Our previous Inquisition focused on a topic near and dear to many RPG players, and can even make or break a person’s whole opinion of a system depending on how it works, systems for magic. I have to say that I’m not surprised to see my personal favorite system, Free Form Magic, come in first place with 27% of the votes. The best example of this for me is Mage: The Ascension which lets players gain between 1 and 5 dots in several fields of magic including Forces, Entropy, and Matter. Each dot (ie – level/power/potency) allows the player to manipulate that type of magic more effectively, and the combinations of different types are endless and casting spells requires a lot of creativity and input on the player’s part. Second place goes to the Recharge system seen in World of Warcraft and 4th Edition D&D, with 21% of the votes and beating out the Fatiguing / Physical or Mental Toll system of magic with 20%, a third place only 1 vote behind! The rest of the choices were all further behind, with Mysterious magic (Song of Fire & Ice) beating out Vancian (Dying Earth, old D&D), and Component based (Mistborn) recieving no votes at all.
In a little less than two months the Player’s Handbook 2 will be coming out for Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition, which will be a huge influx of options for players to choose from including speculatively eight new classes to choose from (check out our Class Reference feature). The PHB2 will also introduce the new Primal power source, which begins the churn of new content where it’s cool for a few months and then it stagnates and then the power source book is released and it is reinvigorated, rinse-repeat. Many will no doubt cry “power creep” almost immediately, but my primary focus will be the developing party dynamics created by a wider selection of classes across power sources and class roles. Eventually we will be able to create an entire party of controllers, each different in their own respects. Not that you’d really want to, but hell who knows it might be really cool?
Way back in April of 2008, when we were all still in the speculation mode about much of 4th Edition, I asked which class was most anticipated and the Warlord won out. Then in late June I mused about my dream of what the Barbarian would be like (a Martial Controller), which didn’t come to realization and even still looks like it won’t be happening in the PHB2 either. Finally, in September I decided to find out which class is the most popular after a few months of them being released and available for play, the result of which was the Warlock. At this point you could probably say that one of my main interests is class mechanics and balance, so in that vein I’d like to find out which upcoming new class is the most popular.
Avenger (Divine Striker): Speculative
Barbarian (Primal Striker): “Barbarians are savage warriors who deal out powerful blows from their mighty weapons. They charge from foe to foe and seldom feel the pain of an enemy’s strike. For barbarians’ foes, the moments of greatest terror come when barbarians call upon primal forces to lend power to their raging spirits. These rages, although temporary, give a barbarian incredible powers, a combination of skill, willpower, and a legacy of ancient tribal rituals.“
Bard (Arcane Leader): “
Druid (Primal Controller): “Whether you were born to the wilds or retreated from civilization, whether you chose your path or answered a call that whispered in your heart, you share a bond with the primal spirits of nature. You are neither their servant nor their master, but winds, trees, and beasts heed your words, for they recognize you as kin.
Call to the spirits, and they will entangle your foes or smite your enemies with the storm. Unleash your own spirit, and you will become the Primal Beast, uncaged and untamed.”
Invoker (Divine Controller): “You invoke the power of a god to blast your foes from a distance, leave them unable to defend themselves, and scatter them to the four winds. Depending on your choice of class features and powers, you lean toward either leader or striker as a secondary role.”
Shaman (Primal Leader): Speculative
Sorcerer (Arcane Controller, to be revealed 01/26): Speculative
Warden (Primal Defender): “As a warden, you might be the staunch defender of a tribe, chosen by the spirits to be your people’s champion. Perhaps you were visited by spirits at a sacred grove and charged with protecting it against a spreading corruption. You might have been raised by a bear or nurtured by dryads, chosen from infancy to stand fast against nature’s enemies.
Primal power waits in the ground beneath your feet, surges with every beat of your heart, and flows through your lungs with every breath. The world cries out to you, calling for a champion to defend it. Will you heed its call?”