Nov 12, 2011

Dungeons & Dragons 4E - Race/Class Synergy

I've been gaming since 1982 or thereabouts, so it should come as no surprise that I began with D&D, then in its first edition. Although it's not my go-to system (that would be Hero System, the mechanics for the Champions RPG), I've tried all of the editions since. The most recent iteration is not my favorite flavor of D&D, but I have to admit it works mechanically better in some ways than the editions that came before: the combats move faster, and an attempt is made to balance player options.

However, it suffers from some glaring weaknesses. There are "sweet spots" hidden in the game mechanics, combinations of races, classes, and powers that are more powerful than other combinations. Some people expend a huge effort to find these "loopholes" and exploit them for maximum power. I'm more interested in playing an interesting character with a story hook.

Nevertheless, it interested me to see what some of the synergies were, specifically between races and classes. I frequently come to the point where I say to myself something like, "I want to play a half-orc, but what class should I pick?" or "I want to be a wizard; what races make the most sense for that class?" For those times, I put together a spreadsheet of all the options and automated it somewhat so that I could pick out the synergies. There used to be one similar to this online, but I couldn't find it so I made my own. From looking at it, for instance, I can see what classes half-orcs are strongest in, and therefore which classes would probably be best represented in a half-orc family/community.

For the interest of the masses, I thought I'd post the latest iteration of the spreadsheet here. There's no real game information, so I think it avoids nasty copyright issues, while at the same time pointing people to supplements they can buy to use an option they find here. I used the following abbreviations:

AP - Arcane Power
DP - Divine Power
DrXXX - Dragon Magazine, issue XXX
DSCG - Dark Sun Campaign Guide
EPG - Eberron Player's Guide
FRPG - Forgotten Realms Player's Guide
HFK - Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms
HFL - Heroes of the Fallen Lands
HFW - Player's Option: Heroes of the Feywild
HoS - Player's Option: Heroes of Shadow
MM - Monster Manual
MM2 - Monster Manual 2
MoP - Manual of the Planes
MP - Martial Power
MP2 - Martial Power 2
NWCS - Neverwinter Campaign Setting
PHB - Player's Handbook
PHB2 - Player's Handbook 2
PHB3 - Player's Handbook 3
PrP - Primal Power
PsP - Psionic Power

1 comment:

  1. Wow. This is an excellent resource you've put together! Thanks!