Class

If your character’s race determines who they are, your character’s class determines what they do. Adventurers are not normal people. They’re not even normal warriors, magic-users, clergy, or rogues. Adventurers are exceptional. A 1st level Fighter is not a match for a grizzled veteran of the Last War, he’s a match for a few of them. In 4th Edition D&D every character class is grouped by power source:

Martial—these are classes whose abilities are gained through long, arduous practice and natural skill. No magic involved.

  • Fighter—one of the iconic D&D classes. Fighters stand on the front-line and deliver powerful blows to their enemies while protecting the rest of their party. They can also take serious punishment. Any enemy who tries to slip past the fighter to get to the rest of the party is going to regret it. Your Fighter can fight how you want him to fight: sword and shield, big two-handed weapon, dual-wield, or berserker are all viable options. Key ability score is Strength, secondaries are Wisdom, Constitution, and Dexterity.
  • Rogue—another iconic class. Rogues sneak around the battlefield waiting for the opportune moment to stick a dagger in someone’s vital organs or shoot them in the jugular with a crossbow. They find traps, disable them, open locks and perform all sorts of other necessary if disreputable tasks. When positioned correctly, Rogues bring the pain. Key ability score is Dexterity, secondaries are Strength and Charisma.
  • Ranger—Different from previous editions of the game, the Ranger no longer has magic related to the wilderness. Instead he’s now the ideal wilderness scout, tracker, and ambusher. The Ranger sees the bad guys coming a mile away. Rangers excel with the bow or with dual-wielded melee weapons and bring some serious damage to the table. Key ability score is Dexterity, secondaries are Strength and Wisdom.
  • Warlord—This is the class for the tactically minded player who doesn’t want to deal with magic. The warlord fights well on his own, but in a group he inspires his allies to fight even better. His inspiration gives bonuses to attacks and even allows his allies to shrug off injuries. Key ability score is Strength, secondaries are Intelligence and Charisma.

Arcane—Masters of magic, these characters hit from a distance with all sorts of interesting effects.

  • Wizard—The iconic arcane magic user. Wizards are a more tactical class having learned their magic through years of arduous study and practice. They do their fair share of the damage, but a well-played wizard focuses more on controlling the battlefield with his magic, forcing the enemies to stay away from him and other fragile allies and next to his friends who dish out the melee damage. Key ability score is Intelligence, secondaries are Constitution, Dexterity, and Wisdom.
  • Sorcerer—Rather than read all those books, sorcerers have an innate talent for magic. And that innate talent is mostly for destruction. If you want to rain fire, ice, acid, or whatever on your enemies, pick the sorcerer. Key ability is Charisma, secondaries are Dexterity and Strength.
  • Warlock—The warlock gains his powers through a pact with otherworldly powers. Whether it’s a deal with infernal devils, with a fey lord, or with forces from outside reality, the warlock has power to be reckoned with. Their attacks damage but also weaken and hamper their enemies. Key ability is Charisma or Constitution, secondary is Intelligence.
  • Bard—The bard uses the magic inherent in music and song to inspire his allies and charm and confuse his enemies. A consummate artist, the bard may not be dishing out tons of damage, but the bonuses he gives to his allies and the penalties he gives to enemies, plus his natural role as party spokesman makes him a valuable character. Key ability score is Charisma, secondaries are Intelligence and Constitution.
  • Artificer—This is a class created for Eberron. The Artificer uses magic but focuses his magic into creating and using magic tools that can heal his allies and harm his enemies. He can even create magical constructs (creatures) to fight on his behalf. If you want a utility belt of magical toys, pick this class. Key ability score is Intelligence, secondaries are Constitution and Wisdom.

Divine—Characters who channel the divine also use magic, but magic granted to them by the god or gods they serve.

  • Cleric—The iconic divine class. Clerics are the warrior-priests of the deities, clad in armor of both metal and faith, wielding a mace in one hand and divine power in the other. Clerics heal their allies and punish the infidel with inspired melee attacks or divine blasts or radiance. Key ability score is either Wisdom or Strength, secondary is Charisma.
  • Paladin—A holy knight clad in steel fighting on the front line protecting his allies. The Paladin can hold the line, take punishment, and dish out some damage. They can also do some light healing. Key ability score is Strength or Charisma, secondary is Wisdom.
  • Avenger—If Paladins are a god’s holy knights, Avengers are their holy assassins. Trained in stealth, the Avenger strikes down the enemies of his faith with terrifying zeal and single-mindedness. He can swear an Oath of Enmity against a particular enemy that gives him divine wrath. Key ability score is Wisdom, secondaries are Intelligence and Dexterity.

Psionic—Characters who master their own minds are capable of astonishing feats. The two classes described below are ideal for Kalashtar characters. Changelings have some affinity for psionics as well.

  • Psion—Like the Wizard, the path of the psion requires years of study and training. But where the Wizard learns to manipulate the forces of magic all around him, the psion cultivates the power within himself to manipulate his foes’ minds and to toss them around the battlefield like rag dolls. Key ability score is Intelligence, secondaries are Charisma and Wisdom.
  • Monk—Combining the discipline of body and mind, monks can perform acts beyond the limits of their own bodies. They strike hard with fists, feet, and elbows, stunning and dazing their foes, and move wherever they want to on the battlefield. Key ability score is Dexterity, secondaries are Strength and Wisdom.

Primal—Eberron is a world where nature itself is a force to be reckoned with. Drawing on these primal energies one can enter into a terrifying rage or even take the form of animals.

  • Druid—This is a class that lets you hamper your enemies from a distance in your humanoid shape and control and harm them in your beast form. Not for beginners. Key ability score is Wisdom, secondaries are Dexterity and Constitution.
  • Barbarian—Lightly armored but heavily armed, the barbarian draws upon his primal rage to deal hellacious amounts of damage to his foes. Key ability is Strength, secondaries are Constitution and Charisma.

Class

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