Monday, June 29, 2009

Traps and Hazards in DDI Compendium, Psion right to Character builder

Trevor Kidd from the WotC community team is at it again: In this post, he reveals the July 7th 2009 update will include:

* Psion Class – Early PH3 material, developed and ready to play!
* Eberron Player’s Guide Data.
* Information from May Dragon and Dungeon.
* Updated Hybrid rules and information.
* Ability to Duplicate and hide power cards.
* Other changes to the character sheet and power cards such as primary background information appearing in the Summary text and bold faced headers on power cards.



Review: Player's guide to Eberron - Part 4

Only two chapters left! I will prevail!
Chapter 4 is Character Options, inside of it are 3 sections: Feats, Equipment and Rituals.

Feats - There are a large number of feats for the heroic tier here, in addition to the more generic feats, there are Dragonmark feats, Channel Divinities for the gods, and a few general, class, and racial feats. I'll cover them quickly, in reverse.

Racial - there are 2 elf, 4 Warforged, 3 shifter, 3 Kalashtar, 1 changeling, 1 Dwarf, 1 halfling and 1 drow racial feats in the heroic tier. It is a little strange that there is but the one Changeling feat, as it is a new race (and the feat is misprinted as for 'doppelganger') but the other new eberron races get a bunch of cool things, as do the shifters who originated in Eberron in 3.5. The Sturdy Shifter feat lets you simulate a beasthide shifter better, if you liked them back in 3.5. The Halfing and Drow feats are for use with some of the new weapons later in the chapter, giving them some needed reflavouring for the world. The Elf and Dwarf feats both require backgrounds related to their Eberron homelands.
I Would have liked to see a few more Heroic tier racial feats for all races. a Zil Gnome feat would have been quite nice.

Class: the Artificer gets some love, getting 6 class feats. These include feats like Master Craft that let them use enchant magic item to make items higher level than yourself.
General: The only truely general heroic tier feat is a reprint of Alchemist from adventurer's vault. Many artificers will take this instead (or with) Ritual Caster, and there are a number of new Alchemy items in the book.

Dragonmarks: The most important part of the feats section. Dragonmarks are key to the great noble merchant houses of eberron. In 3.5 the feats came in 3 tiers, each greater than the last, each granting a spell-like ability. This idea has been done away with, instead the 16 marks (aberrant marks were split into 3 separate type of marks) grants a bonus to things you are likely doing anyway, like the mark of healing helps with healing powers. Each mark grants some Ritual Casting ability without having to get that feat also. The Aberrant marks all trigger extra things off daily powers. These feats are all quite powerful, being as good and some better than most multi-class feats. For example the Mark of Scribing, associated with House Sivis, gives 4 languages, +2 to Diplomacy, and full ritual casting. Another major difference between the 3.5 feats and these new one are the lack of Racial requirements, they are 'open' to any race. But there is a suggestion that it will be incredibly rare outside the correct race.

Paragon & Epic feats: There are only 4 Paragon tier feats, 2 for Kalashtar, 1 for Warforged, 1 for Artificers. All are quite good.
Also there are only 4 Epic tier feats, 1 each for Artificers, Changelings, Kalashtar and Warforged. Each one are feats you will likely take.

There is also a Artificer multiclass feat, it does pretty much as you would expect.



Equipment- There are some new weapons - 3 Halfling weapons (including stuff a Halfling barbarian can use two handed officially!), 2 Drow weapons, the iconic double scimitar for Valenar Elves, and two Rierdran traditional weapons. All the weapons are pretty cool, and seem to be fairly useful. And the boomerangs!
Mundane Items: Lots of Iconic mundane items for the world here, Traveling papers and Identification. Spellshards and Inquisitive's Kits. Its all here. I like that they didn't change the price of the ID papers between editions, so what I charged my level 1 players 6 months ago was actually right!
A really nice part of this spread it the express permission to photocopy the page of the ID papers etc, so you can make your own for your character.
Dragonmarked House Services: Prices for Rides on the Lightning Rail or Airships, message prices and more. The travel prices were greatly reduced, which is a good thing. I believe the assumption is still that these are the regular cart prices, and there are cheaper steerage and more expensive seats both.
Alchemy: A whole bunch of new items and formulae, The coolest being a clockwork bomb, that walks and blows up at a semi-random time. There are 18 formulae.
Magic Items: There are Holy Symbols for most faiths, Rods and Wands meant for artificers, Totems for the druidic sects of Eberron. A brand new type of item appearing here though, is the dragonshard augment, magic crystals you can add to weapons or implements to add an extra property to them. Also appearing are Warforged Components, items that can only attach or be embedded into the Living Constructs, here is where we see the return of Mithral and Adamantine Plating, and the classic Armblade and Final Messenger. Most of these are reprints from the Dragon issue that the Warforged also appeared.


Rituals: Finally there are 16 new rituals to close out the chapter. There are some rituals which require a specific dragonmark, and they are pretty cool. One of the coolest rituals in general though is called Inquisitive's Eyes, allowing you to look backwards in time at your current location.

Great chapter, its only problem is there seems like a lot of things ended up getting cut, because of lack of space, or perhaps it is me just looking for more great stuff.

9/10

Next: last chapter, and full overview of the book.

DDI Campaign tools announcement

Trevor Kidd from the Wizards of the Coast Community Team posted the first official information on the upcoming Dungeons and Dragons Insider software. (here)

It seems that the Campaign Tools will be stand alone tools- mentioned is the Monster tool, which will be the first released.

The Monster tool can:
* Search through and display monsters that appear in any of our books or magazines.
* Edit monsters so they fit into your planned encounter/campaign.
* Create, display, and print your own unique monsters in the official formatting style you see in our printed D&D material.


There will also be the ability to drag and drop abilities from pre-existing monsters.


So it looks like the rumors from Origins were right!

Edit 12:12 AM EST 6/30/2009: Looks like Mike Donais, a wotc R&D guy that works with digital games, is spilling some more beans.
The program seems like it will be Windows only, probably using the .net framework, and:

1) Templates didn't make the first build.
2) Yes, powers are fully customizable, or you can use existing ones and tweak them.
3) Yes, you can swap solo/elite/minion/normal with a dropdown and it does the math instantly.
4) Yes, NPCs use the same rules as monsters, they just have different powers.


take a look through the thread linked before the edit, as he may be talking about it more as time goes on.

New Penny Arcade Podcast soon

Gabe and Tycho from www.penny-arcade.com are recording a new podcast for Wizards of the Coast. The previous two included Scott Kurtz from the PvP webcomic, and the last one also included Wil Wheaton (Wesley Crusher- Star Trek: The Next Generation; Gordie - Stand By Me)

Check out their post.

Official Previews for 6/29/2009

Divine Power - Cleric Paragon Path: Miracle Worker

Eberron Campaign Guide - Thrane and House Cannith including a Cannith Magewright, a Level 6 Artillery.


Sunday, June 28, 2009

ECG - Deathless out.

Another tidbit on the Eberron Campaign Guide from the hellcow's mouth:

What matters to me is that the Aereni believe that the deathless represent a positive force in the world and that the undead produced by the Blood of Vol are a threat to life. But the fact of the matter is that the ECG doesn't actually provide deathless stats, for all that the deathless are mentioned (seems like a slip, but there it is) - so it's really up to you.

So there aren't any deathless in the book, that is too bad, hopefully we get some in DDI at some point.

see the original wizards.community thread

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Review: Player's guide to Eberron - Part 3

Classes!
The third chapter of the Eberron Player's Guide covers 3 subjects, a new base class the Artificer, a number of Paragon Paths and four new Epic Destinies.

The Artificer - Arcane Leader.
I am a big fan of the artificer, in both 3.5 and in 4E. The artificer was also the first playtest article to appear in the Digital Insider, so lets look at it in that regard.
The Artificer's basic shtick is they are magical tinkers and builders, they are able to pull out the magic inherent to objects, and build it up or destroy it. This really fits with the leader role, since many of the spells 'buff' up your team. The tinker idea comes through through creative use of conjuration and summoning keyworded spells. Little magical objects and creatures are created and do things for the artificer. One of the coolest in my opinion is an attack summoning that you basically animate your crossbow and it begins fighting for you.
The artificer interacts very well with magic items, and has abilities that let them occasional recharge item daily powers, and of course get ritual caster (with magic item rituals) for free!

Its a great class, and I'd like to try one out at some point.


Paragon Paths
There are 3 types of Paths in the book, racial, artificer and dragonmark house paths.
One of the artificer paths is hidden as an 'alchemist' (with that feat being the only pre-req) but it is clearly meant to used most often by Artificers. The other paths for Artificers are pretty cool, with one for each build focus - a front-line guy, or the guy with all the magical/clockwork pets. There is also a remake of the 3.5 Renagade Mastermaker, who turns himself into a warforged- the self-forged. (see that one here) It is a much better design than the 3.5 version in my opinion.

There are 3 racial paths, each are quite useful to common racial archetypal classes. The Kalashtar path is only open to practitioners of the Path of Light, it is the only racial path with a prerequisite other than the race itself.

The last 13 paths are for each Dragonmarked houses. Each require the mark for the related house. They are all pretty cool, and there are a lot of them, so I wish only to cover a few. The Sivis truenamer is very cool, you begin to learn some words of creation and use them to your advantage. If the 'marked Gnome in my group hadn't just left, he would have almost definitely taken it. The House Vadalis path is for beastmaster rangers, and lets them get a Griffon animal companion/mount. Very cool.



Over-all this chapter is one of the best sections in the book, 10/10

DDI DM tool improvements coming soon?

The rumor going around Origins, according to E, the Geek's Dream Girl the Digital Insider DM tools will undergo an improvement soon. I would assume this means the flash tools (monster builder, etc), but it could also mean starting to roll out pieces of the new Campaign Management software they are developing.

See her original tweet.

The Best Adventure I Never Wrote contest

Near the end of 3.5 a little contest called "The Best Adventure I Never Wrote" was run by Dungeon Magazine.
The adventure was submitted, but never published... a little thing called 4E ended up getting in the way.

Yesterday Christopher Perkins [D&D Creative Manager] noted on the Wizards.community boards:
"Other priorities forced us to put the adventure on a backburner, but Chris Youngs [Dungeon Editor] tells me it's back in development."

So Cross City Race is back in development, and we'll see it in Dungeon soon hopefully - check out the full description of the adventure.

Divine Power background hints from DDI article

The recent article From Adventurers of the Realms - Tarmalune and the Windrise Ports, in Dragon 376, has sidebars "Additional Tarmalune Backgrounds/Additional Windrise Ports Backgrounds" which talk about alternative backgrounds you could take instead of the regional benefit, and includes a few from Divine Power.

These include: Disbeliever; Followed a cult; Missionary life; & Touched by an angel.

Eberron Campaign Guide - healing in the mournland

Keith Baker is teasing information and answering questions about the Eberron Campaign Guide again on the Wizards.community boards, this time talking about the effects of the mournland on healing.

Quote- Originally Posted by Trobon: It seems to be suggesting to me that you can heal in the mournland, but powers don't work.
What I can say is that the rule affects all characters equally. As such, it doesn't make a character who's focused on healing abilities useless. It will makes adventuring challenging, but not impossible, and again, it's not going to make the cleric feel useless while the fighter is unaffected.


he also goes on to say "The ECG addresses this subject specifically. Without breaking NDA, I can say that the restrictions make the Mournland a dangerous place, but do not make adventuring within it impossible... In any case, there is a general rule on healing, but it is not simply "You cannot spend healing surges in the Mournland."

check out the entire thread here.

Psion to go on DDI on July 7

The newest Editorial Calendar says the Psion from next year's Player's Handbook 3 will debut on July 7 2009 on DDI.
This is supposed to be neither a preview nor playtest, but a finished and final class. Accessing the class will require a DDI subscription.

PHB3 will have rules updates

Like the Player's Handbook 2 before it, the 3rd incarnation of the series will have rules clarification and updates. This was confirmed in this podcast.

4E updates for 3.5 books

Near the end of the lifecycle of D&D 3.5, a number of books came out with the claim that they would be updated to 4E, these updates haven't happened yet, a year into 4th's life cycle.

Well according to some posts on Wizards.community by D&D Creative Manager Christopher Perkins, they're coming in July 2009.

He says "We commissioned the updates back in 2008, but the work needed a lot of development, and other projects forced us to delay this work. That said, we have two of the updates in typesetting currently and the others being revised/edited as we speak. We're currently planning to release the updates next month (July)."
(see post)

Books to be updated are:
Exemplars of Evil
Elder Evils
Fortress of the Yuan-ti
City of Stormreach
Dragons of Eberron
Anauroch
(links go to official product page)

More D&D language Scripts?

Wizards.community board poster Gray Richardson found an interesting post on the website of the artist who created the Iokharik (Draconic), Rellanic (Elven), and Davenic (Dwarven) scripts for the 4E Player's Handbook 1.

The post from December of 2008 states that he is working on 2 more scripts for D&D. Gray posits that he means scripts for Barazhad (elemental) and Supernal (Astral), which would then likely appear in a future book, the most likely being The Plane Below: Secrets of the Elemental Chaos, or possibly Player's Handbook 3.

See the post here, or the entire thread.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Player's Handbook Heroes Preview 3


Three new official previews for PHH, this time covering martial heroes 4

Three new minis are covered, including one being a repaint of Alusair Oberysk to be a warlord, coming with the pictured at-will attack used with charge attacks. There is also a Shifter Ranger, and tiefling fighter.

Official previews for 06/26/2009

First up, Divine Power preview - The article goes over how domains work, showing with the Destruction domain (covered by Gruumsh and Tharizdun in the Points of Light world. The way domains seem to work, you can take two feats for each domain, one is an at-will prayer augmenting feat, with a couple other bonuses, then there is also a set of channel divinity feats too.

Next up, The Mournland, and foulspawn, from the Eberron Campaign Guide, covering a little mournland lore, then talking about Foulspawn- Dolgrims, Dolgaunts and the brand new Dolgarr. Then learn about the Daelkyr called the lord of eyes

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Player's handbook Heroes 2 Preview 2

Another Mini's preview today! Looks like the one of the unknown minis in this next set was a Halfling Barbarian, just for us Eberronites. :)
The pictured daily attack for it looks pretty awesome too!

Take a look here.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Review: Player's guide to Eberron - Part 2

Part 2 - Races

The second Chapter of the book is all about the races of the World of Eberron, three new ones to 4E, and then ways to incorporate the races from the previous Player's Handbooks into the world of Eberron, so lets look at the 'new' races.
First up is the Changeling, AKA the doppelganger. To visualize the stats, open up your Monster Manual look at the doppelganger from the back, and add something similar to the shape shifter feint they have on page 71, but have it use bluff vs insight instead. THEN let them choose to get +2 to Dex instead of Int if they want to too! Mechanically these guys have a lot going for them. I have a feeling they are going to be showing up in a lot of places outside of Eberron. Story wise they stick with what worked in 3.5, the whole mistrusted because of actions of a few bad apples, could be anyone, thing. Its great. The art for the changeling makes them look like 80s hair metal musicians, but it works somehow.
The entirely new entry here, the Kalashtar is a little strange, they don't have a great story hook in other worlds than Eberron most of the time, but in Eberron they are key. They are a human hybrid race with a twist - millenia ago in the Plane of dreams a group of non-evil Dream Spirits called Quori rebelled against the very much evil Quori and tried to get out of dodge, not an easy thing to do when the only way for the plan to touch the world was through mortal dreams. Luckily they were able to contact some monks who were willing to share their bodies with them. Over generations the connection to the spirit has dimmed, but psionic power (in this case represented as a encounter power to boost the will defense of yourself and allies, and 2 way telepathy within 5 squares!) resulted from the union. The evil Quori are still mad at them, so they later took control of a bunch of people on the same continent and have a whole cold war thing going on with them. It's all very cool, and is one of the important antagonisms of the setting. Very great. On a more mechanical side the Kalashtar are the first +2 Cha, +2 Wis race, so they make great divine characters, and presumably psionic ones (when PHB3 comes out), If I manage to get to play some D&D (rather than DM it) a Kalashatar Monk playtest may be in order... at least its on the list of things I'd like to play. Great art here for the Kalashtar, gets the whole otherworldly feel they should have.
Lastly of the fully statted races, the return of the Warforged, previously in the Monster Manual, and in the first issue of Digital 4E Dragon magazine (still free!) If you saw the dragon version, it is basically the same, but they removed the full construct keyword, and I believe cleaned up the embedded/attached components rules a bit. The warforged story-wise are a living constructed race of wood stone and metal. They were built to help fight the century long "last war", and now that the war is over and they were given full rights under the Treaty of Thronehold, they are looking for their place in the world without war (at least for now). The art here kinda stinks though, not a fan of these 'forged.

The mechanics are just right, and they hit on the right notes for the races (and without explicitly talking about psionics with the Kalashtar too, neat!) so lets see how they fare on the rest of the races of 4E.

I'm not going to look at each race separately, just a couple of them. Each section on the other races includes sections on the lands of the race, and Dragonmarked houses they control. This works well for most races, but quite a few of them are just basically - if you're dragonmarked you're likely one-of-a-kind, so it was a little redundant.
-Eberron Gnomes still kick ass, when you least expect it. They are scary buggers.
-Elves, left them right where they needed to be. Crazy horse riding horde, Metropolitan people, or undead preserving ancestor worshipers.
-Dragonborn. Really like what they did here, they seem like they were in there from the begining, not something just stuck in. From Argonessen, the land of the Dragons, and had an empire in the Jungle Nation of Q'barra millenia ago, but it fell.
-Eladrin also fit really well, the 7 stranded feyspires is a really cool idea, one I wish was explained a bit better (see this for more on how it explained in the ECG) I really can't complain at all. Except that part about the eladrin mixing with some Phiarlan elves in one of the spires, so some are dragonmarked. Guh. /ignore.
-Half-Elves are their own race, distict from either humans or elves. I wish they had used the term Khorvar in there, the Politically Correct name for the Half-Elf
Halflings - Dinosaur riding nomads? Check.

After the basic races are covered, they quickly go over some of the monsterous races and give their place in the world, Orcs the noble Druids or brutish cultists, Goblin's ancient empire reborn, gnolls in their nation of monsters, and more.

All in all this in a great chapter, despite its occasional flaws, I still have to totally give it a 9.5/10

Keep watching for more parts of the review! Next up - Classes!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Official Previews for 6/22/2009

Today's previews are kinda cool, for Divine Power we get a new build for invokers with constitution being the secondary stat - The Malediction Invoker. This build seems to focus on doing just a little bit extra if you sacrifice by taking ongoing damage or a penalty or something like that.

They show off some dailies, take a look.


In today's Eberron Campaign guide preview there is talk about Karrnath (oh look at that beautiful map) and also we get a stat-block for a Magebred Destrier (a Destrier is a type of medieval war-horse)
Check them both out!

In Subscriber only Land get a playtest of the volcanic dragon - a catastrophe dragon. From the included lore, it seems catastrophe dragons gave up their connection to Io their progenitor, to gain power from the elemental primordials. It's very cool, and these seem to be a very cool monster, if not a little complicated (thus the playtest)
The dragons range from level 8 to 23, and are brutes.

Cosmology stuff in the Eberron Campaign Guide

A few more forum posts from over the weekend from Eberron's creator Keith Baker showed up over the weekend:

IN response to a poster saying "it would be a shame if "core" products couldn't work for Eberron." in regards to planar material.

Keith confirmed that the poster 'may' be right.
Also he said that at least one Lord of Dust Overlord and his speaker will have stats.

See that thread here.


In a thread about the 'refitting' of the core World Axis Cosmology to the planar orrery model of Eberron's 3.5 planes, keith said this:

"I've got the 4E version of the planar orrery as my computer desktop - done by Lee Moyer (who also did the 3.5 version), and one of my favorite pieces of Eberron art to date. 4E concepts have been merged with the planes, but that doesn't result in the loss of the orrery. The planes aren't planets, and the orrery doesn't represent PHYSICAL orbits. It's used to represent the fact that the planes move in and out of phase with Eberron, becoming coterminous and remote. As this remains true, the orrery map remains valid, and is still used in 4E."

So it looks like they are keeping the use of the model, so now it seems that Eberron will have a dual model for its planes, which is kinda cool. And Lee Moyer art! I bet it'll be just as wonderful as the Dragonmarks and the 4E map!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Eberron Campaign Guide tidbits from Keith Baker

Keith Baker has been responding to a bit of a snafu on the wizards board about Dragonmarked Eladrin (see page 36 of the Eberron Player's Guide) and in the process he revealed more about Eladrin as they appear in the Eberron Campaign Guide, coming next month. Check out the Post here, and the whole thread here.
I may be a little biased, but everything out that man's mouth is GOLD!

Review: Player's guide to Eberron - Part 1


I'm going to admit my bias against Eberron right away, frankly I love it. It is my absolutely favourite campaign setting ever made. Today I am going to get away from finding spoilers on the internet and compiling them together for you, and review the new product I got this week. After I am going to give impressions of Khyber's Harvest the new 2nd level adventure written by Keith Baker and the accompanying Dungeon Tile available for free RPG day (today!)

Now Eberron is a complex setting, and it took a very large campaign setting book in 3.5 when it was originally released to get everything across. This time the book was split into Player and Campaign books (much like the Forgotten Realms were last year). The Campaign Guide comes out next month, and it is expected to have a lot more world information than this book does, and rightly so, since a lot of that isn't really meant to be player knowledge.

Overview: 160 Page harcover. The book has 5 chapters, covering Life in Eberron, Races, Classes, Character Options and World of Eberron. Before all these comes the Introduction (see it here) giving a tone and style overview of the world of Eberron.

Art: The art is about the same quality as all 4th edition books have been so far. There are some great pieces, and some not so great ones. Less re-use of art overall than some other books (other than the dragonmarks and holy symbols which are reused whole cloth from 3.5, and really there is no reason not to, they were great work... hmm just noticed there is no picture for Dol Arrah's, or Boldrei's Symbol in the book, or for any non-sovereign religion directly in the book...) I just looked through the Art Gallery (here) and couldn't find any full sized art that had been re-used, only the symbols. A lot of the art seems in random places and there are dragonmarks on everyone just about, especially on people's faces, which is kinda silly. There is also a dragonmark on a Shifter! The Medani Paragon Path is kinda odd as the half-elf is dressed like a Valenar elf, which doesn't make a lot of sense for an example character. I really like that Identifcation and Travel Papers and Letter of Marque are designed blank so they can be reused (and permission is granted for photocopy)
Overall the art is of higher quality than 4th edition in general, but I find it a little lacking compared to the greatness of the 3.5 art. The 'comic book' pages are missed the most. Highlights This dragonborn , this artificer and this lyrandar half-elf 6/10



Chapter: 1 Life in Eberron

This section is broken in to 6 Sections - The World, Life Across Khorvaire, Faiths of Eberron, Time and History, Movers and Shakers and Adventurers.

The World: This section give a good coverage of the creation myth of the world, and a quick overview of the main countries of Khoraire, the primary continent of the world, and where your adventurer likely comes from. This is followed by what I want to call the most beautiful map of Khorvaire I can imagine. I can get lost in it and stare for minutes at a time. Good Job Lee Moyer!
Then comes a run down of the other continents - Aerenal (the sub-continent of the elves), Xen'drik (jungles and ruins and adventure abound), Argonessen (Here there be dragons), The frostfell (ICY), and Sarlona (original homeland of Humanity, now run by mysterious peoples). There is a world over-view map so you can see how things fit together. Also beautiful!
There is a quick rundown of the planes, not everything is covered, but it gives us an idea on how the planes were slightly re-imagined from the Planar Orrery model to work in 4E's world axis model.
I like how the non-adar, non-riedra nations of Sarlona that were not detailed until 3.5's secrets of sarlona are mentioned here.

Life Across Khorvaire:
This section talks about the last war, the century long conflict that just ended... temporarily. Talks about how goverment and everday life work. Talks a little about the main religions and widespread magic.
There is a short section talking about money, unfortunately they never mentioned the common names of coins (crown for copper, Sovereign for silver, Galifar for gold and Platinum Dragons.) it goes on to talk about newspapers like the Korranburg Chronicle and university patrons.
The section ends on languages and names. Eberron has 3 new languages (Argon, Quori and Riedran) three new scripts (Daelkyr, Quori and Old Common) and the switch around of some languages, for example Orcs now speak Goblin, and Drow speak Giant. In the section on names it explains the honorifics of ir and d added to noble families.
This section was really great.

Faiths of Eberron: Great player resource going over the major religions of eberron, covering the soverign host, silver flame, elven religions, the path of light, the blood of vol and the dark six. Each has enough detail for a divine character to get a good idea of what they will be like. More detail would be nice though. I'm glad I have Faiths of Eberron (3.5) to supplement this if a player wants to play a cleric.
I'm quite happy they made-over the blood of Vol into an unaligned relgion, it got a really bad rap in 3.5 for being much more evil than it is. I'm also a little disapointed some of the 'rarer' relgions (the becoming god, the lord of blades) are not in here, but most of the time they weren't appropriate for PCs anyway.
Good section.

Time and History: A very quick overview of the history of eberron, with a much shorter timeline than the one in the 3.5 campaign setting. There are lots of bits that seem to intentionally omited, so the DM can use them more freely, but a lot of character ideas will need extra filling in by the DM/Campaign guide.

Movers and Shakers: Here we start learning about the Dragonmarked houses, great magical mercantile houses and guild united by magical markings, and part of the "Draconic prophecy" - a force of the universe that can be seen just about everywhere if you know how to look for it. It manifests in markings and symbols on the land, and the aformentioned dragonmarks, which give wonderful powers (more on these later).
All 13 dragonmarked houses get a couple paragraphs each, and they stay very much in the realm of general knowledge. The secrets of the houses will need to be told to the players, though some are hinted at.
The section ends with a look at the royal families of the five most important Khorvaire nations, and then at some universities that exist in the world.

Adventures: This section is fair superfulous in my opionion, at least the first half which goes over the type of dungeons you can find. The Sections on Investigation and intrique are better as those are less common everyday D&D tropes, and more unique to the setting.
There is a section on travel, reinforcing the roles of the dragonmarked houses, and the indiana jones style dotted line travel of the setting.

Overall score for Chapter 1 9/10 - its a great chapter.

Whew! That was just the first chapter. This is going to be longer than I though!
I'm going to have to make this a part 1 and continue later!

Legendary Evils completely Spoiled!

Those guys at Greyhaze's DDM spoilers have pictures of all 40 monsters in the set now!
Check it out here: http://www.ddmspoilers.com/mm_02.php

Friday, June 19, 2009

Eberron Campaign Guide & Dvine Power previews

Rituals from Divine Power - full text of a Binding ritual that lets you control an Immortal.

Breland, and a Lord of Dust from the Eberron Campaign Guide. The Lord of Dust is called Durastoran the Wyrmbreaker, a Level 29 Elite Controller.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Player's handbook Heroes 2 Preview 1


Wizards put up a preview of the three minis in Divine Heroes 2 - Warforged Cleric, Male Human Paladin, & Human Female Avenger (repainted Kalashtar Bodyguard)

One of the prayers included is the pictured Focused Fury, the others being Invigorating Assault (cleric at-will), and Flare of Divine Vengeance (Paladin Utility 6)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Supporting DDI material offline

In a long discussion about Dungeons and Dragons Online material such as the Revenant on ENWorld, Scott Rouse from Wizards of the Coast said this:

I think those streams will remain somewhat exclusive (eg revenant lives on D&Di exclusively) as they did back when Dragon & Dungeon were in paper form. RTheer[sic] will also be content that lives on both as in the case of compendium or the Character Builder. That speaks to D&Di's nature as both content and tools/game aides.


So the exclusive material like the aforementioned Revenant race and the upcoming Assassin class will only be supported on DDI, no in the "X Power" book, etc.

Scott Rouse on what ISN'T the 2010 setting...

Scott Rouse, from the D&D team at wizards recent made this posting on their message boards regarding a request that the next setting be a brand new one.

Good idea but it's too late. The setting is already in development. Maybe in 2011.


So the setting definitely isn't brand new, and of course based on recent signs is either DRAGONLANCE or DARK SUN.

Though that last sentence is possibly hinting to a brand new setting in 2011...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Hint in Eberron Player's Guide for 2010 setting?

Page 152 of the Player's Guide says the there are Half-giant and Thri-keen in Xen'drik!
I can't wait for my book to get here so I can see it myself!

Dark Sun in 2010? It is a clue in that direction.

Paypal payments for DDI!

Wizards just announced that you can use Paypal for Dungeons and Dragons Insider subscriptions here.
Just in time to still get the "introductory pricing"!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Peter Lee on upcoming DDM sets.

Peter Lee, miniatures designer, on WotC Forum:

I'll be starting previews soon for the 2nd Heroes series and Legendary Evils shortly after that.

And separately,

I'll eventually do another female tiefling warlock, but there was a female Tiefling Warlock in Unhallowed so it hasn't been a priority of mine.


And here

While close, that list of huges is not 100% correct.

(referring to the visible huges in Legendary Evils currently listed on DDM spoilers: 1) Balor; 2) Beholder Ultimate Tyrant; 3) Elder Chromatic Dragon; 4) Elder Metalic Dragon; 5) Frost Titan; 6) Goristro; 7) Heroslayer Hydra; 8) Remorhaz)

Designer/Developer statements on the next setting...

Here are some things Chris Perkins has said about campaign settings... http://www.enworld.org/forum/4824917-post165.html

Use these to predict the next campaign setting yourself!

Revenant!

Be undead! New Player Race the Revenant. DDI exclusive here, http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/drfe/20090615 DDI subscription is required.

Official Previews for 6/15/2009

At http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4ex/20090615 Wizards previews the Eberron Campaign Setting some information on the Nation of Aundair, also some information on the world of Eberron and it's planes. Coming up: A Nation each preview day, along with Threats, Travel, Monsters, Dragonmarks, Religion, Sample Encounter, ToC.

At http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4ex/20090615b Wizards previews Divine Power's Favoured Soul Paragon Path for the Avenger. Get wings! Coming up: Rituals, Malediction Invoker (a new build?), Domains, Cleric: Miracle Worker (a new build?), Feats, Virtuous Paladin (a new build?), Avatar of Death (Epic Destiny)

Ship Ahoy! Exclusive Tile Sheet for Active DMs

From the RPGA report on the wizards site:
Our great DM Rewards don’t stop with our annual adventure. DMs that have done at least five sessions of reported DMing by June 30 will receive the first “activity” mailing for our new program in August. What’s up this time around? A great-looking exclusive tile that has a number of different ships on it, including below decks for the largest one! Each DM that qualifies for the reward will receive two copies of this ship tile sheet, so you can have a ship-to-ship combat or portray both above and below decks on your gaming table at one time.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Player's handbook Heroes 2 Pictures

Greyhaze's DDM spoilers page has found more (low res) pictures of the rest of the Minis in this upcoming set and put them up here. Go take a look.
Some are still repaints of older minis:
Divine Heroes 2 - Kalashtar Bodyguard (original)
Divine Heroes 3 - Combat Magic (original)
Martial Heroes 3 - Dragonborn Fighter (original)
Martial Heroes 4 - Alusair Obarskyr (original)
Primal Heroes 2 - Frenzied Beserker (original)
Arcane Heroes 3 has no repaints.

Eberron Campaign Guide Comes with Poster Map

In the newest D&D podcast Mike Mearls and James Wyatt both talk about both next week's Eberron Player's guide discussing dragonmarks (more is written here, REQUIRED DDI SUB) and then get on to the Campaign Guide, and they reveal the book will come with a Poster Map of the Primary Continent of Khorvaire by Artist Lee Moyer (he did the designs of the Dragonmarks in 3.5!), with a basic battle map of Sharn Streets and another that is tied the adventure in the book.

Also revealed that some of the adventure starts as a flashback to the last war, then fast forwards to the 'mean streets of Sharn.'

Friday, June 12, 2009

Podcast is on Eberron Player's Guide

@mikemearls: @aquelajames and I recorded a podcast today talking about Eberron. Really excited for the books to roll out.

@mikemearls: Follow up to a few people from yesterday: the podcast usually goes up within a week of recording it.

The Editorial Calendar states the Podcast is supposed to be up on friday.

WotC already had their Legendary Evils

Legendary Evils, the 08/2009 DDM set is in progress, and employees of WotC got to see them for real for the first time today.
@Gregbilsland: Just received factory set of the next miniatures set, "Legendary Evils." It is full of pure awesome. I want more!
@Mikemearls: Bad: Overslept and got into work late. Good: Found a set of #dnd minis waiting for me at my desk.

More Eberron Player's Guide stuff

E (@geeksdreamgirl) has answered a lot of questions about the EPG here: http://geeksdreamgirl.com/2009/06/11/eberron-players-guide-preview-your-questions-answered/

IeatTrollsForBreakfast has found some (possibly unused) Eberron Player's Guide art by Ben Wootten which were posted on his DeviantART profile:
http://forums.gleemax.com/showpost.php?p=18769100&postcount=73

There is apparently no Channel Divinity Feat for the Blood of Vol according to posters on RPG.net

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Third Printing for PHB2, DM rewards for 08/09

In a discussion about Player's Handbook 2 shortages here: WotC_Scott: "We certainly were caught off guard by the sales [of the PHB2]. We are on a third printing (arrived last week). We sold through 4 months of planned inventory the first day of release"
WOW!


Pictures of the Dungeon Tile rewards for RPGA DMs for 8/09; they are a useful looking Ship, and I am big fan of Dungeon Tiles. I hope I can get some of these in the future!

Player's Guide Spoilers

In the past week a number of people got next week's Eberron Player's Guide, and now some are officially getting into the spoiling game.

Since there is a lot of stuff I am sure to have missed, this is not meant to be comprehensive, as there has been a lot spoiled, both officially and unofficially.

RPG.net has the bulk of the most recent ones so check them out:
"... No new Invoker feats, other than the new Channel Divinities. Exorcist of the Silver Flame is all about adding radiant damage to your fire powers and fire damage to your radiant powers." http://forum.rpg.net/showpost.php?p=10471449&postcount=172

Eberron Channel Divinity Feats: http://forum.rpg.net/showpost.php?p=10471647&postcount=179

Mourning Saviour Epic Destiny: http://forum.rpg.net/showpost.php?p=10471748&postcount=184

Warforged Components: http://forum.rpg.net/showpost.php?p=10473008&postcount=212

Summary of Yesterday's Facebook spoilers: http://forum.rpg.net/showpost.php?p=10474201&postcount=219

Good summary of info in book in general: http://forum.rpg.net/showpost.php?p=10474223&postcount=221


I'm really excited about this book, but I am very biased as I've been running a Eberron game for a number of months, and was a fan right from the begining in 3.5

Updates for Double Weapons coming soon?

D&D Editor & Designer Greg Bilsland has been twittering about some upcoming updates (formerly called errata) coming for D&D, and on the chopping block - double weapons.

@gregbilsand Working on revisions to double weapons. #dnd
@gregbilsand No #dnd monster development today :( Just power editing and discussions about double weapons.

There has been no indication if this will just effect the Double Sword, or all double weapons.

Dragonlance Setting for 2010?

An Ebay listing for what appears to an Aurak Draconian from the next set LEGENDARY EVILS (a Huge minis sett) Has many people speculating that the 2010 Setting is Dragonlance

In responce WotC employee Scott Rouse: "The 2010 setting has an "a" in the name. Does that clear things up?" (see more in EnWorld thread)

According to Chris Perkins and James Wyatt in http://thetome.podbean.com/2009/06/10/the-tome-ep-106-4e-one-year-later/ the official announcement of the next setting will be at Gencon later this year.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Mission Statement

I've just opened up this brand new blog that I concepted the other day. I realized there are a million ways to get spoiler information for upcoming D&D 4E books, updates/errata, DDI articles etc, but none are really ever brought to the same place - you can find them by looking through numerous blogs, Twitter and forums, and people who do use those resources miss out completely.

What I will start bringing here are links and text from D&D developers and other key people from twitter. What is the Editing team working on for the next round of Updates for D&D? Find out here. I will bring links and text (and pictures sometimes too likely) that people have posted on other blogs and the wizards spoiling/previewing material from new books. I will round up all kinds of posts made to various forums about upcoming Miniatures, spoilers from books, and other interesting news that ends up leaking over various online forums like the Wizards dot community, ENworld, Rpgnet, and more.
All these things will be able to be found in one place, in a neat little package.

What I will not be doing - I will not be posting whole cloth text from books - no more than descriptions and snippets. I may show a single feat or a single power etc - but I am not going to show a whole class. I'm not going to try benefit solely from Wizards of the Coast's copyrighten material.

So in the next day or so I will get going with this - I am hoping to update at least twice a week. It might come faster or slower depending on the amount of news, and how busy I am, with organizing my own game and with other "life" things.