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[D&D 4e+GW Discussion] Don't worry ladies, I'm only Slowed in the good ways.

LeperLeper Registered User regular
edited February 2013 in Critical Failures
Much credit for this thread goes to Aegeri. He is sometimes awesome, and you should remind him of that.

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:
Here is a Dragon:
Hence the name. As a bonus, here is a picture that shows that Bards don't have to suck.

Let no one say otherwise.

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:

As the name suggests, this is for players and also details the games core rules like combat.

This book details the various monsters and other things that populate most DnD worlds.

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:

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.

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).

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 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 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 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.

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 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.

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


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.

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.

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.

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.

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
Stats required: Dexterity primary, Strength and Charisma secondary.

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
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.

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

If my role play is hindered by rolling to play, then I'd prefer the rolls play right, instead of steam-rolling play-night.
Leper on


  • LeperLeper Registered User regular
    Wizards were not finished there of course and released the second
    players handbook further expanding the options available!:

    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.

    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!

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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!

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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


    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.

    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.

    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.

    Classification: Striker
    Power Source: Psionic
    Primary Abilities: Dexterity, Strength and Wisdom.
    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.



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

    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.

    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:
    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.

    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.

    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!
    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.

    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.

    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!
    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.

    If my role play is hindered by rolling to play, then I'd prefer the rolls play right, instead of steam-rolling play-night.
  • LeperLeper Registered User regular
    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


    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 Campaign Guide
    Eberron Players Guide
    Seekers of the Ashen Crown

    We have a thread for Eberron related things

    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 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:

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

    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.


    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

    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.

    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.


    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.

    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).


    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.

    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.

    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

    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.


    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.


    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.

    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.

    Handbook Races: Dragonborn

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


    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.
    : A Dwarven Outpost Adventure Site[/url]

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

    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…

    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.

    Handbook Races: Tiefling

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

    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.


    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!

    If my role play is hindered by rolling to play, then I'd prefer the rolls play right, instead of steam-rolling play-night.
  • LeperLeper Registered User regular
    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.

    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
    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).

    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.

    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

    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.

    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.

    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.

    Deaths Reach

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

    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.

    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:

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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).

    If my role play is hindered by rolling to play, then I'd prefer the rolls play right, instead of steam-rolling play-night.
  • LeperLeper Registered User regular
    edited February 2013
    Dungeons and Dragons Essentials


    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


    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. #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!

    Leper on
    If my role play is hindered by rolling to play, then I'd prefer the rolls play right, instead of steam-rolling play-night.
  • LeperLeper Registered User regular
    edited February 2013
    [Begin non-plagiarized portions of the thread]

    If this is your first time in the thread, you may have noticed some of the above information is outdated. If you'll notify me of any broken links, etc. I'll be happy to see what we can do about it.

    In the meantime, Lets get back to the good stuff. You're chompin' at the bit, and maybe you've even got a character built. You probably want to tell people all about it and explain just how cool they are. Possibly with a powerpoint presentation, but most likely by yammering on for about two hours. People may not be interested. It happens. Sorry.

    So why did I mention this? Because people might care if your character looked this badass:

    That's Bane. He wants you to love his manly pectoral muscles, his huge thigh muscles and bulging tip of the long hard shaft of his spear. Just the tip. The artist who drew this spectacular visage of deific beefcake even has a wallpaper of him. All hail Bane!!!!

    Your DM is probably going to frown on you bringing a deity to the table, but you can find wonderful pictures to match (and inspire) your imagination from (mostly safe-for-work) locations like a collection of albums put together by a very helpful gentleman on another forum. You can find these albums like this one, and here, and over here, and this place, and you could even check here. But there's more! Look at this one, and this other one. Want something a little more monstrous? Mgbeach has got your back.

    You can even look for some interesting weapons and items, and even cool backdrops. This man is a champion of locating artistic badassery on your behalf.

    The next place to go looking is DeviantArt, and if you can't guess by the name, you may want to keep some filters on (and search from home) if you go looking around. If you decide to brave it, I suggest you start with this gallery, helpfully named #Fantasy-NPC.

    If you ask nicely you may get the folks here to alter a picture you find to fit something you have in mind. It's the "What Do YOU Think My Character Looks Like?" thread on the WotC forums. I only caution you about two things: be careful following links--as always, malware can be a problem if you're not paying attention, and you probably want to avoid just about all of the rest of the forums.

    Leper on
    If my role play is hindered by rolling to play, then I'd prefer the rolls play right, instead of steam-rolling play-night.
  • LeperLeper Registered User regular
    Also reserved.

    If my role play is hindered by rolling to play, then I'd prefer the rolls play right, instead of steam-rolling play-night.
  • LeperLeper Registered User regular
    edited February 2013

    That is not a slur against Native Americans.
    that would be "get on mah reservations."

    Leper on
    If my role play is hindered by rolling to play, then I'd prefer the rolls play right, instead of steam-rolling play-night.
  • LeperLeper Registered User regular
    edited February 2013
    Continued from the previous thread, RE: How amazing would it be to make a Savage Coast/Red Steel port to 4e, and how shall we do this crazy awesome thing?

    All of the following is said assuming a few things: This needn't be a 'literal' translation from the original setting. I'm more than comfortable with following the Dark Sun pattern for setting updates: Keep the core of the material, the important parts of the setting, but not being shy about making changes to keep it in line with "4e values" i.e. less restrictions about who can be cool, what is allowed from the players in making characters, etc. Penalties at character creation should be optional, and when available should come with an equal bonus elsewhere. (A strategic trade) And finally, the setting allows for a certain amount of leniency on the negative effects of the curse already, I'd say it's possible for every character to have a (minor) legacy with little or no penalty applied.
    Hexmage-PA wrote: »
    The difficulty with making Legacies into themes is that originally each one is just a single power, with some of them being very minor, and they are associated with a possible drawback. For example, a character might have a Legacy that lets him elongate his fingers into entangling tentacles, but the curse could make it so his fingers remain permanently elongated but unresponsive except when he uses their power.

    Here's the Savage Coast/Red Steel resource I've been consulting:
    Step 0: Acknowledge that that is a handy link and I shall be making use of it.

    Step 1: Assign (or allow players to choose) a Starting Legacy. It's a bonus feature not normally gained through standard character creation. This functions identically to the wild talents in Dark Sun:
    +Something minor but occasionally useful. Similar in scale to low level utility combat effecting powers.
    +No associated penalties (although the player may wish to describe some sort of minor cosmetic effect.)
    +Everyone gets one. Full stop. Even with the most careful use of cinnabon (whatever) some part of the curse gets in, and it's tempting. You want it. You know you do. Touch it. Just the tip?
    +Bringing characters to the area for the first time also gives them a minor legacy (if they don't already have one somehow)
    +Minor Legacy comes with a free Bonus: permanent Red Curse. Alternately, you could posit that they can remove the curse (and the legacy) by leaving the area and NOT using cinnabon to make any continued saves, as the substance is actually affected by (and spreads) the curse itself. This could also allow a way for players to move out of the realm and still maintain their Legacy if they've built their character around it... maybe. I'll have to think on that.

    Step 2: Themes.
    Granted 1st level bonus: Amps up your legacy. Later level replacement powers would need some work but could either be kept close to the original.

    Step 3: Multi-class feat.
    Couple ways to go with this: either allow a second minor legacy or provide bonuses to the one you have. Heck, make both. Why not?
    I'm not really seeing the problem. Themes only ever give one "free" power, you trade into the other ones. So long as all the higher level powers are written as extensions or variations on the base power it's just that bargain you talked about before.

    I also see no reason why a theme couldn't have negative effects, they already have a bunch of weird stuff at various levels. This is presuming in a Red Steel setting you wouldn't use any normal themes.
    Hexmage-PA wrote: »
    That's my other problem with the idea of making them themes. What if a player wants to use another theme? It seems simpler to me to make them Legendary Boons that work like the cursed items from Mordenkainen's Magnificent Emporium or Book of Vile Darkness. It would be a bit more complicated, but you could also link them to a modified version of the disease track-style curse rules and have it so that the negative effects don't come into play until the curse gets to later stages.
    I think this solves all the theme-related issues: loss of choice, , but the disease/curse track is exactly what I was thinking.

    Cinnabon: 1 unit provides a +10 bonus to save vs. the curse. (effectively making it an autopass without some sort of penalty that may be applied by other effects, and still easy to ward off otherwise.) Advancing one's legacy could provide penalties, necessitating additional powder use at once in order to "maintain." Penalties could further be modified to be exponential growth (-2, -4, -8, -16, ...) in order to keep up scaling as the characters wealth and level increases, to the point that someone who's gone "AW HELL YEAH, GIMME DAT SWEET, SWEET CURSE" is also having to go through massive amounts of cinnabon just to stay (somewhat) human. On the other hand, this could cause some problems re: equity, with one character being unjustly penalized because of the concept they enjoyed. (see above , Step 1) Something to think about.

    The Red Curse:
    [Stuff I don't have time to plan out ATM goes here.]

    This would tie the powder effectively into the setting, cement it as a needed resource, make the negative effects of the curse avoidable, (most of the time) provide penalties for excessive 'giving into the curse' and also make those penalties avoidable at an elevated cost.

    Leper on
    If my role play is hindered by rolling to play, then I'd prefer the rolls play right, instead of steam-rolling play-night.
  • AegisAegis Not Quite TorontoRegistered User regular
    I still believe Gary was the best thing to happen to D&D.

    We'll see how long this blog lasts
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  • LeperLeper Registered User regular
    edited February 2013
    Because it's not an internet discussion about PnP gaming without a dissenting opinion:

    I respectfully disagree with your position sir, and posit that it was, in fact, Dave who was the best thing to happen to D&D.

    Leper on
    If my role play is hindered by rolling to play, then I'd prefer the rolls play right, instead of steam-rolling play-night.
  • wildwoodwildwood Registered User regular
    Hopefully this is going in one of the reserved spaces, but I am... unnerved by the lack of Bane beefcake shots so far in this thread introduction.

    And who is Dave? Is Dave the shark?

  • LeperLeper Registered User regular
    edited February 2013
    For now there is Cash instead of beefcake. He is more manly, anyhow. That's right, I said it. Good things will go into the reserved spaces... possibly including beefcake of a lesser quality than Mr. Cash.

    I am not entirely certain who Dave is. Perhaps he is the shark.

    I would find that highly entertaining.

    Leper on
    If my role play is hindered by rolling to play, then I'd prefer the rolls play right, instead of steam-rolling play-night.
  • wildwoodwildwood Registered User regular
    Well, in the spirit of internet disagreemanship, let me say this. While Dave, whoever/whatever he may be, is clearly awesome, your expressed opinion that Dave is awesome, sucks. For the obvious reasons.

  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    I assumed Dave was a reference to Dave Arneson, one of D&D's co-creators. If Dave is the cookie-toting sand shark, maybe his prey is Gary Gygax?

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  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited February 2013
    Leper wrote: »
    For now there is Cash instead of beefcake. He is more manly, anyhow. That's right, I said it. Good things will go into the reserved spaces... possibly including beefcake of a lesser quality than Mr. Cash.

    I vote Torog.

    Hexmage-PA on
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  • AegeriAegeri Plateau of LengRegistered User regular
    wildwood wrote: »
    Hopefully this is going in one of the reserved spaces, but I am... unnerved by the lack of Bane beefcake shots so far in this thread introduction.

    And who is Dave? Is Dave the shark?

    I can't remember if the shark was named, but when everyone saw the concept art originally Denada (I think) started calling the guy Gary and then hilarious shenannigans happened from there. I put it in the OP at the behest of the populist urging and it has remained there ever since.

    That was back in the good old days, right before Dark Sun was released and wizards made a splat book that made psionics better in general instead of overpowered/garbage. It was when they could do no wrong.

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  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    AaronKI wrote: »
    Can someone clear up Class Feats for me?

    Currently I'm under the impression that when you make a new character, you automatically have all of the Class Feats listed in that class's Trait block. (Example: Combat Challenge, Combat Superiority, and Fighter Weapon Talent for a Fighter) And then you get to pick a Feat from the big Feat List in Chapter 6. Is this correct?

    Replying from the old thread:

    Don't get Class Features mixed up with Feats. All those things the classes can do are in their section of the PHB, and then they get a Feat separately (Humans get a second Feat to start with).

    Occasionally a class will get a Feat for free from one of their Features. E.g. Two-Weapon Rangers get Toughness for free.

    I don't recommend the character builders at first. There are too many options, from too many books. It'll utterly confuse you. I've just started DMing a game with some people completely new to RPGs, and we are just sticking to the PHB. I thought it would be very limiting and they wouldn't like it, but they're actually enjoying it and finding the PHB options challenging and more than enough.

    I figure I could take a bear.
  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    I'll post some more of my ideas regarding the Red Steel adaptation when I'm at my computer instead of just on my phone, but I want to comment on something from the site I linked.

    I saw that there was a non-weapon proficiency called panache that gave a trained character limited chances to assume narrative control, something I thought was absent from D&D before 4E. There are examples of a character spending "panache points" to basically dictate that there just so happens to be a rope holding up a chandelier that she can swing on or a tankard on the floor she can smash into someone's face. If the character has no panache points available, they can gain some in exchange for accumulating "gauche points", which are basically mechanically-supported justifications for a DM to add a complication to the plot (for example, the rope the swashbuckler cut to swing on was holding up the chandelier hanging over the prince's lover resulting in a minor injury but earning the prince's anger).

    A way to "buy" terrain powers or automatically succeed at using existing ones at the expense of future bad luck would be a fun add-on to a swashbuckling 4E campaign.

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  • AegeriAegeri Plateau of LengRegistered User regular
    You know, I hope Leper does decide to edit portions of the OP a bit. It can be a bit depressing for me because you can see exactly where I stopped playing 4E from reading it (particularly where I stopped writing anything about what was coming out and the "upcoming stuff" part is a dead give away). I am happy to rewrite the portions that are problematic and send it to you if you want.

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  • LeperLeper Registered User regular
    On my phone. Expect brevity.

    That'd be fine. I was planning on doing it myself, but I also need to fill in the blanks.

    If my role play is hindered by rolling to play, then I'd prefer the rolls play right, instead of steam-rolling play-night.
  • webguy20webguy20 Registered User regular
    I love that the last post in the Ebberon thread linked is from 2009. Talk about forever ago! I just picked up the Ebberon book and have been loving it.

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  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    In case anyone else wants to get in on the action, here's a link to the online AD&D Savage Coast Campaign Book.

    I've gotta say that I love how they combined South American influences, cowboys, samurai, weird mutants, and swashbuckling action all into one setting.

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  • LeperLeper Registered User regular
    Am I smirking? I think I am. ;)

    Also, if anyone else has any (safe for work) sources for character art other than those linked in the new-and-improved (how is that even possible?!) post #6, shoot me a PM.

    If my role play is hindered by rolling to play, then I'd prefer the rolls play right, instead of steam-rolling play-night.
  • mr_michmr_mich Registered User regular
    Can anyone explain to me how spear gauntlet traps work? Do they stay up once triggered? Or do they go back down and keep spearing if people step on pressure plates/if someone hits the control panel?

  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    I always assumed they go back down.

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  • AegisAegis Not Quite TorontoRegistered User regular
    It's implied they go back down, considering that there is a DM Kit version of the Spear Gauntlet Trap which has it detailed as a creature (object) rather than a trap stat block. In the creature version, it just has an attack which can be used normally each round.

    We'll see how long this blog lasts
    Currently DMing: None :(
    [5e] Dural Melairkyn - AC 18 | HP 40 | Melee +5/1d8+3 | Spell +4/DC 12
  • LeperLeper Registered User regular
    I suppose that's up to the DM, and what makes sense to you given the circumstances. Some questions may help you to answer for yourself. ^_^

    Do all the spears trigger at once? Of so, was this trap designed and built by a very clever person? Is it new or has been kept in good repair somehow?

    Is it just one spear per pressure plate, and even if they trigger one there may be more hidden until the whole of the gauntlet has been disarmed? If it is "one at a time," then do you thing there should be a maximum number of spears? Should those retract? (see above questions about maintenance/newness/clever builders)

    Mechanically, you may want to consider XP alues depending on where you fall on the "single use/multiple uses" answer... assuming you're using XP at all. Some folks just tell their players to level up when they feel it's appropriate. :D

    If my role play is hindered by rolling to play, then I'd prefer the rolls play right, instead of steam-rolling play-night.
  • AegisAegis Not Quite TorontoRegistered User regular
    The spears do trigger all at once, according to the trap.

    We'll see how long this blog lasts
    Currently DMing: None :(
    [5e] Dural Melairkyn - AC 18 | HP 40 | Melee +5/1d8+3 | Spell +4/DC 12
  • AegofAegof Registered User regular
    Leper wrote: »
    Mechanically, you may want to consider XP alues depending on where you fall on the "single use/multiple uses" answer... assuming you're using XP at all. Some folks just tell their players to level up when they feel it's appropriate. :D

    Those people might still want to keep an eye on XP, if only as an encounter-building guideline.

    I'm providing ambience.
  • LeperLeper Registered User regular
    Well that's just insanely poor design right there. I don't know who that guy's contractor is, but I would not accept that sort of shoddy trapsmanship in my dungeon.

    That's why I use Azalin's List. Reviews from other evil wizards are there to help guide you step-by step in finding the service provider that's right for you.

    If my role play is hindered by rolling to play, then I'd prefer the rolls play right, instead of steam-rolling play-night.
  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    Aegis wrote: »
    It's implied they go back down, considering that there is a DM Kit version of the Spear Gauntlet Trap which has it detailed as a creature (object) rather than a trap stat block. In the creature version, it just has an attack which can be used normally each round.

    That's weird; why would they stat-it as a monster?

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  • LeperLeper Registered User regular
    edited February 2013
    Minimize additional unnecessary subsystems.

    EDIT: More clearly stated, it provides a unified format for challenges, and makes it more clear that what some might view as "out of combat" things can be used in combat and "in combat things" can be used out of combat, since saying it over and over and over and over in the books, writing articles on the subject in Dragon AND in free-to-access areas was not enough for some people.

    Example: "It's trap!" Egbert, the wonder rogue is over there stabbing the holy crap out of something else. Gronk the barbarian has no thievery, but just got hit by the spears. Gronk's player decides he should use an immediate interrupt (or reaction) power to smash up the spears before they can do (any more) harm. Stated out like a monster it's a bit more clear to some folks that this is not only allowable, but pretty damned cool. ^_^

    Leper on
    If my role play is hindered by rolling to play, then I'd prefer the rolls play right, instead of steam-rolling play-night.
  • RiusRius Registered User regular
  • DouglasDangerDouglasDanger PennsylvaniaRegistered User regular
    I am this close to buying gamma world, but I don't really have any method to play aside from play by posting or other methods with forumers. Do a lot of people play Gamma World?

    I play games on ps3 and ps4. My PSN is DouglasDanger.
  • AegisAegis Not Quite TorontoRegistered User regular
    Leper wrote: »
    Minimize additional unnecessary subsystems.

    EDIT: More clearly stated, it provides a unified format for challenges, and makes it more clear that what some might view as "out of combat" things can be used in combat and "in combat things" can be used out of combat, since saying it over and over and over and over in the books, writing articles on the subject in Dragon AND in free-to-access areas was not enough for some people.

    Example: "It's trap!" Egbert, the wonder rogue is over there stabbing the holy crap out of something else. Gronk the barbarian has no thievery, but just got hit by the spears. Gronk's player decides he should use an immediate interrupt (or reaction) power to smash up the spears before they can do (any more) harm. Stated out like a monster it's a bit more clear to some folks that this is not only allowable, but pretty damned cool. ^_^

    It was also likely a very early edition of the game before they agreed upon a Trap system.

    We'll see how long this blog lasts
    Currently DMing: None :(
    [5e] Dural Melairkyn - AC 18 | HP 40 | Melee +5/1d8+3 | Spell +4/DC 12
  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    Regarding the Savage Coast/Red Steel adaptation, I'm thinking that the setting should be advanced a decade or two so that the region could be in the middle of a cinnabryl shortage. This would create several adventuring opportunities, such as dealing with increasing numbers of Afflicted mutants, helping to protect the few remaining productive cinnabryl mining towns, and working to oppose the Inheritor Order of Flame (whose members are more concerned with hording cinnabryl for use in controlling the Legacies for personal power as opposed to trying to help the Afflicted and find a way to stop the Red Curse).

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  • BhowBhow A squid eating dough in a polyethylene bag is fast and bulbous. Got me?Registered User regular
    I am this close to buying gamma world...

    You should. It's good. The lack of granularity helps it flow more quickly, and it's a lot fun. With the Alpha mutations, everyone has something new to try each combat. At character creation, each combination can be visualized nearly infinitely different ways. In PbP, the cards may require a little more trust, or a little more typing, but relatively painless work-arounds exist for those as well.

    Do eet!

  • AegeriAegeri Plateau of LengRegistered User regular
    Gamma world is fantastic. Of all the stuff I owned from Wizards outside of the Dark Sun campaign setting book, it's the only thing I made sure to keep.

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  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    This isn't a judgment against you or anything, but I don't understand why anyone would sell any of their D&D books unless they were completely broke.

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  • DouglasDangerDouglasDanger PennsylvaniaRegistered User regular
    I bought Gamma World from Amazon.

    I play games on ps3 and ps4. My PSN is DouglasDanger.
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