Best themes? Sucky Themes? ones that need work? Themes that need to be made? Theme Thread

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A thread about my favorite part of D&D, character Themes.

I took the outlaw theme and I'm lovin' that dazing sneak. The utility powers though I just don't really care about, they seem a lot less useful than what normal class options provide.
The Wizard's Apprentice also seems neat, but haven't tried it in play.

Are you overall happy with what themes provide though? Do you feel that there's still something missing?
The better themes from HotEC (e.g. Ironwrought (rules debate aside, if you assume it does what it seems to be intended to), Vezzuvu, Earthforger, Windlord) are hitting about the right level.  Some of the earlier ones (Sohei, Guardian, Fey Beast Tamer) are just a little too strong, whilst many of the early ones (Animal Master) are just so weak that they might as well never have existed.

I think there's an awful lot more design space open for them.  It's a shame that it won't get filled.
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.
Do you feel that there's still something missing?


I think themes are awesome for filling out niche concepts that don't require a full class write-up.  So I've taken the liberty to homebrew a few for my group, including, but not limited to, a Gunslinger theme (to support my homebrew firearms), a Knight of Hyrule theme, Chocobo Knight, and Soulknife with additional paragon paths (Elocator, Phrenic Slayer, and Soulbow).  And I'm currently working on updating my 3.5 Familiarist prestige class as a theme.  Yay, themes!
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I agree with spacedinvader about the power levels.

There need to be a few more themes for implement and ranged weapon users.  A lot of the best themes out there tend to be designed for melee weapon users.

Another good addition would be some more that have powerswap options for attacks.  Hardly any of the post dark sun ones have that, they almost all have utility swaps instead.  And some of the ones that we have gotten don't have the correct math, like the the Firecrafter, since they decided to not give the implement keyword for some reason.
A good mount theme would be nice. I'd also like to see a familiar and a ritual centric theme.

The big deficiencies, as I see them, are the lack of good psionic themes (outside of Dark Sun) and the lack of good controller and non-divine leader themes. Renegade Red Wizard is incredibly good, but where is the controller theme for the Druid or the Invoker? What about the warlord and artificer?

Also, the themes that hand out CA like candy (FBT and Pack Outcast, off the top of my head) should probably be fixed. There's so much less strategy in 4e now that those are available. It's gotten so bad that I'm cosidering dropping themes entirely from the next campaign I run.
Themes just did not get enough love. I think the werewolf theme was a good start. Vampire should have been a race with feats, theme, and paragon path support, depending on how much the character wanted to focus on developing his powers.

They also should have made a multiclass theme to replace hybrids and power swap feats.
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Vampire should be a theme.

Oh...I very much like the idea of multiclass themes in the Dark Sun style.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Spellscar (actually, i think the neverwinter book did this) and the Dragonmarks being done as themes would have worked well too.


Vampire should have definitely not been a class.


But there needs to be more ranged/primal/divine/psionic themes. Most of them right now are martial or arcane, and predmoniantly granting melee powers. The Ordained Priest (i think thats it) was right in giving the choice of a melee or ranged power.

A mount theme would be nice, but unfortunately it'd make the cavalier pointless, kind of like the feat to get a hexblade they pulled before compilation.
Themes I would like to see-

1) A duelist theme usable with ranged weapons and implement attacks.
The guy who pvoves he is better then the other guy in a one on one challenge.
It could be german and russian snippers stalking each other through Stalingrad or Boris Karlof and Vincent Price casting magic spells while sitting at the dinner table or it could be two swordsmen in a back alley.

it could have a not called mark power where you get a + to hit your opponent a - to hit anyone else and they get a - to anyone but you. ( maybee extra stuff if you have the same power source and same or oppisit roles


2) A self-taught magic study theme
we have aprentice mage and guild mage what about the guy who learned magic alone reading ancient books. It might be more apropriate for warlocks then wizards but who cares the reverse is true for the two themes that already exist.

not sure if the powers should be metamagic change up your powers be cause your more open or if they should be toughness defense powers because you are more independant. could also give tome implement proficiency.
 
3) An entertainer or performer theme
For people that can wow the crowds with music or oratory with out being a bard.

The leader / social skill challenge powers for this almost right themselves.

4) do we have a Spy/Inflitraitor theme yet?
 
5) as there are vehicle rules a Teamster or Pilot theme would make as much sense as a mounted theme
Yes I know the vehicle rules are bad but I like large lists of options for completeness even if I would not use them.

6) we have themes that give free magic items and themes that give discounts for buying items how about a theme giving free followers from mordenkenins?

The Prince. A note worthy asset of the character is all the little people that help him and his friends get things done ( Richi Rich, Nero Wolf, the many 7Sea characters with noncombat henchman and brute squads)
Some of the Bard influences from feywild would be a good place to go after the free followers.

7) Amazon
Again I don't plan on playing a strong female forced to travel a man's world but I want it to be there if I ever do.
Just as long as they don't try copying the abillity from the 2nd edittion kit where you got a bounus against a male by makeing them underestimate you and if the DM said they were too smart to fall for it you got nothing.


Why yes I had been thinking of making a thread like this one my self why do you ask.
The sea looks at the stabillity of the mountian and sighs. The mountian watches the freedom of the sea and cries.
after a certain point, the tragedy of themes is you only get One.

Because it would be great to be a self taught wizard vampire spy who can drive a car
WELL... I had also been thinking that a paragon path that gave you a second theme would be cool.
They already support story reasons for gaining a theme after play begins or changeing themes after a while. why not your having your defining gimic being a rich personal history and the bag of tricks that come with it.
The sea looks at the stabillity of the mountian and sighs. The mountian watches the freedom of the sea and cries.
WELL... I had also been thinking that a paragon path that gave you a second theme would be cool.

And I've been proposing themes to replace multiclassing, bloodlines, build options, and a few other things... and that each player would get to choose several (but only one of each type) at character creation, and add more later with feats.
"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose
I think the problem with having multiple would be all the encounter powers it'd grant.
Vampire should be a theme.

Oh...I very much like the idea of multiclass themes in the Dark Sun style.



I really like (the concept anyway) of the Vampire as a class, it makes a lot of sense from a story standpoint when combined with the Bloodline feat. 

Vampiric Heritage: You've got some vampire in your geneology.

Vampire Multiclass: YOU are infected. You feel the power and temptation in your nerves and veins but you fight succumbing to its dark promises.

Vampire Hybrid: You're dancing on the edge of immortal doom while trying to control your darker half while also utilizing teh incredible power it has to augment your own skills and training.

Full Vampire: You've surrendered to the bloodlust and embraced the dark power it gives you. You care not for your former life as your future is laid out before you in the blackness of the night.
The entire spectrum of which can be accomplished via Dark Sun-style theme power swaps.  And at a finer resolution, even.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
The Cavalier should be a theme, not a class. It offers nothing over a paladin outside of a mount, which should definitely be a theme thing. If you want to be a holy knight on a holy steed, congrats, you are a paladin with the cavalier theme. This is at best. It really should be "summon a level scaling mount + riding the thing" as a feat.
I'm not a fan of themes by any stretch. I like sticking to the Race/Class/Paragon/Epic Destiny path. I feel there is already enough options for the classes to be enriched by themes. The themesare very popular so I can understand the attention they get design wise. I merely opt to never use them.
I came up with quite a few new themes for Eberron in homebrew that fill a few niches.  The players in my home campaign seem to be enjoying them.   Some of them could be easily adapted to other settings.