Chronicle of the Dawn War

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When I rolled treasure for my group, they were fortunate enough to find a Chronicle of the Dawn War, a very useful implement for this adventure.  However, the Sha'ir in my party insists that he cannot use a Tome!

-the only allowable Wizards for this season (if you play by official rules) are the Mage and the Sha'ir.  The character builder only allows an "Arcanist" Wizard to equip a Tome.  This is despite the line in both Mordenkainen's and HotEC that states "Wizards automatically have proficiency with using tomes as implements".

I'm going to tell him he can use the Tome with his Sha'ir anyways, but it's still a bit puzzling.  Either all Wizards, regardless of build can use tomes, and the compendium entries for the Mage, Bladesinger, Witch, and Sha'ir need to be updated, or they don't, at which point placing the Chronicle on the list of treasures the party can find was an unfortunate oversight.   
"You can always judge a man by the quality of his enemies." -The Doctor, Remembrance of the Daleks
That is unfortunate. Especially since the Tome Expertise feat is from the Heroes of Elemental Chaos.
As far as I know, the Arcanist is the only Wizard subclass than is proficient with tomes. The Sha'ir will probably have to spend on a feat on Arcane Implement Proficiency (Tome), provided that's even an option for strict Encounters character building rules.
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Same thing happened in one of the groups I run. I just gave them a +1 implement with the same stats, just called it an implement of elemental slaying or something. In the character builder they equip a +1 implement and add the tome to their inventory so it prints out the item card for reference.
Doesn't seem to be an option. There is an option for Implement Focus, but otherwise, there is no legal way to use a tome this season, in CB. 
You can find (and aquire) the Tomes using the Search screen (bottom button on the left) in the Marketplace (although the Chronicle is only available as a superior tome, which anyone without superior implement proficiency treats as a regular implement anyway), and you can equip a tome once you have it, and the CB doesn't highlight it as non-proficient; but you're right that the CB won't do the math or display it on the power cards.
So, another total success for the CB. Yay.
That doesn't sound like that means any character can legally be proficient with tomes in this season, though. It won't do the math or display it-- means it's not being used as your implement, equipped or not. Just means the non-proficient highlighting isn't showing up, is all.
Except the Character Builder is NEITHER the official source NOR the final arbiter for what is legal in Encounters play (or any organized play, AFAIK), no matter how convenient some may find it to treat it as such. And I have yet to see any official documentation that even implies that "Wizards automatically have proficiency with using tomes as implements" applies solely to Arcanists, or to any subset of Wizard builds.

The decisions of individual organizers may vary, of course.
Womba: Would you say the Compendium is an official source?

If so, you need only look at the various wizard builds to see the "Implements" line which does not include "tome" for any but the arcanist. The new text for the wizard (updated in Class Compendium) removes tomes from implements that all wizards can use.

Use of CB isn't just laziness on the part of players. We all want this item to actually be useable in this season, and people have looked for a way around the CB limitation, within the restrictions given to us. But it's just not, using the restricted sources that Wizards insists on for Encounters.

That line you cite: Where is it? Where are you finding it? It's not in the Compendium. It's no longer in the source materials. Was it in Heroes of the Elemental Chaos? Was it in Heroes of the Fallen Lands? Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms? If it wasn't in one of those three books, then it does not apply to this campaign. Remember: the PHB is *not* a legal source for Encounters.

Now, you're absolutely right that individual organizers can change things to work as intended or to make their campaign make sense. Of course-- that's why I get to play an invoker at my local shop. But if you want to take your character from one store to another and you want to be 100% sure you can play your character at the new location, you have to fit the strictest set of rules.

I'm sure this is the kind of thing that broke down between the design/module writing phase and the editing phase and the campaign restrictions phase. It seems really obvious. Heck, the Tome Expertise feat is published in Heroes of the Elemental Chaos, so you would assume that tome use is somehow supported in this season. It's clearly an oversight and a disconnect. I don't think anyone believes this was intentional.

The question, then, is: how can WotC fix a problem with Encounters, mid-season? Can they push out an errata to add tome implement proficiency to the Essentials mage and the sha'ir? Publish a Dragon article providing a sourcebook-supporting feat or option that would make it legal? What would be the best way to fix this bug, mid-adventure?
Well, Heroes of the Elemental Chaos does state that "all Wizards can use Tomes".  Since that is a rules source for this season, the implication is that, yes, Sha'ir's can use Tomes.  Unfortunately, until the Compendium is updated, we can't be 100% certain that is the intent of the rules (though it does appear to be Rules As Written).

The sad part is that this isn't something that should be ambiguous at all.  If WotC wants a class to use an implement, it needs to be more clear about it, by either issuing errata to the class, or having the item itself state "it can be used as an implement for [class] powers and paragon path powers", as many magic items do. 
"You can always judge a man by the quality of his enemies." -The Doctor, Remembrance of the Daleks
Apologies if my attempts at emphasis were perceived as stridency or derision.

Womba: Would you say the Compendium is an official source?

If so, you need only look at the various wizard builds to see the "Implements" line which does not include "tome" for any but the arcanist. The new text for the wizard (updated in Class Compendium) removes tomes from implements that all wizards can use.

That line you cite: Where is it? Where are you finding it? It's not in the Compendium. It's no longer in the source materials. Was it in Heroes of the Elemental Chaos? Was it in Heroes of the Fallen Lands? Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms? If it wasn't in one of those three books, then it does not apply to this campaign. Remember: the PHB is *not* a legal source for Encounters.


I would consider the online Compendium as a secondary source, being an aggragate and compilation of rules information drawn from primary sources (namely the various rulesbooks and articles, and their attendant updates). This reflects what is still, I believe, the official position on source primacy.
Also, in point of clarification, the Compendium entry for "Wizard", later retitled "Wizard (Arcanist)", is the only place where tomes have ever been included in a class description under the "Implement" summary line; the Player's Handbook entry did not mention them, as they did not yet exist at the time of its publication, and has never been updated to include them. They first appeared in Arcane Power, with the following statement: "Now wizards can add the tome to their available implements..." (pg 98). (The magic item listings for tomes in that book (pg 151) and Adventurer's Vault 2 (pg 41) inform us that you must be able to use tomes as implements to gain any advantage from them.)
It is not until Mordenkainen's Magnificent Emporium, and again in Heroes of the Elemental Chaos, both of which are official sources for this season (even according to the Character Builder), and published after the advent of the Arcanist "subclass", that the phrase "Wizards automatically have proficiency with using tomes as implements" appears (MME pg 51, HotEC pg 153, emphasis mine).

Use of CB isn't just laziness on the part of players. We all want this item to actually be useable in this season, and people have looked for a way around the CB limitation, within the restrictions given to us. But it's just not, using the restricted sources that Wizards insists on for Encounters.


I never meant to imply "laziness" in using the CB this way. I was simply drawing emphasis to the completely understandable reason that some people use it in such a manner: its convenience; and then pointing out that no matter how justified the reason, nor how commonly held it is, it does not grant it an "official" status.

The question, then, is: how can WotC fix a problem with Encounters, mid-season? Can they push out an errata to add tome implement proficiency to the Essentials mage and the sha'ir? Publish a Dragon article providing a sourcebook-supporting feat or option that would make it legal? What would be the best way to fix this bug, mid-adventure?


Well, the best way would be to update the Compendium and Character Builder so that Tome use is properly implemented and supported. But they just missed their chance for this month, so...

I think part of the problem is that, if you search for "tome" in the compendium, nowhere anywhere does it say "All wizards can use tome implements." If this were a rule, it should be in the glossary (as a Rule) or in the Wizard class entry.

As you say-- the best way to fix it would be to update the Compendium and CB correctly. If they've missed out this month, then it's not going to be effective before the end of the season. WotC missed their chance, unless they push out a patch mid-month.
Even if sha'ir and mages can use tomes, it is annoying to have an item that only one class can use.
Even if sha'ir and mages can use tomes, it is annoying to have an item that only one class can use.

There are many items that only a few PCs can use. Isn't there a text somewhere in the adventure stating that a DM can and should change a magic item if no PC at the table can use it? Otherwise treasure selection in published adventures will mostly be somewhat boring, since most unique/good items tend to be of use to a limited selection of characters.

Here's how I "randomly" do the treasure at my table.

1) Of all the PCs at the table who haven't found a magic item yet, assign them a number and roll to pick one.
2) Pick all the things in the big list that would be useful for that PC and assign them a number.  Have the PC roll.  Thats what they get.

Everyone likes to get something cool for their character and I feel like Encounters is too short and too disjointed with varying players and player counts each week to rely on pure random to let everyone in on the fun. 
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