I originally bought the essential D&D books for 4e and thouht everything was fine. I then later bought the PHB 1. This confused me in several ways. one minor way was the rapier and ther weapons were now "superior melee". The major thing though, was a

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I originally bought the essential D&D books for 4e and thouht everything was fine. I then later bought the PHB 1. This confused me in several ways. one minor way was the rapier and ther weapons were now "superior melee". The major thing though, was all the powers were different. I dont know why they were different, but they were completly different in every way. I dont know which rules to go with for my campaign, and i would like help. Can anyone tell me why they are so different, and which ones i should use. Also, the PHB doesnt mention Drow, asmy essentials do, and th sental dn mention warlod.
I'm sure somebody clearer will pop by soon to give a better clarification.


For now though, I'll start by pointing out that the Essentials line of books are more recent and intended to offer a different introduction to the game to new players than the PHB/MM/DMG set. The Player Classes presented in Heroes of the Fallen Lands and Forgotten Kingdoms are known as E-Classes; they present a different, simplified class structure.

Where a particular game element contradicts one from the other set, the Essentials set should be the more up-to-date, such as the classification of the Rapier, which started as a Superior Melee and was changed to Military Melee. 

 The PHB/DMG/etc were the original 4E ruleset, written a couple years before the Essentials books. Because A) Not everyone who'd been playing previous editions of the game liked the way 4E originally presented the classes and B) WotC wanted to put out a cheaper and perpetually-available way to get new players into the game, they released the Essentials books and box sets, with somewhat more simplified/streamlined versions of the original classes as well as exploring alternate takes on some of the classes (such as the difference between the shadow-magic-infused original Assassin class and the entirely martial Assassin (Executioner) version in Essentials)...

 Both the original 4E books and the Essentials books, and the different versions of the classes within them, can be used together in the same game without any problems. An Essentials Ranger(Hunter) and an original Ranger from the PHB are both considered sub-classes unter the banner of the Ranger class, and both are eligible to take feats and paragon paths that have being a Ranger as a prerequisite. Many classes have feats available to allow characters to trade out one or more class features or powers from one version of the class for stuff from the other version.
 The Essentials books, however, contain the latest versions of the non-character-creation rules, with all the updates and errata included.

 As for the specific questions, the rapier was actually downgraded from it's original superior weapon status in the original ruleset to a regular military weapon in Essentials because it really wasn't worth the cost of taking a feat for it.
 A number of "new" races were introduced in the PHB 2, PHB 3, and the various campaign world books that came out after the original PHB. Drow were originally introduced as a player race in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting. They were included in the Essentials books, but a number of the races in the original books weren't included in Essentials in order to keep that line of books simpler (and because there wasn't enough space to fit 3 PHBs woth of races into two Essentials books).
 In a similar vein, only the more iconic classes from previous editions made it into the Essentials books - the Warlord class is original to 4E, and also was very difficult to adapt to the new paradigm of class construction that debuted in the Essentials books.

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So........ as im hearing it, the essentials are a bit of a simpler version designed for new players and some things are updated from the PHB. But for the powers and everything like spells, i sould use the ones from the essentials then? And one last question: i missed anything about death saving throws in the PHB. was this then updated in the essentials?
No, DSTs haver existed since the PHB as far as I know.

And yes, Essentials updated a lot of things in addition to adding options.  In general, you should use the things from Essentials, rather than the older books (such as the now-Military nature of Rapiers, for instance).
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
Death Saving Throws are definitely in the PHB, but the index in the original PHB is basically useless.  They should be under the rules on Dying, which I think is somewhere in the combat chapter (don't have my copy handy)

    Powers can still be used from PHB or other books if the player is at a level in an e-class that gives them an option to select one (mostly utility powers and some dailys), but be sure to check the updated rules documents for any errata.    
   For feats, the essentials books included a lot of feats that are similar to those in the PHB and earlier books but our much better.  For example, in the PHB there was "Weapon Expertise", and then you picked a class of weapons to apply it to.  In the E-books, there are instead separate feats for each weapon group like "Axe Experise" or "Staff Expertise" which grant the same attack bonus plus an additional ability.  There are plenty of other examples as well (such as Superior Will)
Rules have been adjusted since the PHB1 was printed.  Many things have been clarified and balanced.  Though you can generally ignore them unless something is causing a problem.

You can find the updates here.


Also, any newer book (essentials), will have the newer rules.  So use those.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

As a note, there's a book entitled Rules Compendium.  That has the vast majority of rules (a few might've come out since then), but importantly none of them have ever been errata'ed.  It's not a handbook, though, so it doesn't have all of the character creation info. and such?
So........ as im hearing it, the essentials are a bit of a simpler version designed for new players and some things are updated from the PHB.



They're not a "simpler version" of the game, they're "new content, with a focus on producing simpler content".

In the same way that PHB2 produced new and different options (including Primal characters like Barbarian and Druid) and PHB3 produced new and different options (including the Psionic classes that use power points instead of Encounter Powers), the Essentials books produced new and different options.

The options it focused on were simpler options, for the (large) audience of people who complained that their Fighter had too many things to keep track of.  However, it's not a different game or a simpler game - it's simpler options for the same game.

But for the powers and everything like spells, i sould use the ones from the essentials then?



When something is printed in both places, it was deliberately changed, and you should use the Essentials version because it's newer.  However, you can pick and choose powers from all the different books whenever you get a choice - PHB2 Barbarians can choose Berserker powers, PHB1 Clerics can take Warpriest powers, Essentials Mages can take Arcane Power Wizard powers, etc.  The Essentials books are supposed to be just an additional supplement, with enough of the core rules reprinted that you *can*, optionally, use just them if you want to.


And one last question: i missed anything about death saving throws in the PHB. was this then updated in the essentials?



Nope.  It works the same way in the new books as it did in the old, and you just missed it.  Check out PHB1 pg 295, "Death and Dying".  It's right there.
Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.
As a note, there's a book entitled Rules Compendium.  That has the vast majority of rules (a few might've come out since then), but importantly none of them have ever been errata'ed.



That's a downside, not an upside.  It contains numerous errors, its poor editing introduces many changes that the authors did not intend to add, and adds confusion to previously clear rules.

It is in desperate need of errata.
Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.
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