The following review was originally posted at Roleplayers Chronicle and can be read in its entirety at http://roleplayerschronicle.com/?p=23869.
Money talks and his vault walks! In the realm of dreams, money still has value and you can pawn your dreams. Gobseck Vaultwright sits atop a living vault that is filled with the hopes, dreams and gold of others. He sees no profit in fighting, but he will fight when it comes to protecting his ever increasing horde. Gobseck is not a Druegar to be crossed. He and his magic items can detect and smite cheaters from miles away.
I have rated Rite Publishing’s Faces of the Tarnished Souk very highly in the past, however Gobseck Vaultwright hits the reader with a level drain that might make Rite publishing fans cringe. This entire supplement lacked the spirit of many of the past additions to this series and ended up feeling more like a coherent collection of complex mechanics.
Publication Quality: 7 out of 10
For me this book’s cover was the start of a product that is below Rite Publishing’s standards. Does that mean it is a horrible product that isn’t fit for whipping my backside with, no way! Rite Publishing reads reviews of their products and if the suggested changes make sense they do it. While the cover illustration was well done, it is white on a black background rather than the penciled looking drawing Rite has used in the recent past. This product doesn’t look like part of the Faces of the Tarnished Souk series. Rite has used this drawing before and it normally works, but not in this case. I found a grammatical error on the first page. It could be a word agreement issue, but it just didn’t sound right, not a good way to start a supplement. The suit of armor depicted on page 4 looks like a regular photo with a grey filter placed over it. I’m glad they didn’t go with color on it, but it seemed a bit out of place. If it is a drawing I’m sure it is a great drawing. The pictures of the interior of the living vault felt like they were phoned in. I know it is stock art, but Rite Publishing had a chance to do something amazing with a great concept and failed. A picture of the living vault from the outside would have been epic, but I guess there just wasn’t any stock art to support that…. Rite is still doing a good job of branding some images with bits of information from other books and the reprinting of feats or templates is helpful and creates the “one stop shopping” experience GMs crave.
Mechanics: 8 out of 10
Rite Publishing’s templates, while interesting, are overpowered; they need to develop more prerequisites to balance them out. I have tried to justify the whole these characters are high level, but with no level requirements of these templates, things could get out of hand really quick. Some of these abilities are like putting a cocked and loaded gun in a small child’s hand, something bad is bound to happen. Many of the mechanics in this supplement were good, but really crunchy, like crack your tooth crunchy. I’m not sure if it was because I got off to a bad start with this supplement, but as I read what some of the abilities and magic items do I tried to figure out how long a round of combat would take and how many calculations would need to be made to resolve that round if you were the GM running Gobseck Vaultwright, and I shuddered.
Value Add: 7 out of 10
There is some great stuff in this supplement, but much of it feels heavy. I can see the point of having a character like Gobseck Vaultwright, but outside of the Tarnished Souk he reeks of diminishing returns. There are some interesting magic items and abilities but they will require lots of paper work and the ability to do cool things becomes un-cool if those cool things become over complicated.
Overall: 7 out of 10
When you are producing top shelf products you are bound to have a bad batch and sadly for Rite this is that “bad batch” The character concept in this felt like the plot to a porn, kinda useless and a bit laughable. Big surprise an angry Druegar banker who was scorned by his one true love, so he dedicated his life to greed… The living vault is a really cool concept that kept this supplement from dipping lower in the standings. When on sale it is well worth the price, otherwise unless you are running a Coliseum Morpheuon game pass this one up. Don’t worry, Rite Publishing has plenty of other great products out there for you.
[4 of 5 Stars!]