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Posted April 8, 2010
Good supplement for martial characters
Martial Power 2 adds more options for those playing Fighters, Rangers, Rogues, and Warlords. Your opinion on the quality of the material probably depends largely on what you were looking for, as many of the new options are geared towards specific (new) builds of the existing classes.
Fighters get a new build that focuses on grabbing your enemies. Overall, I didn't care for those options, but I'm sure there are those out there who would love them.
Rangers get a couple of new builds that are variants for the existing two-weapon and archery camps.
Rogues get two new build options, one for improved stealth and one that swaps their dagger bonuses for crossbow bonuses. Nothing groundbreaking here.
Warlords seem to get the best new options in Martial Power 2. There's a new archer option, where you trade in your heavy armor proficiency for better ranged weapons, along with a number of powers that support that theme. There's a new at-will power that lets you give out a basic melee attack, but this one is more intuitive and works the way many thought the old one was supposed to work. There are a number of powers that can add to your allies' damage, and the warlord gets a few (much needed) healing powers. With these options, I don't think the warlord is outclassed by the bard anymore.
Combat Styles provide additional options at the cost of complexity (and a feat). Each Style is associated with a couple of classes and with a few weapons. The Lesser Style feats work like the domain feats from Divine Power - when you use one of the at-will powers associated with the feat you get some small benefit. There's also Greater Style feats, which grant similar bonuses to certain encounter powers. Overall, I think the Combat Style feats are a nice way to open up some specialization without adding too much baggage.
There are some new feats as well. In the continuing 4e tradition a number of them have racial requirements, making your choice of race a continuing factor beyond 1st level. The new multiclass feats provide new ways to dabble in the martial classes, mostly granting reduced versions of the new class features. Overall, the new feats are fine. There's only one that requires paragon multiclassing as a prerequisite and it will be interesting to see if they continue to support that option now that that PHB3 is out and has the hybrid classes, which are generally better-received than the feat-heavy paragon multiclassing option.
Finally, we have Martial Practices. These are tied to individual skills and overall they're similar to rituals without being overtly magical. They mostly feel like skill tricks from 3.5, which isn't a bad thing. Of course, there are a few that break that mold, but they mostly just allow blacksmiths to make simple +1 swords without being wizards. It's not a bad system, but it's difficult to draw the line between what constitutes a martial practice and what constitutes a skill check or small skill challenge.
Finally, we get a few new backgrounds (which are excellent for helping newer roleplayers flesh out characters) and a few more epic destinies.
Overall, Martial Power 2 is good if you're playing a martial character and looking for a few more options. If you like warlords, you'll probably love this book as I think they get the most from it. I don't see any Must-Have options here, which says good things about the quality of the book (and likelihood of quick errata). Overall, I'd give i
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Posted February 6, 2010
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