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Divine Favor: the Cleric (Pathfinder RPG) $4.99 $3.99
Average Rating:4.4 / 5
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Divine Favor: the Cleric (Pathfinder RPG)
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Divine Favor: the Cleric (Pathfinder RPG)
Publisher: Kobold Press
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/22/2011 12:08:13

This pdf is 20 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, leaving 17 pages of content, so let's check out the new tools for the cleric, shall we?

The pdf starts by providing some basic advice on playing a cleric before going on to introduce 3 new domains with 2 subdomains each: The Alchemy, Apocalypse and Prophecy domains along 10 new sub-domains - 4 of which belong to the new sub-domains. The new domains pleasantly surprised me, as the unique abilities make the domains viable and cool options, thus I would have loved to see all of the subdomains covered this way, but oh well. When compared to Divine Favor: Druid, these domains all come with more enticing, creative ideas and especially the Alchemy and Apocalypse domains just rock hard. Kudos where kudos are due!

After that, we are introduced to new archetypes and seeing how I was left singularly unimpressed by the archetypes in the druid-installment, I was quite surprised to see some neat ideas here: The ascetic, a kind of beggar-cleric and a rather complex archetype can use his abstinence and sacrifice spells to grant his body enhancements and even boost her physical scores. Neat idea, though especially the ability to do the latter and the LACK OF RESTRICTIONS make this problematic. Seeing that the ascetic can wear magical items and suffers from no restrictions regarding her possessions, double-boosting attributes and exploitation-possibilities are rather rampant here. A code of conduct/restrictions would have helped here. I did like the enthusiast, a spell-less cleric blessed with holy anger and divine defenses, especially for low-magic settings. For high magic, the lack of spells is rather restricting. The Exorcist lacks the ability to exorcise demons, but can detect evil and gets some additional spontaneous spellcasting.... .... ...Do I have to comment that one? the Flagellant and Theosophist on the other hand are interesting - in contrast to the KQ-flagellant-PrC, this archetype is a cleric that can power spells with self-inflicted damage and the Theosophist is a learned, bookish caster. The other archetypes like vatic, weapon-sworn etc. left me rather unimpressed. We also get 8 variant channeling effects that mostly are cool and well-thought out/balanced and provide for a fun time. i wish ths section had been larger/covered more domains. The pdf closes with 6 new spells, half of which deal with luck and a particularly interesting one that lets you ignore symbols and alter them as well as a very smart spell that lets you decrease the duration of ongoing magical effects - very cool and rather smart, although I don't get why Inquisitors don't get access to this particular spell.

Conclusion: Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to a two-column, parchment-like look. The pdf does not come with a printer-friendly b/w-version, but with extensive bookmarks. Artworks are stock and fit the theme nicely. This one is hard - on the one hand, I really liked the new domains and subdomains, though I think the section could have been even better. I also liked the new variant channeling effects and have no complaints about the smart, cool spells. However, I do have a complaint about the greatly varying quality of the archetypes, which range from cool to "how do you forget to include exorcisms with an exorcist?". Some. like the Vatic (a divination-specialized cleric) are exceedingly bland, their niche filled without an archetype by standard clerics or...well...diviners and oracles. When all is said and done, none of the abilities truly confused me, but I didn't notice one singularly bold design like the ability of the Druid to turn into a flock of creatures. Nevertheless, this installment of Divine Favor felt like it was slightly more compelling than the one focused on the druid. My final verdict will thus be 3.5 stars, rounded down to 3 - an ok buy, especially for cleric fans looking for some additional options.

Endzeitgeist out.

[3 of 5 Stars!]
Divine Favor: the Cleric (Pathfinder RPG)
Publisher: Kobold Press
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/04/2011 10:37:02

In what has become the standard opening, this fourth volume in the Divine Favour series opens with an overview of the cleric as adventurer and party member: strengths and weaknesses of the basic class, and what it's best to focus on. Most groups regard their cleric primarily as the provider of healing, with other spellcasting and a bit of combat tacked on for good measure. However, wise choice of offensive spells can make the cleric more potent in combat, and can be a better use of his powers than as a field medic. Switch to using the channel energy ability as the main healing force, and capitalise on the fact that clerics can cast spells when wearing heavy armour.

Next, new clerical domains are introduced: Alchemy, Apocalypse, and Prophecy; along with sub-domains that can be used to introduce variety by letting you swap out some of the domain powers and spells for different ones, changing the focus of your domain subtly. Some group existing spells to provide a different emphasis, but there are quite a few new spells - and new powers to play with.

If that's not enough, next some new archetypes. The Ascetic believes that the best way to explore his faith is to deny his bodily needs, fasting and choosing a limited diet, avoiding substances that he views as harmful. Charismatics exert influence over others by the power of their voices, many are travelling preachers proclaiming The Truth as they see it, some start crusades or urge their congregations to a certain course of action. An Enthusiast is filled with, well, enthusiasm about his faith and his deity - often forgetting themselves to such an extent that they can fall into a holy rage, abandoning reason as a raging barbarian does in his passion. The downside is that he cannot muster the focus to study spellcasting. The Exorcist sees devils and demons as threats to eliminate whenever the opportunity arises, and his powers and spells all function to that end. A Flagellant holds that pain and suffering are the way to salvation - and powers his spellcasting through his own blood. The Theosophist seeks wisdom and knowledge of the divine through study, becoming an intellectual student of his chosen faith rather than a devotee. They spend too much time in the library to be good fighters, on the other hand they have access to three domains instead of the regular pair, the third being any available to the character rather than those associated with his chosen deity. Vatics, who are restricted to the Prophecy domain alone, are capable of focussed visions, being able to cast any divine or arcane divinatory spell. Weapon-sworn believe that the path of righeousness is found through mastering their chosen weapon. Some are effective, even enthusiastic brawlers, others seek a more meditative state through their exercises. Wonder Workers manifest awesome powers through devotion alone.

Finally, all the new spells listed earlier are given a full write-up, ready for use; including a couple of rather nifty luck-based spells that can be used to help or hinder someone else.

There's a lot packed in here, and you will need to think what will fit in with the deities of your campaign world and the flavour of your game. Plenty of interesting ideas and food for thought, but as the deities of a world influence it so profoundly, GMs will need to decide which of these options to allow. The real strengths are the archetypes, which reflect how different people can take wholly different approaches to the service of their chosen deity - even when they have chosen to venerate the same one!

[5 of 5 Stars!]
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