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Arcane Outbreak $2.99
Publisher: LPJ Design
by Shane O. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/31/2007 00:00:00
Arcane Outbreak is a short d20 product from LPJ Design. The zipped file is just under a megabyte in size, and contains a single PDF. The PDF itself is thirteen pages long, with a half-page for the cover and a page for the OGL. There is no table of contents, nor are there bookmarks.

There isn't really any artwork to speak of in this product. The cover has a stylized image, though it seems non-specific regarding what is shown. Beyond that, there's not much else. The pages have no borders, save for the product name at the top of each page. The product is essentially printer-friendly all on its own.

Calling Arcane Outbreak a book of diseases is doing it an injustice. These aren't simple listings of save DCs and ability damage, like the diseases found in the DMG. Rather, each of these illnesses is colorfully described and has an insidious effect on the people who contract them. Black Touch inverts your ability to use healing magic, making you cause damage instead; the higher-level the healing spell, the worse you harm the subject. The Dreaming Sickness causes you to become comatose, and makes you a living gate to the Plane of Shadow, letting monsters enter the world. All of the diseases presented here are like that; innovative magic illnesses that have a strange and horrible effect. This is quite clearly excellent game material.

After the diseases themselves are a handful of new disease-related feats. Some of them help you fight diseases better, while others use them to greater effect. A few represent you permanently having a disease, and using it to your advantage. Finally, the Phage Touched prestige class showcases how a character can take a disease into themselves and not be harmed by it, while letting it ravage those around them.

Arcane Outbreak does a great job in portraying new illnesses. However, the product has its share of errors. The Logar Spawn template (a product of one of the illnesses here) says its subjects gain the aberration subtype. Does it mean type, or is it really meant to be as a subtype listing? It's unclear, and little oddities like that dot the book. Still, the new ideas here make those easily overlooked. Let Arcane Outbreak infect your game today.



LIKED: The new magic diseases here are extremely innovative for what they do. Have you ever heard of a disease that makes those sick with it worship a foreign god?

DISLIKED: There's some minor problem with how a few things are worded; "damage resistance" is something of an odd term, though it's explained.

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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Arcane Outbreak
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