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Grimoire Tempestus (PFRPG)

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

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Grimoire Tempestus rages forth!

Master destruction with the 101 evocation spells storming within. Your words shall turn to dragons, your fires shall rend the heavens and the four winds shall heed your beck and call.

These spells make evocation even more dynamic and have been thoroughly playtested.

Design Goals:

  • Offer offensive casters reliable spells covering the gamut of elements at every spell level.
  • Breed exciting play out of give-and-take relationships between the action, spell and component economies.
  • Encourage elemental specialization via unique interactions within each element.
  • Incentivize cooperation and support with strong buffs and other cooperative spells.

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Product Reviews (1)

Average product rating:

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

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Mechanically interesting evocations with some filler

****( )

This pdf is 38 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 25 pages of content, so let's check this one out!

The latest installment of Dreadfox Games' Grimoire-series deals with a vast selection of evocation-spells. After 7 pages of spell-lists covering all the core-classes, APG-classes and the magus, we dive headlong into a selection of evocation spells, so do they do anything but blandly blowing up things?

Now, evocations are essentially mechanically not too exciting - and this pdf somewhat strives to change that. Take the very first extract, Alchemist's Revenge: Almost impossible to force down the throat of a foe, this extract burns away his nerves, dealing massive attribute damage. It also forces the subjected victim to vomit forth bile and finally detonate in an explosion of fire, acid and bile. Disturbing and, surprisingly, mechanically interesting with some story-telling potential.

On the other side of the equation, we actually get a spell that is rather genius and has a lot of uses: Arcane Extraction. On a successful caster-level check, it allows a caster to destroy items and transform a part of the item's value into arcane dust that can be used to cover costs of magic item creation. Speaking of cool ideas: Arcane Surge grants you a +5 bonus to overcome spell resistance, but the spell lasts 11 rounds and every round, the bonus is lowered by 1, thus resulting in a penalty in later levels. Cool spell with some interesting tactical decisions. Magi, Wizards and Sorcerors may now emit a blast of cylindrical electricity, fire or coldness they can continuously emit. Those caught by the blast and fail the save will be up for even more damage if the continuously try to block the blast. Can you see the tough-as-nail dwarf struggling towards the caster while getting progressively more and more blasted? The Blizzard-spell at 9th level is also rather interesting not in its raw damage output, but also since it actually conveys vulnerability to cold, comes with air-control effects and even the option to pin foes beneath ice. I'm also a big fan of the ranger-spell burning caltrops, which actually provides us with a valid caltrop option at higher levels.

Among the decidedly lame spells herein are Chain Lightning, least and Chain Lightning, lesser, at 2nd and 4th level, which cap at 5d6 and 10d6, respectively. Boring. There also is a spell that is essentially a variant of a fire shield and a really cool witch-spell: Curse Elements, a level 9 spell, which gives each elemental spell (through strangely not those with the [acid]-descriptor) a 40%+1% per caster level to blow up in the face of the caster. There are also 4 different elemental primer spells, which allow you to lace yourself with an elemental current, dealing 1d6 damage, but enhancing the next corresponding elemental spell, but also risking having to save against the added effect if you take a lot of damage. There also are explosive spells that e.g. emit a lightning bolt which detonates afterwards. The level 9 explosive reprimand counterspell not only counters spells and deals damage to the casters - unless the spell in question is an abjuration, in which case, the spell backfires on the caster. Nice! Frigid Chrysalis is another interesting spell, encasing the target in a cocoon of ice which, while dealing minimal ice damage, also provides a layer of rigid protection. Surely a spell that takes some thinking to properly use, but I consider it an interesting concept.
Speaking of interesting concept: Jarl Spear grants you a magical weapon, which actually improves if you have a title and are recognized by the populace as a leader. Cool concept that links magic and roleplaying achievements. The witch-cantrip "Lips of Darkness" is also interesting, blowing out an unprotected flame with a whisper, providing us with some interesting iconic options for witches.

Bards also get 3 interesting spells, the songs of fire, ice and storms, which can be prolonged by expending bardic performances and succeeding a performance check. Nice synergy of class-abilities and spells. On the slightly less interesting side, we also get the "Soul of..."-spells (Fire, Ice and Thunder), which help against detrimental temperature effects and can be canceled by appropriate damage dealt to you. There also are spells to conjure a fox of ice and snow, a thunder hawk ad similar elemental quasi-sentient beings that you can direct and send through foes. Ok, I guess, but not too exciting.

What I really enjoyed were the 4 wind-spells: From the refreshing rain brought by the Eastern Wind to the elemental-enhancing properties of the northern wind, these spells not only are interesting, they also come with a rather cool idea: If you provide an expensive component, you can actually store the respective wind in a bag, suspending the spell until you open it. A neat idea straight from classic fairy-tales and implemented rather well.

Editing and formatting are very good, I didn't notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to Dreadfox Games' 2-column b/w-standard with its vine-borders. The pdf has no artworks apart from the one on the cover and comes with extensive nested bookmarks. I fully expected to be underwhelmed by Grimoire Tempestus - after all, evocations are those flashy damage-dealers that don't make for too interesting spells. Dreadfox Games have managed to do something unexpected here, that is there actually are some rather interesting spells herein: The synergy between class features and spells is fun and there are some spells here that require some clever thinking to properly use - which is nice indeed! However, there also are a couple of script-spells that mechanically feel a bit bloated. There also are a couple of spells I'd consider at best filler, the lesser variants of chain lightning being prime examples. Nevertheless, generally, the spells felt rather interesting. The pdf is not exactly cheap, coming sans artworks, which constitutes another minor detrimental factor. All in all, I found this installment of the Grimoire-series enjoyable, though it does not rise to the brilliance of the Mutamateria or Illusionatus-installments, not due to balance-issues this time around, but due to there being some spells herein that can be considered as fillers. Since the majority is rather well-crafted, though, and since there's not much filler, I'll settle for a final verdict of 4 stars.

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