Any class advised to mix with rogue in order to make a Controller?

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My primary concept was a martial controller using rogue as the base, maybe hybrid with ranger, but I've since decided that I'd be cool with some magic in the build. Preferably "anti-hero" type magic, so something like warlock or assassin. Even if the mix is to get cool stealth or mobility stuff, like a hybrid rogue|assassin with shadow step, or something.

The sort of general headspace here is a midrange, highly mobile character with at least equal parts control and damage, but preferably a stronger focus on control.

Obviously multi attack powers can be used to hit multiple opponents, and if I can put a decent to good control effect on those attacks, cool, and the rogue has stuff like blinding barrage. I've never gone this far with using a striker to control, though, nor have I played a straight up controller, so I know there's stuff I've never even thought about with this idea.

Some possibly relevant rulings at my table: hybrid executioners do get to pick assassin powers or poisons/AS whenever it comes up. I've seen mention of people ruling otherwise, but no one in my group agrees with that, so there it is. Assassins get some of the feat taxes as class features. It's still nebulous which ones, because my GM buddy doens't agree with me on which ones, but either way assassin sucks less than in normal games because it gets some of the fixes automatically.

We may houserule that old mc hexblade feat back into existence, so hybrid warlocks can use hexblade stuff. We also ignore/gloss over rules issues with hexblade weapons so they're playable. So, gloomblade is on the table, for instance.

We may end up houseruling a bunch of sources of stacking damage to no longer stack, so I don't want to rely on damage stacking from a bunch of untyped bonuses in order to be effective.

I can't think of any other parameters or houserules that would effect what works here. :P

I'd really appreciate some help with this. I don't have nearly the time I used to for character building, and I've no CB access right now, besides. (I will before game starts, but for now I'm stuck doing it old school, and I don't own all the books)
Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
Tons of Rogue powers already have control effects (Blind, Stun, Daze, etc.). So.. um, pure Rogue.

You'll never be an actual controller, if you'd ever seen a well-built, well-played controller in play that'd be obvious because you're not changing encounters with a striker who takes controller-y powers.

If the idea is highly mobile, little bit of magic, damage+status effects, melee... well, Swordmage|Warlock. Bonus: Defenders are essentially a specialized type of controller in what they actually do.
Ranged rangers can be pretty controlly at higher levels too, but I wouldn't advise hybriding roge to ranged ranger.
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.
Straight warlock can work too. Eldritch Strike for your melee needs and then feylock powers for pretty decent control. Rogue|Warlock/Assassin isn't horrible, but it's not top-tier and thus not really up to snuff for CharOp.
I'd look at Rogue|Sentinel or Rogue|Invoker. Secondary stats don't particularly matter for either of the builds. Elf is a great race for all the obvious reasons. You just need to solve the weapliment problem - either gaining light blades as implements, holy symbols as implements, or use a ki focus. Elemental Initiate, MC Avenger, etc...

An interesting choice can be a goblin Rogue|Sentinel. You can pick up the Living Zephyr companion who has an aura 2 granting lightly obscured against enemies(aka partial concealment), who flies up to altitude 2, and is medium sized - i.e. you can use it as a Mount and if you use hybrid talent for Cunning Sneak, you can join the ranks of the hidden very easily. Goblinoid Mount Training even lets you use your defenses for your Companion and lets it make Stealth checks using your checks.
I'd look at Rogue|Sentinel or Rogue|Invoker. Secondary stats don't particularly matter for either of the builds. Elf is a great race for all the obvious reasons. You just need to solve the weapliment problem - either gaining light blades as implements, holy symbols as implements, or use a ki focus. Elemental Initiate, MC Avenger, etc...

An interesting choice can be a goblin Rogue|Sentinel. You can pick up the Living Zephyr companion who has an aura 2 granting lightly obscured against enemies(aka partial concealment), who flies up to altitude 2, and is medium sized - i.e. you can use it as a Mount and if you use hybrid talent for Cunning Sneak, you can join the ranks of the hidden very easily. Goblinoid Mount Training even lets you use your defenses for your Companion and lets it make Stealth checks using your checks.



That could be very cool. Pretty far (potentially) from my original concept, but definately really cool.

Your other option is Seeker, which you probably don't want to use.



No one wants to use that.

Well, to be more accurate, plenty of people want to use it, but no one should. :P

Straight warlock can work too. Eldritch Strike for your melee needs and then feylock powers for pretty decent control. Rogue|Warlock/Assassin isn't horrible, but it's not top-tier and thus not really up to snuff for CharOp.



Indeed.



Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
Tons of Rogue powers already have control effects (Blind, Stun, Daze, etc.). So.. um, pure Rogue.

You'll never be an actual controller, if you'd ever seen a well-built, well-played controller in play that'd be obvious because you're not changing encounters with a striker who takes controller-y powers.

If the idea is highly mobile, little bit of magic, damage+status effects, melee... well, Swordmage|Warlock. Bonus: Defenders are essentially a specialized type of controller in what they actually do.



Swordmage|warlock could work.

It'll never be a top teir controller, but I don't particularly agree with the general sentiment that anything that isn't "changing encounters" isn't an actual controller. Not really worth getting in an argument over, though.

I'll have to look closer at the swordmage. It's one of the only defenders I kind of like (the defender gameplay is unappealing to me, for some reason) so it could work.


Are there any good ways to get some kind of control effect on, say, eldritch strike? Via a weapon or feat, perhaps?
Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
If you aren't changing encounters, you run into this basic math problem where it'd be better to play another striker. One of the many reasons 5 Elf Archer Rangers are so ridiculous, as a party. It isn't really an opinion, every added PC makes encounters more difficult by increasing the XP budget, there is a clear point of ROI. Your controller must be this effective to be better than adding more damage.

Curse and Curse+Mark have a lot of controller options, for both Warlock and Swordmage. You can go Cha/Int or Int/Con, depending on what kind of durability you are going for/pact selection/power/race selection. You're going to MC Fighter in all likelihood. I'd check out both handbooks and the various builds that are based around the concept already (at least two of the Ultiimate Defenders, link in the sticky of links at the top of the forum).
If you aren't changing encounters, you run into this basic math problem where it'd be better to play another striker. One of the many reasons 5 Elf Archer Rangers are so ridiculous, as a party. It isn't really an opinion, every added PC makes encounters more difficult by increasing the XP budget, there is a clear point of ROI. Your controller must be this effective to be better than adding more damage.

Curse and Curse+Mark have a lot of controller options, for both Warlock and Swordmage. You can go Cha/Int or Int/Con, depending on what kind of durability you are going for/pact selection/power/race selection. You're going to MC Fighter in all likelihood. I'd check out both handbooks and the various builds that are based around the concept already (at least two of the Ultiimate Defenders, link in the sticky of links at the top of the forum).



I thought I made it clear that I wasn't getting into an argument. Unlike my friend Radar, I know CharOp well enough to know that it's a waste of time. So please, drop it.

As I said, I'll look into the swordlock thing, but there's a good chance that I'd rather lean more toward striker rather than give up the rogue's cool toys. As much as I'd like to be more focused on control, being at least vaguely martial is at least as big a part of the concept.
Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
Just remembered something I had forgotten. In my group, alchemical items use your basic attack's attack mod.
Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
I'd look at Rogue|Sentinel or Rogue|Invoker. Secondary stats don't particularly matter for either of the builds. Elf is a great race for all the obvious reasons. You just need to solve the weapliment problem - either gaining light blades as implements, holy symbols as implements, or use a ki focus. Elemental Initiate, MC Avenger, etc...

An interesting choice can be a goblin Rogue|Sentinel. You can pick up the Living Zephyr companion who has an aura 2 granting lightly obscured against enemies(aka partial concealment), who flies up to altitude 2, and is medium sized - i.e. you can use it as a Mount and if you use hybrid talent for Cunning Sneak, you can join the ranks of the hidden very easily. Goblinoid Mount Training even lets you use your defenses for your Companion and lets it make Stealth checks using your checks.



That could be very cool. Pretty far (potentially) from my original concept, but definately really cool.



It shouldn't be that far - Sentinel has Druid controller options - Magic Stones, Charm Beast is awesome control and Invoker, well, has Hand of Radiance, Thunder of Judgment and Silent Malediction.

The Elf version of Rogue|Sentinel actually can do some interesting things, too. Wood Elves get to roll a stealth check when they roll initiative if they have any concealment. Add in Cloak of Concealment and you can potentially get 3 rounds of hidden or invisibility at very little resource cost.

Some of the hidden options potentially even make up for the loss of extra damage/+ to hit. i.e. you pick up the Elemental Initiate theme for Ki Focuses, pick up Shadow Master Ki Focus for 4+enhancement bonus damage per turn when you hit targets while being hidden, MC into Ranger for Dungeoneering Skill and Darkstrider for 3+Wisdom extra damage from weapon attacks when hidden. When you can go hidden as easily as a Rogue|Sentinel with a Zephyr can, that damage can add up...

That is more damage than control, though. 
I thought I made it clear that I wasn't getting into an argument. Unlike my friend Radar, I know CharOp well enough to know that it's a waste of time. So please, drop it.

As I said, I'll look into the swordlock thing, but there's a good chance that I'd rather lean more toward striker rather than give up the rogue's cool toys. As much as I'd like to be more focused on control, being at least vaguely martial is at least as big a part of the concept.

You made it clear you thought it was a matter of opinion. You were wrong. You've been corrected. You're welcome. You don't get to come into CharOp, ask experts for advice, and oh by the way I'll just throw out this opinion that is wrong as a sidebar. No. Moving along.

Warlock is a striker. If you go Aegis of Assault you can basically decide not to be much of a defender and use the mark enforce to double-tap, with curse, every round by giving up your Immediate. 4e heavily encourages refluffing. Having the martial power source is almost meaningless in terms of character concept. You're using a sword and making melee attacks, in addition to throwing out magical attacks every so often. Plus, if you MC Fighter, you actually have access to any of the interesting feats that require a Martial class.
I'm so lost as to how this randomly degraded. There isn't even a trend to follow, its like people just wanted to be ****s here...
10/10 Would Flame Again: An Elite Paladin|Warlock The Elemental Man (or Woman): A Genasi Handbook The Warlord, Or How to Wield a Barbarian One-Handed The Bookish Barbarian Fardiz: RAI is fairly clear, but RAZ is different That's right. Rules According to Zelink!
Are there any good ways to get some kind of control effect on, say, eldritch strike? Via a weapon or feat, perhaps?

Well it's already got a slide, so you can work with that - Flail Expertise turns it into prone, Lashing Flail gives you back your slide so you can do both. Work in Hindering Shield in some way to slow them. Add to slides with various items, maybe add some effects through curse as well? Curse of the Blind Stars/Mind-Numbing Curse are pretty cool for control, but they only work for encounters/dailies.
Pact Boon of "slide all cursed enemies" + Damage/Effect Zones.

Warlock|Rogue/Assassin is pretty much this forums iconic (and most effective) permastealther.
"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.
I'd look at Rogue|Sentinel or Rogue|Invoker. Secondary stats don't particularly matter for either of the builds. Elf is a great race for all the obvious reasons. You just need to solve the weapliment problem - either gaining light blades as implements, holy symbols as implements, or use a ki focus. Elemental Initiate, MC Avenger, etc...

An interesting choice can be a goblin Rogue|Sentinel. You can pick up the Living Zephyr companion who has an aura 2 granting lightly obscured against enemies(aka partial concealment), who flies up to altitude 2, and is medium sized - i.e. you can use it as a Mount and if you use hybrid talent for Cunning Sneak, you can join the ranks of the hidden very easily. Goblinoid Mount Training even lets you use your defenses for your Companion and lets it make Stealth checks using your checks.



That could be very cool. Pretty far (potentially) from my original concept, but definately really cool.



It shouldn't be that far - Sentinel has Druid controller options - Magic Stones, Charm Beast is awesome control and Invoker, well, has Hand of Radiance, Thunder of Judgment and Silent Malediction.

The Elf version of Rogue|Sentinel actually can do some interesting things, too. Wood Elves get to roll a stealth check when they roll initiative if they have any concealment. Add in Cloak of Concealment and you can potentially get 3 rounds of hidden or invisibility at very little resource cost.

Some of the hidden options potentially even make up for the loss of extra damage/+ to hit. i.e. you pick up the Elemental Initiate theme for Ki Focuses, pick up Shadow Master Ki Focus for 4+enhancement bonus damage per turn when you hit targets while being hidden, MC into Ranger for Dungeoneering Skill and Darkstrider for 3+Wisdom extra damage from weapon attacks when hidden. When you can go hidden as easily as a Rogue|Sentinel with a Zephyr can, that damage can add up...

That is more damage than control, though. 



Yeah, like I said in the OP, I get that there's a good chance that any basic concept I try to go with will end up having to be more striker than controller. I wish there was a good way to make a strong mid range weapon using controller, but I'm gonna have to compromise on some part of that concept in order to have an effective character.

I thought I made it clear that I wasn't getting into an argument. Unlike my friend Radar, I know CharOp well enough to know that it's a waste of time. So please, drop it.

As I said, I'll look into the swordlock thing, but there's a good chance that I'd rather lean more toward striker rather than give up the rogue's cool toys. As much as I'd like to be more focused on control, being at least vaguely martial is at least as big a part of the concept.

You made it clear you thought it was a matter of opinion. You were wrong. You've been corrected. You're welcome. You don't get to come into CharOp, ask experts for advice, and oh by the way I'll just throw out this opinion that is wrong as a sidebar. No. Moving along.




I "get to" do whatever I like, so long as I stay within the parameters of the CoC, actually. You're the only one here acting out of line. What makes something a "true controller" is a matter of opinion. I truly hope you're not actually arrogant enough to not realize that.

As for reflavoring, I've been an advocate of that enough on these forums that I really don't need you to "explain" it to me. I also know that reflavouring magical effects as non magical doesn't always work in game, because 4e does a good job of making mechanics "feel" like what they're meant to represent. A swordmage does not feel like a mundane swordsman. it feels magical. The effects are not the same kinds of things that martial characters do in the system, and that knowledge can't simply be erased by force of will.

So no, a completely magical character with mechanics meant to represent magical effects in play is not going to feel like a martial concept, and is thus pretty far from the concept I posted in the OP, which involved, at most, a reletively small amount of magic.

Are there any good ways to get some kind of control effect on, say, eldritch strike? Via a weapon or feat, perhaps?

Well it's already got a slide, so you can work with that - Flail Expertise turns it into prone, Lashing Flail gives you back your slide so you can do both. Work in Hindering Shield in some way to slow them. Add to slides with various items, maybe add some effects through curse as well? Curse of the Blind Stars/Mind-Numbing Curse are pretty cool for control, but they only work for encounters/dailies.



Interesting option. Certainly something to poke around with once I've got my DDI sub back up. Thanks!
Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
As for reflavoring, I've been an advocate of that enough on these forums that I really don't need you to "explain" it to me. I also know that reflavouring magical effects as non magical doesn't always work in game, because 4e does a good job of making mechanics "feel" like what they're meant to represent. A swordmage does not feel like a mundane swordsman. it feels magical. The effects are not the same kinds of things that martial characters do in the system, and that knowledge can't simply be erased by force of will.

So no, a completely magical character with mechanics meant to represent magical effects in play is not going to feel like a martial concept, and is thus pretty far from the concept I posted in the OP, which involved, at most, a reletively small amount of magic.



Disagree.  I'm of the opinion that reflavoring can still work with that sort of thing.  An assault swordmage's Assault Aegis can simply be refluffed as a dash almost too quick to follow, and a Warlock's Eldritch Strike can be a heavy blow that the enemy tried to jump out of the way of and still got clipped in the process, landing in a direction away from the player.  Any elemental effects can just be a weapon's magic if you're worried about it, or just ignored because it really doesn't matter that much.

Also, more on topic, I agree with the people who suggest Rogue is intensely Controller-ish without a hybrid.  There's a lot of tricks there, especially after you get out of early heroic.
Shadar-Kai (who are a good race for Rogues) have a bunch of feats which allow you to throw on various control effects when you hit while insubstantial from shadow jaunting.
Doom of Jiksidur knocks prone.
Dread of Sakkors pushes 2 and slows.
Drowning of Nhalloth slides 1 and imposes a -2 attack penalty.

Shadar-Kai Assassins also have a feat that lets you sack Shade Form to recharge Shadow Jaunt.

Putting all this into one build takes an awful lot of feats, though.  You wouldn't have all the pieces in place until paragon.
As for reflavoring, I've been an advocate of that enough on these forums that I really don't need you to "explain" it to me. I also know that reflavouring magical effects as non magical doesn't always work in game, because 4e does a good job of making mechanics "feel" like what they're meant to represent. A swordmage does not feel like a mundane swordsman. it feels magical. The effects are not the same kinds of things that martial characters do in the system, and that knowledge can't simply be erased by force of will.

So no, a completely magical character with mechanics meant to represent magical effects in play is not going to feel like a martial concept, and is thus pretty far from the concept I posted in the OP, which involved, at most, a reletively small amount of magic.



Disagree.  I'm of the opinion that reflavoring can still work with that sort of thing.  An assault swordmage's Assault Aegis can simply be refluffed as a dash almost too quick to follow, and a Warlock's Eldritch Strike can be a heavy blow that the enemy tried to jump out of the way of and still got clipped in the process, landing in a direction away from the player.  Any elemental effects can just be a weapon's magic if you're worried about it, or just ignored because it really doesn't matter that much.

Also, more on topic, I agree with the people who suggest Rogue is intensely Controller-ish without a hybrid.  There's a lot of tricks there, especially after you get out of early heroic.



I don't think it's a matter of agreement, really, so much as simple personal preference. Some people naturally disengage the mechanics from the fluff, while others naturally link them. If you naturally link them, going too far with refluffing will simply lead to a jarring roleplaying experience. At that point, for me at least, I'd be better off playing Hero. :P

The rogue by itself is a fine way to go, sure. My reason for starting the thread is to see if adding a second class can enhance the control without straying too far from the concept.

With the alchemical item houserule this game's GM is using, I'm taking a second look at those, too. Not sure if it will change anything, yet. I may also look at rogue|executioner. I don't have any executioner material on hand right now, but IIRC some of the poisons have control effects, right? And Assassin encounter and daily powers are often really fun, and sometimes more controller than striker. (almost as if they started designing a shadowdancer controller class, then changed their minds and made it an assassin, instead.)

Shadar-Kai (who are a good race for Rogues) have a bunch of feats which allow you to throw on various control effects when you hit while insubstantial from shadow jaunting.
Doom of Jiksidur knocks prone.
Dread of Sakkors pushes 2 and slows.
Drowning of Nhalloth slides 1 and imposes a -2 attack penalty.

Shadar-Kai Assassins also have a feat that lets you sack Shade Form to recharge Shadow Jaunt.

Putting all this into one build takes an awful lot of feats, though.  You wouldn't have all the pieces in place until paragon.



as cool as that one is, we'll be starting mid heroic at the latest, and I realy don't like playing half a tier before my concept "comes together". going shadar-kai might be worth it, though, anyway. I don't have to grab the whole slew of options, after all.



Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
I "get to" do whatever I like, so long as I stay within the parameters of the CoC, actually. You're the only one here acting out of line. What makes something a "true controller" is a matter of opinion. I truly hope you're not actually arrogant enough to not realize that.

As for reflavoring, I've been an advocate of that enough on these forums that I really don't need you to "explain" it to me. I also know that reflavouring magical effects as non magical doesn't always work in game, because 4e does a good job of making mechanics "feel" like what they're meant to represent. A swordmage does not feel like a mundane swordsman. it feels magical. The effects are not the same kinds of things that martial characters do in the system, and that knowledge can't simply be erased by force of will.

So no, a completely magical character with mechanics meant to represent magical effects in play is not going to feel like a martial concept, and is thus pretty far from the concept I posted in the OP, which involved, at most, a reletively small amount of magic.


And I get to respond when you're wrong. Funny how that works. Interesting how when you post wrong things it is somehow OK and when I correct you for being wrong I'm out of line. Uh-huh. Isn't an opinion, it is game math. Well established game math. A controller requires a certain level of effectiveness to justify his place in the party and the increase in the XP budget for encounters. If he falls below that level (and a Rogue built as a controller will), you may as well just be a striker. It is possible that you could build a "damaging controller" out of a Rogue, but then you are justifying your place mostly through damage with some added control.... which describes a normal Rogue, so all you've done is do exactly what I said you'd need to do: just play a striker. Curious. For someone who has never played a controller you have an awful lot of baseless opinions about what it means to be one.

Go look at some Fighter powers. Go look at some Swordmage powers. A lot of them have literally identical effects. Not the ones CharOp considers top tier usually, but most of them are similar. Or Wardens and Fighters. There really is no mechanical difference at all, except the fluff text. Which, hey, is fluff, and this is where refluffing comes in. You're already imagining differences where there aren't any, you are well on your way to being able to refluff correctly.
I think you're really stretching the meaning of "a lot" there.
Dimensional Vortex, Feast of Souls, Hellish Rebuke, Touch of Command ... yeah, there's things that don't refluff as non-magical (unless you count Alchemical). Of course, the Martial Classes have things that don't refluff as non-magical also, requiring the "Martial Power Source" to be non-magical is a little illogical, they aren't the same thing; Magic is ingrained in every aspect of 4e. That's one of the reasons why I've always found anti-refluffers to be absurd, in order for something to be "non-magical" it has to follow real world logic for plausibility, unless the Mythbusters could replicate it, it's not "non-magical".

I "get to" do whatever I like, so long as I stay within the parameters of the CoC, actually. You're the only one here acting out of line. What makes something a "true controller" is a matter of opinion. I truly hope you're not actually arrogant enough to not realize that.

While Alcestis is regularly out of line with the inflection and attitude of his comments, calling something an opinion in an attempt to refute it outright is a cop-out. You said you don't want to argue about it, so consider this a parental explanation.

Encounters are built using an XP budget, which is based on the level and number of PCs, typically you'll figure out the budget for a single session or level and divide it up so there's a few easier encounters and a couple much harder ones. So encounter difficulty is directly impacted by the number of PCs, ergo a PCs presence in a party is justified by not costing the rest of the party more resources per encounter. While it's true that because of the AEDU system, the longer combats run, the worse the PCs do, the reason for this is resource expenditure - Encounter and Daily powers have greater impact than At-wills. Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself.

There is a generally unspoken win condition in 4e combat, you win when the other side can't attack you anymore. Damage is by and far the easiest method of accomplishing this, and the only one that is consistent in the rules (SkCs being the other), but damage doesn't tell the whole story. An enemy that spends a round unable to attack effectively dies 1 round sooner (the main reason attacking a controlled target is stupid, you diminish the effect of the control), this is the basis of the Controller and part of the Defender. The number of effective actions your enemies can take determines how much healing you need, every action you take needs to reduce their number of effective actions; This is the basis for Focus Firing, Nova Turns, Party-Op, and exactly what kinds of Control are meaningful, it is the main reason why increasing healing is the wrong answer to "combats get grindy and people fall over".

However, basically every class has powers which combine some form of control (from forced movement to dominates) with damage. It's probably the most absurd strength of the Ranger, which gets glossed over in favor of 'zomg damage', that by barely dropping their damage in the slightest, they negate an attack per round at the minimum in Paragon. While it's a little unfair to set the bar at Ranger, that is exactly the sort of competition Controllers have to justify their place, Damage always works, Control doesn't, so Controllers have to be not only more versatile, but also a lot more powerful in their Control than a Striker is with their Damage+Control. If a Striker can optimize to Nova an enemy to death in 1 turn, the Controller needs to remove just as many actions with their Nova, which effectively translates to "2-4 enemies can't attack per round". When coupled with the 1 turn striker nova from 2 strikers, and leader+defender shutting down another enemy, this results in the Controller turning the enemy round into 0 actions - game changer.
"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.
I think you're really stretching the meaning of "a lot" there.

Damage, pushes, pulls, dazes, slows, immobilizes, stuns.... the only thing Martial doesn't really have on their powers that Swordmages/Warlocks do is Teleports and Dominates. But teleports being refluffed as a super dash a la any martial arts movie ever and dominate being quick blade work confusing the opponents attack are easy enough. I parry your attack into your friend is an actual thing if you ever take say fencing lessons that focus on fighting groups (several Eastern martial arts have techniques just for that).

So, yeah, by "a lot" I mean "almost all." Which is quite a lot.
Oh, OK, it's the term "literally" and/or "identical" that you are playing fast-and-loose with.  Because even ignoring damage type variation (which is one mechical way most swordmage powers are distinct from most fighter powers), I think none of the level 1 swordmage powers are identical to ANY fighter powers (I just re-skimmed them).
Oh, OK, it's the term "literally" and/or "identical" that you are playing fast-and-loose with.  Because even ignoring damage type variation (which is one mechical way most swordmage powers are distinct from most fighter powers), I think none of the level 1 swordmage powers are identical to ANY fighter powers (I just re-skimmed them).

Luring Strike and Footwork Lure are 1[W] (+stat for Footwork lure), shift, slide target into vacated space. Luring Strike also gets an additional shift before or after the attack. But they do essentially the same thing. So you think wrong.

There are dozens of other powers that are likewise basically identical, and if you strip things down to purely mechanical effects (which is step #1 in refluffing), yep, same stuff. I noted the only mechanical overlap that doesn't exist (Fighters don't have Teleports or Dominates, but then I also gave a pretty standard suggestion for how that can be refluffed to be martial-esque).

Damage type has a neglible mechanical impact unless you're optimizing around it or fighting monsters that regularly have resist/vuln to that damage type. Which isn't common with any of the types that show up on Swordmage powers. So you can ignore it 95% of the time if it doesn't match your fluff. But since quite a lot of characters end up getting Elemental weapons anyway, really not an issue. Perhaps Thunder+Resounding Thunder would be the exception for Sword Burst how could we... oh, wait, you swing the sword so fast it causes a sonic boom, and the concussion damages enemies in a close burst 2. Now that is actually impossible, but it isn't "Magic" in the conventional sense. Refluffed. Not hard.
Dimensional Vortex, Feast of Souls, Hellish Rebuke, Touch of Command ... yeah, there's things that don't refluff as non-magical (unless you count Alchemical). Of course, the Martial Classes have things that don't refluff as non-magical also, requiring the "Martial Power Source" to be non-magical is a little illogical, they aren't the same thing; Magic is ingrained in every aspect of 4e. That's one of the reasons why I've always found anti-refluffers to be absurd, in order for something to be "non-magical" it has to follow real world logic for plausibility, unless the Mythbusters could replicate it, it's not "non-magical".

I "get to" do whatever I like, so long as I stay within the parameters of the CoC, actually. You're the only one here acting out of line. What makes something a "true controller" is a matter of opinion. I truly hope you're not actually arrogant enough to not realize that.

While Alcestis is regularly out of line with the inflection and attitude of his comments, calling something an opinion in an attempt to refute it outright is a cop-out. You said you don't want to argue about it, so consider this a parental explanation.

Encounters are built using an XP budget, which is based on the level and number of PCs, typically you'll figure out the budget for a single session or level and divide it up so there's a few easier encounters and a couple much harder ones. So encounter difficulty is directly impacted by the number of PCs, ergo a PCs presence in a party is justified by not costing the rest of the party more resources per encounter. While it's true that because of the AEDU system, the longer combats run, the worse the PCs do, the reason for this is resource expenditure - Encounter and Daily powers have greater impact than At-wills. Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself.

There is a generally unspoken win condition in 4e combat, you win when the other side can't attack you anymore. Damage is by and far the easiest method of accomplishing this, and the only one that is consistent in the rules (SkCs being the other), but damage doesn't tell the whole story. An enemy that spends a round unable to attack effectively dies 1 round sooner (the main reason attacking a controlled target is stupid, you diminish the effect of the control), this is the basis of the Controller and part of the Defender. The number of effective actions your enemies can take determines how much healing you need, every action you take needs to reduce their number of effective actions; This is the basis for Focus Firing, Nova Turns, Party-Op, and exactly what kinds of Control are meaningful, it is the main reason why increasing healing is the wrong answer to "combats get grindy and people fall over".

However, basically every class has powers which combine some form of control (from forced movement to dominates) with damage. It's probably the most absurd strength of the Ranger, which gets glossed over in favor of 'zomg damage', that by barely dropping their damage in the slightest, they negate an attack per round at the minimum in Paragon. While it's a little unfair to set the bar at Ranger, that is exactly the sort of competition Controllers have to justify their place, Damage always works, Control doesn't, so Controllers have to be not only more versatile, but also a lot more powerful in their Control than a Striker is with their Damage+Control. If a Striker can optimize to Nova an enemy to death in 1 turn, the Controller needs to remove just as many actions with their Nova, which effectively translates to "2-4 enemies can't attack per round". When coupled with the 1 turn striker nova from 2 strikers, and leader+defender shutting down another enemy, this results in the Controller turning the enemy round into 0 actions - game changer.



I'm sure you don't mean it that way, but there is almost nothing more condescending and insulting than calling something like the above a "parental explanation." Assuming I'm right about your intent, I appreciate it, however.

And I didn't dismiss anything. I comment that I disagree with a general statement, (entirely because I wanted to avoid confusion, in case a future post would make more sense in the context of that disagreement somehow), and then stated that it's not important enough to get into a ridiculous forum debate over. I really don't need any explanation here. I know the arguments already. I've been on these forums since before 4e launched, and lurked before then. I'm far from new. I disagree. I feel no need to convince anyone of my point of view. You want to split controllers into controllers and non controllers, based on whether or not they're "changing encounters", I disagree with that, who cares?

This thread doesn't require that this "debate" be resolved. At all.

I stated in the OP that while I'd like a character within the parameters I listed that focused almost entirely on control, I realize that I'll probably have to settle for something leaning more toward damage than that.

Again, I stated all that in the original post.

This whole debate is a complete, unnecessary and wasteful derailment.

Which is unfortunate, because the rest of the thread has been interesting and fun.

I "get to" do whatever I like, so long as I stay within the parameters of the CoC, actually. You're the only one here acting out of line. What makes something a "true controller" is a matter of opinion. I truly hope you're not actually arrogant enough to not realize that.

As for reflavoring, I've been an advocate of that enough on these forums that I really don't need you to "explain" it to me. I also know that reflavouring magical effects as non magical doesn't always work in game, because 4e does a good job of making mechanics "feel" like what they're meant to represent. A swordmage does not feel like a mundane swordsman. it feels magical. The effects are not the same kinds of things that martial characters do in the system, and that knowledge can't simply be erased by force of will.

So no, a completely magical character with mechanics meant to represent magical effects in play is not going to feel like a martial concept, and is thus pretty far from the concept I posted in the OP, which involved, at most, a reletively small amount of magic.


And I get to respond when you're wrong. Funny how that works. Interesting how when you post wrong things it is somehow OK and when I correct you for being wrong I'm out of line. Uh-huh. Isn't an opinion, it is game math. Well established game math. A controller requires a certain level of effectiveness to justify his place in the party and the increase in the XP budget for encounters. If he falls below that level (and a Rogue built as a controller will), you may as well just be a striker. It is possible that you could build a "damaging controller" out of a Rogue, but then you are justifying your place mostly through damage with some added control.... which describes a normal Rogue, so all you've done is do exactly what I said you'd need to do: just play a striker. Curious. For someone who has never played a controller you have an awful lot of baseless opinions about what it means to be one.



Neither making a statement (whether correct, incorrect or matter of opinion), nor rebutting that comment are out of line, by themselves. You are out of line because of the way you're posting. Qualitive assesments of behavior only make sense when they are based on the way in which one interacts with/treats others. Any other metric is complete nonsense.

And again, I'm not having the argument you keep insisting on trying to have. Are you enjoying arguing with no one? I mean, it's kind of funny to watch, but it sure doesn't seem like you're having any fun.

Hint: I'm never going to engage in this debate with you. Ever. I already told you that. Continueing to try and force the issue would be, at this point, trolling/baiting. Please don't go there.



Go look at some Fighter powers. Go look at some Swordmage powers. A lot of them have literally identical effects. Not the ones CharOp considers top tier usually, but most of them are similar. Or Wardens and Fighters. There really is no mechanical difference at all, except the fluff text. Which, hey, is fluff, and this is where refluffing comes in. You're already imagining differences where there aren't any, you are well on your way to being able to refluff correctly.



Refluffing isn't a requirement of the system, and it's not something one must enjoy in order to enjoy 4e. Nor is refluffing, but not the the same extent which you seem to like doing, "playing wrong".




Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
Show
Dimensional Vortex, Feast of Souls, Hellish Rebuke, Touch of Command ... yeah, there's things that don't refluff as non-magical (unless you count Alchemical). Of course, the Martial Classes have things that don't refluff as non-magical also, requiring the "Martial Power Source" to be non-magical is a little illogical, they aren't the same thing; Magic is ingrained in every aspect of 4e. That's one of the reasons why I've always found anti-refluffers to be absurd, in order for something to be "non-magical" it has to follow real world logic for plausibility, unless the Mythbusters could replicate it, it's not "non-magical".

I "get to" do whatever I like, so long as I stay within the parameters of the CoC, actually. You're the only one here acting out of line. What makes something a "true controller" is a matter of opinion. I truly hope you're not actually arrogant enough to not realize that.

While Alcestis is regularly out of line with the inflection and attitude of his comments, calling something an opinion in an attempt to refute it outright is a cop-out. You said you don't want to argue about it, so consider this a parental explanation.

Encounters are built using an XP budget, which is based on the level and number of PCs, typically you'll figure out the budget for a single session or level and divide it up so there's a few easier encounters and a couple much harder ones. So encounter difficulty is directly impacted by the number of PCs, ergo a PCs presence in a party is justified by not costing the rest of the party more resources per encounter. While it's true that because of the AEDU system, the longer combats run, the worse the PCs do, the reason for this is resource expenditure - Encounter and Daily powers have greater impact than At-wills. Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself.

There is a generally unspoken win condition in 4e combat, you win when the other side can't attack you anymore. Damage is by and far the easiest method of accomplishing this, and the only one that is consistent in the rules (SkCs being the other), but damage doesn't tell the whole story. An enemy that spends a round unable to attack effectively dies 1 round sooner (the main reason attacking a controlled target is stupid, you diminish the effect of the control), this is the basis of the Controller and part of the Defender. The number of effective actions your enemies can take determines how much healing you need, every action you take needs to reduce their number of effective actions; This is the basis for Focus Firing, Nova Turns, Party-Op, and exactly what kinds of Control are meaningful, it is the main reason why increasing healing is the wrong answer to "combats get grindy and people fall over".

However, basically every class has powers which combine some form of control (from forced movement to dominates) with damage. It's probably the most absurd strength of the Ranger, which gets glossed over in favor of 'zomg damage', that by barely dropping their damage in the slightest, they negate an attack per round at the minimum in Paragon. While it's a little unfair to set the bar at Ranger, that is exactly the sort of competition Controllers have to justify their place, Damage always works, Control doesn't, so Controllers have to be not only more versatile, but also a lot more powerful in their Control than a Striker is with their Damage+Control. If a Striker can optimize to Nova an enemy to death in 1 turn, the Controller needs to remove just as many actions with their Nova, which effectively translates to "2-4 enemies can't attack per round". When coupled with the 1 turn striker nova from 2 strikers, and leader+defender shutting down another enemy, this results in the Controller turning the enemy round into 0 actions - game changer.


this was actually a very informative read, thank you.
Oh, OK, it's the term "literally" and/or "identical" that you are playing fast-and-loose with.  Because even ignoring damage type variation (which is one mechical way most swordmage powers are distinct from most fighter powers), I think none of the level 1 swordmage powers are identical to ANY fighter powers (I just re-skimmed them).

Luring Strike and Footwork Lure are 1[W] (+stat for Footwork lure), shift, slide target into vacated space. Luring Strike also gets an additional shift before or after the attack. But they do essentially the same thing. So you think wrong.

There are dozens of other powers that are likewise basically identical, and if you strip things down to purely mechanical effects (which is step #1 in refluffing), yep, same stuff. I noted the only mechanical overlap that doesn't exist (Fighters don't have Teleports or Dominates, but then I also gave a pretty standard suggestion for how that can be refluffed to be martial-esque).



That all sounds awfully far from "literally identical".  Almost as if you just meant "similar".
Encounters are built using an XP budget, which is based on the level and number of PCs, typically you'll figure out the budget for a single session or level and divide it up so there's a few easier encounters and a couple much harder ones.



Going by the book's XP charts, a party of 5 seekers or vampires could take out most anything that is "at level" appropriate before the game breaks up and people want to try something new.

Going by sheer math, there's no reason not to exclusivly play a party of 5 rangers.

The table game falls somewhere in between, and your character ought to be tailored to that.

Doctor BadWolf has been posting here for years (6,000+ posts and a 2008 reg date). He knows this already. He's not interested in the debate, because he already knows both sides and the arguments for them. He's interested in hybriding a rogue with something that can drop controller effects. Doesn't matter if it'll break benchmarks for damage. Just matters that it works with his players and DM. He's optimizing for his table, not for anything else, and that style of optimization is as valid as any other.
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.


Going by the book's XP charts, a party of 5 seekers or vampires could take out most anything that is "at level" appropriate before the game breaks up and people want to try something new.


What?
You are assuming that 5 seekers or vampires were what Wizards had in mind when they made the XP budget chart.
Guess what, they didn't, these classes didn't even exist then.


Doctor BadWolf has been posting here for years (6,000+ posts and a 2008 reg date). He knows this already. He's not interested in the debate, because he already knows both sides and the arguments for them. He's interested in hybriding a rogue with something that can drop controller effects. Doesn't matter if it'll break benchmarks for damage. Just matters that it works with his players and DM. He's optimizing for his table, not for anything else, and that style of optimization is as valid as any other.


Number of posts =/= System Mastery
He could have posted all those +6000 posts in the Whats A DM to do subforum.
Maybe he does not know any of this in which case its good that someone informed him.
If you have advice that you believe will help the OP then by all means provide it.
Critisizing advice given by others definetely does not help the OP.



Going by the book's XP charts, a party of 5 seekers or vampires could take out most anything that is "at level" appropriate before the game breaks up and people want to try something new.


What?
You are assuming that 5 seekers or vampires were what Wizards had in mind when they made the XP budget chart.
Guess what, they didn't, these classes didn't even exist then.


Not only didn't they exist, but they also cannot handle the easy LFR Workday (2 SkCs and 2 L+1 or L+0 combats) much less the harder Quest finale/SPEC mods (3-4 L+1 to L+3 combats) or the high intensity Battle Interactives (5 L+0 to L+2 combats +whatever the party can handle in the time limits beyond that); at least, not without the kid gloves being used by the DM.
"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.
Encounters are built using an XP budget, which is based on the level and number of PCs, typically you'll figure out the budget for a single session or level and divide it up so there's a few easier encounters and a couple much harder ones.



Going by the book's XP charts, a party of 5 seekers or vampires could take out most anything that is "at level" appropriate before the game breaks up and people want to try something new.

Going by sheer math, there's no reason not to exclusivly play a party of 5 rangers.

The table game falls somewhere in between, and your character ought to be tailored to that.

Doctor BadWolf has been posting here for years (6,000+ posts and a 2008 reg date). He knows this already. He's not interested in the debate, because he already knows both sides and the arguments for them. He's interested in hybriding a rogue with something that can drop controller effects. Doesn't matter if it'll break benchmarks for damage. Just matters that it works with his players and DM. He's optimizing for his table, not for anything else, and that style of optimization is as valid as any other.



Thanks. That style of optimization used to also be supported by the community here. Not sure when that changed. Maybe I'll try my luck at enworld or rpg.net.
Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
To be fair, there are a host of reasons not to play in a table with all archer rangers, both mathemetical and otherwise.
10/10 Would Flame Again: An Elite Paladin|Warlock The Elemental Man (or Woman): A Genasi Handbook The Warlord, Or How to Wield a Barbarian One-Handed The Bookish Barbarian Fardiz: RAI is fairly clear, but RAZ is different That's right. Rules According to Zelink!
Encounters are built using an XP budget, which is based on the level and number of PCs, typically you'll figure out the budget for a single session or level and divide it up so there's a few easier encounters and a couple much harder ones.



Going by the book's XP charts, a party of 5 seekers or vampires could take out most anything that is "at level" appropriate before the game breaks up and people want to try something new.

Going by sheer math, there's no reason not to exclusivly play a party of 5 rangers.

The table game falls somewhere in between, and your character ought to be tailored to that.

Doctor BadWolf has been posting here for years (6,000+ posts and a 2008 reg date). He knows this already. He's not interested in the debate, because he already knows both sides and the arguments for them. He's interested in hybriding a rogue with something that can drop controller effects. Doesn't matter if it'll break benchmarks for damage. Just matters that it works with his players and DM. He's optimizing for his table, not for anything else, and that style of optimization is as valid as any other.



Thanks. That style of optimization used to also be supported by the community here. Not sure when that changed. Maybe I'll try my luck at enworld or rpg.net.


Talk about Snarky. You got your answer in the first 5 posts (actually, you got multiple good answers) before you decided to argue with Alcestis (despite saying you wouldn't).
"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.
But hey, apparently once you have a certain number of posts you instantly have authority.
10/10 Would Flame Again: An Elite Paladin|Warlock The Elemental Man (or Woman): A Genasi Handbook The Warlord, Or How to Wield a Barbarian One-Handed The Bookish Barbarian Fardiz: RAI is fairly clear, but RAZ is different That's right. Rules According to Zelink!
I totally get your frustration about the thread degenerating the way it has, but 95% of the time (and this thread is included in that), the question is answered successfully in the first ~5 posts. So it's not like the community doesn't respond to questions about "non-optimal" builds.

It's also not even the case that subsequent posts were pointless; I think there was some really interesting and insightful analysis mixed into the "off-topic" posts, even if that analysis was sometimes couched in rude or condescending language.

So the question was answered, and then afterwards, valid (though slightly rude) criticism and analysis was given of the general approach being taken. In my opinion, that's almost exactly how the forum should function (with the exception of the tone).
(with the exception of the tone).


This is the internet, and porn is specifically not allowed on these forums. Caveat emptor
"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.
My primary concept was a martial controller using rogue as the base, maybe hybrid with ranger, but I've since decided that I'd be cool with some magic in the build. Preferably "anti-hero" type magic, so something like warlock or assassin. Even if the mix is to get cool stealth or mobility stuff, like a hybrid rogue|assassin with shadow step, or something.

The sort of general headspace here is a midrange, highly mobile character with at least equal parts control and damage, but preferably a stronger focus on control.

Obviously multi attack powers can be used to hit multiple opponents, and if I can put a decent to good control effect on those attacks, cool, and the rogue has stuff like blinding barrage. I've never gone this far with using a striker to control, though, nor have I played a straight up controller, so I know there's stuff I've never even thought about with this idea.

Some possibly relevant rulings at my table: hybrid executioners do get to pick assassin powers or poisons/AS whenever it comes up. I've seen mention of people ruling otherwise, but no one in my group agrees with that, so there it is. Assassins get some of the feat taxes as class features. It's still nebulous which ones, because my GM buddy doens't agree with me on which ones, but either way assassin sucks less than in normal games because it gets some of the fixes automatically.

We may houserule that old mc hexblade feat back into existence, so hybrid warlocks can use hexblade stuff. We also ignore/gloss over rules issues with hexblade weapons so they're playable. So, gloomblade is on the table, for instance.

We may end up houseruling a bunch of sources of stacking damage to no longer stack, so I don't want to rely on damage stacking from a bunch of untyped bonuses in order to be effective.

I can't think of any other parameters or houserules that would effect what works here. :P

I'd really appreciate some help with this. I don't have nearly the time I used to for character building, and I've no CB access right now, besides. (I will before game starts, but for now I'm stuck doing it old school, and I don't own all the books)

Hybrid Rogue/Wizard... bring back the Magelords!
Wait, there was a porn ban? When!?
10/10 Would Flame Again: An Elite Paladin|Warlock The Elemental Man (or Woman): A Genasi Handbook The Warlord, Or How to Wield a Barbarian One-Handed The Bookish Barbarian Fardiz: RAI is fairly clear, but RAZ is different That's right. Rules According to Zelink!
Why do you think I'm not around as much?  It has nothing to do with building my new PC and playing tomb raider and the new bioshock, and everything to do with this barren pornless wasteland.
If it is still allowed to chip in things related to the OP I would suggest Rogue|Druid/Swordmage with the wererat theme and a goblin totem dagger. 

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