 5!), hybrid rules, tons of races, and something new altogether.

As for Psionic classes, all I can really speculate to is the following:

Wilder- Leader
Ardent- Defender
Monk- Striker
Soul Knife- Second Striker
Psion- Controller

EDIT: Actually, I'm no psionic expert, but I'm pretty sure that's a pretty darn good looking list.
Urgh, doesn't the revelation about Monks being psionic suggest that maybe Wizards has more surprises in stock for us? I certainly think you should be skeptical about any assumption that all the classic psionic classes from previous editions will be anything like their previous incarnations, or that they will all even reappear.

I'm hoping that all the psionic classes will be distinct, as the monk is. I don't want to see a "psion" class, with a "big tuff psion" and a "helpy good psion" added as after thoughts. Forget that!

I wouldn't at all be surprised if shadow was kept. I'm guessing elemental won't, and I am also thinking illusionist isn't going to be a class (wouldn't it be an arcane class anyway???) I think they'll probably come up with a surprising new source at some stage too, but who knows? I sure don't :P

I'm really liking the look of the new Monk, after all. Every new class they bring out seems to be more interesting and distinct than the ones before.
If true, that's too bad, since I've always considered psionics as optional rule system in previous editions. As a DM, I've never allowed psionics. I have always considered Ki, core to the game. If "ki" is being dumped, and psionics replacing Ki, then, I guess I'm done with 4e.

That idea is completely stupid, because I would never allow psionics in my game, but I still want monk, samurai, ninja...

GP
If true, that's too bad, since I've always considered psionics as optional rule system in previous editions. As a DM, I've never allowed psionics. I have always considered Ki, core to the game. If "ki" is being dumped, and psionics replacing Ki, then, I guess I'm done with 4e.

That idea is completely stupid, because I would never allow psionics in my game, but I still want monk, samurai, ninja...

So what exactly is it you don't like about Psionics? I can somewhat understand disliking it in previous editions, because it was a whole new system with new mechanics bolted on to the core system. In fact, 3e kind of went overboard with that sort of thing.

But in 4e? There is absolutely nothing in the Monk playtest that can't be re-fluffed for a houseruled Ki power source. Actually, you don't even need to change the fluff at all, just do a search-and-replace swapping "psionic" for "ki". The whole look and feel of the class is perfectly consistent with any conceptualization of "ki" that I can think of.
I think Psionics and Shadow have conceptual ground to stand on. Elemental...a little less so.
If true, that's too bad, since I've always considered psionics as optional rule system in previous editions.

But it isn't a rule system. Its a few classes tied together thematically.
Can I just point out that they haven't stated that "Ki is dead" just that the Monks being Ki powered didn't fit when compared to a Psionic Monk.

They havent' said (at least in the article mentioned), that Ki is dead or gone, just that Monks aren't Ki.
Can I just point out that they haven't stated that "Ki is dead" just that the Monks being Ki powered didn't fit when compared to a Psionic Monk.

They havent' said (at least in the article mentioned), that Ki is dead or gone, just that Monks aren't Ki.

Uhhh, you have to stretch what they're saying there reeeaaally far to come up with "Ki is still alive and kicking".

They don't just say the Monk isn't Ki, they also go on to say that the shugenja, the wu jen, the ninja, and the samurai aren't Ki either. What's left?
Shugenja and Wu-Jen could've been Elemental (and probably should be anyway), the Monk is the only one you'd think would be Ki. The Ninja and Samurai were never certified to exist either and their displacement makes sense.

Incarnum, Soul Knife and other Soul powered classes could still be on the cards.

Monks weren't justifiable as being Ki powered, that's it.
Can I just point out that they haven't stated that "Ki is dead" just that the Monks being Ki powered didn't fit when compared to a Psionic Monk.

They havent' said (at least in the article mentioned), that Ki is dead or gone, just that Monks aren't Ki.

Untenable = dead
You can still do the elemental power source.

You would have to make difference between FIRE and ELEMENTAL FIRE. Or any of the other elements

One can light a candle, cast burning hands, summon a fireball all with the FIRE keyword.

But bending the Prims or even the Efreeti and controlling the element of fire speaks of more of a worldly/planer power source.

I could see it as a "HYBRID" power source that one would specialize in and gain a token benefit at Heroic, small benefit at Paragon, and then benefit at Epic.

I guess I always looked at Elemental as something like Elder Evil.
Untenable = dead

No, it means undefendable, unjustifiable.

Ki power wasn't suitable. That's all it says.
Ki is dead. It is no longer here. However, on my name, within my mechanics, it continues to live on!

Thinking a manifestation to pierce the heavens. Even in a grave, I can think on.
And if I can break through, it's my victory!

Who the hell do you think I am?

I'm Psionics. Not my bro, Ki.
I am myself! Psionics the Manifester!

Certain kill!

GIGA... MIND... CRUSHER!
Can I just point out that they haven't stated that "Ki is dead" just that the Monks being Ki powered didn't fit when compared to a Psionic Monk.

They havent' said (at least in the article mentioned), that Ki is dead or gone, just that Monks aren't Ki.

They said at this stage they can't work out how to have Ki as a power source which is why they moved the Monk. They did say if they ever come up with a great concept for Ki they'll use it.

However if they couldn't work out how to make Ki interesting in time for the Monk class, I don't see them ever working it out in 4th ed.
I will agree that while the design & development article did seem to indicate that the Ki powersource has been axed, it did not expressly state it was thus conclusively.

Anyway...I won't be sorry to see it go if this turns out to be the case...I was never fond of the idea of having an ethno-source.

Besides the idea of Ki/Chakra/Anima what have you is thematically similar enough to psionics to meld them into one universal idea.
No, it means undefendable, unjustifiable.

Ki power wasn't suitable. That's all it says.

Now you're being (even more) facetious. If Ki wasn't suitable for the Monk, where are they going to find a use for it?

That's a rhetorical question, BTW. :P
The quote says "the ki power source proved untenable and psionics is the next best fit," which directly implies that the entire power source is unusable. The movement of the other "potential" classes for the source to other places, and the axing of Samurai in favour of a gladiator/assassin like article for them; all these things may not explicitly say that KI IS DEAD; however, they implicitly say those said words quite clearly.

Before posting, why not ask yourself, What Would Wrecan Say?

IMAGE(http://images.onesite.com/community.wizards.com/user/marandahir/thumb/9ac5d970f3a59330212c73baffe4c556.png?v=90000)

A great man once said "If WotC put out boxes full of free money there'd still be people complaining about how it's folded." – Boraxe

Ki is dead. It is no longer here. However, on my name, within my mechanics, it continues to live on!

Thinking a manifestation to pierce the heavens. Even in a grave, I can think on.
And if I can break through, it's my victory!

Who the hell do you think I am?

I'm Psionics. Not my bro, Ki.
I am myself! Psionics the Manifester!

Certain kill!

GIGA... MIND... CRUSHER!

You...

you killed your Bro?

(EDIT: I have GOT to stop watching this show. I bought the glasses at ACEN.)
Ahh, so THIS is where I can add a sig. Remember: Killing an ancient God inside of a pyramid IS a Special Occasion, and thus, ladies should be dipping into their Special Occasions underwear drawer.
No, it really doesn't. It only says Ki didn't suit Monks.

it says nothing about what's happening to Ki power source or any classes.

There are a lot more questions that needed to be answered.

They've never stated Samurai and Ninja as previously promised classes, they're addressing those archetypes and saying how Ki doesn't fit them.

There's nothing that says Ki won't be used for other classes, it just won't be used for the Monk and other Asian classes (of which Wu-Jen and Shugenja particularly fit other power sources better).

It would be nice to know what current plans there are for the PHB3, people were expecting at least Ki and Psionics, now we only know about Psionics.

We could still see Ki classes of a different kind, the subject of Ki and what it can represent has been discussed on this forum. All we know about it is that it represents the power of the soul. Given that description, Monk doesn't fit Ki and Psionics is the next best fit (but only because of some powers which don't fit martial).

They could still do Ki and associated classes. They have not said Ki is dead, just why certain archetypes didn't fit.
"the ki power source proved untenable" - DesDev

DICTIONARY

Untenable

adjective
(esp. of a point of view) not able to be maintained or defended against attack or objection: this argument is clearly untenable.

DERIVATIVES

untenability noun

unteably adverb

THESAURUS
these untenable explanations are not helping your case
INDEFENSIBLE, insupportable, unsustainable, unjustified, unjustifiable, flimsly, weak, shaky.

-Oxford American Dictionary

Sounds pretty DEAD to me.

Before posting, why not ask yourself, What Would Wrecan Say?

IMAGE(http://images.onesite.com/community.wizards.com/user/marandahir/thumb/9ac5d970f3a59330212c73baffe4c556.png?v=90000)

A great man once said "If WotC put out boxes full of free money there'd still be people complaining about how it's folded." – Boraxe

You can still do the elemental power source.

You would have to make difference between FIRE and ELEMENTAL FIRE. Or any of the other elements

One can light a candle, cast burning hands, summon a fireball all with the FIRE keyword.

But bending the Prims or even the Efreeti and controlling the element of fire speaks of more of a worldly/planer power source.

Like a class that's essentially nothing but a pyrokineticist? Fairly limited in scope if you ask me. I can see a class that can go multiple paths with the elements, but then again, the Wizard/Sorcerer/Swordsage already do that too.
No, it really doesn't. It only says Ki didn't suit Monks.

it says nothing about what's happening to Ki power source or any classes.

There are a lot more questions that needed to be answered.

They've never stated Samurai and Ninja as previously promised classes, they're addressing those archetypes and saying how Ki doesn't fit them.

There's nothing that says Ki won't be used for other classes, it just won't be used for the Monk and other Asian classes (of which Wu-Jen and Shugenja particularly fit other power sources better).

It would be nice to know what current plans there are for the PHB3, people were expecting at least Ki and Psionics, now we only know about Psionics.

We could still see Ki classes of a different kind, the subject of Ki and what it can represent has been discussed on this forum. All we know about it is that it represents the power of the soul. Given that description, Monk doesn't fit Ki and Psionics is the next best fit (but only because of some powers which don't fit martial).

They could still do Ki and associated classes. They have not said Ki is dead, just why certain archetypes didn't fit.

If I were one of the designers, it would be people like you that would drive me insane.

Does WotC really have to spell everything out in big, bold letters EVERY time they do ANYTHING?

The article is pretty clear, it's your comprehension that needs some work.
"god! this is the 21st century, where is my "Choke someone through the internet" button?" - Herrozerro
"the ki power source proved untenable" - DesDev

DICTIONARY

Untenable

adjective
(esp. of a point of view) not able to be maintained or defended against attack or objection: this argument is clearly untenable.

DERIVATIVES

untenability noun

unteably adverb

THESAURUS
these untenable explanations are not helping your case
INDEFENSIBLE, insupportable, unsustainable, unjustified, unjustifiable, flimsly, weak, shaky.

-Oxford American Dictionary

Sounds pretty DEAD to me.

Its true. According to any tenable interpretation of the english language, the statement that the "Ki power source proved untenable" is a pretty clear indication that the Ki power source is GONE. And thank god. Because really, I'm not all about my D&D having cognitive cultural ghettos. I think the move for monk from Ki to psionic, and the removal of the ki power source, is probably one of the best things I have seen to date. 4e continues to not disappoint. Best development team ever.

That being said, with the much heavier focus on psionic classes in the PHB 3, I think its becoming more and more clear that the 3rd setting is going to be Dark Sun. :D Hell, without the need to include a Ki power source, that 3rd power source can now be elemental.
Ki is most definitely gone. Elemental, I feel, is on the chopping block...
Homebrew classes: Guerrilla, Airbender, Earthbender, Firebender, and Waterbender. (PHASE 2 BEGINS! Tell us how we could make these classes better. The Shadow power source done right.
"The monk ended up where it did because the ki power source proved untenable and psionics is the next best fit."

Untenable for the monk; I don't necessarily read that as meaning they're declaring the Ki power source unworkable at all.

You're probably right, but I think WotC will keep their options open.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
It feels weird that the monk is going to be a Psionic class. I thought monks were all about enlightenment and martial arts, not throwing refrigerators with your mind. Sine when was the Buddha a psychic?
"the ki power source proved untenable" - DesDev

DICTIONARY

Untenable

adjective
(esp. of a point of view) not able to be maintained or defended against attack or objection: this argument is clearly untenable.

DERIVATIVES

untenability noun

unteably adverb

THESAURUS
these untenable explanations are not helping your case
INDEFENSIBLE, insupportable, unsustainable, unjustified, unjustifiable, flimsly, weak, shaky.

-Oxford American Dictionary

Sounds pretty DEAD to me.

Maybe you should look up the word dead.

If you read the article, and the full paragraph, and the full article again, you'll see they are refering to the Monk, its powers and how those related to the Power source.

The Ki power source was unjustifiable as the power source for Monks, but the Psionic power source was.

That's it, it then dismisses 4 other supposed classes as being suitable for Ki or better suited to appear in some other form.

None of this says anything about Ki or any classes related to it. Or that Ki is being dumped.

It does sound like Ki is being dumped completely, which IMO is a mistake, but it doesn't say its dead as a power source.

I've stated this on the relevant response topic for the article, but it would be nice to hear what's happening to Ki as it does sound like its being abandoned.

However, we could see another class that forms the centre of Ki power, but they won't be Samurai's Monks, Ninjas, Wu-Jen or Shugenja's.
I really must say, I'm so happy Ki is dead; for some reason that word just made so many people think 'asia'.

Psionics is such a cleaner way of doing it.

Now they just need to get rid of Elemental; let's face it, thats just an extension of Arcane in disguise.
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