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Every once in awhile, you get that urge to make that perfect character. But how do you do it? Will you copy fictional works and go for a Conniving Thief? How about a Stupid Bard?

Perhaps you will try to do something less overdone than a Drizzt Do'urden clone, or perhaps you will choose a simple meat shield fighter to give your wizard less to complain about. Either way, here is a compiled list of almost all archetypes of classes. Good luck.


1st through 3rd Edition Core Classes

Assassin

A sub-class of the thief in 1st Edition, the assassin became a Prestige Class in 3rd Edition.

  • Boring but Practical: The 3E Assassin has a very small list of spells they can use, but it contains almost all the spells a stealthy character would want (read: Invisibility), and the ability to cast arcane spells at all opens up huge new options for them.
  • Character Alignment: Required to be evil for some reason in 3rd Edition.
  • Stealth Expert: Even more so than the Rogue.

Barbarian

Class Handbooks: WotC 3.5 version, Brilliant Gameologists 3.5 version (copied from the GiantITP version), Gleemax 4E version.

  • Badass Normal
  • Barbarian Hero
  • The Berserker
  • Canon Immigrant: The barbarian first appeared in the British fanzine White Dwarf before being adopted by TSR.
  • Character Alignment: Cannot be lawful for obvious reasons.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower
  • Lightning Bruiser: In 3.x, the barbarian has the highest base movement speed of any class except for the monk. In addition to that he has uncanny dodge, meaning that he reacts so quickly to danger that he gains a bonus to reflex saves against traps and cannot be flanked or sneak-attacked in combat.
  • Made of Iron: Traditionally, barbarians have the highest hit points of the core classes, and in most cases, actually take reduced damage from all physical attacks at higher levels (the DR is so small that it only outright prevents Scratch Damage, though).
  • Nature Hero
  • Never Learned to Read: Possibly; in the third edition, barbarians must spend skill points for literacy, whereas other characters are automatically literate.
  • One Stat to Rule Them All: In 1st Edition, Constitution. In 3rd, barbarians benefit from all physical stats.
  • Unstoppable Rage: The barbarian's distinguishing characteristic in 3rd Edition. The original 1E barbarian from White Dwarf also had this ability, but the official one by Gary Gygax did not (it was defined by its extreme resilience).

Bard

Class Handbooks: Gleemax 4E version, Gleemax 3.5 version, Brilliant Gameologists 3.5 version

Cleric / Priest

Class Handbook: Gleemax 4E version, Brilliant Gameologists 4E version, Gleemax 3.5 version, Brilliant Gameologists 3.5 version.

Druid

Class Handbook: Gleemax 4E version, Gleemax 3.5 version Brilliant Gameologists 3.5 version.

Fighter / Fighting Man

  • Badass Normal
  • Charles Atlas Superpower
  • Mighty Glacier: Although they do not have to be played this way, Fighters can equip the heavy class of armor, and are the only core class capable of properly wielding a tower shield (at least by default).
  • Weapon of Choice: Fighters gain an ability called "Weapon Specialization", which gives them bonuses when they use their chosen weapon.

Illusionist

Originally a sub-class distinct from the magic-user class and with its own spell list (though there was overlap). Became "merely" one type of specialist wizard among several others as early as AD&D 2nd edition.

Monk

  • All Monks Know Kung Fu
  • Arrow Catch
  • Awesome but Impractical: Regardless of its flaws, not many other classes can literally punch out Cthuhlu.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: Duh to the twentieth power.
  • Character Alignment: Lawful Good, Lawful Neutral, Lawful Evil: In 3.x all monks must be of a lawful alignment, due to the fact that being a monk requires a very high degree of discipline and self-control.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Most of the monk's abilities are not magical in nature, but merely stem from years of training. Including the ability to do lethal damage with their fists, the only Core class that can do so without taking a feat.
  • Flash Step: Abundant Step.
  • Fragile Speedster: Even if you happen to roll 18 for all your ability scores, monks will never get as strong or as tough as the true fighting classes, with their naturally high AC and movement speed bonuses being their main boons.
    • Lightning Bruiser: In any combat situation where characters have no armour, weapons, magic items, or magic.
  • Invulnerable Knuckles: Said knuckles count as magic weapons for the purpose of piercing magic defenses. This also has the side-effect of letting a Monk punch ghosts.
  • Healing Factor
  • In a Single Bound: Leap of the Clouds.
  • Ki Attacks: 3rd Edition describes many Monk abilities as being quasi-spiritual.
  • Master of None: Have a lot of "flavour" abilities with no value, like the ability to partially slow your fall by using nearby walls (most wizards can completely slow all falls, period, with a level 1 spell). Most of its abilities are contrary, as well: The monk has a lot of mobility-enhancing powers that would lead to hit-and-run attacks... But Flurry of Blows only work when the monk stands still.
  • The Paralyzer: Stunning Fist.
  • Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: Flurry of Blows.
  • Touch of Death: Quivering Palm.
    • Became a Useless Useful Spell in 3.5 when it could no longer affect targets of higher Hit Die than the monk. Most mooks at the level you gain it have more Hit Die than player characters, nevermind targets you'd actually feel like expending it on.
    • It doesn't have to be instant-death, either; the monk is able to simply will the target to die at any time for at least a week after landing the attack (depending on the monk's Wisdom and level), and if the target fails a Fortitude save, they drop dead. Paranoia Fuel and extortion ahoy!
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Monks have tons of filler abilities that are easily replicated by cheap, common, magic items (What good is limited access to slow fall over 20 levels if a Ring of Slowfall is dirt cheap and easily afforded by the time you start getting the basics of the ability and does more than it ever will?).

Paladin

Ranger

Rogue / Thief

Sorcerer

  • Empathy Pet: In the form of...
  • Familiars
  • Glass Cannon: Like wizards, sorcerors can dish out huge amounts of damage with their spells, but their d4 Hit Dice means that they won't have many Hit Points.
  • In the Blood: A sorcerer's powers are innate, as opposed to wizards, who require years of study to learn their magic.
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards
  • Puberty Superpower
  • Ryu and Ken: With Wizards.
  • Squishy Wizard
  • Not That Kind of Mage: Once again, with wizards.
  • Magic Missile
  • Vancian Magic: Of a different sort than wizards and most other spellcasting classes. Rather than being required to prepare spells in advance, sorcerors can spontaneously cast any spell they know, and are allowed to cast only a given number of spells per day (sorcerors also get to cast more spells per day than wizards). On the other hand, sorcerors are only allowed to know a limited number of spells, period. This gives sorcerors great flexibility to adapt their plans on the fly (in contrast to wizards, who are screwed if they go up against something they didn't prepare for ahead of time), but less flexibility in terms of the total range of situations that they can tackle.
  • White Magic and/or Black Magic: depending on alignment

Wizard / Magic-User / Mage


Other 3rd Edition Classes

Archivist

Introduced in Heroes of Horror.

  • Badass Bookworm: Archivists add spells to their prayerbook from divine scrolls, and can learn any divine spell in the game, giving them the most versatile spell list around.
  • Recycled In Religion: They're essentially Divine Wizards.

Ardent

Introduced in Complete Psionic.

Artificer

Introduced in the Eberron Campaign Setting.

  • Clothes Make the Superman: Artificers cast spells indirectly by enchanting equipment. In other words, they can't fly, but their boots just suddenly sprouted little wings.
  • Crazy Prepared: Being only as good as the stuff they carry, experienced artificer players will have whole manifests of stuff they have in their interdemensional storage spaces. And if they don't have the exact right thing, their Infusions (at higher levels) can make a stick into a Holy Orc-bane Stick of Impact.
  • Difficult but Awesome: Artificers require a massive amount of bookkeeping -- keeping track of all of their magical items, how much XP was lost in creating all of them, how many charges each magical weapon has, how many Action Points they have at any given time -- but when pulled off, they are awesomely powerful.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: For that player who wants to craft their own equipment.
  • Science Hero

Battle Dancer

Introduced in Dragon #159, updated for 3.5e in the Dragon Compendium.

Beguiler

Introduced in Player's Handbook II (3.5e).

  • Charm Person: One of the most important spells a beginning beguiler has.
  • Expy: Borrows the Warmage's system of casting, but for illusion and mind-control spells instead of blasting.
  • Guile Hero: More or less a quintessential one.
  • Magic Knight: Magic Rogue, more like.
  • Invisibility: A popular spell for them.
  • Stealth Expert

Binder

Introduced in Tome of Magic.

  • Ars Goetia: Many of the Vestiges that Binders make pacts with are based off of demons from the Ars Goetia.
  • Continuity Nod: Some of the Vestiges are based off of characters from events in previous editions of D&D that, due to how they died or were destroyed, have slipped outside of the normal order of existence.
  • Deal with the Devil: While there are plenty of innocent or neutral vestiges, the whole process is considered unnatural. In the default setting, expect at least three Law-aligned deities demanding your head on a plate at any given time.
    • The WOTC message boards used to have an epic thread of fan-made vestiges. Many of these were also pop-culture icons, for those players who want to channel Ghost Rider or Homsar.
  • Red Right Hand: Shows up when channelling -- sometimes it is a literal deformity, other times it is a personality quirk like being unable to lie.
  • Willing Channeler: The whole premise of the class, really.

Crusader

Introduced in Tome of Battle: The Book of Nine Swords.

  • Arrogant Kung Fu Paladin: Pretty common; the class is essentially a Paladin 2.0 with the Tome Of Battle rules, and renowned for being so.
  • Kung Fu Jesus: They use divinely inspired martial arts to fight. Inspiration is represented by the DM offering them 3 random cards a turn, each card corresponding to a maneuver.
  • Made of Iron: Damage taken can be delayed up to one round, and the Crusader can heal that damage before it happens (or use the Stone Power feat to negate it outright).
  • Mighty Glacier: It's the only class in the Book of Nine Swords that is proficient with Heavy Armor. The class also has a strong focus on Hit Points (though not receiving as many as the Warblade), and is very hard to actually kill if played properly.
  • Obvious Beta: In hindsight, anyway. Wizards of the Coast has confirmed that they were testing gameplay mechanics for fourth edition with this and the other classes in Tome of Battle. It's more obvious here than with earlier classes like the Warlock (see below).

Death Master

Introduced in Dragon #76, updated for 3.5e in the Dragon Compendium.

Divine Mind

Introduced in Complete Psionic.

Dragon Shaman

Introduced in Player's Handbook II (3.5e).

Dragonfire Adept

Introduced in Dragon Magic.

  • Breath Weapon: While other characters can pick one up through spells, feats, items, and class features down the line, the Dragonfire Adept is the only class that gets a breath weapon at level 1.
  • Expy: Uses the same casting system as the Warlock.
  • Full-Contact Magic: Compared to other Arcane Users. Not supremely strong, but certainly tougher than others.
  • Squishy Wizard: Averted.

Dread Necromancer

Introduced in Heroes of Horror.

  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Dread Necros have a limited spell list, drawn nearly exclusively from the Necromancy school.
  • Expy: Borrows the Warmage's system of casting, but for necromancy spells instead of blasting.
  • Healing Hands: Can expel negative energy at a touch. Infinite healing for any undead (or rare living being healed by negative energy), including themself with the right options.
  • One Stat to Rule Them All: Charisma powers everything the Dread Necro needs to do.
  • Soul Jar: The Dread Necro's level 20 class feature is an automatic transformation into a Lich, complete with the obligatory Phylactery. They even get Craft Wondrous Item as a bonus feat to construct the phylactery, in case they didn't already have it.
  • Squishy Wizard: While only slightly less squishy than normal casters in theory, their infinite healing makes them fairly tankish at times. (For comparison, even the Monk's Healing Factor is limited to twice the Monk's class level per day.)
  • Useless Item: Wot C Cust Serv has infamously claimed one of their class features does absolutely nothing beyond give them a box. This is one of the more frequently cited reasons why no one uses Cust Serv rulings.

Duskblade

Introduced in Player's Handbook II.

Eidolon

Introduced in Ghostwalk.

(Needs entries)

Eidoloncer

Introduced in Ghostwalk.

(Needs entries)

Erudite

Introduced in Complete Psionic.

  • All Your Powers Combined: Unlike standard Psions, Erudites can learn powers from all six psionic disciplines.
  • Psychic Powers
  • Secret Character: The Erudite was hidden away in one of the last pages of Complete Psionic, segregated from the other three classes introduced in that splatbook. Consequently, a fair number of people don't even know it exists.
    • It was actually a Dragon Magazine-exclusive before it was printed in Complete Psionic. The class was originally slated for the Expanded Psionics Handbook, but was cut for space.

Factotum

Introduced in the book Dungeonscape.

Favored Soul

Introduced in the Miniatures Handbook, and introduced again in Complete Divine.

Healer

Introduced in the Miniatures Handbook.

  • Expy: The most common first step in fixing the class among fans is to make it one of the Warmage expies (why it isn't one in the first place, when they debut in the same book, is not understood).
  • Healing Hands
  • Revive Kills Zombie: Without Sanctified Spells, this is probably the only reasonable way a Healer can fight until they get their Celestial Unicorn companion.
  • Unicorn: The base companion for a Healer is a Celestial Unicorn (as mentioned above).
  • Virgin Power: Averted; there is nothing in the rules saying a Healer has to be a virgin to keep their Celestial Unicorn companion.
  • White Magic: The class specializes in healing spells.

Hexblade

Introduced in Complete Warrior.

Incarnate

Introduced in Magic of Incarnum.

  • Difficult but Awesome: Once you've learned how to play the class, you are nearly on-par with a Factotum.
    • Incarnates are capable of utilizing defenses that are normally reserved for spellcasters/manifesters, and are numerically capable of covering any of the four standard roles. Whats more, an Incarnate can change his entire build within 9 hours' time.
  • Guide Dang It: The Incarnate was introduced in a book that wears the title of Most Confusing Splat EVER. Very few people have the know-how to play the class, even on the most popular forums like GiantITP.
  • Made of Iron: Thanks to having a huge amount of defenses and being focused nigh-exclusively on Constitution, an Incarnate is very durable. Only the Totemist and Crusader (and, to a lesser extent, the Barbarian) are comparable out of the non-casters.

Jester

Introduced in Dragon #60, updated for 3.5e in the Dragon Compendium.

Knight

Introduced in Player's Handbook II (3.5e).

Lurk

Introduced in Complete Psionic.

Marshal

Introduced in the Miniatures Handbook.

Mountebank

Idea suggested in Dragon #65, introduced in the Dragon Compendium.

Ninja

Introduced in Complete Adventurer.

Psion / Psionicist

Psychic Rogue

Introduced in the Wizards of the Coast's Mind's Eye articles.

Psychic Warrior

  • Empathic Healer: Can donate their hit points to their teammates, and later learns to drain enemies for quick healing.
  • Magic Knight: The psionic version thereof.
  • Poor Predictable Rock: Subverted: most of their attack spells do acid damage, but how many stock Monster Manual creatures resist acid?
  • Psychic Powers

Samurai

Introduced in Oriental Adventures (3.0), revised and reintroduced in Complete Warrior (3.5).

  • Dual-Wielding: As a class ability, they receive Two Weapon Fighting as a bonus feat, but it only applies when using a daisho.
  • Lawful Stupid: The initial 3.0 version, unbearably so...

Savant

Introduced in Dragon #140, updated for 3.5e in the Dragon Compendium.

(Needs entries)

Scout

Introduced in Complete Adventurer.

  • Fragile Speedster
  • Kiting: The class's specialty.
  • Stealth Expert: Not to the same extent as the Rogue, since its Skirmish ability doesn't rely on surprise like a Rogue's Sneak Attack, but Scouts are still good at remaining unseen.
  • Took a Level In Badass: The Swift Hunter feat turns this class and the Ranger into a solid Tier 3 build. It's also possible to combine Swift Hunter with Cleric spellcasting, making it even better.

Shadowcaster

Introduced in Tome of Magic.

  • Dark Is Not Evil: Shadowcasters are not inclined toward evil any more than other classes.
  • Magic A Is Magic A: Many Shadowcaster spells are technically spell-like abilities or supernatural innate powers, causing many a Rules Lawyer to Squee with delight.

Sha'ir

Introduced in the Al-Qadim setting for 2nd Edition, updated to 3.5e in Dragon #315 and reintroduced in the Dragon Compendium.

(Needs entries)

Shaman

Introduced in Oriental Adventures.

  • Evil Counterpart: Similar situation to Clerics.
  • Invulnerable Knuckles
  • I See Dead People: Shamans gain the ability to see ethereal creatures, such as ghosts that are not currently manifesting in the Material Plane (a manifested ghost would be visible to everyone). To a Shaman, ethereal creatures are visible, but appear translucent and somewhat indistinct.
  • The Beast Master: Shamans get up to two animal companions (with a total Hit Dice limit), and can easily charm other animals into helping out in a pinch.
  • Turn Undead
  • White Magic and/or Black Magic: Much like Clerics in this regard.

Shugenja

Introduced in Oriental Adventures, reintroduced in Complete Divine.

  • Elemental Powers: Its spell list consists of Cleric and Wizard spells re-flavored as elemental spells.

Sohei

Introduced in Oriental Adventures.

Soulborn

Introduced in Magic of Incarnum.

Soulknife

  • Laser Blade: The Soulknife's signature weapon is his Mind Blade, a glowing sword formed from psychic energy.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: "Throw Mind Blade" is a class feature gained at later levels, and the Soulknives default option for ranged combat.

Spellthief

Introduced in Complete Adventurer.

Spirit Shaman

Introduced in Complete Divine.

  • Difficult but Awesome: About as good as you'd expect a Spontaneous Druid to be, minus the Wildshape and Animal Companion. Still relatively good, and is the only Spontaneous Caster capable of completely rewriting its own spell list every 24 hours.
  • Nature Hero

Swashbuckler

Introduced in Complete Adventurer.

  • Genius Bruiser: Swashbucklers can apply their Intelligence to their damage when using certain weapons, but only when unburdened.

Swordsage

Introduced in Tome of Battle: The Book of Nine Swords.

  • Arrogant Kung Fu Guy: Pretty common amongst swordsages.
    • Plays like a Monk, but with AWESOME mixed in for good measure.

Totemist

Introduced in Magic of Incarnum.

  • Badass: The only class in the game capable of keeping up with Polymorph in terms of sheer power, but is balanced by comparison. Seriously, name a class capable of grappling a Great Wyrm Gold Dragon without using spells.
  • Difficult but Awesome: As with everything Incarnum-related, this class takes a lot of effort to learn. Thankfully, the payout is worth-while.
  • Gaia's Vengeance: Basically a Druid that focuses on Magical Beasts and can't cast spells.
  • Made of Iron: Almost better than the Incarnate thanks to a Soulmeld or two.
  • X Meets Y: Basically a Druid's Wildshape mixed with the Incarnate's Meldshaping.

Truenamer

Introduced in Tome of Magic.

  • Game Breaking Bug: Due to the way Truenaming checks scale compared to levels (the DC of the checks scales twice as fast as a character can acquire ranks in the skill), the Truenamer gets worse as it levels up, until it hits around level 19 and can Gate in Solars, which can Gate in Solars, which can Gate in Solars.... It also has key information missing for an entire set of class features in initial printings.

Urban Druid

Introduced in Dragon #317, reintroduced in the Dragon Compendium.

(Needs entries)

Warblade

Introduced in Tome of Battle: The Book of Nine Swords.

  • Badass Normal: Lack any real supernatural abilities by default, but fairly useful despite this.
  • Blood Knight: According to fluff text, warblades really love fighting.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Not technically part of the mechanics, but almost inevitable when playing with the Tome of Battle maneuver system.
  • Genius Bruiser: Most of the class features apply your Intelligence score to different combat tactics.

Warlock

Introduced in Complete Arcane.

Warmage

Introduced in the Miniatures Handbook, and introduced again in Complete Arcane.

  • Fireballs: Blasting things is their intended purpose. Blasting isn't very good in 3.5 though.
  • Lethal Joke Character: Any ability that improves their spell list turns them into this.
  • Poor Predictable Rock: An arcane caster with only damaging spells, lacking in debuffs, buffs, and utilities. Unless you have large hordes of easily disposable cannon fodder Zerg Rush you, the Warmage's utility is fairly limited.

Wilder

Wu Jen

Introduced in Oriental Adventures, updated for 3.5e in Complete Arcane.


3.0 & 3.5 Edition Prestige Classes

(Needs Entries)

Alienist

A Prestige Class introduced in Complete Arcane. The Alienist is a spellcaster who summons things from beyond and deals with things man was not meant to know.

  • Body Horror: Alienists tend to grow eyes, tentacles, or mouths where there previously were none. Any Familiar the alienist has develops them first.
  • Eldritch Abomination: You get to summon minor ones. You also need to meet one first to qualify to become an Alienist.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Eventually, Alienists become this.
  • Insanity Immunity: You might want to hold off reading their minds, too.
  • Power Born of Madness: Alienists gain an insanity score which equals half their class level. This score is detracted from their Wisdom attribute (meaning they may not be hearing or seeing the things normal folk do), but added to their Intelligence attribute for additional spells. Once or twice per day, they can pull off crazy stuff because of their insanity.
  • Summon Magic/Enemy Summoner: Now with added tentacles!
  • Squishy Wizard: As with most spellcasters, Alienists aren't that hardy (barring creative use of the half-Farspawn template), but gain a measure of Damage Reduction, energy resistances, and immunity to some Standard Status Effects.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: as written in Complete Arcane, the Alienist appears to be a wizard who specialises in summoning otherwordly things from beyond stars. However, they lose the ability to summon anything which cannot be made into a pseudonatural creature, such as demons or angels. This means that at later levels, they have a much smaller pool of creatures they could potentially summon than any other wizard of the same level. As a result, people are either recommended to not use the class, to adapt the class itself or to create an alternative monster pool from which they could chose summons.

Arcane Archer

A prestige class from the Dungeon Master's Guide. This is an elf-specific class that mixes spellcasting with bow-wielding skill.

(Needs entries)

Arcane Trickster

A prestige class from the Dungeon Master's Guide. This class mixes spellcasting ability with trickery akin to that of the Rogue class.

(Needs entries)

Archmage

A prestige class from the Dungeon Master's Guide. Archmagi delve deeply into the workings of magic, learning to eke out more abilities from their spells.

(Needs entries)

Assassin

(See the Assassin entry in the "1st through 3rd Edition Core Classes" folder)

Blackguard

A prestige class from the Dungeon Master's Guide. Blackguards are evil divine warriors much in the way that Paladins are good ones.

Frenzied Berserker

  • Berserk Button: Taking damage has a chance of triggering the character's frenzy.
  • The Berserker: to the point where once he runs out of enemies, she starts attacking the rest of the party.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Steps up the barbarian rage required to take the class in the first place. While frenzying, the frenzied berserker can't died of hit point damage.

Gray Guard

"How're we supposed to see the pally comin' when 'e wears armor blacker than ours?”
—Griv "Goblin Father" Chos, unfortunate cultist guard

A prestige class from Complete Scoundrel. These are paladins who fight dirty and can smite virtually anything.

  • Good Is Not Nice: These are experienced paladins who combat evil by whatever means necessary. The illustration shows a gray guard strangling a necromancer with his bare hands in a scene that looks like it's referencing Darth Vader in A New Hope.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Debilitating Touch lets you use Lay on Hands to cause pain, and the entry suggests use in interrogation.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Almost a class requirement.
  • Lawful Good: Class requirement. Violating the code of conduct costs them their powers, but doing so in service to the faith negates the experience requirement of an atonement spell.
  • The Paladin: The vast majority of entries are paladins (it requires class features that, among the Player's Handbook classes, only paladins have).

Sunmaster

A prestige class from Lost Empires of Faerûn. Sunmasters claim the 3E sun god Lathander is really the ancient Netherese sun god Amaunator. 4E reveals they were right. They have great powers over light.

3.5 Edition NPC Classes

Not everybody can be a hero. These classes are for background characters and Mooks, although you can play them too if you are feeling masochistic (or are using the right crazy build).

Adept

  • Lethal Joke Character: Typically rather high on Character Tiers lists, as their spell list has some surprisingly useful gems despite its shallowness.
    • We are not kidding when we say it's a higher tier than the Samurai.
  • Religion Is Magic: Less magical than a Cleric, but magic nonetheless.
  • Squishy Wizard: These are normal, average-joe ministers, not badass warrior-priests.

Aristocrat

Commoner

  • Lethal Joke Character: The "Chicken Infested" joke "flaw" lets them produce infinite chickens.
  • Muggles: A Commoner is about as weak as a class can get without already being dead. Few hit points, skills more suited for menial labor than adventuring, and no unique abilities whatsoever.
  • This Loser Is You: Averted. The Dungeon Master's Guide is very clear on the fact that the NPC classes are not suitable for player characters, on the basis of their laughable weakness.

Expert

Magewright

An NPC class integral to the setting of Eberron.

  • Fridge Logic: Magewrights were born from the question of who is manufacturing all these cheap magic items. See, there are these weak, common arcane spellcasters with only passive spells...

Warrior

  • Redshirt Army: This is the generic class given to untrained humanoid enemies like orcs and goblins (as well as common guards and foot soldiers), which allows them to handle a sword without actually giving them any distinguishing features. Good for a Zerg Rush and not much else.

4th Edition Classes

Ardent

The ardent is a Psionic Leader from the Player's Handbook 3.

Artificer

The artificer is an Arcane Leader from the Eberron Player's Guide.

Assassin

The assassin is a Shadow Striker from Dragon Magazine.

Executioner (Assassin)

The executioner is a Martial and Shadow Striker sub-class of the assassin from Dragon magazine and Heroes of Shadow. It differs from the standard assassin by not having attack powers (except for certain weapons), instead using only basic attacks modified by powers and poisons.

Avenger

The avenger is a Divine Striker from the Player's Handbook 2.

Barbarian

The barbarian is a Primal Striker from the Player's Handbook 2.

Beserker (Barbarian)

A Martial/Primal Defender/Striker introduced in Heroes of the Feywild.

Bard

The bard is an Arcane Leader from the Player's Handbook 2.

Skald (Bard)

The skald is an Arcane and Martial Leader sub-class of the bard from Heroes of the Feywild.

Battlemind

The battlemind is a Psionic Defender from the Player's Handbook 3.

Cleric

The cleric is a Divine Leader from the Player's Handbook.

Warpriest (Cleric)

The warpriest is a Divine Leader sub-class of the cleric from Heroes of the Fallen Lands. It differs from the standard cleric by having specific domains as class features.

Druid

The druid is a Primal Controller from the Player's Handbook 2.

Sentinel (Druid)

The sentinel is a Primal Leader sub-class of the druid from Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms. It differs from the standard druid by being a melee weapon-user, and having an animal companion based on a season chosen as a class feature.

Protector (Druid)

A Primal Controller reminiscent of the Wizard. Introduced in Heroes of the Feywild.

Fighter

The fighter is a Martial Defender from the Player's Handbook.

Knight (Fighter)

The knight is a Martial Defender sub-class of the fighter from Heroes of the Fallen Lands. It differs from the standard fighter by not having attack powers, instead using only basic attacks modified by stances and powers.

Slayer (Fighter)

The knight is a Martial Striker sub-class of the fighter from Heroes of the Fallen Lands. It differs from the standard fighter by not having attack powers, instead using only basic attacks modified by stances and powers.

Invoker

The invoker is a Divine Controller from the Player's Handbook 2.

Monk

The monk is a Psionic Striker from the Player's Handbook 3.

Paladin

The paladin is a Divine Defender from the Player's Handbook.

Blackguard (Paladin)

The blackguard is a Divine (with some Shadow) Striker sub-class of the paladin from Heroes of Shadow. It is more similar to the cavalier, but chooses a vice instead of a virtue.

  • Dark Is Not Evil: It is actually possible to play a Good or Lawful Good Blackguard. Not very easily because your vice will often put you at odds with your alignment, but possible. Probably play up the zealousness aspect.
    • Actually, the way the rules are written, you can't.
  • Evil Counterpart

Cavalier (Paladin)

The cavalier is a Divine Defender sub-class of the paladin from Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms. It differs from the standard paladin by having specific virtues as class features.

Psion

The psion is a Psionic Controller from the Player's Handbook 3.

Ranger

The ranger is a Martial Striker from the Player's Handbook.

Hunter (Ranger)

The hunter is a Martial and Primal Controller sub-class of the ranger from Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms. It differs from the standard ranger by not having attack powers, instead using only basic attacks modified by powers.

Scout (Ranger)

The scout is a Martial and Primal Striker sub-class of the ranger from Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms. It differs from the standard ranger by not having attack powers, instead using only basic attacks modified by powers.

Rogue

The rogue is also a Martial Striker from the Player's Handbook.

Thief (Rogue)

The thief is a Martial Striker sub-class of the rogue from Heroes of the Fallen Lands. It differs from the standard rogue by not having attack powers, instead using only basic attacks modified by tricks and powers.

Runepriest

The runepriest is a Divine Leader from the Player's Handbook 3.

Seeker

The seeker is a Primal Controller from the Player's Handbook 3.

Shaman

The shaman is a Primal Leader from the Player's Handbook 2.

Sorcerer

The sorcerer is an Arcane Striker from the Player's Handbook 2.

Swordmage

The swordmage is an Arcane Defender from the Forgotten Realms Player's Guide.

  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: They have other powers as well, but these are their main go-to elements for damaging opponents.
  • Genius Bruiser: They require a high Intelligence stat to function, like most Arcane characters, but their combat role is based on mixing it up in the melee.
  • Magic Knight: Perhaps one of the purest examples of a "Gish" class to be made for D&D.
  • Teleport Spam: Not quite so adept at it as the Battlemind, but Swordmages get a lot of teleporting moves.
  • Weapon of Choice: Go on, guess.
    • Though, because their class is keyed off of using "Light Blade" class weapons and "Heavy Blade" class weapons, it's just as viable for a swordmage to be wielding a scythe, glaive or khopesh as it is for them to carry a dagger or sword.

Warden

The warden is a Primal Defender from the Player's Handbook 2.

Warlock

The warlock is an Arcane Striker from the Player's Handbook.

Hexblade (Warlock)

The hexblade is an Arcane Striker sub-class of the warlock from Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms. It differs from the standard warlock by having a melee weapon granted by its eldritch pact, making it similar to Elric of Melnibone.

Binder (Warlock)

The Binder is an Arcane and Shadow Controller Warlock subclass from Heroes of Shadow. It differs from normal Warlocks by being geared towards controlling the battle rather than dealing massive amounts of damage.

Warlord

The warlord is a Martial Leader from the Player's Handbook.

Wizard

The wizard is an Arcane Controller from the Player's Handbook.

Mage (Wizard)

The mage is an Arcane Controller sub-class of the wizard from Heroes of the Fallen Lands. It differs from the standard wizard by having schools of magic as class features.

Witch (Wizard)

The witch is an Arcane Controller sub-class of the wizard from Heroes of the Feywild.

Vampire

Vampires. Obviously. A Shadow Striker class from Heroes Of Shadow.

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