The Le Games? ?17 Paladin Spells? actually presents 18 spells for your paladin to use, and before getting into the spells themselves, writer Tony DiGerolamo spends little time on an introduction and gives us an artifact called ?The Tome of the Crusader.? This book contains the spells presented in this supplement, and, with the suggested GM?s options, can grant a paladin bonus experience points (10,000 experience, which does seem like quite a bit) or the ability to cast an additional spell of each level per day (which seems a bit more balanced). These spells are unique and fill niches that aren?t quite filled by most paladin spells, so that they are written in this ?tome of the crusader? is fitting.
There five 1st- and 2nd-level spells each, and four spells for both 3rd- and 4th-level casting, with most of the spellcasting schools represented (necromancy is understandably not represented here). Some of the standout spells include: ?shared sacrifice,? in which the paladin transfers up to half of a creature?s hit point damage to himself; ?paladin mind trick,? which does exactly what it sounds like it would do; ?blessed favor,? which instead of aiding the paladin in combat, aids the paladin in making a skill check instead; and ?sword of the crusader,? which allows a paladin to enhance his or weapon by granting it an additional 1d4 bonus to its attack roll and damage (even if it?s already enchanted), and granting that weapon additional bonuses versus evil items and undead.
For the most part, the writing is clear, but some of the spells could use further tightening of their text. For example, the description of the 2nd-level spell ?create holy water? states ?to cast the spell, the Paladin [sic] must be in the process of turning undead creatures.? The spell has a casting time of 1 standard action, and since making a turn attempt also takes a standard action, this wording is confusing. Does it take two standard actions to cast this spell? Is it cast during the same round as the turn attempt?
Also, one of the spells refers to a concept of the 3rd edition of Dungeons & Dragons, rather than the 3.5 update. ?Righteous strike? refers to enhancing a weapon so that ?it will be able to strike and deal damage to creatures that can normally only be hit by +2, +3, +4 and +5 weapons.? This sort of damage reduction doesn?t really exist in the current version of the game.
Taking this one spell out of the mix, however, still leaves you with a total of 17 spells, which is what the supplement?s title promises. These are unique spells, and binding them all to the ?tome of the crusader? even gives you more than just a handful of new spells for a PC, but maybe even a bit of a plot hook for a creative DM.
<b>LIKED</b>: The artifact presented at the beginning of this supplement can inspire a number of different game ideas for the creative DM. The spells are unique and don't all focus on combat, but the ones that do are quite good.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Outside of lumping them together by level, there is no organization to the spells contained in this supplement. A simple alphabetization of the spells would make it a bit easier to read. (And as a nitpick, there is no reason to make "paladin" a proper noun by capitalizing the first letter.)<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Acceptable<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>