Christina Stiles Presents—Races Revised: Emergence of the Aardvolk (PFRPG) PDF

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Welcome to Races Revised - Emergence of the Aardvolk, the latest Christina Stiles Presents offering from Super Genius Games! Many races have received short shrift over the years, while elves, dwarves, gnomes, halflings, half-elves, and half-orcs have hogged the player spotlight. Well no more! Races Revised are meant to inspire you to consider what’s interesting about an alternate race; whether it be traditionally evil or a non-player-character race, that’s no reason for you or campaign to ignore it in your gaming experience.

This PDF details the Aardvolk (singular and plural), a newly discovered race of humanoids that has managed to stay hidden in their wasteland territories, where they hunt monstrous vermin. The shy aardvolk rarely interact with other races, preferring to avoid confrontations where possible. However, occasionally, their hunting grounds cross into territory controlled by gnolls, who have no problem taking the similar-looking aardvolk as slaves.

Emergence of the Aardvolk includes the following sections:

  • General Description: which includes a physical description, information on their society, relations with other encountered races, their alignment and religion, reasons they might go adventuring, and possible names for male or female characters.
  • Racial Traits: A sidebar containing standard type, size, vision, speed, and other common traits follows its general description. With the Game Master’s permission, players may exchange standard racial traits for any of the alternate racial traits included herein.
  • Alternate Racial Traits: This section provides optional rules for making your character unique by exchanging out standard racial traits for others, or accepting a penalty to acquire another ability.
  • Racial Subtypes: Different subtypes for the race are presented in this section, and it lists optional traits for each of the subraces.
  • Favored Class Options: This option allows the character to have an optional reward for level attainment besides a hit point or a skill point. Characters gain the chosen reward on a level-by-level basis.
  • Racial Archetypes: This section presents at least two new archetypes for the expanded race.
  • New Racial Rules: This line presents various new rules for things like equipment, feats, magic items, spells. Other races may often purchase the race-based items on the open market, though, in the case of alchemical substances, they may have different effects on other races. Only members of the race may choose the listed feats. Although the magic items and spells in this section are used exclusively by members of the race, others could feasibly utilize them—each must be considered on a case-by-case basis in your campaign.

About the Author
Mike Welham proved in 2012 he was a Superstar writer of RPG material, winning the title in a contest from a major RPG publisher. We’re thrilled to have him writing for Super Genius Games, and expect to see his name on an ever-increasing number of products!

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*****

(Purchased this August 17th, 2013 from another site.)

This supplement clocks in at 17 pages total: 1 for the cover & intro; 1 for the credits & (very tiny) OGL; ~7-1/2 pages of racial description and flavor, including ARG-style 11 alternate racial traits & 4 racial subtypes, as well as favored class options for all the Pathfinder core and base classes; 2 racial archetypes, the focused hunter (ranger) and the skulk (rogue); 6 items of racial equipment; 11 racial feats; 2 magic armor properties and 3 magic items; the aardwolf and wasteland druid domains; 5 new spells; and the aardwolf (including animal companion stats) and plioviverrops (dire aardwolf) bestiary entries.

As gnolls are to hyenas, aardvolk are to aardwolves. As presented here, the aardvolk have largely been hidden, overlooked, and mistaken for their less-honorable cousins, the gnolls. This offers players and GMs opportunities to use these "gnolls" in non-evil, even good, encounters. There is a lot of meat here that should give any GM plenty of hooks to incorporate into an existing campaign, especially where the PCs/NPCs wander near warm grasslands, hills, and deserts (or the nearby trade-focused cities).

Players should find the skulk archetype quite useful and very stealthy, especially in campaigns where traps aren't a predominant threat. Likewise, the focused hunter gives up some defensive and stealth capabilities to really put the hurt on enemies when it counts.

Overall, I like this product even better than it's predecessor (Cackle of the Gnolls). I only picked up a few minor typos and an unusual word choice ("the characteristic-for-canid high ankles" instead of "digitigrade"), but certainly nothing to break immersion. Take note also that like Cackle of the Gnolls, the developer Christina Stiles is predominately featured on the cover, but the designer/writer is actually Mike Welham (himself with several writing credits with Paizo and numerous 3PPs); this seems odd but is likely just a limitation of the cover template/format used by Super Genius. Some of the accompanying stock art might not quite fit the mental visual of a humanoid aardwolf, but that is simply an unavoidable business necessity of any product at this price point.

A fresh take and a great product to add some likely much-needed "gnoll" goodness in your games. I eagerly await more products in Super Genius' Races Revisited line, especially by Stiles/Welham. 5/5 stars.


Paizo Employee Digital Products Assistant

Now available!


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Hmm, an anthropomorphic race based on the shy little aardwolf? I am so getting this later in the week.

Contributor

Slaad Barr, post info on any typos here, and we'll get them fixed.

Liberty's Edge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2012

Thank you for putting this up, Chris!

Thank you kindly for the review, Amby! :D

Sovereign Court Contributor

This is fun looking. Do they eat bugs?

Liberty's Edge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2012

Oh, yes they do. :)

In fact, they are quite adept at hunting vermin in general.


Christina Stiles wrote:
Slaad Barr, post info on any typos here, and we'll get them fixed.

PMed to you (just minor nit-picky stuff).

Yes, the irony of a slaad with OCD tendencies is not lost on me.

Paizo Employee Contributor; Developer, Super Genius Games

Many thanks for the review!

Since I haven't done a good enough job promoting this fact: "Christina Stiles Presents" is the logo for those products that are produced and developed by Christina Stiles, regardless of who the author is. Other SGG titles are generally developed by me. (Although I also take a line development pass on everything, but product development and line development are different jobs as SGG splits the labor. I also write a lot of our other material, but that's also officially a separate job.)
She has her own followers and her own tone, and these represent works she has moved forward rather than some freelance assignment I assigned, so she gets her own logo within the SGG family of products. :)


Quick question, can this be uploaded over to the DaD site for those of us that are subscribers over there?

Thank you.


...Do they speak in the third person, and are they prone to schizophrenic breaks that lead to endless misogynistic rambling?

The Exchange

Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
...Do they speak in the third person, and are they prone to schizophrenic breaks that lead to endless misogynistic rambling?

Say what?


Crimson Jester wrote:
Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
...Do they speak in the third person, and are they prone to schizophrenic breaks that lead to endless misogynistic rambling?
Say what?

Oh wait, they're aardwolves, not aardvarks. Carry on.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

This is a good product. It adds a new race which is interesting to play. I'd recommend it, along with Cackle of the Gnolls by the same author.

Grand Lodge

Sethvir wrote:

Quick question, can this be uploaded over to the DaD site for those of us that are subscribers over there?

Thank you.

I was wondering this myself. I saw the More Cavalier Talents, but this one doesn't seem to be up there yet.

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Thanks, Caligasta! I'm quite fond of Mike Welham's work.

Paizo Employee Contributor; Developer, Super Genius Games

kevin_video wrote:
Sethvir wrote:

Quick question, can this be uploaded over to the DaD site for those of us that are subscribers over there?

Thank you.

I was wondering this myself. I saw the More Cavalier Talents, but this one doesn't seem to be up there yet.

I'll look into it. It'll go up, but we may be having some back-end issues. Or Hyrum might just be really, really busy and have missed it.


Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
kevin_video wrote:
Sethvir wrote:

Quick question, can this be uploaded over to the DaD site for those of us that are subscribers over there?

Thank you.

I was wondering this myself. I saw the More Cavalier Talents, but this one doesn't seem to be up there yet.
I'll look into it. It'll go up, but we may be having some back-end issues. Or Hyrum might just be really, really busy and have missed it.

No worries, just thought I'd mention it so someone knew it was missing over there.

Grand Lodge

Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
kevin_video wrote:
Sethvir wrote:

Quick question, can this be uploaded over to the DaD site for those of us that are subscribers over there?

Thank you.

I was wondering this myself. I saw the More Cavalier Talents, but this one doesn't seem to be up there yet.
I'll look into it. It'll go up, but we may be having some back-end issues. Or Hyrum might just be really, really busy and have missed it.

That'd be great. Haven't seen it put up yet.

Liberty's Edge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2012

I'm glad you enjoyed the book, Caligastia. I wanted to work on this the moment i discovered the aardwolf was a relative to the hyena.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

*applauds* I just bought his on the Drviethrurpg site and I must say at first read through I thank you for creating this race. I had been thinking of looking into ways of making gnolls that reject the evil ways of their kin and strike out on their own to try and garner a good reputation for themselves at least. This also works as I really enjoy what you have done. I do not favor this type of animal for my own persona but as a GM I would offer this race as an option to my players without a second thought. Again, thank you for making this pdf and this race for the Pathfinder game.

Liberty's Edge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2012

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Thank you for the kind words, Kodyax. I definitely saw the aardwolf as the basis for a gnoll-like race that embraced a different outlook than gnolls. It's terrific that I delivered on the premise for you.

Cackle of the Gnolls touches on the idea of gnolls rejecting their selfish/evil ways, but it's really more out of self-preservation when they get exiled from their tribes and have to make the best of it in civilization.

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Kodyax, glad you enjoyed Mike's work. I think Mike is a great writer, and I'm happy to have him working on my line. I'm keeping this fella busy, for sure. :)


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I bought cackle of gnolls with this and this is the stronger product. I like both but this was a little better.

Contributor

Glad you liked them both. I can't decide which I like best . Thanks for your support!

Liberty's Edge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2012

Thanks for checking out Cackle of the Gnolls, Kodyax! Based on previous comments, I had a feeling you would like the aardvolk book more, but I'm glad you liked the gnolls too.

I am constantly learning as I work on these, so I hope I'm improving as I go. :)

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