Previews Archive | 7/6/2009
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July and Beyond
Bart Carroll

Do D&D characters take a vacation? I'm assuming they'd want to after trekking long days through the wilderness regardless of the weather, delving into the dank caverns and forgotten corners of the world, and recovering from tremendous often near-fatal injuries. They must, from time to time, look for something more significant than even an extended rest. Sometimes even they must long for an extensive rest. A vacation. Time to spend their hard-gotten gains ordering mugs of ale on a foreign beach somewhere. . . .

Yes, I'll be taking my own vacation this month. The birthday funtivities in June included my first ever paragliding lesson. In July, the full-on vacation encompasses a trip to Pamplona to run with the bulls. I'd like to believe these are the sorts of things my character would be up for as well.

Then again, perhaps I have things backward. Many people work their day jobs just so they can go paragliding, traveling . . . and adventuring. Maybe that's what my character secretly does off-screen. He's working his own day job, saving up enough vacation time and resources to go off on his next adventure to the Trollhaunt Warrens, Thunderspire Labyrinth, or perhaps even the Demon Queen's Enclave. Adventuring might not be his day job, but it's clearly his calling. (Alternatively for me, this is my dream job, punctuated by a series of more manageable adventures!)

Wherever the truth may lie, here's what you can expect for this month and beyond!

July: Player's Handbook Heroes, Series 2

Peter Lee has already previewed the contents of the Divine Heroes 2; let's take a look at those heroes appearing in Martial Heroes 3:

July: Eberron Campaign Guide

Here we are, knee-deep in ongoing excerpts for both the Eberron Campaign Guide, as well as for Divine Power. To give you a better sense of what excerpts to expect, we've started to post mini-calendars for each book at the bottom of every excerpt . . . so by now, you should be well aware that the Campaign Guide is due to wrap up with a look at Droaam as well as a sample encounter from the appendix, introducing a flashback scene from your party's past exploits.

In the following excerpt, we offer the continuation of this flashback encounter, after the party has left the Tower of Scars.

As the characters emerge from the tower, read:

Strange orange lightning flashes across the sky, followed by a rumble of thunder that shakes the ground beneath your feet. A gust of wind, unseasonably warm, shakes the dry branches of the trees—and then you notice the corpses shambling toward you. Two human men wearing the insignia of the Order of the Emerald Claw grin at you from behind the zombies, hefting their flails. Behind them, a gaunt woman dressed in green and black scowls in your direction.

July: Divine Power

Staunch protector, saver of lives, formidable foe, and worldly representative of the gods -- all of these are roles filled by divine characters. Their special connections with the deities and other forces of the cosmos give them a suite of powers and abilities -- as well as responsibilities -- that make them indispensable in the continual struggle to advance the causes of righteousness and justice. Those who attain the highest levels of accomplishment literally do ascend, becoming entities not unlike the deities they worship and emulate.

Divine Power is a tome that broadens the choices available to those who follow the dictates of a deity. In its pages are new ways to build a divine character, along with new options to fill out your role as an avenger, a cleric, an invoker, or a paladin.

Likewise, while we've been showing off plenty of Divine Power, we have only one of its incredible epic destinies due to be excerpted: the Avatar of Death, on 07/10. Let's show off one more right now:

Avatar of Freedom Features

Freedom of Mind and Body (21st level): Your Dexterity score and your Wisdom score both increase by 2.

Liberate the Mind (21st level): Allies adjacent to you gain a +2 bonus to saving throws against being dominated, immobilized, restrained, or slowed.

Liberating Revival (24th level): The first time each day you begin your turn dying or dead, you revive. You regain hit points equal to your bloodied value, and each ally within 10 squares of you ends any immobilizing, slowing, or restraining effect currently affecting him or her.

Agent of Freedom (30th level): You cannot be dominated, immobilized, slowed, restrained, or petrified. You ignore difficult terrain, and you can shift your speed as a move action.

August: Adventurer's Vault 2

Adventurer's Vault 2 is a successor and a companion to the Adventurer's Vault supplement. In it you'll find a wide selection of magic items to augment those presented in its predecessor as well as in the Player's Handbook, Player's Handbook 2, and other sources. More than just a continuation, though, Adventurer's Vault 2 puts forth a few advances in the way that magic items are presented and conceptualized.

Before we start showing off a few of these items in full, let's preview a high-level sword as well as the stats and background for a new suit of armor:

Rat Killer's Coat
Level 2+
This fur-trimmed jacket is favored by all who must deal with dangerous vermin.
Lvl 2 +1 520 gp
Lvl 7 +2 2,600 gp
Lvl 12 +3 13,000 gp
Lvl 17 +4 65,000 gp
Lvl 22 +5 325,000 gp
Lvl 27 +6 1,625,000 gp
Armor: Cloth, leather
Enhancement: AC
Property: You gain resist 5 against damage from swarms' attacks. In addition, you can move through a space occupied by a swarm, and your movement doesn't provoke opportunity attacks from swarms.
Level 12 or 17: Resist 10.
Level 22 or 27: Resist 15.

Rat Killer's Coat

The reclusive mage Sarkudo hid his laboratory deep under the capital city out of a desire for privacy. To his chagrin, he discovered that by plying his trade in the sewers, he had invited a dungeon to his doorstep. Dealing with slimes, molds, vermin, giant bugs, and the like was so frustrating and time-consuming that Sarkudo almost gave up and left. Sarkudo had long observed one of the city's rat catchers and was baffled as to how the man had survived so long in such a dangerous place, armed with only a sharp stick and a small but vicious dog. The wizard asked him what his secret was. The rat catcher opened Sarkudo's eyes by revealing the secret lore of the sewers and how to live in harmony with the unique environment. Sarkudo was so impressed that he hired the rat catcher to help redesign his lab, and in short order, it was attracting much less trouble.

The wizard also made a protective coat for his assistant, which the rat catcher in turn passed on to his heir.

The child aspired to a grander career, namely adventuring. The coat served its wearer so well in battle that fellow adventurers made versions of their own, and rat killer's coats soon became popular.

The King of Cats: The King of Cats is a very specialized shop, carrying special items such as silver weaponry, rat poison, and exotic tools. Ruffians are extorting protection money from the owner, who seeks assistance in stopping them. She offers a rat killer's coat as a reward.

The Grieving Family: Sven is a hunter of vermin and a minor adventurer. He entered the sewers over a week ago and hasn't been seen since. His wife has given up hope but wants someone to recover the body for a proper burial. Whoever accomplishes this task can keep the tools of Sven's trade, including his magic coat, if he's really dead.

Space-Bending Weapon
Level 19+
This weapon always seems farther away than it actually is.
Lvl 19 +4 105,000 gp
Lvl 24 +5 525,000 gp
Lvl 29 +6 2,625,000 gp
Weapon: Heavy blade, light blade
Enhancement: Attack rolls and damage rolls
Critical: +1d6 damage per plus
Power (Daily): Minor Action. The next enemy you target with this weapon can be up to 5 squares away from you; you attack that enemy as if you were adjacent to it.
Level 24 or 29: Up to 10 squares away.

August: D&D Minis Legendary Evils

We started with minis, we'll end with minis! This time from the forthcoming monster set:

Until next month!

About the Author

Bart Carroll is most frequently found underground, although he infrequently will lair in desolate wildernesses. The globular body of the author is supported by levitation, and he floats slowly about as he wills. Atop the sphere are 10 eyestalks, while in his central area are a great eleventh eye and a large mouth filled with pointed teeth. His body is protected by a hard chitinous covering. The author's eyestalks and eyes are also protected, although less well. Because of his particular nature, Bart is able to withstand the loss of his eyestalks which will eventually grow back (1 week per lost member).

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