An Endzeitgeist.com review
This installment of the Occult Skill Guide-series clocks in at 9 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
This review was moved up in my reviewing queue as a prioritized review.
So, one of the most unique components of the Xa-Osoro setting shared by Everyman Gaming and Rogue Genius Games would be blood space – and as such, the first page, beyond the introduction, offers us an encyclopedia-style summary of blood madness. The strange phenomenon was bred by the death of a star, the viscera of the dead sun Osoro. Its properties are thought to be linked to the abyss, and as such, the gigantic, interstellar pollution, is pretty nasty. The pdf provides a couple of different effects blood space had on different planets, which pretty much jumpstarted my imagination from the get-go.
Now, the next two pages provide all the rules that govern how corruptions work in Starfinder, but since I already explained the mechanics in my review of the excellent Occult Skill Guide: Classic Corruptions, I won’t repeat myself here and bore you – plus, I REALLY want to dive into the corruption!
Blood madness has Will as the associated save, and Charisma as the associated ability score; you may acquire this corruption through direct exposure or e.g. hemihigh (see Pop Culture Catalog: Vice Dens); at the latent stage, exposure nets you 1d6 corruption points, and the corruption actually progresses at the rate of 1 point per day, making it a ticking timebomb! The victims’ eyes start glowing red in the dark (cool), and their alignment drifts slowly towards Chaotic Evil. How to get rid of it? Well, ouch. You have to go to a righteous deity’s font, scoured until they reach 0 Hit Points and starts dying. Each round while thus close to death, the victim can spend 1 Resolve Point INSTEAD of stabilizing to roll a Will save. This reduces corruption points by 1d4. The victim remains dying, but does not die for failing to spend Resolve Points due to this. This is…BRUTAL. You really don’t want to get into a serious blood madness addiction! At stages 1 and 2 of the corruption, the character gains a mutation, and 3rd stage lets you choose either ferocity (or ferocious charge, if they already have ferocity) or another mutation. The final stage nets full-blown CE outsider apotheosis.
What mutations can you find? Well, there is a 28-entry d%-table, not counting the GM’s choice entry, and from becoming a tiefling to getting wings, climb speed (called, probably in a nod to Outlast, “Wall Rider”), a fluid form, a 1st-level polymorph form, you can become a shapechanger, become more resilient – these benefits are serious – and they should be, considering how brutal the corruption is!
Editing and formatting are very good on a formal and rules-language level. Layout adheres to the series’ neat two-column full-color standard, and Jacob Blackmon’s artwork is really awesome this time around, easily one of my favorite pieces from his pen! The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.
Alexander Augunas provides a huge piece of the cool Xa-Osoro puzzle here, and it doesn’t disappoint! The corruption is brutal, visceral and tempting, a magical affliction and corruption that made me grin indeed, and its presence alone should provide a TON of adventure hooks for PCs and enemies alike; why did they turn violent? Blood madness. Fighting the corruption and its spread, taking care of spreading influence, etc. – I love this. Considering how stoked I am for the upcoming Grimmerspace setting and the possible crossovers with Xa-Osoro, this definitely will see a lot of use. Verdict? 5 stars + seal of approval, no doubt.
[5 of 5 Stars!]