View Full Version : [4e] HBing New Classes

2009-12-06, 01:38 PM
I was working on some FF-themed classes, specifically the Dark Knight (divine defender), Dragoon (martial striker), and a Summoner (arcane controller)

I was just wondering from the homebrewers on this forum, what all have you done for 4e? How do you

What sort of things do you look for to give classes of all four roles? What new ways do you give Defenders to mark their enemies? How do you give Strikers a high damage output without making them overpowered or underpowered? What defines a good Controller? How do you get a Leader to provide enough healing and bonuses without breaking the bank? How do you figure out appropriate At-Wills? How do you come up with enough Encounters and Dailies? What kind of class feats do you make?

Zeta Kai
2009-12-06, 01:43 PM
From what I can tell, 'brewing new classes is exceedingly difficult, due to the need for so many new powers to fill up the class. It seems that the majority of people have just been reflavoring the existing classes to suit their tastes. The powers are largely interchangeable, anyway, & easily refluffed. This seems to be part of the design philosophy for 4E: The crunch can apply to just about anything, so the fluff doesn't matter so much.

R. Shackleford
2009-12-06, 01:53 PM
One thing I've noticed:

Pick two of the 4 defenses, and have the at-wills only hit those two. Next, pick a third one. Encounters and Dailies can hit any of the three. You don't even really have to pick a third one, though the option should be there.

I'm pretty sure that Rogue at-wills can hit 3/4 the defenses, and that bugs me.

2009-12-06, 03:12 PM
The problem with 4e is that as soon as you create something original or unique about a class, it already is quite soon unbalanced when it is something entirely different. All the basic systems stay the same with every class.

In 3.5 you could have classes with their own magic system and vastly different powers without it being that unbalancing or unfitting.

2009-12-06, 03:12 PM
I organized all of the leader at-wills while brewing my Necromancer, to get an idea of what they should and should not do. Then I thought up some new ideas that fit the general mold, but haven't been done before.

The first thing you need to do is think of why the class should exist. Just saying "A martial controller would be cool" isn't enough. What makes it unique?

Why's the Avenger exist? It isolates targets, and punishes it more if its allies try to help. You need one sentence that is completely void of role, power, or numbers, that describes it, that would make YOU or someone else want to play it.

Then you need to figure out how to apply that concept in the form of class features. Class features are what makes your class unique. They're the most important aspect.

Important thing to remember is you need at least 2 paths your class can take. If you can't expand your idea into two paths, then it's too narrow to be a class.

Lastly start on powers. Remember if its an implement power that targets AC it needs a +2 bonus to attack roll. Same for any at-will that doesn't do a damage die explicitly.

For instance, my process:

4e has no real minion-user. Necromancer is also overdue...Necromancer should be "I use minions to gain the upper hand on the battefield, as well as grant my allies bonuses and punish my enemies, all through curses and hexes."

-Minions, bonuses, benefits = Leader
-Leader is too beefy, let's give him Controller HP but keep him a leader
-Shadow power source, there's no shadow leader at the moment.
-Keep in line with him being fragile, Cloth, simple weapons
-Implements. Staffs and wands make sense. Let's reflavor the tomes as skulls and add some custom implements as well.
-Now, what would make a Necromancer unique from other leaders...summons!
-At-will summon, conjuration, let's make it a skeletal minion. At max you could have 3 if we make it minor (1/round), and that would limit you to only attacking with one of them per turn. Ergo, it will not be overpowered
-Summons are nice, but that's too flat. Let's give him curses too. We'll give him two paths. Call them Covens.
-One will focus on allowing minions to do more damage, the other will give curses harsher penalties.
-But now the curse Necro is super fragile..I know, we'll give him Shadow Walk, so that he gets an AC bonus for moving around. Therefore, balance is maintained.

Then I began examining at-wills, leader powers, etc...

2009-12-06, 03:54 PM
Although I have never played 4e I did find a post on the forums that sums up the last few posts pretty well. It went something like this:

Don't bother trying to create anything yourself, just mix and match our selection of bland, interchangeable, powers. Don't bother being creative when we've been creative for you.

Although I cannot say that it is true, it sums up my feelings about this "powers" system (or what I've seen of it from the quick start rules).

Zeta Kai
2009-12-06, 05:26 PM
It's been a while, but I think it was me that said that. I'll have to go confirm that, but it sounds like something that I would say.

BTW, if it was me, I still stand by it, & I have yet to be proven wrong in my assessment.

2009-12-06, 06:20 PM
Though i found them a little samy, i wasn't actually disappointed with 4e classes until i read the player's handbook 2.

There are a pair of primal classes in there back to back and their at wills and first three batches of powers were almost mechanically identical [i don't thing there was even a change, barring one at will until you hit the level 2 utilities].

On topic, i think you could probably just look up the mechanics used at any given level/regularity and write down the effects available, then pick four, rename them and give them interesting sounding descriptions.

That is unless you're looking to do something zany like Summoning or Wild Shape with the class [i can't actually think of anything more that's completely unique off hand] then i'm sure we could help but it may well be highly situationally unbalanced.

2009-12-06, 06:46 PM
Rather useful wall of text here

That's basically what I was doing was going through character concepts I wanted to be available for a full Final Fantasy setting, and so far, I've got the three.

The Dark Knight would be a divine defender, secondary striker as a counterpart to the paladin. Instead of divine challenges and healing allies, the dark knight would focus on damaging and cursing (not the warlock kind) enemies at the cost of his own HP. Some possibilities for class features include the following:
- Primary attributes: Strength, Constitution, Wisdom, all for fairly obvious reasons given a very tankish character with a divine background.
- The mark would be similar to the Paladin's mark. When the marked target would attack someone else, the Dark Knight can choose to discharge the mark in order to deal necrotic damage. Besides dealing slightly more damage and discharging the mark, the Dark Knight's mark differs from the Paladin's in not only that the Dark Knight can choose whether or not to discharge the mark. At the beginning of the Dark Knight's turn, as a free action, the Dark Knight can discharge one of his marks to make a special attack or to inflict a status condition such as weakened. This provides two possible strategies to the Dark Knight, either marking targets and discharging marks as soon as possible to deter attacks and cause damage regardless of the enemies actions, or to build up a series of marked enemies which would provide an advantage to later powers.
- Taking a nod from the FF class, the ability to sacrifice a portion of his life, via the Soul Eater attack, in order to deal a good deal of damage to all nearby enemies, probably Close Burst 2 at the cost of a healing surge, only usable a couple times a day.

The Dragoon would be a martial Striker, most often being trained or getting their powers from good (or at least on the same side as the dragoon) dragons and/or devoting their lives to slaying evil dragons.
- Primary attributes: Dexterity, Strength, and Charisma. The first two being both related to the Dragoon's acrobatics and leaps, Charisma for being associated with dragons.
- The trademark would be the Dragoon Jump mechanic, staying out of the fray for a whole round before crashing down on an opponent for extra damage.
- Has bonuses to athletics and acrobatics.
- Does not take falling damage. A situational but useful feature which helps explain the Dragoon Jump.

The Summoner would be an arcane controller, based off of the various summoners from FF.
- Something similar to the Beastmaster Ranger's Animal Companion, only in summon form. Should probably be easily dismissable and summonable.
- Can use the one-hit "blasts" known throughout early FF's through herself or her companion.
- Can use dailies to replace her current summoned companion with one of the big guns, such as Ifrit, Shiva, or at later levels, Odin or Bahamut.

These are just some of the ideas I'm playing around with.