Posted by : David Guyll August 09, 2010

Up until now, the stuff I've heard about the Essentials didn't worry me at all. Classes built differently? That's cool. Magic item rarities? I can work with that. The recently revealed changes? Well...they've given me pause. I mean, the team over at WotC has done an excellent job with 4th Edition thus far, so I'm willing to give the whole thing the benefit of the doubt, but some of the changes are starting to get me a bit worried in the way that only a fuck-ton of changes can.


Not all of it's bad. For one thing, if you have two implement-using classes, then any implements work for your powers even if the normally wouldn't. For example, if you're a sorcerer/bard, then you can use daggers as implements. I don't think it's difficult at all to understand how implements work, but I can get behind making multiclassing less irritating (I've had players not want to multiclass because they didn't want to have to try and maintain two separate +whatever-whatevers).

Its when you get to races and powers that things start to seem a bit...power creepy. Wizard encounter spells will have miss effects, which we already knew but didn't know what they would look like. One of the examples is  burning hands, which will deal half damage on a miss. Now, if the base damage is reduced that's fine, but if they are going to go through the entire wizard spell selection and alter all of it? Well, that's a lot of modifications, and while I'm glad that DDI updates all this shit automatically I would appreciate them printing updated books to reflect the more radical changes they've made (magic missile, I'm looking at you).

Races from Essentials will all get a static modifier to one ability score and a floater between two others. I don't think this is necessary, except for players that have to pick optimized race/class combos. What I like about 4th Edition is that you can mix and match any race and class and end up with a working character. The plus side is that this technically makes races more flexible in the sense that they will have key modifiers to a specific class, but I dont feel that it was necessary. I mean, I've made a functional gnome barbarian and Shazbot played a halfling dagger fighter for quite awhile and we perceived no problems with either.

On a similar note a lot of feats are getting changed, as well as a purportedly better organization method that uses categories like Enduring Stamina, which is for feats that make your character tougher and last longer. I'm guessing this time around we'll have forum-goers bitching that a feat should be in this category or that. 9_9

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