By Thilo Graf
This pdf from Legendary Games is 8 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, 1 page how-to use and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 4 pages of content, so let’s check this out!
This installment of the Gothic Grimoire-series of disturbing tomes details the ruminations of living mummies, bound to their bodies by a proximity to an elder evil, an insane twist of pharaonic burial rites transcribed by those inflicted with the contagious madness of Tanoth-Gha’s presence.
Transcribed in pictograms and tribal symbols on threadbare cloth and establishing a contact with the inscrutable Tanoth-Gha, studying this tome has a disturbing effect on the mind and may result in dangerously sleepless night – but also allow access to get Tanoth-Gha as an eldritch patron if a witch.
Beyond this option, studying the tome also allows you access to 5 new feats: They allow you to apply the mummified zombie or fossil skeleton templates to your summoned creatures and more complex ones: By taking a feat, you can modify your elemental servants to work versus the incorporeal undead and gain the engulf special quality that also dimensionally anchors those subject to it. Furthermore, those slain by your servant’s engulf-attacks turn to stone. Neat! Even better, if you have learned this art, you may grant your summoned elemental (if you call just one), the ability to add chill touch to its attacks and the final elemental-enhancing feat also adds death ward and death knell to the repertoire of your elemental servitors.
The pdf also included the mummified zombie and fossil skeleton-templates that make your undead rather harder to kill – both at CR +1 and both featuring unique, interesting mechanics.
The grimoire also allows those that brave its swaths access to 6 different new spells: Eldritch monolith creates a solid illusory double of an ancient structure, resized to fit into the spell’s area, but only its outside – detailed information on interior structures is not part of the deal. Though it indeed allows you to create your own composite monolith from maddened, half-remembered visions. Another spell allows you to create cursed versions of the monolith (combine with Rite Publishing’s 101 Legendary Curses for extra fun…) and there also are two different powerslave-spells – variations of lesser geas and geas that provide the caster with the options to grant enhancements to his/her respective slaves, but also strains the mind of those enslaved this way. The coolest spell, though, would at least for me be “Primeval Interdiction”, which allows the caster to prevent divine powers to be used in an area, greater dispel divine spells AND spell-like effects (and be better at it, the more insane you are…) or even bar a creature from casting divine spells for 24 hours upon succeeding a caster level check, again, enhanced by your madness. Finally, “Wasted Years” prevents gaining morale bonuses and combines that with inflicting the curse of the ages.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any glitches. Layout adheres to Legendary Games’ 2-column standard with a printer-friendly white background. The artwork of the sepulchral-swaths is glorious indeed. The pdf is extensively bookmarked in spite of the shortness – very commendable since it makes using the book simpler.
I’m slowly feeling like a broken record with regards to Legendary Games’ Gothic Grimoire-series: Each entry so far has brought an exquisitely iconic tome to the table and features well-crafted, interesting new options and the sepulchral swaths are no different. What is different is that we get some nice templates that fit in well thematically. All in all, yet another excellent addition to the great line – final verdict, unsurprisingly, clocking in at 5 stars plus seal of approval.
Gothic Grimoires: The Sepulchral Swaths of Tanoth-Gha is available from: