slayers and knight similarities

The Knight and Slayer fighter builds are presented in separate sections of Heroes of the Fallen Lands, and have very little in common. They have different armor proficiencies, different powers and even different roles. Here’s what they share:

Of the at-will stances, Slayer and Knight share Battle Wrath (+2 to damage) and Poised Assault (+1 to attack).

Both Knights and Slayers get the Power Strike encounter power feature.

Of the Level 2 utility powers, Knight and Slayer share Minor Resurgence (gain 5 temporary HP when bloodied) but the other 3 choices differ. (Since all these utilities are labeled “Fighter Utility 2”, can a Knight take one from the Slayer section and vice versa?)

For the most part, Knights and Slayers get different class features. For example, at Level 4, Knights get +2 to initiative, while Slayers get the ability to draw a weapon as a free action.

Knights and Slayers seem to diverge about as much as possible and still be part of the same class. Although this approach has potential pitfalls, I much prefer it to the needless multiplication of basic classes. There’s no way, for instance, that the Cleric and the Runepriest should be separate classes.

I’m pretty sure that these builds and the fighter from the phb all share utilities and that Mike Mearls has stated as such in the past. HotFL doesn’t make any mention that you can choose different utilities than the ones they present, but I think that’s more for the sake of simplicity than anything else. It makes sense that Wizards would want their essentials books to feel a little self contained rather than overwhelming a player with constant references to other books and powers.

More Essentials thoughts…


5 Responses to “slayers and knight similarities”

  1. Moon DM says:

    The Ranger and the Seeker is the one that burns me! Do you want to be a ranger or a magic ranger?

  2. paul paul says:

    Personally, I want to be a mundane ranger.

  3. Mapache says:

    I think Runepriests manage to justify their existence reasonably well. Have you actually seen them in play? I’d say it’s hard to evaluate them from just reading through the description.

    Runepriests are somewhat similar in flavor to Clerics at first glance, but are actually about different cultural traditions. Clerics draw on Medieval Christian warrior-priest orders like the Knights Templar, which focus on worship, while Runepriests have more of a pseudo-Norse runes-are-the-secret-language-of-reality thing. (And, it should be noted that flavor-wise, Paladins draw on the same traditions as clerics, with a bit more of a focus on specific champions like the Peers of Charlemagne and the Knights of the Round Table, yet wind up at a very different class mechanically.)

    Far more important than subtle flavor distinctions, however, are the large mechanical differences between Runepriests and Clerics. Clerics can be melee or short-range (with the latter having had much more support over time), and are about hitting an enemy and buffing an ally. Runepriests are strictly melee, but they’re all about juggling different ally-buffing auras—they’re basically the paladins from Diablo II and World of Warcraft, which is not something other classes had done before in 4E. Like most parts of 4E, you need to seem them in actual play to really appreciate them.

  4. JoJa says:

    Guys, check out page 57. Especially the shaded box titled “Other Sources.” It lets players know that A) there are other books out there with powers you can choose from, and B) “Whenever you choose a new class power, you can select it from the list presented in this book or you can take a power of the same class, level, and type (attack or utility) from another source.”

    It also then gives a specific example that a Knight can choose from Slayer utilities and vice versa.

    So, it’s not a constant reminder, but they do cover the possibility.

  5. Rory Rory says:

    JoJa, that’s good to know. Thanks!

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