D&D 4.5e?

So I did some additional research on the GenCon announcements this morning.  I have some concerns and comments.

Box Sets

WoTC is moving towards producing more box sets next year.  Two were already announced this year as part of the Essentials line.  Next year will see many more such sets.  I don’t like box sets and I am not too happy with this trend.  Box sets consume much more storage than simply books.  They are more difficult to transport.  The contents often include stuff I consider junk that won’t be useful.

The Essentials Line

WoTC has been very clear that the Essentials line of products (10 products that will always be in print) are:

  • Not replacements for the PHB, DMG and MM
  • Do not constitute a “4.5e” release of D&D

They have been heavily promoting the line in the last month and a half.  Additional detail came out at GenCon.  I have two concerns.  Some of the changes seem to be a step backward or an increase in complexity and the changes to appear to be significant.  That being said several of the changes also seem to be a fairly good idea.

Without seeing the actual product it is hard to say how significant the changes are.  Certainly it seems that old classes and powers will continue to work, but this may errata many of the existing feats and powers.  Second the power structure is being heavily modified.  Class features are being introduced throughout heroic tier for some of the new builds.  Some do not have at-will attacks or encounter powers or daily powers.  Today they announced changes to feats, treasure and races.

The change may themselves be good, but they do appear to be substantial…

Campaign Setting

The was no clear announcement about a new campaign setting for next year.  Ravenloft was the last thing announced, but not many details were given.  It seems to be that it might be a stand alone game and not a campaign setting.  I like campaign settings so I am eager to find out more information on this.

There is also a book called the Neverwinter Campaign Guide.  But it doesn’t seem to be a full setting either.

Three Cool Books

Players’s Option: Heroes of Shadow – rather than a PHB introducing a new power source this will have new classes as well as rules for introducing shadow and I think horror to a campaign

Player’s Handbook: Champions of the Heroic Tier – Spun as a sort of Unearthed Arcana for 4e.  Basically new rules and ideas.  This sounds very neat.

Hero Builder’s Handbook – It sounds similar in concept to the Player’s Strategy Guide, but I really like that book.

My only concern is that the Player’s Option books were about when 2e started to break in half.  Hopefully that isn’t a sign here.

That is all I have to say about that.


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