Legends & Lore: Class Design Concepts

Mearls gives us another update on survey results and class direction.

While I like the idea of clerics having a flexible reserve of energy to use for healing and repelling undead, I hate the idea of all clerics having a reserve of energy to use for healing and repelling undead.

I think it would be more interesting to have channel divinity allow clerics to activate deity-related powers, but conceptually it just all sounds like divine magic by another name. It is like having both spell slots and power points, just without the trouble of multiclassing.

I guess the only real difference besides a point-based resource is that channel divinity stuff would not be things that the cleric can just swap out, unlike prepped spells. Anyway, I really hope that they end up adding armor proficiencies to deities. It makes way more sense than giving everyone default access to chainmail. I also dig giving each deity multiple facets. Kind of reminds me of 3rd Edition's domains and 2nd Edition's spheres.

I agree that fighters are pretty badass, and like that people are not complaining that they have nice things. I disagree that they all need some kind of parry mechanic baked in, as I think it kind of clashes with people wanting to do an archer build, though this is a minor nitpick.

I never felt that the rogue was a "lame" fighter, not that I felt that fighting--fairly, at least--was supposed to be its strong suit. I suppose if I wanted to try and do what the fighter does that I would play a fighter or take Sneak Attack. Depending on how things unfold, down the line I might just multiclass into fighter or take whatever weapon feats invariably manifest (Weapon Specialist?).

In Kamon's Skyrim mini-campaign the party right now consists of a fighter and a rogue, and while I feel more useful in combat Melissa's character has access to twice as many skills and can add in a variable bonus to them. So while I am good at hitting things with an axe (and getting hit by them), she is good at scouting, picking locks, fast-talking her way past the bad guys, and more.

Non-magical effects that allow her to trick or distract enemies sounds an awful lot like exploits by another name, though it sounds like there will not be a cooldown on them. Maybe this will be easier for people to understand or accept. Hopefully they are not just restricted to rogues. I am fine with them having an edge while doing it, but being able to trick an enemy should be something anyone can try, with a reasonable return for their action investment.

Using bonus dice for skills sounds different, and more importantly (to me, anyway) interesting.

Spell damage and slots, and tradition choices are going up. I am surprised to see that they will be acting more like clerics, prepping spells and burning slots to cast them. In that regard it sounds like a cross between Vancian magic and spell points. For me that is a big step in the right direction, as it makes it more likely that the wizard will have a useful spell on hand, instead of potentially having to setup camp so that they can memorize the "right" one, and might make a bit more sense.

I am more than happy to exchange my signature spell for scaling at-wills. Having actually useful magic all the time is better than having a spell that is only really useful for the first few levels.

As for creating separate categories, why not make at-will and daily versions of spells? Back when we used to play a lot of 4th Edition, Josh proposed a system where you could prepare a spell and cast at-will and encounter versions of it, losing access to them if you cast the "daily" version. I could also go for something like Reserve feats from 3rd Edition, where having fireball prepped lets you toss around bolts of fire.

I still do not like spell levels, partially because they are not needed, but mostly because they make no sense. If my wizard has a 5th-level slot and I cast a 1st-level spell it uses the last of my magical brain space, or what?

On another note, hooray for spellcasting in armor. It was nice in 4th Edition to play a fighter that dabbles in arcane magic without having to wait a bunch of levels and/or spend a bunch of feats.

1 comment:

  1. "Hopefully they are not just restricted to rogues. I am fine with them having an edge while doing it, but being able to trick an enemy should be something anyone can try, with a reasonable return for their action investment."

    I sent a tweet to Mike Mearls about this question and he confirmed that Rogues will be the best a combat skill use but not the only ones able to attempt them.

    I was happy to hear that since creativity is one of the biggest advantages to tabletop RPGs over video games and I was concerned they would take many creative combat options away from everyone to make "signature abilities" for one class. One of my issues with 4e was that with so many powerful abilities always available, many of my players never "thought outside their character sheets". Pinning down every conceivable option in combat into a feature for a given class would push DnD Next a long way toward same problem.


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