||None So Vile: Disciples of Darkness III ? Tortured Savant, is a sourcebook detailing a new prestige class, and some related materials, from SkeletonKey Games. The zipped file is just under four megabytes in size, and contains a single PDF file slightly larger than that. The PDF is seventeen pages long, including two pages for the front and back covers, a page for the credits/legal, and a page for the OGL. The product has no table of contents, bookmarks, or printer-friendly version.
The book?s covers are in full-color, with the back color actually being a single-page e-adventure tile (that is, a map). Several pieces of black-and-white art dot the interior, and most of them are quite hideous, making them perfectly match the gruesome content of this book. Each page has a red border along the top in the pattern of a bloody smear, and the page number at the bottom is within a similarly-colored drop of blood. As such, not having a printer-friendly version might be an issue for some people.
The book opens with almost two pages of framing fiction regarding a member of this prestige class performing their gruesome trade on a pair of captured heroes, and it sets the pace for the rest of the book. After this, it immediately launches into who becomes a tortured savant, and then lists the class table and features.
Fluff information for GMs using tortured savants follows, discussing things such as how well they stand up in combat, likely minions and lairs, and similar information. Several pages are then given for a sample NPC, the same one from the framing fiction.
A new lesser deity of pain, Ixeth, is then given. The deity is given full information needed to include it in your campaign, listing its symbol, home plane, alignment, portfolio, worshippers, cleric alignments, domains, and favored weapon, before moving into its history, relationships, and dogma. Interestingly, this deity has a fairly complex backstory, one that ties in rather closely with the sample NPC given above. While it?s still easy enough to change the name (or the NPC), it?s an odd but refreshing change of pace to have a generic deity be given so much detail.
The book is then rounded out by presenting the new Agony clerical domain, along with three new clerical spells, all of which cause fairly severe pain (and usually death) to their victims.
Altogether, None So Vile: Disciples of Darkness III ? Tortured Savant, lives up to its name. While the prestige class itself is fairly vile (roughly equal to what you?d find in the Book of Vile Darkness), it?s the remainder of the product that makes it shine. The gruesome fiction, the esoteric nature of the new deity of pain, and the gory new spells nicely round out the new prestige class given here. GMs looking to cause their PCs pain would be well served to get the Disciples of Darkness III; the tortured savant is someone they?ll love to hate.
LIKED: The framing fiction was quite well-written. Also, the new deity, Ixeth, had an interesting history given. Likewise, the artwork was quite gruesome, perfectly matching the nature of this book.
DISLIKED: A printer-friendly version would have been helpful, given the artwork here. Also, despite its brevity, a table of contents and/or bookmarks would have been somewhat useful.
QUALITY: Very Good
VALUE: Very Satisfied
[4 of 5 Stars!]