Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Future classes

I just started reading the article on the Warden class, which, as when new classes are introduced, had me thinking about my post here on the role/power-source pairings.

Since that post, Griff and I mulled around the ideas of classes that would pair up the future power sources, the ones that didn't make it into the Player's Handbook but had been mentioned there or elsewhere, such as Primal, Psychic, Ki and Shadow. We took our inspiration from the splat books of 3rd edition, trying to decide what existing classes would fit which roles.

The resulting table is too big for the blog's format, but you can see a live version (which might not match what I'm saying here, if you are looking at it in the future), here. The bold class names are ones that have been defined in rulebooks or other articles; the italicized entries are ones that were our guesses. For the Arcane Defender we had the Spellsword from Tome and Battle; and the Barbarian we had put into Primal Defender, not because we thought it fit perfectly, but because we wanted to place Barbarian somewhere, and had already put a Striker in (forgetting, of course, that we have two Martial Strikers from the get-go.)

Got any guesses for this chart?

Back to the Warden class. Right off the bat, I like the class features; they're nicely in line with the Defender concept and the title of "Warden", finding resistances and defenses where others do not.

The "marking" idea of 4e is one that I haven't fully evaluated. It gets used during our campaigns, but I think we've still got some time before we really see it shine. I like the concept, but it's contrary to the "not having to keep track of things" mentality of 4e -- luckily my players are good at reminding me when they've marked something (just as I'm saying that the target is attacking someone else). The Warden, rightly, gets powers based on marking, which helps cement that Defender role by drawing the enemy to her (or at least penalizing them if they don't).

Lots of the Warden powers deal with movement: pushing/pulling, slowing, sliding, shifting. Again, that works well with the Defender idea -- if the enemy can't move, they can't get to the rest of your party.

And of course, they have the requisite bit of polymorphing in there. In 3.5, I was strongly drawn to the Druid, and the Shifter, and the Verdant Lord... everything that the Primal power source is going to encompass (not counting the Barbarian). Right now, I think that the Warden would have my vote if I was to play a Defender role.

Until we get psionics, right Griff?


The Deist Angle said...

Warden's are pretty righteous. I might have to run an NPC defender in an upcoming game that's in a pretty industrialised setting (19th or so century time setting, minus lever-action rifles so swords keep getting swung around) And i had this epiphany for an ironic primal defender. Tell me what you think.

A holy man from a tribal society recently enslaved by the Kingdom the game takes place in has been put to slave labor in the forge. Every day he prays to the spirits to give him a way to free his people. They answer him by bestowing on him great personal power, and an intimate connection with fire and stone.
Guy's armor will be a blacksmith's apron which i'll fudge to "hide armor" his weapon will be a giant blacksmith's hammer that ill fudge to "mace" and his shield will be a bunch of scrap metal he pounded into a flat form when he got his primal strength. I'll change some of the fluff of some of the powers so they have a "fire and steel" theme as opposed to a "vines and tree" theme. sound cool? ;)

Crwth said...

I think it gives the term "concrete jungle" new meaning...

Griff said...

I'm not sure if this fits your setting but electric attacks (lightning at least) would seem to fit the theme as well.

Also, instead of a mace you could use the warhammer stats. While I'd imagine a smithy's hammer to be a little smaller than a warhammer, it seems closer than a mace. Not that using the mace stats would be "wrong".

Overall, I like it.