Player's Handbook 2 Previews

A pair of very lucky people over at have already received copies of Player's Handbook 2, because apparently Japan is just plain awesome like that. I was tempted to try and purchase through, but the grand total amount was close to seventy dollars. I'll just have to wait. As per the usual, people are clamoring for answers to all things about races, classes, feats, etc, and I'm going to list some of the major things here.

Half-orcs get a bonus to Strength and Dexterity, a bonus to Endurance and Intimidate, tempt hit points when first bloodied, a racial encounter that lets them deal bonus damage, and boosted charge speed. The book mentions that the races in the first PH are the more common ones compared to the new stuff in PH2.
Goliaths get a +2 to Strength and Constitution, +2 Athletics, +2 Nature, +1 racial to Will, can roll twice on Athletics checks made to jump or climb, and get a racial encounter that gives them resist 5 all until the end of their next turn.

The section on Custom Spirit Companions, which was mentioned in the PH2 table of contents, just lets you make your spirit companion look like whatever you want. It doesnt have any mechanical impact on the game.
Barbarians now only get a +1 to AC and Reflex if they are not wearing heavy armor, and thats it. This means bye bye to your Con bonus. The thaneborn build does two things: it gives you roar of triumph and when you bloody an enemy you or an ally gains an attack bonus against the target equal to your Cha mod. Roar of triumph functions similarly to swift charge, in that you use it after dropping an enemy. The difference is that it imposes a -2 penalty to all defenses against enemies within 5 squares of you.

Implement/Weapon Expertise is a no prereqs feat that grants a +1 to attacks with either an implement or weapon, and the bonus increases by another 1 at levels 15 and 25, different from the expected progression rate.
Melee Training is a feat that lets you use any stat you want for basic attacks. This will be invaluable for a certain Charisma-based paladin I know. Conversely, people are now griping that Intelligent Blademaster sucks.
Initiate of the Old Faith gives you a Beast at-will as an encounter and lets you wildshape for free. On the other hand, Spirit Talker lets you use call spirit but as a standard action in addition to getting either spirit fangs or spirit's shield as en encounter power.
Arcane Spellfury grants you an attack bonus after you hit with a sorcerer at-will attack. Sounds like a good opener for an encounter or daily.
Sorcerous Blade Channeling lets you use a dagger to make ranged attacks as a melee attack, which is ideal if you are caught in melee.

The Demonskin Adept paragon path seems very interesting and suitable for chaos sorcerers. First, burning an action point grants everyone (including the bad guys) a bonus to attack rolls for a turn. You can change your energy resistance as a minor action, crits cause you and the target to go blind, deal extra damage when bloodied, and you get an attack that can deal a crapload of damage or moderate damage and shield allies. Now I wanna make a chaos sorcerer...
Disciple of the World Serpent causes your spirit companion to be surrounded by difficult terrain for enemies, let an ally use a healing surge when you use an action point, and cause enemies to take poison damage when they save against your daily attacks. Their include one that immobilizes them and deals extra psychic damage if enemies move closer to the target, one that lets your allies ignore cover and concealment, and one that contricts the target, requiring two saves to escape.
Dragonborn fans can rejoice, as the Scion of Arkhosia gives you wings that grant normal flight and overland flight later.
Wild Mage lets you burn an action point to roll on a table for random outcomes. One lets you become invisible, while another lets you and all your allies make an immediate saving throw. The wild surge benefit of the class lets you roll a d6 for a random result instead of taking the miss on a natural 1. One causes you to drop prone and slide 3 away from the target (big explosion), while another lets you reroll the attack but if you get another nat 1 you take damage and cannot wild surge again during this encounter. Cool stuff. It gives you an element of risk that you can call upon if you want to.

Instruments and totems are added to the list of "basic equipment."

Thats all I managed to scour up after 39 pages of thread drudging, though I'm sure more will be added later.

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