Books: Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition, Player's Handbook
The new edition of Dungeons and Dragons is out, and that means it's time for RPG players everywhere to buy new books and start slinging those dice. Thankfully, Wizards of the Coast elected to release all the core rulebooks on the same day, so I've been able to look at all three of them to see how the rules interact with each other. I still haven't gotten to play the game with anyone yet, but here's some of the things that are different in this edition's Player's Handbook:
- Complete overhaul of class features and spells: In years past, a huge chunk of the PHB was taken up by wizard and cleric spells - mostly pointless if you wanted to play a warrior-type character. With this new edition, however, each class gets its own unique list of powers (thus the "Class" section takes up a lot of the book, as it should).
- "Paragon Paths" and "Epic Destinies": Much like "Talents" from the World of Warcraft PC game, the Paragon paths allow you to customize your character without having to go into a whole new Prestige Class. Epic Destinies, on the other hand, grant few benefits, but they help particularly high-level PCs to more fully define their place in the game's universe.
- Magic items and equipment are rolled into the PHB instead of the DM's guide, and overall the complexity of how they work has been reduced.
- Healing, injury, and death have been reworked. Now, every character has "healing surges" (think Saga Edition's Second Wind), plus a "Bloodied" status that might open up new attacks. No more -10 instant death; instead, if you're at 0 or lower, you have a few chances to recover before you're gone for good (giving your allies a reason to save you fast instead of being able to wait for you to drop from -2 to -9).
Overall, I think this edition, while obviously being influenced from MMOs, Magic: The Gathering, and the D&D miniatures game, seems like a step in the right direction.