What You May Have Missed

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The intent of this thread is to highlight things within any/all of the books that people like, be they a dungeon delve, a monster, a trap or a series of powers, or even a whole class, and showing why we think they are fun and or useful.  The hope is to inspire people to pick up something new, or use something in their game that they didn't know about previously because, well, they may have missed it.  Responses to these posts are of course welcome, but don't just focus on the one thing I post, please. Also, be respectful.

For a first example:
The What: The Unrisen, a group of monsters in the Book Open Grave (pg 186-187).

How you may have missed it: If you don't have the book, and if you have only seen the monsters in the Monster Builder toolset.  For reference, they are: Vile Pet, Corrupted Offspring, Tainted Priest, Darkhoof.

What makes it so special?: well, these creatures are intended to be the accident of the Raise Dead ritual going wrong, and bringing back beings in a "Pet Cemetery" style evil manner.  Sinister children, beloved animals and the like being brought back wrong has a lot of fun flavour, and could be used by a DM for a variety of reasons:


  • Maybe some shmuck trying to bring back a loved one without the proper training, or with a "discount" (i.e. incomplete) Raise Dead scroll.

  • Perhaps the PCs want to get an NPC raised, but the DM wasn't ever intending to have the NPC raised.  Using these monsters (or at least using them as a base) could provide an alternative to a simple rasing; they were brough back, they seemed fine, but eventually they show their dark, evil nature.

  • What happens if the loved one of a PC is raised improperly?  What kind of ramifications of sanity come from having a child (for example) raised only to have to kill it with your own hands?



Conclusion: I loved the flavour of this creature, and am constantly on the lookout for a way to sneak one of them into my game to mess with the expectiaitons of my players.  After all, there's nothing in the PHB that says the Raise Dead ritual can go wrong, but what if it does?  What if it could?

For ease, following this format would be great so people checking this thread can clearly find the material they might want to use.
"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." --Bill Cosby (1937- ) Vanador: OK. You ripped a gateway to Hell, killed half the town, and raised the dead as feral zombies. We're going to kill you. But it can go two ways. We want you to run as fast as you possibly can toward the south of the town to draw the Zombies to you, and right before they catch you, I'll put an arrow through your head to end it instantly. If you don't agree to do this, we'll tie you this building and let the Zombies rip you apart slowly. Dimitry: God I love being Neutral. 4th edition is dead, long live 4th edition. Salla: opinionated, but commonly right.
fun quotes
58419928 wrote:
You have to do the work first, and show you can do the work, before someone is going to pay you for it.
69216168 wrote:
If you can't understand how someone yelling at another person would make them fight harder and longer, then you need to look at the forums a bit closer.
quote author=56832398 post=519321747]Considering DnD is a game wouldn't all styles be gamist?[/quote]
The What: The Planesplitter Weapon (Manual of the Planes, pg 154)

How you may have missed it: There are many reasons you may have missed this awesome weapon - I originally missed it because when MotP came out I was still muddling around in the Heroic tier, and didn't even glance at anything nearing Epic play.

What makes it so special?: It's a sword that can freaking cut the fabric between planes and then allow you and your friends to step on through! What is there not to love about this item?

Some more specific applications:


  • Great item for a player to be motiviated to find - perhaps his wife was taken to the Jinn city but planar travel is particularly tough for mortals, unless you find this legendary sword!

  • An enemy could appear multiple times throughout the early portion of a game that rips reality and teleports around attacking the PC's. When he is defeated (or bloodied) he continually escape into the astral sea. When the PC's finally lock him down one of the players would be able to start mastering those same techniques!



Conclusion: I thiink this weapon is wonderfully flavorful and lends itself very well to being a plot item, however it was released in an older suppliment and during that time many groups were still getting into the swing of the system, and playing in the heroic tier - and so you may have missed it!
My blog - Forced Movement: Play With Confidence. "I find choice a bit overrated. Once you select a character concept and decide what you want a character to do, most of the choices are made for you. Powers aren't created equal, and there's usually one choice clearly superior to the others. Now this is more true for some classes than others, and the more you optimize the more true it is, but I find it holds." -- thecasualoblivion
The What: The Bloodhorn Blade (H2 Thunderspire Labyrinth pg 47.)

How you may have missed it: The reason you may have missed this freaking weapon is probably because its from a specific adventure published more than 2 years ago.

What makes it so special?: It's a +3 dagger that is one of the rare Cursed items to exist in 4E.

Some more specific applications:


  • Being a Cursed Item, it should not be readily Identified as such, only revealing the first benefical Property, which let its wielder Pushes targets it attacks with it. 

  • Then in the heat of battle, when attacking with it, the wielder suddenly feel compelled to attacking anyone, friends or foes alike.



Conclusion: I think this weapon is great oldschool feel marking the return of Cursed Items by the backdoor. Do not let this Item count toward the number of Magic Items in any Parcel, but let it drop where it falls and let weirdness do its magic and see your Player's face when first revealed. A great experience shall enhance the fun even if briefly.

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

The What: Face of Baphomet (H2 Thunderspire Labyrinth pg 44.)

How you may have missed it: The reason you may have missed this freaking weapon is probably because its from a specific adventure published more than 2 years ago.

What makes it so special?: It's a mask carved from black wood that is one of the rare Cursed items to exist in 4E.

Some more specific applications:


  • Being a Cursed Item, it should not be readily Identified as such, only revealing the first benefical Property, letting its wearer see in the dark.

  • Then in the heat of battle, when selecting targets while bloodied for melee and ranged attacks, the wielder suddenly feel compelled to attacking anyone, friends or foes alike.



Conclusion: I think this mask is great oldschool feel marking the return of Cursed Items by the backdoor. Do not let this Item count toward the number of Magic Items in any Parcel, but let it drop where it falls and let weirdness do its magic and see your Player's face when first revealed. A great experience shall enhance the fun even if briefly.


Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Cool...what a fun thread.  I don't have anything to post just yet, but wanted to give props to the OP for a fun, creative thread!
"We don't stop playing because we grow old...we grow old because we stop playing" George Bernard Shaw "That which does not kill us, only makes us stronger" Friedrich Nietzsche "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16 My Gaming Sites World of Shantryl, a high fantasy homebrew world Darksun, the Lands of Athas
Cool...what a fun thread.  I don't have anything to post just yet, but wanted to give props to the OP for a fun, creative thread!



Well, I was hoping to get some positive energy into the thread.  And while I already have seen the artifacts fo Thunderspire (and think they are awesome), I had not seen that blade, the planar blade thing.  Now that needs to happen somewhere in that Lovecraftian/Howardesque/Steampunk/Fantasy Campaign I want to run.

And add whatever when you can!
"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." --Bill Cosby (1937- ) Vanador: OK. You ripped a gateway to Hell, killed half the town, and raised the dead as feral zombies. We're going to kill you. But it can go two ways. We want you to run as fast as you possibly can toward the south of the town to draw the Zombies to you, and right before they catch you, I'll put an arrow through your head to end it instantly. If you don't agree to do this, we'll tie you this building and let the Zombies rip you apart slowly. Dimitry: God I love being Neutral. 4th edition is dead, long live 4th edition. Salla: opinionated, but commonly right.
fun quotes
58419928 wrote:
You have to do the work first, and show you can do the work, before someone is going to pay you for it.
69216168 wrote:
If you can't understand how someone yelling at another person would make them fight harder and longer, then you need to look at the forums a bit closer.
quote author=56832398 post=519321747]Considering DnD is a game wouldn't all styles be gamist?[/quote]
Yeah +1 to the OP for creating this creative Thread. Awesome.

For the Planar Sword, its exactly how Teleport should have been written IMO. Cool item.

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

The What: Exodus Knife (Adventure Vault pg 171.)

How you may have missed it: The reason you may have missed this woundrous Item is probably because its insubstantial and almost invisible to the eye.

What makes it so special?: This insubstantial knife basically let you and your friends take an Extended rest almost literally anymore and might also prove useful in combat if used properly.

Some more specific applications:


  • When you use the exodus knife to trace a doorway onto a solid object, it opens a portal into an empty extradimensional space 4 squares wide, 4 squares high, and 4 squares long.

  • Only creatures inside the space can open or close the door (a minor action).

  • Once closed, the door becomes invisible to anyone outside the extradimensional space. Creatures on the inside of the closed door can see out, but those outside can’t see in. Creatures on one side of the closed door cannot affect creatures on the other side.



Conclusion: Since the extradimensional space lasts for 8 hours, its sufficient time for everyone to have a safe Extended Rest in any hostile environement. There could be ways to use it to more nefarious deeds such as smuggling and it could also be used to enhance Stealth right in combat to help Hiding  while using this space to become Invisible by going out of sight.





Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

The What: Exodus Knife (Adventure Vault pg 171.)



Well, the thread has achieved its stated goal, because I totally missed this item and it is awesome.

Basically, it fills the "safe haven" spell nicely, plus it has a sort of "Room of Requirement" feel to it.  Super nifty.

Essentials zigged, when I wanted to continue zagging. Roll dice, not cars.
One of the main reasons I made the thread was the digital tools.  While reading through a book, you commonly stuble upon cool things that really sit well with you, and in the books all the context for the items, monsters, etc can be found, but in the Online Compendium and the CB and such, a lot of that context is lost, and things can disappear in the shuffle that could otherwise disappear forever.

The What: Dragon Hoards (Draconomicon:Chromatic Dragons, Pages 60-71)

How you may have missed it: This was an odd little section of the first Draconomicon, and is hidden away around the campaign starters and right before the Draconic artifacts.  It's placement feels a bit odd in the book, and it was a great treasure when I found it.

What makes it so special?: These 11 pages hold the best advice I have so far encountered in how to make a load of treasure feel special.  Ancient coins, tables to help make up art objects, a cavalcade of different gems (more than the DMG), plus odd little things like mundane equipment with a higher worth (not magical, but higher quality), and other Treasure oddities such as papers and deeds, prisoners and even a few tables that lay out the prices for trade goods.

Some more specific applications:


  • Not just for hoards, this works great for any large treasure trove. A lich's treasure hoard, the jewel room of a desert sheik, and a thousand other possibilities.

  • It also helps to add greater variation in treasure, and give a sense of wonder that quite frankly is missing in the default "Magic item, money, gems, art objects, potions" mix of the DMG.  In fact, I really think this should have been placed in the second DMG instead of this book, as it really adds to the spice of treasure hauls, and not everyone wants a ton of dragons in their D&D (despite the name).

  • Not only do these few pages add a lot of character to any treasure hoard, but the suggestions to use treasure to spur your characters on to further adventure is contained in many of the pages.  Coins of a foreign land that points the way to new adventure, a longsword made of the finest quality by a dragonborn smith, and a deed to a castle in a distant land (if the adventurers are brave or foolhardy enough to seek it out) are only a few of the suggestions within the pages.



Conclusion: Adding adventure, variety and interest to a hoard, or to any treasure really should have been the province of a DMG section, but even so, this area of the Draconomicon:Chomatic Dragons has so far seen more use by me than any of the other content of the book.  If your treasure is a bit stale and you find you need a bit more to your rewards, try this section out.  It really is awesome.
"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." --Bill Cosby (1937- ) Vanador: OK. You ripped a gateway to Hell, killed half the town, and raised the dead as feral zombies. We're going to kill you. But it can go two ways. We want you to run as fast as you possibly can toward the south of the town to draw the Zombies to you, and right before they catch you, I'll put an arrow through your head to end it instantly. If you don't agree to do this, we'll tie you this building and let the Zombies rip you apart slowly. Dimitry: God I love being Neutral. 4th edition is dead, long live 4th edition. Salla: opinionated, but commonly right.
fun quotes
58419928 wrote:
You have to do the work first, and show you can do the work, before someone is going to pay you for it.
69216168 wrote:
If you can't understand how someone yelling at another person would make them fight harder and longer, then you need to look at the forums a bit closer.
quote author=56832398 post=519321747]Considering DnD is a game wouldn't all styles be gamist?[/quote]
The What: Undead Grafts (Open Grave pg 51.)

How you may have missed it: The reason you may have missed those bizzaries is probably because they are originally intended to be on vilains only and not on PC.

What makes it so special?: The side of it is that there can be a Downside of Grafts. Although grafts are designed with monsters in mind, an adventure or a section of a campaign could revolve around a PC or a good NPC gaining a graft by some means, and the quest to remove it. Maybe a foul necromancer experimented on the poor unfortunate. May be the Undead that the PC just killed infused with him. May be something else more wicked....

Some more specific applications:

  • Grafting select parts of an undead monster is no simple task. It involves a particularly vile and complicated ritual. Far more difficult than the ritual is the procurement of undead body parts that are suitable for its performance. Not only are undead loath to give up their organs and body parts, but only perfect specimens can be used for grafting.

  • A graft is a form of template that introduces an interesting story and visual element to an NPC, and it grants the NPC an extra attack that corresponds to the graft.

  • Grafts do not change the level of the host creature, but they do make the creature slightly more complicated and a little more powerful.




Conclusion: The PC might have had it grafted purposely in a moment of power-hungry weakness. Whatever the case, an undead graft should be treated as something to be expunged, the sooner the better, by sane and reasonable people. A number of story reasons can be devised to drive this point home, but here are rules penalties you could apply to a grafted PC. Pick as many as you think necessary to motivate the quest for the graft’s removal. Penalties can make this thing more unpleasant despite the benefits it might grant. Something that can spice up a campaign a little bit.


Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Awesome thresd, I'll post later when I have done my research to make a full entry.

The What: Dragon Hoards (Draconomicon:Chromatic Dragons, Pages 60-71)



I just ordered this book (being delivered today from Amazon), and was having a bit of buyer's remorse for fear of not having enough applicable use to my current campaign. 

Thanks for this tidbit, and I'll definitely keep an eye out for it when the book arrives.


The What:
The Ninth Bastion, a community described in The Manual of the Planes (pg 76-77).

How you may have missed it: No picture and one page of text in a book that many DM's didn't buy because they were waiting for Plane Below or Plane Above. The Ninth Bastion is mentioned but not described in the Plane Below.

What makes it so special?: It is an isolated island of "normal" D&D in the Elemental Chaos.

Many adventuring parties don't enjoy extended adventures in the Elemental Chaos because it is so alien and hostile. There are extremely few places to call home, and lets face it, most adventurers like a place to hang their hat and take a well deserved extended rest. While there are other large communities in the Elemental Chaos, this one is dominated by humans and dwarves and therefore feels more like the typical D&D world.

The Ninth Bastion is a fortress of law and order in a plane where those two words seldom exist. There is a government, a military, inns, taverns, a small farm, and several temples. In short, it has all the features of a typical D&D town and therefore is the perfect place for a DM to send a battered party as a reward for surviving the rigors of the Elemental Chaos.

The book gives enough basic info on NPC's, factions, and infrastructure for a DM to work with and is given a compelling historical explanation for its existance. To make a long story short, thousands of years ago a great army captured the mortal world and then set out to capture the Elemental Chaos. They failed, of course, but their survivors and their fortress survived, trapped in the chaos and dependant on planar traders to survive. Lots of flavor and still plenty of room for DM's to give it their own story.

Personally, I love the contrast between this little island of "normal" life surrounded by the raging elements.

Conclusion:
This location is the perfect hub/homebase for a campaign set in the plane below. Adventurers in the Elemental Chaos will appreciate this location for the normalcy it brings to what can otherwise be a "chaotic" adventure. DM's will appreciate that there is enough detail supplied to bring this town to life.

The What: Dragon Hoards (Draconomicon:Chromatic Dragons, Pages 60-71)



I just ordered this book (being delivered today from Amazon), and was having a bit of buyer's remorse for fear of not having enough applicable use to my current campaign. 

Thanks for this tidbit, and I'll definitely keep an eye out for it when the book arrives.



If you're a DM who like to give interesting treasure, then you'll greatly appreciate this section. Personally, I think this should be in the DMG. I love the treasure parcel system, but it can be hard to think up interesting "art objects". The section on hoard design gives a lot of great ideas to spice up the treasure. I use it on a very regular basis, not just for dragons.
Our group used the exodus knife for every extended rest in the one campaign we had one.
The What: Exodus Knife (Adventure Vault pg 171.)

Well, the thread has achieved its stated goal, because I totally missed this item and it is awesome.

Basically, it fills the "safe haven" spell nicely, plus it has a sort of "Room of Requirement" feel to it.  Super nifty.

Yeah, this item is awesome, I dropped a collasal siege engine of the dieties into its extradimensional space once.

Edit: P.S. Great thread.
The What: Draconic dispersement (sp? - I'll look it up at home)

How you may have missed it: It's buried in fluff parts the Draconomicon.

What makes it so special?: It tells you what might happen when you kill that evil dragon foe. They might not just simply die, but their death might go on to scar the land with their elemental nature. Blue dragons die and leave permanent storms in their wake. Black dragons leave poisonous bogs. Etc.

Conclusion:
 Great backstory for why a region is totally screwed up or to have lasting impact and more plot hooks after the party kills and loots that dragon. Mr Mayor: "Thank you for killing the dragon, but now how about you adventures get rid of that eternally raging forest fire that threatens to burn down the town."

The What: Distracted condition rules

How you may have missed it: It's a side bar in DMG2 that didn't make it to the compendium.

What makes it so special?: It tells you what happens to PCs that try to drive off the edges of the game. Litterally, it is an optional rule that the GM can apply when a PC acts outside their nature. I think the text talks about going against PC alignment, but it could also be useful in other situation in which the PCs are doing something clearly rediculous, like staying awake for days or weeks on end because there's no penalty except you can't extended rest.

Distracted has some nasty penalties as I recall (it's not a set condition but a number of penalties the DM may choose to apply), up to not being able to use action points, taking a hit to d20 rolls, and not being able to take extended rests.

Conclusion:
 I bring this up every thread in which someone complains that PC alignment has no teeth. There's a perfectly good optional rule in the DMG2.
I'm just glad people like the thread.  I see so much nastiness in other threads that I hoped I could make something that would be a place of construction instead of destruction.
"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." --Bill Cosby (1937- ) Vanador: OK. You ripped a gateway to Hell, killed half the town, and raised the dead as feral zombies. We're going to kill you. But it can go two ways. We want you to run as fast as you possibly can toward the south of the town to draw the Zombies to you, and right before they catch you, I'll put an arrow through your head to end it instantly. If you don't agree to do this, we'll tie you this building and let the Zombies rip you apart slowly. Dimitry: God I love being Neutral. 4th edition is dead, long live 4th edition. Salla: opinionated, but commonly right.
fun quotes
58419928 wrote:
You have to do the work first, and show you can do the work, before someone is going to pay you for it.
69216168 wrote:
If you can't understand how someone yelling at another person would make them fight harder and longer, then you need to look at the forums a bit closer.
quote author=56832398 post=519321747]Considering DnD is a game wouldn't all styles be gamist?[/quote]
The What: Exodus Knife (Adventure Vault pg 171.)

How you may have missed it: The reason you may have missed this woundrous Item is probably because its insubstantial and almost invisible to the eye.

What makes it so special?: This insubstantial knife basically let you and your friends take an Extended rest almost literally anymore and might also prove useful in combat if used properly.

Some more specific applications:


  • When you use the exodus knife to trace a doorway onto a solid object, it opens a portal into an empty extradimensional space 4 squares wide, 4 squares high, and 4 squares long.

  • Only creatures inside the space can open or close the door (a minor action).

  • Once closed, the door becomes invisible to anyone outside the extradimensional space. Creatures on the inside of the closed door can see out, but those outside can’t see in. Creatures on one side of the closed door cannot affect creatures on the other side.



Conclusion: Since the extradimensional space lasts for 8 hours, its sufficient time for everyone to have a safe Extended Rest in any hostile environement. There could be ways to use it to more nefarious deeds such as smuggling and it could also be used to enhance Stealth right in combat to help Hiding  while using this space to become Invisible by going out of sight.






Oh man, that Exodus Knife seems like the perfect thing for my Changeling Saboteur/Klepto to desire.  He could do a lot of damage with that.

The What: The "Long Fights" Sidebar (Dungeon Master's Guide 2 pg. 55)

How you may have missed it: Not everyone has the second DMG (mainly because they have problems with their brain being, y'know, missing).

What makes it so special?: This sidebar gives some ideas of how to extend encounters into multi-encounter fights without denying the characters their encounter power recharges.  This is accomplished by setting goals that would mark a significant gain for the heroes side (completing a skill challenge in battle, killing an enemy champion, defeating a certain amount of the enemy, etc), and the possible benefits that the party might reap from their actions (such as a special action point spendable any time in the battle, even if they have already spent one, regaining the use of an encounter power they have used, or possibly even regaining the use of a daily power).


Some more specific applications:



  • A climactic battle through a castle to save a king.

  • The battlefield encounters in Reavers of Harkenwold (the adventure in the DM Kit).

  • Pretty much any mulit-tier fight consisting of several waves of enemies or a constant stream of action.



Conclusion: With a list of suggested requirements to regain actions, battles can take longer and be more dynamic.  Also, without the normal short rests that a party might be used to, the state of tension should be higher while the players try and attain the required actions needed to keep going forward in battle.
"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." --Bill Cosby (1937- ) Vanador: OK. You ripped a gateway to Hell, killed half the town, and raised the dead as feral zombies. We're going to kill you. But it can go two ways. We want you to run as fast as you possibly can toward the south of the town to draw the Zombies to you, and right before they catch you, I'll put an arrow through your head to end it instantly. If you don't agree to do this, we'll tie you this building and let the Zombies rip you apart slowly. Dimitry: God I love being Neutral. 4th edition is dead, long live 4th edition. Salla: opinionated, but commonly right.
fun quotes
58419928 wrote:
You have to do the work first, and show you can do the work, before someone is going to pay you for it.
69216168 wrote:
If you can't understand how someone yelling at another person would make them fight harder and longer, then you need to look at the forums a bit closer.
quote author=56832398 post=519321747]Considering DnD is a game wouldn't all styles be gamist?[/quote]
The What - most of DMG2

Why you missed it- See Kalnaur's above post

What else it has- Besides epic long battles and printed rules for messing up a self proclaimed hero who is a very bad person.
It also has rules for followers whether a loyal wolf or Bob the soldier.
"Boons" an attempt at a ballanced way for characters to have natural blessings or gifts
Changes and corections to the skill challenge system as printed in DMG

let's see what else...
more people should really get this book.
The sea looks at the stabillity of the mountian and sighs. The mountian watches the freedom of the sea and cries.
I dont know if we're supposed to post things from outside the "core" of D&D but I just thought this warrented a mention:

The What: Worldbreaker Solos

Why you missed it: This isn't a WotC creation, the concept comes from the guys over at the At-Will blog. So if you don't poke your head out of the sand around here much it's pretty easy to miss!

What makes it special: The idea behind these monsters is amazing. Basically, it's a set up for a dynamic and interesting solo monster, that constitutes an entire "hard" encounter all by itself - and engauges every aspect of a character, from their powers down to their skills. Each Worldbreaker is a skill challenge, multi-part monster, and puzzle all in one.

Some examples:


  • The white dragon that calls up a blizzard and then attacks from the limited visibility and cover granted by it. Finding and stopping the source of the storm will be tough, but without doing so it could prove deadly to the entire party.

  • The Gorgon that fills the room with poision gas that congeals into solid forms that attack and petrify the PC's. If the PC's dont figure out how to stop the gas, they will surely be turned to stone! 

  • The megalithic Collosus that shakes the ground with every step, and that splits the earth with it's great club. The PC's will have to not only deal damage to it, but climb it's exterior to find it's weakest points, and seize the opportunity to deal massive damage or to shut it down!


Conclusion: These solos really make memorable "End boss" style villians, and should be highly customized to your campaign world. And they show that even material not created by the R&D at WotC can be great content for D&D!
My blog - Forced Movement: Play With Confidence. "I find choice a bit overrated. Once you select a character concept and decide what you want a character to do, most of the choices are made for you. Powers aren't created equal, and there's usually one choice clearly superior to the others. Now this is more true for some classes than others, and the more you optimize the more true it is, but I find it holds." -- thecasualoblivion
Hey, I think third party material is an even bigger candidate for having missed something.  Fire away!
"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." --Bill Cosby (1937- ) Vanador: OK. You ripped a gateway to Hell, killed half the town, and raised the dead as feral zombies. We're going to kill you. But it can go two ways. We want you to run as fast as you possibly can toward the south of the town to draw the Zombies to you, and right before they catch you, I'll put an arrow through your head to end it instantly. If you don't agree to do this, we'll tie you this building and let the Zombies rip you apart slowly. Dimitry: God I love being Neutral. 4th edition is dead, long live 4th edition. Salla: opinionated, but commonly right.
fun quotes
58419928 wrote:
You have to do the work first, and show you can do the work, before someone is going to pay you for it.
69216168 wrote:
If you can't understand how someone yelling at another person would make them fight harder and longer, then you need to look at the forums a bit closer.
quote author=56832398 post=519321747]Considering DnD is a game wouldn't all styles be gamist?[/quote]


The What: Raise Land and Shift Mote rituals

Why you missed it: These rituals are printed in the Forgotten Relams Player's guide, a product you're unlikely to have bought unless you are interested in the setting.

What makes it special:

The first ritual rips up a huge chunk of earth and stone and makes it fly permanently.  The second ritual allows you to control the movement of such flying chunks of land, which are relatively common in the realms.  Both rituals have devastating weapon potential.  Wizards could basically use them to create huge chunks of airborne artillery which they can crash into farms, cities, or populated areas, causing devastation.  Or use them as platforms for launching areal assaults, or spy platforms.  Imagine a controlled earthmote settling down over a keep under seige and launching squadrons of flying creatures, like dragons.  Even knowing these spells could be dangerous, with various organizations trying to force or buy the cooperation of any mage who knows them.  Or imagine a *scroll* of these rituals lying around, which you wouldn't even need magical training to use.  Finding such a thing, or keeping someone else from finding and using it, could serve as the focus for a campaign arc.

PCs with these spells could create their own areal base and fly it all over the lands.  What about that is not awesome?  Construct my own flying tower?  Yes please!

 


Nothing to add quite yet, but just wanted to agree with the others in saying how great this thread is.
To follow up as an alternative to Jehojen's suggestion:

AngryDM's Boss Fight
Why you may have missed it: On a third party blog

What makes it special:
A staged solo that changes tactics and powers during the fight. Changing to a new stage gives a good way to reset and get out of having a solo pinned down and surrounded by PCs. Also gives more of a sense of progress than just bloodied/not-bloodied and can show wearing down the enemy (the example had stage 2 doing lots of charging, while the final stage 3 had a power that starts involves using a shift and ends up prone as he is losing his strength and can't maintain a charge).

Conclusion: An interesting way to bring a bit of variablity into using solos that otherwise feel like a long slog.
And another post from the the same blog that brought you the World breaker
Serious Skills
What makes it special:
It's a series of posts for each skill giving some additional advice on how they can be used. For each skill we get:


  • Mechanics - a basic overview from the PHB

  • Platform - gives ideas for character concepts that would be associated with high numbers for that skill. Some of these aren't obvious, would you have made a connection with a butcher being trained in Heal?

  • Sense - What kinds of things would you notice about the world if your trained in this skill, ex Bluff may lead to having a good idea of who would be an easy mark, or how you may view the world a bit differently if you're a skilled healer and have seen the ways people can get broken.

  • Social - As it points out, diplomacy gets overused, it's boring whenever you need to convince someone to just always roll diplomacy. Instead, you might use History to remember the famous situations that were similar to show how others reacted. Or a few simple magic tricks from an arcana roll can provide some entertainment to get on people's good side.



Conclusion : A good source of inspiration for some alternate ways to think about skills, and how they can feed into character development rather than just a list of numbers.
Oh, neat. I approve!

The What: Prohibitions for Vampires (Open Grave, page 188)

Why you may have missed it: It's in the monster stats section of the book and it's not monster stats. Who the heck reads that stuff?

What makes it so special: It provides a few "weaknesses" for vampires, which will soon include some PCs. Against Monsters and PCs alike, these prohibitions grant some interesting differentiation to the game.

In particular is the way in which holy symbols can be used. You make a Wis/Cha Implement attack against a Vampire's Will, and on a hit the vampire can't make attacks against the wielder of the holy symbol until the end of its next turn, and the vampire can't willingly remain within its reach + 1 squares of the wielder.

Conclusion: Talk to your DM if you have a friend playing a dreary vampire in your game and you want to spray him with a hose, figuratively speaking. Or, as a last-ditch effort against a vampire lord bearing down on you as the last man standing, you can ward it off long enough to retreat to fight another day.
I don't use emoticons, and I'm also pretty pleasant. So if I say something that's rude or insulting, it's probably a joke.
The What: Dagon (Monster Manual 2, page 42)

Why you may have missed it: Dagon is nested within the Demogorgon blocks, and could be construed as a simple minion by a quick reading when he is in fact anything but a minion.

What makes it so special: It is fricking Dagon.  In all his Cthulionic Glory.  He is the oldest of Demon Lords (how's that for flavor?) and unlike most demons who only want destruction for destruction's sake, Dagon seems to have a plan.  Trying to figure out what that plan is would probably induce madness, but hey, there it is.  Hell, he even fights followers of Vecna for knowledge (an awesome hook for a less zealous PC follower of Vecna if there ever was one, and a good reason to use that recent Vecna article).

Conclusion: I think that people dismiss the D&D demons as engines of destruction, pure and simple, and while a fair amount of the time that may be true, there are always more subtle demons.  Grazzt is one, Dagon is another.  He's given even more importance in the Demonomicon, what with being an obyrith and all, but that's a tale ofr another time . . .
"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." --Bill Cosby (1937- ) Vanador: OK. You ripped a gateway to Hell, killed half the town, and raised the dead as feral zombies. We're going to kill you. But it can go two ways. We want you to run as fast as you possibly can toward the south of the town to draw the Zombies to you, and right before they catch you, I'll put an arrow through your head to end it instantly. If you don't agree to do this, we'll tie you this building and let the Zombies rip you apart slowly. Dimitry: God I love being Neutral. 4th edition is dead, long live 4th edition. Salla: opinionated, but commonly right.
fun quotes
58419928 wrote:
You have to do the work first, and show you can do the work, before someone is going to pay you for it.
69216168 wrote:
If you can't understand how someone yelling at another person would make them fight harder and longer, then you need to look at the forums a bit closer.
quote author=56832398 post=519321747]Considering DnD is a game wouldn't all styles be gamist?[/quote]
The What: Dagon (Monster Manual 2, page 42)

Why you may have missed it: Dagon is nested within the Demogorgon blocks, and could be construed as a simple minion by a quick reading when he is in fact anything but a minion.

What makes it so special: It is fricking Dagon.  In all his Cthulionic Glory.  He is the oldest of Demon Lords (how's that for flavor?) and unlike most demons who only want destruction for destruction's sake, Dagon seems to have a plan.  Trying to figure out what that plan is would probably induce madness, but hey, there it is.  Hell, he even fights followers of Vecna for knowledge (an awesome hook for a less zealous PC follower of Vecna if there ever was one, and a good reason to use that recent Vecna article).

Conclusion: I think that people dismiss the D&D demons as engines of destruction, pure and simple, and while a fair amount of the time that may be true, there are always more subtle demons.  Grazzt is one, Dagon is another.  He's given even more importance in the Demonomicon, what with being an obyrith and all, but that's a tale ofr another time . . .



And if you read Demonomicon, you'll discover that Dagon is one of the Obryths (spelling?), along with Pazuzu and others, who are a group of demons plotting something even greater...
Essentials zigged, when I wanted to continue zagging. Roll dice, not cars.
The What: Dagon (Monster Manual 2, page 42)

Why you may have missed it: Dagon is nested within the Demogorgon blocks, and could be construed as a simple minion by a quick reading when he is in fact anything but a minion.

What makes it so special: It is fricking Dagon.  In all his Cthulionic Glory.  He is the oldest of Demon Lords (how's that for flavor?) and unlike most demons who only want destruction for destruction's sake, Dagon seems to have a plan.  Trying to figure out what that plan is would probably induce madness, but hey, there it is.  Hell, he even fights followers of Vecna for knowledge (an awesome hook for a less zealous PC follower of Vecna if there ever was one, and a good reason to use that recent Vecna article).

Conclusion: I think that people dismiss the D&D demons as engines of destruction, pure and simple, and while a fair amount of the time that may be true, there are always more subtle demons.  Grazzt is one, Dagon is another.  He's given even more importance in the Demonomicon, what with being an obyrith and all, but that's a tale ofr another time . . .



And if you read Demonomicon, you'll discover that Dagon is one of the Obryths (spelling?), along with Pazuzu and others, who are a group of demons plotting something even greater...



I actually mentioned that very much later in my Conclusion bit.

But you may have missed it.
"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." --Bill Cosby (1937- ) Vanador: OK. You ripped a gateway to Hell, killed half the town, and raised the dead as feral zombies. We're going to kill you. But it can go two ways. We want you to run as fast as you possibly can toward the south of the town to draw the Zombies to you, and right before they catch you, I'll put an arrow through your head to end it instantly. If you don't agree to do this, we'll tie you this building and let the Zombies rip you apart slowly. Dimitry: God I love being Neutral. 4th edition is dead, long live 4th edition. Salla: opinionated, but commonly right.
fun quotes
58419928 wrote:
You have to do the work first, and show you can do the work, before someone is going to pay you for it.
69216168 wrote:
If you can't understand how someone yelling at another person would make them fight harder and longer, then you need to look at the forums a bit closer.
quote author=56832398 post=519321747]Considering DnD is a game wouldn't all styles be gamist?[/quote]
Both Dagon and The Ninth Bastion are perfect for a campaign I'm putting together.  The Exodus Knife would be a good way to provide a safe haven for my PCs in the game world I'm creating too.  So many awsome things in this thread for me to use.  Thanks everyone!  I have to get writing now...
The What: Dagon (Monster Manual 2, page 42)

Why you may have missed it: Dagon is nested within the Demogorgon blocks, and could be construed as a simple minion by a quick reading when he is in fact anything but a minion.

What makes it so special: It is fricking Dagon.  In all his Cthulionic Glory.  He is the oldest of Demon Lords (how's that for flavor?) and unlike most demons who only want destruction for destruction's sake, Dagon seems to have a plan.  Trying to figure out what that plan is would probably induce madness, but hey, there it is.  Hell, he even fights followers of Vecna for knowledge (an awesome hook for a less zealous PC follower of Vecna if there ever was one, and a good reason to use that recent Vecna article).

Conclusion: I think that people dismiss the D&D demons as engines of destruction, pure and simple, and while a fair amount of the time that may be true, there are always more subtle demons.  Grazzt is one, Dagon is another.  He's given even more importance in the Demonomicon, what with being an obyrith and all, but that's a tale ofr another time . . .



And if you read Demonomicon, you'll discover that Dagon is one of the Obryths (spelling?), along with Pazuzu and others, who are a group of demons plotting something even greater...



I actually mentioned that very much later in my Conclusion bit.

But you may have missed it.



You win this time, Kalnaur. This time... ::strokes fluffy cat::
Essentials zigged, when I wanted to continue zagging. Roll dice, not cars.
Both Dagon and The Ninth Bastion are perfect for a campaign I'm putting together.  The Exodus Knife would be a good way to provide a safe haven for my PCs in the game world I'm creating too.  So many awsome things in this thread for me to use.  Thanks everyone!  I have to get writing now...



I've won. Just as planned . . .

The What: Dagon (Monster Manual 2, page 42)

Why you may have missed it: Dagon is nested within the Demogorgon blocks, and could be construed as a simple minion by a quick reading when he is in fact anything but a minion.

What makes it so special: It is fricking Dagon.  In all his Cthulionic Glory.  He is the oldest of Demon Lords (how's that for flavor?) and unlike most demons who only want destruction for destruction's sake, Dagon seems to have a plan.  Trying to figure out what that plan is would probably induce madness, but hey, there it is.  Hell, he even fights followers of Vecna for knowledge (an awesome hook for a less zealous PC follower of Vecna if there ever was one, and a good reason to use that recent Vecna article).

Conclusion: I think that people dismiss the D&D demons as engines of destruction, pure and simple, and while a fair amount of the time that may be true, there are always more subtle demons.  Grazzt is one, Dagon is another.  He's given even more importance in the Demonomicon, what with being an obyrith and all, but that's a tale ofr another time . . .



And if you read Demonomicon, you'll discover that Dagon is one of the Obryths (spelling?), along with Pazuzu and others, who are a group of demons plotting something even greater...



I actually mentioned that very much later in my Conclusion bit.

But you may have missed it.



You win this time, Kalnaur. This time... ::strokes fluffy cat::




"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." --Bill Cosby (1937- ) Vanador: OK. You ripped a gateway to Hell, killed half the town, and raised the dead as feral zombies. We're going to kill you. But it can go two ways. We want you to run as fast as you possibly can toward the south of the town to draw the Zombies to you, and right before they catch you, I'll put an arrow through your head to end it instantly. If you don't agree to do this, we'll tie you this building and let the Zombies rip you apart slowly. Dimitry: God I love being Neutral. 4th edition is dead, long live 4th edition. Salla: opinionated, but commonly right.
fun quotes
58419928 wrote:
You have to do the work first, and show you can do the work, before someone is going to pay you for it.
69216168 wrote:
If you can't understand how someone yelling at another person would make them fight harder and longer, then you need to look at the forums a bit closer.
quote author=56832398 post=519321747]Considering DnD is a game wouldn't all styles be gamist?[/quote]
The What: Undead Lore (Open Grave, pages 4-23)

Why you may have missed it: People seem to have stayed away from the peripheral Monster books (and really, this is to their detriment).

What makes it so special: This is an entire chapter of flavour on who what why and how the undead are the way they are.  For those claiming to need flavour for their games, you will find plenty here, from the way the undead digestive system works to the dark psychological effects of becoming one of the undead.  Tons of ways to make the players understand that they may be horrifying, but to the undead, the existence of mortals is the abomination.

Conclusion: A full and flavourful 20+ pages of text on the various natures of undeath, and strong visuals that can explain how, for example, swinging repeatedly through an insubstantial creature can disperse them, how the diet of the dead functions, and even how the different societies of the dead work. All in all, a creepy and flavourful addition to the D&D story, and a welcome companion to the upcoming "Heroes of Shadow".
"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." --Bill Cosby (1937- ) Vanador: OK. You ripped a gateway to Hell, killed half the town, and raised the dead as feral zombies. We're going to kill you. But it can go two ways. We want you to run as fast as you possibly can toward the south of the town to draw the Zombies to you, and right before they catch you, I'll put an arrow through your head to end it instantly. If you don't agree to do this, we'll tie you this building and let the Zombies rip you apart slowly. Dimitry: God I love being Neutral. 4th edition is dead, long live 4th edition. Salla: opinionated, but commonly right.
fun quotes
58419928 wrote:
You have to do the work first, and show you can do the work, before someone is going to pay you for it.
69216168 wrote:
If you can't understand how someone yelling at another person would make them fight harder and longer, then you need to look at the forums a bit closer.
quote author=56832398 post=519321747]Considering DnD is a game wouldn't all styles be gamist?[/quote]
Both Dagon and The Ninth Bastion are perfect for a campaign I'm putting together.  The Exodus Knife would be a good way to provide a safe haven for my PCs in the game world I'm creating too.  So many awsome things in this thread for me to use.  Thanks everyone!  I have to get writing now...



I've won. Just as planned . . .





Indeed, you have won.  Now it is my players who will have to deal with the consequences
True, but this thread wasn't created only to give the DMs ammunition.  I'm skimming back through my books looking for a few powers that sound cool, even if char-op claims them to be too situational.  After all, too situational is simply the player and the DM not communicating with each other enough. ;)
"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." --Bill Cosby (1937- ) Vanador: OK. You ripped a gateway to Hell, killed half the town, and raised the dead as feral zombies. We're going to kill you. But it can go two ways. We want you to run as fast as you possibly can toward the south of the town to draw the Zombies to you, and right before they catch you, I'll put an arrow through your head to end it instantly. If you don't agree to do this, we'll tie you this building and let the Zombies rip you apart slowly. Dimitry: God I love being Neutral. 4th edition is dead, long live 4th edition. Salla: opinionated, but commonly right.
fun quotes
58419928 wrote:
You have to do the work first, and show you can do the work, before someone is going to pay you for it.
69216168 wrote:
If you can't understand how someone yelling at another person would make them fight harder and longer, then you need to look at the forums a bit closer.
quote author=56832398 post=519321747]Considering DnD is a game wouldn't all styles be gamist?[/quote]
I'm skimming back through my books looking for a few powers that sound cool, even if char-op claims them to be too situational.

In the topic of stuff Char Op does not like, I would like to mention
Precise Strike and Armor-Piercing Thrust (both lv 3 fighter encounters from heroric)
Why you might have missed them :Char op does not like because they only do 1[w]+ STR damage, 
Why are they special : they both increase your accuracy, and can make landing any secondary on hit effects from things like your weapons/feats/etc much easier 
conclusion : No real idea what to say here, but I have always like these accuracy increasing powers, even though allot of peple complain about them, then complain about missing to often without the "feat taxes" though a potential bonus of 7+ to hit in epic (starting with a 16 and bumped to a 24) can make langin a crucial ridder from a secondary source much easier. 

With the release of Essentials and its derivatives, I went back and started buying up all of the 4e books I missed out on (fluff books and campaign settings). I had Manual of the Planes, an impulse buy, and it is a GREAT book. Reading it gives me so many ideas for adventures and stories. It's a book of pure inspiration. :O But...

The What: Draconic Language, from Draconomicon, Chromatic Dragons. Page 24 and 25.

Why you may have missed it: I have no idea why anyone would've missed this.

What makes it so special: Because I get to yell at people in Draconic and tell people that dwarves are being taken away by flying cows. I'm a little bit of a language geek, so when I first found this page in the book, I pored over it and pestered my girlfriend in Draconic for a while.

Conclusion: Speaking Draconic! Nothing gets better than that, I'm pretty sure.
Homebrew classes: Guerrilla, Airbender, Earthbender, Firebender, and Waterbender. (PHASE 2 BEGINS! Tell us how we could make these classes better. The Shadow power source done right.