Open 4E SRD Wiki

Paul the Poker was made to test the difficulty of encounters. If you're having trouble with the proscribed encounters... well, blame Paul. But don't judge Paul by what he is now - some of the abilities linked or transcluded here may have changed since Paul's time. He started at level 1.

Paul the Poker[]

Paul's Class and Race Choices[]





Ability Scores[]

Base stats:

  • Str:16 Dex:12 Con:14 Wis:15 Int:8 Chr:10

Stats with Race and Background:

  • Str:18 Dex:12 Con:16 Wis:16 Int:8 Chr:10

Additional Proficiency[]

Relevant Equipment[]

Paul's Stats[]



  • Reflex: 16 (10 +1 Racial(human), +1 DexMOD, +3 Shield, -1 Scale armor, +1 class (BA))
  • Fortitude: 16 (10 +1 Racial(human), +3 ConMOD, +2 class (Both Guard))
  • Will: 14 (10 +1 Racial(human), +3 WisMOD)
  • AC: 23 (10 Fort +3 ConMOD, + 3 Shield, +3 Prof, +2 Scale, +1 Exp(polestyle), +1 Exp (scale))

Skills and Proficiencies[]

  • Skills:
    • Endurance +7 (3 +3 (ConMOD), +1 Expertise (Combat Superiority))
    • Athletics +7 (3 +4 (StrMOD))
    • Religion (background) +6 (3 +3 (WisMOD),
    • Intimidate +7 (3 +4 (StrMOD)(Martial Superiority))
    • Perception (Exp) +7. (3 +WisMOD, +1 Proficiency)
  • Proficiencies:

Speed and Initiative[]

  • Speed: 5 (6 racial, -1 Scale)
  • Initiative: +4 (+1 DexMOD, +3 Class (WisMOD (Battle Awareness))

Attack Numbers[]

  • To-hit: +10 (+3 Prof, +4 Strength, +1 Exp, +2 Longspear)
    • Conditional: +3 (+13) on OAs, First turn, Advantage (adding Wismod from Battle Awareness)
  • To-damage: 1d8+5 (+4 strength, +1 Exp)

At-Will and Ranked Feats[]

Paul can use two Rank 1 feats per encounter, plus invigoration from Second Wind. In addition to normal two at-wills, exceeding expertise at Polearms has given him an extra at-will.


Whirling Stance[]

(at-will standard actionstance maneuver)


Flail fighting style, Spear fighting style or polearm fighting style


You may shift one pace as you enter this stance. Until the stance ends, if you are wielding a weapon with the reach property, you threaten all non-adjacent spaces within your reach, but no longer threaten adjacent spaces. When you hit with an opportunity attack, you may end this stance as a free interrupt to slide the target one pace and knock them prone.


If you use a flail to make the opportunity attack, you may grab the target instead of sliding them and knocking them prone. While the target remains grabbed, you cannot use your flail, but may sustain the grab for as long as the you remain in this stance and the target is within the flail’s reach.


You must use a move action at the beginning of each turn to maintain the stance until the end of your next turn. When you do, you may also shift one pace; if you have a target grabbed due to this power, you may pull the target one pace as part of this move action.

Second Wind[]

(per-encounter free action ✦ [[basic healing feat]])

None - all characters have this ability.


You must be in the full defense stance or using an invigorating feat.


You expend one healing reserve to regain hit points equal to your heal value.

Hit and Run[]

(at-will standard actionattack maneuver)


Battle Awareness


Perform a basic melee or basic ranged attack. You may shift one square before or after the attack.

Rank 1[]

Full Extension[]

(per-encounter immediate actionstance maneuver)


Polearm fighting style


You must be wielding a polearm.


Until you end this stance, you gain a +1 stance bonus to your polearm's reach, and threaten all squares within your reach. You automatically end this stance after making an attack, and gain advantage for that attack if the target is not adjacent.

Sweeping Strike[]

(per-encounter free reactionstrike maneuver)


Combat Superiority


You hit a creature with a melee weapon attack.


The target is knocked prone, slowed, and may not shift until the end of your next turn.

Come and Get It[]

(per-encounter immediate actionmarking attack maneuver)


Combat Challenge


Each enemy within 3 paces that can see or hear you, and is capable of movement (Intimidate vs. Will)


The target is pulled to an adjacent space and is marked by your combat challenge until the end of your next turn.

Scout Ahead[]

(per-encounter free reactionutility maneuver)


Battle Awareness


You roll Initiative.


The area within 10 + your Wisdom modifier paces of you in each direction
(Perception - no difficulty).


You may immediately choose one at-will stance that you know, and enter that stance as part of this action. You determine the number and nature of all creatures that have moved through the area within the past 24 hours whose stealth checks did not exceed your check result. You ascertain when and where they entered the area, and when and where they left. Until the end of the encounter, enemies within the burst gain a penalty to all Stealth checks equal to your Wisdom modifier, and you and your allies may ignore half your enemies' concealment or cover bonuses caused by terrain within the area. Whenever an ally misses an attack against an enemy within the area, you may slide that enemy one pace as a free reaction.

Heroic Effort[]

(per-encounter free interruptracial utility feat)




You would fail any Proficiency check, including an attack or saving throw.


You gain a +4 racial bonus to the roll.

Changes to Paul the Poker[]

Playtest 1, beats a 500 xp encounter by himself, taking no damage.

  • Whirling Stance nerfed to not threaten adjacent squares while active.
  • Whirling Stance nerfed from a immediate action to a standard action.
  • Realized that Polearm Fighting Style gives training, which translates to an extra at-will
  • Realized that his HP should be 34, not 24 (not that it mattered during the first battle).
  • Shields and armor nerfed by massive penalties to skills and Reflex. Scale armor goes from having a -1 penalty (off-set by 1 by expertise) to having a -4 penalty (still offset by 1). Similarly, Heavy Shield now decreases Reflex as well as buffing it, providing a +3 bonus to Reflex and AC, but giving a -5 penalty to Reflex and skills, reduced by three due to being trained for an effective -2 for anyone who would use a shield. Still think my system of having non-proficient armor/shield users take double penalties is more elegant.
    • Reflex drops from 16 (yay shield) to 12, suddenly becoming the lowest defense. Athletics and Endurance both drop by five, to +2 and +1 respectively. Hope to high hell he doesn't have to use Arcana ever. It's a -5 right now.
  • Found that Combat Superiority provides additional training in endurance, leading to expertise.
  • Updated with the Vitality bonus from Combat Superiority.
  • Changed back all of the shield and armor nerfs. I just saw all the items change, but apparently at the same time there was a rule made that being proficient in an armor reduces check penalties by, you guessed it, three points. I should have gotten suspicious when everything went up by exactly three.
  • Whirling Stance nerfed to require a Standard Action to maintain every round. Certain other At-wills seem kinda silly now.