Sunday, July 5, 2009

A close look at Arcane Power - Introduction

Today, I start a new article series featuring an idea that I've wanted to try for a while: A book review. I know it's hardly a groundbreaking concept, but I'm going to add a little twist. Rather than doing the sensible thing and provide a general overview of the book, pointing out its highlights and any broken stuff that has slipped through, I'll just go over every single thing in the book.

Ok, I'm exaggerating, but not that much. I'll probably leave some stuff behind, as I don't care much for epic destinies or paragon paths. But I do intend to look at class features, powers and feats, providing as much insight as I can, and giving some rough ratings. I won't put too much emphasis on those, and I won't just value strength from a character optimization standpoint. If you're looking for that kind of things, I'd recommend one of the many Class Handbooks in Wizards CharOp boards, as well as Keterys' excellent power grading threads at EnWorld. Instead, I'll rate both strength and (subjective) gameplay interest, using up to three stars - one star meaning weak or boring stuff, and three pointing something particularly strong or cool. Of course, there will be some correlation between both parameters, as it's rarely fun to play with crappy powers or feats. But sometimes it happens. In addition, I will mark in red any power I see as broken, indicating the reason.

As an example, this is what it would look like:

Jinx Shot (Bard at-will)
Power: **
Fun: ***

For each power or feat, there will be a paragraph or two of commentary. Since I can't copy the rules text, and adding short descriptions of each item would be far too much work, I'll be making extensive use of my new Compendium tooltip tech. I don't know if this will make the long lists of powers unreadable for those without a DDI subscription or an open copy of Arcane Power, so I'm open to suggestions.

Of course, as the readers of this blog (the two of you!) will already know, I just love fixing rules and coming up with new stuff, so at the end of each post there will be a short section with houserules related to the commented material.

Enough explanations, we can begin with the articles. The first one will be, by strict page order, about bard class builds. I hope you enjoy it!

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