Essentials question?

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Hello. Joined mainly to ask this one question. It's about the essentials stuff. Mostly I've been combining things fine. LOVE the Skald. Those lost class features from the base Bard are SO worth it. One of my top classes to play. Combine with a pixie, and, well, the world trembled from the might of my super buffed behemoth I ride. Not a behemoth creature, but a fighter warforged or what have you. Anyway....

I have a question however. With some of the new class alternatives (I call them subclasses, since they're always listed under the main class) they have a character advancement grid like in Handbook 1. Thats all fine and dandy, except several of them don't say things like "Daily/encounter/at-will power" and instead say an outright power name. Now I know I can houserule things, technically, to do whatever I want. I can allow my character acess to level 30 attacks at level 1 if I wanted to, but I'd prefer to stick to the rules as much as possible. A personal quibble. Only afterward will I houserule something (or ask another DM).

My question is, while picking this character, such as the Knight for example, am I forced to use this single spell/attack/etc, or is it just that that's the only new option given in the book, and I can still decide on another? And if I can (I hope I can. Customisation and all), how do I determine what's a class feature and an attack with first level abilities? Like both the Rogue and fighter have "Power Strike", and it's a free action,a ctivateed when I attack, so I assume that's a class feature, but what of the others?

Any replies wil be apreciated. This is osmething that's been nagging at my group for a while now, especially me, because I like the idea of thesethings, hypothetically, but if I dont' have any choice in how my guy grows....
Classes gain Powers and Features stated in their write-up. 

If you play a Knight, then you cannot select Fighter At-will, Encounter or Daily Attack Powers no.
Well that... just sucks. Yeah, I think that will likely be a houseruled thing, right there. Seriously, that's dumb. Because the Skald, for example, did NOT have that, and I was mixing and matching all over the place. This was MY Skald. But I can't mkae him MY Knight? Boo. Hello, houserules.
The whole point for the Essentials martial classes is that they don't really do anything but basic-attack, basic-attack, basic-attack.  They're 'classic' that way (aka 'fighters are boring').
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Which is one reason I much prefer 4e over 3e. The FEW things I prefered from 3e, I just do the same for what I liked from 2e. Hourserules! I still have to get around to switching the Samurai to 4e, though... Think Katanas should be versaile, superior (Samurai class would automatically be able to weild them, obviously) and brutal 1?

Also Rainbow forever.
Katanas are longswords, full stop.
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Eh, I would have to say no. At least not a "true" katana, as in made with the special (If i recall in 3e, magic was used in their construction) quirks of theirs. Besides, it's a katana. It should somehow stand out if I'm bothering to do Samurai.

Besides, absed purely on weight, wouldn't it be considered a light blade, and thus not a longsword?

Hm, maybe not. Originally it was a masterwork bastard, not a long. Eh. I'll figure it out when I get around to it.
Shouldn't a katana be something versitle since it can switch between 1 hand and 2 hand?
The sea looks at the stabillity of the mountian and sighs. The mountian watches the freedom of the sea and cries.
Personalyl I would say yes. As well as Brutal 1 because, well, katana. The edge wassimply sharper than western swords. Same cutting power, but different ways. Longsword, or in this case bastard sword, cut because of the greater weight. A katana was lighter but had a sharper edge. Same cut, different reasons.

I personally think a Daikatana (I know that's not the correct term. I forget the right one.) should be akin to the bastard, while a normal should be akin to a long, but with brutal 1.

Also I'm not going to get in trouble for constantly saying bastard, am I?

Checking up, a bastard sword is already versatile AND superior, so yeah, I'd say just add Brutal 1 to it. Same die (1d10).
Isnt there a write up in the essentials that players can choose powers from other books - if appropriate. Now if the power has a class and a level, it can potentially be choosen from another book - like fighter utiltity L2 - but many essentails powers do not have levels attached so they can't be (many at will level at L1 for example)

Though your choices won't be unlimited with the material

in this book, when you add other products and information from the insider D&D

your options increase.

heroes of the forgotten kingdoms p79
Of course i stand to be corrected, but that line may be viewed as giving essential chars options rather than straight jacketing them.
Yeah, but isn't that an online only option? As in a subscription? If so, no sub here.
Shouldn't a katana be something versitle since it can switch between 1 hand and 2 hand?

Yes, that would be 'a longsword'.
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Except it was literally classified as a bastard sword before. I'm talking about making it its own blade. I mean hell, they made the broad sword seperate from the long, so why not?
Except it was literally classified as a bastard sword before. I'm talking about making it its own blade. I mean hell, they made the broad sword seperate from the long, so why not?

'Before' doesn't matter.  What previous editions did or didn't do has absolutely zero bearing on the way things should be done now.

I'd make it a longsword because I don't think Samurai should be its own class, and they certainly don't deserve a special 'better than every other superior weapon because anime katana fanboy did you see that episode of Schmukitori where Herpimaru Derpitaku cut a tank in half' sword.  I could see Samurai being a background.  Maybe a theme.  But it's not a class; it was just a social standing.  You could be a Samurai and be a fighter, ranger, or warlord easy.  You could be an arcane samurai with a Swordmage, a divine samurai with a Paladin, a primal one with a Barbarian or Warden.  There's nothing inherently mechanical about it, it's just choosing to roleplay a noble social status and a code of honor ... which ANY class can do.

The one thing those classes all have in common?  Longsword proficiency.  Of course, you can call your greatsword, or your broadsword, or your fullblade a katana too, if you feel like it; it's all fluff.
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If you want an in-rules answer, reflavour an existing weapon (longsword, bastard sword, kopesh).

If you want to play "Katanas are just better" (thanks Laughing) thats fine, but the rules Q&A forum doesn't concern itself with house rules.

FWIW, the Kensei paragon path looks pretty Samurai-ish to me.  
And yet Knight is a class? Knights and Samurai are literally the same in every which way, just an eastern and western side. Hell, the "knightest" class was already the Paladin.

And no, not a fanboy.

Also thae katana was not "better". It was just sharper. I'm pretty sure I said that they made the same cut. I doubt adding brutal 1 would make the katana better than any sword in the game. There are a few already like that, like say the kopesh. Just a superior weapon. And by that I meant class, as in bastard sword. NOT "it's a better weapon". If Brutal 1 is deemed to much, there's always high crit. See that far less often than a 1 on a d10 roll.
So there you go.  Make a Knight or Paladin, call it a Samurai, and you're done.  The joy of reflavoring.
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Hm, Kensei, looking it over, DOES kind of ook about good... hm... maybe....

Oh, wait, 3e DID have a Knight class, as WELL as a Samurai class.

Hello Oriental Adventures! I forgot about you! Forget what I said about the katana, I already have a base for it. Nevermind. Now, to determing if I should do Samurai or be hapy with Kensai....

And Kensai was also available before, as a prestige. So we already have precadent for all of it being used. That pretty much answers that.
Aww, and here I was hoping someone would start up the old "Samurai was more than a caste, the bushido code is a way of life!" arguments so I could show off my knowledge of the warrior cultures of Europe and the New World which make the Samurai look like the French.
"Invokers are probably better round after round but Wizard dailies are devastating. Actually, devastating is too light a word. Wizard daily powers are soul crushing, encounter ending, havoc causing pieces of awesome." -AirPower25 Sear the Flesh, Purify the Soul; Harden the Heart, and Improve the Mind; Born of Blood, but Forged by Fire; The MECH warrior reaches perfection.
Not from me. Knights and Samurai were basically, in reality, the same thing. Neither generally had an actual money, just lands, barely making it by. Both treated the serfs like, well, serfs. Both had a sucide pact that was rarely ever practiced in reality. I mean both chivalry and bushido were "a way of life", but basically treated as such the same way most modern religions are. The moderates of most faiths don't "live the lifestyle" like they "should" be. Heck, you line the bushido of the samurai and chivalry of knights up side by side and they're basically the same things.

Also what was wrong with the French? The French kicked ass.
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