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The Genius Guide to the Time Thief (PFRPG) PDF

***** (based on 7 ratings)

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Time marches relentlessly onward like grains of sand falling through an hourglass, once each has passed the threshold, it will never pass that way again. But time precognition, chronomancy, and time travel are common themes in fantasy fiction, as are the notions of fate, destiny, and even the timestream itself. Yet such things are rarely dealt with in most games.

The reason is obvious time is a tricky, extremely powerful, wibbly-wobbly concept. Even in a game where players with modern day sensibilities are asked to put themselves in the roles of medieval characters and process the mechanics of magic, psionics, and infinite planes of reality, it seems beyond the pale to ask them to un-know certain sets of experiences simply because time travel has caused them to cease to exist, and to keep track of what is and isn't true when jumping back and forth between timestreams and potential realities.

Yet, there's a reason that chronomancy is one of the topics that fans most often request supplements for. The idea of playing with time is fun!

The Genius Guide to the Time Thief presents a new base class, the time thief a character whose abilities all focus on various aspects of swimming the wrong way up the timestream, if only for a little ways. She plays with probability, can peer into the future to avoid bad decisions, and steal time from her own (and others') futures to fuel her reality-bending powers. Most of all, she's just a lot of fun to play.

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Product Reviews (7)
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***** (based on 7 ratings)

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*****

I've reviewed this on RPGGeek.com.

You can find it here.


One of the most innovative new classes, and not a moment too soon

*****

Time. Some people say time is like a river, flowing swift and sure and only in one direction. But I have seen The Genius Guide to the Time Thief, and I can tell you, they are wrong. Come, and I will tell you a review such as none you have ever heard…

It’s obvious where the inspiration for the time thief comes from, and if you’ve recognized it, then you’ll have a pretty good idea what to expect here. The time thief is a character who is able to manipulate the flow of time around herself to speed up their attacks, undo their failures, and other temporal tricks.

A twenty-level base class for the Pathfinder role-playing game, the basic construction of the class follows the pattern laid out by previous Super Genius Games’ new classes; roughly half of the time thief’s abilities are preset, while the other half lets you choose from a list of available talents (a la the rogue), with said list expanding around 10th level. It’s a great design to allow flexibility in how PCs develop their character while still maintaining structure and balance in what the class offers.

A medium BAB progress, d8 Hit Die class, the time thief’s chief abilities revolve around having a number of “motes” to spend to power many of her time-based class abilities. These motes are moments of her own future, little ones that she won’t miss, stolen from their rightful place in the flow of time and brought back to now when she needs them. Whether adding a bonus to an attack roll or speeding up time to self-heal her wounds, the class’s basic powers are fairly well-grounded in existing mechanics, but often have a time-related spin put on them.

It’s around 5th level when the time thief really starts to break out the wild stuff, though. At that point, she gains “aevum,” which are basically super-motes from specific, important moments in time. Hence, they power greater effects, such as damaging a target with concentrated age, increasing her speed up to “bolt time,” or other dramatic powers. Combined with advanced talents kicking in at 10th level, and suddenly your time thief can pull off some very impressive stunts.

It’s clear that the designers had some fun with this product, as they can’t help but drop references to other movies and other media for names of powers. Back to the Future, Time Runner, Time After Time, I had to take a time out from all of the titles being dropped. Still, it’s part and parcel of the Super Genius package, along with the afterword that discusses using the time thief in your game. I liked how this section characterized the time thief as being an “anti-monk” for how it was an oft-chaotic, undisciplined character who used external factors to get by.

There’s also a short sidebar near the book’s end thanking Veronic F. for modeling for the book, and it’s here that this review finally stops ignoring the elephant in the room – or rather, the vixen – that is its artwork.

If you hadn’t already noticed from its preview, this book doesn’t have illustrations per se (notwithstanding the background of the cover image). Instead, there’s a series of photos of a sexy blonde, the aforementioned Veronic – clad in a skimpy garb; basically a bikini with a half-mask, weapons, and some other ornamentation. Including the cover, there are a half-dozen pictures of her throughout the book’s ten pages, which is an impressive ratio overall.

I’ve heard some people grumble about the use of a live model here instead of drawings, either being uncomfortable with such blatant cheesecake, or because they find the Veronic’s pictures to be lacking in context with the product’s theme, making them pretty but pointless. This latter point, however, ignores how her costume plays to a “fantasy Arabia” theme, which plays perfectly towards the book’s major inspiration.

Likewise, it also deserves mention that Veronic is an alias of porn star and model Jenny Poussin, who in the last few months has earned her gamer cred for not only playing Pathfinder, but also taking pictures of herself dressed up as her last several characters. Hence, her appearance here as the iconic time thief is her and the SGG guys winking at their readers who’re in the know. Needless to say, I really got a kick out of this easter egg, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

But back on topic, the book readily acknowledges that the time thief base class moves outside the usual series of party roles covered by most classes. Not a martial combatant or spellcaster, not a skill monkey or healer, the time thief has a group of powers that provide a somewhat eclectic cavalcade of offensive, defensive, and utility powers, all related by their theme. It’s a great change of pace for a player who wants to step outside the usual boundaries of class functionality. I’d heartily recommend checking out the time thief – both the class and the pictures – you’ll have a good time.

Time. Some people say time is like a river, flowing swift and sure and only in one direction. But I have seen The Genius Guide to the Time Thief, and I can tell you, they are wrong. Come, and I will tell you a review such as none you have ever heard…


One of the best SGG-classes, in fact, one of the best 3pp-classes

*****

This pdf is 10 pages long, 2/3 of a page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving 8 1/3 pages of content for the Time Thief, a class I should have reviewed a long, long time ago, so let’s remedy my oversight.

The new Time Thief base-class gets d8, 6+Int skills, ¾ BAB, good ref and will saves and no spellcasting. The basic signature ability of the Time Thief enables her to use slices of time, so-called time motes, to add a scaling bonus to rolls, a swift action or act in an surprise round. The basic pool is 3+ class level and additional usages of time motes are unlocked via the progression of the class, enabling her to lessen damage, use the motes defensively and even grant herself move actions. Every even level starting at second, the Time Thief also gets a temporal talent from a list of 9, which range from evasion or even steal the fate (i.e. penalize) an enemy.

The Time Thief has further options to customize the class in her usage of Aevum, e.g. offering the option to learn how to, like in the recent Prince of Persia games, rewind her personal time. High-level Time Thieves, of course, can learn powerful ways to deal with their enemies, be it the option to learn time stop or temporal stasis via Aevum. Where there are talents, there are advanced talents and the Time Thief is no exception – we are introduced to 8 advanced talents, including butterfly effect-like manipulations of the past, divination-like glances into the future and run between blinks of time, granting additional mobility.
The capstone ability Time Killer (Project Pitchfork, anyone?) sees her essentially immortal and freed of negative age effects and significantly expands her ability to use aevum and can spend it faster and use 2 of them per round.
The pdf closes with a whole page devoted to helping you integrate the Time Thief in your campaign and offers a great idea: Chronal necromancers who seek to reanimate dead timelines. Sold.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any glitches, layout adheres to the three-column standard. The full-color artwork should be commended, as we actually get larp-style photos of a rather beautiful model who poses for the Time Thief in rather revealing, pseudo-oriental costumes without being gaudy or cheap – I like this experiment quite a bit. I really like modular classes that have a lot of options to choose from and the Time Thief serves as a prime example of excellent class-design. A complex concept that is hard to balance not only gets a balanced representation, but a rather cool one at that. To everyone who saw my personal top-ten-list of 2010 this will come as no surprise, my final verdict for this splendid class will be 5 stars and the Endzeitgeist seal of approval, my only criticism remaining that I’d love to see more love for the Time Thief and that there are no bookmarks.

Endzeitgeist out.


Once I managed to get myself to stop staring at the class art....

****( )

I finally read over the class thoroughly. There are a lot of things I like about it. There is a decent selection of quality class abilities, allowing for more customization. Combine that with the good skills(6+Int Mod) & you've got a decent class.

I do find it a bit lacking in the damage output department, though. All of the damage abilities use the same points you use for other abilities, while delivering sub par damage. That is the only weak point of the class, but it does weigh heavily on it.

That said, a few of the right feats(most of which are in the core book) can remedy the damage problem, as can playing strategically. So, all in all, I'd give this one a 4 out of 5. Definitely worth purchasing.


Something to inspire the players imagination

*****

After getting my first experience with this class at my table this weekend I have to say this is really a great product. The player using this class is normally not the most inspired or descriptive, but in this session he couldn't wait to describe what he was doing. It helped that he is a prince of persia fan (both the films and all the video games), but that is the idea here, to inspire people looking to bring that kind of flavor to their game.

And this product definately does that, the mechanics and the flavor combine really well to provide a fun feel for the class. It fits neatly into the skills role in any party, and though it doesnt have the offense a rogue does with sneak attack, it isn't punchless, and has some fun special abilities providing solid debuffs.

The best praise I can provide for this product is the fact that the player had fun playing it, and I had fun dming it. So whether you are a prince of persia fan or just looking for a new take on 'theif' this products worth a look.


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