By Thilo Graf
This entry of Purple Duck Games‘ Fehr’s Ethnology-series is 11 pages long, 1/2 a page front cover/editorial, ~2 pages SRD and ~2 pages advertisement, leaving ~6.5 pages of content for this new race, so check it out!
Erkunae start off with a rather interesting and well-written flavour-text (which unfortunately also contains the first editing glitch), before we are introduced to the new race: Erkunae get +2 Str, +2 Int and -2 Con, count as humans, gain bonuses on courtly skills one would expect of nobles, work better alone and can, once per week, summon a scaling ally via elder pacts. The Erkunae can chose from chaos, elemental or death-creatures. They also get a racial bonus on attacks with blades.
The write-up of the race that introduces us to the elitist and isolationist culture of Erkunae is well-written and provides us also with age, height and weight tables and 6 well-balanced Erkunae-traits as well as 2 new regional traits. 8 alternate racial traits are part of the deal as well an enable you to e.g. give your Erkuna drug-addled dream-visions, a bonus to ride dragons and magical beasts, + 2 to Dex instead of Str (making for excellent rogues) and increased elemental affinity for sorcerers. In contrast to the first two ethnologies, I have nothing to complain about here.
The pdf also provides 4 racial feats: One for true neutral champions of balance, one to represent your royal bloodline (and thus grant social skill bonuses) and two rather interesting feats: PAct with Birds makes avian creatures not attack you (if you do, though, an atonement is in order) and Thrall holder is essentially a lesser leadership that nets you a commoner.
The pdf continues with respective class-discussions and 8 favored lass options, which include the rook and SGG’s dragon rider – nice to see some synergy there!
Finally, we get a sample level 1 magus and his undead pact creature eyes as well as another additional trait.
Editing and formatting are improved in V.2.0, but not yet perfect. Layout adheres to PDG’s 2-column-standard and the piece of artwork is nice, though it doesn’t fit the race’s description – Erkunae are supposed to be somewhat albino-style, not green. The pdf also provides bookmarks, which is nice to see. I actually, surprisingly, quite liked the Erkunae – I don’t have any major gripes to hold against the race. Their pact creatures are an interesting signature ability and lend themselves for some interesting roleplaying. Their culture and general attitude reminded me somewhat of Rite Publishing’s Wyrd, which is nice indeed and in my home-game, I think I’d blend them together. That being said, this time I have no gripe regarding the balance or content and actually can recommend this installment! While the overall write-up is great, I feel that the Erkunae could have been more unique with e.g. a short terminology-section or materials/unique cultural productions: That being said, the low price ensures that my final verdict will be 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 for the purpose of this platform – if the idea of the Erkunae intrigues you, check them out!
Fehr’s Ethnology: Erkunae is available from:
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