Favorite Power Source, and Why?

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The title says it all!

Whats your favorite power source (martial, arcane, primal, divine, psionic, elemental, and shadow)?

What are your particular reasons for liking that power source?

For me, it'll have to be divine. Wielding powers granted by the gods themselves is just awesome.

Your friendly neighborhood Revenant Minotaur Half-Blooded Dragonborn Fighter Hybrid Barbarian Multiclassing into Warlord

IMAGE(http://pwp.wizards.com/1223957875/Scorecards/Landscape.png)

Martial, because your character has nothing and nobody to thank for himself for being awesome.  No external power supply, no books, no gods, no spirits, no other dimensions, no alien entities.  Everything you can do, you do it because you worked your butt off to be able to do it.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Psionics. 3.0 got me into them, but 3.5 sold them for me. Too bad the current design of many of the power point psionic classes is garbage. But I suppose there is a sort of benefit to not having to ever trade out some of your heroic tier powers...
I'm a big fan of the Arcane Power source, especially those that mix sword and spell (Artificers, Bards, Swordmages, and Warlocks).
Arcane for me covers all the cool stuff about D&D: flashy spells, dynamic actions, ongoing effects, rituals, and the over all feel of real power.
I enjoy other power sources as well, but for me Arcane takes the cake.
Arcane is my favorite for the diverse and colorful. Martial is the most powerful, though I feel spoon fed of the power types. Primal is sneaky good, which my fellow players are beginning to understand.
I don't have one. I pick a fun-sounding concept and look for the available mechanics and powers that seem like the best fit.

That said, there's a slight preponderance of martial characters and (so far) not a single psionic character in my collection of D&D characters.

The slight preponderance of martial characters is probably for pretty much the same reason that a large share of my computer-RPG-game characters switch between a bow and a pair of swords. Probably nearly half of the characters I have in games that allow that option. (And in D&D, so does my dancer.)
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Divine. Because it comes with built-in flavor that you can then springboard off of in interesting and surprising ways. Avenger and Invoker have, to my mind, the most delightful class-based flavor text. 

Martial is close second because A) 4e made fighters awesome, and B) Warlords made 4e awesome. Divine may be my favorite overall powers ource, but Warlord is my favorite single class. 

Arcane third,  because I have a fondness for the Int-based stuff, and for Bards.
Martial is my favourite. I just love fighters, rangers, warlords, and rogues!
Martial for me.  I just seem to be drawn to it.  I also fell absolutely in love with the gameplay for the Archer Warlord.  I imagine I'd like the regular warlord just as well.  It gives me a bit of a ranger feel but also with a soldier flavor. 

I can also make cool things happen.  In one turn i could get another PC back in the fight with inspiring word, get another PC into a better position with Knight's Move and then launch my attack with Race the Arrow which lets me damage the  target as well as let an ally charge the target.

Mostly I just like using weapons rather than magic. 
Martial, because your character has nothing and nobody to thank for himself for being awesome.



Except Mike Mearls for being obsessed with Martial powers and supporting them far more than any other power source.  Wink
I like the Primal power source best, followed by Shadow, but when it comes to actual classes I generally prefer Arcane.  They have, easily, the broadest range of interesting powers.  I'd love to see a defender remake of the shaman, like they did with a few of the essentials classes, or some Shadow options for Primal characters.  Until then, I'm going to stick with wizards and warlocks and pretend Pact Blade Manifestation is still around.
I've always been a fan of the Primal sources. Just thematically I've always been a fan of that nature, woodsy, druid kind of flavor.

The story of the Stormhawk in primal power sums it up very well for me. Where you have a grand power that ultimately wants to be left in peace, but is more then capable of fighting anything that wants to disturb it.
Every character I play tends to have two power sources to instill conflict within the character and also add more flavor. Primal/Arcane is my favorite combonation right now but in the past Divine/Arcane led to numerous successful characters and planty of fun.

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

I'm a big fan of the Arcane Power source, especially those that mix sword and spell (Artificers, Bards, Swordmages, and Warlocks).
Arcane for me covers all the cool stuff about D&D: flashy spells, dynamic actions, ongoing effects, rituals, and the over all feel of real power.
I enjoy other power sources as well, but for me Arcane takes the cake.



That posting avatar is downright distracting.  It's as if God came out to pick Jim Henson up at the gate when he died, greeted him enthusiastically and told him they had so much work to do.

Right - back on topic.  I'm a big fan of martial characters.  Martial power is immediately tangible, accessible and understandable.  It's something I can practice myself.  While I can wrap my imagination around a good magic spell, I can wrap my hand around the hilt of a sword, and that appeals to me.

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2,
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As a person, I find myself drawn to the Arcane. Ok, so that's only a gaming thing, but I am nearly ALWAYS a spellcaster of some sort.

Of course, my latest character takes that and turns it on its head. I'm playing a Hobgoblin Bard who may or may not utilize magic in combat. We're not sure. All we know is that he's REALLY good at yelling at people. And hitting things with his sword. Arcane? Maybe, but the resident Warlock isn't convinced of this yet.  
Look, just admit that I have no idea what I'm talking about.
As a power source, Arcane is my favorite, mostly because I love playing all the arcane classes, tho only wizard makes my 5 favorite classes.

Divine and Martial tie as close seconds, as the rest of my five favorite classes come from them (Ranger, Paladin, Fighter, Avenger in that order).
Primal for me. The nature flavor, is to good for me to pass up. Barbarian is my top favorite class and Warden, Shaman, and Druid all take the top slots for their roles. Sorcerer is an honorable mention here. So i guess Arcane is my secondary. Primal, to me, is combination extreme physical and spiritual discipline and delving. When I rage, I push myself to the limits and in that fury I connect with something greator then my whole. The power is still mine, but what I am is, in that moment, more then just a pile of flesh and bone but an extension of the natural world. A force not for good or evil, but for balance. 

Arcane gets second place. Pretty typical Nerd reasons. Power of the cosmos, palm of hand, yadda-yadda. I still picked a class that has a primal feel to it (Sorcerer's, who seem to work off of intuition as much as knowledge.) but some day i want to play a wizard.... just because. ^_^ And I am getting along with our parties Blade Singer quite nicely.

Divine/Shadow are tied for 3rd and 4th good classes.... but the theme is sort of tiring.

Martial/Psionics.... someone said martial as their top slot because its stuff they could do (Theoretically) thats why I dont like it as much, dont get me wrong I love sword play and all, but the classes typically bore me. Warlord is an interesting class, but the rest are just kind of "meh" to me. After all I could invest the time I am investing into the character to learn how to do some of it myself.

Psionics.... just kinda bore me.  I really have no desire to ever play one. Some day I am sure I'll play a fighter or a ranger.... but Psionics.... yeah... pretty much never. 
My favorite power source is Martial.  I like it for all the reasons Salla mentioned.  It's your hero that's special, overcoming all enemies and challenges through hard work and skill.  Plus I love playing a character who can get right in a monster's face and go toe to toe with them. 

Second is Divine.  I'm a sucker for the knight in shining armor archetype of the paladin.  I enjoy playing a hero with a higher calling.  Being the chosen of a deity can be pretty cool as well.  It lets me enjoy my get into the fight play style as well. 
Hmm, it seems like quite a few people are pairing up Arcane and Primal as their top 2 sources, and I'm going to join the club! 

I love the background that 4e has created for Primal, with the Primal Spirits being an alternative major "force" in the world, and one that is even superior to the gods ("alright kids, I've had enough of your fighting!  Gods and Primordials, you are GROUNDED!").  Not surprisingly, I've never been a fan of the divine power source ;)  I've always loved Druids, and I've been sold on the Shaman recently as well (both flavor-wise, and mechanically).  I like the concept of Barbarians and I've had fun playing the class, but its mechanics sometimes irk me, and I really wish that it had a striker damage mechanic that wasn't baked into its powers (it SHOULD pair well with enabling leaders!).  Wardens are interesting enough, and Seekers are the only Primal class that I really don't like (mostly because they suck).

Arcane is just classic magic, and besides that Wizards are tied for being my favorite class (with Druids).  I also love that 4e made Bards worth playing (and even really good!), and I love the flavor of Warlocks, even if the class is riddled with minor problems.  Arcane classes tend to at least minor in control as well, and given that controller is my favorite role it's a pretty natural fit.

Martial is cool, even if the favoritism that the developers have shown them is a little annoying.  Oh well, they deserve their moment in the sun after being crappy for 3 other editions.

Divine just doesn't really do anything for me.  I don't really like the whole "I'm my god's tool, yippee!" aspect of the power source.

Psionics, as usual, seemed like it might be interesting at first but then was poorly implemented.  The scaling of power points is atrocious.  The only thing keeping me from writing off the source completely is that I like the Monk, and his full disciplines are a lot of fun.

Shadow's kind of "meh."  I'm glad they largely folded into other sources (i.e. Nethermancer, etc.), because I'm not sure it could stand on its own as a source that supports multiple unique classes.  A lot of the existing classes do make sense as being partially Shadow.
For the most part, as long as it's not martial it's fun.

Don't get me wrong, I've played some fun rogues and rangers. Some martial classes are fun, I just don't think the power source adds much of anything to the character, story wise.


An assassin isn't beholden to the shadowfell. He or she doesn't owe the shadowfell for his or her power, etc. He or she took that power and made it their own. They're no less self sufficient than a rogue, imo, so for me the martial power source really is just a placeholder. I don't know. It is what it is.


I guess if I had to pick one though....probably primal. As much as I love shadow, I have to admit that the primal power source is just the top of the thematic food chain for me.

It helps that I can see all kinds of compatibillity between my top two. (primal and shadow)
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Short answer: All power sources are my favourites, it all depends on the flavor of the character in question.

Long answer:


  • Arcane - because it's a classic while also perhaps the most flexible source (flavor-wise) and the classes feel distinctly different while still feeling distinctly archane. Like Jim Hen- sorry, Awesomologist, I like gish-ish characters. (How many light years from correct English is "gish-ish" BTW? Sounds funny though...)

  • Divine - because wielding the power of the gods is just awesome! I also think divine characters can often start out with a stronger tie to a campaign than other characters, as the deities and religion often has a significant impact on both story and setting. And last but not least, 4e liberated pallies not just from lousy mechanics but also the do-good straight jacket of previous editions, making them one of my favourite classes.

  • Martial - because it probably has the greatest number of historical and fictional heroes, legends, archetypes, stories etc available for inspiration (and theft) when creating a PC and assisting with RP and immersion. And speaking of immersion, the martial source has a special RP perk - it allows (or even encourages) you to resort to raw violence, which can be immensely satisfying... Smile

  • Primal - because like divine characters, primal characters often come with a strong tie to the setting. And I like the whole wild, wise, old and feral one-with-nature flavor of shamanistic religions.

  • Psionic - has the least appeal to me flavor-wise, mostly because I feel most powers could just as well be either arcane or martial and therefore makes "psionic" primarily a label on a mechanic (power points). But psionic characters, OTOH, can have flavor that rocks. Hard.

  • Shadow - suffers a bit from the same fuzziness as psionic, perhaps with the exception of the vampire class which definitely feels "shadow" (at least without an "undead" power source). Still, shadow has that attractive blend of danger and mystery which can result in very spicy characters.


The above is only in terms of fluff, naturally, and has very little to do with how fun or appropriate I think the sources' (and their respective classes') game mechanics are. Overall, I also tend to like characters far from genre archetypes, preferably coupled with unusual and "nifty" mechanics.
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Divine and arcane all the way. I've never had a divine or arcane character that I can't make a story with, unlike martial and psionic characters, but each to their own.


I tend towards Divine, as I like worshipping screwed-up gods for conflicted reasons (i.e. Dragonborn Blackguard worshipping Tiamat because he feels Bahamut has abandoned him).


That said, the undead magic-wielder has always appealed to me greatly, and thanks to stuff like the Revenant and the Archlich, I don't HAVE to be an evil bastard to get there.

I think everyone plays a Martial character or two eventually, though.  Sometimes "Hulk Smash" is the !funnest approach    
Incarnum >w>
'cause using the power of your own soul rocks! not a power you inherited from someone in your family history, not a power given or bartered too you, and not something you had to study, is the best flavor in my mind!


but as for strikely 4e power sources? 
Arcane. by far THEE most flexible in flavor and story potential in my opinion, though I'll gravitate to the "magical swordsman" archtype regardless of power source. 
Arcane power source characters are the most interesting to me to play because they leave so much open to weirdness in terms of what you can do.  Although honestly I usually spend my cahracter cration time coming up with new ways to spin Elf and Eladrin as character concepts.
Arcane, for sure. I love playing with fire, and I don't like have to pray to some god or spirit to do it. Martial is a close second, and swordmage takes the cake. I've always been a fan of gish classes in general.
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Your friendly neighborhood Revenant Minotaur Half-Blooded Dragonborn Fighter Hybrid Barbarian Multiclassing into Warlord

IMAGE(http://pwp.wizards.com/1223957875/Scorecards/Landscape.png)

Primal and psionic. I love the flavor of getting supernatural power from the earth or from within. I also really enjoy characters with the durability or light arms/armor or multitarget melee ability of wardens, battleminds barbarians and monks.
In descending order of awesome, my favorite power sources are...


  1. Martial: Kickin' ass and taking names.

  2. Primal: I never liked this source until 4e,and now I think it is tightly defined and very evocative.

  3. Divine: Easy to work into a character, defining, and variable without losing flavor.

  4. Psionic: Psychics and wire-fu.  What's not to love?

  5. Elemental: Manipulating the building blocks of reality.  I just wish they had solidifed the idea earlier in the edition.

  6. Shadow: This one sort of bores me.  I'm not drawn to the angst.

  7. Arcane: This is just too ill-defined.  It can do anything and has very little flavor to grab onto. 

Divine. Because Bahamut is awesome.

I mean Bahamut. Is seriously. Awesome.

I've changed my opinion from my original post. I mean, divine is nice and all -- yay, I'm wielding the power of Pelor to blast your face off.

But recently, I've taken to blasting faces off . . . with my MIND.

You have no one to thank but yourself. Your talents are innate. And what's more awesome than "Hm. I don't like you . . . I'll just send you to an alternate dimension. Just by WILLING it to be so."

It's kind of like using Force of Will in MTG. You just feel so badass.

Your friendly neighborhood Revenant Minotaur Half-Blooded Dragonborn Fighter Hybrid Barbarian Multiclassing into Warlord

IMAGE(http://pwp.wizards.com/1223957875/Scorecards/Landscape.png)

Shadow: This one sort of bores me.  I'm not drawn to the angst.



I fail to see where angst enters into a power source born of darkness. Just because the first idea most people have when their character is a frequent user of darker powers is someone who either whines about how dull and pointless existence is or someone that takes the nestea plunge into madness and eats a baby after every encounter doesn't mean it's the whole selling point of the power source. That's more a result of uninspired concepts by those that use the power source. I had an Osassin once that dressed in bright colors and acted like a generally happy guy, but once combat started turned into a violent almost berserk killer that was still just as happy to be there as he is outside of battle. He wasn't evil or angsty, just overly violent when swords and spells started being flung. The contradiction made for a memorable experience at the table, and did a lot to paint the power source in a different light for my colleagues and the DM.
In descending order of awesome, my favorite power sources are...


  1. Martial: Kickin' ass and taking names.

  2. Primal: I never liked this source until 4e,and now I think it is tightly defined and very evocative.

  3. Divine: Easy to work into a character, defining, and variable without losing flavor.

  4. Psionic: Psychics and wire-fu.  What's not to love?

  5. Elemental: Manipulating the building blocks of reality.  I just wish they had solidifed the idea earlier in the edition.

  6. Shadow: This one sort of bores me.  I'm not drawn to the angst.

  7. Arcane: This is just too ill-defined.  It can do anything and has very little flavor to grab onto. 




Taking a cue from wrecan ...
1. Martial.  "Why am I awesome?  Because I WANT to be."
2. Arcane.  If not for the bard, you'd probably be #1.
3. Psionic.  Brawn, meet Brains.
4-6.  Divine, Primal, and Shadow pretty much tied for 'not interested, thanks for calling'.

Elemental gets a bye because I don't know enough about it yet.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Arcane or Divine.

I like the flavor of divine "You will fall by the might of my blade", and the religious stuff, and Arcane becuase magic is just awesome.


But then again I also like primal, cuase primal stuff is cool...

I guess my least favorite would be martial, becuase I can already use swords and weapons in real life and it's not really that interesting.


That being said, I like them all, I'm just specifically reffering to some thematic stuff.

Personally, I like all the classes and wouldn't mind playing any of them.
The title says it all!

Whats your favorite power source (martial, arcane, primal, divine, psionic, and shadow)?

What are your particular reasons for liking that power source?

For me, it'll have to be divine. Wielding powers granted by the gods themselves is just awesome.

For me, it's a tie between Arcane and psionic.

Divine and Primal involve complete devotion (at least temporarily) to another power, and for some case (Invokers, Avengers, Shamans...) permanently, meaning you can never break with your master, or if one of those classes that is not beholden to a master, you still have to be careful or your peers will hunt you down. 

In terms of martial power, just from a flavor point of view, why would you bother spending years honing your powers with a sword, when with the same amount of effort, you could learn lots of neat spells that would allow you to do the same job as the fighter without being dependant upon the bit of steel in your hand?

 
Whew, thread revival ftw.

In any case, I've updated the original post so that elemental is in there now. 

Your friendly neighborhood Revenant Minotaur Half-Blooded Dragonborn Fighter Hybrid Barbarian Multiclassing into Warlord

IMAGE(http://pwp.wizards.com/1223957875/Scorecards/Landscape.png)

I honestly can't believe how few people are rooting for Shadow. *single tear* 

That may, of course, be because it's my favorite power source by far. Call it angst, pragmatism, or what have you, but something about playing a character with a dark streak is utterly fascinating to me-- probably because if I could turn brooding into a career, I'd be a millionaire within a year.

From a roleplaying perspective, there's just a vast well of possibility and creative breathing room when deciding what makes a user of shadow magic tick-- whether the source of their power is a physical manifestation of psychological imbalances, a gnawing emptiness that demands sacrifice, or what have you. I think we shadow fans may get a bad rap from the few bad eggs who decide that the best way to be a 'dark' character is to play a hybrid Vampire/Assassin Tiefling that devours a sack of puppies at every meal. 

My next favorite is probably Arcane, mostly because I was trying to use necromancy as a wizard wayyyy before it was a school of magic in 4e. 

I like dem zombies.
hmm...i'd have to go with either Primal or Psionic.

I like primal for reasons that are hard to explain. there's just something about giving into the animal side and fighting with the instincts nature gave you (barbarian and druid) and having your long-dead brother as your weapon is bad-A (shaman) its one failing is wardens, and even then its just because they're basically the sheild to the barbarians sword, and nobody likes being a sheild when you could be a sword instead.

Its much easier to explain why i like Psionics. Its hard to go wrong when you can pick your enemy up, bash him on some sharp rocks, and then stab him with his own sword, not only without touching him, but then telling him "oh, yeah. none of that just happened. Now, i'm tire of this cherade: get lost!" and blast his mind so far gone he'll never be coherent again. And Monks are some nasty peices of work, in a good way Cool
Shadow.
Reasoning:

Warforged + Executioner + The sheer knowledge that your power basically gives you the Point->Die option. = DOOM!

Elemental in close second
Reasoning:

Warforged + Fire-based Sorcerer from the Heroes of the Elemental Chaos + the sheer randomness and power of the Chaos = Metallic, Undying, Flamethrower of DEATH!

Also, Shadow is just cool. Figure out a way to meld the power of the Shadowfell with the power of the Elemental Chaos and I'm sold!

(If Shadow and Elemental Power both require something to bond to in order to channel, why could they not bond to EACH OTHER and let awesome people get two for the price of one?!?!?)

Note to self: talk to DM about the above possibility... 
I've been surprisingly drawn to the primal power source in 4e, I agree with a few other posters that it got a really cool and well-defined identity that it never had before.  Druids (and, for the love of Glob, RANGERS) casting divine spells always seemed flavorfully awkward.  With the primal power source as written, there's just enough wiggle room to borrow whatever fantasy or mythological interpretation of the spirit world inspires you to create a cool character in relation to it.  I even fluffed the 4e monk I played as ambiguously primal--he interpreted his abilities as the product of rigorous training and a special gift from the ancestor spirits of his tribe, although I left it open to interpretation that he may have been performing those superhuman (superhalfling?) feats through his own innate psionic prowess, interpreted as an external gift.

That said, I do really appreciate the way the arcane power source in 4e was handled, not in the least because they balanced. the. freaking. Wizard.  Finally.  Also, the variety of gish options available among the arcane classes is excellent and, if this thread is any indication, speaks to a strong desire by players to play those characters.  And heck, why not?  They're fun.  But the coolest thing about 4e arcane classes is how compatibly they hybrid into one another.  Wizard, Artificer and Swordmage can hybrid in any combination and be awesome, to say nothing of the Swordmage|Warlock.  I was ridiculously excited when the Warforged got an Int/Con option.  Also, the Skald.  The Skald is the coolest take I've seen on the Bard class yet, although I do appreciate the Cunning and Valorous builds in the PHB2, also.

I'm not a huge fan of the divine power source, and I think 4e divine characters really suffer from how little crunch their choice of deity confers as a basis for character fluff.  Shouldn't fighting against a Cleric of Bahamut, a Cleric of Sehanine, and a Cleric of Lolth feel a little different?  On the other hand, introducing the Invoker and Avenger really expanded the divine archetype to places it hadn't been before.  The Avenger suffers a touch from lacking a niche to fill, but the concept is fun and the striker mechanics are unique, so it works out.  And the Invoker is just bad ass.  The Runepriest could have been, too, if the poor guy got any support.

Like divine, martial got some new life breathed into it with the addition of the Warlord and the almost complete overhaul of the Fighter to give it an actual identity, and let it do some things Fighters have never really done before--in my first 4e campaign when we hit level 7, the player of our group's fighter felt weird using Come and Get It at first, because he had trouble justifying the flavor as martial, but once he got used to how awesome it was, he stopped being too concerned.

My only experience with a PP psionic class in 4e was a few sessions as a low-mid heroic Battlemind.  It was fun enough, and the tricks were cool and combined with the Con/Cha build to set the groundwork for a conceptually fun character, but the PP system lends itself to very narrow character building, so that no matter how many powers they printed for the Battlemind or Psion, there would still only be a dozen or so at-wills across 30 levels that actually got any use.  But for playing it once?  That's half the fun.  You're given a complex but small tool box, and you have to find a way to cover all the bases of your role using just that amount of stuff.  And in terms of class design for 4e, I do need to voice my support for the development team deciding to create the Battlemind as a new and unique class with its own concept, rather than rehashing the "Psionic Warrior."  And while I haven't played an Ardent and their actual powers don't look especially enticing, the concept is fun and unique, and I could see trying it out for a short campaign.