Multiclass Mondays #12 – Primal Power 1

Multiclass Mondays #12 – Primal Power 1

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Welcome back to Multiclass Mondays!

Multiclass Mondays is a continuation of the “You, Version 2.0″ posts (here and here) that were put up a couple months back regarding using the Theme mechanics to more effectively multiclass characters.  The concept seemed to be a hit with many players and DMs around the Web, so we’re going to go through and provide Themes for all current D&D classes, even Psionics!

Last time, we rounded up the two oddball PHB3 Miscellaneous Classes. This time, we get in touch with our base instincts with the Primal power source.


Fury in the Blood

You count as a Barbarian for all feat, theme and paragon path requirements. In addition, as a free action once per day, you can gain a +2 bonus to damage rolls until the end of the encounter. This bonus increases to +4 at level 11 and +6 at level 21.

The Barbarian feat differs in an important way from other Striker multiclass feats; it is not mutually exclusive with other damage features such as the Flurry of Blows, Hunter’s Quarry, etc. You only get the extra damage for a single encounter, meaning it has to count every time or the feat is moot. The main problem with the original multiclass feat is that is does not scale. This version scales better but should not be terribly overpowering.
Theme at Level 1

Boundless Rager (Multiclass Barbarian)

Prerequisite: Barbarian

Theme Feature: You gain the Rampage class feature.

Theme at Levels 2+

  • Lv 2: Combat Sprint
  • Lv 3: Brutal Slam
  • Lv 5: Tiger’s Claw Rage
  • Lv 6: Combat Surge
  • Lv 7: Curtain of Steel
  • Lv 9: Rage of the Death Spirit
  • Lv 10: Enraged Surge

We want to try to stay away from too many stat-dependent powers here since the Barbarian can kicker off of Str, Con or Cha. Combat Surge and Enraged Surge give you more reasons to rage since you don’t have Rage Strike. The name of the game here is simple but effective – dealing damage on a miss, 3[W] interrupt power, gaining +4 to speed, rerolls, etc. It’s not sexy, but it works.



No Feat

Primal Sharpshooter is nothing to sneeze at. A daily reroll AND an encounter power (most of which are RBAs!)? That’s a good deal.

Theme at Level 1

Spirit Tracker  (Multiclass Seeker)

Prerequisite: Seeker

Theme Feature: You gain the Encaging Spirits power.

I don’t usually straight-out choose one of two build powers, but there really aren’t a lot of characters hucking around with thrown weapons. If a player asked to have Spirits’ Rebuke instead I’d be OK with it, but my guess is that Encaging Spirits is more universally helpful.

Theme at Levels 2+

  • Lv 2: Warding Arrow
  • Lv 3: Escaping Shot
  • Lv 5: Ensnaring Shot
  • Lv 6: Earthbond Gift
  • Lv 7: Feyjump Shot
  • Lv 9: Binding Shot
  • Lv 10: Feywild Jaunt

The main complaint with the Seeker is that it specializes in soft control..  which the DM can completely ignore if so desired. Personally, if the DM is simply ignoring all your soft control I think (s)he’s being a jerk, but that’s just my opinion. We’ve attempted to pick up as much hard control as possible from the class for the Theme to keep it competitive.

Next time, we continue on with the Druid and Shaman Until next time, peeps!

P.S.  A short review of the recent DDI Themes:

Iron Wolf Barbarian – Just to show us that not all attack power Themes have to be from Dark Sun, the Iron Wolf Barbarian Theme is written in the Dark Sun style (sort of), but set in Nerath. The article itself is a nice blend of geography, history and culture, easily making it a mini-campaign guide. The White Raven pops up again here, but I don’t expect it to be actually tied to the White Raven Onslaught warlord power. My only real gripe is the power presentation; it could have been easily done as scaling Lv 3 and Lv 7 encounter powers rather than writing each one out all over again for Lvs 13, 17, 23 and 27. I suppose it’s really neither here nor there, though. The feature is a no action, extra damage on a charge which works thematically for barbarians even if charging bonuses are a somewhat overdone mechanic at this stage in the game. The other powers are solid and involve a lot of multi-attacking, prone effects. Watch the Lv 10 feature carefully – that is an attack as a free action before you begin dying, not before the attack hits. Calling this an immediate reaction would have been clearer but it may be to make sure you always get the strike even if you’ve used your immediate action for the round. The whole thing is a tad over-powered for my taste. A-

Student of Evard – A friend of mine noted that the flavor for this class isn’t all that engaging unless you know who Evard is – a fair observation. This Theme definitely goes for nostalgic value. The Essence of Death feature is most useful for folks with reliable temp HPs (Battlerage Fighters, Assassins, Barbarians) and – gods help us all – Warlocks with Hellish Rebuke. 2d6+1d12+2*CHA at Lv 1 is nothing to sneeze at and if you’re going to run that combo, you probably have the AC and HP to handle the opp attack it provokes anyway. At least necrotic damage tends to be resisted fairly often. The other features are very situational, though incredibly useful in those situations and I’ll never argue a free ritual. The utilities are uninspiring and if you really want rerolls, there are better ways to do it. B-.

Gloomwrought Emissary – Again, we have another narrowly-focused Theme. It’s not a problem per se, but know it going in. Strike from the Shadows is a nice debuff power – where else can you find a weaken effect at level 1? Ghostwalker’s insubstantial and fly as an encounter power is similarly a fun and flavorful ability. If you can use these powers, then by all means – take this Theme. If not, you’re likely better off with judicious use of rituals. Get a Bard and go nuts. B+.

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Ryven Cedrylle was introduced to 2nd edition D&D by his father at age 8 and has been hooked ever since. When not out somewhere with his nerd-loving wife, he spends an inordinate amount of time staring at small objects - primarily beakers, stars, books about religion and virtual gaming miniatures. Follow him on Twitter for previews of upcoming material and random nuggets of wit! There's also a guy Ryven knows who's trying to adopt a baby. Take a look at the site, see if you can help him out.