Okay, this review is four months overdue, so I might as well do it now before I completely forget.
Basically, I bought this product back in December '09 on a whim for a mere $0.10, and quite frankly, I found it to be worth every penny and then some. In a nutshell, this document introduces a new PC race for the d20 Fantasy and Modern systems--one whose background can be altered to fit any setting, from classic fantasy to modern sci-fi to far future space opera, and boast unique abilities to boot. Whether you choose the Dryden to be a long-forgotten fertility spirit of the dark forest, the product of a biogenetic experiment gone awry, or a bizarre and disturbing alien species from the distant stars is up to you. However, no matter what the origin, the basic nature of the Dryden as a hedonistic hermaphrodite born to breed with any sentient species it wants is unmistakable. Needless to say, this race is not at all suited for gamers age 17 or under or for gamers who are sensitive to sexually themed elements in RPGs. On the other hand, gamers 18 and up who have a strong stomach for this kind of content will be happy to discover how far John Bowden went to define the Dryden’s place in any OGL setting, from giving it its own d20 Modern Racial Class (including Talent Trees) and describing each of its three forms (Natural, Hybrid, and Tangle) to delicately yet succinctly describing its mating habits. The document also gives examples of how to use this race in d20 Fantasy, d20 Modern, and d20 future settings and even gives a sample story for each genre. The d20 Modern even goes as far as to offer a venue where an adventure could take place. Furthermore, even though Bowden gives a clear warning on page 2 about the content in this PDF, I also give him credit on presenting said content in a mature, sensible fashion and discussing the Dryden’s sexual nature in an upfront, straightforward fashion without milking the race’s hedonism for all it’s worth and turning the document into a glorified porno. I will admit, however, that even I was turned off by the artwork from the Wide version of the document, from the nude Dryden women in the border and on page 13, the Dryden baby scene on page 14, and such. Thankfully, the artwork from the Print version of the PDF was tamer, so at least the reader can have an option between which of the two formats he or she wants to look at, depending on his or her level of intestinal fortitude.
In short, Dryden: Hero of Horror is worth checking out, especially if you’re fortunate enough to be able to buy it at the price I did. I don’t necessarily recommend it for gamers under the age of 18, however, even with author John Bowden adamantly warning the reader of its content. Then again, if you’re 18 or older and have a both an open mind and a strong stomach for a new, flexible PC race for your fantasy or sci-fi campaign that has a distinct flavor in more ways than one, then feel free to drop the dime and download this file. It’s actually pretty useful.
[5 of 5 Stars!]