Character Design Problems: PLEASE HELP!

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I started a similar thread a LOOOONG time ago, but I sadly disappeared off of the face of the earth. That, and it's just not cool to res dead threads, so I'll begin a new one.

Some friends of mine are starting up a 4th edition campaign based on characters we used to field years ago in 3rd edition. Our characters were very story-driven, but we also enjoyed the competitiveness of optimizing them within the confines of their background.

My character was 23rd level, and he was a 1/2 Angel in the Forgotten Realms campaign. A little explanation:

He was the orphaned child of a fallen angel and a teenage woman (picture the Biblical account of the Nephilim, Ephraim, Zuzim, hauntings, etc., in the Antediluvian, and post-Flood eras), from an unknown location. His mother escaped before the Fallen Angel guily of the inception could find them, and she left the child on the doorstep of an unusual monestary. In short, he was raised in a strictly "good" environment. Once he was deemed old enough to fully understand his origins, and he had completed his monastic (monk) training, he set out into the world in search of more of these disenfranchised spirits that he may deliver upon them the judgment they deserve. He ultimately hopes to abolish the fallen angel who fathered him, while finding and saving his mother...wherever she is.

Some notes:
-commonly fights many opponents at once, though he doesn't fight unless he has to
-picture Jackie Chan in The Legend of Drunken Master, or Keanu Reeves as Neo from The Matrix trilogy; he can take on armies
-he is wholly devoted to good, despite his ancestry; some wonder if his sire makes him susceptible to corruption, however
-he carries a sword, much like a Dao, or Chinese broadsword, which lights aflame immediately prior to delivering the judgment, or "death blow" upon evil gribblies

PROBLEM #1: As far as I know, there's no longer a Book of Exalted Deeds, or other such sources (such as the Monstrous Manuals from the prior edition) to adequately build angelic characters. A Deva seems to be the closest thing, but it doesn't mesh all that well with the Monk class, and it also seems to focus on reincarnation. That's not a theme befitting of this character, or his beliefs. We are further limited, per the DM's request, to sources only within the D&D Character Builder.

PROBLEM #2: Monks typically aren't demon hunters, or vassals for the Heavens, but this part of his back story absolutely has to stay in-tact. Would Avenger be worth taking as a hybrid to help bring this together? He doesn't act as a Defender or a Leader, really, so I ruled Paladin out.

Could anyone offer suggestions or sample builds? I don't know 4th edition that well (yet), so any help would be appreciated. I thought about a Hybrid Monk/Avenger, but again, I'm not too familiar with the rules at this point. I've played some low level adventures, but this is a different monster.

In summary, I'd like to know how to optimize a character based on this ridiculous grocery list of requirements and restrictions, without altering who he is and how he got here. I know he won't be a truly optimized character while trying to fit into this mold, but I'd like to be able to make the most of what he does have. He also must kick ass when he appears in the middle of a hundred bad guys. Wink

Thanks in advance for your help!
This is the best piece of advice anyone in this thread will give you:

Not every part of your character's background and personality must be represented mechanically, and not every part of your character's mechanics must represent an aspect of his background or personality.
Yeah, fluff or flavor is mutable, the guy that you describe sounds like a Deva Avenger to me, demon hunter and all but they prefer isolating their targets. Monk, on the other hand, are pretty durable and like to go into the fray fighting multiple foes.
Deva is great for retribution avenger. Could take that with favored soul paragon path.
Hybrid Monk/Avenger is workable but monk goes against many and avenger focus on one at a time.
Deva monk is workable and there is a paragon path to get a sword - soaring blade. But deva works best with radiant and as it's FR you could multiclass into a divine class and take Morninglord path.
Think there's a few divine multiclasses where you grow angel-type wings. Avenger favored soul is one.
Hybrid avenger invoker is workable too to get some area attacks.
First thing first, as others said, do you want to match solely with your background or do you want to combine with some of the previous mechanical elements as well?  For example, you mention that he grew up in a monastery.  In the previous incarnation of the character, was he actually a monk?  Did he use unarmed attacks or his sword, or both?

Fluff is easy to change.  He sounds like a deva paladin to me.  You said he takes on multiple enemies at the same time, that is what some defenders do, specifically paladins.
Longsword proficiency, check. 
Defender level AC and surges(for taking on multiple enemies), check.
Mass sanction powers( to get those enemies to fight you), check.

Wear plate and use a shield, refluff both as part of his heritage.

Other options include, avenger(if you must have light/no armor), ironsoul monk(uses weapons has con as a secondary stat), brawler fighter(weapon in one hand, other hand free).

Racially, if you didn't like deva, you could play up the fallen part of angel, and make a tiefling, with deva heritage.  You could go totally off the wall, and make a him a minotaur, with lots of refluffing, turning goring charge and ferocity into a flying kick and a parry/counterattack.

I'm loving some of the advice so far! To answer a few questions to help the build along:

-Yes, he was actually a monk before, and he often switched between unarmed attacks and his sword.
-He didn't wear armor.
-Much of his fluff is so very established, especially since the party in question was there as it developed.

That said, I like the sound(s) of some of the Avenger abilities, though that would be a radical departure. The Tiefling/Deva Heritage concept is very interesting, if a bit dramatic; though I suspect I might need a way to reverse that. It was as he matured that he discovered his angelic heritage, but he was genetically corrupt from birth. I'll have to play with that and see what I come up with.

I have noticed that everyone is suggesting that the fluff and game mechanics don't necessarily have to match up, but I guess I felt as though that was one major advantage to 3rd edition. There was often a lot more flexibility to create a kick ass character who also had a great story, without needing to find his 'role' in the combat (ie: Defender, Striker, etc.). The game didn't mirror an MMORPG.

Great stuff, guys and gals. Keep sending it to me, and thanks again!
Play a Monk. Use a club, but re-skin it as a sword. Play a Human, and take Angelic Heritage. Take Unarmored Agility.
There was often a lot more flexibility to create a kick ass character who also had a great story, without needing to find his 'role' in the combat



There were a lot more things to be --primarily because creating a new class was a much less involved process-- but there was a drastically smaller percentage of characters that you could claim "kicked ass" with a straight face.

Also, realize you're on the CharOp board here. We typically take questions as less "how do I make a guy who can beat fights without dying?" than "how do I make a guy who would be worth a slot in a party that was all grade-A characters?" If you want to play a Deva Monk who uses his fists and sword, that's fine, and the character will work so long as you're playing with people who made similar decisions, we'll all just be silently grinding our teeth because you'd be 25% more effective if you were an undead Monk|Warlock, or a Thri-kreen Monk that attacked with a dagger and hand crossbow, or etc. etc.



This is a CharOp board, which means I knew I'd find people that understand the mechanics, rules, etc., inside and out. I'm not looking to optimize his ability, mathematically, like so many here. I'm looking to optimize his ability with the tools, history, and design already established. That's still a measure of optimization, as I don't want to play a total dud. This is still a role playing game first, however, not WoW, so I do want him to fit the story surrounding him.

In other words, I'm not entirely concerned with what class/race combo would be most effective. I'm looking for the most effective way to build him as he is. He's angelic, he's been a monk for most of his life, he hates and hunts bad guys who wield pitch forks and red pajamas. So really, it doesn't do me any good to make him an undead Monk/Warlock just because there are mathematically better party-role options there. And I can definitely say, with a straight face, that I played plenty of fluffy characters who kicked ass in previous editions. Classes weren't so horribly restricted by race, and vice versa, as they are now. Character building seems far less involved to me now, simply because there are fewer combinations that work well together, so players are forced into very particular builds.

Just out of curiosity, did I do something to you? I mean, everyone's been pretty helpful thus far, but you keep posting one negative thing after another without any build suggestions. If you absolutely hate the backdrop, role playing, etc., aspects of the game, I understand that. But unfortunately, if that's the case, I feel as though your advice has exceeded it's usefulness to me in this thread and I'd prefer you didn't pollute it any further. Otherwise, I appreciate anything else you can add.

Thanks again everyone!

 I'm not looking to optimize his ability,



Then you're posting in the wrong area.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Just out of curiosity, did I do something to you? I mean, everyone's been pretty helpful thus far, but you keep posting one negative thing after another without any build suggestions. If you absolutely hate the backdrop, role playing, etc., aspects of the game, I understand that. But unfortunately, if that's the case, I feel as though your advice has exceeded it's usefulness to me in this thread and I'd prefer you didn't pollute it any further. Otherwise, I appreciate anything else you can add.

Thanks again everyone!



The problem you're bumping into is that there are two school of optimization thought: The first is "How do I make the best character given ALL the options presented?" and the second is "How do I make the best possible character under these limitations?"

Some folks are of the first school, and the idea of not playing the most optimized character is therefore anathema. Under that style of play, anything other than a twin-striking ranger, boar-riding charge thief, or damage-zone-forced-movement wizard style character (I'm sure there are a few more builds that can past muster, but only a few) is a useless waste of party resources who oughtn't be at the table until they learn how to play. They aren't always as dramatic as that, but the full stop NO can be grating to folks who don't understand why their choices are sub-optimal, or how this can make the game more difficult. No excuse for rudness if deliberate, but simlutaniously, it can be very hard to convey tone in print, so precived slights should be taken with a grain of salt and a deep breath.

You're asking about a type two optimization situation, which is simultaniously easier and harder, because while the restrictions make for less choices overall, squeezing out the optimization to reach the Char Op benchmarks can be a lot more difficult. Sadly, the advice of "Play this character instead because your choices stink" isn't helpful to you, and the person making the statement isn't likely to understand why you don't find this to be an acceptable answer, since you can simply rationalize away more optimal choices and keep most of your fluff.

One isn't necessarily better than the other, and forever will the camps war.

That said, D&D isn't exactly hard, and if you're playing official published adventures, managing to line up a couple stats correctly and can think on your feet, you should be fine. A session or two with your personal group should quickly establish the level of Char Op you need to have fun with them.
A few months ago I joined a short-lived D&D playgroup. When showing my character background to the other players to see if we were all on the same page, one of them, a real nitpicking, rules-lawyering, big-headed **** (later responsible for derailing/collapsing the entire campaign) reads it over and says: "Your character has a wife? Are you stupid? You're just giving something to the DM to use against you." I didn't react outwardly at the time, but gradually, the real impact of what he said, and what that represented, sunk in, and I realized that his criticism embodied entirely everything that is wrong with the Player-DM relationship as it is commonly seen.
Classes are less restictive by race now.

Minotaur wizards and halfling barbarians actually work.

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.

We can help you build a good monk, or a good avenger, but if you ask us to build within suboptimal restrictions that aren't extremely concrete and explicit, and at least moderately interesting, we will be annoyed. This is CharOp, not CharBuilding. Take what you've been given, and don't be offended by people who are annoyed with you.
The way to make a Monk with a heavy blade effective, I think is to start with a Githzerai, and go with Githzerai Blademaster. I don't see anything wrong with refluffing it to an angelic race, I don't know, you could call it Aasimar. Danger Sense -> Angelic Speed, Defended Mind -> Protection of the Divine, Iron Mind -> Holy Sanction, Shifting Fortunes -> Wings of Vigor.

For that holy feel, you can multiclass Invoker to pick up Hand of Radiance and training in Religion. Handily you get to use your bastard sword for your pew pew Hand of Radiance. And it fits for fighting multiple enemies, allowing you to do it at range once an encounter, before you engage in melee for the many multi-target monk powers (or when you're immobilized, can't get to enemies, etc). For theme, pick up Ordained Priest, for Shining Symbol, and an eventual +2 to religion and insight which will both come in handy.

Unfortunately Demons are elementals, and the relevant knowledge skill is Arcana, which you don't have easy access to, and are not naturally talented at. It's painful, but I'd bite the bullet and spend your background option on Apprentice of Sinister Cabal (refluff to: Demon Hunter), and spend one of your skill trainings on Arcana.

For stats, I'd say go with starting 10/12/18/12/18/8. At paragon you'll pick up Zuoken's Centering, so hit points and healing surges won't be an issue. For your Paragon Path, Radiant fist should be fitting (and you'll qualify with the religion training), and it's one of the better monk PP's. Pick up Solar Enemy if you can, for the free channel divinity (you'll need to worship a sun god, which shouldn't be off-track). When able, you'll want to get a radiant bastard sword. At this point the character should feel quite divine.

For powers, the typical Centered Breath Monk powers will be fitting for the Drunken Master archetype. For feats, go with the typical optimization feats, and be sure to add Starblade Flurry at Paragon, both because it's a great feat, and it adds to your concept to fight/engage multiple enemies.

A fitting epic destiny would be Exalted Angel (you also happen to have the divine multiclass feat to qualify for this). It's not the best epic destiny, but at-will flight is nothing to sneeze at. And after level 24, you almost *want* to die once per day.

 I'm not looking to optimize his ability,



Then you're posting in the wrong area.



I notice how you conveniently left out the remainder of my post. Selective snippets always help our arguments, right? I went on to clearly state that I want optimization, while including certain traits and aspects from the character's background fluff. Instead of simply taking the best mathematical build possible, I want the best within a set of guidelines. That is still optimization by definition.

Just out of curiosity, did I do something to you? I mean, everyone's been pretty helpful thus far, but you keep posting one negative thing after another without any build suggestions. If you absolutely hate the backdrop, role playing, etc., aspects of the game, I understand that. But unfortunately, if that's the case, I feel as though your advice has exceeded it's usefulness to me in this thread and I'd prefer you didn't pollute it any further. Otherwise, I appreciate anything else you can add.

Thanks again everyone!



The problem you're bumping into is that there are two school of optimization thought: The first is "How do I make the best character given ALL the options presented?" and the second is "How do I make the best possible character under these limitations?"

Some folks are of the first school, and the idea of not playing the most optimized character is therefore anathema. Under that style of play, anything other than a twin-striking ranger, boar-riding charge thief, or damage-zone-forced-movement wizard style character (I'm sure there are a few more builds that can past muster, but only a few) is a useless waste of party resources who oughtn't be at the table until they learn how to play. They aren't always as dramatic as that, but the full stop NO can be grating to folks who don't understand why their choices are sub-optimal, or how this can make the game more difficult. No excuse for rudness if deliberate, but simlutaniously, it can be very hard to convey tone in print, so precived slights should be taken with a grain of salt and a deep breath.

You're asking about a type two optimization situation, which is simultaniously easier and harder, because while the restrictions make for less choices overall, squeezing out the optimization to reach the Char Op benchmarks can be a lot more difficult. Sadly, the advice of "Play this character instead because your choices stink" isn't helpful to you, and the person making the statement isn't likely to understand why you don't find this to be an acceptable answer, since you can simply rationalize away more optimal choices and keep most of your fluff.

One isn't necessarily better than the other, and forever will the camps war.

That said, D&D isn't exactly hard, and if you're playing official published adventures, managing to line up a couple stats correctly and can think on your feet, you should be fine. A session or two with your personal group should quickly establish the level of Char Op you need to have fun with them.



I agree with you, and I don't think one is better than the other... so I guess I'd prefer it if people (not implying you) would stop telling me otherwise.

Classes are less restictive by race now. Minotaur wizards and halfling barbarians actually work.



But those won't be a part of the "CharOp" builds. What I was suggesting earlier was that it seems as though CharOp, per the majority viewpoints on these boards, only consists of a very limited set of race/class combinations. So while Minotaur Wizards and Halfling Barbarians are available, it's highly unlikely that anyone thinking CharOp will recommend anything beyond the "best" race/class builds that maximize certain aspects of a party. In previous editions, virtually every option was playable and didn't set the party back. It was common to see a party of 5 Clerics or 5 Monks and they could get through a game without dying. Now, you're doomed if every role isn't filled with a character type; but only specific builds of each type are acceptable, apparently.

We can help you build a good monk, or a good avenger, but if you ask us to build within suboptimal restrictions that aren't extremely concrete and explicit, and at least moderately interesting, we will be annoyed. This is CharOp, not CharBuilding. Take what you've been given, and don't be offended by people who are annoyed with you.



Thanks for telling me that I'm not offering anything interesting. I like to think he's a unique character, with a great story (that I didn't feel was necessary to clog up a message board with by typing it all out), and I've presented a very specific set of guidelines. I know this is CharOp, which again, says to me that it's finding ways to optimize a character. Regardless of the race/class/setting, people on here should be willing and able to find ways to optimize said combination. This is CharOp, not "OnlyPlayThisCharacterTypeOrElseYouSuckAsAPlayer."

I have appreciated by what I've been given, but to ask me to not be offended, while simultaneously suggesting that I HAVE to accept that some of you will get annoyed, is a ridiculous double standard to hold on an internet forum. First of all, I wasn't offended, because it's just D&D; but I also don't need to waste my time reading someone's posts about how I'm stupid for even considering playing something a little fluffy. Optimization and fantasy can coexist, after all. And then the same post types keep surfacing from the same board member. Meanwhile, others are trying to help, and welcome the challenge of optimizing a build within a specific set of guidelines.

@Mengu74: That is great stuff! I totally forgot about Aasimar, and I believe we tinkered with that in the last edition before pinning down the rules for Half-Angel in one of the sourcebooks. This could be the ticket; I'll play around on the character builder and see what I can come up with. Thanks for the suggestions!
I don't think a minotaur wizard would do much good in 3.5. Stat penalty means poor spell amount, and poor spell DC's.

In 4e, he can play just fine with the others. Won't be a star, but he can run just fine.

Still, a minotaur wizard is the worst possible wizard. It's kinda anti-char-op.

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.

Thanks for telling me that I'm not offering anything interesting. I like to think he's a unique character, with a great story (that I didn't feel was necessary to clog up a message board with by typing it all out), and I've presented a very specific set of guidelines.

What I said was that if you have a build request with suboptimal restrictions, they have to be extremely concrete and explicit AND a little interesting. I implied that your request one or both of those- it's actually the former. The reason the boundaries of the build you want are unclear is that you didn't give conclusive feedback to the first round of suggestions you received, which varied widely. I still don't know how much reflavoring of mechanics you're willing to do, which is the most pertinent missing piece of information, I think.
I have appreciated by what I've been given, but to ask me to not be offended, while simultaneously suggesting that I HAVE to accept that some of you will get annoyed, is a ridiculous double standard to hold on an internet forum. First of all, I wasn't offended, because it's just D&D; but I also don't need to waste my time reading someone's posts about how I'm stupid for even considering playing something a little fluffy. Optimization and fantasy can coexist, after all. And then the same post types keep surfacing from the same board member. Meanwhile, others are trying to help, and welcome the challenge of optimizing a build within a specific set of guidelines.

There's a double standard because you are asking for something. I think that's fair. When I said you should accept what you get, I meant that you should glean whatever is helpful from our posts, brush off anything offensive, and be grateful that any anonymous posters went out of their way to help you for nothing in return. The posture of the OP of a help thread should be grateful by default. You have done this admirably, for the most part.

Erachima talks to everyone that way. If he didn't feel like he was helping, he wouldn't be posting. He's one of the best minds on the boards, so his input should be valued, even when you or I are being corrected, and we're on the receiving end of his sharp arguments.
Play A Tiefling centered breath Monk with Deva heritage (daily stance: enemies take -2 to att, great for taking on groups)
Radiant Fist paragon path gets you channel divinity which you use to get Pelor's Radiance (close burst radiant dmg, daze vs undead) then you take Demonbane feat to apply it to demons
Plus for your lv 16 feature on a critical hit you blind all adj enemies (sword flaring up)
Avenger multiclass helps with accuracy against isolated targets.
Diabolic soul feat lets you transform daily into a diabolic brute (+2 dmg, regen)
Tiefling avenger seems pretty appropriate for what you want to do.  You can even spread your stats, since the avenger oath feature makes maximizing your wisdom less crucial to function, so if there's a MC you like you can do that.  Avengers fit the monastic theme, and are divine (exalted deeds) instead of psionic, so they seem a better match for your previous edition character than the monk.  Similarly, you're right on path for Favored soul, and you have a lot of flavorful options.

It's an interesting character to throw together, I tossed mine together as a retribution avenger, with starting stats 11/14/12/14/16/8.  You're down about 25% from what a 'best' avenger looks like, but that's easily within the realm of playable and good, since the best avenger builds are well past the required dpr to be a 2 round striker.
Play A Tiefling centered breath Monk with Deva heritage (daily stance: enemies take -2 to att, great for taking on groups)
Radiant Fist paragon path gets you channel divinity which you use to get Pelor's Radiance (close burst radiant dmg, daze vs undead) then you take Demonbane feat to apply it to demons
Plus for your lv 16 feature on a critical hit you blind all adj enemies (sword flaring up)
Avenger multiclass helps with accuracy against isolated targets.
Diabolic soul feat lets you transform daily into a diabolic brute (+2 dmg, regen)



I'm not entirely sure how we got from angelic to tiefling, but if you're going this way you could also take the Devil Pawn theme, which allows a second transformation daily utility at level 10.

I'm still finding the easiest answer to be the best in this case: I'd go with a deva avenger. 
D&D rules were never meant to exist without the presence of a DM. RAW is a lie.
He's the son of a fallen angel, per his backstory, which is where tiefling came from.
Avengers aren't good at fighting armies.  They're good at assassinating army commanders.  And this is mechanically enforced by having their Oath not work when adjacent to more than 1 enemy.  Monks are much better at that.  Do you care about that?
Thanks for telling me that I'm not offering anything interesting. I like to think he's a unique character, with a great story (that I didn't feel was necessary to clog up a message board with by typing it all out), and I've presented a very specific set of guidelines.

What I said was that if you have a build request with suboptimal restrictions, they have to be extremely concrete and explicit AND a little interesting. I implied that your request one or both of those- it's actually the former. The reason the boundaries of the build you want are unclear is that you didn't give conclusive feedback to the first round of suggestions you received, which varied widely. I still don't know how much reflavoring of mechanics you're willing to do, which is the most pertinent missing piece of information, I think.
I have appreciated by what I've been given, but to ask me to not be offended, while simultaneously suggesting that I HAVE to accept that some of you will get annoyed, is a ridiculous double standard to hold on an internet forum. First of all, I wasn't offended, because it's just D&D; but I also don't need to waste my time reading someone's posts about how I'm stupid for even considering playing something a little fluffy. Optimization and fantasy can coexist, after all. And then the same post types keep surfacing from the same board member. Meanwhile, others are trying to help, and welcome the challenge of optimizing a build within a specific set of guidelines.

There's a double standard because you are asking for something. I think that's fair. When I said you should accept what you get, I meant that you should glean whatever is helpful from our posts, brush off anything offensive, and be grateful that any anonymous posters went out of their way to help you for nothing in return. The posture of the OP of a help thread should be grateful by default. You have done this admirably, for the most part.

Erachima talks to everyone that way. If he didn't feel like he was helping, he wouldn't be posting. He's one of the best minds on the boards, so his input should be valued, even when you or I are being corrected, and we're on the receiving end of his sharp arguments.



Just because Erachima talks to everyone that way, doesn't mean it's acceptable, nor does it mean that I am obligated to accept it as fair or intelligent. He wasn't correcting anything, nor did he provide any input. He did what so many do on the internet, which is to insult, talk tough behind his little computer, and then come off as superior to everyone else. He provided no help, whatsoever, other than to say the idea was essentially stupid. He didn't state it as an opinion, or simply offer alternative vehicles for optimization. It was his way was best, my idea was lame, take it or leave it. I chose to leave it. He's not helping in this thread, only insulting the original post.

You have offered some assistance, even if it's critical at times. But that is acceptable, because there's advice, suggestions, and so forth, sprinkled in. Don't worry about trying to help me understand Erachima. He doesn't bother me, and I'm not required to accept anything he posts.

I don't think a minotaur wizard would do much good in 3.5. Stat penalty means poor spell amount, and poor spell DC's. In 4e, he can play just fine with the others. Won't be a star, but he can run just fine. Still, a minotaur wizard is the worst possible wizard. It's kinda anti-char-op.



Lol. That could be true. But if I were playing a Minotaur, and he had a REALLY interesting story as to why he was pursuin magic, then I'd still ask the boards for tips on how best to utilize him. That is still a measure of optimization. We'd be doing the best we can with what we have. As to your 3.5 vs. 4e comparisons: that's pretty nit-picky, and still doesn't address the fact that the game wasn't nearly as restricted by combat roles. This version of D&D plays within the boundaries of an MMO, only on paper. The previous version was role playing with some assistance from the paper products.

I want to play this version, however, because I'm rather OCD when it comes to jumping to the newest edition of a product. That's why I'm seeking your help.
Play A Tiefling centered breath Monk with Deva heritage (daily stance: enemies take -2 to att, great for taking on groups)
Radiant Fist paragon path gets you channel divinity which you use to get Pelor's Radiance (close burst radiant dmg, daze vs undead) then you take Demonbane feat to apply it to demons
Plus for your lv 16 feature on a critical hit you blind all adj enemies (sword flaring up)
Avenger multiclass helps with accuracy against isolated targets.
Diabolic soul feat lets you transform daily into a diabolic brute (+2 dmg, regen)



I'm not entirely sure how we got from angelic to tiefling, but if you're going this way you could also take the Devil Pawn theme, which allows a second transformation daily utility at level 10.

I'm still finding the easiest answer to be the best in this case: I'd go with a deva avenger. 



Tiefling avenger seems pretty appropriate for what you want to do.  You can even spread your stats, since the avenger oath feature makes maximizing your wisdom less crucial to function, so if there's a MC you like you can do that.  Avengers fit the monastic theme, and are divine (exalted deeds) instead of psionic, so they seem a better match for your previous edition character than the monk.  Similarly, you're right on path for Favored soul, and you have a lot of flavorful options.

It's an interesting character to throw together, I tossed mine together as a retribution avenger, with starting stats 11/14/12/14/16/8.  You're down about 25% from what a 'best' avenger looks like, but that's easily within the realm of playable and good, since the best avenger builds are well past the required dpr to be a 2 round striker.



Both good ideas! This is like crack now. I keep trying different builds over and over again. It's a little exhausting to select all of the feats, skills, and powers at each level, but it's still a lot of fun!
1)  1/2 angel
2)  Monastic
3) Smiting
4)  good against groups
5)  Sword use

Eladrin are otherwordly as are the deva and githzerai (depends whether you want to look elvish, angelic, or alien)  remember that you can take deva heritage or ust fluff that youa re related to an angel and that it shows in minor ways like golden hair or a bright contenence.  Regardless I would put an 18 in dex and play a monk.  I think a con based monk fits best since that is the type that uses swords (soaring blade?).  Then go the heavy blade paragon path that gives elemental damage with heavy blades.  I would make con your second best.  This will let you play a monk, which is good against groups and you can use a sword.  It isn't the best but it fits.



The 4e monk, and the 3.5 monk are two completley different beasts.  Neither the flavor, feel, or mechanics match up (imo).  I spent quite a while trying to find a monk build I liked, with the good old fashion beat-the-crap-outta-things, but it just doesn't exist.  4e monks are psionic casters with a melee range.

What I eventually settled on was a Hybrid Fighter/Cleric.  Take hybrid Talent:Brawler, and instead of healer's lore, pick up Battle Cleric's Lore.  If you're really looking to show off, pick up pin down, inescapable hold, world serpent's grasp, and headsman's chop.  Grappling strike, prone with world serpents grasp on your next turn (remember, grabbed is immobilized), and then start smashing it's head in with a heavy blade for +5 damage on all attacks.

The end results is a character that's martial/divine, which fits the half angel theme fairly nicely, and can beat the crap out out of things, in a way that feels pretty darn monk-like.  You do wear armor, unless you're willing to burn a couple feats and make dex your secondary rather than wisdom (which works fine, although as you're already proficient with leather, you may as well stick to that).  You've got a mark and single target hard lockdown, healing, and good damage- covering pretty much all of the roles.

Race is pretty much whatever you want, although Str is the primary for this build.  I went with human for the extra feat, as this build is pretty feat hungry.
How about a deva monk mc avenger with the Favored Soul (argh stupid American spelling but I have to put it this way for when you search the compendium) paragon path that fits your background and gives you cool wings at level 16 as long as you stay in cloth.
Back to Basics - A Guide to Basic Attacks You might be playing DnD wrong if... "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." Albert Einstein
Now, you're doomed if every role isn't filled with a character type; but only specific builds of each type are acceptable, apparently




Lol. That could be true. But if I were playing a Minotaur, and he had a REALLY interesting story as to why he was pursuin magic, then I'd still ask the boards for tips on how best to utilize him. That is still a measure of optimization. We'd be doing the best we can with what we have. As to your 3.5 vs. 4e comparisons: that's pretty nit-picky, and still doesn't address the fact that the game wasn't nearly as restricted by combat roles. This version of D&D plays within the boundaries of an MMO, only on paper. The previous version was role playing with some assistance from the paper products.


I know the 3.x vs 4e discussion is a tangent, but I figured I'd throw in my 2 cp as well. 

First, I'd like to ask how exactly is 4e like an MMO?  It's neither "massively multiplayer" nor "online" (unless you count the character builder, which is by no means required and can't be used to actually play). 

As for being "restricted" by combat roles or "doomed if every role isn't filled," I would suggest that you worry less about the role labels.  4e may have made roles official, but that doesn't mean that previous editions didn't have them.  In previous editions some form of healing was required, which usually meant that someone had to play the "healbot," who would often forgo taking meaningful offensive options of his own in order to keep the other players on their feet.  4e doesn't have this restriction, as leader healing now exists primarily as minor action power or riders on specific attack powers.  In other words, the leader player can still have fun being a full-fledged combatant and the party still stays on their feet.  The fact that all PCs have a second wind and healing surges that can be spent OoC arguably makes them even less dependent on a leader than in previous editions.  I bring this up because IME the leader is the closest thing to being a "required" role in 4e.  It's the only role that I haven't seen a party go without in actual play, and parties without a defender, controller, or striker were in no way "doomed." 

You certainly don't have to approach 4e as an exercise in making sure all the roles are covered.  The only time you'll have a tough time of it is if there's no leader, and even that can be mitigated.  Several classes have leader secondary roles, some of the strongest being Paladins, Lifespirit Wardens, Druids, Thaneborn Barbarians, and Invokers.  Furthermore, multiclassing or hybrid classing into a leader role can allow players to keep their character concept, but expend varying amounts of resources in making sure that leader functionality is also covered.  So a party may be somewhat restricted in needing a leader or "leader bits" in order to be effective, but this isn't new to 4e, and if anything 4e somewhat liberates the party from this requirement (albeit not by much).


Classes are less restictive by race now. Minotaur wizards and halfling barbarians actually work.


But those won't be a part of the "CharOp" builds. What I was suggesting earlier was that it seems as though CharOp, per the majority viewpoints on these boards, only consists of a very limited set of race/class combinations. So while Minotaur Wizards and Halfling Barbarians are available, it's highly unlikely that anyone thinking CharOp will recommend anything beyond the "best" race/class builds that maximize certain aspects of a party. In previous editions, virtually every option was playable and didn't set the party back. It was common to see a party of 5 Clerics or 5 Monks and they could get through a game without dying.


If we're talking about only recommending the "best" race/class combos than 4e actually has FAR more variety than at least 3.5 (the previous edition that I'm most familiar with).  From a CharOp perspective 3.5 was basically "are you playing a Druid, Wizard, or Cleric?  If not than you suck."  In 4e most of the classes can be utilized for highly optimized builds; for example, even the Warlock who tends not to be the greatest striker hybrids very well with the Swordmage in the top-tier Darth Vader build.  Furthermore, multiple single classes from each role are regularly recommended by optimizers, which is a great deal better than "Druid, Wizard, or Cleric."

Most importantly, the gap between "optimized," "serviceable," and "suck" has been drastically narrowed in 4e.  In 3.5 a well-built Druid was his own adventuring party, as he could obsolete virtually any other type of character at higher levels.  This will never happen in 4e.  Even the ridiculously powerful DPR kings builds tend to be extremely vulnerable glass cannons that need defenders, controllers, and/or leaders to keep them alive all the more.  A casually built striker may not deal as much damage, but is likely to be more well-rounded and probably has better survivability.  On the other end of the scale, there are only a small handful of classes that really, truly suck.  Even the Vampire, which sucks as a striker, or the Sentinel, which pales in comparison with other leaders, bring other functionality to the table which make them serviceable (Vampire) to solid (Sentinel) classes.  The only classes I can think of that outright fail are the Binder (a Warlock with less control, even though it's labelled a controller, and its striker feature taken away with nothing given back in return), the Seeker (like the Binder, its control sucks because controllers depend on their powers, and the Seeker simply has mostly garbage powers), and the Ossassin (controller HP makes it more of a glass cannon than most strikers, and the tradeoff is...less damage?  Shrouds are the opposite of killing stuff quickly).  Avoid those 3 classes and you won't be weak.

Anecdotal opinion coming up, YMMV:  One event that stands out very strongly in my mind was the first time I went back to 3.5 after playing 4e.  I decided I wanted to build a Gnome Rogue because why not?  Gnomes are sneaky little buggers and I'd toyed around with the concept a little in 4e (it worked fine, even if it wasn't terribly optimized).  Keep in mind that this was as simple a "concept" as you can get, a mere race/class combo.  This character could certainly pull his own weight in a 4e party (and now that flex stats have been released this guy would be a bit more optmized), but the 3.5 version was terrible.  My 3.5 optimization knowledge was admittedly rusty at this point, but I didn't make any obvious trap choices and was left with a completely useless character.  Even at a relatively low level the Druid's bear wasn't that much worse off than me, and that's just an animal companion!  I later played in a Pathfinder game where the party Rogue was able to fill what in 4e would have been the "striker" role, but the player admitted that this basic functionality required a fair amount of optimization from various splatbooks, and a very particular build. 

Pick up the 4e PHB and roll up a Rogue really quickly, choosing powers and feats that make sense even if they aren't the most optimized, and I guarantee you'll have a solid character.  Better still if your race has a Dex bonus but not necessarily required.  I certainly didn't get that through 3.5, and back when I played that version regularly I remember dismissing plenty of character ideas that I had because they simply couldn't hold a candle to the other PCs in the party, despite being relatively simple "core" options (Bards offering not much of anything, Rangers being significantly weaker than Fighters for no good reason, Sorcerers feeling like Wizards that dropped out of magic school, etc.). 

The 4e monk, and the 3.5 monk are two completley different beasts.  Neither the flavor, feel, or mechanics match up (imo).  I spent quite a while trying to find a monk build I liked, with the good old fashion beat-the-crap-outta-things, but it just doesn't exist.  4e monks are psionic casters with a melee range.

What I eventually settled on was a Hybrid Fighter/Cleric.  Take hybrid Talent:Brawler, and instead of healer's lore, pick up Battle Cleric's Lore.  If you're really looking to show off, pick up pin down, inescapable hold, world serpent's grasp, and headsman's chop.  Grappling strike, prone with world serpents grasp on your next turn (remember, grabbed is immobilized), and then start smashing it's head in with a heavy blade for +5 damage on all attacks.


Alright, back on topic now.

While this may or may not be true (given that I never really used the 3.5 Monk), based on the OP's description it sounds like the 4e Monk does almost exactly what he wants.  It's the absolute best class in the game for taking on multiple foes at once, in a Jackie Chan kind of way (while defenders will certainly draw the fire of multiple foes and survive it, Monks run around attacking multiple foes, which is closer to the OP's vision as he describes it).  Get proficiency with a longsword or bastard sword and it's fine to use as an implement (feat, or by being an Eladrin), or pick up Swordmage M/C to use heavy blades as an implement. 

Deva's probably your best bet in terms of core races, and they'll do reasonably well as a Centered Breath Monk.  Multiclass Avenger to pick up the Favored Soul Paragon Path, which gives you WINGS at level 16.  At this point you'll have the Angelic flavor regardless of race.  You'll only get a single use of your Oath of Enmity per encounter (2 turns worth), so make sure you use Radiant Rush when it's active.  M/C is probably more effcient than Hybrid to dip into the Avenger class, especially if you want to keep your "fighting armies" flavor intact.   That said, CB Monks and Pursuit Avengers have stats that line up perfectly, so if you want to alternate between multi and single target tactics Hybrid would be workable.  Pick up Armor of Faith as your Hybrid Talent as it's better than Unarmored Defense, can be enhanced with Improved Armor of Faith, and still leaves you open for Unarmored Agility to really pump your AC up.  Basically, look through the Avenger powers and see if any of them fit your character concept.  If you don't have a really good reason to do so, hybrids tend to be slightly weaker than single class characters so M/C is the more efficient route. 

As for Monks not being Demon Hunters or vassals of the heavens, nothing says that they can't be!  It seems to me that these are simply story elements, and don't need to be incorporated into mechanics at all.  Indeed, very few mechanics (mostly obscure PPs, as far as I know) deal with demon-hunting, and being a divine vassal is probably most closely represented by having the divine power source, which is usually mechanically meaningless (though you'll technically have it simply by M/Cing Avenger). 

I'm not too familiar with Monks so I'm probably not the best person to offer a full-fledged build, but if you post a draft of something you have in mind I'm sure you'd get more specific feedback on how to optimize it within your constraints (or perhaps even alternative ways to mechanically represent some of your story elements).  Yeah, for my part Monk M/C Avenger with Favored Soul would be a solid start.

Since you did say that you're not too familiar with 4e yet, I will say that Monks are a ton of fun, with their defining mechanic being full disciplines.  This gives them some really cool movement options, making them the most mobile class in the game.  I would focus more heavily on defenses than most characters would, since you'll regularly be in melee with multiple foes.  Attacking a bunch of enemies won't do you too much good if you can't survive being near them.  This is why damage, while certainly important, will at best share your top-priority spot with survivability.  The mobility should mostly take care of itself through power selection.

Have fun, and I hope that as you play 4e more you'll begin to fully appreciate its strengths.

EDIT:  Ninja'd with the Favored Soul rec.
Reading through this thread, I notice that you just keep tunnel visioning. You keep going 'Oh, Tieflings are not half-angels, Gith are not half angels, if I have to choose one of them I will have to shoehorn it into my bursting-at-the-seams set of fluff that has to accomodate everything!'

Stop doing that now. Just stop it. We know you have an established character background, we are trying to take this into account.

Instead of thinking the way you are, think about in terms of options. 'Oh, there are no half-angels in this edition. This means I can play whatever race I want and call it a half angel!'

Any race can fit if you want it to. You were complaining about all the Deva reincarnation fluff not fitting. That is fine, just ignore it! Your character is a half-angel, not a deva. If you are so attached to the DnD lore that you are not prepared for a jump as tiny as that, just go with something like 'Since this is his first incarnation as a Deva (being born of a human and angel, rather than of a previous life), he knows nothing of Deva ways and the like.'

Likewise, your character was a monk. A monk in a monestary trained to hunt and kill demons. Cool. THAT DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOU HAVE TO CHOOSE MONK AS YOUR CLASS! What is that? There is a class whose background is all about being trained in a monestary to kill enemies of that church? That class is an Avenger. Just because you use the word monk to describe your character doesn't mean that you have to play them using the monk class. Hell, I bet your character sometimes gets in fights. Does that mean that you have to choose Fighter as your class now too?

Instead of being so attached to the words you have used to describe your character, be flexible with the mechanics and instead try to capture the feel you want (Seems to be multi-target attacking with no armour and flashes of the divine). Then use words to make up the difference (Perhaps that +2 to defences from Iron Mind is actually your attacker being distracted by your angelic countenance?).

That said, a Radiant Fist Monk does sound quite fitting, as well as being a quite decent build. Mengu74 gave a good outline for such a build on page one or two.
The reason I suggest monk is that it fits what he wants.  He wants to be great against groups while wielding a weapon that deals energy damage.  Monk does that easilly and the fact it happens to match what he had before is just icing.

Also elan heritage makes you an immortal so that is an idea too.  Either that or homebrew that last part.
To all of the people nerd-raging about my 3.5 v. 4e comments: I don't care. I really don't. I'm not suggesting that one is superior to the other. No need to get all pee-pee hurt. It's just that the aspects of the game I did like in the previous version(s) are no longer available to me. This makes what I like to do much harder to achieve, vicariously, through my character. I played EverQuest and WoW, and I just don't like that style of play. That's 4e in a nutshell: a character is nothing more than a vehicle for numbers. I still want to give it a chance, however, which is why I'm picking your brains.

For example:

A 2 hour gaming session in 3.5 usually meant 5 or 6 combats that lasted several minutes each, lots of exploration, lots of diplomacy, etc.

A 2 hour gaming session in 4e usually means 1-2 combats that soak up 90 minutes, with virtually nothing in between except healing surges or a trip through the town portal to restock. This version of the game is all about combat; plain and simple. That's it. That's the design, that's the focus, and every character has a damage role; nothing more, nothing less.

That's fine, and again, I'm willing to try and flesh it out a bit more. I don't want to throw in the towel quite yet, because I feel as though I've only just begun scratching the surface.

The reason I suggest monk is that it fits what he wants.  He wants to be great against groups while wielding a weapon that deals energy damage.  Monk does that easilly and the fact it happens to match what he had before is just icing.

Also elan heritage makes you an immortal so that is an idea too.  Either that or homebrew that last part.



I'm interested to see how this idea can be fleshed out, on a level-by-level basis. If you can find/think of something quick (optimized, of course Laughing) please PM me or share it here. I like the sounds of this too!

I kinda get the impression that you find 4e is only about combat because you think 4e is only about combat, and then you arrange it so that it is all about the combat.  Yes there is a heavier emphasis on the tactical sides of combat, but theres no reason why it should be 2 combats with a trip to restock in between.  If you want the same blast through an easy fight feel then have a couple of easy combats where there are one or two standard low level monsters and make up the numbers with some two hit minions (exactly the same as normal minions, except it takes two hits to kill them rather than one).  Then you can have the same level of exploration and story as before.  In short, yes combat is more emphasised in the rules, and may well take longer, but you only need include as much combat as you want in the game.  Don't feel obliged to make the game more combat heavy just because the rules are...  And if you are worried about levelling slower just award XP for finding stuff etc. instead.

Also, if you feel your character is nothing more than a nutshell for numbers - well stop focusing on an optimized of course character.  Most 4e non-hybrids are hard to screw up too badly, and will always end up being reasonable at their job, so just make something you like and roll with it (no pun intended).  Also, I kinda don't see your problem with reflavouring things.  Take a mechanical option such as the Deva, and then create your own race, the Half Angel, that just happens to share the same stats/origin/languages as the Deva.  Hell you can change the languages origin and stats as well to be honest.  Aside from the racial powers, making a balanced 4e race is very easy.  Pick two skills, 1 or 2 languages in addition to common and two stats to get +2 to, select a set of racial characteristics from the current existing ones to avoid the thorny bit, and you're done.  Pretty much a brand new balanced race, as long as you didn't set out with the intention to create something broken.

To me for instance, this is a Half Angel:

RACIAL TRAITS
Ability Scores: +2 Whatever, +2 Whatever
Size: Medium
Speed: 6 squares
Vision: Normal
Languages: Common, choice of two others
Skill Bonuses: +2 History, +2 Religion
Angelic Majesty: You have a +1 bonus to all defenses against attacks made by bloodied creatures.
Half-Angel Vigour: You have resistance to necrotic damage and radiant damage equal to 5 + one-half your level.
Immortal Origin: Your spirit is native to the Astral Sea, so you are considered an immortal creature for the purpose of effects that relate to creature origin.
Angelic Grace: You have the memory of a thousand lifetimes power.

EDIT:// I may have got the wrong end of the stick with the second paragraph, and you have effectively decided to do this and are just looking for something which does mechanically what you imagine, i.e. uses a weapon against groups, in which case I'm sorry.  And Iron-Soul monk is probably a good idea.  In which case the half-angel race above would have +2 to Dex and Con probably, or perhaps +2 Con +2 Wis can be explained fluffily better, since tough and wise make more immediate sense to me.  Either way, those two attributes are not going to break the Deva.
I kinda get the impression that you find 4e is only about combat because you think 4e is only about combat, and then you arrange it so that it is all about the combat.  Yes there is a heavier emphasis on the tactical sides of combat, but theres no reason why it should be 2 combats with a trip to restock in between.  If you want the same blast through an easy fight feel then have a couple of easy combats where there are one or two standard low level monsters and make up the numbers with some two hit minions (exactly the same as normal minions, except it takes two hits to kill them rather than one).  Then you can have the same level of exploration and story as before.  In short, yes combat is more emphasised in the rules, and may well take longer, but you only need include as much combat as you want in the game.  Don't feel obliged to make the game more combat heavy just because the rules are...  And if you are worried about levelling slower just award XP for finding stuff etc. instead.

Also, if you feel your character is nothing more than a nutshell for numbers - well stop focusing on an optimized of course character.  Most 4e non-hybrids are hard to screw up too badly, and will always end up being reasonable at their job, so just make something you like and roll with it (no pun intended).  Also, I kinda don't see your problem with reflavouring things.  Take a mechanical option such as the Deva, and then create your own race, the Half Angel, that just happens to share the same stats/origin/languages as the Deva.  Hell you can change the languages origin and stats as well to be honest.  Aside from the racial powers, making a balanced 4e race is very easy.  Pick two skills, 1 or 2 languages in addition to common and two stats to get +2 to, select a set of racial characteristics from the current existing ones to avoid the thorny bit, and you're done.  Pretty much a brand new balanced race, as long as you didn't set out with the intention to create something broken.

To me for instance, this is a Half Angel:

RACIAL TRAITS
Ability Scores: +2 Whatever, +2 Whatever
Size: Medium
Speed: 6 squares
Vision: Normal
Languages: Common, choice of two others
Skill Bonuses: +2 History, +2 Religion
Angelic Majesty: You have a +1 bonus to all defenses against attacks made by bloodied creatures.
Half-Angel Vigour: You have resistance to necrotic damage and radiant damage equal to 5 + one-half your level.
Immortal Origin: Your spirit is native to the Astral Sea, so you are considered an immortal creature for the purpose of effects that relate to creature origin.
Angelic Grace: You have the memory of a thousand lifetimes power.

EDIT:// I may have got the wrong end of the stick with the second paragraph, and you have effectively decided to do this and are just looking for something which does mechanically what you imagine, i.e. uses a weapon against groups, in which case I'm sorry.  And Iron-Soul monk is probably a good idea.  In which case the half-angel race above would have +2 to Dex and Con probably, or perhaps +2 Con +2 Wis can be explained fluffily better, since tough and wise make more immediate sense to me.  Either way, those two attributes are not going to break the Deva.



Thanks for the post. This is great stuff!

I love what you've offered there. How do I create or reskin the abilities, modifiers, etc., within the D&D Character Builder? I don't ask that rhetorically; I really want to know.

EDIT: I feel as though combat is the focus of this game because nearly all of the rules and mechanics are centered on it. Every class is a damage class now. Also, the combats just flat-out take longer. It gets worse as one levels, as the party still fights and interacts the same way at level 10 as they did at level 1, only the monsters have hundreds more hit points. Again, this may just be the experiences I've had, which is why I'm not giving up. I wanted an optimized character for combat because that's such an important part of the game now.

Okay, so I've played around with it a little, brought up and reviewed some of his fluff, and decided to make one change:

This character doesn't have to take on multiple opponents. In fact, making him a solo-beast will better suit some of the nuances of his story line. (ie: Taking on the uber-demon in some sort of endgame judgement, etc.)

In light of this, maybe it will be easier to achieve a proper build.

Thanks again for all of your input thus far! I will post a final build after a few more pieces of insight.
Sounds like Avenger is pretty much an excellent feat to what you are trying to acomplish here.
You may very well be right. I guess I can visit that thread and see what's happening.

Thanks again, everyone. Hopefully this will work out in a way that I find satisfying!
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