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4 Reasons Why Invokers Aren’t What You Think

Written by Janna - Published on March 14, 2009

Janna discovered D&D at the age of 16, and she's been rolling the dice for 16 years. (You do the math.) She is fond of intelligent villains, drow society, and campaigns that explore the Dark Side.

With the Player’s Handbook 2 coming out this month, I’ve been thinking a lot about the new classes that will soon be available: the druid, the barbarian, the bard, and several more. Most of all, I’ve become smitten with the idea of playing an invoker.

When I learned that invokers were coming into play, I first thought of the specialist mages from 2nd Edition. (You know, the guys who had lots of boomy spells, but couldn’t charm or summon anything to save their lives.) Knowing that 4e plays more like a hack-fest than the older editions, I was really curious to see how the designers had beefed up invokers for the new play-style. Didn’t they already sort of kick butt?

So I clicked through the invoker preview contained in the Character Builder program. I soon learned that the new invokers were nothing like I’d expected. Actually, I was pleasantly surprised. Here are a few of the ways my preconceived notions of invokers were epically challenged.

Invokers are Divine

This was my first surprise. No longer mages at all, the new invokers use the divine power source to channel the wrath of the gods. Invokers are the most trusted agents of the gods. They might even be gods themselves, born into mortal bodies and slowly realizing their true power as they advance in level. I was also surprised to see that invokers use staves and rods as their implements. (They consider holy symbols to be largely unnecessary icons of a magic that dates back to the dawn of time.)

Invokers Can Preserve or Destroy

Like other classes, invokers have a couple of build options: the preserving invoker, or the wrathful invoker. Preserving invokers defend their allies according to the will of the gods. They can slide their allies around the battlefield, and they bring down holy fury on those who injure their comrades. Wrathful invokers are the hitmen of the gods. Their powers grow stronger when multiple enemies are targeted, and their Armor of Wrath uses searing radiance to drive back opponents.

Invokers See the Big Picture

Unlike clerics who squabble over religion, invokers see the entire pantheon as valuable entities worthy of protection. They might help foil the evil plots cooked up by the agents of Asmodeus, but invokers would rather protect Asmodeus than let the world and the gods fall prey to the primordials. As soldiers in a war that predates just about everything, invokers don’t waste their time quibbling over dogmatic details.

Invokers Summon Angels

Unlike the old specialist wizards of the same name, these guys definitely have summoning skills. In fact, they can summon angels to fight for them. Even at level 1, they can choose to call down a host of radiant angels to damage their enemies, or they can elect to summon an angel that flies around the battlefield, unleashing bursts of fire on their opponents. The cool role-play effects of these powers were a selling point for me; I can’t wait to see what invokers can do at higher levels.

The Disclaimer

At the time of this writing, I only had access to the invoker preview (levels 1-3). While that was enough to give me an idea of the class’s flavor (and to know that I want to try playing one ASAP), we won’t have the whole picture until we can read through their paragon and epic powers. So you might someday see a follow-up article called, “Invokers Rock: I Told You So”, or, “Invokers Suck: Boy Did I Call It Wrong”. Until then, let us know what you think of the upcoming invoker class in the comments section!

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Written by Janna

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Janna discovered D&D at the age of 16, and she's been rolling the dice for 16 years. (You do the math.) She is fond of intelligent villains, drow society, and campaigns that explore the Dark Side.

 

 Comments

7 Responses to “4 Reasons Why Invokers Aren’t What You Think”
  1. andro101010 says:

    It sounds like classic 4ED makeover. It’s got the same name but it’s not the same game.
    Like the idea though I wonder about it making angels seem weak (or the class overpowered). Have they seem Mitchell and Webb’s BMX Bandit and Angel Summoner skit?

  2. Rob says:

    I didn’t see the post above – great minds think alike.

  3. jonathan says:

    For a full-indepth review of the Invoker all the way up to Level 30 – including its paragon paths – head over to The Core Mechanic. The PHB2 was released early to a dozen different RPG blogs three weeks early, and each of these blogs released an indepth review of all the character classes from the PHB2 yesterday.

    Want to learn more about Player’s Handbook 2? Read on…
    Atomic Array: Episode 018: Player’s Handbook 2Game Cryer: Player’s Handbook 2 ReviewGnome Stew: A Veteran GM’s Take on GMing and the PHB2Critical Hits: The AvengerCampaign Mastery: The BarbarianUncle Bear: The BardCritical Ankle Bites: The DruidKobold Quarterly: Review: Player’s Handbook 2The Core Mechanic: The InvokerFlames Rising: The ShamanStupid Ranger: The SorcererMusings of the Chatty DM: The WardenDrop by Wizards of the Coast today!

  4. jonathan says:

    For a full-indepth review of the Invoker all the way up to Level 30 – including its paragon paths – head over to The Core Mechanic. The PHB2 was released early to a dozen different RPG blogs three weeks early, and each of these blogs released an indepth review of all the character classes from the PHB2 yesterday (all the links for those 11 other reviews there as well).

  5. Expy says:

    Thanks for the link, Jonathan.

  6. Elder God of Doom(-i-ness) says:

    I like the 4E makeover, from the way you were talking i wouldn’t be surprised if the Epic destinies for this bad boy include Avangions, and Dragons (wait thats afantastic idea… runs off to write an article)

    Yes i did say it Dark Sun joins 4e …. or is it just the way I’m reading it ?

  7. Sean says:

    The reason the classes are so very different is that while phenetically similar, they were not the same word.

    2E had the evoker (meaning one who brings into existence)

    4E has the invoker (meaning one who petitions for help)

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