The godling is a new character concept designed for use with the Pathfinder RPG. The godling is presented as both a base class (suitable for 1st level characters) and a prestige class (requiring characters to be higher level before taking it).
The godling is a mortal hero in whose veins flows the blood of a god. Cut from the same cloth as classic ancient heroes such as Theseus (fathered by both a mortal father, Aegeus, and a divine father, Poseidon), Memnon (son of a half-nymph mortal father and the titan/goddess Eos), and Helen (the famous beauty who was the daughter of Zeus), most godlings are the offspring of a god and a mortal humanoid who drew the god’s eye. Godlings are not demigods—at least not yet—for their birth on the material plane prevents them from being classified as outsiders. Initially bound to the dust and earth of their birthplace, godlings are nonetheless more than mere mortals. They have inherited divine powers that, with time and experience, grow and allow godlings to rise and become powerful and famous heroes. (Of course there are many other possible origins of godlings—see Godlings in Your Campaign at the end of the product.)
Godlings are blessed (or cursed) with lives of adventure. They are thrust into dangerous quests and major events at a young age and often spend their entire adult lives moving from crisis to crisis, sought out by those who need their help, and hunted by those who wish them harm for no reason other than to spite their godly parents. Many godlings are made aware of their inherent power early in life, and are taught to respect both its origins and the responsibility it conveys. Others have no idea why they are able to perform feats that other mortals cannot, and may think themselves to be freaks or monsters (or some odd kind of sorcerer).
Godling Base Class
The godling base class is for characters that begin play with their deific heritage a known and active part of their lives. These characters know they are scions of the gods and are out to prove themselves worthy heirs by engaging in adventures in the mortal world. The godling base class actually contains two subclasses—clever and mighty godlings. These options are treated as different iterations of the same class, so a character cannot multiclass as two different kinds of godling.
Godling Prestige Class
Not all godlings realize who and want they are at the beginning of their adventuring careers. Indeed, some receive no special powers until their divine parents acknowledge their relationship. The godling prestige class is presented as a way to allow characters to undergo a deific metamorphosis later in their lives.
There are a lot of interesting ideas in this book. I was a bit disappointed that there were no rules for spellcasters (but I knew there was a Mystic Godling book, so not too disappointed). The two base class types of Godling presented here are Mighty and Clever. They are approximately equivalent to Fighter and Rogue.
I felt that the prestige class was a bit lacking and seemed almost like an afterthought. It could work for a character that does not manifest their potential until later in their adventuring carreer, but provides very little to recommend it over just taking one of the base classes instead.
I would give this one 4.5 stars if that was an option. Rounded up 5 stars.
This pdf is 11 pages long, 2/3 of a page front cover, 1 page editorial and SRD, leaving 9 1/3 pages of content, so let’s take a look at the Godlings!
Wait, Godlings? Plural? Yep, two Godling-base-classes are presented (though you can’t multiclass from one to the other) and a PrC-option is also included.
What are Godlings? Well, they are like e.g. Theseus, people with the blood of divinities, who, by trial (i.e. adventuring) might one day rise to the exalted level of demi-gods.
The first one is the Mighty Godling, who gets d12, 2+Int skills, good BAB and good fort and ref-saves.
The Clever Godling gets d8, 6+Int skills, ¾ BAB and good ref and will saves.
Both use the same mechanics: At first level, a Lineage is determined, i.e. the ability to use domain powers (but not domains) associated with his heritage. To further customize the godling, two major ways are offered. The first one you probably came to expect, namely talents. The Godling gets access to so-called Scion Talents (13 are presented) and Greater Scion Talents (of which we get 5) that range from rather mundane evasion to gaining minor DR, trapfinding, spotting invisible foes to the extremely neat “counter power”, which lets Godlngs counter supernatural attacks, either via CMB or Knowledge, calling to mind some of the heroic feats attributed to our legends. I would have loved to see a bit more such scion talents that go beyond e.g. “gets sneak attack” and rather offer such original abilities.
The second mechanic to customize your Godling is the divine trait system, in which the godlings get progressively larger amounts f divine trait points and can save and invest them permanently into 7 ability-trees, each of which features 4 ranks. The Trophy Taker is a cool, imaginative example for the coolness of the mechanic: Practitioners can carry around trophies and make them duplicate magic items in function without blocking one of her item slots and even enhance her own magic equipment. Higher ranks let a Godling duplicate the effects of more expensive magic items with her trophies. Nice! The divine traits, all said and done, are at least in my opinion, well-crafted. If one were nitpicky, one could call e.g. “Hardy”, which eliminates food, drink, poison etc. from the potential threats of the Godling, rather bland, but I consider it iconic enough to like it.
The capstone ability sees your ascension to demigod-status and while sufficiently powerful, is still playable – now is that cool?
The PrC-Godling gets d10, 4+Int skills, a good BAB, medium fort and ref saves and cannot choose freely from said divine traits, but is limited to a linear progression in one divine trait, thus severely limiting the appeal of the PrC – all in all, it feels like a bonus and a rather bad option when compared to the base-classes.
The pdf closes with advice on how to use Godlings in your campaign and a feat to enhance the lineage ability for multiclassed Godlings.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any glitches. Layout adheres to the three-column standard and the full color artwork is ok. The pdf has no bookmarks. The guide to the Godling offers us a cool and fresh take on the idea of people with divine blood coursing through their veins. Mechanically, I don’t have anything to complain about, apart from the rather lackluster-feeling PrC – I think most characters might be better off by multiclassing into one of the base-classes presented herein – they’re at least in for a more versatile experience. The crunch, as I’ve come to expect from most SGG-books, is quite cool, although I would have liked to see more Godling-style Scion-talents instead of just “I can use X, too!” –counter power being a prime example of both style and substance. Due to the slightly too many abilities from other classes and the, at least in my opinion, rather bland PrC, I’ll settle for a final verdict of 4.5 stars, rounded down to 4 for the purpose of this platform.
This is hands down the best non-paizo supplement thing I have read. This is a really great, highly adaptable, class that looks really nice. With plenty of options for the kind of Godling you want to be. Between the option of 2 base classes and a prestige class version of godling for already existing characters of all classes this is all around awesome.
This is well written, heavily thought out, and doesn't appear crazy, weird or overpowered.
First off let me say this class was not what I expected at all. I went in expecting some flashy new features that mimic the other class', and was pleasantly surprised to find myself wrong. The Godling is a strong, balanced class that brings something new to the table. With all the different Domains, divine traits, bonus feats, and scion talents to choose from, you are pretty much guaranteed to never see two Godlings exactly the same.
The Lineage Domains are nice, but I think certain Domains may get selected more often than others, especially since you need a Scion Talent to cast spells from Domains. Destruction and the Elemental Domains come to mind, as well as the Weather Domain. But that just might be my way of thinking.
When it comes to Divine Traits, I have to say that I like Seaborn and Trophy Taker the most. All of them are well written(though it did take me a few moments to understand how Trophy Taker worked). I think you got most of the traits/abilities the demigods Greek myth had when you went with this route.
Scion Traits are interesting, and help keep the “half-mortal” aspect of the Godling evident. The Greater Scion Traits balance the “half-mortal” aspect with the “half-divine” parentage. Good abilities in both features.
The Demigod capstone is very interesting. It's not like any of the other capstone abilities, so it's unique in what it gives you. Giving any character a cult to look forward to is going to be hard to handle, but limiting them by level using the Leadership feat guidelines is a great idea. The spell-like abilities and becoming harder to kill are icing on the cake. A neat capstone well worth the wait.
Overall, I really like this class, and look forward to play-testing it eventually.
". . .in apprehension, how like a God. . ." Will Shakespeare