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the "truth" about classes

RFisher

Explorer
Snapdragyn said:
Wow. So we've already had confirmed in an interview with GamerZero the following classes:

Fighter
Paladin
Cleric
Warlord
Wizard
Ranger
Rogue

In another post here at EN World, WotC_Logan confirms:

Monk

There's our 8 classes in the PHB. I'm not entirely thrilled -- I can handle druid being folded into a cleric 'tree', & barbarian into a fighter (or ranger?) tree, but...

  • Why make the barbarian a tree but not the monk?
  • Whither the sorceror (or warlock)?

I'm not sure the monk confirmation means that it's a separate class. Based on the comments about the wizard & sorcerer being made even more different, I think the sorc is in the PHB1.

So, my guess would be:

  • Fighter
  • Paladin
  • Cleric
  • Warlord
  • Wizard
  • Sorcerer
  • Ranger
  • Rogue

With monk & barbarian each being a possible customization of one of those. That's what I'm expecting is in the current PHB1 draft. I also expect it's still tentative.

Or, at least, that's what I thought before the clarification.
 

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Remathilis

Legend
Ok, let me get this straight...

CONFIRMED:

Defender: Fighter
Striker: Rogue
Controller: Wizard
Leader: Cleric

Possible:

Defender: Paladin
Leader: Warlord
Striker: Ranger
???: Druid
???: Monk
???: Sorcerer/Warlock
???: Barbarian

Beyond that, we know the Bard, Spellthief and Scout is R.I.P. Its safe to say you shouldn't expect the Favored Soul, Shugenja, Ninja, Samurai, Wu Jen, Warmage, Healer, Dread Necromancer, Archivist, Swashbuckler, Spirit Shaman, Factotum, Dragonfire Adept, Psion, Psychic Warrior, Wilder, Soulknife, Lurk, Adrent, Divine Mind, Erudite, Binder, Truenamer, Shadowcaster, Crusader, Swordsage, Warblade, Beguiler or Knight in the PHB. The Marshal and the Dragon Shaman might end up somewhere absorbed into another class above.

Logan, can ya confirm or deny THAT much? ;)
 

SteveC

Adventurer
Dr. Awkward said:
Well, gnomes are still open, and bards are still open, and the 3.x game mechanics pertaining to gnomes and bards are still open. And if you wrote a "gnome" race and a "bard" class for the adventure you were publishing, and declared it open content, that would also be fine. However, if WotC eventually produces a gnome race and a bard class, the mechanics pertaining to those would be closed unless WotC declared them open. Not the names, just the mechanics.
And that's my point. If you're designing an adventure, and want to use the 4E mechanics, you're not using gnomes unless they return as open content.

Sure you can use the name "gnome" but we're concerned about the mechanics, after all.

It has been suggested that this is some sort of bonanza for OGL publishers, who will be able to give their own take on those races and classes that get left out. I really don't think that's a good idea, because if given the choice between two gnomes, most of your customer base is going to go with the "official" one. That's what happens now.

Why do I care? Well, largely it's because third party companies do a better job of making adventures than WotC, especially if you put the guys from Paizo into the generic adventure camp rather than giving them the special rights they had with Dungeon. I want to see the best module support possible for the game, because that will give me something to run when I don't have time to invent a campaign myself, so I'm selfish and want companies like Paizo, Goodman Games, and Necromancer (wherever they end up) to have at least as much open content to work with in 4E.

So here's to hoping that we get more open content this time, or at least the same amount.

--Steve
 

outsider

First Post
Hrm, where are you getting the idea that they are trying to claim there'll be less classes? They've been openly admitting that they will be adding more classes as time goes on. About all they've actually said about having less classes is that there'll be less in the PHB, to the best of my knowledge. And they weren't exactly trying to make that sound like a fantastic thing.

Anybody got a link to anything WoTC has said that indicates they are planning on having a small number of classes?
 

New Playtest Report
http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/drpr/20070824a
More evidence that Warlord is going to be a base class in the PHB, and possibly Warlock as well. Or that they were base classes in the version of the rules that were available at the time. I like the idea of a tactics based character in the core rules, but I doubt that Warlock will be in the final PHB. That will have too many arcane style classes taking up slots of the core 8 classes, assuming that we are correct in the number of classes.

Thursday Night, Wizards Conference Room (Wayne Manor).
Campaign Arc: Castle Smoulderthorn
DM: Dave Noonan
Players: Bruce Cordell, Richard Baker, Logan Bonner, and Toby Latin

I’ve been playing a chaos gnome warlock in Dave Noonan’s 3rd Edition Eberron game for a while now. When it came time to start playtesting the new edition with non-Wizards employees, Dave decided to convert the current campaign instead of beginning anew. We’re smack-dab in the middle of the floating fortress Castle Smoulderthorn, so it would have been unfortunate if we didn’t get a chance to untether its bound elemental and send the whole evil place floating off to Siberys.

I was playing with Rich Baker, Bruce Cordell, and Toby Latin-Stoermer (our resident non-WotC employee). Our characters were Karhun (originally a warblade/warmage played by Rich), Infandous (an elan psion played by Bruce), Hammer (a warforged paladin played by Toby), and Dessin (a chaos gnome warlock played by myself).

Conversion was far from 100% accurate. Not only have the classes changed, but we’re also using plenty of stuff that wasn’t in the playtest document. Several of us needed new races. Luckily, we had some versions kicking around. These hadn’t been developed yet, but we used them anyway. Rich’s character was tougher. He was playing a warblade/warmage in the 3rd Edition game, which didn’t really convert at all. Fortunately, he was able to pick a class that was focused on tactics, and he picked up some wizard powers to feel similar to the old character. We didn’t have a psion for Bruce, so he rolled up a wizard and tweaked some of the names to fit thematically.

The characters were pretty different now, but we all had some pretty interesting stuff to do. We were very curious what Toby would think since he wasn’t familiar with the system like the rest of us. Turns out he enjoyed himself (but we found out the warforged he was using was kinda broken).

We started off the session just after the encounter we had last week. Before we had time to heal up, we were attacked again. Our enemies crossed a snake theme with a fire theme, so they had a fire snake, a fire sorcerer who turned into a snake, and six azers who brought plenty of fire but forgot about the snake bit. Dessin, my warlock, mostly stayed at the back. He was just making enemies attack each other, firing some eldritch blasts, and concentrating fire on badly damaged foes (turns out that makes him do more damage). Most of the azers got taken down relatively quickly. The big surprise of the encounter was the sorcerer becoming a snake and grabbing our poor paladin. Turns out that even if you’re a snake, and even if you’re on fire, adventurers will still kill you.

After the battle, it was a little different than the procedure that follows a 3E battle. Turns out the enemies don’t need magic weapons to be effective (because the math doesn’t need them to), so we didn’t have a bunch of magic loot that we didn’t really need and would only end up selling. It was a bit of a disconnect, but nothing we’d miss in the long run. We got to cut out the middleman and grabbed some coins and XP (though later we did find some cool magic loot that we could actually use).
 

breschau

First Post
Kelvor Ravenstar said:
New Playtest Report
http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/drpr/20070824a
More evidence that Warlord is going to be a base class in the PHB, and possibly Warlock as well. Or that they were base classes in the version of the rules that were available at the time. I like the idea of a tactics based character in the core rules, but I doubt that Warlock will be in the final PHB. That will have too many arcane style classes taking up slots of the core 8 classes, assuming that we are correct in the number of classes.

That article doesn't say a word about Warlords.
 

Graf

First Post
Canis said:
Graf, I think you're being a tad unfair.
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!" :)
Suggest re-reading my original post again to figure out what I was saying and wasn't.
I'm talking about the uncritical repeating of the marketing spiel.
(the thread's exploded in other directions of course but...)

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 hadn't actually thought this far ahead.
But it's a very good point.

I know a few people aren't following this argument (and posted against this on the thread), but I agree that OGL production was seriously constrained by what wizards kept out of the SRD.
I know I stopped buying OGL/d20 DnD books largely because they were so "dated" (i.e. only phb feats, no characters using new but appropriate PrCs/spells/etc.

That was one of the reasons why Dungeon could crush the competition, they had access to the widest variety of tools to make adventures.
 

breschau

First Post
Graf said:
That was one of the reasons why Dungeon could crush the competition, they had access to the widest variety of tools to make adventures.

That, and by it's very nature the OGL is essentially a one-way mirror. Anything WotC likes, it keeps no one else can use it. But, anything generated on the outside (under the OGL) that isn't product identity (unique place and character names, or different rules names, ex: power points in M&M) can be renamed and used by WotC.

It's great for the small publisher and great for WotC. It's brilliant marketing. You get hundreds of other companies to do countless hours of research, playtesting, and work to build up games and new rules, with complete foreknowledge that WotC can cherrypick anything they want based on their license at whim.

Perfect.

OGL originators, I salute you.
 

breschau said:
That article doesn't say a word about Warlords.
Actually it does, just not explicitly.
Logan Bonner said:
Conversion was far from 100% accurate. Not only have the classes changed, but we’re also using plenty of stuff that wasn’t in the playtest document. Several of us needed new races. Luckily, we had some versions kicking around. These hadn’t been developed yet, but we used them anyway. Rich’s character was tougher. He was playing a warblade/warmage in the 3rd Edition game, which didn’t really convert at all. [STRONG]Fortunately, he was able to pick a class that was focused on tactics[/STRONG], and he picked up some wizard powers to feel similar to the old character. We didn’t have a psion for Bruce, so he rolled up a wizard and tweaked some of the names to fit thematically.

Emphasis mine.

We'd already predicted that Warlord would be a leader class that used tactics to aid its allies, and this unnamed class fits that description. I doubt they ment that a fighter was a tactics class, when all we've heard about the fighter so far is it has a variety of supported fighting styles and special abilities based on the weapon wielded.
 

MightyTev

First Post
Ugh, I hope they don't call the new leader class "Warlord". Marshal might be more appropriate?

breschau said:
I think the Sorcerer killed the Warlock and took his stuff.

I love this phrase.
 
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Graf

First Post
breschau said:
That, and by it's very nature the OGL is essentially a one-way mirror. Anything WotC likes, it keeps no one else can use it. But, anything generated on the outside (under the OGL) that isn't product identity (unique place and character names, or different rules names, ex: power points in M&M) can be renamed and used by WotC.
In principal:yeah.

In actually?
I remember OGL two monsters in the back of the MMII and that was it.
Does anybody know of anything WotC absorbed?
(Not "redid later" like how they released a Drow book after other companies but actually absorbed into the "official" rules)
 

DonTadow

First Post
Dr. Awkward said:
Well, gnomes are still open, and bards are still open, and the 3.x game mechanics pertaining to gnomes and bards are still open. And if you wrote a "gnome" race and a "bard" class for the adventure you were publishing, and declared it open content, that would also be fine. However, if WotC eventually produces a gnome race and a bard class, the mechanics pertaining to those would be closed unless WotC declared them open. Not the names, just the mechanics.
Good Point

To Ad. No one is stopping you from writing this adventure. You might not be able to sell adventures with their content but they certain have a means for you to publish them.

But if you're talented enough to write adventures you're talented enough to work around the system. If one race and class is goingto make or break your adventure you've pigeon held ourself.
 

Graf said:
Suggest re-reading my original post again to figure out what I was saying and wasn't.
I'm talking about the uncritical repeating of the marketing spiel.
(the thread's exploded in other directions of course but...)
I read it. It's still unfair. First, the designers have no marketing experience and no input on the actual marketing outside these kind of Gen-con experiences and such. What we're hearing from them is what they want to say. And it's ENTIRELY likely that a small number of customizable classes was what they wanted with 3rd edition and is AGAIN what they want to do with 4th.

The market, however, (and very likely the people at Wizards who pay the bills) dictated that they deviate from that design principle. And the market is ALREADY dictating that again. And following the cash will AGAIN dictate that, as long as we as a market demand all of these character details be dictated from birth, as it were.

You're complaining that the well-meaning designers want to give us an simple, elegant, flexible game, and will be prevented from doing so by.... well.... us.
 

Graf

First Post
Canis said:
First, the designers have no marketing experience and no input on the actual marketing outside these kind of Gen-con experiences and such.
This isn't really true.
Designers are the premier marketing force for WotC now.
What they can and can't say is strictly controlled. You're not getting the "straight dope". Especially not when it's stuff coming out the WotC website.

That's the way of the world; and I'm not criticizing them or their role.
I just don't think people (i.e. 3rd parties whose goal is to present information truthfully) should absorb or repeat it uncritically.

4th edition is not going to be "the edition where we get back to basics with just a few classes".
There will eventually be scads of source books with multiple versions of ninja, samurai, knights, elves-who-cast-spells-and-fight-one-handed-with-rapiers, etc. etc.
 

variant

Adventurer
I am glad Monk is getting the boot, it doesn't fit in the typical D&D campaign based on medieval Europe. When I think monk, I think of a cloistered priest.

The Wizard needs to rip-off the 'Spells Known' from the Sorcerer which become 'Spells Memorized' (and swapped out every night). Then the Warlock poofs into the Sorcerer with less railroading where power comes from or as breschau says "I think the Sorcerer killed the Warlock and took his stuff.".

The Cleric needs to become cloistered archivist type and the Paladin needs to replace the Cleric as the role as a battle priest.

The gnome needs to stay and the half-elf needs to get the boot with the half-orc. Please no tiefling.

I wish they would put the Bard instead of Warlord.

Celebrim said:
Largely true. The way I see it, Paladin is a talent tree/character concept of a (currently non-existant) base class 'Champion'. The closest I've seen to a good implementation of this is Book of the Righteousness and the 'Holy Warrior' class, although even it had some problems do to limitations of the D&D magic system.

Paladin is effectively a warrior of a priesthood. It should be the replacement for the generic full plate wearing Cleric we have come to know.

Celebrim said:
Likewise, 'Druid' is a talent tree/character concept of Shaman. Druid is a culture, not a class.

No it isn't. A druid is a priest and has absolutely nothing to do with shamans or spirits.
 

Graf

First Post
It is possible that these additional base classes will be folded into the published classes.

So you'll have the initial Rogue talent development and then there will be a rogue splat book with a set of Ninja talents.
That would be an improvement over the current system, if it's not unholy complex.

However, if you have to start at 1st level and slowly construct your character perfectly (or doing so gives you some sort of advantage) then it's basically the same sort of class-inflation you see in 3.5.
 

hong

WotC's bitch
breschau said:
That, and by it's very nature the OGL is essentially a one-way mirror. Anything WotC likes, it keeps no one else can use it. But, anything generated on the outside (under the OGL) that isn't product identity (unique place and character names, or different rules names, ex: power points in M&M) can be renamed and used by WotC.

It's great for the small publisher and great for WotC. It's brilliant marketing. You get hundreds of other companies to do countless hours of research, playtesting, and work to build up games and new rules, with complete foreknowledge that WotC can cherrypick anything they want based on their license at whim.

Perfect.

OGL originators, I salute you.
... not that I recall WotC actually _using_ much of anything developed under the OGL. There was, what, a couple of monsters in the MM2? That's about it, AFAIK.
 

Ashardalon

First Post
hong said:
... not that I recall WotC actually _using_ much of anything developed under the OGL. There was, what, a couple of monsters in the MM2? That's about it, AFAIK.
There was also the d20 Modern Weapons Locker (which seems to have stayed in shelves), and Unearthed Arcana, which ended up on a number of SRD sites (Hmmm, I really wonder why Wizards never put out more books that use the OGL...).

As for the class discussion, supposedly there will be retraining rules in 4E. For better or for worse, that could allow a "more classes" approach that doesn't necessarily mean a "build from 1st level" approach, and should reduce the "Plan from 1 to 20/30" syndrome.
 

hong

WotC's bitch
As far as I'm concerned, people putting out stuff under the OGL should expect to get paid in ego bucks, with everything else being gravy. That's what getting your name into section 15 of the license is about, really.
 

Celebrim

Legend
variant said:
The Cleric needs to become cloistered archivist type and the Paladin needs to replace the Cleric as the role as a battle priest...Paladin is effectively a warrior of a priesthood. It should be the replacement for the generic full plate wearing Cleric we have come to know.

The origin of the D&D cleric is clearly the Song of Roland (for example, the original rule that clerics couldn't use edged weapons is discussed therein). It would be very very hard to Roland and the rest of the Peers were not Paladins, but clearly there are fighting clerics in the Song of Roland that aren't Paladins. So what you are expressing is an opinion, and one that isn't really grounded in the source material.

No it isn't. A druid is a priest and has absolutely nothing to do with shamans or spirits.

*sigh* The distinction between shamans and priests is almost entirely arbitrary. A shaman in colloquial usage is a priest of an animistic nature religion. From what little we know of druidism, and that's almost nothing, druidism was an animistic nature relgion similar to those found in other stone age cultures the world over. Druidic worship almost certainly involved spirits, although to be frank, sense the Romans slaughtered every single Druid and all thier family members, we don't really know anything about thier worship that isn't conjectural. Most of what you may think you know about Druidism is the product of 15th and 16th century occult imagination, and historical revisionism by reinnasance scholars in Northern Europe. But it would be extremely unlikely that ancient European religions were fundamentally different than anyone elses and besides even the imagined stuff is pretty typical of animism, and hense druids are best represented as a particular option in a base shaman class. There mythical set of powers is almost identical to those attributed to other shamans. The class limitations of having particular taboos is typical of shamanism. The particular emphasis on shapeshifting that they've come to have in game settings is a modern anchronism, and one best expressed with a particular talent tree.

If they are not shamans, then the question arises of why we don't fold them into the cleric class. Either way, the druid base class should go away.
 

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