Snap Judgment Review: Age of Electrotech
Disclaimer: This review is based on initial read through and impressions. Balanced concerns are touched on lightly.
Chapter One presents the Technician, a new 20 level base class designed around using the tech in this book. It is a 6 level “casting” class. The Technician uses Gadgets, which give bonuses using a point pool and 6 levels of Tinkers, effectively spells. Tinkers and Gadgets draw from the same pool. These choices are made at the start of the day. It feels like a cross between Incarna (or Essence if you follow Dreamscarred Press Akashic material) and a prepared Psionic – where you allocate your points at the start of the day. To be honest it would be pretty easy to reflavor this with magic for a more traditional settings – Gadgets are magic items, and Tinkers are spells, or maybe one time use magic items – to have a D&D 3.5 Artificer like class in your game.
This class has mechanical depth, flexibility and great flavor. There are numerous archetypes, and the class itself has Trades, or paths the Electrotech follows, for greater flavor and role definition. Note that one of the archetypes is a class that deals with symbiotes instead of gadgets.
This is one of the most flavorful classes I have seen in quite a while. Looks very fun to play.
The next 2 chapters deal with tech, and then the Gadgets that an Technician uses. It is a good collection to get you started. Personally I'd like to see more in an expansion, but I'm greedy.
The last chapter deals with game mechanics outside of the class: 2 new races, skill use, advice on how to work the systems into your game. Here we have Favored Class for every class before the Advanced Class guide; and the Technician has favored class bonuses for every race in the Advanced Race Guide. Also included is a history generator for use in the class section of Character History from the Ultimate Campaign Guide; there is support for buildings, towns and kingdom building from the same book, utilizing Electrotech. This level of support for the more “fringe” books is something you don't see very much from Third Party support, and it really should be done more often. Kudos to Radiance House for doing this – here is hoping more publishes take this approach. I would have loved to see Mythic content too, but as I said, I'm greedy.
Included is advice on how to include electrotech in your games, and at what level in impacts the world. The default nomenclature creates a feel for a pulp style approach, I'm using it for a steampunk feel, but change the names to real world names and it is perfect for modern settings – thus allowing for a broader use of the material.
I saw two or three minor editing mistakes.
The layout is easy to read, the art evokes the material.
Overall an excellent book and highly recommended.
P.S. If you use Interjection Game's Tinker class, the work Tinker gets multiple definition, I would humbly suggest the word “Widget” for the one time use effect items that a Technician uses.
[5 of 5 Stars!]