Guide Students Classroom Handbook For The Kingdoms And the Elves of the Reaches 3rd Edition

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Arguably one of the biggest class-based mechanical changes in 4e was the introduction of Roles. What does each class give to the party? Roles were their answer; a simple "mission statement" of what a class aims to achieve in combat. The most popular classes are always those that have a strong mission statement, and when that statement gets wobbly, then you end up with problems - hence the infamous Tier system of 3e.

Roles became a defining outline for creating classes, both for the designers and the players; a clear shorthand as to what sort of stuff this class should do in order to meaningfully contribute to a battle.

Complete Writings of William Robert Stanek

Roles also allowed for a divorce of sorts between what a character did role and how they did it power source , allowing for characters to engage in certain types of actions without being tied to a particular archetype. This is especially notable with the Leader role, which allowed for skilled healers that weren't divine spellcasters in core 3rd edition, the only non-divine healer was the Bard, who wasn't a full caster.

Defenders are the "tanks" of the party. A defender's job is to keep the party alive by intercepting enemies and keeping them away from the squishier members of the group. To this end, WoTC decided that a proper defender should not just be capable of taking hits, but they should also be "sticky"; they needed some way to mechanically encourage enemies to not want to get away from the defender, and to punish them if they did - what good's a fighter if the enemy just shoves past them, taking a hit in the process, and proceeds to whomp the wizard?

Each defender has their own unique way of pulling off this stickiness; the common Fighter is more focused on pouncing on enemies that try to back off, whilst the Swordmage is more of a hit-and-run character, since they can punish "fleeing" enemies from a range. All of them have some way to enforce "marks" on an enemy, a sort of means of catching the enemy's attention so that they have a harder time targeting anyone else.

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Strikers are the "critical hitters" of the party. Opportunist attackers, strikers specialize in dealing out lots of damage to opportune targets. They usually can't take so much damage, but they can bring down big foes quick, which is their job.

These are second-line warriors, working in tandem with defenders when done well; the defender's the anvil, the striker's the hammer. All strikers have some unique way to boost up their damage against an individual target, such as the iconic Rogue sneak attack. Leaders are the "supporters" of the party. They focus on aiding the other party members, be it by healing, granting extra opportunities, buffing, etc.

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What makes them different to the "healbot" cleric of editions past is that WoTC noted a lot of people complained that whilst clerics were useful , they were often boring. So, leaders were designed to have "double-duty" powers; abilities that would help the rest of the party and still let them get stuck into the fray. Leaders tend to have at least one class feature that lets them provide a passive boost to their allies - for example, the Warlord has the Commanding Presence feature, a subclass-based boost to any ally who spends an action point.

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Controllers are the "tacticals" of the party. They manipulate the overall flow of battle, specializing in winnowing out weaker foes mowing down minions with Fireball, for example , impeding stronger foes, and in manipulating the battlefield to force enemies to make hard decisions that benefit the party.

Controllers don't tend to have any unifying class features; their ability to alter the battlefield and blast large groups comes from their AEDU System powers more than anything. It bears repeating that Roles do not apply outside of combat. The player with a Leader type class does NOT have to be the party's meta-game leader unless the party wants them to be. It is perfectly acceptable, if not encouraged, to set up interesting contrasts between a character's Role and their personality.

For example, the snooty, supremacist aristocratic elf warlord whose tactical genius can't be denied, but who is such an asshole that the party only keeps him around because he's useful in a fight, and certainly doesn't let him dictate what they should be doing outside of battle. To this end, 4e made two rather deep cuts to the sacred cow:. First, classes would no longer have alignment restrictions of any kind. Bards , barbarians , and bardbarians could be lawful, monks could be chaotic, and paladins could be whatever alignment they damn well pleased without losing all their class features.

This got some murmuring at first, but it eventually died down, hence its survival into next edition. After all, at least one campaign setting had similarly relaxed many of these rules, and it didn't immediately collapse from there. Second, and much more controversially, the design team stripped out more than half of the existing alignments, collapsing together "chaotic and neutral good" into just "good," "lawful and neutral evil" into just "evil," and all three neutral alignments into "unaligned.

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And it hearkened back to the very olden days, when alignment was a spectrum instead of a grid, thus: Law - Good - Neutral - Evil - Chaos. It should be added here that there was some justification for doing this, although it was done rather poorly. Chaotic good was always a slippery alignment to get right you usually wound up with somebody who was much more chaotic than good, or much more good than chaotic so collapsing it together with neutral good into a unified alignment of "cares about doing the right thing without necessarily following the rules slavishly" helps ease the problem, and if you're removing that, why not go for the poorly defined line between lawful evil and neutral evil as well, since both similarly often seemed to end up in the same pot of "evil, but has some personal rules about it?

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Everything might have worked better if they left in the lawful neutral and chaotic neutral alignments as "lawful" and "chaotic" both of which had much firmer identities then neutral good and neutral evil. Indeed, many suspect that this whole process was initially kicked off by a desire to remove "chaotic neutral" from the alignment system altogether for exactly this reason. Unfortunately, this was very much a "trying to please everyone, and succeeding in pleasing no one" scenario. People who liked the old alignment system hated the new one, seeing it, fairly or unfairly and there are some eloquent defenses of it in the PHB as a dumbed-down, stripped down version of the old one, tearing out more than half the options and leaving nothing to really replace them.

People who hated the old alignment system continued to be unhappy with this one, since it was, after all, still an alignment system, only with even fewer options. And even the people who liked it for indeed, the fractious nature of alignment-based discussions all-but guarantees there are people who see no difference between neutral and chaotic good, or lawful and chaotic neutral got to get blasted by the heat of the raging flame war this choice unleashed.

Worse, a setting that was somewhat-popular with the indie crowd that liked using the game to explore ideas more than actually playing it was pretty-tightly tied to the traditional alignment system, and completely-revamping the entire alignment grid from the ground up necessitated plucking it up by the roots after the last edition had instead been content to subject it to malign neglect.

And a variety of traditionally-friendly monsters were revamped into evil-or-at-least-dickish ones under the internally-consistent-but-externally-dubious logic that everything in the Monster Manual should exist to get killed, and putting in monsters that don't was just wasting everyone's time, leading to accusations that the alignment system was drastically revamped primarily to justify putting "it's okay to kill this, really" alignments next to as many critters as possible. Chargen is simplified compared to 3rd Edition although still time consuming.

Skills are all-or-nothing, you either have training in them or you don't. The core of character generation for 4e, in many ways, is the AEDU System , a universal mechanic for handling class combat options. This results in intimidating large lists of potential options that players need to check, but for newcomers, it is fairly easy to break things up into just the options they need to pick between. Other unique aspects of Chargen for this edition was the system of the Paragon Path and the Epic Destiny.

This was then supplemented by the optional system of the Theme see below. Level Adjustment , Favored Class and the concept of negative ability scores are all out the window in 4th edition. Your racial traits would align better with some classes than others, but still, you would never be outright terrible at a given class unless you deliberately made yourself crippled. Even the Monster Manual races, whilst maybe not AS powerful as a Player's Handbook race, would still be competitive, they just wouldn't have the bounty of racial feats and Paragon Paths that PHB races did.

The race selection was hugely controversial; responding to letters and forum posts indicating a general lack of a fanbase for gnomes and half-orcs , WotC chose to leave those races out of the 4e PHB, instead replacing them with a new race, the Dragonborn , and the Tieflings , one of the most popular "monstrous" races in 3rd edition. This added to the shit-storm from the PHB's release, even though both races were soon released afterwards in the 2nd PHB - and were usually begrudgingly acknowledged as having fixed a lot of their traditional problems.

Elf (Dungeons & Dragons) - Wikipedia

By the end of 4th edition, the race list had grown as vast as any other edition before it. For the full array, see [ handy link over here ]. Compared to classes in other editions, 4e classes are hugely front-loaded; whereas classes in other editions follow a paradigm of "gain X class feature at level Y", 4e classes gain all of their features at first level although they do retain the aforementioned level-locked paradigm for Paragon Paths and Epic Destinies.

The difference is that 4e classes have relatively few features, averaging about three or four. One of these features, and sometimes more, is always "modular", presenting a player with options to choose from that fundamentally affect the way the class plays. The Wizard , meanwhile, has the feature "Arcane Implement Mastery", where they can choose one specific kind of implement and gain special bonuses whilst using that specific implement. The vast array of different powers gives each PC their own specific set of tricks to use, so two members of the same race and class will play in very different manners.

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To try and avoid the problem of overwhelming players with options, similar to complaints about the book-keeping needed for casters in previous editions, PC characters have a very small set of powers, gaining new power "slots" as they level up, until they reach their maximum power set ignoring the bonus powers granted by a Paragon Path and an Epic Destiny at level 10, which consists of: 2 At-Will powers and 3 each for Encounter powers, Daily powers, and Utility powers.

From the Paragon tier 11th level onwards, leveling up allows a player to replace their weakest power with a power from their new level - for example, at level 13, you replace your now outdated and weak 1st level Encounter power with a 13th level one. This system of dropping powers as you level is controversial, but does keep the book keeping down, as it's a matter of replacing your powers and not just expanding the list.

At 11th level and 21st level, respectively, a player picks up a Paragon Path and an Epic Destiny , which further cements the kind of character they want to play and grants bonus class features and powers to match that theme. The Power Source Power splatbooks provided new powers, variant class features, paragon paths and epic destinies, and were essential to fleshing out the player's options array; it's telling that the weakest of the AEDU System classes were the Rune Priest and the Seeker , who never had the chance to get options beyond their default 2 class feature variants and 3 paragon paths because they were released after their power splats and relied on Dragon Magazine for covering up holes.

And then along came Essentials, and made things way more complicated! Based on the idea of Variant Classes , Essentials classes are all but impossible to summarize because each class does things in its own way. Essentials added new, simplified "subclasses" for every every class in multiple different sourcebooks:.

Themes are a mechanic added late in 4e's lifecycle with the release of the 4e version of Dark Sun. The first version debuted in the 4e Dark Sun Campaign Setting slatbook; this version provides the player with a bonus theme-based Encounter Attack power, and the option to take theme attack and utility powers, which contained built-in "upgraded" versions to replace them at higher tiers. Dark Sun "subclass themes" consist of the following:. The second version debuted in the Neverwinter Campaign Setting, a post-Essentials "subsetting" for the Forgotten Realms , and this is the version that became the default.

This version of the theme appeared in both the aforementioned splatbook and in the subsequent Player's Option trilogy or, at least, the Elemental Chaos and Feywild ones; they were absent from the Heroes of Shadow book , the Dungeon Survival Handbook, and the Book of Vile Darkness ; it was the pages of Dragon Magazine that truly filled out the ranks of the themes. Essentials first appeared as a pair of Player's Handbook equivalents; "Heroes of the Fallen Lands" and "Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms", each of which offered a recap of the standard set of rules, including some errata, as well as new "simplified" versions of several pre-existing 4e classes; these variant classes consisted of the Warpriest variant Cleric , Knight variant Fighter , Slayer variant Fighter , Thief variant Rogue and Mage variant Wizard in the Fallen Lands splat, and the Sentinel variant Druid , Cavalier variant Paladin , Hunter variant Ranger , Scout variant Ranger and Hexblade variant Warlock in the Forgotten Kingdoms splat.

All of these classes tweaked the class formulas in different ways, but the basic approach of cutting down the options and removing the potentially overwhelming array of powers that the older AEDU System classes had presented remained universal. Caster classes like the Mage and Warpriest tended to be slightly more complex than martial characters like the Knight and Slayer , who tended to particularly shun the old way of doing things to focus on stances and at-will powers. Additionally, the writing method would change from the clear but impersonal "manual-like" methodology of the 4e classes to a more "natural language" style.

Firstly, Essentials was initially marketed as a side-line; promises were made to players that the Essentials classes would consist of just their two debut books and the rest of 4e would remain in business as usual. But this turned out to be a great big lie. Books that were promised, such as the Nentir Vale gazetteer, were cancelled. Books that fans had been waiting on were replaced with more books full of Essentials content, in the form of the Heroes of Shadow, the Feywild and the Elemental Chaos trilogy. Dragon Magazine likewise focused on new Essentials-related crunch content.

This left fans feeling betrayed. In addition to this, organized play sessions hosted by WoTC would only play with these, making a lot of the stuff they released completely useless. Secondly, and just as importantly, the Essentials classes were In contrast to their predecessors, the Essentials classes were unbalanced as all hell; the best of them were strong in the Heroic tier but fell behind at higher levels, whilst most just could not match up to the power of a 4e class.

Their dearth of powers made them, frankly, one-note and boring by comparison. And that's not getting into their individual flaws, such as the vampire and its status as a Striker that burned up its own Healing Surges as a resource. Specifically, it addresses four key themes: Macro-level EMI policy and practice; institutional implications for pedagogy; stakeholder perceptions of EMI; and challenges of interpersonal interaction in EMI contexts.

The book is among the first to critically examine the emerging global phenomenon of English as a medium of instruction, and the first title to exclusively explore Asia-Pacific tertiary contexts. It will be of particular interest to policy-makers in international education and tertiary educators seeking blueprints for practice, as well as scholars and postgraduate students of English as a lingua franca, English for academic purposes, academic language and learning, and language education in Asia-Pacific.

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