High Programmer > Alan De Smet > Games > Role-Playing Games > Dungeons & Dragons > 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons > Table of Roles and Power Sources

Table of Roles and Power Sources

As of November 28th, 2011, based on the information from the Dungeons & Dragons Compendium, here are all of the classes for each role and power source.

ControllerDefenderDefender and StrikerLeaderStriker
ArcaneWarlock (Binder, Hybrid Binder), WizardSwordmageArtificer, BardSorcerer, Warlock (Basic, Hexblade, Hybrid)
DivineInvokerPaladin (Basic, Cavalier, Hybrid, Hybrid Cavalier)Cleric, RunepriestAvenger, Paladin (Blackguard, Hybrid Blackguard)
MartialRanger (Hunter)Fighter (Hybrid, Knight, Weaponmaster)Barbarian (Berserker)WarlordAssassin (Executioner, Hybrid Executioner), Fighter (Slayer), Ranger (Basic, Hybrid, Scout), Rogue
PrimalDruid (Basic, Hybrid, Protector), SeekerWardenDruid (Hybrid Sentinel, Sentinel), ShamanBarbarian (Basic, Hybrid)
ShadowAssassin (Basic, Hybrid), Vampire

Below are my old notes, when this whole role/power source things was new.

Some time ago I found this article on roles, power sources, and classes in 4e. I particularly enjoyed the table, as it suggested spots for new classes. We now know even more, so I thought I'd fill it in. I've swapped the axis from the original article as it's clear that there are lots of power sources, but only the four roles so far. Entries in italics are guesses. The footnote indicates the reasoning.

The Player's Handbook II is subtitled "Arcane, Divine, and Primal Heroes," suggesting the three power sources we'll see. (See the cover.)

While the original Player's Handbook1 promised a Ki power source, Wizards has since announced "the ki power source proved untenable" and "As we worked on concepts for the monk, we found that the *ki* power source grew thinner and thinner. The monk's central, mechanical conceit, full disciplines (more on those later), didn't lend itself well as the umbrella mechanic for a power source."24 So the Ki power source is sadly dead, along with an opportunity to really differentiate a bunch of classes. As such, I've deleted the Ki power source and moved my guesses for those classes elsewhere.

This first table is my highly subjective attempt at limiting it to the "core" classes. This is pretty much just my opinion, biased by a desire to have at least one class in each intersection.

Combat Role
Power Source Controller Defender Leader Striker
Arcane1 Wizard1, Wu Jen7,14 Swordmage11 Bard17,28, Artificer10 Warlock1, Sorcerer22,28, Wu Jen7,14
Divine1 Invoker15,28 Paladin1, Sohei14 Cleric1, Shukenja (Shugenja)5 Avenger28
Martial1 Fighter1, Samurai6,14, Warlord1 Ranger1, Rogue1,
Primal1 Druid16,28, Seeker26 Warden21,28 Shaman23,28 Barbarian18,28
Psionic25 Psion25 Battlemind29 Ardent30 Monk24
Elemental1 Dragon Shaman8
Shadow1 Assassin27, Ninja4

Secondary classes. (That is those I don't see as core. This is entirely my biased opinion.)

Combat Role
Power Source Controller Defender Leader Striker
Arcane1 Warmage7 Hexblade6 Beguiler8, Duskblade8 Hexblade6,
Divine1 Spirit Shaman9, Favored Soul9, Favored Soul9, Spirit Shaman9, Shaman (Oriental Adventures)14 Spirit Shaman9, War priest5
Martial1 Crusader12, Knight8, Swordsage12, Warblade12, Crusader12, Knight8, Scout4, Spellthief4, Swordsage12, Warblade12, Swashbuckler6
Primal1 Scout4
Psionic1 Erudite13, Wilder13, Psychic Warrior13 Divine Mind13 Erudite13, Lurk13, Soulknife13, Wilder13,
Elemental1 Air Shugenja9,14, Fire Shugenja9,14, Earth Shugenja9,14, Water Shugenja9,14, Fire Shugenja9,14,


When I cite the "Converting Your Character" articles, I'm assuming that the class will have the same combat role as the workaround class or classes they suggest. I'm guessing at the power source.

1. Official. From the Player's Handbook
2. Guess based on official information. "Converting Your Character: The Player's Handbook"
3. Wild guess copied from "4e watch: Roles and classes"
4. Guess based on official information. "Converting Your Character: Complete Adventurer"
5. Wild guess out of my butt.
6. Guess based on official information. "Converting Your Character: Complete Warrior"
7. Guess based on official information. "Converting Your Character: Complete Arcane"
8. Guess based on official information. "Converting Your Character: Player's Handbook II"
9. Guess based on official information. "Converting Your Character: Complete Divine" (This article repeatedly suggests describing a class as being "divine," when the class seems better suited to Elemental. I've pushed them into Elemental.
10. Official, Eberron. "Playtest: Artificer"
11. Official, Forgotten Realms. "Forgotten Realms Player's Guide Preview"
12. Guess based on official information. "Converting Your Character: Tome of Battle"
13. Guess based on official information. "Converting Your Character: Psionics"
14. Guess based on official information. "Converting Your Character: Oriental Adventures"
15. "The Invoker, Levels 1-3", Dragon 370, 2008-12-15
16. "The Druid, Levels 1-3", Dragon 370, 2008-12-01
17. "Ampersand: Welcome to the Inside", Dragon 369, 2008-11-03
18. "Playtest: The Barbarian", Dragon 368, 2008-10-06
19. (Unused)
20. (Unused)
21. "The Warden, Levels 1-3", Dragon 371, 2009-01-05
22. "The Sorcerer, Levels 1-3", Dragon 371, 2009-01-26
23. "The Shaman, Levels 1-3", Dragon 372, 2009-02-02
24. "Playtest: Player's Handbook 3, The Monk", Dragon 375, 2009-05-11 "The Monk: Design & Development, Dragon 375, 2009-05-11.
25. "Debut: Player's Handbook 3, The Psion", Dragon 377, 2009-07-07
26. "The Seeker", Dragon 380, 2009-10-06
27. "The Assassin: Heroic Tier", Dragon 379, 2009-09-11
28. Official. From the Player's Handbook 2
29. "The Battlemind Class", Dragon #384, 2010-02-02 30. "Ardent Debut," Dragon #382, 2009-12-15

Thanks to Michael Zenke for many updates to this list.


2008-07-12: Various updates based on other newer articles.

2008-07-22: Added swordmage and artificer.

2008-07-29: Found official citation for swordmage.

2008-08-03: Added Tome of Battle, Complete Psionic, and Expanded Psionics Handbook

2008-08-09: Added Oriental Adventures, some cleanup, noted PHB2

2008-12-16: Added official information about the Bard, Druid, Barbarian, and Invoker from Dragon. Added guesses for the Avenger, Shaman, Sorcerer, and Warden. Note that link to the original article is busted.

2009-01-05: Added concrete details for the Warden

2009-01-06: Minor cleanup and reorganization

2009-02-02: Updated information for Sorcerer, Shaman. Mark Swordmage and Artificer as official, move Artificer into the core table.

2009-03-09: Fixed a stray comma.

2009-03-10: Better Avenger citation, but I can't point you to a specific source yet, so it's still marked as provisional. Deleted "Possible fillers," a list of classes from earlier editions not in the table; they didn't really add anything. Credit Michael Zenke, who is the source of much of this information.

2009-06-03: Added new details on monk, added links to a few articles, excised Ki power source per new article.

2009-10-28: Official citation for Psion. Added Seeker and Assassin. Linked to Druid and Invoker articles.

2009-10-28 b: Added Avenger (how did I miss that?), noted PHB2 classes can be found there.

2010-02-02: Added Battlemind and Ardent, fixed citation for Psion.