Friday, December 14, 2012

Grenadier: A Martial Controller

Possibly the most important, controversial, all-consuming, awe-inspiring question of 4E D&D is: where’s the martial controller? Okay, maybe it’s not quite so overwhelmingly important as I make it out to be, but you gotta admit, this sure did burn up the boards.

Here’s my little recipe for bashing together a martial controller. I all the class The Grenadier.

The Grenadier

Grenadiers are ordinary mortals who have learned the magical properties of various magical items and ingredients. When combined, they get extraordinary effects. This might sound like an alchemist, but they aren’t alchemists. They’re basically punks with chemistry books. They are no more magic because they pick up magical things and make them go boom than a fighter is magic because he picks up a magic sword and wears magic armor. The character is martial because in combat, Grenadiers use their physical abilities to hurl dangerous shit at their enemies to great effect. The closest historical role would be that of the grenadier, the people on the battlefield who used to chuck big explosives about in the pre-modern era.

Putting One Together

To bash the class together, take a controller as the base, then assemble a set of powers from controllers that would work well with a grenadier. Pay attention to those powers which look like they could work well with inventions or blow up when hurled.

I’m not decided on a special ability yet. At this point, I think that grenadiers can take encounter/daily uses from an available magic item and use them to fuel uses of their own encounter/daily powers, or take one of their encounter/daily powers and use it to power a magic item.

All of that is hand-wavy, of course, but workable. The Grenadier should not play like a wizard, and should also have some survivability in closer combat. I won’t really know until I playtest the class, which won’t happen anytime soon.

What should be a grenadier’s implement? Yeesh, I have no clue. The class isn’t really centered around implements. As there’s no use in making a new implement up. I’d say that grenadiers should use tomes as they are, after all, punks with chemistry books. They could also work with rods and wands.


As a personal opinion, I think that alchemists should be martial as well. They are not innately magic. What they do is use their own personal skill to create magical effects, and the realm of skills is martial, not arcane.