Now I need someone to take my by the hand and explain, in soft, understanding terms, why the swordmage isn't an example of power creep. This is why I'm having trouble. Compare to: Fighters have great fort and Paladins can get decent defenses overall, but needing both Wis and Cha for class abilities puts a damper on that.
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The swordmage class from the FR player's guide intrigues me greatly but I have essentially no experience with 4e mechanics beyond occasionally listening to the PA podcasts. So, RPG. Any advice you have to offer is welcome. What are the other classes in your party? This heavily determines what's most useful. If you have a warlord, you want good basic attacks; if you have another defender, you want to play mark-trading games; if you don't have a controller, you really want to pick up some AoE.
Korror Storyteller Validated User. From personal experience, I think you want to go with a shielding swordmage over an assault or entangling version. The reason for that is that the aegis of shielding is significantly more effective than the other aegis especially if your DM is using monsters from the first monster manual which tend to have low damage. I had a githyanki swordmage in one of my games who was infuriatingly effective at locking down a single monster and being nearly impossible to hit.
He would find the most dangerous monster, mark it and then get as far away as possible from his mark forcing it either to spend its turns chasing the swordmage or wack another party member at vastly reduced damage. He was also an unholy terror to minions with sword burst and used transporting lunge to save party members like there was no tomorrow. He was a fun character though sadily he was forced to retire when the player could not make the sessions anymore.
Things to note about building a shielding swordmage: 1 Int is your primary stat but you can't afford to ignore Con since the damage reduction from your mark is your means of defending the party. Eladrin is a good second choice if you don't want to go or are not allowed to go githyanki. The first makes your opportunity attacks effective and the second allows you to freely go between implement and weapon powers without having to use two different magic items.
It's an invaluable minion clearer and you'll be up in the thick of the fight mostly anyway. Building an effective character is alot easier than in 3rd edition as the power difference between an optimized character and an completely non-optimized character is actually pretty small. Samrin Retired User. Yakk Registered User Validated User. I like following the thunderball swordmage route. This lets you attack multiple times per round, and lets you leverage static bonuses to damage.
With the above, that gives you feats up to level 8. When using your Aegis, mark a creature that isn't adjacent to you -- you want it to either ignore you, or have to spend effort to come near to you -- then shift away from it. At level 11, retrain your level 10 feat to Arcane Admixture Sword Burst: Thunder and the feat that increases the size of Thunder powers by 1.
Now you can do 5x5 at full damage, or 7x7 at -2 to damage, with your Sword Burst targets enemies. Even if you are only hitting 2 opponents, your damage output will be decent. Note Level 1 daily I left blank -- pick anything The character ends up being a serious headache for DMs.
You can rescue allies with dimension swap, you can teleport wherever you need to, you deal massive area damage on enemies , and you have multiple powers to mass-mark groups of opponents with various kinds of punishment if they ignore it.
Open up with a incendiary sword, then move in for a sword of sigils, then keep moving away from your aegis target as you sword burst, and you'll have reduced a nearly arbitrary pile of opponents down to near-bloodied in the first 3 rounds of combat.
Your striker s should be dropping monsters like flies. With the 2 mass-marking encounter powers, the first few rounds of combat you can focus monsters on you pretty reasonably. And by the end of round 3, the enemy numbers will have thinned out. Scarik You die as you live. Validated User. I suggest the Thunderball Eladrin as Yakk has posted or my personal favorite to actually play the Fey Charger.
Common wisdom makes Shielding the lock choice due to the ease of use of the Aegis and the fact that it always works. I simply prefer the extra damage that Assault provides. Great stuff so far, gents, thanks!
The other classes are a Druid, Shaman, and I think Warlock. Safid Registered User Validated User. My campaign includes a human shielding swordmage, 18 int 16 con. Even with some suboptimal feat and power choices, he is brutally effective at locking down my largest threat and forcing it to attack him rather than anyone else.
Being human, his non-armor defenses are very high. Being a one-handed swordmage no fullblade , his AC is also roughly 2 or 3 points higher than anyone else. Being a shielding swordmage with high Con , his HP and surges are significantly higher than anyone else. When he marks some big bruiser I am given the opportunity between attacking his AC or attacking someone else's AC-2 which is usually a wash since his AC is higher, but not absurdly higher, than anyone else's.
Since it's usually a bad idea for me to ignore his mark, he's picked up powers that let him burn his immediate actions absorbing other damage or teleporting enemies away from his allies, and tailored his gear to be better at fighting things he has his mark on since he's going to be trading blows with the troll anyway, may as well be better at taking his mark down, is his thought tldr; shielding swordmages are very, very good single target defenders, if that's what you're looking for.
The thunderball build comes into it's own at paragon and is fun and cool, but isn't quite as good at 'defending' as a shielding swordmage. Last edited: Oct 7, FortMan Viva Romanesco! Or, if you like to mess enemy's plan up, look up Dimensional Vortex and Transposing Lunge as well.
Both involve teleporting enemies right before it can attack your teammate. Dimensional Vortex let you pick a new target for said enemy, while you get to hurt it with Transposing Lunge. And thanks Yakk, I haven't noticed Destructive Wizardry before.
I definitely second the recommendations of Sword Burst with Enlarge Spell , and Transposing Lunge is just chock-full of win. I personally took the Lightning Pillar power for my wizard multiclass, because it doesn't need a roll to hit, and thus my lack of wizard implement didn't matter. You must log in or register to reply here.
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[D&D 4e] Build me a Swordmage Tank!
Characteristics : Your melee skills are most important, but you also have attacks that can hit multiple creatures or injure creatures at range. Your defensive powers can protect your allies and yourself. Religion : Swordmages favor deities of magic or skill. Swordmages of a darker bent often revere Shar , regarding their unusual skills as a secret art to be kept hidden from the uninitiated.
4e Swordmage Powers
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Swordmages apply the arcane arts to melee combat. The combat skills they possess are enhanced by the magic they wield. The flourish of a swordmage's blade not only bites with steel, but also with fire, lightning, or other powerful forces. You studied and practiced for years to master your skills. You mastered the fundamentals of arcane magic and combined this academic study with endless hours of physical training. You might be a young eladrin in search of your fortune, a stranger to the wider world outside the seclusion of your homeland; a self-trained genasi sellsword, gifted with an affinity for elemental magic; the scion of a disgraced noble human family, taught by the finest tutors in your youth but now a footloose expatriate; or a half-elf arcane champion, rigorously trained in a war magic academy to serve in the armies of your homeland. Magical barriers of force swirl around you, protecting you from harm.