Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Reviews - Abandoned Arts Archetypes (druid)

Another set of Abandoned Arts archetypes products rolling through, Barbarian, Druid, Ranger and Witch

Disclaimer: This is a review of a complimentary review copy of the product.

This is the review of the druid archetypes, it follows the formatting of the previous products. Four pages, a quick blurb of what an archetype is, 2 1/2 pages of actual product, followed by 1 page of the OGL. Cost $.99. 

This is one of the best I've seen so far.  It presents 3 very good archetypes: The Earthspeaker, the Faerie Thrall, and the Greenmind. 

The Earthspeaker: I really like the feel of this archetype, it replaces wild empathy, woodland stride, trackless step and wild shape with 3 alternate abilities. 

"The stoic circle of druids known as the earthspeakers take the concept of communing with nature to an extraordinary extreme, developing supernatural means of communicating – in a very literal way – with the earth itself."

Ask the Stone allows the Earthspeaker to, well, speak to earth, stone, crystals, etc, it's a really simple ability with limitless roleplay possibilities, especially for a savvy GM that can totally get into the character of simple stone.  Walk the world gives the druid the ability to move across dangerous mountain terrain faster, and tracklessly. Finally, Move the Earth is a special Charisma based check to produce different earth based effects, from spike stones to move Earth. very interesting ability.

The Faerie Thrall is an oft overlooked archetype for druids.
"While most druids enjoy a friendly relationship with many faerie creatures, some druids pledge their efforts (or submit their wills) as much to the furthering of ancient fey agendas as to the laws of nature or the cycles of the seasons."

This archetype consists of 4 abilities, though I'm not sure if the 20th level ability is supposed to replace an existing capstone or not as it seems like it merely adds a fairly minor ability modify memory, which has unlimited uses, making it a true capstone. The first thing a Faerie thrall must do, is choose whetehr to be part of the seelie or unseelie, which grants +4 saves versus non 'selected' magics, your court can affect you easier... The classic tropes of the pixie arrow and faerie dust appear as the Magic Darts (should have been faerie dust darts...) consisting of a charm monster ability, toned down by limited useage (1/2 druid level per day). Overall its a fun variant I plan to put to use as an NPC. The 9th level ability consists of taking  the fey's attributes, gaining the Fey Creature temple....with a very limited duration.

THE GREENMIND 
An ascetic and sage kind of druid, the greenmind pursues divine illumination and spiritual balance through a meditative process that brings him ever closer to the unknowable enlightenment of all things green and growing.
Oh this is a good one, simple and satisfying, giving up scimitar and all armors, this variant druid makes a lot of sense, gaining the ability to resist many spell-like abilities as a plant, and then to clothe themselves with the armor of the forest (up to +7 to AC), so not too shabby. The final ability lets the druid to take on the form of certain types of plant life.

Great addition to the game
A Solid 19 of 20! Critical Strike confirmed. Well worth 99 cents!