ELEMENTAL EVIL Player's Companion - FREE!

The Elemental Evil Player's Companion is available for free download over at DTRPG (and RPGNow). It includes new races (aarakocra, deep gnome, genasi, and goliath) and ove 40 new spells. The PDF is a full-colour 25-page PDF; according to the first page, the genasi in chapter 1 and all of the spells in chapter 2 also appear in the appendices of Princes of the Apocalypse, the adventure due to hit store shelves very soon.

"Not inherently evil, elemental power can be mastered by those with both malevolent and benign intentions. The Elemental Evil Player’s Companion provides everything players need to build a character that is tied directly into the Elemental Evil storyline.

New race options include the aarakocra, deep gnome, genasi, and goliath. Additionally, a plethora of new spells put the elements directly at your command.

The Elemental Evil Player’s Companion, was original designed by Richard Baker, Robert J. Schwalb and Stephen Schubert, with additional design and development by Wizards D&D R&D.

This accessory is specifically meant to support the Elemental Evil–Princes of the Apocalypse adventure product."


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CapnZapp

Legend
Why are you still arguing, Majoru?

People got pissed. It's bad customer service to piss off your customers.

Ergo, Mearls handled it badly.

Who's actually right or wrong has nothing to do with it.
 

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Majoru Oakheart

Adventurer
I have no problem with people saying "I don't like that they cancelled the book! I wanted it!" Sure. You wanted it, you are pissed. Completely understandable. I wanted the book, too. I was very disappointed that it wasn't coming out. I was looking forward to some new class features. I want more choices for my elemental monk.

However, that's not what people are saying. They are saying that Mearls handled it wrong. There is absolutely NOTHING he could of said that wouldn't have had at least some people on the internet pissed. The book got cancelled and he was the guy in charge. If he had said "Yes, we cancelled it" someone would be yelling at him because of how callous he was in answering so curtly. If he said "I'm sorry, we decided to cancel it" someone would be saying "I eagerly anticipated that book for months and all he can say is 'I'm sorry'? What a jerk!"

He handled it the best way he could given the circumstances he was in.

People control their own reactions. Blaming other people for the way you are feeling is just plain stupid. Mearls didn't make you pissed. You decided to get pissed all on your own. You can just as easily decide not to be pissed anymore.

But if you need to stay pissed, then at least acknowledge that you are pissed about the book being cancelled and not about the theoretically circumstances of a book being officially announced or not officially announced before it was cancelled or about the semantics of some guy on the internet.
 

Sailor Moon

Banned
Banned
What is wrong are people claiming we aren't seeing a future release schedule because Wizards is afraid of the backlash if they have to cancel something.

Seriously, could we please step out of the fantasy world and enter the real one? If they were cancelling stuff left and right on a regular basis then I could understand the concern, but thinking that because you have to cancel a product is going to create such backlash that a large population of customers are going to ragequit is just silly. Backlash comes with the territory, but more backlash cam be generated by being too tight lipped.

Nothing is ever a guarantee but keeping people in the dark when it's a very social game can be just as bad.
 

Majoru Oakheart

Adventurer
Seriously, could we please step out of the fantasy world and enter the real one? If they were cancelling stuff left and right on a regular basis then I could understand the concern, but thinking that because you have to cancel a product is going to create such backlash that a large population of customers are going to ragequit is just silly. Backlash comes with the territory, but more backlash cam be generated by being too tight lipped.

From what Mearls said, they ARE cancelling stuff left and right on a regular basis. He said they regularly come up with an idea for a book, write it up, give it to their publisher and then decide whether to go through with it after a while. Some make it further than others in the process. But, from what I know of the inner workings of WOTC(which isn't a huge amount, but it is more than most people given my ex-volunteer status for WOTC and having a couple WOTC employees on my Facebook friend list), they probably have at least 3 or 4 books in production right now. Likely almost every developer at the company is in the middle of writing bits and pieces of a book they, personally, would like to see published and are writing enough of it to convince their boss that it's worth going through with.

They have said they already have the outline written for 2 adventures a year for the next 5 years. They have finished the adventure that comes after Elemental Evil and are already working on the next one after that(which hasn't been announced yet).

We know they are working on getting PDFs to us...though they don't want to tell us how or when. They are working on a replacement for DDI, but they aren't sure what they are charging for it or what will be in it. They want digital tools and are working on finding an official character builder.

All of these things are being worked on within WOTC. But they don't currently know which of them will come out or whether their boss will say no or Hasbro will say no, or their legal department will find a reason it isn't possible and cancel it. So, they don't say anything.

I know at my job we have the same attitude. I have to say absolutely nothing about what I'm working on to anyone. We don't want corporate secrets getting out to our competitors both so they can't steal our processes or get a product out to market faster than us. We don't want people using inside information to make money off our stocks. We don't want knowledge of something we are working on that might get cancelled to leak out and cause problems with PR. We don't want to be liable for something an employee said without realizing its legal significance. We don't want to hurt our partners by leaking information they weren't ready to announce yet. So, our policy is to say nothing to anyone. No matter how small or insignificant it might seem.

I'm positive that the people at WOTC have similar rules for talking to the public.
 

I'm A Banana

Potassium-Rich
One thing I think missing from the Aaracokra is their wingspan. This could be a very limiting option for flight. It is in our game. We required a square/5ft to be free on either side of the fligher for our race of aaracokra-like race (harkrinn). So, they cannot actually fly in small spaces. This is important for things like tunnels and pit traps. It prevents a lot of headaches too.

"I will constantly fly along the tunnels".

Seems odd they did not mention this as a limiting factor.

I imagine they don't bother with wingspan as a default rule, but I really like it as an option, and it gives a mechanical reason for aarakocra to act as claustrophobic as they are mentioned as being. If you need a 15-ft. square of space to use your abilities, you're going to avoid melee and cramped dungeons like the plague!
 

Klaus

First Post
I imagine they don't bother with wingspan as a default rule, but I really like it as an option, and it gives a mechanical reason for aarakocra to act as claustrophobic as they are mentioned as being. If you need a 15-ft. square of space to use your abilities, you're going to avoid melee and cramped dungeons like the plague!

I'd go even further: 15-ft. *cube* area. Any winged creature that flies too close to the ground would be forced to land. A Small creature (again, IMHO) could fly in smaller spaces (keep an empty 5-foot cube between it and the ground), and a Tiny creature could fly at any altitude without restriction.
 

I'm A Banana

Potassium-Rich
I'd go even further: 15-ft. *cube* area. Any winged creature that flies too close to the ground would be forced to land. A Small creature (again, IMHO) could fly in smaller spaces (keep an empty 5-foot cube between it and the ground), and a Tiny creature could fly at any altitude without restriction.

I kinda like that this idea approximates the requirements for takeoff -- you can't just flap your wings and move, but take a 15-ft. leap, and you can get the speed you need.
 

steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
Epic
So..those svirfneblin, huh? That's a thing. ;)

I will chime in with those who were surprised at the lack of individual element cleric domains. Seems for the "Elemental Evil" story, domains of the elements and, maybe even, Evil (though their presentation of the Death domain was heavily skewed they way) would have been appropriate. I mean, they gave us the spells, so basng, say, an "Earth Domain" on Nature and slipping in Earth "domain spells" instead, or the Tempest turned more into "Air" than "Storm" domain spells is an easy enough homebrew. The lack of "official" domains is still something of a surprise in a story which, presumably, will involve fighting clerics of the elemental evils.

Elemental origin sorcerers, I would have thought a given, also. But, again, for that kind of character, they gave us the spells. If you want a water or fire (well, fire you could pretty much already do), air or earth or cold/ice sorcerer, just put the appropriately flavored new spells in the sorcerer list and go.

As I've said in other threads, the sorcerer origin for "I have magic from this bloodline/ancestry", as the defining point/origin story of the sorcerer has already been done with the dragon. Just swap out "Dragon" for "Genie" and adjust the level-powers accordingly [for comparable flavor and power] to match.

Plus, with them presenting Genasi -"papa was a noble genie"- as a race, the introduction of essentially the same thing as a class might have been perceived/decided as redundant or confusing or steal some of the race's thunder.

So, I kinda get why "Elemental/Genie Bloodline" isn't there. It's not a "new" kind of origin...versus "Wild/Raw Magic" or [if I'm correct in my predictions] the Psionic/Mind "Magic" or...I don't know what else might be a different possible "source of innate magic" for a sorcerer...but the "magical being ancestor" we already [can make with what we] have.

But still, was fairly sure (along with many others, I'm sure) we'd see it. So, disappointing those aren't there, but still very doable with what they did give us.

Granted, I won't necessarily use all of it or make everything [or even most] here available to players. But, overall, fairly happy with the new pack o' free stuff. :)
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
You can cancel a book internally. But then the only people you tell that it's been cancelled are your employees and any partners who need to know. You don't issue a press release.

Companies try to keep 90% of what they are doing hidden.
.

This is 100% accurate. I work for a large company and we cancel projects all the time. We never announce it to the world, let alone to the rest of the company. Only to those who would have been involved working on it. And as I mentioned upthread, as an Indie guy, I've cancelled projects of my own, even after books have been fully written and full boardgames have been created without announcing it.

This is normal behavior.

People got pissed. It's bad customer service to piss off your customers.

Ergo, Mearls handled it badly.

Who's actually right or wrong has nothing to do with it.

Well it should. Because if someone is wrong and getting all worked up because they have this weird sense of entitlement that they should be treated extra special and WotC should cater to their desires more than any other business does is their problem. Not Mearls' problem.

Seriously, holding Mearls and WotC to a higher standard than any other business is selfish, unrealistic, and unfair. I also think that the number of people who are getting pissed off isn't very large, so I doubt WoTC are worried too much about it. There are customers who will ALWAYS get pissed off. Sailor Moon certainly seems to be one because he's done nothing but complain since day 1. That's not bad customer service if you can't please everyone. That's just a silly statement to make.
 

Fildrigar

Explorer
So..those svirfneblin, huh? That's a thing. ;)

I will chime in with those who were surprised at the lack of individual element cleric domains. Seems for the "Elemental Evil" story, domains of the elements and, maybe even, Evil (though their presentation of the Death domain was heavily skewed they way) would have been appropriate. I mean, they gave us the spells, so basng, say, an "Earth Domain" on Nature and slipping in Earth "domain spells" instead, or the Tempest turned more into "Air" than "Storm" domain spells is an easy enough homebrew. The lack of "official" domains is still something of a surprise in a story which, presumably, will involve fighting clerics of the elemental evils.

Elemental origin sorcerers, I would have thought a given, also. But, again, for that kind of character, they gave us the spells. If you want a water or fire (well, fire you could pretty much already do), air or earth or cold/ice sorcerer, just put the appropriately flavored new spells in the sorcerer list and go.

As I've said in other threads, the sorcerer origin for "I have magic from this bloodline/ancestry", as the defining point/origin story of the sorcerer has already been done with the dragon. Just swap out "Dragon" for "Genie" and adjust the level-powers accordingly [for comparable flavor and power] to match.

Plus, with them presenting Genasi -"papa was a noble genie"- as a race, the introduction of essentially the same thing as a class might have been perceived/decided as redundant or confusing or steal some of the race's thunder.

So, I kinda get why "Elemental/Genie Bloodline" isn't there. It's not a "new" kind of origin...versus "Wild/Raw Magic" or [if I'm correct in my predictions] the Psionic/Mind "Magic" or...I don't know what else might be a different possible "source of innate magic" for a sorcerer...but the "magical being ancestor" we already [can make with what we] have.

But still, was fairly sure (along with many others, I'm sure) we'd see it. So, disappointing those aren't there, but still very doable with what they did give us.

Granted, I won't necessarily use all of it or make everything [or even most] here available to players. But, overall, fairly happy with the new pack o' free stuff. :)

Except that it's the enemies that are Elemental, so why would there be PC options for elemental domains?

And I am absolutely certain that we will be seeing more stuff soon. Including new cleric domains.
 

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