Half Elf Dilettante

44 posts / 0 new
Last post
Pardon me if this has been asked before, didn't see it when I looked.

For the Half-Elf racial ability Dilettante, are you allowed to pick an at will class feature of another class, like the Paladin Lay on Hands ability, or does it have to be a "level one" power?
It has to be a power. The only way to get class features is to multiclass.
Pardon me if this has been asked before, didn't see it when I looked.

For the Half-Elf racial ability Dilettante, are you allowed to pick an at will class feature of another class, like the Paladin Lay on Hands ability, or does it have to be a "level one" power?

I believe it has to be one of the actual level one At-wills from the class in question. This needs to be clarified better, though, because I can see the reasoning behind saying that powers granted by class abilites are at-will powers of the class.
I believe it has to be one of the actual level one At-wills from the class in question. This needs to be clarified better, though, because I can see the reasoning behind saying that powers granted by class abilites are at-will powers of the class.

The difference is that those aren't technically powers. They're "class features that work like powers." Thus, you can't get Divine Challenge, any Channel Divinity stuff, or Lay on Hands.
Posted by Dalzig:
The only way to get class features is to multiclass.

...pardon? where did you see this ability? ive never heard of it before.
Just thought you should know. the countdown continues...
...pardon? where did you see this ability? ive never heard of it before.

Multiclassing or getting class features?

Um.. in the PHB. You take a multiclass feat and you get one skill and a reduced version of a class feature.
hmm... I think for the time being I'll just ask my DM if she cares, and we can always ret-con it later. If anyone sees something I missed, post back please!
oh, i thought you meant actually gaining the full class features of the other class, instead of just getting one of their features at a reduced availability. my bad :P
Just thought you should know. the countdown continues...
Oh no, just the one. What do you think about that? I mean, I can't think of a whole lot that would be good enough to be unbalanced regardless, but an extra heal in combat is never a bad thing.
oh, i thought you meant actually gaining the full class features of the other class, instead of just getting one of their features at a reduced availability. my bad :P

Oh no, just the one. What do you think about that? I mean, I can't think of a whole lot that would be good enough to be unbalanced regardless, but an extra heal in combat is never a bad thing.

I believe Nihzlet was refering to his post where he basically said "multiclassing, where?" and no one realized he was making the joke that 4e killed multiclassing, and replaced it with a couple lame feats.

That was the impression I got, anyways.
Also, I have sent the following question to customer service concerning this, I'll let you know what they say:
...
There seems to be some disagreement on whether or not Lay on Hands can be learned via the half-elf "Dilettante" racial ability.
The Dilettante ability says that the half-elf can choose an at-will power from a class different from theirs and use that power as an encounter power.
The description of Lay on Hands specifically refers to itself as a power ("Using the lay on hands power, paladins can..."), but then "class features" lists it as one of the paladin class features that work "like" powers, leading some to think that it's not actually a power and therefore not eligible.
So, what's the verdict?
Dilettante: At 1st level, you choose an at-will power
from a class different from yours. You can use that
power as an encounter power.

This does not say that you are limited to selecting either 1)an attack power or 2) a utility power. It simply says choose an at-will power from a class different from yours and does not exclude feature powers.

p.54 states:
The first line of a power description gives the name of the
power, the class it’s associated with, the kind of power it
is (attack or utility), and the power’s level (or the fact that
it’s a class feature).

Is it still an 'at will power'? We think so - the fact that the power's level is indicated by stating it is a class feature (instead of level X) doesn't remove the fact that it is a power does it?

Right now we are allowing the Half-Elf to select a class feature power that is an "at will" power. If clarification / errata comes out then it is easy enough to change. Look for way to say yes to your players;)
When you go up levels can you retrain the ability you picked to get more encounter powers from your actual class? If so then half-elves net you an extra encounter power, which is pretty good.
One thing I'd like clarification on is, as it is worded, a 1st level half-elf can take the level 6 ghost lantern cleric utility power at 1st level. Is this intended? I don't think it's particularly game breaking having at 1st level, very advantages however.
One thing I'd like clarification on is, as it is worded, a 1st level half-elf can take the level 6 ghost lantern cleric utility power at 1st level. Is this intended? I don't think it's particularly game breaking having at 1st level, very advantages however.

I want to say that there's a general rule that you can' use powers higher than your level, but I'm not positive.
You cannot choose a power that is higher level then 1 ( because that is your level when you select the power for this feature). That is the rule for powers. The Half-Elf Dilettante racial feature tells you what you can do to " break the rules". In this case it's that you get to pick an at will power from another class and it becomes a 1/encounter power. Class features are clearly not At-Will Powers. The Powers are listed in their own section. But, houserule away. I'm fairly sure though that it was intended for people not to have all the at will class features at their disposal for half elves.
I'm a bit torn here. The quoted bit from p.54 seems to suggest that class features can still fall under the broader set "powers." If part of a power's description may include whether or not it's a class feature, then powers with such a description are still powers even though they're also class features. However, if Lay on Hands can be deemed an acceptable choice with Dilettante, then Divine Challenge would also be a legitimate choice, and I really don't think the devs intended any ol' half-elf to be running around with a marking ability *shrug*.
I'm going to re-read the sections, but the reason I believe that they are not legitimate choices for the Half Elf power gankage is because the class features read as the following.

"The paladin has three class features that work like powers: Channel Divinity, divine challenge, and lay on hands. The Channel Divinity class feature encompasses multiple powers, two of which (divine mettle and divine strength) are presented below."

The cleric class features also has the same note. Working like powers and being powers are two different things. The reason they talk about a "power" being a class feature is because they are showing that they used the same format for powers and class features.
When abilities talk about your 'At-Will Powers' they're referring to that particular area of your class writeup - the one that lists each class's four At-Will Powers...

You can stretch the definition of Dilettante if you want, but it's not really a legitimate reading of the power - At-Will Powers are all clearly grouped into a convenient section early on in each class' write-up. Class features don't count, and while they are at-will powers, they're not At-Will powers, if you get my meaning.

(I, personally, let my half-elf characters take another class' at-will as an at-will, a lá D&DXP, and haven't noticed any problems. Dilettante is patently stupid as-written.)
I really want to post a scan of the pertinent page in the PHB, with all the appropriate highlighted text, but that'd be copyright infringement, or something, right?
The beginning of each power section for each class says what their class powers are called. Examples are Cleric powers are called Prayers. Fighter powers are called exploits. Amazingly enough none of these say Cleric powers are called Class Features. Or, fighter powers are called Class Features.

It states that the class features work LIKE powers. If they were powers, why the distinction?

The confusing section on powers( pg.54) is simply showing that Class Features are formatted like powers, but then goes on to show that something in this format can be a power ( and has a attack or utility designator) OR, and I stress that OR, is a Class Feature. The class features are conveniently marked as class features and not attack or utility powers.
The beginning of each power section for each class says what their class powers are called. Examples are Cleric powers are called Prayers. Fighter powers are called exploits. Amazingly enough none of these say Cleric powers are called Class Features. Or, fighter powers are called Class Features.

It states that the class features work LIKE powers. If they were powers, why the distinction?

The confusing section on powers( pg.54) is simply showing that Class Features are formatted like powers, but then goes on to show that something in this format can be a power ( and has a attack or utility designator) OR, and I stress that OR, is a Class Feature. The class features are conveniently marked as class features and not attack or utility powers.

Yeah, but for example look at page 91. Lay on Hands always refers to itself as a power (read the first line of the third to last paragraph of the first column, read "special" in the Lay on Hands power description at the bottom of the second column, and read the last line of "effect" in that same block). Also, the Class Features' powers description are all listed under the heading of "PALADIN POWERS".
Well, Lay on Hands refers to itself as a power, because it is a power. It's not a prayer, though, and not considered an at-will power for the purposes of Dilettante.

Rather, that seems to be both the intent and the rule.
The Dilettante ability specifically says "At-Will Power". It doesn't say "any power that can be used 'at-will' ".

If you look at the leveling table in the character building section, you'll see that your powers are classified as At-Will/Encounter/Daily/Utility. Only the powers available in the "At-Will" category, which are most always level 1 attacks, are considered "At-Will powers". If it is not applicable in this slot, which Lay on Hands, Divine Challenge, or Ghost Lantern are not, than the "power" is either a Feature or a Utility power, and not applicable with this ability.

My only question is since it says "take an At-Will Power as an Encounter Power", does this cross-class power take up one of your Encounter power slots? If it does, then I don't think I want to use Dilettante at all...
Well, Lay on Hands refers to itself as a power, because it is a power. It's not a prayer, though, and not considered an at-will power for the purposes of Dilettante.

Rather, that seems to be both the intent and the rule.

Really, I don't see anywhere in Dilettante that says it must be a prayer. And it is at will.
It is a power that can be used at-will, but it is not an At Will Power. Each class (except Wizards) has four At Will Powers, and they are clearly marked.
Again I feel the need to point out that they specifically say that the Cleric has class features that WORK LIKE POWERS. If they were powers, why do you think they would make this difference? In the power section they tell you cleric powers are called Prayers. Not Class Features. In the power section they go ahead and drop another clue saying which portion of the power description format tells you if it is a power or a class feature. Not that it is a power AND a class feature. OR. One OR the other. Class features can share the same format to describe what they do but they are obviously intended not to be the same.

In case this isn't clear, Cleric Powers are called Prayers. Fighter Powers are called Exploits. Paladin Powers are called Prayers. Ranger Powers are called Exploits. Rogue Powers are called Exploits. Warlocks Powers are called Spells, Warlord Powers are called Exploits, and Wizard Powers are called Spells. A class feature sometimes refer to itself as a power, but it's not the same terminology as Powers as defined per class.

Here is an example.

Player A's character rips a door off it's hinges. Player B exclaims " That was quite a feat of strength your character pulled off! " Now Player A's character didn't use a feat though. He ripped a door off it's hinges. But the same word was used to describe it. This is the same. The word power is used as a synonym for the word ability, but is not a power, which can be shown because it doesn't have the right headers ( Class Feature instead of it being a power or being a prayer for example if the character involved was a cleric or paladin)
My only question is since it says "take an At-Will Power as an Encounter Power", does this cross-class power take up one of your Encounter power slots? If it does, then I don't think I want to use Dilettante at all...

No it does not. Dilettante grants an extra encounter power.

I know this first hand playing the half-elf rogue at DND day with wotc's provided Half-Elf rogue. That character sheet had Eyebite (Fey Warlock at-will) and Positioning Strike, at level 1.
I believe that Dilettante is specifically used to take an at-will power another class would choose as it's at-will power at level 1, due to the fact that features do not take up your at-will power selections (a paladin would not have to choose to not take lay on hands, he just has it because he is a paladin).
rule of thumb: if it has a different name then it is a different thing. an at will power is an at will power not a class feature. I would say no you can't take lay on hands as a ranger with out multiclassing to a paladin because lay on hands is a class feature. but you can take the paladin's at will prayers is you want.

what sort of clarification do you need on this topic?
judas : "ok man if you want you can have the green one."
carmichael : "can I take the red one?"
judas : "is the red one the color of green?"
carmichael : "no."
judas : "ok then. there is your answer."
rule of thumb: if it has a different name then it is a different thing. an at will power is an at will power not a class feature. I would say no you can't take lay on hands as a ranger with out multiclassing to a paladin because lay on hands is a class feature. but you can take the paladin's at will prayers is you want.

what sort of clarification do you need on this topic?
judas : "ok man if you want you can have the green one."
carmichael : "can I take the red one?"
judas : "is the red one the color of green?"
carmichael : "no."
judas : "ok then. there is your answer."

Alright well, 1) Multiclassing doesn't let you learn Lay on Hands. It only lets you learn attack powers, (a distinction not made by dilettante).

And your analogy doesn't apply. It is not as obvious as your green and red pills. It refers to itself as a power. It is listed under powers.

I was hesitant to post this before but I just read the ToS and I think it's ok to post this by the limited rights granted under section 2. If not, my apologies in advance:
IMAGE(http://fc05.deviantart.com/fs30/i/2008/160/7/5/Pay_no_mind_by_gadren.jpg)
The class features are listed under "PALADIN POWERS". (The circling and arrow indicate that the contents of the right column are supposed to read as "under" the left column. I know you knew this already, but I just felt like illustrating it.)

Also note the highlighted text. In every case, Lay on Hands is referred to as a power. The only exception is when it is indirectly referred to as part of the class features that work "like powers". So that's like half an instance of saying it "like a power" vs. four saying it is a power.
When looking at my PHB (page 91) I see PALADIN POWERS and then CLASS FEATURES which says "The Paladin has three class features that work like powers: Channel Divinity, divine challenge, and lay on hands." then goes to explain these things, each one saying "Paladin Feature" in the upper right corner. On page 92 it starts with Level 1 At-Will Prayers and lists 4 of them, each saying "Paladin Attack 1" in the top right corner. It is explicitly defined as a class feature. Twice. It doesn't matter that it refers to itself as a power because that's a generic term in this case.

Look, you can make house rules for anything in the game. This thread is about advice and you've received a lot of advice - you don't have to take it and can continue on playing as you see fit.
For this example I will pick Lay on Hands.

Lay on Hands is a Paladin Class Feature. Usuable at will. It calls itself a power, but the word power has multiple meanings. So to decide what a power is we should try to find out what is a power for a paladin.

The Paladin Powers section says Paladin powers are called Prayers. The section on page 54 called "Power Types and Usage" tells us the types of powers. There it says Attack Powers, and Utility Powers are the types of powers.

Now, lets further examine Lay on Hands to discover if it is a power.

Is it a prayer? All paladin powers are prayers. No, it is not.
Is it an attack power or utility power, the only two types of powers there are? No, it is not. It is a Class Feature.

Everything that defines something as a power says it is not a power. The description uses the word power, but that does not define it as a power, since power has multiple meanings. It's a VERY VERY poor choice of wording.
Look, you can make house rules for anything in the game. This thread is about advice and you've received a lot of advice - you don't have to take it and can continue on playing as you see fit.

Heh keep in mind I'm not the OP, I just jumped into this because I feel that half-elves are getting the short end of the stick and that this is being misinterpreted.
No worries. However, you can't deny that the general opinion is that such class features are off limits. Basically run it as you will until an Errata... and even then you can keep going as you will.
No worries. However, you can't deny that the general opinion is that such class features are off limits. Basically run it as you will until an Errata... and even then you can keep going as you will.

I can deny it all I want. Just because more people disagree with me than agree with me doesn't mean that the majority is right ;)
All definitions of powers point to Class Features not being powers. They do greatly resemble them, and some of them use the word power in the description, but that does not define what a power is.
I can deny it all I want. Just because more people disagree with me than agree with me doesn't mean that the majority is right ;)

You can disagree with the majority opinion, but you cannot disagree with the fact that the majority of posts here disagree with your take on the rules.

Did I use too many 'disagrees' in that sentence?
All definitions of powers point to Class Features not being powers. They do greatly resemble them, and some of them use the word power in the description, but that does not define what a power is.

Which definition of power are you talking about says that a class feature can't be a power? ;)

You can disagree with the majority opinion, but you cannot disagree with the fact that the majority of posts here disagree with your take on the rules.

Did I use too many 'disagrees' in that sentence?

I will agree that the majority disagrees with me. I will not agree that that is conclusive proof that I am wrong, though.
The definition that states that the class powers have specific names ( Prayers, Exploits, and Spells) AND the definition that states there are two types of powers ( Attack and Utility).

The first is in each class description. The second is the powers section. These both help to show what they consider a power to be.

Oh, also on page 29 the Total Powers known chart happens to not include Class Features in the calculations, as if they didn't count as powers.
Many class features, such as Divine Challenge and Lay on Lands are powers. They just are, there's not really any questioning that. THEY ARE POWERS.

The question is whether Dilettante was meant to allow you to select them, or to only let you pick from the two at-will attack powers every class gets at 1st level.

This is ambiguous, and I'm pretty sure it will remain ambiguous until customer service or errata clarifies it because the racial feature itself just doesn't say.

Instead of arguing about whether or not a class feature that describes itself in its own text block as a power is actually a power, let's consider which interpretation would be better for the game.

I'd tend to side with allowing them to pick up things like Divine Challenge, as half elves, and the Dilettante power especially, are kinda weak as is and this would add something really interesting to them, as not even paragon multiclassing can get you some of these powers. I can't really think of anything broken about allowing this at the moment.

On the other hand, I tend to not want to use that interpretation as instead of multiclassing easier, half elves would multiclass better than any other race. I'm worried about players feeling like they have to pick half-elf if they want to multiclass well, and character concept should always trump game mechanics in determining what race someone picks. I feel making players choose between roleplaying and making good design decisions is bad.
Sign In to post comments