Dragon 384: Born Under A Violent Moon

19 posts / 0 new
Last post
Dragon 384:
Born Under A Violent Moon: Shifters in the Forgotten Realms

By Matt Sernett

The pulse quickens. Breath comes fast and heavy. Vision sharpens. The body reacts before the mind comprehends. In the long moments of the chase, hunter and hunted share the same spirit.

Talk about this Article here.

IMAGE(http://img263.imageshack.us/img263/4425/shifterb.jpg)

 

Ok I'm dissapointed by the content of this article.

Shifters need some Realms support, but a bunch of backgrounds is all? Really?

Cool fluff, but mechanics are sadly lacking especially given the existing fluff tieing Lycanthropy to both Malar and Selune in the Realms, and the Shifter's connection to Lycanthropy.

No PP either?

Yes this article is an excellent example of what I don't want to see more of in Dragon 99% fluff 1% crunch. The Hexblade articles of last month had a good ratio of fluff to crunch.
I really liked the dfferent lycanthrope origins suggested in the Article. Wereserpent Wererats etc...awesome.

I would have hoped that there was a few Feats like the similar Article Shadar-Kai in the Forgotten Realms got few months back but Background is better than nothing in terms of crunch.

The Luskan one seems a bit powerful to me for a Background benefit though. Stealth reroll is the sweetest flavor in the article anf if it gets removed, it will taste bland and salty.

Plague

Dear Wizards,

Please never publish anything like this ever again.

Love,
Spud
I've linked to this thread as the official discussion thread.  Thanks for starting it plague.  And nice work on the formatting.
AsmodeusLore D&D Insider News Guide Follow Me


D&D Home Page - What Class Are You? - Build A Character - D&D Compendium

Instead of backgrounds, these should have been buffed up into feats or something that _any_ shifter could take. Backgrounds are horrible. Always. Campign-Specific Backgrounds? Uuuuuggghhhh.

I'm not slaggin' Matt Sernett. The article (for what it is) is OK. Shifters who look like elves? That's alright. If I wanted an article about FR Shifter Regional Backgrounds, this would probably be it. But Regional Backgrounds? For one race in one campaign setting? No one wants this.

Even with nice flavor like the ones in the article, Backgrounds are one of those things that are nigh-useless (the normal ones) or mandatory (if they give you obvious mechanical benefits above/beyond what you could get otherwise... YE OLDE WINDRISE PORTS).  Yes, I'm saying that a mechanical feature which can give you stuff "for free" can sometimes not be worth the opportunity cost of poking the buttons in the Character Builder or the strokes of a pencil to write 'em.

Dragon challenge: go two months in a row without publishing ANY backgrounds. Please. Then go for a third month. Then fourth. Then fifth. Keep going! You can do it!
D&DNext: HTFU Edition
Backgrounds that do more than '+2 to a skill', good.  Only backgrounds?  Bad.  Very fluffy, very campaign-specific backgrounds?  Somewhere in-between.  The only time I'm likely to play in Forgotten Realms is LFR, and I don't see any of those backgrounds being of greater use than the current ones.  So, much as the extra flavour is nice, I couldn't really care one way or another about the content of the article.  Feats are of far greater use than backgrounds - mainly because you only get one background benefit, and the rest is flavour, and I prefer to make my own flavour where necessary than use some canned by someone else.  More feats, please.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
I was expecting to be really disappointed with this article (when I saw it how focused it was, and presented nothing more than backgrounds.) I was pleasantly surprised that what was there was relatively good stuff, and found it very interesting for WotC to again present non-standard background benefits. (Though it makes sense to keep them on par with existing FR backgrounds.)

That said... could definitely have used a bit more meat to the article.
These backgrounds are more like something I would expect changelings to get.
Instead of backgrounds, these should have been buffed up into feats or something that _any_ shifter could take. Backgrounds are horrible. Always. Campign-Specific Backgrounds? Uuuuuggghhhh.

How do you know the backgrounds are horrible? Do you have data to back your claim up? Maybe everybody else loves the backgrounds, and it would be a financial mistake to listen to your complaints?
I've linked to this thread as the official discussion thread.  Thanks for starting it plague.  And nice work on the formatting.



TY your welcome Asmodeus. First time.  I find the pic a little large but...

Talking about the picture, isn't it one that we've already seen before,  meaning they didn't even commissioned  a new artwork for the Article ?
Backgrounds are horrible because they are an optional rule that encourages replacing your character's original story with something WotC published to get a free mechanical benefit.  No one in my group of DMs even allows them and I like it that way.

Please, by every star dancing in the endless night, NO MORE!!!!!!!!


The 60 seconds or so it took me to read this article was a complete waste of time, I would have preferred the link to lead to a Rickrolling. (By the way, you just lost The Game.)


This is everything I hate about the current magazine... well, almost.


Wolf.

I am amused that no one has yet pointed out that it's Dragon 394, not 384.  Tongue out


And yes, pointless article.
Decent fluff, but could have used more crunch.  A few generic feats might have been nice.
I am amused that no one has yet pointed out that it's Dragon 394, not 384. 


And yes, pointless article.



Man, beat me too it. +1
As much as I currently hate, loathe and detest the pathetic offerings from WotC under the DDi label I actually liked the article and enjoyed the fluff.

Cheers Imruphel aka Scrivener of Doom
Is the Sembian shifter background benefit supposed to be a bonus??  I don't get it.

Also, anyone else pause a moment when reading the Selunite section of the gods sidebar??  I do think I get the idea overall, but doesn't presenting/emphasizing it as judgment & self-denial seem kind of antithetical to Selunite doctrine?  Maybe I'd have just preferred "restrain" instead of "deny," or maybe that's how "deny" is meant to be read here.  Also, maybe my reading of shifters is too mellow!!  Not a huge issue.

Overall, I enjoyed the article for what it was...a piece on shifter backgrounds in the Realms.
Mm, rereading both the Sembian and Baldur's Gate backgrounds, the Bluff check parts don't actually make a lot of sense.  You can pass as whatever race if your bluff beats passive insight.  But... surely you could do that anyway?  That's what Disguise Kits are for, and solid Bluff training.  Then, if they actually try to figure you out, for any reason, you get a significant penalty to the check?!  SHouldn't that be a BONUS?  You're meant to be better than other shifters at passing of your disguise, not worse, noone else takes a penalty in that situation.

Ruling to give a penalty in a situation which, AFAIK, is not currently covered by the rules, and therefore would not have any other penalites or bonuses, seems daft.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
Sign In to post comments