HEROES OF SHADOW REVIEWS

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"Although I cannot deny that there is a lot of great content in this first Player’s Option book, I regret that I have to deliver some bad news – from cover-to-cover, the new Player’s Option: Heroes of Shadow supplement was designed entirely as a D&D Essentials book, and does not have any purely Traditional 4E content in it at all!"

www.neuroglyphgames.com/en-world-review-...






"Many people when they pick up this book are going to feel like it is an Essentials D&D product, and the book even states at the bottom of the first page of content in the ‘About This Book’ section that it is a supplemental book designed to be the next step after the two player’s books from Essentials. This bothered me, and I imagine it’s going to bother quite a few of you as well....would say that this book very heavily favors Essentials content (especially in the front end of the book) and that it presents more new options for Essentials characters than for base 4th Edition characters....I think that what this book tells us about the direction for 4E D&D that WotC is taking is that new class design will be following the guidelines set forth in the Essentials products."



critical-hits.com/2011/04/06/review-hero...
...all of the new epic destinies have powers that are enhanced if more than one character of the same epic destiny is present in the encounter...



lol
The critical hits review is, ironically, less critical. 

It looks like there will be material in this book that is of value to all of the old material, so for that I'm happy.

I am a bit concerned about the summons powers he mentioned.  Albeit a small thing, it seems that Wizards can't just take a summon power as they level up, they needed that mage ability in order to actually use it.
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...all of the new epic destinies have powers that are enhanced if more than one character of the same epic destiny is present in the encounter...


Doesn't that sort of defeat the point of epic destinies? Unless you're in a campaign where the DM basically says "right, you all have to take this ED because it's part of the campaign"? Not that there's anything intrinsically wrong with that, but it seems odd to have EDs that are basically only going to be worth taking in those particular sorts of campaigns. I'm OK with encouraging teamwork and viewing the party as a unit rather than just a bunch of individuals, but I'm not at all sure about the wisdom of introducing mechanics that effectively force that style of play.

"My flying carpet is full of elves."

half the party just takes Demigod anyway, so may as well get something out of it =)

INSIDE SCOOP, GAMERS: In the new version of D&D, it will no longer be "Edition Wars." It will be "Edition Lair Assault." - dungeonbastard

Most of that review just seems like reactionary knee-jerkism. OH, THEY LIED TO ALL OF US!!! THIS IS THE BIRTH OF 4.5E!! BAW!!!!

If I walk into the store, pick up the book, flip to the Gloom Pact Hexblade section, and see a list of level 1 Warlock daily powers which are perfectly legal for my traditional-style Infernal Warlock to take (and there will be), then there is new content for traditional classes. Support, even.

Try to recall back to Martial Power 2. You picked it up, flipped through it, and saw the Marauder and Hunter Ranger builds. You thought 'oh, neat' but not all of the powers would be stuff your ranger would use. There were some cool utilities, though, and some neat feats you'd like to pick up. Maybe you thought you'd even like to pick up Marauder's Rush.

Now look again to the Gloom Pact Hexblade. You pick it up, look through it and go, 'Oh, neat' and find a couple daily powers, utilities, and feats that you would like for your Warlock.

Same. Thing.

Now, I agree, I'd like to see some new builds and such for traditional classes, too. I REALLY liked what they did for Martial classes in MP2 -- offering alternative class features for more than just that one choice builds usually get (instead of just Ruthless Ruffian or Brutal Scoundrel, you also could pick Rogue Weapon Talent or Sharpshooter Talent). I'd like to see more of that... but I'm not going to rip into HoS for not delivering stuff I could use for my character specifically.

Exactly like I did not rip into Martial Power 2 for not giving me things I could not use with my Artificer.
half the party just takes Demigod anyway, so may as well get something out of it =)



+1
-Realize You are your own source of all Creation, of your own master plan.
A book that meshes Essentials into 4e and brings players who started with Essentials into the hardback line, sorry I can't see what is wrong with this.
You can't see how people who dislike Essentials entirely might not be happy?
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Most of that review just seems like reactionary knee-jerkism. OH, THEY LIED TO ALL OF US!!! THIS IS THE BIRTH OF 4.5E!! BAW!!!!

If I walk into the store, pick up the book, flip to the Gloom Pact Hexblade section, and see a list of level 1 Warlock daily powers which are perfectly legal for my traditional-style Infernal Warlock to take (and there will be), then there is new content for traditional classes. Support, even.

Try to recall back to Martial Power 2. You picked it up, flipped through it, and saw the Marauder and Hunter Ranger builds. You thought 'oh, neat' but not all of the powers would be stuff your ranger would use. There were some cool utilities, though, and some neat feats you'd like to pick up. Maybe you thought you'd even like to pick up Marauder's Rush.

Now look again to the Gloom Pact Hexblade. You pick it up, look through it and go, 'Oh, neat' and find a couple daily powers, utilities, and feats that you would like for your Warlock.

Same. Thing.

Now, I agree, I'd like to see some new builds and such for traditional classes, too. I REALLY liked what they did for Martial classes in MP2 -- offering alternative class features for more than just that one choice builds usually get (instead of just Ruthless Ruffian or Brutal Scoundrel, you also could pick Rogue Weapon Talent or Sharpshooter Talent). I'd like to see more of that... but I'm not going to rip into HoS for not delivering stuff I could use for my character specifically.

Exactly like I did not rip into Martial Power 2 for not giving me things I could not use with my Artificer.



Yeah, but if they made a "heroes of tinkering" book allegedly offering stuff for artificers, and then place things that can't be chosen by your current artificer, I'm sure you'd have beef with the product too. "Sorry, only an essentials artificer can pick up this power or this class feature, you'll just have to get a few scraps here or there." Martial Power 2 did not tell rangers or rogues that they couldn't pick up class features from their own class. A true comparison would be if the MP2 sharpshooter talent class feature stated that it can't be chosen by a rogue and is only available to  a "thief". So unless the class compendium article that comes out this month gives ways for the pre-e classes to pick up Essentials class features and vice versa, (which in turn grants access to the powers with essentials build requirements in heroes of shadow) then I (and possibly other people) have little use for the book unless I house-rule things in it for my players who prefer the pre-e classes. 
 
You can't see how people who dislike Essentials entirely might not be happy?


Sorry but I can't see how a person with any common sense would not like Essentials.  So no, I do not have much respect for that category of person's opinion on the matter.

People like this (from the comments in one of the linked reviews), are complete idiots imo.

That is sad news. I am enjoying playing and running 4e games and have yet to work with Essentials content. I have no interest in switching at the moment, but honestly feel there is enough content in 4e to last for quite some time.



There is nothing to switch to or from, it is all 4e.
You can't see how people who dislike Essentials entirely might not be happy?



Like it or not, D&D 4E is no longer for them, "Pre-Essentials" is now officially a thing of the past.
They can maybe take a feat here and there or a power that is compatible but they generally don't matter now, they are not customers of the current edition.
Wizards will not publish material for pre-essentials just like it won't publish material for 3.5 either, it is a thing of the past. It just happens to be compatible to an extent.



-Realize You are your own source of all Creation, of your own master plan.
You can't see how people who dislike Essentials entirely might not be happy?



Like it or not, D&D 4E is no longer for them, "Pre-Essentials" is now officially a thing of the past.
They can maybe take a feat here and there or a power that is compatible but they generally don't matter now, they are not customers of the current edition.
Wizards will not publish material for pre-essentials just like it won't publish material for 3.5 either, it is a thing of the past. It just happens to be compatible to an extent.


This presumption is laughable at best.

ESSENTIALS IS 4e.  They are the same game, they are 100% compatible.  The entire edition change  arguement is sophomoric.

Sorry but I can't see how a person with any common sense would not like Essentials.  So no, I do not have much respect for that category of person's opinion on the matter.


Some of us don't particularly like the "Wizards Rule! Fighters Drool!" mentality expressed in 4E's new direction. Nor the lead designers editorials that try to claim "Oh, people who play fighters don't WANT to have complex characters (because that's what the wizard is for)" and "Balance isn't really all that important to a fun game (as long as you're playing a wizard)."

This doesn't mean I'm going to stop playing 4E with my friends, but this does completely remove my need to buy any more product from WotC until they reverse directions and produce something that our table would be interested in using. We've got years and years of options already and can probably homebrew up a decent array of necromantic powers on our own (via refluffing mostly).

Common sense is that if you don't enjoy the direction an entertainment product is going, stop buying/watching it. Common sense is that people have different tastes, and if Essentials floats your boat, more power to you. It is NOT common sense to assume that everyone has the same tastes as you do, though.

Sorry but I can't see how a person with any common sense would not like Essentials.  So no, I do not have much respect for that category of person's opinion on the matter.


Some of us don't particularly like the "Wizards Rule! Fighters Drool!" mentality expressed in 4E's new direction. Nor the lead designers editorials that try to claim "Oh, people who play fighters don't WANT to have complex characters (because that's what the wizard is for)" and "Balance isn't really all that important to a fun game (as long as you're playing a wizard)."

This doesn't mean I'm going to stop playing 4E with my friends, but this does completely remove my need to buy any more product from WotC until they reverse directions and produce something that our table would be interested in using. We've got years and years of options already and can probably homebrew up a decent array of necromantic powers on our own (via refluffing mostly).

Common sense is that if you don't enjoy the direction an entertainment product is going, stop buying/watching it. Common sense is that people have different tastes, and if Essentials floats your boat, more power to you. It is NOT common sense to assume that everyone has the same tastes as you do, though.


Sorry I should have been more specific.  I was refering to all the people doing their Chicken Little, the sky is falling this is 4.5 bs.
And so you accept that people can dislike Essentials without claiming the sky is falling?

Because that's what I was referring to.  I won't be buying Heroes of Shadow, just as I didn't buy the other Heroes books.  I'm hoping that they go back to the style that I actually want to pay for.  At the moment I'm not sure when that will happen, and that makes me a disappointed customer.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Right now, Wizards is going in a direction that alienates me. I want characters with interesting choices; essentials does not have classes with interesting choices. It's as simple as that. If I want a power or two from a HoS book, that's fine and I can get that easily. If I want an entire class from HoS, I've got to buy the book.
I'm feeling like I can do better than Wizards is right now, it's just as simple as that. I want cutting edge RPG material. Right now, Wizards isn't releasing cutting edge RPG material.
You can't see how people who dislike Essentials entirely might not be happy?



Like it or not, D&D 4E is no longer for them, "Pre-Essentials" is now officially a thing of the past.
They can maybe take a feat here and there or a power that is compatible but they generally don't matter now, they are not customers of the current edition.
Wizards will not publish material for pre-essentials just like it won't publish material for 3.5 either, it is a thing of the past. It just happens to be compatible to an extent.


This presumption is laughable at best.

ESSENTIALS IS 4e.  They are the same game, they are 100% compatible.  The entire edition change is arguement sophomoric.



I did not say there were not compatible as the core game goes, you see things that aren't there.
I said that only a couple of feats and powers can be exchanged between characters from pre- and post- E, that is a fact.
If someone is bent on not using Essentials, then this edition effectively ended for them.

You like Essentials and continue to buy products for 4h ed, or you don't like them and will not buy further products.

Tell me how this is not an edition change.

(Just so you know, I now have both E and pre-E, this is not an anti-Essentials post. I only accept the facts that are in front of me. The game changed and the company will not look back).
-Realize You are your own source of all Creation, of your own master plan.
You can't see how people who dislike Essentials entirely might not be happy?

I can see how they might not be happy. But I don't see how that diminishes the quality of this book. It has more than just classes. And of the classes, it has stuff that can be used by folks not using *these* classes.

As a DM, I find value in almost every publication. I can't stand psionics, and I find the PHB3 to be useful. I am so not a fan of the Forgotten Realms, but I can borrow and steal from both of the Realms books with glee. I do not have any interest in Essentials-build classes, but I can use stuff from this book. I will not DM evil PCs, but I find value in the assassin and blackguard classes. I take what I need, and ignore the rest.

The anti-Essentials crowd (which is a vocal subset of those who dislike Essentials entirely) has defined itself solely by its anti-ness. They have become a laughingstock of conspiracy-theorists finding dismay and dismissal at every turn, posting with hyperbole-laden accusations of oppression.
Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.
Reasonable People:
"This book has mainly material styled after the Essentials products."
"The devs have said that they will use the classic design format if they think it fits a concept better."
"That must mean they thought the Essentials style was a better fit for these concepts."
"This will not be the case in future if they find the Essentials format ill-suited for a concept."

Unreasonable People:
"This book has mainly material styled after the Essentials products."
"Since they have not immediatly released things that are exactly like the classic style, OMG THEY ARE MAKING ESSENTIALS FOREVER!!!!!"
EVERY DAY IS HORRIBLE POST DAY ON THE D&D FORUMS. Everything makes me ANGRY (ESPECIALLY you, reader)
Honestly if you look at 4e there are probably more races, classes, and options than any other edition ever.  Maybe that is an exageration, but there are certainly more than enough options.  What 4e is missing is setting material due to the rediculous 3 products per campaign setting rule (which oh what a shock, FR the holy grail of beaten like a dead horse campaign settings, is breaking that rule with a new product).
Didn't they answered in one of the Rule of  Three Questions that Heroes of Shadows would be Essentials ?



Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter


I did not say there were not compatible as the core game goes, you see things that aren't there.
I said that only a couple of feats and powers can be exchanged between characters from pre- and post- E, that is a fact.


So the martial classes can use every bit of material in both Martial Powers books? No? What was your point again?

If someone is bent on not using Essentials, then this edition effectively ended for them.


Huh? Book of Vile Darkness, The Shadowfell: Gloomwrought and Beyond, Madness at Gardmore Abbey, and Neverwinter Campaign Setting aren't part of 4th edition?

You like Essentials and continue to buy products for 4h ed, or you don't like them and will not buy further products.

Tell me how this is not an edition change.


It isn't an edition change by any stretch of the defenition of an edition change.  4e is the rules set, that hasn't changed.  You don't like the new character options, so what use the old ones, there are tons of them.


Not that it's much of a data point, but I've wondered if they are mostly going to stop development on older classes that does not fit neatly into the essentials models after I sent in an article idea for sorcerer stuff that was explicitly what people were asking for, and by design. I never heard anything back about that, which apparently means they aren't interested.

I figured they'd want an article about what people were asking for. I suppose i should do up a runepriest one and see, or maybe essentialize flails.
I think it's nuts to try and divine a trend based on a single product - especially when it's the first one published after the Essentials books.

The next player-centric book?  That one may establish a trend.

-O
I'm confused.

The guy onENWorld says this in the review:

Although any Warlock can take powers from the two dozen new pacts’ powers, the Binder is specifically designed to make the most of these dark spells.

Other classes are also given new options in this chapter, so that Clerics, Warlocks and Hexblades, Wizards and Mages, all can find something new to add to their class powers from the realm of the Shadowfell.

For Essentials Clerics, there are 17 new daily and utility powers available, designed for the servants of darker gods, granting them powers like Inflict Wounds (Level 1), Drain Life (Level 15), and Death Shield (Level 22) - not to mention a new set of Death Domain powers. There are 9 new Warlock powers available to any pact, plus a new set of separate pact powers (Gloom Pact) for the Hexblade.

But Wizards and Mages gain substantial power when pursuing shadow-magic studies, and have over three dozen new powers of all types – at-wills, encounters, and dailies – to add a darker edge to their arcane castings.


This seems to indicate that there are powers that can be taken by all builds within classes.

But at the end he says this:

In closing, however, while I cannot deny that Heroes of Shadow is a great book for Essentials D&D gaming, I still find myself extremely disappointed over this new Player’s Option book - because of what it lacks for gamers who want to maintain their Traditional D&D 4E campaigns. For those of us – and I include myself here – who choose not to play a pure Essentials campaign, and have no interest in a “kitchen sink” campaign content philosophy, this book offers nothing but a few pages of fluff material about the Shadowfell, and very little else.

Well?  Which is it?

Sounds more like sour grapes to me, even though he gave it a rather good overall review, it seems he just wants to spout off about how much he dislikes Essentials.  I find it hard to take anyone seriously when they do this.  Probably why I ignore reviews on just about anything and draw my own conclusions.

The Critical Hit review was much more helpful and had this to say about the classes:

So all of the new classes are basically Essentials material, but the 7 pages following those classes that present new shadow based powers for Clerics and Warlocks are clearly intended to be used with all 4E content, and even the 4 pages in that section specifically for Warpriest powers can be incredibly easily used by any 4E cleric no matter the build. The 4 pages for the Hexblade Gloom Pact seems like it would be harder to use as a non-Hexblade Warlock, so I’m considering that Essentials style content. The next 12 pages are filled with new Wizard powers for the Necromancy and Nethermancy schools of magic, and the book clearly states that ANY Wizard can choose these spells. This is where I see a clear presentation decision from WotC in the distinction between Essentials content and regular 4E, these pages of powers are followed by 4 pages that specifically cover the Essentials Mage build for Wizards and covering how they specialize in either of these two new schools, but from what I can tell out of those 12 pages of new Wizard powers only the one or two summoning powers reference the Mage schools while the rest are perfectly accessible to any type of 4E Wizard. To me this was a pretty clear indicator that some content is specifically designed to be compatible with all 4E content and some is designed to cover the bases of the new Essentials options that have come out.

Much more helpful for those that want it.

People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf. --George Orwell

There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people. --Howard Zinn

He who fights with monsters must take care lest he thereby become a monster. --Friedrich Nietzsche

Devil\'s Brigade

I used to hate Essentials.

Then I played Hexblade.

It's great. 
I used to be apathetic about essentials.

Then I read about them. 

Then I loved them.

Then I played them.

Then I loved them even more. 

Play whatever the **** you want. Never Point a loaded party at a plot you are not willing to shoot. Arcane Rhetoric. My Blog.

I used to hate Essentials.

Then I played Hexblade.

It's great. 



No one should hate Essentials, it is only a game and no hate should ever go into a game.

-Realize You are your own source of all Creation, of your own master plan.
You can't see how people who dislike Essentials entirely might not be happy?

The anti-Essentials crowd (which is a vocal subset of those who dislike Essentials entirely) has defined itself solely by its anti-ness. They have become a laughingstock of conspiracy-theorists finding dismay and dismissal at every turn, posting with hyperbole-laden accusations of oppression.



Not really. The biggest sticking point for those you would deem "anti essentials" seems to be the treatment of the martial classes, which they have expressed as the design going forward. This is actually my only real beef with essentials, but its pretty huge, as I played for 20+ years having to be second fiddle if I didnt want to play a caster. In comparison, the monster vault (an essentials product) was hardly greeted with negativity from the so called haters.
I'm confused.

So all of the new classes are basically Essentials material, but the 7 pages following those classes that present new shadow based powers for Clerics and Warlocks are clearly intended to be used with all 4E content, and even the 4 pages in that section specifically for Warpriest powers can be incredibly easily used by any 4E cleric no matter the build. The 4 pages for the Hexblade Gloom Pact seems like it would be harder to use as a non-Hexblade Warlock, so I’m considering that Essentials style content. The next 12 pages are filled with new Wizard powers for the Necromancy and Nethermancy schools of magic, and the book clearly states that ANY Wizard can choose these spells. This is where I see a clear presentation decision from WotC in the distinction between Essentials content and regular 4E, these pages of powers are followed by 4 pages that specifically cover the Essentials Mage build for Wizards and covering how they specialize in either of these two new schools, but from what I can tell out of those 12 pages of new Wizard powers only the one or two summoning powers reference the Mage schools while the rest are perfectly accessible to any type of 4E Wizard. To me this was a pretty clear indicator that some content is specifically designed to be compatible with all 4E content and some is designed to cover the bases of the new Essentials options that have come out.

Much more helpful for those that want it.



While I'm not really opposed to essentials at all (i'm a fan,a ctually, play in one essentials campaign), I don't think that wizard powers is really a good basis, as the wizard had very very few modifications over the mage. lost of a couple of baseline features, gain of others, but the spells and the layout of all the spells is virtually unchanged.

I'd be nice if they went in and put evocation keywords on the spells that should have it (I think it's pretty short of spells)
I think it's nuts to try and divine a trend based on a single product - especially when it's the first one published after the Essentials books.

The next player-centric book?  That one may establish a trend.

-O

Not only this, but suppose after HotFL and HotFK the R&D team at Wizards went "Wow, that went over like a lead balloon.  Time to transition away from publishing Essentials content."  The lead time on a book is long--measured in years, not months.  Since, in our hypothetical situation, there would have been significant time and energy sunk into producing new Essentials content, it would take time to pivot away.  You might see cancellations of one or two Essentials-style books, particularly ones that Essentialize classic content, and then maybe a release that is a hybrid of Essentials material and classic 4e material.

There is nothing in the release of Heroes of Shadow that can be used as predictive evidence for Wizards' future production of 4e, because it fits an arbitrarily large number of scenarios.  The sky is, for now, still sticking to the ceiling in a satisfactory way.
Right now, Wizards is going in a direction that alienates me. I want characters with interesting choices; essentials does not have classes with interesting choices. It's as simple as that.



I was happier back in the day when my warrior had lots of options to pick from in his talent tree.  You could even take from different trees.  Then when you were ready, you'd go face Diablo and hopefully win.  That was good times.

"The turning of the tide always begins with one soldier's decision to head back into the fray"

(i'm a fan,a ctually, play in one essentials campaign)



This is what I hate to see.  What is an Essentials campaign?  You play in a 4e campaign.  It doesn't matter where your character build came from, you are playing D&D 4e.  Essentials is not a new game, it is not a new rules set.

I'm just glad HoS says I don't need my PHB/DMG/MM anymore.
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.

I wouldn't exactly call it hate.


But I'm peeved about essentials.

I miss seeing a new class and seeing what I can tinker around with in it. The only E-class that lets me do that is a mage...who is pretty much the wizard of before but better.

I've pretty much discovered that I dont like classes that spam the same ability for 30 levels. I learned this back in PHB3 when certain psionic powers were just so much better/reliable than their peers. I had technicly learned this  from the Ranger and his twinstrike. And yet now unless your a Mage, your powers are pretty much set in stone by the start of paragon, and mostly sooner if you don't count paragon paths.

I'm certainly not buying any books where one has to scrounge for powers for pre-Essentials classes. And before the "but the power books did the same" argument gets brought up. I only bought like 2 of those anyway, I just got all the data in the CB anyway.

(i'm a fan,a ctually, play in one essentials campaign)



This is what I hate to see.  What is an Essentials campaign?  You play in a 4e campaign.  It doesn't matter where your character build came from, you are playing D&D 4e.  Essentials is not a new game, it is not a new rules set.




Well, you can hate WoTC then, cause D&D Encounters is "Essentials+" by their own claim.

I do agree its not a new edition. It is however, a fundamental design change for items and characters. Classes effect much of how one experiences the game, so thus there is a different feel.
This is what I hate to see.  What is an Essentials campaign?  You play in a 4e campaign.  It doesn't matter where your character build came from, you are playing D&D 4e.  Essentials is not a new game, it is not a new rules set.


No, but there are campaigns that run using only the Essentials books.  That's one of the intended possible uses of them - it's a self-contained sub-set of 4e, for people who want it.

By the same token, there are those who exclude it, either because of preference, or because of offline software limitations.

Me?  Like many others, I'm gladly and happily mixing the Heroes of... content with my core 4e stuff for my Dark Sun game, and it goes together swimmingly and without a hiccup.

-O

I wouldn't exactly call it hate.


But I'm peeved about essentials.

I miss seeing a new class and seeing what I can tinker around with in it. The only E-class that lets me do that is a mage...who is pretty much the wizard of before but better.

I've pretty much discovered that I dont like classes that spam the same ability for 30 levels. I learned this back in PHB3 when certain psionic powers were just so much better/reliable than their peers. I had technicly learned this  from the Ranger and his twinstrike. And yet now unless your a Mage, your powers are pretty much set in stone by the start of paragon, and mostly sooner if you don't count paragon paths.

I'm certainly not buying any books where one has to scrounge for powers for pre-Essentials classes. And before the "but the power books did the same" argument gets brought up. I only bought like 2 of those anyway, I just got all the data in the CB anyway.

(i'm a fan,a ctually, play in one essentials campaign)



This is what I hate to see.  What is an Essentials campaign?  You play in a 4e campaign.  It doesn't matter where your character build came from, you are playing D&D 4e.  Essentials is not a new game, it is not a new rules set.




Well, you can hate WoTC then, cause D&D Encounters is "Essentials+" by their own claim.

I do agree its not a new edition. It is however, a fundamental design change for items and characters. Classes effect much of how one experiences the game, so thus there is a different feel.


A company running a promotion to sell a new product, HOW DARE THEY!  I wouldn't consider that a campaign.

Me?  Like many others, I'm gladly and happily mixing the Heroes of... content with my core 4e stuff for my Dark Sun game, and it goes together swimmingly and without a hiccup.

-O


Because it is all just 4e, which is my main point. Tongue out

The biggest sticking point for those you would deem "anti essentials" seems to be the treatment of the martial classes, which they have expressed as the design going forward. This is actually my only real beef with essentials, but its pretty huge, as I played for 20+ years having to be second fiddle if I didnt want to play a caster. In comparison, the monster vault (an essentials product) was hardly greeted with negativity from the so called haters.


First of all, are the Essentials martial classes really worse than classes from other power sources in that they cannot fulfill their standard roles as well as a Hexblade, Sentinel, Warpriest, or Mage? The Knight, Thief, Hunter and Slayer lack the dps/control/toughness/etc. that those classes offer, with nothing to counterbalance? Or is this complaint simply that martial classes are simpler, not necessarily less powerful? If the later, I think your real beef is actually dog meat.

That said, martial classes can be completely ignored by WotC for all I care until the other power sources get the same support as a Power 2 book (which HoS actually addresses). Until then, martial players have little to complain about.
Right now, Wizards is going in a direction that alienates me. I want characters with interesting choices; essentials does not have classes with interesting choices. It's as simple as that. If I want a power or two from a HoS book, that's fine and I can get that easily. If I want an entire class from HoS, I've got to buy the book.
I'm feeling like I can do better than Wizards is right now, it's just as simple as that. I want cutting edge RPG material. Right now, Wizards isn't releasing cutting edge RPG material.



So, if I might try to tease your actual argument out a bit: You believe that "cutting edge" is doing the same thing they've been doing the past three years?

I actually think the Vampire class, to bring this back home a bit, has some really creative concepts and implementations. They're actually trying new things. I don't see this argument at all.

Now, you can argue that there are classes in Essentials products or Heroes of Shadow that you don't like, but then I'll just ignore you because "Wizards created a class I don't like!!!!" is pretty facile.

For instance, I don't like Seekers. I don't think any ammount of support they get at this point is going to fix them. I don't go around whining that "I HATE Player's Handbook classes because some of them are hilariously ineffective!!!!"