Jun. 21st, 2008

prince_corwin: (Default)
This is a continuing review section of the new 4e rules. There is a running score sheet at the end, and links to previous review sections, but the bulk is under the cut, to spare your flist view.

These are also kept unlocked.

PHB: Characters, Feats, Skills, and Miscellanea )

So at this point, I grade things as follows:

  • Feats: D+ (Too repetitive, not enough substance, too much genre bleedthrough.)
  • Skills: F (Just fundamentally broken. A huge step backwards.)
  • Rituals: C (too skimpy a list. This book is really only 70% complete.)

  • Class Roles:
    • Leaders: A- (seriously, just for moving Clerics out of the medic role, and because I think the Warlord class really adds something)
    • Defenders: B (There's only so interesting you can make a Fighter, but they tried)
    • Strikers: C+ (Rogues are lacking, and Warlocks are too setting-specific)
    • Controllers: B- (They really should have had another type here. I suspect Druids will be future Controllers)
  • Classes Overall: B
  • Paragon: F (Seriously, this is fucked up)
  • Epic: F (Can I give less than an F? How about a Q? Can I give a Q-?)
  • Character Stats: B- (Needs a hack to allow dramatic flaws, but it's an easy hack)
  • Character Races: C (Too much genre dependence over almost half the choices, some of which can't be fixed except by banning.)
  • Class Fairness: A- (I feel like I'm giving this against my will)
  • Class Simplicity: B (Too simple, in some respects. I'll flesh that out more in the next reviews, as it includes feats and skills)
  • Class Aesthetics: C- (This balances out that A- grade, because the spellcasters, while fair, just seem flat)
  • Class Powers: C- (This would be higher, but the Encounter/Daily thing is broken for my style, and because I can't tell without playing whether these class powers are really meaningful on the battleground. Probably would have been a B- without that former.)

This rates about a solid C, actually, since I don't put equal weight on all those categories. It's the Paragon and Epic that really drag things down. If I look at the game as intended only for play below 11th level, it bumps up half a grade, immediately. If I fix a few things that are easily fixable, probably another half a grade to a B-.

I'm not sure if I'll get another review out today; hopefully if not, then at least one tomorrow, and then... well. Maybe when I'm on vacation. The GM stuff will follow, and then the Monster Manual.

Other reviews:
PHB: Characters, Preliminaries and Basics
PHB: Characters, General Differentiation and Advancement
PHB: Characters, Class Particulars and Advancement


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