Cooking With Class (PFRPG) PDF

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Food occupies a strange place in RPGs. On the one hand, it’s universal: everyone has to eat. (Except undead. And constructs. And elementals. And...okay, maybe not so universal.) On the other, almost no one actually pays attention to it.

However. just like minuscule portions of seasonings can change the flavor of an entire dish, creatively using food in your campaign can bring a whole new feel. Food shouldn’t be the focus any more than you should make a dish mostly out of cinnamon, but a pinch of culinary flavor here and there can make the entire world come alive.

That’s what this book is for. In Cooking with Class, you’ll find dozens of such seasonings you can throw in to your campaigns, from typical grains and vegetables to alcoholic drinks to how to eat things like purple worm and dragon (and the proper etiquette for doing so). While some could be the focus for an entire campaign—such as a magic blight destroying the kingdom’s staple food supply—most will simply add flavor and variety to your game. So take a pinch from here and a dash from there, sprinkle liberally with adventure, and see where they take you.

Cooking with Class gives you loads of information about food, spices and alcohol, provides tons of food related adventure hooks, cooking methods and exotic ingredients, etiquette, new poisons, 3 prestige classes (Adamantine Chef, Synergistic Chef, and Toxicant), new feats, new magic items, magic drinks, new spells, sample menus for eating establishments, sample locations with backgrounds and npc's, and some new food themed monsters!

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3.00/5 (based on 2 ratings)

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3/5

I love the idea of making food matter more for gaming but to some extent I don't feel like this book exactly delivers. It gives a lot of fluff that I've used in a lot of games but not too much crunch and the crunch that's there never gets used in my games.

On one hand I use the menus and food by region a lot but not much else. It has some great discussions about fluff but you won't be reading this too often or using too much out of it. I'm giving three stars to reflect this.


Perhaps the weirdest (and funniest) book I've reviewed for PFRPG

3/5

This pdf is 41 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving 38 pages of content for...cooking. In fantasy roleplaying games. Yep....soooo, what do we exactly get?

Of all the books I reviewed, this one was not one I thought I'd ever see, as the topic, indeed, is cooking. As befitting of such a supplement, the first chapter is entitled "Starters" and serves as an introduction complete with easily accessible sources for you to research. The really interesting bits, though, begin with the next chapter, where the basic classes of food in a fantasy setting as well as the general availability, breads etc. are discussed. Beyond basic food classes, the special role of spices as trade goods and their origins are also given a detailed discussion. Interspread throughout the narrative, we get a plethora of cool adventure hooks that range from rather grim (preventing a famine due to fungal infection) to goofy and yet cool (Attack of the flesh-eating killer tomatoes) - thankfully, the latter are not the only instance of humor in this little pdf, but rather only one of the instances - from puns, humorous footnotes to said adventure hooks, the book walks the fine line between usability and tongue-in-cheek attitude. Food preservation, different cooking styles, etiquette and even taverns of inns are covered. The adventure hook for the latter begins with the words "Youʼre kidding, right? Does the world really need another adventure hook involving an inn? Oh, very well ..." and goes on to actually provide a good idea after that. 7 poisons are also covered herein, mostly mundane ingested ones, though I really liked the subtle metal-poisonings. We also get an easy-to-use table of food aligned by general regions/cultures.

In the next chapter, we get 2 new skills, Profession (Chef), which is used to make food look awesome and Craft (Cooking) which accounts for the plain, but incredibly tasty food e.g. a commoner housewife might serve. That out of the way, we get the 5-level PrC Adamantine Chef (5 levels, d10, 4+Int skills, full BAB, good fort and ref saves, no spell progression) who seeks to cook monster and discover the most extreme of ingredients and recipes. The Synergist Chef on the other hand (3 levels, d8, 2+Int skills, medium BAB, good fort and will saves) can heal via his cooking, while the Toxicant (3 levels, d8, 4+Int skills, good fort save) does the opposite and provides for rather unhealthy meals. We also get 4 new feats, among them the hilarious Culinary Critic that lets you get discounts when eating and successfully intimidating the chef.

Thankfully, the new magic items (including cooling coffers and collapsible kitchens) are rather smart and come with restrictions that, while ensuring their usability, also mean they don't break your average fantasy setting's logic. (And if you've followed my reviews, you know that I'm rather careful with regards to that.) The 5 magical beverages we are introduced to, range from ale that lets you perfectly recall a single memory to the legendary ambrosia. There are also 4 new spells, enabling you to instantly dry or rehydrate food, for example.

The next chapter goes on to provide us with sample menus of different inns and taverns as well as proprietors that range from a rail-thin elven sorceress turned cook, gnomish bakers seeking to create cookie golems to a sociopathic, but brilliant mistress of a brewery. Each character gets a photorealistic mugshot, which is quite nice and nothing I would have expected here.

Finally, there are new critters: Rotlings are CR 1 ratlike fey who could be considered he anathema of Heinzelmännchen/Wee folk, The CR 8 Flan Swarm, a swarm of dread flan-spaed oozes (oozes happen to be very sought-after ingredients, as you will know after reading this book - hence black _Pudding_ for example...), the delightfully creepy CR 12, Ptai Tree who enslaves his victims and the all-consuming CR 18 Locomnivore, a tentacled horror consuming all in its path make for nice creatures - all feature some kind of signature ability and I can see myself using them all - especially the cutesy-deadly flan swarm will provide amusement galore for my black DM-heart as in Sovjet PFRPG, Flan consumes YOU! (Apologies if I've insulted anyone from the former Sovjet states, not my intention.)

The pdf closes by providing 4 sample menus you can print out to show as handouts to your PCs and a map of a tavern you might already know from Peril in Freeport.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are good - while I did notice glitches, there were less than 10 and none impeded my reading experience or enjoyment of the file. Layout adheres to a two-page standard and is b/w, the background of the individual pages stained in a way that hearkens to papers left too long in the kitchen - a nice detail that serves to enforce the overall feel of the book. Unfortunately, this pdf has no bookmarks, which at this size would have been nice indeed to facilitate navigation. Author Jason Wallace actually managed to craft an enjoyable read around a rather strange topic and made it palatable for me. However, there's also a hair in the proverbial soup, namely the PrCs and feats - while they are in line with not taking themselves too seriously and I think they do have some uses, I don't consider them particularly appealing and more fitting for strange/quirky NPCs than for players, as for the latter, these PrCs and feats might feel a tad bit weak. On the other hand, the magic items and beverages are top quality, as are the monsters. More importantly, this book made me smile a lot, marrying amusing little quips with usable content, I was rather pleasantly surprised by the quality of the writing and overall content. Due to the problems with the PrCs and the editing glitches, lack of food price tables and missing bookmarks, I'll settle for a final verdict of 3.5 stars, rounded down to 3.

Endzeitgeist out.


Contributor

Now available! (Also, now I have the munchies!)

Lantern Lodge

As a culinary artist I think that this book sounds quit delectable. I have never actually thought about making food more prominent in a game, I always just made the PCs use rations for adventuring.

But hey why not take Profession: Culinary Artist as a trained skill. I did.

Dark Archive

Sounds cool, anyone know how many pages it is?

Silver Crusade

This does sound cool. I always like little things like this to add flavor to a campaign. :)


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Just curious, but do the various foods, spices, or any high skill checks give things like morale bonuses to fear or skills or anything like that without class modifications? :)


Dark_Mistress wrote:
Sounds cool, anyone know how many pages it is?

40 pages.

Dark Archive

I was very disappointed that prices were not given for types of food. While of course a GM can make those up, it would have been nice if the product, with all of its footwork on details about the food (and spices, alcohol, etc) in question, could have made an approximation for you (unless it does, and I missed it somehow), especially because I purchased this product with such a thing in mind. The product could have also benefited from bookmarks. I need to pull this book apart more before I can write a good review, but as of now, I'd say it is 3 out of 5.


Reviewed here, on DTRPG and sent to GMS magazine. Cheers!


Appendix (on a personal note): This book has its weaknesses. But it is hilarious: If you have to money to burn, the laughs are worth the asking price. At least for me they were.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Endzeitgeist: Considering you seemed to like the book overall, I'm surprised you rounded down to 3 stars.

I'm always looking for help in describing what the PCs are eating at an inn. The menus sound cool and I'm excited to see the availability of food discussed and spices too! I'll have to pick this up at some point.
[Wishlisted]


Callous Jack:

I really liked the book, but not for its mechanics. It's funny. The monsters are fine. The PrCs are terrible, there are no food tables (prices etc.) and were I to judge only the crunchy bits, this would be about 1.5 to 2 stars.
But the fluff is great. The monsters rock. If I would rate this for me, personally, I'd go 4 stars. But I can't, as I know that many people will be looking for things that are just absent. Add to that the glitches, the lack of bookmarks and the price and there we are. I think 3 stars is still a fair verdict, but it really depends. If you look for a serious treatment à la Phantasia Zoologica by 4 Winds Fantasy Gaming, you'll be sorely disappointed by this one. If you're looking for a laugh and some ideas to scavenge - the adventure hooks are great where the rest...well isn't so great.

Hope my elaboration helped understand how I based my rating.

Cheers!

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Endzeitgeist wrote:

Hope my elaboration helped understand how I based my rating.

It did, thanks.


Back in 1986 I created a chef class for D&D that came with an array of specialized powers, culinary magic items and a chart for how chefs gain experience through cooking feasts for impressing people with their skill (feasts for nobles and royals were worth a mint). Although an actually playable class, it was meant to be a joke article for Dragon, but I only got about seventy percent through it before moving on to something else.

I'm glad to see someone made it happen.


While not something I would make a full on class under normal circumstances, it makes for the perfect profession for the discerning Alchemist or Witch who wants their potions/cauldron-makings to be tasty AND functional. Plus, for when I run a game in the style and spirit of the Monster Hunter series for consoles, I like the idea of combining qualities of food types to produce effects that last until the end of day if they are made with more than baseline materials, though that's also something of a fudge in favor of the players.

This also works well with the food rules from FantasyCraft, just as an FYI.


What they should've done was merge the three PrCs into one base class, with the PrC abilities acting like the ranger's combat style feats, and tossing in some other themes. Think I'll do that once I get my hands on that and I've finished with my Oathmage homebrew class.

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