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Tome of Spell and Sword $4.99
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Tome of Spell and Sword
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Tome of Spell and Sword
Publisher: Little Red Goblin Games
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/17/2013 10:01:49

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf is 27 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 24 pages of content, so let's check this out!

The pdf kicks off with a new base-class, the Dimensional Knight, who gets d8, 4+Int skills per level, 3/4 BAB-progression, good will-saves, proficiency with simple and martial weapons as well as light armors. Dimensional knights also cast arcane spells of up to 6th level and cast them spontaneously, but use intelligence as a casting attribute - a deviation from established cha/int-casting-style dichotomies you should be aware of. They also get arcane pool points equal to 1/2 class level + Int-mod that partially stacks with e.g. the magus-class. The dimensional knights may also move 5 ft. per class level as a swift action as if using dimensional door and as a touch attack that costs 1 arcane pool point to forcefully move targets the same distance.

What's truly interesting about the class, though, would be the ability to create portals - yes, just like in the games - two-way portals that make it possible to attack through them blast through them etc. - with cover, bursts etc. being covered by the rules as well as line of sights and effects. It should be noted that some DMs might want to impose a limit on this per se unlimited ability - I suggest 3+Int-mod times per day, since this power is imho a bit too powerful to have no limits, especially with the action required getting less and less significant over the levels. Dimensional Knights may also sheathe themselves in minor dodge-bonuses granting fields. At 3rd level and every 3 levels after that, the dimensional knight also get access to a new dimensional knight talents, of which a total of 16 are provided.

These talents allow the dimensional knights to create e.g. one-way portals, create portals that work only for one particular being, portals that disorient those passing through etc. - among the coolest abilities is one that mirror images you after you pass through it - a massive amount of potential annoyance for the knight's foes indeed! Multiple of these talents require the expenditure of arcane pool points and include e.g. the creating of deadly interdimensional bombs and evade all types of instantaneous effects by using an immediate action and dismissing the spatial anomaly-field.

Dimensional knights also get the ability to create permanent nexus gateways ( very useful for dungeon crawling!) and comes with a cool capstone ability. All in all, a cool class in the vein of "thinking with portals", but one that imho needs a limit on how often portals can be opened. All in all, this class is worth the asking-price of the pdf - an uncommon, interesting take on a gish-class with a very versatile gimmick.

Next up is the Spellslinger-PrC, who gets 4+Int skills, d8, full BAB, medium fort and will-save progression and 7 levels of spell-advancement out of 10. Essentially, this is a combination-class between arcanist and gunslinger, allowing you to imbue spells into your bullets and deliver them via bullets, foregoing ref-saves. Thankfully, only a limited amount of such bullets can remain in existence at a given time, balancing the class. They may also shoot rays with their gun and sacrifice spells to increase the damage their bullets do or sacrifice spells to shoot elemental blasts - unfortunately, the class does not specify how these blasts work - do they require touch attacks or regular attacks? Offer saves? Hit automatically? We don't know. The class also comes with 7 new deeds and may sacrifice attacks to blast other projectiles out of the air and counter spells via their bullets. It should also be noted that the PrC's table lacks the plusses in front of the saves and BAB.

The next base-class is the Thunder Chief, who gets d10, 4+Int skills, full BAB, good ref- and will-saves, divine prepared spellcasting via wisdom of up to 4th level. As an interesting mechanic, thunder chiefs get storm token - they can carry up to wis-mod ones at any given time and start combat with 1/2 wis-mod storm tokens. Being in an area with a storm or being subject to cold, electricity or sonic damage nets the chief one token. outside of combat, they relatively fast are discharged. He may also lower his resistances (which he continuously gains) temporarily to gain storm tokens - the wording of this ability feels a bit jumbled, though. The signature weapon of the class is a blade of pure electricity and over the levels, the chief gets access to a variety of different talent-like abilities that center on new uses for storm tokens, allowing you to e.g. form two storm blades, make foes temporarily lightning rods or create a blade from cold instead - per se rather cool abilities, though unfortunately a couple of them fail to specify how the save against their abilities is calculated - I assume 10 + 1/2 level + wis-mod, but I'm not sure, it could also be net-damage...

Beyond these martial capabilities, they also learn to add storm-related powers to their spellcasting. These abilities are rather on the defensive side, but turn out to be interesting and the several other abilities of the class complement its theme nicely. I'll come out and say it - I don't like the base mechanic - I passionately dislike per-encounter-abilities since they imho violate PFRPG-design philosophy and the storm tokens unfortunately fit that bill. I get the idea behind the class and actually like the idea, even though its ability-suite is slightly too linear for my tastes, but the basic mechanic means I probably won't use it in my game - even though such a class bringing a dead guy back from life via thunder and lightning has some iconic imagery going for it.

Next up are 25 new feats. I won't go into the details for them, but mention only some things I noticed - a feat that allows you to deal additional fire damage in melee after casting a spell instead deals cold damage: A cut-copy-paste error. Furthermore, there are Master (insert school)-feats and their balancing is all over the place - especially the one for conjuration, which offers three very powerful options depending on the subtype of conjuration used for one feat. Additionally, the wording is not particularly precise, stating e.g.

"After casting a conjuration: healing spell you may act as

though affected by break enchantment, remove curse,

remove disease, or delay poison for any 1 effect currently

affecting you. Using this ability takes a spell slot of the appropriate

level."

I reread this multiple times and have no idea whatsoever how this ability is supposed to work, even beyond the fact that the paragraph features 4 formatting errors. Oh, and yes, this free spell is just ONE of three benefits of the feat - which btw. also states that it is available to evokers, when it should be available to conjurers. The whole feat-section feels like it lacked a proper editing job, for there are a lot of these issues in here. Which is a pity, for mostly the feats that enhance portals or add effects to your melee attacks after casting spells of specific schools are rather neat.

There also are 9 new spells, some of which feature the new [spatial field]-descriptor - this subtype of magic essentially makes it possible to modify a certain area of magic as if it were on another plane, allowing for e.g. modifications in gravity. The spells per se have good ideas like dealing more damage to burning foes, exuding electromagnetic blasts, modify gravity and extend and compress spaces - these spells in particular should be useful not only to players, but also to DMs crafting unusual terrain and usually, you'd see me singing praises here...BUT. Unfortunately, these spells are also haunted by the glitches that have crept into the feat-descriptions - from multiple typos to formatting issues, quite a bunch of errors have found their way into this section as well.

The pdf closes with 10 different qualities for magical weapons and armor. Unfortunately, the editing also detracts from this chapter, with lacking punctuation making several abilities harder to understand than necessary.

Conclusion:

If this pdf has one issue, it's editing and formatting - there are A LOT glitches in here. From lacking italicization of spells to lacking bold print, brackets, punctuation and so on, we run the gamut of glitch upon glitch - and while most don't impede the overall usability of the pdf, there unfortunately are several glitches in here that do so - beyond obvious ones, one can also find one particular issue that galls me: The writing is often simply less concise than it should be - due to punctuation-glitches sentences tend to blur together and unnecessarily obscure the rules-content - in parts of the pdf, that is - in other parts everything is all hunky-dory.

Layout adheres to a parchment-background 2-column standard with original pieces of full color artwork and the pdf comes fully bookmarked.

Oh boy. When I started reading the dimensional knight, I was grinning from ear to ear - this class rocks hard and its execution is solid - with the caveat that DMs definitely should limit the portal abilities of the class - unlimited uses are going to break your game if not handed VERY carefully. The spellslinger is also a rather neat PrC and by this time, I was actually really into this pdf. Then the thunder chief came and while I like it's idea, I already elaborated on why the class feels more like an afterthought and not nearly on par with the first two to me. Still, a good pdf so far.

And then the rest came alongside a sudden and perceivable drop in editing, wording and conciseness regarding the rules - almost as if a completely different person wrote it, with completely different (read: none) Q&A-standards. As awesome as the first part of the pdf was, as utterly disappointing and at times even broken the second part was to me - not unsalvageably so, mind you, for a lot of the issues stem from a lack of editing of these rules-sections , but still as if it was the product of a whole different company.

Where the first two classes exhibit a consciousness for moderately complex ideas and cool implementations, the second half falls rather flat of both the first half's quality and production values. Were I only to judge the first half, we'd be looking at a verdict in the higher echelons of my rating system, but due to the deeply flawed editing that serves to actually obfuscate how some pieces of crunch are supposed to work, especially in the second half of the product, I can't rate this higher than 2.5 stars, rounded up to 3. If you're picky about precisely formulated rules, then wait and hope for a revision, but if the first two classes sounded intriguing to you, then you still might want to check this out - it is definitely worth a try if you can see past its flaws. One consolation for me is that having read other pdfs by LRGG, I know they can do better editing-wise and I hope this pdf's second half remains an isolated incident. Still, as mentioned before, if you like the idea of the Dimensional Knight, I encourage you to take a look.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Tome of Spell and Sword
Publisher: Little Red Goblin Games
by Cody M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/17/2013 09:21:48

This book is 27 page book with three different classes and a prestige class. It is a nice size for a good quality product.

The Dimensional Knight was by far the most ingenious ideas that LRGG has created right next to the Primal Host, which I will be discussing in my next review.

The way that they set the class up is it is basically a reworking of the Magus with a more limited spell list but gains the ability to cast portals for awesome effects. Think Portal Ray gun except you can eventually have multiple portals, then add a guy with a short sword who can attack through those portals. That is the Dimensional Knight.

There are many ways to augment your portals with your Arcane Pool like making them bigger or hitting someone against their internal AC, which mind you is basically saying, "I'm going to cut you from the inside ok bye." That is by far an amazing and unique idea for a class ability.

As you level up you can make a whole nexus of exit portals with one entry portal and attack, AoO, and manuever wherever you like as if you were in the square of the other portal and with a 30 + 5 ft per level that eventually makes you ALL over the field without even moving. Take that mobile fighter.

All in all I think that class is the shining feature of the book. The rest are a bit bland in comparison.

Creating the Spellslinger Prestige was kind of dull for me because they already have one of those in a core Paizo book but I can say that they at least spiced it up and gave it a new twist. Otherwise though nothing of true merit since the Spellslinger Wizard Archetype already comes pretty close to the same.

Finally we have the Thunder Chief, a class that gains the ability to harness the storms fury. It is a pretty cool concept but as I read through I noticed that it seems to have a couple downsides. The downsides are, you really don't gain much, as far as I know, until you are third level. At first level you can gain a +1 to damage by expending a storm point but that really isn't all that spectacular since by gaining a single feat. The class really pays off later though once you hit level 3.

At level three you can pick cool stuff like Lashing Winds, which increases your threatened range by 5 ft per 4 levels or something like that, very Anime feeling with that one and it is pretty cool. Frigid Cold is also good with it's ability to give cold resistance and deal cold damage and on top of that you can even have the enemy make a save or slow to 10 ft movement for a round, how cool is that? Pun kind of intended.

Over all the Thunder Chief definitely gets better as levels go on but it sure as hell doesn't suck me in at first or even second level. It is definitely one of my picks for dying first at those levels honestly even with its 1d10 hit dice.

Overall I give this book 4/5 points because I know that they have done better. Good Job LRGG, here's hoping you guys make something as ingenious and moving as The Primal Host again, which is my next review coming soon.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Tome of Spell and Sword
Publisher: Little Red Goblin Games
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/17/2013 08:55:58

It's called swords AND sorcery after all, so why should you have to choose between chucking spells and swinging a sword when creating your character? If a mix of both takes your fancy, this product holds some interesting suggestions.

First up is the Dimensional Knight base class, fully developed up to 20th level. His aim is to be omnipresent on the battlefield, using mastery of spatial manipulation to dart around, open portals and the like to mount attacks in the most unexpected places. Spell-casting is sorcerer-style, without need for preparing the day's spells in advance, but subject to the usual level-based limits as to the number and level of spells that can be cast. The range of spells available is quite specialised and limited, but caters to the particular needs of the class well.

Next a prestige class, the Spellslinger. This is appropriate for games in which firearms are permitted, and caters for both magic-using characters who want to carry a gun for protection or a gunman who wants to harness arcane power: for the spellslinger uses a handgun to launch his spells and can even develop the ability to spit arcane energies rather than bullets from its muzzle!

This is followed by another new base class, the Thunder Chief who is a front-line fighter capable of calling down weather, specifically storms, to aid him on the battlefield. He is gifted in manipulating the weather and in particular harnessing the power of lightning, and is also capable of limited divine casting using a special spell list, which is provided, and also creates and wields a special 'stormblade' weapon embued with mystical power.

You may find these all fairly niche classes, and it is probably wise to consider the campaign style carefully before choosing any of them. If, however, epic largescale battles feature, both the Dimensional Knight and the Thunder Chief could be quite potent on the battlefield, although it's hard to imagine a Thunder Chief being very happy with extended dungeon delving. Innovative players will soon develop ways of using their powers off the battlefield as well.

The product rounds off with a good range of new feats, spells and magic items. Most are aimed at the new classes, but at least some might find favour with other characters as well. An interesting and thought-provoking work.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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