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The Secrets of the Taskshaper (PFRPG) $2.95
Average Rating:4.0 / 5
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The Secrets of the Taskshaper (PFRPG)
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The Secrets of the Taskshaper (PFRPG)
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by William W. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 02/22/2012 07:58:15
A new race for Pathfinder - shapechanging descendants of the children captured by the Fey, which can "imprint" feats that they witness and attempt to use them in the future. This race as a PC could prove to be a bit overpowered, unless the GM works hard to keep the player on top of the necessary bookkeeping. As an NPC, they could bring an interesting new depth and color to a Pathfinder campaign.

This document is bookmarked, which isn't as necessary with a document this short, but always good to see. I wish publishers of the larger supplements (and full RPGs) would use this feature more frequently.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher Reply:
I wanted to thank William Walton for taking the time to do a review of our product. I would like to point out this is not a race, this is a class, any race can be kidnapped by the fey and be trained in this class or be trained by any of the escaped taskshaper.
The Secrets of the Taskshaper (PFRPG)
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/19/2011 07:57:40
This pdf is 10 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD and 2 pages advertisements, leaving 5 pages for the new base class of the taskshaper, so let's dive in.

The pdf starts with the trademark quality prose I've come to expect of Rite Publishing books, an IC-told story about how Auberyon, Soltice king of the fey, abducted people and changed them, altered their memories even, to become taskshapers and how they escaped from their bonds.

The Taskshaper-class gets d8, 6+Int skills per level, can select 10 skills at character generation to be class skills, can use any weapons, armors and shields and can use any spell-trigger or spell completion item as if the spells were on her list. The Taskshaper also gets medium BAB, a good Fort and Ref save.
We're in for a jack-of-all-trades-like class, which becomes apparent when reading e.g. the Moment of Change ability: Starting at first level and improving each level, they get the ability to use change-points from their pool to change one of their feats for one round into a feat whose usage he has witnessed in-game. Mechanics to properly understand a feat for purpose of this ability are given. They can also use these pool points to gain minor plus 1 bonuses or temporarily change skills.
Furthermore, they can choose from a list of 9 shaped capacities that range from being better at emulating others over improved skill- and feat-changes to mimicing class abilities.

Later, they also get consecutively better at shapechanging, starting with alter self and culminating in the ability to use form of the dragon III and giant form III.

If that were not enough, his modularity is expanded upon by the option to select from 8 different so-called Ability Shifts that range from the possibility to negate one incoming attack via an opposed attack roll, over being very agile and fast to transformation attacks to be delivered via touch.

The taskshaper does not stop there, though: At 10th level, the taskshaper can choose from another set of 8 abilities that range from a chance to negate crits, doubling her range as well as the ability to change her mind as well into the person/creature she impersonates. Especially this ability, Become the Mask, has the potential to be roleplaying/storytelling gold.

Finally, the capstone ability is a devastating touch that may dissolve almost everything, befitting of level 20.
The pdf closes with a sidebox telling the DM to insist on PC-taskshaper bookkeeping.

Conclusion:
Oh boy. Doing the math to look for balance concerns for this class really made my brain hurt and I can only imagine how designing/balancing it must have been. Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any typos and formatting adheres to RiP's two-columns standard. Layout is ok, as is interior art. The cover is not one of my favorites, especially when compared to other RiP-covers. What to make of the class, then? Well, this is probably the most versatile class I've seen so far for PFRPG and an extremely ambitious design goal. While, as far as my math-skills go, I didn't notice any way to abuse the hell out of the taskshapers abilities, it should be noted that a DM willing to let a player play one HAS to enforce the perception-rules to use class abilities/feats and shapechanges and NOT handwave them. If a player who is known for shoddy book-keeping on his/her character sheet plans to play one of these guys, strongly discourage him/her. Bookkeeping is necessary to balance this class and due to the shapechanging abilities, some work is required on part of the player. The pay-off, though, should be worth it - this class features some very nice ideas and its other-worldly flair can lend a cool new experience to your game. On the downside, though, I think that the book might have profited from either even more abilities, racial feats or the like - alternative capstone abilities would also have rocked. Alternatively, I would have loved to see a section on their psychology and customs expanded, as they surely have some interesting RPG-potential. Or a critter who hunts the escaped taskshapers for Auberyon...something along those lines. Thus, while the taskshaper succeeds at its design goal, it left me wanting a bit more out of the pdf - not much, but I missed something. It just didn't feel as well-rounded as some ther race/class-books by RiP and thus, my final verdict will be a solid 4 stars.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Secrets of the Taskshaper (PFRPG)
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Dark M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/03/2010 22:25:41
The Secrets of the Taskshaper by Rite Publishing

This product is 10 pages long. It starts with a cover and credits. (2 pages)

Next it jumps right into the new class/race, the Taskshaper. They are children stolen by the fey and changed into a new race. At one point many of them fled the fey realm back to the mortal realm. Now they are a new race/class open to PC's. (4 pages)
D8, 6 skills, medium BaB, all weapons and armor.
Class Abilities. They gain these abilities as they level. Some they get most they have to pick like rogue talents are done.
Moment of Change – 3 + caster level uses. Can be used to fuel special abilities.
Imprint Feat – trade a feat for any other feat for a single round.
Imprint Skill – Trade skill ranks from any str or dex based skill to another for a single round.
Modified Advantage – add a +1 to any D20 roll.
Impersonate - able to mimic someone they have touched. +5 to disguise checks.
Imprint Class Ability – Can mimic any class ability they have seen a class do, they do it as if they was half their level in said class. Such as backstab done by a 10th level Taskshaper, would be as if they was a 5th level rogue.
Improved Imprint Feat – as above but can do two feats at once.
Improved Imprint Skill – as above but with any skill.
Improved Modified Advantage – as above but at a +2.
Innate Armor – can gain natural armor for a short period of time.
Mimic Defense – gains a bonus to ref and fort saves for a short period of time.
Shaped Attack – gain a natural attack for your size. Higher level gain more attacks.
Shaped Resistance – Gain a energy resistance for a short period of time.
Change Shape – Starts like alter self, at higher level gain beast shape, elemental, plant, giant and eventually Dragon.
Perfect Copy – Makes themselves look exactly like someone else.

Ability Shift – more powerful abilities. Start with 1 point can eventually have 5.
Avoid Attack – Can make a contest melee attack to cause a attack to miss.
Dynamic Form – increase all mobility speed you posses.
Even More Changes – spend a ability shift point to get more Moment of Change points.
Shape Lock – Can tell another shape changer by touch, can force them to change shape.
Shift Condition – Can temporary ignore any one condition for a short while.
Touch of Change – functions similar to baleful polymorph.
Touch of Stone – functions similar to Stone to flesh spell.
Touch of Transformation – functions similar to polymorph any object.

Advanced Shapes – They cost two moment of change points.
Become Mask – Can mirror a touched persons personality.
Form Intention – gains a bonus to AC and saves for a short period against one creature.
Improved Imprint Class Ability – As above but equal to their level -3.
Master of Shapes – Allows the spending of two moments of change in one round.
Monstrous Adaption – Like imprint class ability but works on extraordinary and supernatural abilities of monsters.
Regenerate – gains natural regeneration for a short period of time.
Shaped Anatomy – Can possible avoid crits.
Stretch – can double their natural reach.

Unform – once per day can attempt to unform anything they touch works similar to disintegrate with high damage.

It ends with a OGL, 2 pages of ad and back cover. (4 pages)

Closing thoughts. The fluff for this race/class is pretty interesting. The art is fair to good. The class is a bit heavy on book keeping and the writers make note of that with a side bar. I honestly really have no idea if this class would be strong or weak. It is so different I think it would take a lot of play testing to be sure. My gut says it isn't and may even be a bit weak as it has limited number of powers per day. My impression is at times the class will dominate and at other times be a bit of a wall flower.

It is different and interesting, but it just didn't grab me as much as their previous race/class books did. I am not sure why, maybe it was all the book keeping. Or that it comes off as a jack of all trades at times while at other times it is a bit plain. I am just not sure, it just didn't grab me though like the In the Company of Giants and Gargoyles books did. So in the end I felt it was a neat idea that was done ok. So whats my rating? I ended up giving it a 3.5 star. I didn't feel it was good enough for a 4 but thought it was better than average which is a 3 to me.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher Reply:
I wanted to thank Dark Mistress for taking the time to do a review of our product. Steve Russell Rite Publishing
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