By Thilo Graf
All right, though I think that by now, you know the drill, here’s the chant: 3 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, 1 page content, this time providing us with feats to modify spells that raise the dead, so let’s check them out!
- Ferryman: If you’re a preparing spellcaster, you can channel spells (à la spontaneous conversion) into raise dead-spells as long as the life-restring spell is of an equal spell-level or lower. If you’re a spontaneous caster, you may add one bonus spell that restores life to your repertoire. Additionally, you may 1/day halve the costs of such a spell. I’m not comfortable with the prepared spontaneous conversion – with the massive casting times and costs of the spell, I feel that this one might cheapen further the already cheap repercussions of death in the game, something I personally rather much avoid – death should have at least some gravity.
- Lore from Beyond the Pale: When raising a creature from the dead, you may ask a question the creature then replies once the deed is done. An awesome little modification to the base-spell.
- Rebirth: If you add some money and incense to your raise the dead-spell, your resurrection changes the target creature, enabling it to reassign attributes, change its age (between adulthood and max age) and even change its mystical name for arcane purposes. Per se a great re-boot spell, but also one that potentially wrecks a campaign setting: The ability to become more youthful and thus cheat the natural lifespan might make many a necromancer-justification and even lichdom rather absurd. A Great feat per se, but the age-problem needs to be nerfed in order to guarantee internal consistency in a setting.
- Selfless Resurrection: This feat enables you to take negative levels of the subject to be resurrected in its stead, disabling you rather long, but also adding the option of resurrecting people who’ve died of old age – though only with one final year to live. It’s modifications like the latter that make this feat work in my opinion where Rebirth goes too far. Additionally, this feat stretches the length after which breath of life can be used.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any glitches. Layout adheres to SGG’s horizontal 3-column standard and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length. All right, I’ve got to come clear: I’m not a big fan of raising the dead without quests and think that death in 3.X-derivate and PFRPG is far too cheap.
That being said, I can get behind some of the ideas presented in this pdf – Lore from beyond the Pale especially, but also the iconic selfless resurrection are awesome feats that greatly enhance the already cool scenes of resurrection. My favorite would be Rebirth, were it not for the potentially logic-breaking assumptions that this feat adds to a campaign, making undeath a rather stupid choice for all those mighty beings. And Ferryman…well. For a campaign in which PCs rise and fall continuously, this might be nice, but generally, I feel that it overtly cheapens an already much to cheap act that should retain at least some component of its iconicity. In the end, I can see that this pdf is not made for me, but its appeal remains apparent. Thus, I’ll only fracture in the potential repercussions for the in-game logic the otherwise stellar rebirth-feat would entail. In the end, I’ll thus arrive at a final verdict of 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4 for the purpose of this platform with the caveat that, if you don’t mind campaign-world logic/ play in a game that handwaves resurrections, this might be 5 stars for you.
With a Bullet Point: 4 Feats for Spells that Raise the Dead is available from:
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