By Thilo Graf
This pdf is 14 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD and one page back cover, leaving 9 pages of content.
The pdf kicks off with three levels of hauntings and offer a staple of haunting-like things that happen in such areas. While they are ok, they suffer from being a bit generic – I wouldn’t have needed the pdf to make these modifications. I guess a novice GM who has never tried to feature a haunted location in his campaign might benefit from them, though.
After that, we get three feats (Psychic sensitivity to evil and life and psychic locator) which should enable to locate the respective auras. With the exception of psychic locator (see my Touch of Character review), the feats are clunky and Psychic Sensitivity to Life fails to mention which skill to use to notice the auras. (Perception)
The 7 new spells presented are quite nice and could be interesting in its usage, although the spells that grant bonuses to the skill-checks don’t mention what kind of bonus they grant.
The pdf closes with a 3-page preview of the Ritualist-class. While I’m a sucker for Ritual Magic and have always loved e.g. the rituals from “Relics & Rituals”, I didn’t really get how the time-limit mechanic works. If it does work as I think it does, the class is rather weak and not a valid option for PCs. Both sample rituals (possession and exorcism) are rather run-of-the-mill and didn’t make me want to buy the upcoming pdf.
While the layout of the file is ok and I LOVE the topic of the file, I was not impressed by the execution. The initial description of the hauntings could be useful for novice DMs, but experienced DMs won’t find much there. The feats were too unwieldy in their mechanic for me to use and, quite frankly, I’m still not sure whether I get how to use them. While I love the idea of psychic sensitivity, I considered the effects not too spectacular – the Psychic Locator-feat just doesn’t work as it should (see the other review) and the Psychic Sensitivity to Life doubles as a detector for undead, which is explained via an absence of life. I just don’t know, Undead being powered by a different energy type (negative) from the detected positive energy of living beings and being detected nonetheless just felt awkward to me.
The editing could be better, I found several typos. The spells could be nice, but the lack of specificity with regards to the kind of bonus they grant somewhat thwarts their usability. Welcome to the subjunctive, everything could be so nice here.
The bonus ritualist class didn’t impress me. At all.
For a novice-DM who needs some advice to add a minor haunting element to a scenario and needs advice à la “Use Ghost Sound” with examples on what to describe to evoke some creepiness, this might be a two-star file. Due to the clunky feats, the spells that don’t specify their bonuses and thus can’t be used, the confusing wording in the description of some spells as well as the subpar editing, I’ll rate this 1.5 stars, rounded down.
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