The following review was originally posted at Roleplayers Chronicle and can be read in its entirety at http://roleplayerschronicle.com/?p=19789.
The Secrets series is a wonderful example of what a third party publisher can do to enhance material produced by the original publisher. The Secrets of the Oracle takes a hard look into the Oracle class and makes it not only more interesting, but much more fun to play.
The Pathfinder Fantasy system has done a great job of establishing mechanics that add modular versatility to most of the base classes with mechanics like Archetypes and mysteries. These “add-ons” Help ensure that very few Oracles will be alike with The Secrets series and especially The Secrets of the Oracle.
Publication Quality: 9 out of 10
The cover of The Secrets of the Oracle is done in a faux blue cover instead of the normal brown. I think that moving to a color-coded format for each series might be a good thing. Rite Publishing has quite a few products out there and the different colored covers might be an easy way for a reader to identify exactly which series a product belongs to. I have been critical of Rite Publishing’s use of stock or public art in the past and even more critical when it comes to the use of color art in those domains, The Secrets of the Oracle bucks that trend. While not overburdened with art, this supplement feels like it has much more artistic cohesion and I was blown away by the drawings on pages 4 and 5 depicting the Primeval and Rot mysteries.
Mechanics: 10 out of 10
Providing outstanding 3rd party support for products is not an easy thing to do. In The Secrets of the Oracle, David Mallon has taken the time to study the Oracle and produce enhancements that are useful and balanced. The mysteries are interesting and, if used correctly, will act as a good role-playing direction for Oracle characters. The feats are solid and really work mechanically and thematically with the rest of the product. The most mechanical flavor comes with the curses. There are only six curses but they add so much to the Oracle as a character class. As player curses are fun to role-play and as a GM they provide some great adventure hooks and are a small way to reign in that player whose head gets a little big for their helmet.
Value Add: 9 out of 10
This product is great for players and GMs, provided there are Oracle player characters or Oracle NPCs. At a price of $3.99 USD I would not recommend this product just to have on hand. If you are running a game that involves Oracles in any way then this one is worth the cost. I am not saying that this product is overpriced, but it isn’t versatile enough to justify an impulse or an “I might use this product” buy.
Overall: 9 out of 10
While The Secrets of the Oracle is not a versatile product, it’s well-crafted and well-thought out. The mysteries, curses and archetypes make me want to play and include Oracles in my games. To be honest, before reading this supplement I had passed Oracles over as yet another flavor of Cleric, boy was I wrong and The Secrets of the Oracle has shown me the light.
[5 of 5 Stars!]