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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Twilight Jack's Avatar

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    Default Heroes of Battle

    A nearby gaming store is selling all their old 3.5 books for pennies on the dollar. I already have most of what they've got, and most of the rest is setting specific and therefore of limited interest to me.

    One book I don't have is Heroes of Battle. What will it bring to my campaign? What's awesome, what's rubbish, what's broken?

    Is it worth picking up for 13 bucks?
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Heroes of Battle

    It's a nifty book if you want to run what it sounds like - heroes of battle. It gives structure (and some rules, like arrow volleys, etc.) for playing characters in the midst of war and tactical encounters, acting as strike teams, special operations, and the like - taking critical objectives, destroying war machines, and fighting leaders. It doesn't really provide any help for playing mass combat, but it's not supposed to. You decide how the battle will go, generally, and maybe set different degrees of success based on how well the PCs achieve their objectives.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Heroes of Battle

    It also has one of the best and most fun PrCs in the game in it, which I am a famously vehement proponent of.
    Last edited by Doc Roc; 2009-06-02 at 03:15 PM.
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  4. - Top - End - #4
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Heroes of Battle

    From a player's perspective, there's not a lot in it that can be easily used in a campaign not based around the book. (To clarify, it's a lot more useful to take, for instance, a feat or a spell from Heroes of Horror in a primarily non-horror campaign than it is to take a feat from HoB in a non-HoB campaign.) There are a couple prestige classes of note (Combat Medic and the much-beloved War Weaver) and one really useful spell (Battlemage's Perception), but other than that nothing that I would personally find interesting in a campaign that doesn't have HoB at the center of it. If you're just looking at it from a player's perspective, I'd buy something else first.

    Now, if you're a GM, and you DO put HoB at the center of things, it'd be another story. I've never seen it done, so I can't comment from firsthand experience, but it looks like a fairly decent "setting" book the way Stormwrack or Sandstorm is.
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  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Twilight Jack's Avatar

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    Default Re: Heroes of Battle

    Quote Originally Posted by Tidesinger View Post
    It also has one of the best and most fun PrCs in the game in it, which I am a famously vehement proponent of.
    Which one?
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  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Heroes of Battle

    War Weaver. There's a link to a guide for it in my sig. Basically, it allows you to buff your team while having fun. I hear this is nice. :)
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  7. - Top - End - #7
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: Heroes of Battle

    War Weaver is incredible, but everything else in the book is sort of bland.
    The next best thing in the book is the Dread Commando PrC, but it isn't particularly interesting and it's on the WotC website anyway.

    The actual meat of the book -- Victory Points and Morale and that -- is material I've never seen used, even in campaigns where it would be appropriate. That all feels tacked-on and unnecessary.

    I don't remember any of the spells or feats, but I know I read them all several times. I think the high points were a feat that gave Deflect Arrows while carrying a shield and a spell that made counterspelling almost viable.

    The rest was mostly focused on improving Leadership, IIRC.
    Last edited by Goatman_Ted; 2009-06-02 at 03:45 PM.

  8. - Top - End - #8
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    Default Re: Heroes of Battle

    There are a couple of other gems in there other than Warweaver and Dread Commando. Battlemagic Perception is an amazing anti-caster spell, and there is one set of spells that lets you cast darkness or daylight on a HUGE area, which can be handy if your team is tricked out with Devil Sight or something similar. 20% miss chance at close range and total concealment past 5' for your whole team is pretty hardcore for a 4th level spell with a little prep attached to it. Any enemy archers/spellcasters can just suck, and then die if they don't have a counter.
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  9. - Top - End - #9
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Heroes of Battle

    Quote Originally Posted by Tidesinger View Post
    War Weaver. There's a link to a guide for it in my sig. Basically, it allows you to buff your team while having fun. I hear this is nice. :)
    I'm reading the guide now. It's very neat.
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    Default Re: Heroes of Battle

    Quote Originally Posted by Goatman_Ted View Post
    The actual meat of the book -- Victory Points and Morale and that -- is material I've never seen used, even in campaigns where it would be appropriate. That all feels tacked-on and unnecessary.
    I don't think it uses the Morale system, but the Red Hand of Doom module (one of the best to come out of 3.5, I think), uses the Victory Points mechanic very heavily. It's definitely something worth thinking about if you're going to be doing a campaign that would involve that kind of thing.
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  11. - Top - End - #11
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    Default Re: Heroes of Battle

    (one of the best to come out of 3.5, I think)
    Have you tried playing one of 3 Paizo's Adventure Paths (Shackled City, Age of Worms and Savage Tide) ? It doesn't get better than that, IMHO.
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  12. - Top - End - #12
    Troll in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Heroes of Battle

    Quote Originally Posted by Gorbash View Post
    Have you tried playing one of 3 Paizo's Adventure Paths (Shackled City, Age of Worms and Savage Tide) ? It doesn't get better than that, IMHO.
    Haven't played Shackled City or Age of Worms, but I have played through a bit of Savage Tide, and it is pretty good, too. I was mainly talking WotC-published stuff - RHoD may not be perfect, but it's considerably better than most of the other modules they published in the last few years, I think.
    The Playgrounder Formerly Known as rtg0922

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  13. - Top - End - #13
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Heroes of Battle

    To understand whether or not you should own a book, you need to know what the book teaches you. In this case, HoB is bar-none the best tool to use as a DM to handle large battles & wars going on around your players. It is a good tool for players who need to prepare for adventuring in the battlefield, but it's a DM book of indispensable value.

    I used to run players through big battles, & I mostly winged it. That worked alright, but my battle-based campaigns got a lot more engaging & fun (for both sides) after I got HoB under my belt.

    I wish that I only had to pay $13 for it. I paid full price, & the book is thinner than most splatbooks (at 157 pages, it probably has the highest utility-to-page-count ratio of any non-core book, next to Cityscape).

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Heroes of Battle

    Quote Originally Posted by Keld Denar View Post
    There are a couple of other gems in there other than Warweaver and Dread Commando. Battlemagic Perception is an amazing anti-caster spell, and there is one set of spells that lets you cast darkness or daylight on a HUGE area, which can be handy if your team is tricked out with Devil Sight or something similar. 20% miss chance at close range and total concealment past 5' for your whole team is pretty hardcore for a 4th level spell with a little prep attached to it. Any enemy archers/spellcasters can just suck, and then die if they don't have a counter.
    How's the Dread Commando? I've heard good things.
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  15. - Top - End - #15
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    Default Re: Heroes of Battle

    The dread commando is a lot of fun. It's rare that a non-caster gets a chance to be useful while lying down, but the Dread commando throws out a really significant initiative bonus even if he does nothing. Crucially, this bonus comes alongside full bab, additional precision damage, decent hitdice, and a really cool character concept.

    I'm really big on the separation of fluff and mechanics, but I love the dread commando. Because, seriously?
    You're a commando.
    A Commando in Medieval Times.
    Lagren: I took Livers Need Not Apply, only reflavoured.
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  16. - Top - End - #16
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    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: Heroes of Battle

    Quote Originally Posted by Twilight Jack
    How's the Dread Commando? I've heard good things.
    Not bad, if a bit bland.

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