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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default random attributes thief

    I like to roll my stats, so i asked my GM to do so, but the result fits pooorly to my character concept. I figured out a bit how to make it playable, and im definitely wont back down, but im pretty noob when it comes to 4e, so if anybody have some insight of how to make it better and what should i get later (paragon paths?) i would be grateful, as most handbooks assume i would have control over my attributes.

    Character concept: Crude half-orc thug, with a knack for disguise and backstabbing people. Rather mundane, i dont want him to rely on magic.

    My roll (before racial mod): Str 14, Con 16, Dex 10, Int 12 Wis 16 Cha 16
    I cant assign them differently and i have to use those numbers in that order.

    It has to be half-orc. And i like skills so, so much. No homebrew. Starting level is 3.

    I admit that leaves little room to work with. At first i thought it would be completely useless to play rogue with those numbers, but i discovered that thief subclass is kinda indenpendent from Dexterity score, so thats what im going with right now, unless theres something even better (but it fits so well to the concept i dont think theres anything better). Which leaves feats and powers, and planning build for higher levels. The thing im mostly concerned about is if my low Dexterity wont cripple my Stealth and Thievery too much, but i also want to optimize whats left as hard as i can, so it wont be completely useless.

    I would be grateful for any advice for building my character with conditions stated above :)
    Last edited by Grzywa; 2019-08-25 at 01:40 AM.

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    Default Re: random attributes thief

    Hmm. I don't remember the specifics of this sub-class, but the Ruthless Ruffian Rogue from Martial Power I. Thematically at least it's exactly what you're looking for, and I think it can take advantage of your solid Str and Cha.
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    Default Re: random attributes thief

    You mean rogue tactics variant? Its nice, but Thief doesnt get rogue tactics, and playing Scoundrel wouldnt make much sense, as all attack powers are based of Dexterity to hit - as opposed to Thief who dont get attack powers, he just makes basic attacks and gets utility powers. And my Dex is postracial 12 (edited above, as i made a mistake in those stats - i rolled 10 for Dex).
    Thanks for the reply thought, i didnt know about the variant.
    What im thinking about now is getting Melee Training on Con to get better to-hit, assuming i place racial bonus on Con instead of Strenght.

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    Default Re: random attributes thief

    The Thief class from Heroes of Fallen Lands can work off strength rather than dexterity, but a 14 pre-racial isn't really good.

    I'm afraid I would have to say that combining "straight-down" rolled stats with pre-determined class and race is a bit silly. You could play a superb paladin (or a few other classes) with those stats, but a rogue will always be weak. +1 dex mod when you could have +4 isn't a good place to start from if you want your skills to be good. I would recommend, to you and/or your GM, that you either rearrange the rolled stats or choose a class that fits what you rolled.

    Edit: The post-errata version of melee training reduces the damage you deal. +3 to hit and damage from str, or +4 to hit and +2 to damage with con, and it costs you a feat. It's not a great plan.

    If you want a melee striker, Hexblade (HoFK) or Avenger (PHB2) would work better with those stats.
    Last edited by Excession; 2019-08-25 at 05:25 AM.

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    Default Re: random attributes thief

    Preface: rolled stats, and especially rolled stats in order after choosing class, if frankly a really good recipe to have a truly awful time and ruin 4e for yourself. This is a system that ASSUMES a point buy. I don't even remember if 4e offered a method of rolling stats.

    So, more of a long term plan: Multiclass bard and aim for the Daring Blade Paragon Path. This will change all of the Dex and Str mods in your melee attack and damage powers to Cha. Otherwise I would recommend focusing on rogue powers that target NADs (Fort, Ref, Will), because that's basically a free +2 to hit (NADs are 2 points lower than AC on average).

    I actually have an Int/Cha Swordmage|Rogue who is going into Daring Blade and I realized that with my starting statline of 18 Int and 10 Dex, once you accounted for +3 proficiency bonus (dagger), my rogue powers vs NADs were only +1 behind my swordmage implement powers. Rogue is bizarrely situated to managed really good accuracy at low levels even without a good stat, and as I mentioned, once you get paragon daring blade will basically be +4 (since you would be raising Cha) to hit and damage.

    I will recommend AGAINST ruthless ruffian, since it locks you into club and mace, which would hurt your accuracy even further. I'd say just go with Brutal Scoundrel for some extra damage on sneak attack.

    Your real issue is actually going to be AC. With low dex and int you're going to be in a very bad place (14 at level 3 with +1 magic armor). Generally melee non-defenders want to sit at around 15+level AC. That's where at level monsters will hit them around 50% of the time. As is, at level monsters will hit your AC on a 6. That's a pretty good recipe for a quickly dead rogue.
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    Default Re: random attributes thief

    Well, theres a specific character i want to roleplay, and being forced to play something else would break the game for me much more than slightly suboptimized character. Thought i havent expected i wouldnt be able to rearrange stats when i pushed for random attributes, but i told my gm beforehand i would play whatever i rolled, so i will stand by my word.

    @Excession - Melee training would indeed put me 2 damage behind atm, but most of my damage comes from sneak attack and backstab anyway, so i find being able to land hits every turn more important than that 2 damage. Also it gives me +1 fortitude, +1 healing surge and 2 hitpoints, which is not that much, but always something. And then i can retrain it later if i manage to get some other attribute high enough and swap my basics to use it somehow.

    @Keledrath Well it did offer some premade arrays and an option for a roll, which i did in Character Builder. Daring Blade looks interesting, i dislike fluff a bit, but i could just ignore it. Whole plan seems to be a bit backloaded thought, idk how long the game will go on, so im a bit unsure if going Scoundrel instead of Thief is a good idea, but thanks for sharing your experience, ill think about that.
    I recognize the problem with AC, but im not sure if theres any way to improve that aspect. You hit interesting topic in hybrids, i kinda wanted my character to be a bit warlockey, but theres no way to hybridize Thief, as theres no rules for that.

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    Default Re: random attributes thief

    Quote Originally Posted by Grzywa View Post
    Well, theres a specific character i want to roleplay, and being forced to play something else would break the game for me much more than slightly suboptimized character. Thought i havent expected i wouldnt be able to rearrange stats when i pushed for random attributes, but i told my gm beforehand i would play whatever i rolled, so i will stand by my word.
    To me, this is where the "4e noobery" becomes most obvious, especially since the concept you're dead set on playing is all about a *very* specific stat allocation. This isn't optimization as much as it is throwing out a bunch of requirements that are antagonistic to 4e's design and then asking people proficient with the system to salvage what you've basically forced yourself into a corner with. At this point, it seems like you're not actually trying to have a good experience with 4e (this isn't even really a "proof of concept" since, with that, you'd be *choosing* your bad stats rather than blaming RNG); it almost seems like sabotage.

    If you're a noob to a system, you shouldn't be putting yourself through self-imposed challenges that are liable to sabotage your experience and the experience of the others at your table. The point of playing a game is to have fun; unless you're playing with people that don't want you to have fun (or you're too proud to recognize that your self-imposed challenges are going to impede that fun), I don't think *anyone* will mind if you move those stats around so that you're actually playing something with appropriate stats (which is a huge deal in 4e because 4e is built around very specific math).
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    Default Re: random attributes thief

    Quote Originally Posted by Grzywa View Post
    And then i can retrain it later if i manage to get some other attribute high enough and swap my basics to use it somehow.
    4e assumes a particular point of competence, a lot of which comes from stats. That "high enough" point goes up with level, and there is no way for you to catch up to it when you're already starting below the bottom of the barrel. By the time you even reach zero, the game will expect you to be at 5.

    Your rogue is going to suck. You will be bad at rogue skills. Your terrible AC will make you a free hit in a fight, and 2 hp and a healing surge won't keep you alive. Nothing you can spend feats on will fix that, as you'll just fall further behind the curve of expected performance. This is not "slightly suboptimized", it's bad.

    Talk to your GM. Tell them that you really wanted to play a rogue, but the stats you rolled just don't support it. Work out a solution that doesn't leave you playing a character that can barely contribute to the party.

    Quote Originally Posted by ThePurple View Post
    If you're a noob to a system, you shouldn't be putting yourself through self-imposed challenges that are liable to sabotage your experience and the experience of the others at your table.
    Agreed.
    Last edited by Excession; 2019-08-25 at 05:18 PM.

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    Default Re: random attributes thief

    Honestly, this isn't even 4e specific. In ANY edition of DnD, I consider rolled stats in order, even before class selection, to be a terrible idea, but doing that after class selection is the most thorough self-sabotaging I've ever seen. Your character will never be a good rogue with those stats. He will at best be a mediocre thug, which would be better represented by something like fighter or barbarian to make use of Str/Cha. Or maybe a battlemind, which is actually a class that is designed to work with a Con/Cha statline.
    I follow a general rule: better to ask and be told no than not to ask at all.

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    Default Re: random attributes thief

    If you are determined to roleplay a specific concept, and unwilling to alter that stat-line, my advice is to take advantage of 4E's explicit license to reflavor things. Pick a race and class that actually work with those stats and portray your character as a half-orc thug even if you aren't mechanically a "Half-Orc Rogue".

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    Default Re: random attributes thief

    Yeah, if you've got good Con, Cha and Wis, use a base class that attacks with one of those stats and has heavy armor (or Con to AC), and you'll be okay. I think druid or battlemind would be best.
    Avatar by Meltheim: Eveve, dwarven battlemind, 4e Dark Sun

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    Default Re: random attributes thief

    I'd do the following:
    Background: Assassin(Scales of War) lets you get trained in Arcana & Stealth. You must pick Arcana as one of your trained skills. If you get Arcana or Acrobatics from class, you can instead choose Luskan for Stealth and Thievery.
    Theme Sensate. Can be other things before 10th level, but at 10th, you want it to be Sensate+have a source of temporary hit points. You have a ton of surges and if you're trained in Religion, the Skill Power Deliverance of Faith can be used after a short rest, before combat and do just that.
    Level 1 feat: Bardic Dilettante. Take Acrobatics skill. You must take Acrobatics here.
    Level 2 feat: Bard of All Trades

    The reason for training in Arcana & Acrobatics is that those are the two skills in the game that require training to be able to make certain kinds of rolls.

    Okay, you're now in effect trained in all skills by 10th. You're decent at everything by 2nd because your basic stats are fantastic overall and you're already 3rd level. You can now be whatever class you want to be and call yourself a 'Thug'. Battlemind would actually be great for this and you just raise Constitution/Charisma. You wear Scale Armor and therefore don't take any penalties to skill checks.

    Done.
    Last edited by MwaO; 2019-08-26 at 09:01 AM.

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    Default Re: random attributes thief

    Does your character concept include "every time I enter melee I get pasted"?

    Or "I'm not all that good at backstabbing"?

    Or "I never was very sneaky"?

    Fixing your AC is nearly impossible. The only route I see is burning 2 feats to get heavy armor, which in turn makes your stealth abysmal. And at abysmal AC, you are quickly paste in melee combat.

    The crappy Dex modifier for someone being sneaky could be overcome with significant investment at higher levels, but not really at level 3. I mean, you could get skill focus for a bonus and masterwork tools, but you'll have to do this on every single Dex based skill, and you only have 2 feats.

    Your relatively low attack stat -- 16 -- is going to hurt a bit, but you can probably survive that. Get light blade expertise ASAP (yet another feat) to patch up your accuracy, together with nimble blade (+1 to hit when you have CA, which you should always have).

    At higher levels, you could live with baseline thief damage, or work hard to boost it. Charge based optimization is possible, but again your low dex makes that a pain (one of the best ones is surprising charge, which requires a high dex) somewhat. If you have gear selection abilities you can make up for it by stacking charge gear.

    Usual thief optimization could work.

    You are -1 to hit over baseline (so -10% damage). Burning 2 feats on skill focus costs you another -2 to hit and -1 to damage, which is really starting to hurt. And 2 more feats to get scale armor proficiency is getting really bad.

    Your "no magic" restriction closes off a bunch of options as well.

    To a great extent, you are asking "I want to run fast, but I also want to cut off my foot."

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    Default Re: random attributes thief

    Quote Originally Posted by Grzywa View Post
    I like to roll my stats, so i asked my GM to do so, but the result fits pooorly to my character concept. I figured out a bit how to make it playable, and im definitely wont back down, but im pretty noob when it comes to 4e, so if anybody have some insight of how to make it better and what should i get later (paragon paths?) i would be grateful, as most handbooks assume i would have control over my attributes.

    Character concept: Crude half-orc thug, with a knack for disguise and backstabbing people. Rather mundane, i dont want him to rely on magic.

    My roll (before racial mod): Str 14, Con 16, Dex 10, Int 12 Wis 16 Cha 16
    I cant assign them differently and i have to use those numbers in that order.

    It has to be half-orc. And i like skills so, so much. No homebrew. Starting level is 3.

    I admit that leaves little room to work with. At first i thought it would be completely useless to play rogue with those numbers, but i discovered that thief subclass is kinda indenpendent from Dexterity score, so thats what im going with right now, unless theres something even better (but it fits so well to the concept i dont think theres anything better). Which leaves feats and powers, and planning build for higher levels. The thing im mostly concerned about is if my low Dexterity wont cripple my Stealth and Thievery too much, but i also want to optimize whats left as hard as i can, so it wont be completely useless.

    I would be grateful for any advice for building my character with conditions stated above :)
    Dude. Your one mistake is being set on your class before you have your stats, if you're rolling stats in order.

    First, concept. Crude Half-Orc with a knack for disguise and (back) stabbing.

    Stats give you a good strength, no dex. That's alright, but I'd forget Rogue or Thief.

    Be a Ranger (two weapon)
    Half-Orc - bump Str and Dex of course
    Background: Occupation - Thief, or Occupation - Criminal, or anything else that has Thievery as an associated skill, and choose it as a class skill
    Skills - Dungeoneering, Acrobatics, Athletics, Stealth, Thievery (from background)

    As you can, bump your Dex along with your Str. you're already a very passable character, and the only thing you've dropped from the concept is the backstab, in favour of more front stabbing. (Twice as much if you pick Twin Strike)

    And once you boost Dex to 13, you can pick up a Rogue Multiclass if you really want. But it's not needed, and the character concept doesn't suffer for it. I'd recommend multiclassing Fighter, Warlord or Barbarian instead to get Intimidate as a skill.
    Last edited by ve4grm; 2019-08-26 at 11:06 AM.

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    Default Re: random attributes thief

    That doesn't patch up the abysmal melee-range AC of 14 (hide + int 12).

    Damage can be fixed with enough charop (just charop more than other players do), but AC is AC.

    Throw in the "no magic" restriction and a bunch of MC/hybrid-based work to make the character have acceptable AC at modest cost doesn't work.

    Stealth is also really expensive to repair with a 10 Dex (at low levels especially), and is another barrier to the easier ways to patch up AC (as heavy armor is the easy route, but that gives a penalty to stealth). By end-epic, you can have a +6 item bonus, +5 stat bumps, find a way to get a high power bonus reliably, and skill focus to generate a +5 (train)+5(stat)+6(item)+6(power)+3(feat)+15 = +40 stealth, which isn't crazy but isn't incompetent at level 30.

    ---

    Hybrid Ranger|Fighter. Hybrid Talent: Fighter Armor. Twin Strike and Dual Strike at-wills. Wear Scale armor. Mix up marking and twin strikes. Get as many multi-tap/off turn attacks as you can get.

    My go-to Ranger|Fighter uses the fighter "+1 to hit +2 damage" feature, but you are blocked because you desperately need heavy armor to survive in melee.

    ASAP, get heavy armor that you can make disappear to make your stealth not completely crappy. I think there is level 6 +1 armor with that property?

    Or you could just get Armor Proficiency: Chainmail and live with 16 base AC, that isn't as horrible as hide armor with a +1 stat to boost it.

    I mean, ideally you'd get con or wis or cha to AC, but those are all features of classes with magic, and you ruled that out.

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    Default Re: random attributes thief

    Quote Originally Posted by Yakk View Post
    That doesn't patch up the abysmal melee-range AC of 14 (hide + int 12).

    Damage can be fixed with enough charop (just charop more than other players do), but AC is AC.
    I mean, it's not ideal, but it could be worse. Your average Str/Wis focused TWF ranger will only have Dex as tertiary, and as such will probably have a 12 or 14 in it. Even if they put in a 16, which seems unlikely, we're still only 2 points back here. Only 1 from most Str/Wis TWF Rangers or Str/Con Barbarians. It's not great, but it's certainly not abysmal.

    Rather than going Hybrid Fighter, the single feat for Chain proficiency is probably better for the character concept. Maybe upgrade to Scale when you have a free feat.

    Because of the restriction we're working with, the character is not going to be very optimized. I think he may just have to accept that he'll be a bit squishy.

    Of course this does depend on how optimized the rest of the group is. If they're super-optimized, he might feel out of place. If they're only casually op, then he'll be just fine.
    Last edited by ve4grm; 2019-08-26 at 03:49 PM.

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    Default Re: random attributes thief

    First of all, big thanks for all the latest replies, i got worried for a while that ill just get designated rpg Hitler for considering subpar builds. I particulary like MwaO proposal, but we dont get bacgrounds nor themes, so i cant fully use it. I was a bit confused by suggestion of battlemind, but as i checked it it seems easy to refluff as i see it, as many powers are some just kind of augmentation, instead of flashy spell-like powers.
    I'm also very grateful for the repeated ranger suggestion, because i was somehow thinking he is also dex based, which is actually true only for the ranged build, though i have hard time choosing between just ranger and a fighter hybrid, i guess ill try make a few builds and try to compare them.
    Third, i could consider some magic side, as i mentioned some warlock flavor was welcomed, i just want to play something primary martial. I was checking hexblade earlier and what put me off was that his standard method of attacking was by using some demonic blade glowing with fel energy. On the other hand, maybe im a bit silly and i should just refluff this (assuming it wont raise objections at the table), thought i guess it was a bit about sneak attack mechanics, all that flanking and CA, and thief tricks. Ill try to think about that route too, and if anybody have some suggestions for characters which are partially magic illl gladly hear about them.

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    Default Re: random attributes thief

    Quote Originally Posted by Grzywa View Post
    ... i just want to play something primary martial.
    Does it have to be martial, or just weapon based? The stats you have are perfect for a charisma primary paladin, and there are plenty of weapon attacks to choose from there. That's real weapons too, not the hexblade's lightsaber. Having high Cha and Wis will also support a lot of good skills.

    Note that in 4e paladins are not required to be LG, or even nice. A paladin of Bane is stereotypically a jackass, of Kord a violent hot-head, or of the Raven Queen an edgy goth. All of those can play against type of course. The only downside would be if someone else is playing a defender, as having two in a isn't ideal until the party hits 5 or 6 members.
    Last edited by Excession; 2019-08-26 at 11:14 PM.

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    Default Re: random attributes thief

    There is also one of my favorite 4e classes, the Avenger.

    The Avenger is a holy (well, divine-powered) assassin.

    The "prototypical" Avenger uses a full blade (a huge two handed sword) without using her muscles, worships Ioun (god of knowledge), and uses Overwealming Strike in a charge (power of skill feat to make it usable on a charge).

    Their minigame isn't advantage but rather "attacking their chosen foe with no other enemies adjacent to them".

    You still run into the AC problem due to your low Dex and Int tho. There are classes that add Con or Wisdom to AC (two of your high stats) instead of Dex/Int in light armor, and even one that adds Str (seeker, if I remember rightly), but they all have at least some magic.

    A lot of 4e magic is actually weapon based, and not all that flashy. A battlemind, for example, was probably rebuilt from an earlier samurai design. It uses psionics channeled through the body to wield weapons with supernatural skill.

    A Warlock|Paladin hybrid that worships Asmodeus is pretty common in 4e. It uses Charisma to attack with, wears heavy armor, and its magic is often more along the lines of "if you hit me, flames strike you down" or "I curse you, if you attack anyone but me, you will be punished", sometimes both (which is what makes it hilarious; enemies suffer a catch22), and less "I shoot a fireball".

    ---

    The low-dex melee ranger is already really fragile in melee. They go splat too easily. Saying "this is not much worse than a low-dex ranger" is saying "it is not much worse than something that already has a problem".

    But yes, chainmail is probably the right patch. But chainmail dumps their stealth even more than it already sucks. And the OP had a stealth requirement as one of the big things.

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    Default Re: random attributes thief

    Quote Originally Posted by Grzywa View Post
    Ill try to think about that route too, and if anybody have some suggestions for characters which are partially magic illl gladly hear about them.
    Battlemind and Cha Paladin are both great, but also heavy on the Defender, rather than Striker. If you don't have backgrounds or themes, you probably won't get the skills you want, though.

    The Bard has a lot of powers that aren't explicitly magical, and could easily be reflavoured as a Warlord-type with proper power selection. The Skald variant is actually explicitly half Martial, half Arcane, so you're already partly there. And Warlord itself can be Str/Cha, so you could just do that to stay Martial. None of these give Stealth or Thievery, however.

    The Slayer fighter is a solid striker, but at least part of its striker bonus is based on Dex so you'd be lacking somewhat. But you'd have better armour and hit points than most strikers and still do decent damage if using a 2-handed weapon. Still neither important skill.

    Ranger or Ranger/Fighter are both good options, though if you don't have backgrounds or themes you will need multiclassing or the Skill Training feat to get Thievery trained.

    Thief with Melee Training (Con) (and then taking Con boost from Half-Orc) is fine, if suboptimal. It gets you the skills you want, but your AC in leather will be pretty bad, worse than the Ranger in Hide (but you can still take armour proficiency in chainmail as one feat), and your damage will be... well it'll still be alright, if not top notch. You'll only be a few points down from other thief characters.

    Hexblade is great, Cha-based, and gives you both Stealth and Thievery as class skills. You are pretty explicitly magical, but it's up to you whether or not that's a dealbreaker. You're in chain, so your AC is decent and you can even move to Scale with either a feat or by taking the Elemental pact. It's probably the best way to get exactly what you're looking for in a character, besides the martial power source.

    .

    Personally, I think Hexblade would be amazing for this character. Yes, it's magical, but nothing about that affects your other criteria. Crude thug, knack for disguise and stabbing. The "demonic blade" can just be empowering your fists and beating on the enemy (in true thug fashion) and your spells could just come from your little imp buddy who hangs out with you (Level 4 - Lesser Planar Ally, but there's nothing stopping it from being around and just not being able to do the Planar Ally thing before level 4, and if you really want to justify it just take Arcane Familiar). Half-Orc thug with a demon spellcaster buddy (familiar/planar ally) on their shoulder sounds pretty badass to me.

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    Default Re: random attributes thief

    Quote Originally Posted by Grzywa View Post
    I was a bit confused by suggestion of battlemind, but as i checked it it seems easy to refluff as i see it, as many powers are some just kind of augmentation, instead of flashy spell-like powers.
    That's one of the reasons I suggested druid, too. Most beastform druid powers are melee strikes with martial-looking effects.

    And I know it's weird, but beastform doesn't need to have a shapechanging flavor at all -- the base power doesn't change any game statistics. I'm not a fan of the 4e wildshape concept because it has you shifting form every few seconds. That's definitely not a classic fantasy trope. Eventually I started thinking of the different wildshapes as stances and moves in a typical human martial art. Say, bando, for example, if you want to get meta about the 'animal' theme.
    Avatar by Meltheim: Eveve, dwarven battlemind, 4e Dark Sun

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