||Pain, Suffering, Agony: these are the meat & drink of the Tortured Savant; a prestige class living for inflicting pain upon others...and himself!
The third in the "None So Vile" series, DoD III: Tortured Savant is 16 pages (13 after cover, ToC, and OGL) of more vile goodness.
Once again, Blackdirge starts out with a short story in which two elven rangers have an encounter (unfortunately for them) with a Tortured Savant.
The prestige class itself is described next. It is set up as a typical 10-level progression in which the Tortured Savant gains powers based on pain and suffering (Aura of Pain for example) while continuing to gain divine spell caster levels.
As a requirement, an aspiring Tortured Soul must perform an act of horrendous self-mutilation to show his devotion to this vile path.
The Tortured Savant also gains resilience due to his constant rituals of self-inflicted pain: minor Damage Reduction being one of it's benefits.
After that, a few pages are dedicated to ideas for incorporating Tortured Savants into you campaign. There is plenty here to get some creative juices going for anyone wishing to do so.
Next is a sample NPC with a few levels of Tortured Savant complete with a background that ties into the background for DoDII: Soul Harvester. It appears Blackdirge might be sharing the beginnings of a campaign setting here.
The last section details some background and history on a new (to the game) deity of pain including a new domain and a few spells used by his priesthood. The spells, as one would guess, are sadistic ways of inflicting pain. If you've seen season 6 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, you might recall Willow stripping Warren of his flesh leaving a gruesome visage. One of the spells does just that. ;)
If I had any complaints with this at all, it would be the fact that the background of the new deity doesn't drop into existing campaign quite as easily as the rest of the series. A few minor name changes alleviates this, though.
All in all, another great product. Fans of the BoVD need this on their cybershelf.
[4 of 5 Stars!]