I'd like to to build a good thief but something's bugging me. I hope you guys could lend a hand.

I'm building a Lv5 thief. In the Players Handbook 1 pg 29 in Character Advancement Chart, a 5th level PC gets 2 @will, 2 encounter, 2 daily and 1 utility power/s.

Now looking at a Lv5 thief in HOFL, they have access to 4 utilities; Backstab and up to 3 Rogue Tricks. These utilities are a part of the thief's class features and talents right, so I still get to choose the 2 @will, 2 encounter, 2 daily and 1 utility as normal for being 5th level character right?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Hop into chat, we'll help you build a character. \$\endgroup\$ – Brian Ballsun-Stanton Apr 28 '13 at 9:40


Essentials classes have different build characteristics than "original" classes. Specifically, very few of them follow the at-will/encounter/daily/utility model of earlier classes.

If you play a thief, you get exactly what the essentials book tells you and no more.

Look at How are some Essentials classes non AEDU classes? for more details.

To amplify what I think your full question, let me walk through the building process. The actual build is from here.

To begin, we set some basic requirements:

A Ranged Thief with high damage.

As you've given no indication of other narrative requirements, we move to fulfilling the (very simple) mechanical requirements with no limitations.

We'll call our character "Knives Rodriguez" for lack of a better name. Please, choose a better name.

We'll choose race:


We've chosen drow because the support they get for throwing knives around is second only to the support they get for hand crossbow "pew-pewing." Both are excellent choices.

We then choose ability scores: Str 10, Con 12, Dex 18, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 12.

We, at this point, can choose background and theme. I'm going to skip those bits because they're not in the essentials book.

We then follow instructions, picking a feat (Light Blade Expertise), Skills, and two utility powers (Acrobat's Trick and Tactical Trick.)

We then grab equipment (armor and a few pockets full of daggers.)

That is the limit of choices we can make at level 1. As per page 173.

We level up by following the table on page 175.

At level 11, we choose a Paragon Path (Dread Fang), and get the features and powers it says it grants to us. We also follow the chart on page 186, swapping out the things noted as "master thief paragon path feature" for the things that dread fang grants us.

And at 21, we follow the same pattern.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Ok that makes more sense. The Essentials basically redone the basic builds Heroic levels of most of the core classes. However Psions, Monks and Sorcerers were kinda left out. Also from the looks of it is harder to Hybrid the Essentials class builds as their build is more concrete all the way to Lv10. But what happens after Heroic levels for the Essentials when they eventually take a multi-class path or Paragon path and eventually a Epic Destinies. How to Essential classed level up past 10th level. Do they still get @will, encounter, daily and utility power via standard leveling? \$\endgroup\$ – Jhyarelle Silver Apr 28 '13 at 10:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't understand your question. \$\endgroup\$ – Brian Ballsun-Stanton Apr 28 '13 at 10:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ Have you read the entire section in the essentials book? \$\endgroup\$ – Brian Ballsun-Stanton Apr 28 '13 at 11:34

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