Children of the Planes is a supplement of new races, along with associated new feats and prestige classes, for your d20 game. The zipped file is almost sixteen megabytes in size, and contains a single PDF of the book. The book is seventy-eight pages long, and has a hyperlinked table of contents and full bookmarks.
Most of the art in Children of the Planes is black and white. The majority of the pictures are illustrations of each kind of race, though several others appear throughout the book. In addition to the covers, several full color pieces are sprinkled throughout the book as well, mostly in the prestige classes section. There are no page borders to be found. This product has no printer-friendly version, but that shouldn’t be too big a deal for anyone, given the relatively light amount of artwork here.
Children of the Planes contains a dozen new planetouched races. In case you didn’t know, planetouched are those who are mostly a mortal race, but somewhere back in their ancestry they have an Outsider in their family tree, and have manifested a few strange traits reminiscent of that Outsider. One thing to note here is that while the standard planetouched (aasimar and tieflings) are fairly generic about what their mortal and Outsider mix is, each of the new races here is very specific on both counts, such as the korali, an elf-succubus mix. It’s also worth noting that each of these races has no racial Hit Dice, but a +1 level adjustment.
The book opens with a brief note about these planetouched breeding before showcasing the format for each entry. All of the new races here are presented in PHB style, opening with a bit of fiction before talking about things such as their alignment, their religion, etc., and finally giving us their racial information, and finally a few paragraphs of description about a specific individual (the one from the opening fiction). The chapter ends by giving us what many racial books often forget – the height, weight, and age tables for each of the new races.
Following this are fifteen new feats. Each new race has a single new feat that enhances one of their special powers, along with three new generic feats that can be taken by anyone with an inherent energy resistance.
Finally, seven new prestige classes are showcased. Each has ten levels, and while none of them require that you be a specific race, several require similar things (the abyssal dreadnaught, for example, requires you to have trace blood from a fiendish creature, or be a fiendish or half-fiendish being). Each also has a fully detailed NPC after them, and it’s a nice bonus that each such NPC is a character from the opening fiction for one of the new races.
Ultimately, Children of the Planes does a good job presenting a dozen new hybrids of mortal and immortal creatures. While all of them are roughly equal in power, they’re quite diverse, covering a wide range of niches. Some, however, may find that some of the combinations are bizarre at best and ridiculous at worst. Is it really necessary to have a new race for when leonals crossbreed with orcs (and they’re called leonorks)? By filling in such minor niches, Children of the Planes runs the risk of being too marginal; whether or not it is for your campaign is something only each individual can decide. If they do want what this product has to offer though, they’ll be getting a solid piece of work.
[4 of 5 Stars!]