“Complete Champion” – A Rust Monster Review

Rust Monster brings you back to one of our original purposes, reviews of all things geeky; kicking off our series with a player’s review of the latest D&D supplement. Complete Champion.

To put the book in perspective I will begin with the general idea of the book. Taken from it’s official Wizards Of The Coast description.

Quote:

“Complete Champion focuses on the divine champion archetype and provides new rules options for characters that enjoy battling for a cause, defeating foes using divine power, and going on quests that mean more than simply defeating the bad guy and grabbing the treasure. This book also helps Dungeon Masters run quest-themed campaigns and adventures.

In addition to providing various archetypes for characters, Complete Champion includes new feats and prestige classes. The book features dozens of deity- and belief-themed organizations, turning religion and holy (or unholy) power into something characters of all classes can use. For the Dungeon Master, this book contains information on constructing and running quests and holy missions. It assists the DM in helping all characters in the party to pursue divine paths simultaneously.”

The question is; DOES IT DELIVER? To start with I’d have to say yes it does. Though the first 4 books in the Complete series (Warrior, Divine, Arcane & Adventurer) concentrated mostly on expanded game mechanics, the most recent 3 (Scoundrel, Mage, & Champion) delve more into the archetypes themselves. They’re really more about the Role Play aspects of playing these types of characters, and suggesting ways you could mechanically build these characters or integrate their stories into your campaign.

I won’t even get into Complete Psion. I could do another article on juts why that book was a crock of shit. Yes it had some useful stuff in it but too much of it was repeat information or material that didn’t make it into the un-made Races of the Mind.

Back to the topic at hand, Champion as does it’s counterparts Scoundrel and Mage do a good job of laying out various common archetypes. You can occasionally nitpick at some of their choices for how to mechanically build a character of said archetype but for the most part they got it right. Or at least close enough. They’re a good tool for players and GM’s of any experience level to help them flesh out both their PC’s and their campaign world. The second set of complete books is very good in that second regard. Each bringing in ideas for developing NPC organizations to help you flesh out the backgrounds of the NPC’s and PC’s alike.

On the mechanics side Champion delivers pretty well. The middle 20 pages have a decent array of new feats, though nothing groundbreaking as with “Luck Feats” in scoundrel or “Reserve Feats” in Mage. They do include Domain feats, but these are not a new idea. simply re-thought ideas from previous books like Divine & the Book of Exalted Deeds. There are a few new reserve feats more suited to the divine archetypes than their previous reserve feats from Mage which were more in line with the arcanist role.

Those pages also include a group of prestige classes. Unfortunately most of these are tied into the Themed Organizations detailed in the book itself, making them less useful to already existing characters. If you’re about to start a new group you may find these classes very useful, especially if you’re about to make a themed group.

The spell section is nice, introducing a few new spells of each lvl for various divine classes. I for one always love new spells. Most spells always have a bit of use, even if limited.

Some would ask if this book was necessary. I’d say that depends on what you’re looking for. As a role play tool ‘d say yes. As I stated above it’s very good at sparking the creative juices. If on the other hand you were looking to up the power of your divine classes, this wasn’t a necessary book for you. The divine classes didn’t get a real “boost” with this book. They did pick up a few handy options but nothing earth shattering. This is a good thing considering the already formidable might of the divine classes to begin with.

The last question to answer is… will this be the last of the Complete Series, and thus a near wrap up of D&D 3.5. Will there be a supplement to cover warrior-esq archetypes? Do we even need one? Many would probably argue that the warrior archetypes are pretty well covered in and amongst the other books. We’ve shown you how to make a holly warrior, a roguish warrior, & a magic warrior. Is there room for a warrior, warrior? I’m sure they’ll figure out a way to do it.

Rather they do or not this pretty much wraps up 3.5 all they really need now is an errata book. One that wraps up all the lose ends. Answering all of those pesky rules questions that come up do to poor editing and play testing of some of the previous material. Unfortunately they did an errata book too early. Released BEFORE they completed the series. Not sure who’s brain fart that was. Why do an errata book before all the material was printed. Now you need a new errata book for the errata book. That’s just dumb.

Anyway to sum up complete Champion is a good edition to the expanded core rules. Building on the work done in the PHB I&II, DMG I&II, Monster Manual I-V, Races series, Complete series, & the environment books. These books I would consider expanded core and essential for the advanced D&D player groups ready to step out of the basic game. Go pick it up.

Review Of The User Interface In The Lord Of The Rings Game

  • Oh multi-tasking players! How targeting used to spite thee when playing with other windows. Now, closing windows with the mouse will no longer cause your target to be unselected.
  • The “loot roll zone” section of the UI is now moveable.
  • The Auction UI, Mail UI and Notary UI now hide with the rest of the UI when hitting the Hide UI button.
  • Confirmation dialogs will now be displayed when trying to
    • restore defaults in the Options UI.
    • map an action to a key which is already mapped.
  • Both Shift Keys are now labeled “Shift” in the Options UI.
  • You now receive a clearer error message when you join a fellowship if the chat server is down.
  • You can no longer queue up multiple actions on an item. i.e., you cannot queue up two dye kits on the same item. You’ll have to wait for the first one to finish.
  • Better error message when you click a fellowship skill too many times.
  • You can now bind the Auto Loot All (initially shift-right button) and Dressing Room (initially ctrl-left button) actions to any key or mouse button your heart desires.
  • Right clicking now activates quickslots (just like left clicking does).
  • If a pet skill can only be toggled, either mouse button will activate it. Correspondingly, if a pet skill can only be executed immediately, either button will execute it. If the skill can do either, left will execute immediately, right will toggle.
  • You can no longer use the /stuck command while traveling. You must dismount first.
  • No more sneaky mounting, where you could end up stealthed on your horse.
  • Only the ESC key will stop movies now. You’ll have to aim instead of mashing the keyboard now, son.
  • You’ll now get a warning that your skills are unusable and disabled when you begin interacting with a bard.
  • Hitting ‘ESC’ will stop playing theater movies.
  • You’ll get an error if you try to dye an item with the same color the item already is.
  • You will now see the in-combat and out-of-combat regeneration rates in the tooltip for each vital in your Character Journal.
  • Added a new UI component to show your queued skill and the global delay that must expire before it will execute. The new component will not be shown by default, but you can hide or show it via the “Show Skill Queue Display” option in the UI Settings panel.
  • Fixed a bug with the examination of some types of applied effects that was causing the wrong total duration to be displayed, e.g. “Falling Injuries” always showed a duration of 6 seconds regardless of the magnitude of the injuries.
  • Fixed error messages with some helpful skills that you aren’t allowed to use on yourself, e.g. the Lore-master’s “Beacon of Hope” and Minstrel’s “Song of Restoration.”
  • Fixed a bug with examination of some consumable items that was masking details about some of their effects, e.g. the Champion’s Horn.
  • Updated the descriptions used when examining some applied effects.
  • Fixed a bug that was causing the character panel to show parry and/or block chance as N/A even when the player was eligible for those results.
  • The character journal will now show N/A for your Evade percentage when your chance to evade attacks is disabled for any reason.
  • Users can now specify sizes and positions for our UI elements
  • Logitech G15 users can read their Area without it being truncated.
  • There is a new floaty text option “Selection Name”. Now, when you select an entity, you can determine if you want the selected name to display. The selection reticle at the creature’s feet will display regardless of this setting. This new toggle is only available when the “Toggle Floating Names” toggle is set to “off”.
  • Added /time, which is now an alias of the existing /localtime command. This can be used to query what time it is locally.
  • Class Icon and Race info added to Character Journal Stats page.
  • Race has been added to the character panel.
  • When equipping an item, the tooltip will now refresh automatically if it needs to.
  • Added a fix to the Who UI to stop logged out players from showing up in list.
  • Equipping an item will now cause the current tooltip to refresh.
  • Shields are now shown in the item wear display.
  • Stablemasters that have not been discovered yet have new pulsing icons above their heads.
  • Added “Show surname” and “Show rank” options to title UI.
  • Added search filter for recipes in Craft UI.
  • Added tutorial hints for rest xp and item binding.
  • Option page default and revert buttons will now ghost out when nothing is changed.
  • Interacting with floaty text should now act the same as when you interact with the associated entity.
  • Added a range indicator on item skills.
  • Skill and trait entries that are higher rank than you are will now be greyed out until you meet the requirement.
  • Fixed a race condition that could cause vertical quickslot bars along the right side of the screen to get pushed to the left when logging out and back in.
  • Fixed a stringtable error in the /inspect command
  • Quickslot backgrounds no longer disappear after dropping an item.
  • Fixed a bug which would cause option values on sliders not to save between logins.
  • Quickslot timers should be more visible under more circumstances.
  • Many of our examination tooltip strings have been updated to be more concise. For example, “Adds 10 to Might” now reads “+10 Might”.
  • Players can remove the new overlay more clearly when they hover over the skill icon in the skill tree.
  • The ignore list can now be reverse-sorted in the same way as the friends list.
  • Secure trades no longer require you to stand uncomfortably close to your trade partner.