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Character Themes are a powerful tool in customizing characters in D&D 4th Edition, a theme is a modification to a character that is best described as a cross between a race and a character class. They provide additional flavor, skill choices, features, and feat choices, to a character. You may choose a theme at any point in character creation and beyond (so long as you meet any prerequisites). If you choose a theme, it is not permanent, and you can retrain it.

NPCs and enemy mobs can also have themes that modify how they are represented and function in a campaign (like a sand shark in a Dark Sun campaign). These are usually tailored to specific creature types, however, and normally far less influential than character themes.

Below is a list of character themes, arranged by source.

List of themes

General Themes

  • Alchemist: A leader-focused theme that flavors a character as a skilled alchemist. Found in Dragon Magazine #399.
  • Animal Master: A theme that flavors a character as having a strong connection to a small creature which can assist them in certain tasks. Found in Dragon Magazine #399.
  • Order Adept: A leader-focused arcane theme that flavors a character as being part of a secret yet powerful order of arcane practitioners. Found in Dragon Magazine #399.
  • Wizard's Apprentice: A leader-focused arcane theme that flavors a character as being a student of a powerful wizard. Found in Dragon Magazine #399.
  • Ordained Priest: A leader-focused divine theme that flavors a character as a devoted member of a faith that serves a powerful god or deity. Found in Dragon Magazine #399.
  • Scholar: A leader-focused arcane theme that flavors a character as a student of arcane lore who has a ravenous thirst for knowledge. Found in Dragon Magazine #399.
  • Seer: An arcane theme that flavors a character as one who is blessed with powerful mystic visions. Found in Dragon Magazine #399.
  • Chevalier: A defender-focused martial theme that flavors a character as a chivalrous and gallant knight. Found in Dragon Magazine #399.
  • Guardian: A defender-focused martial theme that flavors a character as a staunch protector of an order's charge be that an elite group or a stockpile of treasure. Found in Dragon Magazine #399.
  • Hospitaler (also called Knight Hospitaler): A leader-focused divine theme that flavors a character as a designated caretaker of the weak, sickly, and injured. Found in Dragon Magazine #399.
  • Noble: A leader-focused divine theme that flavors a character as an influential member of an aristocratic bloodline. Found in Dragon Magazine #399.
  • Explorer: A defender-focused primal theme that flavors a character as an experienced explorer of the untamed wilds. Found in Dragon Magazine #399.
  • Guttersnipe: A martial theme that flavors a character as a thieving and scheming cutpurse and pickpocket. Found in Dragon Magazine #399.
  • Mercenary: A striker-focused theme that flavors a character as being a simple warrior-for-hire, selling their services to the highest bidder. Found in Dragon Magazine #399.
  • Outlaw: A martial theme that flavors a character as an outlaw, someone on the run from those who would wish harm on them and willing to use any means necessary to escape. Found in Dragon Magazine #399.
  • Student Of Evard: A leader-focused arcane/shadow theme that flavors a character as a disciple of the shadow-magic master, Evard, and his writings. Found in Dragon Magazine #400.
  • Gloomwrought Emissary: A leader-focused theme that flavors a character as a special envoy to a powerful political patron in the City of Midnight. Found in Dragon Magazine #400.
  • Iron Wolf Warrior: A striker-focused martial/primal theme that flavors a character as a proud warrior of the Iron Wolf clan of barbarians living in the icy mountains. Found in Dragon Magazine #400.
  • Fatedancer: A leader-focused arcane theme that flavors a character as a fortune card wielding vagabond (martial classes and bards make good fatedancers.) Found in Dragon Magazine #401.
  • Son of Alagondar: A striker-focused martial theme that flavors a character as underdog saboteur. Found in Dragon Magazine #402.
  • Seeker of Illefarn: A striker-focused Martial theme that flavors a character as a, preferably, moon elf seeking any artifacts, lore, etc... of the great Illefarn empire. Found in Dragon Magazine #402.
  • Hordelands Nomad: A striker-focused primal theme that flavors a character as a spiritualistic adventurer with close ties to nature. Found in Dragon magazine #404.
  • Sohei: A Defender-focused Devine/Martial theme that flavors a character as a monk-like warrior of any class. Found in Dragon magazine #404.
  • Samurai: A multi-focused martial theme that flavors your character as a warrior devoted to his lord, willing to follow every order without delay or second thoughts. Found in Dragon Magazine #404.
  • Yakuza: A striker-focused martial theme that flavors your character as an outcast who manipulates enemies into fighting at your terms. Found in Dragon Magazine #404.
  • Ghost of the PastA theme best for strikers and controllers, flavoring your character as an out-of-era warrior. This theme is focused around rerolling attacks and skill checks. Found in Dragon Magazine #430.
  • River RatA striker theme focusing on your character being a highly skilled criminal, taking risks, tricking your opponents and always winning a game of cat and mouse. Found in Dragon Magazine #430

Dark Sun Specific

  • Athasian Minstrel: A striker-focused martial theme that flavors a character as a deadly entertainer. Found in the Dark Sun Campaign Setting supplement.
  • Dune Trader: A leader-focused martial theme that flavors a character as a quick and enterprising peddler of goods. Found in the Dark Sun Campaign Setting supplement.
  • Elemental Priest: A leader-focused primal theme that flavors a character as a powerful sage, skilled in calling and manipulating elemental spirits. Found in the Dark Sun Campaign Setting supplement.
  • Escaped Slave: A striker-focused martial theme, who have access to powers designed to escape trouble. Found in Dragon 390, page 18.
  • Gladiator: A defender-focused martial theme that flavors a character as a seasoned arena combatant of guts, grit and glory. Found in the Dark Sun Campaign Setting supplement.
  • Noble Adept: A controller-focused psionic theme that flavors a character as a noble, trained as a powerful psion. Found in the Dark Sun Campaign Setting supplement.
  • Primal Guardian: A defender-focused primal theme that flavors a character as a staunch and unrelenting protector of the natural world. Found in the Dark Sun Campaign Setting supplement.
  • Templar: A leader-focused arcane theme that flavors a character as a ranking official in the army of a nigh-omnipotent tyrant. Found in the Dark Sun Campaign Setting supplement.
  • Veiled Alliance: A controller-focused arcane theme that flavors a character as an operative in a secret society, formed to prevent the abuse of arcane power. Found in the Dark Sun Campaign Setting supplement.
  • Wasteland Nomad: A striker-focused primal theme that flavors a character as a near-feral wanderer of the desert wastes. Found in the Dark Sun Campaign Setting supplement.
  • Wilder: A striker-focused psionic theme that flavors a character as a powerful psion, full of raw and wild psionic talent. Found in the Dark Sun Campaign Setting supplement.

Drow related

  • Bregan D'aerthe Mercenary: A striker-focused martial/arcane theme that flavors a character as a mercenary of the Drow (not racial dependent). Found in Dragon Magazine #413.
  • Elderboy: A defender-focused Martial theme for Drow Males that flavors a character as a drow male with actual favor in their house (usually unheard of). Found in Dragon Magazine #413.
  • Sorcere Adept: A striker-focused theme for spell-casters that lends a bit of blood-magic themed damage and accuracy. Found in Dragon Magazine #413

Feywild Related

  • Fey Beast Tamer: A striker-focused arcane theme that flavors a character as having befriended a modest but potent beast companion from the feywild. Found in the Heroes of the Feywild supplement.
  • Oracle of the Evil Eye: A defensive and detection theme that flavors having a fomorian evil eye transplanted into the character. Found in Dragon Magazine #405, Born from the Feywild.
  • Sidhe Lord: A leader-focused arcane theme that flavors a character as a representative of a noble house of the feywild with all of the benefits it entails. There is a restriction that a Sidhe Lord must be a Half-Elf or any race with a Fey origin. Found in the Heroes Of The Feywild supplement.
  • Tuathan: A leader-focused arcane theme that flavors a character as a lost race of humans/half-elves that hold hidden fey power. There is a restriction that a Tuathan must be either Half-Elf or Human. Found in the Heroes of the Feywild supplement.
  • Unseelie Agent: A striker-focused arcane/shadow theme that flavors a character as an agent of a nefarious and malicious force in the darkness of the Feywild. Found in the Heroes of the Feywild supplement.
  • Wild Hunt Rider: A mobility-focused Primal theme, focused on a supernatural horde that pulls subjects into a certain hunt. Found in Dragon Magazine #405, Born from the Feywild.

Neverwinter Specific

  • Neverwinter Noble: Leader theme for directing enemy damage. Found in Neverwinter Campaign Setting.
  • Oghma's Faithful: Must worship Oghma, seeker of knowledge. Theme all about gathering knowledge through rerolling checks learning languages. Found in Neverwinter Campaign Setting.
  • Harper Agent: Small bonus to rolls and rerolls for a decent all around theme. Found in Neverwinter Campaign Setting.
  • Dead Rat Deserter: More of a striker theme, good for a rogue or ranger to boost their exploration potential. Found in Neverwinter Campaign Setting.
  • Iliyanbruen Guardian: Eladrin only leader theme with a mobility boost for getting into position at the start of combat. Found in Neverwinter Campaign Setting.
  • Uthgardt Barbarian: Striker theme with a thunder based AoE to get you past the front line and onto the squishy targets you want to be hitting as a striker. Found in Neverwinter Campaign Setting.
  • Pack Outcast: Average striker theme about being a shapeshifter, with a wolf theme. Decent toughness and damage boosting abilities, with poor stacking potential. Found in Neverwinter Campaign Setting.
  • Heir of Delzoun: Dwarf only theme about being extra tough and resilient, even among your dwarf kin. Contains bonuses aginst poison, forced movement, and extra healing. Found in Neverwinter Campaign Setting.
  • Renegade Red Wizard: Wizard subclass mage only, providing boosts to the mage class features in the form of extra stealth and accuracy. Found in Neverwinter Campaign Setting.
  • Scion of Shadow: This theme for humans, shades, and shadar-kai only gives a bonus to healing surge value and stealth. Found in Neverwinter Campaign Setting.
  • Devil's Pawn: An extra affinity with fire, especially aimed at infernal pact warlocks, but not limited to them. Powers create an unfriendly zone of fire, and grant you fire resist. Found in Neverwinter Campaign Setting.
  • Spellscarred Harbinger: Provides your choice of a lot of little buffs, mostly suited to strikers, the best of which is invisibility once per encounter. Found in Neverwinter Campaign Setting.
  • Bregan D'aerth Spy: A drow only theme focusing on enhancing a drow's natural stealth and fey abilities. Found in Neverwinter Campaign Setting.

Elemental Chaos

  • Demon Spawn: A striker-focused elemental theme that flavors a character as having the raging blood of a demon coursing through their veins. Found in the Heroes of the Elemental Chaos supplement.
  • Earthforger: A defender-focused elemental theme that flavors a character as having an inextricable connection to elemental earth. Found in the Heroes of the Elemental Chaos supplement.
  • Elemental Initiate: A leader/striker-focused elemental/psionic theme that flavors a character as a psionic wielder of the elements, trained in a temple or monastery. Found in the Heroes of the Elemental Chaos supplement.
  • Firecrafter: A striker/controller-focused elemental theme that flavors a character as a living embodiment of elemental fire. Found in the Heroes of the Elemental Chaos supplement.
  • Ironwrought: A striker/defender-focused elemental theme that flavors a character as a being of hard and unforgiving steel. Found in the Heroes of the Elemental Chaos supplement.
  • Janissary: A leader(?)-focused elemental theme that flavors a character as the servant/slave of a genie with all of the unusual benefits it entails. Found in the Heroes of the Elemental Chaos supplement.
  • Moteborn: A leader-focused elemental theme that flavors a character as a conjurer of elemental power who commands these forces with ease. Found in the Heroes of the Elemental Chaos supplement.
  • Primordial Adept: A controller-focused elemental/arcane theme that flavors a character as one who is devoted to mastering arcane elementalism. Found in the Heroes of the Elemental Chaos supplement.
  • Watershaper: A leader-focused elemental theme that flavors a character as as someone who is utterly in tune with the everchanging and restorative properties of water. Found in the Heroes of the Elemental Chaos supplement.
  • Windlord: A controller-focused elemental theme that flavors a character as a being at one with the air around them as it carries them through the sky. Found in the Heroes of the Elemental Chaos supplement.

Anti-Hero or Villanous

  • Cultist: A striker-focused shadow theme that flavors a character as a direct servant to a twisted and evil deity or creature. Found in the Book of Vile Darkness.
  • Disgraced Noble: A controller/leader-focused martial theme that flavors a character as a dishonored and rejected noble, that was cast away due to an irredeemable act. Found in the Book of Vile Darkness.
  • Infernal Slave: A controller-focused divine theme that flavors a character as one who owes a debt to a demon, that they cannot possibly pay. Found in the Book of Vile Darkness.
  • Reaver: A striker-focused primal theme that flavors a character as a simple killing machine, that has an unquenchable desire to spill blood. Found in the Book of Vile Darkness.
  • Vile Scholar: A leader-focused shadow theme that flavors a character as being obssesed with forbidden texts, full of dark and twisted magic. Found in the Book of Vile Darkness.

Other themes

These themes are setting-specific, but don't fit one of the above:

  • Callidyrr Dragoon: A melee-combat and defender theme available to humans or halflings, designed for training mounted combat. With DM permission, other races may be allowed, but those with Fey heritage aren't trusted by the kindgom. [Dr405]
  • Sarifal Feywarden: A primal theme available to any fey race (but not Drow). [Dr405]

Variations

These themes are variations of those listed above:

  • Darkwalker Kin: A theme used in the Moonshae Isles, which copies the Pack Outcast theme. [Dr405]
  • Knight of Synnoria: A theme used for a Llewyrr Elf in the Moonshae Isles, which otherwise uses the Iliyanbruen Guardian theme. [Dr405]
  • Northlander Reaver: A variation of the Uthgardt Barbarian theme for humans in the Moonshae Isles. It replaced the 5th level feature with a half-sized bonus to perception checks to spot and acrobatics checks to balance. [Dr405]
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