Posted by : David Guyll July 12, 2011

Classes with scaling customization sounds like a pretty interesting concept that has not been explored before.

Basically a new player/player with little interest in making lots of decisions during the character creation process can opt to stick with a "core" character, similar to a build in Player's Handbook (or an archetype from Shadowrun), while others can make a few more choices similar to an Essentials subclass, and so on and so forth until they are customizing every aspect of their character like a "normal" class. The best part is that no matter how many decisions you make--or don't--each character would remain viable throughout the entire game.

Pre-packaged characters would also be handy for pick up games, Encounters, one-shots, delves, or players that have their character killed off and need to roll up something quick to get back into the game before the night is over--and after the game is over I'd allow the player to map out their choices in more detail after the fact to get the character they want. There is also talk of making races into classes to evoke archetypes, such as "dwarves" as super tough fighters and "elves" as multiclassed fighter/wizards.

The big question is whether or not this new type of class design requires a new edition? Builds have been in 4th Edition since it was released, and Essentials subclasses were partially a step in this direction in that they dole out class features at specific levels. I think that WotC could pull this off without ushering in 5th Edition, but we will have to wait and see.

{ 3 comments... read them below or Comment }

  1. I have a number of "builds" off the Character Optimization boards printed off and ready to go just in case of character death. My players all use builds stolen directly from there, just so we don't have to waste time looking through books or the compendium or the character builder. There is really no reason WotC couldn't put a stamp on a number of the builds that are out there, give credit to the forum participants who built them, and publish them in Dragon for everyone else to see. It would really be pretty easy, I think, as most of the work (including all the math!) has been done for them. It definitely does not require a 5th Edition. It just requires WotC to engage a little more with the community.

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  2. @Sully: usually if something gets published in dragon, its creator(s) get paid and their preferred method to add content is to pitch them an idea, aaand imagen what would happen if they start adding content to dragon (which people usually get by subscribing to DDI) which can be equally acquired for free through the forums??? in my opinion it would be a total mess...

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  3. I generally skim CharOp to figure out what powers are generally good AND fit the character I want to play, as well as nifty items that my players might want. A big book of pregens, or more dragon articles on character concepts, could be pretty neat.

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