?17 Magical Hats and Helmet? is a 36 page product that presents 17 new magical hats and helmets to enhance you game. The magic items range in cost from 6,500 to 450,000 gp allowing them to be introduced into a game from low levels to epic levels. The magical hats and helmets only take up 12 pages of the 36 page product because of the ?complete source? design that The Le Games uses on its products.
It nice to see a product like this come out, to expand on the offerings present in the DMG which lists only 5 helmets and 1 hat. In addition to the 17 new magic items and the complete source material described below the product includes 3 mini quests. These mini quests are strange and sort of out of place because initially, the text talks about spicing up your world by introducing ?Recipes? and I had hoped that it would actually introduce recipes that might include specialized rituals or magical components but it doesn?t it doesn?t actually suggest recipes at all, just that maybe you should introduce some as rewards for a quest. There are a number of interesting magic items in this product in fact I can say that I could include most of these items in my game at some time. I particularly like the Skull of the Deathbringer (deathwatch and death touch powers), Mnemonic Device (enhances memory) and Ophidian Turban (granting a series of powers over reptiles). It?s a shame that the majority of the magic items are at the major power level instead of more evenly distributed.
Others I have questions about like the Crown of Thorns that grants electricity resistance and stores the energy which on the next round as a free action can heal the character or trigger lightning bolts (though does not indicate how much damage the lightning bolt deals).
The ?complete source? approach to supplement design means that any information you might need from the system reference document to fully use this document has been extracted from the SRD and included in the appendix. In this case, it?s all the spells that are needed to craft the wondrous items in questions, a number of special qualities and the Autohypnosis skill. Strangely, The Le Games has not included the actual three feats necessary to craft the items. This is still a very nice feature regardless as it makes the use of the product easier at the game table.
Mechanically you will find some unorthodox pieces of design and if you are a ?Rules As Written? sort of gamer, and I am, these may cause you to have some dissatisfaction toward the product. The sort of mechanical discrepancies you will find in this product includes at least one magic items who?s power is dependent on the wearer Intelligence score (thus provide and unequal effect depending on the wearer), a magic item that costs more than 220,000 gp and not written up with Craft Epic Wondrous Item, and a few others that feel like they are really inexpensive for the benefits granted. If I allowed for the purchase or sale of magical items I would double check all the cost, but I don?t allow that in my home games.
Layout and editing experience some minor problems as well including the fact that no all the magical hats have their power level indicated (minor, medium, major) and while this is not a standard of design you find in the DMG it is started here but not consistently done. Occasionally in the text there are awkward or disjointed sentences that slipped by the proofreader. I also find the text justification gives the text a disjointed look, but that is more of individual taste than anything else. The art in the product is inconsistent and is a mix of drawing and computer generated that almost seems like art for arts sake and not a way to enhance the product's written material.
<br><br><b>LIKED</b>: Adds needed variety to the magical hats available in the SRD.
Hats for all the major character types (warriors, divine, rogues, arcane and psionic).
A good mix of player friendly and dm friendly items.
"Complete source" is a nice feature of The Le Games products that makes thier inclusion at the table easier.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Some unorthodox mechanics.
Awkward justification hurt the 1st impression.
Lackluster art.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Acceptable<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>