Thursday, April 26, 2007

Spell Compendium

Title: Spell Compendium

Product Line: Dungeons and Dragons, d20

Publisher: Wizards of the Coast

What it is

This is a book that contains. It contains lots of spells. Then there are even more spells.

you get the idea.

It contains spells from most of the previously WotC published books except for the Player's Handbook (I guess they figure that you've got that already).

It starts out with a couple of pages describing how to use the book and what classes it applies to (Player's handbook and Dungeon Master's Guide PCs and NPCs). It then goes into hwo to fit the spells into other classes that have shown up in other books. It gives the inevitable notice that you need the PH, DMG and MM to play. then it gives the definitions for "Swift Actions" and "Immediate Actions" and talks about its sources.

The Spell Descriptions section (~90% of the book) starts a list of name changes for perviously published spells. Then Spells, spells, and more spells.

The next chapter is spell lists for all the core PC and NPC classes.

The Appendix contains more domains for Clerics.

What works

I wasn't able to identify any spells that came off as either useless or "must have." To me, that means that the spells are pretty well balanced. I don't know if all these spells should be dumped on a campaign but by introducing them slowly as the characters interact with different cultures or read ancient books works nicely. There are also enough spells here that if you have a theme in mind for your spellcaster, you have a much better chance of putting together a more interesting character.

I really like the list of new domains. They list the Limbo domain right next to the Mechanus domain. The first thing that ran through my head when I saw that: I've got a Cleric who has the Limbo and Mechanus domains, we cal him "Mr. Twitchy."

What doesn't work

Some, few, of the spells (I think I counted 5) have some pretty bad typos (like missing the line that gives the spell level) or having the text contradict the target or area information. It would help if they had an Errata for the product.

Also the spell lists just include the spells in this book. It would have been helpfull to have a combined spell list that contained the PHB spells as well. This would be especially nice for Clerics.