Organized Hybrid Playtest Feedback 2.0

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Cade Masters: Half-Elf Paladin | Bard

Hey again all. Just like I did with the first hybrid playtest, I want to organize everyone's feedback for the latest version of the hybrid rules.

Please post the following information:
-Documentation of actual in-game playtesting results.
-What are the strengths that you have discovered with this system?
-What are flaws, errors, shortcomings, or other weaknesses you have discovered? Any exploitable "loopholes?"
-What other features would you like to see added to this system? Any specific requests regarding the classes we have yet to see?

(I will add more to this thread very soon. Of course, I can only add so much without your help.)
Strengths:
Weaknesses:

(Further) Hybrid Armor Problems: Things have taken a step in the right direction since the last playtest, but there are still issues here:
1. Huge stacking bonuses: Via the new paragon hybrid option, one can combine two AC-booster features (from Avenger, Swordmage, Barbarian, etc.) from two classes to create absurdly high AC's at higher levels. ("Look ma, I get an extra +11 to AC in hide armor!")
2. Really boring use of Hybrid Talent: Keep in mind that you want to keep things interesting. Spending that one hybrid talent you have at heroic+ tier on armor is not interesting. Sometimes, it's required to survive, but results in a character who survives but is a bit dull. The feat cost is fine. The opportunity cost is too high.
Solution:
A possible solution to both problems is to make the "armor talents" not part of the "hybrid talents" that can be learned via the hybrid talent feat, but by another feat (called "Hybrid Defense", or some such), which cannot be taken twice. This both reduces the opportunity cost and prevents absurd AC stacking.

Paladin Mark that does 0 damage: Because of the multiple ability dependency of hybrid characters, it is very like that a strength-based paladin will have a Charisma of 10. Combined with the weakened hybrid version of Divine Challenge, this leads to radiant damage of 0 to those who don't respect such a paladin's mark.

No Spellbook option for Wizards?: This seems like it must be some sort of mistake. Why do hybrid Wizards not even have spellbook as a Hybrid Talent option? When hybrid Swordmages can gain a spellbook for the cost of a feat (that doesn't even count against their hybrid talent options), but Wizards don't have the option at all, something seems very wrong.

No Rebuke Undead option for Invokers?: Like the wizard's spell book, there should at least be a hybrid option for this. There is no reason balance-wise that hybrid invoker shouldn't be able to learn this.

Rule Loophole - Paragon Warlocks with 4 or 5 at-will attacks: A hybrid warlock gets to choose an Eldritch Pact, but doesn't have to pick the at-will power for that pact unless he takes the Pact Boon hybrid talent option. So, instead he could learn eldritch blast and a power from his second class. At 11th level, the "bug" kicks in: he can take the Twofold Pact feat, which says "You gain a second Eldritch Pact. You gain the at-will spell and pact boon of both pacts. You can use only one of your pact boon benefits at a time, however." So now, the character has three at-will warlocks powers (or possibly four if human) plus the power from his other class, and has gained the pact boon for his 1st level choice AND another pact boon, completely bypassing the Pact Boon hybrid talent.
This is an obvious abuse of the rules as written that no typical DM would allow anyway, but in RPGA organized play, it could create serious issues.

Issues with hybrid versions of marking and striking features: (Not resolved from first playtest)
-The hybrid features devalue racial paragon paths for defender and striker hybrids, since their class features may only be used with class powers or class-specific paragon path powers.

-Paragon paths that are role specific, instead of class specific (such as requiring Defender to "get in" instead of fighter) are devalued for the same reasons as above. For example, though Son of Mercy (Dragon 370) should work very well with Paladin/Fighters, it doesn't because it can't utilize either classes' "hybrid" mark.

-Not being able to use the features in conjunction with basic attack also causes problems:
Show
Basic attack are important with fighters' marks mostly for the reason of having to use ranged basic attacks to mark flying opponents. It might seem like a minor issue, but not being able to do your job just because the target is air borne or otherwise nonadjacent to you does a lot to hurt the role. Still being able to mark on a charge is also important.

Basic attacks are only sometimes important to striker classes, most if they have a Warlord in the party. I've played with a rogue and warlord, and if the rogue missed her sneak attack at a critical "kill it" moment, the warlord would often grant her a basic melee attack to get another chance to get it in for the round. Opportunity attacks also apply to melee strikers, primarily melee rangers builds.
Questions:

Paragon Hybrids: Does this replace the paragon multiclassing option for hybrids, or does a hybrid character have the option to paragon multiclass or hybrid paragon multiclass? Will Versatile Master get an update to include Paragon Hybrid Multiclassing?
Not resolved from first playtest: If a hybrid character decides to multiclass into another class and use paragon multiclassing (not hybrid paragon multiclassing - assuming this option isn't simply replaced), does he still swap out an at-will? Does this violate the rule about having one at-will power from each class?

-Epic Swordmage Aegis (Hybrid) (Not resolved from first playtest): An epic hybrid swordmage can take the Total Aegis feat to mark all enemies in range at once. How does Swordmage Aegis (Hybrid) work with that? Would you get to make a new mark after ALL targets died / are overwritten, or after only one is?

Suggestions:
Playtest Results:

Avenger|Swordmage (Hybrid Paragon Multiclass) - Summary: Effective combination that is particularly good at punishing enemies that try to leave the defender.:
Show
Ok, so I went to join a group this sunday (14th level) and they are letting me try hybrid out. The group has no defender so far, so I figured I would do the avgr/swordmage with High AC, then a new thought came to me...

Take census and armor of faith...take the cesus based on Int, and then Mark A, Oath B...if my mark attacks me I get bonus damage on my oath, if my Mark doesn't attack I negate damage (Sheilding) it is a total lock down screwage...

deva
FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 10, Con 16, Dex 11, Int 22, Wis 20, Cha 11.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 9, Con 14, Dex 10, Int 16, Wis 15, Cha 10.

yea, I have a -1 to hit on wis powers, but mroe often then not I roll 2d20, and I have focus expertise...al in all I think I will make a hella good defender



Rogue|Warlock (Hybrid Paragon Multiclass) - Summary: Effective, flavorful, and fun. Good at moving around the battlefield.:
Show
I just tried out the Hybrid last night and my experience with it was diverse, I played a human rogue/warlock.
Pros: First off playing a human hybrid gives you a large amount of bonuses and allows you to really fine tune you stats. Being both strikers combining the classes made me a damage dealing monster. Shadow Walk and being an Artful Dodger was great. Having prime shot makes rogue even really deadly.
Cons: Trying to balance which powers to take will determine what you intend for you character. I did not really know how to balance it out and had a strong rogue but a weak warlock. I was an established striker but when our wizard died I was not really able to fill the roll to well. You can really make a unique character but seems a little less versatile then standard characters.
The hybrid class seems powerful but it is pretty balanced, I would like to see more details about each class in the PHB3. I also would like to hear from people who have taken hybrid past heroic tier and see how it works. So far I like it but I think for now I will stick with standard warlock for now.



Shaman|Vestige Warlock - Summary: Vestige abilities compliment leader abilities well, but the weakened healing hurts.:
Show
I have been playing with a shaman / warlock (vestige) as my groups only leader, I am using primarily shaman utilities and dailies with warlock dailies and at wills not caring as much about adding extra damage from my curses but for the versatility of my vestige pact boons. It has worked out well for me so far, loosing a using of my healing per encounter hurt but is more than made up for by my pact boons.

(My preferences for a leader is someone who can use utilities to buff the party and attack powers to debuff the enemies this is what i was trying to acomplish. Once the full artificer is released i might try a ruthless ruffian / artificer for stacking status effects and penalties to hit)

It looks like you'll be able to copy and paste a fair amount of the weakness section in the last thread.

The following points have been patched:
  • Hybrid Inspiring Word is down to once per encounter.
  • You can not gain multiclass features through the new version of hybrid talent.
  • Hit points now use half values, so certain combos now get full hit points.
  • Armor proficiency is now purchasable as a hybrid talent. It's better, but still a pretty steep cost as it means no other hybrid talents.


The following weaknesses have not been addressed:
  • Attack modifying class features don't apply to basic attacks, racial powers, racial paragon path powers, non-class specific paragon path powers, item powers, or multiclass powers.
  • Neither rules confusion issue has been addressed.
  • Multiple attack modifying class features can still be used in one round so long as powers from different classes are used.
  • Trained skills are still sparse and class features seem to be somewhat arbitrarily nerfed.


The following suggestions have not been touched:
  • Defenders are still fairly low on defense unless they want to sacrifice their hybrid talent for better armor. Hit points are somewhat better though.
  • Class features remain sparse and almost universally weakened.
  • There's still only one hybrid feat.
  • The system still uses full stat blocks instead of general rules for combining classes (such as averaging hit points).


Overall the changes look like a step in the right direction, but there's still some definite room for improvement.
Interested in a rambling collection of game ideas? Check out Schemes of the Dancing Chimera.
We ran a short combat at 5th level (useing the D&D game day adventure last fight)

Character 1 Deva Wizard/Invoker
Character 2 Eladrin Swordmage/Taclord (wizard)
Character 3 Dragonborn Paliden/ChaLord
Character 4 Half Elf Warlock/Bard (swordmage)

we were 1 character less, and faired much better then the pregens on Gameday. However it was still not a cake walk. Infact I have to lean twords worked ok.
Some things I found funny...might need looking into...
1) Both warlord hybrids spent there hybrid talent on getting the Commanding presence. I wonder if that will be a trend.
2) Half elf with multi class is crazy all over the place...she took eldritch strike and Warsong strike, then used dillatant to get Swordburst from teh swordmage class. Then she multi into swordmage. Then she bought a shortsword pactblade. Then she took Combat virtuoso...
3) the wizard/invoker seamed to be a bad controler...I wonder if you are better off bucking the roles when hybriding.

well for now no major problems (Other then the avenger/swordmage AC thing I brought up before)

Before posting, ask yourself WWWS: What Would Wrecan Say?

My group is going to start a second campaign with a different DM. One of the players was originally going to play a paladin/warlock MC. When the new hybrid classing rules came out, I told him about it and he now plans to play a paladin-warlock hybrid. The original deal breaker was with the armour proficiency issue. Now that you can gain all armour proficiencies of the Paladin by taking the Hybrid Talent feat, he is taking the hybrid option for the Divine Challenge/Eyebite combo.

I'll let you know how it goes.
<\ \>tuntman
I just wanted to share the custom version of the hybrid rules my group is thinking of playtesting in our next campaign.

If you’re wondering why we made some of the changes we did, you can see my posts in the dragon article thread here: http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?p=18687240#post18687240.

I won't reiterate here, but to summarize, the main issues discussed in my posts are to do with:
1) HYBRID DEFENDERS
2) CLASS POWER DEPENDENT FEATURES
3) FEATURE BALANCE

  • General
    • Channel Divinity
      • Replaced with the full version of this feature for all relevant classes

    • Armor Proficiency Hybrid Talent Options
      • Taken as a separate feat which doesn’t count towards the Hybrid Talent selection
      • Includes the Swordmage Warding, Barbarian Armored Agility and Warden Armored Might abilities.


  • Barbarian
    • Rage Strike (Hybrid)
      • Added this as a class feature, usable once per day.


  • Bard
    • Song of Rest
      • Added this as a class feature instead of a hybrid talent option


  • Fighter
    • Combat Challenge
      • Removed the dependency on using it in conjunction with Fighter Powers.
      • Now affects a maximum of one target at a time similar to the Warden.


  • Invoker
    • Covenant Manifestation
      • Added this as a hybrid talent option instead of a class feature

    • Channel Divinity
      • Added this as a class feature instead of a hybrid talent option


  • Shaman
    • Speak with Spirits
      • Added as a hybrid talent option instead of a class feature

    • Spirit Boon
      • Added as a class feature instead of a hybrid talent option





Edit:
  • Rogue / Ranger / Warlock
    • Sneak Attack / Hunter’s Quarry / Warlock’s Curse
      • Removed the dependency on using it in conjunction with Class Powers.
      • The extra damage is instead a flat +2 damage per dice that would have been rolled for their extra damage.
      • Change the ability name so that the feats that increase the damage to d8’s cannot be taken


  • Sorcerer – Sorcerous Power
    • Removed the dependency on using it in conjunction with Class Powers.
    • Halved the extra damage granted by this ability along with scaling

Ok, so I went to join a group this sunday (14th level) and they are letting me try hybrid out. The group has no defender so far, so I figured I would do the avgr/swordmage with High AC, then a new thought came to me...

Take census and armor of faith...take the cesus based on Int, and then Mark A, Oath B...if my mark attacks me I get bonus damage on my oath, if my Mark doesn't attack I negate damage (Sheilding) it is a total lock down screwage...

deva
FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 10, Con 16, Dex 11, Int 22, Wis 20, Cha 11.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 9, Con 14, Dex 10, Int 16, Wis 15, Cha 10.

yea, I have a -1 to hit on wis powers, but mroe often then not I roll 2d20, and I have focus expertise...al in all I think I will make a hella good defender

Before posting, ask yourself WWWS: What Would Wrecan Say?

Here are my issues so far.

Hybrid Bard: it should really have Words of Friendship without having to spend the feat.

A player in my game has his character so tied to Words of Friendship that he had to choose it over, say Artful Dodger or Virtue of Valor... This is not good, it's a not game-breaking feature that should be given by default to all hybrid bards (who by the way already get very nerfed IMO).

Hybrid Rogue:
Absolutely no way to deal senak attack damage on a charge. This could be solved by making a combat style feat that modifies a rogue power so that it may be used as a charge, it doesn't really belong to hybrid system, but just to point out.

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Campaigns and Characters:
Zendikar: Covenant of The Forgotten Relics
- Cylonea: Merfolk (Elemental Priest) Shaman(World Speaker)/Artificer --> Sheet, Obsidian Portal's, Fluff
- Vurokk Dahvre: Shade (Escaped Slave) Blackguard of Fury --> Sheet, Obsidian Portal's, Fluff, Blogs (1, 2)
Nature's Allies
- Carwyn Sihderfein: Half-Elf (Tuathan) Blackguard of Domination / Binder of Gloom --> Sheet, Fluff, Blogs (1, 2)

Thankyou all for your helpful information
I will organize and add it to the appropriate sections tomorrow.
I just tried out the Hybrid last night and my experience with it was diverse, I played a human rogue/warlock.
Pros: First off playing a human hybrid gives you a large amount of bonuses and allows you to really fine tune you stats. Being both strikers combining the classes made me a damage dealing monster. Shadow Walk and being an Artful Dodger was great. Having prime shot makes rogue even really deadly.
Cons: Trying to balance which powers to take will determine what you intend for you character. I did not really know how to balance it out and had a strong rogue but a weak warlock. I was an established striker but when our wizard died I was not really able to fill the roll to well. You can really make a unique character but seems a little less versatile then standard characters.
The hybrid class seems powerful but it is pretty balanced, I would like to see more details about each class in the PHB3. I also would like to hear from people who have taken hybrid past heroic tier and see how it works. So far I like it but I think for now I will stick with standard warlock for now.
I have been playing with a shaman / warlock (vestige) as my groups only leader, I am using primarily shaman utilities and dailies with warlock dailies and at wills not caring as much about adding extra damage from my curses but for the versatility of my vestige pact boons. It has worked out well for me so far, loosing a using of my healing per encounter hurt but is more than made up for by my pact boons.

(My preferences for a leader is someone who can use utilities to buff the party and attack powers to debuff the enemies this is what i was trying to acomplish. Once the full artificer is released i might try a ruthless ruffian / artificer for stacking status effects and penalties to hit)
A player is going to be using it in my campaign. At the very least, I'm going to let him "take this feat multiple times, but only once per hybrid class".

Will post again regarding whether he seems too spiffy to be true when playing.
A player is going to be using it in my campaign. At the very least, I'm going to let him "take this feat multiple times, but only once per hybrid class".

Will post again regarding whether he seems too spiffy to be true when playing.

Too much power.
I think the problem is just the base given features being too low for SOME classes.
Look at the Hybrid Shaman: it will never need more than one Hybrid Talent and can pretty much live without it. It has Speak With Spirits which is even more versatile, useful, and powerful than the Bard's Words of Friendship, which in turn costs one feat.

Basically my opinion is that "utility class features" should be given for free, more "crunchy" ones should cost the feat.

Here are the features I would give without having to spend Hybrid Talent on them:

  • Avenger: Channel Divinity: Divine Guidance. Spend feat to gain other Channel Divinity (basically the undead destroying...)
  • Barbarian: nothing.
  • Bard: Words of Friendship, high priority, and I'd also give hybrid talent option for Multiclass Versatility and/or Rituals.
  • Cleric: Channel Divinity: Divine Fortune, but MAYBE make Healing Lore a Hybrid Talent (it's very useful)
  • Druid: nothing.
  • Fighter: nothing.
  • Invoker: this is in my opinion the most balanced. Because with Channel Divinity it also gets a complement to the Covenant Manifestation, so it actually makes sense to take it. So this would be the only divine class that has to pay for Channel Divinity.
  • Paladin Channel Divinity: Divine Strength (less useful than Divine Mettle) OR Lay on Hands.
  • Ranger: Prime Shot?
  • Rogue: First Strike
  • Shaman: nothing.
  • Sorcerer: nothing even possible, will remain a bit weak.
  • Swordmage: nothing.
  • Warden: nothing.
  • Warlock: Prime Shot?


So needless to say, I think the classes that need nothing are the most balanced, except for the Sorcerer maybe which with only two things feels weak for lack of utility, but maybe that's what it is. And Cleric seems the most powerful as of now, for its role, with Healing Lore in.

An intermediate solution for the Channel Divinity thing is to give it to all divines, but without power. At least they can take a Channel Divinity feat of their deity since first level.

Plus, the HP system could work much better with the rounding down calculated level-by-level, meaning that getting 2.5 HP per level results in 2 one level, 3 the other. Why didn't they do this? Too complex? Once you add fractional HP you added complexity already, why not do it well...

Join the Zendikar D&D Campaign Setting group: discover the fantastic world and contribute to make Zendikar a playable setting!
   - Warning! Spectacular visuals and lore ahead! ... Take a look...
Play-by-Post and my D&D blogging!

*All my latest rolls!*

Campaigns and Characters:
Zendikar: Covenant of The Forgotten Relics
- Cylonea: Merfolk (Elemental Priest) Shaman(World Speaker)/Artificer --> Sheet, Obsidian Portal's, Fluff
- Vurokk Dahvre: Shade (Escaped Slave) Blackguard of Fury --> Sheet, Obsidian Portal's, Fluff, Blogs (1, 2)
Nature's Allies
- Carwyn Sihderfein: Half-Elf (Tuathan) Blackguard of Domination / Binder of Gloom --> Sheet, Fluff, Blogs (1, 2)

I'm going to keep saying this everywhere in the hybrid threads. Wizards, please switch Cantrips out for the Spellbook class feature for the wizard hybrid class.
Long Live the Lance! Give us 4e DL!
I'm going to keep saying this everywhere in the hybrid threads. Wizards, please switch Cantrips out for the Spellbook class feature for the wizard hybrid class.

Wizard please DON'T since there is no multi class feat to get the cantrips, this in the only way to not start as a stright wiz and get them...people can multi class and paragon mutli to get spellbook and implement...but never cantrip

Before posting, ask yourself WWWS: What Would Wrecan Say?

Please note the fact that as it stands, one can be a Hybrid Avenger/Swordmage and get an absolutely ridiculous AC (I believe GMforpowergamers got it up to 60 AC, with similar defenses in Fort Ref and Will). This sort of abuse should be prevented, preferably by changing the bonus granted by Hybrid Armor of Faith and Hybrid Swordmage warding to the same type, so it doesn't stack.

Likewise, the fine folks at the character optimization boards pointed out that as it stands, a hybrid warlock can gain 2 at wills from twofold pact at paragon tier (by choosing a non-pact at-will), plus the pact boons of both pacts. This needs to be corrected. Otherwise you could have a human hybrid warlock l whatever with (at paragon tier).

1 at will from being human (from either of his classes)
1 warlock at will
1 whatever at will
2 warlock at wills from twofold pact
Plus 2 pact boons

It seems overpowered that as it stands twofold pact is drastically better for hybrid warlocks than for their single-classed counterparts.

The paladin's hybrid divine challenge needs to be pumped up a tad-there are murmurings that as it stands the challenge is too weak for the single-classed paladin. My personal vote is for it being changed to the normal amount of damage, but have it be an immediate reaction to apply the damage, limiting it's utility drastically.

The Ranger's beastmastery class feature should not be so significantly nerfed in hybrid form. No other hybrid class suffers an arbitrary penalty to attack rolls with something so innate to it's identity. A -1 to all defenses is a significant nerf, and will keep the feature from being abused too easily.

There needs to be text stating that features like mark and sneak attack can be used with regular basic attacks, and the powers of non-specific paragon paths. Then put in the proviso that if two hybrid features would apply to a single attack, only one does. Being able to mark on a charge, or using a thrown weapon is an awesome asset, and something (for example) hybrid Paladin l Fighters shouldn't be denied.

Simplifying the formatting would save space, which could be used for hybrid feats that focus on the interplay between disparate classes (like a hybrid feat allowing wizard/rogues to disable traps with mage hand).

On the upside:

They solved the armor and HP problem!

I love the concept of PHC

The warlord doesn't get everything

The PH2 classes look good
*Bump* I want to make sure that this thread gets plenty of feedback!

So does anyone here see anything that could be abused with the RAW? Besides the Avenger/Swordmage cheese?
Wizard please DON'T since there is no multi class feat to get the cantrips, this in the only way to not start as a stright wiz and get them...people can multi class and paragon mutli to get spellbook and implement...but never cantrip

In my group, one player wanted cantrips and hybrid is the only way he could get it. I like the fact that paragon multiclassing and hybrid characters present different options that cover different builds depending on what abilities you want.
<\ \>tuntman
As soon as I get some money (which should be next friday) I'll renew my subscription and be able to run a few playtests (one at 1st, one at 11th and one at 21st is what I'm thinking).

Anyone have any suggestions as to what the makeup of the parties should be (specifically I want to know what sort of classes you want particular attention paid to).

Also, shouldn't important threads like this deserve a sticky so they don't get lost in the rush of topics like OMG ASSASSINS ARE THE DARKZORXXX!!! ?
Ok, I've been slacking, but I'm going to start adding your guys' info right now.
*gets to work*
Ok, I finished adding what valid points I saw here. If I missed something, let me know. I have more of my own stuff to add, as well, but it's getting late and I work at an elementary school... so I need to hit the hay!
Why is it not overpowered for characters to have a way to gain all of their armor back, yet getting a spellbook is too powerful for a wizard? People obviously want their tanks to remain unhittable, but it's too overpowered for a wizard to be able to pour over his spells each day to guess which he might need?

Boosting your AC is almost always effective. Picking Ice Storm over Lightning Serpent is always a risk. A Rimefire Griffon can shrug off 10 of your cold and fire powers. If my wizard doesn't have his lightning spells prepped, he's going to be significantly less effective in that fight.

Spellbooks are not that powerful. However, they are a critical piece of the puzzle that is a wizard.
Long Live the Lance! Give us 4e DL!
I think a Hybrid Defence feat is an awesome idea to allow choosing armour or feature based AC bonuses to prevent some of this abusive stacking we see going on in some combinations.

One option for wizards is a hybrid spell book feature that has none of the benefits but allows them to qualify for the improved spellbook feat. It's a half-way decent compromise.
I think a Hybrid Defence feat is an awesome idea to allow choosing armour or feature based AC bonuses to prevent some of this abusive stacking we see going on in some combinations.

One option for wizards is a hybrid spell book feature that has none of the benefits but allows them to qualify for the improved spellbook feat. It's a half-way decent compromise.

Well it would be very nice but it would allow any hybrid to take both the feature they need AND their armor with two feats. And if paragon hybridizing they get both relevant features from each class AND the armor previously gained. Multiclassers and people who take armor proficiencies EAT YOUR HEART OUT... No, I think it's balanced in that if you want to get the equivalent of many armor prof. at a time with one feat, you're sacrificing something.

To the ones who think this version solved HP problem, explain because I seem to be missing something: rounding down only once means that most combos, those without a defender, will always get the same number of HP per level. It's not fair IMO. It's ok for starting hit points, but those 0.5 HP should translate into a x, x+1, x, x+1 HP progression, not x, x, x, x. Is my point clear? I know it would add complexity, but what would be the point of saying 3.5 per level anyway if that .5 gets used only once?

Join the Zendikar D&D Campaign Setting group: discover the fantastic world and contribute to make Zendikar a playable setting!
   - Warning! Spectacular visuals and lore ahead! ... Take a look...
Play-by-Post and my D&D blogging!

*All my latest rolls!*

Campaigns and Characters:
Zendikar: Covenant of The Forgotten Relics
- Cylonea: Merfolk (Elemental Priest) Shaman(World Speaker)/Artificer --> Sheet, Obsidian Portal's, Fluff
- Vurokk Dahvre: Shade (Escaped Slave) Blackguard of Fury --> Sheet, Obsidian Portal's, Fluff, Blogs (1, 2)
Nature's Allies
- Carwyn Sihderfein: Half-Elf (Tuathan) Blackguard of Domination / Binder of Gloom --> Sheet, Fluff, Blogs (1, 2)

Okay, I'm obviously really trying hard to present my argument here, so I have some more to present.

Looking at the base wizard class, it has 4 features. Arcane Implement Mastery, Cantrips, Ritual Casting feat for free, and Spellbook.

Arcane Implement Mastery is only usable once per encounter. Whatever feature you choose, it's only good on a one-shot deal. Sure, it's a very nice ability, but in my experience, it's not critical to my success. (Adding implement damage is nice, but don't other classes work exactly the same?)

No one yet has identified (in any thread where I'm trying to discuss this) what Cantrips are useful for. Sure, they're all "wizardy" since you can light up candles in your library by snapping your fingers, or you can have a ghostly hand grab a book for you off a shelf, but besides roleplay uses, what else do Cantrips provide? I'm fully open to listening to a counter-argument.

Sacrificing Ritual Casting is a cost, but one your party's cleric can make up for. And you can still pick it up anyway if you really want it, so it doesn't make sense as a class feature.

Spellbook is where a wizard gets his true power in a fight. Firstly, he uses it to prepare what spells he believes will be useful to him that day. There's a chance they might be useless, but that's the price you pay. Beyond that, a spellbook is only useful if you start loading up on feats, and choose Tome as your implement. In that case, you're burning up feats to improve an aspect of your character, while ignore other possibilities.

There is an argument being presented in one of the other Hybrid threads that a Wizard's power comes from his powers, and I agree with that. However, where I differ from that poster's assessment is that without the class feature of Spellbook, you've effectively torn at least half of the power from the wizard class (his power to choose between different spells of the same level based on what he knows/believes is coming in the day ahead.)

If you took away Cantrips from a standard wizard, how much would it hurt the PC, beyond some roleplayability? Now if you did the same with any particular class feature of any other class, would it have the same effect, or would it truly hurt the character? I'm not intimately familiar with every PC class in the game (I tend to concentrate on just the classes I play) but off the top of my head, there isn't a single class feature of any other class that I could say making unavailable to that class wouldn't cause some harm to. Again though, I'm open to counter-arguments.
Long Live the Lance! Give us 4e DL!
Why is it not overpowered for characters to have a way to gain all of their armor back, yet getting a spellbook is too powerful for a wizard? People obviously want their tanks to remain unhittable, but it's too overpowered for a wizard to be able to pour over his spells each day to guess which he might need?

I do not believe that it is an issue of a spellbook being too powerful compared to armour proficiencies. Hybrids that are supposed to be on the front line are severly limited in their ability to perform their role without decent armour proficiencies. A wizard without a spellbook is still able to perform his role. The wizards controller powers are still controller powers. He can use them to perform his role even if he cannot swap it with another controller power after an extended rest.

Boosting your AC is almost always effective. Picking Ice Storm over Lightning Serpent is always a risk. A Rimefire Griffon can shrug off 10 of your cold and fire powers. If my wizard doesn't have his lightning spells prepped, he's going to be significantly less effective in that fight.

Facing enemies with certain types of resistances is always a possibility. However, the spellbook feature is limited in its usefulness because you need situations where you need to know what you are facing, you happen to have daily spells prepared that you know will not be effective against the enemy, you have an alternative daily spell that is more useful and you can afford to take an extended rest. I would say that the situations where the spellbook feature makes a big difference is not too common.

Spellbooks are not that powerful. However, they are a critical piece of the puzzle that is a wizard.

If you took away Cantrips from a standard wizard, how much would it hurt the PC, beyond some roleplayability? Now if you did the same with any particular class feature of any other class, would it have the same effect, or would it truly hurt the character? I'm not intimately familiar with every PC class in the game (I tend to concentrate on just the classes I play) but off the top of my head, there isn't a single class feature of any other class that I could say making unavailable to that class wouldn't cause some harm to. Again though, I'm open to counter-arguments.

I do not believe that losing the ability to swap daily and utility powers is such a critical part of being a wizard. I would say that cantrips don't add to the function of the wizard that much more either. What I do know is that a hybrid Wizard with Cantrips will be able to make use of that feature at level 1. A hybrid Wizard with the spellbook ability may not be able to use that feature until level 5 if he does not choose a wizard daily or utility at levels 1 and 2. Also, the spellbook ability is somewhat tied to the ritual casting ability of the wizard as well. Since the hybrid class does not provide the ritual casting ability (and additional free rituals) as one of the class features, perhaps that weighed in the decision to go with Cantrips instead of Spellbook.

From a fluff point of view, if you want your wizard to carry around a spellbook because that seems more wizard-like, you can always take the Ritual Caster feat and call the ritual book your spellbook. You do not gain the functionality of being able to swap daily and utility spells. However, none of the other classes have the ability to easily swap powers either and I do not perceive that this is a major limitation with them.

The spellbook ability is nice, but I do not feel that it is a critical feature of wizards that need to be included in the hybrid version. Cantrips is not that critical either, but it can exist independently. When it comes down to comparing a single class wizard with a hybrid or multiclass version, it is nice for the single class version to have something significant that hybrid or MC wizards do not have. If that feature is Cantrips, then it is not that big of a deal. It is a bigger deal if that feature is the Spellbook.
<\ \>tuntman
Anyone have any suggestions as to what the makeup of the parties should be (specifically I want to know what sort of classes you want particular attention paid to).

I think it would be interesting to compare a hybrid character of two classes and a multiclass character of the same two classes. If you have these in the same party, then you can compare their performance and see how each play. I would like to see the results of what you can do well with HC and what you can do well with MC.

Another suggestion is comparing hybrids with the same main attack stat and hybrids with different main attack stats.
<\ \>tuntman
Something our group came up with for the armour issue was a rather simple fix- though one that might be a bit trouble to balance. Rather then taking a feat, or using your hybrid talent one-shot, you just average out the armour proficiences between the two classes. In practice, what that means is that you can 'pay' higher proficiencies to balance your stack.

IE:

Class A has Cloth, Leather, Hide, Chain, Plate
Class B has Cloth.

You could 'pay' chain and plate to give leather and hide to class B, allowing you to use those for your hybrid.
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I'm going to keep saying this everywhere in the hybrid threads. Wizards, please switch Cantrips out for the Spellbook class feature for the wizard hybrid class.

I do not agree with this. However, I do think it is really weird that spellbook isn't even an option for hybrid features.
I mean, Swordmages can gain a spellbook that works just as well as a wizards with a feat... It seems very odd to me indeed..

...From a fluff point of view, if you want your wizard to carry around a spellbook because that seems more wizard-like, you can always take the Ritual Caster feat and call the ritual book your spellbook. You do not gain the functionality of being able to swap daily and utility spells. However, none of the other classes have the ability to easily swap powers either and I do not perceive that this is a major limitation with them.

What about Swordmage?

Something our group came up with for the armour issue was a rather simple fix- though one that might be a bit trouble to balance. Rather then taking a feat, or using your hybrid talent one-shot, you just average out the armour proficiences between the two classes. In practice, what that means is that you can 'pay' higher proficiencies to balance your stack.

IE:

Class A has Cloth, Leather, Hide, Chain, Plate
Class B has Cloth.

You could 'pay' chain and plate to give leather and hide to class B, allowing you to use those for your hybrid.

We do something similar in my group, but I think WotC will be pretty attached to their armor "feature" idea, so I was trying to come up with a suggestion that didn't change it too much.
The big offenders right now seem to be the doubly weakened paladin challenge (Str hybrids do 0 damage..), Beast Mastery being the only ranger option to take a hit, and the wizards lack of a spellbook option.

However, I do think it is really weird that spellbook isn't even an option for hybrid features.

It really should be. It's the most iconic feature of the class. Most other hybrids aren't missing any options save what can already be covered by feats. I'd definately put "bring back spellbooks" on the suggestion list. I'm not all that fond of the feature myself, but it's a pretty glaring omission

We do something similar in my group, but I think WotC will be pretty attached to their armor "feature" idea, so I was trying to come up with a suggestion that didn't change it too much.

Heck even adding "If either of your hybrid classes are proficient in the armor, you can ignore the ability score requirements for the corresponding armor proficiency feats" would be nice.
Interested in a rambling collection of game ideas? Check out Schemes of the Dancing Chimera.
In the other Hybrid thread I've grudgingly come to the agreement that the compromise should be that Spellbook and Implement Mastery should both be included as Hybrid Talents. (I'd still rather see Spellbook as the class feature, even if Implement Mastery had to be removed. *shrug*)

I also suggested that at Ritual Casting should replace Cantrips.
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I also suggested that at Ritual Casting should replace Cantrips.

Ritual Casting can be obtained by taking the Ritual Caster feat. There is already a mechanic to get ritual casting that is easily acquired.
<\ \>tuntman
Ritual Casting can be obtained by taking the Ritual Caster feat. There is already a mechanic to get ritual casting that is easily acquired.

Yeah, I saw that in the other thread. Why do there have to be so many places to have the same discussion? :P

Anyway, here's what I just posted:

Here's something that just occurred to me. What if there were a Hybrid version of Spellbook as the class feature, and AIM as the Hybrid Talent?

Spellbook

You possess a spellbook, a book full of mystic lore in which you store your rituals and your daily and utility spells.

Rituals: Your book contains no rituals. You may however add rituals if you take the Ritual Caster feat. Any ritual you add must be your level or lower.

Daily and Utility Spells: Your spellbook also holds your daily and utility spells. You begin knowing two daily spells, one of which is your backup spell. Each time you gain a level that lets you select a daily spell or a utility spell, you may exchange this backup spell for one of your new level or lower.

After an extended rest, you can prepare a number of daily and utility spells according to what you can cast per day for your level. You can’t prepare the same spell twice.

If you replace a spell because of gaining a level or through retraining, the previous spell vanishes from your spellbook and is replaced by the new spell.

Capacity: A typical spellbook has 128 pages. Each spell takes up 1 page. A ritual takes up a number of pages equal to its level.

In this case, you only have one spell that you can "switch out" each day. Maybe it would be okay to give one backup daily attack, and one utility backup?

It would still have that feel that wizards could memorize based on what they figured was coming. It would just take more work to decide each level what was worth keeping. It would work nicely with the Improved Tomebound feat though. Again, you'd just have to plan ahead at your level, rather than every day.
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In the other Hybrid thread I've grudgingly come to the agreement that the compromise should be that Spellbook and Implement Mastery should both be included as Hybrid Talents. (I'd still rather see Spellbook as the class feature, even if Implement Mastery had to be removed. *shrug*)

I also suggested that at Ritual Casting should replace Cantrips.

We seem to have essentially come to agreement as to what to do with the Spellbook - it should be available as an option (since, as you mention, it is very core to some wizards), but giving it away plus Implement Mastery is a bit too much.

Note that they seem to be avoiding giving Ritual Caster to any of the classes that get it (plus minor bonuses). Given you can get it as a feat, that seems fair. You lose out on learning or casting rituals for free, but again - having a bit of uniqueness to the pure classes helps balance out the power of the hybrids.

Also, whatever your opinion of Cantrips, many folks feel they are just as important to the concept of the wizard as the Spellbook. I've seen many find the Spellbook useless, but the Cantrips very handy. Now, that experience or opinion is hardly going to be universal, but I really don't think they should dump one ability simply because you personally don't have a use for it.
Here's something that just occurred to me. What if there were a Hybrid version of Spellbook as the class feature, and AIM as the Hybrid Talent?

I'm going to keep coming back to this point: If you want access to everything a normal wizard can do, then play a normal wizard. If you want to get all the important parts of a wizard and a bunch of extra bonuses, then you are asking for something unbalanced.
I'm going to keep coming back to this point: If you want access to everything a normal wizard can do, then play a normal wizard. If you want to get all the important parts of a wizard and a bunch of extra bonuses, then you are asking for something unbalanced.

Did you read the version of Hybrid Spellbook I wrote?

In the other thread, I've actually started getting agreement with me. I understand the point, and I'm trying to find a compromise.
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Did you read the version of Hybrid Spellbook I wrote?

In the other thread, I've actually started getting agreement with me. I understand the point, and I'm trying to find a compromise.

I know, but... honestly, I still think it may be too much.

It might not be, sure. But it does leave the issue of what to do with cantrips. Leave them as they are now, and give the hybrid both them and the Hybrid Spellbook? Seems a bit much - one feat (Hybrid Talent) and the non-Hybrid Wizard is again offering very little compared to the Hybrid. But if you make Cantrips a Hybrid Talent option, as you already mentioned, almost no one will pick them over Implement Mastery.

This might be an acceptable compromise, but one I would be against, because of the purpose behind it. The only reason to put it in is to make it so that the Hybrid Wizard can do all the same sorts of things non-Hybrid Wizards can do. But that shouldn't be a goal of the Hybrid rules!

If you want access to all the key features of the wizard? Then you shouldn't be looking at the Hybrid rules - you should be a pure wizard, or a wizard multiclassing into something else. There are already rules that exist to let you take that base class and add stuff on top of it.

The goal of Hybrid is explicitly to just take parts of it, and combine them with parts from another class. Anything that goes past that begins to trivialize the other options.

So I'll stand by my suggestion - give Spellbook (the full version) as a option via Hybrid Talent. If you really want it, you can get it via the feat, and leave Implement Mastery behind. If you really want both, you can use the Paragon Hybrid rules! The options are there to get you what you want, but not without some form of cost - and balancing costs is the only real way to make the Hybrid rules work.
I had a whole response written out, and when I clicked to post it, I got the message that the board was down for maintenance! Argh! Anyway, I'll do my best to get back what I said.

It's tough to say what to do with Cantrips. Obviously there are people on both sides of the fence. One side would throw out the Spellbook, the other would throw out Cantrips. Neither is wrong, just that both sides have different visions of their characters.

An idea I came up with was a Hybrid class feature version of Cantrips to go along with the Hybrid class feature Spellbook. In the Hybrid version, all Cantrips become encounter powers in combat. They would remain at-will outside of combat. (I toyed with the idea of making Cantrips subject to an Arcane skill check within combat to see if they work as normal, but I don't know if people really want an additional roll added to their turns.) If that's still too powerful, could it work if each Cantrip was a daily, rather than an at-will? (I really think this is unnecessary though.)

I'm truly not looking to break the system by creating a full wizard with extra features. I fully agree that the wizard class should have enough of itself kept out of the Hybrid rules to continue to be worthwhile to play. I simply see this from my own POV, and maybe if I explain it like I did in the other thread it will make more sense.

I am a Tome Implement wizard and I chose the Readiness build option. With that comes the ability to later take Improved Tome of Readiness, which allows you to choose one daily/utilty in your Spellbook that can be later substituted for a memorized daily/utility of equal or greater level. Obviously, without a Spellbook for a class feature, this ability is unavailable. You could argue that by giving Spellbook and AIM as Hybrid Talents the wizard could then make use of IToR as a Paragon (considering it's a Paragon feat anyway.) The problem with that is that you'd give Cantrips (full) as the class feature, Spellbook and AIM (both full) as Hybrid Talents, and the player could take Ritual Caster as a feat. So that would really be a wizard with extra features, all at the cost of some free rituals.

I thought about a Hybrid version of AIM, but I fear it would cause a riot. There's no way to really cut down the Orb and Staff features without completely destroying them. The only way to cut the power down across the feature is to make the encounter abilities into daily abilities instead, but like I said, that would almost certainly lead to riots. Though, what if the encounter abilities were dailies, but could be recharged when an action point is expended?

How would this sound? Hybrid wizards get Cantrips (full), along with my Hybrid Spellbook, both as class features. My Hybrid Arcane Implement Mastery ability would be the Hybrid Talent feature.

Hybrid Spellbook

You possess a spellbook, a book full of mystic lore in which you store your rituals and your daily and utility spells.

Rituals: Your book contains no rituals. You may, however, add rituals if you take the Ritual Caster feat. Any ritual you add must be your level or lower.

Daily and Utility Spells: Your spellbook also holds your daily and utility spells. You begin knowing two daily spells, one of which is considered a backup spell. At level 2 you receive two utility spells, one of which is considered a backup spell. Each time you gain a level that lets you select a daily spell or a utility spell, you may exchange the matching backup spell type for one of your new level or lower. You may have one backup spell of each type (utility and daily) in your spellbook.

After an extended rest, you can prepare a number of daily and utility spells according to what you can cast per day for your level. You can't prepare the same spell twice.

If you replace a spell because of gaining a level or through retraining, the previous spell vanishes from your spellbook and is replaced by the new spell.

Capacity: A typical spellbook has 128 pages. Each spell takes up 1 page. A ritual takes up a number of pages equal to its level.

Hybrid Arcane Implement Mastery

This class feature functions as the wizard class feature (Player’s Handbook, page 157), except that you replace the word encounter with the word daily. When you use an Action Point, you may recharge this power as a free action.

That sort of gimps the Spellbook and AIM more than I'd really like, but I think it would be pretty hard to say that a Hybrid wizard with these features is at all comparable to a full wizard. I did add the line "You may have one backup spell of each type (utility and daily) in your spellbook" to the Spellbook class feature. I think with the gimping of AIM, this would be fair, while at least opening up some choice in the Spellbook ability/IToR.
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