||Weighing in at 16 pages with a full color cover, and B&W interior artwork, I noticed no horrible grammatical errors. The page breakdown is as follows, cover/OGL/credits & Intro – 3 pages total, leaving 13 pages to the presentation of this race and it's magics. So let's see what we've got, shall we?
Following the dual column format, Gaiants Discovered is a racial book for the Mor Aldenn setting, and introduces us to a race of Fey Giants. Looking very much like a hill giant and a treant got lonely one long cold Saturday night years ago, The Gaiants take on the look of the dominate trees of the woods they reside within, and look very much like a more humanoid treant would be imagined to appear. Amusingly, as you will find within this PDF, they go out of their way to look this way, taking advantage of the belief that they are in fact lesser treants.
Dedicating themselves to the Estoic Circle, and the concept of welcome and unwelcome, the gaiants act as defenders of balance in life, helping to defend against those who would abuse the woods like sport hunters or lumber companies. Having no issues with those who hunt for food and clothes, or fell trees for fire and homes, gaiants can be found living outside of humanoid communities, looking over them, befriending them.
Looking through the racial traits and perks we have such things as Large size (9 ft. 900 lbs), Slow & Steady (20ft., but never adjusted by encumbrance or armor), Giant subtype as well as Fey Blood. It is the last that I stopped on, as it grants the gaiant the ability to use their Charisma instead of Intelligence or Wisdom for any spellcasting class they take. Am not really sure I'm feeling that. Having the Giant subtype gave them no racial HD, only the subtype, so to let them uber max a character by taking a wizard/cleric who only has to worry about one ability score instead of two feels more than just a little unbalanced to me. Of course, this might be due to years of dealing with power mongering players who look for every loophole they can find also.
We are given a a mass variety for Tree Shape as well as a small collection of new Druid spells;
Bladeleaf Gyre: Form a whirlwind of leaves to use for both protection and attack (also usable by a Ranger)
Camp of Trees: Literally hide camp by becoming a stand of trees
Hibernation: Take on the form of a tree for a span of years to heal.
Wooden Edge: Turn a lethal weapon into a nonlethal for x amount of rounds per level.
We are also given Patron spell lists for Seasonal Witch classes, as Gaiants are prone towards either Druid or Witch.
Spells are followed with new magical items that are themed towards the woods.
Bag of Roots: Quite literally what it claims to be, once thrown the roots cause vegetation to entangle anything caught within a radius of where the root lands.
Mantle of Leaves: A garment crafted entirely of leaves that allows its wearer to take on the form of a tree a certain amount of times per day.
Staff of the Greensong: An oaken staff bearing the faces of ancient gaiants, holds charges for three different spells.
Staff of Winter: Holding charges for four spells, more cold themed this time.
Treeman's Mantle: When worn, it allows the wearer to be treated as a larger creature for purposes pertaining to CMB and CMD.
New feats presented here are geared towards the gaiant character. The interesting recommendation is made to make a new feat available to a gaiant character when they rest. For clarification, gaiants only sleep one day a month. New Feats include:
Greensong Adept: Gain a bonus 2nd level bardic spell, as well as a skill bonus
Hedge Sage Magic: When casting nature-related spells, your effective caster level is regarded as higher than it actually is, as well as the DC increasing. There is also an Improved version of this feat.
Improved Bark hide: Think Improved Natural Armor...for trees.
Improved Gaiant Magic: Improves upon one of the spell like abilities granted by the race as well as adding your choice of another spell like abilities.
Initiate of the Greensong: Serenading the plants with your bardic tongue can either call or dispell an entangle effect.
Master of the Greensong: Another bonus bardic spell, this time to your 5th level spells.
Nature's Fury: Extend your barbarian rage while in contact with the ground.
Shed Bark: Sacrifice bark/skin to absorb damage, much like a tree's bark tends to chip and fall away as a tree is hit long before there are signs of true damage to the actual trunk.
The book closes out with five NPC's showing off what can be built with a gaiant, including an undead variety with an interesting back story.
All in all, the race is an interesting, and well developed concept. There were a few areas where I would of liked to have seen more, perhaps in the nature of their weaponry, or their art, but as an introduction to the gaiant as a race, this PDF does a fairly good job. One thing I did not like, and found very confusing until I realized what was being done with the formatting was the feel that the “crunch page”, the page containing the racial modifiers and traits, had been inserted into the middle of the spells sections. It also, and I'm not sure why, is a black page with white text. There are several sections like this throughout the book, so if you are planning on printing this, be forewarned. All in all I'm going to have to give this book a 4 star rating, I liked the race, but they felt very middle of the road, I wanted to see more of what they bring to the table I guess.
[4 of 5 Stars!]