Daily Archives June 6, 2012

The Rule of Three: Ability Scores in D&D Next

The latest Rule-of-Three from Wizards of the Coast sheds some light on what to look for in future playtest releases: the paladin will be a class that plays differently from the playtest dwarf cleric, DMs should stick to a few guidelines when handing out advantage and disadvantage, and then this for ability scores:

The current design has every race (except humans) gaining a bonus to one ability score, based on a subrace choice. Humans get a bonus to every ability score, plus an additional +1 bonus to a score of their choice. Of course, when we provide the character creation rules for the playtest, we’re going to be looking closely at the feedback we get on ability bonuses, so it’s all the more important that people get involved in the playtest and share their thoughts on the matter.

I’m going to wait and see what the racial benefits are when the character creation rules become available, but humans getting a bonus to every ability score, plus another +1 to a score of their choice seems out of place. So much so that it looks like it couldn’t possibly be correct. The one thing that might determine whether or not this makes sense is that nonhumans get “a bonus” of unspecified size. If it’s going to balance against humans getting bonuses to all six scores it’d better be a pretty hefty bonus.

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Arena Review: Planechase 2 Chaos Reigns

Planechase 2 (2012) Reviews
Chaos Reigns | Night of the Ninja | Primordial Hunger | Savage Auras

With Planechase 2 finally released, it’s exciting to look at the new cards offered in deck deck – along with the new Planes and Phenomena! What I find most interesting about Planechase is I don’t know a single playgroup that actually plays it the way it was designed with individual 10 card planar decks. Every group I’ve played in has ended up using some variation of the Eternities Map. I guess you would call that the universal planar singularity.

The “Chaos Reigns” deck puts the power of cascade in your hands—cast a spell, then cast another spell for free! Wield all five colors of mana and watch your opponents scramble to deal with every flavor of aggression.

Chaos Reigns is the first deck in this series of reviews for one simple reason: it’s first alphabetically! A five color monstrosity, this deck makes the most of cascading spells. In the 60-card deck, there are only six brand new cards: one mythic, two rares, two uncommons and a common.

A quite note about the packaging, I really like how Wizards has amped up their packaging offers of late. The oddly shaped hexagonal box is great looking and the large window really shows off the plane well, but the inclusion of showing the legendary creature on a bend just makes me grimace. I know the card isn’t actually bent, but it just looks wrong! Inside the packaging is the planar deck, the actual deck, a planar die, a deck box, a strategy insert and learn to play guide.

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