Friday, March 19, 2010

Dragon 385, Class Acts: Sorcerer

As I commented the other day, this month is bringing some outstanding articles in DDI. Today I'll talk a bit about the Class Acts devoted to the Wild Sorcerer. These chaotic sorcerers are among my favourite builds in the game, because of their brilliant, wacky mechanics. Somehow, they manage to squeeze crazy amounts of fun and excitement from every die roll - you are no longer merely concerned about whether you succeed or fail, but also if it is even or odd, 1 or 20, or a prime number, or... well, let's just say it's an awesome approach to the game. This new article brings even more of that.

Do you feel lucky today?

There are articles that drastically change the way characters are built and played, or otherwise shore up defficiencies with a particular class. Don't expect any such thing here, though - Sorcerers have always managed just fine, and the new options presented here tend to be on the weaker side of the spectrum. That is not the point. What this article does bring in spades, is raw chaos: now you can have random effects triggering on almost every conceivable action in the game, and can wager on the outcome of your own or your allies' actions, as well as reroll and manipulate your way through unlucky rolls.

There are eight feats, six utility powers, and one paragon path. The feats grant benefits such as sometimes boosting your initiative, occasionally getting extra damage on your dailies, maybe earning extra successes in skill challenges or perhaps improving your chances with untrained skills. As you could guess, consistency isn't a priority, here. There are also ways to gain unreliable but significant boosts to class features such as Unfettered Power, Wild soul, or Chaos Burst.

As for the utilities, all of them trigger on specific die rolls, allowing you to bet on their result (being rewarded if you get lucky, and punished if you don't) or somehow alter it. This kind of mechanics is also present in the paragon path, which is appropiately called Luckbender, and also grants you an extended crit range to boot.

Finally, there is a section describing four superior implements of the dagger type, which were notably absent from the lists in Player's Handbook 3. Though undoubtedly useful for sorcerer players of any kind, this doesn't look all that related to the rest of the article. My guess is that the designers weren't sure about allowing superior daggers by the time PHB3 went to print, and made up their minds afterwards. It is a risky maneuver, since daggers can benefit from weapon feats and enchantments, and might outperform other implement types. On the other hand, staves already allowed for that, so this may be a moot point, after all.

Anyway, this is a nice article aimed at a very specific public - those playing chaotic sorcerers should love it, whereas anyone else (even other sorcerers!) may have a good time reading it, but otherwise find nothing useful.

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