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17 Necromancer Spells
 
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Average Rating:3.3 / 5
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17 Necromancer Spells
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17 Necromancer Spells
Publisher: The Le Games
by Shane O. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/31/2006 00:00:00
17 Necromancer Spells is a short book from The Le Games. The zipped file is just over 2 megabytes in size, containing five files; two PDFs and an RTF of the product, a JPG of the cover, and a text readme file.

The two PDFs are an onscreen-viewing PDF in landscape format, and a printable version which is in portrait format. The former is seventeen pages long, while the latter is sixteen. Both have no table of contents, but full bookmarks. Each PDF has a single page for the cover and credits, three pages for the OGL, and a page of advertisements.

Both PDFs contain artwork, both color and black-and-white. Curiously, the art is rearranged between the two products, with at least one picture being in one PDF but not the other.

The product opens with a single magic item, and here problems immediately begin. This item has no creation information given, nor any of the standard magic item statistics. While the item is still interesting, this lack of conforming to basic standards is disconcerting.

After that come the spells. Despite the name of the product, 17 Necromancer Spells actually contains eighteen spells. The spells are listed in ascending order of spell level, from 0 through 9; each spell level has two new spells listed, except for the last two spell levels ? there?s only one eighth and one ninth level spells listed. While the spells are interesting, errors creep in; the spell Zombie Decoy refers to the corpse it enchants as being a material component, as opposed to a focus.

17 Necromancer Spells is a good product, but one that could have been much better than it was. Had this book gone through editing a few more times, the spells (and item) it contains would be truly spectacular in their necromantic power. As it is, they?re still useful with some GM polishing, but not all they could have been.



LIKED: The necromancy spells in here are useful to any arcane spellcaster, not just necromancers.

DISLIKED: The material here needed more editing to make it truly shine.

QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
17 Necromancer Spells
Publisher: The Le Games
by Jim C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/11/2006 00:00:00
This product provides the requisite Goth that could be expected from a series of new necromantic spells - no surprises here. In fact, it has a very folkloric feel to it, in the sense of presenting spells that feel like old standards even if they're new.

_Undead steed_ is a good idea with a great illustration. _Zombie decoy_ is a creepy little idea though I'm not sure what you would do with it.

Unfortunately, a lot of the mechanics are badly and, worse, unclearly written and I have problems with the assigned levels.

QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
17 Necromancer Spells
Publisher: The Le Games
by Derek K. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 02/09/2006 00:00:00
(UPDATE: Within days of this initial review, The Le Games found and corrected the formatting errors referenced in this review. While I've not changed the review, I do want to express my admiration of The Le Games for finding and correcting these mistakes.)

"17 Necromancer Spells" is another installment in The Le Games' popular 17 Series. After a too-brief introduction that falsely promises 18 new necromancy spells, writer Tony DiGerolamo introduces us to a magic item called the skin of the bone keeper. Traditionally, The Le Games includes more than the titular offerings in their 17 Series, so this one magic item isn't quite of place. It is designed with the necromancer in mind, and rather than strictly offering a new special ability or enhanced spell-casting options (although a GM's Option for adding additional spell casting is mentioned), the skin of the bone keeper offers a unique character enhancement in the form of gaining experience points. Unfortunately, a price for this item is not included.

The spells run the gamut from 0-level spells, or cantrips, to one concluding 9th-level spell. Obviously, with the uneven numbers involved (17 spell listings and 9 spell levels, excluding the cantrips), it's impossible to have an equal number of spells per level, but the spells do seem to progress rather well as they increase in level and potency. A necromancer could easily add these spells to his or her spellbook without suffering from being overpowered; the creators of "17 Necromancy Spells" worked hard to balance their spells and make them easy-to-insert into the core Dungeons & Dragons spell listings. Spells that deserve special mention include "gusher of blood" (a 2nd-level spell) which allows the necromancer to cut him- or herself to create a spray of blood that does no damage to its victim, but rather blinds him or her; "sleep of the grave" (a 6th-level spell) that grants the necromancer restful and restorative sleep granting accelerated hit point recovery in a grave; and "flesh shape" (a 7th-level spell) that, with a touch, grants the necromancer the ability to change the appearance, and Strength, Constitution and Dexterity, of a specific individual (which, as the text points out, would useful in that the necromancer could cast this on a zombie, making the undead appear as the necromancer him- or herself, and then faking his or her own death!). As these examples show, not all of the spells are blatantly offensive spells, and I like that a great deal.

However, the layout of ?17 Necromancer Spells' is a bit distracting. It follows the format of other installments in the 17 Series - two columns per page - but it feels as if more care could have been taken in keeping like-leveled spells on the same page or even keeping spell titles from being placed at the bottom of the column preceding the actual spell description. Additionally, the missing 18th spell promised in the introduction seems to have been truncated somehow. Page 6 ends with the closing description of the 4th-level spell "drain youth," but Page 7 opens in what appears to be mid-spell description for a spell that may have something to do with preserving limbs. This is an awkward bit of formatting and editing that overshadows some of more nit-picky yet present incorrect elements - not italicizing all spell names, capitalizing some words that shouldn't be, etc.

The spells themselves in "17 Necromancer Spells" are well thought out and well written, but the presentation causes the entire book to suffer.

LIKED: The spells are unique and offer a great deal of flavor and versatility to your necromancer class. Also, The Le Games seems committed to supporting their products after their initial release, as evidenced by their quick correction of the Portrait version of "17 Necromancer Spells."

DISLIKED: There are still some minor formatting issues, and while "17 Necromancer Spells" follows the same layout of The Le's other products in their 17 Series, the page breaks and column layout could have been presented in a more uniform way.

QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Satisfied

[THIS REVIEW WAS EDITED]


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher Reply:
Please note that I have confirmed that there is indeed a 5th level spell missing from the Portrait version of this product. However, this error does not exist in the Landscape version, nor does it exist in the Rich Text Format version. In anycase, I have corrected the error, and revised the product to reflect this. Anyone who has previously purchased this product has received a new download link to get the revised version. Thanks for being a loyal customer! -The Le (pronounced Tay Lee)
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