DriveThruRPG.com
Browse Categories















Back
**removed**

This product is no longer available from DriveThruRPG.com

Average Rating:3.8 / 5
Ratings Reviews Total
0 2
4 5
0 5
0 0
0 0
**removed**
Click to view
You must be logged in to rate this
**removed**
Publisher: EN Publishing
by Jason C. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/27/2011 00:41:30

EN Publishing is rightly regarded as producing high-quality products. Arcane Strife is no exception. But let's get a few things out of the way first. Yes, the last thing d20 (of any edition) needs is more flexibility and power for spellcasters. Yes, the last thing a player of a d20 spellcaster needs is a list of 200 more spells to try to choose from.

But if you already feel your campaign is teetering under this weight, why are you even paging through d20 supplements online? In this review I'm going to assume you already want a d20 fantasy supplement for spellcasting and magic, for whatever reason: you're designing a campaign and want a unique feel to magic, your'e tired of games with everyone knowing the same old spells and want to toss some old ones and put in some new ones, you handle game balance in other ways, you and your players love digging through mounds of options and debating them in and out of character. So you're here because you want to buy a d20 magic supplement and you're trying to decide if Arcane Strife is it.

First, there's a printer-friendly version whose primary change is to remove the color background. Although the version with the color background is marked "screen version", really there's nothing about it that makes it suitable for a screen in particular, such as landscape orientation or variable flow. It's really just a more colorful PDF. The cover is also in the ZIP file in case you want to make yourself a nice-looking copy. The table of contents is very well done, including subheadings for the spells by initial letter. If I had to criticize anything about the organization of the work it would be that some of the spells are not well-described by their initial letter, so having a more extensive index or hyperlinks within the document itself would be an excellent idea.

The work starts with a bombshell of a system that describes how magic works on the world of Shtar, the world described inside Arcane Strife - basically when a spellcaster is interrupted (via the normal Concentration rules), they may permanently lose the spell slot and be badly damaged. It's interesting, but I think spellcasters who are going to be doing casting where they might have to make a Concentration check are going to have a Concentration skill level sufficiently high that it's not going to do much. I think it might be better to just require the damage in the form of subdual (magic is tiring to cast) or make it based on some kind of physical prowess that spellcasters are unlikely to have (a Fortitude save or something). Anyway, it's a really interesting start, not what you normally expect from a book of this kind.

There's a few other little magic systems that are introduced, wizard's sigils and true names and so on, then a thankfully brief list of feats. The bulk of the work is taken up with an extensive spell list. Interestingly, the spell descriptions begin with a vivid fictional description of its origin, such as the wizard who invented it, or the war it turned the tide of. I would like to see more games use these, especially for campaign creation, as they help me fit the spells into the tapestry of the world.

The prestige classes are very interesting, though they need even more attention in fitting them into a campaign. I'm not sure how a Master of Minor Magic would be played as a PC, an ally or a villain, for example, as interesting as the idea (a Master of Minor Magic consistently increases the power and number of spell slots for lower level spells instead of higher level spells) might be.

Finally, there are several creature templates, most related to some of the magical effects in the book. Like the prestige classes, these templates might have benefitted from some explanations as to personality, roleplaying, or encounter opportunities.

All in all, Arcane Strife is very well presented and has many cool ideas. it's hard to go wrong with EN Publishing. However, I think the best ideas in this work are the ones that are fully developed and integrated into the world described. The prestige classes and creature templates are just left out there for me to decide how they fit in, or what effect they might have on my game world if I eagerly throw them in willy-nilly.

A solid outing, good work all around.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
**removed**
Publisher: EN Publishing
by Erskin C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/23/2005 00:00:00

You can't beat the amount of content you get for the price. As you might expect, there are a few spells to unbalance any game setting, and a couple that seem just too weak to bother with. That said, the product is an excelletn way to add a harder edge to the magic in your d20 fantasy setting.

The layout is somewhat painful at times, and the overall tone may be too dark for some.<br><br><b>LIKED</b>: Tons of content. Gritty edge.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Painful header font. Somehwat thick font for the body text.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
**removed**
Publisher: EN Publishing
by Robert O. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/18/2005 00:00:00

Of moderate value. The spells or original, though some are poorly balanced. Overall, I'd give it a 3 out of 5. Of note: listing spells from an assassin product but not reproducing them was a waste of space and annoying! I went through the list of spells and found several I was interested in, only to find out that those spells were not included in the product I purchased.

The spells offered good fluff/flavor, though they should have been either more generic in history to facilitate use in other games, or included a write up of the places described to make them easy to incorporate. <br><br><b>LIKED</b>: Some spells were very interesting ? very good additions to a game, such as Shadow Puppets and Binding Treaty <br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Alter personality and Librum of the Dead are examples of over-encumbered mechanics, making the spells themselves a pain to use.

Some of the powerword spells were poorly balanced and defy the standard flavor associated with powerwords <br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Acceptable<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
**removed**
Publisher: EN Publishing
by Thomas W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/15/2005 00:00:00

Definitely one of the better supplements available for spellcasters. Arcane Strife has a vast amount of magic for heroes and villains.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
**removed**
Publisher: EN Publishing
by John W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/02/2004 00:00:00

I purchased this in a pile of products from ENPublishing quite a long time ago when they had a huge sale... I had little interest in this product at the time, but picked it up because the price was that darn good. Thus, the book had an uphill battle to impress me, since I wasn't really looking for such a volume.<br><br><b>LIKED</b>: It was dirt cheap at the time and is a decent offering over all, especially if you're looking to adapt some decent ideas from their campaign setting into yours.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: It's not generic enough, focusing too much on their campaign setting. This nullifies large portions of the book from the onset for almost everyone except those who are starting a new game and need some ideas in the realm of the arcane.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Acceptable<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
**removed**
Publisher: EN Publishing
by Eric J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/03/2004 00:00:00

Really cool product. This short book has excellent layout and some nifty spells and feets. From the start you feel pulled into another setting and throughout the book you see the signs of such. Very well done, very consistent!<br><br><b>LIKED</b>: The layout and the prestige classes<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
**removed**
Publisher: EN Publishing
by Daniel P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/16/2004 00:00:00

I'm not a fan of magical compilations, but I bought this on sale, and for the price, it was a good addition to my library. The material here works best used sporadically; introduce a few spells here and there, personalize a few NPC friends and foes with some of the spells and feats, or perhaps create a new grimoire for the PCs to quest after with a few selected spells. If your campaign features magic in a really prominent role, then this book will help you add some variety to the spellcasters out there, so that not all of them are using the PHB as their magic source.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
**removed**
Publisher: EN Publishing
by Scott G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/09/2004 00:00:00

Contains a lot of interesting ideas and some cool arcane spells that I'm looking forward to using.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
**removed**
Publisher: EN Publishing
by Angus M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/26/2004 00:00:00

Interesting little volume, but I'm still not sure how to directly include it in my campaigns. Could prove useful for those who want sorcerous duels.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
**removed**
Publisher: EN Publishing
by Ranko C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/17/2003 00:00:00

Lovely would be a very wrong word to use here. But a damn fine job!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
**removed**
Publisher: EN Publishing
by Michael M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/26/2003 00:00:00

Excellent spell source book. Very pleased with the selection and expanse of spells, not sure how they stack up in the 3.0-3.5 shift but I have gotten much use out of this book.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
**removed**
Publisher: EN Publishing
by Alan L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/04/2003 00:00:00

Some of the spells in here turned my stomach -- but sometimes that can be a good thing. I can't imagine any benificent PC's casting some of the spells in here, but on the other hand, if you're looking for good villain effects...

Bravo on the separate screen/print files. As long as you have the flexibility of the PDF format, use it.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Displaying 1 to 12 (of 12 reviews) Result Pages:  1 
Back
0 items
 Gift Certificates