Monday, January 28, 2008

Christmas elves - just in time for Valentine's Day?

Wow, what a slow month. Okay, sure, real-life has gotten in the way, and the lack of informative posts by Wizards doesn't help, but I have to embarrassingly admit that I haven't finished reading the Races and Classes sneak-peak book yet, which might have something to talk about.

It also doesn't help that I rely on the Wizards RSS feed to tell me about new articles being posted - silly me, thinking that something like that might be correctly set up. But no, I've now missed two Ampersand articles because of this.

Oh, and did I mention that I haven't seen a developer blog for about a month, because they've gone and made a mess of Gleemax yet again? No? A shame I haven't mentioned that...

But this isn't just a post to gripe. I don't think. Let's go look at the that missed Ampersand article and see.

The older article was on the elf racial block from 4e, apparently a Christmas gift from Bill Slavicsek -- one that he forgot to put the name tag on. Or even wrap in wrapping paper. No ribbon. Shoved behind the tree.

Let's see: height, weight, ability scores (extra wisdom, no constitution penalty - very nice), size, speed... let me help you out here, since if you're a D&D fan, you're obviously mathematically challenged and can't do feet-to-square conversion on your own. 7 squares = 35 feet. Interesting that they've gone against the grain with units of ten.

Vision, languages, skill bonuses: +2 Nature, +2 Perception. Okay, we've seen that Perception is the new Spot/Search/Listen/whatever, but Nature? Is that the old Survival? No, wait, it was Wilderness Lore. No, wait, Knowledge (Nature)? Huh.

But here we go. Elven Accuracy (Elf Racial Power). Encounter/Free Action/Personal - so per-encounter, the timing/speed of it, and the range of effect. Nice and clear. "Reroll an attack roll. Use the second roll, even if it's lower." Not too bad, not too powerful.

Wild Step: You ignore difficult terrain when you shift (even if you have a power that allows you to shift multiple squares).

Perhaps I've lost track of things, but "shift"? Is that like a five-foot step, but now possibly multiple squares five-feets if you know what you're doing?

Group awareness is interesting, and I'm sure it will be continually forgotten. It's bad enough trying to remember that you're under the effect of a bard song in the current rules -- who's going to remember that they have an elf in their party, that it matters, and that they might be close enough to get a bonus?

Elven Precision [Elf]. Prerequisites are "elf" and "elven accuracy racial power" and "heroic tier". Don't the "elf" and "elven accuracy racial power" go together? Or are they still blurring the lines between the name of a race and the subtype, so a drow might still be "elf" for satisfying prerequisites, but might now have "elven accuracy"?

All in all, mildly informative, and it looks like they've kept the elf recognizable. Huzzah?


Griff said...

How did I know that the "5 squares" thing would have grabbed your attention?

I got the same idea about the "shift" thing. The 5' step instantly jumped to mind.

Anonymous said...

The prerequisites of 'Elf' and 'Elven Accuracy' means that a half-elf can't take it even tho he can normally qualify for Elf feats as well as Human feats.

Considering that the feat alters Elven Accuracy, this sort of makes sense.