Fantasy Noir Fighter Powers!

Following on from the post about Fantasy Noir, here’s suitably Chanderesque fluff text for the 1st level Fighter Powers from the 4e PHB, just to give you a feel how this could be done. I’ll leave the other Powers as an exercise for the reader.

Cleave: “I swear boss, he was knocking us down like ninepins. He was takin’ us on two at a time!”
Reaping Strike: These thugs are no match for years in the ring. A quick jab and a slug from the side, and they don’t even feel the floor him ’em on the way down.
Sure Strike: “……and then he got ‘im, right between the eyes.”
Tide of Iron: When I say get back, I mean (push!) GET BACK!

per Encounter
Covering Attack: ‘Slugger’ Axesmiter cracked his knuckles. “You get out the way, elf. This one is mine.”
Passing Attack: You lay into the heavies, swiping first one then the other with your mighty blows.
Spinning Sweep: You grit your teeth, striking a low blow that leaves the poor mook floored and gasping for breath.
Steel Serpent Strike: “You got one working kneecap left. Why not leave now while you still can?”

per Day
Brute Strike: “It’s all about traction, see? I hit, and you’re in traction.”
Comeback Strike: You spit a glob of blood, a broad grin on your face. “Whadya waiting for? I could do this all day!”
Villain’s Menace: You roll up your sleeves, focus turning entirely to the fight. “Good luck, fools. This is what I do.”

One thing that’s common to Noir, but poorly implemented (if at all) in 4e D&D is unarmed attacks. That’s easily solved by giving all the heroes Unarmed Weapon Proficiency for free, granting +2 to attack rolls for d4 damage with their fists. Allow feats such as Two-Weapon Fighting, Weapon Focus and Quick Draw (fastest fists in Faerun!) to apply to unarmed attacks, and allow any Power which requires a Weapon to be used with an unarmed attack. Want to get the players smashing chairs over the head of thugs? Suggest an Improvised Weapon Proficiency Feat which gives a +3 proficiency bonus with improvised weapons. Job done.

Want Wizard Powers too as an extra special bonus? They’re simple. Your typical Fantasy Noir Wizard is a skinny bespectacled fellow in well-worn tweed who drops Latin into everyday conversation. One quick trip to an English-Latin translator for some pseudo-Latin, and……

Ghost Sound: Phasma Sanus
Light: Lumen
Mage Hand: Veneficus Manus
Prestidigitation: Manus Frustro (hand trick)

Cloud of Daggers: Nubilus per Mucro
Magic Missile: Magus Contendo
Ray of Frost: Funis per Gelu (line of frost)
Scorching Burst: Igneus Eruptio
Thunderwave: Attonbitus Fluctus

per Encounter
Burning Hands: Igneus Manus
Chill Strike: Gelu Offendo
Force Orb: Navitas Orbis (energy orb)
Icy Terrain: Glacialis Terra
Ray of Enfeeblement: Funis per Infirmitas

per Day
Acid Arrow: Acidus Telum
Flaming Sphere: Igneus Orbis
Freezing Cloud: Gelidus Nubilus
Sleep: Sopor

Heck, I like these so much I might use ’em all the time.

Find a Noir-style schtick for each Class, and it’s not difficult to turn 4e’s high-pixel flashiness into something more in keeping with the tone of the setting. Perhaps the Warlord’s Powers are the barked commands of a Sergeant, and your Rogue Powers double entendres breathed through sultry cigarette smoke.

Coming soon: A bevy of Fantasy Noir themed Characters du Jour!

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