By Thilo Graf
This pdf from Rite Publishing is 17 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD and 2 pages advertisements, leaving 12 pages of content, so what exactly are fleshcrafts?
The IC-narrator Pers Veilborn explains the fleshgrafts of originating after the Days of Dark Rain destroyed the Tamar-people (remember them from #30 Traps for Tombs?) in a perfect example of a great mood-setting piece of prose that delivers enough hooks to bring this evolution of a dark cataclysm to your game. Essentially, fleshgrafts are semi-sentient additional limbs, appendages and body modifications that can be grafted to your body via anew feat and be preserved via a new spell. If you’re thinking Chaositech now, that would be a somewhat fitting parallel, especially with the bones of steel, for the modifications might empower you, but also make a disturbing creature out of you. The grafts all come with auras, take up slots and construction requirements.
What grafts do we get? Want retractable wolverine-claws? It’s there. A maw like a leech that lets you drain grappled foes? It’s there. Wings are available in 3 versions. 2 different kinds of tentacles, Mantis claws, spitting acid and webs – it#s there. You might even put a troll-organ into your body, thus growing angry pustules you can pop to regenerate. Of course, there are also eyes and e.g. the ability to exchange eyes with familiars/animal companions/servants. Deadly third eyes can drive foes mad or even petrify them while skingrafts enable you to emulate disguises of donor skins. Classics like horns, gills, fooling detect-spells, flesh-pouches and swim-speeds are also included in the delightfully disturbing array.
We also get the Gibberer as a creature to attach and extract fleshgrafts (think gibbering mouther in less powerful) and two multiclassed, fully stated NPCs ready to inflict upon your PCs – both belonging to the fleshgrafting Wardens of the Darkened Heart, of course!
Editing and formatting are very good, I didn’t notice significant glitches, though one of the extensive bookmarks for example, features a question mark instead of an apostrophe. Layout adheres to the full-color 2-column standard and the artwork is stock, but fitting for the theme. Oh boy, how have I gibbered with glee when reading this – from the excellent prose to the concisely, yet balanced fleshgrafts presented herein, a sense of alien dread and disturbing potential for not only DMs, but also players pervades this pdf. The grafts are powerful, but the cost of becoming a monster is readily apparent when reading the respective sections. It’s ideas like the trollish pustules and their disturbing activation that really drives home a sense of wrongness not often seen in item-books. Add to that the ease with which you can add to the existing grafts, the hook-ladden prose, the idea for the secret society of fleshgrafters and the 2 sample NPCs as well as the process of adding new grafts and we’re in for a delightfully sick new addition to the array of any aberration, doomsday-cult or similar threat – or even to heroes.If you ever wanted to create ReMade à la China Mièville, there are your tools. My only and minor gripe is that I wanted the option to make gibberers familiars – that would make for a nice Pathways-article, btw.! Taking the low price into account, my only minor gripe is not sufficient to weigh T.H. Gullivers extremely well-written latest contribution to the #30-series down and continues the reign of 5-star verdicts he gathers. When do we get 101 additional fleshgrafts?
If not abundantly clear by now, my final verdict will be 5 stars and the Endzeitgeist seal of approval.
30 Fleshgrafts is available from: