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Come for the classes, stay for the secondary systems


I purchased the majority of the classes contained in this document as stand-alone products and RGG was good enough to provide a PDF of the compilation for free, with no prompting. That was a pleasant surprise!

As for the content, this is all about playing swords and sorcery or fish out of water in a fantasy setting type characters and stories. It also features one of the better set of occult classes out there. In many ways, they are handled more elegantly and with more originality than Paizo's offerings, so if you are in to that, check it out.

Where the book really comes together is the level of customizability on offer. Each class has access to a collection of anachronistic archetypes which can be taken by any anachronistic class. Some are more obviously intended for certain classes, but there are opportunities to create a more unusual character as well. On top of that, each class has a selection of talents that are actually worth taking and provide more opportunities to create the character you want.

For me though, the real draw of this book are the secondary systems. Personal favourites include:

  • Legacy equipment type rules for special devices that are the focus of a character (heavy, medium, light armor options, rings, shields, weapons) and scale as they level up;
  • ESP abilities and systems. This is more occult than Paizo's occult adventures and is not just psionics with a different name.
  • Investigation rules and rules for tracking an individual down in an urban setting;
  • Invention system for adding additional bonuses to a normal item;
  • A better secret identity system than the one offered in the recent vigilante playtest;
  • Progress levels for different technological levels. I like this version more than Paizo's pseudo version which only applies to firearms;
  • Firearm Rules that are more coherent, easier to run, and simpler than Paizo's;
  • Vehicle Rules that allow large movements and vehicle combat on the battlefield that are not practical with a normal playmat. These ones actually let you recreate the Mad Max car chase/car battle scenes. It even includes the ways that spells and other range effects work in a fast-moving scene without bogging down the system or creating nonscensical results;
  • Oh, and if the last point wasn't good enough, it also includes a vehicle template that lets you turn a monster into a vehicle and have a halfway decent idea of the CR value of the resulting creation!
  • Ritual Magic. There are other good systems that do the same, but this one is pretty good for allowing out of combat casting by a broader range of people who may not be spellcasters.
  • A system for applying diplomacy effects to large groups. The lack of a system like this is a glaring hole in the diplomacy rules and reminds me of some of political system rules from 3pp in 3.5.
  • Research rules. Simple, but deep and will help turn something that would often be just an unsatisfactory skill check into an adventure. These rules let the players discover things that are unknown by any others and feel like their discoveries are their accomplishments and not just the GM feeding them important plot info;

The book also throws in some advice about how to design an anachronistic adventure as well as how to handle mysteries and investigations (both tropes of the source material inspiring this book).

Overall, I'd recommend picking this up if you are at all interested in the types of stories that inspire the anachronstic adventures, or if you are looking for a bunch of very different classes and want to file off the numbers and use them as normal fantasy classes.

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The definitive Ocean/Sea bestiary.


This is an extremely good book. If you run games that are at all situated near an ocean, sea, or lake and want to use some location appropriate fauna, then you'll want this book. The creatures herein are extremely well written/designed and for many of them the encounters almost write themselves. It's also very beautiful and impressive to see the consistent art style despite the very long list of artists. I'd put this at a higher level of craftsmanship and quality than Paizo's normal bestiaries, which are already excellent books in their own stead.

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The Standard for Pact Magic and/or Binders


Back around the time the Pathfinder RPG first came out, I saw some posts about a 3rd party version of Wizards of the Coast's Binder from Tome of Magic. I'd seen a number of people say that the Binder had some good ideas, but had some mechanical problems. The general consensus was that this 3rd party publication "Secrets of Pact Magic" was 'the binder, done right'.

Now, the authors of Secrets of Pact Magic have updated their book to the Pathfinder RPG. This isn't just a quick and dirty conversion, the authors have taken advantage of the innovations introduced by PFRPG to make their Pact Magic book blend seamlessly with the overall system. It's a very elegant and professionally put together system and there is something in here for pretty much every game whether or not you decide to use the new class added by this book or if you want to use an archetype for an existing class.

Bottom line, this comes highly recommended and I hope to see more such material from Radiance House.

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Four alternate takes on combat classes


This publication is a marked improvement over the Pugilist Class. All four of the classes are mechanically sound, and are much better written. I could see using any of these classes in a game. The two classes that particularly caught my eye are the Combat Brute and the Battle Commander. The Combat Brute specializes in various combat maneuvers, while the Battle Commander is a marshal type character.

While there isn't a huge amount of originality on display here, these are all functional and useable classes that players and GMs will find useful in most games, and do a good job of filling their niches. This is a decent 3.5 stars product, rounded down to 3 stars for the review system.

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Buy it!


The new Cerulean Seas: Waves of Thought is an excellent book that sells me, someone who likes the idea of psionics but isn't totally sold on the 3.5/Dreamscarred mechanics, on using Psionics. It's a great mesh of flavour and mechanics and both those interested in marine campaigns as well as psionics should check it out. All images are full colour and the layout is very nicely done. You won't regret this purchase if you are even remotely interested in the subject matter.

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Revised - Skip this, Get Advanced Class for similar concepts done better


Original Review: Very amateurishly written. Balance is poor, and seems to be aimed at people who think the Core Rulebook monk is overpowered. Any powerful combos appear to have come out of the author's misunderstanding of how the rules work and interact. Appears to be written from the perspective that the peak of real-world human accomplishment is represented by a level 20 character in the game world. There are lots of typos, and this needs an editor badly.

Still, there might be some things that could be salvaged from this, and it might work for a slightly expanded NPC warrior-type class, so this gets 1.5 stars, rounded up to 2 for this review format.

Revised review comments:

The author pointed out that there was a revised version of this document available. A quick read of the revised version shows that some of the worst grammar errors and typos have been cleaned up. I still stand by what I had to say about the balance, this reads more like a complex NPC class than a PC class (+5 feet movement per round starting at level 14, for a total of +10 feet per round movement at level 18 are not level appropriate class features, and the level 20 capstones seem more appropriate for level 6 to 10 in general).

I do like the framework used for the class design, but the class doesn't live up to the potential. I expected an improvement over the Core Rulebook monk, but this isn't it.

My revised rating is a 2.0. This can be salvaged as a functional NPC class, but not really anything more.