Thursday, August 11, 2011

Not sure what to think of this

I acquired the 4E PHB 2 and PHB 3 on pdf yesterday.  Spent a bit of time looking through them briefly (pain in the but on pdf, but I'm not shucking out cash for physical copies of gaming books I don't really want or need).

Anyway, I was struck by the massive apparent overlap in many of the new classes presented.  Here's a couple more divine casters who fulfill the "Leader" role, just like the Cleric.  Here are some variant wildernessy classes that duplicate the Ranger.  Here are some more arcane strikers similar but different from the Warlock. 

I mean, it's bad enough that the classes' powers are more or less really similar within just the PHB.  I'd have thought they'd have gotten a bit more creative.  I mean, it's really just flavor text anyway, but why not have an arcane caster Defender?  Why not have a martial Controller?  Hasn't 4E broken down the class niche protection enough that it really shouldn't matter?

Anyway, I was mostly doing it because I was curious about how they did the Monk class.  I was thinking about the 4E Power system, and comparing it to what I'm doing with Flying Swordsmen.  Something like that (without all the grids and tactical minis focus on combat) might work for a Wuxia type game. 

No, I'm not considering a revised edition of Flying Swordsmen before I've even got the original completed.  Just pondering.  The way it works now is that every level each character learns a certain amount of maneuvers.  Some are attacks, some are static bonuses and some are situational bonuses to movement, defense or some other aspect of the character.  Once you've got it, it's always on, like 4E At Will powers.  The idea that a character might have certain more powerful abilities only usable once per encounter or once per day could be an interesting addition, but not one I'm planning to make at the moment.


  1. Yeah, I hear ya.
    I really don't like a lot of the stuff in PHB2 or 3... Why do we need a Minotaur?
    Even stuff in the PHB1 (like Dragonborn) ruin it for me.
    But even though there are several Elf-like races in the PHB1, I did enjoy playing an Eladrin Wizard once...
    What really gets me though is the powergamers who insist on playing some class (almost always broken) from Dragon Mag or somewhere other than any of the PHB's ---so yeah, it could be worse.

  2. Have you also looked at Palladium's Ninja & Superspies or Mystic China? I have both if you want more details. They may offer inspiration. They contain interesting classes, abilities, and advancement charts that sound, on the surface, similar to what you've proposed here.

  3. I've got both. My buddy Alex was hoping to get a TMNT/Ninjas & Superspies game going, but now he's being forced to move out of Busan for a new job. Thanks for the offer, though!

    Funny thing is, looking at all these nearly similar (at least on the surface, haven't had time to really dig into the details) 4E classes is making me want to strip out the AD&D classes I ported over to BECM D&D. I'm thinking Cleric/Fighter/Magic-User/Thief/Dwarf/Elf/Halfling is maybe enough for what I want out of the game.