By Thilo Graf
This pdf from Rite Publishing for the Paizo’s Pathfinder RolePlay System this 34 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD and 1 page advertisement, leaving 30 pages for the spells, so let’s take a closer look at the spells, shall we?
7th level is traditionally the level that introduces what I like to call “High Magic”, i.e. spells that only specialists, primary casters, can cast and subsequently I expect something beyond useful or cool spells, but rather magic that clearly distinguishes the caster as a master of his craft.
In accordance with my format for 101-spell-reviews, I’ll once again mention select spells which I considered cool and ones I didn’t like, hopefully providing a nice overview of the book.
After 3 pages of spell-lists we get the spells, so let’s check them out! The first spell I found that I really liked is a debuff/buff-spell called “Calculated Anger”, which grants barbarian-like rage bonuses to allies and penalizes the enemies with uncontrollable anger. “Consume Item” destroys magic items via touch and grants you temporary HP – your PCs will hate this spell and I love it! One of the coolest spells in the book, though, has to be “Copycat”: You can replicate a spell of 6th level or lower cast by before by any caster in the encounter it is cast, complete with variable casting times dependant on the casting time of the original spell.
Once again, the series also features some nice curse-spells: “Bestow Greater Curse” felt rather uninspired – especially in direct contrast with the “Scourge”-curse (also in this book): While the latter comes with great sample curses, the former is only a bland set of penalties. “Curse Greater Ability” is a spell that, while not bad per se, I didn’t like: It prevents a foe from using one ability. While not bad, it is dependent on meta-game-knowledge and subsequently not my cup of tea. One of the cool spells, fluff-wise, is “Dragon’s Teeth Warriors”, creating clay golems from dragon’s teeth planted in the ground. “Earth and Fire” also rocks – it deals damage AND modifies effects in the area of the spell, adding e.g. bludgeoning damage to fire spells. Awesome idea, I would have loved to see more like that. “Explosive Dispel” is also nice – dispel and damage in one fell swoop.
For the dragon-fans, there is “Flames of the Dragon’s Fury”, a spell that grants you a fear-aura, natural armor and the ability to use draconic breath (which shortens the spell’s duration) – great and iconic spell! “Ward of Vaults” and “Haunted Grounds” are also nice spells, making locations more hostile to intruders and offering several nice ideas. When I read “Monstrous Lore”, I thought I’d hate the spell: It tells the players the abilities of a monster via its parts or scat. However, it only delivers the names of the abilities, not what they do, potentially giving the DM some leeway. “Rage of the Red Dragon” is a good example for a wasted chance – it’s just a combination of “Form of the Dragon I” and “Rage”. Especially in contrast to the “Flames of the Dragon’s Fury”-spell, this felt rather bland. For the rather sadistic guys like yours truly, there’s also a great spell “Mass Unstable Form” temporarily polymorphs the victims into living, amorphous blobs. The best spell, though, has to be “Steal the Painful Memory”, which removes a certain event from the collective knowledge of a large area, but also creates a piece of evidence – once the evidence is destroyed, the knowledge returns to the people. AWESOME!
Editing and formatting are very good, I only noticed one glitch, not enough to detract from the final score. Layout adheres to the classic b/w-two-column standard and the artworks are ok. On a design note, there are almost no spells I didn’t like and I gave some examples of cool spells. However, in contrast to e.g. 6th, 9th and 0-level, I didn’t notice that many “OMG-HOW-COOL”-spells. Thus, my final verdict will be 4.5 stars, concluding my reviews of 101 spells on a rather high note.
101 7th Level Spells is available from:
So what do you think?