The book Player’s Option: Heroes of Shadow is the first real print product we have seen for 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons since the Essentials line and also marks what I hope is the end in what I perceived as a lag in print products for the game. Heroes of Shadow was delayed from March until April so that it could be printed as a hard cover book instead of a smaller format paperback, and I am very pleased with having a larger sized hardcover in my hands with 4E content in it after months without one. What this book contains is exactly what you would expect from a book focusing on player characters that tap into the shadow power source and draw their inspiration from the darker corners of your D&D universes. Its contents range from entirely new classes to new builds for existing classes to new races and more than a handful of new options for characters of all types that want to have a bit darker tilt to their abilities.
Dave “The Game” Chalker talks about his experiences running the latest season of D&D Encounters: Keep on the Borderlands, and ruminates a bit on the state of D&D from playing with strangers.
In which Chatty announces that his 4e Adventure is FINALLY out, steals from the publisher to describe the product as a whole and shares his designer notes and the dark secrets behind the adventure he wrote.
If you’re a 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons player then the two Essentials books that you most want to look at are Heroes of the Fallen Lands and Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms. Each book is presented in a similar style to a stand alone Player’s Handbook with Heroes of the Fallen Lands introducing new builds for the classic D&D classes (Clerics, Fighters, Rogues, and Wizards) while Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms introduces new builds for Druids, Paladins, Rangers, and Warlocks. Each of these books stands on its own perfectly well and you don’t need to buy both if you’re only interested in the classes presented in one of them.
It’s Monday and as of last week the Wizards Premiere stores have been selling Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms and Monster Vault, which means for most intents and purposes the entirety of the D&D Essentials line is now out there for people to play and read. As people absorb and utilize the material we should be able to gain a general sense of exactly what Essentials really is and what it means for the 4th Edition of Dungeons & Dragons. That said, one of the biggest concerns/complaints/or whatever you choose to call it that I’ve heard raised about D&D Essentials is whether or not it is D&D Edition 4.5.
At a certain level, probably high Heroic and certainly in Paragon and Epic tiers players might have twenty four possible choices on their turn including at-wills, encounter powers, daily powers, utilities, and items. This high number of choices mixed in with the already tactical nature of combat in 4e often leads to analysis paralysis. Players simply can’t figure out what the right move might be.
In an attempt to quell my obsession with the new Essentials rules, I played several games and made up several characters. And boy are my arms tired.
Since everyone else is talking about Essentials, it is time to look at the new rules with regards to balance between character classes. In the brave new post-Essentials world of D&D, should we be striving for balance or avoiding it?
We haven’t done an Inquisition of the Week in a while, and though we don’t plan on doing them every week I will simply call this an Inquisition as we will be doing one every now and then. Today I’d like to ask all of you about the Essentials line of products for Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition that are releasing this month, starting with the Red Box that is already out and continuing for the next few months with the limited run of products.
The first product of the D&D Essentials product line, while likely to be the target of hordes of people who will complain that it is not what it could never be… is what I wished I opened in 1986.
It is an introduction to the D&D game that goes directly to the heart of things.