I really hate nerdrage.
…and yes, I realize that this post could be construed as such. It’s not. I just want to put information out there that some folks appear to be missing.
There’s a GREAT pre-release review on ENWorld about the new Heroes of Shadow book. Go read it. It’s great– except for the overarching tone in the review about how HoS is an “Essentials Only” product. Then at Neuroglyph, the author posts up a loooooong rant about how disappointed he is about the lack of support for PHB characters. This is what upsets me– the nerdrage in people overflowing before they stop and think about a situation completely. See, here’s the thing about Heroes of Shadow…
IT’S NOT ESSENTIALS ONLY. There is, in fact, NO SUCH THING as Essentials Only.
Check this out. Any power in that book that says “Wizard Level x” can be taken by ANY wizard–even those in the Mage chapter of the Essentials books. So every new Mage power–because the Mage is a subclass of Wizard– is available to a PHB-build Wizard.
Every “Paladin Level x” power from the Blackguard is available to ALL Paladins, even those on a PHB build.
Every Binder power that reads “Warlock level x” is available to all Warlocks.
See where I’m going with this? That’s dozens of new powers available to the PHB build characters out there.
Every single feat in Heroes of Shadow is available to PHB characters. Likewise, every single feat in the Essentials books is available to PHB characters. I, for one, know that I don’t take the Expertise feats from the PHB anymore specifically because of that.
The new races in HoS? Available to all PHB-build characters.
Every magic item presented in the Essentials series is available to PHB characters. While this might not be as big a benefit right now, as more books (like HoS, check that out! WOW!!) come out–even if they are presented in Essentials format– give PHB build characters those options, too.
Yes, there’s a lot of sarcasm in this post, but that’s mainly because I see the nerdrage over the Essentials vs PHB as completely misplaced. The two intermingle on almost every level and their options coexist perfectly. There’s no reason to freak out all over the internet about how WotC has killed your game or how Essentials is D&D 4.5. It’s NOT– in fact, the Essentials line has done nothing but make the PHB character even more robust than he already was by providing more and better options to play the character you want.