The Point of Hybrids


Advanced Class Guide Playtest General Discussion

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Paizo Employee Lead Designer

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I am seeing a certain comment over and over again, so I thought I would take a moment to fully explain the point of the Hybrid classes.

There are a number of posters who are currently proclaiming that the Hybrids presented in the ACG playtest do not offer anything new or are a rehash of existing material.

In some regards, that was the point.

They hybrids represent 10 new classes, built from the foundations of other existing classes. We quite intentionally kept a number of class features from their parent classes, in many cases word for word, while adding some measure of a unique ability or class feature to each. Now while you can quibble as to our success on those fronts, I want to explain why we took this approach.

Design space is a tricky thing and sometimes reinventing the wheel is just not worth it (you almost always end up making a better wheel or a worse wheel, never a different but equal wheel). We kept a number of class features because we know they work, and know how they work. 10 classes is a lot for the game to absorb and a mountain of entirely new mechanics would cause havoc (which I am sure we will have enough of as it is, even with a number of tried and true mechanics forming the spines for these classes).

This approach allowed us to build off a stable core while still reaching out in some interesting new ways. That is a big boon when putting together 10 classes at the same time. As the number of options in the game continues to grow, it is important for us to build from a steady foundation of established mechanics to avoid repeating ourselves and making a mess out of things with far too many disparate mechanical options. In the end, we found that each of these classes had an interesting story niche for us to explore, but their mechanical niches were so close to existing rules, it was better to build off the existing than start from scratch.

So, while we appreciate the comments on the hybrids as a concept, know that we are taking this approach to ensure that these additions to the Pathfinder Family fit right in with the rest and don't cause too much ruckus at the family reunion.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

Sczarni

I am looking forward to playtesting these classes, I love the whole Hybrid Class idea and I am loving all the classes. I can see in many of these classes core concepts many players on the forums have asked for or wanted in the past actually come to light and I am very thankful for that.


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If 10 classes is too many for all-new mechanics, why do 10 classes to begin with?
To be frank, even with reusing older mechanics it doesn't feel like a great idea, a lot of these are conceptually... weak.
I'm not alone in thinking that most of these would have been better off as archetypes, so wouldn't it have been better to make a book about those instead?


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I sort of assumed, too (given the closeness of classes to their "parents") that these were intentionally done that way to provide examples of how DMs might create classes of their own; a practical example to parallel the design chapter/chapters of the book.

That said, I think at least a couple of these show enough promise as they stand that they could fairly easily be moved out of the "hybrid" category into a more unique niche like that occupied by the Magus. "Inspired by" but not amalgamated. (The Investigator, chiefly, comes to mind, though I think the Warpriest could do it as well.)


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For one making them archetypes means they would have to go through a lot to make sure nothing funny happens when mixed with other archetypes. Making it a class means a nice clean slate.

And frankly I don't get this complaint. So perhaps it could have worked the same or close as an archetype. Your point is? Why do you care so much if the way to make [Blank] is a class or a archetype as long as it works. The end result is the same. I could not care less if they called them "super fun time vocations." as long as they function.

It really does just feel like people need something to complain about.

Grand Lodge

Honestly, I think it's a bad mentality. Some of the classes have some bad synergy between abilities. In other words your wheels are fine but their all facing the wrong direction, so how do you go anywhere.


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My disappointment with the hybrid classes isn't so much that I was looking for entirely new concepts (as seen in classes like alchemist and summoner), but more that I was expecting a book of magus-like classes. To me, magus is a success for mostly two reasons:

1. It combines two class concepts (fighter and wizard) in a way that results in something unique in both function and effect.
2. It allows for a character archetype that is otherwise unsupported.

So to be worth-while, I feel that these hybrid-classes need to excel on one or both points. Without getting into specifics, I feel that most of the new classes are pretty distant from one or the other goal. Abilities that are familiar are good for game balance, but it's not something that motivates me to pick up a class.


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Stome wrote:
For one making them archetypes means they would have to go through a lot to make sure nothing funny happens when mixed with other archetypes.

Don't they have to do that for archetypes already?

Stome wrote:
So perhaps it could have worked the same or close as an archetype. Your point is? Why do you care so much if the way to make [Blank] is a class or a archetype as long as it works.

My complaint is that, as full classes, they don't work. Some of them work better than others, but I feel that full base classes require not only strong mechanics, but a strong, general concept, and, well, a lot of these just -feel- more like archetypes.

They lack both mechanics that define them as independent classes, that deserve to be such, and many, but in particular the Skald, seem way too specific, conceptually.


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So in your -opinion- there is some vague line where something -feels- [Insert another vague term here. Flavorful, distinct, concept or the like.] enough to be a class?

That's nice. Everyone has an opinion. Mine is that a class is anything the game designers want it to be... because they are designing the game...


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Sure, and their design decision aren't immune to criticism.

Grand Lodge

Yep, I really disagree with Jason on this one, but since the book is already laid out and likely mostly written, the designers are not going to go back to the scratch on some of the class abilities. Hopefully the'll keep this in mind, new stuff is cool too. Balance isn't everything.

Sczarni

The point of the hybrid classes is that they are combined of existing classes, They are not trying to create completely new things but rather show a synergistic mix of two existing things. This is a playtest after all so you shouldn't expect them to be perfect right off the bat, they need work and fin-toning but all of them are interesting and unique builds. Everyone is free to their opinion but I have to admit I really do not like the mentality of "This is not how I would do it so you need to change it or not do it at all".


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It's a sound design philosophy. Smooshing two or three classes together and add one some new things is the approach I used with several of the classes I wrote for A Fistful of Denarii. It's already written into the DNA of Pathfinder, with several classes sharing evasion, uncanny dodge, spell lists, and class features like animal companion and familiar. Trying to build a 20 level class with almost nothing but unique features would be difficult, would mess with a lot of existing content, and would take attention away from the best features and direct it to the strangest and least successful. The same goes with new spell lists: trying to come up with entirely new spells for a six or nine level casting class would be pointless and nightmarish.

Grand Lodge

RJGrady wrote:
It's a sound design philosophy. Smooshing two or three classes together and add one some new things is the approach I used with several of the classes I wrote for A Fistful of Denarii. It's already written into the DNA of Pathfinder, with several classes sharing evasion, uncanny dodge, spell lists, and class features like animal companion and familiar. Trying to build a 20 level class with almost nothing but unique features would be difficult, would mess with a lot of existing content, and would take attention away from the best features and direct it to the strangest and least successful. The same goes with new spell lists: trying to come up with entirely new spells for a six or nine level casting class would be pointless and nightmarish.

While I disagree with everything you said in your post, I won't say anything more. It's been decided, likely months ago to go this direction. No need to defend the developers they've made their decision. Please don't imply that we are simple wrong for disagreeing with them.


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I don't think anyone is saying that they should come up with entirely new spells, but rather than each new spellcaster should use a custom list, like the Witch and Magus do, for instance.
My problem isn't even that the new classes are using old mechanics (though some new ones would be nice!), it's that I don't think they're using them in ways that are interesting enough to justify them being new base classes.


Kaisos Erranon wrote:

I don't think anyone is saying that they should come up with entirely new spells, but rather than each new spellcaster should use a custom list, like the Witch and Magus do, for instance.

My problem isn't even that the new classes are using old mechanics (though some new ones would be nice!), it's that I don't think they're using them in ways that are interesting enough to justify them being new base classes.

SKR explained why they didn't do this here:

http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2qdj8?Hunter-Discussion#10


RJGrady wrote:
Trying to build a 20 level class with almost nothing but unique features would be difficult, would mess with a lot of existing content, and would take attention away from the best features and direct it to the strangest and least successful.

I don't think anyone is seriously asking for "almost nothing but unique features." Most existing classes only have 1-2 truly unique features and they still manage to be compelling.

RJGrady wrote:
The same goes with new spell lists: trying to come up with entirely new spells for a six or nine level casting class would be pointless and nightmarish.

New spell lists are not the same thing as new spells.

Given how hard it apparently is to create new classes and spells, it's amazing Paizo ever managed to produce the APG...

Sczarni

I have a question, Do these hybrid classes mix just two classes together or do any of the add elements from three different classes?

Grand Lodge

Spatula wrote:
RJGrady wrote:
Trying to build a 20 level class with almost nothing but unique features would be difficult, would mess with a lot of existing content, and would take attention away from the best features and direct it to the strangest and least successful.

I don't think anyone is seriously asking for "almost nothing but unique features." Most existing classes only have 1-2 truly unique features and they still manage to be compelling.

RJGrady wrote:
The same goes with new spell lists: trying to come up with entirely new spells for a six or nine level casting class would be pointless and nightmarish.

New spell lists are not the same thing as new spells.

Given how hard it apparently is to create new classes and spells, it's amazing Paizo ever managed to produce the APG...

I'm laughing a little bit, doesn't it almost sound like he's saying, hey I create games, and you know what I hate, creating things.


Spatula wrote:

Most existing classes only have 1-2 truly unique features and they still manage to be compelling.

I don't think the devs are promising any less than that.


northbrb wrote:
I have a question, Do these hybrid classes mix just two classes together or do any of the add elements from three different classes?

Not explicitly, but there are some borrowings. For instance, the Warpriest picks up a variant of the Paladin's divine bond, while the Bloodrager uses the magus spell list (rather than sorcerer).

Sczarni

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I feel that the point of the hybrid classes is to show a better option than multi-classing which in my opinion is a bad option. I never liked multi-classing because I felt it really broke the concepts for me and made it difficult to truly realize a concept and the hybrid concept fixes that for me.

Liberty's Edge

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I for one applaud the approach and am thankful this is not the bloat I feared.

The the entire universe is made of roughly 118 elements. If you can't find something creative to do with the tools listed, the fault does not lie with the developers.


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So it's not the fault of the developers for developing something that isn't the least bit creative?

Liberty's Edge

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Kaisos Erranon wrote:
So it's not the fault of the developers for developing something that isn't the least bit creative?

Creative is in the eye of the beholder. I don't want the developers to create a class that is basically a pre-made. I want classes that are frameworks for players to create ideas.

If you look at the core classes, the most popular ones are broad brushes that you can have lots of variations of.

Saying my fighter/wizard/Cleric is not going to tell you much about what the character is, beyond a very basic frame.

By contrast my Magus is a one handed fighter (usually a scimitar) who casts spells from a narrow list.

I really like that these classes give me different possible options that were not available without making those options a very narrow subset.

I want my players (and as a player) to be able to expand on the foundations set forth, not just play the developers ideas as written.

I could should out "Asparagus Pillow Sword" as a weapon and...so what? Creativity!

Meh on that. I want utility and flexibility. As I was reading 80% of the classes ideas were churning through my head for concepts I wanted to play with these classes.

That is the developers job. To give me tools to create my own ideas. Not create the ideas for me.

Not to mention more mechanics means more confusion with limited increase in enjoyment.


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Kaisos Erranon wrote:
So it's not the fault of the developers for developing something that isn't the least bit creative?

Again with the over blown opinions. What is or isn't creative is completely subjective. Iteration is a fact of game design. Both table top and digital. Pathfinder as a whole is in fact iterative.

Putting building blocks together in a new way isn't counter to creativity.


You can put together iterative ideas in ways that seem new, sure. Hell, that's exactly what the Inquisitor and Witch are.
I haven't really seen anything like that here.

Liberty's Edge

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Stome wrote:
Kaisos Erranon wrote:
So it's not the fault of the developers for developing something that isn't the least bit creative?

Again with the over blown opinions. What is or isn't creative is completely subjective. Iteration is a fact of game design. Both table top and digital. Pathfinder as a whole is in fact iterative.

Putting building blocks together in a new way isn't counter to creativity.

In fact, block are amoung the most creative toys to give a child, specifically because they don't define how they are used.


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So far, in pathfinder, but also in D&D, each class has had their own mechanic, or stick, if you will. These classes, by and large, haven't got that. Saying that you don't want to impact the balance by introducing new mechanics reads to me that you don't want to create more classes.

Which was something I kind of expected you to, when you announced the ACG. So I'm kind of left with the feeling that, whatever you say, you're trying to make me pay for stuff I could do already by multiclassing. Now, that may be a bold claim. I'll be back to back it up, and we'll see.


"Creativity" does not equal:
-interesting
-fun to play
-balanced
-fitting into the system

Among other things.

If anything, I'm somewhat disappointed by how these classes don't take more from their originals. I'd have been fine with a bloodrager having the Rage and Bloodline features straight from their "parent" class, with a class feature that lets them mix ("you can cast any spell that you have learned as a bloodrager spell and is a bonus spell from your Bloodline as a swift action upon entering a Bloodrage" would make all the "while in bloodrage you are X as spell Y" abilities redundant).

That'd let them mesh better with all existing feats/classes and not need more class-specific feats/other options to support them.

Liberty's Edge

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The Dragon wrote:

So far, in pathfinder, but also in D&D, each class has had their own mechanic, or stick, if you will. These classes, by and large, haven't got that. Saying that you don't want to impact the balance by introducing new mechanics reads to me that you don't want to create more classes.

Which was something I kind of expected you to, when you announced the ACG. So I'm kind of left with the feeling that, whatever you say, you're trying to make me pay for stuff I could do already by multiclassing. Now, that may be a bold claim. I'll be back to back it up, and we'll see.

It isn't just the balance (which is thrown off by unintended consequences that always arise with new machanics) it is also the complexity.

How many FAQs are there for spell combat at this point? Hexes? Each of these new sticks create new complications and interactions, and so you have to ask how complicated can you make a rule set before you are asking to much of the GM to adjudicate it?


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ciretose wrote:
The Dragon wrote:

So far, in pathfinder, but also in D&D, each class has had their own mechanic, or stick, if you will. These classes, by and large, haven't got that. Saying that you don't want to impact the balance by introducing new mechanics reads to me that you don't want to create more classes.

Which was something I kind of expected you to, when you announced the ACG. So I'm kind of left with the feeling that, whatever you say, you're trying to make me pay for stuff I could do already by multiclassing. Now, that may be a bold claim. I'll be back to back it up, and we'll see.

It isn't just the balance (which is thrown off by unintended consequences that always arise with new machanics) it is also the complexity.

How many FAQs are there for spell combat at this point? Hexes? Each of these new sticks create new complications and interactions, and so you have to ask how complicated can you make a rule set before you are asking to much of the GM to adjudicate it?

I'll answer that by saying that if you don't want to add new stuff to the game, don't write books. Now, I don't have anything personal against anyone writing the book, but I do have something against a book that is basically white noise, because the writers didn't want to write something new.

On a side note, I never saw rules-interactions as a problem as a GM. If somthing came up during a game, I'd simply rule watever made sense in the situation, and if someone asked or put a rules-interaction forwards between sessions, I'd spend a few minutes reading up on the subject.

D&D was a much larger system than pathfinder, yet it was never a problem.

Contributor

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*Trying to quickly type this out before work, while this is fresh in my head. Sorry for grammar/spelling errors.*

Most people are starting to miss the point of the thread and commenting on the nature of the classes themselves. I am going to go right to the source: the hybrid mechanic is lackluster and redundant. Ironically enough, the Magus is still the King of Hybrid classes, as it manages to feel more like an even mix of its component classes than any of the options presented here, and yet its a base class!

The Hybrid Mechanic is lazy. They restrict build creativity, seldom for any good reason. They stomp on the face of interesting builds and flavorful characters seemingly to prevent rules bloat, when none of these classes really needs this restriction. A multiclass bloodrager / sorcerer makes perfect sense if the character is required to pick the same bloodline between both classes. Same with a multiclass shaman / oracle. Or a swashbuckler / fighter.

Most of the Hybrid Classes presented in the document serve better as either alternate classes or as base classes. The shaman may use witch hexes, but the overall execution of the class is so outstandingly different that it deserves to be its own, independent class. On the other hand, the spirit of the fighter class is nowhere to be found in the swasbuckler; the entire class mirrors the Gunslinger, except all of its abilities are focused around melee weaponry instead of guns. More likely then not, this is due to the gunslinger originally being designed as an alternate class itself, but the swashbuckler makes more sense as an alternate class both from a mechanical standpoint as well as a linguistic standpoint; the word "swashbuckler" was actually phased out for the term "gunslinger" when referring to the wild west, so calling for a "swasbuckler with guns" is redundant. That class exists, and its called the gunslinger.

I can imagine that the idea for a Hybrid mechanic is enticing to the developers because it rules out two entire classes and a slew of archetypes that could potentially create abusive builds. Let's take the Bloodrager for example. Barring the Barbarian is pointless, because as of the time of this writing, there are two official, Paizo-produced ways for me to grab Rage and Rage Powers without taking a single level of Barbarian OR missing out on anything major. I can grab levels of Fighter (Viking) or levels of Ranger (Wild Stalker), and now all of the questions that hybridization tried to avoid are made manifest. Do my viking level and bloodrager levels stack or do I have separate pools of rage? Can I take a few levels in all three classes and essentially use Triple my Con along with a smattering of extra rounds per day when I rage? Do my Rage Powers apply when I'm bloodraging? Do my bloodline powers apply when I'm raging? Can I pull rounds of rage from one source into another to prevent myself from fatiguing? If I take Extra Rage, where do those rounds go?

By changing names around and not allowing similar abilities from multiple classes to stack (i.e. grit to panache or bloodrage to rage), you actually cause more balance problems and open up more cans of worms than you would have if you simply allowed everything to stack and explained how that stacking works.

On the flip side, some of the classes listed in the Advanced Class Guide DO share mechanics and its not clear how they interact with pre-existing items and feats. For example, does a robe of arcane heritage boost my Bloodrager bloodline? I would guess so, because even though they're different mechanics, they're both called bloodlines. Can my shaman take Extra Hex? The intent seems to drastically limit the number of hexes that the shaman gains access to, but because they have the same name, I don't know. Can the bloodrager with a draconic bloodline take the Dragon Discipline prestige class? The list goes on and on.

Finally, for someone who likes multiclassing and prestige classing, this entire concept feels like the designers are trying to be helicopter parents. "Oh, sweetie, why would you ever want to bother with multiclassing? Its so icky and gross and causes so many balance issues! Here, have a nice 20-level hybrid class itself; its all of the fun of multiclassing with none of the risks because Momma make it especially for you. With love."

You are going to have players who want structure in their classes, but you're also going to have people who want the ability to tinker and build their own unique character. You have your people who want Legos, toy swords, and nerf blasters and you have your people who prefer a set of blocks and a backyard filled with twigs. Hybrid classes take away fun from the latter without offering any real benefits to the former.


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But then... Why do it? We don't need 10 new classes just to have new classes. "Adding more classes as inoffensively as possible" doesn't seem like a very interesting design goal.

If it's just have "more combinations of the same numbers for people to play with," I think you may be misjudging your player base from the loud cries of a couple charoppers.

Grand Lodge

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At a certain point, the argument of "Could have been an archetype" falls apart.

Sorcerer could be a Wizard Archetype.
Rogue could be a fighter Archetype.
Every Base class, in a way, is an archetype from a "blank template" if you will.

Paizo excels at giving players options. That is what this is. New ways to play extremely familiar mechanics.

And they never teased that this book would be anything different. From the first mention, it was going to be hybrids, and I for one do not have any problem with 10 new ways to play old classics. I think it's a great way to stir the pot, and I'm excited to see all the archetypes for these that come up.

I am interested to know what some of you would have seen as "original enough"? A rehash of the Warlock Class? Some Psionic stuff? Those ideas are all actually less original. Say what you will about the recycling of existing mechanics - A lot of these new classes never existed in any system. Would they have been greatly improved by using their own new, convoluted, hard to learn mechanics that would very closely mirror some other existing class?


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Alexander Augunas wrote:
The Hybrid Mechanic is lazy. They restrict build creativity, seldom for any good reason. They stomp on the face of interesting builds and flavorful characters seemingly to prevent rules bloat, when none of these classes really needs this restriction. A multiclass bloodrager / sorcerer makes perfect sense if the character is required to pick the same bloodline between both classes. Same with a multiclass shaman / oracle. Or a swashbuckler / fighter.

I think I remember hearing that the hybrid restriction has a good chance of not making it through to the final version, bit I could be wrong.


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Axiem wrote:

At a certain point, the argument of "Could have been an archetype" falls apart.

Sorcerer could be a Wizard Archetype.
Rogue could be a fighter Archetype.
Every Base class, in a way, is an archetype from a "blank template" if you will.

Paizo excels at giving players options. That is what this is. New ways to play extremely familiar mechanics.

And they never teased that this book would be anything different. From the first mention, it was going to be hybrids, and I for one do not have any problem with 10 new ways to play old classics. I think it's a great way to stir the pot, and I'm excited to see all the archetypes for these that come up.

I am interested to know what some of you would have seen as "original enough"? A rehash of the Warlock Class? Some Psionic stuff? Those ideas are all actually less original. Say what you will about the recycling of existing mechanics - A lot of these new classes never existed in any system. Would they have been greatly improved by using their own new, convoluted, hard to learn mechanics that would very closely mirror some other existing class?

New means something we haven't seen before, and that couldn't be done within the boundaries of the existing ruleset. For this reason, the arcanist is actually my favorite class from that document.

The majority of the other new classes could be mirrored by existing multiclassing and archetypes to such a degree it's not even funny.

Your last paragraph seem to ridicule those of us who wants original classes by assuming that we are asking for rehashes of already existing rules. We're not.


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Funny. Seems to me that a full Bab 4 spell lvl arcane class is new. (and long overdo.) Casting in rage is new, Flavorful and strong effects while in rage is new.

Perhaps you need to read the PDF again.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hi Jason,

While I like the hybrids using mechanics of their parent classes, I would like to see some more niche protection.

At this point an Investigator gets: Sneak attack (9d6), Trap Finding AND Poison Use, with the addition of Inspiration to increase skill successes AND rogue talents that can be taken as investigator talents this is a class that just makes a vanilla rogue a worse choice for doing all the things a rogue is supposed to do. Please try to protect some of the niches.

Kind regards,

DM_aka_Dudemeister.


Alexander Augunas wrote:

Spoiler:
*Trying to quickly type this out before work, while this is fresh in my head. Sorry for grammar/spelling errors.*

Most people are starting to miss the point of the thread and commenting on the nature of the classes themselves. I am going to go right to the source: the hybrid mechanic is lackluster and redundant. Ironically enough, the Magus is still the King of Hybrid classes, as it manages to feel more like an even mix of its component classes than any of the options presented here, and yet its a base class!

The Hybrid Mechanic is lazy. They restrict build creativity, seldom for any good reason. They stomp on the face of interesting builds and flavorful characters seemingly to prevent rules bloat, when none of these classes really needs this restriction. A multiclass bloodrager / sorcerer makes perfect sense if the character is required to pick the same bloodline between both classes. Same with a multiclass shaman / oracle. Or a swashbuckler / fighter.

Most of the Hybrid Classes presented in the document serve better as either alternate classes or as base classes. The shaman may use witch hexes, but the overall execution of the class is so outstandingly different that it deserves to be its own, independent class. On the other hand, the spirit of the fighter class is nowhere to be found in the swasbuckler; the entire class mirrors the Gunslinger, except all of its abilities are focused around melee weaponry instead of guns. More likely then not, this is due to the gunslinger originally being designed as an alternate class itself, but the swashbuckler makes more sense as an alternate class both from a mechanical standpoint as well as a linguistic standpoint; the word "swashbuckler" was actually phased out for the term "gunslinger" when referring to the wild west, so calling for a "swasbuckler with guns" is redundant. That class exists, and its called the gunslinger.

I can imagine that the idea for a Hybrid mechanic is enticing to the developers because it rules out two entire classes and a slew of...

This summarizes my negative thoughts of the classes quite well. Generally, the classes aren't far enough removed from their parents to count as their own things, but they are still made so that they don't play along with the already existing material intentionally.

That said, I really like the flavor, and in some cases, even the mechanics of these classes! I just think you really should have went one way or the other instead.


I for one support these concepts. Let's give them a chance, play test them out, and then give constructive feedback.

And yes, I was afraid of rules bloat. A GM can only learn and execute so many rules. There are those extraordinary GM's who can remember them all, but lots of us have full time jobs, families, etc. and can only assimilate so many rules to keep the game moving and exciting for our players. Otherwise, we're looking up rules in books, have debates during the game, etc.


Stome wrote:

Funny. Seems to me that a full Bab 4 spell lvl arcane class is new. (and long overdo.) Casting in rage is new, Flavorful and strong effects while in rage is new.

Perhaps you need to read the PDF again.

Yes. I agree with you. Now let's apply this to the brawler, the hunter, the slayer, the swashbuckler and the warpriest.

I haven't said that all of the classes are bland and uninnovate. I'm saying that too many of them are.

Grand Lodge

The Dragon wrote:
Axiem wrote:

At a certain point, the argument of "Could have been an archetype" falls apart.

Sorcerer could be a Wizard Archetype.
Rogue could be a fighter Archetype.
Every Base class, in a way, is an archetype from a "blank template" if you will.

Paizo excels at giving players options. That is what this is. New ways to play extremely familiar mechanics.

And they never teased that this book would be anything different. From the first mention, it was going to be hybrids, and I for one do not have any problem with 10 new ways to play old classics. I think it's a great way to stir the pot, and I'm excited to see all the archetypes for these that come up.

I am interested to know what some of you would have seen as "original enough"? A rehash of the Warlock Class? Some Psionic stuff? Those ideas are all actually less original. Say what you will about the recycling of existing mechanics - A lot of these new classes never existed in any system. Would they have been greatly improved by using their own new, convoluted, hard to learn mechanics that would very closely mirror some other existing class?

New means something we haven't seen before, and that couldn't be done within the boundaries of the existing ruleset. For this reason, the arcanist is actually my favorite class from that document.

The majority of the other new classes could be mirrored by existing multiclassing and archetypes to such a degree it's not even funny.

Your last paragraph seem to ridicule those of us who wants original classes by assuming that we are asking for rehashes of already existing rules. We're not.

Well - you say that - but I'd wager that any significant new system would have a pitchfork mob raised over how it invalidates or replaces existing systems. I've seen a lot of people saying they wanted a "non-vancian" spellcaster (Despite words of power already offering a super adjustable spellcasting solution)

At a certain point, you've got to accept that either at some point in tabletop history, in PF, or in a 3rd party solution, everything that's going to be done with the D20 system that's extremely revolutionary IS done already. Paizo just iterates and refines the designs, and does it from a player-centric model that offers gratuitous options.

Also, it's worth noting that while it's a pedantic point, these classes are not something we've seen before, and could not be done "in the existing rules" verbatim. You could do something close, just like you could do something kind of like a Magus, but not exactly precisely what these are.

Dark Archive

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I wasn't going to say anything, but I felt I had something to contribute.

The new classes are constructed almost entirely from existing content, specifically abilities and rules from the core and base classes. Most, if not all of us will agree that this is not inherently bad.

This is not the first time that Paizo has introduced new classes. When the base classes were introduced, each one of them had AT LEAST one unique class ability. Paizo is no stranger to the introduction of new classes and abilites. And while it's true that some of them are still being FAQ'd, nothing is without its flaws. I think the point of this point (pardon my lack of better word choice) is that Paizo has plenty of experience in developing new and interesting content. The fact that they announced new, advanced classes but delivered (so far) hybrids, it is perfectly understandable that some of us are underwhelmed. We know they're more than capable of creating classes, so why are these new classes so underwhelming?

If Paizo is guilty of anything, it's re-gifting. Putting a new, shiny red bow on an old gift isn't fooling anyone. This is multiclassing, but with a full 20-level progression.

And there is where the complaining should stop! They are handing us full, 20-level progressions for what are arguable the most popular (and one or two of the most ridiculous) multiclassing combos. I'd say that's a win.

Both sides of this argument have fine points. Yes, we want full, unique, fun, interesting, and playable classes. Yes, these classes are underwhelming and at face value may not be all five of those things. But what is to stop us from taking these classes (or rather, the inevitable, actual, final classes they put out after the playtest and all the adjustments) and making them all of those things?

So how about this:

1. Let's all agree that a majority of us are underwhelmed.
2. Let's all agree that there should and hopefully will be a vast improvement before these are actually released.
3. Until these classes are set in stone, let's play them (see: playtest) and see what happens. Wrack up your complaints about the classes as you play them rather than sit here and complain about how broken/unimpressive/underwhelming/boring/useless/pointless/superfluous they look.

Now that we've cleared the air, let's all focus on being constructive for our sake and Paizo's sake. They won't know what changes to make unless we play these classes (see: playtest) and comment on them accordingly.

Though for the record (and for anyone on the design/development team for the new classes), if you're going to put out hybrid classes, you should use the Magus as a template because I think we can all agree that the Magus is one of the coolest classes you guys have put out, and it is (in my opinion) as close to a perfect balance of two classes together as you can possibly get. These new classes feel like child's play compared to the Magus.

(Also, despite all of this, I would very much appreciate an exact copy of the Magus but with divine spells. I don't care that it'll be identical, and you don't need to add any new class features, just let me spellstrike and spell combat with divine spells, damn you.)


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Are hybrids supposed to be a solution to multiclassing? Because that,s what it looks like. Then again, considering how you get crippled by multiclassing, hybrids do come as a godsent.


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Well, I guess I'm in the minority when I say that I absolutely love these. The Slayer, Swashbuckler, Investigator, and Brawler, as they are in this document, are among my favorite classes in the entire game.

Great stuff!


Hybrids are hybrids. The ranger is a hybrid. It's a fighter crossed somewhat with a druid, plus some unique class features (favored enemy, expanded skill list). The paladin is a fighter-cleric hybrid. The bard is a sorcerer-rogue hybrid. A hybrid just combines two different strong ability sets, as opposed to a single concept class (wizard, fighter) or a synergist (rogue, alchemist, theoretically the monk) who uses a number of more specific abilities in a way that the abilities support each other. The cavalier and inquisitor are basically single concept classes with some synergistic features.


I'm cool with hybrids. I'd also be cool with new classes with totally new mechanics.

The classes presented are a good mix of multiclass options I'd wished would work (fighter/cleric, rogue/alchemist, ranger/druid, ranger/rogue), ones I'd never expect (bard/barbarian, barbarian/sorcerer), and ones that I feel fill their own purpose (arcanist, brawler, shaman, swashbuckler).

I understand that some people like the building blocks approach to multiclassing, but it's never really worked out well for us in the past. It takes longer to fulfill each classes concept and never quite feels like it ties up at the end, to say nothing of the mechanical complexities. It's nice to get more options to bypass it.

Cheers!
Landon


I do nto liek to say it but this concept of Hybrids is boring, uninteresting and unimaginative. I think that at least 40% of the class should be new mechanics.

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