Okay, I got caught up in working on some other D&D stuff yesterday and wasn’t able to upload the PDF of my Guild Wars-inspired Warrior class.

Here’s the Guild Wars Warrior:
Essentials Dungeons & Dragons GW Warrior Class (v0.1)

I think the first thing I did was copy over weapon and armor proficiency from one of my other fighter-based classes and then cross-checked the skills for differences between the D&D and GW warriors. There are a couple subtle, thematic differences.

For starters GW warriors, while fully capable of using ranged weapons, are a lot more melee-oriented. Even more than the D&D fighter. Their secondary attributes all point to this — axe, hammer, or sword. Their ability to use heavier armor makes them a shoe-in for melee combat. And of course, there’s shields and the Tactics attribute.

I mined the “Core” warrior skills from the Guild Wars wiki, and created a 10-level class on just the Strength attribute skills. You’ll see in a few cases, I simply interpreted the skill in 4e terms, and in some cases, gave it a new spin.

Power Strike is already present in Essentials, which is why I left it untouched. The “Warrior Bonus Feats” are carried over from the warfighter — it’s pretty funny how much I keep drawing from that class when I intended it as a joke.

Combat Expertise is composed of three powers I thought would serve as the warrior’s “defender powers,” replacing the standard mark-punish/aura-punish powers. I’m proud of these because I think I captured the essence of the fighter’s Combat Challenge with Bull’s Strike and Shield Bashwithout the complex marking system.

Much like the actual Guild Wars warrior, this class excels in knocking opponents down. To round out the defender role, the warrior has the ability to gain temporary hit points equal to his surge value when he uses Second Wind or Total Defense.

Let me explain why this is awesome:

First of all, most of the Invigorating powers just don’t pay off. First, you’re required to train Endurance which I guess is okay because fighters/warriors don’t have good skill access. Then you’re dependent on multiple ability scores to maximize your THP gains.

Finally, if you’re doing your job as a tank, any amount of concentrated fire wipes away your THP quickly you’ll hit the floor before you can build up your THP again.

To combat this, my warrior class offers the player an enormous incentive to forgo his standard action attack in favor of rolling no dice. Bull’s Strike targets Fortitude, which makes it more accurate, but it can be used in place of an Opportunity Attack.

That gives the player a reason to position himself in the middle of the fray and hunker down, hoping to gain Opp Attacks against enemies who don’t want to risk a miss, swinging at the heavily-armored warrior. It forces the hard choice on the enemy.

It also does well to speed up turns (less dice generally rolled means faster turns) and more movement — the warrior moves in, the enemies move out. Or do they? The warrior keeps them locked down with Opportunity Attacks unless they shift.

This class reinforces core powers and game mechanics like Temporary Hit Points, Second Wind, Total Defense, and Opportunity Attacks, without introducing a Single. New. Mechanic. And the class should seem familiar if you know Essentials.

Happy birthday Guild Wars!