July 30th, 2006

(no subject)

I came up with an idea and have been thinking it over the past few weeks...

Have any of you ever tried running a godless (athiest, skeptic, non magical, realism) campaign?
The idea would be that no magic could be used unless it is something that can be replicated with logical and real counterparts.

healing, a ball of fire, an animal companion are all things that can reasonably be explained and replicated with logic, basic technology, alchemy.
but animating the dead, enlarging a person, a magic missile, and vampiric touch are purely based on fantasy and wouldn't be allowed.

I think there's so much more that could be explored through character development if the inexplicable magic and other-worldly powers were stripped away.

Sounds like a huge blast of fun to me, but probably ruins the games for every other person on the planet.

I want to stab the WotC editing staff.

Every rule book for 3.5 I have purchased in the past few years has had massive editing flaws.

I should start going through the books and tallying them up...

The one I am looking at right now is Monster Manual IV, where the ToC says that a list of monsters by ECL is on page 221. Page 221 however has a list of monsters by type, and some short blurbs about the designers. The list of Monsters by ECL is actually on page 204 (dispite having a crappy layout).

Other errors in the ToC include:

Monsters Ranked by Challenge Rating, pg 221 (should be 204)
Monsters by Type (and subtype), pg 220 (should be 221)
Glossary, pg 204 (should be 205)

Another book I have, I think it's Heros of Battle, tells you on page X to goto page X for more info on whatever it is.. the real pain in the butt with that error is that the actual "more info" section doesn't exist anywhere in the book, so you're kind of screwed. I think it had tro do with warships... maybe it was strongholds. When I am not planning a campaign, I'll actually start cataloging these. It's rather annoying.

Combine these editing issues they've had consistently for a few years with the lower and lower quality of material being published... I think we have the makings of a failing production line.
dice from Melanie

Recent D&D Sourcebooks

The last couple of D&D sourcebooks I've bought have been the Player's Handbook II and Tome of Magic. I'm disappointed in both of them, for different reasons, and I thought I'd share them here.

The Player's Handbook II was a lot of filler, things that I thought better fit as articles in DRAGON, but that was also true of the Dungeon Master's Guide II, so that didn't surprise me. What did surprise me was the amount of material that I thought was strange or out-of-balance. The feat "Melee Evasion" (page 81) doesn't seem to make sense. It requires a Dex of 13, and it's a defensive combat feat, but if your character attempts it, neither her armor nor her magical protections nor her Dexterity affect her AC, which becomes simply d20 plus BAB. I'm baffled by what it's supposed to simulate.

On the same page, "Penetrating Shot" presumably allows you to shoot through a lot of targets. Magical "Exit Wound" missiles do a limited version of the same, for a much more reasonably cost. Aside from giving an archer an overwhelming attack, the rules are vague. They say that an extra damage is only taken by the first target, but if your arrow of dragon slaying penetrates the stone golem and hits the red dragon, is the slaying effect considered extra damage?

The Tome of Magic seems to be three manuscripts sold under one cover. Overall, there are nice effects, but I wonder how Illumians (the race "made out of language" from Races of Destiny functions with either the Shadow Magic (Are Illumian Shadowcsters treated as +2 levels for all their spells? That seems a little out of balance.) or TrueName Magic (Are Illumians completely immune to all TrueName spells cast at lower levels than the Illumian?) The Goliaths from Races of Stone have been seen in more recent sourcebooks. Are the Illumians forgotten?

Does Wizards need more careful editting?