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Genius Options: Masters of Time (PFRPG) PDF

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Beings with powers that manipulate time itself, chronothurges, first appeared in The Genius Guide to the Time Thief and The Genius Guide to the Time Warden. Each of those books presented a new base class (time thief and time warden, respectively) that had access to two new powers sources, "motes of time" and "aevum." They also offered hints of a world where a war waged through multiple, linked, parallel timelines and time itself could be stolen, damaged, or even destroyed.

The classes immediately garnered a large following, and requests for additional material quickly began making their way to Super Genius Games. The first book to offer additional support for them was Rite Publishing's 101 Renegade Class Feats, which includes 7 feats designed specifically for use by the time thief, as well as feats for numerous other classes created by Super Genius Games and other publishers. Later we released Mythic Menagerie: Ravagers of Time, presenting 7 time-themed critters to give a GM a range of chronal allies and opponents for a campaign with temporal elements, and Bullet Points: 7 Time Thief/Time Warden Feats, which gave a few expanded options.

Now Genius Options: Masters of Time expands the classes and time-themed powers even further, with new ideas for chronothurges of many different types and classes, an outline on how timelines work (adapted from Ravagers of Time), rules for using chronothurge abilities to create temporal monsters, new ways for characters with non-chronothurge classes to gain some temporal powers, and feats for time-manipulators of any type.

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Product Reviews (1)

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***** (based on 1 rating)

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Enough ideas to carry whole campaigns; offsets some abusable components

*****

This pdf is 30 pages long, 2/3 of a page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 27 1/3 pages of content, so let's check this out!

So what is this book? Well, if you by now don't know the Time Thief and Time Warden-classes, which for the first time have made chronomancy a fun and rewarding insert into an iteration of d20, I'd suggest you immediately get them. *waits* All right, are you done reading? On a basic level, this product is the big enhancement tome for the two classes, going even further than previous releases (the classes are featured in RiP's 101 Renegade Class Features and have a Bullet Point as well as a monster-book) by providing content galore based on motes of time, aevum etc.

To handle a topic as complex as time, an introduction is provided that e.g. covers influence on the timestream etc.. For the purpose of this pdf introducing the term chronothurge as an hyperonym for any class that manipulates time as well as providing guidance to introduce the content herein to your campaign. The pdf kicks off its crunchy section by providing us with a selection of 9 basic motes of time powers - these can be used by the two basic chronothurge-classes (i.e. the Time Thief and Time Warden) as indicated in brackets. Astute readers may also see Time Reavers and Time Masters as new terminology - both do not reference to new classes, but rather an archetype and a term for any other manipulator of time. Multiple of the mote-abilities allow you to burn motes to gain mote-bonuses, which add +1d4 to the respective roll, upgrading to +2d4 at 8th level and +3d4 at 16th level.

The options for the application of mote bonuses cover damage, saving throws, skill & ability-checks, caster level checks, atk or initiative. The chronothurges may also spend motes to act in surprise rounds, get an additional swift action or even suspend the weight of armor (and its penalty) and encumbrance for one round. That's not all, though: We also are introduced to 25 advanced mote powers. These mote powers require "bigger" actions on part of the respective chronothurges, allowing them to reroll percentile dice, extend a condition, affliction, spell-like effect etc. for one round, increase the pace of the movement of deadly conditions and other fine tricks: Time Wardens may e.g. spend all their motes to force a reroll of the roll that would have otherwise killed them, be it damage or a save - a longshot last-second save, but a cool one! They may also temporarily inflict the infirmity of old-age on opponents (or buff dragons likewise with increased age) or heal allies by drawing on a possible future vitality. Of course, ripping open wounds and disabling swift actions make also for compelling options, as is the temporary suppression of a negative condition. Standard auguries are also possible, as is it to temporarily gain proficiency with a weapon and gain a bonus to AC, the option to track chronothurgic creatures and beings via scent as well as create aevums by weaving together multiple motes. As one absolutely glorious implementation, they may also glean the effects on a question they have hypothetically asked and then rewinded. VERY cool for espionage-missions etc.

Speaking of aevum-powers - of course, we also get new 21 lesser aevum powers and oh boy - while becoming ageless or gaining a miss chance due to altered probabilities are cool options, some of the aevum powers are simply GLORIOUS. Alternate Self, for example, is a BOON for players and GMs alike: This power can only be used on a dead character. There is a chance that said character comes back to life - only, it's not the character, but a version from another timeline, allowing you essentially to do the Doctor Who-actor change, complete with personality and looks. Let that sink in - as a DM, you have an option to deny resurrections that don't fit your plot, while players bored of their character-built can change them without upsetting "chosen one"-prophecies and similar plot devices. Have I mentioned the glorious ideas for DMs? The King's been assassinated - only he hasn't. He had a "change of mind" and is now promoting brutal pogroms against e.g. elves - what has happened to the righteous ruler? The potential is ENDLESS. This pdf is worth the asking price for this ability alone. Those who want to have always the right tool, can now set aside funds to retroactively have bought certain items. Of course, there are also more combat-centric powers and the option to generate motes by breaking up aevum. Though I see a problem here: 6 motes make one aevum, 1 aevum make 1d6+Cha-mod motes. Insanely high charisma, time on your hands - regain resources. The cha-mod has to be eliminated or at least halved.
Hitting foes with entropy-based bonus damage might be nice, but setting up a restore point at one round and potentially jump at the highest levels back can be a godsend for modules - especially since at 17th level, they may do so with allies. They may also trade places with other beings in reach and even draw a temporal duplicate of her/himself, splitting actions between two equally capable bodies. BRILLIANT.

We also get 11 feats that allow characters to dabble in chronothurgy as a member of another class, gain additional aevum powers, specialize in motes, negate crits and sneak attacks into regular hits, temporarily gain minor sneak attack (or stack on sneak attack) or use divination.

Now, I already mentioned the time-reavers - they may be represented by Time Wardens or Time Thieves and gain Time Twist, adding a deadly, yet cool effect to their spells/attacks: On a failed save, those hit temporarily lose access to one of their feats! On the side of the time thief, they may now steal motes directly from others and even options from other characters, restricting them to partial actions for one turn, while Time Wardens gain 2 new spells that allow you to regain motes of time or aevum or temporarily gain access to a mote power you usually don't have. Time Wardens also get a new archetype based on the relation of space and time, the Warp Warden, which allows him to be further away (or closer) to another creature that does not threaten him. They may also halve ranges of ranged attacks and go all out Portal as in the games. Neat!

The pdf also has a massive array of archetypes that allow core classes to gain access to temporal powers of chronothurgy - Barbarians may become Outlanders, aging slower, gain limited mote powers and become mysterious, i.e. it is VERY difficult to find anything out about these children of dissonance. Cavaliers may now join the Order of Finality, which allows them to negate rerolls and a pool of determination that allows them to gain bonuses similar to the mote bonuses. Awesome flair for the impeccable executor/hunter. Very cool! Clerics (and Oracles) may now take the new Temporal Domain, gaining a limited supply of motes and 1 aevum power at 8th level, while druids my of course also gain access to this via nature's bond. Furthermore, the servants of nature may opt to become Temporal Daduchos, replacing more practice oriented spells with esoteric knowledge and wild empathy with a time-disturbances tracking scent. Daduchos also replace wild shape with scaling motes. Magi may use their arcane pool as motes of time and count as time wardens and learn advanced mote powers. They also get the Tempus-archetype, which also grants limited access to aevum. Sorcerors may now stem from the Wampus bloodline (which is not necessarily from the Wampus and could stem from any...thing...chronomancy-related...), allowing them to cut the duration of detrimental effects and suspend spells - and that's before gaining cha-mod aevum powers as a capstone. Witches are not forgotten either, gaining 3 hexes to become ageless, inflict alternate memories and make a minor wound from the past reappear. Wizards can now of course specialize in the new chronothurgy school, allowing them to spend motes of time from their limited array to change a prepared spell. I'm not particularly keen on that one, since with the right build, I can see that being exploited to making the wizard a bit too close to spontaneous casters.

Now that's not all - we also are introduced to the idea of zones of broken time (including a nice d%-table of effects) as well as to basic guidelines on how to handle monsters with motes and aevum as well as a sample CR 11 temporal labyrinthian, a bovine humanoid with dread powers. For more monsters, be sure to check out the STELLAR "Mythic Menageries: Ravagers of Time"-monster book, btw.!

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are very good, though not perfect - I noticed some very minor glitches, like the time reaver once being called outlander. Layout adheres to SGG's 3-column landscape presentation and features a combination of the real-life photos we know from the Time Thief and Warden-pdfs as well as some kick-style artworks and a rendition of the mythic menagerie-installment's cover. THANKFULLY, this is one of the SGG-pdfs that is excessively bookmarked.

Oh boy. On the one hand, I have minor balance concerns with some abilities, as mentioned above. But you know what? I don't care. This class-supplement, for the most part, is STELLAR. It offers so many options that are not only great choices crunch-wise, but open up whole new avenues on how fights are conducted, adventure plots devised etc. Essentially, this pdf multiplies the options you have as a DM when writing complex stories, as a player when doing just about whatever task. And yes, multiplies. For it is not a mere addition - this pdf allows you to do things that would otherwise simply not work, which is plain and simple awesome. I went into this, reading it as a class-supplement and went out with enough ideas for whole MULTIPLE campaigns and adventures. And that, my friends, is what separates a good book from a great one. After the disappointment that "Godling Ascendant" was for me, I was wary of this one, but my fears turned out to be unfounded.

In fact, even in Owen K.C. Stephen's rich oeuvre of idea-sparking, excellent crunch, this stands out as one of those singularly rare splat-books that do the same as well-written fluff. They incite the spark of creativity within the reader. And you know what? For once, I acknowledge, that balance-wise this is not perfect, potentially there are options that can be exploited etc. But for this on time, I simply don't care. If you have read my harpings on any balance-issue whatsoever, this should get you a good inkling on why this pdf is such a colossal success in my eyes. Thus I remain with these words: Be wary of some pieces of content, but for crying out loud, don't make the mistake of not checking out a pdf that not only offers character options, but which may revolutionize your game. Final verdict, in spite of minor editing glitches and balance-concerns will be 5 stars + seal of approval. Don't let this pdf slip through your fingers like the proverbial sands of time!

Endzeitgeist out.



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