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Heroes of the East $3.99
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Heroes of the East
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Heroes of the East
Publisher: Little Red Goblin Games
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/06/2013 11:28:25

This interesting little supplement feels as if it had been rushed out the door, I'm almost checking the ink to see if it's still wet! You see, there is no introduction, no sense of direction. Just a brief bit of 'flavour' fiction that doesn't seem to connect and straight in to the first of three oriental-style classes.

The first is possibly the most fascinating and unusual one. The Tao is a spontaneous divine caster with a novel take on maintaining balance: TWO spell lists. The Ying spells are offensive, the Yang more gentle, tending towards curative and similar effects... and each time one is cast, the Tao's internal balance shifts in that direction. As the class is required to be neutral in alignment, it is quite important not to lose your balance! There's a neat chart provided to keep track.

The street samurai reads like he's been ripped straight out of a Shadowrun book and reskinned for Pathfinder. Somehow he doesn't fit in a mediaeval fantasy world, never mind the quasi-Japanese setting predicated by the rest of this book.

The third class is the Warrior-Poet. Fundamentally, he's a bard with attitude and suitable for those who want to play a more robust role than that of a minstrel. He'd fit well in standard fantasy as well as the oriental style and is worth a look if you find bards a bit wimpy for your taste.

An interesting addition is some martial arts styles: real-world martial arts forms written up as a series of feats that you can take if your character wants to develop in that particular direction. Whilst you are probably thinking 'monk' at this point, with care any character who wants focussed unarmed combat skills could make use of them. Aikido, Boxing, Tai Chi, JuJutsu, and Muay Thai are given this treatment and if the ones I do know are any example, these are about as good a table-top abstraction of each style as you're going to get.

I'm torn. This is a four-and-a-half-star book. The lack of coherence at the outset and the street samurai stop it being a five-star product, everything else is well up there!

[4 of 5 Stars!]
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