Classes from Player's Handbooks = Different classes from those of D&D Essentials?

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Ok guys, so my players want to play some D&D Essentials classes and well, peeking at their books they are listed as traditional classes (Fighter, Warlock, Cleric, Rogue, etc.), however said builds have so different ways of being played that they seem like... totally dirrerent classes, plus they are REALLY straightforward with almost no Dialy Attack powers and 1-2 Encounter powers per level of play. Plus, the Slayer and Hexblade have battle aproaches that are totally different from those of their original classes.

So the question is... are my players messing with totally different classes? Or are the ones from Essentials the same as the ones from the player's handbook and can pick powers from those sources such as with the "---- Power" Manuals? The Essentials are kinda weird if you ask me...


    
Ok guys, so my players want to play some D&D Essentials classes and well, peeking at their books they are listed as traditional classes (Fighter, Warlock, Cleric, Rogue, etc.), however said builds have so different ways of being played that they seem like... totally dirrerent classes, plus they are REALLY straightforward with almost no Dialy Attack powers and 1-2 Encounter powers per level of play. Plus, the Slayer and Hexblade have battle aproaches that are totally different from those of their original classes.

So the question is... are my players messing with totally different classes? Or are the ones from Essentials the same as the ones from the player's handbook and can pick powers from those sources such as with the "---- Power" Manuals? The Essentials are kinda weird if you ask me...



In developer parlance, the classes in the Essentials Heroes books and some of the classes beyond are "sub-classes." Many of them are built on a different chassis to attempt to achieve the same results. For example, the Knight, in order to make up for a lack of nova potential lost by not having Daily Attack powers, gets to punish people next to them for attacking their friends or shifting as an opportunity action instead of an immediate interrupt. This increases the Knight's damage output (or stickiness, if you choose not to violate the Defender's Aura) over the PHB1 Fighter. So, yes, essentially, they are playing different classes.

However, at any time when those classes gets a choice of powers (most often Utility powers), they may choose any power of the appropriate type and level from any source.For example, the Knight, as a "sub-class" of Fighter, can select any Utility powers, Feats and Paragon Paths that a PHB1 Fighter could choose. Keep in mind, that the Knight does lack certain features, like Combat Challenge, so any Feat that requires or modifies Combat Challenge will be useless to a Knight.

As long as you remember one of the primary rules of 4E, which is that powers do exactly what they say they do, no more and no less, you should be fine. I have been playing in mixed Essentials / non-Essentials campaigns since Essentials was released, and have experienceed no problems at my tables whatsoever.

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