Martial damage bonus dice? Really?
First of all, that label is pretty long-winded. Second--and more importantly--it does not make their role clearer when you can spend your martial damage bonus dice to activate things that are not tied to a martial damage bonus, like reducing damage from an attack (Parry), shielding someone else from harm (Protect), or gaining an initiative bonus (Danger Sense).
Expertise dice fit the description perfectly; bonus to damage, Armor Class, saving throws, skill checks, whatever. I guess if the name must be changed, something like stunt dice or exploit dice would make a lot more sense.
It will suck to see the rogue lose maneuvers in favor of another dice-based mechanic that also...grants...special...abilities? Huh. Anyway, maneuvers made them more flexible, interesting, and provided a cohesive system for martial classes (or, at least, classes with noteworthy, non-magical exploits). It also fulfilled the goal of making Sneak Attack a rogue option, as opposed to a universal class feature.
I think that whatever other system they cook up will achieve similar--if not the same--results, I just wonder why they would go through all the trouble. Maybe it will better fit the rogue?
While maneuver-granting feats sound all well and good, I am skeptical as to how useful and applicable they will be, especially with multiclassing and the reduced number of feats overall. Maybe with two editions under their belts and vocal playtesters, the designers will be able to avoid giving us options that sound good but end up having performance issues.
Good to hear that the spellcasting system will still support other options, as it means that--for me at least--that there is a chance that I will actually like one of them. Power points and encounter-refreshing are obvious candidates, but maybe will we see stuff like fatigue, damage, sacrifices, and more.
In a similar vein I am interested to see what kind of experimental rules they roll out for skills. A rank system, or something like 4th Edition's skill powers could be cool. Just throw it in there as an optional rule. Actually just throw in a lot of experimental rules for a lot of things; who knows what will stick?
I like the idea of a paladin being charged with alignment-based powers, especially if each alignment component does its own thing (or rather, has access to a menu of things), allowing for a bunch of combinations. It reminds me of the champion from Arcana Unearthed--I think...I might be thinking of something else, if not mis-remembering it entirely--and helps differentiate them from clerics.
On the topic of alignments, forcing paladins-as-alignment-champions to have certain alignments makes sense. Forcing all monks to be Lawful when there are non-Lawful archetypes does not.