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December 24, 2011 / Wythe

Classes in the far future

More conversation about classes, Pathfinder, and 100 Million Years:

I said:

In other news, at some point take a look at my Classes page on blog; I never developed rules for several base/prestige classes, but I do want/plan to, esp. depending on a better psi system that is both less confusing (and does not rely on the lame “focus” idea that no one can really picture meaning anything, IRL) and more fluid between mind/body (i.e. burns different psi and/or hp, CON, etc.—I love this idea).

Thinking about it again: Classes = big area of opportunity. Esp. in my setting, where there are no transcendent “gods,” no “magic-users,” e.g.

BUT THERE ARE SALT MEN, GENESTEALING SNAKE VAMPIRES, AND UV-RAY BLINKING ARGOID DEGS.

P.D. said:

It occurs to me (as I was describing to someone else the other day) that one big problem with 4e is that it eliminates so many of the differences between classes. Special moves for fighters are organized and operated like spells for wizards and like “barbarian at will powers” or whatever.

So, that makes the system, in general, really n00b friendly: Oh, I’m a this? which looks like this? okay cool—hand me my Chinese menu and I’ll pick from it. From a mechanical point of view, this means that the characters are all just re-arranged versions of the same abstractions. This is LAME. The different classes should work, at least mechanically, WILDLY differently.

This is what seems so nice about the gunslinger grit system, is that it is not just a re-skinning of spells or martial arts moves, it’s different, and that means you have to PLAY and THINK about it differently. Anyway, so clear + varied = awesome.

I said:

Yes, agreed overall in general: Classes should have actual different mechanics, all of them, and that’s what I like about the Gunslinger and our (totally unfinished) Blooder models. And yes, I like what you propose for the Zanni.

The thing for me when we started post-future DnDing was to not spend too too much time fleshing out every single detail (obv. I have gone more toward that end, over time), but to provide cool ideas and see what people wanted to do. At this point, though, some of the ideas are half-filled-in, and others are woefully not. And as you say, the whole PF treatment of class needs an overhaul. We should fine-tune/change whatever.

I want psi that works and is cool. Not one or the other. 2E psi was complicated—but cool. PF is better, but it relies too much on some lame ideas (focus) and isn’t really very simple (figuring out psi points is annoying and you don’t get enough of them, by their rules).

I want each class to be awesome, and I think PF want(ed) the same. They may have missed the mark, but from illustrations to mechanics, they at least tried to make each class worth playing, which I think is the ultimate goal.

Also, here’s an earlier post about Pathfinder classes >>

Stay tuned for a new post chock full of rando ideas for steam-mutant-future classes…

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