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Anachronistic Adventurers: The Luminary (PFRPG) PDF

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“I threaded a sufficient number of loops, trying the length over the edge. Then I said to Elsie, who sat cowering, propped against the crag, ‘You must come and look over, and do as I wave to you. Mind, dear, you must! Two lives depend upon it.’

‘Brownie, I daren’t? I shall turn giddy and fall over!’

I smoothed her golden hair. ‘Elsie, dear,’ I said gently, gazing into her blue eyes, ‘you can always be brave, where those you love are concerned; and I believe you love me.’ I led her, coaxingly, to the edge. ‘Sit there,’ I said, in my quietest voice, so as not to alarm her. ‘You can lie at full length, if you like, and only just peep over. But when I wave my hand, remember, you must pull the rope up.’

She obeyed me like a child. I knew she loved me.”

—Lois Cayley, Miss Cayley’s Adventures, Grant Allen

The luminary is an object of constant attention, and often fame. Through force of personality and the ability to read the strengths and weaknesses of those around her, the luminary can bring out the best in her allies and befuddle and vex her foes. A luminary may seem to be little more than a cheerleader or mascot, but her power to control and alter the morale and inspiration of those around her allows the allies of a luminary to do far more with her than on their own, even if they never realize how crucial her presence is to their success.

Since a luminary’s force of personality is hard to miss, many take roles that suit the constant attention they inevitably attract. The most well-known luminaries are performers and celebrities, but people with the ability to influence and inspire others can be found in many walks of life. A luminary may be a natural born leader, possibly even a military commander, rebel organizer, or rabble-rouser. Some luminaries work behind the scenes, acting as deal-makers, radio news announcers, extremist writers, or salacious pleasure-providing criminals. More rarely a luminary may even use her power of gaining attention work to “hide in plain sight,” allowing a spymaster to pose as something innocuous, ranging from a rich playgirl to a vapid celebrity famous only for being famous

Included in this 20 page book are three new archetypes: the celebrity, headliner, and fixer as well as rules expanding the use of the Diplomacy skill to allow characters to influence the attitude of entire groups, be that as small as a gathering on a corner or as large as an entire nation. Finally we touch on the idea of Progress Levels (PL), a simple way to determine the general technological advancement of a campaign (and outlined in more detail in Anachronistic Adventurers: The Enforcer).

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Product Reviews (1)

Average product rating:

***** (based on 1 rating)

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4.5 stars - the socialite-class of the line

*****

The latest offering of SGG's Anachronistic Adventurers-line is 19 pages long, 2/3 of a page front cover, 1 page SRD/editorial, leaving us with 17 1/3 pages of content, so let's check this out!

Mechanics-wise, the Luminary-class provides us with d8 HD, 5+Int skills per level, 3/4 BAB-progression, good will-saves, proficiency with simple weapons and those according to progress level and of course, the Anachronistic Adventurer-line's further modifications via archetypes, but before I get to them, let me first describe the Influence-ability: Luminaries, as manipulators and motivators, gain a pool of Cha-mod influence-uses per day that increases by 1 at 5th level and once every 4 levels thereafter. Creatures too dumb Int<2 are not affected. Luminaries may prompt rerolls from opponents, grant increasingly useful action types (first swift actions or +1 AoO, later even move actions and standard actions), allow allies to reroll select rolls and distarct others with their charms if they fail a save. Neat abilities!

Furthermore, they get so-called luminary-talents at 3rd level and every 4 levels thereafter and may select from a pool of them that mostly can be considered rather complex, allowing luminaries to e.g prompt a catharsis of multiple emotions, extrude an aura of calmness that allows allies better skill checks and even taking 10, gain additional class skills or bonus feats, discern the motivations of others and even convince others to not use a certain weapon for some time by laughing at an enemy's choice of armament etc. They also gain an array of limited talents which have a more limited selection as well as a superbly love/help-at-first-sight capstone ability.

As with all Anachronistic Adventurers-pdfs, we also get modular archetypes for the class, the Celebrity gaining 6 additional talents to chose from that include making "frenemies" (BOY I hate this word!), working a crowd and rumor mongering. Headliners gain more class skills, bonuses to perform and 7 exclusive talents (including stage magic and animal companions). The Fixer gains better contacts for fewer bucks, better chances of finding an item, the option to talk down violence and access to talents from other Anachronistic Adventurers classes as well as rogue talents.

Now additional system-wise, the pdf also has a neat idea and presents us mechanics to run diplomacy versus groups and tracking a group's general response towards presented ideas, including time based on settlement sizes and DC-modifiers as well as rules for cheering, debating and heckling of ideas in public spaces/group relations. Above and beyond that, we also get advice on different ways of getting the attention of such significant groups.

As with all pdfs of the series, we also get information on progress levels and proficiencies.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to SGG's 3-column standard and the pdf's stock art is very appropriate of the theme. The pdf unfortunately has no bookmarks, which is a major flaw by now in my book.

The Luminary continues the trend of SGG's excellent, top-notch Anachronistic Adventurers-line with yet another stellar, interesting class that provides options galore - though, for the first time, I am not at all sold on the additional mechanics provided. While the rules for influencing large bodies of people per se are well-written and concise, they also suffer from a lack of space devoted to them - a topic as complex as social interaction would in my opinion demand a more complex, more extensive system to allow for political machinations. That being said, unless you're like me and feature oftentimes extremely complex political debates (I've crafted my own system for this, based loosely on Dynasties & Demagogues social combat), you should still consider the system enough to represent your needs. While for me the system falls flat of e.g. the research-system for the Investigator, I can't hold this solely against this pdf. Since the talents etc. and the class are balanced, I'll still stick to a top verdict, clocking in at 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 for the purpose of this platform due to aforementioned personal preference of a more complex take on social interactions with groups and the lack of bookmarks.

Endzeitgeist out.


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