View Full Version : What do you think of these books?

Geiger Counter
2010-03-27, 10:45 PM
Races of the Dragon
Tome of Magic
Dragon Magic
Planar Handbook
Magic of Incarnum
Weapons of legacy
Exemplars of Evil
Rules compendium
Deities and Demigods
Manual of the Planes

Mainly are they worth buying?

2010-03-27, 10:47 PM
Deities and Demigods is part of the SRD, and thus available online. Tome of Magic is pretty much crap except for the Binder, so if you like Binders, grab it. Weapons of Legacy also sucks, and I think Manual of the Planes is 3E. Magic of Incarnum kicks ass though.

2010-03-27, 10:51 PM
Exemplars of evil and races of the dragon are great for DMs.

So is rules compendium.

Manual of the Planes is neat enough. Great stuff in there, even if you may have to switch a few numbers around.

2010-03-27, 10:59 PM
Races of the Dragon is fun, but then I like Kobolds. The Dragonborn and Spellscales are sort of interesting, but I really think Kobolds are the reason you'd buy that book.

Tome of Magic, I really like... but it has its weaknesses. Basically, there are three base classes, each with its own unique magic system. The first, the Binder with Pact Magic, is excellent. The second, the Shadowcaster with Mysteries, is sort of interesting but not that different from a normal caster, and is poorly designed, to boot (though fixes exist, and it's mostly just that the number of mysteries per day that they get is unusably low, so it's not a difficult thing). The third, the Truenamer, is awesome, but sadly, the mechanics are abysmal. They're nearly unplayable - you need to hardcore optimize a single Skill check just to use your class features, and even when you manage that the effects you get access to are nothing special - they're mostly just copies of spells, and most of them allow a saving throw on top of the chance that you'll fail the skill check. In other words, the Truenamer just doesn't work. But it's still really cool. There are fixes for the Truenamer (I'm a fan of Kellus's (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=90961)), but they generally so completely change the system that you don't actually need anything from Tome of Magic to use them.

Dragon Magic has a ton of new spells, and perhaps more importantly, is the only significant source of Invocations outside of Complete Arcane. It also has the Dragonfire Adept, a different Invocation-using class which pretty sweet. But those are pretty much the stand-out features; there's a lot of dragon fluff that I haven't even bothered reading, the DfA, and a bunch of spells and invocations. And some PrCs, but none really caught my eye. The DfA is pretty worth it, IMO, though.

Planar Handbook, Exemplars of Evil, and Manual of the Planes, I am not familiar with.

Weapons of Legacy is awful. A player with a legacy weapon is better than one without. A player who had a legacy weapon and loses it is permanently crippled. Basically, they're bad news all around.

Rules Compendium is exactly what it says on the tin. It's mostly for convenience, though there is some pseudo-errata in there. I've never really looked through it too much, so I can't say too much on it.

Deities and Demigods is on the SRD; you don't really need it.

Sinfire Titan
2010-03-27, 11:10 PM
Races of the Dragon

The best things in it are Dragonborn and Kobold upgrades, along with a few feats. The rest of it is fairly tame, save for Power Word: Pain and a few other spells.

Tome of Magic

Shadow Magic just needs bonus mysteries/day and a tweak of the Fundamentals to be a decent Tier 3. As is, it's a low-endurance Tier 4.

Binder is good. Truenamer is on all three ends of the spectrum (Crap, Meh, and Broken).

Dragon Magic

Dragonfire Adept, Dragonfire Inspiration, and a ton of spells/support for some classes.

Planar Handbook

One of the older books. Nothing much, save for a few magic items and Planar Touchstone rules.

Magic of Incarnum

Well what do you expect me (http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=6920.0)to say about this book? (http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=2943.0) I've said damn near everything all ready. (http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=551.0)

Weapons of legacy

The premade weapons are not worth it for everyone. Some of the custom options are too weak to take. But a customized Legacy Item is a very good thing for your PCs to have as it reduces the price tags on some of their most expensive items.

A few fixes are floating around, and I'm working on one that is stylized after Prestige Classes instead of having all of those penalties attached.

Exemplars of Evil

Bought it, but only use it for a few feats. Uncanny Forethought, Blessing of the Godless, and Fell Conspiracy are all really good feats. The spells in there are meh, and I've never really used any of the NPCs.

Rules compendium

I use it regularly. Best Christmas present I got aside from a fixed 360 (which lasted 3 months before the same damn error!).

Deities and Demigods

3.0, SRD material. Bested by FC1+2 and Elder Evils IMO. Don't have a need for the Good-aligned Gods.

Manual of the Planes

Outdated by the Planar Handbook, 3.0 material. Avoid.

the humanity
2010-03-27, 11:35 PM
of the ones I know, the only one I ever use with regularity is the rules compendium, which is really simple and understandable (read: less 'it means this!' arguments)

Manual of Planes is really great if you want to splash into planes a lot, but isn't very good for huge adventures.

2010-03-27, 11:39 PM
Races of the Dragon I hate it, since it doesn't seem to ADD much, beyond some unbalanced spells and racial choices.
Tome of Magic Three new subsystems means that I am a happy camper
Dragon Magic Mixed feelings. It does hold the Dragonfire Adept, which is a great thing. I could recommend it for that alone.
Planar Handbook I love the Great Wheel. If you do too, buy it.
Magic of Incarnum Again with the new subsystem. I'd say get it.
Weapons of legacy Eh... you can do better if you know what the book is about and just make up your own rules.
Exemplars of Evil Make your own villains.
Rules compendium Good reference, not essential to have though.
Deities and Demigods It's on the SRD mostly. Don't bother.
Manual of the Planes See the Planar Handbook.

Mainly are they worth buying?
Edited in my thoughts on the matter. The gems here are Tome of Magic, the planar stuff, and Magic of Incarnum.

2010-03-28, 12:43 AM
Truenamer is on all three ends of the spectrum (Crap, Meh, and Broken).

Please enlighten me.

2010-03-28, 01:12 AM
Please enlighten me.

One of the high level Truenamer goodies is free Gate spam.

2010-03-28, 01:13 AM
Please enlighten me.
It doesn't work the way it's intended to work; the DCs for its class features to work scale at a ridiculous rate, faster than the bonus is likely to scale.

2010-03-28, 01:31 AM
Please enlighten me.

It sucks, unless you work really hard to optimize it, and then it's meh, unless you're high-enough level to Gate-spam, and then it's broken.

Re: the OP, I enjoyed Races of the Dragon and Dragon Magic, the only two of those that I've tried.

2010-03-28, 02:34 AM
It doesn't work the way it's intended to work; the DCs for its class features to work scale at a ridiculous rate, faster than the bonus is likely to scale.

I know, I've read the thing from end to end. I bolded "Broken" because Truenamer is meh at best.

It sucks, unless you work really hard to optimize it, and then it's meh, unless you're high-enough level to Gate-spam, and then it's broken.

Re: the OP, I enjoyed Races of the Dragon and Dragon Magic, the only two of those that I've tried.

Gate-spamming hardly breaks it, given that you get it at what, level 20 exactly, and by that point any Tier 1 or 2 class has enough other stuff to still kick your butt.

2010-03-28, 02:43 AM
Planar Handbook is one of may all time faverate books fro character gen.
Stacks of Races (without (too) cripplining LA, and with Racial progressions)
PrC's, Class substitution levels, Spells, Feats - It has everything

2010-03-28, 05:43 AM
Manual of the Planes: One of the best books ever released for 3rd Ed.

Planar Handbook: Definately one of the worst. Completely useless.

Of the others, I only like tome of Magic, the rest looked very boring when I flipped through them. Though never got to read them completely, and didn't bother to.

2010-03-28, 07:15 AM
Races of the Dragon: I own this. I like the kobold and dragonborn entries and the Power Word spells. Not much else. If you really like kobolds, this is worth buying.

Tome of Magic: I hear Binder's really good. I don't know enough to say if this is worth buying.

Dragon Magic: Dragonfire adept, the dragonblood races, and additional Warlock support. Good book. Yes, this is worth buying.

Planar Handbook: Decent, though I wouldn't buy it since I mostly run Eberron and the fluff doesn't really fit. Worth buying depending on your primary campaign setting.

Magic of Incarnum: I could not understand it. I tried. Multiple times. I hear it's good if you give it a chance, but I really don't know enough to vouch for it. Maybe if you give it a read you'll understand it.

Weapons of legacy: While the weapons in this book are mostly rather lame, the same mechanic was used in other books (Tome of Battle for example) to slightly better effect. Unfortunately you don't need this book to use the Legacy mechanic: any book that prints Legacy weapons explains the mechanic anyway. Not worth buying.

Exemplars of Evil: Interesting fluff, but not really necessary. I'd buy Elder Evils instead.

Rules compendium: Clarifies some rules. Fails to clarify others in my mind. It's more like a slightly more reliable FAQ than anything. IMO not worth it.

Deities and Demigods: I like it for the art. I wouldn't buy it, though.

Manual of the Planes: I don't refer to it often since again I run a different cosmology. but it has some interesting bits on the Nine Hells--lore which was kind of shoved aside when the Fiendish Codices came out. I wouldn't buy it.

2010-03-28, 07:24 AM
There's more factors we need to know before we can answer this question.

1) Does the OP prefer crunch, or fluff? Some books (like the Races and ToM) are strong in the fluff department, while some (Planar Handbook, Rules Compendium) are stronger at crunch. Some are excellent at both (MoI, DM) while some are awful at both (WoL, DaD.)

2) What prices are you looking at? Obviously if you can get DaD for $15 it's worth it. Not so much $150.

3) Do you want all the books on the list? Is it a "top 5" situation? There's some redundancy there (e.g. PH vs. MotP, DM vs. RotD) and picking the right one can serve your needs in the short term without needing the other.

2010-03-28, 10:22 AM
Planar Handbook: Definately one of the worst. Completely useless.

I like the planar handbook - had some pretty nice adventures based on stuff in there :smalltongue:

But if you have to chose motp is better ie more detail and more fluff

2010-03-28, 11:15 AM
Planar Handbook suffers from the same problem as Complete Psionic - the prestige classes are terrible, so its detractors feel obliged to toss out the baby with the bathwater.

2010-03-28, 12:33 PM
What goods things does the Planar Handbook have? All I can remember are some boring PrCs and uninspired races. Probably also some items and spells as well, but I believe it was mostly generic stuff with a somewhat planar theme, but completely void of anything for creating campaigns or adventures.

2010-03-28, 12:36 PM
Please enlighten me.
It's broken in the way that it doesn't work as intended, not in the way that it kills gods by blinking.

2010-03-28, 12:53 PM
No, you can break, really break, the Truenamer. Gate chaining is broken, period, no matter what else is going on.

2010-03-28, 01:05 PM
Take in base your need:

Races of the Dragon: Cool races (Dragonborn, Spellscale), support fo cobolds and for sorcerers, new spells of the power word: something line.

Tome of Magic what people said, but my experience with shadowcaster is more positive. Use it for campaigns with less powerful magic and less combat (few things to cast).

Dragon Magic: worthy just for dragonfire adept IMO.

Planar Handbook: cool for planar travel, races and weapons are decent but not great. Materials can be cool (astral driftmetal).

Magic of Incarnum not enough experience to talk

Weapons of legacy. No. Just.. no.

Exemplars of Evil: not a priority.

Rules compendium: can be useful but should have been done vetter IMO. It's just not enough. small fix for polymorph and shapechange (duration for the latter).

Deities and Demigods I found it inspiring, but I used it for an epic campaing. If you work on divine ranks, you could use it to make divine feay and similar things in a looow level game. It's up to you.

Manual of the Planes: inspiring. it's made of awesome (consider that I'm a DM 99% of times, tough :smallwink:)

2010-03-28, 01:08 PM
Magic of Incarnum is ne of my favorite books, it adds to my dthoughs of making a tribal shaman character...without dipping into 3rd party books.

Manual of the Planes, I could really do without it but its nice to have for special things

Planar Handbook, more stuff to add to your crossing the planar barrier adventures. Race wise I could do with out a few but theyre not that bad.With some work your looking at a book for Planescape :smallbiggrin:

Tome of Magic, is really fun. Shadowcaster and truenamer seem like alot of paperwork, and binder seemed perfect.

Races of Dragon, is something I didnt like as much as some of the other Race books.Kobolds is the only thing I liked, and that is all.