101 unique properties to apply to magical armor or shields comprise the entirety of this book with the exception of some very nice interior art. This book begins with a table listing each property with its price modifier, either in gp or in equivalent magical bonus (utilizing the costs for such in the Core Rules). I like the ability to pick from this chart some nice armor properties to make my home campaign rewards be unique. This book is pure gold for those wanting to add a unique property rather than the old, overused, and rather boring +1 (or higher) AC.
One huge negative for me was the complete lack of some explanation of how or why each property works the way it does. For example: the first property described is the Absorbent Resistance. This is a property added to a shield that allows the shield to completely block a single melee attack using the combat maneuver rules. If the CMB succeeds the attack is negated and the opponent’s turn is ended, (in addition to other features). What I want to know is what about this magic shield causes this to occur? Is there a magical force field that extends outward from the shield to engulf the opponent, at least temporarily? It is made of some special sovereign-like glue that impedes the opponent’s actions? Why does it work this way? I know for my own games I do not and cannot simply hand wave things. The “it works because it’s magic” explanation doesn’t work on them. I’ve tried that in the past and it was met with scorn and indignation on the part of my players who (bless their greedy souls) want reasons for things. Some call that fluff or something similar as if to downgrade its importance. I consider these to be more important than any mechanic or rule. Now, I can make up my own reasons, but I might not have the time to do that. I realize that this would add to the book and potentially make it impossible to do 101 of them, thus negating the reason for assigning it to the 101 series. So I suspect that I will have to be content. And add content as I pick and choose the properties to apply to the rewards I hand out to my players.
I do realize that not everyone plays with my types of players. Most are content with the cool factor of what the property does and won’t ask why. For the GMs of those kinds of players this supplement is worth every bit of 5 stars. The artwork inside is nice and makes me want to print, cut out and post to 3x5 cards to write the armor descriptions, make up a few names for them and hand them out to my players as they find them. I am really not a big fan of the cover art however. It looks a bit too World of Warcrafty in the impossibly huge armor pieces. So I’m not a fan of that piece of art.
Given my reservations, but taking into account the nice array of properties nicely presented, I am giving this 4 stars.
[4 of 5 Stars!]