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The Genius Guide to the Death Knight $3.99 $2.99
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The Genius Guide to the Death Knight
Pulse para agrandar
The Genius Guide to the Death Knight
Editorial: Rogue Genius Games
por Joshua G. [Comprador verificado]
Fecha en que fue añadido: 06/23/12 23:31:50

With a weight of 17 pages (two going to the cover and OGL/Credits pages), this PDF introduces us to the SGG answer for the Death Knight, an alternate class option, as opposed to an entirely new class. Essentially what we have here is a new skin for the anti-paladin, and an interesting skin to say the least.

Death Knights fall to two camps, those who respect the natural order of things, and those who want to watch it all crumble to ash, no matter how we get there. Alignments range from the neutral range through evil, with no good aligned death knights walking the planet anywhere (and seriously, who would want to cripple such a great idea with a good alignment anyway?). Presented with a small assortment of new feats, this was one of the areas I would have loved to see expanded upon, and expect to eventually see addressed in a future Bullet Point (hint hint). We are also given an assortment of new spells (the death knight casts from the anti-paladin spell list), with the majority of the spells focusing on Grave Summoning (in all nine of its levels) which allows for one to summon an undead to aid you. Grave Summoning easily dominates the entire spell section, both with the individual entries, and the chart detailing all of the available undead at the varying levels, as well as rules for customizing the lists by adding more undead for a more personal flair.

Amusingly one of the most interesting things covered within this PDF is not in regards to the death knight themselves, but to what is known as The Low Road, an extra-planar region wherein the souls of the dead travel to their final rest, a "highway" of the dead if you will, completely cut off from the living and organic, accessible only in the concept of summoning from, and even then only by those who would know it exists, as no mortals have ever truly witnessed it to be able to tell of it, as it can only be witnessed by the dead themselves. An interesting concept, and a great addition to the fluff of a campaign world in explaining why the other ethereal realms aren't choked full of the souls of the departed. Presented in such a way that a GM can easily leave it out if it isn't right for their campaign world though, as it is all fluff, with no crunch to have to work around, which was an excellent move on the part of Owen.

The class, if you can call it that as it blatantly states it is an alternative to the anti-paladin, using a great many of the anti-paladin class frameworks, has great flavor to it, and brings to the table an interesting build...but it also feels very much like there is more to be done here. Perhaps later down the road a revisit to the Death Knight will see it developed more through either new feats, spells, or class abilities...perhaps even all three. What is presented here is solid and good material, and it very much leaves you wanting more for this concept though, and that is exactly what a good design should do, leave you wanting more.

Found only one editing/grammar hiccup, a reference to death knights when it should have been death knight (I know, tiny mistakes right? lol), but was sad to see no bookmarks. Artwork is fairly decent, and spread throughout the PDF, far more than I expected to see actually.

Finalizing with a 4.5 star, that I shall round down to 4, as the no bookmarks, and potential to do so much more with this one kept it from a 5 for me. Now, having said that, this is still an excellent product, and a great base work for a character of this nature, and well worth the price of admission.



Puntuación:
[4 de 5 estrellas!]
The Genius Guide to the Death Knight
Editorial: Rogue Genius Games
por Thilo G. [Comprador verificado]
Fecha en que fue añadido: 05/29/12 18:12:05

This pdf is 17 pages long, 2/3 of a page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving 15 1/3 pages of content, so what exactly do we get?

Basically, the Death Knight is a new 20-level variant alternate base-class of the Antipaladin. To be more precise, it's a rather major overhaul and thus feels rather distinct, but let me start with the basics: Death Knights get d10, 2+ Int skills per level, good BAB, good fort and will-saves and access to limited spells of up to 4th level.

Death Knights come essentially in two flavors: Adherents of Undeath, destruction and foes of life make for the classic, evil death knight. Somber protectors of the dead and their resting places and devoted foes of undead are the other group. While the latter can be neutral, no good death knights exist. Each type of death knight gets its own spelled-out, precise codex, which is nice and something missing from most knight-style-classes.

The class, as can be expected from SGG, comes with several interesting signature abilities: For example, the ability to attack with gravestrikes, which work against living and undead targets. these strikes provide additional damage. Another source of damage he has is the touch of corruption, which enables him to heal undead and cause wounds with his touch attacks. Over the course of a death knight's career, they gain several immunities. In fact, they can select from a total of 15 immunities, which all hearken to what one would expect from the dead - a growing resiliency against cold damage, immunities to negative conditions etc. Since one can choose which immunities to gain, this makes for the imho best "gradual-transformation-to-undeath"-take I've seen in a class. Being a variation of the paladin, the death knight also gets auras, all of which are rather neat. At 5th level, they can choose from two bonds: The first one lets the Death Knight enhance his weapon via the spirits of the dead, while the second grants the death knight an undead servitor from the Low Road.

The Low Road? Yeah, but more on that later. The Death Knight gets 3 new feats, one of which is practically obligatory in my opinion: Deadly steed grants you a rather cool mount as a cohort. We also get a feat for extra immunities and one that grants the death knight a dazzling gaze attack.The pdf also contains 17 new spells, 9 of which are the new Grave Summoning-spells, which can call undead from the pale road to serve you. Since the concept of the pale road is so entwined (purely via fluff) with these spells, I'll get to it here: The final (and best) section of this pdf introduces the Low Road.

Ever thought about why the ethereal and astral plane aren't cluttered with the spirits of the recently departed? Why a plane shift can't simply bring back dead comrades? Well, it's because they go to a demi-plane bordering on the astral and shadow planes, where they find their way to their afterlives in the outer planes. This concept, while rather simple, enables the neutral death knights to have undead servitors without upsetting the natural order: Their undead are souls lost on the way to the afterlife and, once their summoning ends, they get another chance to find their final resting place. Nice concept that fills a hole in the cosmology! Even better, we get advice on adding new undead to the roster of summonable creatures. The other spells enable you to emit mists that impede vision if you want them to, masquerade as one of the living and one that lets you teleport between corpses/resting places via the pale road. This last spell, while immensely cool, also has a downside - it lets you enter the pale road (which is supposed to be utterly off-limits for just about everyone and everything). You also become aware of ALL tombs/resting places of the kind you entered and may only exit via one of them, which e.g. means that if you entered via a dwarven tomb, you may only exit via one. While the awareness of ALL resting places in range is something potentially problematic for DMs, I think the limits imposed on the spell make it a manageable task.

Conclusion: Editing and formatting are top-notch, though I did miss one rather major component: The death knight spell-list is absent from this pdf. While I assume the antipaladin- list as the default, not having the information in this pdf is somewhat of a bummer. Layout adheres to a 3-column full-color standard and the cover artwork, as with all recent SGG-books, is AWESOME. And with all recent SGG-books, I'd love to see a version of the artwork without the title etc. to show to my players. The pdf has no bookmarks, which is a minor bummer.

This is a hard pdf to rate. On the one hand, I LOVE the way in which the class handles a (partial) undead-transformation and utilizes the immunities. I also am enamored with the concept of the Low Road. On the other hand, though, I feel that the class is less than it easily could have been: Why is e.g. the steed a feat and not a 3rd possible death bond option? Why are there so few death bond options? And while the immunities are a neat way to customize the class, it feels more linear than similar SGG-classes. What I also doesn't get is why there is not more synergy with SGG's Death Mage - while thankfully the spells also feature e.g. their respective levels for the Death Mage, that's all. All in all, the Death Knight, while not a bad class, feels not too exciting, which is rather strange considering the awesome concept. In fact, while the fluff is utterly awesome, when compared to other SGG-classes, the central class-mechanics feels somewhat uninspired. Don't get me wrong, but in the end e.g. the armiger makes mechanically for the more enticing tank-class - at least for me and for now. If SGG ever releases a pdf for the Death Knight/Mage with feats, archetypes etc., similar to their stellar "Hellfire Magic", perhaps, this class could easily be expanded to become awesome. As written, the relative linearity of the class in combination with the lack of bookmarks and spell-list drags down the otherwise stellar supplemental content. Try as I might, I can't bring myself to rating this a full 4 stars and thus will settle for a final verdict of 3.5 stars, rounded down to 3.

Endzeitgeist out.



Puntuación:
[3 de 5 estrellas!]
The Genius Guide to the Death Knight
Editorial: Rogue Genius Games
por 2 G. 1 M. [Crítico destacado]
Fecha en que fue añadido: 05/08/12 21:46:44

I have heard a lot about the Genius Guides over the last couple of years. Even as someone who does not normally play Pathfinder, I am always on the lookout for stuff I can use in C&C. Having heard about them, and having a predilection towards undead things, I picked up The Genius Guide to the Death Knight.

This is a pretty cool book! The PDF I have for it is apparently formatted for easy screen reading, and it looks great on my iPad. The illustrations are very evocative, especially the severed head on page 17!

The book itself is devoted to a new base class, or at least a class that can be used as one, called the Death Knight. It’s a death-aspected anti-Paladin, of which there are two minor variants. The variants are based on alignment, (only Evil or Neutral allowed), and are mostly flavor distinctions. There are all sorts of cool powers available to the Death Knight. My favorite is every few levels the living Death Knight gains immunities usually reserved for the undead! They also have access to spells, which I forgot was normal in Pathfinder.

Speaking of spells, I am totally going to steal some of these for evil necromancers in my D&D-like games. The Grave Summoning spells allow a Death Knight to summon undead creatures from a list. I can think of all sorts of horrible misdirection possibilities with Mask of Life, which hides an undead’s true nature. There’s also a cool spell that allows for the caster to hide in the Low Road, which is a sort of path to the underworld. The same spell allows them to travel the Low Road from corpse to corpse.

The Low Road is a really cool concept, basically a plane of existence in which only the recently dead can go. The soul of the intelligent dead from all over the multiverse funnel through it, and it is completely inaccessible by the living or the dead who inhabit their final reward or punishment.

The Genius Guide to the Death Knight is a really cool little sourcebook that has a ton of neat ideas in it. I really enjoyed reading it, and my players may see a Death Knight or two in my next game!



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