Review: Warriors & Warlocks Part Deux

Moving rapidly on. Straight after the racial templates in Warriors & Warlocks we have the professional templates. As with the racial ones these exist to aid character generation not restrict it, and the player is free to use, adapt or ignore them as they see fit. The provided templates are:

  • Bard
  • Druid
  • Magician
  • Ranger/Scout
  • Soldier/Mercenary
  • Sorcerer
  • Spy
  • Templar
  • Thug/Cutpurse/Pirate
  • Warpriest

Yes folks, you CAN create a Gnome Bard! Take that, Players Handbook One! As these aren’t classes as such (merely pre-bundled packages of abilities, skills, feats and powers), “multi-classing” is simply a matter of taking more than one of the templates and paying the points. You can create something as simple as a Human Thug (3 points), or as complex as a Bestial Fey Shapechanger Pirate-Mage (34 points). Or not at all. Or anything. I’ll stress again: templates are ENTIRELY optional, and they’re merely a starting point. At Power Level 6, your character has 90 points to spend, so even that Bestial Fey Shapechanger Pirate-Mage is going to be far more than just the sum of his race and chosen profession.

If you want to get up and running quickly with a character, 9 Archetypes are provided. Four of them are geared toward PL6 play and cover the four classic D&D character classes – Divine Champion, Half-Crazed Warmage, Silver-Tongued Rake and World-Weary Sellsword. Pick one, customize a little (or a lot) and you’re ready to play. For PL8 we’re given the Legendary Weaponmaster (Druss, Inigo Montoya and countless others), MIGHTY-THEWED BARBARIAN (which has to be written in all caps, by law) and Timelost Hero – a guy who’s fallen through a wormhole from the modern world into D&D land, complete with heavy pistol and 2,500 strong rebel army. Oh yeh!

The Power Level 10 Archetypes are the Cursed Wanderer and Demigod Adventurer. These serve as excellent examples of how to re-create Elric and Beowulf for true larger-than-life Epic adventuring.

The Archetypes do a great job of showing the differences between the three Power Levels without being preachy or prescriptive in any way. I like.

I could rave about just how great this book is page-by-page. But I won’t. I’m not going to tell you about the Villain Archetypes which provide seven ready-made nemeses for your players. I’m not going to tell you about the bestiary (which is excellent, but all too brief), magic items, sidekicks or stunts. You’ll have to buy the book and find out all about those yourself.

But I will tell you about magic.

Next time.

(And after that I’ll be back onto Lazy GM’ing! Promise!)

12 Comments on “Review: Warriors & Warlocks Part Deux”

  1. Half-crazed warmage indeed is an archetypical D&D character.

    That said, does the game share the basic assumptions of (modern) D&D when it comes to gameplay? Much detail on combat, which is assumed to be a big component of gameplay, GM gives quests that players follow (or alternatively GM populates a sandbox that players play in), game based on facing and hopefully defeating challenges, and whatever assumptions I’m forgetting right now.

  2. @Tommi Nope. The assumptions (as compared to 4e D&D) are rather different. Combat is secondary to plotline and there’s little or no reference to “using a battlemat” at all. In Mutants & Masterminds, minis and battlemats are an optional extra and in-your-head gaming is the expected norm.

    Hope that helps!

  3. Greywulf;

    It doesn’t, really. Okay, it does not use miniatures. Is there a complicated combat system (complicated when measured next to normal skill system or whatever way most rolls are handled)?

  4. @Tommi If you want an example of how Mutants & Masterminds handles combat (and, by extension, how it works in W&W), take a look at this post I wrote a while ago that gives an example of Street-level combat in M&M.

    In short – once you get the hang of the combat mechanics (which are really designed to emphasise the heroism and the story being told rather than getting the Bed Guys to zero), it’s a fast and fun system.

    Hope that helps!

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