Bleaker (4e Theme)

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By Tony DiTerlizzi


"There’s no meaning to it all” say the members of The Bleak Cabal. Look at all those fools in their factions, running around, trying to discover the meaning of something that’s senseless. They’ll waste their lives at it. And they call the the Cabal mad. Here's the Bleaker philosophy in a nutshell: quit looking for meaning in the multiverse, because there isn't any. It's not even random like the Xaositects say, it's nothing. There's no point to the planes, to life, to anything. No overwhelming answer to all our questions. Nobody is here for some higher purpose. Things just are, and whatever meaning there is in the multiverse is what each being makes for themselves. Members will admit that sometimes, those that join the Cabal are unable to the find the necessary meaning inside themselves, and therein lies madness. The world is merciless. And yet, that's the very reason why mercy is most needed. All we've got are ourselves and the folks around us. So forget everything else. Focus on you, me, and the needy people around us. To be a Bleaker, an individual has to quit looking for meanings, accept what happens, and look inward. There's no meaning on the outside, so the question is, is there any meaning inside?


High Constitution or Wisdom scores are complementary to Bleakers, given they are usually beat-down, battered individuals and/or particularly introspective and thoughtful. Such traits are also indicative of martial and psionic classes, respectively, natural choices for a Bleaker character.

Class Prerequisites

None, understanding the meaninglessness of existence is not specific to any particular skillset. The stereotypical image of a Bleaker is an old, depressed Fighter who has seen too many battles in their life and has become exceedingly jaded. The Ardent class would be a fitting choice for a Bleaker who is particularly empathetic and wants to reduce suffering in an otherwise uncaring world.

Race Prerequisites

None, if the universe is utterly meaningless, race is even less than meaningless to The Bleak Cabal. Half-Orcs and Tieflings are a common sight within The Cabal, them and many of the downtrodden races are likely to find acceptance among Bleakers.

Associated Skill: None.

Starting Feature

Bleakers constantly find themselves on either the giving or receiving end of a good pep talk. Living within a meaningless existence, some lose the will to keep going and need some encouraging words every now and then.


You gain the Overcome Melancholia power

Overcome Melancholia Bleaker Utility
Everyone needs some kind words to keep them going from time to time.
Standard Action Close Burst 5
Requirement: You must be taking a short rest
Target: You or one ally in burst
Effect: When the target spends one or more healing surges at the end of the short rest, they regain an additional 5 hit points per surge spent and gain 5 temporary hit points per surge spent.

Level 11: 10 hit points and temporary hit points per surge

Level 21: 15 hit points and temporary hit points per surge

Additional Features

Level 5 Feature

A true Bleaker welcomes his duty to embrace the pain of existence, wrestle with the demons of insanity and emerge the stronger for it all. Additionally a Bleaker needs to be aware of the suffering of others and be empathetic to their struggles.


You gain a +2 power bonus to Endurance checks and Insight checks

Level 10 Feature

Many outsiders say The Bleak Cabal are a group of lunatics and madmen, a majority of Bleakers would say they are actually the only sane people in the world. Whatever is true, the Bleakers evidently end up developing a resistance to certain forms of madness and mental effects.


You gain resistance to Psychic damage equal to 5 + one-half your level. In addition you gain a +2 power bonus to saving throws against psychic effects

Optional Powers

I Don't Feel Like It Bleaker Utility 2
Ugh, I really don't care to do the math, can we just say that it's a miss?
Immediate Interrupt Personal
Trigger: You are hit by an attack
Effect: You gain a +4 bonus to all defences against the triggering attack.

Absorb Madness Bleaker Utility 6
With a massaging touch, you act as a willing vessel for the mental burdens of others.
Encounter Star.gif Psionic
Minor Action Melee touch
Target: One ally
Effect: You end all charm, illusion and psychic effects currently affecting the target and you are subjected to the effects instead.

Despair Bleaker Utility 10
You weaponize depression itself, your enemy's motivation is sapped away as it realizes the futility of existence.
Daily Star.gif Arcane, Psychic
Free Action Close Burst 5
Trigger: You hit an enemy in burst with an attack against Will
Target: The triggering enemy
Effect: The target is slowed and weakened until the end of it's next turn.

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