This completes a set of six core Guild Wars professions.
Here’s the Heroic Elementalist class for reference:
Essentials Dungeons & Dragons GW Elementalist Class (v0.1)
The Elementalist is a controller first and a leader second, but it’s a close race. Each at-will attack makes targets easier for allies to hit — whether by reducing defenses, providing a power bonus to hit, or setting up combat advantage.
I had decided before I ever got to the Elementalist that I was looking beyond the primary attribute for basic class features, though it became clear the Elementalist didn’t have a clear theme in any one attribute. And I was sticking to “core” skills.
At first I was struck by wards, sigils, and the “attunement” concept — all of which are unique to the Elementalist. I noticed a mechanic I was familiar with as Exhaustion, had been renamed to “Overcast,” and some skills had received tweaks to go with it.
It seemed simple enough to me to create an Overcast power, which savvy Fourth Edition players will recognize bears a resemblance to Power Strike. My research into existing D&D Arcane-source options brought me to the Arcane Reserves feat.
And thus, a class feature was born.
When the Elementalist expends all her uses of Overcast, she gains a flat bonus to Elemental at-will attacks. It isn’t an enormous bonus, but it represents an interesting shift in power. As she gains more uses of Overcast at higher levels, it takes a little bit longer to gain that damage bonus. A leader can help her get there faster though.
Combined with Aura of Restoration, it then becomes a viable strategy for the Elementalist to skip a short rest and instead rely on regaining hit points by attacking (or receiving in-combat aid), and leaving Overcast expended.
When enemies are too spread out for the Elementalist to hit them with Deep Freeze, she can switch to more defensive tactics by slowing enemies within 5 squares. At 6th level, she can forgo the defense bonus from Second Wind or Total Defense to obscure terrain in a 5-square radius. (The Elementalist and allies are unaffected.)
I will no doubt tweak these classes in the coming weeks, and I will certainly compile them for easier access — in addition to setting aside a page for them — but I’m going to be taking a short break (a short rest, if you will), from designing classes.
I think the next Guild Wars-related project I think will be to make themes of the secondary attributes. Using themes will better emulate Guild Wars’s particular multiclassing scheme — choosing a primary and secondary profession.
While the though of multiclassing to ease more power out of a class annoys me to no end, it seems to me that there is a “viable alternative” in character themes. It could be that a theme might enable a character access to related class-exclusive feats.
And there should certainly be no harm in a fighter taking a fighter theme, either. More power to them, in fact. It opens up new possibilities that ought to be explored.