Race books are not near as common as class books and for that I am thankful. Race books seem to either be a mix of new races or the expansion of the races presented in the Players Handbook. Of the books that have new races too many it seems either have the latest version of either elves or dwarves or just a batch of not that creative races. Frankly, I have yet to be amazed at any of the new race books. The best I have read have been by Silverthorn Games. Their Races of Evernor series has given a good selection of interesting races. But this race book here is really just a group of unexciting races.
Animal Kingdoms is the first race book by The Le Games. Their earlier works have all dealt with artifacts. The book is a pdf of twenty one pages. It comes in a small zip file of under a meg. Inside are versions of the book for print and on screen viewings. The format is east to read but there is quite a bit of white space in the book. There are pictures of each of the five races and the art is pretty average. Two of the pictures have little text that I guess is supposed to be cute as in funny cute. However, it really does not seem fit the overall theme of the book.
The five races presented here are as to be expected by the title races inspired by animals. The first are the Anatidae Kingdom, or the country of the Duckman. There is a brief description on the kingdom and then the race is detailed. Luckily, there are not like Howard the Duck, but still they really are not that inspiring and when reading them I had no inclinations to want to use or play one. Mechanically they have some odd attribute bonuses and penalties. This is usually frowned upon as the bonus can become meaningful at the same time the penalty can be hidden. They also have two favored classes. Or maybe it is just one as the classes are listed as Cleric or Wizard. I guess the player is supposed to pick one. It would have been preferred if this issue of how this is handled was addressed.
The second one is the Buteo Kingdom or the Hawkmen. Again the race has odd attribute modifiers and has the very good ability of flight. To balance this they have a chance to take double damage from any hit. The double damage is done with a reflex save so this negative is going to be meaningful at low levels but at higher levels its not going to matter much.
The third group is the Probsocidea Kingdom. This is the race of pachyderms or elephant men. There are the odd modifiers to the abilities and the double favored class. This is two favored classes as it is written. They do have tusks and can attack with them.
Next is the Rana Kingdom, the Kingdom of the Frogmen. This race has the same problems with attribute as the one above and seems to have more weaknesses then bonuses. They take double damage from fire and need water to survive. They do have small acid and cold resistance (cold resistance because they are cold blooded, I don?t understand that) as well as being able to breath in water and good at swimming. They gain no attribute bonuses.
Lastly is the Ursidea Kingdom, the Bearmen. The attribute modifiers are odd as well as even, but what is really interesting is that since they live on a mountain they are wise and very well versed in philosophy. I fine that interesting because in the picture the bear is saying ?Must be Honey cause Jam don?t shake like that.? while looking at a woman?s backside. They are very wise indeed.
Overall I found this product not that good. The races are not that original, the mechanics are badly done, and there just is not a lot of information here.
[2 of 5 Stars!]