Heroes of the Elemental Chaos Excerpts - Sha'ir

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Heroes of the Elemental Chaos Excerpts
Sha'ir
by Bart Carroll

Using magic granted by your gen servant, you take control of the battlefield with the raw forces of elemental energy.

Talk about this preview here.

astralArchivist.com - 4e D&D house rules, homebrew, and story hours - now featuring ENWorld's Zeitgeist adventure path! Will Thibault is a winged, feathered serpent rarely found anywhere except in warm, jungle-like regions or flying through the ether. Due to his intelligence and powers he is regarded with awe by the inhabitants of his homelands and is considered to be divine.
So it loses the awesomeness of the wizard for a free familiar feat and marginal elemental resistance?

Pass.
So, it gains its magic through a pact, and it's NOT a Warlock?

Seriously, the Witch and the Shair should both have been Warlocks. Or at least Primal (Witch = Druid, Shair = Shaman).   


  

"Ah, the age-old conundrum. Defenders of a game are too blind to see it's broken, and critics are too idiotic to see that it isn't." - Brian McCormick

So, it gains its magic through a pact, and it's NOT a Warlock?

Seriously, the Witch and the Shair should both have been Warlocks. Or at least Primal (Witch = Druid, Shair = Shaman).   


  




sorceror would have made more sence then wizard, I dont get they they feel the need to go out of there way to support classes that dont need support
Insulting someones grammar on a forum is like losing to someone in a drag race and saying they were cheating by having racing stripes. Not only do the two things not relate to each other (the logic behind the person's position, and their grammar) but you sound like an idiot for saying it (and you should, because its really stupid )
Isn't there going to be a new sorceror build in this book in addition to the Sha'ir?

Regardless, this build is interesting but still kind of meh. Mechanically it looks very similar to the witch. The real difference of course will be in the new cantrips (Sha'ir only?) and powers. I also expect that as this build levels up it will get a lot of interesting new class features that make it stand out from the witch and other wizards. Probably something similar to how the Executioner Assassin looks a lot like a rogue at level 1 but by level 10 they look very different.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but these Sha'ir exclusive familiars look a bit better than your average familiar. Being able to use the familiar's space as the origin for a close attack power once per encounter is nice. Don't normal familiars require a feat to do that? The constant benefits and daily power effects also seem nice.

I'm mystefied why WotC has decided to ignore Tomes. We saw this trend start in HoFK and continue on since then. If I'm reading this correctly, the Sha'ir would have to take a feat to use Tomes?
Unfortunately, wizards have the major problem in that the vast, vast majority of the class is in the powers, so they've made it difficult for themselves to get very creative with them. Still, it seems slightly less uninteresting than the witch.

Every wizard can use tomes. It is a feature of tomes. 
Fire Blog Control, Change, and Chaos: The Elemental Power Source Elemental Heroes Example Classes Xaosmith Exulter Chaos Bringer Director Elemental Heroes: Looking Back - Class and Story Elemental Heroes: Complete Class Beta - The Xaosmith (January 16, 2012) Elemental Heroes: Complete Class Beta - The Harbinger (May 16, 2012) Check out my Elemental Heroes blog series and help me develop four unique elemental classes.
You know, I probably wouldn't mind the fact that as of this product, there are currently a total of FIVE seperate Wizards classes, if it weren't for the fact that each and every one of the gods damned things are controllers.  Every other Class Group that has more than one Essentials class has the other class be of a different role.  The Fighters have the Slayer, the Paladins have the Blackguard, the Rangers have the Hunter.   But the Wizards are all just pure control.  It's crap. 
You know, I probably wouldn't mind the fact that as of this product, there are currently a total of FIVE seperate Wizards classes, if it weren't for the fact that each and every one of the gods damned things are controllers.  Every other Class Group that has more than one Essentials class has the other class be of a different role.  The Fighters have the Slayer, the Paladins have the Blackguard, the Rangers have the Hunter.   But the Wizards are all just pure control.  It's crap. 



The Bladesinger is a wizard (sort of) that is far more of a striker than a controller. IMHO it was  mislabelled as a controller. It should be said though, that there are some pretty amazing wizard builds when it comes to DPR. Check out the char ops guides and look for striker wizards.
Yet another wizard subclass. Oh JOY. Just what we needed. More wizard subclasses!


And what happened to the Shugenja in the product description?
Yet another wizard subclass. Oh JOY. Just what we needed. More wizard subclasses!


And what happened to the Shugenja in the product description?



Nothing. It just hasn't been previewed yet, right?
Yet another wizard subclass. Oh JOY. Just what we needed. More wizard subclasses!


And what happened to the Shugenja in the product description?



Nothing. It just hasn't been previewed yet, right?



No, on the production description page, it was completly removed.

wizards.com/dnd/Product.aspx?x=dnd/produ...
Yeah, I'm finding the Sha'ir odd.  I mean I kinda like the story of them, using an elemental spirit familiar to go bargain, steal, etc the spells they need.  But it's odd for a wizard.  Basically the Sha'ir are wizards who use Cliff Notes pretty much.  Instead of studying to learn the whole long, complex spell they take a short cut and use Cliff Notes in the form of their familiar to go fetch the spells they need.

And yeah...we really do not need a new wizard build at the end of 4th's life.  I mean we all knew this was coming, but it still irritates me at least.  And even for the wizard it's...plain.  They get a familiar and elemental resistance, and there will probably be a new cantrip or two.  Big whoop, boring!  I mean I haven't played a Witch yet but I liked the idea of it.  And while the Sha'ir is very similar, at least the Witch has some interesting class features and such with it, or at least a little more than the Sha'ir.  And I get, again, that the Sha'ir is a "Wizard on Cliff Notes", but really no Ritual Caster?  Come on, that to me is a defining feature of the Wizard in 4th.  Now though, not sure if there are other wizard builds without it, but the Sha'ir is the first I've noticed.

I mean I'm sure it wont be bad really, but so far it doesn't look interesting at all.  I'm looking forward to seeing how they do the E-Sorcerer.   
Along with the witch, the sha'ir makes me feel like the 5E wizard will kill the warlock and take his stuff. [/baseless 5E speculation]

With that being said, the last time they tried a controller warlock, it didn't really work arguably because the warlock power set are too tied to strikers. So maybe that's why they wanted to keep it as a wizard. *shrugs*
Me Kruzko, me bard... And me sing song for you! Explore Philippine Mythology for your 4E game, and visit us at Nosfecatu Publishing!
Along with the witch, the sha'ir makes me feel like the 5E wizard will kill the warlock and take his stuff.

With that being said, the last time they tried a controller warlock, it didn't really work arguably because the warlock power set are too tied to strikers. So maybe that's why they wanted to keep it as a wizard. *shrugs*


No, last time they tried to make a controller warlock, it didn't work because they took away the class's main source of control support (curse) and didn't give it anything in return, at all.  The powers aren't the problem, particularly (though the Binder powers do, pretty much universally, suck), it's that they neutered the class's control support, for no benefit, rendering it a worse version of the base class.
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 will defer to you on that, thespaceinvader, as you simply describe the binder's failings better.

I wanted to like the binder, I really did. It's such a cool class name, and the 3.5 vestiges spoiled me in a way that not could not be matched by that subclass nor by the 4E vestige-pact walock. In any case, I think the failure of the binder translates somehow to the succeeding controller warlocks being shoehorned into wizard instead. Which is sad, because while both classes are already well-saturated, I think the community will be more welcoming of new warlock builds instead of the 456th wizard build.

I think they will always support wizards a lot in any edition: WotC stands for Wizards of the Coast after all, not Warlocks of the City. Tongue Out
Me Kruzko, me bard... And me sing song for you! Explore Philippine Mythology for your 4E game, and visit us at Nosfecatu Publishing!
Along with the witch, the sha'ir makes me feel like the 5E wizard will kill the warlock and take his stuff.

With that being said, the last time they tried a controller warlock, it didn't really work arguably because the warlock power set are too tied to strikers. So maybe that's why they wanted to keep it as a wizard. *shrugs*


No, last time they tried to make a controller warlock, it didn't work because they took away the class's main source of control support (curse) and didn't give it anything in return, at all.  The powers aren't the problem, particularly (though the Binder powers do, pretty much universally, suck), it's that they neutered the class's control support, for no benefit, rendering it a worse version of the base class.



Wow. I have been wracking my brain trying to figure out how to "fix" the Binder, and I think you have hit on it. Let the Binder retain Curse, except the Curse does not do extra damage to targets hit, but applies a control effect (Fey = Slide, Gloom = all creatures not adjacent to the target have concealment from the target, Star = Slow, Infernal = Secondary stat Fire damage to enemies adjacent to target, Dark = -2 to Defense targeted, Sorcerer King = weaken, Vestige = vary by Vestige). With the return of the curse to the Binder, the Pact Boon can again trigger off the death of a cursed enemy, and not rely on poor positioning on the Binder's part or the Binder needing to land the killing blow.

My take would be to make them a pet class.  I came upon the idea when someone was complaining about how bad their daily summons were.

Allow them to use the pets as origin squares for their powers.  Give their powers riders that do controllery things when they use the pet to cast through (particularly, single target powers that are bursts/blasts when cast through the pets).  Allow them to do stuff like trading their HP for pet THP, giving out CA for et concealment etc and vice versa.  Allow them to be leader/controllers by giving the pets auras that help allies or debuff enemies.  perfectly, flavour-appropriate, fun controller class.

Or just, control-rather-than-damage curse.
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.
My take would be to make them a pet class.  I came upon the idea when someone was complaining about how bad their daily summons were.

Allow them to use the pets as origin squares for their powers.  Give their powers riders that do controllery things when they use the pet to cast through (particularly, single target powers that are bursts/blasts when cast through the pets).  Allow them to do stuff like trading their HP for pet THP, giving out CA for et concealment etc and vice versa.  Allow them to be leader/controllers by giving the pets auras that help allies or debuff enemies.  perfectly, flavour-appropriate, fun controller class.

Or just, control-rather-than-damage curse.



Considering that I like the Sh'iar, the Sentinel, and yes even the Beastmaster Ranger (concept, not application) I also like the pet class idea for a type of Warlock.

I also like the curse-that's-not-damage concept. Why does a curse have to mean damage? It's just as flavorful for it to be a spirit haunting you or a weakening effect.
So, it gains its magic through a pact, and it's NOT a Warlock?

Seriously, the Witch and the Shair should both have been Warlocks. Or at least Primal (Witch = Druid, Shair = Shaman).   


  




sorceror would have made more sence then wizard, I dont get they they feel the need to go out of there way to support classes that dont need support


No. they DO go out of their way to support the Wizard, though.

Hey, WOtC, PLEASE:  NO MORE WIZARD SUBCLASSES!!!  OTHER CLASSES EXIST!!!!!!!
Ahh, so THIS is where I can add a sig. Remember: Killing an ancient God inside of a pyramid IS a Special Occasion, and thus, ladies should be dipping into their Special Occasions underwear drawer.
It's hardly surprising to see yet another wizard sub-class.  Again, like the witch, it gets a familiar and is making pacts like a warlock.  Could be worse, could be a Mage school. 

Of course, it's a controller.  It's a wizard, it gets to use wizard spells, all the wizard's support for it's role is in those spells.  All wizards are controllers, it's unavoidable.  It's a fundamental flaw in the way 4e controllers were designed.  It's not fixable at this point.

Like HoS, we were promised another source, and instead we got more archane toys.

Hopefully the quality will otherwise be better than HoS.

 

 

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I remember that the preview for 4e mentioned the Wizard getting power words, and this could have been how they got their controller feature.