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Adventurer's Vault: A 4th Edition D&D Supplement Hardcover – September 16, 2008

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Product Details

  • Series: D&D Supplement
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Wizards of the Coast; 4th edition (September 16, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786949783
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786949786
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.6 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,965 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

There was little imagination or variety.
This book gave my gaming group pretty much everything it needed for magical equipment, mounts, new weapons and the ability to make alchemy items.
Nathan Noss
This is not a bad book and has its uses, but know what you're buying before you purchase it.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Brad Smith on September 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover
In a first for D&D, the equipment book is actually the first non-setting supplement released; this is unusual, as the Arms & Equipment Guide for 2e and 3e were released in the middle of each edition's product cycle.

In this not-terribly-thick book, you'll find exactly two chapters: Gear, and Magic Items. Production values are pretty high, and the artwork is mostly all-new; I don't recall any recycled art. Some pictures are captioned, others are not, which is irritating.

Gear is non-magic weapons, new armor, mounts, vehicles, alchemical items, etc. The weapons are the most detailed, filling weapon group/type combinations left open from the PHB, along with new properties, like Brutal (reroll any weapon damage dice of n value or lower). The armor isn't too different from that released in PHB, but seems better, I haven't quite figured out if they pay for the improvements some other way. The mounts are kind of a mixed bag, they're nice and fantastic, but their carrying capacity is rather limited. Vehicles I haven't looked at too much, and alchemical items seem useful.

Most of the rest of the book deals with magic items, of all the varying types, from the plussed (weapons, armor, amulets, implements) to the random, including more potions. There are a great many of each type, including a boatload of magic weapons. Many old standbys made it in, from the sunblade to the decanter of endless water to the various bags of tricks.

It's nice to have this out so early, when it's most useful. The one main flaw is also a virtue, in that the magic item properties really aren't excessively useful in most cases; many properties are once/day powers that are nice, but limited in utility.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By SuicideClyde on January 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I'm a DM for my group of players new to DnD, and I myself haven't been playing for too long. We are using a small sub-set of the material that Wizards has put out so far, (just the DMG, MM, PHB and this book) in order to solidify the rules of the game for everyone.

I got this book for Christmas and have really enjoyed the additional library of magic items that it affords my PCs. It seems like when you need a weapon that really fits a character (or class, or race or what-have-you....) its in here, and if it isn't you can re-flavor one for your group. I personally prefer to reflavor a weapon/item than to create an entirely new one in order to preserve balance. I'm a software developer by profession and have been into all sorts of gaming for 15 years, it takes a lot of dedicated thought to craft a new item completely from scratch without overpowering it or allowing some sort of exploit. Plus, it really hurts to tell your players you have to nerf something that you gave them after they've figured out an effective maneuver with it.

This book is affordable enough that the gain in balanced items (or examples for the more creative among us) is well worth it.

Get it!

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64 of 77 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
...but it depends on what you're looking for. As a DM, i found this book mostly just a huge list of charts for magic items (or pseudo-magic items, the alchemical stuff), most of them recreating the combat conditions we're all familiar with from the PHB: i.e. ongoing fire, acid, thunder, cold damage, Stun, Immobilize, Daze, Save Ends, etc etc.

There is almost no interesting descriptions, unless you consider the above list interesting. Many people do, in fact.

If you loved the magic item listing in the PHB, and the way magic items were handled in general, you will love the Adventurer's Vault. If you thought that 4e magic items were bland, repetitive, and not as good as the fascinating items that permeated 3rd edition (and earlier) then you won't like this book either. For instance, i'm pretty sure there is no Deck of Many Things in the Adventurers Vault; it's way outside of the point of giving you an advantage in a fight, which is almost solely the focus of magic now.

Nor does it even touch on the topic of Cursed Items, but maybe that is something waiting for the DMG 2.

For me, i'm going to take a few ideas from this book and just make my own magic items for the players, ones that have more varied abilities. Such as a Wand of Magic Missiles with charges that DOESN'T miss and inflicts 1d4+1 points of damage per charge expended, as well as adding a permanent +1 bonus to the wizard's normal "roll to hit" magic missile. He misses half the time anyway.

Or a Rod of Atrocity for the warlock.

See, the 4e magic items just add some fancy descriptive name to a magic item, then slaps on acid damage, or fire damage, push one square or daze until the end of the next turn, and pretend that it's something special. It's not.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Sean Hagans on November 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I first saw the selection of items in the PHB I was appauled at the lack of options for the players, I got the adventurers vault to be able to add more variety and choice to the equipment available in the game. For this purpose, the Adventurer's Vault is perfect. There are hundreds of new items contained within the pages, and as such, it adds to the choices availble for players and GM alike.

That said, there are a lot of strange design decisions that my group cannot figure out why they were made. Some items are virtually unstoppable, while others (with the same cost rating) are difficult to imagine a reason to use. Once again, Wizards places a lot of emphasis on specific story element scenarios (like water breathing, lizard killing, etc.) which brings to mind the years of "I found another useless item!" issue. Sure players can sell items they find, but any more, when I look at the way 4th edition is balanced, I can't say that they support the idea of selling and buying whatever items you want. The balance is geared toward a specific number of USEFUL items for each character per level (or each group per level), making some of the choices in this book very puzzling. Could I, as a DM, really equate the same balance of power to allowing a player to breath underwater, as allowing that same player to deal an extra 10 damage per round? These issues are still not addressed, and now that everything is so carefully mathematical, it makes using a lot of this book difficult.

In the end, if you are looking for more choices, you should get the book. If you are looking for GOOD choices, it's really a toss-up (though it does save the time and effort of custom items).
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