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Book of Magic: Pirate Spells (PFRPG) PDF

****½ (based on 3 ratings)

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Command the high seas with eldritch power and divine might. Wield arcane power designed for your pirate campaign with the Book of Magic: Pirate Spells. From grappling ships to shadowy magical sails to knowing the depth of water under a ship, these new spells for every Pathfinder class are sure to surprise your foes and your friends.

This book features 24 new spells focusing on life on the high seas. These new options for every spell casting class can give you a unique edge in your game.

Book of Magic: Pirate Spells includes with a 10 page PDF and the corresponding Hero Lab file.

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JBE0212E


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Product Reviews (3)

Average product rating:

****½ (based on 3 ratings)

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Solid selection of spells with innovations: Spells for ships etc. - neat

****( )

This pdf is 10 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, 1 page back cover and 1 page advertisement, leaving 6 pages of content, so let's check out these spells!

The pdf starts with spell-lists by class and includes antipaladins and the magus as well as the full APG-roster. After that, we are introduced to a tightly-focused roster of spells, which, surprise, center on pirates and privateering. The 24 new spells (including 2 mass versions) herein are interesting in that they might be changing how you view (under-)water adventuring: A major problem for low-level aquatic adventuring is the fact that the environment restricts players and the necessity for magic support to function properly. While Alluria Publishing's "Cerulean Seas"-setting somewhat addresses these, Pirate Spells herein are more centered on shorter sojourns and vessels. Indeed, it is in the vessel-focused spells that the pdf truly shines: From the ability to conjure up Sargasso-seas and barnacle growth to impede vessel-movement, make the floor of a ship shiver and influence the crew by temporarily giving them sea-legs or temporarily regressing them to being landlubbers, we are given a neat gamut of magical options. Two spells influencing the water, either making it more stormy or calming it are interesting choices as well. And vessel-grapples via kelp are a great idea as well, at least in my book.

However, not all of the spells herein are as innovative: Dwarven Stone Plating grants a ship MASSIVE DR and can be considered a kind of superior stone-skin for the whole vessel and unfortunately comes with a minor glitch, a misplaced "/" - I would have loved the spell to somewhat impede maneuverability of the ship it is cast on. Two other spells I didn't like are Floatsteel, which lets you ignore armor and shield penalties for swimming. I don't like this spell, because it opens up a logic gap - if this spell exists in your campaign (it's only 2nd level), why are there not more full-armored corsairs out there? Not my cup of coffee. The second is the level 1-spell buoyancy, which moves you towards the surface at 30 feet per round without mentioning how it interacts with diving sickness/pressure etc. Perhaps I'm spoiled by "Cerulean Seas", but in my opinion the spell does something complex and oversimplifies it.

Before you get the impression that this collection of magic is sub-apr, I'll mention my two favorites: "Sodden Ship makes" naval combat 3d in that it enables a ship to dive (and the crew to survive the experience). My only question is: Why is there no flying-ship-version of the spell? MY second favorite is the high-level shipgate, which teleports a whole vessel - mad captain leading everyone into hell, anyone? NEAT!
The pdf also comes with hero-lab files.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are very good, I only noticed one minor glitch. Layout adheres to a printer-friendly 2-column b/w-standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked, which is neat. Artwork, as far as I could tell, is stock and while I get the standard-cover, I wished JBE would use a more evocative font on the cover. The spells detailed in this pdf cover the range from being "ok" ideas to being awesome and iconic and, on a whole, this pdf has left me wanting more. To be more precise, more spells on the as of yet neglected vehicle-combat. Animating a figurehead is cool and all, but after reading about 2000 spells for PFRPG, I just don't require any standard spells and a brave innovation in focus is always appreciated. That being said, not all of the spells herein are as innovative and "Floatsteel" in particular, while I get the reasoning behind it, might wreck a crucial logical element of many a swashbuckling campaign, which seems contrary to the interests of this pdf. Generally, I think that filling up the pdf to 30 spells would have been a good idea as it felt a bit on the short end. These two being my only gripes with this installment of the "Book of Magic"-series, I'll settle for a final verdict of 4 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.


Interesting way to bring the mysteries of magecraft to the high seas!

*****

(Full disclosure... I was given a review copy of this product.) The most recent in his excellent series of Adventure Path expansions, the Book of Magic: Pirate Spells does exactly what it advertises: adds some excellent spells for all spellcasting classes in the Pathfinder Role Playing Game. From the flavorful Animate Figurehead to the endlessly-useful Sealegs, there's some super spells for your seagoing spellcaster in here. Definitely adds to your Skull and Shackles campaign, or any other 3 hour boat tour you choose to run. No Sea Mage would like to be without this product, and the price point is spectacular. Well done all around!


*****

Opening with a breakdown of spells by class lists, It's more than fair to say there's some love for every class here. Presented in a dual column format with a total of 10 pages (with 2 covers, and 1 credits/OGL page). After the spell lists (2 pages), we're left with 5 pages total for spell descriptions for these 24 aquatically themed spells. To be fair, two of the spells are mass versions of two other new spells from this product. Internal artwork consists of one piece from Marc Raddle in B&W that is of fairly good quality. In reference to editing mishaps, there was the exclusion of the usage of a bold setting for the statblock of one of the spells making it stand out (as all other spells used a bold format to begin each section of the statblock).

As the preview already breaks down the names of these new spells, and I feel this many spells are far to many to cover in extensive detail, I thought I would follow with my standard of highlighting my favorite spells, and my least favorite. So, without further ado:

Shipgate is simply an awesome spell when you as a GM are looking to either terrorize your waterways with a crew that simply can not be tracked nor caught, or have a crew of adventurers that absolutely, positively have to get there overnight (sorry, couldn't resist)..But seriously, a teleport for an entire vessel, and all of its crew and cargo, has so many possibilities in the hands of a good story teller.

Sodden Ship took me a few seconds to really mull over, and I'll tell you why. When I first read this spell, and realized that I was essentially looking at the fantasy answer to the submarine, I knew I was looking at a spell I was going to love, I just had to stop visualizing a pirate frigate cruising under the armada hunting them long enough to go back to reading the spell...I mean come on, can't you see it??? A spell that lets you sail UNDER the water, how freaking cool is that?

Animate Figurehead spoke to me, pure and simple. There was a miniature put out by Reaper a while back, of an angel formed from the figurehead of a wrecked ship. I will be hunting that miniature down, solely so that I may do this spell justice when I unleash it on my gaming table. The concept of awakening the figurehead of a ship as a golem is fantastic, and I was very happy to see that a spell of this nature was included in this collection.

Shadow Sails adds that touch of darker fantasy back in for me, as up to this spell, where as there have been quite a few magical effects, in the end, when it came to the physical, it was still the boat and all its parts...but now, with this spell, the sails are replaced by creations of shadow and nothingness....and that just screams for an evil pirate captain and his crew of damned souls!!!!!!

OK, flipping to the other side of the proverbial coin here, Landlubber allows one to “remind” a target of their landlegs, effectively turning them into newbies on board the ship, at least for the duration of the spell. This spell has a mass version, and an opposite in the form of Sealegs. Where as they both fit the theme of this collection, when taking their duration into consideration, neither is really a useful spell until you're a much higher level spell caster. Not to mention neither live up to the bar set by the four previously mentioned spells.

Final thoughts....very soon a great many tables will be breaking out their nautical rules and undertaking a new path centered around a pirate's way of life....and it would be a great dis-service if this collection of spells were not available at everyone of those tables. Whether you plan to sail under the black flag, or are hunting those who do, these spells will vastly increase your options for naval adventure. Having only two true complaints when it is all said and done, I would have liked to have seen a few more pieces of art, as art is always good....and a release date for volume two.

Going with a full 5 star rating for this collection.


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