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I have been researching my question for a week now and, simple a question though it may be, I keep reading answers that are pulling me in different directions, so I finally decided to just ask. Here goes.

In D&D 4e, 1st level characters get 2 At-Will powers, 1 Encounter power, one Daily power, and one feat. I understand that. But then there are Class Features.

My question is, do Class Features count against those numbers above? Or do you get your Class Features at no cost, and then choose your 2 At-Wills, 1 Encounter, and 1 Daily?

For example,

  1. Does a Level 1 Paladin automatically take Lay on Hands (At-Will), Divine Challenge (At-Will) and Channel Divinity (Encounter), and in addition to those class features, choose 2 more At-Wills, 1 more Encounter, 1 Daily and 1 Feat?

    or

  2. Does the Level 1 Paladin take Lay on Hands and Divine Challenge as his 2 Level-1 At-Will powers, and Channel Divinity as his level-1 Encounter power, in which case all that's left is to choose 1 Daily and 1 Feat?

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It depends on the class feature.

In most cases powers from class features do not count against your normal allotment of powers. For example, a paladin's Lay on Hands, Divine Challenge, and Channel Divinity do not use up her level 1 at-will and encounter power slots.

There are a few class features that do affect your normal slots, though. One example is the way that warlocks have a class feature which forces them to choose the at-will power associated with their pact as one of their two level 1 at-will powers. Class features that use up or affect your choices for the standard power options (at-will, encounter, utility, and daily) will always explicitly say so; if the class feature just says, "you get the following power," then that power is in addition to the normal powers (non-Essentials) characters get.

It's important to note, however, that the Essentials classes (that is, the classes from the Heroes of X books), mostly do not use the normal at-will, encounter, and daily power progression. Those classes largely have their own class-specific progressions that give them a lot more class features and a lot fewer powers.

As an additional caveat, if you're using the Character Builder you should keep in mind that it likes to present abilities from class features as powers even though they are not actually powers in the rulebooks.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the quick response, friend. Good to finally have some clarity on this. \$\endgroup\$ – Joe Dec 30 '16 at 19:39
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Class Feature powers will not take up your power allowance.

You'll notice that the Paladin class features of Channel Divinity, Divine Challenge and Lay On Hands just say "Paladin Feature" in the top right with no level assigned. Meanwhile, Bolstering Strike says "Paladin Attack 1".

The easiest way I've found to think about it is that the features that come without levels are free. That's generally how it goes.

So for some examples...

  • The Paladin automatically takes all the Paladin Features on page 91 of the Player's Handbook, and in addition picks 2 at-wills, 1 encounter power, and 1 daily power, and a feat.
  • The Wizard gets all four Wizard Cantrips printed across pages 158-159 of the Player's Handbook, and in addition picks the same 2/1/1 powers and a feat.

The Rogue and Warlock get no free Class Feature powers. (They have at-will & other power choices suggested to them by a build, but these are suggestions and not freebies. See the fact they have levels and are totally normal Attack powers.) However, they do get a load of class features, like the Warlock's Curse and the Fey Warlock's misty step. These are also free and take up no slots of any kind; they are just yours, take them, enjoy them, now you've got a bunch of other fun stuff to pick.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for answering, and so quickly. I really appreciate it :) \$\endgroup\$ – Joe Dec 30 '16 at 19:38

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