Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Character sheet peek

Wow, it must be D&D day, with all of these posts.

A handful of character sheets. were issued, I believe for use at the D&D Experience event that went on last weekend.

I'm starting with the wizard, Skamos Redmoon.

The first thing I noticed is that the ability scores seem to be like they always were, not like what the Pit Fiend entry seemed to be showing.

Squares... squares... you know, if they had just kept things at feet, then they wouldn't need the word "squares" everywhere. Speed could be 30', range could be 25' normal/50' max, etc.

Dagger is +3 vs. AC. Where does the +3 come from? The last podcast talks about a "prof" bonus, perhaps proficiency - does the dagger have any such value? And who's not proficient with a dagger? Do wizards use Dex bonus to hit? Or is that maybe a function of light weapons? Even so, the +3 is a mystery.

Magic Missile looks formidable. Versus Reflex tells us two things - it doesn't always hit (boo), but it's going to be easier to hit large and/or bulky things (yay). The damage starts off better (yay), but doesn't compare to higher level MMs (unless it does increase in 4e as well). Boo, no multiple targets. Our old standby Magic Missile has all grown up.

The Passive Insight and Passive Perception are handy -- basically they're take-10s precalculated for you. The wizard sure seems to get a lot of ranks at first level... interesting. Some must be racial, but still...

Bloodhunt is a nice little racial feature, and I wonder if "attacks vs bloodied foes" include all types -- spells as well as by weapon. I don't see why not, but "attack" has a different meaning in 3e.

"Your powers are called spells, since they are from the arcane power source." Perhaps I just haven't been paying attention, but is that really saying that wizards get "arcane powers" and not "spells" on top of some other wizardy powers? Perhaps I'm not qualified to be writing a blog about 4e...

Looking further at Magic Missile on the other side, we see "Special: This power counts as a ranged basic attack. When a power allows you to make a ragned basic attack, you can use this power." Okay, besides the redundancy, I wonder if this is just not a common enough idea that they didn't come up with a "subtype" for it. It should emphasizes that MM is going to be a core spell for the wizard!

The Light spell -- sorry, power -- no, it's a spell -- says "[p]utting it out is a free action." Again, I'm surprised this isn't an entry on its own (like the (D) that 3e used to show that a spell was dismissable).

Light doesn't have a "type", like Illusion or Conjuration. Oversight, perhaps?

Mage Hand has

Sustain Minor: You can sustain the hand indefinitely

Does this mean it takes up my minor action each round, though? Not that I'd mind - it's a good balance of not getting it for free, but not being too expensive to maintain.

Both Light and Mage Hand have now had "Special: You can create only one hand at a time". I'm going to guess there will be many cantrips of this form, so again, why not have a special term, "single", that says you can only have one going at once?

Ah, right, because they've done away with Duration, feeling that keeping track of such things is too difficult. Therefore there's nowhere to put (D) markers and such.

Scorching Burst is the second spell to have "implement". Is this tied to the Arcane Implement Mastery on the first page, which I conveniently ignored?

"Area burst 1 within 10 squares." Shouldn't that be "Area burst 1 square within 10 squares"? Okay, I'll stop ragging on the squares thing.

For the this post, anyway.

Does that mean just the square itself, or does "burst 1" mean "1 square beyond the targetted square", giving you an effective area-of-effect of 9 squares?

The Force Orb is interesting, in that it has a Secondary Target and Secondary Attack. I'm guessing the second Hit: line should say "Secondary Hit". The inconsistency of the naming rankles the computer nerd in me.

Infernal Wrath gives a "+1 power bonus." Does that mean just what's described in the next sentence - the +1 damage? Is it named to prevent stacking, if such a concept still exists in 4e? It's not much of an encounter power, but I guess it's free with your race.

Oh look, Acid Arrow! I was just asking about that the other day. Looks nasty. Ongoing damage, no limit, until they save. If spells such as Bane, Doom, Curse, etc. still exist, these are going to be much more powerful, if they allow you to attack someone's saving throws. I have a feeling it'll be against their defenses now, however.

Acid Arrow also gets a Secondary Attack. Very nice. If that wasn't a staple of a wizard before, it sure will be now. Daily is kind-of a bummer, though.

Sleep is interesting, since it has a slowing effect. The save against the actual sleep happens not immediately as the spell is cast, but on the targets' turns, to see if the slowness turns into a nap. That's interesting, because it means a target's companions might try and remove the effect before the fall down, drop weapon, provoke untold attacks, etc.

Wow, that was longer than I expected -- I think I'll look at the other character sheets tomorrow!

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