This was originally reviewed on the Open Gaming Network.
There is, of course, a scoring system, similar to that used elsewhere, in a 5-star rating, which we have determined as follows:
1 – Bad
2 – Mediocre
3 – Decent
4 – Good
5 * – Excellent
The following review is an OPINION piece and only reflects the opinion and tastes (because ultimately, all reviews will be based on personal taste) of the reviewer.
That disclaimer out of the way, let’s get on with the show!
This week we give you Player Paraphernalia #133 The Sorcerer’s Secrets Vol I, Core Bloodline Expansions!
Publisher: The Knotty-Works
Author: John Buckley
Cover Artist: Jeremy Hart
Page count: 10 (cover, 1-page credits/OGL, table of contents), 7 pages of content, 1 page back cover)
Right, so let’s look at the cover first. This one doesn’t actually tell us much, though the outline for it, does bring to mind an old leather book with engravings. I have to say that the differences in the text-types is a little off-putting, especially the “133” that’s in stark white, and sticks out badly compared to the Player Paraphernalia (I’m assuming that’s part of the artwork, as opposed to overlaid afterward).
But let’s skip to the contents….
First up we have a page explaining what the book is about (sorcerers), and how to give their limited spell selections more options, by expanding on their bloodline bonus spells. This sounds like a good idea, and this can be summed up briefly by A) letting a character choose a single spell from 3 for each bloodline or B) letting the character swap that one around each day, between those 3 spells. It seems like a good idea, but I would have liked for it to dive into the favored class bonus for humans since they can add more spells. I’d basically have liked an option C, that just allowed the sorcerer to use that favored class bonus instead. (That’s my own personal home-campaign solution to it).
Right, onto the bloodlines…
Straight up, I have to say that there’s one thing I’m really missing, although John has mitigated it somewhat. It states “The following bloodlines are available in Paizo’s Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rule Book™.”, which is true, but it, on the very first bloodline, dives into spells from other books. It’d have been nice to have an asterisk or similar marking showing where the various spells come from. Thankfully John has linked the PDF up so that it leads to the relevant spell on d20pfsrd.com, but this is something I might otherwise have used where I would have no internet connection.
Each core bloodline is then presented, with a short introduction (like the one in the Core Rulebook), and each level of spells have a listing of between 2 and 6 spells for the sorcerer to choose from, for his bloodline spell (using options A and B) as mentioned above. This is basically the rest of the book, listing spells and bloodlines from the core rulebook, so I’m going to finish this section here.
And so we come to the conclusion:
This is a book without much original content, which is a bit of a downer. The options are good, however, and due to the low price point, I don’t feel cheated on buying this. Likewise, John has gone to the trouble of linking up all the spells, even if they’re not marked for where they’re from. It’s therefore quite difficult to judge where this should be rated, as it’s a book that I feel that I’m unlikely to look at often, but I might well use the actual options that he has presented in preference to my normal one, of allowing the favored class bonus to grow, since this allows for more interesting gameplay and meaningful choice.
As such, I’m going to rate this a 4-star, but it comes with 2 caveats: 1) If you’re looking for truly original content, you need to look elsewhere. But if you would like some fun options for your sorcerer, and don’t mind a lot of listings of spells you already know, you could well have some use out of this. And 2) If this had been more than it was at $1.79 it would not have been more than a 3-star.
Nice work John, but please give us something more “contenty” next. :)