A Necromancer's Almanac: 2012 (PFRPG) PDF

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Sixty pages of combined archetypes, alternate class features, and feats is a pretty weighty book unto itself. Just shy of 300 feats, spanning a further sixty pages, is hardly anything to sneeze at, either. And when you add a further sixty-five pages of magic items of all sorts, and well over 200 additional spells, you have a sourcebook of truly titanic proportions.

A Necromancer’s Almanac: 2012 is a compilation of all the material produced in 2012 for Necromancers of the Northwest’s popular article lines Best in Class, Extraordinary Feats, Magic Market, and Obscure Arcana. Clocking in at 300 pages, it’s not hard to believe that this book was a full year in the making.

Inside, you’ll find exciting and experimental new spells, which toy with taking magic in strange and unusual directions. You’ll find a feat for just about every occasion, and a magic item for virtually any need, plus dozens of in-depth archetypes for lots of exciting and evocative staples of the fantasy genre. With A Necromancer’s Almanac: 2012, you’ll have all the options to make exactly the character you want.

And what’s more, you don’t have to search through dozens of articles to find it. Everything has been collected, archived, and gathered in an organized fashion, making finding what you’re looking for a breeze, including an extensive network of built-in links within the .pdf itself, which allow you to go straight from a spell list or magic item price table to the thing you’re looking at, without even needing to use the also thoroughly-prepared bookmarks.

If you want massive amounts of content in an easy-to-use package for an incredibly low price, this is the deal for you.

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A year's worth of great new content


A year is a long time insofar as RPG’s are concerned. You can run an entire campaign with time to spare, or if you’re a content-creator, then you can produce quite a lot of new material in a year. How much new material? Well, if A Necromancer’s Almanac: 2012, by Necromancers of the Northwest is any indication, about three hundred pages’ worth.

Some background information: Necromancers of the Northwest produce free content each weekday for the Pathfinder RPG. All of this content is (last I checked) is still there, but as anyone who spends a lot of time online knows, there are times when you want to have offline repositories of online content. Moreover, there’s no real index of quick-reference for the online material – you need to have it memorized, or you’re out of luck.

That’s where this almanac comes in. It collects the sum total of the free (mechanical) content produced for 2012, and puts it all in one place. It should be noted that there is no overarching theme to the content here. While the content of a given week was often produced around a specific theme, the aggregate of 2012 material has no such thematic commonality. What’s here is essentially a grab-bag of content.

The technical aspects of the PDF are what they should be. I didn’t encounter any trouble using copy-and-paste (though be warned that tables, such as for the feats, seem to be images rather than text), and full nested bookmarks are present, which is good since this PDF would be a nightmare to navigate without them.

The book is divided up into four major sections, as per how the content was originally presented. First are classes, then feats, then magic items, and lastly spells. Let’s go over more in detail.

The section on classes presents a header for each class alphabetically, and then gives the new content under that. For most classes, these are new archetypes, though several classes that have suites of “selectable” powers (such as barbarian rage powers, rogue talents, etc.) there are plenty of new abilities to choose from. There are also several specific features like a new cavalier order, a new witch patron, new sorcerer bloodlines, etc. A few new prestige classes round things out.

This section does, unfortunately, highlight one aspect of the PDF that was slightly weak: rarely, you’ll run into new material that seems like it should reference other new material, but doesn’t. For example, there’s a witch archetype that gives the witch a summoned companion based on her patron, with a table showing what companion is given for what patron. Immediately after this, there’s a new witch patron listed…who isn’t on the proceeding table for companions granted to that witch archetype.

Now, to be fair, this sort of situation is, as noted above, rare. It’s not often that the new material presented here will end up referencing other new material, but the odd case like the above does pop up.

The feats section is massive in scope, which isn’t surprising since it’s around sixty pages or so long. Thankfully, there is a table summarizing the various feats at the beginning, though this takes several pages to fully present. Interestingly, in addition to metamagic feats, there’s also a separate table for monster feats, and short sections on Leadership feats and wrestling feats. By far though, generic feats take up the majority of what’s here.

The magic items section is notable for its eclectic variety. For example, there are new magic properties for magic armor and shields, but no specific magic items. The magic weapons, by contrast, are all specific magic weapons, with no new generic magic properties. Beyond this, there are new magic rings, staves, and quite a few wondrous items, but (for example) no rods or artifacts. Oddly (though not in a bad way), there’s also a short section on intelligent magic items (three new specific ones) and some magical beverages…apparently these needed to be noted separately.

The book’s final section is new magic spells. Just the section on spell lists for the various spellcasting classes takes over twenty pages, so you can imagine how many spells are here. Again, I did notice the occasional error (e.g. an illusion spell with no subschool), but for the most part these are eminently usable in your game – it’s notable that I didn’t seem to notice any of the new kinds of spells from the Advanced Arcana series that Necromancers of the Northwest produces; there were, for example, no segmented spells to be found here.

Taken holistically, the Necromancer’s Almanac is notable for the sheer variety of what’s available here. The sheer amount of new material for classes, feats, magic items, and spells is, in a word, daunting. While it may be off-putting to be charged for material that the designers admit is still out there for free, the usability of having it all in one indexed, offline, searchable location is, to my mind, worth the price. This is especially true when the result is three hundred pages of quality new material. Take a look back at what a necromantic year 2012 was, with A Necromancer’s Almanac.

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Reviewed here and at RPGNow.

Nice review! I might get that one based on your recommendation.

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