Opening with a breakdown of spells by class lists, It's more than fair to say there's some love for every class here. Presented in a dual column format with a total of 10 pages (with 2 covers, and 1 credits/OGL page). After the spell lists (2 pages), we're left with 5 pages total for spell descriptions for these 24 aquatically themed spells. To be fair, two of the spells are mass versions of two other new spells from this product. Internal artwork consists of one piece from Marc Raddle in B&W that is of fairly good quality. In reference to editing mishaps, there was the exclusion of the usage of a bold setting for the statblock of one of the spells making it stand out (as all other spells used a bold format to begin each section of the statblock).
As the preview already breaks down the names of these new spells, and I feel this many spells are far to many to cover in extensive detail, I thought I would follow with my standard of highlighting my favorite spells, and my least favorite. So, without further ado:
Shipgate is simply an awesome spell when you as a GM are looking to either terrorize your waterways with a crew that simply can not be tracked nor caught, or have a crew of adventurers that absolutely, positively have to get there overnight (sorry, couldn't resist)..But seriously, a teleport for an entire vessel, and all of its crew and cargo, has so many possibilities in the hands of a good story teller.
Sodden Ship took me a few seconds to really mull over, and I'll tell you why. When I first read this spell, and realized that I was essentially looking at the fantasy answer to the submarine, I knew I was looking at a spell I was going to love, I just had to stop visualizing a pirate frigate cruising under the armada hunting them long enough to go back to reading the spell...I mean come on, can't you see it??? A spell that lets you sail UNDER the water, how freaking cool is that?
Animate Figurehead spoke to me, pure and simple. There was a miniature put out by Reaper a while back, of an angel formed from the figurehead of a wrecked ship. I will be hunting that miniature down, solely so that I may do this spell justice when I unleash it on my gaming table. The concept of awakening the figurehead of a ship as a golem is fantastic, and I was very happy to see that a spell of this nature was included in this collection.
Shadow Sails adds that touch of darker fantasy back in for me, as up to this spell, where as there have been quite a few magical effects, in the end, when it came to the physical, it was still the boat and all its parts...but now, with this spell, the sails are replaced by creations of shadow and nothingness....and that just screams for an evil pirate captain and his crew of damned souls!!!!!!
OK, flipping to the other side of the proverbial coin here, Landlubber allows one to “remind” a target of their landlegs, effectively turning them into newbies on board the ship, at least for the duration of the spell. This spell has a mass version, and an opposite in the form of Sealegs. Where as they both fit the theme of this collection, when taking their duration into consideration, neither is really a useful spell until you're a much higher level spell caster. Not to mention neither live up to the bar set by the four previously mentioned spells.
Final thoughts....very soon a great many tables will be breaking out their nautical rules and undertaking a new path centered around a pirate's way of life....and it would be a great dis-service if this collection of spells were not available at everyone of those tables. Whether you plan to sail under the black flag, or are hunting those who do, these spells will vastly increase your options for naval adventure. Having only two true complaints when it is all said and done, I would have liked to have seen a few more pieces of art, as art is always good....and a release date for volume two.
Going with a full 5 star rating for this collection.