Who am I Really?: The Theme Handbook

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Who am I Really?: The Theme Handbook


So, brave soul. I hear you want to adventure. That is an honorable profession, and a profitable one as well. I can see what race you are, and your training is obvious from your demeanor. But I still don't know the most important thing about you. Who are you, really? Not what you were trained to do, but what you are, what you have been before you even started adventuring. Answer me that, and your path to success will be opened.


Themes, originally debuted in the DSCS, and given a rules update in Dragon #399 and beyond, are the 'third pillar' of character design, alongside class and race. This guide will not only rate the themes on their virtues, but also tell you what class/race/build they work best in, as a theme that is good for a paladin might suck on a wizard etc.    

Ratings system:

Red: A trap, obsoleted by something else, or just plain crap.
Purple: Situational at best. Substandard in most cases.
Black: Not bad. You could do worse.
Blue: Consider it, at least.
Sky Blue: One of your best options, period.
Gold: Mandatory. Not just the best. Mandatory. A very rare rating.

This Handbook covers the following sources:

PHB - Player's Handbook
PHB2 - Player's Handbook 2
PHB3 - Player's Handbook 3
D XXX - Dragon Magazine, issue XXX
DA XX - Dragon Annual, year XX
NWCS - Neverwinter Campaign Settings
HOTF - Heroes of the Feywild
BoVD - Book of Vile Darkness 

Glossary 


AoE - Area of effect, often denotes a burst or blast attack.


AP - Action Point


BBEG - Big Bad Evil Guy (typically a Solo or an Elite)


DPR - Damage per round
 
eClass - Essentials Class, coming in or after Heroes of the Fallen Realms.  
 
ED - Epic destiny

MAD - Multiple-attribute dependency. Otherwise known as stretching your ability scores too thin. Typically a designator for a build needing three or more ability scores to function.


MBA - Melee basic attack


NAD - Non-AC Defense (Fortitude, Reflex or Will).


OA - Opportunity attack 
 
oClasses - Classes published from launch to HotFL, use the standard AEDU system.
   
PP - Paragon path


THP - Temporary hit points.



NOTE: Since the Dark Sun Themes are rather different and specific, I will refer you to Lord Ventnor's Theme handbook for those.


Props to
:
Lord_Ventnor, first and foremost for his excellent work on this subject.
LDB, for the standard handbook formatting
All who post




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LINKAGE
Heroes of Nature And
Lore




 
Alchemist:

text
The Alchemist works best on Artificers, Leaders in general, and anyone who wants utility.

The Alchemist is special among the themes in that instead of an encounter power, he gets a free alchemical item after every encounter. This allows unprecedented versatility and utility.

Lvl 1 Feature:  This Feature is what makes the theme tick. Free alchemical item, any item, of your choice every encounter, as well as Alchemist feat,  is not to be underestimated.

Lvl 5 Feature: Another recipe for free. Not stellar, but not crap either.

Lvl 10 FeatureA +2 to hit w/ any alchemical item is awesome for this guy.

Lvl 2 Utility: nice for getting through those pesky locked doors.

Lvl 6 Utility: Get out of danger as an encounter? Sign me up. 

Lvl 10 Utility: THe only thing that keeps this at black is that it is party-unfriendly.




Animal Master
text
The Animal master works best on Druids and Martial characters, as well as anyone who takes advantage of CA

Lvl 1 Feature: Not rated, because it basically gives you a pet and a power, mostly story. CA is nice though.

           Animals: -Cat
                           -Dog
                          -Hawk
                          -Monkey
                          -Raven


Lvl 5 Feature:  Makes it less of a pain to get your animal minion back.

Lvl 10 Feature: Last I checked you still can't 'diplomasize the horses'

Lvl 2 Utility: Merge a move and a minor into a Standard? No thanks.

Level 6 Utility: Negate Flanking and +2 to defenses as an encounter is great.

Level 10 Utility: The only way this is useful is for noncombat scouting.




Order Adept
text
Best on any Arcane class, or on a Controller.

Lvl 1 Feature: This is pretty good as an encounter power. It Autoscales with level as well.

Lvl 5 Feature: Pretty darn good for an intermediate theme feature.

Lvl 10 Feature: NAD bonuses are always good.    

Lvl 2 Utility: Blech. Avoid. 

Lvl 6 Utility: Very situational. Wouldn't take.

Lvl 10 Utility: This is pretty decent for Arcane characters, Better for multiclass arcane characters with Power-Swap.



Wizard's Apprentice 
text
Good on Wizards (who knew) and other controllers.
Lvl 1 Feature: Daze is good at this level.

Lvl 5 Feature: Me likes free magic items.
 
Lvl 10 Feature: +2 to Arcana and addon language is subpar

Lvl 2 Utility: Invisibility is only until EoT, not EonT.
 
Lvl 6 Utility: Flying is awesome at this level.

Lvl 10 Utility: Strictly Noncombat power. 
    
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Heroes
of Tome and Temple






LINKAGE
Ordained Priest

text
Works best with Clerics, Paladins, Radiant Mafia, and other divine characters

Lvl 1 Feature: Your choice of two very good abilities to start. Shining symbol is Implement and AoE, but giving enemies -2 to attack isn't as good as Smiting Symbol's Defense bonus and THP. Either one is still great though.

Lvl 5 Feature: Well, at least you get the skill bonuses for free.

Lvl 10 Feature: Bonus for saving throws for adjacent alliesGood For melee characters.      


Lvl 2 Utility: This is a pretty good leadery power for this level, with surgeless healing and free saving throws.

Lvl 6 Utility: Uhh, No.

Lvl 10 Utility: Well, I suppose you could do worse for this level. 




Scholar  
text
Good for anyone who goes Int or Wis primary, better for people who use both. Mostly Noncombat/Skills/RP

Lvl 1 Feature: This can be a liability more than a boon. However, you can use it AFTER determining the result of the skill roll, so it may still have virtue

Lvl 5 Feature: Free skill training is pretty good at times.

Lvl 10 Feature
 Don't underestimate the power of being able to read and write in any language.

Lvl 2 Utility: This can bail out your donkey in some skill challenges.

Lvl 6 Utility: 1/Ecnounter damage type change? Nah, I'll take something else

Lvl 10 Utility: I can see some uses for this power. 



Seer   

Lvl 1 Feature: Mechanically OK but has the potential for many hilarious RP moments.

Lvl 5 Feature: Meh, Skill bonuses...

Lvl 10 Feature: Roll twice on one of the most important skills in the game? I'll take it!

Lvl 2 Utility: No. Not for Combat, not for Anything.

Lvl 6 Utility: Weaker Shield plus shift? Could do worse.

Lvl 10 Utility:  Seeing Invisible is to situational for me. 
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Heroes
of Virtue




Chevalier

text
Works best with Defenders, Martial characters, Cavaliers, and Charge builds. Most defenders will want to take Guardian though (see below)

Lvl 1 Feature: Immobilizing on a charge 1/enc is a great way to stay sticky and hand out CA.

Lvl 5 Feature: skill bonuses are subpar at this level

Lvl 10 Feature: +1 to saves certainly holds it's own at this level.

Lvl 2 Utility: Only useful for Cavaliers.

Lvl 6 Utility: Surgeless healing is always good

Lvl 10 Utility: This essentially doubles your Defender aura radius, pretty nice.



Guardian  Good for Defenders and Strikers. One of the best themes in the game.

Lvl 1 Feature: Single target protection done right, need I say more?

Lvl 5 Feature: Bonus to 2 best skills in the game is nice.

Lvl 10 Feature: Mostly RP, use this on a squishy for maximum effect.

Lvl 2 Utility: This is a great Defense bonus power at level 2

Lvl 6 Utility: Avoiding surprise can save your life (literally)

Lvl 10 Utility: Strictly inferior to the Level 1 feature on this theme

 
Hospitalier 
text
Good for Leaders and Divine classes.

Lvl 1 Feature: Scaling surgeless healing is awesome

Lvl 5 Feature: RP only feature

Lvl 10 Feature: Use your stellar feature 2/encounter? Yeah!

Lvl 2 Utility: AoE saves and Defense bonuses
are nice

Lvl 6 Utility: Meh, kinda situational.

Lvl 10 Utility: Even more free healing, who could say no to that?



Noble 
text
Good on Fighters, Wizards, and Bards

Lvl 1 Feature:
Not as good as Hospitalier, but still blue.

Lvl 5 Feature: not as versatile as Wizard's Apprentice free item.

Lvl 10 feature: Yay skill bonuses. Diplomacy and Insight are good skills though.


Lvl 2 Utility: This can help some skill challenges.


Lvl 6 Utility: Saving throw w/ +2 isn't half bad at this level.


Lvl 10 Utility: Only useful if you have good initiative.



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Heroes
for Hire


Explorer 

text
Good for Monks, Archer Rangers, Rogues, Eagle Shamans, and anyone who
values mobility and/or ranged attacks.

Lvl 1 Feature: This allows movement ignoring difficult terrain. An AC bonus and CA against enemies in Difficult Terrain is what makes this useful.


Lvl 5 Feature: Endurance shouldn't come up too often, even in skill challenges, compared to other skills.


Lvl 10 Feature: NAD bonus makes this a solid feature.


Lvl 2 Utility: kinda situational, but decent as an encounter


Lvl 6 Utility: CA on all ranged attacks is and +5 to perception is a good choice.


Lvl 10 Utility: This one is entirely dependent on how much your DM uses traps.



Guttersnipe

text
Good with Rogues, Melee Rangers, and Melee Sorcerers. Monks and other melee strikers are also good with this one.

Lvl 1 Feature: Slow is a pretty good condition at this level, however doesn't scale well.


Lvl 5 Feature: Don't really know how to rate this from an optimization perspective, other than it scales slightly better than a straight up free magic item.


Lvl 10 Feature: Streetwise is not necessarily the most important skill, but you do get a +5 bonus in it.


Lvl 2 Utility: -2 to attack rolls against you is nice, and it lasts as long as you don't get hit.


Lvl 6 Utility: This is an innovative way of getting out of trouble, especially if you are surrounded.


Lvl 10 Utility: Martial Freedom gets a nice upgrade here.



Mercenary:

text
Good for Wardens, Fighters, Strikers, and Melee leaders.

Lvl 1 Feature: Not as good as Guardian's Counter, but prone still pretty decent. 


Lvl 5 Feature: Intimidate and Streetwise are nice skills to have bonuses for.


Lvl 10 Feature: +1 to all defenses is an awesome feature while bloodied.


Lvl 2 Utility: You have better options for a daily utility.


Lvl 6 Utility: Nice for all you defenders out there, OK otherwise


Lvl 10 Utility: No thanks. Please move on.



Outlaw:

text
Good for Rogues, Thiefs, Slayers, and all who use CA regularily. (Ossassins)

Lvl 1 Feature: Daze is the 3rd best condition in the game, this gives it out as an encounter.


Lvl 5 Feature: Mostly an RP feature.


Lvl 10 Feature: See Mercenary level 5 feature.


Lvl 2 Utility: Very situational, almost Red.


Lvl 6 Utility: Concealment is nice, but you need the requisite terrain to get it here.


Lvl 10 Utility: This can win you an encounter on turn 1 if you use it right.



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LINK 1
LINK 2 
Karatur 1


Karatur 2



Generic
Themes (D400+)







Student of Evard (D400)

text
Not good for anything

Lvl 1 Feature: Don't hurt yourself (literally) with this.


Lvl 5 Feature: Erhm.. No.


Lvl 10 Feature: +1 to hit in the first round of combat doesn't make this worth it.


Lvl 2 Utility: Crap. Do not take.


Lvl 6 Utility: This is about the only redemming thing about this theme.


Lvl 10 Utility: Nope. Not for a Healing Surge.



Gloomwrought Emissary
(D400)

text
Good for Rogues and anyone who uses the Shadow power source.

Lvl 1 Feature:
Weakened is quite good, especially if you are squishy in melee (like most shadow users) Add Rattling powers to neuter monster effectiveness even more.


Lvl 5 Feature: Skill bonuses. Move on.


Lvl 10 Feature: More skill bonuses. Rerolls though.


Lvl 2 Utility: Not as good as other utilities out there.


Lvl 6 Utility: Now, this is great. Insubstantial and fly in one Encounter power FTW.


Lvl 10 Utility: No. Please don't take this.


Fatedancer Since Charop doesn't use Fate Cards, I won't even deign to rate this one.


Iron Wolf Warrior

text
Good on Fighers, Barbarians, Rangers, and Primal Characters.

Lvl 1 Feature: This works amazing on chargers, which is who this theme was made to work with.


Lvl 5 Feature: Perception bonus keeps this from purple.


Lvl 10 Feature: Great for everyone, except for Minotaurs, who get this as a racial.


Lvl 2 Utility: Umm. Not as a daily.


Lvl 6 Utility: +to Hit on next attack and shift is good for both Defenders and Strikers.


Lvl 10 Utility: This is a lot of THP, and you get an attack bonus until they are all gone.It scales well also.


Lvl 3/13/23 Attack: The secondary attack does most of the damage and should have CA if you hit with the first attack. 


Lvl 7/17/27 Attack: You can't attack the same guy twice, like the earlier one. No thanks.



Hordelands Nomad

Show
A theme that gives mount related stuff without a mount is crap. The +1 to all saves at level 10 just keeps this out of Red

Lvl 1 Feature: Free mounted Combat feat, no mount. How did this get designed.


Lvl 5 Feature: Situational skills, yada yada.


Lvl 10 Feature: +1 to saves across the board? Where do I go to sign up?


Lvl 2 Utility: Move ignoring difficult terrain. Not bad.


Lvl 6 Utility: Meh, again NO MOUNT!


Lvl 10 Utility: Hmm, after the last utility this one seems outshined.


Lvl 3/13/23 Attack: No Action extra damage on ranged attacks, and thunder/lightning is not resisted much. This isn't half bad.


Sohei

Show
It has a free minor action attack. Need I say more?

Lvl 1 Feature: Minor Action Attacks. Me likesies.


Lvl 5 Feature: Percepion and Insight are the two greatest skills in the game.


Lvl 10 Feature: Shame that the save bonus is not for everything, but fear and daze/stun/dominate are good to resist.


Lvl 2 Utility: OK, not as good as some defense powers though (cough Shield cough)


Lvl 6 Utility: Again, nothing to get excited over yet not half bad.


Lvl 10 Utility: Hmm, for a daily I might not take this.


Lvl 3/13/23 Attack: Subpar. I wish that this great theme didn't end this way.


Samurai

Show
I actually don't like this one very much. Shame, it had so much potential. Even martial characters can find much better.

Lvl 1 Feature: Nice first turn boost, but not very flexible.


Lvl 5 Feature: Skills, move on.


Lvl 10 Feature: Piddly extra damage on a crit, this can do better.


Lvl 2 Utility: Uhm, this as a daily? Spare me.


Lvl 6 Utility: Fighters Like this, most others don't.


Lvl 10 Utility: Ohh, this is a nice power that also scales well. It's really too bad that it is in such a subpar theme.


Yakuza

Show
This one is unfortunately also subpar. Even their targets (Rogues) don't like this.

Lvl 1 Feature: This one is too situational to be good.

Lvl 5 Feature: Uhh, this one is also situational.


Lvl 10 Feature: Skills, move on.


Lvl 2 Utility: Improved Elven Accuracy, quite good.


Lvl 6 Utility: OK, but nothing to write home over.


Lvl 10 Utility: Until EoE, you gain defense bonuses and CA against enemies. Not bad.



Wild Hunt Rider

Show
Horrible theme, has very few redeeming qualities. Why did Wizards give us a wild hunt theme without a mount?

Lvl 1 Feature: Yech, this is not a good first impression.


Lvl 5 Feature: Free ritual, nice.


Lvl 10 Feature: +2 bonus to certain saves, one good thing about this theme.


Lvl 2 Utility: Sure, mobility, but this one is mediocre. CA though, so it is better then others.


Lvl 6 Utility: Uhh, please avoid this one.


Lvl 10 Utility: Nice, gives a good power for the defender out there.


Oracle of the Evil Eye

Show
Yikes. This theme is for those of you who want to play like a formorian, Unfortunately, it doesn't pan out and this is another subpar theme. Has some nice utilities though. Good for those of you that get lowlight vision to start.

Lvl 1 Feature: This is the crappiest attempt at a striker feature I have ever seen. I know it is a theme, but you could still make the evil eye meaningful.


Lvl 5 Feature: Skills, Bluff and Intimidate to be specific.


Lvl 10 Feature: This is the only reason to take this theme, it gives you LL vision, or, even better, Darkvision for those with LL vision from their race to begin with.


Lvl 2 Utility: Not bad, see invisible at level 2 is definitely not common.


Lvl 6 Utility: Meh, could be better but I'm not complaining.


Lvl 10 Utility: Nah, you probably have better options by now.



Fey Beast Tamer

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This is a pretty good theme that totally obsoletes Animal Master. Any character can make use of this extra friend, the only question is if another theme (Guardian, Mercenary, Hospitiler, or Outlaw) is better.

Lvl 1 Feature: This is the keystone of this theme, get a free companion that can do combat. Guide for all the different companions will come later.


Lvl 5 Feature: CA against guys in your buddy's aura? Sign me up!


Lvl 10 Feature: Pretty good, but RP/fluff feature.


Lvl 2 Utility: OK, but nothing stellar here. Free healing though deserves at least a black rating.


Lvl 6 Utility: Don't take this, it eats your move actions.


Lvl 10 Utility: The use of this one is dependant on your type of companion, but overall is not very good.



Sidhe Lord

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This would be awesome, except it is underpowered compared to the Fey Beast Tamer. Still blue though due to the lvl 2 utility.

Lvl 1 Feature: Why take this when you can have the FBT companion instead?


Lvl 5 Feature: RP only feature


Lvl 10 Feature: OK, but better than the skill bonus you expect here.


Lvl 2 Utility: Gives your ally an AP use and gives you an additional AP as an encounter? Get me on this!


Lvl 6 Utility: Sure, buttloads of THP as an encounter sounds good to me.


Lvl 10 Utility: Nah, after the other utilities you can pass this one up.


Unseelie Agent

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This one is a bummer as it gives you a subpar magic item as your primary weapon. Take one of the awesome HotF themes instead.

Lvl 1 Feature: Don't be fooled by this, it is only really useful at level 1 before you have a real magic item, after that you can do better.


Lvl 5 Feature: RP feature


Lvl 10 Feature: Roll twice for intimidate, not bad.


Lvl 2 Utility: Darkvision as an encounter is not a bad deal at this level.


Lvl 6 Utility: Nope.


Lvl 10 Utility: RP utility, please don't take this if you are reading this forum.


Lvl 3 Attack: OK, but it requires your special (and subpar) weapon to use.


Lvl 5 Attack: This is a daily, you can do much better here.



Tuathan

Show
this is a thoroughly poor theme with few redeeming features. I would not recommend this one for anyone.

Lvl 1 Feature: Not very good start feature, but it gives skills. Take the Continue the Story feature.


Lvl 5 Feature: Again, a subpar feature. Take either one, it will not matter too much.


Lvl 10 Feature: This is again a not very good feature. Take the Heroic Recovery option to suck only slightly less.


Lvl 2 Utility: Sorta like the Seer feature, except it's not free. Pass this up.


Lvl 2 Utility: Noncombat power, with mostly RP purposes.


Lvl 6 Utility: RP power.


Lvl 6 Utility: Daily mark that requires a sustain is not a good deal


Lvl 10 Utility: This is the only good utility here, and it is quite good. Makes the creature attack someone other than you as an encounter, I'd take this.


Lvl 10 Utility: Not bad, not bad.



It's not a matter of Right vs. Left, it's a matter of right vs. wrong My Charop Works Who Am I Really? The Theme Handbook I'm an
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NWCS/Forgotten Realms
Themes





Devil's Pawn

text
Gold for Infernal warlocks, and good for Wizards, Archer Rangers, and other ranged strikers.

Lvl 1 Feature: Close burst minion popper, and a penalty to defenses and attack rolls for nonminions is a great power.


Lvl 5 Feature: No, Pass.


Lvl 10 Feature: Fire resist is one of the best resistances out there, and this gives you 10 of it. Take it.


Lvl 2 Utility: Might be black for Hellocks.


Lvl 6 Utility: Nope. Infernal warlocks might use this though.


Lvl 10 Utility: Now, this is pretty good. Flying allows you to avoid many attackers, and somewhat mitigates the loss of Healing Surge spending. Infernal Locks like this even more.


Oghma's Faithful

text
Mostly noncombat features. One great Utility power though.

Lvl 1 Feature: Not an attack power. Useful Out of Combat though.

Lvl 5 Feature: Reroll any skill 1/enc could do worse.


Lvl 10 Feature: Too situational for good use.


Lvl 2 Utility: Depends on your Insight and Initiative.

Lvl 6 Utility: Automatically negates an attack, and gives out save penalties. Take the theme for this.


Lvl 10 Utility: Might be good, but take a look at the above utility.


Spellscarred Harbinger

text
Great for almost anyone, as it has great versatility. Also has some nice Utilities.

Lvl 1 Feature: Take the invisibility and it's good. Otherwise it is OK.


Lvl 5 Feature: Dazing for self-damage is not good. Don't use this.


Lvl 10 Feature: Well, if you took Invisibility at level 1 you should take the teleport. You won't use it often though.


Lvl 2 Utility: A good utility power at this level? That is a shock.


Lvl 6 Utility: Redirect an attack to an adjacent enemy? TAKE IT, TAKE IT.


Lvl 10 Utility: Not as good as Mnemonic Enhancer. I will not rate this Gold ;)



Heir of Delzoun


Show
You get no free power. The free healing surge is the only thing that keeps this from Red

Lvl 1 Feature: No Power, No sale. A crappy feature at that.


Lvl 5 Feature: Well, an additional healing surge is OK, but why are you taking this theme anyway?


Lvl 10 Feature: Situational skill bonus is below average, even for this.


Lvl 2 Utility: Please don't take this.


Lvl 6 Utility: You would have to be stupid to sacrifice a healing surge for negating forced movement.


Lvl 10 Utility: I'm starting to wonder if this theme even deserves purple.


Ilyanbruen Guardian


Show
This one isn't half bad. The fey step for an ally can be a lifesaver, and this goes well with either defenders or wizards.

Lvl 1 Feature: Teleport my AND my ally 5? Sounds good for heroic.


Lvl 5 Feature: Skills, yada yada, move on.


Lvl 10 Feature: Fey Step as a minor is great throughout your career.


Lvl 2 Utility: Mini fey step as an encounter, passes muster.


Lvl 6 Utility: Well, there are better dailies at this level for you, wizard.


Lvl 10 Utility: I'd be tempted for this. It's a good choice. You know you want it.


Dead Rat Deserter


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Well, being able to polymorph at-will from rat to human and vice versa is nice, but not in combat. The Level 2 and 10 utilities are worth looking at.

Lvl 1 Feature: Nice fluff and RP, but not useful in combat or Skill challenges for the most part.


Lvl 5 Feature: Skills, no surprise. Stealth and Bluff if you're wondering.


Lvl 10 Feature: Power's OK at first but scales absolutely horribly.


Lvl 2 Utility: If you're a rogue or avenger, this is Better.


Lvl 6 Utility: I'll pass on this one.


Lvl 10 Utility: This can get you perfect position at the start of the encounter.


Neverwinter Noble


Show
This is a great 'leadery' theme. All of it's powers have the martial keyword, another boon. This is best for melee leaders and defenders.

Lvl 1 Feature: This gives a 1/enc defense bonus and scaling THP, a great addition to any leader.


Lvl 5 Feature: There's a feat that gives this same benefit, so this saves a feat for melee.


Lvl 10 Feature: Skills with fluff, big whoop.


Lvl 2 Utility: Small defender aura, might be useful.


Lvl 6 Utility: essentially the Guardian feature without the basic attack.


Lvl 10 Utility: Ich, why did this great theme include this?


Scion of Shadow


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This one's usefulness is entirely dependant on the setting of your campaign, so that's why it gets the dual rating.

Lvl 1 Feature: Blindsight for a single turn as a daily, no thanks.


Lvl 5 Feature: More surge value in dim light or darkness, assassins would like this a lot, although anyone can use it.


Lvl 10 Feature: Guess what goes here.


Lvl 2 Utility: Assassins again love this one.


Lvl 6 Utility: Very nice encounter, CA candy and concealment is a great buff.


Lvl 10 Utility: Subpar. I wish that this were less situational.



Uthgardt Barbarian


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This could have been so much better, but almost everything is focused towards skills.

Lvl 1 Feature: This is the only redeeming feature in this theme, It disallows OA against you. (Chargers  look here)


Lvl 5 Feature: Situational skill bonuses, meh.


Lvl 10 Feature: More skills? Please.


Lvl 2 Utility: No. Don't take this.


Lvl 6 Utility: See above.


Lvl 10 Utility: Bit better than the other offerings in this theme, but still not too good.


Renegade Red Wizard


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This theme is set up differently than the others, and isn't half bad at that. Requires Mage though.

Lvl 1 Feature: Illusionists look here, not much for others.


Lvl 4 Feature: Trade the second specialty for OoI Lite, the best Wizard feature? I'd say yes.


Lvl 5 Feature: Spellbook stuff. Don't know quite how to rate this.


Lvl 8 Feature: No. Trust me.


Lvl 10 Feature: Again, fluff.


Bregan D'earthe Spy

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You get to fly around in Heroic and negate the bonus to hit you from CA. This is a theme to kill for.

Lvl 1 Feature: Any flying power at level 1 is something to take.


Lvl 5 Feature: Take your great power from level 1 and make it last till EoE 1/day. This sounds like a terrific idea.


Lvl 10 Feature: Negate bonus to hit you from CA, not to be ignored.


Lvl 2 Utility: Man, after all that goodness, this standard utility seems weak.


Lvl 6 Utility: This could see some use by Rouges and TWF Rangers.


Lvl 10 Utility: If you want this theme to shine, don't take this power.



Link to Articles


Son of Alagondar (D402)

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This theme is pretty good, giving Daze with CA, for any CA class. They have lots of options, but this just might top them all.

Lvl 1 Feature: Daze on a hit with CA and an extra +1 to hit? Sign me up!


Lvl 5 Feature: Guess what I'm going to say here. No prizes for guessing skills.\


Lvl 10 Feature: Small boon when first bloodied, Useless if you are a half-orc.


Lvl 2 Utility: I can say this from actual play, this power could have been a lifesaver.


Lvl 6 Utility: Pretty situational, if you are a striker you don't normally want this one.


Lvl 10 Utility: You aren't the defender, so don't take more hits than you need to.


Seeker of Illefarn (D402)

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Please, this theme is not good. Completely underwhelmed me and should do the same to you.

Lvl 1 Feature: Uhh, this for a level 1 feature is NOT GOOD.


Lvl 5 Feature: Well, at least it's perception you are getting.


Lvl 10 Feature: About the only redeeming feature of this theme really.


Lvl 2 Utility: Party mobility as a daily at this level could merit a second look.


Lvl 6 Utility: EonT bonus on perception (meh) and ranged attacks (now we're talking).


Lvl 10 Utility: Avoiding OA from moving is OK, but nothing special.



Sarifal Feywarden

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Man, D405 was really a repository for crappy or subpar themes, and this one continues the trend. Wouldn't really recommend except for some Sorcs or Blaster Wizards *looks at the Pyromancer*

Lvl 1 Feature: If you are a Pryomancer Mage or a Genasi blaster you will like this. Otherwise avoid.


Lvl 5 Feature: Better than the normal skill feature, as it gives a ritual.


Lvl 10 Feature: A paltry defense bonus at this level is underpowered.


Lvl 2 Utility: Uhh, nope. Do not be tempted by the fancy summon, it sucks.


Lvl 6 Utility: Now, this is a nice feature for a defender. Too bad that blaster wizards and just wizards in general want to get hit as LITTLE as possible.


Lvl 10 Utility: Now, you get access 4 different utility options. Take Blur. It's the best of your options for almost everyone



Callidyrr Dragoon

Show
Another theme for mounted people without giving you a free mount. When will Wizards learn that this is a BAD idea?

Lvl 1 Feature: Mounted Combat without a mount, Why Wizards, why?


Lvl 5 Feature: Skills, no big deal here.


Lvl 10 Feature: Nope. This is not good at all.


Lvl 2 Utility: Not bad for a defender. However, you defenders should be taking Guardian.


Lvl 6 Utility: No. Maybe at level 2, but not now.


Lvl 10 Utility: Again, a fancy summon power with no real use.


   


 NOTE: For some reason the Harper's Agent theme STILL isn't showing correctly on my OCB, so I can't rate it yet. I'm going to complain to Wizards about this.





It's not a matter of Right vs. Left, it's a matter of right vs. wrong My Charop Works Who Am I Really? The Theme Handbook I'm an
D&D Home Page - What Class Are You? - Build A Character - D&D Compendium

Book of Vile Darkness Themes


 


NOTE: These themes are all 'evil' themes and are therefore illegal in LFR sanctioned play. They will also probably raise the eyes of many Dms, so be prepared with a very good story if you want to play one of these.


Show

Cultist(BoVD)
Show
A theme for the chancey, this can give you good results or great failures. A half decent theme though overall.

Lvl 1 Feature: Hit and gain damage and THP, or miss and get deafened and grant CA. So-so.


Lvl 5 Feature: Bonus to NADs while bloodied, not bad.


Lvl 10 Feature: Skills, skills, wait what? Penalty to hit you during Round 1? Sign me up please!


Lvl 2 Utility: No, this does not do more damage than it deals to you.


Lvl 6 Utility: Well, two of these benefits are crap, but +1 to attacks until EoE is nice.


Lvl 10 Utility: No. Avoid.


Disgraced Noble(BoVD)

Show
This theme has a great level 1 feature, but the rest is kinda lackluster.

Lvl 1 Feature: It doesn't scale as well as I'd like, but it is a better version of the Mercenary's feature. The MBA after all happens AFTER the target is proned.


Lvl 5 Feature: Skills, move along here.


Lvl 10 Feature: This is one of the major theme faux pas, making two skills features. The save bonus is OK though.


Lvl 2 Utility: This one is far to situational to be of any use.


Lvl 6 Utility: Good to get the attack off of you and onto the defender, and gives out CA for both of you. Not bad.


Lvl 10 Utility: No, don't take this one.


Infernal Slave(BoVD)

Show
This is a totally horrible theme with no redeeming qualities whatsoever, do not take this.

Lvl 1 Feature: The power is useless, but you get a flat +1 to hit with fire attacks, pretty niche but useful for some. *looks at Tiefling Hellocks* 


Lvl 5 Feature: No, I don't want my NADs to be sinusoidal.


Lvl 10 Feature: Nothing beneficial here at all.


Lvl 2 Utility: Nope.


Lvl 6 Utility: Still nope.


Lvl 10 Utility: This is the only thing that might have been half useful, but there are better encounter rechargers by this point.


Reaver(BoVD)

Show
You know, as long as you pay attention to avoid killing your allies, this theme is pretty good for a melee striker.

Lvl 1 Feature: It is an ally-unfriendly burst with no miss chance, so long as you use this wisely you'll be fine.


Lvl 5 Feature: This is where the gravy starts, get an attack bonus every time you drop an enemy. Nice.


Lvl 10 Feature: Free THP, yay.


Lvl 2 Utility: This is an ENORMOUS shift for a level 2 encounter.


Lvl 6 Utility: Unless you use a reach weapon this one is good.


Lvl 10 Utility: Me likesies the ability to avoid annoying conditions (daze, stun, dominate)


Vile Scholar(BoVD)

Show
Rather average ranged theme that hurts your allies. Wouldn't choose it personally but it's okay. BTW it has the Shadow keyword for it's attack.

Lvl 1 Feature: Skills, a language, and a good control power, what's not to like?


Lvl 5 Feature: More skills than usual, but still a skills feature.


Lvl 10 Feature: I personally try not to hit my allies, so I do not like this one.


Lvl 2 Utility: Best if used on a ranged striker, where the slowed won't hurt as much, but gives HUGE bonus to DPR.


Lvl 6 Utility: OK, but there are so many better options that you shouldn't take this.


Lvl 10 Utility: Nah, not at all.


Black-Hearted Knave(D406)

Show
There are good ally-hurting themes, but this isn't one of them.

Lvl 1 Feature: Nice damage, but it hurts your ally too much to be that useful.


Lvl 5 Feature: Subpar skills.


Lvl 10 Feature: Skills again? You've got to be kidding me.


Lvl 2 Utility: There are better shifts at this level, move on.


Lvl 6 Utility: This is about the only part of this theme that might be considered 'useful'.


Lvl 10 Utility: And we had Shield what, 8 levels ago? Pass on this.


Infernal Prince(D406)

Show
A completely average theme almost, this is neither good or bad for the most part.

Lvl 1 Feature: The extra no-attack damage is great, but this is an encounter.


Lvl 5 Feature: Skills, of the bonus and reroll flavor.


Lvl 10 Feature: Regain your encounter with a bonus against bloodied enemies. Mediocre.


Lvl 2 Utility: This is situational for all but leaders, and they want MORE healing, not less, so anyhow avoid this,

Lvl 6 Utility: The usefulness of this is entirely dependant on your bluff score and what you are fighting, so this can be either good or bad.


Lvl 10 Utility: Uhh, I would not take this as a daily.





It's not a matter of Right vs. Left, it's a matter of right vs. wrong My Charop Works Who Am I Really? The Theme Handbook I'm an
D&D Home Page - What Class Are You? - Build A Character - D&D Compendium
Reserved for Future Campaign setting
It's not a matter of Right vs. Left, it's a matter of right vs. wrong My Charop Works Who Am I Really? The Theme Handbook I'm an
D&D Home Page - What Class Are You? - Build A Character - D&D Compendium
OK Everyone, Post away!
It's not a matter of Right vs. Left, it's a matter of right vs. wrong My Charop Works Who Am I Really? The Theme Handbook I'm an
D&D Home Page - What Class Are You? - Build A Character - D&D Compendium

I'm confused, isn't there one of these already?

I believe that one isn't being updated anymore, hence the new one.

I'm confused, isn't there one of these already?




There is, but it's incomplete and the author hasn't update in a couple of months.  Is612 links to it in the first post, referring you there for Dark Sun themes.

I was actually starting a theme guide too.  Fortunately, I started with Dark Sun themes, which this guide doesn't look like it will cover; I might finish up my Dark Sun themes and give them a seperate guide so that all themes have something being kept up to date.  I don't know if it's really necessary since Dark Sun themes aren't likely to get changed or added to at this point, though.
Organizing themes by the article they were in is going to run you into problems after a couple more themes come out. Also, not including DS is of little value to a guide on themes.

It'd probably make more sense to organize theme by the types of characters that might be intersted in that theme, like Face, Sneak, Brute, etc. and have a seperate post for DS themes and a seperate one for FR themes, then leave some extra room for more game world specific themes in the future.
Organizing themes by the article they were in is going to run you into problems after a couple more themes come out. Also, not including DS is of little value to a guide on themes.

It'd probably make more sense to organize theme by the types of characters that might be intersted in that theme, like Face, Sneak, Brute, etc. and have a seperate post for DS themes and a seperate one for FR themes, then leave some extra room for more game world specific themes in the future.



If I need more space later on, I'll merge the 4 articles into one post. However, in the short term this makes it easier on me for constructing the handbook. Thanks for the advice though. The Dark Sun themes are different in that they operate by a slightly different ruleset, and can't work on some Essentials Characters. That is why I chose to exclude them. I may add them at the very end if I feel like it though.
It's not a matter of Right vs. Left, it's a matter of right vs. wrong My Charop Works Who Am I Really? The Theme Handbook I'm an
D&D Home Page - What Class Are You? - Build A Character - D&D Compendium
The Dark Sun themes are different in that they operate by a slightly different ruleset, and can't work on some Essentials Characters. That is why I chose to exclude them. I may add them at the very end if I feel like it though.


Is this handbook only intended for eClasses?
The Dark Sun themes are different in that they operate by a slightly different ruleset, and can't work on some Essentials Characters. That is why I chose to exclude them. I may add them at the very end if I feel like it though.


Is this handbook only intended for eClasses?



No, this handbook is intended for both oClasses and eClasses. Dark Sun themes only support one of those. Lord Ventnor had already written about the Dark Sun themes, and it appears that ChaosMage is also writing about them.
It's not a matter of Right vs. Left, it's a matter of right vs. wrong My Charop Works Who Am I Really? The Theme Handbook I'm an
D&D Home Page - What Class Are You? - Build A Character - D&D Compendium
While it may be short sighted i know my group ignores the DS themes because they use different mechanics, and as such are more akin to a quasi background than what Themes have become.  Because they don't follow the same structure we tend to ignore them.
The Dark Sun themes are different in that they operate by a slightly different ruleset, and can't work on some Essentials Characters. That is why I chose to exclude them. I may add them at the very end if I feel like it though.


Is this handbook only intended for eClasses?



No, this handbook is intended for both oClasses and eClasses. Dark Sun themes only support one of those. Lord Ventnor had already written about the Dark Sun themes, and it appears that ChaosMage is also writing about them.



With one notable exception.  That psionic noble theme.  Its 1st level encounter utility power is as useful to an E class as to anybody.  Now with the new stuff it may not be as awesome but at the time that was the theme of choice for an e class.
OK, Heroes of Tome and Temple and Heroes of Nature and Lore are done, I should have the other two Dragon #399 articles' themes finished tomorrow.
It's not a matter of Right vs. Left, it's a matter of right vs. wrong My Charop Works Who Am I Really? The Theme Handbook I'm an
D&D Home Page - What Class Are You? - Build A Character - D&D Compendium
Gunna toss up hospitiliter + unnatrual mantle as a good combo.

I'm also gunna disagree with Scholer 1.  Yes it can backfire, but it's fairly easy to garuntee a success.  And if you don't, then just don't use it, or attack something else.

And i'm gunna suggest links to the articles.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

all i have to say is the harper agent theme rules
It's OK, but there are better ones by far.

Harper Agent is nice and flexible, but it doesn't give you any always-on benefits, and takes up your heroic rare item (which, with mordenkainen coming out, might actually start to mean something) - there are characters with whom I'd take it, but thus far, none of my four LFR characters have.
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 disagree with your rankings on Order Adept's level 6 and 10 utilities. I find Far Reaching to be very useful, although I agree it can be situational. Heck, I used it in one encounter with Mage Hand to get a range 10, which was what I needed at the time. For those that have to deal with runners, getting a little extra reach to tag a runner can really improve your day. I'd personally rate it black or possibly green.

With Mnemonic Enhancer, when would you ever want that over Illusory Wall? Considering you are burning a daily power to get a single encounter power back (and your lowest level at that), this is certainly a blue rating, but hardly gold.

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Scholar's Use Vulnerability is a free action that you can easily guarantee won't turn back on you by 1) knowing the hard DCs - remember you trigger the power _after succeeding on your check_ 2) using it on a monster you could choose to attack or not attack, depending on the result.

So, yeah, I also disagree strongly with your assessment. Even if I am really taking the path for the languages and the free skill training ;)
Keith Richmond Living Forgotten Realms Epic Writing Director
Scholar's Use Vulnerability is a free action that you can easily guarantee won't turn back on you by 1) knowing the hard DCs - remember you trigger the power _after succeeding on your check_ 2) using it on a monster you could choose to attack or not attack, depending on the result.

So, yeah, I also disagree strongly with your assessment. Even if I am really taking the path for the languages and the free skill training ;)


The Vulnerability is great when it works, and I can now see some use for it. However, if you use it against a Solo and fail, then you don't have the option to attack anyone else. I think I'll raise it to purple.

I disagree with your rankings on Order Adept's level 6 and 10 utilities. I find Far Reaching to be very useful, although I agree it can be situational. Heck, I used it in one encounter with Mage Hand to get a range 10, which was what I needed at the time. For those that have to deal with runners, getting a little extra reach to tag a runner can really improve your day. I'd personally rate it black or possibly green.

With Mnemonic Enhancer, when would you ever want that over Illusory Wall? Considering you are burning a daily power to get a single encounter power back (and your lowest level at that), this is certainly a blue rating, but hardly gold.


The reason I gave Mnemonic Enhancer a Gold rating is that most characters, in fact I believe all characters before this theme needed to wait for either late Paragon or Epic to get into the Encounter Power recharge game, and this gives it to you at level 10. It isn't as good as Epic Resurgence or any of that stuff, but at level 10 an encounter recharger is nigh a must-take in my mind
And i'm gunna suggest links to the articles.


Links added
It's not a matter of Right vs. Left, it's a matter of right vs. wrong My Charop Works Who Am I Really? The Theme Handbook I'm an
D&D Home Page - What Class Are You? - Build A Character - D&D Compendium
Couldn't you cast your highest level Encounter Attack power and use Mneomic Enhancer immediately afterward and regain the spell if you haven't used any other Encounter Attack powers that encounter?
Sure, it frontloads you, but you get your highest level Encounter Attack Power twice per encounter once per day as long as you open with that attack?


EDIT: Bad reading on my part.  
The Vulnerability is great when it works, and I can now see some use for it. However, if you use it against a Solo and fail, then you don't have the option to attack anyone else. I think I'll raise it to purple.

First... most solos aren't actually alone, but let's assume it is.

Let's say you're a 13th level scholar with an Arcana of +18, facing a strange dragon (let's say a L15 Adult Mirage Dragon). You know that the Hard DC for nearby levels is...
11: 27
12: 28
13: 29
14: 29
15: 30
16: 31
17: 31
18: 32

That leaves only a couple of numbers at which you might guess wrong - did you roll a 26 or less? Don't use the power. Did you roll a 31 or higher? Go for it. Somewhere in the middle, make an educated guess based on the DM.

+4 defenses and +Int damage for a round is pretty hot stuff. Even more so on a solo. It's not a _great_ chance of getting it, but I wouldn't consider it likely to be a penalty if you think about it.

And if you're the type going for Sage of Ages, your chance is a _lot_ higher. I've seen people who can't fail Hard Arcana checks, or only have like a 1% chance (10% chance with a reroll) 
Keith Richmond Living Forgotten Realms Epic Writing Director

The Vulnerability is great when it works, and I can now see some use for it. However, if you use it against a Solo and fail, then you don't have the option to attack anyone else. I think I'll raise it to purple.



I have to disagree with you pretty strongly hear. It's a great feature on any wizard, especially a blaster. For high Int/Wis characters I think it should be blue.  I've used it on my Tiefling Pyromancer to great effect.

How often do you face solos? Those encounters are pretty uncommon and I don't think they justify downgrading this power.

I also disagree with your ranking of the Order Adept level 10 features. A bonus to a NAD is very, very strong for any character. The skill bonus is icing on top, especially for a Sage of Ages build.
Couldn't you cast your highest level Encounter Attack power and use Mneomic Enhancer immediately afterward and regain the spell if you haven't used any other Encounter Attack powers that encounter?
Sure, it frontloads you, but you get your highest level Encounter Attack Power twice per encounter once per day as long as you open with that attack?



"Requirement: You must have expended all your arcane encounter attack powers."

The best thing you can do with this is have powerswapped for one really good arcane encounter attack.


Jeez, I can't believe I missed that.  Comment retracted.
Couldn't you cast your highest level Encounter Attack power and use Mneomic Enhancer immediately afterward and regain the spell if you haven't used any other Encounter Attack powers that encounter?
Sure, it frontloads you, but you get your highest level Encounter Attack Power twice per encounter once per day as long as you open with that attack?



"Requirement: You must have expended all your arcane encounter attack powers."

The best thing you can do with this is have powerswapped for one really good arcane encounter attack.

Or hybrid.

Easy enough to have be a something|wizard with mass charm or something.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

Scholar's level 10 is very, very good with Traveler's Insight.
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Scholar's level 10 is very, very good with Traveler's Insight.


One feat for +10 to Insight?  Yes please!
Scholar's level 10 is very, very good with Traveler's Insight.

One feat for +10 to Insight?  Yes please!

Unfortunatly, i don't see much insight can do, besides counter illusions/bluff checks.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

Scholar's Use Vulnerability is a free action that you can easily guarantee won't turn back on you by 1) knowing the hard DCs - remember you trigger the power _after succeeding on your check_ 2) using it on a monster you could choose to attack or not attack, depending on the result.


You may trigger the power after rolling and succeeding on the check, but you don't know whether you've made the hard DC yet or not. You don't really know the DC's. Monster knowledge checks are based on the level of the monster and since you don't know the level of the monster when you are rolling ... (Okay, as a DM and as a player, I've never had a DM tell me the level of the monster I was rolling my check on, so I am admittedly using personal experience here. But, I have a hard time imagining many DMs saying, "Okay, roll Nature against this level 13 guy. Okay, now roll Arcana against this level 11 monster..." 

 
Scholar's level 10 is very, very good with Traveler's Insight.

One feat for +10 to Insight?  Yes please!

Unfortunatly, i don't see much insight can do, besides counter illusions/bluff checks.



Insight is also one of the most common secondaries in many skill challenges.
It's not a matter of Right vs. Left, it's a matter of right vs. wrong My Charop Works Who Am I Really? The Theme Handbook I'm an
D&D Home Page - What Class Are You? - Build A Character - D&D Compendium
You may trigger the power after rolling and succeeding on the check, but you don't know whether you've made the hard DC yet or not. You don't really know the DC's. Monster knowledge checks are based on the level of the monster and since you don't know the level of the monster when you are rolling ... (Okay, as a DM and as a player, I've never had a DM tell me the level of the monster I was rolling my check on, so I am admittedly using personal experience here. But, I have a hard time imagining many DMs saying, "Okay, roll Nature against this level 13 guy. Okay, now roll Arcana against this level 11 monster..."  

Note the plural "DCs" there, and the example in my later post where you know the DCs within -2 to +5 of your own so can make an intelligent decision.

People playing scholars, in particular, should be prepared to analyze results. Let's say the example level 13 scholar is fighting against 3 different monster types, and decides if he rolls a die value of 13 or higher (which makes the Hard check for any monster within 5 levels) he'll use the power then. So he has an almost 80% chance to succeed at using the power on one of the three types.

And most of the time he'll need less than a 13 on the die... or at least can gamble as such (perhaps assuming within 2 levels instead of 5) and if he fails the check, attack one of the other types.
Keith Richmond Living Forgotten Realms Epic Writing Director
You may trigger the power after rolling and succeeding on the check, but you don't know whether you've made the hard DC yet or not. You don't really know the DC's. Monster knowledge checks are based on the level of the monster and since you don't know the level of the monster when you are rolling ... (Okay, as a DM and as a player, I've never had a DM tell me the level of the monster I was rolling my check on, so I am admittedly using personal experience here. But, I have a hard time imagining many DMs saying, "Okay, roll Nature against this level 13 guy. Okay, now roll Arcana against this level 11 monster..."  

Note the plural "DCs" there, and the example in my later post where you know the DCs within -2 to +5 of your own so can make an intelligent decision.

People playing scholars, in particular, should be prepared to analyze results. Let's say the example level 13 scholar is fighting against 3 different monster types, and decides if he rolls a die value of 13 or higher (which makes the Hard check for any monster within 5 levels) he'll use the power then. So he has an almost 80% chance to succeed at using the power on one of the three types.

And most of the time he'll need less than a 13 on the die... or at least can gamble as such (perhaps assuming within 2 levels instead of 5) and if he fails the check, attack one of the other types.




As both a Player and a DM, I have tried to metagame, and have seen my players try to metagame, to disasterous effects. I have thrown a Solo (post MV) at them that was three levels higher then they were, and they wiped the floor with him due to good rolls. They then said that I needed to chalenge them more lol. I don't especially like the idea that to use a power effectively you have to metagame a guess. Hence it is purple.
It's not a matter of Right vs. Left, it's a matter of right vs. wrong My Charop Works Who Am I Really? The Theme Handbook I'm an
D&D Home Page - What Class Are You? - Build A Character - D&D Compendium
Another reason Mnemonic Enhancer isn't gold:

This is a guide on themes, not character classes. There will be plenty of builds out there that take Order Adept and aren't wizards...or even arcane (Psion, etc.). How you can rate a power gold when it is almost worthless to a Psion is beyond me... 
Another reason Mnemonic Enhancer isn't gold:

This is a guide on themes, not character classes. There will be plenty of builds out there that take Order Adept and aren't wizards...or even arcane (Psion, etc.). How you can rate a power gold when it is almost worthless to a Psion is beyond me... 



I probably should say this more explictly, but this guide is written based on the assumption that you are using the Theme with the class/race/build that works best with them (see the 'what this works best with' entries in the handbook). That said, I now agree that they are good but not mandatory that the gold rating implies. I will reduce it to blue.
It's not a matter of Right vs. Left, it's a matter of right vs. wrong My Charop Works Who Am I Really? The Theme Handbook I'm an
D&D Home Page - What Class Are You? - Build A Character - D&D Compendium
Organizing themes by the article they were in is going to run you into problems after a couple more themes come out. Also, not including DS is of little value to a guide on themes.

It'd probably make more sense to organize theme by the types of characters that might be intersted in that theme, like Face, Sneak, Brute, etc. and have a seperate post for DS themes and a seperate one for FR themes, then leave some extra room for more game world specific themes in the future.



If I need more space later on, I'll merge the 4 articles into one post. However, in the short term this makes it easier on me for constructing the handbook. Thanks for the advice though. The Dark Sun themes are different in that they operate by a slightly different ruleset, and can't work on some Essentials Characters. That is why I chose to exclude them. I may add them at the very end if I feel like it though.




Isn't there one non-dark sun theme that also gives the option of choosing encounter attack powers?
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