The Khorvaire Chronicles
A Note about 4th Edition
4th Edition revamps many elements of previous D&D systems.
The two major changes are “roles” and “power sources”
Roles are meta-game positions. They refer to what kind of role a character would take in battle. The Four Roles are: Defender, Striker, Controller, and Leader
Defenders function very much like “tanks” in MMORPGs. Their task is to keep a monster(s) attention with attacks and to make a monster attack them, usually through a “mark” of some type. Defender Classes include Fighter, Paladin, Warden, and Swordmage
Strikers deal damage at the cost of a relatively low defense. There are both melee and ranged strikers. Striker Classes include Rogue, Ranger, Sorcerer, Warlock, Avenger, Barbarian, and others
Controllers are adept at attacking multiple enemies at once using Area or blast attacks. They also tend to have abilities that can pull, push , or slide creatures of allies around in battle. Examples of Controllers are Druid, Wizard, and Invoker
Leader classes tend to provide support and healing. They can also buff allies and debuff enemies. Leader classes include Bard, Warlord, Shaman, Cleric, and Artificer
It should be noted that most classes, even seemingly role focused classes such as Cleric, Paladin, and Barbarian, have a secondary role that they can fill. For Example a Battle Cleric can heal, but can also be an effective striker. A Fighter can be outfitted to be agile and strike harder at the cost of defense, or a Warden can keep enemies from moving around while defending his allies.
Each class, along with having a role, is based on a specific power type. Currently there are four Power sources: Martial, Divine, Arcane, and Primal, with a fifth, Psionic, on the way. While Role is important to know for mechanical reasons, Power types are essential for character background and “flavor” for the character.
References to Have
Generally, for character creation purposes Player should have the following books (in some form):
Player Handbook 1
Player Handbook 2
Eberron Player’s Guide
No one is required to have any books initially and the GM has access to all relevant books, updates, and errata. The GM also has an Insider account so any material, such as Dragon Magazine, that you may want will be available.
It should be noted that the above references are only for reading in detail. Using the Character Builder will make the nuts and bolts of creation very easy.
Bolded books are most important as they will shed light on 4th Edition and the Eberron setting, respectively.