Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Race/Class Synergy in 4e: Racial Abilities

Continuing from last week, this week I want to look at how the racial special abilities of half-elves, halflings and tieflings synergize with the different roles.

Half-elf Abilities
Dilettante: An ability that is all about lack of focus. A good one, but not really one that leans toward a specific role.
Dual Heritage: Also an ability that just provides more options, not a focus on a role.
Group Diplomacy: Skill check bonuses for allies are nice, but don't really focus on a role either.
Summary: No synergy. Ability-wise, a completely unfocused race (pretty much like humans).

Halfling Abilities
Bold: Like the dwarf's cast iron stomach, a bonus to saving throws is a special case kind of ability. Nice to have, but I wouldn't say it makes halflings more suitable for any particular role by itself.
Nimble Reaction: Protection against opportunity attacks while moving around the battlefield is good for melee strikers. Great for the rogue since positioning for sneak attack is critical.
Second Chance: The chance to turn one hit into a miss per encounter is good for roles that get attacked a lot, so this is good for melee strikers and defenders.
Summary: Melee striker - two good abilities. Defender - one good ability.

Tiefling Abilities
Bloodhunt: A situational +1 to hit is nice for anyone, but doesn't lean toward any one role.
Fire Resistance: Like the bonuses to saves for dwarf and halfling, a special case ability that doesn't fit any particular role.
Infernal Wrath: Another situational attack bonus. Since it's dependent on being hit, it's probably better for defenders and melee strikers again.
Summary: Melee striker - one good ability. Defender - one good ability.

No surprises here. None of these abilities come close to the primary ability boost in terms of utility, and the couple of good ones that are here mostly reinforce the roles that the ability boosts already prescribe.

1 comment:

Scott said...

I would say Bold is a good ability for defenders in particular, actually.

Sure, it's nice for anyone to be able to shrug off conditions that end on a save. But a defender is probably the most likely to have his style crimped by things like immobilize and daze. (Melee strikers are up there, too.)