A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
You can get A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2 now at Gumroad
Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 125
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Zombie

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Uppsala, Sweden
    Gender
    Male

    Default Base Classes that make no sense

    What are your opinions on the meaningfulness of the base classes in the PH? Some are fine but others, like the ranger (wilderness characters are allright, but why the supernatural powers? Isn't the scout a more logical core wilderness character?), the barbarian (all "primitive" warriors are raging Conan-types?) and the monk (Shaolin martial artist as a base archetype??) seem slightly silly to me. But that's just me I guess.

    My question: What do you think? Which base classes are justifiable as base archetypes and which ones should really be PrCs? Would you add any classes if you were a WotC-game designer?

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Hannes's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Tallinn, Estonia
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Base Classes that make no sense

    For Pete's sake, there clearly aren't enough base classes...
    Avatar by Threeshades

  3. - Top - End - #3

    Default Re: Base Classes that make no sense

    I think there are a lot of mistaken assumptions about what base classes are.

    Basically, they're collections of abilities. Like feat chains, except that you have to take them until the end or start new ones. They are NOT particular archetypes. Some of them are incredibly generic (Fighter, Rogue), whereas others are very narrow and could easily be represented by other classes (Barbarian could be a feat chain for the fighter; Ranger could be Fighter/Druid; Paladin could so easily be Fighter/Cleric).

    They're just collections of abilities. That's all. There's no criteria for how specific or general they can or should be.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Worcestershire, UK

    Default Re: Base Classes that make no sense

    EDIT: What Bears said, too!
    In my day [cue old-school gamer blog] we had only four classes: Cleric, Fighter, Magic-User, Thief. There were no Feats or Skills to make your Thief different to anyone else's - it all came down to role-playing and equipment. Count yourself lucky that the PHB has so many to choose from!

    I think that the d20 modern system of "classes" by Ability speciality may be the way forward - with bolt-on customisation through Feats to replicate the special abilities of classes, you can allow far more variation without ever having to resort to dozens of "core" classes.

    Ah - except that would require a lot of thought and work on the part of a gaming group. Obviously that would be impossible.
    Last edited by Altair_the_Vexed; 2007-01-19 at 07:39 AM. Reason: simu-posting with Bears

  5. - Top - End - #5

    Default Re: Base Classes that make no sense

    Ah, ah! Don't forget the "Elf" class!

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Zombie

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Uppsala, Sweden
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Base Classes that make no sense

    I agree with Altair. Ultra-generic classes with endless customizability is probably the way to go.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location

    Default Re: Base Classes that make no sense

    Bah, in my day we only had 3 classes, Fighting-Men, Magic-Users, and Clerics. Those pansy elven characters couldn't rise past 4th level and magic-users were to be feared because they could cast fireball at 3rd level.

    If they ever lived that long.

    Quote Originally Posted by Altair_the_Vexed View Post
    In my day [cue old-school gamer blog] we had only four classes: Cleric, Fighter, Magic-User, Thief. There were no Feats or Skills to make your Thief different to anyone else's - it all came down to role-playing and equipment. Count yourself lucky that the PHB has so many to choose from!

    I think that the d20 modern system of "classes" by Ability speciality may be the way forward - with bolt-on customisation through Feats to replicate the special abilities of classes, you can allow far more variation without ever having to resort to dozens of "core" classes.

    Ah - except that would require a lot of thought and work on the part of a gaming group. Obviously that would be impossible.
    Check out Red Box Fantasy a very modern and different take on retrogaming. http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/paigeoliver

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM

    Default Re: Base Classes that make no sense

    They did that, in a way, with the Generic classes in the UA. I don't know about modern, so I don't know how close that is to the Generics - but with only three 'base' classes and tons of feats to optimize with, i enjoy it more than every book adding another set of unique abilities to a game glutted with unique abilities.
    Trollbait extraordinaire

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Zombie

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Uppsala, Sweden
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Base Classes that make no sense

    Quote Originally Posted by Theodoxus View Post
    They did that, in a way, with the Generic classes in the UA. I don't know about modern, so I don't know how close that is to the Generics - but with only three 'base' classes and tons of feats to optimize with, i enjoy it more than every book adding another set of unique abilities to a game glutted with unique abilities.
    Except there weren't "tons" of feats, unfortunately. At least not in the UA.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Worcestershire, UK

    Default Re: Base Classes that make no sense

    Here's a worked example of d20 modern converted to Fantasy gaming.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Amon Star's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    England
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Base Classes that make no sense

    Quote Originally Posted by dead_but_dreaming View Post
    What are your opinions on the meaningfulness of the base classes in the PH? Some are fine but others, like the ranger (wilderness characters are allright, but why the supernatural powers? Isn't the scout a more logical core wilderness character?), the barbarian (all "primitive" warriors are raging Conan-types?) and the monk (Shaolin martial artist as a base archetype??) seem slightly silly to me. But that's just me I guess.

    My question: What do you think? Which base classes are justifiable as base archetypes and which ones should really be PrCs? Would you add any classes if you were a WotC-game designer?
    Agree completely with you about Ranger. Alot of what they can do is because of holdovers from earlier editions and things that don't fit all settings. For example, in Forgetten Realms ranger are like that. In mine I use the Prestige Ranger from UA and use Wilderness Rogue as a base class.

    I agree with you that all primitives shouldn't be ragers. However, I have no mechanical problem with the Barbarian class. So I changed the flavour by changing the name to Berserker and removing the illiteracy and "primitive" status, instead making them warriors that are possessed by battle-spirits.

    I have no problem with monks as I base class. Many Shaolins were trained from birth. However, in many settings the flavour just doesn't sit well with me, as there is no longical reason they would come about. Or if they did, why would they use Nunchaku when rice doesn't exist in that world. If they evolved in a Western culture surely Flail would be better?

    The base class that really bugs me, however, is Bard. Little things about it gets to me. For example, they're Arcane Casters, yet can heal. What's with that? Also, culturally, what do they represents. Medival wandering troubadours, Celtic Lorekeepers, or something else?
    Treasurer of the Fan Club. (And in desperate need of donations).

    A fan before it was cool.

    Probationary conscript of the Fan Club.

    78% of DM's started their first campaign in a tavern. If you're one of the 22% that didn't, copy and paste this into your signature.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location

    Default Re: Base Classes that make no sense

    In response to "classes are just collections of abilities". They aren't. A class is a shorthand way of telling the world about your character. We know roughly what a Fighter, a Ranger, a Druid or a Cleric will look like.

    "Generic classes plus customisation" is - IMO - the worst of all possible worlds. You have the pointless arbitrary nature of a class-and-level system, with none of the benefits of an archetypal character base.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Zombie

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Uppsala, Sweden
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Base Classes that make no sense

    Amon Star, I agree about the bard. They are magic users but still almost universlly considered scoundrels. I really enjoy the notion of a more "primal" spellcaster (that's what I think that bards should be), but why the trickster-thing?

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Zombie

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Uppsala, Sweden
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Base Classes that make no sense

    Dan_Hemmens: I think I agree with you to. Perhaps it should be either no classes or many classes.

  15. - Top - End - #15

    Default Re: Base Classes that make no sense

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan_Hemmens View Post
    In response to "classes are just collections of abilities". They aren't. A class is a shorthand way of telling the world about your character. We know roughly what a Fighter, a Ranger, a Druid or a Cleric will look like.
    No, it's not.

    Some classes are more specific, because their collections of abilities are more specific, than others. You know what a character with a certain ability set will look like. That doesn't make classes anything more than collections of abilities.
    You can't tell me what my fighter will look like. All you know is that he'll have a lot of feats.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Orzel's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    BROOKLYN!!
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Base Classes that make no sense

    It's less that the base classes make no sense and more that they only make sense in certain settings.

    In the setting I'm currently playing in, classes are "levels" of "education". Because of this feature heavy classes like rangers, bard druids, paladins, and monks make lttle sense. Most of the features of these classes were stripped of and "3.5 rangerized" (givens styles). The class would keep the "required courses" and have options on what electives they want. Rangers, for example, keeped FEs, evasion, and their wilderness features (all buffed up). Rangers then had ranged, TWF, animal companions, rogue feats, and spellcasting as electives and chose any 3.

    This feels like a good way to make classes fit into more settings. Each class keeps their main features and then choose their tweaking options. DMs can add and delete options as they wish. Players can make sensable characters. WoTC can srew out books with additional option for money. Everyone wins. "Generic classes plus customisation" is boring. You'll lose the archtypes and gain nothing in return mentally.
    Gitp's No. 1 Rarity fan and Cake hater
    On Vacation until Aug 7th.
    Spell currently researching: Explosive Pie.
    Weapon currently crafting: +1 cakebane kris

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Ramza00's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location

    Default Re: Base Classes that make no sense

    Quote Originally Posted by Bears With Lasers View Post
    I think there are a lot of mistaken assumptions about what base classes are.

    Basically, they're collections of abilities. Like feat chains, except that you have to take them until the end or start new ones. They are NOT particular archetypes. Some of them are incredibly generic (Fighter, Rogue), whereas others are very narrow and could easily be represented by other classes (Barbarian could be a feat chain for the fighter; Ranger could be Fighter/Druid; Paladin could so easily be Fighter/Cleric).

    They're just collections of abilities. That's all. There's no criteria for how specific or general they can or should be.
    Now a days it may be like that, but it wasn't that originally in the old old days of D&D, then the classes were archetype, but from the progression to D&D to AD&D to 2.x to 3.0 to 3.5 base classes have become more about mechanics and less about archetypes. I am glad for this, it makes the rules of mechanics simpler and more consistent while not stopping roleplaying.
    Last edited by Ramza00; 2007-01-19 at 09:30 AM.
    Stupendous Man drawn by Linklele

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location

    Default Re: Base Classes that make no sense

    Quote Originally Posted by Bears With Lasers View Post
    Some classes are more specific, because their collections of abilities are more specific, than others. You know what a character with a certain ability set will look like. That doesn't make classes anything more than collections of abilities.
    You can't tell me what my fighter will look like. All you know is that he'll have a lot of feats.
    A fighter will be heavily armed and (unless his player is deliberately nerfing his character) heavily armouered. He will probably fight with a double-handed or reach weapon, dual wielding is best left to the rangers. He will have limited social skills, relying largely on his combat abilities to see him through.

    If what you wanted was a list of abilities, you could just use a pure points-buy system. The point of a class is that it will give you a particular *type* of character.

  19. - Top - End - #19

    Default Re: Base Classes that make no sense

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan_Hemmens View Post
    A fighter will be heavily armed and (unless his player is deliberately nerfing his character) heavily armouered. He will probably fight with a double-handed or reach weapon, dual wielding is best left to the rangers. He will have limited social skills, relying largely on his combat abilities to see him through.
    Oh. See, I was thinking of a lightly-armored Fighter with high dex and a bow, who cross-classes Sense Motive, Knowledge Nobility, Bluff, and Diplomacy, getting an entirely tolerable Diplomacy modifier through +6 synergy, cross-classed ranks, and a good Charisma score.
    I guess you can't tell me about my fighter just from knowing his class.

    If what you wanted was a list of abilities, you could just use a pure points-buy system. The point of a class is that it will give you a particular *type* of character.
    I could, yes. But then it wouldn't really be D&D. Lots of classes is somewhere in between strict archetypes and point-buy; however, classes clearly don't give you a particular type of character, since, say, a Fighter or a Rogue could turn out any one of dozens of different ways. The only things they'll have in common are...yep, their class abilities.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    MrNexx's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Houston, TX, USA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Base Classes that make no sense

    Quote Originally Posted by Amon Star View Post
    The base class that really bugs me, however, is Bard. Little things about it gets to me. For example, they're Arcane Casters, yet can heal. What's with that?
    Why does it bother you more that they're arcane casters that can heal, than that arcane casters cannot heal?
    The Cranky Gamer
    Nexx's Hello
    *It isn't realism, it's verisimilitude; the appearance of truth within the framework of the game.
    *"I" is an English pronoun in the nominative case of first person singular. It does not indicate the actions or writings of anyone but the first person, singular.
    *Tataurus, you have three halves as well as a race that doesn't breed. -UglyPanda
    *LVDO ERGO SVM

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Banned
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Finland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Base Classes that make no sense

    Quote Originally Posted by dead_but_dreaming View Post
    I agree with Altair. Ultra-generic classes with endless customizability is probably the way to go.
    No, skill-based systems with even more freedom of choice are the way to go.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bears With Lasers View Post
    Oh. See, I was thinking of a lightly-armored Fighter with high dex and a bow, who cross-classes Sense Motive, Knowledge Nobility, Bluff, and Diplomacy, getting an entirely tolerable Diplomacy modifier through +6 synergy, cross-classed ranks, and a good Charisma score.
    I guess you can't tell me about my fighter just from knowing his class.
    You freak. I was thinking of a Fighter with Unarmed Strike, Improved Grapple, and armor spikes, high Strength and Constitution, going into the Reaping Mauler prestige class and taking a level of Barbarian for the rage.

    Or a Fighter multiclassing Swashbuckler and Duellist, wearing no armor, wielding a rapier with Weapon Finesse, and having a much better AC than any heavily-armored character...
    Last edited by Thomas; 2007-01-19 at 09:59 AM.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Orc in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    St. Louis (used to be Utah)

    Default Re: Base Classes that make no sense

    I like the base classes in the PHB and look forward to more with every expansion book. I also agree with bears that they are generally just preset chains of feats and abilities that people can choose from. But that is what is great about them it lends itself to multi-classing and prestige classes and that is the greatest addition to the game from earlier additions. Yes I think earlier editions of the game were more about playing archetypes but then games like final fantasy for example came out where you got to mix and match skills and change jobs this created a customized character unique to you. So the new version of DnD is less about archetypes and more about creating the character you want to play.
    Some people are like Slinkies. Not really good for
    anything, but you still can't help but smile when
    you see one tumble down the stairs.

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Person_Man's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Base Classes that make no sense

    I've observed that for younger/newer D&D gamers, class = personality. They decide "I want to play someone like Aragorn." Aragorn is a Ranger. So they pick the Ranger class. And for them, playing a Ranger means being an archtype. If they want to play a different archtype, they play a different class.

    But as most gamers play more D&D, they realize that they could have built their Aragorn like character dozens of different ways. Maybe their take on a Ranger doesn't have spells or an animal companion. Maybe his abilities are more like a Fighter with certain feats. Maybe he's a Marshal who excels at leading men (and adds his Cha bonus to Dex checks). Who knows.

    The point is, you can build your class however you want, and then roleplay his character. And unless there's some built in alignment restriction in the class, you can roleplay that character almost any way you want to. I've even seen some very counter-intuitive builds (a buffed Wizard who acted as frontline melee types and called himself a fighter when people asked what he did, a Paladin with high Int, light armor, and the right feats and Skills selection, that lead a commando squad called "The Rangers."

    But for some players, class will always = the fluff associated with it. And that's fine. But don't expect everyone else to agree with your take on what a Ranger is.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Brazil
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Base Classes that make no sense

    A company here tried a 3-basic classes thing... it looked awful... I should try to get me a copy of UA.

    Member of the Hinjo fan club. Go Hinjo!
    "In Soviet Russia, the Darkness attacks you."
    "Rogues not only have a lot more skill points, but sneak attack is so good it hurts..."

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Telonius's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Wandering in Harrekh
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Base Classes that make no sense

    Of the base classes in the PHB, Paladin is the one that makes the least sense to me. Trying to be a Cleric and a Fighter, but weaker than one, the other, or a combination of the two. I think that its iconic niche (honorable knight in shining armor) is filled better, flavor-wise, by the Knight base class. Even a lawful Good aligned Fighter or War Cleric would do the job better.

    Bard started out as a prestige class, but became its own class. I really like the flavor of it (wandering minstrel, keeper of lore, jack of all trades). There's quite a few fantasy worlds where they were created through music, Middle Earth being one of them, so it makes sense that there would be people trying to get back to that original song. Doesn't make sense in every setting, but there's almost always some god that's related to song and storytelling. What bothers me about the bard is that it's mechanically inferior to any of the other base classes in the PHB.

    I think the Ranger's mechanical problem is that the spells they get aren't very useful by the time they get them. The flavor problem is that it doesn't really make sense to their archetype to get spells in the first place.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Golthur's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    The Frostfells of Canada
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Base Classes that make no sense

    I'm a "fewer, more generic classes" guy. My ideal system would probably be a skill-based classless system (although I'm aware of the balancing issues there).

    As is, I use a heavily tweaked version of the UA generic classes - with more "build your own" mashed into them.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Glyde's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2005

    Default Re: Base Classes that make no sense

    Quote Originally Posted by Hannes View Post
    For Pete's sake, there clearly aren't enough base classes...
    I'm working on an engineer base class in a homebrew game with my DM. Still in the process of figuring out abilities and such, but I think it'll be pretty interesting.

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Zombie

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Uppsala, Sweden
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Base Classes that make no sense

    Golthur: I think you said something about this in my "Skill based magic system?"-thread, but why don't you elaborate?

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location

    Default Re: Base Classes that make no sense

    Quote Originally Posted by Glyde View Post
    I'm working on an engineer base class in a homebrew game with my DM. Still in the process of figuring out abilities and such, but I think it'll be pretty interesting.
    As fun as homebrewing is, save yourself some time and go with the Artificer out of Ebberon.

  30. - Top - End - #30

    Default Re: Base Classes that make no sense

    But, uh, be careful. It's only the most powerful class in the game, CoDzilla included.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •