A call for rampant speculation and suggestions on classes.

Ratskinner

Adventurer
Because we needed one....:D

Each class is supposed to have its "thing" that its best at, and has some unique or special mechanic to deal with it. However, we've only heard so far about 6 classes, and we were promised that you'd be able to do any class that was in a PHB1. Assume they all get to be full classes, and not just themes, schemes, or whatnot. Pick your favorite class that remains to be seen and tell us what you think its particular schtick should be, and maybe even how you think they should pull it off mechanically. How do see them fitting in, and what do you think distinguishes them?

I ask this because I actually think a lot of these character concepts could be expressed well just through the application of Backgrounds, Specialties, and things like the Rogue's Schemes. I'd like to hear what the champions of the "also ran" classes have to say for them standing next to the Big 4.

Thanks in advance for your input.
 

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ferratus

Adventurer
Rogue: Ability (Skill) checks during combat. Acrobatics to tumble, pick pockets to disarm, stealth to sneak attack etc. Link special damage to a successful skill roll. No combat superiority dice please, because rogues aren't good at fighting. They are good at cheating when they fight.

Assassin: Take the 3e sneak attack ability away from the rogue. The assassin, not the rogue, should be the best at sneaking around and killing. A rogue should be best at sneaking and thieving instead. The only reason rogues can fight is because they cheat, not because they are skilled killers like the assassin. No combat superiority dice though because they don't outfight their victims, they surprise them. Could work as a speciality of rogue, which may happen.

Ranger: No idea. But make sure it has to do with archery and do not bring back favoured enemies. Probably better as a skilled speciality of the fighter, but that's not going to happen.

Paladin: Smites and divine powers instead of combat superiority please. Sure we've seen it before, but nobody seems to mind it. A fighter with the acolyte speciality is pretty much a paladin already, but I doubt if a paladin speciality for the fighter is likely.

Druid: First we have to decide if it is a Celtic priestly caste, an eco-terrorist, a speciality cleric of a nature god, or an anacrhonistic Wiccan. Then maybe we can decide what abilities it should have. I'd probably just subsume it as a cleric domain of nature and turn all the druid abilities into spells, but that's not going to happen.

Bard: Grants advantage rolls to everything. Easier to remember than discrete buffing bonuses. Should perhaps be a speciality that any class can take since the only thing the class is really about is buffing and singing... but that's probably not going to happen.
 

fba827

Adventurer
Rampant Speculation (with no real basis in reality at all)...

Ranger: Will be similar to Fighters but with those combat dice advancing at a slower rate AND they'll have the ability to use combat dice to cast nature-y spells rather than affect their damage inflicted or attack precision. And maybe they get advantage on certain survival-related skill checks or an animal companion.

Paladin, similar to what I just said for ranger except replace nature-y spells with divine ones. and instead of advantage on survival-related skill checks they get a holy smite type capability usable a number of times per day that increases at a staggered rate per level... and a noble steed named Donkey that speaks with the voice of Eddie Murphy.

Bard with get rituals similar to how the warlock does

Druid a very nature-y spell list of it's own (complete withe summon animal, and summon elemental spells). and a beefed up animal companion. and after a certain level they don't age. And they will use a spellpoint system so as to make them more distinct from just being a nature cleric.


anyway, again, that's all just very rampant guessing...
 

pemerton

Legend
I have a soft spot for paladins. The warpriest seems to be covering a lot of that territory, though.

Maybe the paladin could play a bit like the warlock, but spending favours on Smites and Lay on Hands, and recovering favours through a short prayer. Maybe Lay on Hands could involve sharing hit dice - this is a nice feature of it in 4e, I think.

I also like the idea that the paladin gets better when surrounded by enemies, or when rescuing his/her allies from disaster. It's a little hard to do that without metagaming/"dissociating" it, but maybe the paladin gets a bonus to hit when engaged with multiple foes (like 4e's valiant strike). Maybe a paladin can spend his/her hit dice a bit like a fighter's combat dice, but only on certain defensive/self-sacrificial manoeuvres.
 

Raith5

Adventurer
Rogue: Ability (Skill) checks during combat. Acrobatics to tumble, pick pockets to disarm, stealth to sneak attack etc. Link special damage to a successful skill roll. No combat superiority dice please, because rogues aren't good at fighting. They are good at cheating when they fight.

Assassin: Take the 3e sneak attack ability away from the rogue. The assassin, not the rogue, should be the best at sneaking around and killing. A rogue should be best at sneaking and thieving instead. The only reason rogues can fight is because they cheat, not because they are skilled killers like the assassin. No combat superiority dice though because they don't outfight their victims, they surprise them. Could work as a speciality of rogue, which may happen..

I agree with this. Assassin could/should be a scheme though. But yes rouges should be able to inflict conditions with sneaky targeted strikes and assassins should inflict be better at bigger damage. I also like to see assassin abilities tied to to use of poison.
 

Badapple

First Post
I'd like to see each class have unique mechanics and schticks. In that vein, I'd like to see combat superiority remain exclusively to fighters.

For barbarian, I'd like to see something along the lines of how warriors work in WoW. For example every time a barbarian hits with a basic attack they get a rage point. If at some point in the round they are hit for damage by an enemy they get a rage point. They have various attacks that get unlocked as they level up that use rage points. As they level they start generating rage on a miss, carry rage over from fight to fight, or begin the fight with a rage point or two depending on what feats they take. Of course more powerful attacks cost more rage points.

Adds some tactical elements such as "should I do a regular attack this round to power up and be more powerful next round, or shoot my wad now and do a more powerful attack but lose all my stored rage points?"

And of course, the barbarian has more hit points but worse AC than the fighter.

I kind of hate the 3E and 4E barbarian that are essentially Incredible Hulks a couple times a day, and otherwise slightly worse fighters with more hitpoints.
 

Raith5

Adventurer
I'd like to see each class have unique mechanics and schticks. In that vein, I'd like to see combat superiority remain exclusively to fighters.

For barbarian, I'd like to see something along the lines of how warriors work in WoW. For example every time a barbarian hits with a basic attack they get a rage point. If at some point in the round they are hit for damage by an enemy they get a rage point. They have various attacks that get unlocked as they level up that use rage points. As they level they start generating rage on a miss, carry rage over from fight to fight, or begin the fight with a rage point or two depending on what feats they take. Of course more powerful attacks cost more rage points.

Adds some tactical elements such as "should I do a regular attack this round to power up and be more powerful next round, or shoot my wad now and do a more powerful attack but lose all my stored rage points?"

And of course, the barbarian has more hit points but worse AC than the fighter.

I kind of hate the 3E and 4E barbarian that are essentially Incredible Hulks a couple times a day, and otherwise slightly worse fighters with more hitpoints.

I like this idea for feeding rages if it could be done in a way that is not too fiddly. It is new mechanic that gives the class a distinctive feel. I also like whirlwind rend type of abilities and nature skills.

I quite liked 4th ed Barbarian's primal and elemental attacks FWIW, but I think they were out of place with what I think of a barbarian as a more mundane class. Maybe those dramatic 4th ed primal abilities should be a specialty or another class entirely.
 

1of3

Explorer
For barbarian, I'd like to see something along the lines of how warriors work in WoW. For example every time a barbarian hits with a basic attack they get a rage point. If at some point in the round they are hit for damage by an enemy they get a rage point.[...]

I like it. Treating the barbarian as a character who wants to get hurt is an interesting concept.

Another thing to consider is how supernatural the barbarian shall be. There have been various takes, some more magical than others. I propose that players should be able to select the supernatural-ness for their barbarians as they like.

I imagine totems as a flavorful way to achieve that. Totems would grant certain abilities, like a spider offers good climbing, orca offers great seamanship, hare makes you run faster and so on. With this system, totems of magical beasts could grant visibly supernatural abilities. There should also be a "Don't bother me with (further) totems" choice. Call it Venerate the Ancestors and offer a generic bonus.
 

MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen but not a munchkin
Rogue: Ability (Skill) checks during combat. Acrobatics to tumble, pick pockets to disarm, stealth to sneak attack etc. Link special damage to a successful skill roll. No combat superiority dice please, because rogues aren't good at fighting. They are good at cheating when they fight.

Assassin: Take the 3e sneak attack ability away from the rogue. The assassin, not the rogue, should be the best at sneaking around and killing. A rogue should be best at sneaking and thieving instead. The only reason rogues can fight is because they cheat, not because they are skilled killers like the assassin. No combat superiority dice though because they don't outfight their victims, they surprise them. Could work as a speciality of rogue, which may happen.

Ranger: No idea. But make sure it has to do with archery and do not bring back favoured enemies. Probably better as a skilled speciality of the fighter, but that's not going to happen.

Paladin: Smites and divine powers instead of combat superiority please. Sure we've seen it before, but nobody seems to mind it. A fighter with the acolyte speciality is pretty much a paladin already, but I doubt if a paladin speciality for the fighter is likely.

Druid: First we have to decide if it is a Celtic priestly caste, an eco-terrorist, a speciality cleric of a nature god, or an anacrhonistic Wiccan. Then maybe we can decide what abilities it should have. I'd probably just subsume it as a cleric domain of nature and turn all the druid abilities into spells, but that's not going to happen.

Bard: Grants advantage rolls to everything. Easier to remember than discrete buffing bonuses. Should perhaps be a speciality that any class can take since the only thing the class is really about is buffing and singing... but that's probably not going to happen.

You could have saved time by saying you simply don't want those as classes, but I guess to each their own.

Bard: It should be awesome, like the 4e bard but feeling truly musical and able to hold a rapier. Bards should have access to songs/performances as small at-will effects or encounter-like effects (song of courage, song of rest, etc), we will also need perform skills for bards to feel truly like bards (no more musical instruments that are glorified fluff or sub optimal implements, a bard with a lute has to be and feel awesome, magical musical instruments should allow others to emulate what a bard can do by hismself). Bards truly have to shine in the social pillar, if a warlock or rogue consistently outshines a bard on social interactions, then something is very wrong. Bards will also need some kind of scalable class feature that affects the way they spellcast or if they spellcast at all, in that way we get the Arcane dabbler bard (preppared vancian spellcaster), the skald (no spellcasting, but some martial maneuvers instead), the celtic bard (more similar to the druid), and the visceral caster from 3.x (non vancian).

will post later my ideas on the paladin and the ranger.
 


slobster

Hero
I've always kind of liked psions, and though I doubt they'll be included in core, I'll participate!

Psions should have a different mechanic than the other casters. Now that casters themselves have unique mechanics for each class, I suppose that's a given. The old power point mechanic seems to have been used on sorcerors, so instead of using that the psions could take a page from their 4E incarnations. The class uses entirely at-wills. There is a power list, and the psion chooses a few to learn, with a few more being unlocked as they level. Powers do things like small amounts of damage, or slow telekinesis, or adding skill bonuses to social rolls, and represent the class's mental powers.

The psion also has a focus pool, which represents their ability to exert extra mental effort when it really matters. They can spend a focus to enhance a normal power, charging up its at-will effects into something more powerful. The small amount of damage becomes a more powerful AoE. The slow telekinesis can fling a heavy object at lethal speeds, or push someone off a cliff. A power that normally grants bonuses to a charisma check can overpower someone's mind.

Focus is a limited resource that can be recovered by a few minutes meditation (basically an encounter resource). It can also be recovered in a fight, in different ways by different psion focuses. A pyrokinetic might recover focus when they score a critical hit with a fire power, while a clairvoyant might recover focus by causing an attack that should hit to miss using her powers, and so on.

The flavor of the psion should be kept tight, so that it excels in certain areas that make sense for the archetype but suffers deficits in others. Telekinesis, telepathy, and others make sense for a psion; shapechanging, demon-summoning, and sword enchanting can be left to the other casters.

Monks are also quite fun, and open to a little experimentation. One thought I had would be to give them a "combo counter". First off, the class would be great if it focused on the rapid shower of blows. Rather than doing it like 3.x, which penalized them for it, simply let them make two attacks per round, but don't increase the damage for unarmed attacks (or at least not by much). The small damage dice should counteract the increased number of attacks. There could be additional balance concerns with riders and crits and so on, but hey, this is a brainstorm.

Next, every time they hit an enemy, their combo counter increases by 1. They add their combo counter to damage on a successful hit, making them more deadly as they rain more blows on their enemies. They can also use up some or all of their combo counter to do things like leap across the room, snatch arrows out of the air, and unleash deadly finishing moves. You know, crazy wuxia martial arts stuff.

The result is a class that is fun to play, has some encounter management and tactical depth built in, and is distinct from other classes while staying true (in my opinion) to its fictional inspiration.

This is fun! Maybe I'll come up with more wall-of-text wishlists!
 
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The Shadow

Adventurer
I think each class needs to pull its own weight, so to speak. If the paladin, ranger, and barbarian are going to just be fighters-with-a-few-tricks-and-no-bonus-feats, then they don't need to be classes; they should be specialties and/or fighting styles. If they're to be classes, they need to be truly distinctive.

Along the same lines, the assassin should simply be a rogue scheme, plus perhaps also a specialty. It just isn't distinctive enough. (If you want a shadow-dancing assassin, multiclass with a shadow-pact warlock or something.)

About the bard. I see it as a class in an identity crisis; there's too many archetypes it's trying to emulate. Some possibilities:

Celtic myth: Bards are learned men, part of the druidic hierarchy. Their songs are especially focussed on illusions and enchantments. They don't particularly have anything rogue-like about them, though they can handle a sword when the need arises. They should get something like Bardic Lore, but they don't tend to pick locks.

This could be modelled on an encounter-based system, sort of like the warlock. Heck, in some legendary sources, bards *are* basically warlocks, having a pact with a muse of some sort. The druidic connection needn't be pressed, given on the campaign, but I find it interesting.

Song magic: Especially in modern fantasy, there's an archetype of a user of magic who uses music as the vehicle for spells. (Though the Kalevala is also like this, to be fair.) This strikes me as a sorcerer origin - not so much a bloodline, as someone who is so imbued with music that they can change reality. Since origins can grant weapon and armor proficiencies, you can give them rapiers and light armor if you want. I don't know if origins can alter the sorcerer spell list, but if you could weight it toward illusions and so on, this would look a lot like the 3e bard. But I don't know that you need to - Vainamoinen could do all sorts of crazy things by singing.

You could also fluff nearly any spellcaster as using music if you want. Add a couple common-sense restrictions and benefits (you have to be able to speak and/or play to cast, etc) and you're good to go.

Minstrel: The 2e and 3e bards are rogues who have some musical abilities and magic. If you want things like the bardic Inspire Competence and so on, that seems ready-made for a specialty, or even a rogue scheme. Multiclass a bit into sorcerer if you want.

But if the bard is to be a class of its own, I think the Celtic version shows the most promise. And that's what the designers have been talking about, so cool.
[MENTION=42582]pemerton[/MENTION]: The idea of a warlock-like paladin intrigues me greatly. That makes a lot of sense to me - the paladin has a connection to his deity that is quite distinct from that of a cleric.

Expanding the analogy a bit more, there are the equivalent of invocations, which all holy warriors can learn. Then individual gods grant specific boons to their paladins. What about ritual (divine) magic?

One trouble with Smites is that they should do truly impressive amounts of damage, since they're more situational than a fighter's Deadly Strike.
[MENTION=807]fba827[/MENTION]: Trading CS dice for healing simply won't work, as they refresh every round. It's an interesting thought in general, though. Maybe for healing, they could instead spend a CS die in order to give X of their hit dice to someone else to roll?
[MENTION=71811]Badapple[/MENTION]: I think that 'berserker' could easily be a fighting style, with Rage abilities that require the user to wear at most light armor. Rather than more hit points, they'd have CS abilities to ignore wounds (ie, heal damage, perhaps temporarily).

That said, your idea is interesting and could probably be expanded into a class.
[MENTION=48555]1of3[/MENTION]: Your totem ideas are cool, but why limit them to berserkers?
 

netnomad

Explorer
I was thinking about the Druid and how to make feel different from the Cleric. What I came up was that that the Druid could cover a bunch of different Archtypes based around spirit worship. For example:

-Druids worship the spirit of nature. They are spellcaster with animal companions that.
-Shamans worship animal spirits. They can shapeshift into animals.
-Medicine”men” worship their ancestors and gains skills/abilities of their ancestors
-Witch Doctors use spirits of the dead to animate bodies and charm foes.

Mechanically they can have their own spell list with abilities like the new sorcerer’s blood line.
 

ZombieRoboNinja

First Post
I really like the rage-fueled barbarian idea - it would be especially cool if you could pick your new rage-generating methods AND your new rage-powered abilities.

I've already got an overly detailed thread going about an idea for rangers using "contingencies."

I could see druids as similar to sorcerers - MP-based spontaneous casters with a fairly narrow range of spells, but with powerful shape shifting to make up for it. (I can also see them needing Domain-like kits to support the various healer-Druids, beast-Druids, etc. that people expect.)

I like paladin auras to buff and protect their nearby allies. I wish they could avoid cleric spells for paladins altogether.

Monks... seem tough. They really need a magic "ki"-type mechanic to differentiate them from fighters, but the class should support Bruce Lee as much as it does Ang Lee. What can they get that's as fun and dynamic as CS?
 

steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
Epic
How about if a paladin's Lay on Hands, mechanically, is actually a use of THEIR Hit Dice...even if its on other people. Kinda like the idea and endorses the flavor of the paladin as one who gives of himself for his allies/causes/god.
Keeps it limited to the amount the paladin can heal (himself or others) throughout the day.

Just a thought.
 

pemerton

Legend
I like paladin auras to buff and protect their nearby allies. I wish they could avoid cleric spells for paladins altogether.
Agreed.

How about if a paladin's Lay on Hands, mechanically, is actually a use of THEIR Hit Dice...even if its on other people. Kinda like the idea and endorses the flavor of the paladin as one who gives of himself for his allies/causes/god.
Keeps it limited to the amount the paladin can heal (himself or others) throughout the day.
Yes - I posted the same above. This is how 4e does it, and it has a nice flavour to it and also nicely distinguishes paladins from clerics.
 

Li Shenron

Legend
Bard: strong capabilities with Bardic Music, tho its mechanics don't need to be particularly complicated (3e mechanics for Bardic Music were as simple as can, that was fine for me...), but there needs to be enough options so that you can make a good array of bards which use Bardic Music differently; ALSO would be nice if instead of traditional spellcasting the Bard had the ability to "simulate" or "steal" spells from other classes' spell list (representing stray knowledge of magic from many sources)

Paladin: not sure if I need a unique mechanic... I was fine with the 3e Paladin having an array of simple abilities. Where it came short was again in being too fixed and no chance to differentiate. I would like Smite to be open to both differentiation (e.g. different Paladins smiting different targets) and flexibilizaion (e.g. not just increased damage but the option to choose additional effects), and so the Paladin's healing abilities (not just disease, but maybe some Paladin heals poisons, other break curses, and so on).

Ranger: array of small abilities + some unique mechanics for favored terrains/enemies, focused on both hunting and fighting
 

Gothikaiju

First Post
I like this idea for feeding rages if it could be done in a way that is not too fiddly. It is new mechanic that gives the class a distinctive feel. I also like whirlwind rend type of abilities and nature skills.

I quite liked 4th ed Barbarian's primal and elemental attacks FWIW, but I think they were out of place with what I think of a barbarian as a more mundane class. Maybe those dramatic 4th ed primal abilities should be a specialty or another class entirely.

Like the 4E Warden? :)
 

Raith5

Adventurer
Like the 4E Warden? :)

Good idea. I never 100% understood the warden's shtick and never saw one in action but I do really like the idea of a warrior infused by primal/ elemental powers. The idea of such a protector of nature seems to compliment druids and shamen.

I just think barbarians should be more mundane by default. Conan does not need thunder hawk rage to be fearsome!
 

Stacie GmrGrl

Adventurer
Good idea. I never 100% understood the warden's shtick and never saw one in action but I do really like the idea of a warrior infused by primal/ elemental powers. The idea of such a protector of nature seems to compliment druids and shamen.

I just think barbarians should be more mundane by default. Conan does not need thunder hawk rage to be fearsome!

He just needed a big sword and a reason to swing it. :D

Regarding other classes, I've stated my opinions of the Ranger and Paladin on another thread and I am sure I spoke of the Fighter and Sorcerer as well.

I like the idea of a Rage building inferno of awesomeness... reminds me of Iron Heroes. Maybe have it set up that everytime the Barbarian enters combat it accumulates 1 Rage per round, more if they get hit. This should be an automatic build up, and let these Rage points fuel Rage Powers. It would be cool if the Barbarian was tied to totems, and their link to totems gave them unique aspects of their Rage, but they should also provide other powers as well.

Bards...ehhh, I hate them. Never liked them, they just never made sense.

I would make Bards a Rogue Scheme, take away Sneak Attack, give them Spells, a Charisma boost, and make them Trained in the social arts of dealing with people, and some Influence related Powers.

Assassin, same, make a Rogue Scheme, give them the most Sneak Attack, but can only be used on a target they mark and this is a Focused action. Give them Poison Talents and eventually make them immune to poison. Make them masters of disguise, but take away their disarm traps skill. They assassinate, they don't disarm traps.

Druids... take the Warden, Druid and Shaman from 4e and make a single class out of it. Enuff said. :)

I could see one way of doing a Druid class... give then a specific animal type focus, sort of like bloodlines for Sorcerers... if they have a Feline Focus, they can Wildshape into Feline forms, gain more grace, get nightvision, and even become wereforms of that animal. If they have a Nature Focus (expanding as I go on the idea) they can Wildshape into a Plant/Tree form, communicate and see through/with Trees, and become Treant like.
~ Also, since they have links to nature, give them a more focalized spells list where they are nature related only spells or powers. Just as an additional option for them.

Monks... I'm not sure. Take the Pathfinder Monk and combine it with the 4e Monk. But don't give them Zen Archer (from PF). Honestly this is one class I would make a Fighter Fighting Style and convert the PF Ki uses into Style uses for Combat Superiority. Or just drop them.

Warlords... I'm not sure also about this one. If WotC plans on giving them separate uses of CS from the Fighter Class, why not put all those uses into the Fighter class and call them a Tactical Fighting Style.

Swordmages would be easy... give the Fighter a Fighting Style called Swordmage Style and make this a Fighter gish option. But I don't know enough about Swordmages (never played one) so it might warrant it's own class. Idk.
 

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