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#30 Badges of Faith (PFRPG) PDF

***** (based on 5 ratings)

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Declare your belief!

Find something mystical in your next religious emblem. With #30 Badges of Faith by Michael Welham you'll find more than just another sigil of conviction but a motif of divine power, with passive powers, powers that need to be actualized though holy quests, inserted powers, and penalties for transgressions.

Author: Michael Welham
Cover Artist: Arthur Rackham
Pages: 13

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Product Reviews (5)

Average product rating:

***** (based on 5 ratings)

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*****

#30 Badges of Faith, an 18 page PDF breaking down as follows; Cover, OGL, Credits – 1 page each, Ads – 2 pages, leaving 13 pages for the actual material. Formatting follows the standard dual column format, and grammatical errors, if there were any, didn't catch my eye. This entry into the #30 series continues the feel of old school art with the cover piece, and no, that is not a bad thing. Interior artwork is both B&W and color, and ranges in quality and styles. There are no truly bad pieces, but a few of the public domain pieces are getting to the point of over exposure, not that I would hold that against this book.

To be honest, I wasn't exactly sure what this book was offering when I first noticed it, and that more than anything intrigued me, so allow me to clarify for others wondering just what a Badge of Faith is. Usually taking the neck slot for magical items, the badges are a means by the various churches to garner interest in the worship of the deity. By seeding the world with these badges, and waiting for individuals to find and learn to use them, the various churches continue to spread the influence of their gods. Each badge grants abilities upon initial contact with a wearer, usually in the form off a bonus to either a skill or an ability, occasionally to atk or dmg. Now, for most characters residing within a fantasy setting, this would be enough to turn that item into their lucky charm, would it not? Well, the longer you hang on to said item, and take the time to get to know it, the better its going to be to you, as more abilities open up once the item has attuned to a wearer. There are two levels of this period of getting to know each other, if you will, the Actualization and the Investiture. Each stage requires a certain set of requirements be met before achieving that level of boons from the badge. These requirements range from things as easy as inflicting the broken condition on an object with at least 15 hp to rescuing 26 HD worth of creatures in a community in a single encounter.

Now of course, no church is going to hand over something of this much potential power without some form of control, right? Right. In the case of the badges of faith, a wearer participating in a transgression loses all benefits of the badge, and depending on the badge walks away with some pretty sever punishments as well. Each badge has a defined set of transgression that will not be tolerated, as determined by the deities the badge would be associated with. And, just to top of the oops I screwed up sundae, if you transgress while wearing a badge after you have actualized or invested the badge, the associated god is aware of your transgression, and you run the risk of incurring their wrath as well. So, play nice.

Essentially in the end, the book offers up 30 scalable magic items that will only get more powerful if your players cooperate. And excellent item to introduce to a gaming group to help encourage role-playing in my opinion, as it will be buy the player's own actions whether they are able to keep the boons of these badges or not. Brilliant. My only true complaint, and I am fully aware that art costs, and that's why we don't see more of it, but even a small drawing for each, as opposed to a medium drawing for some would of gone a long way towards enhancing this product.

Final tally, all thoughts weighed, giving this a 5 star, as an interesting manner of putting a scalable magic item in the hands of players this book delivers very well.


4.5 review, neat idea.

*****

30 Badges of Faith by Rite Publishing

This product is 18 pages long. It starts with a cover and credits. (2 page)

30 Badges of Faith (18 pages)
This section starts off talking about what badges are. Then it gets into the 30 new magical badges. Each badge is tied to one or more of the domains, each one comes in one of two varieties Actualization and Investiture. Below is a list of the badges in the book.
Aligned Badge - appropriate alignment domain or subdomain
Badge of Caprice - Luck domain, or to the Curse or Fate subdomains
Badge of Destruction - Destruction domain, or to the Catastrophe or Rage subdomains
Badge of Claw, Fang, Feather, and Fur - Animal domain, or to the Feather or Fur subdomains
Badge of Gibbering and Wailing - Madness domain, or to the Insanity or Nightmare subdomains
Badge of Glory - Glory domain, or to the Heroism or Honor subdomains
Badge of Hearth and Home - Community domain, or to the Family or Home subdomains
Badge of Industriousness - Artifact domain, or to the Construct or Toil subdomains
Badge of Insight - Knowledge domain, or to the Memory or Thought subdomains
Badge of Midnight - Darkness domain, or to the Loss or Night subdomains
Badge of Relief - Healing domain, or to the Restoration or Resurrection subdomains
Badge of Swirling Winds - Air domain, or to the Cloud or Winds subdomains
Badge of the Blessed Dawn - Sun domain, or to the Day or Light subdomains
Badge of the Bull - Strength domain, or to the Ferocity or Resolve subdomains
Badge of the Conflagration - Fire domain, or to the Ash or Smoke subdomains
Badge of the Crossed Blades - War domain, or to the Blood or Tactics subdomains
Badge of the Enchantress - Charm domain, or to the Love or Lust subdomains
Badge of the Green - Plant domain, or to the Decay or Growth subdomains
Badge of the Shackle Breaker - Liberation domain, or to the Freedom or Revolution subdomains
Badge of the Skull - Death domain, or to the Murder or Undead subdomains
Badge of the Wave - Water domain, or to the Ice or Oceans subdomains
Imbued Badge - Magic domain, or to the Arcane or Divine subdomains
Inscribed Badge - Rune domain, or to the Language or Wards subdomains
Liar’s Badge - Trickery domain, or to the Deception or Thievery subdomains
Passport Badge - Travel domain, or to the Exploration or Trade subdomains
Restful Badge - Repose domain, or to the Ancestors or Souls subdomains
Royal Badge - Nobility domain, or to the Leadership or Martyr subdomains
Stalwart’s Badge - Protection domain, or to the Defense or Purity subdomains
Stone Badge - Earth domain, or to the Caves or Metal subdomains
Tempest’s Badge - Weather domain, or the Seasons or Storms subdomains

It ends with a OGL and ads. (3 page)

Closing thoughts. The art work is a mix of Black and White and color, it ranges from meh to ok. Layout and editing are good I noticed only a few minor errors. Very neat idea and the badges had some nice flavor to them in what they did. I am not at all fond of the name though. I think symbols might have been a better name personally. It is a well done product but I couldn't help but feel like something was missing or maybe the idea just screams the need for further expanding. Not sure I really can't put my finger on it, but it just somehow felt like it needed something a little more. I know it would have taken a lot but I think the subdomains could have really used their own badges as well. As some of them focus on much more narrow aspects. So what's my rating? Well it is good but I felt something was missing but I don't know for sure what. I am going to settle for a 4.5 review.

Trust me, I'm a Succubus.


Excellent new class of amulets

*****

This pdf is 18 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD and 2 pages of advertisement, leaving 13 pages of content for the new badges of faith, so what exactly are these badges?

The badges take up the amulet slot and have a passive power that is active when worn. To fully realize the badges' power, though, the user has to sacrifice a certain amount of gold and do a minor task (called Actualization) and finally, a quest to fully access its powers, called Investiture. Divine spellcasters with access to the domains corresponding to a worn badge get additional domain slots and the spells are heightened without increasing the spell slot. If, however, a transgression against the respective badges' concept occurs, the wielder loses access to the badges power and is cursed.

The badges per se are an interesting concept, offering a scaling class of items, combating magic item inflation, that additionally has the potential for being a nice adventure motivator, as curses (transgressions CAN happen, after all we all know players are sometimes a bit absent-minded and the twists of fate may be cruel indeed) and the 2 steps to fully unlock their powers lend themselves to inspiring quests of their own. The benefits granted by the badges feel appropriate for the respective domains and the presentation is concise and the manifestations are actually quite cool - the Tempest's Badge for example manifests a little rain cloud over the caster that rains down and later deals electricity or ice damage.

The pdf closes by adding information on how to enchant badges with an additional natural armor bonus.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are very good - while I noticed minor glitches, none impede my ability to understand the content. Layout adheres to the 2-column, full-color RiP-standard and each badge has the respective actualization, investiture and transgression-information prefaces by the respective word in italics, making for easy to read entries. All the badges come with construction requirements, information on slot, price, etc. and the pdf is fully bookmarked. These badges lend themselves to adding to the variability and different feel of divine casters with different domains, features improving abilities and said abilities are interesting and thankfully _not_ bland. That makes a lot of the things I look for in magic items in one category. Also, e.g. the alignment badge is ONE entry instead of four, making sure that no bland cut/copy/paste-job for the 4 wastes precious space - commendable! However, I felt that something was missing, namely a specific badge or combined badges, something I'd definitely love to see in a sequel. As written, I'll settle for a final verdict of 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 - congratulations to Michael Welham!

Endzeitgeist out.


Gotta have Faith

*****

Badges of Faith are magical amulets worn from a necklace enhanced with divine magic geared towards increasing the number of devotees of the faith. They provide benefits to the wearer which are mild, at first, but can be increased depending on the type of the badge and the activities of the person in possession of it. In order to increase the abilities of the badge, the wearer must perform tasks which are deemed appropriate by the deity sponsoring the badge. In this way the deities gain more followers and the followers gain access to more of the deity’s power. The way this is accomplished involves both the desire to do so on the part of the wearer and access to a temple devoted to the deity in question. The person is never tricked into it, though if they accept the quest assigned, they are geased to complete it.

I really love this concept of using a magic item for more than mere reward or fulfilling a certain level -recommended quotient of magic items. These Badges of Faith are more than mere magical trinkets. They are whole campaigns awaiting an adventurer. These badges are not specifically worn only by the divine class characters, though they are restricted to only being able to be created by a divine class having a particular domain or subdomain, see the list that follows:
• Aligned – Alignment domain required: chaos, law, evil, or good
• Caprice – Luck domain; or the curse or fate subdomains
• Destruction – Destruction; catastrophe, or rage subdomains
• Claw, Fang, Feather, and Fur – Animal domain; or feather or fur subdomains
• Gibbering and Wailing – Madness domain; or insanity or nightmare subdomains
• Glory – Glory domain: or heroism or honor subdomains
• Hearth and Home – Community domain; or family or home subdomains
• Industriousness – Artifact domain; or construct or toil subdomains
• Insight – Knowledge domain; or memory or thought subdomains
• Midnight – Darkness domain; or loss or night subdomains
• Relief – Healing domain; or restoration or resurrection subdomains
• Swirling Winds – Air domain; or cloud or winds subdomains
• Blessed Dawn – Sun domain; or day or light subdomains
• Bull – Strength domain; or ferocity or resolve subdomains
• Conflagration – Fire domain; or ash or smoke subdomains
• Crossed Blades – War domain; or blood or tactics subdomains
• Enchantress – Charm domain; or love or lust subdomains
• Green – Plant domain; decay or growth subdomain
• Shackle Breaker – Liberation domain; or freedom or revolution subdomain
• Skull – Death domain; or the murder or undead subdomains
• Wave – Water domain; or the ice or oceans subdomains
• Imbued – Magic domain; or the arcane or divine subdomains
• Inscribed – Rune domain; or the language or wards subdomain
• Liar’s – Trickery domain; or the deception or thievery subdomains
• Passport – Travel domain; or the exploration or trade subdomains
• Restful – Repose domain; or the ancestors or souls subdomains
• Royal – Nobility domain; or the leadership or martyr subdomains
• Stalwart’s – Protection domain; or the defense or purity subdomains
• Stone – Earth domain; or the caves or metal subdomains
• Tempest’s – Weather domain; or seasons or storms subdomains

What I like the most about the Badges represented is that in order to activate the abilities of the badge, certain tasks must be performed by the PC. The successful accomplishment of holy quests needed to add to the powers of the badge offer up some really interesting possibilities for role play. I like it when I can tie a player of a priestly class into his character’s chosen god in this way. It becomes more than merely a power build option. For me, anything which pulls the game away from pure metagame and into roleplay is ideal.

I love the Badges of Faith. This is an amazing concept which can be expanded upon into a full-blown campaign. It gives me some ideas of how to add to the badge’s power. I can turn it into a customizable unique lesser artifact through the actions and faith of the possessor and into a deity-inspired high level campaign. Well done Michael Welham and the folks at Rite Publishing.


A new set of items to spice up your campaign

*****

#30 Badges of Faith consists of 13 pages (when one excludes credits, advertising, and cover) detailing a new set a magic items tied to the divine domains.

After an introduction describing the history and game mechanics of the badges, this work presents individual badges to coincide with each domain. The badges are presented in an organized and easy-to-read format, alphabetized by the name of the badge.

Badges of Faith does not merely present new items for your next treasure hoard; the badges are more likely to be tied into the story of your adventure or campaign. Their features are unlocked by successive quests, making these the type of rewards that lead to new challenges for the PCs. For those running campaigns with divine characters, the badges present an opportunity to send those PCs on a quest of faith. They are flexible enough that they can be easily integrated into one's own campaign story arc and can motivate PCs with an interest in the divine.

The powers granted by the badges are useful enough that PCs will want to unlock them, but at the same time aren't likely to unbalance a campaign. Generally speaking, these items find the sweet spot of effectiveness without being overpowered.

This work should provide useful campaign hooks for GMs looking to add the feel of a divine quest to their campaign, and provides a method of rewarding divine PCs beyond ordinary magic items.




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