An excellent primer for the mythos of Dragons on Golarion. My only complaint is the book is too short.
Each of the major chromatic and metallic dragonsAn excellent primer for the mythos of Dragons on Golarion. My only complaint is the book is too short.
Each of the major chromatic and metallic dragons are covered in this supplement, and a sample dragon complement with stats is included for each dragon entry. Also, there is a brief summary of why the two groups of dragons don't like each other, and a bit on their religious beliefs. ...more
A pretty good supplement on Elves. I would have liked to see more traits, magic items, more on the cities of Kyonin, and more on half elves. A well wrA pretty good supplement on Elves. I would have liked to see more traits, magic items, more on the cities of Kyonin, and more on half elves. A well written supplement, but it was too small. Still worth getting as it is inexpensive and does add to the world building....more
The best supplement I've read of Star Wars Saga edition since one of the campaign guides.
Unlike the last few volumes, I didn't spot a bunch of glaringThe best supplement I've read of Star Wars Saga edition since one of the campaign guides.
Unlike the last few volumes, I didn't spot a bunch of glaring errors. This book has a large number of new droid models, droid equipment, new droid only feats by degree, optional rules to keep droids from overpowering the game, and rules for making a droid from scratch.
I'm not sure I would want to play a droid as a character, but this supplement made the possibility of playing droid to be an interesting one.
I would most definitely recommend this supplement to GM's, players who want to play a droid, and players who want to play a techie character.
Good job WoTC. I'd started to lose hope in your products, but Mr. Thompson did an excellent job with this one. Give him more work to do....more
The book is divided into seven sections: Chapter one deals with new character races, new talents for both heroic classes and prestige classes, and conThe book is divided into seven sections: Chapter one deals with new character races, new talents for both heroic classes and prestige classes, and contains one new prestige class the martial arts master.
Chapter two deals with new equipment to include: melee and ranged weapons, explosives, armor, other equipment, advanced cybernetics, droids, war beasts, and vehicles and starships. Also included in the chapter is a new gear requisition system that allows military characters to have better equipment but they can only use it during missions related to their military group and a new rank and privilege system that allows a character to do request actions from their military group based on their rank (the higher the rank the better the help you can get).
Chapter three covers a description of what army life is like for enlisted and officers including basic training, hooks for military adventures, how to run an Imperial campaign including the types of campaigns you could run as well as the types of heroes that are appropriate. Also included in the chapter is the battlefield encounter tool kit which allows gamemasters to add things like mines as hazards for the PC's to encounter. In addition, there is a random mission generator that allows the GM to come up with on the fly encounters for military PC's.
Chapter four describes a series of different military units including the Hapan Royal Guard, Katarn Commandos, Mandalorian Protectors, and Wraith Squadron (there are several others). In each entry has a section on history, methods, missions, and rank structure.
Chapter five is about base and battlestation construction. You can customize military facilities for your PC's to attack. This chapter is not at all useful for PC's.
Chapter six is a series of seven mini-adventures that are set during the Clone Wars or Rebellion eras, but can be easily customized for other eras. Again, only useful for GM's.
Chapter seven is a full length adventure set during the Clone Wars, but it could be adapted for another era fairly easily.
Overall, I found the first four chapters to be fairly useful. New alien races included the Barabel and Yevetha who both play important roles in the Expanded Universe. Also, new talents and feats are always useful. Specific to the book are new martial arts feats and team feats which allow a team to be a bit more powerful together (feats that improve skills when a team works together).
The second chapter had quite a number of military droids not to mention rules for advanced cybernetics and some ground vehicles. The two new systems for gear requisitioning and rank and privilege should also really help in military campaigns.
The third chapter was somewhat wasted with descriptions of what roles enlisted and officers play as well as what basic training is like--I think most players already have a good idea if they're going to play military charactes. The information on Imperial campaigns was useful, but I wish they'd expanded on other major military groups such as the Republic military, New Republic military, and Galactic Alliance military. The battlefield encounter tool kit while not very useful for PC's should be very useful for GM's, and the same goes with the random mission generator.
The fourth chapter was the most interesting with four page descriptions of fifteen different military or mercenary groups, but I really feel that they left off descriptions of some of the more important groups such as Rogue Squadron in particular. I'd have liked it if the book had expanded on the existing groups by another two pages and perhaps added some more entries and deleted the last chapter for sure.
The fifth chapter on base and battlestation construction is mildly useful for GM's who have a dearth of creativity or are in a rush for putting together an encounter, but to be honest, if you are creative, you can make all that up or just use a hex map and draw the stuff yourself randomly assigning modifiers for hazards and such. Still I'd say the chapter is more useful than not.
The sixth chapter really belongs in an adventure supplement. I honestly do not like the trend of putting mini-adventures in gaming supplements. I read them and while they were well designed and reasonably interesting, I'd have preferred the space to be used to fill out chapters three and four a bit more.
The seventh chapter again is a full fledged adventure while well done and such, I'd have preferred the space be used for chapters three and four.
Overall, almost 100 pages of the book is devoted to battlestation/base construction, mini-adventures, and a full length adventure while 135 pages are devoted to actual information about playing or running military campaigns. Even allowing that the base/battlestation construction chapter is useful, the book includes over 50 pages of adventures. I didn't like that tendency in Scum and Villainy, and I still don't like it in this supplement.
Stick to adventure hooks and give more military rather than straight up adventures, and I'd be happy. For the useful material (at least in my mind), I'll give four stars to that, but the inclusion of well written but not very useful material lowers the rating to three.
Now if you like having adventures to read and put your PC's into, then you'll like the adventures in the last two chapters.
Also, as per usual, there are not enough pictures of droids, starships, and the like. I really like to visualize what these various items look like, so I'd prefer pictures. Of late, there have been a dearth of pictures in supplements, which makes for slow reading in my opinion as rules information is often fairly dry. At least in the case of the military organizations, WotC did include pictures, so that is a plus.
Overall, it is a good supplement, probably useful if you are wanting to play/run a military campaign, but there just isn't as much diversity as I'd like and two chapters as well as the pages therein or wasted on adventures. I don't regret buying it, but if you aren't running/playing in a military campaign it is probably a waste unless you are interested in the alien races/new talents/new feats/new prestige class in the first chapter.
What was in the supplement was well done, but frankly, I'd have liked more on the time period, more on the movies, more archetypes, more character sumWhat was in the supplement was well done, but frankly, I'd have liked more on the time period, more on the movies, more archetypes, more character summaries (one of the main and supporting characters for each of the films in the actual supplement), and more pages (It was just over 150 pages, so on the small side). I'd have also liked all of the vehicles, ships, droids, and equipment even if it repeats. The idea is to have a supplement of that era, but what happens is you get a section such as the Rebellion, and at the beginning of the character listings, the book tells you where to find characters or archetypes that aren't in the book and where to find them. The idea of a campaign supplement is to have everything that you need available in that book outside of the main rules, and except for the Legacy Campaign Guide, WoTC is dropping the ball.
I'd have liked a bit more history on the Rebellion. Honestly, I could get more out of Wookieepedia than this supplement. A timeline of the events would have been nice not two pages that list 5 or 6 events that encompass the period.
Again, I saw editing errors. I still get the supplements because I'm collecting them, and I'm playing the game, but if you are a huge Star Wars fan, you could probably pass on this supplement. The only reasons to get it are for the two prestige classes, the new vehicles/equipment/droids/starships/archetypes/people summaries.
A solid supplement, but I would have liked to have seen more Jedi and Sith characters in it.
The new powers and feats don't really bring much to the gaA solid supplement, but I would have liked to have seen more Jedi and Sith characters in it.
The new powers and feats don't really bring much to the game. Nor does the concept of practicing the Force. I would not waste a feat on that or powers on lightsaber forms. The talents though are pretty cool--Telepathy and Sith Alchemy trees are the most interesting.
Oh, and Luke is 20th level and Mara is 16th. I'd have liked to see Jacen, Jaina, and some of the other Jedi from the post Vong era, but my guess is will see them in New Jedi Order campaign supplement....more
A good solid supplement. My only complaint are the rules mechanics on the Legacy destiny. Temporary benefits and nothing permanent sucks if you ask meA good solid supplement. My only complaint are the rules mechanics on the Legacy destiny. Temporary benefits and nothing permanent sucks if you ask me. At any rate, I think it would be great fun to play a character with a legacy (an Imperial knight descended from Jag and Jaina)....more
A solid supplement, but not enough Expanded Universe characters. The first chapter contains archetypes of various NPC types (several force user types,A solid supplement, but not enough Expanded Universe characters. The first chapter contains archetypes of various NPC types (several force user types, smuggler types, pirates, law enforcement, etc.) and a few Expanded Universe characters (Darth Maul, Lumiya, Darth Bane, Ghent) to name a few. The second chapter contains a sampling of animals from the Star Wars Universe to include gundarks and rancors. The third chapter has a sampling of droids not contained in Saga as well as an explanation for the dome shaped R4 from the prequel trilogy.
Essentially, the book serves as a Monster Manual for the Saga edition, and it is decent but not spectacular. Not every entry has a picture (annoying as sometimes the physical descriptions are inadequate). Naturally, not every archetype, animal, or droid is in the supplement, they are published in campaign guides. The book references two books besides Saga. The animals are a nice sampling, but more (perhaps stat blocks from some of the Essential Star Wars animals or previous editions would be nice).
The title is a bit misleading in that most of the entries in the book would not rank as galactic threats (Darth Maul and Lumiya being exceptions of course).
While a good supplement, it isn't very useful for players (unless you are looking at ways to diversify your character from the archetypes in the book), but it is definite a way to make short cuts on a plethora of characters for the game master. Honestly, the Aliens supplement from Star Wars second edition was in many ways better although not precisely the same in content. Also, it suffers from a dearth of copy editing, and could have used one of their gaming staff to go over the character stat blocks as there were multiple errors (and I wasn't looking very carefully for them).
I do hope that WoTC releases campaign books for all six movies (I know a Rebellion book is scheduled), New Republic Era, Darth Bane Era, Yuuzhan Vong, and Legacy of the Force (not the Legacy comics but the novels with Darth Caedus) since they were not inclusive of all the eras as far as Expanded Universe characters are.
Thus far, it is the weakest supplement I've seen (I know it is an earlier supplement, and I thought it was weak when I glanced at it in the store), which is a backhanded complement to WoTC. ...more
I would rate this supplement a four if they'd only put more pictures of the races, droids, and ships. A good solid supplement for someone wanting to pI would rate this supplement a four if they'd only put more pictures of the races, droids, and ships. A good solid supplement for someone wanting to play a smuggler, bounty hunter, outlaw tech, pirate, privateer, shipjacker, or assassin. Several new races, new feats, new talents, new prestige classes, and added rules for shadowports (spaceports without customs officials) plus added rules for space travel and encounters are in this supplement. Also in the supplement is a chapter on a sample shadowport--Point Nadir, a chapter of mini-adventures, and a chapter that is a complete adventure.
Overall, if you play the game and want to play an anti-hero or smuggler type character it is definitely worth getting, and for a GM it is one of those optional supplements that you should probably pick up. Not needed for basic game play. ...more
A good solid addition to the 4E library. In this version, you have a number of races: Deva, Gnome, Goliath, Half Orc. Also, you have new classes: barbA good solid addition to the 4E library. In this version, you have a number of races: Deva, Gnome, Goliath, Half Orc. Also, you have new classes: barbarian, bard, avenger, invoker, sorcerer, druid, shaman, and warden.
Also added were some backgrounds similar to what is in the Forgotten Realms Players Handbook. I saw several different combinations of races/classes that sound interesting.
If you are a player, and you like new ideas--this book has some classes never in the game before, and as a gm it is useful, too.
Is it a must have? Depends on whether you think that adding new races/classes are must haves. You don't need it to play the game, but if you want to play something outside the core books, then you should get it. I wouldn't pay full price, but then that's why we have Amazon. ...more
A good solid gaming supplement. As usual, it has new alien races, new talents for each class, new feats. Unfortunately, it literally is a fifty year pA good solid gaming supplement. As usual, it has new alien races, new talents for each class, new feats. Unfortunately, it literally is a fifty year period of history that is covered in this supplement. The Sith War of Exar Kun and Ulic Qel Droma is considered the start of the period, with the Mandalorian Wars, the Jedi Civil War, and the Dark Wars ending the period. I had hoped for a longer chronology and more NPC options from this book. The Jedi, Sith, Mandalorians, and Republic all get their own chapter which includes new Force powers, some new talents, weapons/vehicles/starships/equipment/droids that each group might have. Also is a small chapter on other NPCs during the time period who don't fit under any classification.
If they'd covered a bit more, I'd have liked the supplement more. Also, like the other campaign supplements, it has minor editorial glitches. WoTC needs to go over their proofs with a fine tooth comb.
Overall, I'd recommend to anyone playing a Jedi or interested in playing pre-Star Wars movies....more
A good solid campaign supplement. It contains new alien races, new worlds, new villains, new good NPCs to help out. It also has a section on creatingA good solid campaign supplement. It contains new alien races, new worlds, new villains, new good NPCs to help out. It also has a section on creating organizations and adding them to your campaign. In addition, you have new talents and feats, new starships, new vehicles, and new equipment.
Lots of adventure ideas for running a game set from Revenge of the Sith until Yavin.
Overall, an interesting read and useful to the Star Wars game....more
Okay if you keep in mind that the book had some serious editing issues, I'd have given it a four on content. It was a fairly comprehensive supplementOkay if you keep in mind that the book had some serious editing issues, I'd have given it a four on content. It was a fairly comprehensive supplement on the Clone Wars. All the major factions are covered--the Jedi, the Sith, the Confederacy, the Republic, and the Unaligned. Included in the book are new talents and feats, new prestige classes, vehicles and starships for each faction, new alien races, new worlds and updates on the worlds listed in the main book. Also, military structure and rank of the various groups.
Not included was a chronology of the battles that occurred, nor was the whole Jedi council or all major Jedi listed. I know some are listed in other supplements. Some of the major players in the Senate are missing, but I know are listed in the Force Unleashed which is set pre-Rebellion during the Rise of Empire timeframe.
There are some great ideas in the book which gave me quite a lot of ideas for the Clone Wars campaign I'm running, but there were countless editing errors, and I wasn't looking hard for them either.
Overall, a good supplement that could have been better if they'd run it through one more edit and added another thirty or forty pages of character stats, and a chronology of events that occurred up to that time of the printing.
If you like Star Wars or want to run a game during that time or just like the game, go ahead and get the supplement....more
Dungeon and Dragons released its 4th edition this summer, and it is a change from the other editions in a number of ways.
Some of the changes from 3.5Dungeon and Dragons released its 4th edition this summer, and it is a change from the other editions in a number of ways.
Some of the changes from 3.5 to 4.0 include different starting player races and classes, the change from feats and class powers to at-will, encounter, and daily powers, a smaller and streamlined skill list, new magic item system, rituals for more power spells.
The book itself is 330 pages and longer than the Dungeon Master's guide (DMG). In the past, the magic items have been in the DMG, but in 4E the magic items have been placed in the player's handbook.
The book is divided into 10 chapters. The first chapter is the intro for the new player and explains the core mechanic of the system aka the D20 dice, which is rolled for everything but damage.
Chapter two is character creation, which includes generating ability scores, alignment, good and unaligned deities, example personality traits, mannerisms, appearance, background, and basic languages.
Chapter Three lists the character races. Each entry is two pages and gives a short summer that includes racial traits for height and weight, ability scores, languages, and race related powers. Also included are physical qualities about each race, tips for roleplaying the race, sample names, and sample characters with short backgrounds to give the newbie ideas of what to play. The races include: dragonborn (lizard man with breath weapon), dwarf (same as before), eladrin (high elf), elf (wood elf in previous editions), half-elf (same as before), halfling (same as before), human (same as before), and tiefling (a race from the monster's manual that was a +1 ECL in 3.5). Left out of the basic edition were half-orcs and gnomes.
In this edition of D&D no race is penalized with negatives to an attribute. All base races except for humans get a +2 to 2 stats. You might think that playing a human would put you at a disadvantage, but the lack of a second attribute is okay since humans choose whatever attribute they want to put their single +2 in, they get an additional at-will power, +1 to all defenses, an additional feat, and an additional skill.
If you are not looking for a specific niche, I recommend you play a human just for the extras you would get. That being said, each race seems to have better builds than others.
The third chapter discusses character classes. The first section discusses briefly each class, the paragon paths, and epic destinies. Then, they explain each type of power and have a few pages on how to read the power descriptions.
One thing they left out in the powers section was what an entry such as 1 [W] means. They explain this particular shorthand in the weapon section and the combat section but not in the powers section in chapter three which is earlier in the book. For those who are curious an entry that says 1, 2, 3 or higher number followed by a [W] means multiply your weapon's damage by 1, 2, 3, or a higher number, so if you have a weapon with 2d4 damage and the powers does 2 [W] damage then you would do 4d4 damage.
After the explanation of how to read powers they list the classes. Each class has a two page description that includes what traits you get, what proficiencies, bonuses to defense, hit points, healing surges, trained skills, the build options, and the class features. Then you have all of the at-will, encounter, daily, and utility powers as well as paragon path powers listed following the basic description for each class.
The classes included in the base edition are cleric, fighter, paladin, ranger, rogue, warlock, warlord, and wizard. Left out were barbarians, bards, druids, monks, and sorcerers while warlock and warlord are new editions (Warlock was a base class but not in the main 3.5 players book). My understanding is that some of those classes will be in the Player's Handbook II coming out next year.
Some changes to note from 3.5. Each class has powers based on level. At first level, you get 2 at-will (unless you are human), 1 encounter (not counting racial powers), and 1 daily power. The at-will powers you can use on a standard action, the encounter powers you can use once during a battle and then regain after five minutes of rest, and the daily powers can be used once in a 12 hour period (you must rest 6 hours first). The paragon path is a specialization that you take in your class at 11th level, and epic destiny is what you want to do for your character's end game which decide at 21st level but should conclude when you make 30th level.
Each class has at least two options for what they call builds. As an example, you can build a battle cleric or a devoted cleric. The battle cleric concentrates on fighting first and healing second while the devoted cleric concentrates on healing first and fighting second. The paragon paths allow you to specialize even more so that a cleric can become an angelic avenger (servant for their god), divine oracle (deals in prophecy and omens), a radiant servant (probably aimed at undead but does radiant damage powers), and warpriest (you attack and gain healing abilities).
At the end of this chapter are descriptions of epic destinies of which there are only four options: archmage, deadly trickster, demigod, and eternal seeker. I assume that future supplements will contain more epic destinies as this section of the book is the weakest part in my opinion. Essentially, you choose one of these options and get extra abilities at level 21 and higher.
Also, each class is supposed to fulfill a role in the party. Fighters and paladins are defenders (up front), rangers rogues, and warlocks are strikers (attacking from range or moving quickly to strike and out of the way), clerics and warlords are leaders (attack and support the other players with healing) and wizards are controllers (staying in the middle and hitting opponents with massive area effect powers).
Some strange things to note--paladins are proficient in all armor and shields but not in martial ranged while fighters are proficient in all weapons except for superior melee/ranged weapons (formerly known as exotic weapons proficiencies), but aren't proficient in plate.
Chapter five details skills while chapter six details feats. There are 17 skills in the game now and they can be used trained or untrained by all classes. The feats are not as powerful but you get them every other level and they can modify divine abilities, racial abilities, class abilities, or simply give you a proficiency or skill you can't get because of your class.
To multiclass, you must pick up to 4 feats and you can gain some powers related to a second class, but you must forego a paragon path to get really powerful in the second class.
Chapter seven details equipment, which is broken down by armor, weapons, adventuring gear, and magic items. There are fewer magic items, so I can only assume they will add more in future additions.
While they don't have treasure tables to roll random magic items anymore, they list each magic item by type alphabetically and have a chart listing each item by level from 1st to 30th level making it easy to select magic items to give a party as treasure.
Chapters eight and nine sum up the rules for adventuring and combat encounters.
The combat chapter is well detailed with tables and pictures to show how combat works.
I like the new combat system. For the GM, you can use your npc characters and the monster manual and easily run combats for a dozen or more creatures much easier than 3.5.
A battle map is extremely helpful for this gaming system, if you don't like using a battle map, I honestly would recommend that you stick with an earlier edition. I don't think this game translates well to combat without a battle map, but I suppose you can use the basic rules as guidelines and toss out a lot of combat items if you don't want to be heavy on combat moves.
The last chapter contains rituals for the game. Some of the move powerful magic abilities are contained in this chapter.
Overall, I think the game is very different from 3.5. It isn't for all tastes; it definitely has taken a page from collectible card games and MMORPGs, but that isn't bad. We essentially have a new, revamped game for a new generation of gamer. I like playing the game and running the game.
Some hard core D&D gamers will hate this version and burn it after reading it (okay they'll probably just sell it on ebay) and stick to the edition they like best, but I, for one, will enjoy playing it even if my gaming group says they'd just as soon play 3.5.
So yes, I like the game, I enjoy running it, I would enjoy playing it, but I would never play it without a battlemap, and I would recommend that everyone have the player's handbook (if you don't ever intend to GM, then you really don't need any other books unless you play a specific campaign setting or want to get the later releases of player's handbooks).
Oh, and Wizards of the Coasts is building online support that you can buy for a low monthly cost, but the website isn't finished yet. Look for D&D Insider to see what features they will be offering in the coming months.
Out of five stars, I would give this supplement a solid four stars. ...more
A good solid supplement. It contains expanded rules for starship combat that include a starship maneuvers suite that works in practice like the forceA good solid supplement. It contains expanded rules for starship combat that include a starship maneuvers suite that works in practice like the force suite in the main game. Anyone who purchases the starship maneuvers feat gains so many feats based upon a characteristic. Also, included are new talents for each class, new talents for some prestige classes especially a lot for the ace pilot. For those who miss the tech specialist from the Star Wars 3.0, this book adds the tech specialist feat, which allows you to craft all non starship items, and then the starship design feat, which allows you to design and make starships. There are some rules about galactic laws related to starships as well.
In addition to all the cool new feats and talents, the book contains rules on customizing a ship or even creating a new ship. If you have the main book and this book, you should easily be able to craft a new ship.
The biggest portion of the book is the starship codex, which covers 105 pages of the 160 page book. Most of the ships are Clone Wars and later centered mostly in the Rise of the Empire, Rebellion, and New Jedi Order Era, but there are some ships from the Old Republic to include the Ebon Hawk and the ship it is based on from the Knights of the Old Republic games, there are also ships from the Legacy era as well. In addition, the stats for the Falcon are included as a few deck plans. The ships span a wide variety of types from starfighters, to space transports, to frigates, to the planet destroying Super Star Destroyer.
What's missing from the book are a few ships I'd have liked to seen. The two Death Stars, Mara Jade's various ships, Lando's ships, Talon Karde's ship, the Stealth X, and Luke Skywalker's X-wing. I'd have liked to see more deck plans on ships as well as the map of the galaxy that has yet to be included in a Saga Edition supplement. Lastly, and this is being nit-picky, but the Millenium Falcon carries 6 passengers, but the deck plans for the YT-1300 base model (which also carries 6 passengers) doesn't show any staterooms. It is possible that they made an error or are showing a deck plan that has more cargo. Such an error should have been caught.
Overall, the book was an interesting read, and it contained useful information for expanding a spacefaring campaign. If not for the error and the items I mentioned that I'd have liked to seen in the book, I'd give it 5 stars.