Player's Handbook II Core Classes

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Beguiler: Some hold truth to be the greatest virtue, but it can do more damage than fiction. Everyone lives in a constant state of deception. White lies, false smiles, and secret thoughts keep society running smoothly. Honesty is a virtue only up to a certain point. Beguilers understand these ideas better than anyone and they use deception, misunderstanding, and secrets as skillfully as a soldier employs weapons of war. Beguilers see lying and manipulation as tools. Just as a hammer can be used to build a house or crack a skull, deceit and the ability to control others can be used for good or ill. A lie whispered in the right ear can ruin lives, but a dishonest smile and honeyed words can open doors, turn foes into friends, and even end wars. Beguilers have reputations as rakes, thieves, spies, and puppet masters, but they can also be diplomats, peacemakers, or heroic leaders who give hope in desperate situations. If you delight in manipulating others, either to their disadvantage or for their own good, then the beguiler is the class for you. More than any other kind of character, you rely on Charisma-based skills to change the reactions of others, while your other class abilities enable you to catch others off guard with devastating spell-based attacks.
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Dragon Shaman: Empires crumble, eons pass, and even gods wither and die, but dragons remain. Mortal but eternal, the races of true dragons weather the roll of the ages because of their unsurpassed might. Few creatures can match a dragon in its full fury, whether in a combat of arms or battle of wits. Dragon shamans recognize this fact and see true dragons as more than powerful beings. To a dragon shaman, the passing shadow of a dragon flying overhead isn’t a sign that invokes fear; it’s a blessing that reveals you to be in the presence of greatness. Dragon shamans respect true dragons as power incarnate. Some worship dragons, but most simply aspire to gain dragon powers for themselves. In assuming the abilities and the likeness of a dragon, a dragon shaman seeks to emulate that might and embody that power within himself. If you gaze at dragons with awe and aspire to share their power and majesty, then the dragon shaman is the class for you. By choosing a totem dragon, you partake of a true dragon’s power and take on aspects of a particular kind of dragon.
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Duskblade: The duskblade blurs the line between spellcaster and warrior, marrying the power of magic with hand-to-hand combat prowess. A student of ancient elven spell-casting techniques, the duskblade combines arcane spellcasting with the combat skills of a fighter. While the ability to cast arcane spells in armor originated with the elves, over the millennia the secrets of the duskblade have been disseminated to the other races, and today members of any race can become a duskblade. If you find you can’t choose between being an arcane spellcaster who zaps your enemies with powerful spells and a nimble, powerful front-line melee character who lays them low with a sword, the duskblade is the perfect class for you. Combining arcane magic with melee prowess, you’re prepared in any situation. Enemies who underestimate you never get a second chance, since you don’t even have to switch back and forth between hands-on combat and spell-casting; you can do both simultaneously.
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Knight: A knight is a proud, skilled melee combatant who fights in the name of honor and chivalry. A knight relies on more than a sharp sword and a stout suit of armor to defeat her foes. Her drive, determination, and fighting spirit allow her to control the battlefield in ways that others cannot match. A knight can challenge an opponent to a duel, calling upon the foe’s pride and ego to force his hand. The knight’s talent with heavy armor, shields, and defensive tactics grant her the ability to disrupt her foe’s plans. Only the most talented rogues and monks can slip past a knight’s defenses to strike at her allies. An adventuring group with wizards, sorcerers, and other lightly armored members thrives with the assistance of a knight. While the knight keeps enemies occupied, her allies can use their talents and abilities without fear of attack or harassment. The knight class is a great choice if you want to play a tough, durable melee combatant whose strong personality allows you to manipulate your foes. Weaker foes cower in fear before you, while stronger foes move to strike you rather than your allies when you play on their egos and challenge them to duels. Your expertise in using armor and carrying a shield allows you to form an impregnable defensive line. Once you engage a foe, he has difficulty moving away to threaten your allies. If you want to be a front-line melee combatant who defends the rest of the party and manipulates opponents, the knight is a good choice.

Player's Handbook II Core Classes

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