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Book of Templates - Deluxe Edition 3.5
 
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Book of Templates - Deluxe Edition 3.5
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Book of Templates - Deluxe Edition 3.5
Publisher: Silverthorne Games
by Chris G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/29/2006 00:00:00

Sometimes it feels like I have reviewed a book before. But rarely is it this true. In fact I have in one way of looking at it reviewed this book twice before. The first time was when it was just the Book of Templates and then the second time when it became the Book of Templates Deluxe. Now it is the Book of Templates Deluxe 3.5 Edition and with each change it has gotten a great improvement and been one of the most used books at my gaming table. It is really cool to see such a great book finally come out in print as well as PDF like the first two were. Silverthorne Games and Goodman games should be very proud of this book and it has to be rare if not unique for a non core gaming book to get three releases with two significant improvements over the original which was a very solid and useful book in its own right.

Book of Templates 3.5 Deluxe Edition is a great looking hardbound book. It is one hundred and ninety two pages long and all black and white. The layout is well done with many table for the templates and also rules for helping the DM improve monsters. The pictures are nicely done depicting some strange new creatures to show some of the example creatures created with the templates in here.

The book is very well organized with templates grouped with who they can be used for. If one needs a template for an undead there is a chapter filled with undead templates. The same goes for plants, animals, constructs, and other creature types. There is also one large chapter on templates that can pretty much be applied to any creature. Some of the chapters only have a single template like the plant chapter but all templates do have an example creature making this book partially a very different monster manual.

The book starts off strong with a chapter on applying the templates and modifying the creatures. The book is useless if people do not understand how to use the material and the book does a nice job of taking a person through the steps and considerations when doing so. There are tables for the different creature types, how to handle size increases and decreases, ways that challenge rating can be modified, working with level adjustments for players, and other key things that people will need.

The book is filled with interesting templates as one might imagine. One of the interesting ones is the Fallen. It is a template to be applied to Outsiders, more specifically good Outsiders that have well fallen to the evil side of things. There is the Degenerate Template that represents a creature in isolation or part diet that weakens a bit but becomes more unpredictable of its kind. There is the Metalvore template that represents a creature that eats metals much to the fear of fighters and clerics everywhere. I really like the example creature they use applying this template to a bulette. I also really like the picture of this thing as well. There are pages and pages of interesting possibilities and cool ideas in this book.

This is a book that I and lots of other people get a lot of use of. The only comparable book is the Advanced Bestiary by Green Ronin which is another nice collection of templates. I do use the Book of Templates more though. But in reality both are very important in my quest for new and unique creatures to make my players lives more interesting and deadly. This book has a PDF and book version making it very versatile coming in the format the person will find most useful. This is a great book and about as close to a must have in the realms of fantasy d20 game books as we see.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Book of Templates - Deluxe Edition 3.5
Publisher: Silverthorne Games
by Shane O. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/30/2006 00:00:00

The Book of Templates Deluxe Edition 3.5 is from Silverthorne Games, being the latest (and most likely final) incarnation of the original Book of Templates. This book offers a wealth of new material, beyond a truckload of new monster templates, for your Fantasy d20 game.

The product contains two files. The first is the full-color version, weighing in at almost 7.5 megabytes. This version has borders along the pages, colored headers, and tables that are shaded. The printer-friendly version eliminates all this, and is just over 5.5 megs. Both versions contain a full-color cover and black and white interior artwork. Both have bookmarks and a hyperlinked table of contents, and a page of ads at the end, as well as the OGL.

The Book of Templates offers, as mentioned, far more than mere templates. The first chapter offers a wealth of advice regarding building monsters, outshining the Monster Manual by far in terms of summing up building monsters. It gives the layout of each template, reiterates the features of each monster type, covers things that alter the monsters stats (such as size), and goes over how to calculate CR and level adjustment. That?s a heck of a lot for just one chapter, and doesn?t even mention the sidebars.

Chapters two through thirteen are organized by type. This usually covers creature type, such as Aberrations, Outsiders, etc. A few chapters are more thematic though, such as Augmentation, a chapter which covers all sorts of templates that have no related theme beyond increasing the creature?s power. Most of the monsters have a piece of art depicting them, and all of the templates have an example creature that showcases what the template can do; in many cases (utilizing a tip given in chapter one) the monster is given a new name, with the understanding that all monsters of that kind with that template are part of a new species. Altogether, there are over sixty templates in the book, many also feature variants. Sidebars with additional information dot the chapters.

Appendix I offers additional new crunch. It has a few new skills (such as Craft (taxidermy)), new feats (such as Cross training, which lets you make two cross-class skills into class skills), and new spells. While there are only a handful of new skills and feats, the new spells number several dozen, and all relate to the enclosed templates thematically, if not directly.

Altogether, The Book of Templates Deluxe 3.5 offers a spectacular array of ways to vary your existing monsters, and expertly gives you the tools and advice for doing so. This book is nothing short of a toolkit that offers an endless variety of material for your game. There are few, if any, better products out there for giving familiar monsters a deadly new edge. <br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: The format and layout was stellar. The size Tables went up to Titanic, which is the new name for Colossal+. The product presented a wealth of ideas as well as tools and advice for how to make those ideas possible.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: One minor point was how, on the size table, the AC/attack penalty for Titanic was -12 instead of -16; it ignored the cascading penalty from previous sizes. Also, a lot of chapter one reprinted material from the Monster Manual, such as size information, the qualities of various monster types, etc. Some may find that a waste of space.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Book of Templates - Deluxe Edition 3.5
Publisher: Silverthorne Games
by Jason S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/28/2005 00:00:00

First off I fel templates are one of the best things to come out of d20 "monster..." lines. They offer limitless variety but adding to what you already have at hand. With this volume you get plenty of original ideas that will inspire creativity and adventure. Some of my personal favorites are:

Hiveling - a gestalt organism that thrives in numbers and possesses a terrifying hive mind.

Legion - an enlarged monster that can give "birth" to smaller members of its own race.

Apocalyptic - an ideal end of campaign/epic level beast taht can easilly form the focus of many adventures by itself.

The only criticism I could offer is that the sheer number of templates mean that some do lack creativity - for example the Nettlecloud vermin - this template turns an ordinary spider into a bird eating spider(capable send a cloud of irritating hairs at a foe.

If you are a DM in need of monsters don't go out and get the pesky and expensive monster manuals buy this instead! You will not be dissapointed.<br><br><b>LIKED</b>: The sheer number and variety of templates offered, all hyperlinked in the contents and given an example creature The starting section on monster/template construction and use. The ideas it inspires!!!<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: If anything this book needs ART. Its always good to have a picture to illustrate the ideas presented in a monster tome, and while less necessary in a book of templates it still adds to the "feel".<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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