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I’ve been enjoying D&D4e, I like having lots of options for my characters to pick but sometimes going through all of ‘em is a hassle. Especially between classes. It just bugs me that a Ranger and a Fighter, both martial heroes, will have entirely different powers that amount to a pretty similar effect like “You hit the guy a bunch of times”.
I’d like to see a general list of Martial Powers that everyone with that source can draw from. You can still keep them different based on how they interact with class features and also simply adding “If you are a Fighter…” or “If using a light blade…”
Say, an attack that does "2[w] , target is dazed"
-“If you are using a light blade, this attack targets reflex”- appropriate for Rogues, yes?
-“If this target is your quarry, make one additional attack against this target”- Hey, now its a Ranger power
-“If the target is marked, they are slowed after the daze wears off”- Contributes to Defender stickiness!
-“If you are a Warlord, an ally attacking this dazed target gains +X damage, where X is…” Warlord says “attack this dizzy guy!”
Functionally, nothing really changes, but for me it just becomes more readable, less space is taken up. This also leaves more room for illustrative art, have a guy getting whacked in the head and stabbed in the side. The perception of the power’s value increases. Instead of thinking “man, this is the same as that Fighter/Ranger/Rogue/Warlord power…” you think “Hmmm, I’m a Fighter, but this warlord option is also interesting…”. It’s worth increases fourfold. Interacting with Multiclassing… you could then get two benefits. Now your Fighter/Rogue has a brutal sneaking daze that leaves the foe feebly crawling away.
I like playing Street Fighter. There are attack types that get repeated such as the fireball, the anti-air uppercut, the spinning piledriver, etc. But they feel quite different on every character due to the minute differences between them and how they fit in their overall move set.
Another great part is how attacks naturally fit together. Say, Ryu has a leaping kick that can bounce his opponent off the wall and right into a dragon punch. If i were to dramatically rebuild the 4e system, I’d make encounter powers riders on At-wills (with the choice of doing the opposite too), so the combo effect comes into play. You could keep unique at-wills between the classes as there’s only 2-3 that never change, but share encounter/dailies with additional effects based on class abilities. This is what I find to be a good combination of “Class Distinction”+”Power cohesion”-“redundancy”