If your gaming group is interested in building some more complex roleplaying situations in a campaign, this product can be a useful reference. Especially if building relationships between characters (not necessarily romantic one) is something that interests the playgroup.
Shards of the Heart: A Bit of Character is a 93-page PDF (90-pages if you remove the cover and OGL pages) for the Pathfinder RPG written by Daniel Brakhage, Vicki Potter, Elizabeth Brakhage, Mark Potter, Mary Hanover, Nicholas Brakhage, and Nathan Mangion (with Pathfinder conversions by Skeeter Green) and published by Tabletop Adventures.
The layout is a standard two columns format, and everything is clear and easily readable. The cover is in color but the interior art is black and white and supports the product well with each character receiving at least a sketch and considerable flavorful clipart throughout.
Shards of the Heart is a collection of characters for Pathfinder role-playing encounters. The product opens with a piece about the purpose of the product which is to provide DM with ready-made characters with depth (background, goals) for the DM to add to their game. These characters are designed to be able to be played for long term interaction in a campaign, to be “real people” with their own paths. They are also designed to be able to enter into lasting relationships with PCs, including romantic ones (thus the “Shards of the Heart”).
Twenty-three characters are included, thirteen females and ten males, as well as a war horse and a wolf. Most of the characters are lower levels, 2nd - 5th, (the highest is 11th level) but most are given three stat blocks at various levels. To give each character the ability to make a strong impression, each has an illustration, a narrative piece to frame the character and one or more quotes to give good hooks for roleplaying the character. A page or more of background and personality, make each of the characters presented a fully realized one. While to make the characters easier to integrate into an ongoing game, each has a set of small scenarios and plot-hooks to draw in player character with.
All of the characters presented are human, elven or half-elven (a large proportion are half-elves in fact), it would have been nice to see at least one or two of the shorter and less pretty races represented. Surely there are dwarves, gnomes and halflings (as well as half-orcs) that deserves a chance at romance? Mechanically, there are a few small errors in the statblocks and the CR ratings are off for the characters as well, but these are minor problems and easily corrected.
Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
[4 of 5 Stars!]