The Player’s Handbook 2 has a number of old friends. Barbarians, Bards, Druids… we knew (at least roughly) what these guys would do. But Avengers? They were something of a mystery. Did they refer to the old D&D class that was similar to the Anti-Paladin? Do they wield +5 Protection from Evil swords? Do they ASSEMBLE?
Avengers in 4e are divine-imbued warriors trained in secret to execute a deity’s will. They swear oaths of enmity against their foes, and their divine powers aid them in striking down those they have sworn to kill. They are protected from harm by their divine power, both in an armor of faith protecting them and a variety of powers that zap those who attack you with radiant energy. Like Paladins, they both mix it up by smiting in melee with weapons and blasting at a distant with holy symbols. But while Paladins are holy defenders of the weak and meek, Avengers are the guys you send out to punish the enemies of your religion with extreme prejudice.
Not only that, but I just get a whole badass/mysterious loner feel from them. It’s not enough that they swear an oath to kill a foe, and get to roll double attack rolls when squaring off against that one bad guy (who clearly deserves it, right?) They use light armor to get the best benefit out of their armor of faith, and can train in stealth. Their powers give them additional oaths to swear (leading up to the level 29 attack power, Final Oath, which does a crapload of damage and gives you and your target big bonuses to pound on each other). Powers like Inexorable Pursuit let you phase in order to reach your target and attack. Temple of Shadows cloaks your foe in a zone of shadows that follow him and let you sneak around in it. Vengeful Revenant triggers when you fail a death saving throw, allowing you to get up and back into the fight as you approach death. All of it just screams to me, “hello, I’m awesome, and I will destroy you.”
An Avenger/Rogue could make a pretty decent Batman-type character, swearing to hunt down murderers and thieves by using the shadows as a weapon. It would also work in the original sense of Assassin, or perhaps an Assasin who has a Creed. An Avenger/Swordmage can get some crazy AC by combining his faith and mystical warding to be an expert parrying swordsman. Avenger/Druid could be like D&D Greenpeace, striking down those who would defile nature. Avenger/Paladin reminds me of the Sohei, the temple guardian class from Oriental Adventures. Avenger/Ranger could be like the Ghostwalker/Clint Eastwood class from Sword & Fist. As you can see, there are plenty of possibilties with the character concept.
You don’t need to take my word for it either: Wil Wheaton played one in the games for the newest Penny Arcade/PvP Podcasts. What bigger endorsement do you need to take up the sword for yourself and swear an oath against the enemies of your god.
Want to learn more about Player’s Handbook 2? Read on…
- Atomic Array: Episode 018: Player’s Handbook 2
- Game Cryer: Player’s Handbook 2 Review
- Gnome Stew: A Veteran GM’s Take on GMing and the PHB2
- Critical Hits: The Avenger
- Campaign Mastery: The Barbarian
- Uncle Bear: The Bard
- Critical Ankle Bites: The Druid
- Kobold Quarterly: Review: Player’s Handbook 2
- The Core Mechanic: The Invoker
- Flames Rising: The Shaman
- Stupid Ranger: The Sorcerer
- Musings of the Chatty DM: The Warden
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