We're finalizing character sheets for a new 4e campaign tomorrow. I only have minor experience playing D&D before, and it was years ago using 3.5. We will have 4 people and I am filling the striker role.
My prospective character is a re-flavored blackguard paladin. I've played him in a couple test combat encounters and he does a fine job. Only thing is I'd love to be able to do something that wasn't furious strike every turn. Blackguards seem to get very little in the way of skill versatility. Is there some other class that would thematically fit with a charismatic, greatsword-wielding holy striker? I've attempted to hybridize with a few things in the character builder but I'm not really satisfied with the results. Most of the info I am able to find on hybrid blackgaurds involves executioner and that isn't going to fit my needs. The rest of the info says play twinstrike ranger instead. Also not happening. Anyone with experience on blackgaurds or class hybridization?
Anyone else playing 4e? What are your experiences? What characters have you played?
Ever comissioned art of your character?
Blackguard is an essentials class, so I can't help you there...
>Anyone else playing 4e?
Have played, continue to play occasionally.
Well, run. Forever DM.
>What are your experiences?
Mixed, mostly due to the groups. My first 4e campaign was shit because 1. We had a huge group, 2. Half of them either didn't show up or didn't participate any given week, 3. There was one asshole that was sucking the DM's dick for ridiculous bonuses. High ability scores, unique weapons, all that bullshit.
After that group fell apart and I started DMing for the few not shitty players, my experiences have been quite good.
>What characters have you played?
Half-elf artificer that was dogshit. Got killed by the DM when I had to leave a session early. When I gave him forewarning.
A brawler fighter that had a pretty sparse backstory: Grew up in the woods, wrestled bears.
Female, teenaged human warlord. It was a 1st level campaign and not all that serious, so she was essentially a cheerleader.
Oh, and an unaligned human wizard that had some pretty questionable priorities, but was voted the party leader because everyone else was terrified of her. I was expecting the party paladin to rein her in a bit, honestly.
>Ever comissioned art of your character?
No, I draw my own shitty character art. I enjoy the personal touch.
>charismatic, greatsword wielding holy striker
Outside of Blackguards (which suck) 4e can give you three of those four things at a time (with one exception).
>Charismatic + greatsword-wielding + holy - striker
>Charismatic + greatsword wielding - holy + striker
thaneborn barbarian, eldritch strike charisma-warlock
>Charismatic - greatsword wielding + holy + striker
> - Charismatic + greatsword wielding + holy + striker
A strength/charisma ordinary paladin can be built for damage, but can't reach striker-levels like a fighter can
I like that you mentioned Avenger. I would play an Avenger but after looking through their stuff I don't see how it does more than Blackguard. With the Blackguard at the moment, if I have combat advantage I do 1d10 +10 guaranteed damage on a hit, with a +11 to hit chance. Slightly more if bloodied gets factored in.
Does avenger do more? How would you build it?
I fiddled with a dmagae oriented original paladin build, but as you say the damage doesn't reach striker levels. I'm having to play dedicated striker so anything else is out, and the only other power source I'd want to go into is psionic, but there aren't any psionic strikers besides monk which does not interest me.
I also took a random stab at hybridizing with sorceror but I don't know how successful that would be.
>Is there some other class that would thematically fit with a charismatic, greatsword-wielding holy striker?
Well, if you're attached to both having a bigass sword AND using Cha as a primary or secondary stat AND being a striker, you could always go with a Hexblade, with your summoned sword being a bigass greatsword.
Truth be told, striker is probably the most boring role to play, and essentials classes (especially strikers) are notoriously boring (even if they're mechanically balanced.)
The most fun striker I've played was either a monk or feylock (lots of side control is fun for a striker) and I've heard good things about barbarians.
I usually RUN 4e, and don't really play PC's, so I'm not as well versed in what it's like to PLAY.
Oh god yes
Avengers don't do much damage on each hit compared to other strikes, but they are far, far more likely to hit. Their striker feature (oath of enmity) is the best striker feature in the game.
Just make sure you worship Ioun, Corellon or Bane, (or a different god of the skill domain) power of skill is a required feat for Avengers
I am playing a Warden Mul. Full Constitution with Strength secondary. The gm hates trying to hit me with AC or Fort attacks and I make hitting others nigh impossible. I was planning to fully optimize to make it even harder for people to get hit around me with Protect the Fallen, total of 5 difference in defenses when I've marked a target and they hit an ally next to me eligible for the buff. But I need to keep chugging since I'm the big, bad tank and that's what I like.
Your Reflex and Will must suck. Also, as a warden, isn't your ability to punish mark-violation dependent on your ability to hit things?
Then, again, it might be worth it for that super-high AC, HP, and Fort, but it's a tricky trade-off to be sure.
It does. So far I haven't noticed any issues with any of those things so far. I hit all the time, my mark is -3. I got twice the HP of most in my team and a Displacee Beast from my theme with HP similar to theirs and another +1 to defenses in the aura. All my attacks are picked to keep enemies from moving away and/or making me tougher. The only issue is that I can get "too tanky" so that the monsters refuse to attack me so I need to keep aggro somehow.
He plays fair and doesn't pull punches, actually. My team-mates are ridiculous on their own merits. Rebreather Sorcerer. Wizard At-Will push 6, slow. Next turn push 6, slow and prone. Rogue is stabbing people left and right. Bard is busy healing the wizard and sorc while I have to keep myself alive. He does use monsters from the insider and only monsters that make sense rather than targetting weaknesses specifically or other stupid stuff just for us to "lose".
Every 4e DM I ever had was a brutal bastard who never used monsters too strong for us, but always used monsters that were hard for our party to handle.
Monsters that generate difficult terrain in melee-heavy parties, monsters with wall powers in ranged-heavy parties, more direct damage less save-ends with a chaladin or warden, more save-ends less direct damage with a fighter or swordmage, that sort of thing.
I don't know if they're supposed to do this or not, but from my experience they always have
As a DM, I like to mix it up. Sometimes the party faces monsters they are perfectly suited for fighting and breeze through the encounter. Other times, their specialties aren't as applicable and they struggle.
A simplified example: If the sorcerer only uses fire magic, they will inevitably run into an encounter with fire vulnerable monsters and also an encounter with heavily fire resistant monsters in another.
> sucking the DM's dick for bonuses
How good would a blowjob have to be for a DM to be willing to ruin the balance of a group? On the one hand, it's probably going to be a lot better than a session, but it's also probably going to be a lot shorter than your average session.
Basically, CaW means never pulling punches but also not aiming for combat to actively challenge players. CaS means trying to challenge the players, but limiting combat to a somewhat fair fight (unless the PCs do something insane like walking into the lair of an evil dragon unarmed).
I still sword and board. So they have shit Fort and all brutes steam roll them instead? You can't win all battles. NADs have never killed me and more HP makes being hit less scary too.
>Combat as War: being too busy laying your end zone with caltrops, dousing the midfield with lamp oil, blackmailing the ref, spiking the other team’s water and bribing key members of the other team to throw the game to worry about all of those damn squiggles on the blackboard.
God yes, that's the shit.
While CaW is fun, it's not ideal for 4e because the rules are designed with CaS in mind. So you'd be better off just receiving a minor bonus or skipping the combat entirely, instead of using a couple hours hitting blind, poisoned bears that can't fight back anyway.
If the DM goes x2 dmg and x½ hp for monsters, well, that's something else.
Eh, this is almost as good if you're going with a lot of traps/hazards.
Forgot Str goes to Fort. But it doesn't matter if my Will is shitty, I'm having fun being invulnerable for now and having a SINGLE weakness isn't too bad when I'm nigh untouchable in the one that counts.
Avengers roll 2d20 and take the best one for most of their attacks. It makes them immensely more likely to hit and doubles their critical chance, which is huge. Using a Vicious Weapon (+1d12 per plus instead +1d6 per plus on a crit) can be a viable choice for an Avenger.
Defenders are fuckin' great. Warden has a soft spot in my heart due to it being my first 4e class and me loving the primal power source. Gameplay-wise though, I've enjoyed Swordmages and a fighter|paladin hybrid a lot
Every defender save paladins (and battleminds?) must be able to hit to punish marked targets. But to just mark doesn't require hitting for wardens. Wardens also get a lot of zone effects that trap enemies near them, and more effects that hurt enemies for being near the warden. They're made to be PC sized tornadoes really; everything gets sucked up and bashed to hell just for getting too close.
Here is the hilariously janky as shit map of most of the known world i made by combining three different maps together
I've always wondered about fantasy games like D&D.
Faerun has near world destroying level shit happen to it almost every other week, do the people in Kara-Tur have to deal with the same shit?
Is the only reason people are still alive in faerun because some random guy, no one outside of Kara-tur knows about, managed to stop some ass blasted super mage from destroying everything? and just no one in faerun ever knew?
I have a blackguard/fighter build if you want.
Yes, it's defender-y, but it's actually dealing quite a lot of extra damage by attacking off-turn as often as possible.
Step 1: Be human Fighter/Blackguard hybrid, take Valorous Strike as your bonus at-will. You are now essentially a CHA SAD striker.
Step 2: take marking powers.
Step 3: Take Power of Arcana. This makes Valorous smite arcane. Take White Lotus Riposte, and then later White Lotus Riposte Master.
Step 4: Attack targets with Valorous Smite. If they violate your mark, you get to hit them in the face with valorous smite, because it's a basic attack. If they attack you, you get to hit them in the face, because White Lotus Riposte Master.
For your hybrid talent, probably take Two handed weapon master.
Play Thri-Kreen or Vryloka for that full Strength bonus but still have a speed of 7. Feat yourself for more tanky armor specialties like no speed penalties for plate armor. Now just charge into everything at full force.
We are here to do damage, after all.
So, what fluff element is most important for holy-ness to be represented in crunch? I only ask because there are quite a few primary/secondary CHA strikers who can use two handed swords, so with something more concrete to work with we could probably narrow down your options.
Cavalier/Warlock hybrid. You get heavy armor (with hybrid talent), holy aura, smites, and get to be a kickass warlock who gives up very little. It's pretty well supported too.
What I wanted for my character -
- High charisma
- divine power source, radiant and fire damage primarily
- big ass sword
- plate armor
I suppose I can reflavor anything since I reflavored the blackgaurd. For holy I just wanted his power to be bestowed from the heavens.
I think Cavalier or Paladin||Warlock could work then. Star pact stuff gets you radiant damage, infernal pact stuff gets you fire.
You could use this as base.
As other anons have said, Avenger strikes primarily through critfishing and having consistent damage per round. The oath mechanic also encourages hitting one big target again and again until he cries about being bullied.
If you're just starting 4e, don't hybrid.
The way I've seen it, battlemind punishment is all about Mind Spike, which simply deals equal damage to the attacker. No attack roll, no defenses, just immediate action = damage. Godly against pure damage enemies, kind of shit against debuffers and CC. Fun class, and packs both mobility and universal DR (with Will defense out the ass), but just not STICKY, and you're not actually protecting your party-after all, they need to get hurt if you want to use Mind Spike.
I've never seen a blackguard that really excelled at the whole striker game. Avenger is kind of nice-you'll pretty much never miss an attack, and crits come easy, so giant, high-crit weapons will do nicely. Of course, it's not the top of the DPR game by any means, but the only other option that fits thematically is a paladin, and while you CAN go off-striker as one (especially against anything with Radiant vulnerability), you just won't match up against real strikers (or well-built fighters).
I played a Great Weapon Fighter. Human, because extra defenses are nice and an extra feat never hurts. Anyone who tried to hurt his friends would be swiftly beaten to death. Over the course of his career, he became known by many names-"the Nightmare Soldier", "the Implacable Knight", and "Cuddles".
He really wasn't fond of that last one.
Right. So I should focus on non-summoning stuff as a strong secondary for those times I can't actually bring the big toys out to play?
Any particularly notable summons? (Preferably in heroic, as we are starting there)
Punishing eye is better desu, and you technically summon a servant with it as well.
Fair warning: summons are kinda damage dealer stuff, you may be a bit less good at supporting if you go for them.
PS: I remember correctly that there's a rule that says you can't use the same minor action multiple times a turn, right? If not, the Animate Arbalest is ridiculous.
>Fair warning: summons are kinda damage dealer stuff, you may be a bit less good at supporting if you go for them.
That's fine. There is likely to be another Leader in the group so going less pure leader wouldn't be bad.
>PS: I remember correctly that there's a rule that says you can't use the same minor action multiple times a turn, right? If not, the Animate Arbalest is ridiculous.
Not in general, but for summons yes. See the summoning rules on page 47 of Eberron Player's Guide.
"If a special command is a minor action, you can give that command only once during each of your turns."
>you can't do the same attack with the same action during the same turn anyway
Really, where does that read. From what I remember monster powers that are at-will minor actions say 1/round. Do players even get a chance to do that outside of Action Points?
>my mark is -3
Ah, I'm used to games not allowing dragonmarks outside of Eberron (or sorcer-king pact warlocks outside of Dark Sun etc..), because they're extremely powerful, and are only balanced by major role-play pitfalls that are setting-specific.
>Every defender save paladins (and battleminds?) must be able to hit to punish marked targets.
That's Paladins, Battleminds, and Swordmages (discounting Ageis of Assault, but who picks that?.) Only Wardens and Fighters have hit-dependent punishments.
>But to just mark doesn't require hitting for wardens.
Nobody's mark is hit dependent. Fighters mark whatever they swing at, regardless of hit, and paladins need to end adjacent to or attack their target (nothing about hitting mentioned)
>Dang, was hoping to ask to join, but it looks like you already have a full, or otherwise very large, party
I might be able to add another, there's one who hasn't been showing up. If you're still around, drop a safe skype, and we'll see if you have any time. I run the game Sunday afternoons.
A skype you don't theoretically mind existing on 4chan until it gets deleted. I mean, this is /tg/ and not /soc/ or /b/ so it probably doesn't matter, but it's just nice to play it safe.
Here dude, just Email me your skype.
My 4chan skype is Mjorkk@gmail.com I'm a guy, so It's pretty safe for me to post it here. We'll talk, and if there's room and the times line up, we'll have another player.
Not to my skype you didn't. Just checked it. My skype is also Mjorkk. I already get periodically added to stupid group calls, and that's basically the worst thing that happens to guys.
Aegis of assault isn't bad, it just isn't as good as aegis of shielding and is pretty much the only class with a racial requirement as opposed to racial options.
An aegis of assault swordmage that isn't a genasi is going to be shit
I played an assault swordmage in a short game with a couple friends, basically as pic related. Was pretty fun.
We decided to go peak anime, since it wasn't a very serious campaign. First session had us saving a pixie picnic from giant ants, to give some context.
Another player was a warforged warlock that reflavored all her powers as missiles and lasers.
Our third was a shifter bard.
A crossdressing catboy. We talked him out of being a catboy 'princess', though, since it was a little too far.
Why are cute names for scary thing such a meme? Similarly, painting your giant death robot pink or whatever
People do it so much it's in no way a subversion, just a dead joke
Genasi are the one and only race in 4e that give a bonus to both strength and intelligence at the same time.
Aegis of assault swordmages pretty much need to start with 18 strength and 18 intelligence, so Genasi is required
Why do they need the Strength though? They could grab Intelligent Blademaster as their first feat and not need Str for MBAs and there aren't very many Str based secondary effects for Swordmages.
Because pretty much the only reason to go assault over shielding is because you want the strength secondary. And if you want the strength secondary, you almost certainly don't want to waste a feat on intelligent blademaster
Athletics, fluff, and saving a feat
Also, the powers with aegis-of-assault exclusive riders and strength riders tend to be more focused on damage dealing, leading to a striker-secondary role as opposed to the controller-secondary role of shielding or ensnarement
Since this is 4eg it seems, can someone explain the skill challenges?
I tried running one once, according to the instructions in the dmg. It seemed retarded to me, and I don't think I'd ever do that again. But maybe I was running it wrong?
Shielding is much, much weaker than it used to be since MM3 and on. Aegis of Assault conversely got a lot of good options (and make for some great hybridization, e.g. Swordlocks with Eldritch Strike). The Str powers aren't that great regardless, so the ability to go Con/Int or Wis/Int (for Wandering Swordmage) and becoming pretty much SAD on top of it is very appealing for just a feat.
Or start with 19 or 20 Int, for that matter.
They altered skill challenges two or three times to get them functional. You were probably working with the first version. I can't tell you more than that though, sorry.
I have never played a character who started with more than 13 in a tertiary stat, and starting as a genasi with 16 + 2 racial in strength and 16 + 2 racial in intelligence leaves 4 points free for wisdom or whatever
OK the stat complaint was weak but the other two anons are right. It is better to only be Single Ability Dependant and have that score be 20 than to require two 18s and a single feat does that. I don't understand why you are so against a single feat that 99% of Swordmages are going to take anyway.
Because everyone is saying that the most fun riders that swordmages have are so bad that they aren't worth considering
Also because I really, really want a different race than genasi to be able to take int and str at the same time, not for swordmage, but for warlord, and I'm using this as an excuse to whine
Oh I agree with the race thing. As a Warlord fanboy I wish there was more than one Str/Int and two Str/Cha races. Hell a Str/Int,Cha race would have make me cum in my pants but unfortunately official support is dead.
Angels in 4e do tend to be divine mercenaries so an angel related race being Warlords incarnate makes sense. Though their fluff will have to stay far enough away from Devas to make them worthwhile.
Devas got kinda specific fluff with them reincarnating all over the place. They are very distinctly different from "guys who have angelic blood"...
Which is a funny wording, makes me think there could be a race variant that's actually people who feasted on angel flesh for a few generations.
Well since Angels are kind of energy beings and can't breed we can't really do the whole diluted angel blood thing. Though the idea of their origin being humans who survived by eating the dead angels post Dawn War and now breed true like tieflings seems neat.
It doesn't have to be all that edgy. I think Angels leave bodies while elementals don't and when your home became a hellscape during the war you'll eat anything you can. Maybe also have the modern ones either be ignorant of their origin or lie about being angel born.
The War between the Gods and Primordials for control of the world. Iirc it ended in a draw and now neither are allowed to openly flaunt there.
Right, I was thinking of the dragonborn/tiefling war
Still, good origin for aasimar
Now, mechanics, beyond stats, what else do they have? What are their minor bonuses? What's their racial encounter power?
I think they should get a racial will bonus, and have normal vision
>If your strength and intelligence are equal, there is absolutely no benefit to intelligent blademaster.
Save the opportunity cost to attack, damage, AC and Reflexes from NOT having 20 intelligence, because you went 18/18 instead of 20/16, or 20/15/13. Given that you're a light armor defender, that's actually a fairly signifigant cost.
I disagree on the religion point if we're going with the dawn war descendant origin. There's no inherent reason why each and every one would have that knowledge
I like those skill bonuses
I think aasimar should basically be carrot ironfoundersson as a race
>Ah, I'm used to games not allowing dragonmarks outside of Eberron (or sorcer-king pact warlocks outside of Dark Sun etc..)
He's not talking about dragonmarks, he means the penalty Defenders use to encourage team monster to attack them and not the squishies.
How would you rate the various Paladin Builds?
>All this debate about Intelligent Blademaster
Maybe other play environments are different, but every 4e DM I know gives "melee training, but the version from before Mearls nerfed it for no good reason" as one of your "free necessary but not fun feats." Therefore, I never think about STR in terms of melee basics.
He was saying that his mark was a -3 penalty. Unless it's from some weird splat or dragon-mag I didn't read because I don't use the builder, the only way to buff your mark-penalty to -3 is with a Dragonmark. It's lame, because in any campaign where dragonmarks don't cary major role-play penalties, and force you to either be hunted by or subservient to a major house AND get you entwined with the draconic prophecy, it makes that mark an "auto-take" for every defender ever.
strength is already an easy dump-stat for anyone who doesn't use it directly thanks to constitution being so much more valuable.
Doing that I feel just nerfs strength-primary classes a bit
>the only way to buff your mark-penalty to -3 is with a Dragonmark.
There are other ways, though I'm pretty sure most are paragon tier feats.
Eladrin fighters have Eladrin's Challenge in MP2. Heroic tier feat, -3 mark penalty when wielding a longsword. Kind of niche, but that's just one example.
>Doing that I feel just nerfs strength-primary classes a bit
It doesn't really nerf them so much as it either
A: Aleviated a feat tax that only they didn't suffer (if you're using the pre-mearls MT.) This is fine, because feats should be fun, not necessary.
B: Allows classes other than them, Chaladins, Swordmages, and Skalds have meaningful AOO-Threat-Zones (if you're using the post mearls MT.) This is important because of how much of a major role AOO-Threat-Zones play in the tactical element of 4e (which, if we're being honest with ourselves is like 2/3 of 4e.)
I think the post we're originally referencing >>44640514 was talking about his warden. Maybe he multiclassed warden to get one of those feats at paragon, but that's kind of a waste of a multiclass feat.
And wis-clerics, and avengers, and warlocks, and sorcerers, and druids, and executioner-assassins, and scouts, and ki-focus monks, and any class that can use a heavy blade and afford 15 in both dexterity and strength at paragon
Listening in, I am understanding the point of people saying this is Tabletop WoW/Disgaea/Tactics Ogre.
On the other hand, this stuff actually makes you useful at your job compared to other systems. You can actually protect your allies at the start or do what you intended right out the gate.
Honest question: what gives you that impression? I mean, how does this thread give that vibe off compared to other D&D threads? Sure, there's a lot of mechanical discussion, but that's just modern D&D as usual.
One or two very specific domains of warpriest you mean?
Unless there's some weird "only gonna find it in the builder" material I'm not aware of, the Avenger has no way of making a full-strength MBA
Again, no, they cannot make full-strength MBA's. They have attacks that can specifically be used as RBA, and they have feats that let them change the range of a ranged attack to melee 1 when wielding a dagger, but that's not a MBA
I did forget them
Horrible essentials garbage that brought nothing new to the table and was objectively worse than everything else that does the same thing as them.
See above post
>and ki-focus monks
Uhhhh, where are you getting this? They don't have full-strength MBAs
>and any class that can use a heavy blade and afford 15 in both dexterity and strength at paragon
That's firstly VERY stat specific in a way that rules out essentially any class that isn't already strength primary (and thus not an issue for what we're talking about,) or dexterity-weapon based, but not a rogue (so.... assassins?)
Pre-errata Melee Training is objectively better for game balance, and better for cinematic heroism. Indiana Jones and James bond don't need to spend a fucking feat to attack with their charisma instead of strangth, and if they do, it sure as shit shouldn't be nerfed for no good reason by Mearls (I think MAYBE pre-errata MT into dex made the slayer a BIT too good, but who gives a fuck? It's a slayer, the Barbarian and Marauder's Rush Ranger both cover any concepts slayer could do and do a better job of it.)
Comments like these give that feel:
Note that I don't dislike it. Those choices actually have impact that you are discussing, and I find the gameplay in 4e more fun since those stats mean you get to inflict more status effects and damage and be credit to team.
Not that guy, but...
>the Avenger has no way of making a full-strength MBA
Skill domain feat in Divine Power lets them treat Overwhelming Strike (an at-will) as an MBA.
The same feat also works for paladin, cleric and invoker, turning one of their powers into an MBA or RBA.
Oh yeah, sure, but you get comments like those all over the PF/3.5/even 5e threads. So why doesn't THAT register as Disgaea/WoW? Why does this, when those don't?
I also don't mind it getting called Disgaea/other tactics games. I like those games.
WoW comparisons can go fuck themselves tho
>Tabletop WoW/Disgaea/Tactics Ogre.
I will cede Tactics Orge/FF Tactics, but honestly, if you think about the play-experience/player-culture elements that make MMO's what they are, OGL-era D&D feels much more "WoW" to me.
>STARK contract between optimized characters and unoptimized characters: Check
>Heavily influential optimization community that guides the releases, yells REALLY loudly about their game online, and hates any kind of errata/updates that don't come in the form of new splat-books/expansion-packs: Check
>High social value of "system mastery" to the point where if you aren't top tier, you're shit tier.: Check
>Lots of options, but most of them are crap, and if you stick to the builds that remain relevant with experienced players your progression choices from lvl 1-Max is pretty much pre-written for you: Check
>Cultural assumption that you build for max level, not low or mid-levels: Check
4e may have used some gameist design choices that are reminiscent of MMO's cooldown, but it made the play/building experience LESS like playing an MMO.
>Skill domain feat in Divine Power lets them treat Overwhelming Strike (an at-will) as an MBA.
Eh, I'm still uncomfortable with how deity-specific and feat-tax-ey that is
>The same feat also works for paladin, cleric and invoker, turning one of their powers into an MBA or RBA
Invoker RBA is not what we're talking about right now, but fair (RBA =/= AOO threat zone) and it's for Strladins and StrClerics so they already HAD meaningful threat zones.
You can. Warlords have more than enough non-stat-dependent "make other people attack" that if you want to functionally replace your at-will selection with a ranged-basic using dexterity, there's literally nothing stomping you, and they'd remain perfectly relevant at all tiers. I might hybrid with cleric and take Skald-Training so that my RBA's have rider-effects, and to increase the selection of non-stat-dependent encounter/dailies, but that's still a pretty ballin' back-row archer/cheerleader archetype, and hell, you could reflavor some of the "enchant the weapon" bard powers as hawkey/green-arrow-esque specialty arrows if you still want to go for the full martial flavor.
>Eh, I'm still uncomfortable with how deity-specific and feat-tax-ey that is
The same section with the feat has a sidebar discussing homebrew gods and players worshiping core gods with unusual domains. The book's example being a dwarf paladin worshiping Moradin with the Freedom and War domains, because of dwarves breaking free of the giants.
So it's not as deity specific as it seems at first glance, unless your DM is ridiculously RAW focused.
I guess, but I still don't see why a heroic protagonist needs to take a feat, and be from a specific set of classes, and take specific at-wills, to be able to use their specific brand of protagonist factor (in the avenger's case, scary-creepy faith/devotion) to exert as essential a tactical element as a threat-zone.
I've never had any problems just giving "MBA is based on a stat of your choice as CC, because you're a protagonist dammit" to all players. Fighters, Barbarians, StrClerics, Warlords, and Melee Rangers never felt particularly nerfed or de-powered because of it. Also, strength, while not having no specific mechanical effect, is pretty relevant in the "make up shit as you go" style role-playing and problem solving. Tracking specific encumberance is a bit much, but saying "yeah, you're STR8, you can't carry that by yourself" based on DM judgement is perfectly reasonable. That means that strength doesn't become an "auto dump" or at-least not a "100% consequence free dump" any more than any other stat that's not your primary or secondary stat is a "100% consequence free dump."
I think you're over-valuing opportunity attacks, personally.
Speaking as a DM, there are a lot of monsters that have teleportation, long shifts or other traits that make OAs irrelevant. Kind of a pain in the ass for encounter design in my current 11th level campaign.
>Also, strength, while not having no specific mechanical effect, is pretty relevant in the "make up shit as you go" style role-playing and problem solving.
This is one of the sacred cows that they should have slayed; having stats that just do nothing by RAW out of combat in a game that tries to balance the two aspects is kinda unacceptable.
Could have worked so much better if they went with something like FATE approaches.
This I agree with. Personally, I think 4e would have been objectively better if it just wasn't attached to a number of vestigial D&D ideas. For example, there's literally no reason not to collapse the 6 stats into "power" "finesse" and "spirit" and you just flavor YOUR version of power/finesse/spirit as what YOUR character is good at. a Fighter's "Power" is literal physical strength, while a Battlemind/Warlock's "power" is the ability to channel extradimensional/psychic energy through your body. A Rogue's "finesse" is literal physical dexterity, while a Wizard's "finesse" is an understanding of how to manipulate and cheat the natural/magical laws of the universe. A Bard's "spirit" represents charm and force of personality, while a Cleric's "spirit" represents literal faith and a connection to something beyond.
So I got to test my blackguard out yesterday in our test scenario, and besides always having combat advantage (giving me +11 to hit at lvl 1) and massive flat bonus damage (+10 at lvl 1) it's fairly dull. No daily power, no encounter power outside dread smite (which feels underwhelming as an encounter). I like the melee damage he does and high hit chance. I did an experiment in the builder hybridizing him with sorceror, so I could still have Ferocious Strike, and I'd take Chaos Bolt as my second at-will, Majestic Halo as my daily and a burst 5 radiant AoE as an encounter. Hybrid feat for paladin armor.
Only thing is I don't think I'm allowed to use a greatsword as a sorceror casting implement. Is there any way that could happen?
Also I see no option to hybridize hexblade, which makes me sad.
You can multiclass assassin with a feat (path of shadows, needs 13 DEX), that lets you use assassin implements... which are all weapons you have proficiency with.
I'd really recommend giving the paladin or cavalier||warlock a try tho, if you plan on hybriding anyway.
>Only thing is I don't think I'm allowed to use a greatsword as a sorceror casting implement. Is there any way that could happen?
>ARCANE IMPLEMENT PROFICIENCY
>Prerequisite: Any arcane class
>Benefit: Choose a kind of implement associated with any arcane class other than your own. You can use that kind of implement with your arcane power s. If that implement is also a weapon, you do not add the weapon 's proficiency bonus to attack rolls made while you wield it as an implement.
that, mixed with
>From Swordmage page 24 of Forgotten Realms Players Guide
>Implements: Any light blade or heavy blade.
Swordmage is an arcane class, therefore, you can pick greatsword for Arcane Implement Proficiency
Although, I would personally take Superior Weapon Proficiency: Fullblade for that extra damage with Blackguard.... if blackguard is still a part of your build.
Oh, and before I forget, once you get a Holy Avenger, those can be used as implements by paladins (and you can use implements cross-class). So you could retrain from path of shadows then if you want.
There was a preview of a feat that let a normal warlock get the pact blade for this reason...
But it'd have left the hexblade without a niche, since warlock is just much better and non-essential.
>But it'd have left the hexblade without a niche, since warlock is just much better and non-essential.
Pretty much every non-essential class, with maybe one or two exceptions, is objectively better than its essentials cousin. Even if you make the sensible house-rule that you can't take cross-role powers from an essentials version of your class who's a role that relies on powers as their primary class feature (mostly limits rangers from taking hunter-powers and sentinels from taking controller-druid powers) or even if you flat-out count essentials versions as fully different classes that flat-out can't share powers at-all, even if they're the same role, the non-essentials classes are just plain better.
Essentials works better as a stand-alone seperate entity, to be run in a vacuum.
Ah I see, forgot swordmage was a thing. That makes that problem easily solved.
Also like the fullblade idea. So that more or less solves this character.
I'm making a test using that also.
>I'd really recommend giving the paladin or cavalier||warlock a try tho, if you plan on hybriding anyway.
Ugh, the cavalier hybrid is one of the only things I've ever flat-out BANNED from my games. Every other hybrid has their role-specific class-feature reduced in a signifigant way that's hybrid appropriate. If we just look at the defenders: Fighter only works when you're using fighter powers, Warden is now single target, Paladin is reduced punishment damage, Battlemind only gets one of their two punishment responses thus leaving gaping holes in their defense unless they're hybriding with another defender in which case they're no longer mono-stat, swordmages mark cannot be switched until the target dies.
Cavalier on the other hand gets.... the exact same defender aura it had before, with no reduction in any way whatsoever. A cavalier/barbarian loses ZERO defender-ness of his cavalier and ZERO striker-ness of his barbarian. That's blatantly against the obvious mechanical design choices and RAI of every other hybrid in the game to the point that it is what put me over the edge about mearls' ability to design.
I mean, Knight isn't as sticky as Fighter, but has OA mark punish, and you can make his OAs slow/immobilize, which is almost as good. And you can just martial cross training or multiclass for some versatility.
So like, it at least looks bearable.
Don't forget executioner hybrids' boost working on all basic attacks, making it so an MBA based striker get its benefits for free.
So yeah, Mearls couldn't design himself out of a vet paper bag. But Cavalier defenderness/mark punishment is fucking trash anyway, so it's a small boost, and "normal" hybrids do give up a bunch of shit so it's sorta okay for some combinations.
>Don't forget executioner hybrids' boost working on all basic attacks, making it so an MBA based striker get its benefits for free.
The only combo I've seen that have printed hybrid-builds that both have striker features that function on an MBA are Executioner and Assassin. Ironically, they are so underpowered, that even when you combine the two, you're still not as good as a TWF/Marauder's-Rush ranger
Vampyric Slam+Vampire Striker Feature+Executioner Striker Feature is STILL lackluster.
I guess you COULD combine Avenger+Executioner with Power of Skill, which would be fucking retarded now that I think about it, especially considering the fact that Executioner "encounters" and "dailies" don't take up standard actions, allowing you to activate your full Avenger feature every turn.
Yup, mearls' designed utter crap.
I guess that's the point. Hybrids only keep what's essential about the class, you need to hybrid talent for the rest.
I wish you could take Hybrid talent more times. At least 1/tier, without having to sacrifice your PP.
Do keep in mind that the tricks you mentioned don't actually end up in overpowered characters, mainly due to the components being so lacking in the first place. Giving up your non-at-wills isn't a tradeoff for the Avenger because its powerlist sucks, and Oath + Painful Oath is still so little that they're forced to go fishing for all the multiattacking they can to keep up. I played a fucking Morninglord Avenger Sohei with all the minor action attacks I could find in the class once, and I wad very unimpressed. And also kinda bored.
Yeah, it's just you have to devote yourself so much to reaching the numbers in the first place with the Avenger. Like, if you build a Ranger you CAN go a lower damage route and still pick up a bunch of interesting powers instead of twin striking all day, but the Avenger power list is fucking terrible. Anything that looks interesting just kind of sucks, and is on a chassis that's not very good at doing its own job already.
Avengers are tough as nails, though. Might be the most durable non-defender in the game.
I wonder how good a Fighter|Avenger hybrid would be. Grab a polearm, Power of skill, now you are tripping everyone you hit with your MBA.
Hmm, maybe combine with some arcane class instead, get the White Lotus Riposte thing going? They move to another target, you get to pursue, they stay and attack you, you get to riposte. Wonder how that'd work out.
Beguiling Strands has always been my go-to for mass push+prone gimmicks. Party-friendly close blast 5? Yes please.
Although if you're willing to go with a different approach on the Avenger, how about Avenger|Invoker? Normally Avenger is a melee class, but they have a handful of powers that work at range using implements. Multiclass Cleric for Divine Oracle, go Tiefling to take Glasya's Charming Words, Ghost of the Past background for some extra rerolls... now you can roll anywhere from two to eight times to hit and Dominate on crits.
Would there be any good mechanical ways to represent a character that wields a summoned sword(s) telekenetically, or is it something that can really only be done with refluffing, and there's nothing that can really represent it "well"?
The character concept I'm working on, is a sort of sagely/wise character, that uses floating swords to fight, since they lost an arm. Not really sure what class/mechanics would be best to represent it though.
Any recommendations? I was wracking my brain for a striker or defender Wisdom class, and couldn't think of one. Are Avengers Wis? I can never remember. (Wouldn't be my first choice though, I've heard bad things about it)
Use the builder dood.
Anyway, main class feature is that if they isolate an enemy (attack him with noone around the avenger) they can roll 2d20 and take better when attacking.
The 3 "censures" available are:
-pursuit gives you damage boosts against enemies that run away (dex)
-retribution gives you damage bonus against the target if the target's allies hit you (INT based)
-unity gives you damage if you and allies surround the target
Otherwise, nothing too out of the ordinary, standard movement and bit controlly striker powers. They usually use weapons, but some powers use implements. I assume you'll be focusing on those.
Right, forgot, the "obvious" strategy is crit fishing. Their striker features are not to reliable, but they have one of the best defenses despite wearing light armor.
I heard that they are better when Hybrided, but they aren't bad either way (as usual for 4e).
Check out invoker as well. Could work something out there. Possibly Wis based cleric could work too. IIRC Avenger/Cleric can get a disgusting AC, and cleric has quite a few Wis based powers as well.
Damn, that's perfect, thanks. Now, I just have one last thing to clarify, about Impliments/Weapons.
If I am using say...Heavy Blades, as both implements, and weapons, and I take "Heavy Blade Expertise", I'll get a bonus to using them as weapons, but not Implements. But if I take "Versatile Expertise", and choose Heavy Blades, then I get the bonus when using them as both, correct?
sonnlinor's hammer (at-will power
power of skill-boosted overwhelming strike (at-will power + feat)
ensorcelled blade (at-will)
they do indeed suck
>ki focus monk
internalise the basic kata (feat)
It IS a refluff, but I personally think that the strongest and truest way of representing that would be with a Shaman. Your "spirit companion" is a summoned sword, or a swarm of summoned swords.
It's even wisdom-based, so it's barely even a refluff. Basically, you're just changing a bit of primal flavor to a bit of psionic flavor.
>sonnlinor's hammer (at-will power
So it IS a single-domain specific warpriest power, and from Dragon magazine no less. No wonder I've never heard of it.
>power of skill-boosted overwhelming strike (at-will power + feat)
We've been over this
>ensorcelled blade (at-will)
Yet another weird dragon-magazine power.
>>ki focus monk
internalise the basic kata (feat)
More dragon mag crap. It also shouldn't take feat tax, or be specific to specific classes. You know what they used to call that feat? Melee Training.
Just like we can all agree
>they do indeed suck
I think we can agree that mearls is the game-design equivalent of George Lucas working by himself, and when one of his erratas changes the balance of a fundamental tactical feature like threat-zone-exertion, it should be largely ignored. It is ONLY because it's not as easy to implement in the builder that "pre-mearls-melee-training" isn't as common a house rule as "everybody gets expertise for free"
Also, you know who wasn't mentioned? Battleminds. You know what you call a defender who can't exert a meaningful threat zone? A chump.
Battleminds can be good
They aren't inherently, inherently they're the worst non-essentials defender class, but they can be optimized pretty hard thanks to a lovely array of at-will powers
>Battleminds can be good
>They aren't inherently, inherently they're the worst non-essentials defender class, but they can be optimized pretty hard thanks to a lovely array of at-will powers
And before mearls-errata to melee training, they were just fine as is. They weren't quite fighter good, but what defender is?
>How the fuck does James Bond or Indiana Jones use charisma to fight?
I THOUGHT this was self-explanitory.
Assuming 4e mechanics, they MECHANICALLY roll with charisma as their primary attack stat, because they aren't the strongest, or the fastest, but they ARE the suave-est. As such it would absurd to not have them have a higher cha than str or dex, and yet they still kick ass and take names like big-damn protagonists, without being nerfed by a sub-18 Primary Attack Stat.
TLDR, in 4e, you attack with your "protagonist factor" and your "protagonist factor" is whatever you're best at. For Indy and 007, that's clearly Charisma, in the classic sense of the word.
If you can't handle that level of cinematic abstraction in the name of game balance, maybe 4e isn't for you. I hear 5e is nice comfortable with enforced role-play for mechanics.
But thyey still weren't good pre-errata, they need to use their opportunity action to react to a shift, which means they can't punish an enemy that just decides to move further away. They have at-will powers that can be used on opportunity attacks, but that hardly matters when they already find it hard to get opportunity attacks
Their stickiness was shit before and only slightly more shit after
I'm not sure whether you're talking about Fighters or Battleminds when you say
> they need to use their opportunity action to react to a shift, which means they can't punish an enemy that just decides to move further away.
But, pre-errata, the answer for both was/is "make an opportunity attack. thus putting out more per-turn damage than a twin-striking ranger while still exerting a -2 to hit on the attacker" but the problem was that post-errata, the answer for Battleminds ceased to be enough damage to make it a true punishment.
The Battlemind (pre-mearls) decision matrix was something like this
>If they attack you: great
>If they try to shift away and attack someone else, you use an opportunity to shift with them (yes lots of monsters can shift >1 but blurred step can be buffed with feats), and an immediate to mind-spike them.
>If they try to move without shifting, you opportunity attack them. This, plus the attack you already made, statistically pushes you VERY high on the damage scale: higher than most strikers (I'd say all strikers, but I know somebody has some jank build that is slightly higher than a defender who gets to to opportunity attack every turn.) All that on-top of giving them a -2 penalty to hit.
>If they teleport, oh well, I guess you still exert a -2 to hit. Not many defenders have any meaningful response to teleportation (swordmages and paladins do though)
Post-mearls, the response to just moving becomes MUCH less meaningful. That's a fundamental blow to the class.
While the "must be direct" restriction on charges makes that a little difficult, that's a good catch. Not all erratas were bad, many were needed, in-fact the default of my campaigns is to include all printed erratas (and I have a PDF of them compiled) but Melee Training is one of the ones I specifically un-errata. Changing blurred step to "free action once per turn" was a good call. Changing Melee Training to "suck a dick if you're not strength-based, or from a select list of classes with specific narrow builds" was a bad call.
I agree that the change to melee training was sort of dumb, and I think intelligent blademaster should have some other benefit on top of just giving swordmages an intelligence-based MBA. I don't think it's something that should be given out for free.
Strength and intelligence are the worst stats in the game, if you aren't relying on them for effect riders, you dump them into the ground because dexterity and constitution are flat superior thanks to granting more healing surges and initiative respectively. Making melee training a free feat just makes this problem worse on the strength side.
>Strength and intelligence are the worst stats in the game, if you aren't relying on them for effect riders, you dump them into the ground because dexterity and constitution are flat superior thanks to granting more healing surges and initiative respectively. Making melee training a free feat just makes this problem worse on the strength side.
Everyone's going to have 2-3 dump stats. With or without melee training (free or feat-tax, pre or post mearls) if STR isn't already built into your class as one of your two main stats, you're going to have either a 10 or an 8 in it. Free melee training just eases a 1-feat tax on being a melee class/build that doesn't have Str as one of its two stats.
Well then, we have the further problem of classes being based off of dexterity and constitution being inherently superior. What do you change about those?
Free battlewise? There isn't even a feat or anything to make up for constitution's contribution for healing surges.
Well, there is, but it's Paragon Githzerai Monk only. Wis to HP/Surges/Athletics, IIRC. Zuoken's Centering.
Obviously, I took it on an Avenger, because maximum beef.
Battleminds are all about that Lightning Rush. Lightning Rush is sick.
Oh christ, a paragon githzerai avenger multiclassed into monk can have strength checks, athletics, hit points, healing surges, initiative and an MBA all based on wisdom
That's a bit insane
Also, Battleminds love brutal barrage with feat support, that shit gets crazy
IMO I limit the free "feat tax" feats to the ones that EVERY class needs it like improved defenses/versatile expertise
When you start delving into things CERTAIN classes (or certain groups of classes) need to be good, it becomes much harder to draw the line between a "feat tax" and a "You probably should take this if you are <class>" because the difference between the two is purely subjective.
It's when it becomes "you should probably take this" with no class/role qualifier that it becomes a feat tax, personally.
Prerequisite: 11th level, githzerai, Wis 15, monk
Benefit: Your hit points and number of healing surges are based on your Wisdom instead of Constitution. When you must make a Strength check, you can use Wisdom instead, and your Athletics checks are based on your Wisdom modifier.
>When you make a strength check, you can use wisdom instead
Wow, I had been under the impression you could take any appropriate level paladin ability further down the line playing blackguard, but you can't. Literally stuck with the two options per tier it grants you. Seems lame.
>Well then, we have the further problem of classes being based off of dexterity and constitution being inherently superior.
Well, the difference between 10 dex and 20 dex is 5 initiative, which is nice, but not game breaking, and the difference between 11 con (the lowest most con dumps go) and 20 con is 9 HP and 5 surges. The only thing I see that might change party balance non-negligably is the 5 surges, but last time I checked there's a background that lets you count surges based on your primary-attack-stat that's basically become auto-take for any optimized character (to the point that I've considered just saying "fuck it, everyone's surges is based off of Primary Attack Stat, because it's your plot-shield, and your plot shield comes from your badassitude, not literal meat," because backgrounds should be fun, not necessary, and not ubiquitous, this would of course come with an increase in difficulty to drain resources faster)
+1d8 damage per tier to your default at-will, which if you build right for off-turn and minor-action encounters/dailies, will be your go-to standard action for every standard except for one avenger encounter and one avenger daily.
The background is for max HP, not surges
And yes, it's still auto-take, which means constitution-focused classes get to pick a different background, like one that gives weapon proficiency or better saves, and everyone else needs the one that boosts their HP a bit.
5 initiative and 9 HP is more than a feats-worth of both in heroic tier.
What >>44684496 said. Since ANY attacks you make that aren't Overwhelming Strike are extras beyond your basic allotment of stabbing people, and Avenger powers are overall so shit, you lose basically nothing by going hybrid Executioner, but you gain an actual striker damage feature and dailies that stack with your Overwhelming Strike. There is certainly an argument to be made that an MBA-whoring Avenger is even more boring than a bog standard one, but there's actually little difference and you save yourself the trouble of which largely-irrelevant order you should use your encounter powers in.
>like one that gives weapon proficiency or better saves, and everyone else needs the one that boosts their HP a bit.
Since I just plain don't use backgrounds, I wasn't aware of those. Both of those things are better than a measly 9 HP. That is MAYBE an extra monster-hit of damage before unconsciousness during early levels.
Bottom line is, none of these things have anything to do with Melee Training.
The point is that melee-training errata was really dumb, and needing feat-tax to be able to exert a threat-zone for some classes is dumb too.
What are people's thoughts on an Artificer in a game using the Dark Sun automatic progression?
Will it lose a heap in that situation? It looks like there will be less treasure to play with for items BUT I could also get away with making more low level items and letting the flat numbers cover up those issues.
>I'm looking at going with an Elf Artificer. Int/Wis build-wise.
If you're going ranged, Elf Artificer is a very strong choice, because they can shift through difficult terrain, meaning they never get cornered/locked-in-melee because of difficult terrain, which is the bane of ranged-specific characters. For melee artificers I prefer warforged, because I like the melee con rider effects, the warforged self-heal, and because... hey, more con.
9 HP at level 1 is likely to be a third of your health, that's not "measly"
My point was never about the errata, the errata was stupid.
And it has everything to do with melee training. Because using your primary stat for initiative, or for HP and surges, costs something, so why is strength so unimportant? Why do constitution and dexterity get to matter, but strength can be sidelined?
>Why do constitution and dexterity get to matter, but strength can be sidelined?
Becase they matter in ways that are actual play mechanics which can be fun and interesting, and at-most they matter in a minor way that feels moderate during the first half of heroic tier (the last time that 9 HP will feel relevant) Strength just matters in feat-tax, which is nothing more than a boring book-keeping irritation.
Also: Would I be better off going with 16/16 in Int/Wis (Before racial mods) or 18/14?
The GM is letting races do 'Any 2 of your three' for Stats so an Elf will get to be Int/Wis in this case.
I'm leaning towards Wood Elf for 'Can use perception for init' as that's a hefty boost regardless of which of the two I use.
I want your DM
warlord warforged, super-stealthy gnome paladin, wis-fighter dwarf, wild sorcerer kobold, there are so many builds I want to try that only don't work due to racial bonuses being gated like they are
This implies you can't do both, which is stupid as fuck.
By and large, the only time I use foes that are specific to the party is when it's humanoids that have an issue with them, and they are famous enough for their capabilities to be known.
Woohoo! 4E thread, yay! I should've checked tg earlier. That out of the way:
You can make do with a Blackguard but I don't think many of their powers are actually Radiant though. A Warlock or a Hexblade would work well too, as there's no real restrictions on what the entity you make a pact with. A Star Pact with Corellon would probably fit and be a little less "evil" than a Blackguard would. Everything else can be gotten with a feat (anything other than Paladin needs a feat for Plate and Arcane Admixture can add Radiant or Fire to any power)
Sure, you can have elements of both in your game, but the two poles "CaW" and "CaS" still remain on each end of the spectrum.
The problem is that not *knowing* about CaW and CaS can lead into some bad situations in 4e, where combat ends up being boring and tedious because the game is designed with a heavy dose of CaS.
Nope. But if you're using the playtest version of Dragon 400, you can be Hybrid Warlock with Pact Blade Manifestation.
Pact Blade Manifestation
You gain the ability to make your pact weapon, a physical sign of your alliance with an otherworldly power, appear in your hand.
Prerequisite: Warlock, must have a pact that has a pact weapon associated with it
Benefit: You gain the Pact Weapon warlock classfeature. You gain the at-will attack power associated with the pact weapon but not the encounter attack power.
Pact Blade Mastery
You give up one of your warlock abilities, and in exchange, your pact weapon gains a new attack power.
Prerequisite: Pact Blade Manifestation feat
Benefit: Choose one of your warlock encounter attack powers that has a level. You lose that power and gain the encounter attack power associated with your Pact Weapon class feature.
Well in that case, I recommend making a paladin/sorcerer hybrid
Take plate armor as your hybrid talent, and mighty crusader expertise as your expertise feat
Sorcerers have some fantastic fire and radiant powers, and they do some serious damage with them, also, their stats line up very nicely with the paladin
The only valid reasons would be "I don't have enough minor actions for Warlock's Curse", "I don't want to have to roll dice - a set damage bonus is better" and "I want to use Area and Close attacks, so curse damage on 1 enemy is not good enough".
>Ahhh I wish this was a thing.
Ask your DM about it. It's about as good as getting a Superior Weapon Proficiency and Eldritch Strike. Maybe ask if you could just take the At-Will instead of Eldritch Strike at level 1?
>None of that makes up for not getting command insanity
In the campaign I'm DM'ing, I've allowed a Hexblade PC to swap the forced level 9 daily for another of the same level.
take strength and charisma in equal measure, or, if you aren't a dragonborn or vryloka, focus a bit more on charisma and try to take charisma paladin powers.
As for powers, well, since I don;t know if you're a dragonborn or vryloka or not, I'll focus on sorcerer powers for now.
Radiant starfall is probably yor best pic for your sorcerer at-will, although acid orb is almost certainly the mechanically superior choice, it doesn't fit your character.
Take a paladin encounter power at level 1, because flame spiral is either the best level 3 power for sorcerers, or the best encounter power sorcerers have period, depending on DM ruling.
Actually wait, what level are you playing at?
Ok, take virtuous strike as your paladin at-will, and consider whether you want a third at-will or that human encounter power.
If you decide third at-will, well it's up to you, but I like burning spray quite a lot, and having both a ranged aoe at-will and a close aoe at-will is really nice.
The best level 1 encounter power for ordinary chaladins is valorous smite, but since you aren't the defender, shielding smite is a good option.
For your daily, on pain of death is pretty good for sustained damage, even though, again, there's a power all chaladins would usually take, majestic halo.
As for feats, just take mighty crusader expertise and say your holy symbol is embedded in the hilt of your sword or something (if you aren't getting free feat taxes, that is). If that rubs you the wrong way and you really, really want your sword to be your implement, take arcane implement proficiency at level 1. For your human feat, take hybrid talent: plate armor. You need that as soon as possible
I think I could live with energy strobe as a main ranged nuke over acid orb. Ranged basic, d10, resist, RBA substitute, does acceptable damage types (most of the time). Would there be any reason not to take this?
Virtuous strike, and burning spray, with valorous smite and majestic halo to round it out. I'm ok with picking up some divine sanction, since our DM is a tricky guy. Seems solid to me and many more options than I had to work with before. Thanks for the suggestions.
Double the range is fairly crazy. I can probably make it work thematically.
Right now I'm just picturing a paladin pointing his sword at someone and shooting a fireball out of it.
You don't need to, with classic melee training. Also, that means you can't take the warlock PPs that let you do stuff with your teleport.
Of course, Eladrin Swordmage advance is still pretty cool.
Well since then, I've never gone for full focus in one small area without backup strategy.
It's something I think everyone should keep in mind. Give throwing weapons to your melee-only characters, use more than one damage type across your at-wills, or find some way to pierce immunity to your chosen damage type.
I remember one game I played in with a frostcheese rogue in the party, he got mighty upset when he found out the BBEG had been spying on us, and had gone out of his way to summon a frost titan to counter him (everyone else had their own specific counters, but he was the only person who hadn't built a backup strategy into his character)
There was much salt at the table that day
That situation really isn't bad. First off, he needs to hit you, which is good, since your job as a defender is to draw fire. You miss out on some extra damage, but the other half of your character is still functioning; you can just switch your stance to an other one and switch up your tactics, probably start slowing and grounding the guy.
That's MAYBE worth a feat. It's barely a better version of improved initiative, which rarely makes it onto a heroic tier list.
+5 Initiative is not the same tactically as exerting a meaningful threat zone, especially considering all the initiative-cheat daily-utilities lots of classes have anyway.
18/14 is better. Primary attack stat being higher is almost always better, especially when your primary attack stat is also your AC. Even if you're not a striker, you need to hit the target to have your rider effects go off.