The whip is already a ?niche? weapon in your d20 fantasy game, but this E. N. Arsenal installment makes the whip an even more unique weapon by fully fleshing it out, offering a few variants, feats and prestige classes. If you need to know the stats for a whip wielded by a Tiny- or Colossal-sized creature (1 hit point or 2d6 hit points, respectively), want to learn how your character can make his or her own whip or even a bit of real-world history about the whip as a tool and a weapon, ?E. N. Arsenal: Whips? is highly recommended.
Chapter One covers the basics of this weapon. As mentioned above, statistics are given varying sizes of whips, and while a D&D gamer with the core rulebooks would be able to determine how much damage a whip designed for a Gargantuan character can cause, it?s nice to have this information conveniently together in one place. Here, you?ll also get a brief real-world history of the whip, and the chapter concludes with a paragraph explaining potential fantasy racial preferences for this weapon.
Chapter Two introduces five whip variants. The whip itself is already a unique weapon, but if you?re looking for something even more exotic, this chapter includes weapons like the bladed whip (a whip whose plaited strands also include strips of slashing blades), the signal whip (which grants its wielder bonuses when performing trick shots) or the whipsword (which is a sword made up of multiple segments linked to a metal strand). This chapter also includes information on how to improve the craftsmanship of the whip (making it extra durable, for example, with an increased Craft DC), as well as variant material from which to craft the whip (a whip made of moonhair ? hair from a lycanthrope ? can bypass a lycanthrope?s DR, for example).
Chapter Three covers fighting tactics. Before presenting more than twenty new feats, however, this section first applies whip-use to some of the more common combat actions in the D&D game. Information on how to disarm with a whip, grapple or even use the Power Attack feat is presented here. The feats, most of which can be selected as a fighter?s bonus feat, are whip-specific and covers uses as varied as deafening an opponent for one round (Deafening Strike), causing damage regardless of an opponent?s armor or natural armor bonus (Whip Strike), and using the whip ?for a variety of actions beyond those normally possible with a whip? like retrieving and throwing unattended objects (Third Hand).
Chapter Four presents whip-based prestige classes. The Nailo-Shalanth whip-duelist and the thunderchild are stand-outs here, but all four prestige classes are built around 10 levels, and they are even two sample NPCs here for DMs looking to introduce unique opponents/allies to their game.
Chapter Five focuses on magic. There are three spells ? dramatic assist, drive and whipform ? and one psionic power ? pain schism ? presented here before three magic enhancements and five specific magic/psionic whips are detailed. Even though it?s obvious throughout this entire supplement, it?s quite evident here that writer Ryan Nook has strived to create a balanced product. The flair of this material never becomes unwieldy, and its integration into your existing game or game setting is apparently easy. This is the final chapter of this supplement, and ends with the introduction of Ford, the god of adventure (whose favored weapon is, obviously, the whip) and a sidebar explaining why it?s a bad idea to include War as a granted domain for a deity whose favored weapon is an exotic weapon (like a whip). (The War domain grants the cleric Weapon Focus and Weapon Proficiency of his or her deity?s favored weapon, and since the whip is already an exotic weapon, this, as Nook points out, may ?front-load? the cleric.) Again, the creators? commitment to game balance is evident here.<br><br>
<b>LIKED</b>: This is a dense 24 pages of material; the amount of information in the sidebars alone warrants taking a look at this product. The entire supplement is well designed and well written. If you?re looking for a longer-reaching whip made of dweomerflesh (and the feat you need to wield such a whip), this supplement more than fills that need. ?E. N. Arsenal: Whips? hits all the bases of your D&D game, providing spells, magic items and even a psionic power. Very good, indeed!<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: There's little NOT to like here. Perhaps a bit more artwork showing off the variant whips a bit more?<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>