Dragon 395 -- Class Acts: Knights

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Dragon 395
Sword Guard of Astrazalian

By Robert J. Schwalb

The Sword Guard of Astrazalian has never faltered in all its centuries of defending the Court of Stars against the fomorians. Eladrin knights of the Guard have perfected their blend of swordplay and magic.

Talk about this article here. 

 
If you look past the plot and the voice acting, Metroid: Other M was an okay game. Not a great game, but an adequate one. Not using the Metroid item collect jingle though? That, was a mistake.
Can't say I'm particularly fond of what basically amounts to a racial class.

Perhaps even laughably, the Paragon Path does not require you to be an Eladrin.

And the article coming out at 6 PM on a Thursday Night (Or 9 PM for us East-Coasters) is an odd omen to be sure. 
If you look past the plot and the voice acting, Metroid: Other M was an okay game. Not a great game, but an adequate one. Not using the Metroid item collect jingle though? That, was a mistake.
I thought it was pretty cool.
Reasons to not read this article (because Wizards considers the number of reads a measure of quality):

1. The new (attack) powers are a teleport instead of shifting version of the knight's punishment feature and a teleport 2 squares adjacent on basic attack stance.  There are ~4 utilities marked Arcane/Martial yet they are identical to swordmage utilities involving teleporting with party members and resisting elemental damage.  Only an interrupt: enemy hitting ally, -2 to attack and pull if miss power stands out as unique.

2. After the Melee Training nerf, this article recommends using melee training intelligence over strength despite the damage decrease.  In compensation you get.... 2 benefits, BOTH in the paragon path and none anywhere else in the build (Int mod 11 movement feature and your level 11 encounter power is swapped for a level 7 wizard power).  Therefore, you can't use the paragon well unless you used nerfed melee training or cheat for intelligent Blademaster.

3. Remember how Dragon said would reject articles that only benefit a single race/class combination?  They lied... again. 
i am linking to this thread as the official discussion thread.

@Veok:  thank you for creating this thread. 
I really thought this was going to be an article about knights that fight with an eladrin theme or fighting style- favoring longswords, intelligent tactics, movement, that kind of thing.  But a class build that's only for one race?  That's such a waste.  I can't say I'm disappointed because my expectations for Dragon content are at zero right now, but this is lame.
i loved it...makes me want to play an Eladrin knight and i also it gives eladrin fighters more Utility powers to pick from that make them more Eladrin fighter then eladrin Fighter.
Honestly i think the White Well hexblade matches a fey knight so much better than this, and it wasn't stuck with petty race restrictions.
I normally don't go about these boards complaining about content I don't like, because I don't like the way most people who do so go about it and don't want to be associated with it. But this time, I really do think Wizards screwed up.

I don't like racial classes. I was willing to accept racial paragon paths whole-heartedly, but I was glad the 4e model didn't lend itself to full-on racial classes. Race-themed class builds, I don't mind. And that's what I was hoping for here. An Eladrin fighting style that had spread into the world. Which, I mean, the lore indicates this one did. Too bad all the powers indicate that only Eladrin can do anything cool with it.

And though I really wanted a swordmage-y, Intelligence-using Knight (I would have given up, say, free Shield Finesse for the proper substitution of Intelligence in Melee Basic attack and damage rolls), I can't fault WotC for not delivering on my personal expectations. And I applaud them going the route of, "Not all Eladrin are smarter than they are strong."

But then they backtrack on that with the Paragon path. Which, incidentally, one would think is the "advanced techniques" the lore mentions the Sword Guard DON'T teach anyone else. Suddenly, that bit's not Eladrin-only, and requires Intelligence to be used effectively.

Lore-wise, this Knight build really is everything I wanted. In battlefield defense, the net result of its powers, I also think it does well. But it falls apart in some of the more basic mechanics, and that's really bugging me here.

I get that Essentials is catering to a more old-school gaming mentality: "Fighters swing swords, they don't do fancy tricks with them all the time," and, "More RP, please," (even though the fact that fewer rules dictating RP elements of the game lead directly to more spontaneous and realistic, if unstructured, RPing). But not everything old is good (i.e. racial classes), and not everything that breaks the mold still works (this build simply ends up spread too thin, and lore doesn't save you in fights). It's need errata, quickly and easily, and it will end up a shining example of what Essentials can achieve.
Honestly i think the White Well hexblade matches a fey knight so much better than this, and it wasn't stuck with petty race restrictions.



Yeah, also: This!

Have to say I kinda liked it. This is probably because I had a player use an Eladrin Knight last week for a delve and it put an odd spin on the class. This is certainly in flavour.

I do entirely understand the sentiments against a 'racial class' but to me personally it doesn't really amount to a big deal. Its not as if only Eladrin are limited to being a knight now. While charOp might find something explosive with these new powers/features, i'm not convinced a regular knight would feel it *necessary* to pick up these powers above and beyond their standard option suite.

If you have a human knight player desperate to use these in a home game I'd personally allow them via house rule if they could justify it flavourfully. (Not that they need a house rule to take the paragon path section).

Cheers

Blinkey ;)
I liked it. A themed Class Act much like the Revenant Assassin not long ago. Very Swordmagy in flavor...

 The ground is laid for the Bladesinger now. Wink

Plague

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

You know, if this had been a Races article instead of a Class aritcle it would have worked much better. Having not read the actual article I can't say I like it or not, but I do like the idea.
Overall I liked it. I really don't think you can claim this is a racial class. The knight class is still available to all races and there's just not enough new abilities here to claim this is a new class. I see this as a racial theme for a class and that's something I'm okay with. Actually, the more I think about it I'd like to see more racial themes to classes because it would be a way to mechanically give some flavour to the older classes.

The teleport stance has some fantastic plus sides. All you've got to do is hit and a teleport allows you to escape from a grab or restraint, and it allows you to move when immobilized. Those are pretty huge if you're stuck in an area effect, trap, or aura.

To make this build work properly, WotC has to revise the article to grant the Eladrin Knight the full damage benefit from melee training. I think that's all it really needs to be competitive with other knight builds.

The paragon path is cool but I'd like to see it restricted to Eladrin. It'd be kind of wierd for a half-orc to pick this up.

I'll be building one of these as soon as it's available in the CB and put it to the test right away.
Overall I liked it. I really don't think you can claim this is a racial class. The knight class is still available to all races and there's just not enough new abilities here to claim this is a new class. I see this as a racial theme for a class and that's something I'm okay with. Actually, the more I think about it I'd like to see more racial themes to classes because it would be a way to mechanically give some flavour to the older classes.

The teleport stance has some fantastic plus sides. All you've got to do is hit and a teleport allows you to escape from a grab or restraint, and it allows you to move when immobilized. Those are pretty huge if you're stuck in an area effect, trap, or aura.

To make this build work properly, WotC has to revise the article to grant the Eladrin Knight the full damage benefit from melee training. I think that's all it really needs to be competitive with other knight builds.

The paragon path is cool but I'd like to see it restricted to Eladrin. It'd be kind of wierd for a half-orc to pick this up.

I'll be building one of these as soon as it's available in the CB and put it to the test right away.


My sentiments exactly.
I really dig this article in terms of flavor.

I really do not dig the mechanical aspect of tying it only to Eladrin.

If only there was some kind of thing where they tied all the articles together in one big file, and made some last minute editing changes... some kind of... compilation... :|a 

I want to like this. I really do. It's cool. Nice fluff, the mechanics are interesting.


And then there's the pointless, stupid, obnoxious limitation to a single race. Not even 'Hey, elves, half-elves and drow can take this too'. Just Eladrin. What? Why?


And yes, I thought as well that they weren't going to do articles that are only of benefit to a single race/class. Apparently not. Well great, while you're at it then, put out a Class Acts: Eladrin Cleric, will you? The combination is still god-awful and still has no support despite being perfectly fitting fluff-wise.


And yes, I hope this gets errataed to either expand or completely throw away the stupid racial restriction.

It's spelled Corellon Larethian, not Correlon, Correllon, Correlllon, Corellion, Correlian or any other way of getting it wrong. I'm a total grognard and I still play 4E.
I would be much more ammicable to "Training: Arcana or Eladrin", given that, even though Arcana isn't a Knight class skill, there are surely over a hundred backgrounds available that have Arcana as an associated skill. "We were originally going to tie it into the arcana skill, but then we realized we didn't want Knights to have to spend a feat for it" is just a weak argument to me. I see where they're coming from, mind, but it's still week.
If you look past the plot and the voice acting, Metroid: Other M was an okay game. Not a great game, but an adequate one. Not using the Metroid item collect jingle though? That, was a mistake.
I would be much more ammicable to "Training: Arcana or Eladrin", given that, even though Arcana isn't a Knight class skill, there are surely over a hundred backgrounds available that have Arcana as an associated skill. "We were originally going to tie it into the arcana skill, but then we realized we didn't want Knights to have to spend a feat for it" is just a weak argument to me. I see where they're coming from, mind, but it's still week.


This one agrees with Veok. Arcana bound Knight would have been superior.
Going off of the Design & Development article:

Stephen: Although the initial design required training in Arcana for the utility powers, which followed the model of many knight utility powers that have training in a class skill as a prerequisite, the requirement is too burdensome for typical knight characters.  Arcana isn't a class skill, so the requirement adds a feat prerequisite to tak eany of these powers.  Thus, we removed the "trained in Arcana" requirement and replaced it with "must be eladrin." The flavor and mechanics of these powers still provide a sense that these powers come from the arcane side of the eladrin.



This seems strange, since Eladrin already have the "Eladrin Education" racial feature, which allows them to select any one skill to be trained in, even if it's not a class skill (such as Arcana).  Arcana is a skill which they can have use for with a high intelligence that complements some of the features.  Leaving the requirements as "trained in Arcana" opens the class to all Eladrin plus any other character with a feat or background benefit (who can explain how they trained to mix magic and swordsmanship by studying under eladrin masters or perhaps learning on their own).  Leaving it open only to the eladrin race is actually more restrictive, since it's just eladrin and undead eladrin (plus certain half-elves if your DM is generous).  If you don't want the eladrin to feel forced to spend their education benefit on Arcana, than the "trained in Arcana or eladrin" compromise already put forth looks appropriate enough.
I love the concept, but the mechanics are not very good. Something needs to be given to this build to make up for the damage penalty of melee training.
Intelligent Blademaster solves that problem nicely.



If you want to play this in any official capacity, you need an Essentials+ solution.
They need to roll everything that says "Requires Eladrin" back to "requires training in Arcana." Both because I LOVE that Essentials martial utilities do that skill requirement thing (which is to say I think it is an excellent stylistic mechanic, not that I demand this article cater to my personal tastes), and because it keeps the build Eladrin-themed, and not Eladrin-limited, which the fluff implies it is supposed to be.

Nothing wrong with a racially-themed build that is easier for its race to get into, but requires other races give up a little something to take -full- advantage of. In fact, I would argue that's kinda the point.

And, seriously, if the PP's gonna require Int to work well, that need for Str in Heroic teir needs to be addressed.

I've been playing a Sentinal druid, and I like how it felt like Essentials Shaman-lite. This really could be Essentials Swordmage-lite. Run with it.
Going off of the Design & Development article:

Stephen: Although the initial design required training in Arcana for the utility powers, which followed the model of many knight utility powers that have training in a class skill as a prerequisite, the requirement is too burdensome for typical knight characters.  Arcana isn't a class skill, so the requirement adds a feat prerequisite to tak eany of these powers.  Thus, we removed the "trained in Arcana" requirement and replaced it with "must be eladrin." The flavor and mechanics of these powers still provide a sense that these powers come from the arcane side of the eladrin.



This seems strange, since Eladrin already have the "Eladrin Education" racial feature, which allows them to select any one skill to be trained in, even if it's not a class skill (such as Arcana).  Arcana is a skill which they can have use for with a high intelligence that complements some of the features.  Leaving the requirements as "trained in Arcana" opens the class to all Eladrin plus any other character with a feat or background benefit (who can explain how they trained to mix magic and swordsmanship by studying under eladrin masters or perhaps learning on their own).  Leaving it open only to the eladrin race is actually more restrictive, since it's just eladrin and undead eladrin (plus certain half-elves if your DM is generous).  If you don't want the eladrin to feel forced to spend their education benefit on Arcana, than the "trained in Arcana or eladrin" compromise already put forth looks appropriate enough.



This is an excellent point, and is one with which I wholly concur. Making the new half-build more accessible to other races would be more useful for other races with higher Intelligence.

Going off of the Design & Development article:

Stephen: Although the initial design required training in Arcana for the utility powers, which followed the model of many knight utility powers that have training in a class skill as a prerequisite, the requirement is too burdensome for typical knight characters.  Arcana isn't a class skill, so the requirement adds a feat prerequisite to tak eany of these powers.  Thus, we removed the "trained in Arcana" requirement and replaced it with "must be eladrin." The flavor and mechanics of these powers still provide a sense that these powers come from the arcane side of the eladrin.



This seems strange, since Eladrin already have the "Eladrin Education" racial feature, which allows them to select any one skill to be trained in, even if it's not a class skill (such as Arcana).  Arcana is a skill which they can have use for with a high intelligence that complements some of the features.  Leaving the requirements as "trained in Arcana" opens the class to all Eladrin plus any other character with a feat or background benefit (who can explain how they trained to mix magic and swordsmanship by studying under eladrin masters or perhaps learning on their own).  Leaving it open only to the eladrin race is actually more restrictive, since it's just eladrin and undead eladrin (plus certain half-elves if your DM is generous).  If you don't want the eladrin to feel forced to spend their education benefit on Arcana, than the "trained in Arcana or eladrin" compromise already put forth looks appropriate enough.



This is an excellent point, and is one with which I wholly concur. Making the new half-build more accessible to other races would be more useful for other races with higher Intelligence.



Such as a certain other Dexterity/Intelligence race with a racial teleport power. I'm sure you all know which one I'm talking about.
Going off of the Design & Development article:

Stephen: Although the initial design required training in Arcana for the utility powers, which followed the model of many knight utility powers that have training in a class skill as a prerequisite, the requirement is too burdensome for typical knight characters.  Arcana isn't a class skill, so the requirement adds a feat prerequisite to tak eany of these powers.  Thus, we removed the "trained in Arcana" requirement and replaced it with "must be eladrin." The flavor and mechanics of these powers still provide a sense that these powers come from the arcane side of the eladrin.



This seems strange, since Eladrin already have the "Eladrin Education" racial feature, which allows them to select any one skill to be trained in, even if it's not a class skill (such as Arcana).  Arcana is a skill which they can have use for with a high intelligence that complements some of the features.  Leaving the requirements as "trained in Arcana" opens the class to all Eladrin plus any other character with a feat or background benefit (who can explain how they trained to mix magic and swordsmanship by studying under eladrin masters or perhaps learning on their own).  Leaving it open only to the eladrin race is actually more restrictive, since it's just eladrin and undead eladrin (plus certain half-elves if your DM is generous).  If you don't want the eladrin to feel forced to spend their education benefit on Arcana, than the "trained in Arcana or eladrin" compromise already put forth looks appropriate enough.


I love the crazy logic here:
"We thought that the powers would be difficult to access for most Knights because most of them aren't trained in Arcana. 

So instead, we rendered them COMPLETELY inaccessible to ALL Knights who aren't part of a race which is fairly sub-optimal for the average build. 

Thus, we took something reasonably accessible to most Knights via Multiclass feats, backgrounds or simple Skill Training (Arcana), and rendered it TOTALLY INACCESSIBLE TO THEM."

*/me applies palm vigorously to face*

Getting a skill trained that isn't on the class skills list is a trivially difficult thing to do.  Backgrounds can allow it.  Multiclassing can allow it.  Simply spending a frelling feat for Skill Training can allow it.  Nothing can CHANGE AN EXISTING CHARACTER'S RACE.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
I'll never say I'm unwilling to take correction.  One thing can do it.  Several things can change a character's origin or race, I know, various Heritage/Bloodline feats and whatnot, but AFAIK before Epic only being a Revenant can make you able to become an Eladrin if you're not one already, RAW.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.

Sweet. I love the Sword Guard. Awesome eldritch flavor.

I agree with the above mechanical critiques.
• Intelligent Blademaster is a must. Really, the Sword Guard build can even give this for free ... with prereq being, if you are Eladrin. (Players who want their Eladrin to use Strength dont need to use this bonus Intelligent Blademaster feat.)
• A racial restriction is unnecessary and undesirable. Prerequiring Arcana training is no problem for Eladrin, since the racial Eladrin Education makes it easy to acquire. Plus they get the racial skill bonus to Arcana and the Intelligence boost to Arcana, and its a useful skill to have - especially to Sense Magic. So its worth taking. Flavorful and painless for Eladrin. Meanwhile, Noneladrin members of Eladrin society can spend a feat or background to get Arcana, and rely on Strength rather than Intelligence if they dont want to spend a feat for Intelligent Blademaster.

Great place to use Int Fighter feats and items.

I am usually pretty ok with Dragon content but this article is horrible. Asking the player to muck around with three different stats and spread themselves thin for a Paragon Path is very reminiscent of design decisions from the first Player's Handbook which I thought had long ago been discarded. Also, as others have pointed out, you pretty much have to multi-class swordmage to make this class option shine. That doesn't sit well with me at all.

There is simply no reason this could not be an option for any other race from a fluff standpoint. Just say they have Eladrin training!

Please give this one a re-write, as I find the concept pretty cool. Since I don't just want to complain, here are some suggestions:


-Remove all Eladrin requirements.
-Allow (or force) Eladrin Knights to take Arcana as a class skill or just give it to them.
-Get rid of all the Intelligence based features in the Paragon Path. Base them off of Constitution, as everyone will likely have a high score in that. Alternately, make them flat numbers or base them off of the character's highest stat bonus.
-Make a feat that allows someone to get full Intelligence bonus on damage and use intelligence for melee basic attacks. Since they no longer get Intelligence damage on a miss with their defender attack (I think that was in the original PDF posted which was quickly revised) this will not be overpowered at all.

Intelligence is a musthave for Eladrin arcane flavor, so I like the Intelligence features in the Paragon Path. Giving Intelligent Blademaster as a bonus feat, allows the use of Intelligence for damage too.

Its too bad such a class and path focus on Int-Con because it means Githyanki are actually better Sword Guards and Eldritch Knights than Eladrin are, which doesnt really make sense. Even a wrong-flavor Str-Con race is a better Sword Guard, which really doesnt make sense.

Since Eladrin are Int-Cha, and these represent a highly specialized Eladrin fighting style, itd be nice for Eladrin to use Cha too, or at least benefit much more from Int, to ensure Eladrin favor the Sword Guard class and Eldritch Knight path - better than or at least equal to any other race.
Since I feel WotC corporation needs to DRAMATICALLY start listening to the feedback that their customers are giving them (heh. why do I feel like I live in Egypt?), I feel I need to be as clear and as constructive as possible.

With regard to the Sword Guard class:

Please, remove the racial prereq. For me personally, I prefer a design that is fluid, easy-to-customize, mix-and-match, to allow me create effective character concepts. So, this race-specific class design is undesirable because it shuts down character concepts of those Noneladrin who are members of Eladrin society, and so on.

Please, optimize the Sword Guard class around Intelligence, and possibly Intelligence and Charisma. To be blunt, if this class is supposed to be for an Int-Cha Eladrin race, but instead a Str-Con race is strictly better at it, I will hate the class, never play it, and never purchase any products to get options for it.

On the other hand, if the Int-Cha Eladrin race can truly flourish and excel at this class, then I will love it, play it, and seek to purchase more options for it. (The flavor is truly awesome.)
why do I feel like I live in Egypt?



Feeling like WotC isn't catering to your hobby needs makes you feel like you've been living under an autocratic Middle-Eastern dictatorship for 30 years?!
why do I feel like I live in Egypt?



Feeling like WotC isn't catering to your hobby needs makes you feel like you've been living under an autocratic Middle-Eastern dictatorship for 30 years?!



Something, like that.

If a company refuses to give the customers what they want, the customers will move on to another company that will.
You realize the utter hyperbole that statement represents? Also Eladrin have the choice of dexterity or charisma.
why do I feel like I live in Egypt?



Feeling like WotC isn't catering to your hobby needs makes you feel like you've been living under an autocratic Middle-Eastern dictatorship for 30 years?!



Something, like that.

If a company refuses to give the customers what they want, the customers will move on to another company that will.


You're right.  It's just like what's going on in Egypt!
You realize the utter hyperbole that statement represents?

'Egypt' is a vivid analogy (a comparison using the word 'like') to communicate widespread frustration with the companys lack of responsiveness to the customer base. There are autocratic tendencies and a lack two-way communication.

• First, there has been a general unwillingness to integrate the desires of the customer base, such as a failure to integrate feedback, and a cessation of playtests before a product becomes 'official'.
• Second, there have been massive undesirable surprises without consulting the customer base, including the abrupt change in the 'design philosophy' that split the customer base and the destruction of the offline Character Builder.

The most important directive of a company is profitability and therefore keeping customers happy and coming back. It is in a companys interests to strive to meet the needs of the customer base to the degree that it is financially possible.

Anyway, these criticisms dont apply to the author Schwalb, who does listen to customers, and tries to give customers what they want. His contributions are generally popular. For example, people are receiving well his Ardent article - and people appreciate him helping to fulfill the widespread demand for more effective mechanics to express the telepathy flavor.



Also Eladrin have the choice of dexterity or charisma.

I like Int-Cha Eladrin. I dont like Int-Dex for Eladrin. Since the very first day of its publication in the PH1, I and many others have been calling for a Cha-Int Eladrin race. The Eladrin racial flavor expresses Charisma (charm, artistic beauty, innate magic, etcetera), and therefore the Eladrin racial mechanics must express Charisma too. Happily, this a case where WotC did (finally) listen to their many customers. It took years, but finally the introduction of optional racial ability scores allows the Eladrin mechanics to actualize the Cha-Int flavor. Notice, these 'changes' - that is, implementing what very many people have been asking for - are popular. Customers appreciate the mechanical integrity or at least like having a desirable option.

Regarding the Eladrin Knight, in pop-culture the 'knight in shining armor' concept itself is a Charisma-flavor concept. So, Intelligence for wizardry ambience and Charisma for glamorous 'heroic glory' ambience seems ideal to resonate the Eladrin racial warrior archetype.
why do I feel like I live in Egypt?



Feeling like WotC isn't catering to your hobby needs makes you feel like you've been living under an autocratic Middle-Eastern dictatorship for 30 years?!



Something, like that.

If a company refuses to give the customers what they want, the customers will move on to another company that will.


You're right.  It's just like what's going on in Egypt!



Yup. The Egyptian customers no longer want to buy products from their company, and are moving on to a different company.
By the way, Int-Dex seems appropriate for the 'Eladrin Arcane Archer' concept that the MM2 flirts with. I would love to see an Int-Dex Artificer build along these lines.


PS, regarding the responsiveness of WotC to customers. It appears, WotC decided to introduce the Vampire as a true class in the upcoming Heroes of Shadow because of customer feedback to the previews. This is excellent news. I appreciate the real effort to integrate customer desires. While the book only has one new class, of all the classes possible, a Vampire class is the most perfect archetype of all for that concept book. I think Im returning from limbo back to enthusiasm. Kudos.
I really hope they intend to make essentials classes for every single race... otherwise this seems extremely restrictive. To me would be like having to have the fey keyword to make a fey-pact warlock, hexblade, etc.
"In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move."-Douglas Adams

Racial prereqs create horrible gaming design.

Example, the Sword Guard intends to actualize the 'archetype' of an Int-Cha race, but instead of them excelling at Int-Cha 'wizardry mystique' flavor, this build epitomizes Str-Con 'dumb muscle' mechanics that work better for Str-Con racial flavor, like Minotaurs and Muls.

Here, the intended flavor and the actual mechanics dont work well together. Incongruent race prereqs encourage such poor design.

If designers want a class to express a certain racial flavor, the class must optimize mechanically around the racial mechanics. Otherwise it fails to emphasize what it is that the race is good at - and fails to be a racial 'archetype'. A race-theme class must be an appealing synergizing option that a character of that race would inherently embrace and puissantly express.

You realize the utter hyperbole that statement represents?

'Egypt' is a vivid analogy (a comparison using the word 'like') to communicate widespread frustration with the companys lack of responsiveness to the customer base. There are autocratic tendencies and a lack two-way communication.

• First, there has been a general unwillingness to integrate the desires of the customer base, such as a failure to integrate feedback, and a cessation of playtests before a product becomes 'official'.
• Second, there have been massive undesirable surprises without consulting the customer base, including the abrupt change in the 'design philosophy' that split the customer base and the destruction of the offline Character Builder.

The most important directive of a company is profitability and therefore keeping customers happy and coming back. It is in a companys interests to strive to meet the needs of the customer base to the degree that it is financially possible.

Anyway, these criticisms dont apply to the author Schwalb, who does listen to customers, and tries to give customers what they want. His contributions are generally popular. For example, people are receiving well his Ardent article - and people appreciate him helping to fulfill the widespread demand for more effective mechanics to express the telepathy flavor.



Also Eladrin have the choice of dexterity or charisma.

I like Int-Cha Eladrin. I dont like Int-Dex for Eladrin. Since the very first day of its publication in the PH1, I and many others have been calling for a Cha-Int Eladrin race. The Eladrin racial flavor expresses Charisma (charm, artistic beauty, innate magic, etcetera), and therefore the Eladrin racial mechanics must express Charisma too. Happily, this a case where WotC did (finally) listen to their many customers. It took years, but finally the introduction of optional racial ability scores allows the Eladrin mechanics to actualize the Cha-Int flavor. Notice, these 'changes' - that is, implementing what very many people have been asking for - are popular. Customers appreciate the mechanical integrity or at least like having a desirable option.

Regarding the Eladrin Knight, in pop-culture the 'knight in shining armor' concept itself is a Charisma-flavor concept. So, Intelligence for wizardry ambience and Charisma for glamorous 'heroic glory' ambience seems ideal to resonate the Eladrin racial warrior archetype.


A few customers not being satisfied with the direction a company is going is nothing like living under an oppressive totalitarian dictator. Secondly, the elven races are paragons of grace as well as their abilities in magic and their distinct charms. That is why all of them have the option of having dexterity as one of their racial ability bonuses. It's not really fair to exclude that from a fey knight as Eladrin swordsmanship is about grace, not flamboyance. That's not to say that charisma has no place in the equation.