By Thilo Graf
The latest offering of Super Genius Games‘ Anachronistic Adventurers-line is 19 pages long, 2/3 of a page front cover, 1 page SRD/editorial, leaving us with 17 1/3 pages of content, so let’s check this out!
Mechanics-wise, the Luminary-class provides us with d8 HD, 5+Int skills per level, 3/4 BAB-progression, good will-saves, proficiency with simple weapons and those according to progress level and of course, the Anachronistic Adventurer-line’s further modifications via archetypes, but before I get to them, let me first describe the Influence-ability: Luminaries, as manipulators and motivators, gain a pool of Cha-mod influence-uses per day that increases by 1 at 5th level and once every 4 levels thereafter. Creatures too dumb Int<2 are not affected. Luminaries may prompt rerolls from opponents, grant increasingly useful action types (first swift actions or +1 AoO, later even move actions and standard actions), allow allies to reroll select rolls and distract others with their charms if they fail a save. Neat abilities!
Furthermore, they get so-called luminary-talents at 3rd level and every 4 levels thereafter and may select from a pool of them that mostly can be considered rather complex, allowing luminaries to e.g prompt a catharsis of multiple emotions, extrude an aura of calmness that allows allies better skill checks and even taking 10, gain additional class skills or bonus feats, discern the motivations of others and even convince others to not use a certain weapon for some time by laughing at an enemy’s choice of armament etc. They also gain an array of limited talents which have a more limited selection as well as a superbly love/help-at-first-sight capstone ability.
As with all Anachronistic Adventurers-pdfs, we also get modular archetypes for the class, the Celebrity gaining 6 additional talents to choose from that include making “frenemies” (BOY I hate this word!), working a crowd and rumor mongering. Headliners gain more class skills, bonuses to perform and 7 exclusive talents (including stage magic and animal companions). The Fixer gains better contacts for fewer bucks, better chances of finding an item, the option to talk down violence and access to talents from other Anachronistic Adventurers classes as well as rogue talents.
Now additional system-wise, the pdf also has a neat idea and presents us mechanics to run diplomacy versus groups and tracking a group’s general response towards presented ideas, including time based on settlement sizes and DC-modifiers as well as rules for cheering, debating and heckling of ideas in public spaces/group relations. Above and beyond that, we also get advice on different ways of getting the attention of such significant groups.
As with all pdfs of the series, we also get information on progress levels and proficiencies.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any glitches. Layout adheres to SGG’s 3-column standard and the pdf’s stock art is very appropriate of the theme. The pdf unfortunately has no bookmarks, which is a major flaw by now in my book.
The Luminary continues the trend of SGG’s excellent, top-notch Anachronistic Adventurers-line with yet another stellar, interesting class that provides options galore – though, for the first time, I am not at all sold on the additional mechanics provided. While the rules for influencing large bodies of people per se are well-written and concise, they also suffer from a lack of space devoted to them – a topic as complex as social interaction would in my opinion demand a more complex, more extensive system to allow for political machinations. That being said, unless you’re like me and feature oftentimes extremely complex political debates (I’ve crafted my own system for this, based loosely on Dynasties & Demagogues social combat), you should still consider the system enough to represent your needs. While for me the system falls flat of e.g. the research-system for the Investigator, I can’t hold this solely against this pdf. Since the talents etc. and the class are balanced, I’ll still stick to a top verdict, clocking in at 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 for the purpose of this platform due to aforementioned personal preference of a more complex take on social interactions with groups and the lack of bookmarks.
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