personal rant and disclaimer
I don't like the current way Wizards is advancing DnD. I don't like the move to a Web-based character builder. I think Essentials has done as much harm as it has done good, and I don't like what I've been seeing from Dragon magazine, which has been one of the two big motivating factors for my lengthy Insider subscription (the other, the CB, has already vanished as I knew it). Item rarity is a lovely concept, but its implementation leaves much, much to be desired.
But, darn it all, I bought a years subscription of DnDi, so I may as well stick it out, at least until my subscription expires come March.
December has been a disappointing month. November was merely "okay", but December (which has the same number of articles despite the loss of articles during the expected holiday week) has been outright disappointing.
Here's how it breaks down through this week:
The Editorial -- standard fare.
Shifters in the Realms -- 11 backgrounds for shifters. Number of backgrounds not duplicable by one of the other 700+ backgrounds in the compendium? 2: Look like a Human||Elf instead of a Shifter.
Reflavoring Powers -- This article deliver no content whatsoever. It could have easily been an editorial or Ampersand article instead.
Class Acts: Runepriests -- At long last! Feat, and/or power support for *the* least supported class. Finally we-- what? You say this article has only 4 items in it? 4 "rare" items that are unobtainable by PCs during character creation or via ritual? "Disappointed" is a massive understatement.
Bazaar of the Bizarre -- Perhaps we'll finally get some more common items -- a common ring, perhaps, we haven't had one of those yet! Alas -- 8 more rare items that shall never grace the hands of PCs save by intervention of fate itself.
Channel Divinity: Corellon -- 9 pages for a single, average paragon path that isn't usable RAW.
Unearthed Arcana: Psions -- It is Unearthed Arcana -- meaning it *is* not, *will* not be supported in normal games. It will more than likely not provide anything more than alternate rules. I liked the fluff on this one, actually, but it's moot, since they are an "unofficial variant for the Dungeons & Dragons game".
Ampersand -- "If you’re already a D&D Insider, then you’ve been enjoying the new web-based D&D Character Builder." ...seriously?
Art Gallery: Famine in Fargo -- Not only is this art, it's Gamma-world art. The biggest release for 4e in this month is only tangentially related to 4e at all.
Essential Assassin Reveal for 12/17! -- ... nope, pushed back to the 21st.
Totems of the Far Realm 17 ways to live defeated -- aka 17 plot hooks that should be in Dungeon.
At this point, the 2nd update to the Essentials Assassin* had better be damn impressive. If "Totems of the Far Realm" likewise has even a single common item within it, I'll be equally impressed.
Why the class is even "essentials assassin" at all boggles my mind; the only thing the "eassassin" shares with the regular assassin is a pool of utility powers. They are an entirely different class, not some disparate, but otherwise related build.