Character Creations: You Must Be My Lucky Star

There is a stargazing bard in my weekly group. The player originally conceived this character as a bard that had been thrust into a dire situation by powers beyond his control. However, he was able to survive the calamity by reaching out blindly to anyone or anything that might help him live to see another day. Unfortunately and perhaps even unbeknown to him, he made a desperate deal with a cosmic power from the Far Realm. The bard now has an ongoing pact with the Guide Star, Caiphon.

It is a great story in my opinion. I think lush back stories really help a build come to life. Most especially when you can find a synergy between the fluff and the mechanics. It is easy to get caught up in the mechanics of a build and lose sight of what inspired the character concept in the first place. On the other hand, it is also easy for a well crafted background to be stifled by a lack of support in terms of mechanics. Fortunately for this “bardlock” the world of hybrid exists.

This character creation is actually my first encounter with someone running a hybrid at my table. I have never been a fan of the multiclass system in 4e, so I was very hopeful for hybrid when I first heard about it. And while I find hybrid to be much more like what I wanted from multiclassing, hybrid classes still suffer from some serious hurdles when it comes to class abilities and feat selection. Certainly there are potent combinations that already exist, but I wonder why WotC did not expand upon unique options based on different class pairings.

Managing Roles

I think one of the greatest issues with hybrid is that it flies in the face of the role system that was incorporated in 4e. Since each class has a relatively well defined role, when you hybrid that class with another class that does not share the same role, then the results can be less than stellar (star pact pun intended). There is a huge untapped amount of content for hybrid specific feats. I believe they could get really creative with all sorts of iconic characters in mythology and modern fiction.

Look at a character like Itachi (yes I know I mentioned him before, I want to be Itachi, ok?) from Naruto, I see a wizard hybrid with a dark pact warlock (or perhaps hybrid goth with emo?). When Data from Goonies is discussing “boobie-traps,” I see rogue hybrid with artificer. And lets get real, Edward from Twilight is a total bard hybrid vampire… what a dark sad path we have just traveled down.

The point is that many of the mythological and fictional characters that inspire us to craft our heroes rarely fall into a single class. Taking little pieces here and there to help build that sexy aloof sparkling vampire is the only way its going to happen. But we are playing a game that rewards specialization. It is difficult to make a hybrid character that does one of his two roles very well. This is what I want to change, at least in the context of making the bardlock more like a leader that aids his allies with striker extra damage.

Leaders Make Allies Into Strikers

Yes, the point of hybrid is not to make the same class that you already had in one class. But I would argue that the key to hybrid is to recreate a class that has one role. In my approach to this I want to use the leader aspects of the bard and incorporate them in a manner that would highlight the fact that this hero is actually a striker. As a hybrid striker you miss out on a lot of damage, because virtually half of your powers are not keyed to work in conjunction with your striker mechanic, example in that the Warlock’s Curse only triggers with warlock powers. Conveniently the mechanic can be turned on its head to allow it to work like a leader mechanic. The key to being a leader is letting your allies shine and rewarding them for targeting who you want to take out. Knowing this we obviously have a way to key your target with the fact that every enemy of your goals can be cursed. Now we have a target of sorts for your allies to go after. We just need a reward. As I mentioned, I am trying to move towards a striker. Frequently leaders either give bonuses to damage or to hit or extra attacks as a way of harnessing the power of the group towards a common goal, which is usually to kill something. Knowing this and the fact that the hybrid warlock is missing a big chunk of DPR, I can easily rationalize a method of rewarding allies for targeting cursed enemies. Below are feats dedicated to the hybrid bard warlock. Let me know what you think. Special thanks to Versteeg the Bright for the inspiration.

Allied Pact

Ode of the Fey
Haunting Melody of the Guiding Star
Chant to the Dark Lords

Character Creations: Imposing Mentalist

I have been working on a new paragon path for my deva wizard. It started out as an option to the Planeshifter from Manual of the Planes. However over time its slowly developed into something else. I saw it more as a racial paragon path for all devas. I have to admit it can be difficult when you are creating something for this game when you are playing the game itself. It seems almost impossible to not want to craft something uniquely specific for the character you are playing, and it shows in this path. Most definitely it is designed for a deva who is also a controller, but I think that is what is needed. Otherwise you end up with watered down drivel, paths that do not really do much of anything (much like the danger of hybrid classes). The paragon path is below in full and preceding that is some insight to my design.

As I mentioned this started out as an attempt to spruce up the Planeshifter. My complaints about the Planeshifter are rooted in its awful utility power and relatively lame 11th level class ability somehow based on the idea that you will be using the Plane Shift ritual everyday for free. Albeit awesome in a game that is fundamentally based around plane hopping, for more conventional campaigns where much of your adventures are rooted in one plane with occasional visits to other planes I found this feature near useless. As for the utility, its just absolutely arbitrary that it is an encounter. I find it hard to believe that I would need to create and instant portal more than once a day, let alone an encounter. They should of just made it an at-will for laughs.

I originally started with the idea of making an encounter save ends effect like the Planeshifter. I realized this was too cheap of a rip off, so I kept the banishing concept but moved it to daily power status with some nasty damage. It reads a lot more like something Itachi from Naruto Shippuden could do, which is totally awesome. I did try to work with the utility for a long while, looking to make something more like an encounter Arcane Gate (which by the way they totally printed in the form of a warlock utility in Heroes of Shadow, called Bridge of Shades… I just know I am missing my calling). But I started working with other aspects of what the paragon path would be and teleportation started falling to the wayside.

I realized quickly that this path was starting to more reflect who my deva wizard already was. I wanted some mental manipulation. I did not want psionics, which may seem like a cheat, but I was hoping to keep the class firmly rooted in the arcane world. In time I found a happy medium by making it a deva racial paragon path that focused on the immense mental prowess of a being who has lived a thousand lifetimes. How can so many memories of so many lifetimes effect an individual? What becomes of their mental state? With such an experienced soul certainly there most be an incredible amount of power that could be tapped into, I wanted my deva to explore that.

Once I realized this I started focusing more on the deva race itself as well as mentalist flavored control powers. Things like daze and domination and psychic damage and the memory of a thousand life times racial feature became important features to highlight. For the utility I went for a supped up Orb of Imposition ability that could cause an automatic failed save, however I felt that might be over powered. Conceptually I liked the Orb of Imposition wizard feature, so I chose to focus on its other function which is the extension of effects. Still very powerful but also useful to a wide range of other classes, not just controllers.

Ultimately the paragon path more reflects the deva than a controller. It is racial, so it is more accessible to non-controller devas who will not have to worry about implements and want to have a controller bend to their class. The features are all pretty useful to any player character rather than just controllers, which I think is a personal triumph. I like to imagine that I am creating something that could conceivably be used by others and not just tailored for my character (even if that is how it starts out).

~Imposing Mentalist~

“My mind is a steel trap”

For many deva the cycle of constant reincarnation can take its toll. So many loved ones lost again and again, wars won and lost, entire civilizations rising and falling, the pain of life experienced not once but a thousand times over. Even the most stalwart being can become cynical or apathetic or worse, mad. But some wield their memories and immortal minds like a expertly tempered blade. Their souls filled with the energy of so many lives, that it can be tapped into with deadly potential. These rare devas exhibit a willful control over the world around them and an unusual expertise at bringing mortals to their knees by mere thought alone.

PreReq: Deva

Thousand Year Resolve (11th Level): You gain resistance to psychic damage equal to 5 + one-half your level. In addition, if you are dominated you can make a saving throw at the start of your turn to end that effect, even if the effect doesn’t normally end on a save.

Flood of Memories (11th Level): When you spend an action point, you recharge your Memory of A Thousand Lifetimes racial power and your attacks deal extra psychic damage equal to your Intelligence or Wisdom modifier until the end of your turn.

Forced Empathy (16th level): Whenever you daze a creature, instead you may stun that creature for the same duration by expending your Memory of A Thousand Lifetimes.

Overwhelming Projection Attack 11
You send out an overpowering wave of thoughts and visions from your past lives, causing your enemies to stumble and eventually fall to their knees by crushing their minds with a lifetime of memories all at once.
Encounter * Aura, Enchantment, Psychic
Standard Action             Close burst 2
Target: Each enemy in burst
Attack: Intelligence or Wisdom +6 (8 at 21st) vs. Will
Hit: 2d6 plus Intelligence or Wisdom modifier psychic damage and the target is pushed 2 squares and dazed until the end of your next turn.
Effect: You gain an aura 2 that lasts until the end of your next turn. Enemies that end their turn in the aura take your Intelligence or Wisdom modifier psychic damage and are knocked prone

Mnemonic Imposition Utility 12
Through sheer will, a will that has been hardened by a thousand lifetimes, you maintain an immortal grip over reality.
Free Action
Effect: Extend the duration of an effect created by one of your powers that would otherwise end at the end of your current turn. The effect instead ends at the end of your next turn.

Pain of A Thousand Lifetimes Attack 20
You trap your enemy in an extra dimensional prison within your own mind, where they are tortured with a lifetime of pain and suffering in the blink of an eye.
Daily * Psychic, Teleportation
Standard Action                 Range 10
Target: One Creature
Attack: Intelligence or Wisdom +8 vs. Will
Hit: 4d10 plus Intelligence or Wisdom modifier psychic damage
Effect: You banish the target to a dark pocket realm of painful memories within the confines of your mind (save ends). The target disappears, cannot take actions, and cannot be targeted. Each time the target fails a save against this effect it takes 15 psychic damage. On a successful save, the target reappears in the space it last occupied. If that space is occupied, the target returns to the nearest unoccupied space of its choice. You can expel the target from your mind as a free action, in which case it appears as described above.

Your Life Before Your Life

I am loving these new themes printed in last months Dragon Magazine #399. I have to admit that I am still a little apprehensive about them, considering heroic tier just got a big boost. The first themes came with the expansion and development of the Dark Sun campaign. They were interesting but not nearly as powerful and beneficial as the new Dragon Magazine themes.

I will say one thing that I appreciate much more about the Dark Sun themes, they are tied much more closely to the campaign world. These Dark Sun themes also have the benefit of special and flavorful paragon paths tied directly too them. Sadly the Dragon Magazine themes do not have associated paragon paths, however each theme provides a paragon path-like development for the heroic levels.

Personally, I see the themes as a great way to flesh out what your character was before becoming an adventurer. The possibilities could be endless honestly. The Dragon Magazine themes are applicable to almost any campaign world, but you could craft specific themes in the way of the backgrounds that are already in the books. They could be great hooks for character development and paths for DMs to send PCs down.

I have crafted a couple as we will be adding themes to our characters in my own group soon. I thought of these themes based on some PCs that already exist in our game:

An amnesiac is a little off. Things just don’t quite seem as clear as they should. There are these memories that are swimming about an amnesiacs head, pieces of a puzzle. But some of the pieces are missing, of frankly most of the pieces just don’t fit. Things do not make sense. Maybe you cannot remember your childhood. Or maybe you do and you just cannot recall anything between then and now. Entire experiences are missing from your memory. Why do you have a wedding band but no spouse, who is this picture of that you carry in your back pocket and why do you have these tattooed instructions that you need to “find John G.” on your back.

There could be many reasons for why you cannot remember your past. Maybe you had a near lethal encounter with a mindflayer or perhaps your family was literally erased from the time continuum by an evil wizard. What you should be concerned with is what those memories mean. Do you want to put the puzzle together? Can your memory be fully reinstated? Are you afraid of what you will discover when it is? All these are questions that an amnesiac character should ask herself.

Starting Feature-
There are things that you know but you are not sure how you know them. Its as if you were someone else before now. You have skills and memories from a life that you cannot remember or recall clearly, but these mysterious talents are at your disposal. If you dig deeper you may remember even more. Only time will tell.
Benefit: Select one class specific multiclass feat that you qualify for. You gain that feat as a bonus feat.

Additional Features

Level 5 Feature
You seem to have abilities and skills that you never remember acquiring. However you came to learn such things, you seem to be pretty good at it.
Benefit: Choose one new skill that is on the list of class skills from your chosen multiclass. You gain training in that skill. In addition you gain a +2 bonus when using that skill.

Level 10 Feature
You feel more comfortable now than ever with your abilities. They may be alien in nature to you, but at one time you must have been a master of them. You can now use these abilities as easily as any others that you know.
Benefit: You may use your highest ability score for attack rolls made with powers from your chosen multiclass.

Optional Powers

Remembered Trick    Amnesiac Utility 2
You may not be able to learn new tricks but you can still remember old tricks
Minor Action    Personal
Effect: Choose one skill. Until the end of the encounter you gain training in that skill.

Scattered Mind        Amnesiac Utility 6
Sometimes it is good to forget what just happened
No Action    Personal
Effect: If you are dazed, stunned or dominated, end that condition.

Remembered Talent    Amnesiac Utility 10
There was definitely a time in which you used to be talented
Minor Action    Personal
Effect: Choose one hybrid talent from the hybrid talent options associated with the hybrid version of your multiclass. You gain that hybrid talent until the end of the encounter.

A reincarnated creature has been thrust back into this world after dying in another life. The cause of your reincarnation could be greatly varied from religious to cursed or even an intricate plot to spy on a certain race. Perhaps you magically reincarnate when you die like Doctor Who. Reincarnation does not even have to be about death. Maybe your were once a drow warrior and an ancient druid has transformed you into an elf, in hopes that you will recognize the pain and suffering you enact on the elven people. Or maybe your ancestors were tieflings and now your human village believes that their forefathers literally live on the bodies of human descendants.

There are many directions to take this theme. You may want to consider whether your character finds her new state to be a blessing or a curse or just a matter of fact. Do you embrace your new form? Do you embrace the life you came from? Are you at odds with your new and old form? Perhaps you do not even know you were reincarnated and clues from the present are hinting at your past life.

Starting Feature-
Your connection to your past life, no matter how weak or strong, makes you capable of adapting inherent qualities from your previous race to your current race. You seem comfortable transitioning between two cultures and have a knack for overcoming some of the cultural barriers that outsiders may find stifling.
Benefit: Select a race other than your own. You are considered a member of that race for the purposes of meeting prerequisites. In addition you speak all the listed languages for that race.

Additional Features:

Level 5 Feature-
As you grow in power, you start to remember more from your past life, bits and pieces and things you learned from before. You develop a familiar knack for those skills.
Benefit: You receive the skill bonuses for your chosen race associated with this theme.

Level 10 Feature-
Not only do you feel more comfortable around you old race, they seem to be more receptive to you now.
Benefit: You receive a +5 bonus to charisma based skills and checks when interacting with your chosen race associated with this theme

Optional Powers

Second Chance at Life        Reincarnated Utility 2
You just got a new body, this is no time to screw it up
No Action    Personal
Trigger: You make a death saving throw.
Effect: Consider the result as if you rolled a 20.

Will Not Fail a Second Time     Reincarnated Utility 6
Who said there are no second chances
Free Action    Personal
Trigger: You make a d20 roll and dislike the result
Effect: Reroll the d20. Use the second roll, even if it is lower.

Echoes of the Past        Reincarnated Utility 10
You reach deep and for a brief moment clearly recall what you once were
No Action    Personal
Effect: Select a racial power for your chosen race associated with this theme, you may use that power as normal until the end of your next turn.


Character Creations: Heroes of Creation

Recently, I have been playing a bard in Shimmertook’s campaign. The setting is a points of light world that is currently in the throes of a volcanic catastrophe that has left the predominantly human population shattered. There are some other interesting plot lines and backdrops, but for the most part the world has been offered up to the players to develop.

My bard in particular is from a unique village that reveres the old ways, those ways being arcane and divine powers. Much of the campaign setting focuses on the primal powers due to a retreat of the gods a long time ago. In addition, arcane magic is looked upon with skepticism and fear. Magical items are scarce or hidden away and heroes are hard to come by. All great fluff.

This did open the doors for the players to build more of the history and intertwine it with their character’s personal backgrounds. I have been a long time fan (as I am sure many nerds are) of Tolkien’s creation story in The Silmarillion. For those unfamiliar with it, there is a song at the start of creation; from that song the world is created. It is slightly more complex that that with some conflict and rebellion by future evil gods, but basically the world is created by this perfect and beautiful song that is limitless in its scope. So you know, great artists steal and all that.

What I really wanted was for the song of creation to be a part of my bard’s story, not just the back drop for the campaign’s history. Of course there is much that I can role play into the character, but I personally enjoy coming up with mechanics that enhance that experience. Mechanics that make these flavorful choices tangible in game play.

I got to thinking more about what this Song of Creation is all about. Certainly it encompasses more than just the idea of creation. It would be about all the things in that exist in this fantasy world. I liken it much to the descriptions of the Supernal language in 4e. This song is universal in that it is familiar and inherent to all living (and perhaps dead) creatures on the planet. I liked this idea so much that I asked Shimmertook if I could have Supernal as one of my known languages. Of course the DM’s guide discourages this, and I understand why.

Supernal is the language of the divine beings. The manuals even clarify that just learning the language does not empower a mortal being to speak it as if she were an immortal. That is fair, but at our table we are less concerned about such things. All the players are comfortable with each other and our DM knows that we are in this campaign to try some new (sometimes rule bending) ideas. So my human bard knows Supernal.

But I envision her really knowing Supernal and speaking the language of the gods as an immortal. In this world, bits and pieces of the Song of Creation have been slowly uncovered by luck or fate or divine providence. Slowly mankind has pieced this song together. Certainly no one knows the entire song, until my bard gets to epic that is! Anyway you get where I am going with this. There is a goal and a story here that I want to develop and I want my bard’s abilities to reflect that. So I drafted this feat:

Words of Creation
Prerequisite: 11th level, know Supernal
Benefit: If you wish it, when you speak Supernal listeners who don’t speak Supernal can understand your words as if you used their native language. When making a charisma based skill check or ability check while speaking Supernal you gain a +2 feat bonus to that check.

Pretty straight forward and admittedly cool (for charisma-ie types). After crafting this feat I thought more about “words” that were already in the game. Mainly for my own bard, but potentially for other types who would perhaps sing in combat. I could go down interesting paths for many a class, but I stuck with some of the first leaders as they all were designed with the “word” class healing powers.

My thought was to simply build upon that already incorporated design, these leaders who cry out inspiring and healing and majestic words in combat. I feel most all the feats are true to the roles, and in particular the class they are affiliated with. All of these feats are paragon and higher as I felt like the context of the Words of Creation was something that more powerful and wizened characters would be drawn to (let alone have the resources and intellect to be within reach). Let me know what you think:

Familiar Chorus
Prerequisite: 11th level, Bard, Words of Creation
Benefit: When you use your Majestic Word power, you may slide each ally in the burst 1 square.

War Chanter
Prerequisite: 11th level, Warlord, Words of Creation
Benefit: Any ally that you target with your Inspiring Word gains a +2 power bonus to its next attack roll before the end of your next turn.

Hymn of Succor
Prerequisite: 11th level, Cleric, Words of Creation
Benefit: When you use your Healing Word power, each ally in the burst gains temporary hit points equal to your Wisdom modifier.

Song of Creation
Prerequisite: 21st level, Bard, Words of Creation
Benefit: When you target an ally with your Majestic Word power, that ally may move her speed as a free action.

Song of Suffering
Prerequisite: 21st level, Warlord, Words of Creation
Benefit: When you target an ally with your Inspiring Word power, that ally may take a basic attack as a free action.

Song of Forgiveness
Prerequisite: 21st level, Cleric, Words of Creation
Benefit: When you use your Healing Word power, each ally in the burst may make a saving throw with a bonus equal to your Charisma modifier.

Character Creations: Servant of the Moon

I am looking to create a new paragon path, specifically for paladins. One of my favorite new design choices for 4e D&D is the paladin. I would even say that the 4e paladin was one of the inspirations for my hands on approach to this edition and hence this blog. The reason being that paladins are now no longer bound to preconceived notions of piety and a lawful good deity. The original concept of paladins was rooted in the Christian warrior. But in the world of mythology paladins can serve any deity and no edition has embraced that more than 4e.

So what type of paragon path am I trying to make? I want my powers and abilities to exemplify a certain deity. Now I have a certain deity in mind, however this could be representative of a multitude of mythological gods. Many gods in history and within D&D pantheons are based on archetypal concepts so conveniently they can be mixed and matched. Most importantly I want this paragon path to define an unusual type of paladin. I want a graceful and umbra wielding (not necessarily evil) guardian whose powers are still rooted in defending but take on a more sly demeanor and a mystical flavor.

So what game mechanics typify shadowy and magical abilities. The first thing that comes to mind for me is concealment. This is an excellent mechanic for defenders. Due to its bonuses to defense it can be useful to both gain concealment and give concealment, both of which are perfect for defenders as well as leaders. This is great news for my paladin since paladins are defenders with a leader-like bend. In the same vein, an excellent condition to think about is invisibility. Now remember we are playing a defender so being invisible is counter intuitive to my goal. I want to draw attention. However, nothing makes you more of an unappealing target than being invisible, so perhaps granting invisibility would be a really great thing to offer my allies. Invisibility should be somewhat rare, but it is a great thing to help an ally get out of a jam by literally removing them from the sights of an enemy. I am thinking that I will work concealment into the following utility power:

Shielding Shadows Utility 12
At-Will * Divine

Move Action Close Burst 5
Target: You or one ally in burst
Effect: The target gains partial concealment until the end of your next turn.

This way my concealment power is a little versatile, offering some boosted defenses to me or my allies. This can even have some use out of combat with some training in stealth to make me a “sneaky” paladin. As for invisibility, I think the special action point tie-in would be a nice feature to attach this very helpful status. Again being a defender, I want to grant invisibility:

Shadow Cloak (11th Level): When you spend an action point, all adjacent allies become invisible until the start of your next turn.

While I am looking at class abilities, I should start thinking about the standard 11th level class feature. When I think about well designed paragon paths, one of the most appealing features is synergy. Synergy within your design will make the class feel uniform, powerful, and perhaps most importantly defining. Paragon is the tier where you start to separate yourself from your peers. You are trying to specialize and highlight a particularly powerful aspect of your abilities or personality or flavor. As I already have a power that can grant concealment, I want to reinforce its strength with a unique class ability. As the paladin sometimes doubles as a leader, I want to incorporate that into the path. What I have always loved about archetypal paladins is their ability to take away conditions, think disease and curses and wounds. I could develop a hit point healing mechanic, but I am looking for something a little more interesting. One very helpful feature of many a leader is granting a saving throw. Certainly the extra chance to avoid or remove an ongoing condition sounds paladin like. In conjunction with my Shielding Shadows utility and granting saving throws, I came up with this:

Support from the Shadows (11th Level): Once during your turn if you start or end your turn with concealment, one ally that you can see may make a saving throw as a free action.

My shady divine warrior is shaping up nicely. I have several abilities that are tied to the theme of shadows and concealment and each reflect a paladin design theme of the role of defender with a leader bend. For my 16th level class feature I would like to really drive home the defender nature of the path. After all, at the end of the day I am a defender and I should do that very well. I want something that is powerful and unique but still tied to my darkness and shadow theme. When I think of shadows and darkness I often am drawn to the mechanic of weakness. Weakness in my mind can represent a lot of things: fear, cowering, enervation, sapping of strength, etc. Certainly darkness can invoke fear, and within the game of D&D enervation is frequently associated with shadowy magic, often to the boon of those doing the enervating. I like this idea of my paladin draining the strength of an enemy that is attacking allies and turning it back on them, certainly seems like a righteous feat:

Dark Challenge (16th level): If a creature you have marked with your Divine Challenge makes an attack against one of your allies that does not include you as a target and hits, then it is considered weakened for that attack and you gain a bonus to damage rolls equal to your wisdom modifier against that creature until the end of your next turn.

Next I should start to tackle my new encounter power. Again I want to approach this power with the mind frame of a defender. This power is my bread and butter, something I will most likely use every encounter. This should also be unique and interesting, something a little different that your standard paladin encounter power. I think I will also include some forced movement here. Of course when considering a defender, my mind always defaults to pulls. The pull is perfect for a defender. It keeps dangerous attackers close to you and away from your allies. Damage should be a second thought with these defender powers. I do not want it to be totally overlooked, but my goal here is to corral those dangerous skirmishers and heavy hitting brutes, I will let my party striker lay down the killing blow. So far this sounds like your standard defender power. How can I make this unique. I am a big fan of effects on encounter powers. They are rare and they should be less offensive, but you know they will happen every time. I want something advantageous to be gained by my paladin that she cannot get from most of her other powers. What I want to consider is some personal mobility. Positioning can be huge in 4e and especially so for defenders as they are standing between the enemy and the rest of the party, but often not literally. I am thinking a slick effect to move my paladin around the field and create the feeling of a sly slippery paladin to tie into my original theme:

Shadowy Lure Attack 11
Encounter * Divine, Charm, Implement, Psychic
Standard Action Close Burst 2
Effect: Shift up to your speed before the attack
Target: Each enemy in burst that can see you
Attack: Charisma vs. Will
Hit: 2d6 plus Charisma modifier psychic damage and the target is pulled to a square adjacent to you and is subject to your divine sanction until the end of your next turn.

Finally, I need to develop a 20th level attack power. Daily powers can be a lot of fun because while the power should exemplify your role, it can also give you some leeway to explore unique avenues that most of your standard powers do not account for. Your daily, especially for paragon, should be a battle changer. There are a couple of things I want included in this power, one is certainly concealment. I also want this power to isolate my enemies, keep them in check so my allies can either get away from them or target them more easily. The best mechanic for this is immobilization. As with my encounter attack power, I should shy away from a lot of damage, however this is a daily attack power. My curve should be a little higher. Here is what I am thinking:

Grasping Shadow Hands Attack 20
Daily * Divine, Implement, Necrotic, Radiant, Zone
Standard Action Close Burst 2
Target: Each enemy in burst
Attack: Charisma vs. Reflex
Hit: 2d10 plus charisma modifier radiant and necrotic damage and the creature is immobilized (save ends)
Effect: This power creates a zone of lightly obscured squares equal to the size of the burst. While within the zone you and your allies gain resist 15 radiant and necrotic damage and take no penalty from attacking targets with any concealment. Enemies within the zone grant combat advantage.

You may be wondering about why I chose radiant and necrotic. This is just a personal choice of mine. I view shadow as a mixture of light and dark. This is the shade of gray between the two energy types. So in this case I like flavor to dictate the mechanic.

My paladin paragon path is done! You can easily adapt this path to most campaigns. I created it with a paladin in mind, but you could open it up or tinker to make it fit another class or even race. I think flavor wise it is most inspired by the 4e core deity Sehanine. All the names of the powers and flavor text I have listed below reflect a Sehaninic feel. Certainly you could make this an appropriate option for a god like Selune (Forgotten Realms 4e) or Eilistraee (Forgotten Realms 3.5). I even think someone could make this work as a follower of Vecna (push the concealment as secretiveness, dark challenge feature literally draining the life of the mark, so on and so forth). Here is my final product:

~Servant of the Moon~

There are many who fall in love with the moon from a young age. Just as oceans are pushed and pulled by the mysterious attraction that Sehanine holds over the goddess Melora, so too are the people of the world drawn to Sehanine’s awe inspiring presence in the sky. The moon is welcoming and free, any may lay their eyes upon her glowing majesty and need not avert their gaze or be blinded as with Pelor’s sun. Indeed, the moon allows a certain wanderlust and openness that is not so present in the daylight hours. This is what invokes a wildness, an untamed desire within all creatures who are fascinated with Sehanine’s sensual glory. Those that embrace her do not so much serve her as revel in her presence. They dance and hunt and rejoice in the shadowy evening hours. They are accepting and egalitarian and often fend for those that are deprived of the same freedom that Sehanine encourages in her faithful. They deplore being restrained and are frequently seeking change and new experiences. And just as with the many faced goddess herself, the Servants of the Moon are as fierce and deadly as they are mysterious and graceful.

PreReq: Paladin, must worship Sehanine

Moon Maiden’s Cloak (11th Level): When you spend an action point, all adjacent allies become invisible until the start of your next turn.

Support from the Shadows (11th Level): Once during your turn if you start or end your turn in concealment, one ally that you can see may make a saving throw as a free action.

Waxing and Waning (16th level): If a creature you have marked with your Divine Challenge makes an attack against one of your allies that does not include you as a target and hits, then it is considered weakened for that attack and you gain a bonus to damage rolls equal to your wisdom modifier on that creature until the end of your next turn.


Moon Shadow Dance Attack 11
You dance about becoming cloaked in a swirl of undulating shadow as you channel the moon’s sensuous and mysterious sway over the hearts and minds of others, drawing your enemies closer to you.
Encounter * Divine, Charm, Implement, Psychic
Standard Action Close Burst 2
Effect: Shift up to your speed before the attack
Target: Each enemy in burst that can see you
Attack: Charisma vs. Will
Hit: 2d6 plus Charisma modifier psychic damage and the target is pulled to a square adjacent to you and is subject to your divine sanction until the end of your next turn.

Shielding Shadows Utility 12
Sehanine often hides secret lovers from prying eyes with her shadowy cloak, you do the same to defend you and your allies.
At-Will * Divine
Move Action Close Burst 5
Target: You or one ally in burst
Effect: The target gains partial concealment until the end of your next turn.

Keep to the Shadows Attack 20
Avoid the blazing light of zealous good and the utter darkness of evil.
Daily * Divine, Implement, Necrotic, Radiant, Zone

Standard Action Close Burst 2
Target: Each enemy in burst
Attack: Charisma vs. Reflex
Hit: 2d10 plus charisma modifier radiant and necrotic damage and the creature is immobilized (save ends)
Effect: This power creates a zone of lightly obscured squares equal to the size of the burst. While within the zone you and your allies gain resist 15 radiant and necrotic damage and take no penalty from attacking targets with any concealment. Enemies within the zone grant combat advantage.