View Full Version : Adventurer's Vault: Worth it or not?

2008-10-06, 11:27 AM
So I was looking at getting a 4th edition splatbook, and, lo and behold, saw that they have an equipment book out. Reviews on Amazon were unhelpful, and so I turn to the playground to tell me if this book is worth the money for what I would be using it for...

more ranged weapons
dual weapons
more shields
magic items for rewards below level 10

So tell me playground, should I get it?

2008-10-06, 11:38 AM
You might be disappointed if your are looking for lots of new ranged weapons, unless you are talking about lots of new ranged weapon magical enhancements.

One the other three counts, you will find a wealth of information.

I really like this book and, as far as I am concerned, it will become just as core as the other 3 for most of my campaigns.

Kurald Galain
2008-10-06, 12:04 PM
The answer is probably "yes" if you're a DM who doesn't want to make up his own items, or if you're a player with a DM that lets you cherry pick whatever you like. Otherwise, "no".

2008-10-06, 12:12 PM
It's decent at best.

Basically it will give you more enchantments to choose from ... though I find most of them to be spinoffs of things that the core already gives you.

I got it ... and I'd get it again, but you are not missing all that much to be honest.

2008-10-06, 12:12 PM
Or a DM that doesn't put the kibosh on the Enchant Item ritual.

I think it's worth having around for your 4e games, yeah.

Mando Knight
2008-10-06, 12:21 PM
more ranged weapons
dual weapons
more shields
magic items for rewards below level 10

Yes, if you count two crossbows (one superior, the other military) and the Greatbow (superior weapon, essentially a Recurve Longbow)
Yes, double sword, double hammer, double axe...
No, unless you count the Spiked Shield (weapon add-on to light shield) and new shield enchantments
Yes... many magic items are included in the book, probably more than half the pages are magic items, and maybe half or more of them are available in Heroic tier.

It also includes suggestions on including higher power items that start as a weaker enchantment at Heroic but later becomes an Epic-only enchantment...

2008-10-06, 06:46 PM
The other big thing in the book is a whole slew of mounts and vehicles.

2008-10-06, 07:14 PM
I loved Magic Item Compendium for 3.5, and I love Adventurers Vault for 4e. There are just loads of flavorful options...

DM Raven
2008-10-06, 07:34 PM
I would say worth it, the alchemy stuff alone is really cool...sort of the non-magic classes answer to ritual casting.

2008-10-06, 09:10 PM
The standard magic items (weapons, armour, and especially wondrous items and odd gear) are, as is typical for d&d, kinda interesting as templates but a bit meh in the long run. Then again, as I tend to forget to bring my rules on my lovely custom made items, they are nice for the GM in a hurry.

The vehicles are great though, as are the mounts. A lot of the quirkier magic is, again as typical for d&d, really fun and interesting.

If you like sourcebooks, it's full of nice, meaty, sourcey material. If you want something that will provide you with new building blocks for making your own stuff, you might not be disappointed but you also won't be frothing at the mouth and falling over in joy.

Bottom line, I am very happy with it, but could have lived without if my budget was tighter.

Lord Herman
2008-10-07, 03:46 PM
I'm very pleased with how the Adventurer's Vault turned out. Alchemy, mounts, vehicles, consumable items, a few interesting new weapons, and oodles of magic items.

The only thing that's missing is rules on creating magic items (as in, guidelines on designing them), but maybe they're saving those for the DMG II.

2008-10-07, 03:59 PM
I would say worth it, the alchemy stuff alone is really cool...sort of the non-magic classes answer to ritual casting.

If your class grants you Ritual Casting for free (wizard, cleric, artificer) you can replace it with Alchemy, which is awesome if you want to have a different flavor caster and is especially awesome for artificers since well... it seems to make more sense for them.

The new melee weapons are kind of cool too. Dwarven Weapon training and Eldarin Soldier probably need a tweak now, but the weapons are nice, even the non-superior ones.

The slews of magic items will be useful for any DM as well.

2008-10-07, 04:40 PM
I think the Adventurer's Vault is decent as a DM tool, as it gives a lot more variety in terms of what you can give to your players.

However, as a tool for players to cherry-pick their equipment, I think it is absolutely terrible. There are a lot of poorly worded items or not thought out items. Some of which are just begging to be exploited by a clever player. For example, a Force Weapon plus the Solid Sound feat means that a player can get +2 to Fortitude, Reflex, and Will defenses for as long as they want (the Force weapon has a force at will to activate or deactivate the force property as a free action, while Solid Sound gives +2 to a non-AC defense every time you use a power with the force keyword). Oops. Just thumbing through the book, I can spot items that really need errata with alarming regularity. Another (albeit ludicrous) example, Eternal Chalk states "A stick of eternal chalk never breaks or wears down with normal use." Is that it never breaks period, or it never breaks with normal use? Can I make an impenetrable wall from thousands of eternal chalks if its the former? If its the latter, can I break it up in two and have two Eternal Chalks of equal value? Nitpicking and humorous, yes. But nevertheless there are a lot of poorly worded items.

A lot of the items in the book are far more powerful than the items from the Player's Hand book. I guess it makes sense from WotC's perspective to inject power creep into the game, so they can sell books. But from a balance perspective, I REALLY do not like it. I like my DM's policy, where players can choose items from the PHB, but only the DM can give items from the Adventurer's Vault.

Besides power creep, there are several issues I have with the book. First of all, some of the stuff really needed another proofread pass. For example, a normal horse has speed 8 in the Adventurer's Tomb, while the PHB says they have speed 10. Oops.

Also, there are many roleplaying-oriented items that have daily powers. I mean, many many many. The problem with having roleplaying-oriented items with daily powers is that they punish the player for doing cool roleplaying stuff by making them less effective in combat. For example, the Bridle of Conjuration gives you a mount for 12 hours once a day. However, if I use that, I give up the use of a daily combat power, meaning that I will NEVER use the Bridle of Conjuration because it will gimp me in battle. Sadly, there are far too many other examples of this type.

Now, I understand the need to limit daily item powers so that a level 30 player doesn't keep a bag of like 100 items to pull out to use in combat. Of course, I don't agree with it, as it makes no sense flavor wise and is more than balanced out by needing to spend money to acquire those items and actions to take out and use the item. However, there really needs to be an exception for non-combat items. The idea that I can either summon a horse or use a wand, but not both, is ridiculous and completely against the spirit of the one daily item power per milestone rule.

Yes, I'm nitpicking in a lot of these areas, but some of these things really need to be addressed.