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 My 4e Clone: Points of Light

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C4
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PostSubject: Re: My 4e Clone: Points of Light   Tue Sep 24, 2013 3:52 pm

Tequila Sunrise wrote:
Another minor nitpick: Why no 31+ level beholders? (Not that many of us get to epic levels...)
I figure by that level, opponents should always be unique ones. Demon lords, primordials, Asmodeus, gods, etc.

Also, I ran out of eye colors. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: My 4e Clone: Points of Light   Wed Sep 25, 2013 10:34 pm

Sounds like you are willing to go past where 4e went in this one.. I like your goals.

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One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
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PostSubject: Re: My 4e Clone: Points of Light   Fri Sep 27, 2013 6:07 pm

I still think that grouping all powers by power source is a bad idea. It puts all of the burden for distinctiveness on the class features, and forces you to balance all powers against all other powers, rather than being able to have some class unique powers that only need to be balanced against that class, and thus can be designed a bit more freely, and contribute more to the uniqueness of the character.

Otherwise, it might make a better game to just get rid of class, and instead have a set of Talents (class features made into things you can choose from in a manner similar to powers) anyone can pick, with either a point buy system or "Slots" for Greater, Lesser and Minor talents. Greater Talents could also provide Power Source.

Also, some powers that should be in the game don't fit super neatly into a single power source.


Perhaps each class could still have it's own unique at-wills (although I think it should be three instead of two, personally). That would mitigate the loss of uniqueness from most powers being power source based.
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PostSubject: Re: My 4e Clone: Points of Light   Fri Sep 27, 2013 9:51 pm

doctorbadwolf wrote:
I still think that grouping all powers by power source is a bad idea. It puts all of the burden for distinctiveness on the class features, and forces you to balance all powers against all other powers...
PoL might not be the clone for you, if you're looking for especially distinct classes. In fact I'm steering clear of all the fringe widgets that many 4e classes get right out of the box. Each class more-or-less gets a feature/power that allows it to fulfill its combat role, and the rest is a matter of builds, feats and possibly themes.

As to your balance concerns, I've written quite a few powers, and I haven't stumbled upon any problems with balancing each power against all the others yet. Of course balance issues might come out in play, but it might help if you could be more specific about your concerns.

doctorbadwolf wrote:
Also, some powers that should be in the game don't fit super neatly into a single power source.
Is this an argument for fully generic powers?
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PostSubject: Re: My 4e Clone: Points of Light   Sat Sep 28, 2013 7:51 am

Chris24601 wrote:

Everything is save ends? I think that'd be even more of a pain to track since you'd have to roll for whether each effect ends at the end of every turn instead of just crossing it off after the character who inflicted the effect has their next turn. I'd much rather see the (save ends) be replaced myself since that would reduce the complexity of having to roll for every save ends effect on a target.
One reason to use save ends is so I can use save granting (such as with a skill check - like is done with heal) as a for of Aide for a bunch of conditions.

Consistancy is simpler but you have to be careful about what you lose .... a duration that is static isnt as useful as I have to invent another way to do the above.

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One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
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PostSubject: Re: My 4e Clone: Points of Light   Sat Sep 28, 2013 11:46 am

C4 wrote:
doctorbadwolf wrote:
I still think that grouping all powers by power source is a bad idea. It puts all of the burden for distinctiveness on the class features, and forces you to balance all powers against all other powers...
PoL might not be the clone for you, if you're looking for especially distinct classes. In fact I'm steering clear of all the fringe widgets that many 4e classes get right out of the box. Each class more-or-less gets a feature/power that allows it to fulfill its combat role, and the rest is a matter of builds, feats and possibly themes.

As to your balance concerns, I've written quite a few powers, and I haven't stumbled upon any problems with balancing each power against all the others yet. Of course balance issues might come out in play, but it might help if you could be more specific about your concerns.

doctorbadwolf wrote:
Also, some powers that should be in the game don't fit super neatly into a single power source.
Is this an argument for fully generic powers?
I suppose I wouldn't personally think of any clone that doesn't have fairly distinct classes as being true to 4e, as that has always seemed to me one of it's primary attributes. I mean, you're clearly having fun with it, so good on ya.

And no, that wasn't an argument for fully generic powers. The opposite, actually. That is an argument for class powers.
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PostSubject: Re: My 4e Clone: Points of Light   Sat Sep 28, 2013 1:49 pm

doctorbadwolf wrote:

I suppose I wouldn't personally think of any clone that doesn't have fairly distinct classes as being true to 4e, as that has always seemed to me one of it's primary attributes. I mean, you're clearly having fun with it, so good on ya.
That's a fair opinion -- D&D has always had a range of classes, ranging from the generic guy-who-fights to oddly specific ones like guy-who's-kinda-good-at-everything-and-is-also-a-great-musician. Maybe I'm biased because I'd rather that, for example, any character should be able to use the great musician concept and get some kind of mechanical bennie for it.

doctorbadwolf wrote:

And no, that wasn't an argument for fully generic powers. The opposite, actually. That is an argument for class powers.
Ah, ok. 'Single power source' threw me off. (Again, this is the kind of thing where examples would help.)
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PostSubject: Re: My 4e Clone: Points of Light   Sat Sep 28, 2013 2:26 pm

C4 wrote:
Maybe I'm biased because I'd rather that, for example, any character should be able to use the great musician concept and get some kind of mechanical bennie for it.
That's what flavor is for, technically. Any class in 4e can be a great musician and get benefit from it, because there is no mechanical benefit from being a great musician. It's an aspect that one can sprinkle into their character that does nothing to detract from it mechanically. That, for example, the Bard uses music as part of its core flavor is not a mechanical mandate (no matter what the Song of Rest mechanic might imply in its wording). I had a Bard that was a haiku master and calligraphy writer before, and never sang a lick or played any sort of instrument.
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PostSubject: Re: My 4e Clone: Points of Light   Sat Sep 28, 2013 6:20 pm

EDIT: I have a feeling that I may not be explaining myself clearly, so I posted a link to my current progress in the OP. Of course, actually seeing my designs more-or-less as it will ultimately be presented, some of you may think "Oh, well this definitely isn't the clone for me," but that's okay. Cool 

ToeSama wrote:
C4 wrote:
Maybe I'm biased because I'd rather that, for example, any character should be able to use the great musician concept and get some kind of mechanical bennie for it.
That's what flavor is for, technically.
Of course, but players often want bennies like Song of Rest because it's so clearly inspired by the concept fluff. It makes the fluff somehow more real.

I could write a class with some other name, with a feature that did what Song of Rest does, and simply call it by another name. But I'd rather that that feature were a feat or part of a theme, so that any leader can take it. Also as I mentioned earlier, I'm KISSing my PoL classes.
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PostSubject: Re: My 4e Clone: Points of Light   Sat Sep 28, 2013 9:07 pm

C4 wrote:
EDIT: I have a feeling that I may not be explaining myself clearly, so I posted a link to my current progress in the OP. Of course, actually seeing my designs more-or-less as it will ultimately be presented, some of you may think "Oh, well this definitely isn't the clone for me," but that's okay. Cool 

ToeSama wrote:
C4 wrote:
Maybe I'm biased because I'd rather that, for example, any character should be able to use the great musician concept and get some kind of mechanical bennie for it.
That's what flavor is for, technically.
Of course, but players often want bennies like Song of Rest because it's so clearly inspired by the concept fluff. It makes the fluff somehow more real.

I could write a class with some other name, with a feature that did what Song of Rest does, and simply call it by another name. But I'd rather that that feature were a feat or part of a theme, so that any leader can take it. Also as I mentioned earlier, I'm KISSing my PoL classes.
I have a character who uses discipline/aka wisdom (to restrain her bloodborn vampiric power but it bleeds out often affecting her allies) her powers are focused mostly intentional unleashing of that in useful ways.

"They might not remember it clearly in part because the hunger is prone to leaving your mind a bit fuzzy but in a fight my allies manifest the needs of blood, and teeth which gleam sharp and to a degree the very inflection I carry almost as much as I do. "

She was built via a hybridization of of the Cleric and Invoker. Some of the powers were already flavored close the defining element however of what powers I selected were based on can I find my own flavor for this affect and visualize it as blood weaving or vampire power. Entirely independent of what the original flavor was.

My end thought is an ability or class should have its own flavor but that connection ought to be treated as a very flexible thing if the mechanics get too fiddly precise I find that a negative.

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One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
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PostSubject: Re: My 4e Clone: Points of Light   Sun Sep 29, 2013 1:02 am

C4 wrote:
doctorbadwolf wrote:

I suppose I wouldn't personally think of any clone that doesn't have fairly distinct classes as being true to 4e, as that has always seemed to me one of it's primary attributes. I mean, you're clearly having fun with it, so good on ya.
That's a fair opinion -- D&D has always had a range of classes, ranging from the generic guy-who-fights to oddly specific ones like guy-who's-kinda-good-at-everything-and-is-also-a-great-musician. Maybe I'm biased because I'd rather that, for example, any character should be able to use the great musician concept and get some kind of mechanical bennie for it.

doctorbadwolf wrote:

And no, that wasn't an argument for fully generic powers. The opposite, actually. That is an argument for class powers.
Ah, ok. 'Single power source' threw me off. (Again, this is the kind of thing where examples would help.)
As an aside, I think your name for the bard misses the point of the bard. It's not really related to the main point though, so I'll shut up now. Smile

Anyway, the point of my argument about power source is that many classes (maybe even the majority of non "classic four" classes) have powers that seem to invoke multiple power sources in one power. Further, I think that's a Very Good Thing, and I'd rather see more of it rather than less.

There are also classes that clearly need powers from multiple power sources, (all the gishes, basically. and Paladin. And Barbarian.) but shouldn't have access to some of the other powers.
And then of course there's cases like the shaman and druid. The shaman lives inside it's powers, for the most part. It's party role class mechanics are secondary.
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PostSubject: Re: My 4e Clone: Points of Light   Sun Sep 29, 2013 5:17 pm

Garthanos wrote:
My end thought is an ability or class should have its own flavor but that connection ought to be treated as a very flexible thing if the mechanics get too fiddly precise I find that a negative.
100% agreed.
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PostSubject: Re: My 4e Clone: Points of Light   Sun Sep 29, 2013 5:44 pm

doctorbadwolf wrote:
As an aside, I think your name for the bard misses the point of the bard. It's not really related to the main point though, so I'll shut up now. Smile
That may be because I've never had a strong sense of what the point of the bard class is. Wink

In 2e, he was basically three classes mashed together, which was kinda cool because of how much the dual-classing rules sucked. Oh yeah, and he's a great musician.

In 3e, he was again basically three classes mashed together, this time with a somewhat unique spell list. Though overall a crappy class. And oh yeah, he's a great musician.

In 4e, he's an arcane leader with several odd widgets -- access to some unique rituals, a talent for multiclassing and being slightly better at untrained skills, and a free utility power. And oh yeah, his default fluff is 'I'm such a great musician that everyone heals better near me.' I'm not saying that the great musician concept isn't full of potential, but I don't like attaching such specific concepts to entire classes.

4e's bard is at least well-designed and fun to play, but it's still one of those concept classes that leaves me wanting more. Or rather, wanting less, due to my partiality to the old adage 'Less is more.'

doctorbadwolf wrote:
Anyway, the point of my argument about power source is that many classes (maybe even the majority of non "classic four" classes) have powers that seem to invoke multiple power sources in one power. Further, I think that's a Very Good Thing, and I'd rather see more of it rather than less.

There are also classes that clearly need powers from multiple power sources, (all the gishes, basically. and Paladin. And Barbarian.) but shouldn't have access to some of the other powers.
And then of course there's cases like the shaman and druid. The shaman lives inside it's powers, for the most part. It's party role class mechanics are secondary.
Methinks we're simply approaching classes and powers from very different angles, because some of what you say sounds plain odd to me. Have you popped open that link I added to the OP? The class pdfs may provide you some insight as to the smaller number but greater flexibility of my classes.
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PostSubject: Re: My 4e Clone: Points of Light   Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:45 am

I am liking a lot of what I am seeing in PoL (more after looking at the PDFs).

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One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
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PostSubject: Re: My 4e Clone: Points of Light   Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:42 pm

Glad to hear it! Smile

I still have to figure out what to do with the druid's Spirit Metamagic feature -- I had originally planned for primal powers to be heavily elementally-themed, but then I wrote the elemental classes -- but mostly the class mechanics are done.

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PostSubject: Re: My 4e Clone: Points of Light   Mon Sep 30, 2013 11:51 pm

I think the problem is that you have fewer, broader classes as a design goal, and I generally see that as a design flaw. Not exactly compatible mindsets.

IMO, Star Wars Saga Edition is a perfect example. It's biggest problem is that it refused to just choose between having classes and not having classes, and as a result has a really weird and awkward set of restrictions and accidental roadblocks hidden amongst it's general flexibility.

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PostSubject: Re: My 4e Clone: Points of Light   Tue Oct 01, 2013 7:30 am

Personally I like a game to encourage Archetypal characters when D&D nails them down into a class however it frequently stumbles for instance Lancelot, CuCulaine and Samson were each "The Oath Bound Hero", but they didn't wear the same armor nor use the same weapons and there fighting styles were pretty divergent (with overlaps - super strength and periodic berserkergang)

Not sure the best solution.

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One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
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PostSubject: Re: My 4e Clone: Points of Light   Tue Oct 01, 2013 8:01 am

I think, though that an argument could easily be made that while all might be oath-bound heroes with great strength they don't actually share the same power source. Given his particular moral failings Lancelot would probably a fighter (martial) while CuCulaine would probably be a barbarian (primal) and Samson was clearly an Avenger (divine; unarmored guy beating the enemies of God to death with an ass' jawbone and who's might came from spiritual power... muscle strength wouldn't fade with a haircut).

Clearly though they have all taken the 'Oathbound' theme. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: My 4e Clone: Points of Light   Tue Oct 01, 2013 8:08 am

Garthanos wrote:
Personally I like a game to encourage Archetypal characters when D&D nails them down into a class however it frequently stumbles for instance Lancelot, CuCulaine and Samson were each "The Oath Bound Hero", but they didn't wear the same armor nor use the same weapons and there fighting styles were pretty divergent (with overlaps - super strength and periodic berserkergang)  

Not sure the best solution.
The problem is how mechanics work with the system that prevent certain classes from varying even slightly. It's not that the classes DON'T allow for any alteration in their weapon/armor/fighting style, but more that there is a hard mechanical limit to the classes that keeps such things from working, either due to how ability scores affect gameplay, or power and feat combinations to support a specific fighting style being horrible rather than average.

A Fighter CAN be a light armored archer. It doesn't mean he'll be GOOD at it. He could be, with the ability to use his stats towards it, and the proper class and feat support for it. But until he gets that...
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PostSubject: Re: My 4e Clone: Points of Light   Tue Oct 01, 2013 8:54 am

Chris24601 wrote:
I think, though that an argument could easily be made that while all might be oath-bound heroes with great strength they don't actually share the same power source. Given his particular moral failings Lancelot would probably a fighter (martial) while CuCulaine would probably be a barbarian (primal) and Samson was clearly an Avenger (divine; unarmored guy beating the enemies of God to death with an ass' jawbone and who's might came from spiritual power... muscle strength wouldn't fade with a haircut).

Clearly though they have all taken the 'Oathbound' theme. Very Happy
And often these characters are not entirely empowered by there oaths but the oaths often make them fighter++. Which was basically what 1e had paladins.

Culaine and Samson died because there broken oaths left them too weak. Its the classic fallen paladin story really Though Lancelot might be seen as the forgiven (not exactly redeemed) oath breaker (in someways this is the christian element/interpretation). As for morality Lancelot was perhaps raised quite pagan by the Lady of the Lake his sometimes portrayed sexual looseness and may have been an exemplar of a differing morality (not quite the same as immoral but when the whole became christianized that subtlety is lost). Technically Lancelot is likely an amalgam hero and seems likely was the welsh Llwch Llawwyanawc (and further back Lugh Long-Hand also the Many Skilled). I think interestingly his modernized name would be - Luke Armstrong.

CuCulaine like Lancelot had huge amounts of learned skill and trained elements in there story and are most alike in that regards both suffered conflicting oaths (for CC hospitality oaths and geasa came in conflict - conflicting fealty and oath of mercy and dual-fealties for Lancelot.).

Themes can be a great for adding flexibility to classes in some sense they are multi-classing... allowing one to have multiple classifications... as can the skill flexibility granted by backgrounds and further ability flexibility hidden in feats.

Do you make the core classes more flexible... or do you give it a cost like feats?An example appropriate to this Avenger could be as simple as having striker choices in the main class Paladin and even a Armor of Faith choice that swaps out armor proficiency.



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One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
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PostSubject: Re: My 4e Clone: Points of Light   Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:34 am

doctorbadwolf wrote:
I think the problem is that you have fewer, broader classes as a design goal, and I generally see that as a design flaw. Not exactly compatible mindsets.
Yeah my group and I prefer broadly thematic classes to the specific concept classes. (Or the overly generic classes.) Specific concepts have their place, and the more I think about it, the more I think that place is in paragon paths.

Want to rock out with fantastical musical mojo? Want to get rage power-ups? Want to smash the wicked with the power of a righteous oath? Sounds like you've got a paragon path to work toward!

If this isn't your cup o' tea though, no hard feelings. Smile

doctorbadwolf wrote:
IMO, Star Wars Saga Edition is a perfect example. It's biggest problem is that it refused to just choose between having classes and not having classes, and as a result has a really weird and awkward set of restrictions and accidental roadblocks hidden amongst it's general flexibility.
It's funny you should say this; I can't really comment on SW because I only played a couple sessions of the d20 one (is that the Saga edition?). But your assessment of SW is an assessment I might easily apply to 3.x D&D. Wink
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PostSubject: Re: My 4e Clone: Points of Light   Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:51 am

My criticism of many paragon paths was that they felt like sufficiently defining elements of your character that it made little sense to pop them in to the picture later... some were transcendent transformations (like the one I have my Gandalf ) which sure I can see that but many were like being a bloodmage seemed like something core to your methodology.

I will go with themes over paragon paths in that regards.

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“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” - Lazarus Long via Robert Heinlein.

One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
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ToeSama
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PostSubject: Re: My 4e Clone: Points of Light   Tue Oct 01, 2013 10:29 am

Garthanos wrote:
My criticism of many paragon paths was that they felt like sufficiently defining elements of your character that it made little sense to pop them in to the picture later... some were transcendent transformations (like the one I have my Gandalf ) which sure I can see that but many were like being a bloodmage seemed like something core to your methodology.

I will go with themes over paragon paths in that regards.
This does sound like a good idea. A lot of PPs might work better as themes in a flavor sense and a mechanical one.

I like it. I'm gonna steal it XD
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PostSubject: Re: My 4e Clone: Points of Light   Tue Oct 01, 2013 10:44 am

ToeSama wrote:
Garthanos wrote:
My criticism of many paragon paths was that they felt like sufficiently defining elements of your character that it made little sense to pop them in to the picture later... some were transcendent transformations (like the one I have my Gandalf ) which sure I can see that but many were like being a bloodmage seemed like something core to your methodology.

I will go with themes over paragon paths in that regards.
This does sound like a good idea. A lot of PPs might work better as themes in a flavor sense and a mechanical one.

I like it. I'm gonna steal it XD
You're welcome.

_________________
Born To Be Kings and Heros -- From the Ashes Phoenix
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” - Lazarus Long via Robert Heinlein.

One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
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PostSubject: Re: My 4e Clone: Points of Light   Tue Oct 01, 2013 8:12 pm

IMO, the ideal solution for a game like 4e lies in themes, and a little smoother mc and hybrid rules.

If the paladin's oath and code make sense for your character, but the avenger, or fighter, or whatever makes more sense otherwise, you can play that class and pick up a paladin theme. Rather than a ton of random themes, start with a theme that is essentially a third multiclass option for each class. Each time a new class comes out, it also gets a couple MC related feats, a theme, and a hybrid entry. If most (but not all, if I had my way) powers are power source based, the class will still take up less room than they do now.
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