By Thilo Graf
This pdf from Super Genius Games is 15 pages long, 2/3 of a page front cover, 1 page editorial/front cover, leaving us with 13 1/3 pages of content for the Riven Mage, so let’s check out this new base-class!
So what is the Riven Mage? The riven mage gets d8, 6+Int skills per level, 3/4 BAB-progression, proficiency with simple weapons, light and medium armour, shields and all good save-progressions.
Riven Mages cast different spells, raw magical powers called Rivenspells – they cast these via a pool called flux that starts off as a humble 2 points + Int-modifier flux points to cast their rivenspells, up to a maximum of a base 168 flux points at 20th level. Now, if you’re familiar with SGG’s gish-class Archon, you may know the basic concept of rivenspells, but more on that later. What is crucial to riven mages is the option to once per day regain ALL flux by meditating 15 minutes instead of resting for 8 hours, making the class more suitable for long adventure days with longer downtimes. They may enhance their rivenspells by spending additional flux points up to 1/2 class-level +1.
At first level, Riven Mages may choose from 6 different Riven Paths that grant the riven mage a bonus on a save, additional class skills and e.g. abilities like trafinding. At 12th level, they may act as if they had access to select spells for prerequisite crafting, spell triggers etc. At 2nd level and every 5 levels after that, the Riven Mage may also attune to a form of energy damage, opting to change her rivenspell damage to the chosen energy and adding her int-bonus to the damage of the modified rivenspell. They may also specialize in a particular rivenspell to cut flux-cost in half. As a capstone, they may use their flux points to make saves and mitigate received damage.
We get a total of 41 Rivenspells in the pdf, all of which come with a minimum-cost of flux and a minimum rivencaster level as well as e.g. required paths to take them etc. . Here a blatant and sloppy cosmetic glitch can be found: About half of the rivenspells list “Rivencaster 1” as prerequisite, the other half list “Rivencaster level 1” – now just about any editor should have caught this one. While not tragic, it detracts from a solidified look of the pdf, if not from its rules. The rivenspells represent more crude applications of magic than regular spells and as such usually can be made to last longer or gain increased powers by spending additional flux points. Far Sight e.g. gains an improved sensor-range and the Morph rivenspell allows the rivencaster to e.g. gain scent, but become blind, a fly-speed, but at the expense of arms etc. They may also throw arcanely-imbued weapon, charged with flux.
The class also comes with 3 different feats, one to get extra flux, one for an extra rivenspell and one to further optimize flux-expenditure regarding one rivenspell. The pdf also includes an alternative of the Archon focused wholly on rivenspells, the Rivener, which turns out to be not only a complex archetype, but actually one that makes the Archon-class stand out much more by replacing their spellcasting with rivencasting. It’s a bit weird that two abilities specify that they replace the same ability, though.
Editing and formatting are not up to the usually flawless standard by SGG – I noticed several glitches and inconsistencies, much more than I’m used from regarding SGG, including some minor formatting issues – nothing too serious, though. Layout adheres to SGG’s 3-column, landscape standard and the pdf comes with full bookmarks – neat!
The Riven Mage per se is a very cool class and a concept I hope authors Carl Gilchrist and Owen K.C. Stephens will expand with more rivenspells. The class is not only solid, it is essentially a good take on a warlock-style class that can blast foes with arcane energy, support via rivenspells, but never attain the versatility of full spell-casters. All in all, a solid, cool blaster-class that suffers slightly from editing glitches. Thus, I’ll settle for a final verdict of 4.5 stars, rounded down to 4 for the purpose of this platform.
The Genius Guide to the Riven Mage is available from: