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Rule-of-Three: 04/18/2011
R&D Staff

You’ve got questions—we’ve got answers! Here’s how it works—each week, our Community Manager will be scouring all available sources to find whatever questions you’re asking. We’ll pick three of them to answer, whether about the about the making of the game, the technical workings of our DDI studio, or anything else you care to know about… with some caveats.

There are certain business and legal questions we can’t answer (for business and legal reasons). And if you have a specific rules question, we’d rather point you to Customer Service, where representatives are ready and waiting to help guide you through the rules of the game. That said, our goal is provide you with as much information we can—in this and other venues.

This week, we continue our look at Heroes of Shadow questions.

1 Why create shadow magic as a largely shared power source (that other classes could tap into, like the warlock, etc.) instead of a power source with its own unique classes (like Primal Power’s druid, etc.)?

At this point in 4th Edition, and especially after the release of Heroes of the Fallen Lands and Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms, we wanted to make sure that we’re not stretching our resources too thin. We already see a lot of demand for more support for the runepriest and seeker. Adding more unique classes to the mix would only make that problem worse.

We also felt that shadow magic was well-suited to working with existing characters. We’ve depicted shadow as something that tempts characters into wielding it. It seemed like a short step from that concept to creating powers for wizards, clerics, and paladins that use shadow magic.

That said, we did add a class (the vampire), and a new subclass for the assassin (the executioner), that are shadow classes.

2 Will we see hybrid or multiclassing rules for the Heroes of Shadow builds?

Yes. April’s Dragon sees the release of feats that allow you to swap powers and features from Heroes of the Fallen Lands with character classes from other sources. For instance, a fighter built using Player’s Handbook can swap encounter powers for power strike, while a knight or slayer can do the reverse. In MayJune, we’ll extend that support to Heroes of the Fallen Kingdoms.

For Heroes of Shadow, we will be releasing similar support, along with hybrid support for the classes that still need it, in MayJune.

3 Why is the Player’s Handbook fighter now referred to as the weaponmaster, and the warlord as the marshal?

In order to keep things clear and to make feats such as the multiclassing options work smoothly, we retroactively applied Heroes of the Fallen Lands-style names to the existing classes that have been updated via Dragon. These names allow us to make a distinction between an option for all fighters and one aimed specifically at a weaponmaster, knight, or slayer. The name change has no mechanical impact on your existing character.

How can I submit a question to the Rule-of-Three?

Instead of a single venue to submit questions, our Community Manager will be selecting questions from our message boards, Twitter feed, and Facebook account. You can also submit questions directly to So, if you’d like to have your question answered in the Rule-of-Three, just continue to participate in our online community—and we may select yours!