Monday, April 27, 2009

Optimized Characters: Start With the Racal Powers

One of my favorite things to do with 4e, especially with the character builder, is create characters with a theme. Sometimes that theme is just to make that character as powerful as possible, while other times its to use a certain subject, be it crunch or fluff, and run with it.

A major aspect of this can start with which race you pick for your character, and the racial power is a big part of that.


Dragonborn - Who doesn't want fire breath?
Half-Elf - Get another class's at-will as an encounter power.
Human - Get an extra at-will.
Bladeling - Explosion of spikes attack!
Fire Soul Genasi - Immediate reaction fire attack.
Minotaur - Charge and use racial attack.
Orc - Attack and use a healing surge.

Tiefling - Bonus to attack and damage if enemy hit you.
Deva - Bonus to attack, saving throw, skill or ability check.
Goliath - Resist 5 all for a round (scale up with tier).
Half-Orc - Extra damage on hit.
Longtooth Shifter - Damage bonus, regeneration.
Razorclaw Shifter - speed bonus, and bonus to defenses.
Bugbear - Bonus damage when you have combat advantage.
Storm Soul Genasi - Extra damage with thunder attacks.
Githzerai - Bonus to all defenses.
Gnoll - Extra damage on a charge.

Second Chances
Elf - Reroll a missed attack.
Halfling - Enemy rerolls a hit.

Eladrin - Teleport 5 squares.
Water soul Genasi - Shift up to your speed.
Wind Soul Genasi - FLY!
Githyanki - You or youally fly.
Goblin - Shift when missed by an attack.
Kobold - Shift as a minor action.
Shadar-Kai - Teleport and become insubstantial.

Dwarf - No racial power, but more features than you can shake a stick at.
Gnome - Turn invisible and wizard's cantrip.
Doppelganger - Can shapeshift into another humanoid.
Drow - Create a cloud of darkness or outline an enemy to make them easier to hit.
Earth soul Genasi - Knock enemies prone.
Hobgoblin - Automatically get a saving throw when you get a condition that a save can end.
Warforged - Gain HP or temporary HP.

I donno about you, but writing this has given me some more ideas for characters. It would be difficult but a fire soul Genasi that focuses on immediate interrupts, or a half-elf/dragonborn/bladeling that has as many encounter powers as possible. Ok, both of these are tricky build ideas, but can you think of any better ones based on a racial power?


shinobicow said...

I'm particularly fond of the bugbear's ability to wield larger weapons (although this isn't technically a racial power per se and it will also be changed soon enough) but getting the character to wield the biggest weapon you can get is always fun.

Also, i'm a big fan of the new PHBII races, goliaths are awesome and have some seriously cool stuff.

If i'm opting something though, its usually with an already pre-concieved character concept that someone gave me or that i thought up myself. One of the forum threads going on right now on the Wizards forums has to do with a Dual-Wielding Swordmage themed around the comic book character Deadpool (no doubt do to Ryan Reynold's awesome portrayal in the Wolverine flick). This is what is chalenging me at the moment... i'm waiting for arcane power to get serious with it though i have to say.

MacGuffin said...

wow, Shinobicow, that sounds like a really fun idea! I'd say, as a tribute to Deadpool, make it an orc or half-orc to be ugly to match his scarring and take the feat that gives you extra healing surges to match his power. It'd be possible to use the hybrid class rules recently released to make a dualclass ranger/swordmage, but it would still need a feat to get the Dual-wield class feature but then you could get attacks that use both swords.

I think I am just obsessed with dualclassing at this point...

My next post on this subject will be racial features, and did you know that minotaurs have the same large weapon feature as the bugbear in the monster manual?