Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Review: Trailblazer

Review: Trailblazer

"Trailblazer" by Benjamin Durbin and Christopher Neveu, published and distributed by Bad Axe Games.  This book claims to create new horizons in 3.5 roleplaying.  Let's take a look at the contents and see if they succeed.

1) The Introduction.  Even the introduction has new ideas for players and GM's.  The book goes over some items that needed improvement from basic 3.5.  It includes several things that needed changing, and some charts that prove their point that even the "spine" of 3.5 could use a little tweaking.  Rebalancing core classes and customizing monsters are high on their list.

2) Action Points.  Introduces Action Points to 3.5 and how to use them for both players and GM's.

3) Character Creation.  All 3.5's core classes receive a workout.

4) Skills.  A look at what skills were changed skill by skill.

5) Feats.  Details on fixing old feats, creating new feats, and deleted feats.

6) Equipment.  Changes to weapons, and particularly armor.

7) Combat.  Some changed attack bonuses, attack roll modifiers, and armor class modifiers, and what actions you may take if in combat. 

8) Exploration.  New Carrying Capacity, rules for movement, and other items found during exploration.

9) Magic.  Some spell changes, ready spells, and spell slots, and a glance at spell descriptions.

10) Encounters and Challenges.  A step-by-step guide to encounters, and details on how to create Elite and Solo Monsters, and monster types, subtypes, and special abilities.

11) Wilderness, Weather, and Environment.  Outdoor and indoor environments, wilderness areas, urban adventures, and some small details on weather.

If you're beginning to believe that they took the 3.5 rules and almost totally replaced them, you might be close to the sum of this book.  I find it interesting that one "J. Bulmahn" is listed as a playtester.  For those who don't know, Bulmahn is primarily responsible for the Pathfinder role-playing game.  Even the names are similar - does "Trailblazer" = "Pathfinder"?  You'll have to read this to find out.  For fantasy gamemasters, I'd say this one is well worth picking up.  Highly recommended.

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