Faces of the Tarnished Souk: Bonetongue, Steward of Dead Dreams
By Thilo Graf
This installment of the FoTS-series of NPCs from Rite Publishing is 18 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of advertisements and 1 page SRD, leaving 13 pages for the 3 incarnations of bonetongue.
Who is bonetongue? Bonetongue is a sombre, serene guarding of the dead, full of compassion to the point where he lost his dreams in duty to his watch. He is the sad custodian of the defeated, the wise and benevolent shepherd of those fallen in the Coliseum Morpheuon. Also, he’s an immensely powerful white necromancer who happens to be a goblin that can’t die.
Rite Publishing have a nice track record of excellent templates and complex characters and this installment of the FoTS-series is no exception providing 5 templates: Ogrekin, mystic creature, foul creature, death scavenger and eternal creature. The base-class is also interesting, finally providing a way to play white necromancers – if you don’t happen to know it, be sure to check out KQW #19. For this particular pdf, you don’t necessarily need the class-write-up as all pieces of information necessary to run bonetongue are included. We also get new spells, summon dead I to IX and a spell called bone swarm, three new feats (one of which deals damage to people whose spells you counter) and 5 new magic items. I particularly enjoyed the fast-digging gravedigger’s shovel, the coins placed on the eyes of a dead creature and a very cool ring that transforms foes into ashes and an urn to store the souls of the fallen until their resurrection.
The three different incarnations of bonetongue are an interesting evolution of the same character and range from CR 6 to CR 18, as we’ve come to expect: What is new, though, is that each incarnation of bonetonue comes with 3 variants, a Death-Scavenger, a Foul and a Mystic variant, i.e. minor statblock modifications that help you further customize your personal incarnation of bonetongue, which is awesome.
The background-story and advice on how to use the goblin caretaker is awesome and he makes for an interesting ally for the PCs, perhaps even more due to his relative pacifism and the hinted evolution of the character throughout a Coliseum Morpheuon story-arc.Being an eternal creature, bonetongue can only die via very specific circumstances and he fully knows that, standing up to foes to protect the innocent even if it means his death. A couple of times.
Editing and formatting are quite good, although I noticed some minor formatting glitches like tabs not lining up etc. Layout adheres to the classic b/2-s-column standard by RiP and the pdf comes with bookmarks. The b/w-artwork of bonetongue is nice indeed. Bonetongue is an interesting character, as he is one of the few relatively unambiguous allies for the PCs in the FoTS-series. While he is solemn and may yet break his vows, his pacifism, wisdom and the fact that he’s a white necromancer are enough to constitute an interesting character indeed. With the notable exception of a certain Ghost-light, this FoTS-installment is my favourite primary caster in the series as of yet – almost constituting a nice Yoda-like mentor. One that might yet crush all the depravity of the Coliseum below an army of vengeful dead. If it can’t be helped, that is. My final verdict will, once again, be 4.5 stars due to the minor glitches and the fact that I would have loved a reason why he is eternal and a more specific means of granting him final death. I’ll round up to 5 for the purpose of this platform, though…
The Genius Guide to Loot 4 Less vol. 4: Fantastic Footwear is available from: