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Children of Wyrms $6.50
Publisher: Fantastic Gallery
by Kenneth A. C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/06/2012 09:05:00

Dragons are a part of most fantasy settings, or at least, most of my fantasy settings! I love dragons and have played a Dragon Disciple more than once, they are just damn awesome. So when I saw this book I knew that I just had to buy it, if for nothing else then to learn something new about dragons and their children.

So, did I learn anything? Was there anything within these pages that I could actually use?

The simple answer is... yes, but it was not what I expecting. I had hoped that this would be a book useful for players, but since all the templates within increases a creature's CR (from +3 to +1), they wont really be useable for players starting a campaign at 1st level. Sure, you could easily use these if starting a higher level campaign, but I tend to start games at 1st level. I was also hoping to learn a bit more about life as a wyrm child, but the book actually has very little of this type of information and is mostly focused around the four different draconic legacy templates (legacy half-dragon, quarter-dragon, greater draconic legacy and lesser draconic legacy). Don't get me wrong, these templates are all varied and useful, especially to GMs and you could certainly build a campaign around these, imagine if all the PCs start as one of these?

Aside from the templates, you'll also find a couple of NPCs that use the templates (CR 7-13), a few new feats (logical, but nothing spectacular), 3 new magic items (solid and useful), and some optional rules for draconic sorcerers.

I liked the last part of the book the best, which describes the problems of carrying a wyrm child to term. It's just as dangerous as it sounds, especially if you are a halfling! This is the type of information I was hoping to get more of.

All in all, a nice book with spectacular artwork and probably the most beautiful layout that I've seen in any 3PP book (not counting most Open Design books). However, I would have loved more information about how society view these children, how their presence could form a setting or maybe just a campaign, and overall, how to introduce them into the game. Had the designers presented a playable race for players wanting to introduce one of these into a 1st level party, that would have been perfect.

For the price, I actually don't think you get all that much information, so I am going to settle on a 3.5 star verdict, rounded down to 3. A nice book, but more beautiful than it is insightful.

[3 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Thanks for the review! You make some valid points, and the CR-adjustment thing seems to be a sticking point with most readers. I would have loved to have left them off entirely (especially since all of this was born out of trying to find a way to play a "draconic legacy" concept without incurring a CR adjustment), but I'm afraid they were just unavoidable. The existence of the original half-dragon template was the true hurdle I had to face as that set the precedent for everything I did in this book, and it has a CR adjustment. Now, that being said, there are ways to play a creature with a CR adjustment at first level, at least CR+1. Paizo addresses some of these in a few different products, most directly, "Bastards of Erebus," the first module in the Council of Thieves adventure path. These include starting the rest of the party at a higher level so the CRs match, giving them better magic items and, my personal favorite, denying the CR-adjusted character the ability to take traits (essentially treating the template as his traits). That's a bit harder with the higher CR templates, I'll admit, but it helps. Another way to do it would be to take all the special abilities of a particular template, including the wings and breath weapons that the higher CR templates get automatically, and treat them all as individual Traits, allowing the player to pick two at character creation. The closer the character is to his draconic ancestor, the larger the pool of abilities he has to choose from, but he still only gets two. Although this method ends up somewhat equalizing the Draconic Legacy generations, eliminating the "fading power" effect I was going for, it should go pretty far towards creating a somewhat balanced character at 1st level.

Thanks for giving our book a try! I hope you can find some use for it in your games!

-Talon Dunning/Team Fantastic Gallery