I like to think that the idea of Litorians is one that predates their actual appearance in role-playing games. To me, they always evoked the idea of the Kzin or the Kilrathi, being a clan- and honor-focused peoples, often with a strong martial bent. That’s not precisely true for the litorians, of course, but it always seemed to evoke that spirit for me. As such, while I’ve only dabbled in Arcana Evolved, I couldn’t help but be excited by the release of Rite Publishing’s Litorians sourcebook.
The book hits all of the technical high points that I’ve come to expect from good PDF products. Full nested bookmarks are present, as it the copy-and-paste ability for the text. Similarly, there is a goodly amount of artwork present here, virtually all of which is in color. Indeed, the pages themselves are set on a slightly off-white background with borders around the edges (including ornate markings in the upper corners), which helps with the book’s distinguished visual presentation. There is no printer-friendly version, but I don’t see that being too much of a problem for anyone with a good printer.
The book opens with a piece of fiction which segues into the book’s opening section on the litorians’ relationship to their environment. This is perhaps the part of the book with the most fluff text, as it talks about how the plains helped shape them as a people, before moving into a new feat and mechanical rules for an infection which is something of an adventure hook unto itself. Closing this out is the book’s sole new monster, the aku-boma, a plant that captures anyone who ventures too close, even through planar travel.
New classes for litorians are covered next. The first two, the Champion of Honor and the Rhincerous Totem, are new variants of existing Arcana Evolved classes. I quite enjoyed the Champion of Honor (the very idea of which seems so iconic odd that it wasn’t done before now), but noticed that it didn’t seem to have a 25th-level power. Likewise, the Rhincerous Totem was an interesting addition to the idea of following a totem creature – it makes sense, given the litorians’ environment of choice, but it’s still not a combination I would have thought of. Following this are a racial paragon class for litorians, and a new prestige class, the Ritual Hunter, who as you may have guessed is themed around rituals of hunting, marking their prey, and taking trophies.
A series of feats comes next, with a roughly even spread between the various feat types. There’s no feat table for easy reference, something I would have preferred even if there are only about twenty new feats here.
The new rituals are perhaps the most flavorful mechanics, as they described the ceremonies that are most important to the litorians as a culture. They also have bonuses that can be granted in the event that a skill check made during the ritual achieves a high DC, and several adventure hooks are also given for each one. This part of the book, more than any other, will be role-playing gold for anyone who really wants to play up a litorian PC.
The book ends with a series of litorian NPCs, each of which are examined at low, mid, and high level. There’s a decent set of paragraphs going over each character’s personality and history, which is nicely expounded upon with supplementary (if sparse) information about how they develop across their progressively higher-level builds. While there are only four characters here (and one particularly nasty bulette), this section still took up a fair amount of space; just under a third of the book. I’d have been happier if they’d cut probably one or two of these characters – perhaps for a web enhancement – and fleshed out some of the other sections more.
Overall, Litorians is a great supplement for those who really want to understand more about the eponymous race. There are a lot of great material here that goes into what it means to be a member of this race, even as it then provides mechanics and rules for how to do so, which is something I consider to be a hallmark of good design. If you want to make your litorian distinct, and not just another cat-person, definitely pick this book up.
[5 of 5 Stars!]