Posted by : David Guyll April 29, 2012

In case anyone is still not in the know, Monte Cook is out of the game, and the open playtest starts on May 24th. Though Mearls states that they will "roll out the fighter, cleric, wizard, and rogue, along with the human, elf, dwarf, and halfling", we are getting pregens instead of the rules necessary to build your own characters. I wonder what the level cap will be, and if we will get enough rules to choose our own stuff beyond a simple pregen. There is also the question of monster variety, environmental hazards, and magic items. I really hope that they do not skimp on that, instead relegating us to a pregen adventure, too.

As an added bonus we get the fighter's design goals, which I felt were better defined and sensible than the cleric's. The quick summary is that the fighter is intended to be the best at fighting without needing to rely on magic items or spells--even to the point of surpassing those who try to use magic to bolster their own capabilities--yet ultimately being able to perform seemingly supernatural feats in the vein of Beowulf or Roland. As an added bonus, they will also purportedly be the toughest, remain on par with wizards at all levels, and also have more flexibility with weapons (ie, archers can be explicitly called fighters without having to "settle" with a ranger by another name).

No mechanics, but it is good that they are sticking with 4th Edition in terms of overall efficacy and weapon mastery (they were the only class that comes to mind that had exploits with bonuses for using specific weapon categories), especially without having to resort to magic in order to make it work. Do not get me wrong, I loved the warblade and swordsage out of Book of Nine Swords, but it is refreshing to see a mundane swordsman hold his own post level 5. What does surprise me is that the fighter is going to be the toughest class. Really? Even more than the barbarian? If the fighter can out-fight and outlast their more savage brethren, then what does that leave them?

Rage-swimming?

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

  1. Do we know for sure the Barbarian will be a stand-alone class?

    Personally, I'd like to see them and Rangers and such treated the same way Wizard specialists are. Fighters at their core, with an emphasis on certain Fighterly things. In their case, they might focus on toughness, which would still make "fighters" tougher than other classes, the Barbarian being a fighter specialist.

    If all classes specialize/subdivide the same way, it means the game is easier to modify and doesn't have to go into out of control splatbooking. I prefer it to a modular approach to classes.

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  2. I agree with Siskoid. Keep the classes to the core four and apply 'add-ons' to customize the type of fighter you want.

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