Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The latest purchase from my FLGS, pt.1

The Collected Book of Experimental Might - Monte Cook (Malhavoc Press)

Basically a compilation of house rules for Monte Cook's D&D campaign, the CBoXM represents a significant revision of D&D ed.3.5 which is remarkably compatible with original game. The number of changes packed into the slim hardcover is impressive and I will not enumerate all of them here, but I will discuss the big ones.

Probably the biggest change involves feats. Every class gets a feat at every level, so needless to say, the number of available feats has been expanded dramatically. Fighters still get bonus feats and they also get sole access to two classes of extra powerful feats called Double Feats and Uberfeats. The former requires spending two feat slots, which can't be saved up from previous levels. Since only fighters get bonus feats in the CBoXM, they are ones that get two feat slots in the same level. Uberfeats are super powerful feats which are only available to high level fighters. To qualify, the character is required to retire a selection of previous feats.

Another major change is that the spell lists have been expanded to 20 levels, so that the highest spell level available to a spellcaster is equal to his caster level. Spellcasters also get disciplines, which replace class features and act more like spell-like abilities. All the class features of spellcasters, such as Turn Undead or Wild Shape have now been redone as disciplines. The core abilities associated with each discipline can be improved by spending feat slots to buy upgrades. For example, Turn Undead, which now allows a saving throw and only affects a single undead at a time, can be upgraded in terms of range, damage, save DC and types of monsters that can be affected. Rangers and Paladins, which no longer have spellcasting ability, also have access to a limited number of disciplines.

There are other rule changes related to spell effects such as polymorph and resurrection, fighter domains which resemble schools or styles of combat and the introduction of a new base class called the Runeblade. All the changes and additions make a very coherent and workable package, although the Runeblade seems like a bit of an add-on.


No comments: