Upcoming Classes Speculation

Sitnaltax

First Post
Thinking about what some of the classes we can expect to see in the months after 4E becomes available... This is all crazy speculation.

Fairly Confident

Bard: Arcane Leader. Seems pretty clear; Arcane is the closest power source fit unless you want to invent an entirely new music-based power source, and the Leader role seems pretty clear.

Monk: Martial Controller. We know it's not Striker, and no class could be more martial. Give him lost of throws, grapples, stunning attacks, nerve strikes, trips, etc. and he's the guy in charge of who's doing what where on the battlefield.

Swordmage: Arcane Defender. I don't see how to make him a Striker without stepping all over the ranger and rogue. On the other hand, mixing magic in with melee prowess should make an excellent defender.

Barbarian: Primal Striker. Someone needs to be based off the same power source as Druids and Barbarians are a natural first choice. I can see this class getting a ton of HP and some kind of shrug-off-status-effects ability to compensate for poor defenses.

Minimally Confident

Druid: Primal Controller. Shapeshifting, summoning, healing, and utility nature magic is way too much to be all given to one class. With iconic spells like Entangle, Stone Shape, and carefully chosen summonings, the Druid would make a great controller--and perfect for an underrepresented role. Healing and major combat shapeshifting would probably have to go to another class.

Assassin: Never appearing as a core class. The lone figure who's deadly only when unseen doesn't fit into a party well at all. I can easily imagine a paragon/epic path granting shadowy hiddenness and massive bonuses on sneak attacks to rogues, though. If this ends up as a core class I would expect it to be based off of a new power source like "Shadow" or something.

Psion: Psionic Controller. You could also develop the class as a striker but I suspect there will be plenty of strikers. There's also a chance on "leader"; I can imagine a psion telepathically coordinating the battle, giving orders, telling the cleric to duck just in time, etc.

Psychic Warrior: Psionic Defender. The biggest problem will be differentiating it from the swordmage.

Illusionist/Enchanter/Beguiler: Arcane Controller. The demand for illusionists is going to be high and the beguiler class worked pretty well. Oddly enough, despite the same power source/role as the Wizard, this should be very easy to differentiate. The abilities would be focused on charm/compulsion/misdirection, thwarting enemy attacks through deception and trickery rather than physical barriers like the wizard throws down.

Wild Guesses

Shaman: Primal Leader. Think of the 3E druid as a pure spellcaster: healing, buffing, throwing down lightning and fire, maybe a summon or two. There have been no hints at the existence of this class but I think it would work well.

Favored Soul: Divine Striker. If the Favored Soul idea makes it to 4E you could do pretty much anything with those powers. But the Divine Striker is a niche waiting to be filled, and the Favored Soul could fill it with a combination of offensive magic and self-buffed melee combat.

Shugenja: Divine Striker. If they decide to go for an eastern flavor, this divine elementalist could work like a holy warlock.

Necromancer: Arcane Defender? You gotta have necromancers, but you could design this class in any direction you wanted--zombies as meat shields (defender), soul slayer extraordinaire (striker), drain your enemies' power and give it to your friends (leader), grasping hands from underneath the earth (controller).

Sorcerer: Arcane Striker? I have no idea how to differentiate this class from the wizard and warlock.
 

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Obscure

First Post
I would move Druid and Sorcerer up to the first group and rename it "110% postive." The rest is about right, I think.

p.s. Congrats on de-lurking after 4.5 years. :D
 
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Fallen Seraph

First Post
Well atleast thematically the Sorcerer is a whole new ball-game then before. Seeing how the Sorcerer is now:

The design team posited a class that has a more rudimentary, simplistic style of magic. Sorcerers use inborn talents, giving them a leg up on wizards when it comes to learning spells. The magic they use is more art then science, driven more by a feel for the ebb and flow of energy than by hours of study and practise.

To capture this flavor, the design team built mechanics that reflect a castor who barely controls the power he wields. A wizard creates magical effects by carefully reciting a magical formula. The sorcerer reaches into the magical energies that burn within him and lets them loose on the world with little real control.

The power wielded by a sorcerer is powerful enough that even after a spell is done, ambient energy swirls around him. A sorcerer who blasts you with a cold spell is protected by a small, swirling cloud of snow and ice for a short time. One who unleashes a freball bursts into flames that scorch enemies who try to attack. The sorcerer is one with his magic, and he (in some cases quite literally) wears it like a second skin.

The fact that the magic surrounds the Sorcerer and that it seems to ebb around them. Makes me have the feeling the Sorcerer in 4E will still be a Controller, but a more hands on kind, so a Sorcerer would run through a flock of enemies blasting them, and letting her magic swirl around her, harming the enemy.

The Definites Right now Are:

Bard: They have said they have finished making the Bard.

Sorcerer: If you consider all the classes in R&C definite.

Barbarian: If you consider all the classes in R&C definite.

Druid: If you consider all the classes in R&C definite.

Monk: If you consider all the classes in R&C definite.

Swordmage: It is going to first appear in the Forgottem Realms Players Guide.
 
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Falling Icicle

Adventurer
One possibility is that some classes in the future may not be confined to a single role. Depending on their path/power selection, they may be able to chose their role. For example, I could imagine a Druid that could be either a defender/striker (by focusing on wild shape type powers) or controller (by focusing more on plant, elemental and storm powers). Likewise, I could see a Monk being able to be either a defender or striker, depending upon his "school." With a stretch, I could even see them as a martial controller. Some classes, like Necromancers, may not neatly fit into any role at all, but are jack-of-all-roles types.

This may be the reason that these classes were witheld from the PHB, they may have wanted to have only those classes that neatly fit one of the the 4 roles in the core book. Saving classes that don't fit into one of the roles, or that can chose their role, for future supplements makes sense to me.
 

Obscure

First Post
Sorcerers, along with Barbarians, Bards, Druids, Swordmages, and Monks, are mentioned in Races and Classes as being under development. There's even some nice art of a dragonborn sorcerer. To differentiate from the Wizard, a Sorcerer "barely controls the power he wields." "Even after a spell is done, ambient energy swirls around him."

Sounds like Sorcerers will use entirely different tactics and strategies on the battlefield than Wizards, and have the same sort of flavour difference that exists in 3e.

Edit: Ninja'd again. :confused:
 

theria

First Post
Fallen Seraph said:
.

Swordmage: It is going to first appear in the Forgottem Realms Campaign Guide.

Looks like its showing up in the Forgotten Realms Player's Guide from the product description on the WotC product release.
 

Shroomy

Adventurer
I don't know. A wild-mage sorcerer still seems like an arcane controller to me and I would like some variety with my 4e classes (at least at first). However, I wonder if you came up with powers that essentially create magical auras (a la R&C), ditch implements, and deny ritual casting, would it play significantly different than the wizard even if it was an arcane controller?
 

Sitnaltax

First Post
I like the idea of a Primal-powered sorcerer. That makes him very distinct from a wizard or lock.

I would be surprised to see a dual-role class any time in the near future. The designers have obviously taken a great number of lessons from MMORPGs. One of those lessons is that a hybrid-role class is hard to get right. Too good at either role and it eclipses the original users of that role, to their frustration. "Why be a fighter when I can be hybrid X and get all the fighting power and X-power as well?" On the other hand, if a class is half-effective at two things then it sucks at both. I'm not writing it off as impossible, but I think they'll tread carefully!
 


Shroomy

Adventurer
A different power source may do the trick, but I'm not sure if Primal is it and Arcane is just so fitting. Given that we know that the swordmage and bard are coming out very soon, it certainly looks like the arcane power source has all of its roles filled out:

Wizard - Arcane Controller
Warlock - Arcane Striker
Swordmage - Arcane Defender
Bard - Arcane Leader (pure speculation here folks!)

That said, there are already two martial strikers and they seem on paper to be very different.
 

Falling Icicle

Adventurer
Sitnaltax said:
I would be surprised to see a dual-role class any time in the near future. The designers have obviously taken a great number of lessons from MMORPGs. One of those lessons is that a hybrid-role class is hard to get right. Too good at either role and it eclipses the original users of that role, to their frustration. "Why be a fighter when I can be hybrid X and get all the fighting power and X-power as well?" On the other hand, if a class is half-effective at two things then it sucks at both. I'm not writing it off as impossible, but I think they'll tread carefully!

It seems to me like there's already alot of overlap between the roles. Look at the Paladin, for example. He has several leader-ish abilities, yet he is a defender. Warriors can dish out quite a bit of punishment to a target, yet they are not strikers. A Wizard with Bigby's Grasping Hands can do quite a bit of repeated damage to 2 targets, a very striker-ish thing to do, yet he is a controller. I don't think the roles are really meant to be that rigid. If anything, it seems as though everyone is a "hybrid" to some degree.
 

Atlatl Jones

Explorer
I mostly agree. I'm only quoting the ones I'm more doubtful about.
Monk: Martial Controller. We know it's not Striker, and no class could be more martial. Give him lost of throws, grapples, stunning attacks, nerve strikes, trips, etc. and he's the guy in charge of who's doing what where on the battlefield.
How do we know it's not striker? IIRC, the races & classes book, or one of the designers, said that with the monk's emphasis on fast movement it's an archetypal striker.

Barbarian: Primal Striker. Someone needs to be based off the same power source as Druids and Barbarians are a natural first choice. I can see this class getting a ton of HP and some kind of shrug-off-status-effects ability to compensate for poor defenses.
My money's on Primal Defender. Strikers are supposed to be fragile, relying on movement to stay safe, and they deal damage to single targets. Barbarians, archetypally, wade into the fray, attacking hordes of opponents as easily as a single tough opponent.

Druid: Primal Controller. Shapeshifting, summoning, healing, and utility nature magic is way too much to be all given to one class. With iconic spells like Entangle, Stone Shape, and carefully chosen summonings, the Druid would make a great controller--and perfect for an underrepresented role. Healing and major combat shapeshifting would probably have to go to another class.
The races & classes book said that 4e druid powers will focus on shapeshifting. I have no idea what role they will be. The problem is that 3e druids are controllers, leaders, and defenders all in one. My guess is that they'll either be

Illusionist/Enchanter/Beguiler: Arcane Controller. The demand for illusionists is going to be high and the beguiler class worked pretty well. Oddly enough, despite the same power source/role as the Wizard, this should be very easy to differentiate. The abilities would be focused on charm/compulsion/misdirection, thwarting enemy attacks through deception and trickery rather than physical barriers like the wizard throws down.
Someone said somewhere that the illusionist and necromancer will be of the Shadow power source. Or maybe it was in the worlds book that that was written.

Shaman: Primal Leader. Think of the 3E druid as a pure spellcaster: healing, buffing, throwing down lightning and fire, maybe a summon or two. There have been no hints at the existence of this class but I think it would work well.
I would love that, as long as they created some new interesting, spirit-related flavor for it. The OA shaman was a tweaked cleric, and the spirit shaman was a tweaked druid.

Favored Soul: Divine Striker.
I don't think this should be its own class. IMO it's crying out to be a paragon path.

Shugenja: Divine Striker. If they decide to go for an eastern flavor, this divine elementalist could work like a holy warlock.
Could be. It could also be a primal leader, or even a controller.

Sorcerer: Arcane Striker? I have no idea how to differentiate this class from the wizard and warlock.
I wouldn't be surprised if it was another arcane controller, or a primal controller. The races & classes book had some interesting ideas about how to make it distinctive.
 

InShambles

First Post
The Monk is either a Martial <non-striker>
or <New Power Source> Striker.

I am leaning toward a new power source such as Ki or Chakra for the Monk.
 


Fallen Seraph

First Post
Atlatl Jones said:
My money's on Primal Defender. Strikers are supposed to be fragile, relying on movement to stay safe, and they deal damage to single targets. Barbarians, archetypally, wade into the fray, attacking hordes of opponents as easily as a single tough opponent.

I actually would put my money on a Primal Striker but of a different variety.

Instead of being a Striker oriented towards a single-target, a Barbarian is oriented towards groups of targets generally. He will also have more HP then a normal Striker but have less skills and such.

Also with HP, while yes he will have a high HP, he will probably be restricted to light armour. So it will be up to his Con score and his Save Defences to aid his HP.

MorningStar said:
The Monk is either a Martial <non-striker>
or <New Power Source> Striker.

I am leaning toward a new power source such as Ki or Chakra for the Monk.

I dunno, while I bet it most likely will be another power source. I would REALLY, REALLY like to see a Monk that isn't based off Eastern-ideas and just has the ability (through Paragon Path) to go that route, but starts off simply a unarmed combatant/brawler.
 

jsaving

Adventurer
Bard has been confirmed as an arcane leader, and the designers said at D&D Experience that the class has been completed. Pencil him in for the PH2 next year.

Monk has been confirmed as a striker, and the designers said at D&D experience that the label "martial striker" is at least 50% wrong for the monk, which means he isn't martial.

Swordmage has been confirmed as an arcane defender who will make his 4e debut in the FR Player's Guide.

Druid has been all-but-confirmed as a primal striker, and the designers have explicitly said on several occasions he won't be a controller.

Barbarian has been confirmed to share a power source with the druid and has been called "nature's equivalent of the paladin" in 4e.
 

Imban

First Post
Sitnaltax said:
I like the idea of a Primal-powered sorcerer. That makes him very distinct from a wizard or lock.

I would be surprised to see a dual-role class any time in the near future. The designers have obviously taken a great number of lessons from MMORPGs. One of those lessons is that a hybrid-role class is hard to get right. Too good at either role and it eclipses the original users of that role, to their frustration. "Why be a fighter when I can be hybrid X and get all the fighting power and X-power as well?" On the other hand, if a class is half-effective at two things then it sucks at both. I'm not writing it off as impossible, but I think they'll tread carefully!

This is true, except for one thing - in tabletop games, we don't have nearly the freedom of party selection that works against "hybrid-role" and "switch-hitter" characters in MMORPGs. Basically, if you've got a guy who can pull almost as well as the best pulling class, and also is a pretty good tank, that's honestly pretty good from a tabletop perspective - sometimes his pulling ability isn't good enough, but most of the time it is, and he's contributing to other things your party is doing as well. In MMORPGs, if the hybrid puller can't do this encounter, he doesn't get to play, because the party goes and just takes the character who is hands-down best.

Basically, tabletop allows for characters who are good at enough things to be constantly useful over a long time, but yet not the absolute best at any of these things, to shine, whereas MMORPGs tend to emphasize complete optimization towards one role because you don't have to stick with your party choices.
 

Fallen Seraph

First Post
jsaving said:
Monk has been confirmed as a striker, and the designers said at D&D experience that the label "martial striker" is at least 50% wrong for the monk, which means he isn't martial.

Barbarian has been confirmed to share a power source with the druid and has been called "nature's equivalent of the paladin" in 4e.

Well guess that screws over my theory/what I would like to see :p
 


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