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RPG Superstar 2015

Grimoire Mutamateria (PFRPG)

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

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Grimoire Mutamateria has taken shape!

The 87 transmutation spells in this tome offer unique synergy with wild shape and other polymorph spells, a rich and engaging alchemical component system and of course the crowning achievement that inspired us all to enroll in magic academies: temporal manipulation!

These spells provide rich immersion and have been thoroughly playtested.

Design Goals:

  • Enhance polymorph's form-specific flavor without upsetting its balance.
  • Reward alchemists for interacting with their environment.
  • Provide a reliable means to use crafting feats while adventuring.

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Product Reviews (1)

Average product rating:

***** (based on 1 rating)

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Stellar spellbook - one of the must-haves!

*****

This pdf is 34 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving a total of 31 pages of content, so let's take a look!

The pdf kicks off with 7.5 pages of spell-lists by class before delivering all the new spells, this issue of the "Grimoire"-series centering on Transmutation-magic.

Since I can't go into details regarding the spells, I'll instead give you examples on the innovative mechanics used in some of the spells: There is a whole selection of spells herein that can be cast as a free action when using another spell or wildshape to change into the respective forms, granting you e.g. keener senses when turning into canine form. However, only one such spell may be cast and be in effect per transformation. Now if that doesn't immediately excite you, take a look at "Phoenix's Flames" - it is one of the spells of this category and adds even more effects: You do damage to adjacent foes, but also deal damage to yourself - and if your flames consume you, you have a percentile-based chance (20% + 1% per round under the spell's effects, maximum 70%) to resurrect with full HP and 2 negative levels. You can only benefit from this resurrection every 1d4 years. Vastly superior and more balanced than the broken sanctified 3.5-spell.

And then there are some other neat ones: Want to create a workshop for your witch that makes your familiar become rather hard to destroy indeed? There's a spell herein. Speaking of familiars, there's a spell that lets you change your familiar for 24 hours and thus also grant you different bonuses - just your familiar won't like it. And then there's the druid spell crowstorm - transform into a swarm of deadly crows that deals a bunch of damage - the death of individual crows don't affect you, but if the swarm is destroyed, you revert to 0 HP and your regular form. The bard-spell "Moving Finale" is another winner herein - you have to have a bardic performance in effect to cast this spell - the spell ends the performance and gives one of your allies an immediate movement action. Following Dreadfox Games' tradition, there are also some spells exclusive for the APG-classes (very cool), from eidolon-buffing (including turning into an aqueous orb) to the lvl 9-witch-spell that rusts all metal objects of a whole legion of foes.

And then there are the time-spells: Temporal Advance lets you ready standard and move-actions, even if you don't have one available. You can trigger these actions 3d4 and 2d4 rounds later, but become staggered respectively stunned afterwards for a round. And then there's the lvl-9-spell Temporal Distortion that just screams "Use me for the ambient effect of a high level dungeon" - it features 4 different speeds of time with different consequences for those affected. Complex? Yes. Interesting? Hell yeah!

And then there is my personal favorite section, the Culture Monster-series of alchemist extracts: These spells let you take partial bonuses from select foes by using components harvested from them: The Witcher, a lot of literature and countless other games, my home-game included are waving right now. Even better, in the end of the pdf, we get a comprehensive list of the items required (e.g. a braided strands of dwarven beard, dragon bile etc.) as well as containers required to keep the ingredients fresh. This section of spells is plain awesome and the containers and connections between items, etc. is awesome - plus, an alchemist can learn the higher versions of the extract by making successful Craft (Alchemy) checks. I sincerely wished there were more spells like this - both in this pdf and in general. Kudos and respect.

Of course, there is also one spell (yes only one this time around) I have a problem with: Focal Indoctrination changes all holy symbols in range into the one of your patron deity. While the imagery evoked is cool, the spell is essentially a major save-or-suck-spell for divine casters and thus might prove to be the beginning of a rather unpleasant TPK. That's just a personal preference, though - as written, there's nothing truly wrong with it.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are very good and though I encountered some minor glitches, none impeded my understanding of the spells. Layout adheres to Dreadfox Games' 2-column standard with the thorny frame. The pdf has no artwork, but is fully bookmarked.

I've said it once and I'll say it again: After RiP's excellent 1001 spells and Advanced Arcana I +II, my spell-needs have been satisfied. I'm jaded. Hard to impress, much less inclined to cut any spell-pdf slack. Plus, 5 bucks is not exactly cheap.

Well, after the first 2 Grimoires were ok books with some balance concerns on my side and Grimoire Illusionatus rocked hard, I'm happy to announce that Grimoire Mutamateria is once again a spellbook I can wholeheartedly recommend. The wealth of ideas, the uncommon mechanics utilized, the lack of balance-concerns on my part, the innovative time-spells, the wildshape-spells and all the others that interact with class-abilities make this pdf an all-out-winner. Even my personal pet-peeve spell mentioned above can see some justified use and can be countered by smart adversaries/PCs. This is an excellent spellbook and in spite of the high prize in comparison to competitors worth the price of admission - twice. I hope the Grimoire Enamoris, which I also have here, will stand up to this excellent standard and that the Dreadfoxes will further explore the areas of mechanically innovative spells. My final verdict? 5 stars. Hands down one of the spell-selections you should definitely consider buying out there.

Endzeitgeist out.


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