Cavalier: WTF

I just unwrapped the D&D Essentials book Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms this morning, and I’m sitting here perusing its pages, but I am baffled completely by the Paladin Cavalier class.

cav·a·lier /ˌkævəˈlɪər, ˈkævəˌlɪər/ –noun, 1. a horseman, esp. a mounted soldier; knight.

Definition number one: a cavalier is a dude who fights from horseback. Based on the name alone, and since I reasonably assumed that the class had nothing to do with the English Civil War, I thought that the Cavalier class was going to be some kind of mount-oriented paladin. And I was excited about the prospect.

But apparently that would be too obvious. Unless I’m missing something, the class has a grand total of one mount-related ability, a class feature that comes in at level four that gives you +2 speed while moving mounted.

That’s it.

30 pages of virtuous defender powers and features, and only one +2 bonus that’s even remotely related to fighting from horseback (or griffonback, or lionback, or whatever suits your paladin’s fancy). That’s total nonsense. Its like they just made a generic paladinesque class, looked up “paladin” in their thesaurus, and just picked the first thing that sounded cool with no regard whatsoever for the word’s actual denotation or connotation.

Anyone see the Friends episode where Joey wrote the letter to the adoption agency for Chandler and Monica and he used the thesaurus for every word? That’s pretty much what happened here.

I’m sure it’s a fine class, well-designed and fun to play. But the name had me anticipating something completely different, and I am disappointed about it.

Wizards of the Coast, you’re on notice. Good thing the Hexblade is pretty much the most awesome class ever invented.

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