By Thilo Graf
This first offering of Above Average Creations is a 8-page pdf, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving 4 pages of content, so let’s check out whether this creation is truly above average.
The pdf begins by explain how its focus is providing 10 new curses to expand the support for the Oracle class. It also provides a list of 10 curses along information into which category (like social, physical, etc.) they fall as well as their strength. The curses are surprisingly well-crafted and range from getting bleeding wounds to being ponderous (i.e. large and slow), ever-changing (constantly changing e.g. hair colour and features) to being mute or hyperactive, the curses succeed in feeling like curses with the possible exception of being a hermit, which usually would sooner or later result in acclimatization to culture sooner or later.
More importantly, the curses offer some room for DM-specifics: Dependant forces you to choose an external creature without which you cannot cast – make it e.g. a child brother and we’re up for some interesting roleplaying opportunities. by the way, this example was taken directly from the pdf, as each curse comes with some idea as how to implement the curse and mine new roleplaying opportunities from the curse. The impatient-curse will be nerfed by yours truly, though: Its lvl 10-ability lets you roll 3 d20s for skill-checks and take the highest result. While not being able to take 20 or retrying skill-checks is hard, the downside does not make up for this very powerful ability.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any glitches. Layout adheres to a clear, printer-friendly two-column standard. The pdf comes with no bookmarks and the art is stock-art that fits the theme. I was positively surprised by this first offering of Above Average Creations, as it truly is above average. The curses are well-written and the additional pieces of RP-advice make them valid options. While some of the design-choices (see the Impatient-curse) are a bit problematic, they are also easily fixed. the extremely low price, of course, also fractures into my final verdict. When all’s said and done, I really love how the curses feel like curses, the roleplaying advice and most of the curses. Due to some rather strong mechanics like the aforementioned 3 d20s and the lack of bookmarks, I’ll settle for a final score of 4 stars – a great first offering and highly recommended at the low price point.
Oracle Curses (PFRPG) is available from: