There’s a particular aspect with post-twentieth-level gaming that doesn’t get discussed very much: that the outliers tend to get screwed. What that means is that, for the usual reasons that level 20+ material doesn’t get supported, what support is given is usually to the baseline classes of the game. If you’re playing some sort of exotic class, you had better hope that you can find some generic options that fit your character, otherwise you’re just out of luck.
It’s that sort of problem that Legendary Levels II, from Little Red Goblin Games, seeks to address.
Before going any further, there’s one thing that should be made absolutely clear regarding this book. You need to have the first Legendary Levels book in order to use this one. While the legendary classes and feats are fairly self-explanatory in what they offer, there are some fairly important aspects of this book, such as legendary damage or divinity scores, that are introduced in the first book that aren’t explained herein; you’ll need the first Legendary Levels book for that.
With that said, let’s move on to the book’s technical presentation. This book was rather awkward in that it included a separate JPG file for each of the book’s interior illustrations (with one being presented twice), and a composite work of all of those illustrations together and in color. Why do I call this awkward? Well, beyond having almost twenty additional files included with the book, these pictures are large. The file size on most of them is around five megabytes, but that composite I mentioned before? That one weighs in at over sixty-five megabytes! The PDF of the book itself is just over a dozen megabytes in size.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy that LRGG decided to include separate files for the pictures, but the size of these is somewhat prohibitive; maybe my computer is showing its age, but opening these files seemed to strain my CPU. Moreover, it seemed to me that it called attention to this book not having a printer-friendly version, something I still think all PDF products should offer. The book itself is presented against a light tan “parchment” background. It does what a PDF should in that it allows for copy-and-paste, and has full nested bookmarks.
Moving away from the technical presentation, let’s take a look at what’s in Legendary Levels II. As with its predecessor, this book offers a series of legendary classes designed to take your game from 21st to 30th level. Whereas the first book covered the core classes, this one covers all of the base and alternate classes from the APG, UM, and UC, along with one of Little Red Goblin Games’s own original classes from their book Tome of the Bizarre.
These classes aren’t presented as “extensions” of the original class so much as they are as special prestige classes; I say “special” here because they have no prerequisites – obviously you can take the corresponding legendary class if you’ve hit 20th level in the base class (e.g. if you’re a 20th level witch your next class level would be 1st-level legendary witch), and that these levels stack with the base class’s level for numerical purposes (e.g. most class abilities). The book also notes that you can allow for these classes to be taken by a character that’s thematically near the legendary class (giving an example of a rogue 15/assassin 5 could still take levels in legendary rogue).
The classes themselves are all ten levels in length, and for the most part offer a parcel of original powers and abilities, though a few (such as the oracle) are based around expanding lower-level class abilities; e.g. more mysteries and revelations. It’s worth noting that quite a few of these powers are based around dealing or protecting yourself from legendary damage (e.g. being reduced instantly to 0 hit points), though there are still plenty that do not.
The new mechanics themselves are something of a mixed bag. While I generally liked what was here, minor errors cropped up with disappointing regularity. Some of these were issues of formatting, such as something that should have been indented or emboldened but wasn’t. Still others were small errors that were easily fixed (e.g. an ability that says it works on a 3-in-6 chance, and then says it works if you get a 3, 4, 5, or 6 on a d6 roll).
Still, if you can get past the fact that this book should have been through editorial polishing a bit more, there’s a lot to like here. Many of the class abilities are quite fun; I particularly loved the gunslinger’s Russian Roulette deed – blindly loading your revolver, or other firearm, you point it at yourself or your enemy, and have a 50% chance of firing or not, with a special result each way; or the legendary summoner evolutions, such as being able to get a gargantuan eidolon. There’s a lot to like here if you want to take your character beyond what 20th level can give you.
Two prestige classes are also offered, with the designers flat-out telling you that these are for multiclass characters who can’t otherwise take a legendary class, something which I consider to be a big plus. The first is the artificer, which is a spellcaster that deals primarily with magical technology – in this case, the class is based around having a pool of “spark of life” points, as this is the spark within both living things and magic, and being able to choose discoveries (e.g. class abilities) to spend spark points on. I’ll confess I’m not entirely sure what multiclass mix this is supposed to support, particularly as it offers full spellcasting progression. That said, it is quite cool, particularly since it supports “super heavy armor” which is essentially a suit of mecha.
The other prestige class is the dragonlord, which is meant for characters with some sort of animal companion; you basically give up the animal companion in order to get a dragon instead. It’s pretty badass, and the class is a mixture of set class abilities and getting to pick from a suite of abilities (a la rogue talents).
The book closes out with a section of new legendary feats, which means that they can only be taken by 21st-level and above characters. The feats are, rather interestingly, divided into two groups. The first group is roughly what you’d expect of new feats, offering (again, a very mixed bag) of new abilities. Some of these are what you’d expect at this stage of play, such as being able to make a full attack action during a spring attack, while others (particularly the metamagic feats) don’t seem to quite keep pace – I suspect that in the case of the magic-focused feats, this lack of greater ability is by design (as I recall it being in the first book), since legendary spellcasting is already such an advantage, it’s appropriate that feats should play more towards the martial-oriented characters.
The second set of feats are called scion feats, and these are another love letter to multiclass characters. In this case, the feats are designed to allow access to the less powerful abilities of the base legendary classes for characters that, due to multiclassing, wouldn’t otherwise ever be able to reach them. For example, so long as you’re a 21st-level character, with at least 10 levels in samurai, you can take the Bushi of Susanoo scion feat, which gives you the legendary samurai’s death before dishonor class ability. It’s a very elegant way to make sure that the multiclassed characters aren’t left behind.
Ultimately, this book is the necessary follow-up to the first Legendary Levels, covering those classes that were excluded. In that sense, it’s a very apropos sequel, as it has both the strengths and weaknesses of its predecessor. The flaws are primarily based around some necessary editing (Legendary Mounted Combat is printed twice, for instance), and some options seem, at least on their face, better than some others, but none of this ever drastically undercuts the value of what’s here. If you desire to return to the realm of gaming beyond 20th level, and you’ve long since left the core classes behind, lok to Legendary Levels II to dial your character all the way up to 30.
[4 of 5 Stars!]