Posted by : David Guyll July 26, 2011
My understanding is that every class, or perhaps power source, starts at a baseline level of power. Groups that desire more complexity do so, effectively increasing their level of power. For example, fighters can add in an exploit system like 4th Edition has, while wizards get a more complicated spell system (something like rituals, perhaps).
As with all Legends & Lore columns it is a hot topic with gamers asking questions, voicing concerns, deriding the concept without knowing how it will work, and speculating if this will be a new edition entirely or just a new rules supplement.
One gamer asked about how classes will be balanced across the board. For example, if fighters get to use exploits, how will that work out for wizards, clerics, and the rest? Well, as Mearls puts it in the article, "each other class also gains access to a rules module that makes it more powerful (wizards might get more spells, clerics gain access to domain abilities, rogues could get maneuvers like fighters or a trick or stunt system)."
So for groups that went to maintain an equal degree of balance between power sources the solution would be quite simple, assuming the system works as intended, while groups that want to simulate magic being superior could feasibly get away with that by giving spellcasters more "modules", while leaving martial characters high and dry. How does the DM deal with this varied and scaling power? By "dialing-up" the monster difficulty. Two examples given were to increase the number of monsters, or use tougher ones.
Other things of interest were using "double-feat" rules, adjusting the amount of XP required to level up or going "XP neutral", as well as packing rules into modules with identifiers to allow you to pick and choose your rules to suit a campaign. This very much sounds like it could be done using the current edition, especially since Gamma World seems to have been very rules light experiment, though I could just as easily see them cleaning up 4th Edition for the next edition.
They do have products slated for next year, though, so who knows what is going to happen. I am kind of excited to see where this goes, and if I do not like it I have enough D&D material (and Gamma World) to last me a life time as is.