I thoroughly enjoyed issue #350 of Dragon. From the "Ecology of the Clockwork Horror" to the "Creatures of Corruption" and "Magical Pollution", I found the articles in this issue to be a great value for DMs wishing to put a new twist out there to confound players. The entire issue was well-written and beautifully rendered. Most of it was material that was both memorable and full of both useful game data and "flavor".
The "Class Acts" articles proved to be instant hits for me. I found something useful from each class (with the exception of Arcane) for the current dealings of our game group. "The Oversoul" is definitely a godsend as I needed a new belief system in my campaign and this fit perfectly. Class Acts is tossed to the back of the magazine behind Sage Advice and is cut down from what it used to be. Although I understand the reasons why - I still miss the old Class Acts format.
"Savage Tidings" ran a close second, but the winner of the issue is "Core Beliefs: Wee-Jas", which was both a fantastic read and a beautifully illustrated article. Wee-Jas is a very complex and intricate deity that can be spun in so many different lights. This article truly did her justice.
Which leads me to my major disappointment: Where is Wee-Jas's cover?
Every other deity in the Core Beliefs series has gotten the cover shot - Wee Jas did not. Instead we are given a cover shot of the latest/greatest DnD Minis product - the Black Dragon with Sorcerer. I understand we all want the mini to be blessed with good sales, but the choice of art and the wanting quality of it - made the fact that Wee-Jas was jacked out of having her cover shot all the more painful.
Other than that, Spellcraft focused on Chronomancy this issue but with little "Time Travel" magic in DnD to be had, the article fell between the cracks in terms of its usefulness and appeal (my personal opinion). Chronomancy needs something a bit more robust.
I first saw the Combat Pad in Dragon magazine and I ordered it immediately. The product is beautifully rendered and is an extremely versatile tool for mastering complex combats.
The ability to manage the order of initiative, track the number of rounds and make notes regarding finite abilities and durations is invaluable at the game table. Init-cards and scrap paper can’t compare to the Combat Pad. I time our combats with a stop watch and the Combat Pad has improved our game flow immensely. For the price, it’s a good buy and an indispensable tool.
My one and only negative is that the board itself is not on a harder, more durable or thicker material.
To make up for that - OpenMind’s exceptional customer service resolved a shipping issue (USPS damaged my package) within hours – earning both my cuustomer loyalty and respect.