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17 Monk Feats
by Derek K. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/18/2006 00:00:00
The monk is a strong melee class, but "17 Monk Feats" doesn't focus solely on the combat aspects of the class. Instead, writer James "Grim" Desborough has put together a selection of feats devotes to expanding the monk in all the aspects of the Dungeons & Dragons game, not just the hand-to-hand abilities of the class.

(Purchase of this supplement includes both a printer-friendly version of this product as well as a landscape version. For purposes of this review, the landscape version was used.)

Of the non-combat-related feats, Ascetic (which grants the monk a bonus to Fort and Will saves, as well as cutting the monk's need for food and drink in half), Calm Aura (which creates a zone of "peace and serenity" around the monk, preventing characters from using 'rage' or 'frenzy' class abilities within 25 feet of him or her) and Healing Breath (which allows the monk to, through the use of practiced and calming breath, heal ability damage and hit points) stand out.

The monk can be a devastating combatant as well, and "17 Monk Feats" does not forget that. No Mind (which allows the monk to slip into a trance-like state at the beginning of combat, gaining a bonus to attack roles and his or her Armor class at the expense of having access to his or her martial art-like abilities) and Steel Fist Technique (which grants the monk's fists extreme hardness and durability, allowing the monk's unarmed attack double the normal Strength modifier to damage) are exceptional, and available to first-level monks. However, the two feats that have my most attention are Improvisation (which allows the monk to use an obvious non-weapon - the examples given are a towel, a milking stool and a cowbell - as a weapon, complete with the statistics of the closest "real weapon" available, but with only a -1 penalty to hit) and Striking Scorpion (which allows the monk to sacrifice a hit point to be able to hit an opponent first in combat).

This is a solid supplement - easy to read and instantly usable without overpowering the monk class.




LIKED: There is a good variety of material here, and DMs and players will find that this supplement only adds to the monk's options without overpowering the class. The layout is easy to follow, and the feats' benefits and descriptions are easy to understand.

DISLIKED: There are a few typos throughout the document.

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Very Satisfied

[THIS REVIEW WAS EDITED]


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
17 Monk Feats
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17 Ranger Spells
by Derek K. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/11/2006 00:00:00
Rangers may be heavy hitters when it comes to adventuring; they're melee-ready, their base attack bonus equals the fighter's, and their saving throws make them quite durable. At 4th-level, they also gain the ability to cast spells, but their spell list can be viewed as a bit limiting. "17 Ranger Spells" adds a few new functional spells to the ranger's spell list. Instead of halfway aping the druid's spell list, the ranger now has some ranger-specific spells that can add to the utility of the class even more so than its class abilities already have.

(The Le Games includes two versions of "17 Ranger Spells" with those download - a printer-friendly version and a landscape version. For purposes of this review, the landscape version has been used.)

"17 Ranger Spells" begins by introducing the Book of the Woodsman, a ranger-specific spell book. Hidden in the woods, this spellbook can only be found by rangers (or the occasional druid if the woodland animals guiding the druid to its location promises to deliver it to a ranger). Resistant to the elements, the book confers no additional benefits to the ranger character unless one of the GM's options is used in your game (the options include granting additional spells per day, granting a 1st level spell to a non-spellcasting ranger or even bestowing upon the character a bonus 10,000 experience points).

The spells are presented according to level. There are four 1st-level spells: "ambidexterity" grants the ranger the benefit of the Two-Weapon Fighting feat (or Improved Two-Weapon Fighting if the character already has the prior feat/ability) as well as a few other benefits to balance and tumble checks); "eyes of the eagle," which improves the ranger's sight and grants him or her additional range with a ranged weapon as well as a bonus to Spot checks; "heal the land" grants all natural creatures (undead are not affected) an immediate hit point of healing within a particular radius of the ranger; and "natural shelter" allows the ranger to create, as the name of the spell states, a natural shelter that can comfortably hold a number of people equal to the ranger's level.

There are also four 2nd-level spells: "detect poacher" allows the ranger to experience the last few moments of a poached animal's life, allowing him or her to identify its killer; "enemy shield" grants the same affect of "invisibility" to a ranger and his or her allies, but in regard to the ranger's favored enemy; "favored strike" grants the ranger a bonus to strike opponents belonging the ranger's favored enemy; and "free animals" returns domesticated or guard animals to a more free-willed state, as well as allows the ranger and his or her allies to be treated as friendly by the animal.

"Borrow animal ability" is the first of the four 3rd-level spells, and it grants the ranger a touched natural animal's ability (speed, climbing ability, etc.); "nature's armory" allows the ranger to turn natural debris (branches, rocks, moss, etc.) into armor and weaponry; "resume decay" works against the magical forces keeping (corporeal) undead creatures from rotting into uselessness, causing 1d6 hit points of damage per ranger level (this spell also affects flesh golems, and, strangely, lycanthropes); and "summon wave" calls upon a water source to cause damage to a ranger's foes, the amount and affect of damage based upon the source of water (a pond may blind up to three opponents whereas a large lake can cause 2d6 hit points of damage and may sweep the opponents into the lake afterward).

A ranger can call out to the animal kingdom for help with "animal assistant," the first of this supplement's five 4th-level spells, by summoning the nearest available natural animal for assistance; "earth's armory" is similar to "nature?s armory," but uses mud and dirt instead of sticks and twigs, and confers a magical enhancement to the created items as well; "enemy slayer" is a powerful spell (castable only by a ranger of 19th-level or higher) that enchants a ranger's weapon so that the next time he or she strikes a favored enemy, that favored enemy must make a Will save or die; "nature's roar" allows the ranger to gather energy from surrounding animals and then use that energy to deliver a massive roar causing 1d6 points of damage per ranger level; and "quicksand" creates permanent quicksand.

The supplement also includes a number of baubles and urus of ancient power, forms of magic items created by The Le Games that can enhance weapons or armor and grant them new abilities. I'm not a fan of the baubles and urus, however, one can immediately tell that many of these are designed for use by the ranger.

Overall, because "17 Ranger Spells" can add new flavor to the ranger by allowing him or her to have access to ranger-specific spells, I would recommend this supplement. Writers Tony DiGerolamo and The Le have crafted some well-balanced spells that would enhance an already powerful player character class without making him or her too overpowered.


LIKED: This is a well-designed supplement, and is incredibly easy to use. Also, that a printer-friendly version and a landscape version of the same material is included is greatly appreciated.

Additionally, The Le Games typically includes applicable material from the System Reference Document in their products. "17 Ranger Spells" concludes with the material for the actual ranger class, and the "ambidexterity" spell includes the material for the Two-Weapon Fighting and Improved Two-Weapon Fighting feats. The more a product eliminates the need to have more than a couple rulebooks at the table, the better.

DISLIKED: I'm not a fan of the baubles or urus, and could have done without them in this supplement.

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
17 Ranger Spells
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17 Bard Spells
by Chris G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/20/2006 00:00:00
17 Bard Spells

Bard spells seem to have the most flavor and depth. The class has a solid foundation for its archtype more so then any of the other major casters except perhaps the Druid. The spells though are less combat oriented many times and this can cause problems for some groups. I am not one of them so I lo0ok at this product with high favor because of the ways it can help expand the Bard to even more non combat bits of fun.

17 Bard Spells is another in a long series of PDFs by The Le Games. The PDFs have a nice lay out and come in a variety of options so they can be used on screen, printed out, and even use the copy and past options. The Le Games seems to be the only or one of the few that still makes multiple files versions of his books.

17 Bard Spells is a book that gives one seventeen new bard spells. These spells I find to be more creative and a better fit then many other bard spells. They are the types of spells that a player can get creative with but not the type that are going to be useful in a dungeon crawl. The rules on some of them are a little odd and could use some refining. But I think a player that enjoys a bard for being a bard will really get a kick out of many of these spells.

The book is in itself a magical bard book so it has a built in simple way to get these spells to a bard player. It is a neat idea but since bards do not learn spells like a Wizard and are so limited to the amount of known spells I think something better could have been done here. The three cantrips are all pretty interesting. The first is groom which is a good idea since it cleans someone. It does it better then prestidigitation does. Invitation is very creative spell that creates invitations to invite people to a Bard?s performance or something like that. It is a spell that can easily bring new plot lines to the party. The last cantrip is Switch and it switches whatever is in two places like buckets. I can see it being useful for con games and the like.

Of the first level spells the first seems a bit powerful. Honest Aura allows bluff checks to succeed unless a natural one, two, or three is rolled. There are spells that just give bonuses to bluff and I think those are just easier to deal with. Walking Echo is a simple illusion that will help a Bard avoid pursuers.

Seductive Kiss is a second level spell that is a far more interesting version of Charm Person. I would love to see some of the classic spells done like this with more flavor and character in them.

Those are some of the fun spells in here. Not all of them are great and many will take a more clever player to find a fun and good use for them. For people wanting Bards to have more bard like spells and not just the occasional wizard spell that kind of fits their niche; this book is for you.



LIKED: Creative spells

DISLIKED: Rules not always the best

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
17 Bard Spells
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Coupons & Feats
by jon w. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/15/2006 00:00:00
Okay lets get this out the way...I didn't get this for the coupons. Coupons are good (never seen a bad coupon. So the coupons in this pdf get a thumbs, because they are coupons and saving money is always good.

Now onto the feats, since there six I will break it down feat by feat.

Animal Defender 4/5
A very good feat, prerequisites low (only one). It helps add value to ranger or druid's animal companion. Useful when combine with aid another for attack bonus. Unfortunaly it can't be used with flanking.

Bardic Scream 4/5
A good feat, of course its for bards. This feat is very good if you run out of spells and party has already received your buffs. Now your party won't mind that you scream like a girl at the sign of danger. Since it's sonic damage it if very good for breaking objects as well as ears.

Blood Casting 2/5
A good idea, this need to made into a prestige class not a single feat. A lot of dice for very little in benefit. "But it can increase the DC of my spells"...Well so can spell penetration and the greater version of that and it's not random. This is good feat if you like to roll dice or are a wild mage.

Critical Smite 3.5/5
A good feat, now you can put the smack down on the netural baddies in the world.
Use with a sap to knock out the villian neutral guards with out losing you powers.

Raging Shout 3.5/5
A good feat for helping your allies (who doesn't want temporary hit points and will save bonuses). You can't rage if you use this ability, but you also don't get tired after using this ability.

Spontaneous Luck 5/5
What, now there is a use for those level-0 spell slots beyond 5th level. "Oh crap I rolled a 1 on my reflex save...*poff*...no I didn't." Personally I think this is way too good to give clerics this. It should have been made with a number of times per day.




LIKED: Free, some Good Feats, coupons

DISLIKED: Blood casting

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Coupons & Feats
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NEO RANGERS: The Spider King
by Chris G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/05/2006 00:00:00
Neo Rangers

Neo Rangers takes the ranger class and gives it change in concept. Unlike many other alternative rangers though, this one goes someplace new into the spider?s domain. That is new and different and creative. There are still interesting things that can be done to the core classes and I like that this book takes us there.

Neo Rangers: The Spider King is a book by The Le who is the also the owner of the company The Le Games. The PDF is seventy pages long and has a nice and clear lay out. It uses some good clip art that really helps the pages flow visually. There is an on screen version and a print version of the PDF. It is easy to read and to use. The book is also nicely book marked.

Neo Ranger: the Spider King presents a new version of the ranger core class. It is very much like the ranger going up to twenty levels. It still has spells and many of the core abilities like favored enemy are still there. The creativity of a ranger based on spiders though does not match the mechanics. In place of the archer or two weapon fighting style this ranger gets Arachnid Style Combat. It is more defensive granting a bonus to AC and a miss chance. I like the defense style but I do not feel is very spider like. I also think more could have been done to make this class different from the ranger. I like the inclusion of a spider for an animal companion and the alternative spell list from a normal ranger. It just needed more to make it mechanically different. Detail wise, the class is well described and I like the beginning where it talks about the alignment and gods of a typical spider king. It is obvious the concept is very solid and well thought out.

The book also reprints the track and endurance feat which that class gets. It also reprints the spider climb as it is another ability the class gets. The class does have spell casting ability but it is a little weaker then the normal ranger. The Spider King will only be able to cast two plus bonus spells of each spell level one through four. The normal Ranger eventually gets three plus bonus spells. The Spider King because of that and some of the other things does seem weaker then a standard ranger.

The Neo Ranger: the Spider King is a nice and refreshing piece of creativity. I think mechanically the class can be better and stronger but I really enjoy the writing and the concept is very strong. The Le makes sure that most of what a person needs if in his PDFs with the inclusion of feats and spells that the class specifically uses. I really like that. This will make a good addition as a character for someone looking for a character a little different and strange and not necessarily one that is a powerhouse.



LIKED: THe creativity of the concept and writing

DISLIKED: Mechanics ar ea little weak and do not fully support the concept

QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
NEO RANGERS: The Spider King
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Unorthodox Paladins
by Neil W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/29/2006 00:00:00
Decent and fairly well written. I liked it a lot.
A follow up would be great.

QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Unorthodox Paladins
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UNORTHODOX Rogues
by Neil W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/29/2006 00:00:00
I liked this item a lot.
Rogues are my favorite class and it was rather useful for me.

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
UNORTHODOX Rogues
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17 Magic Shields
by Derek K. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/19/2006 00:00:00
Eytan Bernstein is the author behind The Le Games' "17 Magic Shields," a product that is misnamed as it actually contains eighteen magic shields and two artifacts for your Dungeons & Dragons game.

Before getting into the shields themselves, however (and after a few random treasure generation tables), writer Bernstein introduces a new type of shield enchantment. The 'reprimand' enchantment allows a shield to react to an opponent's deflected attack when that opponent's attack role misses making a solid hit due to the shield's AC bonus. The reprimand power may cause an opponent to become fatigued (as with the 'fatiguing reprimand' enchantment) or stun and deafen a opponent (as with the 'thundering reprimand' enchantment).

There is a good mix of interesting shield enchantments here (like 'hypnotic,' which can dazzle and fascinate an opponent for 1d4 rounds; or 'silence,' which creates a ten-foot zone of silence around the shield bearer), as well as specific shields (like the 'aegis of force,' a light shield that can absorb 'magic missile' attacks and increase its AC bonus until it releases the 'magic missiles' as attacks of its own; or the 'shield of conviction,' which grants a +2 to the bearer's caster level for abjuration spells and grants a +2 bonus to turn and rebuke undead checks).

The final two items in this supplement - artifacts from the kingdom of Molary - are two powerful shields that either cause severe damage with powerful shield spikes or can add bonuses to damage and attack roles, increase critical threat ranges or even cause a shockwave within a 20-foot radius that may knock opponents prone.

The variety of shields in this supplement is wide; there are artifacts included, but this is not a high-end magic product. Instead, The Le Games and Eytan Bernstein have created a collection of varying levels of shield enchantments and specific shield types.

The .pdf is well-formatted and laid out, and the clip art choices fit the product. With the exception of some clunky wording describing the previously mentioned 'aegis of force,' "17 Magic Shields" is a competently-produced product that players and DMs will find affordable and usable.




LIKED: This is an affordable product that introduces a variety of different enchantment and shield types to your Dungeons & Dragons game. The production and layout of this supplement is top-notch, and the material is easy to use and incorporate into your existing or new game or campaign.

DISLIKED: There is a bit of clunkiness to some of the wording describing some of the shields' effects (specifically the 'aegis of force'), but it is not enough to detract from the obvious value of this product.

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Very Satisfied

[THIS REVIEW WAS EDITED]


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
17 Magic Shields
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NEO PALADINS: The Martyr
by Nathan C. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/14/2006 00:00:00
How many times have you wished that the overly goody too-shoes, righteous lawful good paladin in your party take his +3 Holy Sword of annoying right through his oh so hollow plate mail. With Le Games Neo Paladins: The Martyr, the paladin can off himself and it?s a good thing for the party.

The Martyr turns the Paladin class into more cleric than fighter. The class is given the full core class treatment as with all of Le Games Neo class series. Though the dismissal of the Paladin mount and increase in healing abilities are positive aspects of the class, the class seems to fall into average category at later levels. With the lowered base attack it begins to feel more like a high powered cleric than a healing Paladin.

The Martyr does a great job of using the lay on hands ability of the paladin as the signature skill for the class, Stigmatic Touch. With Stigmatic Touch, you are able to heal damage to comrades at the expense of health to yourself. This ability is enhanced at later levels to include ability restoration. The big 20 level ability, Sacrificial Lamb provides mechanics for a paladin to take his own life and restore another persons.

For the DM
The Martyr fills the need of a balanced warrior priest nicely, though I would be to use such a powerful healing class as a main party NPC, I could see a good use for the class being used as helpful retired warrior priests in villages and cities.

For the Player
If the party is missing a healer but you want to play more of a warrior class, this may be a good route to go. The healing abilities are strong enough to keep the party going and you could use feats to boost your combat prowess.

The Iron Word
The Martyr is a solid class and should be commended for gutting the paladin class and adding some more useful healing abilities to it. The class, however, seems a bit more warrior-cleric than paladin variant in the end with the low base attack. I also would have liked to see something that removed the lawful good restriction of the class considering the major differences from the normal paladin.



LIKED: - Nice healing skills
- good job in taking out the garbage

DISLIKED: - felt more fighter/cleric


QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
NEO PALADINS: The Martyr
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NEO RANGERS: The Spider King
by Nathan C. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/14/2006 00:00:00
Le Games? NeoRangers: SpiderKing provides players a class that DungeonMasters have been dreading for a long time, the ability to play Spiderman in your d20 game. Maybe not the good ole Marvel copyrighted Spiderman, but with a few feats here and some well picked spells there, ? throw a bunch of ranks into use rope, you could very well play a web slinging, spider like ranger in your game.

The SpiderKing is a useful core class that adds a twinging variant to the core Ranger class. As with most Neo classes, the class has been well gutted, tossing abilities such as Wild Empathy for spider flavored skills. The cool thing is that the class build is pretty much still intact. Spells still start off at fourth level and you still get an animal companion. The book missed a great opportunity there in not developing a series of spider related companions. But that is one of the few spider enhancing opportunity?s the book did miss out on.

Arachnid style replaces the rangers other two combat styles with an ability that improves the rangers senses and increases his AC. Improved forms of this ability appear at later levels that increase the AC. The style does not seem equivalent to the potent feats that the rangers styles provide you. This is mostly do to the -2 penalty to attack and damage instituted when you use the style. Also included is a Sixth Sense ability that allows players a percentage chance to miss attacks. This is an excellent flavored ability that makes up for the lame penalties form the Arachnid Style.

For the Dungeon Master
The flavor of the class is so rich you could very well be inspired to include a race of spider like rangers in your next game session.

For the Player
Two-words.
S-P-I-D-E-R
M-A-N

The Iron Word
Classes like this are built on its abilities and how well they replace the ones taken out. The Arachnid style is nice, but does not compare to precise shot and two weapon fighting in terms of combat prowess. The sixth sense ability is excellent as is several of the later level spider abilities. Some unique spells or animal companions could have pushed this into being a more dynamic class.



LIKED: - Great flavor
- Sixth Sense ability rocks

DISLIKED: - Combat style is not a suitable replacement for ranged and two weapo nfighting
- Needed a touch more specific spells and feats

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
NEO RANGERS: The Spider King
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17 Plants
by Derek H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/29/2006 00:00:00
A useful collection for those who want to increase the value of herbalism. A few (3-4) plants were not very interesting to me, but that is obviously subjective.


LIKED: Converts to Atlas' Occult Lore's herbalism rules fairly easily.

QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
17 Plants
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17 Bard Spells
by Andrew B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/28/2006 00:00:00
The poor, misunderstood bard. He doesn't get much love...or respect. He's a support class without much support, and I'm always glad to see new bard related supplements.

To this end, The Le Games gives the bard their ?17? treatment, which usually means that the book in question contains more than 17 of whatever it offers. In this case, however, the precedent has been broken. 17 Bard Spells actually contains 17 Bard Spells. As with the rest of The Le's products, these new rules come at a very inexpensive price. This book is also one of the better looking products I've seen from this publisher. A lot of the art looks like clip art, but its GOOD clip art. The layout is simple but clear, with nice bookmarking throughout.

17 Bard Spells presents its new spells as part of an item called ?the manual of the minstrel.? This is a spellbook with a very clever illusion-based security feature. There is also a magical journal hidden in the back of the book where previous owners have detailed their exploits. These are neat ideas, but one obvious question comes to mind: what use do bards, who are spontaneous casters, have for a spell book? The rules answer this by giving characters that possess the book a number of bonus spells per day. Not bad, but it still doesn't fully answer the problem that bards can't really learn spells from books. Finally, the book grants a HUGE experience award to anyone that reads it, making it somewhat on par (though not quite) with a minor artifact. That's not a flaw, but it does make the book harder to drop into any given campaign.

I'm either hot or cold on most of the spells. Spells like Switch (which allows the caster to magically swap the contents of two containers) and Perfect Addiction aren't overtly powerful, but they could certainly be put to good use by a clever player.

Other spells seem too close to existing core spells. Silent Sneak, for example, is probably workable, but it fills a niche already covered by Silence. Seductive Kiss, as far as I can tell, is just Charm Person with a flavorful descriptor.

There are also a few spells that are either too powerful or just oddly designed. Honesty Aura is way too powerful for a 1st level spell. It basically grants the bard an 85% chance of succeeding at every Bluff check for a number of minutes, regardless of the skill ranks of the bard or his targets. It is a clunky spell, and it doesn't work within the standard d20 rules at all.

Improvised Spell is a good idea, but it lacks mechanics. Basically, it allows you to just make a spell up on the spot, without giving much instruction on how to adjudicate this. A secondary effect allows the bard to cast this spell to duplicate the effects of a lower level spell.

Overall, though, there are some clever spells in this book. Like the bard itself, these bard spells are not overly powerful, but they offer a creative player a lot of options.


LIKED: With 17 spells at a mere $2 and change, 17 Bard Spells is certainly worth the download. Creative players and GMs will find a couple spells usable right out of the box, and the rest should work fine with a little tweaking. Even the poorest of the spells in this collection should serve as inspiration for a GM looking to make some homebrew bard spells.

DISLIKED: The Ley continues to play fast and loose with d20 rules. A few of these spells are just poorly designed. Thankfully, these are in the minority.

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
17 Bard Spells
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17 Bard Spells
by Derek K. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/22/2006 00:00:00
The Manual of the Minstrel contains 17 bard-specific spells. It is a brightly-colored book that appears quite useless to non-bard characters, but when a bard uses it, or even approaches it, its supposed power is made quite clear. The drawings inside dissuade non-bards from the text within; the bell attached to the bookmarker rings for bards but ignores other classes. The spells are obvious bard-centric.

Tony DiGerolamo is the writer of ?17 Bard Spells,? and the 7 levels of bard spells are all represented here (although in some cases, there is only one new spell for some of the higher spell levels).

The spells are all certainly playable and usable; most the material is well-balanced, but some spell schools seemed a bit questionable (I don?t know if ?instant hangover? really should belong to the necromancy school).

Some of these spells, especially the earlier-level spells, seemed more annoying than useful. While it certainly may be interesting for a bard to be able to cast ?invitation? and instantly create and send a number of invitations to his or her upcoming performance, I don?t know how often a spell like this would be used in a gaming session. ?Perfect addiction? allows the bard to cause a target to become addicted to an item (food or drink) or activity (like gambling), and while this certainly may produce some interesting in-game scenarios, I don?t know how often a player will chose to use this spell at the table (especially with the accompanying 100 gp cost). (Although I could see how some of these spells could be used by a DM/NPC to interesting result.)

Spells like ?roadside repast,? which creates a feast for the bard and his or her companions, or ?the amazing escape trick,? which allows the bard to instantly teleport to a prepared safe location at the utterance of a trigger word (spoken by someone other than the bard), might be more useful in the hands, or spellbook, of a PC.

?Improvised spell? is one of the final spells in the Manual of the Minstrel. Its description is a bit vague; a bard can use this spell to ?make up a 1st to 3rd level spell on the spot.? There is little direction given to help players and DMs in determining just what a 1st level spell would be, versus a 2nd or 3rd level spell. Something like this is just too open-ended for a structured spellbook.

Overall, ?17 Bard Spells? is a nice package, and if nothing else, can provide the DM with a few ideas for interesting NPC spellcasting.


LIKED: This is a nicely-structured package; The Le Games is notorious for putting together products that are easy to read and use, and "17 Bard Spells" is no exception. And for ease of use, the bard class listing is listed in an appendix at the back of the supplement.

DISLIKED: Some of the clip art artwork has appeared in other gaming supplements, and the type of artwork was inconsistent.

As for the content, I don't know how useful some of this would be for players. "17 Bard Spells" might be better targetted at DMs.

A spell list at the beginning of the supplement and incorporating these spells in the the bard class listing in the supplement would have been appreciated.

QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
NEO FIGHTERS: The Fire Knight
by Derek K. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/22/2006 00:00:00
?Neo Fighters: The Fire Knight? is The Le Games? latest entry in their Neo Class line, and as the title suggests, writers Christopher Sniezak and The Le present a variant fighter class called the fire knight, a warrior who?s mastered the fiery passion within and has learned to project it in a variety of offensive and defensive ways.

This download includes two versions of ?Neo Fighters: The Fire Knight? ? a landscape version of the .pdf and a printer-friendly version. For the most part, the printer-friendly version of this supplement was used for purposes of this review.

The fire knight is a 20-level playable class designed for the PC in mind (although there is enough descriptive material, or ?fluff,? to inspire DMs when it comes to creating interesting NPCs). This is a variant fighter class; the writers don?t forget this with the base attack bonus and saving throw progression. But instead of picking up a new bonus feat every other level, the fire knight earns some very specific class abilities.

From the start, the fire knight gains fire resistance (he or she starts with fire resistance equal to his or her level, but at 12th level, the resistance equals the fire knight level?s x one-and-a-half). At second level, the fire knight bonds with a chosen weapon, using the ?soul sword? class ability. As the fire knight progresses in level, the abilities tied into the soul sword increase, starting with gaining a bonus to Search checks and moving up to being able to cast ?scorching ray? through the weapon. Eventually, the fire knight?s bonded weapon becomes a ?flaming burst weapon? and can even fire fireballs.

Eventually, once the fire knight reaches his or her 20th level, he or she can cause an opponent?s blood to boil over and instantaneously combust, causing 10d10 points of fire damage. (This class ability rightly belongs at the 20th level mark.)

This is a well-balanced class, and while it doesn?t introduce any tweaks or additions to the core D&D game mechanics like some of the other Neo Class products, ?Neo Fighters: The Fire Knight? presents an interesting class nonetheless, and definitely deserves a look. There are a few minor grammatical and typographical errors in the document itself, but the supplement is still instantly easy to use and even incorporate into your existing game.



LIKED: This is a solid product, and the descriptive text for the fire knight (pun intended) sparks more than a few ideas for interesting PCs and NPCs.

DISLIKED: There are a few typograchical errors throughout the document, but perhaps the most off-putting element of this document is the first page of the printer-friendly version of the supplement; it is a near-full-page ad for Politically Incorrect Games' Disposable Heroes Paper Minis. If you're not careful where you click on this page, your internet browser will be hijacked and you'll be taken to Politically Incorrect Games' website. This was quite frustrating.

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
NEO FIGHTERS: The Fire Knight
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Publisher Reply:
Thanks for the comments! We are happy to work with Politically Incorrect Games and we were very pleased with the Disposable Heroes (DH) product they provided to us. The DH attachment actually features *four* heroes that can be used in any fantasy campaign! Note that DH is only available only on the portrait PDF version (remember, Neo Fighters comes as a zip file with 3 versions!), and does not count towards the official page count. So saddle up, and give it a try, because we are certain you will love Neo Fighters and we know that you will love Disposable Heroes!
Unorthodox Bards
by Erica B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/19/2006 00:00:00
This book was great. It gave several wonderful alternates to the bard in the player's handbook, as well as adding extra dimension to a seldom used class.


LIKED: The artwork was fantastic, and I loved the formatting of the files: landscape for screen, portrait for printing, and a cut and paste word document. Incredibly useful!

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Unorthodox Bards
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