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Children of the Planes $7.50
Publisher: Tangent Games
by JK R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/31/2013 06:48:51

This sourcebook provides twelve planetouched races, going beyond the basic options of aasimar and tieflings. Unlike those two races, each of these has a specific outsider ancestry - lantern archons, dretch, and so on, rather than the more generic "celestials", or whatever.

There's a good balance of types here - of the races, five are descended from celestials of various kinds, five from assorted evil beings, and one each from LN and CN outsiders. The non-celestial parents are similarly varied, with one good and one evil variant for each of elves, dwarves, gnomes, halflings, and orcs. This, of course, means that we have, among the others, the rather interesting concept of a race with both celestial and orcish blood - and its a combination that works surprisingly well.

The races are not over-powered; like aasimar and tieflings, they all have a +1 level adjustment, and their abilities are broadly equivalent to the ones possessed by those races. Some of the ideas are quite interesting. I like the inclusion of as many good-derived races as evil ones, and the inclusion of efreet among the latter, as well as fiends, gives some variety. It's also nice to see a good range of favoured classes, with some suited to combat, and others to magic.

The races are followed by fifteen new feats, most of them tied to specific races in the book. Some of these are arguably a bit powerful, giving access to the supernatural abilities of some moderately potent outsiders without any meaningful prerequisites.

Finally, there are seven prestige classes. Four of these are fighter-types with enhanced powers based around good, evil, law, and chaos. Of the others, one is essentially a boosted bard (which, for no particularly clear reason has to be female), another is a spellcaster focussed on both healing and inflicting damage, and the other is a means for characters of mixed ancestry to gain the racial abilities and feats of dwarves, elves, and so on. This part of the book, is, I feel, something of a mixed bag.

The layout is fairly basic, although the artwork is reasonable, and the writing could have done with a better edit. One the whole, while I like the idea of many of the races, the feats and prestige classes are less useful and lack the same spark of originality.

[4 of 5 Stars!]