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Metablades Expanded Edition $4.50
Average Rating:3.8 / 5
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Metablades Expanded Edition
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Metablades Expanded Edition
Publisher: Genjitsu Gaming
by Nathan O. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/15/2007 15:49:22
Fair warning: I found this book to geared far to much towards psionic characters and very little I would use for my own non-psionic characters. That said I am attempting to review it fairly in spite of my bias.

In terms of value this is a nice sized pdf with a lot to offer a psionic character and still some usage for other characters. It is 62 pages long in landscape, and uses a reasonable font size.

The feats seem reasonable at a glance and range from sacrificing spell slots to gain a bonus in combat, to psionic enhancements and more. There may be a few issues with balance that come up in play, but I would not hesitate to allow a player I'm dming for to pick from this pdf.

The next section is styles. Styles are essentially a free reward for characters that meet the prerequisites. They don't cost anything and are not limited in usage. These become quite powerful including abilities that allow mirror images to make actual attacks (nonlethal damage) and threaten squares, or allow an unarmed strike free ghost touch. However the prerequisites are all steep enough that the benefits will come late enough to potentially be acceptable. Characters that are already underpowered due to multiclassing will benefit from these styles, but ones that are not underpowered may be getting an unfair advantage.

After styles we are presented with prestige classes. As I don't have much experience with Psionics I won't review them, but to put it in perspective there are 7 psionic classes and only 3 wizard classes. Add in that one of the psionic classes is actually a mundane class with psionic focus tacked on as a requirement (Lord General). Two other classes have no actual basis in either mind or magic. (shadow knight, stormrider)
This means that the book touted as for warriors of mind and magic only has 3 classes out of 12 dealing with magic.

The arcane classes aren't particularly well put together in general. The 5 level fortress mage gives up 3 casters levels to get 10 chances to cast shield, mage armour, protection from arrows, and stoneskin without using a spell slot. The character also gains some small DRs and a good fort save. Martial Adept is reasonable. Shadow armourer is a 10 level prestige class with a d4 HD and poor bab. It grants 3 caster levels and good fort and will. For this large sacrifice the character gains armour that is generally inferior to mage armour. The most interesting arcane class is one for monk multiclassers. Transcendent invoker is 5 levels and gives the character monklike abilities relating to spellcasting, such as flurry of spells which allows the character to cast 2 touch attack spells per round. These abilities are balanced by the heavy caster level sacrifice such a character must accept. (5 levels minimum before getting flurry).

The balance swings the opposite direction in the next section with 20 sor/wiz spells, but only 16 powers. The spells are interesting and seem reasonable at a glance. I believe some of them made it to a best of compilation.

The equipment section is hit or miss in its values. I would not allow sale or creation of these items without a price analysis. One the plus side a number of these ideas are not regurgitations of what is already in the SRD.

Appendix one is filled with epic extensions for the content found already in this book. Most of this is straightforward, and is a nice plus for me.
The book finishes with a few pages of pregenerated characters that are a boon to any DM in a time crunch.

It is apparent that to me this book ranks fairly low in utility compared to what I expected. Setting that aside I find that there are some significant mechanics issues but due to the mass of ideas that are still usable this book should be considered middle of the road. I'm giving it 3 stars, assuming that it will be bought for its psionic content primarily.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Metablades Expanded Edition
Publisher: Genjitsu Gaming
by Chris G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/26/2007 14:20:15
Metablades

A little bit of magic or psionic power can go a long way. As most people have noticed within the game magic is the ultimate power in the game and psionics are not so bad either. They easily pass by the power of the fighters even those with the best equipment. There are always exceptions but this is not about those. Metablades is about adding a bit of power to those that pursue both the magic and physical skill.

Metablades is a PDF by Genjitsu Gaming. This is the expanded version of the book they released that includes psionic and epic rules. The book is sixty two pages in length and comes in both landscape and portrait formats. There is little art in the books and the layout has a lot of extra white spaces. The book is book marked and not hard to read.

The book starts with a discussion of all the base core classes and how they can be used to create that martial spell caster. It has some good advice for multi classing and goes beyond the bits that most everyone knows actually going into detail on what specifically spell wise makes the martial classes work the best. And while I am mostly referring to magic they also cover psionics as well. A side bar in this section is a good bit about ability and spell combinations. Like the use of blink and area effect spells since blink protects one from some of the damage. One idea that I really like is the use of grabble to pin a person and then placing an immovable rod on them trapping them.

Feats as we all know area familiar and common tool in many d20 products. Met Blades presents feats, but many of them are actually a bit more creative and different from the run of the mill feats that are seen in most books. For instance there is Flock of Blades that uses ones knowledge of mirror image to make simultaneous attacks that deal non lethal damage. There are also feats that are a bit more powerful then standard feats but they require an additional cost. Guardian Angel grants a bonus to AC and all saves, but also takes the place of a second level divine spell. There are some powerful feats like Psionic Spring Attack that allows the character to intermix a full move and a full round attack. Some of them are pure combat like Searing Shot which allows the caster to spend arcane spell slots to deal more damage with a missile attack. Along with the many feats there are Styles. These are like the martial art Styles presented in Oriental Adventure except even more detailed. There are different levels to each one so multiple powers can be gained by acquiring the many prerequisites to the different levels of abilities.

After feat prestige classes have also become very common. The ones here try to meld powers with martial ability to different degrees of success. The Affinitist is not one of the best here. The class requires a base attack bonus and some good combat feats, but gains the base attack bonus of a wizard which does not seem to jive with the intention of the class. The Fortress Mage is an interesting one allowing it the chance to cast a few defensive spells without expending a spell slot. The Mental Marksman is a psionic who continually gets better with the ranged weapons. For the most part while the prestige classes are nice and different there really was not any that really amazed me.

The book also provides a variety of new spells, psionic powers, and magical items and weapons. There is a section for epic levels of the classes here as well as new epic feats. That is a bonus since epic feats seem to be an area that very few products support. Lastly are some sample NPCs. The NPCs are pretty good and the stat blocks are complete yet do not take up much space. I tire of NPCs like in the Complete books that seem to take up a page or so by themselves.

Overall the book does a nice job of combining some classes and giving some cool options for people who do. The feats are the high light of the book but the other options are well done and can easily be used. The writers did a nice job on this using many areas of the game like psionics and epic rules to make their creations the best they can be.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Metablades Expanded Edition
Publisher: Genjitsu Gaming
by Alan K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/13/2005 00:00:00
A fun book with a lot of options for a popular fantasy gaming archetype that sort of got "left" behind in the 3.5 upgrade. With this book, there is not just a handful of ways to make a fighter mage, but a plethora.

LIKED:


DISLIKED: I am not a big fan of OA-style fighting styles, and some of those are a bit on the potent side. On the other hand, some of the prestige classes come of a bit weak.

QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Metablades Expanded Edition
Publisher: Genjitsu Gaming
by Robert V. A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/10/2005 00:00:00
"Don't judge a book by it's cover" was never more true than with this product. Frankly, the cover sucks and looks amateurish, something a 13 year old gamer might come up with on his home computer for his home rulebook. That said, the insides are very professionally produced, with decent artwork of average to exceptional quality. The material itself is well thought out and, as far as I can tell without play-testing, seems very balanced. The arcane sections of Metablades has been somewhat eclipsed by WOTC's Complete Arcane, with some duplication in the flavor of various PRCs. That said, the psionic content is VERY welcome and useful. The book has been completely updated to 3.5 Expanded Psionics Handbook. This book is a great companion resource for the XPH. Highly recomended.

LIKED: Psionic content

DISLIKED: cover

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher Reply:
Robert, Thanks for your critique and feedback regarding Metablades. As far as the cover goes, guilty as charged; however, my original piece of hack artwork has been replaced by a full-color professional illustration and over ten new pieces of interior artwork have been added as well. Enjoy the improved book! Nevin Flanagan, Genjitsu Games
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