By Thilo Graf
This pdf from Super Genius Games is 12 pages long 2/3 of a page front cover, 1page editorial & SRD, leaving 10 1/3 pages of content, so let’s give these exalted domains a try, shall we?
What are exalted domains? Essentially, you give up one of your cleric domains for a focus on one domain and thus, new abilities. Subdomains are also touched upon and while guidelines for the respective subdomains are provided in the section of their parent-domains, the advice for creating/modifying them yourself is the more valuable piece of information – good to see that the supplement was created with the GM’s option to expand the rules in mind.
The basic concept out of the way, we get roughly a third of the domains covered within the pages of this pdf, most of them centring rather around creation than destruction, featuring e.g. charm, artifice, healing, magic, sun etc. , totalling 12 domains and 25 subdomains. While some of the subdomains just apply their parent’s changes, the vast majority actually does feature some very interesting, unique abilities, making the concept not only worthwhile, but offering a nice array of options for your clerics.
Owners of the Genius Guide to Crystal and Dream magic, respectively (yeah me!) get two additional exalted domains for attunement and crystal – nice and a cool way to reward faithful fans without depriving the other consumers of a significant portion of their product!
The pdf closes with 5 new exalted domain feats, one to channel your divine energy into your weapon, a feat to improve channelling for users of exalted domains, a feat that lets you use 1 spell-slot per level gained from a domain to prepare spells from the cleric list and one to improve the effective caster level for your exalted domain spells. The final feat, though, is over-powered: Exalted Soul reduces the amount of negative levels (if any) you take by 2. OUCH. Depending on the campaign, that might be either useless or powerful. It should definitely be handled with care.
Editing and formatting are good, though not perfect: I noticed a missing blank line and a punctuation error – not enough to rate this down, though. Layout adheres to the 3-column standard and there are no bookmarks, which is a pity. Designer Marc Radle has done a splendid job with this part of his exalted domain-trilogy, as crunch-wise I have no gripes whatsoever, the abilities all felt balanced, appropriate for the domains and make the selection of an exalted domain hard for all the right reasons – after all, you can only take one of them and there are a lot cool ones herein! The minor glitch and the potentially unbalancing feat remain the only blemishes of this otherwise excellent pdf, resulting in a final verdict of 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 for the purpose of this platform.
The Genius Guide to Exalted Domains of Light and Lore is available from: