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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default 4e- Goodman Games

    So far, Goodman Games is the only company I know of out there that is producing 4e material under the GSL. They've got a few books/adventures out now and are going to be publishing Dias Ex Machina, which to me at least, sounds pretty cool.

    Anyway, I saw one of their books while I was down at my FLGS buying a copy of the Forgotten Realms Player's Guide (wanted to grab a booster of minis too but my gf convinced me not to... sigh) and I saw a book titled 'Hero's Handbook: Dragonborn'. Ok, sweet, 3rd party stuff, might as well pick it up and see if I can use it in a campaign/if its worth it. Every now and then 3rd party stuff is awesome (Iron Kingdoms anyone?) but sometimes... it leaves something to be desired.

    Sadly, that's the category that 'Dragonborn' falls under. The fluff, to me, with its ancient Dragonborn empire, some sort of war with devils and tieflings, and nomadic clans of Dragonborn... seemed just like a rehashed version of what WotC has said about Dragonborn. But, the book isn't just fluff, its got plenty of crunch too, with a number of Dragonborn specific paragon paths, feats, and monsters. It seems though, that the good people that worked on this book don't have much sense of balance. For feats this means that some are pretty darn nice (untyped bonus to AC?), some are pretty darn useless (3 feats so you can make a 1d6 +str vs AC and a 1d4+str vs AC attack as a standard action... at paragon levels?), and some are almost must have (clan weapon training makes Dwarves and Eldarin look like chumps, access to all heavy blades and +2 damage from an untyped source? yes, please) But the really unbalanced stuff arises when you get to the clan specific paragon paths.

    Let's take a look at my personal fave, the Spearbrother of Clan Karkonus.
    I need weapon focus (spears) to go into this PP, but I'll definitely be wanting that anyway, especially since Clan Weapon Training (Karkonus) gives me an untyped +2 damage with spears and proficiency with them all so they should stack just fine. So, I should basically have those both under my belt before I get to level 11. Once I do, I become a Spearbrother and gain another +2 damage with spears and the ability to use a longspear in one hand. Once I get to level 16 its a +4 bonus to damage and all spears are now high-crit for me. Combine this with the Karkonus clan specific epic feat that lets me add 1 to the reach of all spears and well... wow, also I think all my bonuses to spear damage are up to +12 at this point as well, never mind my Strength modifier. Oh, and whenever I take an action point to take an action, one ally of my choice can take the same type of action (standard, move, minor) as a free action. Those are just the paragon path features...

    Except for the non-Clan specific stuff (which means all the paragon paths are out) I likely wouldn't allow this book into my campaigns. Unless, of course, we were doing a campaign where all the PCs were Dragonborn. Were that the case, then sure, this book can come along, since all the PCs will be in closer balance with each other than if some poor human were in the mix being outshone by all the fire breathing lizard people around him.

    I'll keep my eyes open for other stuff from Goodman Games, and hopefully other 3rd party publishers, but as of now, I think they've got some work to do.
    Last edited by Asbestos; 2009-01-18 at 03:35 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Matthew's Avatar

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    Default Re: 4e- Goodman Games

    A pity. I have a copy of their first 4e product, Punjar: The Tarnished Jewel, and it is excellent. Almost tempted me into buying the 4e DCC adventures they are releasing (which is saying a lot, since I don't play D20/3e/4e, aside from the occasional one off and a 4e play by post I am involved in).

    For what it is worth, I know Mongoose Games (and a few others) are producing some stuff under the GSL, but it certainly seems the D20/4e third party market is much narrower than the D20/3e one was. Probably for the best in many ways.
    It is a joyful thing indeed to hold intimate converse with a man after one’s own heart, chatting without reserve about things of interest or the fleeting topics of the world; but such, alas, are few and far between.

    – Yoshida Kenko (1283-1350), Tsurezure-Gusa (1340)

  3. - Top - End - #3
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    Default Re: 4e- Goodman Games

    Oh hey they're the guys who made Fang, Fist, and Song. Which is a pretty decent book.

    My favorite 4e third party book has to be Quintessential Wizard, despite some of the stuff there being lol in nature.

  4. - Top - End - #4
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    RTGoodman's Avatar

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    Default Re: 4e- Goodman Games

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew View Post
    For what it is worth, I know Mongoose Games (and a few others) are producing some stuff under the GSL, but it certainly seems the D20/4e third party market is much narrower than the D20/3e one was. Probably for the best in many ways.
    Yeah, but I've seen a lot more recently than I was seeing in the several months right after 4E debuted, so I think 3rd-party support is at least GROWING even if it isn't going to get up to d20/3.x levels.

    That said, there are a couple other companies doing 4E 3rd-party stuff, too. Adamant Entertainment has a whole Venture 4th product line that's got some adventures, some race-based books, at least two new warlock pacts, and even some printable dungeon tiles and counters. I believe you can find all their stuff on RPG Now if you're interested. I haven't bought any yet to see the quality (though for only $2 per PDF, it's not bad), but it seems pretty good.
    The Playgrounder Formerly Known as rtg0922

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  5. - Top - End - #5
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    Default Re: 4e- Goodman Games

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew View Post
    A pity. I have a copy of their first 4e product, Punjar: The Tarnished Jewel, and it is excellent. Almost tempted me into buying the 4e DCC adventures they are releasing (which is saying a lot, since I don't play D20/3e/4e, aside from the occasional one off and a 4e play by post I am involved in).
    I have their first DCC adventure for Punjar, Sellswords of Punjar, which I'm actually running on the site now. It came with a card to send in to get a link to download The Tarnished Jewel, but though they must have gotten it (since they've sent me an email about the ritual's book they're working on) they failed to give me the link. From the online description, it's pretty much a guide to the city itself, describing the various sections and such?

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: 4e- Goodman Games

    Quote Originally Posted by rtg0922 View Post
    Y
    That said, there are a couple other companies doing 4E 3rd-party stuff, too. Adamant Entertainment has a whole Venture 4th product line that's got some adventures, some race-based books, at least two new warlock pacts, and even some printable dungeon tiles and counters. I believe you can find all their stuff on RPG Now if you're interested. I haven't bought any yet to see the quality (though for only $2 per PDF, it's not bad), but it seems pretty good.
    Neat, I might pick up one or two of those PDFs (vermin pact warlocks, eh?) and maybe one of the race PDFs I also saw on that sight. Maybe post a review on the Giant here if anyone found my opening one useful at all.

  7. - Top - End - #7
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    Default Re: 4e- Goodman Games

    Quote Originally Posted by Reverent-One View Post
    I have their first DCC adventure for Punjar, Sellswords of Punjar, which I'm actually running on the site now. It came with a card to send in to get a link to download The Tarnished Jewel, but though they must have gotten it (since they've sent me an email about the ritual's book they're working on) they failed to give me the link. From the online description, it's pretty much a guide to the city itself, describing the various sections and such?
    Yes, indeed. It is exactly that, a short and flavourful overview of the City of Punjar. You should get onto them about the download link, I am sure it is just an oversight.
    It is a joyful thing indeed to hold intimate converse with a man after one’s own heart, chatting without reserve about things of interest or the fleeting topics of the world; but such, alas, are few and far between.

    – Yoshida Kenko (1283-1350), Tsurezure-Gusa (1340)

  8. - Top - End - #8
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: 4e- Goodman Games

    Quote Originally Posted by Asbestos View Post
    (vermin pact warlocks, eh?)
    What? A warlock whose insane eldritch power comes from a deal made with insects and rodents?

  9. - Top - End - #9
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    Default Re: 4e- Goodman Games

    The Angelic Pact is insanely broken. True Name by itself is extremely AWESOME.

  10. - Top - End - #10
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    Default Re: 4e- Goodman Games

    Quote Originally Posted by Asbestos View Post
    Neat, I might pick up one or two of those PDFs (vermin pact warlocks, eh?) and maybe one of the race PDFs I also saw on that sight. Maybe post a review on the Giant here if anyone found my opening one useful at all.
    If you get a chance, I wouldn't mind hearing how those are. PM's fine if you don't want to make a whole thread about it, but if you do I'll definitely read it. I really want to pick up a couple of those things, but I've promised myself I won't buy anything with my credit card until I get it paid off, which is pretty hard to do considering I still haven't gotten my paycheck from work I did back in December.
    The Playgrounder Formerly Known as rtg0922

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    • "Themes of Ansalon" - A 4E Dragonlance Supplement
    • Homebrew Compendium

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: 4e- Goodman Games

    True Name by itself is extremely AWESOME.
    True, but you are giving up the extra damage from your curse to make the enemy slightly easier to hit, but only to your own attacks. I would say losing the pact boon makes it not worthwhile, but the angelic pact boon kinda sucks.

    I'm liking the look of the vermin pact, if only because its constitution based.

  12. - Top - End - #12
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    Default Re: 4e- Goodman Games

    Quote Originally Posted by Jokes View Post
    True, but you are giving up the extra damage from your curse to make the enemy slightly easier to hit, but only to your own attacks. I would say losing the pact boon makes it not worthwhile, but the angelic pact boon kinda sucks.

    I'm liking the look of the vermin pact, if only because its constitution based.
    Whoop de doo, 1/2/3d6 damage? Honestly, curse damage is crappy, and True Name effectively delevels the enemy several levels to make landing easier.

  13. - Top - End - #13
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    Default Re: 4e- Goodman Games

    I just found a few new things by Goodman Games for 4E in case anyone's interested. I haven't purchased any yet (I'm still waiting on my paycheck to get here ), but they look promising.

    Critter Cache 3: Animals and Beasts fills a niche a LOT of people complained was missing right after 4E debuted, and gives 24 new monsters for only $5. Sound good to me, even though I already did a lot of the work in my homebrew 4E Mounts stuff (see my homebrew compendium in my sig for more info).

    Blackdirge's Dungeon Denizens is a monster book in the vein of Necromancer Games' old Tome of Horrors series for 3.x, I guess, in that it updates some of Goodman Games' best monsters from the DCC series, and from the preview of the Hollow Ones (which are at least a little Lovecraftian) it seems pretty good. Anyone check this one out?
    The Playgrounder Formerly Known as rtg0922

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  14. - Top - End - #14
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: 4e- Goodman Games

    Quote Originally Posted by KKL View Post
    Oh hey they're the guys who made Fang, Fist, and Song. Which is a pretty decent book.
    As one of those guys - I did the monk and one of the paragon paths for each class, plus overall playtesting and development - I'm always glad to hear people saying nice things about Forgotten Heroes: Fang, Fist, and Song, especially as this causes me to be summoned from the 541st layer of the Abyss. (You'd be surprised how cheap Abyssal-layer real estate was following the remaindering of the Great Wheel cosmology!)

    Goodman has definitely emerged as the major 4E third-party publisher at this point. In addition to the Forgotten Heroes series of new classes, which has at least 2 other books coming soon, they also have three lines of adventures and the Heroes' Handbook series. I didn't work on Dragonborn and can't speak to its balancedness, but I did do the mechanics for the Eladrin book, putting rules to some ideas I can call totally awesome without shame 'cause they weren't mine.

    Expeditious Retreat Press is another important 4E publisher; they've got adventures, an event book (Plague) that looks really cool, and especially Ari Marmell's Advanced Players Guide, which has rules for even more of the character options that went missing in the 3->4 transition than Fang, Fist, and Song does. Ari had the same advantage that FH's Eytan Bernstein has: being one of the 4E freelancer-playtesters and also working on early 4E products (Ari: Draconomicon, Eytan: Open Grave and others) so that they got both early access to the rules and an ongoing look at WotC's approach to design. As members of Eytan's playtesting group, the other FH authors and I were also able to start amassing 4E design experience months ahead of time, and although Eytan couldn't tell us anything he learned wearing his other hat, he could at least say "no, that's going the wrong way."

    One Bad Egg is also worth checking out; they've got a great team and some fresh ideas.
    Last edited by Tavis; 2009-01-26 at 08:18 AM.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: 4e- Goodman Games

    Quote Originally Posted by Tavis View Post
    Expeditious Retreat Press is another important 4E publisher; they've got adventures, an event book (Plague) that looks really cool, and especially Ari Marmell's Advanced Players Guide, which has rules for even more of the character options that went missing in the 3->4 transition than Fang, Fist, and Song does. Ari had the same advantage that FH's Eytan Bernstein has: being one of the 4E freelancer-playtesters and also working on early 4E products (Ari: Draconomicon, Eytan: Open Grave and others) so that they got both early access to the rules and an ongoing look at WotC's approach to design. As members of Eytan's playtesting group, the other FH authors and I were also able to start amassing 4E design experience months ahead of time, and although Eytan couldn't tell us anything he learned wearing his other hat, he could at least say "no, that's going the wrong way."
    Neat, I posted something on the Advanced Player's Guide in another thread... I um... yeah... don't go look at that thread... don't want to offend anyone, especially since you worked on Forgotten Heroes ... er...
    Last edited by Asbestos; 2009-01-26 at 07:37 PM.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: 4e- Goodman Games

    Mostly I'm chagrined that you mentioned Forgotten Heroes once before without my having been summoned from the abyss! The buzzer must be broken again - you wouldn't believe how hard it is to get the landlord's attention around here.

    I'll be happy as long as our book isn't held up as an example of how terrible third-party design was at the start of the new edition, like the books from the earliest days of d20 that clearly didn't get it yet. Designing anything in the playtest period when the core rules were changing from week to week was bad enough; and I think the missing classes from 4E were left out for a reason - they all involved mechanics that weren't covered by the core, for the reason that they were tricky in some way or another. The druid was the worst of these.

    In addition to controllers being difficult in general, since you only have the example of the wizard to go on, the druid archetype wants to do a bunch of stuff that the 4E core doesn't allow. There's no polymorph to show you how to handle wildshape; there's no familiars to show you how to do an animal companion; the conjuration spells tend to summon phantoms that don't have the feel you'd want from summoned animals; the beastmaster ranger later showed that the 4E philosophy was more friendly to allowing you to control multiple figures on the tabletop than we initially assumed from the lack of familiars/companions/summons.

    Ari did a great job with the elemental focus of the nature priest; he also came up with awesome D&D-meets-kung-fu names for the monk powers. I think if you're open to doing some homebrew adjustments, you can take both books, mix and match, and go from not having any options for a nature-powered spellcaster (for example) to having a ton of different ways to build variants on that character.
    Last edited by Tavis; 2009-01-27 at 08:23 PM.

  17. - Top - End - #17
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    Default Re: 4e- Goodman Games

    Well, Tavis, FFS isn't a terrible book, it's just a bit badly executed. With the new things WotC has put out, I'm sure a revision, partial or complete, would be a great way to make FFS a better collection of stuff :P

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