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Player's Option: Heroes of Shadow: A 4th Edition D&D Supplement Hardcover – April 19, 2011


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Player's Option: Heroes of Shadow: A 4th Edition D&D Supplement + Player's Option: Heroes of the Elemental Chaos: A 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons Rulebook
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Product Details

  • Series: 4th Edition D&D
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Wizards of the Coast; 4th Revised edition edition (April 19, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 078695745X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786957453
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.5 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #119,041 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Eytan Bernstein grew up in suburban Long Island, but has since traveled extensively, both to real and imagined places. He is best known for his work as a writer for Dungeons and Dragons and other fantasy RPGs, but is branching out into speculative fiction. When he's not writing, editing, designing, or playing games or fiction, Eytan enjoys travel, museums, playing with his dog Hiro, and engaging in civil rights advocacy.

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

68 of 74 people found the following review helpful By William M. Wilson on April 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In a nutshell:

Heroes of Shadow is a great, flavorful supplement for 4e, with tons of options for both new and existing characters. While you will technically need the Heroes Of... books to use 100% of this book, you can still use almost all of it without them. It's full of solid mechanics, evocative fluff, and some great ways to let your character explore their darker sides. Although it contains some reprints of Dragon material, it has enough new mechanics and fluff to make it well worth its price tag for most 4e players. If you don't allow the Essentials options into your game, you won't be able to use 100% of the book, though you're still getting a lot of crunch for your money.

In more detail, let's take a quick inventory of what we have here...

We have three races, two of which are brand new. One, the Revenant, was published online quite a while ago. It's largely unchanged (other than the addition of a flexible stat), and the various past-life feats have all been condensed into one. The Shade is ... well, a bit odd. It has a Standard action racial power which lets it hide, and it loses a healing surge ... and it's otherwise not too powerful. Sadly, I think it will largely be a neglected race, because it's a bit behind the curve when compared to other 4e races. The Vryloka also has a racial penalty, though it's pretty minor - only a penalty to healing surge values when bloodied. Not a big deal; it's certainly not as bad as being a Small race like the gnome! Both of those races have a very cool list of Racial Utility powers that can be chosen instead of your normal Utility Power at any given level; it's kind of like having a Dark Sun Theme built into your race.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Curtis Lam on September 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a shadow-focused book in the Essentials line, HoS is a quality supplement. I DMed the Dark Legacy of Evard official D&D Encounters events for a full season, so I got to see all of the classes in action. The classes generally have interesting flavor, and are offensively focused. They are well-designed enough to fit into existing parties.

There are also new options for existing classes and builds, including original 4th edition classes (Wizard, Cleric, and Warlock options), so that is a nice bonus. You can see that WotC's investment to delay the book and change it to hardcover paid off in additional content and a more well-rounded supplement.

However, I have to question many of the thematic choices made by the writers. This book often talks about the disadvantages of trading/binding your soul or giving up some of your humanity in exchange for power. But other than those cursory references, there are no substantial downsides or limitations to, for example, the Blackguard ("Anti-Paladin") or Gloom Pact Hexblade classes. It's a quirk I've noticed with 4th Edition - in the name of balance, classes have become a little too homogenized and similar in their abilities for my taste.

Still, anyone who has actually played using this supplement rather than arguing about it on the internet will tell you that it gets the job done well enough. The whole 4th edition "Everyone is friends now, deal with it" thematic issue is more of a matter of one's personal taste.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Trista M. on May 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've been waiting for this book for a long time now, and now that I have it I'm slightly disappointed. My number one highlight? The Assassin class looks fantastic, rich with it's own unique character (I feared it would be too similar to the Rogue class, but I am pleasantly surprised). It gets the use of it's own arsenal of weapons, and having a variety of weapons and poisons is core to the class. My number one disappointment? I was hoping for more necromancy. I like (and was expecting) necromancy to be added to the Mage class. I was just hoping for more. The choices for necromancy powers is severely limited. Instead of having a smattering of a few new powers covering two new schools of magic (nethermancy and necromancy) I feel it would have been a more "finished" book to have included just one new, highly developed school (necromancy). Overall I think the book is worth getting, the shadowy bits included will add depth to any campaign or character, whether they are dark or not. It would also be great fun with this book to have a totally dark, gloomy campaign with a party full of vampires, necromancers, blackguards, etc.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Matthew M. Tobin on April 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am very pleased that I purchased this product. The other reviews seemed "iffy", but the quality is top rate. I'd recommend this product to fantasy gamers who are interested in dark or "shadowy" persons or fantastic races within the context of their game, whether or not they use D&D.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By William Clemo on March 22, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you want to take a walk on the darker side of things without the plunging headfirst into evil this is your kiddie pool to dip a toe in. You can take it a lot farther...but I'm looking at putting a sharper edge on my character before he comes to his senses.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Spencer Wagner on April 29, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is what it is. I needed it for the vampire option. It all works out. Plus it had more options than I was expecting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dusten Jay Hendershott on December 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
:) very good. I like it I would get it if I was you so ya get cuz you will like it.
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