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4e Classes: A Fan's Perspective


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My 4e Let's Reads, whilst well received, are coming to a close as I write this. Since the Racial Articles let's read was well received, I've been giving some thought to the other half of the equation; the classes. Now, I admittedly don't know how much interest there would be in this, but what I would be aiming to do is to examine each class in detail; dissecting its design, its subclasses, its paragon paths, its epic destinies (if any) and what support it received in the pages of Dragon Magazine and the X Power books. Basically, taking apart the class to outline what makes it tick, in my perspective, how well I feel it was designed, how interesting it was, and just my general thoughts and opinions.

So, would there be any interest in this little project? If yes, which class(es) shall we discuss first?

Arcane Classes:
  • Artificer (Leader)
  • Bard (Leader)
  • Sorcerer (Striker)
  • Swordmage (Defender)
  • Warlock (Striker)
  • Wizard (Controller)

Divine Classes:
  • Avenger (Striker)
  • Cleric (Leader)
  • Invoker (Controller)
  • Paladin (Defender)
  • Runepriest (Leader)

Martial Classes:
  • Fighter (Defender)
  • Ranger (Striker)
  • Rogue( Striker)
  • Warlord (Leader)

Primal Classes:
  • Barbarian (Striker)
  • Druid (Controller)
  • Seeker (Controller)
  • Shaman (Leader)
  • Warden (Defender)

Psionic Classes:
  • Ardent (Leader)
  • Battlemind (Defender)
  • Monk (Striker)
  • Psion (Controller)

Shadow Classes:
  • Assassin (Striker)

Essentials "Classes":
  • Berserker (Defender/Striker)
  • Binder (Controller)
  • Blackguard (Striker)
  • Bladesinger (Controller)
  • Cavalier (Defender)
  • Elementalist (Striker)
  • Executioner (Striker)
  • Hunter (Controller)
  • Hexblade (Striker)
  • Knight (Defender)
  • Mage (Controller)
  • Protector (Controller)
  • Thief (Striker)
  • Scout (Striker)
  • Sentinel (Leader)
  • Sha'ir (Controller)
  • Skald (Leader)
  • Slayer (Striker)
  • Vampire (Striker)
  • Warpriest (Leader)
  • Witch (Controller)
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Follower of the Way
Validated User
I can say, at the very least, it would be nice to have a central place to reference when discussing certain aspects of classes. And a lot of the "new" 4e classes (such as Avenger or Warlord) have a lot of cool flavor or construction that would seem prime fodder for discussion.


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As someone whose group kept up closely with 4e, I remember losing the thread on classes around PHB 3. There were a few classes where I didn't have a grasp on who I would actually be playing. It's the new Primal Controller or whatever, okay, got it, but what is it? What's this class about on its own?

Looking at the list, the ones that stand out in my mind that way are the Runepriest, the Seeker, and the Ardent. I would love to read a breakdown of any of those.

Another topic that I'd like to see your take on is how the Ranger relates to the design space of the Primal power source. How did 4e imagine Rangers as categorically Martial? Was the subject addressed at all in Primal Power?

Kakita Kojiro

IL-series Cylon
RPGnet Member
Validated User
I think the classes that are most interesting to discuss are the ones that changed substantially in concept and mechanics as 4e progressed, particularly after Essentials. Warlocks and Rangers, primarily; to a lesser extent, Paladins. Some of the other (later) classes didn't get very fleshed out, but at least the way they worked and played didn't shift all over the place. The way a PHB-only Ranger twin striked her life away was completely different than the way a Beastmaster Ranger or Essential Rangers played.


Registered User
Validated User
Another topic that I'd like to see your take on is how the Ranger relates to the design space of the Primal power source. How did 4e imagine Rangers as categorically Martial? Was the subject addressed at all in Primal Power?
The PHB Ranger was a Martial power source character. There was no Primal power source in PHB, and definitely no dual-power source classes.

In Essentials, the Ranger gained two e-classes (Scout and Hunter) that had both the Marial and Primal power source. They gained "magical" utility powers as part of this, often similar to Druid utility abilities (I was going over every power a while back, and ran into some near duplicates between E-Ranger utilities and Druid utilities).

With PHB3, a Seeker|Ranger hybrid made a pretty neat "non-essentials" primal-flavoured Ranger. There was even significant mechanical synergy between the two.

The result was a badass archer who could turn his arrows into bats, fire arrows at 6 targets and have then explode, have arrows that miss turn around and hit someone else, etc.

Knight of Ravens

Registered User
Validated User
I'd definitely be interested in seeing your impressions of the various classes and I think the Ardent, Psion, and Warlock are the ones that would grab my attention first.
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