* Primal: which is spirits of nature and stuff, opposed to demons but not necessarily on good terms witThis is what the PHB contains:
New power source:
* Primal: which is spirits of nature and stuff, opposed to demons but not necessarily on good terms with the divine. Sure, that's pretty standard for generic fantasy.
* Deva: The spirits of angels that took fleshly form. Devas don't reproduce, just reincarnate, so it's not clear why they come in a model with breasts and hips and a model without, but the illustration is clear. Oh well, at least now there's a PC race with the "immortal" origin. The deva racial encounter power is to get a +1d6 bonus to any attack/skill/ability check by drawing on knowledge from past lives.
* Gnome: Much like in the Monster Manual, but now official.
* Goliath: Big, strong, competitive, kind of rocky. Enh. The goliath racial encounter power is to get a bit of damage resistance for a round or two, which could be handy.
* Half-Orc: Like half-elf, a thing of its own rather than an intermediate between the parent races, but like previous half-orc implementations, big and strong and full of grrr. The half-orc can do +1[W:] or +1d8 damage on one hit per encounter.
* Shifter: Much like the razorclaw and longtooth shifters in the Monster Manual, but now official. Hurray, D&D4 supports kittygirls!
* Avenger (divine striker): Lots of exciting light- and fire-based effects, summoned angels, that sort of thing. Like the ranger and the warlock, the avenger picks a victim to get bonuses against, which in this case includes getting to reroll attacks.
* Barbarian (primal striker): Unlike the ranger or warlock, the barbarian doesn't pick out one opponent who gets extra damage, it just has at-wills that do a die or two of extra damage beyond 1[W:]+Str. Barbarian daily powers are all a big attack followed by a "rage", which is like a stance in that it gives some on-going benefit until the encounter ends or another rage is used.
* Bard (arcane leader): Usual leader abilities, but the bard's special schtick seems to be sliding allies. For unclear reasons, they don't have musical instruments as implements; instead there are some wondrous item musical instruments that can be used as bard implements.
* Druid (primal controller): The druid gets to assume wildshape pretty much at will, but it doesn't provide any mechanical benefit except being able to use the class powers marked "beast form". Most of those are melee attacks, but some let the druid turn into a bird or a swarm of bugs or something and get some extra abilities.
* Invoker (divine controller): Area effect damage, lots of radiant and lightning damage, slow and immobilize, and effects that do damage to an enemy if it does X (leaves an area, attacks someone, whatever).
* Shaman (primal leader): The shaman has a spirit companion which can run around the battlefield, but it's more like a focus for heals and other beneficial effects at range than another combatant. The shaman's offensive powers are mostly ranged 5, so in theory it could stand well behind the front line and still be useful.
* Sorcerer (arcane striker): More blast and burst energy damage than flinging enemies into the darkness behind the stars, but the dragon sorcerer at least could probably have been done just as well and with less complexity by making it a new Warlock path. The chaos sorcerer has lots of randomness, like rolling to see what energy resistance it gets after an extended rest, or rolling to see what kind of energy damage and extra effect an attack power does, or getting small extra effects if the attack die showed an even number, so it probably does deserve to be a separate class.
* Warden (primal defender): A lot of the warden's daily powers are polymorphs that give some small bonuses for the rest of the encounter (or until another such power is used) and an attack of roughly daily-power level that can be used once while in that form. Kind of the opposite of the barbarian.
Other new stuff:
* Racial paragon paths: Sure, that's pretty cool. I don't know if I'd ever take one, but then I don't know if I'll ever play or even run for an 11th level character.
* Magic items: They're all very class-specific, much more so than the ones in previous books, even the ones that by virtue of their type were pretty class-specific. Bah.
* Rituals: Some druid-themed rituals (Animal Friendship, etc) based on Nature, and some bard-themed rituals that, because there is no skill for bardishness, are just restricted to bards by fiat. Bah.
* Character Backgrounds: As a bribe for defining at least three of what kind of place your character grew up in, what social class they grew up in, what omens or other oddness attended their birth, what profession they followed before becoming an adventurer and what race-specific excitement is in their background, you get either +2 to a skill or a skill in-class (which skills are eligible depend on your background choices), or a bonus language. How... un-D&D-like! ...more