Dragon 395 - Channel Divinity: Kord

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DnDi_Large.pngDragon 395
Channel Divinity: Windswept Lord
by Chris Sims

Moradin is the father of dwarves, but Kord is the father of battle, and dwarves love him.

Talk about this Article here.

Windswept Lord
I do like the flavor of the article though. I still feel like we need more general channel divinity articles on the gods - an article focusing on one race's specific view of a god is a bit overly specific. Though, in this case, I like the niche - presenting more options for dwarves than just Moradin is always a good thing.

Content wise, I remain disappointed by the current direction of Dragon. I'd have loved to have seen some feats, powers, or a paragon path here.

Instead we get... a rare item, an uncommon item, and a reagent. Now, I do like seeing the reagent - always glad when a concept from an earlier book (Adventurer's Vault) shows that it hasn't vanished entirely.

The rare item... eh, it's fine, though still a shame how items like Iron Armbands of Power trivialize the most potent effects of such a 'rare' blessing. But rares are really the domain of the DM more than the player, and so it is of little use in a player centric article.

That leaves one uncommon item. And, again, we continue to see that the new rarity system just doesn't work. At level 9, once per day you get to add 4 damage to an attack (and change the damage type). Combined with a slightly above average crit damage. Is that really worth a level 9 item? Wasn't the new item design philosophy supposed to avoid stuff this bland mechanically?

Anyway. I do like the flavor of the article. I understand that a year ago, people were calling for Dragon to move to a more flavor-driven approach. I just don't understand why the editors don't realize they can find a balance between two extremes. You could include one page with solid mechanical crunch - a couple feats and a paragon path. Maybe add in a side-bar on existing feats and options appropriate for dwarven followers of Kord. And it would present a solid hook to build characters around, which is something that 4E does best.

Instead, we get... one background. And some items players don't control access to.

I'm not saying this a bad article, to be clear. I'm just trying to point out what I, as a reader of the magazine, would have wanted to see in it. Hopefully WotC will be listening.
Interesting story, cool concept, good writing. I enjoyed reading it. However, the title had made me hope we were getting a new channel divinity power.  Or maybe a few divine feats? The new items are interesting, but nothing is jumping out at me as "wow, that's gotta be in my game."
FAIL
So, no powers, no feats, not a paragon path ... just several paragraphs of fluff I can't use and two items.

Waste of electrons.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
As a DM I thought this was great role-playing material. I disagree, mostly, with needing more power and feats. 4th Ed has been around the block a few times. There is plenty there.

However, I would have loved to see a new Kord Channel Divinity, especially since the article was so lore specific. Something like: "Turn Undead... but with FIRE AND THUNDER!".
Wizards: if you want to write an article about a god without publishing player controller options, simple title it Deities and Demigods like you did in the past.  While you are at it, give us the God's battle stats because they are facinating inspirations for deleveling into appropriate solo monsters if nothing else.  Really I can't think of anyone who'd object to new original monsters added to the libraries.
Good fluff and cool artwork, but i am disappointed. Boons and Items. I was expecting more of what other Channel Divinity Articles brought to the game.  They are clearly on the Jacob here for fear of bloating...

Wizards, release the break a little

Plague
I liked the article.  Added great flavour for Kord.  Would love to see articles on how the other races view him.
Lets just say there wasn't much review to do by R&D on this one (and in Dragon in general lately)...Laughing
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