e20 Core Classes

Discussion of e20 System classes: their roles, class features, and talent trees.

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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby Kaldaen » Tue Jan 26, 2010 12:40 am

Elsidar wrote:
GMSarli wrote:
  • Core talents are generally usable once per round, and they are the foundation of a particular talent tree. (I'm considering making a prerequisite for other talents on a tree is that you have at least one core talent -- not yet set on that.)
  • Minor talents are usually defensive, movement, aiding, or noncombat actions, usually about once per encounter.
  • Major talents are usually offensive or aiding actions, usually once per encounter or once per day.
  • Different recharge times allow for a balancing factor for talents that are slightly more powerful than others. Compared to a basic attack as a power-level benchmark, a talent usable 1/round is about 20% stronger, 1/encounter is about 50% stronger, and 1/day is about 100% stronger. (This obviously becomes very subjective when you're talking about something that doesn't directly affect combat statistics, but even in those cases you can compare talents of the same type to each other to evaluate their relative value.)


Aw, man... I was hoping not to see "1/day" ever again, especially on an ability that I'd have to spend character building resources on. I hate, hate, hate daily abilities; gaining them just makes a character stronger for one fight each day, and then every fight before and after he's used it, it might as well have been as if he never leveled in the first place, in terms of "neat things I can do".


I wholeheartedly agree. Per-day abilities have been the biggest weak point in the D&D franchise since its inception. The way they're done in 4E makes them a little easier to swallow -- at certain levels, you gain a slot for which you can pick abilities that are specifically marked as "daily." According to the rules you can't pick anything else for these slots, so you might as well pick a daily, and take comfort in the fact that you'll be given access to more frequently usable abilities later on.

However, daily abilities become much less attractive if you have other options with which to fill your character slots. I'll use my SWSE group as an example. Not a single player in my group has taken a talent for their character that was limited to once per day. In fact, most of them avoid talents that are limited to once per encounter. Given the relative freedom to choose one's abilities, my players lean towards talents that are either "always on" or usable at will. I believe most other players will show the same tendency when building their characters. If a per-round ability is available, then the per-encounter or per-day abilities will be passed over more often than not.

Elsidar wrote:If daily abilities must be included, I would like to see each talent that grants a 1/day "neat thing" to also grant a constant benefit for simply being able to do this Major "neat thing" at all. I'm thinking along the lines of the Reserve Feats from D&D 3.5's Complete Mage, if you want to understand what I mean a little better.


This is the only way I can see daily abilities working in a talent-based game. I think there was one talent in SWSE that followed this model, and it's a shame that it wasn't followed more often. To describe them for those who haven't read Complete Mage, a "Reserve Feat" would allow a spellcaster to use a weaker "at-will" version of a daily spell that they have prepared but haven't cast yet. So if a wizard has Fireball prepared, he can use a Reserve Feat to cast a weaker Fire-based magic attack every round as long as he has at least one un-cast Fireball in his spell list.

Translating this idea into a talent system, the idea would work something like this: A wizard chooses a talent called "Inferno," which allows him to make a magical fire attack against a single enemy within 6 squares for some small amount of damage, once per round. Additionally, once per day he can make a larger attack that hits all enemies within a 3-square radius of the spell's impact point, and deal quite a bit more damage to each one.

Each talent a character earns should have some component that can be used right away, without the player feeling like he or she has wasted it. A player should not have to hold back my awesome new talent, throwing older/weaker attacks at enemies just in case there's a bigger enemy in the next room. Either daily talents should include a smaller component that can be used more often, or the entire concept of "per-day" abilities should be left on the cutting room floor.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:21 am

Kaldaen wrote:[
My choices would be as follows:

  • Strong Hero: Vanguard
  • Tough Hero: Sentinel (or Defender or Guardian, I'm not picky about this one)
  • Fast Hero: Skirmisher
  • Smart Hero: Savant
  • Dedicated Hero: Disciple
  • Charismatic Hero: Tactician

Most of these are personal preferences, but I've got some definitive reasons for a couple of them. First, while I really like the term Dreadnought, I can't think of any instance where it would apply in a modern setting. It would be a great fit in a fantasy or futuristic setting, so I hope it ends up being used as the name of a talent tree at least. If it is the name of the class, I wouldn't be terribly disappointed. :) Vanguard has more cross-genre applicability, though, I think.

Second, I think Duelist has the problem of describing a specific job for the character. It suggests a one-on-one style of fighting, whereas there are a lot more ways a fast character can fight. While dueling is definitely an option, advance recon and enemy disruption also fit well with a high speed and Dexterity. Skirmisher describes all of these battlefield roles.

Edit: I have shamelessly changed my preference for the Charismatic class to Tactician, after seeing Stacie's post on the matter. That is much better than what I had, and it has the added bonus of not duplicating a "role" from 4E. :D

The rest I picked because they have literary appeal, and help to make the classes memorable.


I like this list :)

I think Enhancements should be the focus of the game, not Feats or Talents. Sure, we can have them, but if you think about it, Feats and Talents are themselves inherently Enhancements that characters gain as they gain levels.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby GMSarli » Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:39 am

Kaldaen wrote:My choices would be as follows:
  • Strong Hero: Vanguard
  • Tough Hero: Sentinel (or Defender or Guardian, I'm not picky about this one)
  • Fast Hero: Skirmisher
  • Smart Hero: Savant
  • Dedicated Hero: Disciple
  • Charismatic Hero: Tactician

Most of these are personal preferences, but I've got some definitive reasons for a couple of them. First, while I really like the term Dreadnought, I can't think of any instance where it would apply in a modern setting. It would be a great fit in a fantasy or futuristic setting, so I hope it ends up being used as the name of a talent tree at least. If it is the name of the class, I wouldn't be terribly disappointed. :) Vanguard has more cross-genre applicability, though, I think.

Second, I think Duelist has the problem of describing a specific job for the character. It suggests a one-on-one style of fighting, whereas there are a lot more ways a fast character can fight. While dueling is definitely an option, advance recon and enemy disruption also fit well with a high speed and Dexterity. Skirmisher describes all of these battlefield roles.

Edit: I have shamelessly changed my preference for the Charismatic class to Tactician, after seeing Stacie's post on the matter. That is much better than what I had, and it has the added bonus of not duplicating a "role" from 4E. :D

The rest I picked because they have literary appeal, and help to make the classes memorable.


Honestly, I like your list better than mine except for Tactician -- I'd prefer Leader (or Motivator or Coordinator or whatever), even if we do end up using the name of a 4E role for one of the classes.

The biggest reason is that I envision the Savant (Smart Hero) as a better "tactician"; for example, a Chess Grand Master is clearly very good at tactics, strategy, and thinking a dozen moves ahead, and that's almost certainly a Smart Hero. In my experience (graduate studies in military history and international relations), I'd say the same applies to battlefield tactics. More importantly, it highlights the fact that a commander can be a good tactician and strategist without necessarily being a good leader and motivator (and vice versa), something that history shows to be fairly common. (The rare individual who is good at both is usually the stuff of legend, shaping civilization for centuries, e.g. Alexander the Great.)

So, right now, here's my preferred list:
  • Strong Hero: Vanguard
  • Tough Hero: Sentinel
  • Fast Hero: Skirmisher
  • Smart Hero: Savant
  • Dedicated Hero: Disciple
  • Charismatic Hero: Leader
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Tue Jan 26, 2010 2:05 am

Those are good names except for Leader, it just doesn't sound right, plus it puts in the notion that whoever plays a "Leader" will, well, be the Leader of the group, or at the very least implies something like that.

I don't know if this will be a help, but here's a few synonyms for some words I found online. Maybe it will help, maybe not.

Synonyms for Charisma:
(enchantment, allure) agreeableness, allurement, appeal, attraction, attractiveness, beauty, bewitchery, charisma, chemistry, conjuration, delightfulness, desirability, fascination, glamour, grace, it, lure, magic, magnetism, pizzazz*, something*, sorcery, spell, star quality, witchery

Or (Person’s strong character) attitude, awe, character, charisma, charm, complex, fascination, glamour, magic, nature, spell, temperament

Synonyms for Leader:
(Person who Guides) boss, captain, chief, chieftain, commander, conductor, controller, counsellor, dean, dignitary, director, doyen, eminence, exec, forerunner, general, governor, guide, harbinger, head, herald, lead, lion*, luminary, manager, mistress, notability, notable, officer, pacesetter, pilot, pioneer, precursor, president, principal, rector, ringleader, ruler, shepherd, skipper, superintendent, superior

(Or someone who leads) adviser, attendant, captain, chaperon, cicerone, conductor, controller, convoy, counselor, criterion, design, director, docent, escort, example, exemplar, exhibitor, genie, genius, guiding spirit, guru, ideal, inspiration, lead, leader, lodestar, mentor, model, monitor, paradigm, pathfinder, pattern, pilot, pioneer, rudder, scout, standard, superintendent, teacher, usher, vanguard

Synonyms for Savant:
(scholar) academic, bookworm, brain*, egghead, expert, intellect, intellectual, learned person, learner, master, philosopher, pundit, sage, wise person

Synonyms for Tactician:
agent, ambassador, attaché, cabinet member, chargé d'affaires, conciliator, emissary, envoy, expert, go-between, legate, mediator, minister, moderator, negotiator, plenipotentiary, public relations person, representative, tactician



One synonym that pops out for Leader is Vanguard. If Vanguard isn't being used for the Con class, maybe it can be used for the Charisma class. I didn't expect to see this one under leader.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby GMSarli » Tue Jan 26, 2010 2:23 am

OK, let's think of some other possible synonyms that might fit the Charismatic Hero, focusing on the persuasive/diplomatic angle:

arbiter
negotiator
mediator
counselor
counsel
consular
advocate
agent
instigator


Of those, I kind of like Arbiter and Advocate.


EDIT: Added "instigator" to the list.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby babs » Tue Jan 26, 2010 4:05 am

Kaldaen wrote:
My choices would be as follows:

  • Strong Hero: Vanguard
  • Tough Hero: Sentinel (or Defender or Guardian, I'm not picky about this one)
  • Fast Hero: Skirmisher
  • Smart Hero: Savant
  • Dedicated Hero: Disciple
  • Charismatic Hero: Tactician

.


I really like much of the above choices! Here are some suggestions of mine:
[*]Strong Hero: Vanguard (<- I love this choice. I haven't seen this much in other games so it's a rather fresh term and it properly describes the 'front man')
[*]Tough Hero: Berserker. (comment: I don't like Sentinel, Sentinel to me sounds to rogueish, which certeinly is not a tough character; Both Defender and Guardian sound too skillful for a Tough guy. I choose Berserker instead which represents a really tough guy and it also allows us to put a Rage Talent Tree up for this class, which I think is really fitting for any Tough hero.)
[*]Fast Hero: Ranger (comment: I liked Skirmisher too, but I think Ranger is just too good too pass on altough it is a very D&Dish term. But think about it it can also really easily represent a Gun here (think Texas Rangers) or Sci-Fi hero (think SW Sector Rangers); it is just too fitting to pass up on this).
[*]Smart Hero: Savant (<- good one. Expert is okay too I guess for this one)
[*]Dedicated Hero: Monk (<-I was thinking about Disciple too, and I wouldn't mind if that were the final choice, but, I like monk better. Clerics and Jedis can both easily be described as Warrior Monks; The concept of Monk, however does have some melee-component in it tough, which might overlap too much with Berserker or presumably, the Brawler talent tree for the Vanguard.)
[*]Charismatic Hero: Tactician[/list] (<- Good choice, but it wouldn't capture any Sorceror or Jedi with charismatic skills. Leader wouldn't either. I guess that maybe we just shouldn't use Charisma for such abilities; but then you might run into Charisma = dumb score phenomena).

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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby JuggernAlz » Tue Jan 26, 2010 7:07 am

GMSarli wrote:
  • Strong Hero: Dreadnought (Brute, Vanguard, Champion)
  • Fast Hero: Duelist (Striker, Skirmisher, Harrier, Scout)
  • Tough Hero: Defender (Soldier, Protector, Guardian, Sentinel)
  • Smart Hero: Expert (Adept, Savant, Master, Specialist)
  • Dedicated Hero: Agent (Devotee, Disciple, Advocate)
  • Charismatic Hero: Leader (Personality, Authority, Executor)


...mumble...neutral...LATIN!!

  • Strong Hero: Bellator
  • Fast Hero: Auxiliarius
  • Tough Hero: Defensor
  • Smart Hero: Doctus
  • Dedicated Hero: Patronus
  • Charismatic Hero: Praefectus

(It's a joke of course)
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Tue Jan 26, 2010 7:49 am

GMSarli wrote:OK, let's think of some other possible synonyms that might fit the Charismatic Hero, focusing on the persuasive/diplomatic angle:

arbiter
negotiator
mediator
counselor
counsel
consular
advocate
agent
instigator


Of those, I kind of like Arbiter and Advocate.


EDIT: Added "instigator" to the list.


When I read those, Arbiter and Agent pop...the rest seem blandish. Instigator possibly.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby GMSarli » Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:44 am

JuggernAlz wrote:...mumble...neutral...LATIN!!

  • Strong Hero: Bellator
  • Fast Hero: Auxiliarius
  • Tough Hero: Defensor
  • Smart Hero: Doctus
  • Dedicated Hero: Patronus
  • Charismatic Hero: Praefectus

(It's a joke of course)



ROFL


... omg my sides hurt. :lol:



(Seriously, this totally made my day. :D )
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby babs » Tue Jan 26, 2010 9:07 am

GMSarli wrote:OK, let's think of some other possible synonyms that might fit the Charismatic Hero, focusing on the persuasive/diplomatic angle:

arbiter
negotiator
mediator
counselor
counsel
consular
advocate
agent
instigator


Of those, I kind of like Arbiter and Advocate.
EDIT: Added "instigator" to the list.


Of these, I like Agent and Consular. But what about:
Champion
Herald
Commander
Noble <- so whats wrong with just plain Noble?

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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby babs » Tue Jan 26, 2010 9:09 am

JuggernAlz wrote:
GMSarli wrote:
  • Strong Hero: Dreadnought (Brute, Vanguard, Champion)
  • Fast Hero: Duelist (Striker, Skirmisher, Harrier, Scout)
  • Tough Hero: Defender (Soldier, Protector, Guardian, Sentinel)
  • Smart Hero: Expert (Adept, Savant, Master, Specialist)
  • Dedicated Hero: Agent (Devotee, Disciple, Advocate)
  • Charismatic Hero: Leader (Personality, Authority, Executor)


...mumble...neutral...LATIN!!

  • Strong Hero: Bellator
  • Fast Hero: Auxiliarius
  • Tough Hero: Defensor
  • Smart Hero: Doctus
  • Dedicated Hero: Patronus
  • Charismatic Hero: Praefectus

(It's a joke of course)


Defensor? What about Centurion. That's much better. I won't support this system unless we change it to Centurion!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!101010 etc. etc.

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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby DTemplar5 » Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:03 am

Something I've noticed about how you're looking into enhancements somewhat reminds me of the Magic of Incarnum power set of soulmelds and such.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby JaredGaume » Tue Jan 26, 2010 2:57 pm

So far for class names these seem to be the leading alternatives so far (based on frequency of picks). I may have missed some references, did the best I could to gleen what was posted.
Listed names are in order of frequency picked, and then in order posted (for ties).

Strong: Vanguard 3, Brute 2, Fighter 2, Dreadnought, Muscle, Strongarm, Champion, Warrior, Mercenary, Bellator

Tough: Sentinel 3, Guardian 3, Defender 2, Tough, Barbarian, Soldier, Tank, Berserker, Defensor, Centurion

Fast: Duelist 3, Scout 3, Skirmisher 2, Harrier, Rogue, Scoundrel, Ranger, Auxiliarius

Smart: Expert 5, Savant 3, Adept, Wizard, Tech Specialist, Doctus

Dedicated: Agent 3, Sentinel 2, Adept 2, Monk 2, Disciple 2, Wise, Sorceror, Investigator, Patronus

Charismatic: Leader 4, Face/Faceman 2, Noble 2, Commander 2, Tactician 2, Agent 2, Personality, Officer, Praefectus, Consular, Champion, Herald, Arbiter


Keep it the same: 1


Any more ideas?

Want to support one of the class names already mentioned?
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby Elsidar » Tue Jan 26, 2010 3:22 pm

DTemplar5 wrote:Something I've noticed about how you're looking into enhancements somewhat reminds me of the Magic of Incarnum power set of soulmelds and such.


DTemplar5 is now officially awesome. :D I loved Magic of Incarnum.

But that brings up an interesting idea... let's say that it's possible that, of a certain kind or kinds of enhancement, characters can possess more than they can benefit from at a time. Some of these enhancements can be changed more frequently than others; for the sake of argument, I'll call enhancements you can change out on a round-to-round basis stances, and enhancements that can only be changed during rests exploits.

A stance-type enhancement would probably grant a passive bonus to some statistic (Majestic Turtle +2 grants a bonus to Primary and Reflex defense) and/or (depending on how strong/high-level the effect) access to some reaction ability (Stay Back lets you push away an enemy who moves adjacent to you 1/round).

An exploit-type enhancement, however, would probably be better suited to granting a 1/encounter combat maneuver or skill trick.

Action points could be used to recover and/or swap-out readied exploits in the middle of a battle if a character finds himself taken by surprise (though the success of that idea will depend on how often characters get action points and how they're used, as per bone_naga's or j0lt's suggestions).

I can't think of much more about this idea right now, except that maybe Enhancement discussion should probably be forked into a new thread... :oops:
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby Elsidar » Tue Jan 26, 2010 3:27 pm

JaredGaume wrote:Listed names are in order of frequency picked, and then in order posted (for ties).

Strong: Vanguard 4, Brute 2, Fighter 2, Dreadnought, Muscle, Strongarm, Warrior, Mercenary, Bellator

Tough: Sentinel 4, Guardian 2, Defender 2, Tough, Barbarian, Soldier, Tank, Berserker, Defensor, Centurion

Fast: Duelist 2, Scout 2, Skirmisher 3, Harrier, Rogue, Scoundrel, Ranger, Auxiliarius

Smart: Expert 4, Savant 4, Adept, Wizard, Tech Specialist, Doctus

Dedicated: Agent 3, Sentinel 1, Adept 2, Monk 2, Disciple 3, Wise, Sorceror, Investigator, Patronus

Charismatic: Leader 4, Face/Faceman 2, Noble 2, Commander 2, Tactician 2, Agent 2, Personality, Officer, Praefectus, Consular, Champion, Herald, Arbiter 2


Keep it the same: 1



I'm gonna change my votes for these (and I've changed the quote to reflect that):
  • Strong: Vanguard
  • Tough: Sentinel
  • Fast: Skirmisher
  • Smart: Savant
  • Dedicated: Disciple
  • Charismatic: Leader (though if it has to be different, Arbiter)
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Tue Jan 26, 2010 4:55 pm

JaredGaume wrote:So far for class names these seem to be the leading alternatives so far (based on frequency of picks). I may have missed some references, did the best I could to gleen what was posted.
Listed names are in order of frequency picked, and then in order posted (for ties).

Strong: Vanguard 3, Brute 2, Fighter 2, Dreadnought, Muscle, Strongarm, Champion, Warrior, Mercenary, Bellator

Tough: Sentinel 3, Guardian 3, Defender 2, Tough, Barbarian, Soldier, Tank, Berserker, Defensor, Centurion

Fast: Duelist 3, Scout 3, Skirmisher 2, Harrier, Rogue, Scoundrel, Ranger, Auxiliarius

Smart: Expert 5, Savant 3, Adept, Wizard, Tech Specialist, Doctus

Dedicated: Agent 3, Sentinel 2, Adept 2, Monk 2, Disciple 2, Wise, Sorceror, Investigator, Patronus

Charismatic: Leader 4, Face/Faceman 2, Noble 2, Commander 2, Tactician 2, Agent 2, Personality, Officer, Praefectus, Consular, Champion, Herald, Arbiter


Keep it the same: 1


Any more ideas?

Want to support one of the class names already mentioned?


Actually Leader would only have 2 as two or three of us picked Agent to replace Leader, which IMNSHO really isn't that good as a class name and Agent was never really mentioned as one for Dedicated (unless I'm like totally blind, which sometime that happens). I don't see how Leader is that good of a class name, but if I am overruled by the majority here then I guess I'll go with it, but its just boring and lame to me. Noble, Commander, Agent, Consular, Herald, Arbiter are all better names. Commander is to specific itself though, implies position of authority over the others, and that just strikes me as wrong.

How about Marshal?

If I may ask, why do we need six Classes? Why not have 2 Classes, one for Physical and one for Mental and have Talent Trees that run across the board instead of coming up with 6 Classes and trying to create Talent Trees for all 6. Just a thought.

If we are really going for the next step in d20 gaming, and we want this game to cross genre's and be a universal e20 game, then we need to change our paradigm of thinking that expands and evolutionizes the game...sure we have 6 Ability Scores, but one game already focused on the 6 classes for that, and for the most part that game is history, so why repeat the same formula that's already been done.

I think focusing on the Ability Scores is a step backwards andnot a step forward. SWSE was the step forward, it had five classes, and if you took Jedi out, you have 4 truly Viable classes that would work in any number of situations that criss-crossed the Ability Score spectrum with their Talents, and I think we should take that idea and expand it further.

Class names should pop, they should provide a spark in peoples minds, and they should be impressive. There is nothing Impressive about Expert and Leader as class names, there is no spark in my minds eye. They are bland. They might work, but they are not impressive. We want people who buy the book to be impressed, espcially if we are advertising the next evolution of the d20 system, and as a universal system.

We need to take another step outside the box, and shift our paradigm into a new way of thinking.

Let's say we have our Race, our race provides the core building blocks and provides a few innate skill choices and Enhancements. Let's say we have our 2 Classes, one more for physical aspects and one for mental, (or 6 Classes, whatever number of classes we have) and within these we have our various Talent trees. Let's add a third aspect to the character, and call these our Background, and these Backgrounds can provide bonus Talents, or even access, to special Talent trees, provide with bonus skill choices, maybe an Enhancement option, representing what it was the character did previous to adventuring.

You want this to be the next step in the d20 evolution, we have to take some chances and push the boundaries of what's already been done, and see what has not been done yet. The one thing that has not been done yet in an official d20 game, that I have seen so far, is a true classless-Level based game, with Talent Trees and Bonus Feats and all the good stuff. Mutants and Masterminds doesn't count because its completely point based and really doesn't have Levels. Having a Modular game has never really been done before. Using a totally new Enhancement the way we have described has never been done before in the way we have talked. Having the ability to provide players and/or gamemaster the ability to create their own races and classes for their own Modules to fit their own setting hasn't been done in a core d20 game yet.

You want this to be the next step, push the boundaries and look at things from a different, new perspective. And tying classes to ability scores is not it.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby JaredGaume » Tue Jan 26, 2010 5:56 pm

Stacie_GmrGrl wrote:(...)

We need to take another step outside the box, and shift our paradigm into a new way of thinking.

(...)

You want this to be the next step, push the boundaries and look at things from a different, new perspective. And tying classes to ability scores is not it.


Yes, absolutely! :D


I think the idea of the "six core classes" from d20M is more a jumping off point. I took it to mean that we should get beyond that.

For example (note: I am not advocating these particular choices, just a way to look at them):

Vanguard
Key abilities: Strength, Constitution, and Intelligence
Good at making punishing attacks and "breaking the line".

Sentinel
Key abilities: Constitution, Strength, and Wisdom
Good at holding ground, defending allies, and detecting enemies.

Duelist
Key abilities: Dexterity, Intelligence, and Charisma
Fast on his feet, makes accurate attacks, good at infiltration.

Expert
Key abilities: Intelligence, Dexterity, and Wisdom
Excels at any skill, superior tactician, able to do amazing things with technology or techniques.

Agent
Key abilities: Wisdom, Charisma, and Intelligence
Gets a good "read" on any situation, finds the right course, excels at conducting investigations.

Leader
Key abilities: Charisma, Intelligence, and Strength
A formal or informal leader, enhances the abilities of allies, and has plans that improve the chances of success.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby Jimmy Plamondon » Tue Jan 26, 2010 6:55 pm

Stacie_GmrGrl wrote:
JaredGaume wrote:So far for class names these seem to be the leading alternatives so far (based on frequency of picks). I may have missed some references, did the best I could to gleen what was posted.
Listed names are in order of frequency picked, and then in order posted (for ties).

Strong: Vanguard 3, Brute 2, Fighter 2, Dreadnought, Muscle, Strongarm, Champion, Warrior, Mercenary, Bellator

Tough: Sentinel 3, Guardian 3, Defender 2, Tough, Barbarian, Soldier, Tank, Berserker, Defensor, Centurion

Fast: Duelist 3, Scout 3, Skirmisher 2, Harrier, Rogue, Scoundrel, Ranger, Auxiliarius

Smart: Expert 5, Savant 3, Adept, Wizard, Tech Specialist, Doctus

Dedicated: Agent 3, Sentinel 2, Adept 2, Monk 2, Disciple 2, Wise, Sorceror, Investigator, Patronus

Charismatic: Leader 4, Face/Faceman 2, Noble 2, Commander 2, Tactician 2, Agent 2, Personality, Officer, Praefectus, Consular, Champion, Herald, Arbiter


Keep it the same: 1


Any more ideas?

Want to support one of the class names already mentioned?


Actually Leader would only have 2 as two or three of us picked Agent to replace Leader, which IMNSHO really isn't that good as a class name and Agent was never really mentioned as one for Dedicated (unless I'm like totally blind, which sometime that happens). I don't see how Leader is that good of a class name, but if I am overruled by the majority here then I guess I'll go with it, but its just boring and lame to me. Noble, Commander, Agent, Consular, Herald, Arbiter are all better names. Commander is to specific itself though, implies position of authority over the others, and that just strikes me as wrong.

How about Marshal?

If I may ask, why do we need six Classes? Why not have 2 Classes, one for Physical and one for Mental and have Talent Trees that run across the board instead of coming up with 6 Classes and trying to create Talent Trees for all 6. Just a thought.

If we are really going for the next step in d20 gaming, and we want this game to cross genre's and be a universal e20 game, then we need to change our paradigm of thinking that expands and evolutionizes the game...sure we have 6 Ability Scores, but one game already focused on the 6 classes for that, and for the most part that game is history, so why repeat the same formula that's already been done.

I think focusing on the Ability Scores is a step backwards andnot a step forward. SWSE was the step forward, it had five classes, and if you took Jedi out, you have 4 truly Viable classes that would work in any number of situations that criss-crossed the Ability Score spectrum with their Talents, and I think we should take that idea and expand it further.

Class names should pop, they should provide a spark in peoples minds, and they should be impressive. There is nothing Impressive about Expert and Leader as class names, there is no spark in my minds eye. They are bland. They might work, but they are not impressive. We want people who buy the book to be impressed, espcially if we are advertising the next evolution of the d20 system, and as a universal system.

We need to take another step outside the box, and shift our paradigm into a new way of thinking.

Let's say we have our Race, our race provides the core building blocks and provides a few innate skill choices and Enhancements. Let's say we have our 2 Classes, one more for physical aspects and one for mental, (or 6 Classes, whatever number of classes we have) and within these we have our various Talent trees. Let's add a third aspect to the character, and call these our Background, and these Backgrounds can provide bonus Talents, or even access, to special Talent trees, provide with bonus skill choices, maybe an Enhancement option, representing what it was the character did previous to adventuring.

You want this to be the next step in the d20 evolution, we have to take some chances and push the boundaries of what's already been done, and see what has not been done yet. The one thing that has not been done yet in an official d20 game, that I have seen so far, is a true classless-Level based game, with Talent Trees and Bonus Feats and all the good stuff. Mutants and Masterminds doesn't count because its completely point based and really doesn't have Levels. Having a Modular game has never really been done before. Using a totally new Enhancement the way we have described has never been done before in the way we have talked. Having the ability to provide players and/or gamemaster the ability to create their own races and classes for their own Modules to fit their own setting hasn't been done in a core d20 game yet.

You want this to be the next step, push the boundaries and look at things from a different, new perspective. And tying classes to ability scores is not it.


True and inspiring. I think along those same lines.

True20 have Experts, Adepts and Warriors - and you can pretty much build any type of character concept. However, in non-fantasy settings, you end up using only two classes...

Could, like Stacie said, the next step be a class-less (or almost class-less) system - one that works and inspire? Perhaps. Using talents to define your character offers more freedom than a "class". The D20 world is ready for this.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby bone_naga » Tue Jan 26, 2010 7:05 pm

I think having six classes is a good idea, as classes can help lend structure to the game, identify roles for people within a party, and help people pick abilities that will best fit that role. That said, if the game is built based on talents more than anything else, the classes really become more like strong suggestions or templates that people can use, but a GM that wants a classless game could simply proclaim that characters can pick any talent regardless of class requirements, thus creating a classless game. So really you could have the best of both worlds and have it built into the system.

As for my name picks:
Strong: Vanguard
Tough: Sentinel
Fast: Harrier
Smart: Expert
Dedicated: unsure
Charismatic: Leader or Faceman
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby ronin » Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:36 pm

I also like the six classes, one based off of each stat. As someone mentioned in another thread, one of D20 Modern's strengths was the fact that you could create any character using the classes and multiclassing. I thinking keeping that and expanding upon it should be the goal of e20. Though I must admit I always liked the player's options rules for 2e that allowed you to choose class abilities using a points system.

So, if we go classless (which seems unlikely) how would we go about it? It seems like we are already leaning towards no BAB anyway, no real class abilities other than talents and maybe bonus feats. So we have a character advancement table by level that defines XP, regular feats, etc and the player decides what to take for their abilities? I suppose you could even assign a point value to HD too and let the player decide how important their characters toughness is to them.

Bonus feats would be handed out every even level and are usually defined by a class list. So, could we classify feats as certain types (combat, diplomatic, healing, etc) and assign each type a certain point value maybe? We could do something similar with talents too or maybe just let people choose what they want. Most players are going to have an idea for their character already and choose abilities accordingly. You may have a fighter that is good at diplomacy, sneaking, or whatever the player chooses.

Skills would also have points assigned too. I don't know if a system where a player has to choose between a feat and a skill is a good idea but it could be an option. I think the best bet would be to have different levels of skill availablity to choose from-

4 class skills- costs 4 points
5 class skills- costs 5 points

and so on... You could even define how many feats someone could start with max and then the other points would be split between skills, HD, languages, or whatever else we decide. You could really create any character you'd like then!

Or maybe we can just stick with the main six classes...
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Tue Jan 26, 2010 11:26 pm

JaredGaume wrote:
Stacie_GmrGrl wrote:(...)

We need to take another step outside the box, and shift our paradigm into a new way of thinking.

(...)

You want this to be the next step, push the boundaries and look at things from a different, new perspective. And tying classes to ability scores is not it.


Yes, absolutely! :D


I think the idea of the "six core classes" from d20M is more a jumping off point. I took it to mean that we should get beyond that.

For example (note: I am not advocating these particular choices, just a way to look at them):

Vanguard
Key abilities: Strength, Constitution, and Intelligence
Good at making punishing attacks and "breaking the line".

Sentinel
Key abilities: Constitution, Strength, and Wisdom
Good at holding ground, defending allies, and detecting enemies.

Duelist
Key abilities: Dexterity, Intelligence, and Charisma
Fast on his feet, makes accurate attacks, good at infiltration.

Expert
Key abilities: Intelligence, Dexterity, and Wisdom
Excels at any skill, superior tactician, able to do amazing things with technology or techniques.

Agent
Key abilities: Wisdom, Charisma, and Intelligence
Gets a good "read" on any situation, finds the right course, excels at conducting investigations.

Leader
Key abilities: Charisma, Intelligence, and Strength
A formal or informal leader, enhances the abilities of allies, and has plans that improve the chances of success.


From here, and seeing some overlap, why not narrow it down to 4 core classes...

Vangurad, Sentinel, Agent, Tactician...

From here we can pretty do just about everything we would need to do. From here, we can have talent trees that allow these classes branch off and do different things.

Just a thought.

I guess I am not understanding exactly why we should tie classes to the ability scores... to me thats a limitation and a step backwards that's already been done. Instead, have classes that fill in the main archetypes of a "typical" party, as generic as possible, and let these classes have some overlap as far as ties to ability scores are concerned. Anything that ties a character to one Ability leads to characters that are to focused in one thing... that's a step backwards, not a step forward. It's something that works, and it did work, for d20M, but if we do it, even if we rename the classes, we are just doing the same thing again.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby JaredGaume » Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:24 am

Stacie_GmrGrl wrote:(...)
From here, and seeing some overlap, why not narrow it down to 4 core classes...

Vangurad, Sentinel, Agent, Tactician...

From here we can pretty do just about everything we would need to do. From here, we can have talent trees that allow these classes branch off and do different things.

Just a thought.

I guess I am not understanding exactly why we should tie classes to the ability scores... to me thats a limitation and a step backwards that's already been done. Instead, have classes that fill in the main archetypes of a "typical" party, as generic as possible, and let these classes have some overlap as far as ties to ability scores are concerned. Anything that ties a character to one Ability leads to characters that are to focused in one thing... that's a step backwards, not a step forward. It's something that works, and it did work, for d20M, but if we do it, even if we rename the classes, we are just doing the same thing again.

Nope, we shouldn't tie classes to the ability scores. Think in terms of broader character achetypes. Sure some classes will naturally favor certain groupings of ability scores, but that is an extension of the archetype more than a rigid "oh, you're the Strong hero." I did open this thread with a stab in that direction, but it was largely frowned on as too genre based. So Gary issued the challenge to come up with some classes with a broader scope and appeal. Maybe write six short descriptions of general character archetypes, and then look for a name that captures the meaning for each. It is okay if some archetypes overlap in some areas (fighting, leadership, tactics, etc...), it may be assumed that what exactly they do is going to be different.

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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby Kaldaen » Wed Jan 27, 2010 1:03 am

GMSarli wrote:Honestly, I like your list better than mine except for Tactician -- I'd prefer Leader (or Motivator or Coordinator or whatever), even if we do end up using the name of a 4E role for one of the classes.

The biggest reason is that I envision the Savant (Smart Hero) as a better "tactician"; for example, a Chess Grand Master is clearly very good at tactics, strategy, and thinking a dozen moves ahead, and that's almost certainly a Smart Hero. In my experience (graduate studies in military history and international relations), I'd say the same applies to battlefield tactics. More importantly, it highlights the fact that a commander can be a good tactician and strategist without necessarily being a good leader and motivator (and vice versa), something that history shows to be fairly common. (The rare individual who is good at both is usually the stuff of legend, shaping civilization for centuries, e.g. Alexander the Great.)


GMSarli makes a very good point about the name Tactician, and the same thing occurred to me earlier today, well after I had made my post. I do like the name, and like Dreadnought I hope it gets used in the game somewhere, but the Charismatic class isn't the place for it.

So what to call a Charismatic hero? Faceman as a class name sort of breaks the fourth wall, in a way. Using a meta-gaming term as an in-game class name will not help with immersion. Agent could work, but for me it conjures up images of Agent Smith from The Matrix, and Charisma was not one of his strong suits. Marshal sounds great, but it's very often used as another term for a Tactician, so it's got the same problem (possible name for a talent tree, though).

Of the ones that have been mentioned, I like Advocate, but I feel like there's another word lurking in the back of my mind that would be a better fit. I'll keep trying to coax it out, but in the meantime, my updated list would be:

  • Strong: Vanguard
  • Tough: Sentinel
  • Fast: Skirmisher
  • Smart: Savant
  • Dedicated: Disciple
  • Charismatic: Advocate
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby GMSarli » Wed Jan 27, 2010 1:43 am

Stacie_GmrGrl wrote:From here, and seeing some overlap, why not narrow it down to 4 core classes...

Vangurad, Sentinel, Agent, Tactician...

From here we can pretty do just about everything we would need to do. From here, we can have talent trees that allow these classes branch off and do different things.


Just from a point of view of how a potential customer might perceive this, one problem with this four-class setup is that they might come across as a little too similar to the four "party roles" in 4E:

Vanguard = Striker, Sentinel = Defender, Agent = Leader, Tactician = Controller

It's obviously not a perfect fit, but you can bet that someone would say it, and then we'd have an easy-to-remember runaway meme on our hands. (Think about how much mileage the "4E is just like WoW" meme got, despite not being that similar in very many ways.)

Stacie_GmrGrl wrote:I guess I am not understanding exactly why we should tie classes to the ability scores... to me thats a limitation and a step backwards that's already been done. Instead, have classes that fill in the main archetypes of a "typical" party, as generic as possible, and let these classes have some overlap as far as ties to ability scores are concerned. Anything that ties a character to one Ability leads to characters that are to focused in one thing... that's a step backwards, not a step forward. It's something that works, and it did work, for d20M, but if we do it, even if we rename the classes, we are just doing the same thing again.


One advantage of having a class tied primarily to one ability score (with one or two abilities in a secondary role) is that we can engineer talents that make the most of that. To illustrate why this can be important, think about the 4E Warlock. The class is designed such that you can make either Constitution or Charisma your primary ability, depending on the choices you make at 1st level. While that seems like it should be a good thing, in reality it leaves the Warlock with fewer power choices down the road: Their powers are split between Constitution-based and Charisma-based attacks, so their list of good choices is literally cut in half. If they want to try to use both, whichever stat isn't their best will be associated with powers that are always just a bit behind the power curve. In contrast, when another class has a power that uses a secondary ability, the power is usually designed to compensate for the slightly weaker ability modifier -- not always, and it's definitely not a perfect science, but that's certainly the most common outcome. (This is just my opinion about how they seem to make their design decisions, so YMMV.)

To avoid this pitfall, we'd like to have each class tied primarily to one ability score, with one or two supporting abilities. We have six ability scores, though; if we don't have at least one class focused on each of them, then one or two abilities will tend to become near-universal "dump stats" (e.g. Charisma in earlier versions of D&D). Thus, six classes, with each focused on one of the six abilities, is a good minimum. (We could theoretically have more than six classes, but honestly I think we'd start to run out of good genre-neutral class concepts pretty quickly.)

That said, I understand the concern about basically doing d20M classes with different names; without question, we want to avoid that. However, I think we will: One of the reasons to come up with different names is that they simultaneously define roles for the classes. That, right off the bat, puts us in a difference frame of mind than d20M, and adding the module- and genre-specific talent trees further differentiates e20 from d20M.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Wed Jan 27, 2010 6:13 am

The four party roles design of 4e is the one thing I can't stand about 4e... omg the number of times I have heard from players, "This time I'm going to be the striker..." or the DM says, "Well we have a controller but no defender (to new player) so you have to be the tank (despite the fact that new player might want to play something else)." I love 4e game play wise, but the pigeon holeing that it has caused really stinks...its one of the reasons I really dislike class games overall compared to point based games... My personal favorite games sort of blend these to a degree.

I agree with GM Sarli, I don't want our classes to become the four roles that some people would attribute to 4e...omg I wouldn't want that at all. I also would hate to see our classes become so focused on one Ability score that it makes it really, really easy for people to have dump stats... I would love to see that every class offers something, and making it hard for people to dump a stat or two. I'd love to see it evolve to where that if somebody picks a low stat they are hindering their characters, no matter what class they pick. I'm a dreamer, I can dream can't I :)

I love the d20 system, but I want to see a d20 system become more than what it has been. This is one of the reasons why SWSE is my favorite d20 game...the classes are so versatile and offer so many options that the class just falls into the background. Now if it only catered to non Star Wars settings, it'd be nearly perfect. It is truly my favorite d20 system, in a world that I just hate to role play in so I never play it. Love to watch Star Wars though.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Wed Jan 27, 2010 6:15 am

Kaldaen wrote:
GMSarli wrote:Honestly, I like your list better than mine except for Tactician -- I'd prefer Leader (or Motivator or Coordinator or whatever), even if we do end up using the name of a 4E role for one of the classes.

The biggest reason is that I envision the Savant (Smart Hero) as a better "tactician"; for example, a Chess Grand Master is clearly very good at tactics, strategy, and thinking a dozen moves ahead, and that's almost certainly a Smart Hero. In my experience (graduate studies in military history and international relations), I'd say the same applies to battlefield tactics. More importantly, it highlights the fact that a commander can be a good tactician and strategist without necessarily being a good leader and motivator (and vice versa), something that history shows to be fairly common. (The rare individual who is good at both is usually the stuff of legend, shaping civilization for centuries, e.g. Alexander the Great.)


GMSarli makes a very good point about the name Tactician, and the same thing occurred to me earlier today, well after I had made my post. I do like the name, and like Dreadnought I hope it gets used in the game somewhere, but the Charismatic class isn't the place for it.

So what to call a Charismatic hero? Faceman as a class name sort of breaks the fourth wall, in a way. Using a meta-gaming term as an in-game class name will not help with immersion. Agent could work, but for me it conjures up images of Agent Smith from The Matrix, and Charisma was not one of his strong suits. Marshal sounds great, but it's very often used as another term for a Tactician, so it's got the same problem (possible name for a talent tree, though).

Of the ones that have been mentioned, I like Advocate, but I feel like there's another word lurking in the back of my mind that would be a better fit. I'll keep trying to coax it out, but in the meantime, my updated list would be:

  • Strong: Vanguard
  • Tough: Sentinel
  • Fast: Skirmisher
  • Smart: Savant
  • Dedicated: Disciple
  • Charismatic: Advocate


I can't argue. :) Love it.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby jazzencat » Wed Jan 27, 2010 10:20 am

While core classes are good, I was thinking about a class building system in the vein of, say, Tri-Stat's Effects based powers. You pick an idea you want (like Rogue) and the book can provide a standard archetype for the core classes prebuilt, but also allow the option of selecting features and restrictions for the class you want, kind of like a modular design. In Tri-Stat for a power like fireball you'd start with special ability, attack, element: fire, select ranged, splash-damage, casting time, etc. So now you have your quintessential Wizard mainstay, the fireball.

For those who do not wish to think about building something, we can have the pre-made archetypes as examples, but allow for modularity in classes. instead of having a Bard class, it could be a tweaked rogue build or a fighter build etc.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby JaredGaume » Wed Jan 27, 2010 11:38 am

jazzencat, I think those are valid design "building blocks". I do think there is a limit on page budget for the book, so we might end up with some "out of the box" stuff. If there was space, I think it would be a good GM section to let people see how the design elements knit together. One of my criticisms of 3.0 and its derrivatives (3.5, d20M, etc...) is that there was a tendancey to not show you how it was done. Leaving you with these vague statements of "compare it to a similar class or monster to get your balance or XP (sorry CR) value". For example, In d20M the monster generation section was pretty good in "build your own monster" but lacked any kind of guidance to tell you how to really rate it.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby jazzencat » Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:22 pm

Perhaps this would make a good topic for a supplement if it doesn't fit in the core book. I was thinking of features I want to see in a generic system and this would be one. I wanted a way to get away from cookie-cutter classes where the difference was largely cosmetic.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Wed Jan 27, 2010 2:55 pm

jazzencat wrote:While core classes are good, I was thinking about a class building system in the vein of, say, Tri-Stat's Effects based powers. You pick an idea you want (like Rogue) and the book can provide a standard archetype for the core classes prebuilt, but also allow the option of selecting features and restrictions for the class you want, kind of like a modular design. In Tri-Stat for a power like fireball you'd start with special ability, attack, element: fire, select ranged, splash-damage, casting time, etc. So now you have your quintessential Wizard mainstay, the fireball.

For those who do not wish to think about building something, we can have the pre-made archetypes as examples, but allow for modularity in classes. instead of having a Bard class, it could be a tweaked rogue build or a fighter build etc.


This is what I would love to see in a d20 game is us using Classes and stuff, but also giving the players the building blocks to also develop their own options... and this has to be in the core rules. The very last thing you want to do is tell players they can do this, but have to wait for another book to get those rules. Not a good idea to advertise modularity and versatility in the game and then tell them to wait for it.

I love this idea, most definately can be tied into Enhancements. Heck, this is the Enhancements.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby Elsidar » Wed Jan 27, 2010 3:39 pm

jazzencat wrote:While core classes are good, I was thinking about a class building system in the vein of, say, Tri-Stat's Effects based powers. You pick an idea you want (like Rogue) and the book can provide a standard archetype for the core classes prebuilt, but also allow the option of selecting features and restrictions for the class you want, kind of like a modular design. In Tri-Stat for a power like fireball you'd start with special ability, attack, element: fire, select ranged, splash-damage, casting time, etc. So now you have your quintessential Wizard mainstay, the fireball.

For those who do not wish to think about building something, we can have the pre-made archetypes as examples, but allow for modularity in classes. instead of having a Bard class, it could be a tweaked rogue build or a fighter build etc.


The problem with point-based/effects-based games like Tri-Stat (much as I desperately want to play BESM one of these days) is the same problem found in the old, flat and boring names of the d20M classes; there's no personal hook for the character. In d20M, your character was essentially described as having taken levels in particular stats, while in Tri-Stat, your character is nothing more than a bundle of effects. Neither describes the character's place in the world or the group, and worse, in the case of Tri-Stat, it's far too easy to munchkinize towards one specific goal and be totally, game-breakingly awesome at it, yet be a liability to the rest of the party anywhere outside your specified "role."

Another problem with a point-based advancement system is that it's too difficult for the GM to accurately gauge the power level of his PCs. Someone who tricks out all of his skills might be worth the same number of character points as the guy who's bought oodles of hit points and a huge attack bonus, but when fighting monsters, the skill guy is at such a significant disadvantage, he may as well be worth nothing, and when there's social interaction going on, the super combat monkey has nothing to do but fidget.

I don't remember who posted the idea first, but if you're really looking out for a "classless" game, point buy isn't the way to do it. Stick with the leveling paradigm, but allow your players to pick talents from whatever talent trees you've approved for your setting. This keeps the maximum of character customiziability while still allowing the GM to keep an eye on party strength as well as make engaging characters with accurately defined characteristics, based on the talents and feats they choose.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby jazzencat » Wed Jan 27, 2010 3:49 pm

I had not been thinking of making it point-based but rather like the modular ship design rules of Pulver's Transhuman Space, or GURPS Traveller. You select hull, drive, armour, etc. But not necessarily charging points for it. You pick modules of areas that fit the idea for your character power and efficacy are dealt with by character level and access to various tiers on the talent tree (I am still unclear how that is proposed to work).
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby JaredGaume » Wed Jan 27, 2010 6:24 pm

Just grounding out a few things about character creation:

Race: Human by default, could be other things. (Humans may be light or non-existant on race based feats, talents, and enhancements, much more strongly tied to class or broader developments).
* Ability Scores. Your race gives you ability score bonuses. Human might give you +2 to any two, other races may have more defined bonus slots.
* Race Feats. You may choose these if you want to, but you don't have to. Many traditional race features would end up in this bucket.
* Race Talents. Special race abilities you may choose. You don't have to take these, but they are available to you.
* Race Enhancements. Unique exploits, stances, or powers inherent to your race. (only members of your race may take/recieve these enhancements).

Profession: Not a lot talked about this, but there are some rumblings. Basically your day job, background, and source of formal training. (aka Starting Occupation in d20M)
* Skills. Your selection of trained skills is defined by your profession. You get to pick a number of these skills to be trained in for free.
* Wealth. Your profession gives you a broad idea about your standard of living and available finances. (Whether we use "Wealth bonus", "real money", or some other system is up for debate)
* Professional Enhancements. Enhancements that may be granted by your profession. (probably only used if you can take one or two enhancements up front, these would be generally available enhancements otherwise, unlike race enhancements)

Class: An archetype you are choosing, defines how your character will process and use experience, i.e. gain levels.
* Hit Points. May grant your up-front hit points, deffinately defines hit point progression.
* Defenses. Gives you an up-front bonus to one or more defenses.
* Class Feats. You may choose these if you want to, but you don't have to. Many traditional class features would end up in this bucket.
* Class Talents. Special class abilities you may choose. You don't have to take these, but they are available to you.
* Level Progression. You level up in your class(es), as you gain levels you gain access to more feat and talent slots, among other benefits.

On Enhancements, if you can take some of these up-front, you should probably be limited to maybe one or two of these for free. The rest you will have to earn.

On Action Points, we have talked about these. It isn't yet clear how we will use these, but so far we have been talking about getting them on a per day basis. As you take actions, you can generate more action points throughout the day.
On the per day amount should we be talking about starting with 1 per day, 5 + 1/2 level per day, or some other rate? Tied to class, or independent?

This isn't meant to be deffinative, just a springboard for consideration or further discussion/ideas.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby Kaldaen » Wed Jan 27, 2010 8:33 pm

Stacie_GmrGrl wrote:
Kaldaen wrote:
  • Strong: Vanguard
  • Tough: Sentinel
  • Fast: Skirmisher
  • Smart: Savant
  • Dedicated: Disciple
  • Charismatic: Advocate


I can't argue. :) Love it.


Thanks for the vote of confidence. ;)

I wish I could find a better name for Charismatic heroes, though. Advocate seems to work for a lot of the character concepts that would fall into this category -- Nobles, Marshals, Officers, Agents, etc. -- but there is at least one classic archetype that has been nagging at me as a bad fit for the name. A Bard talent tree would definitely belong with the Charismatic class, but I have a hard time thinking of the term Advocate as a descriptor for Bards. Herald, which had been mentioned earlier, would work better for Bards, but it wouldn't work well for anything else in that category.

If Bards don't make it into the game, then I guess this is a moot point (though I'll be a little disappointed; I like Bards). If they will be a talent tree, then maybe some wordsmiths out there can help come up with a more general term, one that covers all aspects of Charisma.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Wed Jan 27, 2010 9:16 pm

A Charisma based class name will be the hardest one to pinpoint for some reason... But I think that it falls into the Ability itself. If we were to rename Charisma a different name, like Presence, and I'm not saying we should, but what is Charisma except for the very Presence of a person, in looks, charm, forcce of personality and will, demeanor, social graces, that is the persons Presence... I think Charisma, while used for a long time, is just a bad name for an Ability. Wisdom is another one that, while used for a long time, is just a bad Ability name... and if you look at the traditional skills used for Wisdom, it's nothing more than a glorified Perception Ability score, and should truly be renamed Perception, or something else, but not Wisdom.

Maybe we need to do away with more Sacred Cows of the past 30+ years of traditional D&D/d20 system structure. Just a thought.

This should maybe be in House Rules, but once I renamed Abilities these names:

Strength - Power
Dexterity - Reflexes
Constitution - Body/Endurance/Stamina (this one is the only one I can see staying the same)
Intelligence - Adroitness
Wisdom - Sense
Charisma - Presence

Definitions of some: Adroitness -1) having or showing skill, cleverness, or resourcefulness in handling situations <an adroit leader> <adroit maneuvers> also 2) skillful in a physical or mental way; clever; expert his adroit handling of an awkward situation also 3) expert or nimble in the use of the hands or body, cleverly skillful, resourceful, or ingenious: an adroit debater.

I like Adroitness because it blends both aspects of Intelligence and Dexterity into one ability, which would free up one of them to use a new ability. And it would stop people asking, what is Intelligence? Because, well, we really just don't know what Intelligence really is. Same for Wisdom. But Wisdom is nothing but our senses as used in the game, even though its described as our common sense also, but then it makes NO SENSE at all why it's the Will Save, when Charisma/Presence is described as your Force of Will and Personality...

I picked these names, because, well these are the very core of what these abilities do. My idea didn't go over well with my group, one because I'm a girl at that group really was pretty much a guys only club, and two, they thought it was just to different.

And in class design, maybe game design, do we need Fortitude, Reflex, and Will???
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby jazzencat » Wed Jan 27, 2010 10:11 pm

For me seeing classes in a core book is generally a reason NOT to buy it. I don't like how the class system defines the role of the character and limits what can be done. Sometimes I have an idea for a character that will not fit any of the classes even if there are 12 or more.

If we want classes what about working with Rifts' OCC and RCC as a starting point or use the profession/occupation as the class instead of the d20M or D&D paradigm? One system had characters roll for their background (adventures and misadventures and so forth) So someone who had Fisher in their background (they came from a fishing family) got a bonus to their swimming skill. I want to be a bard, but why should the bard be based off the rogue tree? or rogue/mage tree? What about a bard who uses no spells, but is a very adept fighter instead (they practiced lots of swordplay for stage fighting) or they grew up in the circus and became fighters when they left or something along those lines.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby Shawn Burke » Wed Jan 27, 2010 10:49 pm

I don't know, I still don't see the point of a Constitution based class. It seems kind of forced... It overlaps too much with a Strength based class.

All the other classes seem pretty broad.
Str - soldier, warrior, etc.
Dex - rogue, scout, ranger, archer, gunslinger...
Int - expert, wizard, scientist...
Wis - shaman, monk, priest...
Chr - leader, face, bard, noble...

Where does that leave Con? Tough guy. Seems like the niche overlaps with others too much.. What kind of talent trees would they have?
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby Elsidar » Wed Jan 27, 2010 10:52 pm

Classes are not going to be the restriction on character builds and concepts that you're assuming, jazzencat. For one, there is no penalty for multiclassing, so if you want a "bard" type character who knows enough to get by, can make up the rest, and is fast enough to run if he gets in hot water, his class build could look like "Charismatic 3/Smart 1/Fast 2" with talent that fit with what you want the characger to do.

Second, charfacter classes, even if they are as restrictive as 3.X, do not have to conflict with character concept. For example, consider a character who prays to Bahamut for power to protect his friends, and Bahamut blesses him with draconic form and strength. How would you build him? I played that guy as a level 9 Dragonborn Dragon Shaman. The point is, when building a character, if you imagine your character's concept, abilities, and growth in the future before you start picking classes, you'll have a much easier time building the character you want to play, especially with a class system that Gary has set forward in the FAQ.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby Kaldaen » Wed Jan 27, 2010 11:27 pm

Shawn, to answer your question, I see the Constitution class as containing abilities that exemplify a "protector" archetype -- the character who puts his shield between his ally and the enemy's axe; the one who holds the line and pushes back on the enemy advance; the one who draws fire upon himself so that his teammates can do their jobs more effectively.

In a system where multiclassing is free, it is usually also encouraged. Such a character would most likely take a few levels in other classes that represent other aspects of how he fights.

Stacie, while we are rethinking many of the things that have gone into D&D and d20M before, I think that the Reflex, Fortitude and Will defenses each serve valuable purposes. They represent the three ways a person can resist an attack -- by getting out of the way, by toughing it out, or by steeling his mind. To add more would be to dilute the significance of each defense, and to remove any would be to leave out an important dimension of combat.

I also disagree with the idea that's been floated on these boards that Will is somehow synonymous with Awareness in this context. It isn't. Treating it as such means lumping Perception into an existing passive defense and making it harder to handle either of the original concepts. While being aware of something can be a passive act, but it also involves deliberate attempts to seek out or find things. Eliminating the active aspect of Perception removes half of its usefulness from the game, and using it as one of the three Defenses completely cuts out the mental aspect of combat.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby JaredGaume » Wed Jan 27, 2010 11:35 pm

D&D 4e incorporated the idea of passive perception and passive insight. Both of these are still skills that can be used actively. The design choice was to give the character a "defense" against stealthed enemies or hidden agendas that they weren't actively looking for. At any time the character could use their perception or insight skills to find something hidden (object, character, or motive).

The only justification for bringing passive perception and insight into Will defense, or to call it awareness, was to reduce complexity. This only based on the observation that Will defense incorporates the same core bonuses as passive perception or insight. Perception and insight can still be used actively, but having a passive defense allows many more situations to be resolved by a single dice roll on the part of the actor. Otherwise the number of passive defenses starts to inflate rapidly.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Wed Jan 27, 2010 11:38 pm

JaredGaume wrote:Just grounding out a few things about character creation:

Race: Human by default, could be other things. (Humans may be light or non-existant on race based feats, talents, and enhancements, much more strongly tied to class or broader developments).
* Ability Scores. Your race gives you ability score bonuses. Human might give you +2 to any two, other races may have more defined bonus slots.
* Race Feats. You may choose these if you want to, but you don't have to. Many traditional race features would end up in this bucket.
* Race Talents. Special race abilities you may choose. You don't have to take these, but they are available to you.
* Race Enhancements. Unique exploits, stances, or powers inherent to your race. (only members of your race may take/recieve these enhancements).


I like it. Racial Talent trees can be useful in seperating e20 from the pack. I think only FantasyCraft has done something like that. And no one has done Race Enhancements. :)

Include an Aspect system from Fate here...let me pull out my Spirit of the Century book and define them in there, hold on (goes to book shelf...) ok back: Aspects are atrributes that paint a picture of who the character is, what's he connected to, and what's important to him. Beliefs, Passions, catch-phrases, descriptors, special personal items, background notes, etc. (this is in contract to what he is good at, which is what skills are for).

Another version of this is in Reign, described as Passions. Passions here are described inn three ways: Craving, Duty, and Mission. Let me get that book (brb....) ok back. Passions are clearly defined personality drives, things so important to the character that they have in game effects. Missions are something that the character wants to very much accomplish. Duty is the way they live their life, ethical principles of sorts. Craving is more personal, like a selfish, egotistical goal.

If we implement something like the above in e20, e20 will stand out more. Tie these into an Action Point system, and the GM can use these as hooks for the characters, either giving them a benefit or a hindrance, and if a hindrance, then the character gets either bonus Action Points or bonus XP. Win win. :)

Profession: Not a lot talked about this, but there are some rumblings. Basically your day job, background, and source of formal training. (aka Starting Occupation in d20M)
* Skills. Your selection of trained skills is defined by your profession. You get to pick a number of these skills to be trained in for free.
* Wealth. Your profession gives you a broad idea about your standard of living and available finances. (Whether we use "Wealth bonus", "real money", or some other system is up for debate)
* Professional Enhancements. Enhancements that may be granted by your profession. (probably only used if you can take one or two enhancements up front, these would be generally available enhancements otherwise, unlike race enhancements)


Althought it was Abstract, using Wealth bonus could be a good idea for a universal system. I can't really think of anything here. It makes it easy, if not super accurate. This could be another area for a modularity. Wealth bonus modifier for abstract games, or a monetary system for games where counting every little penny counts.

Professions is a superb idea... when I get FantsayCraft in my hands I'm going to look at how they do Origins (basically their Profession system I think...I'll go to their forums and ask around) and see how good it is.

Class: An archetype you are choosing, defines how your character will process and use experience, i.e. gain levels.
* Hit Points. May grant your up-front hit points, deffinately defines hit point progression.
* Defenses. Gives you an up-front bonus to one or more defenses.
* Class Feats. You may choose these if you want to, but you don't have to. Many traditional class features would end up in this bucket.
* Class Talents. Special class abilities you may choose. You don't have to take these, but they are available to you.
* Level Progression. You level up in your class(es), as you gain levels you gain access to more feat and talent slots, among other benefits.

On Enhancements, if you can take some of these up-front, you should probably be limited to maybe one or two of these for free. The rest you will have to earn.

On Action Points, we have talked about these. It isn't yet clear how we will use these, but so far we have been talking about getting them on a per day basis. As you take actions, you can generate more action points throughout the day.
On the per day amount should we be talking about starting with 1 per day, 5 + 1/2 level per day, or some other rate? Tied to class, or independent?

This isn't meant to be deffinative, just a springboard for consideration or further discussion/ideas.


If we want to stand out more, another key area, which we have discussed some, is the structure of hit points. Here, well, we'll figure it out, but we can't use the same formula. Sure it has worked, but it always leads to some form of argument. Having a clear cut system for what is Stun and what is Lethal would be nice. Anything we can do to cut out arguments and make it easy to understand would be a good thing.

Maybe having a system for Mental Trauma would be good as well, sort of like Mental hit points (but lets not call them that). It would work really well for Horror games.

So, lets say we have the following six Classes:
Vanguard
Sentinel
Skirmisher
Savant
Disciple (might need better name), its good, but doesn't pop (not to me)...if you were to pick this book in the store, what would this class say to you just by its name?
Advocate

Can somebody who has designed classes chime in and take these names, and write up a paragraph description of each, and maybe list two or three specializations that these classes could focus in?
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby Kaldaen » Wed Jan 27, 2010 11:51 pm

JaredGaume wrote:D&D 4e incorporated the idea of passive perception and passive insight. Both of these are still skills that can be used actively. The design choice was to give the character a "defense" against stealthed enemies or hidden agendas that they weren't actively looking for. At any time the character could use their perception or insight skills to find something hidden (object, character, or motive).

The only justification for bringing passive perception and insight into Will defense, or to call it awareness, was to reduce complexity. This only based on the observation that Will defense incorporates the same core bonuses as passive perception or insight. Perception and insight can still be used actively, but having a passive defense allows many more situations to be resolved by a single dice roll on the part of the actor. Otherwise the number of passive defenses starts to inflate rapidly.


But the problem remains that if you start using the term "Awareness" to refer to the third defense, you lose the aspect of mental resilience that Will Defense currently represents. Also bear in mind that in 4E (and in SWSE, using feats from the supplements), a character can use his Charisma bonus to calculate Will Defense, reasoning that a force of personality could bolster a person's mental focus. Since there is no established link between Charisma and Perception, this implies that Will is a significant aspect of a character and should be allowed to stand on its own.

The Passive Perception and Passive Insight "defenses" were introduced in 4E to eliminate opposed die rolls, nothing more. Perception and Insight are still very much conscious and deliberate actions, primarily, and as such belong on the active skill list. Having a passive score for each of these allows the DM to resolve devious or clandestine actions by the NPC's without announcing to the players, "I need you to make a Perception check," which will tip them off that there's something important happening. Not every DM wants to take the time to throw in "bogus" Perception rolls just to keep the players guessing.

Combining these two very different aspects into a single number will not reduce complexity, but it may well cause unnecessary confusion. Try explaining to a new player that if he wants to hide, fix a device or persuade someone, he or she will find the bonus in the Skill list. But if the character needs to look for something, that bonus is found under Defenses. :?
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby JaredGaume » Wed Jan 27, 2010 11:54 pm

Kaldaen wrote:(...)
But the problem remains that if you start using the term "Awareness" to refer to the third defense, you lose the aspect of mental resilience that Will Defense is currently meant to convey.
(...)

Like I said, there was only really one justification for it. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work. No biggie.
Kaldaen wrote:(...)
Combining these two very different aspects into a single number will not reduce complexity, but it may well cause unnecessary confusion. Try explaining to a new player that if he wants to hide, fix a device or persuade someone, he or she will find the bonus in the Skill list. But if the character needs to look for something, that bonus is found under Defenses. :?

Um, no. Passive is just that. If you want to actively do something you still get to do it, i.e. use the skill you wanted to use, it's bonus is not found under defenses.

The other way that passive perception/insight could be used is to roll for this at the start of an encounter. The result is your passive perception/insight until you make another check. The reasoning for this is, for example, when someone is "stealthed" they basically take that result until someone can beat it, or they take another action.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby j0lt » Thu Jan 28, 2010 1:51 am

GMSarli wrote:
JaredGaume wrote:When you described Enhancements I was thinking you were going to want some way to limit them. I like the idea of having a "stance" and/or an "exploit" that I can use. Though I wonder if we can treat Enhancements a little like items or weapons, spend a Move action or the like and you can change your stance. Maybe have a set-up where you have semi-permenant Enhancements that are like wearing armor, you can only change them between encounters. And have easy-swappable Enhancements that are more like weapons, you can switch between them during an encounter.

That is an excellent idea.

I agree, having two tiers of Enhancements (major & minor) would add more flexibility, which seems to be the direction most of the mechanics of e20 are heading.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby Kaldaen » Thu Jan 28, 2010 7:46 am

JaredGaume wrote:Um, no. Passive is just that. If you want to actively do something you still get to do it, i.e. use the skill you wanted to use, it's bonus is not found under defenses.


So you would have the characters "senses" calculated twice? Once under Defenses and again under Skills?

JaredGaume wrote:The other way that passive perception/insight could be used is to roll for this at the start of an encounter. The result is your passive perception/insight until you make another check. The reasoning for this is, for example, when someone is "stealthed" they basically take that result until someone can beat it, or they take another action.


This sounds like it could work, but in my experience the "Stealth vs. Perception" stuff usually happens before the start of an encounter, with a rogue trying to get the jump on the party, or someone following them from afar. How would you handle these scenarios?
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby j0lt » Thu Jan 28, 2010 8:06 am

Kaldaen wrote:
JaredGaume wrote:Um, no. Passive is just that. If you want to actively do something you still get to do it, i.e. use the skill you wanted to use, it's bonus is not found under defenses.

So you would have the characters "senses" calculated twice? Once under Defenses and again under Skills?

Not quite. Passive Perception is one of the ideas I like best from 4e. It's not calculated twice, and I don't think it should be part of the defenses. It's just that when you're not actively spending an action to try and spot or listen, you're treated as taking 10.
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby JaredGaume » Thu Jan 28, 2010 2:01 pm

Okay, my take so far (for what it's worth):

Vanguard - Like it, conjures up the guy who is hard core "first and all in".

Sentinel - Like it, makes me think of the "patient protector".

Skirmisher - Not entirely sold on it since it seems to indicate a "combat only" application, doesn't "click" for me.

Savant - Like it, personally prefer Expert, but Savant works too, "the brains of the opperation".

Disciple - A little lost on that one, kind of like skirmisher, seems to indicate a "follower" role to me, not entirely heroic or interesting.

Advocate - Like it, captures the idea of a charismatic leader, spokesperson, or well advocate.


Honorable Mention:

Centurion - 101010101010101010101010101010101 :geek:


Some ideas that came to mind:

I feel that Sentinel could be moved into the "Wisdom" column. Less about defenses, and more about detection. (remembering the TV series by the same name from years ago...)
On that note, another "Wisdom" column idea would be Detective, not as in the modern genre role, but more: "One who detects", spots things that are out of place.

Still racking my brains on Skirmisher, something better for a dexterous and quick (acting, moving, thinking, etc...) character...
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby babs » Thu Jan 28, 2010 2:38 pm

If you don't like SKirmisher as a dex class, what about Ranger? I know it sounds very D&D'ish, but I think it also extremely well fits modern (Texas Rangers anyone?) and Sci-Fi (Sector Rangers anyone?).

Babs out!
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby JaredGaume » Thu Jan 28, 2010 2:48 pm

babs wrote:If you don't like SKirmisher as a dex class, what about Ranger? I know it sounds very D&D'ish, but I think it also extremely well fits modern (Texas Rangers anyone?) and Sci-Fi (Sector Rangers anyone?).

Babs out!

I think that can work, so long as we are coming at it from a more broad based idea. As opposed to say a warden of the wilderness.
On the other hand it does conjure the impression of a law-man or a more "genre" based class.

(...still thinking...)
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Re: e20 Core Classes

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Thu Jan 28, 2010 5:15 pm

JaredGaume wrote:
babs wrote:If you don't like SKirmisher as a dex class, what about Ranger? I know it sounds very D&D'ish, but I think it also extremely well fits modern (Texas Rangers anyone?) and Sci-Fi (Sector Rangers anyone?).

Babs out!

I think that can work, so long as we are coming at it from a more broad based idea. As opposed to say a warden of the wilderness.
On the other hand it does conjure the impression of a law-man or a more "genre" based class.

(...still thinking...)


how about Warden for a class name? Maybe instead of Sentinel, and move Sentinel down to the Wisdom based class.

Vanguard
Warden
(dex) - harrier, skirmisher, rogue, sccout, ranger, scoundrel...what do they all have in common categorically?
Savant
Sentinel
Advocate
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