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Blackdyrge's Bits & Pieces: Weapons of Synergy $2.00
Average Rating:4.0 / 5
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Blackdyrge\'s Bits & Pieces: Weapons of Synergy
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Blackdyrge's Bits & Pieces: Weapons of Synergy
Publisher: Blackdirge Publishing
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/06/2008 13:21:43
Blackdyrge’s Bits and Pieces: Weapons of Synergy written by Aeryn Rudel and published by Blackdirge Publishing. It is the first of the Bits and Piece series that will look at various ideas for D&D/D20 fantasy and play with them. This product is 8-pages (6-pages after cover and OGL) with a clean layout and a limited amount of black and white art.

The product deals with a new class of magical weapon quality, synergy qualities, which have a basic ability and then a secondary ability that is usable by those with the proper feat. There are
twelve new qualities and three named weapons that make use of them (each of which is illustrated).

Example qualities are: Deft, which allows high Dexterity wielder to gain additional advantage when using it and even more if they have the Weapon Finesse feat. Saddlescorge which gives an advantage to mounted attackers and an additional bonus if they posses the Mounted Combat feat.
The three named weapons are:

• Addertongue, an elven rapier suited to those who master a flashing and flamboyant style of swordplay.
• Blackguard’s Bane, for the mounted Paladin or holy warrior.
• Goretooth, an evil -as one could guess from the name- and intelligent spear well made for a villain.

Like all of the Blackdyrge books this is well written and shows Rudel’s mastery of the D20 rules. It provides interesting options as well as ways to reward certain types of character builds. All in all Weapons of Synergy is a useful addition to a DM’s library.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Blackdyrge's Bits & Pieces: Weapons of Synergy
Publisher: Blackdirge Publishing
by Shane O. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/30/2008 13:03:55
There can be little doubt that the d20 system is one that (normally) requires characters to have magic weapons. Without them, hitting creatures becomes very difficult, if not impossible, due to high ACs and escalating DRs. Indeed, it’s often been said that you literally can’t run a high-level character who uses mundane weaponry. This is almost universally seen as a drawback, because while characters have innate abilities from feats and classes, these tend to be overshadowed by their gear. The debut product in the new Blackdyrge’s Bits & Pieces line, Weapons of Synergy aims to, not correct that, but try and reign it in some.

The book is a comparatively long one, for the content it has. Eight pages in length, it details twelve new magic weapon properties, and has three example weapons. Full bookmarks are given, which is always a nice touch. There’s little artwork to be found throughout the book. Each of the three example weapons has an illustration, but aside from that the cover is the only art here. However, there’s a very light background of a grid on each page, which may slightly irritate some readers (remember the underlines for the text in the PHB?).

Each of the new magic weapon properties normally mimics an existing feat or class ability. So in other words, if you don’t have Improved Disarm, you effectively will if you’re using a disarming weapon. The twist is that each of these properties grants a greater power if you do have the feat/ability they mimic. For example, if you did have Improved Disarm, then when you used a disarming weapon you’d gain an additional +2 to disarm attempts, and could make an immediate attack on someone you’d disarmed. The three example weapons all have more than one synergy properties.

Overall, I found myself liking this product for what it presented. Synergies between a character and his weapon(s) help to make the character feel much more whole, rather than just a stand-in for wielding some phat lewt. This book is a good step towards making the items flesh out the character more, rather than the other way around.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Blackdyrge's Bits & Pieces: Weapons of Synergy
Publisher: Blackdirge Publishing
by Nathan C. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/25/2008 13:04:03
Weapon function is another one of those things you chalk up to the game aspect of D&D. No matter if you are a peasant farmer or an elite guardsman, a weapons damage is pretty much identical.

Hoping to change this, Blackdirge Publishing has decided to put a different take on Synergy weapons in D&D, crafting arsenal that instead of bonding with other objects, as most Synergy Weapon publications do, the weapons bonds with specific characters and abilities.

Once again, Blackdirge manages to do a lot with very little. As with most of their books, this one is short, coming in at 8 pages. Compacted into it, are 12 weapon qualities that improve either a feat or a class ability of a character. Each weapon quality has a primary function that, for the most part, repeats the feat or class ability it enhances if the character does not have it. The enhancements are not overpowering, usually granting in most cases half to twice as much of the numerical bonuses the ability would.

At the end of the book are three weapons using qualities from the book. Each includes a bit of lore and flavor for immediate inclusion in a game.

For the Player
Each ability includes cost and spell necessities for crafting the object. The balanced abilities are not too out of the ordinary, so any reasonable DM should allow it. For those players who really want to center a character’s concept around an ability or skill, having a weapon that insinuates the concept can go a long way in making an impact character. I like the point blank ability when making my fighter based archer classes.

For the Dungeonmaster
Its always nice to Easter-egg a pc specific item on a non-NPC. This allows for the crafting of PC specific items that will not break the game. They are also quite useful for creating the super-smiting paladin NPC or hyping up the speed of a quick NPC with a serpent strike weapon.

The Iron Word
I only wish there were a dozen more of these weapon qualities that filled a niche for every major class. Hopefully we will see more of this series.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher Reply:
Thanks for the review. I'm currently working on Weapons of Synergy II, which will highlight synergy weapon special abilities useful for other classes.
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