Wyrd of Questhaven (PFRPG) PDF

***½( ) (based on 3 ratings)

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Wyrd, a race of half-elven/half ogre magi stock created at the command of The Mandate of the August Personage in Darkness, usable as player characters at 1st level, with custom feats, spells, and prestige classes; they make an optimal choice for bards, favored souls, sorcerers, warlocks and wizards. Also included is a Paragon class that makes them just as interesting as the original 3.0 version. Included with this is a plug-and-play 1st-person point-of-view descriptive text that allows for an easy introduction of this new race, numbered only in the hundreds, into your existing campaign. Updated from 3.0 to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, this product also includes:

  • New descriptive text told from a wyrd's perspective
  • Racial Traits with a multiple-choice legacy ability
  • 7-level Wyrd Paragon Class
  • 11 Feats
  • The Oni Sorcerous Bloodline
  • Whispering Advisor of the Emperor Dragons Prestige Class
  • 9 Spells

From the same designer who crafted the hugely successful Ironborn of Questhaven and the best-selling Feats 101 comes the second book in the extraordinary Questhaven Campaign Setting. This new line brings you the best of the 3.0 and 3.5 Open Gaming Content updated for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Each element is customized yet kept modular providing game components beyond the core products helping to create an evocative campaign experiences.

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***½( ) (based on 3 ratings)

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***( )( )

I love new races. For me, they are part of what make a setting unique and cool. This pdf presents a new race called the Wyrd. These guys reminds me of the 'gentle giant' type, with inborn magic and resistances. They actually reminded me a lot of the wilders from The Wheel of Time series (especially in appearances).

This pdf makes use of a narrator called Deimos Invincible Fox (one of the Wyrd), something that I haven't seen before in other products. But is this good? I would have to say yes and no. The writing is certainly good and I liked reading the thoughts of Deimos, but it also seems to limit the knowledge that the reader gets. We get a very personal oppinion about the Wyrd, and not a useful overview of the race. Also, there are times when this makes absolutely no sense, like when Deimos have to explain the alignment of his race... who in their right mind would label themselves with True Neutral? Why not describe the mindset of the Wyrd, with the narrator's own words and then the reader can make up his mind what kind of alignment they are, or even better, write a sidebar which complements the narrator's words. Personally, I would have preferred that the product had no narrator but a couple of cool sidebars instead, with the narrator's view.

Personally, I am not a big fan of the whole paragon class system, but the race class seems balanced, if not a little boring. How about some abilities that say a bit more about the race and help define how they develop? I have not seen a lot of paragon classes, so I am not sure if this is how they are supposed to work. I know that Purple Duck Games' Cyclop and Medusa pdfs had a few more signature abilities.

The rest of the pdf presents a series of feats, 11 to be precise. There were a few that I liked (like the mage/wyrd feats), but also a few that made no sense, like the Mystical Grace feat. I mean, why gain bonus hit points based on which feats you take (metamagic and item creation)? We also get a new sorceror bloodline (Oni), the Whispering Advisor prestige class and nine new spells. I liked most of the spells, which seemed balanced and flavored.

Overall, while the Wyrd seem a little too neutral (and bland) to me, they seem balanced. In this product, you get a lot of material for your money, which is nice, and the material presented are focused on the Wyrd (with a few feat exceptions). I didn't find a lot of typos and layout mistakes, which is also a plus. I am going to settle on 3.5 stars, rounded down for the purpose of this format.


Innovative, cool race.

****( )

The other reviews have been quite extensive, so I'm going to keep it short and sweet:
The Wyrd are cool, especially for a setting that has ties with an oriental continent/culture.

The race per se is really imaginative, although I'm not sure whether I'd use them as PCs - they seem to be quite strong, at least for my rather low-powered, rare magic campaign.

The paragon-class is cool and captures the eastern fantasy-flick-flair nicely.

The PrC is awesome - I could see myself playing this class.
The new Spells are cool, too.

Why only 4 stars? They are kinda hard to implement and seem to be a bit stronger than the core races. Plus: While there are a lot of allusions to Questhaven, I have nor yet managed to piece everything together. A sourcebook on the city would be awesome and would help to make this pdf even cooler. *nudgenudge* ;)

EDIT: If you have an oriental campaign or a high-fantasy campaign and need a power-behind-the-throne villain-build, be sure to check "Wyrds" out. The PrC alone is worth the price of the pdf.


I really like these guys, I'm just not sure what to do with them . . .

***( )( )

The concept of elf/oni is kind of cool. Its also not something that seems like it would be common. The support material for this races, including a PrC and a Paragon class, are really solid. I really liked that this was reworked as a standard race instead of trying to shoehorn the original +6 LA race into Pathfinder.

That having been said, with a strong Asian flavor and a hard origin to make common, these guys aren't going to be easily dropped into just any campaign, unless you are making a PC or NPC that just happens to be a unique being, but then you lose out on using a lot of the strong background material.

If you have an "unexplored land" that might work for the origin of this race, it may not be quite as hard to use them. But if too much is established about how common Oni are and where and how elves interact with others, its a little trickier.

Despite that, its a good read, and its interesting enough that the material at least makes you want to try to make them fit into a campaign, because its such a unique concept and so well realized and fleshed out here.

Take my three stars as more of a measure of general utility rather than specific quality. Its solid design and a satisfying read.



I wanted to thank alleynbard for taking the time to do a review of this product.

Steve Russell
Rite Publishing


Owen K. C. Stephens said: (and who kindly gave permission for me to repost it)

Quote:
The fine folks at Rite Publishing were kind enough to send me a copy of their book Wyrd of Questhaven, which takes a race I wrote up for Bastards and Bloodlines way back when, and runs with it (as well as updating it to Pathfinder). This is the OGL at its best, someone taking the kernel of an idea, and turning it into something brand new. I'm thrilled to get to discover a whole new wyrd, and I really like what they've done with the race.


Qwilion wrote:

Owen K. C. Stephens said: (and who kindly gave permission for me to repost it)

Quote:
The fine folks at Rite Publishing were kind enough to send me a copy of their book Wyrd of Questhaven, which takes a race I wrote up for Bastards and Bloodlines way back when, and runs with it (as well as updating it to Pathfinder). This is the OGL at its best, someone taking the kernel of an idea, and turning it into something brand new. I'm thrilled to get to discover a whole new wyrd, and I really like what they've done with the race.

I really really love this..the only thing I would change is the -2 to Dex..considering doing it as -2 to Wisdom. Their parent races are both graceful, but the ogre magi's self importance carries over to their spawn..

I am already using them as NPCs..and making up a PC as we speak


Yeah it was really hard to choose which stat to give the negative, my reasoning came from the Paragron prgressing in size that the some of the grace was lost due to their awkward growth cycle. That's also why I created the bloodline feats if someone wanted a graceful Wyrd.

But I don't see any problem with the Wisdom penalty if you were just a base Wyrd and did not go the Paragon route.

I would love to hear any stories about PCs or Npcs Wyrd.

Yeah and Owen made my day with that quote.


I wanted to thank KnightErrantJR for taking the time to do a review.

If you don't mind me asking what was the problem with plug and playing them as immigrants from the east? or as an alliance between oni and drow? or just using the Questhaven origin story into a new town or city?

I guess the challenge could be if you have not defined the relationship between Oni and Elves, though I would suggest that Oni are shapechanges and you don't really need an established relationship it could just be trickery on the Oni's part.

Regardless I will make sure we add a sidebar that deals with this challenge in the eventual update and bundling.


Qwilion wrote:

I wanted to thank KnightErrantJR for taking the time to do a review.

If you don't mind me asking what was the problem with plug and playing them as immigrants from the east? or as an alliance between oni and drow? or just using the Questhaven origin story into a new town or city?

I guess the challenge could be if you have not defined the relationship between Oni and Elves, though I would suggest that Oni are shapechanges and you don't really need an established relationship it could just be trickery on the Oni's part.

Hey, thanks for taking the time to ask.

First, I'm looking at this from my days as a Forgotten Realms DM as well as my current situation as a Pathfinder GM.

As a Forgotten Realms DM, elves are actually pretty rare in the Kara-Tur, meaning that most Wyrd would actually be from the west, as those rare characters that would pop up from time to time without really developing a culture, since Oni would be more rare there.

And as a Forgotten Realms DM, I avoided using drow as much as possible because people that played in my games that weren't fans assumed that drow had to show up in every FR campaign ever run, so I tried to prove them wrong.

It did occur to me that a Wyrd might make an interesting Oni/Spirit Folk crossbreed as well, as Spirit Folk always struck me as being very close to Kara-Tur elves.

From a Golarion point of view, there might be elves and Oni in close enough proximity to make them an "established" but rare race, but I'm trying to avoid too much detailed examination of the East until there is a bit more official material. You are correct, though, that I don't think having a singular character from Tia Xian that was a Wyrd would be a major issue, nor would an isolated child from the west.

In the end, I'm weird, but it actually worked against my wanted to "break up the set" and use these guys without adapting more of the backstory provided for them.

I guess the best way I can explain it is that I like how unique these guys are, but they seem too unique to use too casually, so I wouldn't want to spring them on a campaign until I really had a good handle on what I wanted to do with them.

I hope that makes some sense.


If it were me I would just insert them in either setting just as I inserted them into Questhaven

They are the result of a Big Bads Super Soldier breeding program creted through slavery, bargain and trickery until the Big Bad had a minimum viable population of 500 and no longer needed Oni or Eolves. The Oni remained hidden until they recently rebelled and won their freedom.

Steve


Qwilion wrote:

If it were me I would just insert them in either setting just as I inserted them into Questhaven

They are the result of a Big Bads Super Soldier breeding program creted through slavery, bargain and trickery until the Big Bad had a minimum viable population of 500 and no longer needed Oni or Eolves. The Oni remained hidden until they recently rebelled and won their freedom.

Steve

Never let it be said that I don't way overthink too many aspects of my campaigns . . . ;)


It can be a drawback of the first person format, you get caught up in the flavor text and don't realize that I actually write "Useful Flavor Text(TM)" as even it has a function.


First I wanted to thank Endzeitgeist for taking the time to do a review of our product.

I did have one question about this comment?

Quote:
seem to be a bit stronger than the core races.

Stat modification: elf vs wyrd

elf gives a bonus to a mental stat and physical stat and gives a negative to a physical stat, wyrd give a bonus to two mental stats and a negative to physical stat, That seems equal to me (though some designers rate physical states as having a greater value than mental stats).

Medium: thy are both the same size
Normal Speed: they are both the same speed
Vision: Base they both only have get one type of special vision, though a wyrd has a choice when you first create the character.

elves have their sleep immunity and a +2 bonus against a whole school of spells, wyrd get spell resistance 5+ character level, players like spell resistance, but at this level our playtests it was found to be very weak. But I know some GMs dislike it no matter what its level is.

Elven Magic vs. wyrd magic: they both grant +2 bonus on two checks. .

Keen Senses and Weapon Familiarty vs. Legacy: at 1st-7th level wyrd gain no additonal abilites, so at this level the Wyrd is weaker at 8th level he can choose one spell-like ability from a preset list that is useable. None of these spells are of a level in appropriate for a character of 8th level (they are all 1st-4th level spells and match the appropriate themes).

This was a judgement call to make the Wyrd different, and really one of our goals is to push the boundaries, so if this or the spell resistance was your reason then while I might disagree I can certainty understand your reasoning.

Anyway I really was just curious :)


Well, although I'm not a big fan of PCs with SR, I don't have a problem with the Wyrd's SR, as, in my opinion, it is nicely balanced.
Even with the feat "Wyrd Resistance", they don't get too powerful. (Thanks to the level restriction.)

The one part I really consider "a bit stronger" than the e.g. elven counterpoint would be Wyrd magic:
While the second bonus of the elves (+2 spellcraft to identify properties of magic items) is not that often decisive or vital for PC survival, a plus 2 to dispel checks can be just that. And will probably be used more often in rare magic items/low-magic campaigns.

While the wyrd-feats are very well-balanced (level + blood requirements keep everything under the DMs control, abilities are balanced just fine, although the necessary money is rather a token gesture for high-level PCs...), however, they are geared rather towards high fantasy than low fantasy play.
Spell-like abilities via feats - fits perfectly with the exotic flair of the wyrd and the Asian fluff. Makes it hard to integrate them into settings like Ravenloft or Midgard, though.

That is what cost one half star

If we knew more about the background (I loved the first person introduction and prose!), this MIGHT actually get easier.

I had to make the decision on whether to give Wyrds 4 or 5 stars and due to the fact that I will have to think very hard on how to implement the race into my campaign (and implement I will - I REALLY like it!) and that the race can be hard to implement in rather low magic settings, I settled on the 4 stars, with the disclaimer for rare magic/low-power campaigns. It's an awesome job of pushing the boundaries and a really imaginative race! Although I always hated the Warforged of Eberron, I am now seriously considering picking up Ironborn. (I'd make them Clockwork-modified humans in ym setting, but that's cosmetic...)


Yes i can see that for low-magic campaigns; but when your doing professional design you have to write for the Rules as Written which has some kind of spell caster in every village, 9th level spells, artifacts like the Deck of many things and Ogre Magi :)

Its not about fitting the wyrd in that's the proble, its about how elves and ogre magi fit into an existing campaign. If you not using Ogre Magi (a core monster) then that's something you as a GM have to address first if you want to use/allow the Wyrd. If you don't have a place for them, then you likely don't have a place for the Wyrd (and its right there in the description that wyrd are half elves and half ogre magi)

The key to introducing them into any campaign is right there in the background (its a little more work because it is first person to find it sometimes). Ancient big bad evil guy, forces elves and the demonic ogre magi to mate. The Wyrd eventually rebel.

If I was doing midgard I would simply make them dark elves and the demons of hell mating or you can simply make them strange outlanders fleeing the evil they rebelled against.

As to Ravenloft that's even easier I would just plug them into Van Richten's Guide to Shadow Fey. All the folklorish/high magic in a gothic setting you could want.

Quote:
although the necessary money is rather a token gesture for high-level PCs

Actually you would be surprised at first I was worried about that too, but looking at the High level Wyrd in our playtest they were actually hindered with the costs because they wanted to spend every copper piece on equipment and had to make an agonizing choice (at least the player acted that way).

Quote:
a plus 2 to dispel checks can be just that. And will probably be used more often in rare magic items/low-magic campaigns.

I would think that dispel magic would have less of an impact on dispel in a low-magic campaign, since there is not much magic to dispel?

Also the ability is utterly useless if you can't cast dispel magic so the ability is worth nothing for 4 levels of play, and only useful for 5 classes, now that being said it is extremly useful for the Wyrd Sorcerer with dispel magic and Greater dispel magic.

And thank you for all the very workable feedback


Thank you for you very helpful comments on the Wyrd, Steve!

You are, of course, right: As long as a given world includes Ogre Magi as standard creatures, Wyrd are easy to integrate.

Thank you especially for your feedback on integrating them into RL and Midgard. I was also going for the Shadow Fey approach (Gwydion as a substitute for the dark emperor), but nevertheless will that be a bit of work. I'll build two variants of wyrd: Mortal Wyrd for PCs to play and immortal wyrd with cold iron DR and so on that are more on the fey-side of things. I plan to use them as a bridge between the core and my ravenloftized version of Rokugan. ^^

As far as Midgard is concerned, I think I'll go with a different approach: I'll make them traditional enemies of the black adepts in KanThaiPan, allies of the old gods and spirits and rebels against the yore of the dark trinity.

Quote:
Actually you would be surprised at first I was worried about that too, but looking at the High level Wyrd in our playtest they were actually hindered with the costs because they wanted to spend every copper piece on equipment and had to make an agonizing choice (at least the player acted that way).

*laughs* Yeah, I can see players acting that way. XD

Quote:

I would think that dispel magic would have less of an impact on dispel in a low-magic campaign, since there is not much magic to dispel?

Well, my experience has been that while there is not that much magic to dispel, in low/rare magic campaigns it actually can be very important to be good in dispelling/penetrating SR. IF the PCs stumble across a magic creature, it is guaranteed to be deadly and the PCs, lacking wands, potions, scrolls and so on are forced to use their capabilities.

My experience was that in such campaigns PCs tend to fear magic and thus try to prepare accordingly.
In all my low/rare magic campaigns I sooner or later had a PC with spell penetration/greater spell penetration and so on, that's why, at least in my experience, the +2 to dispel-checks is more decisive than the item-identification. For other campaigns that might not be true, but its my experience. ^^


New Hero Lab Files from Rite Publishing!

In The Company Of Monsters (PFRPG), contains six evocative player races and racial paragon classes that are sure to bring new and exciting player options to your game. Includes new options for the Gargoyle, Giant, Ironborn (constructs!), Minotaur, Restless Soul (a soul returned from the dead), and Wyrd (half-elf/half ogre mage) races. ($9.99)

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