Monday, September 3, 2012

Reviews - Abandoned Arts Archetypes (Barbarian)

Another set of Abandoned Arts archetypes products rolling through, Barbarian, Druid, Ranger and Witch (same classes as the non-archetype products thus far, which is a bummer because my favorite classes for Pathfinder are Alchemist, Inquisitor and Oracle, but if abandoned arts can make as high of quality add-ons for those classes as they've made for these others I look forward to reading them.)

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

First up is the Barbarian, which 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.

There are three Barbarian archetypes presented, The Madman, the Reaver, and the Viking Marauder.

The Madman is an great idea, that fills a space I didn't even realize was missing.

"Some barbarians are inspired not by bloodlust or simple savagery, but by madness or dire occult powers. Such madmen are less martially inclined, but no less dangerous for their insane and unpredictable rage and their strange, supernatural powers."

The barbarian swaps 1/2 the additional rage rounds for access to a domain power. At 11th in lieu of greater rage, the madman gains a wisdom damaging attack.The End is Near is a very interesting capstone power, causing the barbarian to summon allies every round as their prayers to the outer powers hear their call, culminating in gate.

The Reaver is another good archetype, combining brutal sneak attacks and intimidation.

"The reaver is a death-obsessed berserker with a keen understanding of both death and fear. Favoring intimidating weapons and guerilla-style tactics, these terrible barbarians spread terror wherever they tread."

Giving up half their  additional rage rounds and damage reduction 1,2,3, & 4, for sneak attack dice.  Finally they can sneak attack those suffering from being shaken, frightened or panicked.

The Viking Marauder 

"In harsh northern climes, clans of seafaring marauders often band together to form raiding parties in order to survive. Though fearsome and sometimes barbarous, these brothers-in-arms are not without a sense of honor."

Not a big fan of this archetype. It's a very specialized archetype, with a real-world name. The viking marauder is a an interesting concept, Seafaring Scourge, is a skill bonus for sailor, survival, swim skills and a bonus movement for the marauder's vessel in lieu of fast movement. Raiding Party is a teamwork based ability. Marauder's Sails is another interesting concept, causing intimidation with the vessel itself due to the the marauder's fearsome reputation. The 14th level ability is extremely under-powered, being a +4 bonus to fear based will saves. At 14th level, it should be immunity to fear.

16 of 20, mainly for the concept of the madman, this one concept can easily be taken to other classes.