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Tales of the Valiant Player's Guide
by Derek [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/22/2024 01:20:38

--1 out of 5 stars--

The Tales of the Valiant Player’s Guide, viewed in a vacuum, is closer to a 2-2.5 out of 5 tabletop RPG, but in the context of acting as a substitute ruleset to replace official 5e Dungeons & Dragons, it is lowered to 1 out of 5. TOV is simply a worse version of the 2014 D&D rules, adding a massive martial/caster divide that was not present in official 5e, by both strengthening spellcasters needlessly, and taking away the tools martial characters required for their contributions in battle. Casters always offered more utility in 2014 5e but martials offered unparalleled damage.

In TOV nearly every martial class is a “trap build” waiting to happen. Select subclasses, if built in an exacting manner, can come close to keeping up with equivalent builds from the 2014 D&D PHB. Taken as a whole, martial classes have become unplayable, save for edge cases. Paladins are limited to a single smite per turn, lowering round to round damage output. The feats martial characters relied on for damage supremacy, Great Weapon Master and Sharpshooter, have analogues in TOV that are inadequate, leaving martial damage badly lagging compared to what it was in 5e D&D.

Spellcasters, meanwhile, have access to new mechanics such as a Talent that lets them determine exact enemy Hit Points as a Bonus Action, making spells based on an enemy’s remaining HP, like the Power Word spells and Sleep, far more tactically viable. The power of individual spells has not been lowered, compared to 2014 5e D&D, but the martial classes all suffer greatly, compared to their D&D counterparts. Monks were never a viable damage dealing martial class, but the Stunning Strike feature gave them a unique utility. TOV has removed that, taking away the Monk’s sole viable combat option.

Stunning Strike, like a Paladin’s Smite, is now limited to once per turn, and carries additional drawbacks compared to the 2014 D&D PHB version of the ability, in that enemies can also reroll their save each time they take damage. The Paladin had an ability to exhaust much of its daily resources in a single “nova” round where they strike with multiple smite attacks, and that option is removed. Monks, while still a relatively poor class in the 5e 2014 D&D PHB, at least had a contribution in their ability to deliver multiple stun attempts, also now absent in TOV.

For those who were familiar with 5e D&D and its underlying game balance, combining Feats that granted Bonus Action attacks, like Crossbow Expert and Polearm Master, with those that granted -5 to hit for +10 to damage options, like Sharpshooter and Great Weapon Master, provided excellent synergy with the classes that gained Martial Weapon Proficiency and the Extra Attack feature, particularly Fighters who scaled to multiple additional attacks. These Feat combinations allowed martial characters to offer a real asset in battle, on par with the reality warping power and versatility of full spellcasters.

TOV seemed to deliberately set out to create an impassible gulf between the usefulness of martial classes and caster classes. Very few people would describe that as a step in the right direction for any revision or alteration of the current 2014 5e D&D rules. There were other missed opportunities, such as the various spells that retain the same abusable loopholes and nebulous language as their original 2014 5e D&D versions. Failing to address those would mean TOV is not better than 5e D&D but might be an acceptable alternative for those want distance from Wizards of the Coast.

Unfortunately, TOV is not equal to the 2014 5e D&D, it is objectively worse. It is a game where roughly half the character classes are essentially trap builds, in a manner that is, in truth, more pronounced than the perceived martial/caster divide of 3.0 and 3.5 D&D. If the goal was to encourage entire parties made up of the full caster classes, simply eliminating martial classes and half-casters altogether would have, sincerely, produced a better game, by omitting character options that inexperienced players might errantly perceive as viable, balanced options, outright, instead of pretending otherwise.

Tales of the Valiant is still more coherent and well-polished than some of the current 5e D&D alternative systems, like the messy and poorly play-tested Level Up: A5E game line. Unlike Level Up, Tales of the Valiant does seem to have been made with some clear design goals in mind by designers who largely understand the system. Sadly, those design goals were seemingly to return to the 3e D&D era norm of useless, trap build martial classes, encouraging system savvy players to stick with spellcasters, exclusively. It is a consistent vision, but not one that legitimately improves 5e D&D.

If there was no 5e D&D, and Tales of the Valiant was a stand-alone gaming system that was not building off the success of another, it could be considered a 2.5-star product. That is not what the game is. It is a 5e D&D rules replacement, one that is fully compatible with existing 5e adventures, but inferior to the rules it seems to replace. TOV has no excuse for making the game balance worse than the system it aims to replace. The new additions, like the universal Luck Points mechanic, simply offer more to track that will slow down combat.

It is easy to speculate why this flawed system would be offered by Kobold Press. It is easier to market supplements towards players portraying spellcaster characters than martial characters, as evidenced by the publisher’s existing Deep Magic series. Offering systemic incentives to forego martial characters in favor of casters could entice more sales of supplements. Those who exclusively play casters may see TOV as a godsend. Those concerned about a balanced, playable game, will see it as a massive, missed opportunity to improve on 5e D&D’s flaws. I had high hopes for TOV, but it proved a massive letdown.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Tales of the Valiant Player's Guide
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Tales of the Valiant Monster Vault
by Darren [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/05/2024 10:33:43

It is the monster manual done Kobold Press's way. Great artwork. I like the tales of the valiant stuff. A great option if you are fed up with the owners of the most famous RPG in the world and their recent antics



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tales of the Valiant Monster Vault
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Tales of the Valiant Player's Guide
by Darren [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/05/2024 10:30:12

I think this is an excellent product. Lovely artwork as always. Nice to see someone rivaling WoC with the quality of the product. Really like the new barbarian and fighter classes. Our players seem to like it too. A great alternative to WoC.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tales of the Valiant Player's Guide
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Tales of the Valiant Player's Guide
by Joshua [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/15/2024 16:04:20

While Im still reading the book, so far THIS IS WHAT IVE WANTED FOR 5E!

Mind you i've only read the core changes like with Doom and Luck points and the Martial Classes that were tocuhed up BUT JEEZ! Barbarian and Fighter got a solid face lift for their core and subclasses that I think Makes Barbarian more balanced AND Thematically interesting and fighter has so much it can do JUST on it's core abilities.

Monk and Rogue didn't get too much changes in their core builds BUT their subclasses make better use of their core abilities making them feel more like a branching path to a greater whole, vs DND's sort of thrown at the wall style. ALSO the feat now called Talents are fewer (much like the subclasses) BUT have way more universal appeal and usage vs having talents (feat) they..dont do anything. All of this PLUS with the way to make stats allowing for more control for the player even if your just rolling stats. 8-9/10 for me so far. Gonna deep dive the magic casters and half casters in my free time.

Def worth a look if Core DND isnt speaking to you (and if you dont waanna support WOTC and Hasbro)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Prepared 2: A Dozen One Shot Adventures for 5th Edition
by Morgan [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/15/2024 23:36:46

I really enjoy this set of adventures.

The biggest downside with this and the original is pretty simple - Not having Player Maps as a set of separate files. In the age of online play, it's annoyingly difficult to have to pull out the maps from the PDF and then trying to convert them to other image types for use. The quality drops and it's a real frustration trying to ensure they match up with grids appropriately.

Seems like simply offering the maps as a separate download on purchase would fix this :)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Prepared 2: A Dozen One Shot Adventures for 5th Edition
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Soulslike Roleplaying for 5E D&D
by G [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/04/2024 11:32:32

A very, very slight book. 10 pages of actual content, which includes a lot of (quite nice) half-page art.

Leans very heavily on both Dark Souls and Kobold's own setting.

Some useful rules, but it requires a lot of work to put into play. Not great value.

It is, however, nicely laid out and the rules make sense, so it's a step up from the official Dark Souls game.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Soulslike Roleplaying for 5E D&D
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KOBOLD Guide to Worldbuilding
by Jim L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/14/2024 09:32:19

When it comes to creating new things, ideas are a dime a dozen. Everyone has an opinion. Yet, it is easier said than done to create something that's logically coherent. Furthermore, the well of ideas tends to run dry too after a while. This is where the KOBOLD Guide to Worldbuilding comes in. While not exactly "meaty", it has plenty of advice covering a wide range of topics. Each topic takes up about 5 pages of information, but it's concise and to the point. If I had to nitpick though, it's that not all the topics are equally well-written, but that's to be expected from having so many contributors. Art in the book is also a little sparse. It would have benefited from having more accompanying visuals.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
KOBOLD Guide to Worldbuilding
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Black Flag Roleplaying Adventure Pack [BUNDLE]
by Michael [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/11/2023 17:34:27

Awesome selection of adventures. -----------------



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Black Flag Roleplaying Adventure Pack [BUNDLE]
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Deep Magic for 5th Edition
by Troy [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/05/2023 18:39:04

Enjoying the list of magic and subclasses. I will try and convince my DM to allow this in the group.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Deep Magic for 5th Edition
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Boss Fights for 5th Edition
by John R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/07/2023 18:05:52

This is pretty cool. I wish it gave more detailed instructions for creating your own multi-tiered boss fights, but the examples it gives provides plenty of inspiration for homebrewing your own boss fights.

5 stars for a cool and useful idea, minus 1 star for not having more actionable instruction on how to do this for your own bosses.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Boss Fights for 5th Edition
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KOBOLD Guide to Gamemastering
by JEREMY R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/27/2023 12:46:32

bought this book a couple weeks ago, since my kids and I have been playing D&D more frequently and before i just did fetch quests and monster hunting. the book really made it go from "roll for initiative.. roll for damage ..." to "you are sneaking up to the goblin, you ready your crossbow,  roll for stealth,  the goblin hears the click of the trigger being set.. turns around and looks at you, roll for dexterity, you successfully silence the goblin." it has brough the stories from a basic dice roll game to where i have my kids tell me how they are going to do the task and i adjust my rolls in my head on theor description. Also improved my note taking, monster encounters and not be afraid to really cause destruction to the party .. felt like the book was much needed to give myself a broad understanding of how to keep my preteens/teens engaged enough to where there phones are off, and minimal dice stacking is going on and everyone is paying attention and acting more in character/RP



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
KOBOLD Guide to Gamemastering
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Midgard Tales Map & Art Folio (Pathfinder RPG)
by Tyger E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/16/2023 02:56:59

One of the best campaign setting. I really loved it. Sadly, KP opted to publish updated version for 5E rather than PF2E. I feel it was a bit of a betrayal for those who supported w/PF1E & PF2. Since 4E, I just do not support WotC products on any level even 3rd Party Creators as you still need main books. I would rather support any other system than WotC. Ah, well, WotC, OGL, & ORC - maybe lesson learned.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Midgard Tales Map & Art Folio (Pathfinder RPG)
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Midgard: Player's Guide to the Seven Cities
by Tyger E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/16/2023 02:55:42

One of the best campaign setting. I really loved it. Sadly, KP opted to publish updated version for 5E rather than PF2E. Honestly, I felt a little betrayed in the PF1E to 5E. Since 4E, I just do not support WotC products on any level even 3rd Party Creators as you still need main books. I would rather support any other system than WotC. Ah, well, WotC, OGL, & ORC - maybe lesson learned.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Midgard: Player's Guide to the Seven Cities
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Midgard Player's Guide for PFRPG
by Tyger E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/16/2023 02:54:54

One of the best campaign setting. I really loved it. Sadly, KP opted to publish updated version for 5E rather than PF2E. Honestly, I felt a little betrayed by the switch. Since 4E, I just do not support WotC products on any level even 3rd Party Creators as you still need main books. I would rather support any other system than WotC. Ah, well, WotC, OGL, & ORC - maybe lesson learned.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Midgard Player's Guide for PFRPG
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Midgard Legends
by Tyger E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/16/2023 02:54:05

One of the best campaign setting. I really loved it. Sadly, KP opted to publish updated version for 5E rather than PF2E. Since 4E, I just do not support WotC products on any level even 3rd Party Creators as you still need main books. I would rather support any other system than WotC. Ah, well, WotC, OGL, & ORC - maybe lesson learned.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Midgard Legends
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