Friday, March 16, 2007

Complete Adventurer

Title: Complete Adventurer: A Guide to Skillful Characters of All Classes

Product Line: Dungeons and Dragons, d20

Publisher: Wizards of the Coast

What it is

This is an expansion for rogues. In fact, it turns rogues into a catagory (like arcane casters, warriors and divine casters).

It starts with a mercifully short intro section and then gets into the meat of the book by introducing three new character classes: Ninja, Scout, and Spellthief. The Ninja comes pretty close to the legendary/movie versions that most people are familiar with. They get a weakened for of sneak attack (it lacks flanking) but gain a bunch of ninja type abilities like short duration invisibility and etherealness. The Scout takes away the Rangers more mystical abilities (like spells and animal companion) and adds Rogue like abilities. The Spellthief can use his sneak attack ability to steal spells and then cast them.

The second section has 27 new prestege classes. These might actually be usefull if you are running in a campaign that involves a lot of intrigue.

The third section gets into a really usefull set of expanded uses of skills that can be valuable to just about any character. I reccomend readign this section for every DnD player. The feats are, for the most part, usefull. The really good news is that the Goad feat lets me build my kender in 3.5!

In the forth section, the new weapons are OK but not compelling. Essentially they are exotic versions of common weapons with additional weapon features. The new equipment include a bunch of disposable alchemy items that give bonuses to skill checks. My general though about these types of items is that by the time you can afford to buy them, you don't need them but your milage may vary. They also have special one round duration versions of potions and more masterwork equipment for gaining masterwork bonuses for more skills. The magic items are very usefull for sneaky character. there are also a number for bards.

The fifth section has new spells. Always a good thing but no real standouts.

The sixth section has various organizations and the rules for creating organizations. and epic rules for the new character classes.

What works

The Ninja and Scout look like really usefull characters in the right setting and I really like the skill expansions. The magic items are usefull without being game breakers.

What doesn't work

Oh, whee, more prestege classes....

The disposable equipment is too expensive for what you get. Finally, stuff like rules for organizations (and similar rules from some of the other books) should be in a seperate book, not padded into character books.