Character options come in many different forms. There are the traditional skills, feat, prestige classes, and core classes that are seen in many different products. There are the lesser known and more controversial forms like the prestige race options from Oathbound and the guild options presented in Guildcraft and the Path of series of books. These options have a cost of pure experience do not involve spending of resources that the class system grants characters. Crusader shows another option that they call a subclass.
Crusader is a new PDF by Alea Publishing Group. They are one of the few companies that really has well defined niche and for them that is medieval like crusades. They have different books as well as paper figures all built around knight orders and chivalry. The PDF is six pages long so is small even for PDF standards. Despite the small size, the book has book marks. It has eighteen things book marked; I never see a ration of book marks to pages that is like three to one. That?s impressive and shows a well book marked item.
Crusader presents a sub class. A Sub class is something that is added onto an existing class. So, the class gets a little more powerful but does get a minus twenty percent experience penalty. If one happens to take a favored sub class the penalty is only minus 10 percent. The crusader which is the only subclass presented here is a favored subclass of the humans. In exchange the class gets a few bonuses over many levels. By twentieth level one with this subclass gets plus one base attack bonus, plus to the saves, some hit points extra skill points and class skills, as well as a few abilities. Despite getting all of that it does seem like it might not be enough for lagging a level or two or even more behind the other characters.
I like the idea of the subclass. It is a nice option that can be combined with ease to any regular class. Some classes line up better with the Crusader since it is a more melee and fighting oriented class. It is also religious in nature gaining some abilities that only work on creatures that are not of their religion. It is nice way to make a character a little more focused and defined as the idea of a crusader, someone who basically kills the enemies of his own religion. It defiantly has the potential of really having a campaign or at the least a series of adventures built around the idea.
I will be interested in seeing other subclasses. If I were to use it I would prefer to have similar options that can be offered to all characters instead of just this one that would only appeal to a limited number of player characters. As a DM though, it would make a great addition to use on many NPCs of the same religion or even fighting against each other. It is a nicely written and well organized PDF that I do recommend for anyone that has use of religious zealots in their game.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>
[4 of 5 Stars!]