Posted by : David Guyll April 07, 2010

I've been extremely busy with moving, work, and school. Things should smooth out within the week, but until then I'm going to call out a few DDI articles that I actually give a fuck about (meaning almost anything but Forgotten Realms articles).

First up is Underhanded and Overconfident, an article on playing scoundrel types. Its roughly equal parts fluff and crunch, giving some advice on playing a scoundrel without pissing off the rest of the party: dont fight fair, take lots of risks, be charming (or pretend to be), and if you must be a dick at least do the right thing in the end.

There are only three feats, two of which give kickers to using Bluff as a feint, either by granting the combat advantage mod to all allies or giving you a flat bonus to the check and some extra Sneak Attack damage to boot. The other, Building Camaraderie, gives you a cumulative Diplomacy bonus each time you successfully pull it off in the same encounter.

The article wraps up with a pair of paragon paths. The phantasmagoric scoundrel requires that you are trained in Arcana and either Bluff or Thievery, and emphasizes the use of illusion magic. It mostly seems to be geared towards wizards, which makes sense since the orb of deception implement mastery is also linked to Charisma.

The silver-tongued scoundrel, on the other hand, is for artful dodger rogues. You can grant allies bonuses to Bluff or Diplomacy by successfully using them, use either skill in place of an init bonus, the level 12 utility lets you roll twice and take the better result, and the action point kicker and attacks you get all cause the target to grant combat advantage to you (making it incredibly easy to get Sneak Attack damage whenever you damned well please).

I'm sure a lot of people are going to be pissed that the Winning Races article is on, of all things, changelings. Even in Eberron we never saw many of these guys, so its kind of strange to see it getting the spotlight before a multitude of others. Its not even a crunch-heavy article, focusing on one of several changlings archetypes, the becomer. Unlike most changlings, becomers choose a single identity as another race and stick with it. They dont let anyone know the truth, even close friends or loved ones.

Most of the article is devoted to discovering your character's reasons for doing so,  and it includes a list of common races to choose from with reasons why you might pick that race. There're several backgrounds, but only one feat that gives you a bonus language and skill bonus to a skill that that race gets a bonus on. Very cool.

Last on the list is Class Acts: Warlocks. This issue adds a bunch of Charisma-based spells for infernal pact warlocks, including a new at-will that you can swap out for hellish rebuke. While there is only a single encounter attack for each level, its a step in the right direction for tieflings who can get more out of Charisma and still reap the benefits of the very thematic infernal pact. As a tiefling fan, I endorse this move. There are also a pair of new item properties for rods and leather/hide armor. Nothing too fancy, but a nice gesture.

{ 1 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. "I'm sure a lot of people are going to be pissed that the Winning Races article is on, of all things, changelings."

    No, they're pissed that a race with virtually no feat support got one terrible feat, some generic fluff that more or less restates the basic "which races are good for which classes" stuff, and generic fluff that tries to be about changelings but even gets the name wrong - becomers are something entirely different in changeling fluff, the article is about passers.

    And it sucks.

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