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Its not looking good for the fighter class in 5E


D&D 4th Edition (and Beyond)

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Bluenose wrote:
P.H. Dungeon wrote:

I would like to see something similar to the stunt system in the Dragon Age rpg. It is a nice slick way of doing a lot of fun and interesting combos of maneuvers without bogging the game down or needing 1000s of powers or feats to do them.

With a little customisation, it would work very well. Though of course 3d6 allows something a bit different to 1d20.

True, but you could have a mechanic that lets a fighter generate some sort of stunts points to spend on "martial exploit" type stunts whenever they land a blow or the fighter could have a pool of stunt points to spend in combat. Maybe they get more points as they level up and access to more powerful stunts.

Andoran

I'm not saying reinvent the wheel. Just some more options or manuevers. in 2E a Fighter at higher levels was able to gather an army. Give the class the ability to do all the 3E combat manuevers without having to take a feat. We have had the simiplicty of "I swing and hit" for 3 editions it's time for a bit of a change. A class should be more than just be good at hitting something. It's assumed that by virtue of being a fighter that your already good at hitting stuff. For me anyway I found myself asking what else will they let the fighter do. Which is why I love the 4E fighter. I can hit with my powers and do other things beyond just that. Nor does simplicity mean not offering more options. You can have both imo.


memorax wrote:
I'm not saying reinvent the wheel. Just some more options or manuevers. in 2E a Fighter at higher levels was able to gather an army. Give the class the ability to do all the 3E combat manuevers without having to take a feat. We have had the simiplicty of "I swing and hit" for 3 editions it's time for a bit of a change. A class should be more than just be good at hitting something. It's assumed that by virtue of being a fighter that your already good at hitting stuff. For me anyway I found myself asking what else will they let the fighter do. Which is why I love the 4E fighter. I can hit with my powers and do other things beyond just that. Nor does simplicity mean not offering more options. You can have both imo.

One thing worth adding is that Fighters in BECM/A D&D were very tough to take out of a fight. Lots of hit points, good armour, really good saving throws - at least at higher levels. Not only could we dish out the damage, we could survive longer. I like having options, but I like being upright to select from them even more.


You should be able to have both without much trouble.

Bluenose wrote:
memorax wrote:
I'm not saying reinvent the wheel. Just some more options or manuevers. in 2E a Fighter at higher levels was able to gather an army. Give the class the ability to do all the 3E combat manuevers without having to take a feat. We have had the simiplicty of "I swing and hit" for 3 editions it's time for a bit of a change. A class should be more than just be good at hitting something. It's assumed that by virtue of being a fighter that your already good at hitting stuff. For me anyway I found myself asking what else will they let the fighter do. Which is why I love the 4E fighter. I can hit with my powers and do other things beyond just that. Nor does simplicity mean not offering more options. You can have both imo.
One thing worth adding is that Fighters in BECM/A D&D were very tough to take out of a fight. Lots of hit points, good armour, really good saving throws - at least at higher levels. Not only could we dish out the damage, we could survive longer. I like having options, but I like being upright to select from them even more.


memorax wrote:
I'm not saying reinvent the wheel. Just some more options or manuevers. in 2E a Fighter at higher levels was able to gather an army. Give the class the ability to do all the 3E combat manuevers without having to take a feat. We have had the simiplicty of "I swing and hit" for 3 editions it's time for a bit of a change. A class should be more than just be good at hitting something. It's assumed that by virtue of being a fighter that your already good at hitting stuff. For me anyway I found myself asking what else will they let the fighter do. Which is why I love the 4E fighter. I can hit with my powers and do other things beyond just that. Nor does simplicity mean not offering more options. You can have both imo.

It sounds like 5E will enable you to roll a 4E style fighter if you like. However, I doubt that'll be the default, and I think that's a sound decision. Complexity for those that want it, but simplicity for those that don't.

Andoran

I think they will get a lot more flak for just offering a swing and hit fighter vs a similar one with mor options. You see many copmplaints about D&D yet nothing imo more so then the Fighter being underpowered. Offering the same one a second time seems like a bad design decision. At the very least when your asking for feedback for 5E.

My hope is that they offer options everyone. Not sure how they will pull it off. Not to mention I fail to see how offering more options beyond swing and hit offers more "complexity" to the fighter. Wizards, Clerics and druids and other casters imo have a lot more options. I have never seen a thread "Wizards too many options and why i don't want to play one" or something similar.


This one thing where I think the 3.5 Book of Nine Swords did it better. Daily powers for fighters make them look too much like "wizards with swords" in my opinion, but encounter based things are easier to explain.


I thought it was pretty easy to suspend disbelief for Fighter dailies. In a world where Dragons can ruin cities, the dead walk, elves live in trees, and mighty spells are thrown around...it's not hard to imagine a guy wielding a huge weapon and, with one swing, fells a giant Ogre. I'd think doing it multiple times would be tremendously difficult to pull off and can see it only happening once in a while. *shrugs*.

As for options, if a Fighter can use Martial maneuvers and stances the better class he'll be. Like I said eariler, if he can be made to resemble the Warblade from the Tome of Battle, but with more focus on a role (if desired) then it'll be a win. And I don't think Fighters need to sling fireballs, fly, disable traps, or the like to remain useful. I do think they need to add conditions onto their hits at higher levels to stay useful. A high-level fighter doesn't get by with high DPR alone. No, he'll need to bring something else by that point where magic makes up for mundane methods for just about everything. A Fighter should be able to daze, knock prone, disarm, etc. a lot of targets by the later levels and NOT make it ridiculously hard to do so.


Maneuvers like dirty trick in PF and stances and power strike (or how that essentials encounter thing that upgraded at-will attacks) are the best things for fighter IMO.

Silver Crusade

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Diffan wrote:

I thought it was pretty easy to suspend disbelief for Fighter dailies. In a world where Dragons can ruin cities, the dead walk, elves live in trees, and mighty spells are thrown around...it's not hard to imagine a guy wielding a huge weapon and, with one swing, fells a giant Ogre. I'd think doing it multiple times would be tremendously difficult to pull off and can see it only happening once in a while. *shrugs*.

As for options, if a Fighter can use Martial maneuvers and stances the better class he'll be. Like I said eariler, if he can be made to resemble the Warblade from the Tome of Battle, but with more focus on a role (if desired) then it'll be a win. And I don't think Fighters need to sling fireballs, fly, disable traps, or the like to remain useful. I do think they need to add conditions onto their hits at higher levels to stay useful. A high-level fighter doesn't get by with high DPR alone. No, he'll need to bring something else by that point where magic makes up for mundane methods for just about everything. A Fighter should be able to daze, knock prone, disarm, etc. a lot of targets by the later levels and NOT make it ridiculously hard to do so.

Diffan (and Jason and Memorax)--

I don't even buy "encounter" powers for fighters. "Daily powers" on a fighter, really does make it seem like "mages with swords"-- it's like every character class in 4E that's not obviously Arcane, Psionic, or Divine (or Shadow, or Primal perhaps)-- well, the martial classes anyway-- are straight out of some 'Dragonball Z' type universe where everyone has really potent 'Ki' powers and a limited reservoir of 'Ki energy' to power them with... Now, set up that way, that can be kind of cool... but it was the only explanation I ever found that made any kind of sense for many of the 4E 'martial' powers, particularly when they're powers that you can only use once an encounter, or once a day (btw-- that's clearly IMO, and YMMV-- was my impression of the game, not the only impression possible).

If what the fighter is doing is really just based on skill and really knowing how to use a weapon effectively... I don't see any reasonable explanation for a fighter knowing how to attack in a particular way with a sword, but only being able to make that attack once per day (unless, y'know, he's only got one sword that day, and the attack destroys the sword he's using... and even then, that's presuming he can't get another sword the same day)-- even, only once an encounter is a real stretch... if he knows how to pull off a particular strike or trick, he can keep doing it all day long (well, fatigue might play a role in slowing him down and wearing him out-- but that would affect more than just that one attack)-- if it's based on trickery and deceit, trying it on people who have already seen you try it a few times, it might be less effective on subsequent attempts-- but it's not going to be something that's right out for the rest of the fight or the day (particularly if you break that trick out against a new opponent who didn't see what you did before).

Even 'Tome of Battle' was crossing that line for me between really skilled but not magic, and "mystical ki powers" (although 'Tome of Battle' was doing so intentionally, and did it well, so I was okay with having it in the game). Now, I agree with you that a good fighter, especially at high levels, should have a lot of tricks up his sleeve (like being able to trip, daze, and disarm his foes rather than just kill them). But if you go much beyond that-- well, it's mystical ki power magic, rather than arcane magic, but it's still fighters as a sort of mage, IMO... now if that's the game you want, go for it. If I know that's the background and intent of the game, and I don't find lots of other things that really bother me in play, I might join ya. But IMO, don't call it something it isn't... i.e., just really talented warriors, when they're exhibiting all sorts of 'impossible' mystic/ki/magical powers.


Can't imagine that sweet opening an enemy has just granted you, that only comes around every so often? Perhaps the last few jabs you've made have really just been setting your enemy up for this one grand finishing blow?

Also fighter dailys have very different effects to Wizaed dailys, let's not pretend they are the same.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Finn K wrote:
I don't even buy "encounter" powers for fighters. "Daily powers" on a fighter, really does make it seem like "mages with swords"-- it's like every character class in 4E that's not obviously Arcane, Psionic, or Divine (or Shadow, or Primal perhaps)-- well, the martial classes anyway-- are straight out of some 'Dragonball Z' type universe where everyone has really potent 'Ki' powers and a limited reservoir of 'Ki energy' to power them with... Now, set up that way, that can be kind of cool... but it was the only explanation I ever found that made any kind of sense for many of the 4E 'martial' powers, particularly when they're powers that you can only use once an encounter, or once a day (btw-- that's clearly IMO, and YMMV-- was my impression of the game, not the only impression...

I'm not trying to change your mind, as such, but just to provide another possible explanation for you (since this bugged us as well intially):

.
My approach is not to think these are some kind of stunt which can only be performed once per day or once per encounter. To me, the key to understanding 4E was to stop trying to play it as the simulationist style of 3.5/PF - the powers 'make sense' if they're understood in a much more narrative context. Daily and encounter powers is a game-system way to assign some portion of narrative control to the player.

Although my ranger has a daily power "Attacks on the run" which allows him to make two significantly powerful attacks whilst also moving up to his speed. It doesnt imply (the way I play 4E) that he only performs this stunt once per day. As I interpret 4E's combat, my ranger is running around, dodging through combats and firing off arrows willy-nilly, the scarcity of how often the attack comes off is a function of how rare such powerful game-changing events are. As a player, this gives me some narrative control where I can pull off that spectacular 'saves the day' kind of shot just when it's needed.

Again - I'm not suggesting you should play it like this (although I'm willing to bet it wouldnt jar so much if you did, it may not be well suited to your style of play), but I thought I'd point it out as another alternative way of thinking about the dailies/encounter based powers. They're not actually being performed that infrequently - there's a whole bunch of assumed action. It's just that they dont usually come off in that 'just at the right time' dramatic way.

Philosophically, I think 4E is much closer to Warhammer fantasy (3rd edition) than D&D 3.5 and (like in warhammer) I kind of wish they'd abandoned the battlemat in favor of some more abstract representation, since it appears to be an attempt to 'model' what's happening in some kind of directly representative way - but the game mechanics just dont mesh with that simulationist one-to-one approach.

My favorite example exemplifying this is a doppelganger interrupt power - if you attack a doppelganger who is engaged with an ally, the doppelganger can exchange places with your friend and make you attack them instead. Now I dont think this is a very good power, as it happens, but it makes the point pretty clearly (given what doppelgangers are) that they're not really switching places. It's just a representative way of modelling the fact that you got confused as the two of them circled one another, entangled in melee while he morphed into a representation of your friend and consequently you attacked the wrong person.


Encounter powers are easy to justify in my eyes. It isn't that you CAN'T do them again, it's that it has been seen and the enemies in that encounter are on guard against it, making it less likely to work.

Silver Crusade

Kip84 wrote:
Can't imagine that sweet opening an enemy has just granted you, that only comes around every so often? Perhaps the last few jabs you've made have really just been setting your enemy up for this one grand finishing blow?

Nope. Not once a day, but never occurs more often than that. Also, too many of the special effects given smack of special powers, not simply great skill. Furthermore, if you're good enough to set an enemy up for the grand finishing blow, which is usually how sword fights end up in reality anyway-- if your foe is competent he's not just going to leave an opening for you, you have to make one-- you're good enough to keep doing it, or at least trying to do it, opponent after opponent. The arbitrary way 4E sets up abilities for "once a day" and "once an encounter", does not work for me-- not as representations of skill rather than 'ki powers'.

I will go so far as to say that (IMO), if it works for you-- then my gut-reaction (and apologies if my reaction is wrong) is that you just don't care about any 'realistic details' and don't want the in-game "non-magical" aspects of combat to resemble real weapons usage at all while you're playing (when you play 4E, anyway)-- I'd prefer to think it's that you don't care for any realism in your 4E play, than that you really think 4E's powers can represent realistic swordsmanship. I realize full well that PF isn't realistic either, but 4E IMO takes it so far that my "suspension of disbelief" is thoroughly broken when I try to apply it to 4E 'martial powers' and don't use the "ki power" excuse. This is not a statement that 4E is 'badwrongfun'-- just a statement that it really doesn't work so well for me.

Kip84 wrote:


Also fighter dailys have very different effects to Wizaed dailys, let's not pretend they are the same.

I didn't pretend that they were "the same"-- I believe the phrase I wrote was: "well, it's mystical ki power magic, rather than arcane magic"-- Now, if this statement of yours was a response to my post, as it appears to be-- perhaps you need to read what I wrote again, because you missed something the first time around. Unless you really think that describing something as "mystical ki power magic" is the same as describing something as "arcane magic"-- seems like different words, and definitely different connotations in the sense they've been used in D&D/PF all along. Now, I could understand someone who doesn't play RPGs missing the fact that the two concepts do have distinct differences-- but not someone who's been playing 4E, and PF, and possibly other RPGs.

Andoran

Finn I think we are just going to have to agree to disagree.

I would be happy enough if he could do all the combat manuevers from the Paizo core book without having to take feats and suffer AOOs. A fighter imo should be able to do combat manuevers with impunity. Allow everyone else th ability to do the same manuevers exceoet they are either less effective miss more often or require a feat. As I said more then just I swing and hit over and over again. Or he attempts a combat manuever yet suffer an AOO. I'm not saying give the Fighte everything just something that makes him stand iut beyond something other then "being able to hit really damn good really often".

Silver Crusade

Steve Geddes wrote:


I'm not trying to change your mind, as such, but just to provide another possible explanation for you (since this bugged us as well intially):
.
My approach is not to think these are some kind of stunt which can only be performed once per day or once per encounter. To me, the key to understanding 4E was to stop trying to play it as the simulationist style of 3.5/PF - the powers 'make sense' if they're understood in a much more narrative context. Daily and encounter powers is a game-system way to assign some portion of narrative control to the player.

(more good stuff - cut for space)

The way I recall the powers working, the way they're described, the special effects attached... it's just too much of a stretch for me to see them that way. Thinking of them as simply being 'narrative context' to me is like assembling a story out of pre-determined text blocks, and still both horribly limits (once a day/once an encounter) and yet in some ways expands (powers that allow "no f***ing way" moves, without explanation for how other than-- because... or the 'it's ki powers' explanation I attach to it) what an exceptional, experienced, well-trained warrior-type should be capable of (IMO).

I find it much easier to accept the 'ki powers' explanation, than the narrative explanation you use... but I do appreciate your illustrating some alternatives that do work for other people.

Regarding playing 4E though-- there's way too many other things that bother me about that system, besides the 'powers' issues, so I'm unlikely to resume playing it (among which are 4E's apparent attempt to be simulationist, use a tactical map, and all that jazz, and yet-- what is it trying to simulate?). We'll see what 5E looks like when it gets released.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Finn K wrote:
Regarding playing 4E though-- there's way too many other things that bother me about that system, besides the 'powers' issues, so I'm unlikely to resume playing it (among which are 4E's apparent attempt to be simulationist, use a tactical map, and all that jazz, and yet-- what is it trying to simulate?). We'll see what 5E looks like when it gets released.

My usual advice to people who dont enjoy 4E is to stop playing it, so no argument from me! :p

Personally, I'm very much hoping D&D:Next continues down the more narrative style (I'm really hoping battlemats are going to be optional, although the relaunch of the miniature line and the increased output of battlemat products is somewhat disheartening). In my view, PF, rolemaster, GURPS (plus a whole bunch more I dont know about) do a good job of providing simulationist games. I dont think there are so many 'non-simulationist' options for vanilla fantasy and I think more diversity is an unequivocally good thing - even if one doesnt actually like playing lots of different games. At least there's a greater chance of finding one you do like.

Silver Crusade

memorax wrote:

Finn I think we are just going to have to agree to disagree.

I would be happy enough if he could do all the combat manuevers from the Paizo core book without having to take feats and suffer AOOs. A fighter imo should be able to do combat manuevers with impunity. Allow everyone else th ability to do the same manuevers exceoet they are either less effective miss more often or require a feat. As I said more then just I swing and hit over and over again. Or he attempts a combat manuever yet suffer an AOO. I'm not saying give the Fighte everything just something that makes him stand iut beyond something other then "being able to hit really damn good really often".

Memorax--

I'm not so sure we disagree (or at least, not entirely, not on this point)... :)

I agree with you that a fighter should be able to do more than just swing, and swing, and swing again. I don't know about being able to do all combat maneuvers with total impunity (especially against another fighter who is also well-trained and highly experienced), but with a lot more impunity than they currently get-- yes. And yes, I'd say a fighter should be good enough to attempt to disarm someone without leaving himself open to an immediate counter-attack or vulnerable to an equally capable free disarm attempt from his foe if he failed to actually disarm the opponent... same goes for a lot of the other maneuvers-- a fighter pulling off good moves in combat ("combat maneuvers") shouldn't draw AoOs every time he tries one of those moves-- except that another fighter might be able to develop some ability to counter the maneuvers of another fighter (not an automatic counter, just as the first fighter doesn't get an automatic success). And, IMO, the fighter should get lots of 'maneuvers' as part of being a fighter.

I would prefer to see the Fighter's abilities (beyond just swing away) be more like maneuvers in PF-- use, and use, and use again, rather than once a day or once an encounter (and the ones that depend on dirty tricks will get steadily increasing penalties the more times you try them on someone who's seen you trying it before-- this, btw-- is my response to Jason's justification for powers being limited to once an encounter-- it's less likely to succeed, IMO-- NOT impossible to try again because the power's been expended...). I'd also prefer to see the fighter's additional skills/abilities/maneuvers be more in keeping (flavor, fluff, and explanation/rationale for the ability) with the talents expected of a truly capable warrior than give off the super-duper "ki power" moves of certain anime shows and extreme kung fu movies.

Andoran

One thing that would surprise me about 5E is Wotc not tying it into minis and/or battlemats. Too much money to be made. Not to mention if they did not include a the release I'm sure imo that their would have been enough of a demand from the fanbase to rleease a product that would allow both.

Silver Crusade

Steve Geddes wrote:


Personally, I'm very much hoping D&D:Next continues down the more narrative style (I'm really hoping battlemats are going to be optional, although the relaunch of the miniature line and the increased output of battlemat products is somewhat disheartening). In my view, PF, rolemaster, GURPS (plus a whole bunch more I dont know about) do a good job of providing simulationist games. I dont think there are so many 'non-simulationist' options for vanilla fantasy and I think more diversity is an unequivocally good thing - even if one doesnt actually like playing lots of different games. At least there's a greater chance of finding one you do like.

Steve--

I agree with you totally on the 'more diversity, the better it is for all of us' issue.

If a game's going to be simulationist at all, I prefer games that are more realistic (GURPS, for instance) and where they draw in fantasy elements (such as magic), internally consistent and "realistic" within the explanations for magic and strange powers in the setting. However, speaking of 'narrative' games... did I mention before that one of my favorite RPGs is Amber (diceless roleplaying, based on the world/universe in Roger Zelazny's 'Amber' novels)? That's all narrative, low to no mechanics... (really gotta have the right GM and player group for that though). I do really like narrative systems too, as a general idea anyway. :)


@Finn K Sorry if I miss understood but you did say

Quote:
I don't even buy "encounter" powers for fighters. "Daily powers" on a fighter, really does make it seem like "mages with swords"

Also when I think of DBZ and ki powers I think of more than knocking people prone, slowing people down, hitting people so hard they stop in thier tracks dazed and simply hitting people extremely hard. Which from a quick check of the 4e PHB is a list of things Fighter Daily exploits can do. These are not special "powers" but they're also not something a person could do every six seconds in a fight.

Encounter and Daily powers are not perfect, but then a lot of people have a problem with Vancian magic to. In the end you have to have some sort of limit on what characters can do. Perhaps a pool of "exploit points" would be a better system but then that could easily be seen as ki points to...


memorax wrote:
One thing that would surprise me about 5E is Wotc not tying it into minis and/or battlemats. Too much money to be made. Not to mention if they did not include a the release I'm sure imo that their would have been enough of a demand from the fanbase to rleease a product that would allow both.

4e is hard to play without a map because of all the push pull and slide effects. I like a battle map for some fights but not every fight. I hope 5e will be a little less reliant on a grid.


Flinn K: The best way I've devised so far to deal with this is to give encounter powers recharge representing the opportunity that may present itself blindly. At the beginning of you turn roll d6 and on 6 regain the use of one encounter power of your choice. Perhaps you can roll at the beginning of the encounter to see if you muster the strength to perform one of your daily tricks again.

Andoran

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
Finn K wrote:
I will go so far as to say that (IMO), if it works for you-- then my gut-reaction (and apologies if my reaction is wrong) is that you just don't care about any 'realistic details' and don't want the in-game "non-magical" aspects of combat to resemble real weapons usage at all while you're playing

If I am playing D&D of any edition (or playing Pathfinder) I have already chosen not to care about 'realistic details' or combat resembling real weapons usage. Escalating Hit Points, increasing BAB but not defense etc all throw realism out the window anyway.

Instead I am hoping to recreate a genre of literature or cinema - fantasy advanture and part of that is narratve pacing, and encounter and daily powers works really well in that respect.

Personally I see successful Encounter and Daily martial powers just like Confirmed Criticals in 3.5 or Pathfinder - there is the potential to pull off a devastating attack every attack, but you only expect it maybe once or twice a combat (or maybe only once a day with some weapons).

The difference between 4e powers and 3.5 crits is that in 4e the player gets to decide when their hero gets to pull off these awesome attack, providing a more satisfying narrative for me, whereas in 3.5/PF a random dice roll gets to decide (which can be much less satisfying when the confirmed critical happens against mook guard number 2 who was only on 2 hitpoints anyway).

Finn K wrote:
This is not a statement that 4E is 'badwrongfun'-- just a statement that it really doesn't work so well for me.

That's cool, not all games are for everyone. And I don't wish to disuade you from your preference, however I personally had to go through a pradigm shift in thinking to become comfortable with 4e, e.g. changing my idea of what HP represent for example, so seeing a different point of view can sometimes help appreciate a game more.

Andoran

Kip84 wrote:


4e is hard to play without a map because of all the push pull and slide effects. I like a battle map for some fights but not every fight. I hope 5e will be a little less reliant on a grid.

It's not a deal breaker for me yet I can see it's not for everryone. Still as I said too much money to be made. If not in the core definitly in a later sourcebook in 5E.

Andoran

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

I believe WotC have indicated that tactical (i.e. minis and battlemat) play will be optional.

I would like that greatly, for important skirmishes you could go tactical, but for inconsequential fights (e.g. a bar room brawl that will only last a couple of rounds) or fights that cover too much area (e.g. a fight against a colossal dragon with PCs that fly and teleport) you can do without minis.


It is all about scope and what classes can do in reference to each other in the broad scheme of the game. It is easy to focus in on one class, but overall a good game will review what each class brings to the table. So if spell casters, and range attackers, can deal alot of damage at a distance, then martial types that rely on weapons, should be able to tear up range attackers when close. If range attackers can develop better defenses against martial types, then the reverse should hold true. How you go about what each class has access to will add variety, but the scope of each class must be used as a reference. Therefore, there has to some unified mechanics that apply to all classes.

I would be perfectly content to go away from artificial limits like encounter or dailys powers, and instead use a resource like healing surges or something similar to drive all combat, utility, or other abilities. These can be regained over time.

However, what I am afraid of is one system to handle martial classes, versus ranged attackers, versus spell users, etc. that introduces a set of sub-systems to make things more complicated than necessary.

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