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Pathfinder Player Companion: Blood of the Coven (PFRPG)

****½ (based on 9 ratings)
Pathfinder Player Companion: Blood of the Coven (PFRPG)

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Are You a Good Witch? Or a Bad Witch?

Wizards may wield studied spells and clerics pray to the gods themselves, but witchcraft—wild, untamed, perilous—is the magic of the common folk, with all the desperation and danger that implies. Embodied by hags and their half-blood daughters, changelings, witchcraft has always been one of the broadest, most potent, and most misunderstood forces of magic... until now. Learn the dark rituals and curses witchcraft empowers, and the good it stands to do in the world as well.

Inside this book you'll find:

  • An examination of the changeling race, including changeling covens, enhanced hag heritage, and specific rules for the 10 subraces of changelings, depending on their hag mothers.
  • New hag- and witchcraft-focused archetypes for a variety of classes, including bloodragers, clerics, investigators, and witches.
  • New curse spells and magic rituals employed by witches, as well as curse-related feats to help adventurers get the most out of a bad day.

This Pathfinder Player Companion is intended for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and the Pathfinder campaign setting, but it can easily be incorporated into any fantasy world.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-982-0

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Player Companion Subscription.

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Product Reviews (9)
1 to 5 of 9 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

Average product rating:

****½ (based on 9 ratings)

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Fair is foul, and foul is fair.

*****

As an enthusiast of all things hag-related, I waited with baited breath to acquire this gem.

The new options give a lot of customization to witches, changelings, and coven casters. Pleased to see changeling options for the outsider hags and finally (if not a little brief) new information on hag goddesses.

Interesting to see how different casters and psionics can touch upon the feats, spells, and items. Also pleased to see more classic hag homages, Curse of Dragonflies screams Spirited Away.

All of the Blood supplements have been useful, and Blood of the Coven especially so!


Worth the Wait!

*****

I've been looking forward to this book for months, as our current campaign has a changeling character in it, and we were hoping for more material to work with. Now that it's here I'm blown away by it; I think I can safely say this is my favorite book in the Player Companion line.

This book has great options and information for changelings, hags, and witches in Pathfinder, all in about equal measure. The contributions here go beyond the rule additions however; the book really expands on what we know about hag ecology, the lives of changelings, and the role a patron plays in a witch's spellcasting career. In the case of the patrons, I finally feel like a witch's patron is as active a participant in her character as a cleric's god, which is saying something!

Our game group is going to get a lot out of this book now and in the future. I'd recommend it as a steller expansion on both character options and in-game lore.


Good and left me eager for them to develop things further. . .

****( )

The specific Patrons are the coolest and most fruitful thing about this book. They practically drip with flavor. Mechanically, they offer a boon and a bane. Most of which seem very appropriate. (Though I'm not sure how the Scar Hex relates to Aeons.) It is also neat because it opens up the more Hex hungry Archetypes that I would love to try out, but have heretofore avoided because they have late access to Hexes. I also liked that they worked the Moon patron into so many of the specific patrons. I am all about the Moon. Sadly, the Moon Patron's spells aren't great. So giving additional modularity to a weaker spell list that has such powerful thematic connections to witchcraft is a big win in my book.

To be clear: I think it would be a mistake for this book to be the only place where specific Patrons are developed. They have revolutionized how I have been thinking about witches.

I also very much appreciated that the writers tried to explain what makes witchcraft different from other forms of arcane power. Unfortunately, I think this could have been explained better. The basic idea is that at its core witchcraft is trading for magical favors without the need for inherent or learned power. Cool. But, if that's the case, then why is Intelligence the key stat for witches? Charisma is the stat that determines how gifted one is in the art of the deal. Although that impeded my suspension of disbelief, I can only support and encourage the designers to marry the lore and the mechanics of the game further. Sometimes the magic in Pathfinder doesn't feel magical, and the way they have developed Ritual Magic and witchcraft goes to restore some of the enchantment.

The archetypes are neat for the most part. I don't think the Malice Binder is particularly strong, but the way they make magic feel magically with their sympathetic effects makes me want to play one even if I suspect most Malice Binders are devoured by their more potent enemies. The Triadic Priest is a cleric archetype that doesn't make me sad for clerics, and it doesn't increase their Skill Points per level, so the fact that I still like it is high praise. It really encourages me to explore Teamwork feats.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the new rituals. All of them are great and extremely evocative. While I cannot imagine playing in a game where the PCs were using the Grand Coven Ritual, I really, really want to play in that game.

4 Stars. It's a scandal that there are no new Hexes in the book. Furthermore, I wish we could have gotten a few more pages on the specific patrons and the lore/theory of witchcraft. I hope both are explored further in subsequent books. I've been told that reviews are the best way to get things we want in future books. I can only pray that is true.


Archetypes, curses, and more!

*****

One of the big complaints with witches has been that the patrons are very bland and don't actually do much. This book tackles the problem head-on, allowing you to get more bang for your buck from various patrons. That's right, patron-specific mechanics are here at last! They're pretty well balanced to not add too much power to a full caster, while also not hurting too much to take.

Subraces are always awesome, even if the changeling subraces are a little clustered in their stats (which don't always match the flavor). The Awakened Hag Heritage feat is an excellent addition to Changelings, too; both flavorful and mechanically useful. Changeling covens are tricky to pull off in a party, but very rewarding.

More curse spells are fun, and Knell of the Depths is enough to justify a Skull & Shackles witch by itself. Curse of Dragonflies also gets a mention for allowing the caster to do something very helpful- force a flier to land in mid-combat. The fact that it's also a permanent curse is gravy on top! Pick it up, and your party's melee combatants will be grateful. In addition to the spells, there are occult rituals. Notably, a "you and your descendants" curse (with options that work even if you're pretty sure they won't have kids), and cursing somebody with a pugwampi.

The new archetypes for witch pair excellently with the new patron rules, and are quite flavorful, with useful tools. Other classes get nice archetypes as well, like a spiritualist bound to an evil and independent-thinking spirit, and a bloodrager that is a solid addition to many natural attack builds.

Every book has some things that don't shine as much. The Malice Binder is stretched too thin by using charisma for DCs on a martial class that uses Int for everything else. Curses and witches don't usually come up enough for me to take archetypes centered around them. (Then again, I didn't get very far in Reign of Winter.)

This book provides a solid improvement to a class usable across nearly any archetype, several good archetypes, good spells, and lots of expansion to an existing race. Well worth a purchase. While I loved the broad coverage of Blood of Beasts, Blood of the Coven shows that an in-depth treatment is good too!


A HEX UPON YOUR EYE

*****

I'd like to pretty much echo Samy's comments (and remind him that he forgot to give the stars in his review :P).

Blood of the Coven is focused, but not too focused. There's stuff for changelings and witches, obviously, but there's also stuff for other classes.

And I really, really, REALLY love the battlepot cauldron. Kudos to whoever came up with idea :)


1 to 5 of 9 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

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