The Brunching Shuttlecocks Ratings

Druids are characterized in Dungeons and Dragons as holy folk who commune with fauna, concern themselves with the balance of nature, and are just as likely to be found slogging through lightless dungeons gutting kolbolds as anyone else in the world of Greyhawk. This satisfies the gamer's need for a character with an interesting backstory, but one which nevertheless doesn't get in the way of the usual blood-for-gold-pieces marketplace of a standard adventure module. But they do have interesting spells which use vines and things. C+

Just a bad idea overall. In the original AD&D, you had to go through all sorts of RPG rigamarole to make your character a Bard, involving switching classes more often than a state college student switches majors. This is good, because it reduced the overall number of players carrying lutes and making up an ode every time you took out another nest of owl-bears. From what I understand, now you can be a Bard from the get-go. I shudder to think. D

The odd thing to me is that this involved the same detailed level system as the rest of the classes. There's something odd about having a "third level Barbarian," as if he had to pass some sort of Barbaric bar exam to prove his competence to practice barbarism in the state of New Jersey. Presumably if you were ever caught extending your pinky under any circumstances you were, as it were, disbarred. C+

Not ranger in the Smokey the Bear sense, nor even a Ranger in pickup truck sense, either of which would have been entertaining. No, these are Rangers in the Tolkienesque sense of squinty-eyed guys with names like "Matterhorn, Son of Marathon" who gut and eat bugbears for supper. Real Jack Palance types, if you could have ever gotten Jack Palance to wear a hat with a feather in it. B-

This is just a Magic-User with a penchant for phantasm. Not terribly interesting beyond the fact that at least they're not called "Magic-Users." It would have been much more interesting to make them illusionists in the Doug Henning sense of not actually having any magical powers. Imagine this: the party is being menaced by a pair of Ochre Hulks or something equally ludicrous. Thinking quickly, the Illusionist pulls out three rings which appear to be interlocked. With a tug and a pearly smile, the Illusionist separates the rings! Then while one of the Hulks is explaining to the other how he thinks the trick works, a Fighter sneaks behind and wallops them with his broadsword. Ta da! C

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