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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Orc in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Tricks 4th Ed missed (mostly relating to PCs)

    For all it's strengths and flaws, there's a few things I feel they should have done within it's 4th ed-ness...

    Spread the Roles better among the stats. For example, when Wardens came out there was no need for another strength based defender. Them and Battleminds could easily have Con and Wis as main stats. Monks could be based off Wis or Con to have less dex based strikers and allow striking using a different stat

    Make monks feel Psionic or have them not be psionic. Every other psionic class uses power points instead of encounter powers.
    On a related note, having some more commonality in how the other power sources feel would have been good. Maybe all the divine classes have the same or similar Domain effects, while all primal classes have beastform powers (like the Warden and druid). I'm not asking for a more cookie cutter approach, just a little more to make the power source feel like it matters. A rogue should feel more similar to a fighter than it does to a Warden.

    The spread of source and role is pretty good. But no there's martial controller and they could easily have made vampires be leaders or controllers instead of doubling up strikers in shadow
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    Default Re: Tricks 4th Ed missed (mostly relating to PCs)

    Quote Originally Posted by Duff View Post
    On a related note, having some more commonality in how the other power sources feel would have been good. Maybe all the divine classes have the same or similar Domain effects, while all primal classes have beastform powers (like the Warden and druid). I'm not asking for a more cookie cutter approach, just a little more to make the power source feel like it matters. A rogue should feel more similar to a fighter than it does to a Warden.
    All Divine Classes have Channel Divinity, do they not? That's exactly what you're asking for, and it was done.

    If Warden's transformations are satisfactory, why are the Barbarian's not? Their partial transformations are similar. I was quite satisfied with the Shaman, actually. The way their spirit interacts with their powers was different and unique. Seeker was the only unsatisfactory Primal class, and that was for a multitude of reasons.

    Monk got folded into Psionics really because the Ki power source was getting shoehorned into being the "Asian" power source, and WotC wanted to avoid that. But the distinction between Ki and Psionic is largely cosmetic, so they made it a Psionic class.

    If any power source is guilty of not having a clear identity, it's Arcane. They don't all have spellbooks to swap Dailies like Wizards, they don't have consistent implements they use, almost nothing is consistent. Even basing Arcane powers exclusively off INT or CHA is offset by CON-locks. That whole power source is a giant grab-bag of "whatever, make it Arcane".

    Quote Originally Posted by Duff View Post
    The spread of source and role is pretty good. But no there's martial controller and they could easily have made vampires be leaders or controllers instead of doubling up strikers in shadow
    Given that the controller has the job of "consistent AoE", "inflicting status effects", and "creating terrain effects", Martial was the one power source that made that difficult. Even the homebrew attempts could never really duplicate the role well.

    Shadow was a mess, honestly. The Binder Warlock isn't great (except for cherry-picking Controller powers for the Core Warlock), the Blackguard is sub-par (but gets credit for being a Striker in Heavy Armor, of which the Slayer Fighter is the only other), and the Vampire just sucks (pun intended). Shadow was always sort of intended to be the "dark" power source. No one really expected a Shadow Leader, for example, even though you suggested Vampire as one. How would that even work? Vampires healing and buffing others doesn't resonate with any fantasy themes or tropes.
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    Default Re: Tricks 4th Ed missed (mostly relating to PCs)

    Quote Originally Posted by RedMage125 View Post
    Given that the controller has the job of "consistent AoE", "inflicting status effects", and "creating terrain effects", Martial was the one power source that made that difficult. Even the homebrew attempts could never really duplicate the role well.
    I'm not that well-versed at 4e, but a Martial controller doesn't sound too hard. Two concepts easily come to mind — a Tinker who throws all sorts of bombs, nets, caltrops, poisoned darts, etc, or some sort of Weaponmaster, who can stab their sword into the ground and have blades come up around them (or smash the ground with an axe/mace in a controlled fissure type of thing), maim and blind people with weapon attacks.

    Quote Originally Posted by RedMage125 View Post
    No one really expected a Shadow Leader, for example, even though you suggested Vampire as one. How would that even work? Vampires healing and buffing others doesn't resonate with any fantasy themes or tropes.
    Works perfectly fine. Inspire people with your unnatural charm and presence, mind control them into feeling no pain, etc. Vampire thralls usually do tend to ignore pain and fight frenziedly at their masters' behest. Not your usual flavour of "friendly support", but what'd you expect from a vampire?
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    Default Re: Tricks 4th Ed missed (mostly relating to PCs)

    I'll definitely second that having a stronger power source identity would have helped tremendously with flavor. Divine and Psionic (sans monk) have it somewhat with Channel Divinity and Augment, but Arcane, Martial, and Primal don't really have much holding them together. With Martial, you might do this through a stance system. I think with Primal, you might try to emphasize their connection to spirits by manifesting spirit allies who channel their powers. I could envision a witch class that has a familiar spirit ally similar to the shaman which can act as the source location for their powers; their implement powers would usually be short range (Range 5), but they would have two squares that they can use as the origin location.

    Another way to help give each power source identity might be to have a pool of powers that are shared for that power source and then each class gets a smaller set of class-specific powers which generally interact with their specific class features.

    Having stronger equipment identity would also be nice. There are a lot of weapons that are the same in both damage and properties, so they don't play any different unless you are a fighter (where it affects your power selection), a rogue (who are proficient with only some of them), or you take the one paragon tier feat that gives you one new ability. I guess it does affect which magic weapon special properties you can get, but half of them apply to all weapons anyway.

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    Default Re: Tricks 4th Ed missed (mostly relating to PCs)

    I feel like the controller role suffered from wizards being the only controller in the PHB. As well as the wizard being a mix of being a controller and the kitchen sink style of the older editions' wizard. The result was that it wasn't terribly clear on what the role is supposed to do and what the common thread is supposed to be.
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    Default Re: Tricks 4th Ed missed (mostly relating to PCs)

    The thing about going down this route is it becomes grid filling for the sake of grid filling. I happen to like the more subtle connections between classes that share a power source. Martial classes not having a dedicated controller is part of what gives them an identity.

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    Default Re: Tricks 4th Ed missed (mostly relating to PCs)

    Quote Originally Posted by NomGarret View Post
    The thing about going down this route is it becomes grid filling for the sake of grid filling.
    I agree. The one thing 4E does not need, is more classes.
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    Default Re: Tricks 4th Ed missed (mostly relating to PCs)

    In the sense of "They wrote 'Martial' and 'Controller' in the description," Hunter is your Martial Controller. Granted, it's power source is Martial and Primal, but Martial is still there. Of course, if you're going by how they actually play, then Fighter is your Martial Controller.

    I kinda think I would like to see more classes for 4e, but I kinda feel it's just for a want of seeing more content for 4e overall. I know it has ran its course and isn't getting anything new, but you get more fun out of "getting new stuff" over "not getting new stuff," at least most of the time. Seeing new options that haven't been explored before sounds exciting, at least on paper. But everything new has to bring its own new mechanics (unless they want to just reflavor an existing class, in which case... just... reflavor an existing class), and sooner or later that'll end up wrecking the mechanics that balance the combat system. And for better or worse, 4e values its combat system.
    "Okay, so I'm going to quick draw and dual wield these one-pound caltrops as improvised weapons..."
    ---
    "Oh, hey, look! Blue Eyes Black Lotus!" "Wait what, do you sacrifice a mana to the... Does it like, summon a... What would that card even do!?" "Oh, it's got a four-energy attack. Completely unviable in actual play, so don't worry about it."

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    Default Re: Tricks 4th Ed missed (mostly relating to PCs)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ignimortis View Post
    I'm not that well-versed at 4e, but a Martial controller doesn't sound too hard. Two concepts easily come to mind — a Tinker who throws all sorts of bombs, nets, caltrops, poisoned darts, etc, or some sort of Weaponmaster, who can stab their sword into the ground and have blades come up around them (or smash the ground with an axe/mace in a controlled fissure type of thing), maim and blind people with weapon attacks.
    Too focused on equipment which may be limited in supply. And stabbing a sword into the ground and having blades come up is magical and defeats the purpose of a "Martial" controller.

    It was mentioned that the Fighter kind of is a controller. All Defenders are short-range Controllers in their own way.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ignimortis View Post
    Works perfectly fine. Inspire people with your unnatural charm and presence, mind control them into feeling no pain, etc. Vampire thralls usually do tend to ignore pain and fight frenziedly at their masters' behest. Not your usual flavour of "friendly support", but what'd you expect from a vampire?
    You missed the point of what you responded to. That kind of thing does not resonate with any fantasy themes or tropes about vampires. that's it.

    Quote Originally Posted by NomGarret View Post
    The thing about going down this route is it becomes grid filling for the sake of grid filling. I happen to like the more subtle connections between classes that share a power source. Martial classes not having a dedicated controller is part of what gives them an identity.
    Exactly.
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    Default Re: Tricks 4th Ed missed (mostly relating to PCs)

    Quote Originally Posted by OracleofWuffing View Post
    In the sense of "They wrote 'Martial' and 'Controller' in the description," Hunter is your Martial Controller. Granted, it's power source is Martial and Primal, but Martial is still there. Of course, if you're going by how they actually play, then Fighter is your Martial Controller.
    Which I think loops back to "so what does a Controller do, really?".
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    Default Re: Tricks 4th Ed missed (mostly relating to PCs)

    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    Which I think loops back to "so what does a Controller do, really?".
    Basically controllers do two things: area effect debuffs, and putting things on the battlefield (i.e. zone/wall/summon powers). And damage, of course, but then every class does damage.

    This definition has the advantage of making a clear distinction between controllers and defenders, too.
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    Default Re: Tricks 4th Ed missed (mostly relating to PCs)

    Quote Originally Posted by OracleofWuffing View Post
    But everything new has to bring its own new mechanics (unless they want to just reflavor an existing class, in which case... just... reflavor an existing class), and sooner or later that'll end up wrecking the mechanics that balance the combat system. And for better or worse, 4e values its combat system.
    Basically that; in a tactially-oriented game like 4E, every class has to mechanically bring something new to the table. Otherwise you can just take an older class and refluff.

    And having good mechanical ideas becomes harder when several exist already; newer mechanics eventually become ineffective, convoluted, or both. You can tell from the fact that early classes are (vastly) more popular overall than later-printed classes. This is not the only reason, but it's a factor.

    For instance, defenders. Mark on every hit (fighter) plays markedly (heh) differently from mark as minor then engage (paladin) or mark as minor then attack something else (swordmage). The warden starts to struggle here, as marking all adjacent for free doesn't really play all that differently from fighter or paladin. Battlemind really struggles to mechanically distinguish himself, until he gets Lightning Rush (L7); and basically no feasible defenders were printed after that.

    Likewise, dual attacks (ranger) plays strikingly different from sneak attack (rogue) and slowly spreading your curse around (warlock). The sorcerer's always-on damage boost isn't a tactical consideration, but it makes up for it with area attacks. Monk's striker ability is tactical but pretty complicated compared to the other strikers, and pretty much all of the other strikers fail to be tactically different enough.

    All in all, when many options exist already, it becomes hard for new options to mechanically engage players. They should have borrowed some people from the MtG team, who have tons of experience with just that.
    Last edited by Kurald Galain; 2021-01-02 at 07:42 AM.
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    Default Re: Tricks 4th Ed missed (mostly relating to PCs)

    Quote Originally Posted by RedMage125 View Post
    Shadow was a mess, honestly. The Binder Warlock isn't great (except for cherry-picking Controller powers for the Core Warlock), the Blackguard is sub-par (but gets credit for being a Striker in Heavy Armor, of which the Slayer Fighter is the only other), and the Vampire just sucks (pun intended). Shadow was always sort of intended to be the "dark" power source. No one really expected a Shadow Leader, for example, even though you suggested Vampire as one. How would that even work? Vampires healing and buffing others doesn't resonate with any fantasy themes or tropes.
    A vampire as a leader sounds pretty awesome to me. The Salubri clan from World of Darkness is an example of healing vampires. And leading through domination just sounds wickedly cool. A bit difficult to pull off, admittedly, but wow. And I can imagine how they'd buff: through their own blood. Just as humans become stronger after ingesting vampire blood.

    The lore is there. It would certainly be difficult, but this already sounds far better than the vampire class we ended up with.
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    Default Re: Tricks 4th Ed missed (mostly relating to PCs)

    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    Which I think loops back to "so what does a Controller do, really?".
    Controllers reshape battlefield conditions to disrupt enemy strategies. Defenders have some elements of this but they tend to act more on a tactical level.

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    Default Re: Tricks 4th Ed missed (mostly relating to PCs)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    Basically controllers do two things: area effect debuffs, and putting things on the battlefield (i.e. zone/wall/summon powers). And damage, of course, but then every class does damage.

    This definition has the advantage of making a clear distinction between controllers and defenders, too.
    Quote Originally Posted by tiornys View Post
    Controllers reshape battlefield conditions to disrupt enemy strategies. Defenders have some elements of this but they tend to act more on a tactical level.
    It's been a while since I played 4E, and I didn't play it long then, but does the wizard really get it across? I remember a lot of AoE damage, not much in terms of debuffs or putting things on the battlefield.
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    Default Re: Tricks 4th Ed missed (mostly relating to PCs)

    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    It's been a while since I played 4E, and I didn't play it long then, but does the wizard really get it across? I remember a lot of AoE damage, not much in terms of debuffs or putting things on the battlefield.
    Current wizard easily does this. But yes, even the original PHB wizard does this, although it has plenty of powers that are sub-par. I think it's important to recognize that AoE damage is a controller tool (as long as the damage level is significant) because it discourages and/or punishes tight formations; with no threat of AoE attacks wouldn't you typically keep everyone close together?

    Here's a quick look at control offered by PHB powers, skipping over weaker effects. Note that most of the control powers also offer pretty good damage.
    At-will: ranged AoE damage, AoE forced movement and single target slow.
    E1: big AoE damage, AoE Prone+difficult terrain, single target weaken
    D1: movable ball of AoE pain, big AoE slow/unconsciousness
    E3: big AoE daze, 2 target immobilize, big AoE damage
    D5: big AoE sight-blocking high damage zone (nerfed in later errata), big AoE difficult terrain+repeated immobilization
    E7: big AoE damage+obscurement zone, single target forced move+prone
    D9: huge AoE immobilize+difficult terrain, high damage wall that blocks sight and greatly hinders movement
    E13: big AoE and difficult terrain, 3 target immobilize, big AoE forced movement, big AoE blind
    D15: big AoE immobilize, big AoE high damage+daze (nerfed in later errata), long wall that blocks sight and movement+decent damage
    E17: big AoE immobilize+super-difficult terrain zone, 3 target daze
    D19: massive AoE immobilize+difficult terrain+repeat attacks (somewhat nerfed in later errata)
    E23: huge AoE damage+heavy obscurement
    D25: single target remove from play, huge AoE damage+other effects zone, big AoE high damage + stun (nerfed in later errata), huge AoE repeat immobilize+damage
    E27: 404 error
    D29: battlefield wide enemy stun (nerfed in later errata)

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    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Tricks 4th Ed missed (mostly relating to PCs)

    Quote Originally Posted by RedMage125 View Post
    Too focused on equipment which may be limited in supply. And stabbing a sword into the ground and having blades come up is magical and defeats the purpose of a "Martial" controller.
    The tinker being equipment focused seems like it shouldn't be an issue - just assume they make the equipment in the same way the Artifacer class or trapsmith and alchemist backgrounds did
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    Default Re: Tricks 4th Ed missed (mostly relating to PCs)

    Quote Originally Posted by RedMage125 View Post
    All Divine Classes have Channel Divinity, do they not? That's exactly what you're asking for, and it was done.
    Thanks, I'd fogotten about that

    Quote Originally Posted by RedMage125 View Post
    If Warden's transformations are satisfactory, why are the Barbarian's not? Their partial transformations are similar. I was quite satisfied with the Shaman, actually. The way their spirit interacts with their powers was different and unique. Seeker was the only unsatisfactory Primal class, and that was for a multitude of reasons.
    The partial shapechange would be a good theme to tie the classes together. Having that on a range of powers which may or may not be taken, then having it be a main theme for 1/3 styles of druid and not at all a thing for seekers weakens those ties. And I agree, this is only one of a range of problems with seekers.
    I'd like to see the change as a class feature, or maybe at least, all the level 1 dailies include a partial change for each class. Or maybe a daily utility - partial change for a stat boost, a movement effect (+ speed, burrow, climb, swim, glide etc) and an attack option
    EG "Wings of the soaring eagle" - Until the end of this turn, add 2 to your dex, you may glide up to 40' as long as you descend one square for every 2 ypou move across, if you reach the ground before your turn ends you may automatically land safely. You may make an at will attack during this turn "Talons of the eagle" - then give the power for the attack

    Quote Originally Posted by RedMage125 View Post
    Monk got folded into Psionics really because the Ki power source was getting shoehorned into being the "Asian" power source, and WotC wanted to avoid that. But the distinction between Ki and Psionic is largely cosmetic, so they made it a Psionic class.
    I think I understand the production decisions that led to it - they had a Monk ready to go and realised they didn't want to do a full "Ki" powersource, but had a space for a psionic striker. So they shoved the round peg into the oval hole.
    That does still put it firmly in the "missed trick" box

    Quote Originally Posted by RedMage125 View Post
    If any power source is guilty of not having a clear identity, it's Arcane. They don't all have spellbooks to swap Dailies like Wizards, they don't have consistent implements they use, almost nothing is consistent. Even basing Arcane powers exclusively off INT or CHA is offset by CON-locks. That whole power source is a giant grab-bag of "whatever, make it Arcane".
    Fair comment.
    And there's so many things they could have done - The wizard's cantrips could be shared around the others. Or "metamagic" which could be as similar as you want to psionics. Or have them be the only ones who really want/need to make a choice about implements.

    Quote Originally Posted by RedMage125 View Post
    Given that the controller has the job of "consistent AoE", "inflicting status effects", and "creating terrain effects", Martial was the one power source that made that difficult. Even the homebrew attempts could never really duplicatethe role well.
    I'm guessing they decided it was too hard. They probably tried some things but never got anything they were really happy with. But really, hunters are less controlling strikers than warlocks, so I don't buy them as controllers, even with a" /striker". They're strikers. They feel pretty marshal though, I'll give them that at least.

    Quote Originally Posted by RedMage125 View Post
    Shadow was a mess, honestly. The Binder Warlock isn't great (except for cherry-picking Controller powers for the Core Warlock), the Blackguard is sub-par (but gets credit for being a Striker in Heavy Armor, of which the Slayer Fighter is the only other), and the Vampire just sucks (pun intended). Shadow was always sort of intended to be the "dark" power source. No one really expected a Shadow Leader, for example, even though you suggested Vampire as one. How would that even work? Vampires healing and buffing others doesn't resonate with any fantasy themes or tropes.
    I'm thinking of the leader type vampire as a Dracula type figure. Sure, at least in the Vampire's mind, the other PCs are their "minions" and everything the minions do is [Puts on best bad Transylvanian accent] "According to my plans". Different tables will RP this as seriusly as they want, from grimdark, to high ham


    Quote Originally Posted by Jaeda View Post
    With Martial, you might do this through a stance system. I think with Primal, you might try to emphasize their connection to spirits by manifesting spirit allies who channel their powers. I could envision a witch class that has a familiar spirit ally similar to the shaman which can act as the source location for their powers; their implement powers would usually be short range (Range 5), but they would have two squares that they can use as the origin location.

    Another way to help give each power source identity might be to have a pool of powers [snip]
    I like the idea of martial stances as a theme for these ones. Maybe all your 1st level dailies are stances, then you have a level later on where you get "Encounter stances". Maybe allow a feat to get you a stance from another class without having to multiclass first and then it feels more like something you just learn how to do
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    Default Re: Tricks 4th Ed missed (mostly relating to PCs)

    Quote Originally Posted by Duff View Post
    I like the idea of martial stances as a theme for these ones. Maybe all your 1st level dailies are stances, then you have a level later on where you get "Encounter stances". Maybe allow a feat to get you a stance from another class without having to multiclass first and then it feels more like something you just learn how to do
    You're onto something, but encounter powers with the stance keyword are really hard to distinguish from a class feature that denies you an action but grants you another benefit constantly. Something I like that an existing martial class already interacts with (the warlord) is action points, though; I think an encounter attack power that gains the stance keyword if an action point expenditure was involved would have some legs. That way it comes back around with some sort of frequency without just being a static benefit.
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    Default Re: Tricks 4th Ed missed (mostly relating to PCs)

    Quote Originally Posted by Duff View Post
    Thanks, I'd fogotten about that
    It's okay.

    Quote Originally Posted by Duff View Post
    The partial shapechange would be a good theme to tie the classes together. Having that on a range of powers which may or may not be taken, then having it be a main theme for 1/3 styles of druid and not at all a thing for seekers weakens those ties. And I agree, this is only one of a range of problems with seekers.
    I'd like to see the change as a class feature, or maybe at least, all the level 1 dailies include a partial change for each class. Or maybe a daily utility - partial change for a stat boost, a movement effect (+ speed, burrow, climb, swim, glide etc) and an attack option
    EG "Wings of the soaring eagle" - Until the end of this turn, add 2 to your dex, you may glide up to 40' as long as you descend one square for every 2 ypou move across, if you reach the ground before your turn ends you may automatically land safely. You may make an at will attack during this turn "Talons of the eagle" - then give the power for the attack
    Again, aside from the Seeker (which is a subpar class in and of itself), only the Shaman does not follow this. But the Shaman is less "control Primal Spirits" (Druid/Warden) or "invite Primal spirits into their own body" (Barbarian), and is, instead "speak with Primal spirits". Shamans are more spirit focused than any of the other primal classes. Druids and Wardens bend spirits' power to their will.
    Barbarians invite them to possess them. But spirits do what a Shaman asks. They don't need transformation because their powers are purely spirit, unlike the others.

    Quote Originally Posted by Duff View Post
    I think I understand the production decisions that led to it - they had a Monk ready to go and realised they didn't want to do a full "Ki" powersource, but had a space for a psionic striker. So they shoved the round peg into the oval hole.
    That does still put it firmly in the "missed trick" box
    And I see what you're saying, but the Monk's mechanics are solid, unique, and fun.

    And more's the point, consider the following: "Members of this class use meditation, training, and discipline, to harness an internal wellspring of energy. They can use this energy to accomplish fantastic supernatural abilities."

    Did I just describe Monk or Psion?

    Quite clearly, both. Monks fit into the Psionic Power source, but have no need of power points, because they manifest all their psionic power into the physical world through their own bodies.
    Quote Originally Posted by Duff View Post
    Fair comment.
    And there's so many things they could have done - The wizard's cantrips could be shared around the others. Or "metamagic" which could be as similar as you want to psionics. Or have them be the only ones who really want/need to make a choice about implements.
    There's not even really any kind of consistency with Arcane Implements, either. Wands, Staves, Rods, Orbs, Tomes, Daggers, Heavy Blades, Light Blades, Musical Instruments...did I miss any?

    But I agree, having cantrips would have been a nice tie between Arcane classes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Duff View Post
    I'm thinking of the leader type vampire as a Dracula type figure. Sure, at least in the Vampire's mind, the other PCs are their "minions" and everything the minions do is [Puts on best bad Transylvanian accent] "According to my plans". Different tables will RP this as seriusly as they want, from grimdark, to high ham
    Look, vampire obviously had a lot of problems making into a playable concept. Do you make it a race or a class? Making Vampire a race would allow for Vampire Wizards/Fighters/Rogues/etc, but would prevent elf/dwarf/halfling/etc vampires. The assumption there is that the transition to vampirism is so traumatic that it overrides one's own racial characteristics. Which certainly make a kind of sense, after all, you could describe your character as looking like an elf or a dwarf, but what about Small races?* But making Vampire a class allows for elf/dwarf/halfling/etc Vampires, but no Rogues/mages/clerics. The assumption there is that this character has truly embraced their vampiric nature, and has abandoned any previous skill set (assuming they were anything but a commoner or something), in favor of learning to control their new vampiric powers. It's clear which they went with, but that, I think was the plan. And given that, and given the nature of vampiric powers through the history of D&D, only two possible class roles really fit...Striker and Controller. And Controller, only for the power of domination, charm, persuasion, and power over creatures of the night, or mist, etc. And AoE damage would be difficult to do without making every vampire some kind of "blood mage". So Striker was probably the best choice, although the mechanics they went with were...disappointing.

    *Although this could have been done like they did Revnants, where they pick Vampire as a race, but also select a base race that they share some traits with.
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    Default Re: Tricks 4th Ed missed (mostly relating to PCs)

    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    It's been a while since I played 4E, and I didn't play it long then, but does the wizard really get it across? I remember a lot of AoE damage, not much in terms of debuffs or putting things on the battlefield.
    Yes; the wizard has sufficient AOE debuffs that you can build one where all of his powers are AOE debuffs.

    PHB1 doesn't have summons yet, but once summons were printed the wizard arguably became the best summoner in the books. And it's certainly the class with the most zone- and wall-powers; it even has an at-will one-square-wall.

    Quote Originally Posted by RedMage125 View Post
    If any power source is guilty of not having a clear identity, it's Arcane. They don't all have spellbooks to swap Dailies like Wizards, they don't have consistent implements they use, almost nothing is consistent. Even basing Arcane powers exclusively off INT or CHA is offset by CON-locks. That whole power source is a giant grab-bag of "whatever, make it Arcane".
    That's a fair point about Arcane. But I would argue that Martial is also wildly inconsistent (the overarching theme appears to be "doing slightly more damage than non-martial but we haven't done the math to verify this"). Martial comes with a ton of powers that appear magical but are nonmagic "because we say so"; such as the fighter's Come And Get It, the rogue's Blinding Barrage, or the warlord's Inspiring Word.

    Psionic power source is a mess because of the monk (which is a shoe-in for martial, really), but also the battlemind has no real reason to exist (and doesn't appear to exist in any other D&D'esque games, either). But it is good that the psionics get a different mechanic that other classes don't.

    The issue with Primal is how shapeshifting is implemented. Basically, the warden and barbarian get specific shapes effects with specific benefits, whereas the druid can take whatever shape he pleases but doing so makes zero mechanical difference. This could have been done more consistently. And the ranger should have been an obvious shoe-in for Primal, whereas the seeker doesn't really belong here.

    Divine is actually the most clearly-defined of the bunch, with its channel divinity powers, focus on radiant damage, and ally-friendly powers. The issue here is that radiant is inconsistent, because it gets used for holy damage (with divine classes), eldritch beyond-the-stars abilities (warlock), and light-based illusions (wizard); and it makes no sense to group these three together (or e.g. making the latter two a weakness of undead).

    And Shadow has not enough classes to even be a power source.

    Quote Originally Posted by RedMage125 View Post
    There's not even really any kind of consistency with Arcane Implements, either. Wands, Staves, Rods, Orbs, Tomes, Daggers, Heavy Blades, Light Blades, Musical Instruments...did I miss any?
    Likewise, what bothers me about Arcane is that the wizard schools are Orb, Staff, Tome, Wand, Summoning, Illusion, Conjuration, Enchantment, Illusion-but-different-from-the-other-illusion, Evocation, Fire-but-not-evocation, Necromancy, and Shadow-but-not-necromancy-nor-the-shadow-power-source. Oh, and full moon and half moon, for some reason. I'm sure I've missed a couple.
    Last edited by Kurald Galain; 2021-01-05 at 09:52 AM.
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    Default Re: Tricks 4th Ed missed (mostly relating to PCs)

    Wow, implements are such a mess:

    Artificers can use a wand, rod, or staff.
    Wizards can use wand or staff, but not rod. Plus orbs (shared with the psion) and tomes (the only implement unique to one class).
    Warlocks can use wand or rod, but not staff.
    Invoker can use rod and staff, but not wand; and every other divine class gets holy symbols, but invoker doesn't.
    Sorcerers use staff or dagger. So if you thought invokers don't get wands because wands are arcane, well, sorcerers don't get them either.
    Bards use wands only.
    Psions use staff or orb.
    And finally, druids can use staff or totem, but the other primal implement user (shaman) only gets totems.

    And as I recall, magical implements with good powers are pretty much all staffs or orbs, with wands and rods getting the short end of the (heh) stick.
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    Default Re: Tricks 4th Ed missed (mostly relating to PCs)

    Quote Originally Posted by Player's Handbook, p. 54
    Future power sources include elemental, ki, primal, psionic, and shadow.
    They had big plans.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Powerdork View Post
    You're onto something, but encounter powers with the stance keyword are really hard to distinguish from a class feature that denies you an action but grants you another benefit constantly. Something I like that an existing martial class already interacts with (the warlord) is action points, though; I think an encounter attack power that gains the stance keyword if an action point expenditure was involved would have some legs. That way it comes back around with some sort of frequency without just being a static benefit.
    Cute idea. Would you be thinking each power has a stance associated, or each power allows any stance to be assumed.
    Or maybe Each power includes the knowledge of a stance. AP allows you to assume any stance you know?


    Quote Originally Posted by RedMage125 View Post
    Again, aside from the Seeker (which is a subpar class in and of itself), only the Shaman does not follow this. But the Shaman is less "control Primal Spirits" (Druid/Warden) or "invite Primal spirits into their own body" (Barbarian), and is, instead "speak with Primal spirits". Shamans are more spirit focused than any of the other primal classes. Druids and Wardens bend spirits' power to their will.
    Barbarians invite them to possess them. But spirits do what a Shaman asks. They don't need transformation because their powers are purely spirit, unlike the others.
    I'd completely missed that interpretation, but I like it. Is that your interpretation or did I just forget that connection because I read the fluff for the different classes at different times?
    Either way, that would work as a tie in well enough. All I'd suggest is to have a heading for each Primal class; Spirit power" or some such
    So a Barb would have "Spirit power,- Possession" and then have the possession included in the fluff for those powers.

    With the Monk, I think I agree. It's not a square hole they jammed the monk into, it's oval. Still weird to have every othe psionic class use PP but not Monks.
    Might have been fun to do battleminds more Monk like... That would also make the Monk feel less like it doesn't fit.

    And Vampires... Yeah, I don't necessarily *agree with* their decision to make it a class, but I respect it as a valid way to approach the problem of playable vamps.
    Last edited by Duff; 2021-01-05 at 09:12 PM.
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    Default Re: Tricks 4th Ed missed (mostly relating to PCs)

    Quote Originally Posted by Duff View Post
    I'd completely missed that interpretation, but I like it. Is that your interpretation or did I just forget that connection because I read the fluff for the different classes at different times?
    Honestly, I don't remember. It may have been something I read in the PHB2 or Primal Power, or what I put together myself from context clues.

    But I'm thinking it was in Primal Power. Shamans speak with the spirits, Druids control them. That's not necessarily as menacing as it may sound. But Druids even emulate Primal Spirits with their Wild Shape (remember, 4e Wild Shape isn't into an actual Bear or Wolf, but rather a "primal beast"). I do know that one of the Shaman subclasses is called the "World Speaker" though.

    I distinctly remember I had a gnoll barbarian concept in 4e where he was in training in his youth to be a shaman, but his tribe was wiped out by adventurers (who mistook his tribe for Butcher' Brood gnolls), and he was sold int slavery. While being forced to fight in fighting pits, he called out to some of the spirits of his tribe (like Swift Panther), but imperfectly remembered how to communicate with them, and the rage powers were the result.

    Quote Originally Posted by Duff View Post
    Either way, that would work as a tie in well enough. All I'd suggest is to have a heading for each Primal class; Spirit power" or some such
    So a Barb would have "Spirit power,- Possession" and then have the possession included in the fluff for those powers.
    I don't think they need such headings. 4e is very keyword-based, so things like that should only be added if they have some kind of mechanical effect. The "Weapon" keyword, for example, clues you in that you get to add the weapon's proficiency bonus to the attack roll. "Rattling" is another that has specific connotations for characters with certain class features.

    Quote Originally Posted by Duff View Post

    And Vampires... Yeah, I don't necessarily *agree with* their decision to make it a class, but I respect it as a valid way to approach the problem of playable vamps.
    Best way to go would have been to split the difference and make it a Theme, but I think that's a lot less robust than a class.
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    Default Re: Tricks 4th Ed missed (mostly relating to PCs)

    I knew I had a sense of Deja Vu going on originally... Things that are missing, another thread with the same concept in mind, and Filling out the Shadow Source, where some homebrew and concepts were thrown around. Both ancient threads, but you could certainly fish through and pick out favorite topics.
    "Okay, so I'm going to quick draw and dual wield these one-pound caltrops as improvised weapons..."
    ---
    "Oh, hey, look! Blue Eyes Black Lotus!" "Wait what, do you sacrifice a mana to the... Does it like, summon a... What would that card even do!?" "Oh, it's got a four-energy attack. Completely unviable in actual play, so don't worry about it."

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    Default Re: Tricks 4th Ed missed (mostly relating to PCs)

    Quote Originally Posted by RedMage125 View Post
    Best way to go would have been to split the difference and make it a Theme, but I think that's a lot less robust than a class.
    It could be a theme, path and destiny that build on each other. Theme is Spawn, Path is Vampire, destiny is Vampire Lord. Makes a kind of prestige class out of it.
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    Default Re: Tricks 4th Ed missed (mostly relating to PCs)

    Through the lens of how much does this aspect of the character affect how they adventure and how does that change over time, I have always liked the idea of Vampire as a class. The fact that you can hybrid it and represent vampire/wizard or vampire/rogue combos supports that path even more.

    IMO where it falls is where a lot of weaker 4e classes fall, which is lack of support. But unlike the Seeker or Assassin, who could be largely fixed with more feats and powers, they doubled down on the Vampire and gave them 1) even fewer choices and 2) a progression that requires contradicting what was in the original if you add more options down the line. It hurt the case for there being enough conceptually to build a class when the design screams “I can come up with one, maaaaybe two ideas for powers each level.”

    Had they relaxed the wording, you could have seen builds that were controller or leader secondary without having to say “this can replace X ability” every time.

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