When I was creating a character for 4e D&D game using online sources I accidentally found a class that I really liked - Knight. My problem is that it was a class from 3.5; in 4e it has very different class features.

In 3.5 it had an ability to force enemies to target the character:

"As a swift action, you can expend one use of your knight's challenge ability to cause all your enemies within 100 feet with a CR greater than or equal to your character level minus 2 to make Will saves (DC 10 + 1/2 your class level + your Cha modifier). Creatures that fail this save are forced to attack you with their ranged or melee attacks in preference over other available targets. If a foe attacks by casting a spell or using a supernatural ability, he must target you with the attack or include you in the effect's area."

Is there a way to do the same thing, but in 4e?

I want to force a creature to attack me, not simply discourage them (with debuffs for attacking others, etc) from doing so.

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    Sep 26, 2018 at 18:29
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  • \$\begingroup\$ @4eisdifficult I've edited your question based on your clarifications. If this is not what you intend, please feel free to roll back the edit and make your own. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jason_c_o
    Sep 26, 2018 at 20:24
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3 Answers 3


You can build that way if you want it...

I don't think anybody can do it from first level, though I'm not up on the entire oeuvre of Dragon Magazine powers, but at higher levels powers definitely become available to defenders that can let them do it. If you have compendium access you'll probably have the most luck looking at battlemind powers. Looking at PHB3 where they were introduced they get bits like Ghost in the Steel (at-will 7 augment 2: before your EONT the next time the creature makes a melee attack you choose the target), Intellect Sunder (daily 15: the creature can only use basic attacks and must include you as a target (save ends)), and Armor of Blades (at-will 23 reaction: a creature at range 1 hits you instead of an ally).

...but there's an unexamined assumption here.

Forcing a creature to attack you in 3.5e is much more useful than doing it in 4e, because in 3.5e your healing doesn't live on you. Healing comes from spells and magic items and uses the spell or magic item up, so if somebody swings at a hard target there's less chance damage will even happen in the first place and your total stock of heals remain unchanged. A wounded character with lots of hit points is also less likely to waste overhealing from good rolls.

But in 4e, your healing lives on you. Aside from a few leader powers, mostly cleric powers, anything that heals a character will expend character-specific resources called healing surges. If a character never gets hit in an adventuring day all their healing surges go to waste; if one character takes the vast brunt of attacks they'll run dry on healing surges while the rest of the party still has plenty. Some magic items exist which can spread the load, but as she was launched the system did not favor one character absorbing all the damage.

So yes, you can probably make a character that can force enemies to attack them, and they're likely to lean psionic. But because everybody has their own personal stock of daily healing, becoming this kind of focused target might actually end up being detrimental to your party's long-term survival.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh dang I think I even tried to make a battle mind who did this and forgot they could do it. :/ Anyway you rock for digging this up XD \$\endgroup\$
    – trogdor
    Sep 27, 2018 at 2:31

So unfortunately the specific thing you seem to want to do is impossible in 4e, the system simply isn't built for you, as a defender, to consistently cause enemies to target you.

The best there probably is is a single encounter power that might let you take a single attack every combat that was targeted and hit an ally.

However, as far as making this your main approach to a defender type character there aren't enough options to pull it off as far as I know

  • \$\begingroup\$ Its been a few years, but didn't the Fighter's Mark ability function something like this? It's not a forced thing, but it caused penalties. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 26, 2018 at 22:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Draco18s All defender mark abilities work that way (inflicting penalties for attacking anyone other than the defender) but that's specifically what the questioner doesn't want. \$\endgroup\$
    – Acacia
    Sep 26, 2018 at 23:57

There are a few things that provide this kind of effect, but they tend to be extremely limited, because they are, frankly, extremely powerful (It's a little baffling to me that 3.5 gives a class an ability to do this to EVERYONE with 100 feet). The only one I can think of is the Holy Symbol of the Champion's Code, which has a daily magic item power that prevents a marked target from making an attack that does not include you.

I'm not sure you'll be able do exactly this in 4e, though as already pointed out, most defender classes have some "softer" version of this which can work out to be better in a number of circumstances.


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