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New Source Material

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The ideas of a Dark Sun game and an Essentials game both appeal to me, but we're fresh out of campaign DM's I think. And I probably am stretched enough. But it'd be tempting...
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Salazar Miller - Human Sorcerer 24 - Scales of War
Azad Halim al'Zahir - Tiefling Battlemind|Paladin 7 - Points of Light
Khavak'aashta - Half-Orc Thief 5 - Eberron
Dwimmerlaik - Revenant Hexblade 2 - Dark Campaign
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Registered: Oct 2008
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I agree that we shouldn't start another campaign setting, or at least I don't think I would play in it unless a current campaign dies. From the preview material, I gather that essentials builds and powers can be used in any current 4E setting though, so that should be interesting.
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Ravenblade - Dwarf Two-Weapon Ranger, Hammer of Moradin (Scales of War)
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Early review of Essentials.

http://wesdecker.wordpress.com/2010/09/04/heroes-of-the-fallen-lands-preview/

Interesting part to me is the confirmed new racial bonuses:

Dwarf: +2 Con, choice of +2 Str/Wis
Eladrin: +2 Int, choice of +2 Dex/Cha
Elf: +2 Dex, choice of +2 Int/Wis
Halfling: +2 Dex, choice of +2 Con/Cha
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Salazar Miller - Human Sorcerer 24 - Scales of War
Azad Halim al'Zahir - Tiefling Battlemind|Paladin 7 - Points of Light
Khavak'aashta - Half-Orc Thief 5 - Eberron
Dwimmerlaik - Revenant Hexblade 2 - Dark Campaign
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Registered: Oct 2008
Posts: 7786
Very cool and very early. There's a bunch of extra info in the various comments people posted there. I think it's good they're giving multi-stat options for other races. For example, for a INT/CHA psion, eladrin can now be added to the choices along with tiefling, gnome, shardmind, changeling.

I like the look of the weapon expertise feats since they add different little perks along with the +1 to hit (e.g. extra damage, re-roll a damage die of 1, extra pushing, avoid cover, etc).

The new fighter builds sound intriguing with the aura 1 marking zones that are automatic and the automatic damage of STR mod even if you miss with your OA for an ememy moving away from you or attacking an ally.

It's too bad they took out the extra at-will for humans, but the attack/save roll bonus replacement is very nice. I also realize that an extra at-will was always maybe a little too good for any race to have.

Thanks for sharing Gary. Looks like some good stuff.
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Ravenblade - Dwarf Two-Weapon Ranger, Hammer of Moradin (Scales of War)
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From what I've read it may be that humans get the choice of the at-will or the new bonus thing. Since some of the new essentials versions of the classes don't even have at-wills (the fighter builds and the rogue build use stances or move actions to set up modified basic attacks), the extra at-will for humans had to be replaced with something for those classes.
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Salazar Miller - Human Sorcerer 24 - Scales of War
Azad Halim al'Zahir - Tiefling Battlemind|Paladin 7 - Points of Light
Khavak'aashta - Half-Orc Thief 5 - Eberron
Dwimmerlaik - Revenant Hexblade 2 - Dark Campaign
Moderator
Registered: Jun 2008
Posts: 5084
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Skill DC's are changing. Again.

http://www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/drdd/2010September
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Salazar Miller - Human Sorcerer 24 - Scales of War
Azad Halim al'Zahir - Tiefling Battlemind|Paladin 7 - Points of Light
Khavak'aashta - Half-Orc Thief 5 - Eberron
Dwimmerlaik - Revenant Hexblade 2 - Dark Campaign
Moderator
Registered: Jun 2008
Posts: 5084
Location: Los Angeles, CA
The new Winning Races - Dwarf article is pretty interesting. Cool new feats.

http://www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/drfe/20100909
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Salazar Miller - Human Sorcerer 24 - Scales of War
Azad Halim al'Zahir - Tiefling Battlemind|Paladin 7 - Points of Light
Khavak'aashta - Half-Orc Thief 5 - Eberron
Dwimmerlaik - Revenant Hexblade 2 - Dark Campaign
Moderator
Registered: Oct 2008
Posts: 7786
Gary wrote
Skill DC's are changing. Again.

http://www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/drdd/2010September


Looks good to me. I like the scaling. I also like that lots of these rules will be compiled and up to date in the Rules Compendium being released.
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Ravenblade - Dwarf Two-Weapon Ranger, Hammer of Moradin (Scales of War)
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
Gary wrote
The new Winning Races - Dwarf article is pretty interesting. Cool new feats.

http://www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/drfe/20100909


Realized upon further review that most of the feats don't even require you to be a dwarf. That makes for interesting items for all.

Also, the Clangeddin's Axe Expertise feat is similar to weapon and implement expertise feats I've read about in Essentials. In addition to the attack bonus, they give you some other perk with that sort of weapon or implement. This now makes them worthwhile instead of just taking versatile expertise to get two categories of +1 to hit, while still leaving VE a niche (such as paladins and avengers with two attack items). I like it.
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Salazar Miller - Human Sorcerer 24 - Scales of War
Azad Halim al'Zahir - Tiefling Battlemind|Paladin 7 - Points of Light
Khavak'aashta - Half-Orc Thief 5 - Eberron
Dwimmerlaik - Revenant Hexblade 2 - Dark Campaign
Moderator
Registered: Oct 2008
Posts: 7786
Gary wrote
The new Winning Races - Dwarf article is pretty interesting. Cool new feats.

http://www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/drfe/20100909


Totally. I especially like Resolute Stamina (can use second wind twice, can take it if you have CON 15), Beneath Notice (gain CA against larger/er creatures when you're adjacent to an ally and the enemy, Clangeddin's Expertise (for wielders of non-brutal axe weapons) and Knock Back, which is the funniest and great for dwarves who have automatic save attempts against proneness (when you succeed at saving against prone, a large or smaller creature in reach is knocked prone).

All four of these are available to dwarves and non-dwarves by the way.
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Ravenblade - Dwarf Two-Weapon Ranger, Hammer of Moradin (Scales of War)
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Yeah, Daggoth totally should retrain his weapon expertise (axe) to Clangeddin's Expertise (although the updated Essentials axe expertise might appeal to Marek more, and he'll automatically get that with the next level up as Essentials will be in the CB by then).
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Salazar Miller - Human Sorcerer 24 - Scales of War
Azad Halim al'Zahir - Tiefling Battlemind|Paladin 7 - Points of Light
Khavak'aashta - Half-Orc Thief 5 - Eberron
Dwimmerlaik - Revenant Hexblade 2 - Dark Campaign
Moderator
Registered: Oct 2008
Posts: 7786
I agree that Marek might want the essentials axe expertise feat instead, since the die re-roll is against any enemy size, although it's only one die as opposed to two.

I'll also retrain Ravenblade's weapon expertise hammer to the new bludgeon expertise from essentials. It has the fun addition of adding one space to any pushes or slides from hammer/mace attacks, which would include bull rushes.

The essentials Superior "attribute" feats also look like fun since they improve a defense while also giving a little perk such as extra save rolls, combat advantage in round one, or resist 3 to all ongoing damage.
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Ravenblade - Dwarf Two-Weapon Ranger, Hammer of Moradin (Scales of War)
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Posts: 5084
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Between Dark Sun and Essentials, there's a lot of cool new stuff. :)
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Salazar Miller - Human Sorcerer 24 - Scales of War
Azad Halim al'Zahir - Tiefling Battlemind|Paladin 7 - Points of Light
Khavak'aashta - Half-Orc Thief 5 - Eberron
Dwimmerlaik - Revenant Hexblade 2 - Dark Campaign
Moderator
Registered: Oct 2008
Posts: 7786
Maybe that's why they didn't update the compendium this month. You know, to taunt us.
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Ravenblade - Dwarf Two-Weapon Ranger, Hammer of Moradin (Scales of War)
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Posts: 5084
Location: Los Angeles, CA
I've read that the September CB update may be 9/21 so they can immediately get Essentials in. But that's just messageboard talk. We'll see.
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Salazar Miller - Human Sorcerer 24 - Scales of War
Azad Halim al'Zahir - Tiefling Battlemind|Paladin 7 - Points of Light
Khavak'aashta - Half-Orc Thief 5 - Eberron
Dwimmerlaik - Revenant Hexblade 2 - Dark Campaign
Moderator
Registered: Oct 2008
Posts: 7786
Here's a link to some of the errata coming out with the new essentials products. http://www.wizards.com/dnd/article.aspx?x=dnd/4news/essentials

It includes the racial attribute changes Gary mentioned as well as other cools stuff. Here are some interesting changes:

- Humans have the choice of additional at-will or the heroic effort encounter power (+4 to attack or save if you miss/fail).
- A bunch of wizard blasting powers now do half damage on a miss.
- Two-Weapon fighting feat now grants the +1 damage to main hand AND off-hand (I guess I was playing it how they intended it all along ;) ).
- The +2 defense feats from paragon tier are now available at any tier and scale.
- Rapier is military and not superior weapon any more.
- Proficiency with an implement now let's you use that implement with ANY class's implement keyword powers (e.g. if you have proficiency with a wand, you can use the wand for druid powers if you have the druid multiclass feat).
- Phantom Chasm wizard daily now does half damage on a miss and creates a zone! (Go Kurvilis!)
- Visions of Avarice wizard daily now is a burst 5 zone that pulls further, but only immobilizes on it's very first attack and not the sustained secondary attacks.

One crappy change is that they nerfed Melee Training feat. It still let's you choose an attribute other than strength for melee basic attack rolls, but only half that attribute for the damage bonus. It's essentially a feat tax for some classes anyway and now it's worse!
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Ravenblade - Dwarf Two-Weapon Ranger, Hammer of Moradin (Scales of War)
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My rogue on ENWorld will enjoy getting his WProf Rapier feat back.

I agree the melee training nerf is annoying. I've read that was done to avoid abuse with essentials builds that have no atwills but use MBAs instead. There had to be a way to do it without screwing over battleminds, avengers, etc.
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Salazar Miller - Human Sorcerer 24 - Scales of War
Azad Halim al'Zahir - Tiefling Battlemind|Paladin 7 - Points of Light
Khavak'aashta - Half-Orc Thief 5 - Eberron
Dwimmerlaik - Revenant Hexblade 2 - Dark Campaign
Moderator
Registered: Oct 2008
Posts: 7786
Gary wrote
My rogue on ENWorld will enjoy getting his WProf Rapier feat back.

I agree the melee training nerf is annoying. I've read that was done to avoid abuse with essentials builds that have no atwills but use MBAs instead. There had to be a way to do it without screwing over battleminds, avengers, etc.


I also like the rapier change. I agree with you on the melee training. Essentially any character class that is melee focuses, but doesn't have strength as a primary attribute is screwed. Defenders more so of course since their entire purpose for being becomes hammpered without this feat tax, but it also affects strikers and leaders, and now it's worse. Oh well. There's good and bad changes coming.
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Ravenblade - Dwarf Two-Weapon Ranger, Hammer of Moradin (Scales of War)
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Also, weapon focus no longer works when using a weapon as an implement. However, I've read that they're adding implement focus, which basically balances out (Salazar just does one less damage if he swings his staf). This screws swordmages though.
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Salazar Miller - Human Sorcerer 24 - Scales of War
Azad Halim al'Zahir - Tiefling Battlemind|Paladin 7 - Points of Light
Khavak'aashta - Half-Orc Thief 5 - Eberron
Dwimmerlaik - Revenant Hexblade 2 - Dark Campaign
Moderator
Registered: Oct 2008
Posts: 4627
They may be intending to add more at-wills that can be used as melee basic attacks. Chaladins already have one they can use. I guess that turns it into a power tax, then. Also, how often do melee characters actually use melee basic attacks. It seems to me not that often (with my warlord, using an MBA is not that different from an at-will). Granted I don't know much about the classes we are discussing (Avengers, Swordmages, Wardens?), but it seems like it is also a way to differentiate some of the classes (some have good OAs, some do not). I don't necessarily see it as a design flaw that the classes can't all make equally strong MBAs. They also can't make equally strong RBAs (which seem useless with how little they come up, maybe they should work on fixing that instead).
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Mal Geminous - Tiefling Warlord, Scales of War
Corydimbiddle - Gnome Artificer, Points of Light
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MBAs are basically used for two reasons. OAs and granted attacks (as in a lot of warlord powers). Okay, also for charging. Not having a good MBA makes those options poor choices. It also results in the same warlords being awesome with a fighter and barbarian in the group and useless with a swordmage and avenger in the group.
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Salazar Miller - Human Sorcerer 24 - Scales of War
Azad Halim al'Zahir - Tiefling Battlemind|Paladin 7 - Points of Light
Khavak'aashta - Half-Orc Thief 5 - Eberron
Dwimmerlaik - Revenant Hexblade 2 - Dark Campaign
Moderator
Registered: Sep 2009
Posts: 1238
Gary wrote
Also, weapon focus no longer works when using a weapon as an implement. However, I've read that they're adding implement focus, which basically balances out (Salazar just does one less damage if he swings his staf). This screws swordmages though.


What? Nuts to that. It was one of the few things swordmages got on the damage front. Now I get to burn two feats? They explicitly stated in their FAQ that it did work with weapons as implements... grrr.

On the MBA front, the assault swordmage Aegis lets the SM teleport near the violating mob and get an MBA against it. Swordmages have their own special feat, intelligent blademaster, that lets them use int and not str for the MBA attack and damage bonuses though. I would hope that feat would sneak through since it predates the other feat. Shoot, SM doesn't even have an at-will that can be used as a MBA, which would cripple them as a defender.
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Sentinel - Warforged Shielding Swordmage (Eberron)
Allena Walmond - Human Paladin of Amaunator (Forgotten Realms)
Variel - Elf Beastmaster Ranger
Thaelan the Clanless - Dwarf Protector Spirit Shaman (Dungeon Delve 4)
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Yeah, hopefully Intelligent Blademaster won't get nerfed like Melee Training. Since, as you say, the threat of a potent MBA is so vital to the assault swordmage's ability to defend, having their ability mod damage would be really bad. Hopefully they come up with Versatile Focus or Focused Focus or something so swordmages aren't hosed on the damage front.
_______________
Salazar Miller - Human Sorcerer 24 - Scales of War
Azad Halim al'Zahir - Tiefling Battlemind|Paladin 7 - Points of Light
Khavak'aashta - Half-Orc Thief 5 - Eberron
Dwimmerlaik - Revenant Hexblade 2 - Dark Campaign
Moderator
Registered: Oct 2008
Posts: 7786
That's nice and all for the swordmage with intelligent blademaster, but battleminds have no such luck. Oh, they have some at-wills where you can use them for a melee basic, but you have to pay an augment point for the pleasure AND you can only do so if it's for an opportunity attack. Whatever, let's just all be fighters.
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Ravenblade - Dwarf Two-Weapon Ranger, Hammer of Moradin (Scales of War)
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Kind of a tangent, but sorta sparked by Essentials... This is mostly related to "new source material" because of eladrin's getting the choice of Dex or Cha to go with Int in Essentials. In any case, I was thinking about the opportunities that would open up with the new stat choice, and came up with this...

The below build is a teleportation king. I mean, he'd make Hedoni look like he's standing still. :) Plus, based on his power/feat/item suite, teleporting opens up a lot of awesomeness for him. For example, his neck slot item gives him +2 AC/Reflex after using a teleportation power (including when he teleports others) and his sword extends his teleportation range by 1 square for all powers.

He has five such encounter powers (including two ally swapping powers, Fey Switch and Dimensional Warp), plus however many times his aegis of assault triggers. And he has a teleportation daily.

Speaking of his aegis, when it triggers, he can use his Eldritch Strike at-will as the melee basic, which slides his enemy a square, and triggers White Lotus Hinderance to keep the enemy close), plus lets him trigger his warlock's curse (which only triggers on a warlock power for the hybrid, but having a warlock power be a melee basic is further awesome due to this). Oh, and related to that is his Eladrin Swordmage Advance feat, which lets him use a melee basic (once again, Eldritch Strike) as a free action when using Fey Step.

All this is WITHOUT actually having the fey pact "teleport when a cursed enemy dies" pact boon. To buy that back with the Hybrid Talent feat, you must have the associated at-will, and Eyebite sucks, especially compared to how awesome having Eldritch Strike as your melee basic is for this build. So he gets by without that teleportation angle.

I'm TOTALLY playing this guy in the next Delve (which is why I made him level 8 :)).

Anyways, here's the character sheet PDF and the CB summary (will appear as illegal if you import it, since I forced the Dex lower and Cha higher to fake the not yet implemented Essentials stat option).

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Fey Knight, level 8
Eladrin, Warlock|Swordmage
Swordmage Aegis (Hybrid): Aegis of Assault
Eldritch Pact (Hybrid): Fey Pact (Hybrid)
Hybrid Warlock: Hybrid Warlock Reflex
Hybrid Talent: Swordmage Warding
Eldritch Strike: Eldritch Strike Charisma
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Heavy Blade)
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Rod)
Background: Birth - On Another Plane (+2 to Arcana)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 12, Con 12, Dex 10, Int 20, Wis 8, Cha 20.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 12, Con 12, Dex 8, Int 16, Wis 8, Cha 18.


AC: 26 Fort: 17 Reflex: 22 Will: 23
HP: 60 Surges: 8 Surge Value: 15

TRAINED SKILLS
Bluff +14, Diplomacy +14, History +16, Arcana +18

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +4, Dungeoneering +3, Endurance +5, Heal +3, Insight +3, Intimidate +9, Nature +3, Perception +3, Religion +9, Stealth +4, Streetwise +9, Thievery +4, Athletics +5

FEATS
Level 1: Hybrid Talent
Level 2: Eladrin Soldier
Level 4: Eladrin Swordmage Advance
Level 6: Versatile Expertise
Level 8: White Lotus Hindrance

POWERS
Hybrid at-will 1: Sword Burst
Hybrid at-will 1: Eldritch Strike
Hybrid encounter 1: Witchfire
Hybrid daily 1: Armor of Agathys
Hybrid utility 2: Dimensional Warp
Hybrid encounter 3: Dual Lightning Strike
Hybrid daily 5: Dimensional Bond
Hybrid utility 6: Fey Switch
Hybrid encounter 7: Evoker's Summoning

ITEMS
Mithrendain Steel Longsword +2, Leather Armor of Resistance +2, Cloak of Translocation +2, Iron Armbands of Power (heroic tier), Gauntlets of Arcane Might (heroic tier), Adventurer's Kit, Javelin (3)
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======
_______________
Salazar Miller - Human Sorcerer 24 - Scales of War
Azad Halim al'Zahir - Tiefling Battlemind|Paladin 7 - Points of Light
Khavak'aashta - Half-Orc Thief 5 - Eberron
Dwimmerlaik - Revenant Hexblade 2 - Dark Campaign

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