Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Trip In Progress Report

Greetings from the east coast. Spent the day yesterday in the DC area and had a good meeting. Meeting today was in Maryland as is the conference I am at the rest of the week so I transplanted hotels. I read most of the good parts of the Player's Handbook 2 on the plane on Sunday and thought I would give you my quick thoughts on the product.

Races: Much has been written in better blogs then mine on the new core races for D&D. For my part, I think they are pretty good and diverse adds to the mix. If I had to pick my favorite I would have to say the Half Orc was the one that I enjoyed the most and wouldn't mind playing. He would make an excellent rouge. On the other end of the scale is the Shifters. In fact Shifters are the only other race I just don't get. Maybe it is the art, but they look like Furries. Below is my rank listing, top to bottom, of the new additions.

  • Half-Orc -- A great return, and the turn on the fluff was well done too. +2 Dex was a surprise for most, but I see how it fits with this incarnation.
  • Deva -- At first, I wasn't real excited about the 'undying' soul thing. Plus they are purple, but I can see the role playing potential as a DM. If I need to add a plot hook, how easy is it to have your Deva suddenly have a flashback to his/her/its past!
  • Goliath --Big Bad Bruisers... How long until Mark wants to play a Goliath? :) The wanderlust fluff is very cool.
  • Gnome -- What can you say. They are Gnomes. OK
  • A
  • N
  • D
  • Shifters -- Bring up the rear. I'm a werewolf, but I'm not. Fine.
The classes are a bigger set with eight new types. I don't think their is one that I really 'love' or 'hate', but here are some general thoughts.
  • I'm not a fan of the Druid's "In form of..." power. Your armor/cloths/stuff/ merges into your body? Really? You still get bonuses too? Really? I think the Druid was the weakest of the lot because of that 'easy out' that WotC took. If you read my take on the Shifters, you must be thinking that I hate werewolfs and such, but nothing could be further from the truth, I guess I just hate poorly executed werewolf type things. Don't make a cool think suck is all I am asking... That and to win the lottery!
  • Bard has always been a weird class for me. The 4e version continues to stretch the concept, but making it a leader I thought was the best thing. Also integrating magic and art together helped.
  • Avengers are going to rock.
  • Warden's could be cool to play
  • Invoker is an interesting concept as well. The protector of the entire pantheon is a neat idea.
I skimmed the powers, to be honest, I don't have the patience to read every single power... I'll catch them when I need them. The rest of the book has some neat little adds. Magic and feats, mostly for the new races/classes as well as some background creation stuff that was 'so-so'.

What would have been a great add to the classes for me is the Monk. Not sure how, or if, WotC is going to add the Monk type. Will they make him a divine power or will we see a new power source a'la Primal. Can you say 'Ka' anyone? How that would unfold is beyond me.

The rest of my free time on his trip has been me getting my butt handed to me by the damn robot player in the solo version of Race for the Galaxy. Each game takes about 15-20 mins or so. I played a total of 13 games over two nights in the hotel room. The score so far is Robot 9 wins, JP 4 wins. Stupid Robot. What makes it worst if you total the VP's up (yes I am tracking that! Shesh!) it is 503 to 446... Advantage Robot. Like I said. Stupid Robot. The key seems that you have to create the end condition quickly, not allowing the Robot's culture counter to increase and that can be problematic if you just don't have the cards. I did have a cool combo by selling cards, I was getting 10 cards a sell of with all the bonuses, but the ability to sell off a card in the consume phase as well. I had to discard 12 cards to get back to 10 in one turn!

I had a bit of time and I swung by the GW store in a mall here in Maryland. I hadn't been in one in a long time. They were pushing hard for the War of the Ring, and even made the comment that the infantry trays were going like hotcakes and they were having a hard time keeping up.

Anyways, I'll post more on the Me vs. Robot battle for the Galaxy.

Having Chic-fil-A for Dinner!


Ellros said...

>>Not sure how, or if, WotC is going to add the Monk type. Will they make him a divine power or will we see a new power source a'la Primal. Can you say 'Ka' anyone?<<

That will be a new power source in PH 3 I believe next year... "Ki". The monk is indeed planned for then.

JP's RPG Blog said...

I say Ka, you say Ki, tomato, tomatoe...

The question I have in that case is what other 'Ki' types are coming out? Is a Monk a 'Ki' Striker or Defender? If Defender, then what is the Striker? Assassin/Ninja? What about a Ki Controller or Leader? I can see a Samurai/Bushido Warrior being a Leader or Defender.

Which begs another question, is PH3 going to get all Oriental Adventures on our collective buttocks? And is that a good thing or bad thing? I hope not, at least not in the way the did in 1e. At the time I thought the book was way cool, but the older I have gotten, the less enamored with it I have become. I would like to see other reaches, beyond a japan/china centric Asia approach to a 'Ki' power. I've got some ideas, but I'll save those for an actual post. This comment is too long already!



JP's RPG Blog said...


This is why my mind was stuck on Ka. I blame Stephen King for all the worlds ills. Clowns were scary enough before It!


Ellros said...

There is mention of future classes in some of the editorials on D&D Insider. That's where I read the monk info several weeks ago.