Heroes of Battle (for Dungeons & Dragons)
Published by Wizards of the Coast
Designed by David Noonan, Will McDermott, & Stephen Schubert
Edited by John D. Rateliff & Gary Sarli
Art by David Hudnut, Wayne England, Doug Kovacs, Chuck Lukacs, Roberto Marchesi, Mark Nelson, Eric Polak, Wayne Reynolds, Franz Vohwinkel, & Todd Gamble
160-page full-color hardcover; $29.95
All too often, Wizards of the Coast puts out d20 System material that gives you a lot of lists and not much setting advice, and when they do slip some of the latter in on you, precious little of it is workable or inspiring. Heroes of Battle not only provides both the mechanics and the RPG feel the story demands, but weaves them together into a beautiful tapestry.
Rules for mass combat are nothing new, even in roleplaying, but this book isn't so much about sparing the DM the effort of rolling for thousands of combatants as keeping the battlefields interesting for the characters. You won't find complex tables or extensive formulae for figuring out which side loses what. It's mostly about the characters and their actions . . . after all, the skirmishes in this book are the adventures. How do you keep them alive? How do you assign experience (because, let's face it, this time they had help)? How far can you drag the mages before they're tapped on spells, and can they reasonably rest to get more? It's a war, and you can't just hold things up because they're hurting . . . or . . .
This article originally appeared in the second volume of Pyramid. See the current Pyramid website for more information.
Article publication date: June 24, 2005
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