Review: Book of the Faithful I
By Thilo Graf
This pdf by Jon Brazer Enterprises consists of 7 pages, 1 front cover, 1 page credits OGL, leaving 5 pages of content.
The editing and formating is ok, the b/w picture is nice.
The pdf starts off promising, with half a page devoted to several prayers from different characters.
Then, we get a nearly two pages spanning introduction to concepts of religious characters, which, in my honest opinion, is wasted space. The ideas presented here are rather run-of-the-mill, and, while certainly useful for novice DMs and players, nothing new there either for me or my players.
After that, the crunch begins with 17 new feats of the new Prayer subtype.
They all have in common that they are activated via immediate actions and can be used once per day, as a sort of extremely minor divine intervention. I like that there is a distinction made in the description, stating that, while the players activates the feat, the character should notice it as NOT his own doing.
The effects only last for one round or for one action and range from “fairly good/perhaps OP” to “Why would I take this feat again?”
“Agile Feet” lets you ignore difficult terrain and associated penalties for one round.
“Held at Death’s Door” automatically lets you survive one hit per day, that would otherwise kill you and instead stabilizes you 1 hp from dying. Cool idea.
However: This WILL be metagamed by your PCs, even if they RP it accordingly, the idea in their heads will be: “I’ll heal you next round, you’ve still got your extra life left…”
“Lucky Dodge” gives you a nice divine bonus to Ref once per day. This is one of the really nice talents within.
“Touch of Goodness” enables you to once per day make half of the damage of a single attack of yours holy damage. Yay?
“Protect thy Neighbor” grants you once per day, when you aid another, the ability to increase the Ac bonus to +4. Holy smokes. Why would anyone take this?
“In Glorious Madness”, the ability for worshipers of gods of madness gives a bonus to Intimidate, if you have enough ranks the bonus doubles. Also, you get +2 to the intimidating glare rage power, if you have it.
This really disappointed me. Come on. The feat is called “In Glorious Madness”. I’d have loved to see something far out, innovative. Instead, its another one of the +x skill, if you have enough ranks +y feats. There are, this one including, 3 of them.
The pdf finishes with a minor magical charm and 3 example books that should have been provided for all religions. A layman’s tome, a cleric’s tome and a book of parables, all general so you can put your own religions and use their weight and worth as a nice guideline.
Albeit I may have come over as harsh, this is not a bad pdf. It’s just not made for me. The abilities seem to be somewhat strangely balanced (aid another once per day +4? Awesome, let’s waste a feat-slot on that) and the feats did not captivate me. While the fluff in the beginning is nice, the ideas for devout characters and the feats themselves remain rather bland for my tastes. After the introduction and the fluff there, I was disappointed by the actual prayers.
I think that if they were an additional system like incantations, they’d work much better.
Or if they were used by the DM and not in the players control.
If there e.g. was a concise way presented within for the DM to track favor with deities and then administer the benefits to the praying faithful, this would be a completely different book.
As presented, it’s unfortunately just another book of feats, and not one that really made me yell with excitement. For the price, it’s ok, I guess.