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the "truth" about classes

Graf

First Post
WotC is trumpting (or appears to me, though I can not claim to have read everything) the "smaller number of base classes with more OPTIONS so you can specialize YOUR FIGHTER".
I understand that it's marketing spiel, and why WotC is disseminating it (you sell what you have) but I'm amazed that it's being uncritically repeated.

3e started off exactly the same way.
"We're going to have a small number of classes but we'll give you choices-at-every-level!" (i.e. feats, bonus feats, special abilities and eventually PrCs).
They held firm on adding new base classes for a little while...
When 3e first came out it was practically a credo:
"I wanna play a Samurai!" "Play a fighter!"
"How do I make a Knight?" "Play a fighter take mounted combat and ride!"

But eventually every new supplement and game source was adding more and more "base" classes until there are more than WotC published 30 "alternative base classes".

They will drop the bard, there will be much howling, a year later someone will hint that they're "reconsidering it", then there will be a new book with a new bard.
Wash, rinse, repeat for the literally (dozens) of possible character tracks.
Each campaign setting will probably get one or two special character classes to differentiate it (see: artificer for Eberron).

I'm not commenting on whether it's good or bad, but anybody who seriously thinks that 5 classes (or 7 or however many 4e launches with) is going to be the "default state" of the game is, IMHO, wrong.
 

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F4NBOY

First Post
IIRC someone mentioned 8 base classes during some playtesting.
8 is a good number.
Fighter, rogue, cleric, wizard, ranger, paladin, druid and barbarian would be just a nice list for me.
 

FireLance

Legend
I wouldn't rule it out as a possibility, but I also think that talent trees, if implemented, will allow much more customization within a single class "chassis" than was possible in previous editions. Variations to existing classes can then be done not by introducing new "base" classes, but by introducing new talent trees. So, instead of having separate Knight and Swashbuckler classes, you'd still be using the basic Fighter class, but with Knight and Swashbuckler talent trees.
 

hong

WotC's bitch
Eh, regardless of how many classes there are, us gearheads will soon be churning out new ones soon enough anyway.
 

RFisher

Explorer
Haven't they been making it clear that they will be adding base classes beyond what's in core? (To paraphrase: Any 3e core class that isn't in the 4e core will be added later.)

Besides, who cares if they add 1000 classes in future products. You don't have to use them in your game. You don't even have to use all the classes that are in the core books if you don't want to.
 

SteveC

Adventurer
You're spot on here.

My real problem with this comes from an open gaming standpoint. If we get a PHB with fewer classes than before, and the ones that are later introduced are not open content, this makes it harder for a company to make an OGL product that contains as much content as you see now.

And that would be a bad thing.

--Steve
 

DreamChaser

First Post
F4NBOY said:
IIRC someone mentioned 8 base classes during some playtesting.
8 is a good number.
Fighter, rogue, cleric, wizard, ranger, paladin, druid and barbarian would be just a nice list for me.

Blech. Paladin is a prestige class and barbarian is a character concept.

This would be my wish list (with the related classes we could do away with listed below):

Cleric
-- Archivist – killed by the cleric to become a talent tree
-- Favored Soul – cleric talent tree? likely redundant with changes to magic system
-- Healer – killed by cleric to become a talent treee


Druid
-- Shugenja – some aspects could be a cleric or druid talent tree…likely obsolete
-- Spirit Shaman – killed by the druid to become a talent tree…possibly obsolete

Fighter
-- Barbarian – killed by fighter to become talent tree
-- Crusader, Swordsage, Warblade – sounds like they all form the new fighter foundation
-- Hexblade – killed by the fighter to become a talent tree (with multiclassing)
-- Knight – killed by the fighter to become a talent tree
-- Marshal – killed by the fighter to become a talent tree (maybe “warlord”)
-- Monk – killed by the fighter to become a talent tree
-- Samurai – how is this different from fighter again? Oh! No shield proficiency.
-- Swashbuckler – killed by the fighter to become a talent tree
-- Soulknife – killed by the fighter to become a talent tree

Ranger – may be useful now that it has killed the scout and eaten it.
-- Scout – killed by the ranger

Rogue
-- Ninja – killed by the rogue to become a talent tree
-- Spellthief – killed by the rogue to become a talent tree (with multiclassing)

Sorcerer
-- Beguiler – talent tree of sorcerer / multiclass w/ rogue
-- Dread Necromancer – talent tree of sorcerer (or a prestige class)
-- Warlock – killed by the sorcerer (and maybe wizard)
-- Warmage – talent tree of sorcerer / multiclass w/ fighter

Wizard
-- Wu Jen – how is this different from wizard? Watchful spirit could be a talent tree for wizard

And once the psionics rules come out (cause they certainly can't be core)

Erudite / Psion – really one class. I’m not sure which should stay
-- Ardent – not really distinct enough from psion IMHO

Wilder

Prestige Classes / Multiclasses / Advanced Classes

Bard – Created by multiclassing / prestige classing
Divine Mind – interesting cleric / psion multiclass w/ talent tree
Duskblade - Created by multiclassing / prestige classing
Lurk – multiclass psion / rogue
Paladin – prestige class (for goodness sake, every other type of holy warrior has been)
Psychic Warrior – multiclass fighter / psion

No need to repeat

Binder – interesting experiment…little more
Factotum – interesting experiment…little more
Shadowcaster – interesting experiment…little more
Truenamer – an interesting experiment, little more
 

Greatwyrm

Been here a while...
SteveC said:
If we get a PHB with fewer classes than before, and the ones that are later introduced are not open content, this makes it harder for a company to make an OGL product that contains as much content as you see now.

I don't understand how. WotC has made tons of alternate 20-level classes. None of them have seemed to restrain the production of OGL products or content.

Heck, if anything, WotC is giving 3rd party publishers something akin to the Oklahoma homestead land-grab. It seems unlikely gnomes will be in the PHB. Be the first to give us 4e stats for them. Same for monks, bards, and psionics. As we get more details of what is in and what isn't, lots of products like these should be ready on or close to the launch of 4e.

Remember when 3e came out? The day the PHB went on sale at GenCon, the only "monster manual" to be found was the Creature Collection from Swords and Sorcery Studios. Once people see what's going to get left out or pushed back, you'll see that kind of tactic in spades.
 

jasin

First Post
DreamChaser said:
This would be my wish list (with the related classes we could do away with listed below):
Mostly a sensible list, but...

Cleric
-- Archivist – killed by the cleric to become a talent tree
Even though the archivist is a divine class, as long as you're going to modularize it by making it a talent tree, doesn't the ability to know about stuff make more sense for wizards? Or perhaps anyone with the right knowledges, like the Knowledge Devotion feat from Complete Champion?

Druid
-- Shugenja – some aspects could be a cleric or druid talent tree…likely obsolete
Shugenja is really not that much like a druid, except in the "hey, I like elements and elementals!" sense.
 
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jasin

First Post
hong said:
Eh, regardless of how many classes there are, us gearheads will soon be churning out new ones soon enough anyway.
A part of me is actually kind of hoping unarmored wuxia swordsman won't quite work in 4E, so we can go to work on martial artist 4E. :)
 

Ashardalon

First Post
RFisher said:
Haven't they been making it clear that they will be adding base classes beyond what's in core? (To paraphrase: Any 3e core class that isn't in the 4e core will be added later.)
Abundandly clear. I'm not sure where Graf has seen any indication that Wizards is using the "less than 11 core classes" thing for marketing, really. It's something that to my understanding was mentioned in passing and with stuff that makes it completely clear that more base classes will be coming. From the power sources to the talk that the dropped classes will be brought back later, from psionics will come to the PHB 2, 3, ... thing, there can be little doubt that more base classes are coming.

Oh, and all signs seem to point to 10 classes (drop bard and monk, add warlord) rather than 5 or 7. ;)
 

Tharen the Damned

First Post
For a new system about 8-10 base classes seem right to me. More would give you an option overload. Especially if the new classes will receive a new Feat/ability at each level. Just play the PHB base classes until you get bored. Then new Classes are added.
Seems ok to from a business and gaming point of view.
 

Jhaelen

First Post
DreamChaser said:
Blech. Paladin is a prestige class and barbarian is a character concept.
I think you're putting too much weight on the names of the classes. Call them Champion and Berserker if the names bother you.

Actually, I think cleric should be a prestige class and wizard a character concept :p
 

kenmarable

Adventurer
DreamChaser said:
No need to repeat

Binder – interesting experiment…little more
Factotum – interesting experiment…little more
Shadowcaster – interesting experiment…little more
Truenamer – an interesting experiment, little more
And from the other end of the spectrum, not long after 3.5 came out, I found the core classes pretty boring and haven't touched them in years. I only play binders, truenamers, psions, etc.

Now, that's not a dig at the core classes, because you can customize them out in some interesting ways, of course, but after playing various fighters and wizards and such since the mid-80's, I really like the strange and bizarre new classes WotC has introduced recently. But that's just me. When 4e comes around, I'll probably either find a way to convert over some of these odd classes, or just play something core but say "although my class is 'wizard' and I act like all other wizards, really my spells are all truenames" or some such junk.
 

Doug McCrae

Legend
Graf said:
I'm not commenting on whether it's good or bad, but anybody who seriously thinks that 5 classes (or 7 or however many 4e launches with) is going to be the "default state" of the game is, IMHO, wrong.
Especially considering WotC have said they will be adding new classes with PHB2, 3, etc.
 

DonTadow

First Post
DreamChaser said:
Blech. Paladin is a prestige class and barbarian is a character concept.

This would be my wish list (with the related classes we could do away with listed below):

Cleric
-- Archivist – killed by the cleric to become a talent tree
-- Favored Soul – cleric talent tree? likely redundant with changes to magic system
-- Healer – killed by cleric to become a talent treee


Druid
-- Shugenja – some aspects could be a cleric or druid talent tree…likely obsolete
-- Spirit Shaman – killed by the druid to become a talent tree…possibly obsolete

Fighter
-- Barbarian – killed by fighter to become talent tree
-- Crusader, Swordsage, Warblade – sounds like they all form the new fighter foundation
-- Hexblade – killed by the fighter to become a talent tree (with multiclassing)
-- Knight – killed by the fighter to become a talent tree
-- Marshal – killed by the fighter to become a talent tree (maybe “warlord”)
-- Monk – killed by the fighter to become a talent tree
-- Samurai – how is this different from fighter again? Oh! No shield proficiency.
-- Swashbuckler – killed by the fighter to become a talent tree
-- Soulknife – killed by the fighter to become a talent tree

Ranger – may be useful now that it has killed the scout and eaten it.
-- Scout – killed by the ranger

Rogue
-- Ninja – killed by the rogue to become a talent tree
-- Spellthief – killed by the rogue to become a talent tree (with multiclassing)

Sorcerer
-- Beguiler – talent tree of sorcerer / multiclass w/ rogue
-- Dread Necromancer – talent tree of sorcerer (or a prestige class)
-- Warlock – killed by the sorcerer (and maybe wizard)
-- Warmage – talent tree of sorcerer / multiclass w/ fighter

Wizard
-- Wu Jen – how is this different from wizard? Watchful spirit could be a talent tree for wizard

And once the psionics rules come out (cause they certainly can't be core)

Erudite / Psion – really one class. I’m not sure which should stay
-- Ardent – not really distinct enough from psion IMHO

Wilder

Prestige Classes / Multiclasses / Advanced Classes

Bard – Created by multiclassing / prestige classing
Divine Mind – interesting cleric / psion multiclass w/ talent tree
Duskblade - Created by multiclassing / prestige classing
Lurk – multiclass psion / rogue
Paladin – prestige class (for goodness sake, every other type of holy warrior has been)
Psychic Warrior – multiclass fighter / psion

No need to repeat

Binder – interesting experiment…little more
Factotum – interesting experiment…little more
Shadowcaster – interesting experiment…little more
Truenamer – an interesting experiment, little more
You're my long lost twin. Paladins are a prestige class and barbarian is an archtype. Trees are more satisfying. I dont quit my class but i canspecialize in what i want.

Plus it makes things more simplistic. All martial classes work the same (easy for a new player)..
 

DreamChaser

First Post
kenmarable said:
And from the other end of the spectrum, not long after 3.5 came out, I found the core classes pretty boring and haven't touched them in years. I only play binders, truenamers, psions, etc.

Now, that's not a dig at the core classes, because you can customize them out in some interesting ways, of course, but after playing various fighters and wizards and such since the mid-80's, I really like the strange and bizarre new classes WotC has introduced recently. But that's just me. When 4e comes around, I'll probably either find a way to convert over some of these odd classes, or just play something core but say "although my class is 'wizard' and I act like all other wizards, really my spells are all truenames" or some such junk.

That's a good point. I run into that as well (in fact, I love the Tome of Magic for the great options. Same with Magic of Incarnum and I hands down prefer 3e psionics to 3e magic (which was killed in translation from 2e to 3e by clinging to many unwieldy sacred cows that may have made sense in 1978 but the 3e designers should have known better).

I would rather have a couple of very flexible magical systems to start with and then create viable (read playable, which often the Shadowcaster was not) alternates to be uniquely placed compared to the new systems.

DC
 

DonTadow

First Post
DreamChaser said:
That's a good point. I run into that as well (in fact, I love the Tome of Magic for the great options. Same with Magic of Incarnum and I hands down prefer 3e psionics to 3e magic (which was killed in translation from 2e to 3e by clinging to many unwieldy sacred cows that may have made sense in 1978 but the 3e designers should have known better).

I would rather have a couple of very flexible magical systems to start with and then create viable (read playable, which often the Shadowcaster was not) alternates to be uniquely placed compared to the new systems.

DC
I hope they never do another class or only do one every year or so and concentrate on branching out the actual core classes. Then to not have so much clutter, make it so no core clases can be sold in books.
 

Graf, I think you're being a tad unfair. After all, the very first thing all we fans did when 3e came out was to start building new classes to meet our biases and preferences. I saw 6000 "Knight," "Samurai," "Ninja," etc base classes posted on the internet.

Seeing that preponderance of user-created content (most of it bad), it was a natural business decision to take on the task of doing those concepts right (how right they got them can be debated, of course). There was clearly a market, after all.

It strikes me as a little hypocritical to say, "Damn those business men for giving us exactly what we asked for and having the nerve to charge us for it!" :)
 

Eagle Prince

First Post
SteveC said:
You're spot on here.

My real problem with this comes from an open gaming standpoint. If we get a PHB with fewer classes than before, and the ones that are later introduced are not open content, this makes it harder for a company to make an OGL product that contains as much content as you see now.

And that would be a bad thing.

--Steve

Take it with a grain of salt, but the person working on the 4e SRD said that psionics would come out in a later PHB and that they would eventually end up in the SRD. Not sure if every new class will get added, but probably safe to say that some will.
 

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