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RPG Superstar 2015

Grimoire Enamoris (PFRPG)

****( ) (based on 1 rating)
Grimoire Enamoris (PFRPG)

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Grimoire Enamoris suddenly and inexplicably feels like your best friend!

Manipulate creatures to your own devious ends with this grimoire's 84 enchantment spells. "That troll thinks he's your mother because I'm the greatest. Now stop whining and let him fight your battles!" If this sounds familiar, then you probably have this grimoire. If not, then you must be an enchanter in need of this grimoire. You're in luck, friend, because for a limited time only, we're offering you the ability to stagger your opponents with arcane riddles, coerce your regent into doing exactly what he just told you not to do and poison everyone that watches you drink poison.

No, we're taking back the poison. It's too much. OK fine, we'll throw it back in, but...

Was that 18 seconds? Did we just haggle for 18 seconds? Hah! Now you have to pay 3% more for this grimoire! Why? You'll just have to read it and find out.

These spells provide innovative means to influence actions and have been thoroughly playtested.

Design Goals:

  • Offer control spells that manipulate actions rather than deny them.
  • Bid players to match static mechanics with equal part roleplay.
  • Explore indirect interaction.

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Product Reviews (1)

Average product rating:

****( ) (based on 1 rating)

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3.5 stars rounded up - a good selection of spells, not on par with Mutamateria

****( )

The fifth of Dreadfox Games' Grimoires is 30 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving 27 pages of content, so let's check this out!

After 6.5 pages of spell-lists, we are introduced to a wide array of new enchantment-spells. Due to not wanting to cover each spell separately, I'll instead give you an overview of spells I consider remarkable in one way or another.

All right, let's start with some spells I have problems with: Arcane Compulsion lets you declare one spell or spell-like ability and forces the target8s) to use it at the next possible opportunity - per se not a bad spell, but it relies utterly on metagame-knowledge, something I try to keep to a minimum in my campaign. depending on the style of your gameplay, you might also be annoyed by that one. The arrow of compassion/disdain spells for the ranger are also peculiar in that they enchant an arrow to make the hit target of the projectile feel compassion or disdain towards a designated target. While you might think about Cupid/an agent of strife, the arrow deals regular damage, making it hard for me to think about a situation in which this makes sense - you're not going to be nice to the person who just shot you, after all...

The Compulsive Riddle spell is cool per se: You create a compulsion and pose a riddle to the target, who becomes immediately obsessed with solving the riddle - any correct answer will do, btw. The example given "What common word has 3 consecutive sets of double letters?" and its two answer-examples are rather neat: "Bookkeeper" is correct, as would be "woollen". Gotta remember that if I ever get to DM for an English-speaking group. Speaking of compelling spells: "Compel Draft" returns a subject's eyes milky white and force them to reproduce any texts or written symbols they have recently seen - the options for investigations and espionage are awesome. Another spell with quite an interesting potential is listener's coercion - it forces the person to actually do what they say - sounds boring? Add the twist that the spell ignores negations and you're in for a fun tool to trick foes and create convoluted, dastardly plots.

Speaking of convoluted situations: Memory Void lets the subject forget the last 10 minutes, enabling you to retry e.g. a social check and eliminating the casting of the spell from the recipient's memory. Now the fun begins as soon as the spell ends, for full knowledge of the prior 10 minutes resumes, creating essentially a creature that has two sets of memories of reacting towards a specific circumstance. Now think on how players can use that and how it can be used against them - neat, isn't it? Mindstorm is a mechanically interesting spell: Taking the mechanics of power words (your HD vs. the targets HD, no save), this lvl 9 spell has different effects on its targets depending on the difference between their intelligence and yours, potentially even resulting in permanent int drain.

And then there are my two favorite spell in this book: Overwhelming presence grants everyone but you total concealment against the target creature until the spell ends or if they attack the foe, making this a great diversion-for-infiltration spell, while reflective compulsion may be one of the most complex, yet incredibly cool spells I've seen done for the enchantment-school: You and the subject must declare which direction you are facing at the casting of this spell - the subject is compelled to do what you do, but you are also compelled to reflect the subject's actions. Now, there is vast tactical potential in this spell and even if you don't want to use it yourself, I can see myself designing a mirror-dungeon and linking the PC-group with adversaries via this spell - may the fun begin! (*hint to all 3pp-authors out there: Want to try that? I'd love to see such a dungeon!*)

The final winners I'd like to comment on are the 3 "Vicarious..."-spells. The first is rather harmless: Any alcoholic drink you consume affects all watching you as if they had drunk it themselves - Cayden is grinning. Where the series starts to get nasty is "Vicarious Poison" - this one affects all creatures with the poison you drink. Yes, you have to drink poison, but so what, there are spells that make you immune... Nasty! Finally, the most versatile and high-level spell does the same with potions. And there are some nasty potions out there - since this is also available for the alchemist, we're having an interesting gamut of options here, albeit one whose potential for abuse is hard to judge. The horribly unbalanced "Kiss of Death" has also gotten a similar spell "Kiss of Slumber", which thankfully grants a will-save - at 24 hours sleep, that's necessary! Good to see the Dreadfoxes' design continues to improve.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to Dreadfox Games' two-column, printer-friendly, thorn-bordered standard and there are no artworks. What I noticed more often than in other publications is that there are more spell-headers at the bottom of the page, with the spell description on the next - nothing to truly complain about, but not too pleasant either. The pdf has no artworks, but comes fully bookmarked.

I've written in my review of the last Grimoire and I'll gladly repeat it here - it takes quite a bit to impress me with spells these days. And on the plus-side, Grimoire Enamoris does have a couple of spells that can be considered innovative, cool and smart. On the downside, though, none of the spells herein impressed me as much as a lot of the ones featured in "Grimoire Mutamateria" did. In fact, a lot of the spells herein unfortunately didn't feel exciting or too compelling (haha!) to me - I guess I made my will-save. Kidding aside, there are stellar spells herein, but also ones I'd consider to be filler at best. Spells to help haggling? Come on, regular compulsions and charms/dominates can do that as well and there are spells that let you suppress "fatigue and grant +2 to Str and Dex" for a minute. Exciting is different. What I'm trying to say here is that the gulf between utter awesomeness like "Reflective Compulsion" and aforementioned boring buffs (Surge of Enthusiasm, btw.) is rather wide.
That being said, in contrast to the first two Grimoires I did not encounter a spell with which I had massive balance concerns - thus, while not as awesome as the last two Grimoires (Illusionatus and Mutamateria), this is still a good pdf, albeit at the upper price-range. My final verdict will thus be 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4 since the pdf can still be considered a good purchase that does not deserve being called average.

Endzeitgeist out.


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