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Divine Favor: the Oracle (Pathfinder RPG) $4.99 $3.99
Average Rating:4.3 / 5
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Divine Favor: the Oracle (Pathfinder RPG)
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Divine Favor: the Oracle (Pathfinder RPG)
Publisher: Kobold Press
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/11/2012 10:51:33
This pdf is 18 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, leaving 15 pages of content for the Oracle, so let's check out what we get, shall we?

In this installment of Divine Favor, we don't get a break-down of the class and instead jump right into the new crunch, i.e. the new curses - 9 new curses are presented herein and I'll have to mention that while I love curses, I also consider them pretty hard to design - it's easy to slip and use something that does not necessarily fit the term "curse". That being said, e.g. the Coward-curse fits this particular pet-peeve of mine and is rather bland, providing only a minor penalty for its bonuses. I did like the approach to drunkards, necessitating at least 1 drink per hour and thus making sure that being a drunkard is nothing simple with easily offsetable penalties.

The Echo-curse, though, is probably my favorite: It makes you mute, but lets you repeat what other people have just said, enabling you to duplicate spells you just heard of up to the level you can cast. Speaking of mute - I hated this one. It grants you permanent detect thoughts at 5th level. All the DMs who are already annoyed when reading this hold your hands up! And don't get me started on the ruined adventure scenarios...Not gonna happen in my game. Ever. Soulless, unstable form and wanderer make for AWESOME curses, though the restrictions of the wanderer curse are rather harsh - not being able to return to a place is bad and perhaps a more lenient approach that allows return after e.g. a year would be prudent. Unstable Form lets you be put into a new body as per reincarnate and requires some book-keeping, but will surely make for a remarkable oracle.

The next section details 6 new mysteries and I have to get this of my chest: They are the coolest mysteries out there - Period. The mysteries are all killer, no filler: Beginning with the Clockwork mystery that lets you exchange body-parts for steam-punkish elements, clockwork familiars etc. we get to the Moon mystery that GOES BEYOND "Kill Lycanthropes" and offers baleful moonpowers, the ability to create moonlight bridges and generally mysterious abilities - neat! Being a terrible fan of all things aberrant, The Old Gods mystery strikes a soft spot with me, but complements this predisposition with neat, creepy, madness-inducing powers like offering a glimpse of the elder god's domains. The Plague mystery also OOZES style and provides the ability to turn into miasma, grow carrion winds and finally turn into an avatar of pestilence. The snake mystery also ROCKS, offering e.g. full crawl speeds, contortionist abilities and serpentine scales. And finally, there's the Wine mystery - in vino veritas, indeed - from morale bonuses to DR due to insensitivity to the ability to alter memory, hangover-style and powerful revelry, this mystery represents the probably coolest take on the trope I could conceive. Credit where credit is due, author Stefen Styrsky has done an awesome job on these mysteries!
Finally, we get6 new feats, one of which is very complex and adds cosmetic and rules-changes to summoned creatures depending on your mystery.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to the parchment-look and 2-column standard and comes with no separate printer-friendly edition. The pdf is extensively bookmarked. The artwork is stock that fits the theme. Wow, just wow. After reading the installments on Druids and Clerics, I didn't expect too much and while the curses are hit and miss for me, the mysteries alone are worth the asking price. They are so damn AWESOME. Each one made me want to play an oracle of said mystery and damn, their abilities are just so fitting, so cool and concise in their benefits that I can't bring myself to say anything negative about them. Not that there was anything, mind you. The new feats are ok, though they pale in comparison to the STELLAR mysteries. Seriously, that's the kind of content I'm looking for - imaginative, inspiring, well-written. MY final verdict has to take the other component parts of the pdf into account as well, though. Thus, my final verdict will be 4.5 stars, rounded down to 4. If you're in it for the mysteries, this is 5 stars and the as of yet best source on oracle mysteries out there. Be sure to check it out!

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Divine Favor: the Oracle (Pathfinder RPG)
Publisher: Kobold Press
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/09/2011 18:34:27
Oracles are defined by mysteries and curses, and this product provides an expansion for options for both. If Oracles are popular in your campaign, this product should prove to be a very good resource.

Divine Favor: the Oracle is an 18-page PDF (16-pages if you remove the cover and OGL page) for the Pathfinder RPG written by Stefen Styrsky and published by Open Design. This is part of Open Design’s Advance Feats line for Pathfinder.

The layout is primary traditional two columns and easy to read. The cover is color while the interior art is mostly black and white public domain art with a few color pieces, most of which play to the oracular theme.

Divine Favor: the Oracle jumps straight in with new curses, nine of them, as curses are one of the defining features of the Oracle having more choices is good. Several are simple (drunkard, illiterate) while others are much more high fantasy (soulless, unstable form). As in the case of all curses, they are a negotiation between mechanics and roleplaying effects and should be considered in the context of how they fit into a campaign.

Next are six new mysteries, the other important part of designing an oracle, including clockwork and wine (goes well with the drunkard curse) and ones perhaps best suited to villains (plague, snakes).

Lastly, six new Oracle feats complete this product, which enhance the oracle abilities in a variety of ways. I especially like Summon Avatar which gives your summoned creatures a minor ability based on the Oracle’s mystery.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Divine Favor: the Oracle (Pathfinder RPG)
Publisher: Kobold Press
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/26/2011 08:56:58
The defining features of an oracle are his curse and his mystery, and each one will have a different combination. To aid in making oracles even more interesting and individual, this work starts out by offering some additional curses and mysteries to consider.

First, new curses. The curse must be chosen at first level and remains with the oracle lifelong... so will he be a coward or a drunkard? Either could make adventuring interesting, especially for everyone else in the adventuring party. A stranger curse is that of the echo: this poor oracle cannot speak save to repeat what someone else has said... spells are cast silently, but at higher levels he can speak the verbal components of a spell someone else has cast and cast that spell, provided he is of sufficient level to cast it normally. That might prove too severe a handicap, so the aspiring oracle may prefer to be cursed with being grotesque, becoming even uglier as he rises in level. Other curses suggested are that of being illiterate (which does have the bonus of enabling the oracle to develop a prodigious memory), mute, souless or even of having an unstable form - you roll every day to see what you wake up as! The last one is wanderer, the oracle has itchy feet and cannot stay anywhere long. Each has some minor advantage, like the illiterate oracle's good memory, but in all cases the curse has profound effects on mechanical capabilities, never mind the potential for role-playing a distinctive character.

Next come some new mysteries. Like the curse, each oracle must select his mystery at first level and will continue to deepen his understanding in that mystery for the rest of his life. First is the mystery of clockwork: oracles who delve into this mystery can discern and change how mechanisms work and even create new ones out of thin air! Useful in a world where artificial constructs and mechanisms abound, but abilities are in the main limited to affecting them, so check that they are prevalent wherever you will be adventuring before choosing this mystery. Other oracles may prefer to delve into the mystery of the moon, gaining control of light and shadow and dreams... and insanity and sleep. Another mystery is that of the old gods, oracles who decide on this one gain strange powers and abilities from long-forgotten deities. Those who delve into the mysteries of disease are themselves plague-carriers and in general quite unpleasant to have around, whilst those who devote themselves to the mystery of snakes gain both the good and more repulsive attributes of serpents. Finally, the mystery of wine is there to be plumbed… perhaps best not by those whose curse is drunkenness!

The collection ends with a selection of new feats, all of which are specific to oracles. Many are based on mysteries, or on the oracle’s relationship with their deity, and should enable you to fine-tune your oracle’s capabilities in whatever direction you wish.

This book is all about developing coherent yet individual oracles who ply their trade skilfully and distinctively, and is recommended for all who want to stamp a mark on their campaign setting with their oracle. Some of the curses and mysteries are probably, however, best suited to NPC ‘enemy’ oracles, rather than player-character ones – but even these will prove memorable to those who meet them.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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