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The Genius Guide to Another 110 Spell Variants (PFRPG) PDF

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Although a vast number of spells are available in the game’s core rulebooks, many GMs and players have an insatiable desire for more options. In many cases it’s not necessary to create new spell options from scratch, since a few minor changes to an existing spell can create something with a very different feel or impact on game play. These spell variants are based on the idea that you can make a lot of different effects with fairly minor changes to how a spell works, or by combining effects of multiple spells, or by mixing a spell and magic item or even a class ability (preferably from a class not used in the campaign).

Some spell variants are common and fairly obvious, such as having an iceball spell that is a fireball that deals cold damage. The following list of 110 spells variants are slightly more complex than that, and are designed to show how you can create new spells without too much work. One important tip is that when you base a new spell on an old one many details—such as its school, components, duration, and even interaction with other spells—are already determined. Similarly, you can often create spells that have entirely new themes just by changing casting time and legal targets. This last trick is a great way to make spells appropriate for new classes.

For example, it’s fairly obvious a druid class shouldn’t have the haste spell on its spell list, but a new spell called pack tactics that acts like haste but can be cast only on creatures of the animal type is perfect for druids. And even better, you already know it’s about a 3rd-level spell, since it doesn’t do anything the wizard haste spell doesn't.

Because the following are all variants of existing spells, we present only a minimal sketch of each spell. Any information not presented or mentioned is the same as the base spell the variant is built from. These spell descriptions are so short, it seems silly to list each one multiple times if it happens to appear on more than one class spell list. As a result, each spell variant lists what class and level it is designed for after its name. In cases where the spell appears at different levels for different classes, it is listed with the level of the first class to gain it. Other information such as School, [Descriptor], Casting Time, Components, Range, Area, Targets, Duration, Saving Throw, and Spell Resistance are only given if they differ from the base spell. If a referenced spell is in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Advanced Player's Guide it is marked with an (APG), and if in Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Ultimate Magic it is marked with a (UM).

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Product Reviews (2)

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Nice sequel with a bit of a power creep

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This pdf is 10 pages long, 2/3 of a page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving 8 1/3 pages content, so let's check them out!

Instead of providing new spells that are only marginally different from existing ones, this pdf offers so-called variants, i.e. spells that work "just like spell xyz" with some modifications. To give you an example, a melee-version of magic missile that does more damage, but needs a touch attack. Some modifications are combinations of spells or offer more complex deviations from their source-spells.

On the plus-side, this enables the pdf to provide more content than we otherwise would get. On the down-side, this also means that you need to have to original spell ready and cobble together the source-spell's and the variant's information.

In this second offering, once again the classes from the APG get their fair due, receiving a lot of cool modifications. The Magus-class thankfully also gets some love, but the Ultimate Magic support is also something that may have unfortunately had a bit detrimental influence to this pdf's quality - while the universally lauded Magus-class and its support is greatly appreciated, some of the spells of UM are of the ridiculously overpowered category and this power-creep is reflected in their variants in this pdf.

There are some spell-variants herein, too, that I wouldn't touch with a 10-foot-pole: Saber of Light lets you ignore all hardness and DR (!!!) and grants you the Deflect Arrow feat. Brewer, Scrivener and Retune Wand let you change how an item works. Need a spraying color wand but only have a magic missile one ready? There we go. You have a potion of stoneskin, but need healing? Just cast the spell and your potion changes While offering a lot of flexibility, this essentially changes very basic assumptions on how a magical economy and these items work and could hence lead to severe logic repercussions. Beware!

Don't be fooled, though: The vast majority of the variants actually serve some interesting, cool purpose and offer fluff and options via their names and the classes to which they're offered. From the howling agony-based Inquisition-spell to the superbly cool Eye of Doom, the ultimate scrying tool to remote-cast your foes to oblivion, this pdf offers a lot of neat ideas.

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to the 3-column SGG-standard, but unfortunately we get no bookmarks, which would have been very useful in navigating the spell variants. The artwork deserves a special mention, as the pieces are gorgeous. On the content-side, I can say that I absolutely LOVE how the pdf offers support for the APG-classes and the Magus.

On the other hand, though, I'm lazy and just don't like the concept of searching together two sources of spells and combining them - looking up the particulars of a certain spell is annoying enough as it is -adding to it does not necessarily improve the flow of the game. I won't hold that against the pdf, though, as it is part of the design-goal of the pdf. I nevertheless maintain, though, that d20pfsrd hyperlinks or at least bookmarks would go a long way to make this series more user-friendly.

Combine this with the couple of spells that are wise open to abuse and change the fundamental dynamics of how your campaign-world might work and we get my verdict: While this pdf is still a good buy with a lot of content, it is at least partially problematic and leaves something to be desired with regards to user-friendliness. Thus, my final verdict will be 4 stars.

If you liked the first one you should like the second one.

****( )

Another 110 Spell Variants by Super Genius Games

This product is 10 pages long. It starts with a cover and forward. (1 pages)

110 Variant Spells (8 pages)
Just like the title says there is 110 variant versions of existing spells. I went threw them to count how many for each class.
Alchemist – 10
AntiPaladin - 5
Bard - 26
Cleric - 38
Druid - 17
Inquisitor – 14
Magus – 15
Oracle – 1 (normally they get cleric list this is for the few oracle only spells)
Paladin - 12
Ranger - 10
Summoner - 6
Wizard/Sorcerer - 54
Witch – 45

As you can see the clear winners are Wizard, Cleric and Witch in number of spells. Pretty much every class gets at least one spell that is only for their class. A few examples I really liked.
Dancing Shadows – like dancing lights but with shadows instead.
Kiss of Chaos – a touch attack/kiss that causes confusion
Bewitch – gives the target a penalty to resist hexes.
Ray of Lassitude – like ray of enfeeblement but target is entangled.
Retune Wand – cast it on a wand and can then cast any spell known and take up wand charges. No spell higher than the level of the spell the wand normally cast. This is one I disagree with, I like the idea but think it should be limited to no higher level than the level of this spell and then maybe make this a lesser version and add another higher level of the same spell as a greater version.
Celestial Mount – Paladin cast it on their horse and it is effected by fly and haste both.
Balefire – a fireball that does half fire and half untyped magic. It also goes on to say it effects all ongoing spells, SA, and spell like abilities of those killed by it. I am guess that means they end if the target is killed at once. But it is not really clear.
Rearguard – like bow spirit but alchemist grows a third arm to throw bombs as a swift action.
Oubliette of Oblivion – as acid pit but does str dmg, those killed become wraiths.
Deadline – Like quest but if not completed in time target is afflicted with bestow curse.
Eye of Doom – as scrying but target counts as if only 25ft away for purposes of casting spells and SA etc on target.

It ends with a OGL and credits. (1 pages)

Closing thoughts. The art work is color and it ranges from ok to pretty good. Editing and layout where pretty good. I did notice more than normal amount of errors for a SGG product. One of the images partial covers some text, you can still read it but just barely. A seen a couple of misspelled points like witch with the i left out etc. Then there was also the problem of at least one spell(I only noticed one) was also in the first book and that's dancing shadows. I liked most of the spells, a few I was meh about, some I thought was very cool. Still despite the higher than normal number of problems with this one for a SGG product, it is still worth picking up if you want more spell variety. So what's my rating? I am coming down to a 4, I almost went 3.5 but I am sure the spelling and image errors will get fixed.

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