December 12, 2008

Word of Wizards - Excerpts: Planeshifter

Manual of the Planes Excerpts: Planeshifter

Today we take a look at what paragon paths the Manual of the Planes has to offer for players who love to travel in the planes too much.

The Planeshifter is opened to Wizards and Warlocks and their Study of the Planes (level 11 class feature) allows them to cast the Planar Portal ritual without the Ritual Caster feat or the appropriate level with a +4 bonus to Arcane checks for travel rituals.

The paragon path is all about teleportation whether on the planes or the battlefield. Planeshifter's Action (level 11 class feature) lets them teleport 10 squares in addition to the extra action they get when they spend an action point.

As the Planeshifters grow in power, they can bind him and his allies within 5 squares of him from being teleported against his will with his Location Mastery (level 16 class feature).

Even in combat, the Planeshifter uses his expertise in teleportation as a weapon.

Sequester (level 11, encounter) works very similar with the Githyanki Silver weapon previewed earlier. It teleports the target into a demiplane where he cannot be harmed and affected and doesn't return until save ends.

Quick Portal (level 12, encounter) allows the Planeshifter to create a portal that leads to a teleportation circle with a sigil sequence that the Planeshifter knows on the same plane. However, it takes 3 healing surges to cast the portal and an additional healing surge to sustain it (standard). If the Planeshifter does not have enough surges to spend during the casting or sustaining of the portal, they take damage equal of the value of the healing surge. This power really makes a good get-a-away after the PCs have completed an adventure or need to flee from deadly combat.

Dimensional Cascade (level 20, daily) teleports a target through a sequence of planar locations that deal various types of damage. As a result, the target takes 4d8 damage, each die of which are from various damage types (acid, cold, fire, force, lightning, necrotic, poison, psychic, radiant and thunder) and an ongoing 5 damage of each type that the target has taken.

It also has an effect similar to Sequester mentioned above.

I'm not sure if the Sequester effect is suppose to balance out the power but I feel that it is pretty weak. 4d8 for a level 20 power seems underpowered and just one save ends the ongoing damage.

I also think that paragon paths like these actually draws more attention to the flaw of 4E rather than utilizes it. The Planeshifter reads to be very flavorful and would make for a very good ultility paragon path but the geared combatness inherent in the mechanics of classes and powers tries to turn it into a teleporting combat machine, which just doesn't sound scary or cool, in my book.

It would have worked in 3.x but everything is too combat focused in 4E which sacrifices paragon paths and flavorful classes like these for being as cool as they would be.

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