Our exploration of races in 4e continues with the Wilden. The Wilden are one of the new races found in the Players Handbook 3. As a race born of the primal fury of nature, the Wilden are the ultimate defender of nature. Similar to the Shardmind, which we looked at last week, the Wilden are awakened from nature itself. A new race they are a blank slate with no preconceptions or history. With only a primal desire to defend nature in all its forms, the Wilden is a powerful and intriguing new race.
This entry on the Wilden is the latest in an installment that investigates the various races in Dungeons & Dragons 4e. Be sure to read the other entries:
- Dwarves Are The Best Race
- Celebrating The Teiflings infernal Heritage
- The Goliath, A Giant Waste
- The Shardmind
I took the opportunity to try the Wilden out back when they were PHB3 preview content. It was a short adventure and I really enjoyed the race. In fact they are among my new favourite races. I know last time I blasted the Shardmind as they are sentient fragments of the living gate. The Wilden as primal forces of nature that awakened to fight on nature’s behalf aren’t that different from the Shardmind in terms of the races origins. However, I have to say I don’t mind this when it comes to the Wilden. Maybe it’s just my inner tree hugger coming to the forefront.
Wise, tough and agile describes the Wilden perfectly. The Wilden favour any class that uses Wisdom as a primary ability. However, being able to select either Constitution or Dexterity opens up a great deal of class opportunities for the player who selects the Wilden as a race. Again, I have to reiterate that I’m extremely happy that WotC have gone the route of allowing some choice when it comes to racial ability scores.
The Wilden receives a bonus to both Nature and Stealth which when you consider the origins of the race make perfect sense. This plays well to any primal character and also makes the Wilden a great party scout. The synergies with Wisdom and Dexterity also play well to these two skills.
A nice benefit that the Wilden receives is the ability to select what defense they are able to gain a bonus towards. This allows the Wilden to either play up strengths that were selected through ability choice selection and class selection, or to shore up any weaknesses. As most races gain a bonus towards certain defenses, having the ability to select what defense to strengthen is a great bonus.
Whenever a Wilden takes an extended rest they are able to select one of the following three aspects: Aspect of the Ancients, Aspect of the Destroyer, Aspect of the Hunter. I won’t go into the details of each of these powers. However, each are geared towards a certain style of play. The advantage that the Wilden has is that they are able to change up this power if they have an idea of what will be coming in the next series of encounters.
While play-testing the Wilden the Nature’s Aspect series of powers were one of the most interesting parts of the race. Changing things up after the extended rest also kept the DM on his toes as he was never quite sure what power I’d bring to bear during the encounter.
The description of the Wilden indicates that they would make great Battleminds, Druids, Invokers or Shamans. However, the Wilden can excel at any of the following classes.
Have you taken the opportunity to play the Wilden? What’s your take on this new race?