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[DnD+GW 4E Discussion] Distinctly lacks anything to Jenga

AegeriAegeri Plateau of LengRegistered User regular
edited July 2011 in Critical Failures
ITT people try to tell you the way you like to pretend playing as a fantasy elf or dwarf is wrong. Plus you're probably a jerk. Why are you such a jerk? Also that you are not playing DnD the one true way
and that you're a horrible monster. Why do you hate fun?

Here is a Dungeon:
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Here is a Dragon:
white-dragon.jpg

Hence the name. Also, as a bonus picture here is Bane.
372_bane.jpg

He's so dreamy <3.

And no, he's not going anywhere from the OP. He wants you to love his manly pectoral muscles, his huge thigh muscles and bulging tip of the long hard shaft of his spear. The artist who drew this spectacular
visage of our general thread mascot and local god even has a wallpaper of him. All hail Bane!!!!

Speaking of before we go any further here, want to get the perfect way of starting 4E? Don't know where to go though? Try Wizards generously offering both a revised and improved version of Keep on the Shadowfell and the Quickstart rules? What will this cost you?

Absolutely nothing as it's completely free. Download them here.


Dungeons and Dragons is a pretty old game, originally being created by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson in 1974, both of whom have passed way now. Since then it's had various iterations and editions, with the latest edition being 4th edition, published by Wizards of the Coast. The basic rules consist of three books:
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As the name suggests, this is for players and also details the games core rules like combat.
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This book details the various monsters and other things that populate most DnD worlds.
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This is for the DM and contains useful things like how much experience you have to make an encounter, treasure tables and rules for creating your own monsters.

If you want to play DnD, you usually only need the players hand book. Running a game requires those base three books and should be bought by everyone in general.

Speaking of stuff, what stuff can you look forwards to playing in this wonderful game of Dungeons and Dragons? How about a handy description of the varied options in 4E?

Your wonderful options for Playing Dungeons and Dragons 4E

The first of the core books in 4E reintroduced many core races that are familiar to anyone who has played DnD before, while also introducing some new options like Dragonborn to familiar fantasy tropes like dwarves and Elves. The main difference in race design in 4E compared to previous editions is that most races gain positive bonuses to stats (no negatives) and are generally more evenly powered across the board. No ECLs or similar are used here.

Additionally this is the book that introduced many of the core classes back to the game like fighters, rogues and wizards while again introducing new elements like the Warlord. Class design is really radical in 4E compared to the way 3E handled things, so you should be prepared for a major shock if you’re coming from a previous edition. Most classes have been broken down into a series of roles that determine what they generally do: Defender, striker, controller or leader.

Further most classes have both a power source (that mechanically ties them into certain things) and a collection of individual powers that determines how they can affect combat (usually flavored by the role
the class fits into).

The PHB introduced the following races and classes into 4E:
Races

Dragonborn
Dragonborn are probably one of the more controversial of the races introduced in the original PHB, much fun has been had in my various groups over the “To play a dragon” part in their description. Overall they are one of the races best supported in 4E, with numerous feats, options and a really solid base class. Like any self-respecting dragon/man creature they have a breath weapon that is hugely expandable by feats.

Additionally they have an entire supplement book dedicated to them, further expanding their options in the game and several DDI articles.

Dwarves
One of the best races in the game for a defender due to their general resistance to forced movement powers and also suit a wide range of divine classes. One of the most iconic races in Dungeons and Dragons it was good to see them in the original PHB. They also got themselves a bit of a size increase to medium, though still overall shorter than a human (As you’d expect).

Eladrin
The Eladrin were formerly the “High” elf archetype of previous editions but this time they’ve been linked closely to the feywild. The feywild being a mirror plane of the natural world where nature is rather crazy and more vibrant than normal. As a result they’ve picked up the ability to teleport a short distance, making for numerous arguments about how you’d build a prison for individuals who can teleport. Overall they manage to pull off a significantly different feel and flavor from standard elves – so justify their inclusion fully.

Did I mention they can teleport as a racial power? Because they totally can.

Elves
Elves are basically as they are from their portrayal in Lord of the Rings, somewhat tall light humanoids that make perfect rangers among other classes. They have an excellent racial ability to reroll a failed dice roll, but are otherwise pretty much the iconic elves of Dungeons and Dragons – minding of course the lack of strength or constitution penalties from earlier editions.

Half-Elves
Half-elves are basically a combination of humans and elves, with generally a friendly atmosphere to them and the ability to take feats from both elves and humans (as well as having some of their own). They make excellent diplomatic characters due to their inherent racial bonuses and their racial power to take an at-will from another class is extremely handy in the right situation.

Halflings
Halflings are one of few races in 4E with the small size category that lets them run through a large creatures space – something that can be rather handy from time to time. They are quick witted, resourceful and can force an enemy that attacks them to reroll the attack – especially useful if the attack was a critical hit! They are the poster child for “classic rogue” in 4th edition as well.

Human
Hey that’s us! As in many fantasy stories, most 4E settings assume
human civilization is typically on the rise and overrunning older
“wiser” races that scoff at the fast generation times and ingenuity of
humans. As a race, humans have some excellent features such as picking
up an additional at-will power from their class, can choose what one
stat they improve and gain an extra feat at first level. Overall an
extremely solid race and can fit anything you want to play easily.

Tieflings
Tieflings are the descendants of an ancient race that made pacts with
infernal beings for power. They have a somewhat inhuman appearance
with huge horns on their faces, tails and sometimes even goat legs!
They recently received errata that changed their core racial power and
feats as well, making them one of the only races I can think of that
has been drastically changed since publication.

Like
dragonborn they are also getting a book dedicated to them that will be
jam packed full of options.


Classes

Cleric
Role: Leader
Power Source: Divine
Description: The cleric is the stalwart of dungeons and
dragons, serving a god (or sometimes gods) and generally performing
the role of party medic. In 4E, Clerics can hold down an offense as
well as heal their allies, making them a very versatile and fun class
to play as opposed to being the guy everyone got mad at because he
wanted to attack instead of heal. It’s a very solid class and can
stick it out in melee as well as standing back from the rear playing a
supporting role.
Stats required: Wisdom primary, Strength or Charisma secondary.

Fighter
Role: Defender
Power Source: Martial
Description: It’s worth noting this is the most loved class in
all of 4E. Copious excellent paragon paths, feats, powers and options
await the player of the fighter, backed up by some of the best core
class features in combat superiority and combat challenge in the game.
Enemies fear shifting, moving or even remotely having you look at them
funny. A front line defender that hits things dead while preventing an
enemy from leaving the area around them, fighters are one of the best
(if not the best) defender in 4th edition.
Stats required: Strength primary, Dexterity, Constitution and
Wisdom secondary.

Paladin
Role: Defender
Power Source: Divine
Description: A very capable defender, as he is the only one who
has immediate access to plate armor from the start without needing
high stats and a feat. Although not as directly sticky or powerful as
a fighter, their mark inflicts damage without an attack roll and they
are super effective against undead (as it does radiant damage). As an
added bonus, paladins can do a bit of healing on the side as well
helping out the frazzled leader of the party in a tigher situation.
Stats required: Strength or Charisma primary, Wisdom secondary.

Ranger
Role: Striker
Power Source: Martial
Description: Effectively this is the class to go to if you like
shooting things with arrows a lot or want to wield two weapons to
murder things. The class is largely built on a power called “twin
strike”, which lets them attack twice a round and by the late periods
of a campaign can deal considerable amounts of damage. They also have
copious options for attacking outside of a round (during the monsters
turns basically), meaning they can keep doing considerable damage even
outside of their turn. Due to some of their powers, they actually come
very close to being the martial controller in 4E (as one doesn’t exist
as of yet).
Stats required: Strength or Dexterity primary, Wisdom secondary.

Rogue
Role: Striker
Power Source: Martial
Description: The classic “sneaky” class, the rogue relies on
getting combat advantage over his opponents and stabbing or shooting
them in extremely sensitive places. They favor using light weapons
over bulkier ones and can be extremely damaging strikers in the right
situation.
Stats required: Dexterity primary, Strength and Charisma secondary.

Warlock
Role: Striker
Power Source: Arcane
Description: The Warlock is one of the oddities in 4E, although
it is a striker it actually functions best as a single target
controller that does some damage on the side as well. Depending on the
pact (as Fey, Infernal and Star in the original PHB, expanded to
Vestige, Sorcerer-King, Dark and others later) the Warlock gets
different utility out of their powers and core class features.
Stats required: Charisma or Constitution primary, Intelligence secondary
Warlord
Role: Leader
Power Source: Martial
Description: The warlord is a leader who focuses on
manipulating his allies and the battlefield. Although not as strong at
healing as other leaders, the Warlord has a single minded focus on
boosting his allies attacks and initiative considerably, allowing his
allies to go well before their enemies and destroy them before healing
is even required. The warlord is definitely the leader for the
tactically minded in 4E.
Stats required: Strength primary, Intelligence and Charisma secondary.

Wizard
Role: Controller
Power Source: Arcane
Description: This is the class that focuses on exploding
enemies violently with various area of effect spells. They have some
excellent powers that deal automatic damage to other enemies and can
severely hamper opponents by penalizing their saving throws (making it
harder to escape from their effects). Wizards also have excellent
damage potential with many of their spells, meaning they can stop
enemies in their tracks and still blow them to pieces. Just don’t
expect them to be completely game breaking like they have been in
previous editions: Reality check is Wizards are an excellent addition
to a group but won’t win encounters for you by themselves.
Stats required: Intelligence primary, Wisdom and Dexterity
secondary.

Wizards were not finished there of course and released the second
players handbook further expanding the options available!:
Races

Deva
Tall blue supermodels, the Deva are touched with divine blood much
like how Tieflings are descendants of those with infernal blood. The
Deva are the most overtly “good” race in 4E and undergo an eternal
cycle of reincarnation. Those that go bad end up becoming a Rakshasa
after their next reincarnation. They’re pretty tied into the divine
power source – being half angels and can boost their own dice rolls
through experience from their numerous lifetimes.

Gome
Second of the short people in 4E DnD, Gnomes are a curious lot from
the feywild who are cunning and quite tricky. They have the ability to
turn invisible when potentially hit by an attack, which is a rather
handy ability and are generally good at most arcane classes. Gnome
barbarians are possible as well with some changes to two handed
weapons, so rejoice!

Goliath
Huge humanoids from the mountains of the world, Goliaths are
extraordinarily tough and very strong – especially as they have a
racial power to give them general damage reduction. They are pretty
strongly interlinked with the primal power source and so favor classes
like the barbarian. They also double as the half-giant from Dark Sun
as well.

Half-Orcs
Proving once and for all that human beings will have sex with anything
(or that a wizard did it – depending on your interpretation) is the
Half-Orc. Mixing the primal brute fury of orcs with the great
adaptability of humans – the half-orc proves to be an extremely swift
and handy fellow in a fight. Just don’t ask him where he came from.

Shifter
The shifter is as close to playing a genuine lycanthrope as a PC that
you can get in 4E. They are part man and part feral beast, with the
interesting choice of a different racial power and even stat boost
depending on which ‘strain’ of shifter you want to be. They generally
tend to be excellent primal characters as a result.

Classes
Class descriptions by Terrendos.

Class: Avenger
Classification: Striker
Power Source: Divine
Primary Abilities: Wisdom, Intelligence, Dexterity
"My god has words for you. This blade will show you to him."
Avengers are excellent at isolating and eliminating single targets.
Other followers do what should be done. You do what must be done. Pro:
roll two attacks under certain circumstances. Con: Reliant on enemies
for static damage boosts.

Class: Barbarian
Classification: Striker
Power Source: Primal
Primary Abilities: Strength, Constitution, Charisma
"My strength lies in the fury of the wild."
Barbarians are savage warriors, channeling primal energy through
themselves and their massive weapons. Darting back and forth across
the battle, your fierce shouts make the enemy quake in fear. Pro: Big
damage dice, lots of damage potential. Can fly into mighty rages. Con:
Rages are daily powers, so don't expect to use them a lot. Also low
defenses that get lowered during certain attacks.

Class: Bard
Classification: Leader
Power Source: Arcane
Primary Abilities: Charisma, Intelligence, Constitution
"I play the song of my ally's victory over your corpse."
Bards are artists, channeling magic through unbelievable skill with
music, drama, or poetry. Your skill with blade, book, and hymn are the
stuff of fables. Pro: lots of fancy rituals to help in conversation.
Can take as many multiclass feats as she wants. Con: Comparatively
less healing than clerics, and less effective hazing abilities.

Class: Druid
Classification: Controller
Power Source: Primal
Primary Abilities: Wisdom, Constitution, Dexterity
"I am the seeker. I am the stalker. I am the storm."
Druids are the most effective and purist channelers of primal fury and
embody all aspects of nature, from the calm of the still leaf to the
fury of the thunderbolt. Pro: Alternates between caster form and wild
shape for effectiveness in every situation. Con: Too many At-Will
choices, fewer burst options than Wizard/Invoker.

Class: Invoker
Classification: Controller
Power Source: Divine
Primary Abilities: Wisdom, Constitution, Intelligence
"Mighty Pelor! I beseech ye! Smite these wicked foes with your
unending light!"

Invokers are invested with a pure spark of their chosen god, rather
than being merely ordained by corrupt priests and weak rituals. They
are the purest of their god's mortal agents. Pro: Arguably a better
controller than Wizard, plus gains access to the sweet Channel
Divinity stuff. Con: Less overall damage potential, less powerful
rituals, and lacking the utility spells that make wizards such good
generalists. Also I'm not that fond of the PP choices.

Class: Shaman
Classification: Leader
Power Source: Primal
Primary Abilities: Wisdom, Constitution, Intelligence
"The spirits surround me, guiding my movements and obeying my commands."
Blessed with a mighty spirit companion that aids his allies, the
Shaman is a primal, spiritual force. His mighty companion serves as
both a focus for his attacks and as a shield to protect both him and
his allies. Pro: Protector spirit makes an excellent backup Defender
or Striker. Con: You have to give up your actions to command it.

Class: Sorcerer
Classification: Striker
Power Source: Arcane
Primary Abilities: Charisma, Dexterity, Strength
"The difference between you and me? You wield magic. Magic wields me."
Sorcerers are natural founts of arcane power, resulting from either a
history of dragon's blood or a product of mysterious, chaotic forces.
Either way, you practically bristle with barely-contained magic,
parcelling it out as needed in battle. Pro: Potential for very high
damage and lots of cool effects. Con: Those effects are typically
random, some of which can hit your allies.

Class: Warden
Classification: Defender
Power Source: Primal
Primary Abilities: Strength, Wisdom, Constitution
"Get past me? You might as well try to push the mountain aside."
Wardens are protectors of the earth, drawing on primal spirits to
protect their allies from harm, and the natural world from the
encroachment of those who would corrupt it. Pro: You are a brick wall,
but harder to hit and probably more resilient. Con: You're not
supposed to wear heavy armor, and marking all adjacent enemies means
you're going to need all that toughness.

That not enough races and classes? Well have some more thanks to the
third players handbook!
Races

Githzerai
Everyones favourite astral monks are back and now a player race! They
make pretty decent monks (as you would expect), and their stat spread
make them okay for many other classes. Additionally they have some of
the best racial feats in the game, making them even better.

Minotaur
Yeah, minotaurs are now a playable PC race, probably inspired off the
more noble and civilized minotaurs of dragonlance. They haven't
changed much since their dragon racial write up, but do get strength
and their choice of con or wisdom - making them more flexible in what
classes they can play.

Shardmind
These are the leftovers of a defensive gate from the Far Realm that
shattered, leaving them behind. Sentient crystal people like
constructs in a similar vein to Warforged, they can split themselves
up into a swarm of sentient shards. Definitely a bit … out there even
for the existing bunch of races.

Wilden
Plant People from the feywild who are a "young" race that has arisen
to fight the abominations of the far realm – which forms a general
theme of the third players handbook (especially given Githzerai were
originally enslaved by Illithids and Shardminds were part of a barrier
that sealed in the far realm). They have several different racial
powers and like all PHB3 races a fixed stat and a choice between two
others.

Classes

Class:Ardent
Classification: Leader
Power Source: Psychic
Primary Abilities: Charisma, Constitution and Wisdom.
"By carefully manipulating my allies minds, I shall make them fight
better without them even realizing my presence!"

This is a psionic version of the warlord, but not as mechanically
strong as the warlord and again has the same general PP flaw that all
three of these psionic classes share. They do have a lot of close
burst and similar powers that have interesting effects on allies and
they do like sticking it up close to enemies as well. Of the three
psionic classes, they're not too bad and I think was one of the better
thought out power point using ones.

Class:Battlemind
Classification: Defender
Power Source: Psychic
Primary Abilities: Constitution, Wisdom and Charisma
"Those that ignore me will be burned by their own attacks with the
power of my mind!!!!"

The battlemind is the psionic defender and has similar issues to the
psion as it shares the same PP system. Unlike a fighter its mark isn't
as easy to enforce, albeit can be highly damaging in the right
situations and I think they will be a good secondary defender.

Class:Psion
Classification: Controller
Power Source: Psychic
Primary Abilities: Intelligence, Charisma and Wisdom (I think)
"I am Mentock the Mind Taker and I am here to take your mind!!!"
The first psionic class shown that uses a power point system to
"augment" at-will powers into encounter powers using power points
(PPs). The class seems to suffer from numerous problems, such as
higher level at-wills not being equivalent to some lower level powers
that scale better and due to taking less PPs can be used far more
often in an encounter. Personally I feel the experiment with PPs was
not a good decision.

Class:Monk
Classification: Striker
Power Source: Psionic
Primary Abilities: Dexterity, Strength and Wisdom.
"HYAAAHHHH!!!!!!!!!"
The Monk is a great new striker with unprecedented mobility in 4E.
Like the name would suggest they are masters of unarmed fighting and
if you've ever wanted to punch a dragon in the face with your iron
fist of pure Bruce Lee inspired rage - this is definitely the class to
play. They can get a pretty solid unarmed attack and using ki-focuses
means they can turn any part of their body into a lethal weapon.
Any.

Part.

:winky:

Overall this seems like a solid addition to the striker family of classes.

Class:Runepriest
Classification: Leader
Power Source: Divine
Primary Abilities: Strength, Constitution and Wisdom (IIRC)
"The runes are the language of the gods and I am the interpreter of
their words through my hammer into your skull."

A new leader with some pretty strong all purpose party buffs. They get
different "runes" that apply either a damage bonus to the party or a
large defensive buff. Seem pretty handy and they like stirring it up
in melee. I will say I love this class, but I must honestly feel bad
for the strength cleric who has been almost kicked in the gut with the
nerf to righteous brand and this class just outdoes it in every way as
a close up divine melee leader.

Class:Seeker
Classification: Controller
Power Source: Primal
Primary Abilities:
"My arrow flies straight and true to pin the enemy down and punish
them for their transgressions..."

A ranged controller that uses a bow and is pretty interesting. In many
ways there is some overlap with the ranger here, though the seeker is
unusual in that it has a lot of ranged basic attacks that are
encounter powers and similar (they play nicely with a warlord that can
grant ranged basic attacks as a result). Many of their powers create
zones and similar around a target they hit and it's certainly an
interesting idea.

Then there are the races and the class from the campaign setting
books. First Forgotten Realms:
Drow
Classic villains turned into PC races by the popularity of Drizzt,
essentially another kind of elf with some different powers. I will say
they make amazing rogues because of their darkfire and cloud of
darkness racial powers.

Genasi
Half-elemental planars who join the ranks of the Deva and Tiefling as
being plane touched PC races. They make good wizards and depending on
your elemental type they can suit a wide range of classes. They also
make good swordmages.

Class:Swordmage
Role: Defender
Power Source: Arcane
Description: A defender that focuses on using arcane energies
to entrap attacking enemies or reduce the damage they do to his
allies. They have some good burst and blast powers for dealing with
minions and grouped up enemies as well – though not quite the raw
damage of a defender like a fighter. Overall a very solid secondary
defender, with some excellent tricks to help them keep up.

The Eberron players guide added further races again as well as a new class!
Changeling
These guys, when you want to be derogative that is are classically
known as "Dopplegangers" but most people to be polite call them
Changelings. Like the name suggests, they can change how they appear
and they make terrific rogues or wizards (they get a choice of stat
boost!). On the other hand, as a cautionary note they are probably the
worst supported race in 4E for whatever reason.

Kalashtar
These are a humanoid race who have bound themselves to dream spirits
called Quori. They have some racial psionic talent (communication by
telepathy for example) and should obviously fit in well with the Psion
and other psionic classes.

Warforged
People usually refer to them as robots but these guys are more of a
metal and plant "cyborg" than a robot. They have pretty strong racial
abilities and make fantastic fighters and especially barbarians.

Class: Artificer
Classification: Leader
Power Source: Arcane
Primary Abilities: Intelligence, Constitution and Wisdom
"Let me just help you with your wounds in a minute, right after I
finish making this...."

The Artificer is a really solid leader, capable of taking other
characters healing surges and making his healing powers out of them.
This helps to spread around the parties healing surges so everyone can
keep fighting longer. They can use a variety of weapons and fighting
styles (ranged, melee and binding constructs like a summoner wizard),
making them pretty flexible in general.

And now DDI is adding more options to the game as well – insider
exclusive (that is they won’t be printed) to boot!
Revenant
These guys have come back from the dead or were prevented from dying
by some other force (the Raven queen in the default cosmology).
They're unique because they actually have the undead subtype and can
take feats that make them fully undead. Fun with a cleric in the party
that's for certain! They make for decent assassins (another new class
coming out in DDI), rogues and warlock.

Class: Assassin
Classification: Striker
Power Source: Shadow
Primary Abilities: Dexterity, Constitution and Charisma
"Please don't mind while I stab you with my Fullblade here - oh you
were expecting a dagger? Well that can be arranged after I'm done
disemboweling you..."

The Assassin is the first "exclusive" DDI class to be published and is
pretty interesting. They can apply "shrouds" to enemies that they can
use when attacking to inflict greater damage on their enemies. They
also have a wide variety of weapon proficiencies and can teleport
between creatures at-will. It's a pretty solid class for a DDI
exclusive effort, with the only real flaw being they don't have their
Ki-focus elements out just yet.

DM/Player Tools and Helpful Links

D&D Insider Subscriptions

D&D insider is probably the best method of keeping up to date with 4th edition at the moment. For one thing, it keeps you up to date with all that pesky errata in a simple way and if you subscribe for a month, then cancel you can get a lot of content for not a lot of overall money! You can preview some of the toys at the links below:

This of course is a subscription service and here are the current prices, with a month subscription for what you can get out of it being quite a steal if you are prepared to deal with not having everything up to date each month.
  • $71.40 for 12 months - $5.95 per month
  • $23.85 for 3 months - $7.95 per month
  • $9.95 for month

To subscribe to the D&D Insider service, click here. Prices went up in July (2009), seems about a dollar an issue for a 12 month subscription.

You can find screenshots of the Character builder here.

The Roleplayer's Guild: My blog for roleplaying games, advice and adventuring.
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Posts

  • AegeriAegeri Plateau of LengRegistered User regular
    edited June 2011
    A lot of stuff has been released currently as well and I have most of it, so I'll give some minor thoughts on each and update as stuff comes out:
    Campaign Settings

    Forgotten Realms

    frcg.jpg

    Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide
    Forgotten Realms Players Guide
    Scepter Tower of Spellgard

    This was the first of the campaign settings released for 4E Dungeons and Dragons in 2008. It marks a significant departure from the previous editions versions of the Forgotten Realms, which is either something people hate a lot, are indifferent to or quite like. It has enough detail that any new DM will find it a useful resource for making a campaign and providing an overall world to set that campaign in. It does not have the depth of lore or similar that previous editions have had, which is what leads to a lot of the
    negativity surrounding the setting. The players guide IMO is a useful resource even if you don't actually like the realms as a setting. Although a fair chunk of the book is dedicated to the FR, the Swordmage, races (Drow and Genasi) and feats make it a worthwhile purchase for anyone.

    The adventure is decent quality, but requires a lot of work compared to the 'core' adventure series to get fully implemented into a campaign. It also starts at level 2, which is a real pain for DMs wanting to just jump right into a 4E campaign with the adventure and some fresh level 1 PCs. We have a thread for FR as well here.
    Eberron

    515WULoa8sL_SL500_.jpg

    Eberron Campaign Guide
    Eberron Players Guide
    Seekers of the Ashen Crown

    We have a thread for Eberron related things
    here.

    Eberron is the second setting released and it's pretty good IMO (maybe I am biased though if you read my campaign threads on this forum). It has a lot of solid themes to the game, as it's based heavily on a kind of pulp action + noir feel that really does work. The books are absolutely gorgeous and especially the main campaign guide is worth mentioning, because the cartography of the map of the world is truly great and its packed full of great ideas and detail about Eberron. It is definitely around the top books released for 4E so far IMO. Like with FR, I feel the EPG is really worth buying as well just for the extra feats and mechanics (dragonmark feats are easily applied to other settings with little mechanical fiddling). I will say though some DMs may not like the more "magitech" feel to the Eberron specific Warforged race and Artificer class, so make sure you check with your DM before buying this for your FR or whatever setting game.

    Once again though I must complain that the adventure starts at level 2. Why on earth do they do that? It's very good though and it's a fun adventure, but I still wish they would make these adventures from level 1 so you can jump right into the fun without having to make further encounters (or starting your PCs at level 2).
    Dark Sun

    dark_sun_cg_b1y.jpg

    Dark Sun Campaign Setting
    Dark Sun Creature Catalog
    Marauders of the Dune Sea (Adventure).

    The last great book published for 4th edition before essentials was released, it is in some peoples opinion (including mine) the best of the campaign settings released for 4th edition. It is filled with great, incredibly flavorful crunch and is a really brilliant description of the world for DMs and players alike. Cleverly, most of the core stats of the antagonists and numerous athasian monsters were placed into a second dedicated monster book - instead of the players book/DMs book structure of other settings. Explaining why I love this setting would take pages, but as a short summary it truly offers something that is genuinely different to an FR/Eberron setting in flavor, feel and mechanics. Themes add a layer of mechanical depth onto PCs that feels natural and intuitive - like it could have always been there that's how well it integrates into the game as a whole. My only complaint is that the adventure kind of sucks and isn't that great, but Wizards haven't really been known for their great adventures this edition (though they have their moments, like the recent Tomb of Horrors superadventure).

    Dark Sun gets possibly one of the best pieces of art in all DnD ever:
    75.jpg

    I mean if you didn't want the creature catalog before, I bet you do now.
    Released books
    Adventurers
    Vault


    This is an excellent book for anyone, with a huge swathe of new
    awesome magical items and other things to bling your characters out
    with (or so you don't find yourself handing out bags of holding every
    single game as a DM because you can't think of anything else). This is
    a fantastic book.

    Draconomicon

    This is an excellent DM resource or just for anyone who loves dragons
    as well due to the artwork. A nice smattering of new monsters,
    especially in the heroic tier as well as new options, new chromatic
    dragons and ideas for running encounters with Dragons. I highly
    recommend this book for any DM, but it doesn't have much utility for
    players.

    Manual
    of the Planes


    Good resource for DMs and a useful introduction to the planes. There
    is a new "race", Bladeling in the book and some Paragon Paths, but I
    wouldn't buy this if you're a player primarily. The book makes a lot
    of assumptions about the cosmology that may conflict with the
    Forgotten Realms and Eberron as well, which can make life something
    confusing if you're using those settings. Despite this, it's still
    useful and will provide plenty of ideas for running planar campaigns.

    Martial
    Power


    This is the best supplement for players released since 4E came out.
    Has a lot of new, interesting and fun options for martial characters,
    namely Fighters, Rangers, Rogues and Warlords. Good balance as well
    and has lots of great new paragon paths and more. I can recommend this
    book to absolutely anyone.

    Open
    Grave


    IMO, hands down the best supplement for DMs released thus far if you
    want your campaigns to have anything at all to do with the undead.
    Good adventure hooks, a wide array of excellent new monsters from
    filling out low level undead to providing even more high level undead
    monstrosities, this is an absolutely terrific book. Of course, if you
    don't like the undead much you won't find anything of interest in here
    and in a similar manner to the Draconomicon, there is nothing here for
    people playing in games to really make much use out of.

    Dungeon
    Delve


    Delayed somewhat and contains a large bunch of adventures of various
    levels and such. Is actually fairly interesting and really handy if
    you need an adventure now to put into your game in rapid time. I
    recommend this actually, especially if you have a collection of
    Dungeon Tiles.

    Players
    Hand Book II


    I think this was a big moment for 4E in many ways, a really good
    balanced and thought out book would vindicate many of the decisions in
    4E as well as really add some more depth and variation. A bad book
    however would probably really derail the success 4E has enjoyed thus
    far and the general verdict is it's an excellent book. It's well
    balanced with the first book, a couple of feats and epic destinies
    aside but everything in general is really well thought out: most
    especially the new classes are great and so are the new races. It's
    really added a lot to the game and IMO is one of the best supplements
    (and most important) supplements in 4E. I would almost say if you're a
    player this book is as much a must have as the original.

    Arcane
    Power


    This is an excellent book if you like the pew pew style of classes.
    The summoning wizard is a great option and the new wizard at-wills are
    amazingly good. Tomes are a terrific new addition to implements and
    every arcane class got some more new and awesome feats, powers and
    paragon paths. I highly recommend this book, but be aware that like
    Martial Power there are some things in here just a bit out of whack
    power wise. Nothing game breaking though, but certainly more powerful
    than core book options.

    Monster
    Manual 2


    Overall this is a very solid book and seems to have taken some new
    directions with regards to solos and minions. Solos have less HP and
    defenses, but do more damage and seem to have more actions per round.
    Minions have been given control functions or do plain annoying things
    on death (like immobolise whoever killed them). Has a bit of a sense
    of humor as well compared with other supplements (Bullywug and such
    are notable for being a bit out there).

    Divine
    Power


    This has given a really substantial power increase to divine classes
    (for example Clerics now clearly rule the roost in terms of healing
    potential), Strength paladins now don't suck as much and it again
    provides lots of new options. It does feel a little on the power creep
    side in some ways though.

    Adventurers
    Vault 2


    This is a pretty solid book in terms of new magic stuff. It doesn't
    manage to go as overboard in my opinion with the power levels of many
    items as the original adventurers vault did as well. There are always
    going to be specific items that will be problematic in certain
    campaigns, but it's a nice addition and can really expand the variety
    of items you can give out to your PCs.

    Dragon
    Magazine Annual


    I don't own this, but it is my understanding this has some changes and
    altered material from stuff previous published in Dungeon (Punisher of
    the Gods got some alterations I hear). The articles in it are some
    pretty decent ones though, so if you want a print version of some of
    the better dragon articles I would suggest getting it. Or just get a
    subscription and get more stuff for cheaper - I dunno (I'm trying to
    sound unbiased but I don't really see the advantage in this over
    getting a subscription for a month and downloading the compiled
    issues).

    Dungeon
    Masters Guide 2


    This is a really nice book, detailing updated skill challenges, adding
    some new options for campaigns that want to reduce the number of
    magical items (temporary boons for example) and has a wonderful
    section on Sigil: City of Doors for planar based campaigns. The
    updated monster creation guidelines are also very appreciated and this
    is a really solid book if you're running any game of DnD.

    Primal
    Power


    This is basically the same sort of affair as all the other "X power"
    books. Most of the new options are pretty good from a cursory look and
    its definitely added some more versatility to some classes that needed
    it a bit like druids. The new swarm druid build is pretty good and
    everyone who wanted Diablo 2 like dual weapon barbarians will
    certainly be pleased.

    Draconomicon
    2


    This is an excellent book of as high quality (or better) than the
    original Draconomicon. Lots of references to the Catastrophic dragons
    in this book as well and it's pretty clear it works as a resource to
    be used in conjunction with the original book. The new metallics are
    very nice, one of which has an interesting breath weapon that makes a
    minion and it does indeed have stats for Bahamut. Expect someone bored
    to put a fight club with Bahamut vs. Tiamat - though Bahamuts 2 levels
    may be the key difference. It also has a big bunch of other monsters
    and indeed is a great resource for DMs.

    The
    Plane Below: Secrets of the Elemental Chaos


    Plane Below is very awesome, though some of the monsters don't come
    off as well as I would like. But once again it's another source book
    jam packed with useful information and should find a use in any
    paragon/epic campaign. It doesn't really feel like something you can
    easily use in heroic tier though.

    Players
    Handbook Races: Dragonborn


    I've not got this or read it, any comments on this book would be
    appreciated (and still would be!).

    Underdark

    Firstly, this book is most notable for the most horrific pieces of art
    in 4E DnD. Poor Torog – he is one twisted wee puppy. Additionally the
    book introduces a fantastic concept:

    Doors. With. Giant. Teeth. I mean, what's more horrifying than a door
    that eats you? That just ain't right. Other than this it’s another
    excellent DM resource and has numerous ideas on running a campaign in
    the underdark.

    Martial
    Power 2


    This has expanded the options of Fighters, Warlords, Rogues and
    Rangers even further! Some of these options are pretty mechanically
    neat as well, like a fighter that focuses on grabbing enemies and
    providing a neat new ranger build that focuses on using thrown
    weapons. Again this is just a good book for generally anyone.

    Players
    Handbook 3


    I don’t mean to sound dramatic, but this book has been Wizards first
    real misstep with fourth edition in my opinion. While it has numerous
    good new elements, like hybrid classes, skill powers and some new
    classes like the monk and seeker – it has overall disappointed me in
    the new races and psionics it introduced into the game. Three of the
    four psionic classes introduce a new power point (PP) system to 4E:
    This unfortunately has a side effect that many of their low level
    at-wills become “spammable” at high levels. As some of these powers
    scale poorly, doing ridiculous effects like penalizing all of an
    enemies defenses by a huge amount (-8 for example) they cause
    considerable issues.

    The
    Plane Above: Secrets of the Astral Sea


    On the other hand compared with the recently released Players Handbook 3 this book instantly returns to the excellent form that most books released have had. If you're planning on running a planar campaign IMO this book is almost indispensable.

    http://www.amazon.com/Hammerfast-Dwarven-Outpost-Adventure-Site/dp/0786955341/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1275532768&sr=8-1Hammerfast
    : A Dwarven Outpost Adventure Site[/url]

    I don’t have this book yet: Comments/impressions would be appreciated.

    Player’s
    Strategy Guide


    I don’t have this book yet: Comments/impressions would be appreciated.

    This is notable again because it has art from Gabe of this forum for it. I'll probably be buying it for that. Yeah I'm such a whore, WHATEVER. Albeit with so much stuff coming out in the next two months I’ve put this aside for now…

    Monster
    Manual 3


    This is probably the definitive monster book in 4E now. Firstly, it introduces a massive change in the way monsters powers are designed and how much damage they do. At paragon and epic level, monsters have
    vastly increased damage and now have improved powers as well. Many of the solos in this book are the best in the game, like Lolth (on the cover) and the return of the classic Kraken. Possibly what I love most about this book is the addition of many standard epic and paragon monsters, which was very dominated by elites/solos previously.

    Players
    Handbook Races: Tiefling


    I don’t have this but it has a hell of a lot of really good feats and such apparently.

    Vor
    Rukoth: Ancient Ruins Adventure Site
    : Review courtesy of Amigu.

    This book is a campaign setting book. It aims to give the dm a nicely fleshed out city in which adventures or whole campaign arcs can be held (it covers challenges for players of level 5-15). Because of this, whether or not you'll enjoy the book as a dm really depends on whether you like the flavour of Vor Rukoth.

    Basically Vor Rukoth is an ancient city that was once one of the capitals of the tiefling empire of Bael Thurath. It was destroyed when its leader opened a portal to the nine hells during a dire battle between forces of Bael Thurath and the dragonborn empire of Arkhosia and there are still many devils within its walls. It isn't however a dead city, it still has many inhabitants and factions vying for power amongst its ruins (amongst others a strike force of dragonborn called Arkhosia's Last and a tiefling faction called Scion's of the Horned Empire). The whole thing feels a bit like GW's Mortheim with various adventuring parties and factions fighting in a semi abandoned devil tainted city.

    The book also covers a tent city called Coyote's Refuge which is where explorer's and adventurer's congregate before manning expeditions into Vor Rukoth. The book is full of plot hooks and faction dynamics, it is also speckled with character stats and items but the focus is definitely fluff. It offers enough variation to run a campaign from level 5-15 and I'd even say that you could set Vor Rukoth in Eberron with a few tweaks due to its frontier feel and many factions. My only complaint would be it's quite low on crunch; it doesn't offer much in terms of new ideas for monsters/items/encounters.

    Demonomicon

    First: I am horrifically biased. Second: Bearing in mind I am horrifically biased this is my favourite book in all of 4E. I love daemons and this book gives me a whopping 70 more daemons across all tiers of play. It gives new options to make daemons more dangerous and unpredictable opponents and lots of fluff on the abyss. Frankly, if you like daemons this is a must buy.


    Psionic Power


    This was a really great book actually and it really changed my mind about how psionics fit into 4E as a whole and how I felt about them. Given that my current games have a considerable number of psionic characters, you can assume this really managed to hit the mark effectively. This is sadly what looks to have been the last of the power books as well, but at least it was a good one. Even if you aren't a huge fan of psionics originally, I recommend having a look at this.

    Heroes of Shadow

    This is the first book released post essentials with new power options. Some love and and some hate it. Personally I liked the blackguard from the book as a class, but the binder and vampire (yes, vampire) were pretty big failures in my eyes. It added a lot of options for mages and warpriests as well, but really didn't help the poor OAssassin out at all. I really don't know what to say about this book, because I really disliked it and thought it was vastly disappointing. But this is only MY opinion! If you like characters with a darker theme, definitely check this out and the Vampire as a class has its quirky merits. Be aware that the power level of the various options is well under others in 4E.

    [url=The Shadowfell: Gloomwrought and Beyond]Gloomwrought and Beyond[/url]

    More to come but simple summary: IT'S EXCELLENT!
    Released Adventures
    The H series of adventures are essentially dungeon crawls
    with varying quality. To be honest, you're expected to do the footwork
    in writing the background and story for many of these, which are often
    somewhat flimsy.

    H1:
    Keep on the Shadowfell


    This is a straightforward dungeon crawl. It's worth noting that it can
    be downloaded for free now and in an updated form
    here!
    Like many of the adventures in this series, I am certainly not kidding
    when I say that it really is a very long dungeon crawl. It has a lot
    of combat encounters and a loose story connecting them, so it does
    require some work in that department. Still the fold out maps are nice
    and its a decent adventure (especially with the improvements in the
    downloadable version).

    H2:
    Thunderspire Labyrinth


    This is a really solid adventure and is one I enjoyed a lot. It's
    again, a dungeon crawl (but you should expect that from all of these)
    but has some really fun encounters and some interesting traps.

    H3:
    Pyramid of Shadows


    Personally this is the one I didn't really like all that much after
    running it. Although it's a zany adventure it has a few problems with
    some encounters being fairly poorly balanced and I felt it was way to
    long to have my PCs stuck somewhere. I ended up cutting it short by a
    lot.

    P1:
    King of the Trollhaunt Warrens


    This was a really fun adventure and was a good introduction to the
    paragon tier. I also liked the backstory behind it and the general
    design of the dungeons. It also has by far one of the most useful maps
    that I own, which is a small section of a town.

    P2:
    The Demon Queen's Enclave


    Again I really enjoyed this map and the backstabbing between the
    various Drow factions and politics that you can potentially insert (if
    you so desire). It has my least favourite of the fold out maps, but
    still a nice adventure anyway and they really are doing well with
    making interesting encounters.

    P3:
    Assault on Nightwyrm Fortress
    .

    One of the main reasons for buying this was so I could see the stats
    of Shadow Dragons and while they are okay, they don't really do enough
    damage and can be very tedious to fight (blinding people constantly
    for example). The adventure itself is still pretty nice though and I
    approve of it.

    E1:
    Deaths Reach
    .

    I haven't really had a lot of time to read this in depth!

    E2:
    Kingdom of the Ghouls
    .

    By far, this has the greatest final encounter in any of the modules
    that I've seen. It's also awesome all the way through and is by far
    and away my most favourite module out of this series. – I have decided
    to leave this here for a while, because after actually playing said
    adventure you quickly realize the flaws of that final encounter.

    E3:
    Prince of Undeath


    This is the final of the adventures and should be coming out next
    month; highlight is new (hopefully non-sucky) stats for Orcus. I am
    very curious to see if Orcus has friends or not for that fight
    and its EL. Personally I must concede that I am going to be buying
    this partly for the new Orcus stats. It's out next month =D

    There is also another series of adventures coming out after this
    starting next year. The first of these has been released:

    HS1:
    The Slaying Stone


    Excellent from a cursory look. Although it is substantially
    shorter than the original H/P/E series – it is more open in its design
    and gives advice to the DM and feels much less like a linear series of
    encounters (which the original series can feel like at times).

    There are also larger "super" adventures too.

    Revenge
    of the Giants


    Oddly this was a hardcover book compared with the previous softcovers for the other adventures. It's a very nice adventure though, has a good length and can be easily adapted to fit into FR or Eberron. Personally I will be running this in my IRL game later on in the year because I like it sufficiently enough. I am hoping the Tomb of Horrors super adventure is of similar quality.

    HS2:
    Orcs of Stonefang Pass


    This is another short, simple addition to the HS series of modules and introduces one of my favourite new monsters to 4E DnD – The giant archerfish. If being shot by a giant fish that shoots water isn’t a horrifying concept, then I don’t know what is. Unlike the Slaying Stone this isn’t as interesting or open an adventure. It’s more of a series of linear encounters and that is a bit disappointing compared to the original HS module. Still, it’s a short and cheap module with an excellent reusable poster map and I recommend this.

    Tomb
    of Horrors


    This book is fantastic for use in a campaign or as the basis for an entire campaign. Most of the tombs can be taken out of context and fit into a campaign in other means. It has very solid encounters, puzzles and monsters (like some solos). I recommend it even if you are not so keen on using the whole tomb.

    Upcoming Stuff

    Due to the fact I have no idea what Wizards is doing anymore, I'll only list what I actually know Wizards is doing.

    Monster Vault: Threats to the Nentir Vale
    Mordenkainens Magical Emporium (AKA the book that was canned and then came back from the Dead)
    Heroes of Feywild
    Book of Vile Darkness

    To be honest I'd put more but I have no clue if the stuff wizards claims is coming out will come out these days. But potential future stuff includes a second Monster Vault (Threats to the Nentir Vale), an expansion focusing on the Shadowfell, Heroes of the Feywild and the Neverwinter Campaign Setting (yes, another FR expansion for some reason). When I'm more sure of stuff coming out I shall add it here.

    The Roleplayer's Guild: My blog for roleplaying games, advice and adventuring.
  • AegeriAegeri Plateau of LengRegistered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Dungeons and Dragons Essentials

    dnd-red-box.jpg

    Recently Wizards re-released some things under the name "Essentials", which is 10 overall products.

    Red Box (Starter set, designed for new players)
    DMs Kit (Designed for new DMs)
    Monster Vault (Designed for DMs, is an update of many classic MM
    creatures – comes with tokens!)
    Over Expensive Dice
    Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms
    Heroes of the Fallen Lands
    Rules Compendium


    These make up the DnD essentials brand and are designed as constant "entry level" products into DnD.

    Question: What does essentials mean for your game?

    Answer: Depending on your opinions and what your DM thinks, either not very much or it's the most horrible thing ever. Some people hate essentials because it offers some very retro versions of previous classes, for example the slayer and knight, alternative new fighter builds lack daily and encounter powers. Other builds are more like their previous edition counterparts, such as the sentinel druid who is more flexible than a regular 4E class and has a dedicated pet (instead of wildshape). At the same time, many of the classes in essentials still follow the at-will, encounter, daily and utility format. In many ways all they do is add new options for playing 4E DnD. Importantly they do not replace your old books entirely. The essentials books also include the latest errata to the game as well, which is a pretty good thing and the rules compendium is the best (and most convenient) buy ever!

    So should you get essentials? There are two answers and IMO they depend on how long you've been playing.

    Playing for a while?: You probably have a decent collection of books. If you're a DM who already has DMG1 and DMG2, then don't get the DM's kit. It's a waste of time and effort unless you want the adventure. I would similarly avoid the red box if I was you as well. The rules compendium is still a must buy and the two players books (Heroes of the Fallen Lands and Heroes of the Fallen Kingdoms are worth it). Likewise monster vault is worth buying as well.

    New player? By all means, if you're new get the red box to start with. Good introduction to DnD. Then get the DM's kit if you want to take on the role of the DM (and good luck to you). Monster Vault and Rules compendiums are must buys as well. Then pick one of the two players books you like most, probably depending on the classes in it and run with that as your first purchase. Then play DnD!
    Gamma World

    Gamma2BWorld.jpg

    Gamma World isn't strictly Dungeons and Dragons. Although it uses 4E rules it has several important differences that should be emphasized. The first is that it's a science fiction setting and that the rules have been very simplified. The other is that it inherently uses the dreaded collectible cards as a mechanic. You can get extra powers basically from cards that you wouldn't have otherwise. This works though, because gamma world is much less complex than 4E and the cards add a wonderful random variable that wouldn't be there otherwise.

    Gamma World is set on Earth (yes, our earth), after a physics experiment went wrong that simultaneously melded together numerous different universes into one. This caused the "Great Mistake", which saw to the ruining of the world and all these weird freaks running about. Speaking of weird freaks, ever wanted to be a swarm of murderous kittens? A gelatinous yeti? A tentacle laser toting alien? Gamma World is right up your ally here, because PCs are not only encouraged to be whacky things - it's mandatory. To say that gamma world is rather insane would be an understatement. It doesn't take itself seriously and is a really good distraction for a few settings before getting back into more regular Dungeons and Dragons. It's also much easier to pick up and play, due to having less overall complexity. I actually recommend this as a good way of introducing DnD to new players.
    Useful Stuff Provided By Wizards and other people

    Additionally I recommend this site, which has a wide collection of fantasy art and such forth. Some of it is distinctly NSFW however, so consider yourself warned. They love naked women.

    Another useful site is the Cartographers Guild forums. Many talented map artists at this site who make a range of maps, both large scale continental maps, town maps and dungeon maps. Some of the maps here IMO are a bit too fancy, with excessive mapsizes for use with maptools but there are some real gems on here as well. Incidentally, the guy who did the cartography for the Cormyr article in Dragon Magazine posts here as well. Here's an example.

    Infidel has provided us with a handy 4E stat calculator. Especially useful if you don't have the character builder to do it for you. The most common problem I find with 4E games is people messing up their initial point buy by a couple of points. In an unexpected twist, this is because some people tend to give themselves less points overall and accidentally gimp their character as opposed to going over the limit.

    He's also produced a handy online character sheet device, which can be found here. Seems to work pretty well and is very handy and is even becoming a popular alternative to Mythweavers around these forums. In further character sheet interests, there is also this lovely looking Victorian themed sheet available by Orikaeshigitae.

    Cheap miniatures seems to come up quite often in the thread, given that a good mini or three can make 4E a lot easier to run (probably an understatement). One place to get them is ebay, but the number and quality (even type) may be hit and miss. Another online seller of DDM is Dragon Justice, which sometimes has a good range and sometimes not. Really if you look around online you can get a good bunch of models for a fairly cheap price.

    There is a general campaign design and advice thread that I have been writing for a while over here. If you're a new DM this might be worth checking out.

    I also recommend this fellow called the Angry DM. His advice is pretty good and he's wrote a couple of really good articles on how to make solo fights more interesting.

    Infidel made a handy table listing the inherent bonuses and how they relate to masterwork armor. Very useful.

    Finally, a major collection of the games errata was released recently in a big PDF from wizards that you can get here.

    Also, as a reminder, don't discuss pirating books in this thread. It's not going to get you anything except some infractions and probably a ban. So just don't. Plus Chris Perkins is totally going to come around to your house and ruin your shit. Not to mention eat your dinner and steal your dice.

    We have a general CF IRC channel too if you're that way inclined. You'll need some chat client to use it, or something.

    irc.slashnet.org #criticalfailures

    Apparently this was SUPERSUGAs idea.
    Penny-Arcade Podcast series!

    Also, given this forum is Penny-Arcade we should in fact note that Gabe and Tycho, Scott Kurtz of PVP and after the first series Wil Wheaton sat down and played some DnD together and recorded it. There are currently three seasons and you can find links to download them all below for much good times. This is a good way of getting new people interested in DnD I've found as well.

    Series 1: Chris Perkins as DM with Jerry (PA), Mike (PA) and Scott (PvP) playing some DnD!
    Part one. Part two. Part Three. Part four. Part five. Part six. Part seven. Part eight.

    Series 2: Chris Perkins as DM with Jerry (PA), Mike (PA), Scott (PvP) and Wil ('s Law) playing some DnD!
    Part one. Part two. Part three. Part four. Part five. Part six. Part seven. Part eight.

    Series 3: Chris Perkins as DM with Jerry (PA), Mike (PA), Scott (PvP) and Wil ('s Law) playing some DnD!
    Part one. Part two. Part three. Part four. Part five. Part Six. Part Seven. Part Eight.

    Series 4: Jerry takes over the DMing mantle in Dark Sun with Mike (PA), Scott (PvP) and Kris (Krisstraub).
    Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. Part 5.

    There is also Robot Chicken's writers playing DnD. Also features commentary on the game from Chris Perkins!

    There will also be another PA/PVP podcast featuring Wil and Chris Perkins back as DM later in the summer.

    The Roleplayer's Guild: My blog for roleplaying games, advice and adventuring.
  • AegisAegis Not Quite TorontoRegistered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Gary's picture will never get old.

    Currently DMing: None right now! :(
    Characters
    [5e] Dural Melairkyn - AC 18 | HP 31 | Melee +4/1d8+2 | Spell +4/DC 12
  • soxboxsoxbox Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Aegis wrote: »
    Gary's picture will never get old.

    I keep it on my phone, so that whenever I flip through my photos I can be happy.

  • PinfeldorfPinfeldorf Businessman Business FactoryRegistered User regular
    edited June 2011
    If I was Gary, I would eat those cookies. I would fucking eat the fucking shit out of those cookies.

  • AegeriAegeri Plateau of LengRegistered User regular
    edited June 2011
    The secret is that the cookies are made out of adventurers.

    The Roleplayer's Guild: My blog for roleplaying games, advice and adventuring.
  • TheBogTheBog Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Put that cookie down now!

    10170-1.png
  • PinfeldorfPinfeldorf Businessman Business FactoryRegistered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Aegeri wrote: »
    The secret is that the cookies are made out of adventurers.

    If the adventurers are halflings, gnomes or eladrin, I have no issues with this.

  • wildwoodwildwood Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Pinfeldorf wrote: »
    If I was Gary, I would eat those cookies. I would fucking eat the fucking shit out of those cookies.

    Dark Sun's version of "Death by Chocolate".

  • AegeriAegeri Plateau of LengRegistered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Pinfeldorf wrote: »
    Aegeri wrote: »
    The secret is that the cookies are made out of adventurers.

    If the adventurers are halflings, gnomes or eladrin, I have no issues with this.

    I actually hear that elves are the tastiest.

    The Roleplayer's Guild: My blog for roleplaying games, advice and adventuring.
  • PinfeldorfPinfeldorf Businessman Business FactoryRegistered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Elves are all sinew and bone, no fat on 'em! No fat, no taste. That's why bacon is so good.

  • KayKay What we need... Is a little bit of PANIC.Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Maybe the OP requires a bit of an update, given that it refers to the DDI Assassin as 'pretty solid'.

    ew9y0DD.png
    3DS FCode: 1993-7512-8991
  • AegeriAegeri Plateau of LengRegistered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Good god. It does too. Actually at some point I need to go over all that section again. Everything has changed quite a lot with essentials and sub builds demand their own categories. I thought I had updated it, but obviously something got lost in between going from old lappy to new lappy.

    The Roleplayer's Guild: My blog for roleplaying games, advice and adventuring.
  • TerrendosTerrendos Decorative Monocle Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Also the Cleric needs to be revised to "Why are you playing this at Epic?"

    No of course I'm not still bitter. Why would you ask?

    Sig1.png
  • HorseshoeHorseshoe Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Pinfeldorf wrote: »
    Elves are all sinew and bone, no fat on 'em! No fat, no taste. That's why bacon is so good.

    must be minotaurs then

    damn

    it's got to be tough to get respect as an adventurer when you're a domesticated farm animal that can walk upright

    dmsigsmallek3.jpg
  • Ace JonAce Jon Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Whenever I see a minotaur that wasn't picked because he was the best race for his class, I'm thinking... furry? Is that guy a furry? No?

    Yours truly, Ace Jon.
  • KayKay What we need... Is a little bit of PANIC.Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    I really don't get that.

    Shifters? Dragonborn? Gnolls? Sometimes people just want to be a rarr monster. Like a half-orc.

    ew9y0DD.png
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  • Ace JonAce Jon Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    I guess I've seen too many WoW tauren cosplays.

    Yours truly, Ace Jon.
  • RiusRius Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    For the guy who asked about tanking in Aegeri's games; just don't try to be a superhero. You will never be able to prevent the rest of the party from taking damage. His monsters can and will do shit that will defy your expectations.

  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Ace Jon wrote: »
    Whenever I see a minotaur that wasn't picked because he was the best race for his class, I'm thinking... furry? Is that guy a furry? No?
    Str + Con/Wis is crazy adaptable.

    Besides, sometimes you just want to headbutt things to death.

  • TurksonTurkson Near the mountains of ColoradoRegistered User regular
    edited June 2011
    It's been months since I played DnD. What did they do to clerics?

    There are many Interceptors, but this one is mine!

    Come play X-Wing!
  • SkyCaptainSkyCaptain Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Clerics don't exist anymore. They are Templars now. Fighters are gone. They're Weaponmasters.

    The RPG Bestiary - Dangerous foes and legendary monsters for D&D 4th Edition
  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Clerics haven't existed for thousands of years, and you've probably never heard of them.

    thisiswhyweplaydarksun.jpg

  • ironzergironzerg Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Half orcs.

    That should be good for the last post of the page no one ever reads. I hate for something useful to end up down here.

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  • MaxFrostMaxFrost Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Rius wrote: »
    For the guy who asked about tanking in Aegeri's games; just don't try to be a superhero. You will never be able to prevent the rest of the party from taking damage. His monsters can and will do shit that will defy your expectations.

    And he's starting a newbie game :D

    Bring it on!

  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    edited June 2011
    What could possibly go wrong?

    Speaking of defenders, has anyone min/maxed out a character with simply absurd amounts of hitpoints? I've been pondering that since my last Maptools game, where it seemed like it didn't matter what my defenses were, the DM was rolling nothing less than a 15+ and constantly hitting me. A healthy HP pool and some minor damage reduction seemed to be as good or better an investment than expending resources trying to bump an AC that simply wasn't going to hit 40 at level 10 without encounter/daily powers.

    sigtwo.png
  • Lord PalingtonLord Palington Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    I know there's some Dragonborn builds that go crazy on their surge values/con mods/hps, but other than that I don't know how to just boost up hp.

    Pretty psyched I finally have another game scheduled for my tabletop, it's been almost two months. My monsters thirst for PC blood!

    sandman-sig.jpg
  • KayKay What we need... Is a little bit of PANIC.Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    A Con/Cha Dragonborn Battlemind can easily start off with 35 HP and 14 Surges per day that heal you for 13 HP per pop.

    You could even start with a Con of 21, have 36 HP and surges that give you 14HP each, but it's not really worth it.

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  • SBeastSBeast Registered User
    edited June 2011
    Wardens have the highest base HP in the game, the greatest HP gained per level, and two builds that favor Constitution as a secondary stat, so they probably have the highest raw HP values (except maybe at very low levels). Unfortunately, building Str/Con for your character's whole life will leave you with two less than ideal defenses, but you could have close to 300 hit points and around 20 surges at 30 by my estimation.

    You could also build Str/Wis warden for better defenses and use one of the backgrounds that lets you swap a different stat for Constitution to determine HP, but you'd have less HP over the course of a day due to fewer surges (or even over an encounter due to not having a good +Con boost to surge value from your dragonborn/dwarf racial).

    Or you could just be incredibly cheesy and do the below zero revenant thing, which adds a lot of effective health to your character without you necessarily having to be a particularly tough class. A revenant (dwarf) earthstrength warden would be pretty tough to kill outright.

  • AegisAegis Not Quite TorontoRegistered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Forar wrote: »
    What could possibly go wrong?

    Speaking of defenders, has anyone min/maxed out a character with simply absurd amounts of hitpoints? I've been pondering that since my last Maptools game, where it seemed like it didn't matter what my defenses were, the DM was rolling nothing less than a 15+ and constantly hitting me. A healthy HP pool and some minor damage reduction seemed to be as good or better an investment than expending resources trying to bump an AC that simply wasn't going to hit 40 at level 10 without encounter/daily powers.

    It's not generally advisable to make your defender absolutely unkillable (namely, having all your feats be personal defense) because there comes a point at which the monsters will just ignore you and attack the rest of the party. Sure you have marks but because you've focused on personal defense, you've not invested in feats and the like that make your commands more painful or harder to ignore.

    Currently DMing: None right now! :(
    Characters
    [5e] Dural Melairkyn - AC 18 | HP 31 | Melee +4/1d8+2 | Spell +4/DC 12
  • Mr_RoseMr_Rose 83 Blue Ridge Protects the Holy Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Kay wrote: »
    A Con/Cha Dragonborn Battlemind can easily start off with 35 HP and 14 Surges per day that heal you for 13 HP per pop.

    You could even start with a Con of 21, have 36 HP and surges that give you 14HP each, but it's not really worth it.
    Endurance Training and Swift Recovery will make that even more ridiculous if you want, plus the various belts of +surge value. Oh, and the Toughness/Durable feats by level 4 if you want to be really silly about it (Lv4 dragonborn battlemind, 20 Con, w/ belt of vigor, swift recovery, toughness and durable: 58HP and 16 surges each worth 23HP).

    Similar things to be said about Wardens and especially with their ability to save at the start of the turn which can make defender-crippling things like dazes and such much less so.

    ...because dragons are AWESOME! That's why.
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  • AnialosAnialos Collies are love, Collies are life! Ask me about them!Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    MaxFrost wrote: »
    Rius wrote: »
    For the guy who asked about tanking in Aegeri's games; just don't try to be a superhero. You will never be able to prevent the rest of the party from taking damage. His monsters can and will do shit that will defy your expectations.

    And he's starting a newbie game :D

    Bring it on!

    Yes, my fighter with the charge at-will that marks everything will live a long life I'm sure.

    Dichotomy wrote: »
    I play a lot of video games but I wouldn't call myself a "gamer" because "gamer" has become a pretty fucking disgusting label

    like "skinhead" or "republican"
  • LitejediLitejedi New York CityRegistered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Interestingly, the assaultmage I built for my friend for the very end of Tomb of Horrors has effectively 320 HP at level 22, because he's nearly always insubstantial. So even defender-lites can get up there if you build properly.

    3DS FC: 1907-9450-1017
    lj_graaaaahhhhh.gif
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic I've Done Worse Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Mr_Rose wrote: »
    Kay wrote: »
    A Con/Cha Dragonborn Battlemind can easily start off with 35 HP and 14 Surges per day that heal you for 13 HP per pop.

    You could even start with a Con of 21, have 36 HP and surges that give you 14HP each, but it's not really worth it.
    Endurance Training and Swift Recovery will make that even more ridiculous if you want, plus the various belts of +surge value. Oh, and the Toughness/Durable feats by level 4 if you want to be really silly about it (Lv4 dragonborn battlemind, 20 Con, w/ belt of vigor, swift recovery, toughness and durable: 58HP and 16 surges each worth 23HP).

    Similar things to be said about Wardens and especially with their ability to save at the start of the turn which can make defender-crippling things like dazes and such much less so.

    I think some of the Boons actually came out a bit better than the belts, though they might have just been cooler.

    Nod. Get treat.

    PSN: QuipFilter
  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Anialos wrote: »
    MaxFrost wrote: »
    Rius wrote: »
    For the guy who asked about tanking in Aegeri's games; just don't try to be a superhero. You will never be able to prevent the rest of the party from taking damage. His monsters can and will do shit that will defy your expectations.

    And he's starting a newbie game :D

    Bring it on!

    Yes, my fighter with the charge at-will that marks everything will live a long life I'm sure.
    Oh, you'll be fine. Charging is just about the best thing a Fighter can do, since they get the mark on attacks. Just grab yourself a Badge of the Berserker and go nuts.

    I had a Fighter whose at wills were Dual Strike and Threatening Rush who basically spent every turn marking every bad guy on the field. He did just fine.
    Until requiring resurrection.
    Twice.
    Then he was eaten.
    By several dragons at once.
    It was not pretty.
    Neither was he.

    No fear, man. Get up in their grill and show them who's boss.
    it's probably them.

  • AnialosAnialos Collies are love, Collies are life! Ask me about them!Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    <3 <3

    Dichotomy wrote: »
    I play a lot of video games but I wouldn't call myself a "gamer" because "gamer" has become a pretty fucking disgusting label

    like "skinhead" or "republican"
  • HorseshoeHorseshoe Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Aegis wrote: »
    Forar wrote: »
    What could possibly go wrong?

    Speaking of defenders, has anyone min/maxed out a character with simply absurd amounts of hitpoints? I've been pondering that since my last Maptools game, where it seemed like it didn't matter what my defenses were, the DM was rolling nothing less than a 15+ and constantly hitting me. A healthy HP pool and some minor damage reduction seemed to be as good or better an investment than expending resources trying to bump an AC that simply wasn't going to hit 40 at level 10 without encounter/daily powers.

    It's not generally advisable to make your defender absolutely unkillable (namely, having all your feats be personal defense) because there comes a point at which the monsters will just ignore you and attack the rest of the party. Sure you have marks but because you've focused on personal defense, you've not invested in feats and the like that make your commands more painful or harder to ignore.

    You can actually tow this line with certain kinds of Dragonborn defenders.

    They have a lot of racial feats that make them stronger when bloodied. With the right build and item selection you can be bloodied while also being a tough motherfucker who is dangerous to ignore and difficult to take down.

    It can be exciting to play this kind of defender, because you basically have to figure out how to stay bloodied for a large portion of the encounter without actually getting killed.

    dmsigsmallek3.jpg
  • Mr_RoseMr_Rose 83 Blue Ridge Protects the Holy Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Mr_Rose wrote: »
    Kay wrote: »
    A Con/Cha Dragonborn Battlemind can easily start off with 35 HP and 14 Surges per day that heal you for 13 HP per pop.

    You could even start with a Con of 21, have 36 HP and surges that give you 14HP each, but it's not really worth it.
    Endurance Training and Swift Recovery will make that even more ridiculous if you want, plus the various belts of +surge value. Oh, and the Toughness/Durable feats by level 4 if you want to be really silly about it (Lv4 dragonborn battlemind, 20 Con, w/ belt of vigor, swift recovery, toughness and durable: 58HP and 16 surges each worth 23HP).

    Similar things to be said about Wardens and especially with their ability to save at the start of the turn which can make defender-crippling things like dazes and such much less so.

    I think some of the Boons actually came out a bit better than the belts, though they might have just been cooler.

    Oh yeah, you can add Battle-Scarred Champion to that too, for another +1 surge value and a free MBA when bloodied. And liberal use of woundpatches will bring you up to healing to bloodied from zero in one surge. The one problem is that doing all this sort of makes Healing Potions redundant; sure it's nice to heal as a Minor, but you're effectively "wasting" 14HP each time.

    ...because dragons are AWESOME! That's why.
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  • TheBogTheBog Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Just looked at the Seer theme from Dragon. That looks hilarious and awesome. "What's my fortune?.. Why are you all quiet and stuff?" *covers up the three 1's* "Um. Nothin. You'll be fine."

    Alternatively "Use something stupid! Okay now use your fucking daily! It'll be awesome, trust me!"

    10170-1.png
  • AegeriAegeri Plateau of LengRegistered User regular
    edited June 2011
    But then again you're usually going to make sure that you live by drinking a potion at the right time. Most of the time I've seen the healing fruits or potions used, it's after some other kind of healing to provide a bit more of a buffer on top of existing healing (usually because some creature hits very hard).

    In terms of marking, I think it's important for the defender to mark only what they can handle but make themselves an "attractive target". I don't waste my time trying to hit unhittable characters when roleplaying intelligent antagonists and even unintelligent ones can be a pain. A zombie doesn't think about attacking others and will simply pelt the nearest unfortunate who hit them. Marks are really a way of reducing or spreading damage out around the party - but trying to hold a bunch of creatures attention isn't very workable. With monster damage as it is, when something chews you to pieces and knocks you unconscious marks are no longer relevant.
    Horseshoe wrote:
    They have a lot of racial feats that make them stronger when bloodied. With the right build and item selection you can be bloodied while also being a tough motherfucker who is dangerous to ignore and difficult to take down.
    There is one flaw in this plan: Modern lurkers. The problem with hanging around your bloodied value is that many lurkers have a structure that is "Miss turn" and then "Do ridiculous damage next turn". As an example let's look at a new level 2 lurker from Monster Vault: Threats to the Nentire Vale. Consider the Dragonborn battlemind mentioned above by Kay. He'll have 42 HP at level 2, giving him a bloodied value of 21. Seems impressive enough. Unfortunately, this focus means he'll certainly be tanking reflex - but that's okay as he does have other advantages.

    He hangs around his bloodied value for various bonuses, not realizing the monster that turned into a ball of smoke and done nothing last turn has plans. On its next turn, it wanders up to him and then changes back into its sinister humanoid form. Oddly enough given this monster is a tiefling, it's almost like bringing some old rivalries back to the table! He then stabs at the Dragonborn from hells deepest darkest heart. His attack targets reflex, with a +1 bonus because you're hanging around bloodied. Your reflex is probably somewhere between horrible and shocking, so he's going to hit more than likely (probably with CA as well for his traits effect). This does 2d6+14 damage up front, basically on an average roll instantly knocking you unconscious and probably doing so even if you are exactly at bloodied.

    Now you're bleeding to death and go "MR CLERIC" and then the DM smiles. You wonder what that is about and hear "Did I mention that creature prevents you from spending healing surges until the end of its next turn?". So now you're bleeding on the floor unconscious AND unable to do anything - effectively megastunned until the end of that creatures next turn. If you do get up - good luck dealing with whatever you were trying to deal with early on single digit HP (And no way of spending a second wind and such). Even if you don't get knocked down, you have the envious position of sitting there on something like 2 HP. At this point I would play what I call bold DnD and go nuts with nothing to lose. Spend APs, stick a few daily powers in or whatever else - you'll go down anyway (possibly even dying in the process if you are unlucky enough to get attacked by a creature with multiple attacks and no other targets) so go down swinging away Joey!

    Point is that this is a *really* dangerous strategy in the overall metagame now. Lurkers can get ridiculous damage bonuses (For the level 5 example from Mr. Rose, replace the above with the Wraith, for level 7, the Anakore*, level 9 Gargoyle and such forth).

    *Technically this creature attacks twice vs. bloodied enemies rather than following the same structure, but he does hit like a dump truck, as one of my players recently discovered :!:

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