Adventurer Essentials: Holy Water is a short sourcebook from Skorched Urf? Studios. The zipped file is just over three-and-a-half megabytes in size, containing a single PDF file a little larger. The PDF is seven pages long, including a page for the cover, and one for the OGL. No table of contents or bookmarks are given, but none are really needed anyway.
The book contains a fair amount of artwork. In addition to the full-color cover, most of the new magic and mundane items have an adjoining full-color illustration. This might make the lack of a printer-friendly version into a mild issue for some people.
The book opens with a recounting for what may have been the very first (and accidental) creation of holy water, before giving a very interesting in-game explanation for why holy water is created the way it is, explaining the significance of the water, silver shavings, and positive energy that are its component parts. It then gives descriptions of variant holy waters, both non-magical (just by changing some component of the creation process) and magical (where you need an item creation feat to create them). All of these are basically holy water that works in a different way, such as by temporarily negating the paralysis ability of an undead creature splashed by it, or by stripping a fiend of its ability to summon its fellows for a short while.
The book closes out by presenting three related items. The first is an aspergillum, which is essentially a mace with holes in the head, in which holy water can be stored. The second one is a magic aspergillum, which creates holy water on command a few times a day. The last one is a minor artifact that transmutes large quantities of normal water into holy water. Oddly, despite being a minor artifact, magic item creation guidelines are given (GMs would be wise to ignore these, unless they want their players making lakes of holy water)!
All in all, the book does a very good job of presenting both interesting explanations for holy water, and in giving interesting variants (beyond the simple paradigm of unholy water, lawful water, or chaotic water). While the magical variants of holy water are magic items in their own right, even low-level PCs should have no problems making and using them. Adventurer Essentials lives up to its name in its presentation of Holy Water.
<b>LIKED</b>: The new variants of holy water are very innovative, as well as useful. Also, the in-game explanations for why holy water works are a delightful bit of verisimilitude for a campaign.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: The minor artifact at the end of the book shouldn't have standard magic item creation information. It's too powerful for that.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>
[4 of 5 Stars!]