By Thilo Graf
This pdf by Super Genius Games is 12 pages long 2/3 of a page front cover, 1 page editorial & SRD, leaving 10 1/3 pages of content, so let’s give these exalted domains a try, shall we?
What are exalted domains? Well, essentially, you give up one of your cleric domains for a focus on one domain and thus, new abilities. The issue of subdomains is also touched upon and while guidelines for the respective subdomains are provided in the section of their parent-domains, I consider the advice for creating/modifying them yourself to be the more valuable piece of information – the supplement was created with the GM’s option to expand the rules in mind.
We get 11 exalted domains and and 24 exalted subdomains, offering extensive support for all the neat subdomains aligned with the regular domains from the APG. While some of the subdomains only apply combinations of the parent’s and the exalted domains, most of them actually offer unique abilities like the bleeding damage-dealing Killing Strike from the murder domain. Especially the glorious Madness domain is worth a mention: As a touch attack, you can choose attack rolls, saving throws or skill checks – the target of your touch attack gets a bonus equal to your character level to this category and the same amount as a penalty to the other two. Offensive and defensive, risky, cool. And that’s just one ability of 3…
The other exalted domains are of the same quality and there is literally none that felt truly boring to me. Thematically, as per the title, we get death, war, destruction, madness and similar, rather gritty themes as well as domains of the law-chaos-axis and glory/trickery and the like. Strangely, though, the Evil domain is absent from this pdf, in spite of “Exalted Domains of Light & Lore” featuring a treatment of the Good domain.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any glitches. Layout adheres to the 3-column SGG-standard and artwork is ok. The pdf has no bookmarks, which is a pity. Content-wise, there simply is nothing to complain about – the domains feel interesting, compelling, are easy to integrate and author Marc Radle has done a terrific job that enhances our enjoyment of the cleric class. Even where just going for obvious abilities would have been easy, simple, concise and yet iconic abilities are granted, making the users of exalted domains feel much more in touch with their focus. My only real gripe is the lack of the Evil domain, which quite frankly belongs here. My final verdict will thus be 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 for the purpose of this platform.
The Genius Guide to Exalted Domains of War and Ruin is available from: