>Head of the Class

>Having broken down a little bit of how role works in 4th Edition D&D, I thought I’d take this opportunity to discuss a little bit about the classes – or in some cases, builds. I’m not going to go into mechanical issues associated with them – just the core concept of the class, boiled down to as few words as possible. I won’t be covering all of them, because frankly there are too many – just the ones I like most, divided by role to go with the previous post.

Here goes!

Strikers: For those who just want to break something and look good doing it.

Warlock: The angstiest class in all of D&D, made bargains with more powerful beings to gain magic. Several flavors exist, including Fey, Infernal, Dark, Vestige… lots of powerful magic. Great at picking off single targets.

Ranger: Like forests, elves, or elven forests? Try a ranger. Several flavors exist, with some overlap.

  • Beastmaster: Ever wanted to go into a fight with a big cat at your side? Now you can.
  • Archer: Hunter type with a bow. Legolas, eat your heart out. 
  • Tempest: Twin weapon fighter, using fast strikes for massive damage.

Rogue/Thief: What Indiana Jones would have been in the middle ages; fast, agile, smooth talking, good at stealing things or retrieving ancient artifacts. Never, ever fights fair. Probably has awesome shoes.

Assassin: Shadowy powers of death, the second angstiest class in the game (Angst, angst, angst). Uses a combination of their strange brand of magic and whatever happens to be handy.

Monk: More Jet-Li than Friar Tuck.

Slayer: Special flavor of Fighter, heavily armored and carries a big weapon. Dangerous when cornered… actually, just dangerous all the time. Most well armored slayer in the bunch.

Avenger: D&D’s version of an Inquisitor. No one expects them. Think Batman, if Batman were empowered by a Bat-god and carried sharp things.

Barbarian: Takes a walk on the wild side. You wouldn’t like her when she’s angry…

Leader: If you want to inspire the troops to further glory from the front of the battle, look no further. Bit more armor than most slayers wear.

Warlord: Martial masters of the battlefield. Either leads from the front with a melee weapon or from the rear with a bow; tends toward heavier armor. Makes everyone else deadlier.

Cleric/Warpriest: The iconic D&D leader due to healing abilities, divinely empowered with magical powers of smiting. Undead fear them – everyone else is pretty happy to see them.

Bard: The other iconic D&D leader. Battlefield equivalent of a performance artist, combining a little magic, a little swordplay, and a little song together in a deadly symphony. “Jack of all trades.”

Defender: The “Choke point.” Every party needs one. Monsters hate them. Excellent at punishing those who attack their friends.

Knight/Fighter: Masters of martial prowess on the battlefield. Usually a shield in one hand, weapon in the other – nothing gets past a Knight. 

Paladin: Divinely empowered champion of the weak, with some healing ability.

Swordmage: Magic plus swords; a winning combination if I’ve ever heard one.

Controller: Mind your surroundings; controllers make the battlefield tap-dance. And they get the coolest robes…

Mage/Wizard: The iconic controller. Mages do all the things other people can’t, whether through hypnosis (enchantment), trickery (illusion), or just making things explode (evocation).

Psion: Similar idea, very different execution; for those who like a little sci-fi and/or X-men in their D&D. Yes, you can be a telepath.


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