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17 Relics $3.50 $2.80
Publisher: The Le Games
by I. P. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/25/2005 00:00:00

Regardless of whether you are a master at imagining intriguing objects of power or not, every once in awhile we could all use a little stimulation to our creative energies. In this offering, one of Le Games? series of 17 books makes an attempt to get those juices flowing. The download contains a readme file, the landscaped PDF file, the portrait PDF file, the Rich-text version, and a JPG of the cover image. The cover image is not available in full size in the PDF formats. All in all the landscape PDF consists of 17 pages and the portrait PDF consists of 16 pages.

The bookmarked entries of the PDF are Preface, Plot Devices, What are Relics?, RELICS, OGL, and Shameless Promotion.

The most important information for the typical user in the Preface will be the table of contents. The Plot Devices section includes three mini plot devices. From a book titled, ?17 Relics?, I wasn?t necessarily looking for the strongest hooks; but it would have been nice if they tied into the objects of power that are presented within. For example, one of the hooks concerns the sacrifice of a cat to a god, but after reviewing the relics I could not figure out which relic was intended to be tied into that hook. Actually, in the ?What are Relics?? section, the authors suggest that a relic might be made the object of a quest that might take longer than one adventure. It would have been wonderful if the authors had, taken that advice, and suggested individual hooks that could each lead to a common point. That common point could have been central to putting a party of adventurers on track for some relic hunting.

I was, however, quite pleased to see in the text of the ?What are Relics?? section, that the 17 relics described are consistent with the magic items that can be made via magical item creation rules. Often, when publishing text on any magical items, there comes a point where the contributors feel they need to go beyond the limits of a player?s capacity to ?make things interesting?. This factor actually mitigates the lack of relevance of the plot devices to the relics as these relics can be simply tossed into a campaign without requiring huge debates over how to maintain balance should the PCs find themselves in possession of the relic. (It would still be nice if the hooks were connected.) It does mean that the history of the item is especially important and Le Games has provided some interesting histories.

As to the actual relics themselves, there is likely something here for anyone looking to bring objects of power into their campaign. I think Le Games has done well to ensure a variety of items so that just about everyone has something they can use. They have also done well incorporating some interesting magical abilities into their relics based on actual spells/skills. (For example, using among others grapple checks and the rusting grasp spell.) The caster levels of the relics ranges from 4 to 19. As hoped after reading the ?What are Relics?? section, if not introduced prematurely by the dungeon master into the campaign, all the relics should be useable for the long haul by the party without upsetting game balance. (Of course, only you or your DM can say for sure.)

However, if you purchase this product expecting to love all 17 items, you may be disappointed. (I wonder how many fans of the ?Deathscythe? are also going to love ?Lucky Underwear??) Given the current price ($2.99), it is a reasonable purchase if you are looking for some relics to use, or some new descriptions to review to get your own creative juices flowing. (If you?re not looking for one of these, why are you reading this?)

To rousing gaming and ample rewards, I. Perez<br><br><b>LIKED</b>:

  1. Landscape and portrait PDF files.
  2. 17 Relics provides some interesting items for a range of party levels, it doesn?t concentrate solely on objects of power that would only be suitable for a level 15+ campaign.
  3. 17 Relics avoids feeding into the idea that the only worthwhile objects of power are game breaking.
  4. 17 Relics provides a variety of item types (from weapon to underwear).<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>:
  5. Either, the histories written into each relic?s descriptions should have been more extensive, or the plot devices provided should have been more numerous and presented an opportunity for at least one interconnected plot arc.
  6. In keeping the ?17' theme, they may have stopped just short of the point at which this purchase is a deal at the current price. ($2.99) <br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Acceptable<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>

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17 Relics
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