By Thilo Graf
This pdf from Rite Publishing is 11 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of advertisements and 1 page SRD, leaving 6 pages of content for the new ioun stones, so let’s check them out!
Ioun stones are interesting items – they don’t use slots, circle adventurers and thus are quite obvious presences. Mechanically, these stones are challenging to design due to not taking up slots and reviewing them is subsequently not too easy. Oh yeah, then there are my prejudices against the item class: I consider them boring tools for min-maxers who have already used up all of their slots. I don’t like the concept. I think ioun stones are rather bland. So, that out of the way, let’s take a look what we get, shall we?
The ioun stones range from a modest 5000 GP to 220500 GP and offer bonuses from modest +1s to CMB/CMD to dealing 6d6 force damages, incorporeal forms and similar bonuses. There are also abilities that grant new feats to their owners and some of the ioun stones improve abilities from the APG-classes, which is nice. I also like that one of the stones looks like an eyeball – creepy!
Some of the abilities are downright cool and iconic, offering us e.g. the option to teleport and releasing electrical bursts from their point of origin to even separating the shadow from the body. Each stone comes with full information on aura, price and construction requirements.
Finally, legacy item lovers like yours truly get an intelligent ion stone called the master’s finch, complete with lore section and means of destruction.
Editing and formatting are good, while I noticed 2 minor glitches, none impeded my understanding of the content. The pdf comes with bookmarks and layout adheres to the new 2-column-RiP-standard. I’m not the biggest fan of ioun stones apart from their usage by archmages like Karzoug and subsequently was a bit sceptical whether I’d enjoy this instalment of RiP’s #30 series, but author Robert N. Emerson did a great job of providing ioun stones that go beyond boring bonus-stacking. While not all offer truly unique and imaginative abilities, most of them actually do and the APG-support is greatly appreciated. The legacy item is a nice cherry on top for me and should provide for entertaining roleplaying -an illusion-casting ioun stones with the personality of a trained finch makes for a neat companion/item to have. Please keep in mind that I’m not the biggest fan of ioun stones and that I consider the standard ones to be boring as hell when I’m saying that some of them felt a bit like filler. I would have loved to e.g. see Witch-ioun stones look like fetishes and have more that don’t look like sparkling gems – after all, the item-class could easily encompass other cosmetic looks. However, this pdf somewhat remedied my prejudices against this class of item and I can actually see myself using several of these stones, resulting in a final verdict of 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 for the purpose of this platform.
30 Ioun Stones is available from: