Few books have inspired me like Monte Cook’s The Book of Experimental Might has. It is as if he took a lot of the good things that designers have talked about in 4e, merged it gracefully with 3e and still retained the Role playing game feel that early playtesters of 4e say WOTC’s new system lacks.
If you are waiting to play the next version of Dungeons and Dragons, there is no need to wait until June, Cook has already created it.
Dubbed by many in the fan community as 3.75, this book feels like it should be 3.99. It is fully compatible with 3.5, making it possible to utilize to new system and its mechanics with your current game. There are three major changes in Experimental Might. The biggest overhaul is to the spell system, which is changed from a 1 to 9 to a 1 to 20. Spellcasters can spells that equal to their level. It is a much more fluid delivery for magic. The Cleric, Druid, Ranger, Paladin and Wizard are given a small revamp. Whereas saves are not covered, you can use the PHB version, their special abilities have been stripped away. Instead, players may choose disciplines every even level. Some of these disciplines replicate abilities such as wild shape and turning, whereas as some represent spells such as healing and magic missile. They are all standard actions.
Another overhaul is that players receive a feat every level. Another fascinating concept that does not really change the game much in hindsight. Considering that most feats can only be done at specific times the players feel more balanced in this system. Along with other brilliant changes to the poison and skills, there is a pretty balanced spellcasting fighter class whom uses ruins to enhance his fighting. A lot simplier than the Book of Nine Swords, though just as effective.
For the Dungeon Master
I really enjoyed making NPCs with more feat choices. It gives me the chance to round out the character without overpowering them. I also loved the changes to spells, as many of the changes eliminate save or die spells and make some of the traditional spells different than just damage dealers. My favorite spell change is the one that finally makes raise dead special. Whereas it is easy to cast, you have to put more effort into it. There is also a 10th level “quick” revive” spell that allows a player to wake up a downed player who fell in an encounter.
For the Player
The new class is the perfect antidote to those with the gimp disease. It does not lean too far one way or the other in terms of magic and fighting. The ruins feel very creative, covering defensive moves and attack options.
The Iron Word
Buy the Book of Experimental Might. It is amazing and will change the way you play 3.5. I’d even go as far as to say that this book, combined with Malhavoc Press’s Book of Iron Might, is a spectacular choice for those not interested in 4e but want a better version of 3.5.