Racial Ecologies Guide to Feyborn marks the latest addition to the line from Fat Goblin Games. Written and illustrated by Rick Hershey this PDF tackles those born with a touch of Fey to them. Be that because they are blood descended or merely blessed from birth, the feyborn are not quite the rest of us in regards to straight humanity, and it is these differences that make this such an interesting option for a PC race. The product does go on the default that human subtype is the only option presented, but I can't help but feel this subtype would be easily applied to several other races working off of the racial adjustment mechanics given for turning a human into a feyborn. Lots of racial trait options to make sure you will not feel pigeon-holed, which is always a plus in my opinion when presenting a new playable race, as more options always frees up players to explore and design. Along with the trait options comes a full set of favored class options as well, adding a further level of customization.
Rick does a great job here in remembering a lot of the little details that all add up to making a fleshed out race, a table for weight/heights and aging effects, a knowledge DC table for common knowledge regarding the race, the things like that. Eleven new feats offer up such gems as Fey Sense (Allowing for one to detect the presence and amount of fey within an area), Fey-Born Sorcery (giving a bonus to Enchantment spells) and Life's Blood (allowing for you to trade hps worth of damage for healing points for an ally).
New equipment introduces us to Dryad Pheromones, which do all those things those fake pheromone colognes always promised to do for us, lol. A very cool item, with a lot of useful potential. Follow this up with the Crescent Twilight, a fey weapon formed of two crescent blades laid side by side, and game mechanics to explain just what exactly what Fairy Duct is...hint, it's kind of gross in all reality, but makes perfect sense. An easy table gives all the pertinent data for including the weapon into your game easily.
Six magical items ranging from a Sprigganblood Cudgel (which can grow three times per day gaining a Reach ability) to Auberon's Blade ( a very nicely designed weapon, a flaming longsword that can be transformed into a whip, retaining damage from the sword while picking up attributes of a whip). Amongst these magical items I have to point towards the Gremlin Bell. In a world filled with conmen and snake oil salesmen peddling useless trinkets to the uneducated there are occasionally a few trinkets that actually do exactly what they claim to, and this happens to be one of those items. A simple bell on a string, nothing more, nothing less...but it reacts to and affects gremlins when they get within a certain proximity.
And, to close it all out, for those looking to get into the specifics of which fey their characters can trace back to as far as the racial details go we have a section detailing the heritage mechanics of being from a certain fey. Five options detailed, including the Bogeyborn, Dryadborn, Leprechaunborn, the unfortunate Miteborn, and the Nereidborn. Intended for those characters who are more attached to their fey heritage, each of the five racial packages replaces the default Feyborn racial kit, with a set of ability adjustments, traits and special abilities.
A random table with physical attributes (horns, skin tones, etc) close us out with an excellent way to quickly and easily generate a varied list of visuals for Feyborn characters.
Layout goes back and forth between a two and a three column format, with top notch editing. I found only one area of odd spacing, and to be honest I only mention it so that when others see it they won't be scratching their head wondering why I didn't. It certainly doesn't impede reading nor understanding, and is only odd in that it is a space between paragraphs on a page where no other paragraph breaks are spaced the same way.
Not mentioned as of yet, because quite frankly I am still trying to decide where I stand on it, is a sidebar regarding naming concepts. The sidebar as it stands is a useful tool, but within the text flavor of the Feyborn it is mentioned that their names are as varied as any human cultures, and that they are raised typically within these human lands. It seems to me that human parents would name their children according to their local racial customs and naming customs...that being said, in a fantasy setting, if a PC is looking for their Feyborn to have been born to parents who recognized them for what they were and want a name more fitting their heritage, the list is extremely handy. So...I guess, in the end I settle at the list is extremely useful for those looking to utilize it, which goes the route of providing options for those wanting them, which is something I tend to be a big fan of...hmmm, guess I figured out where I stand on the sidebar then, lol.
OK, so final tally. Artwork good, editing good, layout solid and design very appealing. An all around interesting racial option for a player race provided with a lot of options to make sure an entire table of players could choose this race to play and still manage some wildly different characters. A solid 5 star product, and well worth the price of admission! Well done!!