By Thilo Graf
This installment of the Fehr’s Ethnology-series from Purple Duck Gamesis 9 pages long, ~ 1/3 of a page editorial, 2 pages advertisement/SRD, leaving us with 6 2/3 pages of content, so let’s check out these Avoodim!
So what are the Avoodim? Essentially, they are a race cast down from heaven – having failed at becoming archons, they in their shame didn’t try again and hence have been sent down to earth, looking for a way, a purpose, a chance for redemption. Avoodim get +4 Con, -2 Dex and Cha, are native outsiders, get darkvision, celestial resistances, +2 to craft and +1 to atk against chaotic and evil outsiders, the option to use doom on foes as well as a racial susceptibility to bouts of melancholia and despair. The racial write-up comes with full age, height and weight tables.
The race gets 6 balanced race traits, including one that makes it possible to create truly fallen, corrupt Avoodim and one that lets you issue the battlecry of heavens to buff your allies via virtue 1/day. Among the alternate racial traits (a total of which we get 6), we get a lock gaze as a spell-like ability, a minor spell resistance and improved speed when charging into the fray. We also get 4 different racial feats. One deserves special mention: “Steel my Soul” lets you 1/day not have to roll a crit confirmation, but only at the DM’s approval and also provides rerolls vs. fear and despair effects. Without the DM-caveat, I’d consider this feat terribly broken and while I can see it work, I feel it also potentially entails discussion between DM and players. Design-wise, it’s not as great a choice – I would have loved to see this feat work somehow without placing responsibility in the DM’s hand.
The pdf also covers the take of the Avoodim on all Paizo-classes and the Rook and 7 favored class options and provides us with a sample Cleric 1 Avoodim character.
Editing and formatting are very good, I did not notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to a 2-column standard and the full color artwork is nice indeed. The pdf comes fully bookmarked. This pdf has a whopping, extremely cool fluff, perhaps the best fluff of the series so far. Balance-wise, I don’t have anything to complain about the race and the new options do make sense, with the background feeling organic and nice. That being said, when compared to its direct predecessors, this race feels slightly less original and cool – further abilities to represent the Purpose and Pain, perhaps additional feats or traits would have gone a long way to making this one stand out more and lend more credence to the unique perspective of the Avoodim. Add to that the one minor feat-problem I mentioned and my final verdict will clock in at a solid 3.5 stars, round up to 4 due to the low price and cool basic concept.
Fehr’s Ethnology: Avoodim is available from:
So what do you think?