Magic is not limited to the arcane castings of wizards. Divine magic is just as important, if not more so, in fantasy gaming. No adventuring party lasts long in battle without the healing powers of their clerics and the holy might of their paladins, or makes it far through the wilderness without the skills of their druids and rangers. And have you ever noticed how the most vile villains follow even more vile deities?
The Book of Divine Magic provides many new ways to define your divine spellcasters. Twenty-one new deities—good, evil, and neutral—are introduced, complete with dogmas, portfolios and domains. Along with the new domains, you'll find over 100 new spells, from minor orisons to fate-changing 9th-level spells. Several major houses of worship are detailed, to act as important places in a character's past, a destination for their future, or even a home base. For years, druids and rangers have had their animal companions, and paladins their warhorses—now clerics can have divine animal companions too! Dozens of new magic items are revealed, from handy adventuring aids to the holiest of relics.
Both players and Game Masters will find The Book of Divine Magic an indispensable tool for creating unique characters and exciting plotlines.
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The pros: The real crunch I got the book for, is that it brought open content renditions of several clerical domains from WotC "product identity" sources. A nice touch for wanting to bring PFRPG into a Faerun setting, as otherwise many domains that would have otherwise been missing from the pantheon would have had to be written from scratch, or just left out. At the same time, I found a good portion of the new spells to be a decent addition to the core spell lists - especially bardic spells to flesh out a class with relatively few unique to him spells. What I wished for was a few more paladin-only spells that could further distinguish the class' spell list, and also made the domains that used the spells more valuable than having the spells available to pally AND any cleric. I also would have wished for a blurb or two on suggested spell replacements for core domains with the new spells.
As far as the deity write ups, I could give or take - as I think most players and DMs are working with an existing campaign setting, else would flesh out their own. I've never had a use for extra-canonical deities in splatbooks.
The cons: Artwork seemed hastily done, especially the holy symbols. Also, as mentioned previously, some of the game mechanics new to PFRPG were missed - such as the +2/+2 feats that don't scale - but those glitches are easily fixed by a GM knowledgable in the game changes.
If you have ever used divine magic in your game, you need this book. Clever new feats, awesome new spells, some new gods that deserve a home in any setting, and mounds of awesomeness that will up the stakes in any game. It's a great addition to 4WFG's arsenal of supplements... and will be one to your game table as well. Buy it!
I got this book for my fiancee (GO GAMER GIRLS!) for Christmas.
The new gods are interesting, but the mechanical support for these ideas is weak.
Most of the bonuses granted by various spells, domain powers and such are untyped. This wouldn't be much of a problem except that the designers didn't seem to realize why bonus types are helpful. For example, the first level domain power of the Dwarf domain grants dwarf-like saving throw bonuses. Even though the bonus isn't typed (and is therefore not a racial bonus), they feel the need to specifically point out that it stacks with the dwarven racial bonuses to those saves.
Many of the feats are of the classic +2/+2 variety, but nobody told these guys that in Pathfinder, those feats get a bump at 10 ranks, keeping them useful throughout a PC's career. But then, a number of the spells and domain powers don't scale with level either. So using these options may ultimately make your character weaker.
And then there's the completely useless stuff. Like the spell compass; A 1st level ranger spell that automatically determines true north. Considering that rangers can already do that with a DC 15 Survival check,(better than 50% odds for a 4th level ranger) it's a little silly for them to waste a spell slot on it. And once a ranger gets to the point that they can maybe waste a 1st level spell slot, they're also to a point where they aren't going to fail that check.
I might buy the PDFs of their other books, but the cost of the print version wasn't worth it to me.
The second offering in book from from 4 Winds is as good as the first in the same vein. New deities, new spells and new options for clerics are contained within. A host of new ideas well worth your consideration.