2005-02-09 : Archive 173
If I want to make a new class for d20, what are the major factors to consider? I'm interested in both the underlying math (how to make sure class features keep pace with other classes and rising CR levels) and more subtle issues around keeping the class interesting to players and useful to the overall party.
Undoable. Those three things - making sure its features keep pace with other classes', making sure it's interesting to players, and making sure it's useful to the overall party - contradict one another. As you move toward any one of them, you'll sacrifice the others.
Briefly, why they contradict: usefulosity contradicts keeping-pace-itude because usefulosity implies diversity (otherwise, why wouldn't you just play a fighter?) and there are only so many ways to be effective: keeping-pace-itude creates overlap in effectiveness, which undermines diversity, upon which a class's usefulosity depends. Interestingness contradicts usefulosity because what we're interested in is where characters break and where they don't, humanly speaking, not how useful they are. And interestingness contradicts keeping-pace-itude, as you can guess, because keeping pace with the fighter is stupifyingly dull.
I don't know D20 from a hole in the head, surprise surprise. So I'll grant that there may be arrangements of keeping-pace-itude, interestingness, and usefulosity that work. Sacrifice this and this just enough, twist this just the right way, angle the rules to collide with one another and get the player's buy-in, stir well and you've got productive dynamic tension instead of yet another lame class. Okay, I can buy that.
It's probably even pretty easy if by "interesting to players" you mean something stupid like "colorful." Being willing to sacrifice interestingness to zip means that you really only have to juggle keeping-pace-itude and usefulosity.
But even so, I bet ten bucks that other people have already found all of those arrangements. Any class you make now, my $10 says, is going to be either bad or a regurgitation of someone else's, probably lots of someone elses'.
And if you then go back and insist that "interesting" actually mean interesting, it just gets worse.
So stick to the tried and true.
1. On 2005-02-09, ScottM said:
2. On 2005-02-09, Ninja Hunter J said:
3. On 2005-02-09, Vincent said:
4. On 2005-02-10, Brennan said:
5. On 2005-02-10, Vincent said:
6. On 2005-02-10, Brennan said:
7. On 2005-02-10, Eric Finley said:
8. On 2005-02-10, Ninja Hunter J said:
9. On 2005-02-10, Brennan said:
10. On 2005-02-10, Eric Finley said:
11. On 2005-02-10, Ben Lehman said:
12. On 2005-02-10, Chris said:
13. On 2005-02-10, anon. said:
14. On 2005-02-10, Ninja Hunter J said:
15. On 2005-02-10, Brennan said:
16. On 2005-02-10, Eric Finley said:
17. On 2005-02-10, Ninja Hunter J said:
18. On 2005-02-10, Chris said:
19. On 2005-02-14, Tom said:
20. On 2005-02-14, Vincent said:
21. On 2005-02-14, Ben Lehman said: