Heroes of Shadow – Dissected

heroes of shadow 150x150 Heroes of Shadow   DissectedIn the previous post, we analyzed and dissected the contents of the Essentials line as a whole. What wonders lurk in the Heroes of Shadow Heroes of Shadow   Dissected Player Supplement? Let’s crunch some data and find out!

Shots in the Shadowfell Dark

There has been a fair amount of speculation as to what the upcoming release of Heroes of Shadow might contain. I think my favorite comment on the Wizard’s blog went something like this: “320 pages?? Really? What could possibly take up that much space? Is that a misprint?” No, I’m afraid it is not a misprint. The book is rumored to be a 320 page paperback. This is approximately the same size as the other Essentials books that have been released to date (Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms Heroes of Shadow   Dissected and Heroes of the Fallen Lands Heroes of Shadow   Dissected). I think the original title of “Heroes of Shadow” was  “Heroes of the Shadowfell” (had the Essentials line maintained the same parallelism in their titles). But I digress.

Wizards is very focused on developing the Essentials line, so do not expect any more traditional supplements. Everything new will be “Essentialized”, which has certain consequences for the contents of new releases. Assuming Heroes of Shadow follows the template established by the previous releases in the Essentials line, it will, unfortunately, contain a lot of content we have seen before (see previous article for more detailed analysis).

Unique Content in Essentials Player Supplements

Character Classes and Builds: ~155 +/- 10 pages
20 pages
Feats: 15 pages
Magic Items: 10 pages
Total New Content: ~200 of 320 pages (~63% new content)
Note: We may see more duplication in some of these categories over time.

New Content in Heroes of Shadow

We can expect most of the classes and builds in Heroes of Shadow to derive their abilities from the Shadow Power Source, but I think we can reasonably assume that in practice many builds will be combinations of power sources. For example, a Wizard Necromancer would draw from both the Arcane and Shadow power sources.

Character Classes/Builds Likely to Appear

Evil Arcane: Dark pact Hexblades, Necromancers, Troubadours (evil Bards)

Evil Divine: Blackguard (evil Paladins);  evil Clerics.  Good Divine characters tend to worship gods of light, and tend to do radiant damage. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for some dark equivalents.

Evil Primal: Barbarian, Druid, Shaman, and Warden. Nature has a dark side too, and I’m confident Wizards will get around to exploring it in 4e sooner or later.

Evil Martial: A big question mark here. Since the Assassin is considered to be purely from the Shadow Power Source, we’ll just have to wait and see.

Shadow Races

The most likely contestants to appear in the Heroes of Shadow Essentials publication are: Revenant, Shadar-Kai, Githzerai, Githyanki, Duergar, and Minotaur, but it is possible other monster types may make a surprise appearance. Personally, I’m hoping for a Mind Flayer option.

Feats and Magic Items

With each new Essentials publication we get a few new magic items and feats, so one can only hope that Heroes of Shadow is full of all sorts of delightfully devilish new toys.

Have you heard any new details I failed to mention? Are there any other things you would like to see in this upcoming release? What are you looking forward to most? In my home campaign, if the party runs into a TPK, I’m going to propose creating evil characters and joining the forces that killed them! icon biggrin Heroes of Shadow   Dissected

2 comments for “Heroes of Shadow – Dissected

  1. Sunyaku
    January 26, 2011 at 3:56 am
  2. Autoverz
    January 27, 2011 at 1:42 am

    readig this was fun

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