Dragon 396 - The Last Legion

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DnDi_Large.pngDragon 396
The Last Legion
by Robert J. Schwalb

The exploits of the Last Legion are the fuel of legends, but the Legion itself is real.

The Last Legion
Looks like the first February article is up. Listed in one place as by Chris Sims, but seems to be by Robert J. Schwalb.

The content itself? I'm pleased to see it at least 7 pages, for one thing... 3-4 page articles weren't cutting it for me. I also really like seeing the sidebar that gives advice on adapting this for different settings - a great way, with just a little effort, to make the content much more universal.

The background of the legion has its share of cliches, but I somewhat like the concept nonetheless. These unwanted few were all that remained of Nerath, and the last legacy that lives on to this day.

I like the benefits that working for the army provides - small and contained, or subject to DM approval, but that give the feel of being part of a larger whole.

And, finally, I'm glad to see some actual player content, even if it is just a few feats. Most are situational but definitely have characters from whom they are useful, which is generally good enough for me. I would have liked to see a bit more player content - a paragon path, for example - but this seems a step in the right direction.
i am linking to this thread as the official discussion thread.

@MrMyth:  thank you for creating this thread. 
Excellent Article, with plenty of fluff and good supporting crunch. It will see use in my Campaign.

I loved it !  I like Organizations and Guild. One of my favorite 2nd AD&D Splats was Gold & Glory. The Last Legion reminds me this.

I'm definitely finding somewhere to give these guys atleast a mention.
But... but... the feats don't have a paragraph of fluff explaining how they relate to my character concept! I'm... I'm lost!

Sarcasm aside, it was quite jarring -- I wasn't a fan of the fluffy feats, but without *any* associated fluff, they seem sorta... empty? (I can't believe I'm saying that!Surprised
If you look past the plot and the voice acting, Metroid: Other M was an okay game. Not a great game, but an adequate one. Not using the Metroid item collect jingle though? That, was a mistake.
But... but... the feats don't have a paragraph of fluff explaining how they relate to my character concept! I'm... I'm lost!

Sarcasm aside, it was quite jarring -- I wasn't a fan of the fluffy feats, but without *any* associated fluff, they seem sorta... empty? (I can't believe I'm saying that!Surprised

That's ok, I can write you a 3 page essay on how they fit in or whatever, if it'll make you feel better...
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
I'm a little confused at the apparent disconnect between the feats and the rest of the article. They're all feats that either benefit or are directly affected by allies. Even though they don't all specify distance they certainly give me the the feel of close tight combat. How is that not thematic with the story of a fighting unit?
As a fan of Nerath I loved this article and it will work nicely into my campaign as a few of my players took the soldier background.
I think I just found a little bit of the Black Company in my D&D.  Awesome guys.  Don't know if there was any Glen Cook inspiration for the legion, or if it's just filling the lost legion trope.  I enjoyed the fluff about the legion and think that the feats from the article associate well with it.

I'll work on including this in my home game. 
A few mediocre feats?


Thoroughly enjoyed the article! Yes, definitely a fluff-heavy article, but in the end, it will truly beef up the role-playing aspect of my players' backgrounds (like Darth-Jerrod's players). I mean, criminals and miscreants forged into the greatest Legion of the old empire? Awesome!

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