I’d love to develop the classes I projected for this month — the month now nearly finished — but I’ve hit a stride in my design analysis that I have to see through to the end. I’m in the process of rewriting classes for an ebook about game design.

As part of the research for said ebook, I need to analyze and rewrite classes beyond the Player’s Handbook — there’s an evolution in design that spans more than simply the PHB1 and later Essentials classes that I must account for — that means some things must go on hold for the time being.

First on the list is the Avenger from the Player’s Handbook 2:

Oath of Enmity [Divine]
Free action * At-will * Close burst 10
Requirement: You must not be marking a creature.
Target: One enemy you can see within burst.
Effect: You mark the target. The mark cannot be superseded. The effect lasts until the end of the encounter, or the target is reduced to 0 hit points.

If you’ve seen my defender rewrites, you’ll know that I’ve written the “Marked” condition out of most of them — replacing the condition with similar effects that utilize Opportunity and Immediate actions. I’ve also ignored or eliminated the “Defender’s Aura” from my class rewrites for similar reasons.

Why is Oath of Enmity a free action? ‘Cause talking is a free action.

I’m looking at “Oath of Enmity” as an at-will power and attempting to rewrite the class around such a concept — the Avenger aims to take down one enemy at a time. The most effective way of doing that is by dealing direct damage, which in this case can be redirected from attacks against the Avenger.

And here’s how:

Bond of Censure [Implement, Force, Radiant]
Free action * At-will * Close burst 10
Requirement: You must be marking a creature.
Trigger: An enemy that is not marked by you deals damage to you.
Target: One enemy marked by you.
Attack: Wisdom vs. Will
Hit: Reduce the damage you take from the triggering attack by one-half. The target takes force and radiant damage equal to the damage you take from the triggering attack.
Special: You can use the power only once per turn.

There isn’t a whole lot of precedent for redirecting damage in 4e, but I’m going to try and change that — little by little. If you saw my Paladin rewrite, then you might remember my design for the “Devoted Bodyguard” power. Kind of like that.

Heroic Guardian Paladin (Aug 15, 2013)

Check it out if you haven’t already.