Dragon 385 - Winning Races: Fighting Styles of the Valenar

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DnDi_Large.png  Dragon 385
Winning Races
Fighting Styles of the Valenar

By Craig Bishell

In today's Winning Races article, we look at the elves of Valenar and their weapon arts, including a new fighting style, feats, and a Paragon Path for Warlords, Bards, and Shamans that deals with channeling the Spirits of the Past in other ways than the Clerical method.  The fighting style of the Valenar elves focuses on three pillars:  mastery of curved blades, specially-bred horseback fighting, and upholding the honour of the Spirits of the Past.

Outside of the PPath requiring the worship of the Spirits of the Past, the article's requirements are non-Eberron specific, so with some minor refluffing, they can be used universally. 

The history of the Valenar is one of warfare—the uprising against the giants of Xen’drik, clashes with the Dhakaani goblins when they arrived on Khorvaire, fighting for (and against) Cyre during the Last War, constant skirmishes with Karrnathi forces and the horrors of the Mournland since the end of the war. Even during times when they have no external threats against which to prove themselves, the warclans fight among themselves for honor and prestige.


Talk about this article here.

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Before posting, why not ask yourself, What Would Wrecan Say?

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A great man once said "If WotC put out boxes full of free money there'd still be people complaining about how it's folded." – Boraxe

Valenar Weapon Training is pretty sweet for monks going for scimitar dance.


And overall the support for less than typical classes is very nice 
This is a neat article.  I particularly like the mount feats.  I was thinking of making a halfling ranger that used the halfling shortbow hunter and the beast rider feats, but now I might just make it an elf.
This is the happy swamp. Love it. I am red/blue, I think logically and act impulsively.
I liked the article. I think the Paragon Path might need a small adjustment - the daily power is neither implement nor weapon attack, but does not gain the typical +6/+9 bonus to attacks typical for such powers either.
Really good fluffy article with some nice mechanical feats to boot. Not a bad effort all round!
One thing I find interesting is a couple feats and the paragon path grant benefits based on Intelligence, which is not a racial for Elfs, is that an erroneous type, were the options also meant to be avaliable for eldarin, or might this be a precursor to updated racial stats (....probably bad that I threw that out there but...oh well..)
Hi all, the author here. Thanks everyone for your great comments & feedback - always good to see what people want in an article!

FWIW - the features based of Int aren't a precursor for any future errata (at least not any I'm aware of!), but more intended to convey the flavor behind Valenar, and encourage certain builds within classes that best suit Valenar - even if their racial bonuses aren't optimised for those builds.

I've added a bit more commentary here, if people are interested, including some potential errata that I'll forward on to Chris Youngs (although I can't promise he'll incorporate it in the final version)!

The Swift Rider feat in particular caught my eye. Valenar horses were already pretty fast-- now a Valenar horse with a Valenar rider really backs up the reputation. I sorta wish it was a heroic tier feat, though. Is there a balance element I'm overlooking that bumps Swift Rider in the paragon tier? Just curious! I loved the article-- it's the sort of thing I've been wanting to see. 
The Swift Rider feat in particular caught my eye. Valenar horses were already pretty fast-- now a Valenar horse with a Valenar rider really backs up the reputation. I sorta wish it was a heroic tier feat, though. Is there a balance element I'm overlooking that bumps Swift Rider in the paragon tier? Just curious! I loved the article-- it's the sort of thing I've been wanting to see. 


Swift Rider is based on what was a combat style feat in my draft and somewhere along the line it got changed by development or editing and left as a paragon tier feat (which is possibly why it ended up under the Valenar Dervish Style secton).

Having said that, it compares pretty favorably with the Fleet Footed feat from the PHB, which is a paragon tier feat, so that's definitely where I'd put it.

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