Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Abandoned Arts - Class Acts (PFRPG) Reviews

The guys over at Abandoned Arts have asked me to review their new Class Acts supplements for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

I will be reviewing the following Class Acts PDFs over the next week or so (I do have to get to another NeoExodus review as well, so that will be coming also.): Barbarians, Clerics, Fighters, Rogues, Witches & Wizards. 

So far I've been perusing them in a casual manner getting a feel for what's in them. At first glance they're small supplements, only costing $.99 each. 4-5 pages, though the first page is a Title Page, the last is the OGL, so you're getting 2-3 pages of CRUNCH for a buck. Nice and affordable, but are they just more glut, or are they worth the buck? I've noticed a huge amount of supplements for Pathfinder in the last year or so, as the torch passes to Paizo, the sheer number of supplements entering the scene reminds me of the 3.0 flood. So will these pass the test?? Let's find out. (Remember, all third party supplements require a bit of an evaluating eye, as playtesting is often on the spartan side, if not non-existent. There are sometimes incredible ideas, but balance will always be an issue and must be scrutinized by the GM. You've been warned, if you allow your characters to select third party supplements with fully reviewing them your self, expect to be surprised.)

of 20.

     Two pages of bone jarring crunch! No, that's not the barbarian crushing your head between two books, that's what you get. 32 rage powers are found within the bounds of these pages. Barbarians are one of my weakest known classes, I haven't had many in the games I run (thankfully), and I haven't played one since they came out, I do know most of what they encompass and I know that as a GM a couple of these rage powers I would have to allow with the caveat that if they end up broken they get replaced. I do love "Is that all you've Got?" though it does have limited use as it requires taking a critical hit. Some of the wording of powers doesn't match Paizo standards, but it is understandable, I'm not going to ding this, because it take a nation of millions to edit...no wait...it takes a few people to make sure the Pathfinder books are written up to that standard, and they still make errors. Bloodbath is an interesting use of a rage power, granting cleave or great cleave, pretty cool.

Class Acts: Clerics

Class Acts: Druids

Class Acts: Fighters

Class Acts: Rangers

of 20! That's Epic!

This is another Class act I would allow most of in my games. 3 solid pages. It starts with 3 new combat styles: Beast Tamer, Firearms and Guerrilla warfare ( I might have named it something else Guerrilla Fighter, freedom fighter, ambush, I dunno...but I quite like the flavor of it, since it includes dirty tricks in the bonus feats.) Firearms is something which was definitely skipped in a couple classes while included in others. The rest of the class act is 15 Ranger Feats as follows: Aberrant Quarry, Crack Construct, Dragonslayer, Fiend Warden, Game Hunter, Knowledgeable Tracker, Monster Hunter, Singnature Ranger Trap, Satuach Enemy, Strider, Terrorize Prey, Topple Giants, Vile Stalker, Warren Lurker, and Woodwoe. Many of these work off of favored enemy or quarry bonuses, and while I was leery of the Dragonslayer feat, after reading it, I love it and would definitely allow it. The one I'm not really sure about is Staunch Enemy, it had a huge write-up but a short-lived benefit and use, it might be useful if you're good drow killing other drow, or in urban campaigns. Signature Ranger trap is really cool, letting a ranger modify one of his Ranger traps (APG) with a while slew of extra effects (though there seems to be a typo, sleep trap says sleet storm lasts longer...uh, what?). Terrorize Prey is awesome , I love intimidate feats. All in all it's a very useful bag of tricks presented in very few pages.

Class Acts: Rogues

Class Acts: Witches

Class Acts: Wizards

of 20! That's Epic!

     OK I'm jumping to this one because so far, this is the Class Act that completely catches my eye. It's not just wizard feats, it's 2 solid pages of arcane discoveries which aren't as can be taken in place of feats, and from a quick glance, there are some really cool ideas in this one. Animator, love this one, as it gives animate object to the wizard's spell list, and grants a bonus animate construction point. Arcane Signet is pretty sweet, but I would lower the required level, it's a weak ability for a level 20, level 11 I think would be better. I love Ioun Bond as well, the ability to add Ioun Stones to your bonded object, best idea in here. None Dare Speak His Name,  another great ability with a level 20 requirement, awesome idea, but doubtful it would ever be taken, except for NPCs, which IS a nice plot device. the last of my favorites is Living Spellbook, yes, give up a feat to turn your spellbook into a sentient item. 32 arcane discoveries, I would allow almost all of them in my game, perhaps with a little tweaking in some cases. I would be wary of Illimitable Power and Dedicated Familiar, as those two discoveries could be abused horribly. I would not allow Permanent Magic. This is an excellent and creative supplement, it's well worth the $.99 in my opinion.

Two additional Class acts are being added. Ranger and Druid. Look for these coming up.

I really hope the Alchemist, Monk, and Inquisitor supplements add some amazing abilities