||After reading the first in this series, I had to continue on to the second.
DoD II: Soul Harvester is a 16 page (12 after cover, ToC, OGL, and advertisement for DoD I) pdf detailing the Soul Harvester prestige class.
Once again, Blackdirge opens up with a short story of a Soul Harvester (a hobgoblin detailed later) going off to the altar to sacrifice some prisoners captured in a raid. Although not described in great detail, enough is there that the imagination can fill in the gruesomeness of the ceremony.
Next, the ten level prestige class is detailed with its requirements and abilities.
The main requirement is the dedication of a weapon personally enchanted by the Soul Harvester wannabe. This becomes his/her "Sacrificial Blade" and grows in power as SH levels are gained. With this weapon, the SH can harvest the souls of those sacrificed for personal power and gains "virtual feats" when using it in combat.
Next is my only "issue" : the Dreadmark. Although I've not been able to see this in game play, it seems a bit overpowered to me. With it, the SH can "mark" an opponent in melee. It has no save and only requires a touch attack. If the marked one is slain within the duration, the SH gains several enhancement bonuses for a period; even if he is slain by someone else. These bonuses get better at a higher level. The only balancing factor is the limited use it has based on SH level. I will have to test this in play to see if my judgment is correct, though.
A short section follows describing ways to use them in your game. Nothing spectacular is here, but it does get some ideas for use flowing.
Next is a description of the aforementioned hobgoblin along with his known history and recent activities with the tribe he "serves". With a few geographical name changes, this could easily be dropped into any existing campaign. IMHO, that is a must for any "generic" RPG product.
Concluding is a description of a new god "worshiped" by the NPC previously described. Once again, the background created makes it an easy addition to any campaign.
As with the first in the series, this is a "must buy" for any fan of The Book of Vile Darkness. Unfortunately, the lack of OGC in the BoVD doesn't allow for any referencing or content from it.
Kudos to Blackdirge. I look forward to reading the last two in the series and hopes he has more waiting in the wings.
[4 of 5 Stars!]