akitrom (akitrom) wrote in dnd3e,

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?

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