Originally posted at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2012/04/11/tabletop-review-the-tome-of-manly-things-pathfinder/
Have you ever wanted to create a Pathfinder character that was fit to be in a Ye Olden Spyse commercial? Ever made a character that was a human male, but it wasn’t a Man? This supplement is for making Men, a class AND race (…and if you need any other designations just write in “man”). The Tome of Manly Things is your ticket to badassery, beard growth, and general hirsuteness should you desire it to strengthen your manly aura.
This little supplement is a bit of parody perhaps, a little tongue-in-bearded-cheek for those who want a good chuckle or an evening of beer & pretzels role-playing. What is it exactly? Well, imagine if you tried to come up with a class for Chuck Norris, or Richard Riddick, or some other manly force of nature that seems to supersede the laws of the universe mainly on account of his gender-specific badassery.
A Man will get a “Beard Bonus” at certain levels, and at other levels will get special abilities like “Manly Breach” where the Man gets a damage bonus (and extreme satisfaction) after breaking another object. There are descriptions of various facial hair that a man may sport to gain one bonus or another. For instance, the “Mutton Chops” will “give the wearer an air of competence that tells others he’s good at what he does”; oh yeah, they also give you retractable claws operated by the command word: “snikt”.
This supplement supports the Man up to level 20, where you will receive the “Man’s Man” bonus that gives you extra “Man Cards”. Oh I didn’t tell you about the Man Cards? Each Man starts out with a number of these cards dependent on his Charisma and how awesome he is (who decides that I wonder?). The player may use these cards to get bonuses, but the GM may take them away if he feels that the character has acted in a less-than-manly fashion. You can get Man Cards back by riding a wild gryphon or pushing a tsunami back into the ocean or doing something else in that vein.
What Do I Think?
This supplement is a good chuckle. I could easily see a session using this class take some hilarious turns for the right group. One of my biggest laughs besides reading all the abilities gained through the various levels was with the “Lay on Beard” ability that allows someone to lay on hands to grow or regenerate a beard, or to equip a magical beard on someone else. Hey, it’s free and it’s funny (to me, anyway), and I think it is well-written and presented.
They could have put more content in there, especially since there is no mention of beer-driven special abilities and there could have been even more beards or something to fill out the near-blank page 7 of the PDF. Those are my only complaints though, I think they did a good job with the manly abilities and making it a workable class (if not seriously playable for more than a session or two).