We haven’t done an Inquisition of the Week in a while, and though we don’t plan on doing them every week I will simply call this an Inquisition as we will be doing one every now and then. Today I’d like to ask all of you about the Essentials line of products for Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition that are releasing this month, starting with the Red Box (which Phil reviewed here) that is already out and continuing for the next few months with the limited run of products. This month we see the release of the D&D Rules Compendium, Dungeon Tiles Master Set: The Dungeon, and Heroes of the Fallen Lands that introduces new rules, builds, and options for the most iconic D&D classes – the Fighter, Wizard, Cleric, and Rogue.
Though a lot of what is being introduced with Essentials falls into the category of new options, there is also new errata that includes a handful of changes to the base game that bring things a bit more in line with some of the design philosophies behind Essentials. I am still on the fence about some things that are presented in Essentials but for the most part I like the changes being made to parts of 4E that I have been struggling with for the last two years such as magic items. One of the big things I am still reserved about is the new builds for classes such as the Slayer Fighter that changes the role that class fills, meaning you can have a fighter in your group that is a striker.
As always I am going to have to wait until I’ve experienced playing with the majority of these new rules to really make a judgment, but we can at least talk about how we feel just reading about the changes and see what the consensus amongst you guys, our readers, looks like.
It is very tough to come up with a good set of answers for a poll like this, so if your exact opinion isn’t reflected well in one of the listed answers then try to look at the first four answers as a score for Essentials: Yes = 4 stars, Mostly = 3 stars, Not really = 2 stars, and No = 1 star