Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Thirteen Things I’d Like to See from D&D Next (Part 1)

1.  A Swordmage or other close-combat Mage build
I’ve talked about this a few times in the past, but bottom line, I liked the way Wizards of the Coast (WotC) developed both close-combat arcane classes and ranged arcane classes in 4e.  The Swordmage is, of course, the most obvious example, but even the early Warlock builds offered high hit points and a focus on close burst or short-ranged spell attacks.  That made for an interesting dichotomy in the arcane classes, and it also added a bit of a challenge for those who played close-combat “squishies”.  

I had one Player who played a high-level Invoker, another close-combat spellcasting class, and he was forever complaining about how his merely having proficiency in chainmail armor didn’t make him a melee combatant, even though almost all of his spells were Ranged 5.  But the reality was that his Character was a super-powerful Controller, with his lack of true ranged spells being one of the only things that effectively balanced what was otherwise an overpowering build.
It’s all about offering options.  Which means that a close-combat mage is not necessarily the same thing as a Fighter/Mage.  Personally, I’d like to see support for both kinds of characters.
2.  Star Pact Warlocks
I love the concept of the astrologer warlock, stealing power from the creatures beyond the veil of night.  It’s evocative.
3.  Gnolls and/or Goblins as a playable race
One of my favorite PCs of all time was a gnoll star pact warlock by the name of Gnasic.  He fought with a bastard sword and used the gnolls’ natural affinity for charging as often as possible.  He was an interesting PC, and that specific build balanced everything I’ve talked about up above.
4.  A few different builds for evil or otherwise non-traditional paladins
I think gods like Tyr (the Norse god of justice), Athena, and Mars would all employ lots of paladins.  Other gods--Loki, Pluto, Neptune, Hermes, Set, etc--probably not so much.  But I can imagine that they might employ a few.
It’s these other gods for which I’d like to see some options for paladins.
  • Trickster paladins
  • Paladins of Mercury, the god of messengers, travelers, and thieves
  • Shadow paladins
  • Paladins representing the god of the dead
There are some storytelling possibilities there, no?

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