I must admit that I was never a Blackmoor fan. Not because I didn't like it, but simply because I never knew about it, until a few years ago. So my knowledge of Blackmoor comes from reading through a poorly scanned PDF more than a year ago. Unfortunately, that PDF went bye-bye when WotC pulled the plug on their PDF's *shakes fist angrily*.
Luckily for me, CMP had a trump up their sleeve in the form of a 4e version of Blackmoor. I bought this book for the fluff ($55 total worth of fluff, when you live in Denmark, although this was sort of balanced out by the fact that buying the dead tree product gets you a free download of the PDF-version) and even though it was expensive, I was not let down. It's just awesome (<3 style="font-style: italic;"> je ne sais quoi feeling that lurks on the edge of your mind, telling you that this is how D&D was intended to be played, at least back in the day.
The crunch is less impressive. The Arcane Warrior has a really poor ability to mark and thus to defend (he causes the marked creature to gain vulnerability vs an energy source). They also missed the memo on A&V-shaped class-design, which leaves us with a lot of classes that might have worked, but it is hard to say, when half of the powers use the wrong stat. In general, there are a few good (read new) ideas within the 6 classes, but overall, they would need a lot (and I do mean a lot) of work to be useful/balanced enough for use along with the core classes.
The most useful crunch in the book is by far the monsters (can't wait to swarm my players Sebilis-style with the frog-men), but even there, you need to be vary and consider balance carefully before using them (fix solo hit points + solo/elite damage output).
Overall this is a product to anyone that wants some cool, oldschool inspiration for his 4e campaign. If you are looking for cool new classes to add, remove at least a couple of stars.
Rating:* * * * *
Buy this PDF now
Buy this book now