This latest supplement release from Wizards of the Coast coincided with the beginning of this season of Encounters.  As has been the trend of late the quality of the materials within this volume is fairly high and there is a good deal of interesting information provided within for both players and dungeon masters.

Contents

The book goes into decent detail about the Feywild including the politics, intrigue and places found there.  There are also three new playable races and three new classes, or rather new flavors of existing classes.  The new races are:

  1. Pixie – a favorite with our group back in 2nd edition and just as much fun now.
  2. Satyr – male only goat men a la Greek mythology
  3. Hamadryad – female only tree spirits also from Greek mythology (which I did not realize before writing this article).
Each of the races brings something new to the table.  Pixie is the first playable race in 4e that has flight starting at level one, Satyr has a charm ability that allows a character to slide enemies and the Hamadryad can either cause all enemies she can see to grant combat advantage or give herself damage resistance (she turns wooden and treelike) for one round during each encounter.
All of the races have plenty of flavor and in fact, much like with the other recent releases the entire book offers a wealth of flavor and interesting ideas to base either your character background, an adventure or even an entire campaign around.
The new classes listed are:
  1. Berserker – a new version of the Barbarian class that is both a defender and a striker
  2. Protector – a new druid build that brings in the Druid Circle class feature
  3. Skald – a Bard with an aura that allows allies to heal themselves
  4. Witch – a new take on the Wizard that is actually taught by his/her familiar
All of these new classes have something to offer but the two of which I am currently most enamored are the Skald and the Berserker.  The Skald’s aura lets anyone in the party heal either themselves or an adjacent ally with a minor action twice per combat.  The flexibility and utility this brings to a party is simply amazing to me.  Especially when combined with Bolstering Speech, which allows the Skald to grant temporary hit points to an ally each time he strikes an opponent.  The Berserker starts each combat as a defender complete with a defender aura but can go into a Berserker Fury during the encounter which drops the aura and adds damage to almost every attack the Berserker makes for the rest of the fight.

Verdict

This is by far my favorite game supplement for Fourth Edition so far.  We have already incorporated the Skald into our ongoing campaign and may bring in one other class from the book and I definitely want to use some of the areas listed within the book during a future adventure.  Who wouldn’t want to adventure on The Isle of Dread and fight with dinosaurs and interact with Yuan-Ti?  If your campaign or character is going to integrate any Feywild elements I’m sure you could get along just fine without this supplement but having it bring a wealth of flavor and great ideas to help make the Feywild feel more complete.

 

Rating: ★★★★½ 

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