Ardent [PHB3] (Cha,Con,Wis) – Those who let their base emotions rule them invite madness and destruction. Prolonged feelings of fear, greed, lust, or hatred can weaken the mind’s defenses against manipulation. Wielding psionic power, you excite such emotions in your enemies, creating gaps in their defenses and frustrating their attacks, all while filling your allies with encouraging thoughts and guarding them against despair and other negative emotions.
Ardents rarely learn their art through formal training. In many ways, they are incidental leaders, having stumbled onto psionic power at some point earlier in their lives. How you discovered your psionic talent can shape how you wield this power now. You might have awakened to your talent in the heat of battle, experiencing a mental breakthrough that allowed you to augment your attacks by rending your enemies’ minds. Or your friends might reflect your power when your mood bleeds into theirs, altering their emotional states to match your own. Regardless of the revelation, you learned to harness this power to support your fighting prowess and to guide your allies to victory.
Bard [PHB2] (Cha,Int,Con) – Bards are artists first and foremost, and they practice magic just as they practice song, drama, or poetry. They have a clear sense of how people perceive reality, so they master charm magic and some illusions. Sagas of great heroes are part of a bard’s repertoire, and most bards follow the example of many fables and become skilled in a variety of fields. A bard’s artistic ability, knowledge of lore, and arcane might are widely respected, particularly among the world’s rulers.
Art and magic share a sublime beauty, and, as a bard, you seek the place where the two meet. You might be a naturally talented wanderer who casts impressive spells almost instinctively, a student of a bardic college who learned ordered systems of magic and epic poetry, a warrior skald who mixes skill at arms with thundering music, a dashing performer known for putting on a good show even for your enemies, or a perfectionist who seeks the consummate formula that blends art and magic into a higher force.
A steady rhythm beats in the back of your mind as you brandish your sword. Your eyes and ears pick up the motion of the villains that surround you, and one glance tells you everything you need to know to defeat them. You whistle three staccato notes, letting your allies know the symphony of battle is about to begin.
Cleric (Templar) [PHB] (Str or Wis;Cha) – Schooled in religious traditions from childhood, templars wield divine powers entrusted to them through ordination or investiture in the service of a deity. They are expected to further their deity’s interests throughout their lives, aiding all who work in the deity’s name (whether they realize it or not) and opposing any who seek to thwart the deity’s will. Templars try to sway the good people of the world to give honor and worship to the gods by setting an example of courage, understanding, patience, piety, and zeal. Sometimes this is best done through ministering to the needs of the common folk, sometimes by offering advice and counsel to those who hold power in the world, and sometimes by leading the way on bold adventures and inspiring quests. Whenever the faithful are in need, a cleric is called to act.
Templars are not as narrowly focused as warpriests, and they do not specialize in a domain as warpriests do. They draw from a wider variety of cleric powers, simply because such a wide variety of religious orders, priesthoods, and traditions are scattered across the face of the world. However, like warpriests, templars are often skilled, resilient warriors. Their true power lies in the divine magic they command—prayers to heal the injured, protect the weak, and chastise the wicked.
Runepriest [PHB3] (Str,Con,Wis) – Isolated in sacred forges and holy libraries, runepriests seek to unlock the secrets of the runes of divine power. Legend holds that the gods crafted a set of powerful runes, each imbued with a core of divine power, to help create the world and give it order. During the long war against the primordials, many of these runes were lost. Even the gods only dimly recall the runes of power. Somewhere in the forgotten depths of a dungeon or the isolated corner of the planes, those ancient runes wait to be discovered. A runepriest can learn much in the peaceful halls of a temple, but sooner or later he or she must put on armor and go forth to find or create a new rune, and in so doing earn a name among the masters of rune magic.
You learned the art of rune smithing from your master. Perhaps you sweated over a forge deep within a dwarven stronghold, crafting weapons and armor for the faithful as part of your apprenticeship. Or you might have helped inscribe runes in the living wood of the forest, crafting signs to warn of approaching enemies. Along the way, you learned how to take inscribed runes and turn them into words and signs of power that you can incorporate into your prayers. But now, the time for learning is at an end. Now is the time for adventure.
Merge the runes of power with your weapons and armor. Call to the gods and channel their might against your enemies. The runes are your weapons, and the gods’ foes await your judgment.
Shaman [PHB2] (Wis,Con,Int) – Shamans are inspiring and dangerous battle leaders. They command powerful spirit guides, and through them lead their allies. These nature spirits bolster their allies’ attacks and offer protection and healing when needed.
In a rite of passage or initiation, you pledged yourself to the spirits, to be their voice and hands in the world. Through ancient song and sacred ceremony, you have called a powerful spirit companion to your side. The primal spirits of nature affirm your will, guide the actions of your allies, and deal mighty attacks against your foes. You might be a venerable advisor to a tribal leader, a young traveler seeking to bring tales of a wider world back to your people, or a scholar devoted to the pursuit of nearly forgotten lore.
The spirits and voices of nature guide your every step. Their power flows through you, calling you to lead, to fight, and to triumph.
Warlord (Marshal) [PHB] (Str;Int or Cha) – When dark forces muster in the wilderness, when hosts of monsters assemble to sack civilization’s last redoubts, it falls to the marshal to lead the warriors in defense of their lands. Marshals draw from their experience and passion to lend courage, skill, and hope to those under their command. A warlord forms the iron core of any unit of soldiers, uniting their purpose and bolstering their commitment to see the conflict to its conclusion.
A marshal’s talents can come from many different aspects of personality or endeavor. Some depend on their bravado, goading their companions to take risks in order to reap great rewards. Others have keen insight into their enemies’ minds. Some marshals specialize in hit-and-run tactics, and others are resourceful leaders who always have some trick up their sleeves. The most common marshals include those whose presence alone is enough to bind disparate heroes together and the tactical savants who spot weaknesses and exploit them.
Marshals develop specialized combat maneuvers called exploits. In their elementary form, they are strikes and commands designed to shift the battle toward a more favorable outcome. In addition to these exploits, marshals issue commands and orders that improve their allies’ performance. Some of these commands can restore health and vigor, while others make allies more alert and ready for new challenges.
Most marshals have already had experience in the field, even if it came from leading a tiny expedition. Some are former military leaders who have relinquished their commands to seek their fortunes in the world. Others might have lost their units and be out for revenge against the enemy that brought them to ruin. Whatever the individual’s triumphs or defeats were before becoming an adventurer, every marshal has the ability to lead, and lead well.