24 June 2010
I went to session 3 of D&D Encounters last night, and here’s my promised post about the Ardent player class.
The Ardent fulfills the leader role, which means it’s a healer. It uses the psionic power source, and it’s a blast to play, in my opinion. Now, the character I had was human, which gave her an extra power point (bringing her total to 3) and extra at-will power.
The at-will powers were very useful; each one had a benefit in the ever-changing landscape of combat. One bestowed temporary hit points, one bumped defenses, and one bestowed a saving throw.
The temporary hit points were wonderful once her healing ability (Ardent Surge) was tapped out. The saving throw was instrumental in helping the party survive the encounter with the poisonous insects last week. The defense-bumper hasn’t been as useful to date, but I’m sure it will find its place among the others.
The Ardent Surge ability is on-par with other leader healing abilities, although the close burst 5 is a nice feature. Not having to be adjacent to the ally in order to heal comes in very handy.
Now, about the psionic power source. I’ve heard horror stories from players about the psionics of previous editions. One DM I know even forbids psionics because he doesn’t want to deal with the bookkeeping. The power-point-augment method of this edition works really well at the table. The choice to augment or double-augment to get a better kick is a nice feature. My only criticism of is so far is a minor one. It feels like some of the at-will powers at augment-1 aren’t as useful as I’d like them to be. For example, one of the at-will powers augmented once, gives a +3 to will defense. That’s good, but it’s very situational. Perhaps I’ll have to wait and see how often that situation arises.
My Ardent also ended up unconscious and dying this week. Even with toughness, the Bonegrinder managed to knock me from almost full health all the way below zero. Now, to be fair, it was a power that activated when we bloodied the creature, and it was a solo monster, so I expect it to be tougher than the average monster. It’s not a criticism, just a reminder to myself to be a little more careful in future.
I think that you have a way of explaining D&D in a way that someone who has never played can understand this. I am looking forward to your next post!