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Swashbuckler - For 5th Edition
by Monica G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/02/2019 13:08:55

Swashbuckler is a book that presents a new class for use in Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition. It's part of a line of books from Terran Empire press that have rules for new classes not found in the offical source material, and like the others, this is another great addition to the game that really brings some interesting things to the table. Swashbuckler is a combat-focused class that makes a good 'medium' fighter--somewhere between a fighter and a rogue. They rely on finesse and skill to fight, they wear medium armor, and are skilled with light and martial weapons. They have some nice features like adding charisma to damage, and the ability to target opponents' body parts. In combat, swashbucklers have a pool of 'flair points' which they can spend on combat abilities, much like how a sorceror spends sorcery points on metamagic abilities. Though, the swashbuckler doesn't need to purchase abilities like a sorceror purchases metamagic abilities. The swashbucker has access to a list of 7 abilities on which they can spend points to activate in combat. None of these are really over-powered, and grant things like short-term immunity from opportunity attacks and the ability to finish off enemies that are at less than 10% of their hit point total. This long list of abilities makes this class very flexible, so dungeon masters running a game for players of this class should keep these abilities in mind when planning combat. Some of the other features of swashbucklers are the 'panache' ability at 3rd level, which allows for a critical hit on a 19-20, and in addition to that critical hit damage, allows the expenditure of flair points to blind, stun, disarm, or trip your enemy. This is very reminiscent of abilities from earlier editions of D&D, and veteran players may enjoy playing a swashbuckler for this reason. At later levels, swashbucklers also gain access to special feats, much like the combat master fighter. As well, there are a couple of aura-based abilities that give allies bonuses in combat. At the highest levels, swashbucklers can use their charisma to make enemies think twice about attacking them, and do triple damage on critical hits. Overall, the swashbuckler is an awesome new class that combines some elements of fighter and rogue into something new and unique. This is a very versatile class that has a wide range of combat abilities that can deal some real damage. The toughest part about playing or running a game with this class is remembering all of the tricks that they may have up their sleeve. Dungeon masters should definitely take note so as not to be caught off gaurd when running a game. This is a great book, however, for dungeon masters and players who want to introduce something new to the game.

Read our full review at Geeks A Gogo



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Swashbuckler - For 5th Edition
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Creator Reply:
Fantastic! We are glad you enjoyed it.
Blood Mage - For 5th Edition
by Monica G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/10/2018 23:08:10

Blood Mage is a short supplemnet for 5th Edition D&D by Terran Empire Publishing that describes a new class for use in use with the standard rules. Rather than simply reskinning a class like sorceror or warlock, this book presents something very unique that is distinct from the classes we see in the core rules. This class can cast spells, of course, but with a somewhat limited spell list. They do, however, have a cool ability that lets them drain own blood for use as a material spell components for the cost of a few hit points. They have a number of other blood-themed abilities, such as the ability reduce the damage they take, cure diseases they are are afflicted with, and the power to make their enemies gush blood. At high levels, Blood Mages can even gain control over an opponent's body and force them to act as they wish. Many of of the Blood Mages powers based around a pool of blood points that alot a certain number of ability uses per long rest. They gain blood points every few levels, with bonus points equal to their constitution modifier. The points can be spent on special abilities, such as gaining advantage against poisons, altering thier spells to make opponents reroll saves or allowing allies to automatically succeed saves, or even doubling the duration of a magic potion. They even have the ability to summon weak, gruesome minions. This makes Blood Mages very flexible--but that's not the only thing that makes them such a flexible class. As they gain levels, Blood Mages also gain the ability to scar themselves in ways that give them new powers. They can choose which scars to apply each time they gain a new one, with a choice of various useful abilities, such as facial scars that enhance the senses or give abilities to sense things normally unseen such as alignment. Other forms of body scarring grant them protections such as the effects of the Feather Fall spell, resistance to a specified element or damage type. One of the cooler scars even lets the character summon a blood ooze--a new monster that is described in this book. As well, the book as a few other nice touches. There is short list of new spells for Blood Mages, which add some nice flavor. Some story elements, and perhaps some Blood-Mage-related backgrounds would have been nice, but aren't really necessary to make this an awesome book. A few other clarifications might be nice as well. The book could stand to clarify a few minor issues--such as whether the mage's victim realizes when its body has been taken over, but that's not a big problem. If you are a dungeon master, I do recommend making sure that you are comfortable with the Blood Mage given its gruesome theme and varied abilities, which some may find a bit overwhelming. Overall, this is an amazing addition to the class offerings in the Player's Handbook. It offers something very unique that stands out from the other classes that is probably worth having in your game. After reading this book, I can't wait to have the chance to play a Blood Mage.

See our full review at geeksagogo.com



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Blood Mage - For 5th Edition
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Creator Reply:
Superb!
Manastorm: World of Shin'ar (5e)
by Sarah R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/02/2018 08:48:10

There's a chock full of great content in this setting that's sure to evoke the imagination of the players and the DM. It's all really done well, and theres a great balance between the crunch and the fluff in this book. There's a lot of unique stuff in this setting and a new and creative spin on a lot of things, that makes it refreshing and innovative and fun to play. The artwork and layout are great and complement each other well. The writing is good and everything is well explained.

Bottomline: I recommend this great high fantasy setting!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Manastorm: World of Shin'ar (5e)
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Creator Reply:
Thank you very much for your kind words!
Manastorm: World of Shin'ar (5e)
by Mathew S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/07/2018 04:35:32

Just received this last night, so haven't had chance for a full red yet, but once I do, a full review will be forthcoming. Really, really like what I see so far. Some refreshing things, nice new takes on old things, and it's just packed to the gills with content!

WATCH THIS SPACE



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hospitaller - For 5th Edition
by Monica G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/30/2018 22:19:20

This is a nice little supplement to add flavor to your 5th edition D&D game, and not much more. This book is a total of 13 pages, and only currently available in PDF, and it's a really nice way to add some optional flavor to your game. The book adds rules for the hospitaller class--a holy warrior with a mix of fighting and spell-casting skills, with a nice set of special abilities that are focused on healing and defense. This gives players another option for play in the form of a versatile class that can use heavy armor and swing a longsword when needed, but mostly is probably best used as a support caster and healer.

The hospitaller class has some nice features. There are several 'aura' abilities that let the player create an aura around them that calms allies of fear effects and makes enemies become non-hostile at 2nd level. At later levels the hospitaller can create an aura that helps deflect projectiles, and at level 18 they have an aura that heals allies continuously for a period of several turns. As well, the class has other abilities that guard the character against poison, disease, and necrotic damage, and some other nice healing powers that they can apply to allies. They get a bonus attack early on, which makes them decent fighters, and a list of spells that goes up to 5th level, making them decent casters as well.

At 20th level, hospitallers can create a protective prismatic dome that makes all inside immune to damage and allows them to make ranged attacks with magical energy at enemies. This ability is very powerful, but it doesn't seem to entirely fit the theme of a class that is related to paladin given that 'prismatic' spells tend to be wizard/sorcerer spells. It also seems a bit powerful and possibly disruptive of play--but then again, it's a 20th level ability. There are a few other issues with the wording of some abilities that can be interepreted in ways that might bring trouble to a game. The 'soothing aura' ability at level 9 prevents enemies from making hostile actions on a failed saving throw. On it's face, this sounds like an enemy can't fight back for a round even when attacked. That interpretation would likely make it too powerful of an ability that might lead to abuse by players, so perhaps letting enemies retaliate when under the influence of this power might be in order. I would urge DMs using this book to interpret the rules as best they can so as to keep their game fair. With a bit of planning and caution, this class adds a really nice player option to a D&D campaign. And if, as a DM, you find the class to be too powerful, it might make a great NPC class to turn into an opponent for your players.

Check out our weekly RPG review column, and see the full review at GeeksAGogo.com!



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Hospitaller - For 5th Edition
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Creator Reply:
Thanks for the great review! You raise some excellent points about the wording of certain abilities, and we will definitely take them into consideration if we decide to update the class.
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