Avatar: The Last Airbender 4e (MACH 2)

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This is the submission I made for the Sky Bison for the Expert Dungeon Master compitition. For print, I would change a great deal of the descriptive text, firstly to make it so there is less, secondly I wrote this so people could use it in a many different Campaign settings, but for the Avatar book that wouldn't be a concern, so I would make more direct references to the Fire Nation and such.


SKY BISON


   Sky Bison are, in these times, both strange and exceedingly rare. At one time the population of Sky Bison was quite large, until the war against the Air Nomads diminished the population to a literal handful, well, if each individual weren’t so large. Sky Bison are enormous animals, easily weighing ten tons when fully grown. Yet despite their size and lumbering movement on the ground, Sky Bison are capable fliers. 
   This feat is accomplished through Airbending, an art invented and perfected by these gentle giants, and later passed on to the Air nomads. Using this elemental magic the Sky Bison can move, as if swimming, through the air. 
 Sky Bison have broad heads with long angular brown horns on either side. Their large, expressive golden eyes sit far apart on either side of their enormous mouth. A fully grown human could, assuming they were fine with being coated in saliva, comfortably fit inside of an adult Sky Bison’s mouth. Over the forehead of each bison is a brown patch of fur in the shape of a downward facing arrow, a stark contrast to the rest of its shaggy, white coat. Along its back are several more brownish stripes, each sitting over top one of its six muscular legs. Each of the Bison's legs ends in four articulated fingers which possess both the strength sufficient to uproot a tree and the gentle precision necessary to lift an injured calf to safety. At the end of their body is a broad, beaver-like, tail which is used to lift-off from the ground as well as push the Bison through the air.
 
   When a Sky Bison takes off, the resulting gusts of wind are powerful enough to knock an adult human onto their back. Once in the air they move very quickly and can dodge airborne attacks with graceful precision. Unsurprisingly due to their size and airborne speed, they can charge with a punishing amount of force. That fact, combined with their incredibly sturdy bodies allow them to crash through trees, stone structures and reinforced wooden barriers with minimal injury. They are also capable of warding off exhaustion for long periods. When determined, a Sky Bison burdened with hundreds of pounds of cargo can fly for several days without rest. In addition to flight a Sky Bison can airbend with its mouth and nose to create powerful blasts of air or strong sucking gusts. They can use airbending to dry themselves after swimming, delicately move small fragile objects or even amplify the power of their bellows and roars to be heard for miles. 
 
   In addition to their sheer physical strength, toughness, and their mastery of the element of air, Sky Bison are quite intelligent. Although lacking in even rudimentary reasoning skills and incapable of language they have keen memories, especially in regards to navigation. They are also gifted with a powerful intuition which allows them to judge the very character of intelligent creatures within moments of meeting them. Amongst the Air Nomads they have a saying, “If you can earn the trust of a Sky Bison, you have already earned mine.”
   Fittingly it can take a great deal of effort to earn a Sky Bison’s trust, even if they think you are a good person. The Air Nomads who used to ride the Bison developed a ritual of friendship for bonding a young Nomad to a Bison Calf for life. Without such a ritual a Sky Bison will help those it deems decent, even carrying them a short distance, but they will not listen to instruction or follow even the kindest soul into battle. After a time, and with the express participation of the Sky Bisons original life-friend, additional souls can undergo the ritual. In the past no one who wasn’t raised in an Air Nomad monastery ever achieved the the title of life-friend to a Sky Bison. However, now that there are so few Bison, and no Air Nomads left, the chance for a good and decent soul from a distant culture to bond with a Calf is possible, though still incredibly unlikely.  
   The few Bison that are left have attached themselves to people who share the ideology of the Air Nomads, a free spirit, a strong will, an open mind. As a result, Bison are comfortable with mountain ascetics, secluded intellectuals, hermits and gurus, but few others. Those that were sympathetic to the Air Nomads way of life are likely very old today, or following an old family tradition. Furthermore, due to their rarity, they are pursued by greedy collectors, corrupt businessmen and other shady, dangerous people, so the Sky Bison spend little time amongst civilized folk.
 

SKY BISON LORE
Nature Check DC 18: The Sky Bison were a magical species of enormous, headstrong surprisingly acrobatic beasts of burden. They were capable of flight, though not through any of the traditional forms of magic. Today little is known about their physiology or behavior.

History Check DC 18:
The Sky Bison lived in harmony with the Air Nomads before the Great War devastated both populations, leaving few, if any, surviving members. No credible source has reported seeing a Flying Bison since the Great War, and it is known that some effort was put into finding and exterminating the remnants of the species. 
Nature Check DC 23:
The Sky Bison’s flight was derived from a form of elemental magic of their own invention. It was called Airbending by the nomadic people who learned it from the Bison, and the secrets behind it were all but lost when the Air Nomads were killed. Airbending would have allowed the Sky Bison to do much more than fly, although that would still be the most impressive feat available to them.
History Check DC 25: The Air Nomads had a ritual of friendship that they used to bond a Sky Bison Calf to a young Air Nomad for life. Without such a ritual, it would be nearly impossible to gain the trust of a Sky Bison today, even if you could find one. The Sky Bison were notoriously good judges of character though, and kind hearted. They would be willing the help any decent soul with a decent cause for a time, but they would never listen to orders from anyone who hadn’t performed this ritual with them. 
Nature Check DC 27: Before the Air Nomads built their temples, the Sky Bison lived on the tops of the tallest mountains, rarely descending below cloud level. If one were to seek the companionship of one of these gentle giants, one should start with the highest point of elevation. These places are likely impossible to reach without flight or powerful magic of another sort.

Ritual of Friendship
You take an apple and hold it out to the Sky Bison in
front of you, if you succeed you'll make a friend for life,
if you fail you'll end up with pretty hearty bruise on your wrist.
 
Level:
5                         Component Cost: Variable
Category:
Binding          Market Price: 1,000 gp
Time: 10 Minutes           Key Skill: Nature
Duration:
Permanent    
When you begin the ritual you choose a Sky Bison and an intelligent, good-aligned creature as the targets of the ritual. You may choose yourself as a target. If the Sky Bison already has a life-friend from this ritual that creature must perform the ritual on anyone wishing to gain the Sky Bisons trust. Depending on the age of the Bison, the cost and difficulty of the ritual will change.




















Age of Bison                 Cost   Difficulty    Time
Calf, 2 Years                           10gp         DC 18        10 Minutes
Young Adult, 3-8 Years         25gp         DC 23         1 Week
Adult, 8-20 Years                  250gp        DC 29         1 Month
Aged 21 Years                     2,000gp       DC 35        6 Months

   The age of the animal will also increase how much time you have to spend with the Bison before you can attempt to perform the ritual. During this time you must spend at least 8 hours out of each day in the company of the Bison. If you spend the requisite time with the Bison and fail the Nature Check, you only have to wait a day before trying again, regardless of the age of the Bison. The component cost covers food, for a Calf you only need a bushel of apples, as the age of the Bison rises and the time spent with it increases supplying enough food for the animal becomes more and more expensive.
   If you succeed the Sky Bison and creature become "life-friends" and are inseperably bonded to one another. This resultant bond allows any life-friend of the Bison to give it instructions, which the Bison will happily follow if doing so doesn't require much effort. Even a Bison's life-friend will have some trouble convincing it to do something against its nature, or it's current mood. Some of the things that will put a Bison in one of it's moods are being hungry, being undeground, being tired, being injured or being ignored and unappreciated.

Sky Bison Calf:
A young Sky Bison is still as large as a pony and is easily capable of transporting a human through the air. They are most often bonded with their life-friend at a young age, about 2 years for the bison and 6 years for their human counterpart. They continue to grow for the next 5 to 6 years until they reach their adult size. They are energetic and carefree at this age, and not particularly careful. In battle they prefer to stay away from violence as they are easily frightened. They will enter the fray to protect their life-friend if they can. They prefer to stay together with their rider, and if seperated will immediately attempt to reunite. However, they are not smart enough to use complex tactics at this age and usually just rush towards their ally in a straight line.
















































































Sky Bison CalfLevel 5 Soldier
Large elemental magical beast (air, mount)XP 200

HP 67; Bloodied 33; Initiative +6
AC 21; Fortitude 19, Reflex 17, Will 17, Perception +4
Speed 4, Fly 6 (hover, clumsy grounded)
Resist Cold 5
Traits
Wind Shield (elemental, mount) ♦ Aura 1
While the sky bison calf has a friendly life-friend of 5th level or higher mounted on it, allies within the aura gain a +1 bonus to AC and Reflex against ranged attacks.
Standard Actions
Tackle ♦ At-Will
Attack: Melee 1 (1 target); +12 vs. AC
Hit: 1d10+4 and the sky bison calf knocks the target prone.
Standard Actions
Air Blast ♦ Encounter
Attack: Ranged 5 (1 target); +10 vs. Reflex
Hit: 3d8+4 and the sky bison calf pushes the target 1 squares.
Minor Actions
Airbending (elemental) ♦ At-Will
Effect: The sky bison calf may control the air currents within 2 squares. This ability allows the bison to lift up to 10 lbs worth of objects, move any amount of gaseous material in that space or use air exert up to 10 lbs of force. This ability cannot deal damage or hinder another creatures actions.
Triggered Actions
Air Dodge (elemental) ♦ Encounter
Trigger: The sky bison calf or a friendly life-friend mounted on the sky bison calf is targeted by a ranged attack.
Effect (Immediate Interrupt): The sky bison calf shifts 4 squares.
Skills Acrobatics +9, Athletics +11, Endurance +11, Insight +9














Str 18 (+6)Dex 15 (+4)Wis 14 (+4)
Con 19 (+6)Int 9 (+1)Cha 16 (+5)

Alignment neutral good Languages none

Equipment sky bison saddle









Sky Bison
The adult Sky Bison is a powerful force to behold. The adults are easily five to six times the size of a calf. They are capable of carrying several riders, though they only do so on behalf of its life-friend. At this age the bond between the Bison and its life-friend is permanent and if the rider were to die, the Bison would not take a new parter, instead returning to its mountain home to rest until it too dies. The adult Sky Bison is nearly impossible to fool and very, very slow to trust new people. In battle the Bison stays in the air or with its rider. It attacks primarily by charging into any enemy that it deems a threat to its rider. If seperated from its rider, it will use its hurricane blast to disable enemies before rushing to their side to protect them with sky toss






















































































Sky BisonLevel 15 Soldier
Huge elemental magical beast (air, mount)XP 1,200

HP 154; Bloodied 77; Initiative +12
AC 31; Fortitude 28, Reflex 26, Will 26, Perception +10
Speed 4, Fly 10 (hover, clumsy grounded)
Resist Cold 15
Traits
Big Saddle (mount)
Due to its size the sky bison can carry up to 8 medium creatures (or 1,200 lbs) on its back as long as its instructed to do so by its life-friend. Large creatures take up twice as much space, small and smaller creatures take up half as much.
Stay the Course (mount)
If the sky bison recieves instructions from a friendly life-friend of 15th level or higher, it can continue to fly as if it were being guided by its rider for up to 8 hours before needing to be instructed again.
Standard Actions
Slam ♦ At-Will
Attack: Melee 1 (1 target); +22 vs. AC
Hit: 2d8+6 damage and the sky bison pushes the target 1 square.
Air Cannon (elemental) ♦ Encounter
Attack: Ranged 10 (1 target); +20 vs. Reflex
Hit: 4d8+6 damage and the sky bison pushes the target 3 squares.
Hurricane Blast (elemental) ♦ Encounter
Attack: Close blast 5 (enemies in blast); +18 vs. Fortitude
Hit: 3d10+6 and the sky bison knocks the target prone.
Minor Actions
Airbending (Elemental)  ♦ At-Will
Effect: The sky bison may control the air currents within 5 squares. This ability allows the bison to lift up to 50 lbs worth of objects, move any amount of gaseous material in that space or use air to exert up to 50 lbs of force. This ability cannot deal damage or hinder another creatures actions.
Triggered Actions
Sky Toss ♦ At-Will
Trigger: An enemy moves adjacent to and attacks the sky bison or a life-friend adajacent to the sky bison.
Attack (Immediate reaction): Melee 1 (1 target); +20 vs. Reflex
Hit: 2d8+6 and the sky bison slides the target 3 squares.
Miss: Half damage and the sky bison slides the target 1 square.
Skills Acrobatics +16, Athletics +20, Endurance +20, Insight +15














Str 25 (+14)Dex 18 (+11)Wis 16 (+10)
Con 26 (+15)Int 11 (+7)Cha 18 (+11)

Alignment neutral good Languages none
Equipment sky bison saddle
I'm one of the minds behind the Avatar the Last Airbender 4e Project. We're about a quarter of the way through releasing the revised PDF, containing all four bender classes, paragon paths, epic destinies and a menagerie of feats and items from the show. Come by and lend your mind to the swarm.

-Usagi
I'm one of the minds behind the Avatar the Last Airbender 4e Project. We're about a quarter of the way through releasing the revised PDF, containing all four bender classes, paragon paths, epic destinies and a menagerie of feats and items from the show. Come by and lend your mind to the swarm.
It never posted my response from a few days ago. :\ Huh.

This Sky Bison seems pretty awesome and it really plays off the life-friend thing, which is pretty cool. I think you really it to life (in a D&D sort of way).

Soon enough, I'll get back to work on the PDF. Just been busy lately and all. Soonish, I want to start going through the power lists and updating them. Never was good at making monsters, honestly.
Homebrew classes: Guerrilla, Airbender, Earthbender, Firebender, and Waterbender. (PHASE 2 BEGINS! Tell us how we could make these classes better. The Shadow power source done right.
This project isn't dead, is it?
Avatar 4e doesn't die. We just take random and unannounced breaks.
Homebrew classes: Guerrilla, Airbender, Earthbender, Firebender, and Waterbender. (PHASE 2 BEGINS! Tell us how we could make these classes better. The Shadow power source done right.
Is there any sort of ETA on an updated PDF?
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Does the Earthbender hybrid require a downgraded version of "Watchful Ally"?

If you look at the paladin's Divine Challenge and Divine Challenge (hybrid) the difference is only a few points of damage. This suggests that a downgrade as drastic as minor made into move is way to much. But then again the Hybrid Fighter can't use his marking abilities without a feat. Appearently both extremes can be found but I think the downgrading should not be in the action the watching ally feature requires but rather in its effectiveness. Making it a move action is just to damn expensive and really comes down on the battle tactics one would normally use with a hybrid like this.

I suggest the following options (either just a single option, a combination of two, or all three) as a downgrade for the Hybrid version of Watchful Ally is exchange for it being a minor instead of a move action.


  • The watched ally gains a +1 bonus to all defenses rather then the traditional +2

  • Rebuking Offense causes the enemy to be pushed 1 square, but not take damage as per traditional Rebuking Offense

  • Same trick with Earthen Shield; the ally can still shift but your bending was just good enough to stop the attack, but not good enough to cause your enemy any harm.


Now, can you please change it from move to minor? (a)

-Post updated for 020211 version of the pdf.

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Oh, you flatter us, I'm sure. Though, I'll be honest, I'm pretty proud of what we've put together. It seems to get only better with this second phase too.

CLASS FEATURES
SOURCE OF STRENGTH
Firebending is a martial art that relies on building yourself up, progressively growing in power as the battle goes on. As you fight, your Source of Strength damage increases. You start out dealing 0 extra damage with each attack. Depending on your build, your extra damage increases when you perform certain actions. Your maximum Source of Strength damage is equal to 4 + your Constitution/Charisma modifer (for Harmonious or Raging respectively). This increases to 6 + Constitution/Charisma at 11th level and 8 + your Constitution/Charisma at 21st level. Your Source of Strength damage resets to 0 at the end of the encounter.
Harmonious: You breathe deeply, fnding the eternal fame within yourself. Once per round, you may sacrifce your minor action to increase your extra Source of Strength damage by one. This is culumative.
Raging: You use your anger to fuel your fre-bending. Once per round when you hit a target
with an attack with the fre keyword, increase the amount of extra damage by 3. This is cumulative.

Maybe each build could have a power associated with spending their Source of Strength points. Like, the Rager could spend to increase his crit range and the Harmonious build could spend points to... do something. I really like the idea of that, actually.

EDIT:  I've gotten an email from a guy who's planning on running an Avatar game who said he'd really like a Monster Manual of sorts. I know we've tossed that idea around since forever, but maybe we should get on that. Or have someone get on that.

I haven't read the firebender, but is there a possibility to substitude some of those numbers with dice? Throwing dice is fun ^^. Could the rage damage be 1d6? This looks like a lot of "how much extra damage was I at again?" 

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Updated by earlier post on the Earthbender (Hybrid) to go with the newer version of the pdf (020211)

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I was looking at the Blue Spirit paragon path (p. 70). Can you tell me how "Stealth Infiltration" works?

Free Action
Trigger: You succeed on (a) Stealth check
Effect: You make an Acrobatics or an Athletics check with a +2 bonus. If you succed you remain hidden.

Does this mean that when I become hidden I can make a acrobatics/athletics manuever with a +2 (power) bonus?
If so, wouldn't this be a move action, rather then a free action? Or shouldn't the wording be "you gain a +2 bonus to you next athl. or acrobatics check during this turn"
 

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I just wanted to share some observations. I have been DMing a Avatar game using these classes. Most of them feel very well balanced and all work very well. The only class I(and the players) have felt is lacking is the firebender. His early Strength of Score just starts to low and builds too slowly. I know this has been discusses but I think bumping it to +2 for harmonious and +more for rage would really help. Also I allow the firebender(harmonious) to use the minor action centering as many times as he wants per turn. This works well because he then begins combat at range(2 minors to build damage, 1 ranged attack) and then rushes in. Anyways there is some of my feedback, otherwise everything looks pretty sweet.

One other thing, why do none of the Firebender builds really utilize their secondary stat? I spy a few powers that do special things, but over all the second stat does not do much. Also why is Harmonius +con? Same with Raging, why is it +cha? I would personally make raging +con, and change harmonious to +Wis. When I picture a "harmonius" firebender I picture Iroh, and I what is Iroh? Wise.
My friend pointed out what we assume is a type-o in the airbender feat "Running Start"

RUNNING START 

Prerequisites: Airbender, Dexterity 17 
Benefit: Unless you are surprised, when you roll initiative you may run as a minor action.


My friend's comment is this "...erm... When I roll initative, I don't HAVE a minor action".
This is a really good point xD Shouldn't this be "When you roll initative and aren't surprise, you can take the run action" or something like that. 

Update 1: 
Also,  Waving Uppercut (waterbender level 1 at-will) reads "...does not provoke attacks of opportunity..." which is supposed to be "does not provoke opportunity attacks...".

Update 2:
Yay! More type-o's! :D Sorry about this, we just thought you'd rather know about them then not know about them.
Our third typo is in the Firebenders level 1 at-will power "Bursting Slash" where it says "a enemy adjacent...", this should be "an enemy".

Update 3:
 Airbounce, Level 22 Utility Technique. It's colored green but still listed as a daily power.

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Okay; I know that the topic has drifted from the earthbender a bit, but I'd like to bring up what I don't like about it.

1) The Earthbender only really defends well for his watched ally. Any other defender marks the monster, so the monster is penalized no matter who they attack. Not so with the earthbender; in any group larger than two, just ignore the earthbender and his watched ally!

2) The class occasionally has tracking issues. This is primarily RE: the new Quaking benefit. durations longer than EONT = bad; use sustain for that sort of thing.
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(Sorry to double post, but adding this to the last post seemed like it might result in confusion)

I think I've come up with some ways to maintain the basic structure, and most of the powers, of the Earthbender, while solving some of the problems that I and others have noticed.

1) Instead of using the watched ally mechanic, the Earthbender would have an ability to mark one or more opponents within a fairly large close burst. This solves the multiple enemies issue noted above.

2) Get rid of the existing Neutral Jing feature. Name the close burst effect above Neutral Jing, and give it a sustain of standard. I'd want to do this because of the tracking issues problem that I mentioned before.

3) Give Quaking and Shaping each an effect when they use a Standard to sustain Neutral Jing. What exactly I'm not sure.

4) Find a way to balance at-wills that are not Standards. I'm thinking once-per-round minor actions with greater effects if you used a standard to maintain Neutral Jing.

5) each build would get an OA based on Con; Quaking would be a close attack against a marked target making an attack against an ally within range, while shaping would be a more traditional improved melee oa.

Basically, Quaking would be built around defending at range and moving enemies around, away from your allies and toward you. Shaping would be based around sucking enemies toward you and keeping them there.

As an aside, I'd probably want to make a number of powers - primarily quaking powers - have ranges of, for example 'ally burst 2 within 10' - a close burst centered on an ally.
astralArchivist.com - 4e D&D house rules, homebrew, and story hours - now featuring ENWorld's Zeitgeist adventure path! Will Thibault is a winged, feathered serpent rarely found anywhere except in warm, jungle-like regions or flying through the ether. Due to his intelligence and powers he is regarded with awe by the inhabitants of his homelands and is considered to be divine.
Yeah, the earthbender works best as an offtank. Team him up with a fighter, paladin og warden, and you have something golden :D
To bad he doesn't fill up any other role like off-tank/off-controller or off-tank/off-striker. That would make him much more useful.
It is also really difficult to deside weather he should be ranged or melee. His watching requires him to be at within 5 squares of his ally, making it difficult for him to be ranged. But then also his melee is not something to boast about...

I still like the earthbender, but not as a main role-filler. 

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I hear what you're saying, but I like the "watched ally" feature too much. It's original and new. It's true that marking works better than watching. But what if you can watch all of your allies? It still works in the same way, but without marking. Enemies still need a higher attack roll to hit your allies, and are still penalized for trying. Just make it a minor action and a big burst. Or make it a free action a la warden. You could even have a limitation like "At the start of your turn you select up to 3 allies within sight to be your watched allies (free action)"


I do however think the Earthbender needs a save bonus like the warforged or warden. This would make them much more durable and effective, without overpowering them. Resist 1 all damage is a good start, or a resist 3 against all ongoing damage.

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Look at my Playable Illithid, my Monster Generating excel file , my Lifestealer in progresss (Heroic tier almost complete!) , our Improved Orc, our Improving Kenku and our Improving Duergar
Also, take a look at my friend's Improved Minotaur, Gadren's amazing Arcane Archer and of course the Avatar Project
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Okay. First off, I apologize for my inactivity. Me and my girlfriend kind of had to find a place and move out in a bit of a rush. But, that's all over now. Tomorrow, I'll be doing updates to the PDF. **** yeah.

Okay. So mhbjarkistef mentioned the firebender using dice for its striker damage. That got me thinking... how's this look?

CLASS FEATURES
SOURCE OF STRENGTH
Firebending is a martial art that relies on building yourself up, progressively growing in power as the battle goes on. As you fight, your Source of Strength damage increases. At the beginning of an encounter, the firebender adds a +1d4 to all damage rolls.Depending on how you practice your firebending ability, you gain more and more power with your techniques. The maximum extra damage a firebender may deal is +3d4. At 11th level, this becomes +4d4. At 21st level, this becomes 5d4. (REALLY NEED TO THINK THAT THROUGH.)
Harmonious: You breathe deeply, fnding the eternal fame within yourself. Once per round, you may sacrifce your minor action to increase your extra Source of Strength damage by one die.
Raging: You use your anger to fuel your fre-bending. Once per round when you hit a target
with an attack with the fre keyword, increase the amount of extra damage by one die.

Alright. Here's the thing. Firebenders could "sacrifice" dice to add effects to attacks/utility powers. I'm gonna bullshit a power example.

Flamethrower - Firebender Attack 3
"You throw fire. yeeee"
Encounter * Elemental, Implement, Fire         Line 3
Target: Each creature within line.
Attack:  Dexterity vs. Reflex.
Hit:  2d6 + Dexterity modifier fire damage.
Source of Strength:  You may expend a die of your Source of Strength damage to change this attack into a Path 5 attack.

I'm liking the idea, but as it stands, the damage isn't quite balanced. .-.

I was looking at the Blue Spirit paragon path (p. 70). Can you tell me how "Stealth Infiltration" works?



Right. How about...

Move Action
Prerequisite: You are hidden.
Effect: You make an Acrobatics or Athletics check with a +2 power bonus. Your movement is not limited. Regardless of how far you move with your check, you remain hidden at the end of your turn.

Or something.

One other thing, why do none of the Firebender builds really utilize their secondary stat? I spy a few powers that do special things, but over all the second stat does not do much. Also why is Harmonius +con? Same with Raging, why is it +cha? I would personally make raging +con, and change harmonious to +Wis. When I picture a "harmonius" firebender I picture Iroh, and I what is Iroh? Wise.



The reasoning behind that was... Zuko/Azula, who are undoubtedly raging firebenders, have very commanding presences and utilize them in their abilities. The same could be said for Commander Zhao. With the harmonious firebender, with the iconic being Iroh, I remember an episode where he explains to Zuko that instead of using anger, you should use... something else. And then explains how firebending is to be "pulled" from the stomach. That's pretty much why I went with those specific secondary stats for those builds.

My friend pointed out what we assume is a type-o in the airbender feat "Running Start"

RUNNING START 

Prerequisites: Airbender, Dexterity 17 
Benefit: Unless you are surprised, when you roll initiative you may run as a minor action.


My friend's comment is this "...erm... When I roll initative, I don't HAVE a minor action".
This is a really good point xD Shouldn't this be "When you roll initative and aren't surprise, you can take the run action" or something like that.


[THEN STUFF ABOUT TYPOS]




Right. Makes sense. :| How about...

Prerequisites: Airbender, Dexterity 17 
Benefit: During the first round of combat, you may run without the -5 penalty to attack rolls.

Also. I like hearing about typos. Really like it actually.

Okay; I know that the topic has drifted from the earthbender a bit, but I'd like to bring up what I don't like about it.

1) The Earthbender only really defends well for his watched ally. Any other defender marks the monster, so the monster is penalized no matter who they attack. Not so with the earthbender; in any group larger than two, just ignore the earthbender and his watched ally!

2) The class occasionally has tracking issues. This is primarily RE: the new Quaking benefit. durations longer than EONT = bad; use sustain for that sort of thing.



1) Its no different than when the fighter marks one monster. Do the other monsters go "hey, we're not marked, let's go fart on the wizard" or whatever. (That's totally a bugbear, btw.) If you watch an ally, then for all cases and purposes for that ally, every monster is "marked." Keeping to that line of logic, when you mark one monster, then for it, every ally is "watched." I think marking and watching are two different means to an end and I think watching as a concept works beautifully. (Not to toot my horn of course. Toot toot.)

2) I agree. Things that last longer than "end of next turn" is generally a no-no in 4th edition D&D.  Not sure how to go about it though. SUstaining might be a bit much for Neutral Jing. Like, I can see how it'd be cool to spend a Standard, then keep it up with a minor, but the action economy is super important for an earthbender. He has to use those to keep his friends safe.

Again, I'm going to reiterate, I don't want to get rid of the Watching concept and replace it with a marking ability. Really really do not want to. (Typically, I'm a little more alright with changing stuff around with the classes, but I probably won't budge on this one. Sorry.)
Homebrew classes: Guerrilla, Airbender, Earthbender, Firebender, and Waterbender. (PHASE 2 BEGINS! Tell us how we could make these classes better. The Shadow power source done right.
I'd like to point out, Ekio, that the Ossassin proved that "building up" is not an acceptable way to do a Striker mechanic.  Might I suggest modifying the avenger's Censure damage?  Say, a flat bonus to damage equal to your build's secondary, with more for meeting a condition that suits the theme of the build?

And on another (maybe?) useful note, I'd like to suggest Charisma vs. Wisdom for the Firebender's secondary stats.  I agree that Charisma fits great for Ragers, but between the Sun Warriors and Iroh, I think Wisdom fits better for Harmonious benders.     

I like the d4 idea. With calculation i've found out that 3d4= 2d6 roughly, so making it 3d4 at heroic might work. 


I also like how to spend damage dice to improve the effect of a power, the question is more in how to get those dice BACK that might need some serious thinking. I think you could even go as far as 4d4, and making the powers in  a way that you really NEED to spend damage dice to make the powers work. This means he has a lot of potential damage and really looks nice on paper, but almost never uses all dice available since that would make his powers less effective. I haven't read the firebender through, so I don't know the difference between raging and harmonious, so no comment there.


 


I like that fix on Stealth Infiltration. It puts it in the same category as the assassin's Silent Stalker:


 


Silent Stalker
At-will · Move Action
Personal
Keyword: Martial
Requirement: You must be hidden
Effect: You move up to your speed to a square within 2 squares of an enemy. You remain hidden until the end of this turn or until you make an attack.


I suggest:
Stealth Infiltration
At-will · Move Action
Personal
Keyword: Martial
Requirement: You must be hidden
Effect: You move up to your speed and gain a +2 power bonus to your next acrobatics or athletics check before the end of your turn (or next turn). You remain hidden until the end of this turn or until you make an attack.


Variation: 


Effect: You move up to your speed and gain a +2 power bonus to all acrobatics and athletics checks made as part of this movement. You remain hidden until the end of this turn or until you make an attack.


It is true that Iroh really does know the technique of breathing when it comes to firebending, so constitution (I guess) makes sense.


I like that Running Start, even though this makes it a standard action. Suggestion of making it a regular "move up to your speed" as a minor action rather then actual running. "Running Start" is a good use of words, though it can also imply more of a "you gain a +2 power bonus to acr and athl checks made as a part of the run action" thank "You start the encounter with a run".... Hey! I think I just came up with a new feat :D


To make the earthbender more effective, I think all you need is to change the watched ally is such a way:


"As a minor aaction, you may designate up to 3 allies (4 at 11th level and 5 at 21st level) within sight as your "watched allies" until the end of your next turn"...
Or make it 2/4/6 allies on heroic/paragon/epic tier. 


If you mark a monster, it takes a -2 penalty to attack rolls against everyone except for the marker. This means that all your allies have a +2 bonus to their defenses against that enemy. The trick is that your goal is to have all your enemies crunched up on the same spot and all marked. However, we all know that the first thing you do in an encounter is SPREAD OUT. You don't see allies all crunching up near the defender, this makes the group far too vulnerable to area and close attacks. In this way, the watched ally's low range is bugged and therefor makes him a weak defender. In a regular group with "normal" battle tactics, the earthbender just doesn't fit. Marking and watching is not comparable, since they are asking for two completely different things. Marking says "let me keep your enemies away from you" while watching says "let's all be close to me so we can be slaughtered more easily". In a range-heavy group the marking is a perfect mechanic, while watching is just bad. Do you see what I mean? Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the idea and flavor of "Watched Ally", but it only really works in a party of 2 or 3, and never in a party of 4 or more.

Can we also get a clear line between "ranged earthbender" and "melee earthbender"?

Thanks for doing this, all my friends are hooked reading your pdf. No seriously, two of my friends are like "OH MY GOD WHOEVER MADE THIS IS A GENIUS!". 


 


 


 

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Look at my Playable Illithid, my Monster Generating excel file , my Lifestealer in progresss (Heroic tier almost complete!) , our Improved Orc, our Improving Kenku and our Improving Duergar
Also, take a look at my friend's Improved Minotaur, Gadren's amazing Arcane Archer and of course the Avatar Project
More links! Qube's Block Builder, Classless D&D and the characters I've created using the classless system.
I noticed you use the phrase "slide your speed" fairly often. When you move yourself, you either "shift your speed" or "fly  your speed". Slide is movement you apply to enemies.

This has not been done before, and is really cool.
He is being subjected by forced movement, it is f.eks. the earth he is bending that makes that movement. Sliding your speed means you ignore difficult terrain and grabs. This is original and the fluff really works for this theme. 

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/20.jpg)

Look at my Playable Illithid, my Monster Generating excel file , my Lifestealer in progresss (Heroic tier almost complete!) , our Improved Orc, our Improving Kenku and our Improving Duergar
Also, take a look at my friend's Improved Minotaur, Gadren's amazing Arcane Archer and of course the Avatar Project
More links! Qube's Block Builder, Classless D&D and the characters I've created using the classless system.
1) Its no different than when the fighter marks one monster. Do the other monsters go "hey, we're not marked, let's go fart on the wizard" or whatever. (That's totally a bugbear, btw.) If you watch an ally, then for all cases and purposes for that ally, every monster is "marked." Keeping to that line of logic, when you mark one monster, then for it, every ally is "watched." I think marking and watching are two different means to an end and I think watching as a concept works beautifully. (Not to toot my horn of course. Toot toot.)



The problem with this is involved with the way the class is built. The fighter only needs to mark one creature because he has other ways of being sticky to keep stuff close to him - namely combat superiority. I'm not seeing that on the earthbender. It doesn't do enough that you keep monsters away from your one watched ally; you need to keep OTHER monsters close to you somehow. This could be done with the watched ally mechanic IF the EB had a number of effects designed to draw things closer to him, and to keep them there, but he DOESN'T.

That's why I'm ultimately suggesting simulating the watched ally mechanic with ranged marking and access to 'ally'-ranged powers. The shell of the class can work, but unless there's a major redesign of the OTHER features, the EB simply can't do it. mhbjarkistef is right - the EB is best as an off-tank, and I don't think that should be the case.

FWIW, the reasons I was suggesting making Neutral Jing the marking mechanic were 1) I don't really like the existing Neutral Jing mechanic (it's one of those 'not very defendery' things about the class), and 2) because the class was already giving up a bunch of actions to watch an ally; might as well combine the mechanics of one feature and the flavor of another, if they fit.

Whatever the case, I really like the work you've done so far. I'm going to be transcribing it / editing it for my home campaign, and that will likely include a bunch of houserules along the lines of what I've described so far. I wouldn't bother houseruling it if I didn't like the base. :P

P.S. I went over the airbender, and between the class and one of its PPs there are three separate powers name 'Eye of the Storm'. Just thought you might wanna know; I don't know if anyone's mentioned it yet. Might want to change that. :P

EDIT: There's also a Warlord power from Martial Power by that name. Might want to change it. :/
astralArchivist.com - 4e D&D house rules, homebrew, and story hours - now featuring ENWorld's Zeitgeist adventure path! Will Thibault is a winged, feathered serpent rarely found anywhere except in warm, jungle-like regions or flying through the ether. Due to his intelligence and powers he is regarded with awe by the inhabitants of his homelands and is considered to be divine.

@Usagi:


I would LOVE the Yu Yan Archers to be a paragon path! Just make its prereq be "proficient with a bow or a crossbow" so anyone can get it via weapon proficiency feat. I think you should make it on par with battlefield archer and sharpshooter, but with more focus on single target battle, good ranged teamwork (a la battlefield archer) and crazy accuracy (steady shot, giant to attack rolls og action point attacks or a power/flat bonus to all ranged attack rolls when specified conditions are met)


@Natural20Username


"...a theme is chosen at 1st level and grants you a power, and past that point, whenever you gain a power, you can choose a theme power or a class power. I dunno, but it seems like concepts like southern/kyoshi warrior could be conveyed better by a theme than a feat system that makes you bleed for every power."


Yeah, I never liked multiclass feats that make you take a feat for every single power. Themes is an idea that might be difficult to balance, but a good idea nonetheless.


Regarding the "Am I a controller?" confusion of Earthbenders.
Whenever an earthbender takes a chunk of earth and creates difficult terrain, make it "and x squares within 5 squares of you are considered difficult terrain..." rather then squares adjacent. This means enemies can now more easily access the earthbender itself, and control the flow of enemies away from allies. I know this is not how one pictures it having watched the TV show, but creating difficult terrain adjacent to yourself makes you more difficult to reach (which is the opposide of what a defender wants).


The trick about all these classes is that in the shows is that they usually choose to fight at range (all except for firebenders). Trying to not make them taste like controllers must be difficult, since they all play like controllers in the TV show. For example: It makes sense that a earthbender can just bend the earth underneath of someone's feet, moving him/proning him as a minor action. This makes a bit too much of a controller-feeling to him. It would be cool to make a utility power the allows the earthbender to prone all adjacent enemies as a minor action (or make it "free; when you hit with an attack), which is more of a defender-y power.


At the first or second page of the water and earthbender I think you should make a box regarding "what to do when you don't have access to you element".


Regarding the Avatar Feats. The powerswapping is cool, but a bit too "free". I think you should start with "when you gain a new encounter or  utility power you can choose to instead gain a power from your other class" and then later "when you gain a new daily power from your class you can choose to...". This is just an idea though.


It is true that a lot of the content in this book needs to be thought for other (martial) classes as well. I like (most of) the hybrid rules and such, but some paragon paths really need to be thought for more than just their intended class.


It is true, all "you slide your speed" should be reduced to "you slide your ___ modifier" or "you slide half your speed" since you can use force movement when prone and to ignore marks, difficult terrain and all kinds of stuff. Question: Can you use that kind of a power to slide yourself vertically or diagonal-up?


Looking at the fighter, the knight and the warden, the earthbender definetly needs a few stances added to his arsenal. As well as resist/extra saves/bonus to saves.


"Can't a firebender just create a fire in front of him for defense. According to the rules a campfire can be pretty deadly."
I think the firebender could use a utility power like the sorcerer's Dragonflame Mantle. 


It's true what people are saying, the benders need more bending. Could this be in the form of a class-bassed utility power(s) you automatically gain as you hit level 11 and level 21?
Edit: Usagi actually commented on this and came up with a wonderful solution for the waterbender bender-powers.


Do we have a Airscooter for paragon-tier aribenders?
Edit: Nevermind, we have "Wall Running" as a utility power  which does the same thing ;)

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/20.jpg)

Look at my Playable Illithid, my Monster Generating excel file , my Lifestealer in progresss (Heroic tier almost complete!) , our Improved Orc, our Improving Kenku and our Improving Duergar
Also, take a look at my friend's Improved Minotaur, Gadren's amazing Arcane Archer and of course the Avatar Project
More links! Qube's Block Builder, Classless D&D and the characters I've created using the classless system.
I don't like changing, but it's true the Eartbender could be more effective in its role. Turning the "watched ally" into a flavor of powers and allow him to mark traditionally hurts, but it works.

Talking about him being sticky, the Earthbender has the perfect fluff to become the master of pulls ((earth)slides), prones, difficult terrain and AC/Fort boosts. He has the potential to become CRAZY sticky and a good solid-defender.... But he's not. He doesn't need OAs to be sticky like the fighter, he controls the very earth under his enemies' feet! Give him something like the old version og Come and Get it or Grasping Winds at level 1, give him a doughnut difficult terrain mechanic (close burst 2 becomes difficult terrain but not squares adjacent to him) and all sorts of stuff. Make him a sticky class and master of pulls, then he doesn't need marking. (except when it comes to flying enemies  )

The earthbender actually also has the potential to become a really good leader/controller. The non-taunting defender that can stay at range and actively up his friends defenses.
Wow... the earthbender could also be the Marshal(warlord) of avatar...

I love what you have done with this project, and I admire you for your ambition of making it better :D

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/20.jpg)

Look at my Playable Illithid, my Monster Generating excel file , my Lifestealer in progresss (Heroic tier almost complete!) , our Improved Orc, our Improving Kenku and our Improving Duergar
Also, take a look at my friend's Improved Minotaur, Gadren's amazing Arcane Archer and of course the Avatar Project
More links! Qube's Block Builder, Classless D&D and the characters I've created using the classless system.
Hmm I like the idea of adding/subtracting dice from a pool for the firebenders. The only sort of annoying thing would be rolling all those d4s. I really do feel the Wis fits "harmonius" better. Maybe at some point add a Wis secondary firebender.
I have the old book, plus the change log one as well. A freind while we were playing brought up a question about why Tiger hook swords are polearms.

There was also a qestion about ang's staff under the Ki Focuses.
Lvl 10 +4      5,000 gp      Lvl 25 +6      625,000 gp
Lvl 15 +5      25,000 gp    Lvl 30 +6      3,125,000 gp
Lvl 20 +6      125,000 gp

Are idea is to make it a full progression item. So it would start at level 3 at +1 and go from there. This would work out better as well as have a lessor gap in GP value between the + 4 and +5, as i don't know alot of items that are +4 at 5000 gp.
GAH! This is crazy. Welcome back everyone! I was away, incidentally, because it was the finals of my senior year in college, but that is over and now I can do this with impunity.

Let's get to work.
My friend pointed out what we assume is a type-o in the airbender feat "Running Start"

RUNNING START
Prerequisites: Airbender, Dexterity 17 
Benefit: Unless you are surprised, when you roll initiative you may run as a minor action.

My friend's comment is this "...erm... When I roll initative, I don't HAVE a minor action".
This is a really good point xD Shouldn't this be "When you roll initative and aren't surprise, you can take the run action" or something like that.



 
This is... errr... not a typo as much as it is me not understanding the rules. The idea is that when you roll initiative there is a feat for each Bender that lets them do something cool. The Airbender's is supposed to let it run somewhere as a result of initiative, thus letting them choose where they are when combat starts. I chose run because I wanted a built-in downside that synergizes with some paragon path abilities that make running better.
 
RUNNING START
Prerequisites: Airbender, Dexterity 17 
Benefit: Unless you are surprised, you may run as a minor action during the first round of combat.

If I understand correctly, this would do what I wanted the feat to do, which is to let you run before you do anything for free.

I like that fix on Stealth Infiltration. It puts it in the same category as the assassin's Silent Stalker:


Silent Stalker
At-will · Move Action
Personal
Keyword: Martial
Requirement: You must be hidden
Effect: You move up to your speed to a square within 2 squares of an enemy. You remain hidden until the end of this turn or until you make an attack.


I suggest:
Stealth Infiltration
At-will · Move Action
Personal
Keyword: Martial
Requirement: You must be hidden
Effect: You move up to your speed and gain a +2 power bonus to your next acrobatics or athletics check before the end of your turn (or next turn). You remain hidden until the end of this turn or until you make an attack.


Variation:


Effect: You move up to your speed and gain a +2 power bonus to all acrobatics and athletics checks made as part of this movement. You remain hidden until the end of this turn or until you make an attack.




The idea here was that the character would be able to make an acrobatics or athletics check as part of the action of hiding or something... it seems you helpful helpers think that is too good, so I'm happy to go with the second variation. The idea is that, as long as you're hidden, you can move around acrobatically and athletically without the danger of being seen.
I'm one of the minds behind the Avatar the Last Airbender 4e Project. We're about a quarter of the way through releasing the revised PDF, containing all four bender classes, paragon paths, epic destinies and a menagerie of feats and items from the show. Come by and lend your mind to the swarm.
About the Firebender.

I'm all for this dice-pool idea. Ekio and I were trying desperately to make the Firebender feel cooler, and everyone seems to think this works well. This works really well, especially because my favorite firebender things are the ones that play with subtracting "points" for some current effect (see: Lightningbender) As far as I'm concerned, all we need to do is translate exactly what we have right now to dice and make some powers (removing powers that kinda suck and/or adding some powers) that drop dice for cool effects.

The way I see it, you would start with it at middle-range damage so you have two basic options:
1. Build up my Source of Strength dice to deal more damage overall.
2. Spend my Source of Strength dice to get the most out of this encounter power.

Harmonious benders would be better at the first (what with being able to boost with minor actions) and Raging firebenders would be better at the second.

Also, I'm not convinced that Constitution doesn't fit. The Fire Nations benders use firebending that is fueld by hate and anger, obviously Charisma. "Fire is life, not just destruction," says the Sun Warrior Chief. When Aang takes his piece of the eternal flame he says "It's like a little heartbeat." Later on he says "Firebending is life, it's energy," and Zuko says "It's like the sun, but inside of you."

I agree that Wisdom is clearly a centerpiece of the Iroh's character, Harmonious Firebending is about strict bodily control. "Make the flame to small and it will go out, let it become to big and you might lose control." In that statement is an element of wisdom, having to know what size the fire should be, but in it too is a larger element of bodily discipline.

That's my two cents on the Charism/Constitution build. I wouldn't shed any tears if we made it Wisdom instead. In fact, every other bender runs Wisdom either secondary or primary, so it would fit I guess, but it would also be repetitive.

Okay... EARTHBENDER!
I'm one of the minds behind the Avatar the Last Airbender 4e Project. We're about a quarter of the way through releasing the revised PDF, containing all four bender classes, paragon paths, epic destinies and a menagerie of feats and items from the show. Come by and lend your mind to the swarm.
Okay, for me Watched Ally non-negotiable. Without it, the Earthbender feels wrong, we should make it cooler so that it works, not scrap it and make the Earthbender another marking defender.

Ideas I like:

Abilities that make it hard to walk away from the Earthbender/toward your allies. In my mind, every ability that currently makes difficult terrain will do this now. 

Making attacks and utilities that do additional things when you sustain Neutral Jing. This has the potential to make everything great. Imagine an attack that creates difficult terrain around an ally (until end of turn) while dealing some damage but when you sustain Neutral Jing, it makes more difficult terrain. That way you can smack someone and whenever you sustain Neutral Jing for the rest of combat it's just better. 

Making the Quaking/Shaping benefits work with Neutral Jing. You may see that I really like Neutral Jing now. Well, this would be another thing. Shapers would be able to pull an enemy toward you and Quakers would make difficult terrain around your Watched Ally. 

Errr... right now I'm thinking that Neutral Jing is still the "Sacrifice a standard action to gain a bonus to your OA's." My copy of the book says:

NEUTRAL JING
You are in tune with the flow of combat, knowing to hold your fist to land the perfect blow later on. During your turn, you may spend your standard action to acquire Neutral Jing, which enboldens your defensive capabilities and lasts until the end of your next turn. While you have Neutral Jing, you gain a bonus to attack and damage with earthen shields, shifting ground, and any power that is centered on a watched ally. This bonus is equal to your Strength modifier if you are a Shaper earthbender or your Wisdom modifier if you are a Quaking earthbender.

I'm not certain that everyone is reading this power/I'm not sure we didn't get rid of it. What are we at right now with Nuetral Jing? How do we feel about making it a more central mechanic?

Another thing I'm hearing is that the Watched Ally mechanic isn't working because the Earthbender needs to be close to her ally, I don't see why we can't just double the range then. That, plus that one feat that gives you two watched allies would be cool.

In addition, since I'm hearing that the idea is inherently weaker than marking (something I'm not convinced of), we could risk making it slightly better than marking. I'm not convinced this would work, but I'm much more open to that than getting rid of Watched Ally.

Oh, and on the subject of the Hybrid Earthbender, I agree with what you said, but because we are currently overhauling the class, let's table that until we have a better idea of the Earthbender.

I'm one of the minds behind the Avatar the Last Airbender 4e Project. We're about a quarter of the way through releasing the revised PDF, containing all four bender classes, paragon paths, epic destinies and a menagerie of feats and items from the show. Come by and lend your mind to the swarm.
Little things:

@Natural20Username: I am totally into Themes here. It's something I'm unfamiliar with, so I need reference to which book it's detailed in, but I also don't like how hard it is to be a Kyoshi Warrior right now.

@Mhbjarkistef: Hell yeah we need more Bending. Right now what I like the most is the simplest idea that we had.

You start with a simple power:

You can lift your element and move it in certain quantities. This would let Earthbender's dig (albiet slowly), Airbenders knock things over or move a ship (albiet a small one), Firebender's light candles, torches and campfires and warm things, Waterbenders can move water, splash it and draw it out of the ground or other porous surface.

Now, that's boring, but it will get cooler. The hardest powers I made were the utilities, partially because I bending was pretty much covered by the Bending Power Block. When I made a utility it was super hard because things were either redundant or totally wierd. All of the classes have more character now, so I expect new utilities will come more easily.

I think I want to drop the standard Bending power. We made it because we wanted to keep it simple, to keep it from taking up too much space and getting in the way, but you know what, screw that! Let the bending get in the way, that's what makes benders cool! 

So, I think what people want is the power to mix-and-match specific bending utility things. The way I see it, I don't want to get rid of all the utilities, but a lot of them are kinda boring and I would rather be able to grab an At-Will at each Utility level that expands how my character can bend.

However, I don't want to have a level 30 Waterbender who can only do a handful of bending "tricks," especially if I had to give up a utility spot which could let me heal all my allies or something awesome.

So... I'm leaning towards have a Heroic, Paragon and Epic "pool" of bending powers which you can choose one of at each utility level in addition to your normal utility. You would keep all of these powers. They would be very specific to make up for that, to use an idea that was posted earlier:

Rock Cart --- Heroic Earthbending
You lift a chunk of the ground, shape it into a cart, and carry something with your bending.
At-Will * Elemental
Move Action         Close Burst 5
Effect: You may move up to 50 lbs. of non-living, inanimate material from any one square in the burst to any other square in the burst.

That isn't broken, but it's cool. Now a level 15 Earthbender might not be so impressed, so we could have:

Rock Skiff --- Paragon Earthbending
The ground cracks open and carries your burdens for you.
At-Will * Elemental
Move Action         Close Burst 10
Effect: You may move up to 100 lbs. of non-living, inanimate material from any square in the burst to any other square in the burst.

And perhaps:

Rock Wagon --- Epic Earthbending
The ground thrums and bends, grasping and pulling whatever you need wherever you need it.
At-Will * Elemental
Move Action         Close Burst 15
Effect: You may move up to 300 lbs. of non-living, inanimate material from any 3 adjacent squares in the burst to any other 5 adjacent squares in the burst.

I don't know how good those would be... I just threw them together as an example, what do you think of the idea though? This would mean that Benders got more powers than every other class, but they would just build up to be a non-neutered version of the at-will utility they used to get at first level. So, for example, you could use the firebenders utility power to hurt someone. 

Gah... so much stuff... I'm up for it though. I have lots of ideas. Expect the Yu-Yan archers soon!
-Usagi
I'm one of the minds behind the Avatar the Last Airbender 4e Project. We're about a quarter of the way through releasing the revised PDF, containing all four bender classes, paragon paths, epic destinies and a menagerie of feats and items from the show. Come by and lend your mind to the swarm.
Re: the Earthbender; Watching is mechanically equivalent to marking. That's not the problem. The problem is, with marking, you can give the biggest threat a penalty, but you can't necessarily do that for watching. Marking the biggie protects your whole party, which a Defender NEEDS to do. If watching is kept, the earthbender needs to be way more sticky or the monsters'll just run roughshod over everyone else in the party. Watching CAN work, but it needs class feature support or it won't do its job.

The problem with Neutral Jing arises from action economy. A fighter gets wis to OAs for free (yes, he doesn't get a bonus to damage, but I'd argue that's not significant enough to warrant a standard action); NJ needs a SERIOUS boost in power to warrant the action cost. That's why I suggested an immediate effect plus a huge oa bonus. For immediate effects, think passive stuff - bonuses to defense, thp, resist, etc. The oa effects should be bonuses to attacks; pushes away from allies, pulls toward you, and so on. NJ is a great way to increase the EB's stickiness.

Now, difficult terrain. You have to be careful with that. Difficult terrain could easily be a two-edged sword. For one thing, it's as bad for your side as the enemies, and for another it could easily hem in enemies near your allies and/or away from you. Slowed might work better.

DT only works for the warden 'cause it's melee; it draws things towards it, THEN uses DT to keep it there. EB doesn't have the initial draw that would make DT worthwhile.
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Running Start. 


Your running start works, but defies its purpose. The idea is that the airbender can jump right into combat before his enemies can react. Running is a good way to balance the feat, but if you use the wording "on your first turn" that airbender is most likely not going to use it due to the run action's penalty to attack rolls. Most airbenders would save this minor action until the end of their turn so it wont affect their attack rolls. This means that the title "running start" means nothing and the original idea of this feat is lost.


However, if you make it a free action before your turn, you do take a minus, but that minus wears off before you make your attack roll (the penalties of running last until the start of your next turn), you get to position yourself tactically and you get to start with a run. I say you make it a "free" with a trigger "you roll initative" to make it both useful and true to the original idea and fluff.


Firebenders


Having a dice pool also means that they can dabble in other roles more easily. A multi-target power or a power with a controller effect usually does less damage than a single target power or a power with no controlling effect. This way you can give the firebender both options. Let's make up a power. With this power you can:


1 Keep you source of strength damage and deal massive damage to one creature
2 Forgo your source of strength to "augment" the power and change it into a multitarget power. 


Make another power:


1 Keep you source of strength damage and deal massive damage without controlling effects
2 Forgo your source of strength to "augment" the power and make it also slow each hit target or control them in any number of ways.


 This also means you can have multiple firebenders in a party but it won't feel like like a whole party of melee rangers trying to be effective without controlling, leading or defending.


A cool idea would also to be rewarding the Harmonious firebender for spending source of strength dice for various effects, and the raging firebender for keeping them. For example "Harmonious: When you spend a source of strength dice to augment a firebender or firebender paragon path power you gain temporary hit points equal to your lol modifier" or "Raging: When you use a firebender or firebender paragon path power and use all your source of strength dice to deal damage you gain +1 bonus to speed/temporary hit points/whatever"


Earthbender


Beware the difficult terrain. It might make you harder to reach and not just your allies. The earthbende would need a number of "Close burst Ally" powers and preferably a class feature "you gain your con modifier as a bonus to AC against opportunity attacks provoked by making a ranged attack" to be able to do this while being sticky.


EDIT: Siberys, your point is valid. Make it slowed instead of DT. or "when the target moves more the x squares you may slide him as a free action/opportunity action" kind of thing.


Neutral Jing.

 I don't undestand what version/not-versiou of Neutral Jing we are talking about. Is it a Standard action with "sustain: minor"? I'm confused? Is it sustained by a standard action? Move action?


If I understand this correctly, the earthbender is severly weakened when dazed. If neutral jing is going to work in the "sustain with a minor action to make everything really good" kind of way I think a "+2 class bonus against attacks that would subject you to the dazed condition" or a "+2/+3/+4 class bonus to saving throws against daze effects" or "you can make a saving throw against one dazing effect on you at the start of your turn" would be appropriate.


The Earthbender really does deserve some slide-heavy or pull-heavy single and multi target attack powers.


"Watched Ally"'s  range and number of watched allies should increase with tiers, or make the Eartbender work in such a way that the watched ally is just icing on the cake rather than its primary defending feature. As I've said before: he has the potential to become the stickiest sliding sunuvabitch out there, and that should almost be enough to make him a good defender with or without Watched Ally.


EDIT: When challenging a single mega-ultra Boss, watching is significantly inferior to marking , for obvious reasons. This is why the earthbender needs to be able to control his enemies if he is to keep the "watched ally"-class feature


Bending


You are a genius and your ideas are perfect. I like your idea of bending utility powers :D


Rock Cart, Rock Skiff and Rock Wagon looks like a single power that scales with level, or "Replace your Rock Skiff with the Rock Cart utility power" That's not as cool but takes less space on by Character Sheet. Balance is the most difficult thing here, making things not overpowered WILL be difficult. Remember that all our class techniques are bending that deal damage, so allowing our basic bending to deal damage is essentially unnecessary.


This is so much fun! :D

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@Syberys: Agreed on most counts, although I will point out that while the Boss monster scenario is bad, the swarm of monster scenario is the same thing for the standard Defender. Do you feel like one is more common or more important to prepare for? I feel like both should be equally important. Okay... gosh... rebuilding the Earthbender.

It seems like Neutral Jing should just be a Class Power now, it’s getting more centralized. Also, I think we can tweak Watchful Ally to be a bit better:

WATCHFUL ALLY
As an earthbender you can balance attacking your enemies with protecting your allies. Your primary concern is keeping your less resilient allies safe, and you can do that in a number of ways. As a minor action, you may designate an ally you can see as your watched ally until the end of your next turn. Watched allies gain a +2 power bonus to their defenses. In addition, you gain the powers rebuking offense and earthen shield and can use these powers, as well as certain others, in relation to your watched ally.

Neutral Jing --- Earthbender Feature
You are in tune with the flow of combat, knowing to hold your fist to land the perfect blow later on.
At-Will * Elemental
Standard Action Personal
Effect:
You gain a bonus to attack and damage with earthen shield, rebuking offense, and any power that is centered on a watched ally until the end of your next turn. This bonus is equal to your Strength modifier if you are a Shaper earthbender or your Wisdom modifier if you are a Quaking earthbender. Sustain Minor: The effect persists until the end of your next turn.

EARTHBENDER RESILIENCE
Choose one of the benefits below.
Shaper: You can use your Strength modifier in place of your Dexterity or Intelligence modifer when determining AC. In addition, when you use your Neutral Jing class feature you pull (any number of) creature(s) within X squares adjacent to you.
Quaking: You can use your Wisdom modifier in place of your Dexterity or Intelligence modifier when determining AC. In addition, when you use your Neutral Jing class feature squares adjacent to your watched allies are treated as difficult terrain by enemies until the end of your next turn.

This would also allow for cool synergies like:

Earth Thorns Earthbender Attack 1
Stomping into a strong stance, the earth responds to your energy, impaling your enemies.
Daily ♦ Elemental, Implement
Standard Action Close burst 1
Target:
Enemies within burst.
Attack:
Constitution vs. Reflex.
Hit:
2d8 + Constitution modifier damage and the target is knocked prone and dazed until the end of your next turn.
Quaking: Until the end of this encounter, when you use or sustain the Neutral Jing class feature choose an ally you can see, squares adjacent to that ally are treated as difficult terrain by enemies until the end of your next turn.
Miss: Half damage and the target is pushed 1 square.

Okay, so with this you can have a Watched Ally who is any distance away from you, which helps with the whole “bunching” problem. I’m not convinced that you should be able to have more watched allies yet, that feels more like marking and therefore less unique. My goal is to make it completely awesome to be the watched ally and so that daily powers grant limited “watched-allie-ness” to the rest of your party. What do you think? Sticky? You may have noticed that I have bypassed the double-edged sword bit by just making the difficult terrain only effect enemies. This could be a later benefit, say Paragon tier, if this stuff is too powerful for early game.

@Mhbjarkistef: Fantatstic! Here is the new version:

Running Start
Prerequisites:
Airbender, Dexterity 17
Benefit:
When you roll initiative, if you aren’t surprised, you may run as a free action.

On the Firebender. Here’s how I see it.

SOURCE OF STRENGTH
Firebending is a martial art that relies on carefully controlling your inner flame. If you make it to small, it could go out, if you let it become to large, you could lose control. You begin with a pool of extra dice, depending on your level, that can added to damage for your attacks or sacrificed to improve a power as you use it. You begin with a d4 in your dice pool and you must choose to spend a die before you make your attack roll. The manner in which you increase this pool depends on your build.

Harmonious: You breathe deeply, finding the eternal flame within yourself. You may use a minor action to add a d4 to your source of strength pool. In addition, when you use hit with a firebender attack while your dice pool is full, you:

A: may shift X as a free action.
B:
gain a +X bonus your AC until end of turn.

(NOTE: This isn’t a choice the characters would make, this is a design choice. Any further suggestions would be cool)

Raging: You use your anger to fuel your firebending. When you hit with a firebender attack power add a d4 to your dice pool. In addition, when you hit with a firebender attack that you spent source of strength dice on you:

A: gain X temporary hit points.
B: gain a +X bonus to your next attack roll made before the end of your next turn.

NOTES: Right now, the harmonious build seems objectively better unless we make At-Wills that allow you to spend dice. Otherwise, once you run out of Encounters and Dailies, there would be no reason not to get that sick bonus for the rest of combat. Plus, it would require way less input in general, since you would only have to build up once and then gain that bonus, whereas the Rager has to constantly upkeep. Also, I’ve heard that the Rager’s way of getting extra dice/source of strength damage is weaker because you have to hit something. Ways of fixing this.
A: Give the Ragers a larger dice pool (d6’s? more d4’s?).
B: When a Rager hits they get 2 dice.
C:
Make the Rager benefits just better than the Harmonious ones. This is, obviously, undesirable. Even if we balance it well, it will look, on paper, like the Rager is just better. Ideas?

Also, Mhbjarkistef, I like your idea of making one of them more Controllery, but which one? I can’t figure it out, the Rager seems like a pure Striker, but the Harmonious build feels like a more defensive striker build, not a Strike-Troller. Also, thank you for reading through this text-book of a post. Here is a cookie for your mind, a thought cookie! 
-Usagi
I'm one of the minds behind the Avatar the Last Airbender 4e Project. We're about a quarter of the way through releasing the revised PDF, containing all four bender classes, paragon paths, epic destinies and a menagerie of feats and items from the show. Come by and lend your mind to the swarm.
Edit: I wrote this before the above was posted. Make of it what you willl.
First off. Themes, since you asked me directly. Themes are presented in the Dark Sun Campaign Setting, but if you don't have that and don't want it, this guy has made a decent theme.
community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...
He has arbitrarily decided not to add attack rolls to some of his powers, but other than that, it's a solid theme.

Bending
Good idea.

Earthbenders
I DO think that NJ needs reworking. Watched ally is fine, but I think the class needs NJ to be more powerful. Don't worry about dazed. Dazed and stunned are the bane of all defenders, and I don't see why the Earthbender should be the exception. My random idea is to make NJ a move action that allows you to either gain a +Wis/Con bonus to the damage roll of Rebuking Offence or Earthen Shield as a free action, or allow you shift your watched ally as a free action.

Neutral Jing
Free Action

Trigger: You begin your turn
You are slowed. Once, until the start of your next turn, you may designate a new ally as your watched ally, or you may gain a +Wis/Con bonus the damage roll of Rebuking Offence or Earthen Shield.

That's MUCH better. I'd still like something to take care of facing solos, But psuedo-watching with dailies should cover that hole.

I'm still a little worried about plopping DT next to allies, even if it only affects enemies, because it might encourage those enemies to stay near the enemy; on the other hand, part of me wants to make the DT two layers instead of one, to keep things from getting in once they're out. :/

The other thing I'm worried about is the action economy of the EB. They're spending two of their actions each round just to keep up their defendering. That seems a bit excessive, no?
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Siberys is right about the action economy. I suggest the NJ to be a Standard or move with sustain minor and make watch ally a free action at the start of turn.

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I have a huge wall of text just waiting to be posted, but then I got confused.

Can you explain for me Source of Strength, please?

Isn't it right that each bender has a way of gaining Source of Strength dice, and both can use them to deal extra damage with any firebender attack. The Raging Firebender gains a bonus for doing so while the Harmonious Firebender gains a bonus for not dealing any extra damage until he has filled up his dice pool to gain his constant bonus. They are both strikers, one is just a bit more defensive.

If what I am saying here is true, then I have a HUGE rant on the way. I'm gonna post what I have on the earthbender while I wait for an answer... 

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Watchful ally
I like that it know has no real range limit. I recommend making it "At the start of your turn, as a free action, you can designate one ally you can see as your watched ally. That ally remains watched until the end of your next turn. On your turn, you can spend a minor action to designate an extra ally as your watched ally.". 

That last bit might be a bit mutch, but it's an idea. 

Neutral Jing and Watched Ally
I think you should give the Earthbender a new keyword, and say "You gain a bonus to attack and damage with earthen shield, rebuking offense and any power with the "Watching" keyword." Where powers with the "Watching" keyword are centered (in any number of ways) on your Watched Ally. This makes categorizing powers more easy. Also include a new range for those power "Area Burst Ally" for area burst centered on but not affecting Watched Ally and  "Ranged Ally 1" for ranged attacks against an any number of enemies adjacent to your Watched Ally. The last one might be a bit too much. It might by easier just to say "Target: One or two enemes adjacent to you watched ally". I think those attack should provoke an opportunity attack as an Area/Ranged attacks but the Eartbender might be able to gain a bonus to defense agains those OA. This means you can keep the fluff of "helping allies" and the mechanics of "sticky defender". Would this make him overpowered? "As an earthbender you shift the very earth beneath your enemies' feet, defending your allies. But your stance is good and your footing is solid. You gain a +4 bonus against to AC against opportunity attacks provoked by your earthbender attacks that have the "Watching" keyword.

Neutral Jing and Powers
You could also have another keyword for powers that have the line

"Special: if you sustained your Neutral Jing on your turn you can _________".

We could call it the "Jingy" keyword? xD 

I like how Neutral Jing affects your daily powers. As I said before, I think you should give them a keyword and think of them as stances or barbarian rage powers. They have a hit and a miss effect, but also a Neutral Jing-related effect.
I don't think you should make the prerequisite for various effects be "Shaper or Quaking", that would mean that each earthbender has less of a choice when picking daily powers, since only half of them would really prove useful. If you want to hint that a daily power is made more specifically for either build make the a stance/bonus benefit on the secondary ability score of that build.
Example:

Effect: Until the end of the encounter, each time you are hit with a melee or close attack you can push that enemy squares equal to half your strength modifier.
Special/Jingy: When you have established Neutral Jing the distance of the push is equal to your strength modifier.

No, I'm not actually suggesting we call it "Jingy", I just needed to call it something for explanation purposes. xD

Running Start
Perfect! 

Earthbender Resilience
I LOVE YOU! This is genius and I know I would without a doubt go for the shaper. 
Is the idea here that one is melee heavy and the other one range-heavy or one "pully" and the other "pushy" or what? I don't really understand the difference between the two? The division is a bit more shaky than with the other benders.
Since I don't really understand the difference I'm not really comfortable with posting ideas :/
I'm not a fan of the DT ideas. I think you should make the Shaper pull and the Quaking push. These pushes and pulls could also be somehow centered on your watched ally: "When you establish or sustain your Neutral Jing you can push (any number of) enemies adjacent to your watched ally 2 squares away from that ally." I have a few more ideas but I'm not comfortable posting them before I fully understand the difference of the two earthbenders.

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Edit: I wrote this before the above was posted. Make of it what you willl.
Neutral Jing
Free Action

Trigger: You begin your turn
You are slowed. Once, until the start of your next turn, you may designate a new ally as your watched ally, or you may gain a +Wis/Con bonus the damage roll of Rebuking Offence or Earthen Shield.


Being permaslowed is not fun. Standard sustain:minor is a godsend compared to permaslowed. You probably mean "+wis/str bonus"

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NOTE: I have not played the Firebender, so all my comments, recommendations and advice might be unreliable

Firebenders
Is there a special reason you said "before you make the attack" when talking about spending/keeping Source of Strength dice?  

 If I understand Source of Strength right it works something like this: "When you make a firebender attack you can choose to deal any number of d4s extra damage from your Source of Strength dice pool". 

This means I build up my pool to 3d4s and can then use those dice to increase the damage of a single attack. If I use them  all my pool is back to 0d4.
Isn't this a bit Assassin-like? That didn't really work out for him, did it? With the executioner they said "**** it, let's just give him a steady +1d8 to all damage rolls". Also, if you only gain 1d4 into your pool per round, isn't this like saying "You gain a +1d4 to all damage rolls"?

Builds and Source of Strength
If the goal of each build is to benefit from their Source of Strength class feature, this is how each build would play:

Harmonious: No extra damage for the first few rounds of combat. All minor actions go into filling the Source of Strength dice pool. This takes more rounds as levels progress. When the dice pool is finally full the I can gain a steady defensive or tactical bonus and a +1d4 to all damage rolls.
Raging: The encounter starts and I already have 1d4 to augment my attacks with. I do that and gain an offensive bonus and another dice in my dice pool. I keep doing this until the end of the encounter. I only deal 1d4 extra damage each turn to keep up my offensive bonus from Source of Strength.

Verdict
Harmonious Firebenders deal no real extra damage and spend a lot of time trying to gain a certain bonus.
Aren't I supposed to be the defensive bender of the two? Why is my durability the same as the Rager's for the first half of an encounter and then slightly increased when I've already taken a ton of damage?
Raging Firebenders: To keep up my bonus I only deal 1d4 extra damage each round. Aren't I supposed to be the mass-damage dealer of the two? Why am I then dealing only 1d4 more damage then the harmonious bender at the start of combat and the same amount by the end of it? At least I get my +1 bonus to attack...

Seems to me that the only real difference between the two is feat qualification, paragon path qualification and access to special effects of various powers.
Seems to me that all that makes a Harmonious Firebender defensive are his powers
Seems to me that all that makes a Raging Firebender deal more damage than other classes are his powers.

This does not sound right? I must me misunderstanding somthing here? Right? If I'm right and this is really how Source of Strength works, this is what I have been looking at:

On Paper: I have a pool of 1d4s to use to deal extra damage that can go as far as 5d4! Cool! That's +20 damage to one attack when i crit!
In Play: I can deal 1d4 extra damage on my turn, then fulfill a trigger that allows me to do it again next turn!

Verdict: Give the Firebender a flat +3d4 to attack rolls, offensive/defensive bonuses connected to the two builds and a a bunch of power that say stuff like "you can choose to deal 1d4 less damage and instead slow the target".





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Firebender Controllers?


Harmonious: Defensive
Raging: Damage-dealing 

I like this division of benders and I think we should keep it. I did get the idea of a third build, but that is infact unecissery. Most of the firebenders we see in the series fight for themselves. Making a build that supports others doesn't really feel Firebendery for me. However we have also seen them work well in a group and care for their allies. Making a few encounter powers that give the Firebender controller and leader like abilities would demonstrate that although they fight for themselves, they also care for their allies.

So, we have a really basic power for the firebender. When a firebender makes this attack he has two options based on his build, and now perhaps an extra bonus that both builds can take.



Let's, for the sake of my demonstrations, say that the two builds work is such a way:

Raging Firebender: Whenever you use your Source of Strength class feature to deal extra damage with attack you gain a +1 bonus to all attack rolls until the end of you next turn.
Harmonious Firebender: Whenever you make an attack and chose not to use your Source of Strength class feature to deal damage, you gain +2 bonus to AC.

1 - The Rager can choose to deal extra damage from his Source of Strength and gain an offensive bonus.

2 - The Harmonious can choose to not deal extra damage from his Source of Strength and gain a defensive bonus.

3 - Both Firebenders can chose to spend a certain amount of dice from their Source of Strength and gain neither of the afformentioned bonuses. Instead they gain access to a "augmentation" of the power they are using, changing its effect slightly to give bonus to their allies. The bonus could be as simple as slowing the enemy they hit or give temporary hit points.

The the third option represents the firebender's realasation that his friends are in need. Instead of thinking about himself (offensively or defensively) he help his allies directly. This aid could be true heal, temporary hit points, defensive bonuses and the like.

Adding the third option really puts more soul (and heart) into the destructive force of the firebender. It's actually quite touching when you thinkg about it.

Firebender Attacks
I have not read the entire firebender class, so some of these suggestions might have already been accounted for.


I think the Firebender needs an attack like the Brash Assault (warlord).



Brash Assault

Standard; At-will; Melee

Target
: One creature

Hit: Normal Damage

Effect: The target can make a melee basic attack against you as a free action with combat advantage. If the target chooses to make this attack, an ally of your choice within 5 squares of the target can make a basic attack as a free action with combat atvantage against the target.

And also a utility power like Dragonflame Mantle

Dragonflame Mantle · Sorcerer Utility 2
You ward yourself with a mantle of flame
Encounter · Arcane, Fire

Immediate Interrupt     Personal 

Trigger:
You are hit with an attack


Effect: Until the end of your next turn, you gain a +1 power bonus to all defenses, and any creatre that hits you with a melee attack takes 1d6 fire damage.
 

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