Heroes in the Dungeons & Dragons game come in many different forms. Some are bold warriors, some are stealthy scouts, and some are masters of arcane or divine power. Even in the same class, heroes might embrace any number of different paths or methods as they master their abilities and gain new powers. A fighter might be a noble knight, a brutal slayer, or a canny weaponmaster. A rogue might be a daring thief or a dangerous scoundrel armed with a grab bag of deadly tricks and techniques. Your character could follow any of these paths, or you can define a unique blend of powers and abilities all your own.
The Dungeons & Dragons Essentials rulebooks Heroes of the Fallen Lands and Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms present new versions of classic heroes such as the fighter, cleric, rogue, and wizard. The Class Compendium series of articles provides revisions and updates for the versions of these four classes that were originally presented in the 4th Edition Player’s Handbook, along with an updated version of the warlord. This series also provides feats for these classes, all in a free, downloadable format.
Each article in the Class Compendium series provides all the class information you need to create and play a character of one of five distinct Dungeons & Dragons classes: cleric, fighter, rogue, warlord, and wizard. A brief description of this month’s class, the fighter, follows; you’ll find the full presentation in the downloadable article.
A class provides a general set of abilities and traits that all characters of that class share. Individual members of a class can vary widely, however, so most classes are divided into two or more class types. Each class type represents a particular approach or philosophy that heroes belonging to the class might embody as they embark on their careers. For example, fighters include knights (masters of defense), slayers (offense-oriented combatants), and weaponmasters (skilled in dozens of unique martial exploits and techniques). Better yet, you’ll find that some of the feats (presented in a sixth article) provide you with options for combining features and powers from multiple classes and class types, giving you great flexibility in designing your character’s unique set of talents.
Faithful servant of a deity, a cleric is both a formidable warrior and a powerful user of magic. Wielding prayers and abilities derived from the divine power source, a cleric excels at smiting his or her foe while at the same time healing and protecting the rest of the adventuring party. A cleric fills the role of leader in an adventuring party.
Heroes of the Fallen Lands introduced the warpriest, a crusading cleric distinguished by specialization in a particular domain of divine powers. The type of cleric you can create using Class Compendium is the templar (the cleric from the Player’s Handbook), a member of a battle order or a devotional order who wields a wider variety of powers than the warpriest.
Using Class Compendium with Other Sources
The game options presented in Class Compendium are designed to work with the options in other Dungeons & Dragons sources, whether in print or online. The series presents the rules you need to build characters of various classes, but it doesn’t include decriptions of character races, skills, or equipment. You’ll need Heroes of the Fallen Lands, Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms, or the Player’s Handbook to complete your character. As always, the Rules Compendium provides the complete, most up-to-date rules for the core game.
Powers: When you are instructed to choose a power of a particular type and level for your character, you can select the power from any source that includes powers of that type and level. For example, if you are playing a weaponmaster fighter and are instructed to choose a 2nd-level fighter utility power, you can choose that power from Class Compendium or from a book such as Heroes of the Fallen Lands, which includes 2nd-level fighter utility powers in the sections for the knight fighter and the slayer fighter.
Feats, Paragon Paths, and Epic Destinies: When you choose a feat, a paragon path, or an epic destiny, you can make your choice from any source, as long as your character meets the prerequisites.
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