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None so Vile - Disciples of Darkness III: Tortured Savant $4.00 $1.50
Average Rating:4.0 / 5
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None so Vile - Disciples of Darkness III: Tortured Savant
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None so Vile - Disciples of Darkness III: Tortured Savant
Publisher: Blackdirge Publishing
by Peter I. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/25/2006 00:00:00
None so Vile: Disciples of Darkness III: Tortured Savant is a 17 page pdf product. This product is the third product in the Disciples of Darkness series, a series that is part of the None so Vile line of products. Each product in the Disciples of Darkness series presents a devotee to a dark and evil deity. In this instance, the Tortured Savant prestige class is a servant of Ixeth, a minor deity of pain, and as such a master inflictor of pain and agony. Due to the horror/grotesque nature of the material, it's largely intended for more mature audiences.

The product comes a single pdf file. There are no bookmarks, nor a printer-friendly version of the product, but that's about as far as the negatives go on the presentation front. The product looks very good and professional, with good art, good layout and good writing and editing. The fiction parts of the text are vivid and imaginative, drawing you quickly into a world of pain and suffering. Overall, a good presentation with some imaginative writing and detailing of the tortured savant prestige class.

This product extensively details a new prestige class, the tortured savant. The tortured savant is a master of pain and agony, inflicting it both on his enemies and foes, as well as himself. Over the course of the ten levels of the prestige class, the tortured savant's spellcasting improves, as well as his ability to inflict pain on those around him using a number of supernatural abilities. The Backlash ability, for example, allows the tortured savant to share the pain of a wound inflicted on him with the creature that has inflicted the wound. Like other prestige classes in the series, this is probably one more suitable to NPCs than PC characters.

The prestige class provides plenty of background details and information on how to run, create and use a tortured savant. It offers good opportunities for creating memorable encounters, and matches the other products in the series quite well. Together the Disciples of Darkness can form quite an interesting campaign idea, with the four deities involved used in some world-shattering event. An example NPC is given as well to show how the tortured savant fits together into a complete entity, and a full and rich background for this NPC is detailed, which makes for an enjoyable (well, not entirely given the subject matter but from an RPG perspective!) read.

Full details of the deity Ixeth are included, as well as a new domain for clerics, Agony, which includes a few new and interesting spells that are also presented in the pdf. This provides a solid ending to a good product that's bound to creep your players out, and provide for some challenging and atmospheric encounters if played right. The material is extensive and useful, and the tortured savant can fill a number of different roles in a campaign, whether a long term villain or an one off beast plaguing a small village. This is a good pdf that's worth a look, and I'm looking forward to seeing the last product in the series, and further products in the None so Vile line.


LIKED: This is a good pdf with good flavor and very detailed description of an interesting prestige class. The tortured savant should make for a vile villain, and certainly provide the PCs with a memorable encounter. Good presentation, good material.

DISLIKED: The pdf contains no bookmarks, but that's about it really.

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
None so Vile - Disciples of Darkness III: Tortured Savant
Publisher: Blackdirge Publishing
by Shane O. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/24/2006 00:00:00
None So Vile: Disciples of Darkness III ? Tortured Savant, is a sourcebook detailing a new prestige class, and some related materials, from SkeletonKey Games. The zipped file is just under four megabytes in size, and contains a single PDF file slightly larger than that. The PDF is seventeen pages long, including two pages for the front and back covers, a page for the credits/legal, and a page for the OGL. The product has no table of contents, bookmarks, or printer-friendly version.

The book?s covers are in full-color, with the back color actually being a single-page e-adventure tile (that is, a map). Several pieces of black-and-white art dot the interior, and most of them are quite hideous, making them perfectly match the gruesome content of this book. Each page has a red border along the top in the pattern of a bloody smear, and the page number at the bottom is within a similarly-colored drop of blood. As such, not having a printer-friendly version might be an issue for some people.

The book opens with almost two pages of framing fiction regarding a member of this prestige class performing their gruesome trade on a pair of captured heroes, and it sets the pace for the rest of the book. After this, it immediately launches into who becomes a tortured savant, and then lists the class table and features.

Fluff information for GMs using tortured savants follows, discussing things such as how well they stand up in combat, likely minions and lairs, and similar information. Several pages are then given for a sample NPC, the same one from the framing fiction.

A new lesser deity of pain, Ixeth, is then given. The deity is given full information needed to include it in your campaign, listing its symbol, home plane, alignment, portfolio, worshippers, cleric alignments, domains, and favored weapon, before moving into its history, relationships, and dogma. Interestingly, this deity has a fairly complex backstory, one that ties in rather closely with the sample NPC given above. While it?s still easy enough to change the name (or the NPC), it?s an odd but refreshing change of pace to have a generic deity be given so much detail.

The book is then rounded out by presenting the new Agony clerical domain, along with three new clerical spells, all of which cause fairly severe pain (and usually death) to their victims.

Altogether, None So Vile: Disciples of Darkness III ? Tortured Savant, lives up to its name. While the prestige class itself is fairly vile (roughly equal to what you?d find in the Book of Vile Darkness), it?s the remainder of the product that makes it shine. The gruesome fiction, the esoteric nature of the new deity of pain, and the gory new spells nicely round out the new prestige class given here. GMs looking to cause their PCs pain would be well served to get the Disciples of Darkness III; the tortured savant is someone they?ll love to hate.



LIKED: The framing fiction was quite well-written. Also, the new deity, Ixeth, had an interesting history given. Likewise, the artwork was quite gruesome, perfectly matching the nature of this book.

DISLIKED: A printer-friendly version would have been helpful, given the artwork here. Also, despite its brevity, a table of contents and/or bookmarks would have been somewhat useful.

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
None so Vile - Disciples of Darkness III: Tortured Savant
Publisher: Blackdirge Publishing
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/15/2006 00:00:00
None So Vile - Disciplines of Darkness III: Tortured Savant by Black Dirge Publishing / Skeleton Key Games presents a new D20 Prestige Class for dark campaigns, the Tortured Savant. The product is 17 pages long (14 after covers and OGL), clearly laid out with good and thematic black and white artwork.

Like the other products in this series, The Tortured Savant is introduced with just over a page and a half of fiction, showing the work Tortured Savant first hand. The Tortured Savant is a creature of pain, suffering it and inflicting it, the class requires divine spellcasting as part of its requirement so it is best suited for a cleric or a very unusual druid (or, perhaps, a blackguard). The Tortured Savant must permanently mar themselves is a hideous and painful way to gain access to this class and its abilities which are focuses on the infliction of pain. As the Tortured Savant gains levels they gain new way to share pain with others (aura of pain, inflicting pain by touch, sharing pain inflicted upon the Tortured Savant) and resisting the effects of pain (Damage Reduction). The class looks balanced and frightening to encounter.

Advice of the role of the Tortured Savant in a world and how they can best be played is provided for a DM. Along with an example Tortured Savant, Yushalka, an Annis (hag) Rogue/ Cleric/ Tortured Savant is presented complete with full background and personality. As is the dark god Ixeth, the World Flayer, the First God of Pain, the Agony Domain and three new spells.

A well put together product, but vile torture is a major component of the role of these villain which may not be suiting to all campaigns or styles of play. However, if you like your villains dark and twisted, the Tortured Savant should find a place in your campaign.

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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