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Book of Magic: Signature Spells 1 (PFRPG) PDF

****( ) (based on 3 ratings)

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Created by some of the best spellcasters in the world, the Book of Magic bears their unique magical creations. From Riyal the Abjurer to Halican the Pirate King to Rostov the snake-loving druid, these spells for every Pathfinder class are sure to surprise your foes and your friends.

This book features more than 30 new spells focusing on levels 1-3. These new options for every spell casting class can give you a unique edge in your game.

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Product Reviews (3)

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****( ) (based on 3 ratings)

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3.5 star review. Love the idea but it falls a little short of it's goals.

****( )

Book of Magic: Signature Spells 1 by Jon Brazer Enterprises

This product is 12 pages long. It starts with a cover, OGL, and credits. (2 pages)

Spell Lists (3 page)
This is a list of all the caster classes of which spells they get at which levels. Spells by class. The range in levels of cantrip to 7th.
Alchemist – 5
Anti-Paladin – 4
Bard – 13
Cleric – 12
Druid – 10
Inquisitor – 5
Magus – 15
Paladin – 4
Ranger – 8
Sorc/Wizard – 26
Summoner – 9
Witch - 15

Signature Spells (5 pages)
There is 31 new spells. While most of the spells where pretty good I didn't think all of them fit the idea of signature spells. Here is a few I thought was well done in that regard and some I thought was not well done with the concept.
Fits
Banshee Keen – a sonic/deafen cone attack.
Halican's Emergency Hull Restorer – gives temp hp to ships or objects. (there is several spells fitting a theme with Halican's name)
Leighanna's Bewitching Appearance – makes you look pretty and likeable. Gives bonus to social roles. (there is several spells fitting a theme with Leighanna's name)
Riyal's Mental Guard – Gives a bonus to save vs mind effecting abilities. (there is several spells fitting a theme with Riyal's name)
Rostov's Snake Strike – Gain one attack at highest attack immediately, only usable in certain ways. (there is several spells fitting a theme with Rostov's name)
Shallan's Wall of Shadows – A wall of shadow that grants concealment to those on the other side of it. (there is several spells fitting a theme with Shallan's name)

Doesn't Fit
Abyssal Body – gives a DR/5 vs good. There is versions of this spell each with it's own name for law, chaos, evil etc.
Dragon Scales – adds natural armor and energy resistance depending on dragon color.
Mage Armor 2 – better version of Mage Armor. There is 2 new versions 2 and 3.

It ends with a back cover and ads. (2 pages)

Closing thoughts. There is only two art pieces, both are black and white. One is fair and one is good. Editing and layout was good I didn't notice errors. Now I listed spells by those that fit and didn't fit the idea of the concept. Those that didn't fit doesn't make them bad spell, just they don't really fit the concept idea. The reverse is true not as well. Not all the spells that fit the concept where good spells. The snake strike example was actually I felt a bit to powerful for it's level. The named spells that fit a theme fit what I was expecting in the product. Most of the spells in the book where well done but some where rather bland and boring, like improved mage armor. I want to see more of Halican's or Leighanna's spells. I think the next book needs to have about 6-10 groups of 3-5 spells each like those. I also would have loved to have seen more history and flavor text about the spells, maybe a short paragraph or two side bar talking about the caster that made them. That would be very cool. I find this one a bit hard to rate. On one hand most of the spells are pretty well done and if you are just looking for some new spells I would give this a 4 star review. But if you are looking for cool signature spells then a chunk of them just falls way short of that and I would only give it a 3 star review. So I am going to settle on a 3.5 star review for this product.

Trust me, I'm a Succubus.


Some killer, some filler

***( )( )

This pdf is 12 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial & SRD, 1 page advertisement and 1 page back cover, leaving 8 pages for the signature spells.

After 3 pages of spell-lists, providing lists for classes like Magus, Alchemist, etc. (NICE!) as well as the basic core classes, we are introduced to the selection of new spells herein. If I have not miscounted, we get 31 new spells, several of which are supposed to be signature spells or certain legendary mages. I really like that premise, as e.g. Bigby's hands will always have fond adherents among my players, as do the Tenser, Rary, Otiluke etc. spells - being a certain mage's work and carrying their distinct style makes them stand out amidst the flood of magic available.

That being said, signature spells need to go beyond just providing benefits - they have to fit a certain theme and feature an iconic quality - so, how do they stand up?

To be frank, the first three spells of this pdf did not excite me: They belong to a set of 4 spells that provide DR 5/alignment. Boring. Brick Wall's Fortitude provides a scaling bonus to fort saves. Not exciting either. There are also similar spells for reflex and will saves. Gaining Dragon Scales (DR, natural armor and associated resistance) is another spell I don't need. There are also two spells to cover one's scent, which I consider useful but not iconic per se.

Fortunately, Halican's 4 spells were up next - they deal with ships, repairing them or creating a hydraulic water burst - now we're talking! These water-related spells fit a characteristic niche, provide neat ideas and follow them. Leighanna's 3 spells, primarily dealing with subtle tactical advances and manipulations also offer some cool options like forcing foes to delay actions - again, neat!

After that, though, we once again get spells that are rather bland - greater variants of mage armor. Riyal's three spells are low-level defensive magic and Rostov's snake themed spells felt nice - though the Snake Strike is overpowered: A level 2 spell that grants an attack action to the creature touched at its highest attack bonus against a target, essentially enabling you to hit via your buddy. Ouch.

Shallan's 4 spells deal with shadows - shadow walls, an area-of-effect enfeeblement attack (10 ft. burst) and a cha-leeching ray sorcerors and other cha-based casters will hate.

The pdf closes with a spell to summon dwarven armor and a wall of leaves.

Users of Herolab should rejoice, for the pdf comes with a .hl-file - great additional support!

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice a single glitch. Layout adheres to a very printer-friendly, easy-to-read 2-column standard and I really like the covers - I did not like the layout-decision to print the sub-header on the front cover in a rather bland, standard font, though. It somewhat impedes the coolness of the otherwise neat cover. The 2 pieces of b/w-artwork are nice. The pdf comes with extensive bookmarks and I've already mentioned the herolab support, another plus. Oh boy. It's been quite I while since I was so conflicted about a pdf.

On the one hand, the new spells by mages and their thematic link is neat, as is the support for all the classes. On the other hand, several of the spells are the complete opposite to signature spells, being the epitome of blandness. The "alignment-body" spells and the + x to save spells are terribly uncreative and feel like filler at best. Call me cynical, but they just didn't do it for me. Which is a damn pity: Hallican's, Leighanna's and Riyal's spells felt VERY interesting, iconic and cool to me, making only more apparent that author Dale C. McCoy Jr. CAN write excellent spells. Moreover, none of the spells really felt completely out of line, striking a nice balance between innovation and power.

Let me be frank: This pdf contains some of my new favorite spells. However, it also contains some of my new least favorite spells. The aim of providing signature spells has been partially fulfilled and were I to voice a request, I'd ask for flavor text (spinning little stories around the spells or their creators)as well as getting rid of filler spells in future installments. Improved versions of Mage Armor belong to a book on spell variants, not in one on signature spells.

Unfortunately, not all spells in this pdf belong to the category of kicking ass and taking names unique spells. You should just be aware that not all spells herein are killer or signature spells. The pdf is very affordable, though, and comes with Herolab-support, which somewhat offsets the relatively low amount of content when compared to other spell-centric pdfs. In the end, my final verdict will be 3.5 stars, rounded down to 3 for the purpose of this platform - if you're in it for some cool spells, you won't regret the purchase.

Endzeitgeist out.


Great addition to any spellcaster's library.

*****

This is a solid addition to anyone's spell repertoire. Dale does an awesome job of providing a solid mix of spells for a wide-range of classes. Not only that but these spells have a truly unique feel like they really did come from the private library of some caster or were perhaps one of their signature spells. Any way you look at it this is a solid deal of the number of spells you get.

For a more in-depth review feel free to check out my site: http://www.thealfredeffect.com/?p=736



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