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I'm putting together a Level 1 party to introduce some friends to D&D 4e, and have just found out I'll have five players instead of four. I'd like to roll the fifth guy as a Dwarf (I'm sticking with classic races and am human/elf-heavy already), but as the "extra" player and wanting a fairly straightforward style of play, I'd like to roll him a Striker.

Question is, what Striker classes complement a Dwarf's focus on Strength over Dexterity, aren't hampered by their relative lack of speed, and take advantage of their solidness (Second Wind as Minor, reduced Force-Move distance)?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Dwarfs are a Con Str/Wis Race. They have * unbelievably* good feat support for weapons. Looking here, and from my own experience, I can recommend the following:

  • Dwarf Barbarian. A dwarf with an axe or hammer charging at one screaming is... scary. Barbarians do have a fair number of "non-power mechanical elements." I.e. stuff that won't automatically be added by character builder to their power cards.
  • Dwarf Slayer: Essentials, complements the charging and bloody big weapon elements. Great for a simple character.
  • Dwarf Avenger: Wisdom focus with very large weapons. (Do you see a pattern here?)
  • Dwarf Melee Ranger: Boring, but twin-strike with hammers is... twin strike with hammers

They fit basically any essentials class, due to melee training and their "Dwarven Weapon Training" feat, a must take if the class wields weapons. They have some interesting melee warlock implications, but are rather more tricky to build. Beyond that, probably the best dwarven strikers are slayers or rageblood barbarisns (in that order.) While ragebloods have better stat synergy, Slayers are far better written, and therefore have more elements that are actually used by a beginning player. Slayers also get scale out of the gate, which means a moderate investment in dex is all that's necessary to get striker damage on everything, rather than AC levels of investment.

From your second paragraph, the virtues you describe more ably complement defenders than strikers, as dwarves' speed does hamper them slightly in the "ability to attack arbitrary targets" criteria. Forced movement isn't a big deal for a striker, since they don't have the adjacency requirements of a defender or ranged character.

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A Dwarf's bonus to constitution make them applicable to being a Con'lock, the term for a warlock focusing in constitution based powers. They won't be the best, as the strength/wisdom bonus give little synergy, but I'd say they were good for a Gish/Tank role.

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