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5E Lets Read/Review the Midgard Heroes Handbook.

Zardnaar

Legend
Around 109 days ago I recieved the Midgard Heroes Handbook (MHH), Midgard World Book and the Tome of Beasts in the mail from Kobold Press. I had bought the Midgard/Southlands/Unlikely Heroes PDFs and the ToB PDF and a real copy of the ToB for one of my players.

Previously I did not know that much about Midgard having not played the Pathfinder versions of this world but I found some Midgard material in some humble bundles I bought for Pathfinder because they were basically dirt cheap.

Functionally the MHH is a PHB 2 for 5E, there are around 17 new races/variants in the book, 50 archetypes, new feats, spells and new spellcasting rules as there are things like Leylines on Midgard.

Midgard is kind of a kitchen sink setting in some ways similar to Eberron, Golarion and elements of FR and Mystara in it. Various areas offer different themed games such as Zobeckj being a bit magitech with other parts of the world have vampire lands, fantasy steppes, fantasy Egypt , fantasy Venice/Italy etc and the Dragon empire is basically the Ottomans. Western Midgard is a ruin but the world has a whiff of Europe and the near east IRL to it including some place names that are very similar if not identical to real life names. Some areas are also heavily based on RL areas of earth with a fantasy Crete, Venice, Muscovy existing.

Overall the book is almost as good as the actual PHB if I rated the PHB as an A+ the MHH would be an A, if you think the PHB is an A I would give the MHH an A- etc. The slightly lower grade is due to various minor things and production qualities as the PHB for example has glossy paper, and generally slightly better art. If you have HotDQ you will be familiar with the paper the Kobolds use. Some people might prefer the art of the MHH over the PHB but they Kobolds are very very close/equal to the WoTC production with some jaw dropping art in the MHH and Midgard World Book in particular. I likie their art style better than Paizo for example whic I generally like except for the WAR cover art and his art in particular. Its better than some previous editions of D&D including things such as the 3.0 FRCS and the 3.5 Eberron book so the standards have been raised over the years by Paizo, WoTC and the Kobolds.

Would recommend this book for anyone looking for a high quality kitchen sink type setting and you don't want to wair for FR, Eberron etc to officailly get released. Also if you like your anthropomorphic races or are a fury they have you covered. Midgard also has some unique magical variations such as leylines which make your spells more powerful (potential drawback) so depending on where you are you can make your spells better. There are also wild magic options for Bards and Wizards.

This is the introduction due to the amount of material in the book I'll break this thread into chapters. Each archetype, race etc will be compared to the PHB ones in terms of power and I'll use the "would I play it" at least from a mechanical point of view. I'll list the names of the stuff in the MHH and take requests to review stuff so there this is an interactive thread where I take suggestions, otherwise I'll do things roughly in order presented in the book.
 
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Zardnaar

Legend
Races
Generally I consider races such as the Dwarf, Wood Elf, Half Elf, variant Human to be towards the top of the heap with the Dragonborn and Drow towards the bottom of the PHB races with most of the rest somewhere in the middle. I will use this comparison to rate the MHH races.


Bearfolk

The Bearfolk are basically just that- a anthropomorphic bear person. They get +2 strength and have 2 subraces the Grizzleback and Purifer (+1 con and +1 wisdom). The base race is quite goodIMHO with natural AC (13+dex), natural weapons, 2 predetermined bonus skills, and a bit extra from each subraces (hug attack or druid cantrip+ skill boost ability). If this race was in the PHB it would probably be one of the better ones. Overall I like it mechanically and if you like honey and picnic baskets this is a great race.

Centaurs
The Centaur is a large race which would be semi unique in 5E but it is limited to medium sized armor and weapons which balances it out I suppose. It has some natural weapons (hooves), gets +2 stre, +1 wisdom, prof with pike and longbow and a pike charge ability. Overall a decent package probably not as good as the bear folk but better than several of the PHB races without screaming OP. Well designed race especially for a large one. You could make a decent charge build out of this race as a cleric or warrior type IMHO.


Dhampir (Vampire blooded)

Think Blade, your mom was bitten by a Vampire. +2 cha and +1 dex with darkvision this race gets a charm effect and a bite attack that can heal you along with advantage and saves vs disease and resistance vs necrotic damage. There is an area of Midgard dominated by Vampires. Mechanically this race seems fine, its better than some of the PJHB races but it doesn;'t get that much really but necrotic damage is fairly common, the racial stats are decent and you can regain hit dice by feeding which at low level could be very useful as its tied to your constitution modifier as to how many times you can use it. 14 con+ feeding basically triples your low level hit dice. Not a great race but not bad and potentially popular with a lot of players who like things like Tieflings, emo and nu metal music.

Dragonborn

The Dragonborn have their own empire but are otherwise the same as the PHB. You can replace them with the Dragonkin which are in the Midgard Heroes book. Some of the Dragonkin suck less than the Dragonborn so I would recommend that if you have the earlier Midgard Heroesbook (as opposed to the Midgard Heroes handbook).

Dwarves

This basically explains where the hill and mountain Dwarves are located but also introduces a new sub type along with hill Dwarves get airships and gunpowder (Warcraft 2 influence?). Southland Dwarves are engineers in Nuria Natal (fantasy Egypt) and are engineers for the Pharoahs and get +1 intelligence, a tool proficiency and a choice of resistance or guidance cantrips. Nuria Natal also has a titanic leyline running through it so this race in its homelands would also make a great wizard and you're still a Dwarf. I liike the Egyptian Dwarf basically as a new subrace and even outside Midgard its a great addition IMHO.

Elves

Only hihg Elves seem to exist on Midgard and there are no large elven kingdoms or much in the way of Elves at all in most of the lands. They are almost extinct and with with Midgard World book there seems to be only a few thousand left (5k or so).

Gearforged

The gearforged are a living construct similar in practice I suppose to the Warforged. Most of yuor racial abilites are just generic living construct type ones so you are immune to a lot of things that living creatures have to deal with (hunger, breathing etc) but a lot of that is conditional and I prefer an always on or always available racial abilities. Overall probably one of the weaker races comparable to perhaps a Dragonborn or even the Drow as they do have some downsides with nothing really significant upsides outside of some situational abilities.

Gnolls

WotC doesn't seem to want to have Gnolls as a playable race. The Kobolds have a different opinion and the Gnolls even have 2 subraces- civilised and savage. The default Gnoll gets +2 strength and has disadvantage on fear saves but is proficient and expertise in intimidation. They also get advantage on perception checks involving smells, and some racial weapons. The subraces get +1 con or wisdom and another skill/expertise ability depending on what subrace you pick. Overall the Gnoll is actually a great package and is competitive with the Half Elf for a skill monkey character but leans more towards the brawling side of things. Mechanically I like the race- weapons and proficiency+ expertise in two skills, decent ability score modifiers+ some other minor benefits.

Gnomes

The PHB Gnoomes don't seem to exist but Midgard has a new Gnomish subrace. The Gnomes of Midgard cut a deal with devils to exist. They are basically PHB Gnomes that get subrace +1 charisma and advantage on charisma checks along with the infernal tongue and proficiency in arcane. Its a Gnome how much do you like them but it seems decent enough from a mechanical PoV.


Humans: Elfmarked (half elves)
The Elfmarked are PHB half elves but culturally they are popular on Midgard (along with the few remaining elves) and they drastically outnumber the actual elves. They are a remnant of the Elven Empire.

Humans: Kariv Wanderers
The Kariv Human is a variant human that picks up +1 in 3 stats, +2 skills and has a mild drawback if they rest close to the same spot. They are basically steppe nomads.

Kobolds: Midgard
Paizo has their goblins and Kobold Press has their Kobolds. Kobolds get +2 dex and +1 int, a nerfed version of NPC pack tactics (1 attack/round), too proficiency and sunlight sensitivity a'la Drow but with 60' range. Overall this race is kind of meh, they might actually be worse than the actual Drow who at least get some spell like abilites and there is another race in the MHH that gets pack tactics and no drawback. Mechanically kind of pointless.

Minotaurs
The Minotaurs hail from basically fantasy Crete that is getting invaded by the Dragon Empire which is basically fantasy Ottomans at least in the geopolitical threat sense.
You are strong (+2 str, +1 con) and get dark vision, horns, and a limited use charge attack + bonus action shove. You don't get much and once you run out of the charge atacks all you really have is horns and darkvision. You are also good in labyrinths which is situational at best. I would rate this race towards the lower end of the PHB races comnparable perhaps to a Dragonborn.


Ratfolk
The downside is you're a rat. The upside is mechanically this race is great. +2 dex, +1 int, -2 strength, swim speed, darkvision, nimbleness (move through a larger beings square a'la halfling), and the best part? You get pack tactics (advantage to hit with allies a'la MM Kobolds). This race more or less obsoletes the Kobold, and the PHB small races are a little weak perhaps. I like this race a lot at least mechanically you are still a rat.


Ravenfolk
This race gets +2 dex, +1 charisma and can mimic the sounds that they hear. They also get advantage vs surpised foes and +2 skills (deception+ stealth). Not as lopsided as an Elf in terms of stats or +2 any skills they like but they do get the advantage on attacks with surprise so yeah I think this race is playable if not good.

Shadowfey
The Shadowfey are basically Elves who fled to the shadow plane and have the same issues with bright light as the Drow but without the kill on sight reputation. Stat wise they get +2 dex and +1 cha, some racial weapons, They can also misty step in shadows and have advantage on checks involving shadow roads which are mystical pathways that can get you around Midgard faster than walking. Otherwise they are similar to the Eladrin in the DMG but I think the Eladrin are slightly better due to a lack of sunlight sensitivity and they can misty step whenever they want. The Drow are also better but they are not a major race on Midgard and seem to be similar to the elves as they got wrecked in the under dark.

Trollkin

The Trollkin are exactly that and have some troll blood in them. They have 2 subraces and get darkvision and +2 con and can use a bonus action to spend hit dice (2/long rest lvl 6, 3 lvl 12 etc) but they can't use this ability if they take fire or acid damage until they complete a short or long rest. . They also get some natural weapons and the intimidate skill. The two subraces are Night Whisper and Stone hide (+1 wis or str). The Night Whisper can get advantage on a skill check 1/long rest while the stonehide one gets +1 AC. I think both of them are quite good with the Stonehide one being a top tier race (+2 con, +1 str, bonus action hit dice and +1 AC + skill + darkvision and natural weapons),

Winterfolk Halflings
Not sure if normal halflings exist but Midgard gets the winterfolk subraces. Basically a PHB halfling they get +1 con and recover all levels of exhaustion after a long rest and can use wisdom instead of intelligence on some skill checks. Overall probably weaker than the PHB stout I think the PHB halflings are good though so this one is still playable.


Overall the races are an interesting and varied lot with much of the same issues of the PHB races where some are just out right better than others. None of them are drastically overpowered although the best ones here are competitive with some of the best PHB races so in that regard my theory is you may as well let PCs use them.
 
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Zardnaar

Legend
Martial and Roguish Characters

Barbarian: Primal Path of the Ancestors
Bard: College of Entropy
Bard: Greenleaf College
Fighter: Clanking Mercenary
Fighter: Edjet
Fighter: Ghost Knight
Fighter: Griffon Knight
Fighter: Shieldbearer
Fighter: Sword Dancer
Paladin: Oath of Radiance
Paladin: Oath of Thunder
Ranger: Vampire Slayer
Ranger: Zobecker Scout
Rogue: Duelist
Ranger: Fixer
Rogue: Whisper
Weapon Options
 
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Zardnaar

Legend
Divine Characters

Apocalypse Domain
Beer Domain
The beer domain is one of those things that you think might be funny but I think it is decent. You get a choice of 2 skills, expertise in brewers kit, and the message cantrip. You can use your Chanel divinity:blessed brew to create beer (3+ wis modifier) that can give the imbiber +1 AC, advantage on charisma checks, or +1 to enchantment spell DCs for one hour. The spell list is kind of funny asit includes spells such as heroism, blur, suggestion, hypnotic pattern, confusion and some other similar types of spells. The level 6 channel divinity ability removes most of the conditions in the game and heals 2d6 hit points while the level 8 ability is 1d8 radiant damage to you attacks. Is it a great domain? Probably not but you can do a lot of buffing (+1 AC/spell DCs/charisma checks). Every Dwarf god should grant access to this domain. The IPA I had tonight had none of these effects on me however. I am also not a cleric. 3/5 power wise, 4.5/5 in terms of fun.

Cat Domain
Clockwork Domain
Darkness Domain
Dragon Domain
Hunger Domain
Hunting Domain
Justice Domain
Labyrinth Domain
Moon Domain
Mountain Domain
Ocean Domain
Prophecy Domain
Speed Domain
Travel Domain
Void Domain

Circle of the Stones

Pantheist Priests
Rune Magic
 
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Zardnaar

Legend
Arcane Characters

Sorcerer: Mazeborn
Sorcerer: Shadow
Warlock Pact: Genie Lord
Warlock Pact: Machine Lord
Warlock Pact: Light Eater
Wizard: Angelic Scribe
Wizard: Clockwork
Wizard: Doom Croaker
Wizard: Dragonmask
Wizard: Elementalist
Wizard: Elven High Magic
Wizard: Entropy (Think Wild Mage)
Wizard: Geomancy
Wizard: Illumination
Wizard: Necrophagy
Wizard: Wing Warden

Arcane Option: Rune Magic
 
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TerraDave

5ever
Glad to see this thread.

Like the ToB and their other work, this book is really loaded.

I agree it is kitchen sink fantasy, but I think this has more style then a lot of WotC stuff.
 


jimmytheccomic

First Post
This book is great. I'm running a Midgard "Northlands" themed Viking campaign now, there's a lot of stuff in this book that got my players super jazzed. "Beer Domain Cleric" was a huge hit.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Beer domain is popular here as well at least reading it. Looks decent to play as well. I'll review it in the next few hours.

Beer Domain has been done.
 
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