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The Player's Guide to Arcanis $19.95 $15.96
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The Player\'s Guide to Arcanis
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The Player's Guide to Arcanis
Publisher: Paradigm Concepts, Inc.
by Kenneth W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/18/2009 12:24:34

Great for Living Arcanis, gotta love it. Wonderful sourcebook.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Player's Guide to Arcanis
Publisher: Paradigm Concepts, Inc.
by Ronald P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/10/2007 14:11:50

I enjoyed the supplement alot and am looking forward to unning campiagns based on it. I especiially enjoyed the new gunpowder additions and the political strata included.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Thank you for the review. Psionics Unbound and Magic of Arcanis are ideal companion pieces to this title.
The Player's Guide to Arcanis
Publisher: Paradigm Concepts, Inc.
by Frank M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/04/2007 00:00:00

This is an excellent product that I'd recommend to just about anyone. Arcanis is an extremely rich campaign setting using D&D rules and in my opinion is worthy of anything that Wizards of the Coast has produced.

My only beef with this product is that it isn't an atlas and doesn't explain as much as I would like about the setting itself.

However, it does go into great depth on character options, new feats, prestige classes and even provides guidelines on how to play certain characters.

I'm glad that they finally decided to release this in PDF since I live in an isolated area and its pretty difficult for me to get to my local games store.<br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: Rich world with so much to recommend it.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: While detail is supplied about the character options, not enough is provided of the campaign setting itself.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Glad that you liked it. Keep an eye on www.paradigmconcepts.com for information regarding the Arcanis World Guide.
The Player's Guide to Arcanis
Publisher: Paradigm Concepts, Inc.
by Peter I. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/21/2006 00:00:00

Player's Guide to Arcanis is a 322 page pdf product for the Arcanis: The World of Shattered Empires campaign setting. This pdf details a whole host of options for players adventuring on Onara, including classes, skills, feats, prestige classes, spells, equipment, and much more. The pdf forms a good companion product to Paradigm Concepts' Codex Arcanis, which details the campaign setting itself rather than its mechanical elements. In fact, Player's Guide to Arcanis contains very little in the way of information about Arcanis itself, but this is the way it was intended. This pdf is extremely handy for Arcanis players, and even those that just want to mine the pdf for thousands of ideas for other campaign settings.

Player's Guide to Arcanis comes as a single, bookmarked pdf file with a complete table of contents. There is no print version for the pdf. Artwork within the pdf is fantastic, and there are some great pieces of work within the pages of this product. The artists have done a splendid job of providing compelling images to support the Arcanis setting, and its 'Roman-like' feel. Writing and editing is good, although a few errors slipped through here and there, but nothing that detracts significantly from the reading experience. As mentioned before, this is a predominantly mechanics heavy pdf, and for the most part the mechanics is solid. Here and there one has to raise an eyebrow regarding the power level of some of the material, but generally balance is well maintained. Considering the sheet volume of material in this pdf, it has to be expected that some things will be stronger than others.

The pdf is divided into 10 main chapters, most of them detailing a different mechanical aspect for players of the Arcanis campaign setting. There is a brief introduction that gives a short overview of the history of Arcanis, but this product is not intended to be a campaign guide, a function that the Codex Arcanis fulfils. This is very much a Player's Handbook style product, detailing all the information that players may need to know to create successful characters and roleplay them within the rich world of the Arcanis campaign setting.

Chapter One details the nations of Arcanis, including the Altherian Republic, the Coryani Empire, the Elorii Nations and the Kingdom of Milandir. Within the context of each nation a large number of topics are covered, such as appearance of typical people within a nation, roles of gender, nobility, the Val (a race of beings touched by divine essence and generally the leaders of Arcanis), religion, military, and other general information. This chapter enables most players to draw material from for character creation, when they choose a race particular to a specific nation or region of Onara. I found this material to be an interesting read, and each nation holds a unique flavor of its own, and an equally interesting relationship to the other nations of Arcanis.

Chapter Two presents the many races of Arcanis. There are nine races in Arcanis - dark-kin (those tainted with Infernal blood, largely as a result of the Time of Terrors), dwarf, elorii (immortal beings once a slave race created by the Elemental Lords), gnome, half-hobgoblin, half-orc, human, Ss'ressen (a reptilian race), and Val (beings with divine essence). Each race is presented with appropriate descriptive details and mechanics, as well as the descriptions of subraces where required. The races are interesting, and largely tied to the history of Arcanis, allowing them to form an integral part of the setting. There are the dwarves that cannot die easily, immortal elorii, divine Val and deformed gnomes, all which combine to make each race unique and different with interesting character creation and adventuring possibilities.

Chapter Three deals with base classes. The majority of the core base classes remain unchanged, although there are a number of changes to certain classes and the addition of new base classes such as the priest and the holy champion. The cleric, for example, has a similar ability to turn undead called channelling. In addition, there are a number of deity specific changes that apply to the cleric class, and some cleric abilities are determined by a specific deity. Gods on Arcanis do not possess an alignment, meaning that clerics tend to worship aspects of the deity they serve. Monks are extensively detailed, given that each monk is generally part of one of the monastic orders of Arcanis. Each order is detailed and a prestige class is occasionally given that is specific to that order. I found this approach refreshing and it provided some interesting alternative monk ideas.

The paladin is largely replaced by the holy champion, becoming a subclass of that class. Holy champions are devoted to specific aspects of a deity, and a number holy champion base classes are provided related to different deities. The priest is similar to the cleric, although more one to nurture the people and aid them, than a cleric who is considered a champion of religious knowledge. There are a number of refreshing changes to the base classes from the core rules, some that can easily be adapted to a non-Arcanis setting.

Chapter Four takes a look at skills. A number of new skills are presented and several are expanded, including Black Market (for buying and selling illegal goods), Craft skills for flintlocks, Examine Martial Technique (to determine an opponent's combat prowess), and expanded Knowledge skills. I particularly like the expanded Knowledge skills and the added information on each skills' entry. The chapter also covers regional skills - characters from a particular nation and region gain certain skills as class skills. Some interesting new skills and mechanics here, with some good added expansion on some skills.

Chapter Five is an extensive chapter covering a plethora of feats, including new feat types such as background feats, military feats (the Coryani legions are similar to Roman legions), and soul fragment feats (for non-dwarves and non-elorii). There are a lot of new feats here, covering a wide variety of new areas introduced in Arcanis, but also others that expand on feats and concepts of the core rules. One of the new feats I liked were the military feats - these are feats specifically catering for fighting in groups, and something that I've found missing and needed in most games. These feats allow lower level opponents in numbers to be much more organised and dangerous and are particularly suited to militaristic humanoids such as hobgoblins. A good selection of feats, a few eyebrows raised on power levels, but something for all classes and characters. If it's feat options for Arcanis you want, this is the best place to look.

Chapter Six covers prestige classes, and like the rest of this pdf, in vast numbers. There is a hefty amount of material here, and if you include the prestige classes scattered elsewhere in the pdf, there are a lot of good options to choose from. The core prestige classes are briefly discussed first, before the Arcanis prestige classes are presented. Examples of these include Altherian Sharpshooter, Battlemage of the Coryani Empire, Bowman, Centurion of the Coryani Legions, Gladiator, Royal Marine of Milandir, and numerous others. The chapter also presents a prestige class called the Combat Styles of Onara - this is a prestige class devoted to a particular combat or fighting style. I think this is a neat little concept that allows characters to make more of their particular fighting styles and weapon choices. Some prestige classes appear a bit strong, but not unbalanced.

In Chapter Seven a whole host of new weapons and equipment are presented, including new martial and exotic weapons and even exotic armors such as the Andrean Suit of Plate. Flintlocks (firearms) are discussed in detail, and each of the weapons and armors is well illustrated and detailed in the text. There are a number of new goods presented as well, such as coaches, chariots and altherian signal rockets. A good selection to enhance the setting.

Chapter Eight covers all aspects of Magic in Arcanis, though for a more thorough treatise on magic, Paradigm Concepts have Magic of Arcanis. This chapter, however, is equally detailed, providing a number of new spells, spell lists for the priest and holy champion classes, and details on spell changes considering the fact that the gods don't have alignments and the concepts of good and evil are viewed differently. In addition to the spells, there are a number of Arcanis specific domains. The largest part of the chapter covers the spells as well as the bloodline powers of the Val. Each Val has a bloodline and a bloodrank, allowing them certain abilities based on their divine essence. These are detailed here, and provide a comprehensive overview of the different Val bloodlines and their nature. The spells are good, some of them have odd names such as 'His Blade Shall Not Harm Me', but a good selection.

Chapters Nine and Ten cover religion and secret societies within Arcanis. A good number of religious factions and secret societies are detailed, including rules for fame and infamy within a particular secret society and the benefits of being a member of such a society. A brief Appendix covers a few new monsters, mostly animals, but also a generic Undead template.

Player's Guide to Arcanis is a comprehensive book, if not exhaustive, in its detail and the number of options it provides. This is a purely 'crunch' based book, but you can't really find a more useful selection of Arcanis related mechanics and useful and interesting ideas. There's a lot to like about this book in the ideas it presents, and the way in which each aspect of the mechanics is integrated into Arcanis' rich background and history. It's tribute to the campaign setting that this sheer volume of options can actually be made to work within the setting without feeling out of place or forced. Fans of Arcanis can't go wrong with this pdf, but even those just looking for a host of ideas will find this product useful and good value.<br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: Player's Guide to Arcanis provides a vast amount of options for creating characters, each with unique flavor and given the number of options, unique mechanics as well. The pdf succeeds admirably at providing plentiful ways in which to create Arcanis characters, and ways in which to create flavorful characters where their mechanics are capable of defining their characteristics. A wonderful selection of options and ideas, and well integrated mechanics within the context of the rich setting. Fantastic artwork.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: There's not much to dislike about this pdf. Arcanis allows for some strong characters and mechanics, and some of the ideas raise the balance eyebrows. There are also one or two minor errors, but nothing significant.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
After such a glowing review, I am left with only saying thank you! A printer-friendly version with the eratta embedded will be available soon, and offered as an update to all customers of the PDF.
The Player's Guide to Arcanis
Publisher: Paradigm Concepts, Inc.
by Shane O. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/29/2006 00:00:00

Player?s Guide to Arcanis is a sourcebook for the Arcanis campaign setting, by Paradigm Concepts. The product comes in a zipped file, just over 16.5 megabytes in size, containing a single PDF a little over a megabyte larger. The PDF has indented bookmarks, along with a non-hyperlinked table of contents.

The product is 322 pages long, including front and back covers, a credits/legal page, a three-page table of contents, and a page for the OGL. Only the covers are in color, with the remainder of the artwork in the product rendered in black-and-white. No printer-friendly version of this book is included, which means that printing this product will quite likely take a lot out of your printer.

Note that, as with other Arcanis products, this book is campaign-specific. It assumes that you?re using it for (and gaming in) the world of Arcanis. As such, the fluff (non-game mechanics) is fairly specific, and makes no attempt to segregate itself from the crunch (game mechanics). It?s still possibly to lift things such as feats, spells, and prestige classes from this book for use in other d20 games, but you?ll need to file off everything specific to Arcanis.

The book immediately plunges you into the world of Arcanis, opening with a single page of fiction regarding the setting (with a full-page piece of art depicting a scene from the fiction on the next page). After this is a single page foreward from the president of Paradigm Concepts plugging the RPGA?s Living Arcanis, talking up the setting, and thanking the fans. Only then does the book give us the table of contents.

A two-page introduction follows. It briefly covers what the book is (a guide to making an Arcanis-specific character, in mechanics and feel), and what the book is not (a gazetteer to the world and history of Arcanis). It does, however, then give a few paragraphs on the ?feel? of Arcanis, and an abbreviated history of the world.

The first actual chapter of the book covers the major nations of Onara, the major continent of Arcanis. Discussion is given to The Altherian Republic, The Theocracy of Canceri, The Coryani Empire, The Dwarven Enclaves, The Elorii Nations, The Hinterlands, The Kingdom of Milandir, The Pirate Isles, and The Western Lands. As mentioned previously, this chapter isn?t meant to give any sort of in-depth look at these nations. Rather, each nation has things such as the appearance of its people, its gender roles, its nobility and religion, and its military discussed (among other things). In other words, this chapter is meant to list the basic things that any citizen would know about their own country. No crunch is given here; this chapter is pure fluff.

Chapter two is Races of Arcanis. Nine races are presented: dark-kin, dwarf, elorii (who effectively replace elves), gnome, half-hobgoblin, half-orc, human, ss?ressen, and val. Note that the exclusion of halflings and half-elves is deliberate. Each race opens with a few short paragraphs of fiction, and then is given PHB-style treatment.

Chapter three covers the Base Classes in Arcanis. Each of the eleven PHB base classes is listed, noting any Arcanis-specific changes made to each class. Several of these have extensive notes on alterations. For example, the cleric alterations partially depend on their patron god, so notes for each religion are given. Likewise, monks have different abilities depending on their monk order, and as such, several such orders are listed. Three new base classes are also given: the holy champion, holy warriors whose class abilities vary wildly depending on their patron god; the patrician, for whom diplomacy is a weapon and nobility is armor; and the Priest, who are servants of deities who specialize in serving and inspiring the masses.

Skills is the subject of chapter four. A handful of new skills, such as Black Market, Examine Martial Technique, and Research, are given. Additionally, several existing skills, such as Craft, Knowledge, and Profession, have new rules given. Some, like Craft and Profession, have new subtypes given, whereas Knowledge has expanded rules for specializing and even sub-specializing. You could, for example, sub-specialize in magic items by choosing Knowledge (arcana: magic: magic items). The chapter ends with a listing of what skills are regional ? skills that are considered class skills for characters from that region.

Chapter five, Feats, lists over one hundred fifty new feats. In addition to the feat types we already know (such as Metamagic or Item Creation), several feat types, both new and from other Open Game sources, are given here: Background feats, Bloodline feats, Elorii feats, Military feats, Profession feats, Soul Fragment feats, and Tainted feats. As a minor note, a very small number of these feats were updated in Magic of Arcanis.

Chapter six, Prestige Classes, opens with Arcanis-specific changes made to core prestige classes. Following this are forty-three new prestige classes. Six of these, a group of fighting-style prestige classes, are grouped under the banner of Combat Styles of Onara. They all use the same advancement table, but have slightly different requirements, and different class features.

Chapter seven, Weapons and Equipment, is fairly self-explanatory. Quite a few new weapons are introduced here, including flintlock pistols and siege weapons. There aren?t quite as many new armors or equipment given, but still a respectable amount. Perhaps the best part of the chapter, however, are the rules that expand the masterwork rules. Here, it?s now possible to forge a weapon or a suit of armor and grant it non-magical enhancement bonuses of up to +5.

Chapter eight, Magic in Arcanis, opens with some modifications to PHB spells. Alignment in Arcanis is much more nebulous, and not so clearly laid out. As such, spells with alignment subtypes are given something of an overhaul here. Integrated spell lists come after that, adding the new spells given here to the existing PHB class lists, and giving full spell lists (PHB spells and new spells) for the new spellcasting classes introduced in this book. After this comes roughly fifty new spells. The chapter closes out with a listing of Val bloodline abilities. The Val (a new race) each belong to a certain bloodline, which gains certain powers as their bloodline power increases.

Chapter nine, Religion, is (save for one small sidebar) a fluff chapter. Practical discussions of switching deities, the afterlife and resurrection, and the nature of divine magic open the chapter. After this, the churches of each of the gods of Arcanis are discussed briefly, describing the deity, their sphere of influence, their temples, and what their priests do.

Chapter ten, Secret Societies, covers seven different but fairly major cabals in Arcanis. The chapter begins with information on joining these societies, how members secretly communicate with each other, the fame (or infamy) of these organizations, and their missions. After this, each society is looked at in turn, discussing information such as their goals, organization and public persona.

The appendix at the end of the book covers a few monsters of Arcanis. Despite the title, however, very few of these are actual monsters. The majority of the creatures here are animals. There is, however, a magical beast and a (non-true) dragon. A pair of templates round out the appendix: one for generic undead creatures, and the other for reanimated constructs.

Altogether, the Player?s Guide to Arcanis is an extremely versatile book, and virtually required to play in the Arcanis setting. Its new material is innovative, and matched well with the captivating fiction spread throughout the text. Even if you don?t play on Arcanis, you will definitely find new material here that will be useful in your Fantasy d20 game. Despite its name, the Player?s Guide to Arcanis is useful for everyone, GM or player. <br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: I enjoyed the fiction peppered throughout the book quite a bit. Also, while all of the new materials were excellent, the new ways to specialize in the Knowledge skill, and the expanded rules on masterwork weapons and armor, were especially innovative.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: The lack of a printer-friendly version hurts somewhat here. Likewise, there's at least one misspelled bookmark ("Mosters of Arcanis"). But that aside, this book was quite excellent.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Glad to hear you liked the book! Player's Guide was our first hardbound print project and was a benchmark release for Arcanis: the World of Shattered Empires. We will see about printer friendly versions of our titles after the crush of the summer convention season is behind us.
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