D&D 5E The Monk - What is the monk to you and why?

Celebrim

Legend
I know! I tell anyone who wants to roll up a wizard to go play Mage: The Ascention so they don't make the other characters look like losers.

Interestingly, I caution anyone who wants to play a wizard that I've never in 30 years seen one survive more than a dozen sessions and that I consider it a rather 'advanced' and difficult class. The most successful PC wizard I ever had as a DM went fighter at first level, before multi-classing into wizard for the rest of the way. Even that one eventually died. Wizards are just too squishy in a low magic campaign where they can't get easy access to defensive survival gear. Sooner or later, they just get unlucky.
 

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Remathilis

Legend
Interestingly, I caution anyone who wants to play a wizard that I've never in 30 years seen one survive more than a dozen sessions and that I consider it a rather 'advanced' and difficult class. The most successful PC wizard I ever had as a DM went fighter at first level, before multi-classing into wizard for the rest of the way. Even that one eventually died. Wizards are just too squishy in a low magic campaign where they can't get easy access to defensive survival gear. Sooner or later, they just get unlucky.

[Jamie]Well THAT'S your problem![/Jamie]

D&D isn't low magic. Never has been. Its awash is magic items, magical beasts, and spellcasting classes. Complaining wizards are squishy in a low magic game is like complaining about how squishy investigators in Call of Cthulhu are when you run it as a dungeon-crash!

Don't complain D&D doesn't work right when you ain't playing it by the assumptions!
 

Celebrim

Legend
I'd rather see WotC embrace the Lego-block feel of 3e style multiclassing and release lots of classes, with variable length, with stacking class features. Let them function almost like talent trees. Down with symmetry, embrace the madness!

I think 3e multi-classing is brilliant. What it does is allow you to define some salient points in the design space in a very flavorful and non-generic sort of way, and then all those other fuzzier concepts in between that your base classes can't quite cover should be reachable by blending two or more base classes. So yeah, I love the way you can tinker with multiple concepts to create something new or just something that fits the idea more precisely.

If the route of 6-8 generic classes with expandable subclasses/archetypes isn't followed,

I don't think we need to be as tight and generic as 6-8 classes. I think that a good class based system can be made with anywhere from say 3 to 15 base classes. Any more than that and there is more mess than functionality. Each of the base classes in turn should be able to support 6-10 archetypes via customization in abilities, feats, skill selection, and class features (which are essentially bonus feats with a limited flavor specific selection).

My current list is:

1) Champion - Warriors that acquire power by faithfully serving some cause (a Paladin, for example).
2) Cleric - Workers of miracles whose power comes from service to a deity.
3) Explorer - Expert travelers and generic adventurers.
4) Fanatic - Warriors that acquire power from inner strength, passion, and emotion
5) Fighter - Warriors that study martial arts and wars, and hone their skill with weapons to the highest degree.
6) Hunter - Warriors that study particular prey rather than particular weapons, so as to excel in defeating a particular foe.
7) Paragon - Exemplars of what is best in a particular race, they seek perfect themselves and achieve some great destiny. (Design isn't yet complete.)
8) Rogue - Skillful masters of all kinds of deception and skullduggery.
9) Savant - Masterminds who excel in knowledge, perception, crafts and the arts. (Design isn't yet complete.)
10) Shaman - Spell-casters whose power comes from commanding, bargaining with, and serving spirits and other magical beings.
11) Sorcerer - Spell-casters having innate magical power as the result of some accident of birth.
12) Wizard - Spell-casters whose power comes from gaining esoteric knowledge about the workings of the universe and honing their minds to command secret and hidden forces.

I consider those 12 classes likely to exist in any fantasy setting. The only exception would likely be the 4 core spell-casters who may or may not exist depending on the assumptions the setting makes about magic. However, between the 4 I think they cover most approaches to magic you are likely to have, as for example the Sorcerer is sufficiently generic that just about any spell-caster can be emulated from one (psions, channelers, jedi, etc.). My idea PH would have those 12 classes as core, and 3.X style multi-classing with a few tweaks to support multi-classing with a spell-casting class (that doesn't work in core).

I also have 3 non-generic base classes I'm supporting for reasons specific to the campaign world.

Bard - The D&D Bard class, slightly beefed up, supported mainly for back compatibility and iconic status.
Akashic - The Monte Cook arcana evolved class, slightly beefed up, supported because it is essentially a racial class in my game to develop the flavor of my homebrew Idreth race.
Feyborn - Homebrew class where you gain spells as spell-like abilities. Supported mainly because it is essentially a racial class in my game, because Pixie, Sidhe, and Changling are core PC races. Essentially, lets you become a powerful fairy lord.

All three classes are Jack Of All Trades, which isn't surprising because the pure specialists are all core classes. All conceivably could be played by multi-classing and a few supporting feats, but I didn't go that way because the implementation is a lot cleaner this way and the classes are central enough to the setting to be iconic. Classes like these would appear in Setting books and be explicitly marked as being exclusive to a setting, and not necessarily available outside it (consult your DM). However, any thing in the setting that can be made for core classes probably should be. Even setting specific base classes should be pretty darn rare.

I also have three NPC classes I use when I don't want the NPC to be particularly special. These are purely matters of convenience. I could support all of them with the above concepts but its just easier to do ordinary types with weaker less balanced classes.

Brute - Tough NPCs but without a lot of weapon skills.
Expert - Knowledgeable NPCs (a scaled up version of this class is going to be the Savant, as soon as I can figure out how to keep the combat relevant above 5th or 6th level)
Commoner - Very ordinary non-combat types, who have had little experience or opportunity for training in anything
 

Cyberen

First Post
IMO/IME, what Celebrim describes is a canonical old school experience. If you start at level 1, and play in an adverserial style, adventurers die in droves, especially magic-users. So I would say he's the one playing by the assumptions. (And everybody knows high level wizards are balanced by not existing !)
Of course, my real opinion is that I want Next to be able to handle wildly varying assumptions according to magic, wealth, mortality, protagonism.
 

Celebrim

Legend
[Jamie]Well THAT'S your problem![/Jamie]

D&D isn't low magic. Never has been.

Says you. I've only played it any other way in maybe one campaign.

Its awash is magic items, magical beasts, and spellcasting classes. Complaining wizards are squishy in a low magic game is like complaining about how squishy investigators in Call of Cthulhu are when you run it as a dungeon-crash!

Huh. That doesn't make any sense.

Don't complain D&D doesn't work right when you ain't playing it by the assumptions!

Wait a minute.... I'm not the one saying D&D doesn't work right. Spellcasters don't make other classes look like losers in my game. Maybe I'm not the one playing it with the wrong assumptions.
 

Remathilis

Legend
Says you. I've only played it any other way in maybe one campaign.

Wait a minute.... I'm not the one saying D&D doesn't work right. Spellcasters don't make other classes look like losers in my game. Maybe I'm not the one playing it with the wrong assumptions.

So I've hallucinated nearly 20 years of Dragon forum, ENWorld posts, and 4e-era wizard blogs that described in detail quadratic wizards, magic item shops, Christmas trees, CoDzilla, Batman Wizards, tier-rankings, the fact only 3 out of 11 classes in the PHB have no spell ability, and the Book of Nine Swords?

Don't give me the "wizards aren't uber-powered because I intentionally nerf them".
 

Remathilis

Legend
IMO/IME, what Celebrim describes is a canonical old school experience. If you start at level 1, and play in an adverserial style, adventurers die in droves, especially magic-users. So I would say he's the one playing by the assumptions. (And everybody knows high level wizards are balanced by not existing !)
Of course, my real opinion is that I want Next to be able to handle wildly varying assumptions according to magic, wealth, mortality, protagonism.

You just described everything I hate about D&D. Thankfully, its mostly BS (Gary himself had a party of high-level wizards with enough magic items equip armies). Meat grinder D&D needs to join Thac0 and alignment languages in the dust-bin of history.
 

Cyberen

First Post
You are entitled to your hatred, but not the dismissal of a perfectly valid playstyle, clearly supported by the rules.
And your blanket statements about "assumptions" are in fact edition warring, as they only fully apply to 3e (CoDzillas and Batman Wizards, which will hopefully join the dust bin of history :p).
 

Remathilis

Legend
You are entitled to your hatred, but not the dismissal of a perfectly valid playstyle, clearly supported by the rules.
And your blanket statements about "assumptions" are in fact edition warring, as they only fully apply to 3e (CoDzillas and Batman Wizards, which will hopefully join the dust bin of history :p).

Uh. While the terminology might refer to 3e, I assure you they existed in 2nd edition. And I too hope the join the dustbin of history. But "the only balanced wizard is a dead one" is a non-starter.
 

Storminator

First Post
IMO/IME, what Celebrim describes is a canonical old school experience. If you start at level 1, and play in an adverserial style, adventurers die in droves, especially magic-users. So I would say he's the one playing by the assumptions. (And everybody knows high level wizards are balanced by not existing !)
Of course, my real opinion is that I want Next to be able to handle wildly varying assumptions according to magic, wealth, mortality, protagonism.

Meh. We got the wizard to high levels in every single campaign. In fact, frequently our campaign goals were "keep the wizard alive until 5th level, then rule the world . . . "

Sure characters died in droves, but you could literally make another 1st level character on other peoples' turns in a couple rounds of combat, so we always had another one waiting.

PS
 

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