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The Shadowfell is a cold, grim place through which the spirits of the dead must pass on their way to . . . wherever. Dark, evil things live there, suffused with the power of shadow. Some mortals in the natural world learn how to tap into this source. Assassins. Necromancers. Hexblades. By all accounts, a ruthless lot. However, not all beings that draw strength from the Shadowfell are vile, blackhearted fiends. A few even dare to call themselves ...
The Shadowfell is a cold, grim place through which the spirits of the dead must pass on their way to . . . wherever. Dark, evil things live there, suffused with the power of shadow. Some mortals in the natural world learn how to tap into this source. Assassins. Necromancers. Hexblades. By all accounts, a ruthless lot. However, not all beings that draw strength from the Shadowfell are vile, blackhearted fiends. A few even dare to call themselves heroes, using the power of darkness to fight darkness. Are they evil? No. Deeply disturbed and hounded by their own dark demons? You bet.
Player’s Option: Heroes of Shadow™ focuses on characters that fight evil in ways that make others cringe. In addition to exploring the nature of the shadow power source, this book presents races, classes, feats, powers, and other options aimed at players hungry to play the archetypal antihero with a dark edge.
Posted December 26, 2012
A mediocre addition to the 4th Edition lineup. The book is one of the thinnest of the character supplements, and most of that is spent giving added description (in rather large print to boot) to feats. class features, and powers that already have descriptions attached to them!
Highnotes: The new PC races are promising with unique play styles and choices. Many of the new class options & new classes feel very imaginitive, such as the Paladin's new striker variant, the Blackguard or the new Warlock controller variant the Binder. The Wizards finally gain access to Necromancy. Finally, there are a broad selection of new Paragon Paths that offer very original, yet not overpowering options.
Lownotes: The new Shadow Classes are very disappointing. Although Assassin Executioner wind up fun to play, Its hard to understand why they the Assassin deserved to be its own class rather than simply adding it as a Rogue variant since they feel similar. The Vampire class was a novel idea, but its application seems very labored. Nethermancy for wizards sounded promising until you see it side by side with necromancy and you realize it's merely a derivative. This is another place where they might have done better by merging the two schools together instead of trying to create a separate groupings. Perhaps the biggest disappointment is that the new Gloom Pact, while introduced for Binders & Hexblades is not available for traditional Warlocks. Perhaps they felt it would be too similar to the Dark Pact, but again if so why not simply add the gloom pact abilities to the Dark Pact instead of creating a new subset?
The inbetween: The Epic Destinies introduced were clearly designed for an entire party to select. They introduce abilities that benefit from having more than one of you present. This could be very fulfilling if you're running a themed campaign, with a cohesive party.
Overall I'd rate this as a C-. There are many good ideas explored, but some of them did not get thought through all the way.
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