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So has anyone else here had a look at Sword & Sorcery SAGA? It's meant to be a low fantasy game based on the SW SAGA rules; almost a pseduo-4E, for when all that was known was the SAGA ruleset. Development seems to have died down, although the ENWorld thread mentions a v2, intended for maybe 6 months ago ... no idea if it will ever show up.

Despite my movement to 4E for my DnD purposes, this project seems to satisfy an itch that I wasn't wholly aware I had. What do you guys think?

A new Roll vs Role is up here.

This time, a despicable War Troll is featured in his conquests in the name of Bane. Will no one stop him?

Pretty interesting idea, and I like the Troll Witch. Seemed like a well thought out adventure seed, and I could see using it someday.


Ever wondered what a Figurine of Wondrous Power would look like in 4E? Well check out one of them in today's preview of Adventurer's Vault!

Interesting take. I like how the dog has an ability to guard its master, very themantic of canines. I'm curious if Ranger's Animal Companions (supposedly to be in Martial Power) will work in any way similarly to this?

Cheers! :)

Holy cow! Awesome news on the Compendium today. With monsters/Dragon/Dungeon added in to the searchable DB, this tool keeps getting better and better!

What do you think?

Check it here ladies and gents! New shiny rituals!

I like 'em. Some pretty cool effects, like enchanting your camp fire so that it doesn't give light too far out. Or shaping your environment with Earthen Ramparts.

Thoughts? Rituals you just have to pick up now?

Interesting new article. Stats for some guardsmen and NPCs, some new Fighter/Wizard powers, a Rogue PP, some items and even two Paragon Eladrin feats! Wow!

There was a bit of discussion earlier on this board about what an Eladrin city would look like; here is a chance to see.

Check it here!

Star Pack Warlocks, new Rituals, first article supporting Scales of War and more!

I'm excited! What are you looking forward to?

As well as Gnome, Half-Orc, and Goliath.

Check it:

2009 WotC Product List wrote:

Player's Handbook 2

A D&D Supplement by Rob Heinsoo and Mike Mearls
Player's Handbook 2 expands the range of options available to D&D players with new classes, races, powers, and other material.
This book builds on the array of classes and races presented in the first Player's Handbook, adding both old favorites and new, never-before-seen options to the game.
The book adds a new poer source for 4th Edition D&D: classes using the new primal power source include the barbarian and the druid.

Key Selling Points
This book is aimed directly at players, helping them build more exciting and interesting characters.
The new classes in this book include some long-time favorites of D&D players, such as the barbarian, druid, and sorcerer.
The book features several new races, including the gnome, the half-orc, and the goliath.
Hardcover, 224 pages, $34.95
March 17, 2009

This info is gleaned from here.

So anyone think the Sorcerer is going to be Primal Sourced? Or do you think Arcane Source is a lock?

Edit: From the same thread, check this:

2009 WotC Product Listing wrote:

Arcane Power

A D&D Supplement by Logan Bonner, Eytan Bernstein, and Peter Lee
Arcane Power isthe latest in a line of player-friendly supplements offering hundreds of new options for D&D Characters. This tome focuses on the arcane heroes: characters who wield strange and mysterious spells and rely on thier mastery of magic for survival.
This book provides new archetypal builds for the wizard, warlock, sorcerer, bard, and swordmage classes, including new character powers, feats, paragon paths, and epic destinies.
Hardcover, 160 pages, $29.95
April 21, 2009

So that means the Bard is in the PHB II as well, right?

Final Edit (I promise!): Since Sorcerer is listed as being in Arcane Power, I guess my theory of him being Primal Sourced is pretty discredited ...

Ooooh. Looks purty. Reading now, but thought you guys would like a look-see too. It's by Ari Marmell, and the run up seems to suggest this is a re-do of another Dungeon adventure? Sounds familiar ...

Looksee here!

Plus, the first new Epic Destiny (that I'm aware of, at least!)

Seems pretty cool, both in concept of the area, and in the included Epic Destiny.

I'm reminded of an old sci-fi show with a similiar idea. Maybe Twilight Zone, or Star Trek? Anyone else know what I'm thinking of?

Edit: Doh, I'm an idiot. Forgot to include a link.

Today's article introduces a new recurring column in Dragon, Character Concepts. Follow a pair of concepts from 1st to 30th and get a look at how their feat and power choices affect their styles of play.

I like how this is setup, and it provides some great examples that were missing from the Core books. Pretty neat-o.

Thoughts, opinions? Discuss! :)

Here is a link to this month's Design and Development, where the designers are talking about some thoughts on the direction of 4E monster design.

I thought it was a pretty good article myself. I definitely think 4E's monster design is a good improvement.

Does anyone else like the new Recharge mechanic introduced in 4E?

Discuss! :)

Find it here!

Oooh, pretties. Artificer is coming out this month. Or at least the first look ... very jazzed about that. Ecology of Dragonborn sounds interesting, as does the Roll vs Role scheduled.

Any articles have you pumped?

Here is a report on a Q&A session given by Mearls. Pathfinder is mentioned, if that entices you to read. ;)

Check it out here.

I thought it was pretty good, and gave a good glimpse behind the scenes, as it were.

Any thoughts?

Here are some released Swordmage powers gleamed from ENWorld:

Swordmage Fu wrote:

At-Will Powers:

Aegis of Shielding
Swordmage Feature
You create an arcane link between you and a foe, allowing you to instantly
respond to its attacks with a counterassault.
At-Will ✦ Arcane, Teleportation
Minor Action Close burst 2
Target: One creature in burst
Effect: You mark the target. The target remains marked until you use
this power against another target. If you mark other creatures using
other powers, the target is still marked. A creature can be subject to
only one mark at a time. A new mark supersedes a mark that was
already in place.
If your marked target makes an attack that doesn’t include you
as a target, it takes a ---2 penalty to attack rolls. If that attack hits and the attacker is within 10 squares of you, you can use an immediate
interrupt to reduce the damage dealt by that attack to any one
creature by 9 points.

Booming Blade
Swordmage Attack 1
A field of sound punishes your enemy, and it becomes louder if your enemy
tries to escape.
At-Will ✦ Arcane, Thunder, Weapon
Standard Action Melee weapon
Target: One creature
Attack: +9 vs. AC
Hit: 1d8 + 5 damage, and if the target is adjacent to you at the start
of its turn and moves away, it takes 1d6 + 4 thunder damage.

Sword Burst
Swordmage Attack 1
A sweep of your sword blasts those around you with force.
At-Will ✦ Arcane, Force, Implement
Standard Action Close burst 1
Target: Each enemy in burst
Attack: +6 vs. Reflex
Hit: 1d6 + 4 force damage.

Encounter Powers:

Chilling Blow
Swordmage Attack 1
Your blade rips into your foe and cold pulses from the wound, enveloping
your enemy’s body in a crust of frost.
Encounter ✦ Arcane, Cold, Weapon
Standard Action Melee weapon
Target: One creature
Attack: +9 vs. AC
Hit: 1d8 + 5 cold damage, and the target takes 4 cold damage each
time it attacks until the start of your next turn.

Corrosive Ruin
Swordmage Attack 3
You spin your blade in a tight circle in front of you, assailing foes with a
spray of flesh-melting acid.
Encounter ✦ Acid, Arcane, Weapon
Standard Action Close blast 3
Target: Each creature in blast
Attack: +9 vs. Fortitude
Hit: 1d8 + 5 acid damage.

Dimensional Warp
Swordmage Utility 2
You reach out with arcane power, and two of your nearby allies suddenly
wink out and reappear in each other’s places.
Encounter ✦ Arcane, Teleportation
Minor Action Close burst 3
Targets: You and one ally in burst or two allies in burst
Effect: Each target teleports into the other’s space. Both targets
must occupy the same size space, or the power fails.

Daily Powers:

Frost Backlash
Swordmage Attack 1
As your enemy swings for the kill, your warding suddenly turns to ice and
lashes out at your foe with the fury of winter.
Daily ✦ Arcane, Cold, Weapon
Immediate Interrupt Melee weapon
Trigger: An adjacent creature hits you
Target: The creature that hit you
Attack: +9 vs. Reflex
Hit: 3d8 + 5 cold damage.
Miss: Half damage.

Lingering Lightning
Swordmage Attack 5
Tendrils of bluish white lightning course from your blade to electrocute
your enemies.
Daily ✦ Arcane, Lightning, Weapon
Standard Action Ranged 5
Target: One, two, or three creatures
Attack: +9 vs. Reflex, one attack per target
Hit: 1d8 + 5 damage, and ongoing 5 lightning damage (save ends).
Miss: Half damage, and no ongoing damage

Full thread here.


I double checked but I don't think I've seen any posts on this so far.

The DDI Compendium is live folks ... see it here.

Seems pretty useful to me. Not sure what the limits are, but there is fluff text from the little I looked.

Thoughts? Opinions?

So from this post Mike Mearls reveals that the PHB II classes will start with these letters:


and further, only 3 or so are reprints of old classes.

I'm thinking something like

Barbarian (Primal Striker or Defender)
Bard (Arcane Leader)
Druid (Primal Hybrid?)
Shaman (Primal Leader)

Anyone want to guess on the rest? More than likely there are some Psi mixed in there, but if only three or so are reprints I'm not sure what they'd be called. Maybe T is Telepath? Is the other S Sorcerer?

A lot of people have complained about the switch from 5' to 1 square in the game terminology. I had chalked it up to a standardized print run, for international sales (ie, everyone else in the world uses the metric system, but since we can't seem to find it out, they're left wondering what the heck 5' looks like)

But tonight while playing I had a few thoughts that made me think it might be for other reasons as well. Consider Difficult Terrain ... what is easier to understand? This square takes 2 squares of movement to move into or this 5' square takes 10' of movement to move into? It also helps the 1-1-1-1 diagonal idea go down, since you aren't confronted so explicitly with the non-euclidean space. The space a creature takes up is more succinctly expressed, as are area affects and push/pull/slide affects.

Am I the only one starting to warm to the whole square idea? The more I think about it, the more I'm starting to really like it!

Human info wrote:

Human info

Bonus feat/skill/extra at will power

+1 to fort, will, and ref defense

+2 to any stat.

Today's 4E Excerpt is the sample town of Fallcrest.

At the bottom in an NPC who is obviously just a Tiefling classed as a Rogue. I'm curious to see how you'll make more NPCs like that in 4E now.

Cheers! :)

Edit: Everyone needs a rest on memorial day, even excerpt posting robots. Happy Memorial Day everyone! :)

This link gives a pretty nice review of 4E in my mind. Good and bad, so hopefully no one will doubt his veracity. :)

Here is a compilation of responses to questions regarding the review. Still digesting them, but thought you guys would want 'em.

Cheers! :)

Mr. Baker just put up a pretty sizable blogpost re: 4E's take on Eberron. Check it out here.

Make sure to scope out the comments as well, as he was being pretty active in answering questions asked when last I checked.

For those who don't want to follow the link, here is his post, but I don't have time to reproduce his responses in the comments. Go read them! :)

It's been a few weeks, so I feel that I should post SOMETHING. Honestly, however, it's been fairly quiet since Penguicon, and I'm home now until Miscon at the end of the month.

I'm working on a number of projects at the moment, including a big Eberron article for DDI (a longer piece than anything I've done for Paizo or the old WotC website) and the 4E Eberron core book. For anyone who hasn't heard the news, WotC has announced that they will be putting out three books for Eberron in 2009: a Campaign Guide (aimed primarily at DMs), a Player's Guide (including material relevant to both DMs and PCs), and an adventure. Beyond this, the setting will be getting DDI support; it's possible that there will be further print books, but that's entirely dependent on whether it proves to be economically feasible - so a lot will depend on how those core books do. Likewise, at the moment there's some significant support planned through DDI, but if you want to see that continue, it will certainly help to let the folks at DDI know that you're interested.

Looking to the 4E Campaign Guide and the Player's Guide, I want to say that these are NOT simply 4E translations of the ECS and the PGtE. You're not going to see a lot of duplication of material between the two; because they are coming out around the same time, if there's material that is equally relevant to both PCs and DMs, it's going to go in the Player's Guide. So looking to the current ECS, things like feats, dragonmarks, racial descriptions, the artificer, spells, and so on would all go in the Player's Guide. Nation descriptions will be aimed at what you need to know to create a character from a particular region - as opposed to the Campaign Guide, which will tell you things like which noble may be undead, who wants to go back to war and who wants to stop it, and so on. First, this means that there will be a much clearer delineation of "These are things known to the public, and these aren't". Second, it means that we will have room in the Campaign Guide to present information NOT available in the 3.5 ECS... whether it's just a greater level of depth on old ideas or organizations (what's House Tarkanan up to? How do you actually use the Dreaming Dark?) or presenting a few entirely new ideas to play with. With the benefit of hindsight, there are certainly things I wish we'd done differently in the 3.5 ECS, along with issues where we've had conflicts and contradictions between sourcebooks in the following years. MY goal is to have the 4E core books provide a solid and consistent foundation for the setting, and to ensure that they are interesting and useful both to newcomers to Eberron and to people who have been playing it since the start. Of course, I'm not the only person working on the books, and a lot can happen over the course of a year - so I can't promise specific coverage on any specific topics or go into great detail about anything. However, I'm excited by the potential I see in these books, and I believe that we've got far more to offer than just a mechanical update to 4E.

With that aside, I just saw Iron Man, and personally, I enjoyed it (it's a popcorn movie, certainly, but in my opinion it's a big ste up from Spiderman 3 and X-Men 3. If you see it, make sure to wait through the end credits!

I can't claim to be a huge Eberron fan, but I've liked what I've seen. I like the idea of diving the campaign setting books into "this one is more crunch, this one is more fluff". I especially like a clearer deliniation (spelling?) between the common knowledge and the super-secret hidden knowledge. Sometimes it's obvious what a player character should/should not know, but sometimes it's a lot murkier ...

Cheers! :)

So I was strolling around ENWorld when I fell across this thread discussing the 4E playtest (and including the names of all 4E playtesters, so go check and let us know if you know one of 'em!) when I saw none other than Mike Mearls popped up to say hi. And one of his observations struck me as pretty interesting (it's here if you'd like to see it yourself)

Responding to a question as to why he [Mearls] did not chime in when seeing 4E bashed with what he knew to be untruths ...

Mike Mearls wrote:

Garnfellow, this is pretty much why. Playtesting and a few other topics just turn into mindless, recursive arguments that have no resolution. I can't refer to the rules text and say, "Look, this is what the game does."

In some cases, people *want* to believe the worst for a variety of reasons, and arguing with them on anything is a complete waste of time.

The most eye opening thing about the entire 4e process was how many people are what I call ideologues when it comes to D&D. The end result - whether the game is fun, interesting, and enjoyable - plays a distant second in their minds to the structure of the rules. The process, be it multiclassing, monster hit dice, or whatever, is more important than the end result of that process.

In other words, they'd rather use THAC0 than base attack bonus, because THAC0 is the right way to do things, even if it is slower, less extensible, and one of several idiosyncratic task resolution systems in the game. THAC0 has inherent value, by virtue of being THAC0, over other ways of doing things.

I've apparently had the same experiences as him with this whole 4E release (I remember the furor going from 2E to 3E, but was not quite to internet oriented, so missed most of the fun).

His example is funny because on these very boards I've seen some wax nostaligic over THAC0. Is it missing something from the past? Fear of something new in the future?

I'm still surprised by the vehemence some have against 4E, without ever trying it (or even waiting for the release). Is it because 4E is currently the unknown, and we naturally fear what we do not know?

Sorry if this post was a little disorganized ... this was just something that made me stop and think, and I thought some of you guys would like think with me. ;)

Cheers! :)

Here is the 4E preview for today. Not a very focused article but lots of crunchy goodness littered throughout.

The thing that jumped out as the coolest to me was the Warlord's At-Will powers. He can make one of his allies use a basic melee attack with +his Int damage. How cool is that?

I declare the Warlord 4wesome. ;)

Holy smokes!

RyukenAngel wrote:

[...] Each class has it's own chapter that details different builds and lists the powers available (Between 3-8 per level it seemed). Monster entries are much shorter than in 3.5, but much more concise. [...]

The books look and feel great, there seems to be more artwork and a more logical layout in all the 4e books. The new DM screen is 100% better than the old one.[...]

Ok, multiclassing is done entirely through feats. You take one feat to multiclass and gain a power from that class, and then take additional feats to take more powers from the class.

Rituals are obtained by buying ritual scrolls or ritual books. Ritual scrolls are consumed after one use, books teach the ritual to you permanantly. All rituals seem to have a casting time of at least 10 minutes, require a material component, and require the use of the ritual casting feat (which wizards and clerics get for free at 1st level) Most of the divination spells in 3.5 are now rituals as well as some of the old illusion spells.

Each class has about 15 or so pages written about it which includes powers and paragon paths. It's possible to make characters that don't fall into their presupposed role, but you have to multiclass to do it (you'll need defender powers from fighter to be an effective rogue defender, etc.)

There are no subrace rules (drow, gold dwarf, etc.) in the PHB.

There are approximately 3 times the amount of feats in the 4e PHB as the 3.5 PHB.

The DMG is all about how to run a game. There is no reason at all for a player to have one.

Oh and by the way, Greyhawk, Ravenloft and Dark Sun are definately getting 4e campaigns down the line as well as Planescape and Spelljammer (which they just started working out). They assured us that we can look forward to most of the old campaign setting being remade, and mentioned the above by name.

From this thread on ENWorld! Lots of juicy info.

I've never seen an honest to goodness campaign setting book for Greyhawk. Sounds like I might finally get to.

Any thoughts?

I'm not sure if many still read these forums, seeing the direction Paizo has chosen for now. But I figured if any still do, you might appreciate hearing about the 4E playtest I recently took part in. My regular 3.5 group couldn't meet (DM was busy) so we put our AoW campaign on hold to run a 4E playtest another player is going to be running at a con in a few weeks.

We started off by handing out the pregen characters from the DnDXP. They're posted at WotC's site and a few other places, but I'd figure everyone here is familiar with them.

I ended up playing Skamos, the Tiefling Wizard. I'm pretty 3E but I like to keep an open mind, and wanted to try and be critical and even-handed. I'm not sure how well I managed (I AM pretty pro-4E) but here are my experiences:

I liked the larger amount of HP, although it really didn't serve me that well (more on that in a bit). I had a few different affects I had trouble remembering at first, but I mostly chalk that up to being new to the system. Another player complained about remembering so many different things, but most of the group agreed the problem was only the newness, not an actual greater variety than 3E.

Combats seemed pretty fast paced (although again, things were slow since these were new chars and the rules have changed a bit) and we managed to get through two combats and a 'skill challenge' in maybe 210 minutes (3.5 hours) of play. Not too shabby for a group with little rules experience (besides the DM, I think I'm the only one who has extensively followed the release).

For those curious, the module we ran through was "Escape from Sembia". I believe it is part of the new Living FR, but am unsure. If you don't want to know any details from the module, I'd stop here.

We start off coming to a small town to deliver the MacGuffin to some guy
(didn't totally catch it). We notice our contact coming out of a shop when he gets knifed by a bandit and a group of mercenary town guards (I think we COULD have saved him, but not a single Perception check was in double digits ... DEFINITELY a sign of what was to come!)

Battle was joined, with the Ranger and Warlock sniping the bandit/guards from the bar's window (much to the bartenders chagrin) while the Fighter, Cleric, and Wizard (me) ventured out to meet them in the streets.

As the Wizard I had an at-will small AE that did fire, and Magic Missiles as a long range attack. I also had a few cantrips usable at-will. Between covering fire from the Ranger and Warlock and the Fighter mostly holding them at bay, the guards were wiped up pretty easily.

At one point the bandit and a guard cornered the Fighter and pulled a few strong attacks on her, but she was pretty tough (as a Fighter should be) and was cured to nearly max by the Cleric's healing ability.

After the fight, we were introduced to our first taste of the new 'skill challenge' system. Basically, hearing guards were being cut down in the market, the heat came down on us hard, meaning we had to flee the scene. We went around the table describing how we get away and the DM would ask us for skill checks. The Warlock and Fighter ended up being unable to do pretty much anything (their rolls were TERRIBLE!) and despite everyone being able to sneak away, we accumulated too many failures to win the encounter. Exactly what the negative was I'm not sure (I think it made our next encounter more difficult).

For the third encounter, having fled the town we were in, we came across a small band of hobgoblins camping in the woods. The Warlock wanted to know why we should even bother messing with these guys, but after the Wizard assured her that hobgoblins were akin to roaches, she agreed to wipe the camp out.

The Wizard and Ranger tried sneaking up on the hobgoblins but the Wizard made a noise and was heard. I tried out Sleep on the hobgoblins, and even though they had a special ability to shrug my Sleep off, a few remained affected, which prevented them from reaching me.

In the end though, it wasn't really enough and the Wizard, Ranger, and Cleric all fell to the hobgoblin's attacks. The Fighter was unconscious and the only one standing was the Warlock (we only had 5 players so no one ran the Paladin.)

Overall I had a lot of fun and the opinion of the group seemed pretty positive. We'll be revisiting the module again next Thursday (the AoW DM can't make it again, and there were two encounters left in the module when we ended it.) If there is any interest I'll post what happens next week.

Cheers! :)

Found this over on ENWorld. Podcast!

I haven't listened to it myself (I can't stand podcasts, but from the same thread (findable here) I gather this:

Ryuken Angel wrote:

...Here are the highlights:

Sara Girard said "4.0"...
With rituals being separated from combat powers, no one has to choose between "Water Breathing" and "Fireball" (they can have both)
Buy/Collect as many rituals as you would like. Using a ritual (which seems to include Water Breathing and Prestidigitation) does not infringe on your combat powers.
Girard thinks that minis are "not required," and for her RP is easier in 4e
Detect Magic is now part of the Arcana skill (but it can only be used if Trained in the skill)
No plans to expand gameplay beyond 30th level (no serious discussion at all, as it takes the game out of the "D&D frame"
Higher level powers replace older powers, and powers do not get too numerous or sucky
Multi-Role classes are possible, but none are made yet
"Multiclassing is still in," and using multiple roles through this is possible
Monster Role names are only an "overarching guideline;" Creature and encounter customization is awesome in 4e
No more monster HD or Level Adjustments! Hooray! (We already knew this, but I am so happy!)
Rules for creating monsters, traps, and races in DMG
Law and Chaos are in, but "in a different way." No mechanical effects of Alignment, but there are "story benefits."
"There are rules for organizations, but how we handle that is something we will talk about a little ways down the road."
Unaligned means you haven't even picked a side. "Neutral" implies being aligned in the middle.
No detecting alignment through magic (we knew this, though)
"Paladin Code" is fluff
The god of cake is a lie
Divine "Portfolio grouping" allows for Exarch "demigods," living beings with divine dominion over an aspect of a portfolio that players could become or beat up (at high levels)
Angels are officially "servants of the gods," which could be good or evil, and Archons are now elementals (which we did know, but it is nice to emphasize the point)
Designers think that most complaints about 4e mechanics are due to misinterpretations or not seeing the full spectrum of the situation
"Something bad about 4e:" It does not appeal to people who do not have the same "play style" as the creators and people in the office (and the people they are designing with in mind), but D&D is (in the opinion of designers) adaptable for anybody to play their own way.

So today is the day right? The first public 4E demos, at the big 'ole DnD XP. Well, I can't attend, but I know someone out there who is will be posting reactions and thoughts on the new edition. I figure it'd be helpful to have one thread to consolidate these thoughts, so here it is.

I eagerly anticipate any thoughts or comments.

Hey guys, I've always appreciated your work, but my group has barely started in on AoW, much less ST. I'll pick up the rest of the first Pathfinder AP individually, but seeing as 4E is coming out, I really don't see a need for even more 3.5 APs. When/if you guys switch over though, you can expect me back. So, could someone please cancel my Pathfinder subscription? That is, let me keep getting the ones I have coming (I think up to #4) but don't renew me after that? Thanks! :)