Sunday, May 3, 2009

Alternate Power Source Classes: Idea Forming

Well, I have not really mentioned it, but I'm on twitter. Apparently, so is Mike Mearls, one of the people that work on 4e. I got to talk to him yesterday, and I asked him what he thought of one of my ideas, and he said he thought it could be pretty interesting.

Geek out.


He he he he he...

Right, so anyway, if you told one of the guys who made 4e that you are doing something cool for it, and pointed him at your blog, wouldn't you want to get on it right away?

Yeah, me too.

The idea is basically this: Find what makes a class fit into a certain power source (PS), in terms of crunch, extract its current PS and give it a new one. Easy, right? since I have been slowly pulling 4e apart piece by piece, I already have a good idea of many things, but the only PS that has some obvious feature that all users of that PS possess is Divine,with their channel divinity . Unless of course, I'm missing something. Well, I suppose there are implements, themes in their powers, and lack of range without a ranged weapon...

So here are some of the things I noticed and ideas for PS transplants.

Common main ability score
Divine - Wisdom
Martial- Strength (dexterity second)
Arcane- Intelligence (only 5 out of 6, Constitution second)
Primal- Constitution (wisdom, second)

Common skills
Divine - religion (all auto), diplomacy, intimidate, endurance, history, heal, insight.
Martial- intimidate, athletics, heal.
Arcane- arcana (all, almost all auto), history (all), diplomacy, insight, dungeoneering.
Primal- nature (all, almost all auto), endurance (all), athletics (all), heal (all), perception (all).

Common class features
Divine- Channel Divinity

Ideas for PS transplants
Divine- Bard, monk, warlock.
Martial- Monk, barbarian.
Arcane- none yet.
Primal- Warlock, Avenger.

Well, it's late... Is there anything that I missed? Do you have any questions/comments/criticisms/requests/etc.? Post a comment!


shinobicow said...

It is an interesting idea, but how would you rework feats and such that require you to be of a certain power source. Martial comes to mind when i think about this, since there are so many martial feats that are exclusive to martial classes, but there are others as well. Would you rework it so that these feats are available to the character even though he changed his power source, or would you simply let him only take something from the new power source.

Maybe you could do all of this in a feat since basically all you are doing is taking a multiclass into some other class which offers a different power source. I mean if you multiclass warden from fighter, you gain the primal power source for warden powers and you get to take primal feats just like a warden does.

MacGuffin said...

I don't want this to be just another feat, I want it to be an alternate version of the class. So that if you want to be a bard powered by your deity, a monk powered by arcane magics, a barbarian powered by your own martial strength, then you can be, and have the mechanics reflect this.

Though choosing what feats still work could be tricky... I'll just cross that bridge when I get to it. ^^

Erik Billeci said...

I like the idea of being able to choose power sources, but for some classes I fail to see how it could work. Take the Paladin for instance, if his power source were Arcana rather than Divine, what would make him a Paladin? Would he not just be a strong Wizard? Or a Cleric that has a Martial power source rather than Divine? What then makes him different than a Monk, and how does he still do his clerical duties without divine powers?

I guess the point I am making is I think that some classes are essentially defined by their power source, and dealing with these may be trickier than dealing with feats.

Then again, I could be wrong entirely...

MacGuffin said...

I never really planned to make all of the classes fit into every other power source. Not all of them make sense, whether the reason is crunch or fluff, Martial characters do not have any ranged attacks that are not ranged weapons (though I suppose that's something that I could change to try and make it fit...)

Hmm... maybe that's just another hurdle... you could make a divine character into a martial one by making all attacks weapon attacks, maybe by saying that your god blessed you with great strength? well, that wouldn't work with the radiant damage... it's still a work in progress.