By Thilo Graf
This free player’s guide from Dreamscarred Press is 21 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial and 1 page SRD, leaving 18 pages of content, so let’s check it out!
Being the free player’s supplement for the new AP by Dreamscarred Press, this little pdf introduces us to the world of Ksaren, to be more precise, to the Ophid Protectorate. Ksaren is an interesting world due to several choices: First of all, there is no magic. Yeah, you heard me right – psionics only here! That means no wizards, no gods, no divine healing. Secondly, no gnomes, no halflings, no half-elves, no blues. The latter I don’t understand, though. The pdf introduces us to the races first: Adonais are savage elves and their racial traits still say “Elves” in one of their abilities. Chimairans are hybrids of two races and unable to use psionics. Dromites have only recently tried to gain independence, Dwarves, Duergars, Xephs and Elans are mostly what you would expect. Orcans are the Half-orc substitute and Half-giants (called Jettur) are mostly unchanged. Maenads are the prime sea-faring power and make for deadly pirates while the reclusive Kobolds have only begun interacting with the Protectorate again, which is under the control of the Ophiuans.Yep, humans are not the dominant species in the psionocracy! Interesting idea! If you haven’t gathered it from above description – there are stats for kobolds and the other variants as playable races including starting age tables.
We are also introduced to Ksaren#s languages, the classes available in Ksaren and two ranger archetypes – the skirmisher ranger archetype (reprinted from the APG) and the Ksarite ranger, a psionic ranger. We also get 3 new oils/potions, 2 new weapons, stats for the reptilian horse-substitutes used in Ksaren, 9 traits and a primer to the starting city of Arbil, including well-known information on some characters as well as an introduction to Ksaren’s dominant philosophies: The Godminds and The Flow. Godminds can be pictured as collectives of psionic ideals/thoughts, while the flow is essentially a philosophy of abstraction and inter-connectedness that sees and manipulates patterns.
Editing and formatting are good, although I did notice some glitches. Layout adheres to a two-column full colour standard and the map of Arbil and artworks are nice for a free player’s guide. The pdf does a good job of providing one with a general over-view of the world of Ksaren, enough to intrigue one enough to want to know more about the world. The pdf has 3 alibi-bookmarks that don’t really help and feature a typo. When all’s said and done, this player#s guide does a good job of introducing one to the merest basics of the Third Dawn campaign setting, though several questions remained for me due to the lack of at least a basic history of the world. Due to the minor glitches and the fact that, while it does a good job and is free, it is not perfect, I’ll settle for a final verdict of 4 stars. Oh yeah: Why are there no blues in Ksaren? ._.
Claws of Pelazin is available from: