It should be clear that I like variant classes, subclasses, and things of that sort. I'm not a "everybody is a fighter" sort of gamer. I enjoyed 3e, and I like how Pathfinder has lots of class options. (I don't play PF, but that's for different reasons).
I'm also aware of power creep, and so on and so forth. On some levels, this isn't an issue for me - I like characters to develop new things, not just doing one thing with a +1 bonus every other level. I also don't like screwy XP schemes - this should be pretty well documented by now.
AND I'm aware of the ruleset I'm working in, and the mindset it exists within.
What I'm having trouble with is reconciling my version of the fighter with my versions of the ranger and barbarian (in particular). I'm not convinced the fighter is evenly matched, but I don't want to give the figher MOR STUF just to bulk him up.
I can also - and I know these aren't posted - see the same issues with the cleric, thief, and wizard.
So what I might try is switching from a one-tier system (all classes are equal) to a two-tier system (some classes are better). This, if it works, could potentially interlock with prestige classes and multi-classing. So the core classes would be Fighter, Magic-User, Thief, and Cleric. Most other classes would build on top of this.
Honestly, I'm not sure if it will work. Part of the balance between fighters & barbarians, for instance, is the restrictions that are built into each class. Barbarians get a higher bonus, but it has a duration. Fighters have a lower bonus that always applies. I'd have to rejigger class features to build on, rather than replace, each other.
The other issue is balance. There are two basic ways of doing this: carrot or stick.
XP is the stick. You want a better class, you have to pay more. This, for me, doesn't work because most of the time, the two classes will be the same level. You might as well say the fighter gets a +1 bonus every fourth game session, for that session only.
A carrot would be something like "core classes get a feat at even levels". That's using some 3e/non-OSR/S&W jargon, but you get the idea. Instead of better classes getting a penalty, weaker classes get a small, continual, bonus. +1 hit points per level. Something like that.
So, I dunno. I'm probably overthinking it.
Apropos nothing, I'm going to post about books soon.