Friday, September 10, 2010

Preview of September Rule Updates

Coinciding with the release of Heroes of the Fallen Lands, Wizards of the Coast has compiled a document with all the game rules, feats, powers, items and features that have been modified by that book. The list is 5 pages long, though most of it is taken up by the revised Wizard attacks (of which there are a lot) and to add rarity to existing magic items. For those concerned about stealth edition changes or whatever, it is true that a few of these changes weren't strictly necessary, but I sincerely think that most, if not all of them, are an improvement. Most importantly, though, the document (available for free) includes all necessary information to play with the upgraded stuff.

Curiously, this is only a fraction of this month's Rule Updates, which will come out "in the near future". It seems an effort has been made to prevent any further confusion (of which there has been plenty!) on how Heroes of the Fallen Lands interacts with previous books.

Changes of note include:
- A lot of Wizard encounter powers reprinted in the book gain miss effects.
- In addition, some Wizard classics have received additional tweaks. Lightning Bolt is stronger and more straightforward, and Fireball... gets an extra d6 damage. Ok, at least they tried.
- Strangely, nothing is said about adding Evocation, Enchantment or Illusion as keywords to wizard spells.
- Sneak attack is confirmed as 1/turn, rather than 1/round. Rogues are the Warlord's best friend, now.
- Rapier becomes martial! This is great news for small melee characters.
- Some races have the option to choose different ability score bonuses. Humans can take a racial power instead of a third at-will.
- Implement proficiency has been streamlined.
- The horribly broken wizard daily, Visions of Avarice, has finally been fixed.


  1. The modification to weapon focus hurts my sorcerer. Not that badly, but still. I do not see it necessary. The bonus fire/cold/acid/whatever feats suck. They have arbitrary prerequisites, and are situational.

  2. Just snag Implement Focus for Daggers. That should take care of just about everything for your Sorcerer - including Sorcerous Blade Channeling.

  3. The modification to Weapon Focus was a completely unneeded change, seeing as they implemented Implement Focus at exactly the same time.

    Literally all they did was make life harder for classes that make Weapon and Implement attacks like Swordmage/Monk/Assassin

  4. Are you certain that this is ALL the rules updates and that there's no other ones that are going to be implemented?

    I mean, I'd assume they'd release those ones for free too, but still.

  5. This is only part of the rules updates that will be released this month, it seems. But, as far as I know, it includes all of the game elements that have been directly revised in Heroes of the Fallen Lands: the feats, powers and whatnot, that are reprints of older stuff with different rule text.

    I'm pretty certain that later in the month we'll see other changes that may be indirectly caused by the Essentials books, such as basic attack boosters getting nerfed (other than Melee Training, which does appear in HotFL).

    As for the Weapon/Implement focus issue, I generally approve the idea of separating weapons and implements whenever possible. Losing the extra damage on some powers may be annoying, but is nowhere as crippling as, say, lacking expertise bonus to hit before Versatile Expertise was printed. At any rate, I doubt this will remain a problem for more than a month or two, since the new warlock build in the upcoming Heroes of Forgotten Kingdoms (Hexblade) is extremely likely to use both weapons and implements - and come with appropriate support.