Advanced Races #5: Ravenfolk (PFRPG) PDF

****( ) (based on 2 ratings)

Our Price: $3.99

Add to Cart
Facebook Twitter Email

Raven Tricksters Need You!

Few races live amid so much rumor, suspicion and outright falsehood as the ravenfolk, the Western cousins of the tengu.

They are condemned as solitary wanderers bearing misfortune, and praised as messengers from the gods. They are loyal comrades and treacherous thieves, brave warriors and contemptible cowards. But these truths, half-truths and lies conceal a greater mystery that very few outsiders know… 

Advanced Races 5: Ravenfolk gives you everything you need to play as a huginn or heru in Midgard or to bring the ravenfolk into the fantasy setting of your choice. Created for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, this 19-page book by designer Wade Rockett includes:

  • The ravenfolk of Midgard, their rookeries, and their secret feather-language
  • 13 alternate racial traits, and 6 new ravenfolk feats
  • 5 new archetypes including Doom Croaker, Sea Raven and Thief of Secrets
  • New spells, new magic items, and 3 exotic weapons
  • And much more!
The gods have need of you: trickster, prophet, blade-master, spy. Will you answer the call?!

Product Availability

Fulfilled immediately.

Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at store@paizo.com.

OPDAR5E


See Also:

Average product rating:

****( ) (based on 2 ratings)

Sign in to create or edit a product review.

An Endzeitgeist.com review of the revised edition

*****

FULL DISCLOSURE:
I was hired to develop this pdf, iron out the rough patches and provide some new and exciting options herein. I was paid for my work. That being said, I was assured that I should not, in any way, compromise my final verdict for any product of Kobold Press and continue to provide my often harsh criticism. So yeah, I obviously consider the new iteration superior. I post this review mainly to update my review of the first Ravenfolk pdf and to draw attention to its improved version - not many publishers would aim to improve a given book by this extent. Kudos!

This installment of Kobold Press' Advanced Races-series is 20 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC,1 page advertisement, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 16 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?

All right, let's get one thing out of the way - I LOVE Tengu and I adore the Midgard Huginn - blending one of my favorite races with a distinct Germanic/Scandinavian tone, the fluff of this race is simply glorious. Idea-wise...but can the content stand up to the concept? Racial trait-wise, Huginn (or Heru/Heruti, as they are known in the South...) are now streamlined with Tengus as presented in the ARG. Fluff-wise, the insights into Ravenfolk culture, psychology, nesting as well as the unique concepts as conveyed per their intricate Feather Speech, which contains otherwise untranslatable concepts - this chapter is just awesome. Did you for example know about the Huginn rookeries and ghettos, about the tsar of Vidim using the Huginn as elite-soldiers and spies? We also get to know about the Huginn of Zobeck as well as those of Nuria-Natal before being introduced to the Ravenfolk's take on various adventuring classes.

A total of 13 alternate racial traits are provided, allowing you to flavor your Huginn as servants of Horus, Wotan etc. Huginn blessed by Wotan may for example learn to speak with the dead etc. beyond that, I have revised the claw attack these guys may get and added a feat-tree to render the claw attack granted a valid option for ravenfolk monks. Beyond these new feats, the old feats have, in my opinion, been vastly improved and made simply more exciting.

We also get new archetypes: Wotan's Doomcroaker-oracle has been revised to make use of the powerful and thematically fitting rune magic introduced in Northlands and Deep Magic for a more unique playing experience. Marc Radle's excellent spontaneous caster, the Shaman-class, gets new fodder with the Black feather, which nets the shaman not only relatively fast flight and the ability to assume avian shape, but also feather fall at will and the new corvid spirit guide. Sea Ravens are essentially huginn vikings that can forego basic weapon dice (i.e. dealing only str-mod damage plus similar modifiers) for free intimidates as and have been smoothed as well. Tomb Raven Wizards still make for superb foes of the undead, but a whack with the nerfbat has made them more balanced. The final archetype would be the Thief of Secrets is an acolyte of the teaching of Thoth-Hermes, whose bland flavor has been revised to grant them a type f pool that represents the whispers of Thoth-Hermes and allows them to succeed where other thieves may fail. Additionally, the archetype now has quite a bunch of unique benefits that set it apart - no more bland SPs.
We also get 6 new spells -all of which have been brought up to par with Deep Magic.
We also get new pieces of mundane/alchemical equipment herein - from putty that allows Huginn to disguise themselves as other featherless, beakless humanoids, feather dyes and bleaches (with their meanings!), lozenges to alter voices, a guide of feather speech, a quill that may contain elaborate messages and a particularly effective cloak make for culturally distinct, cool pieces of equipment. On the weapon-side, we get beak razors, fighting spurs and wing razors - making bleeding more painful, working better with called shots (and having an alternate bonus if you don't use called shots) - all in all, cool secondary benefits to these weapons.

Finally, we get 4 new magic items - Wotan's Whisperers are stone ravens that unerringly find their targets via the ways of the world tree (no tracking these!) and deliver their messages exclusively to them - which oozes the stuff of myths. The Sword of the Sea Raven allows Huginn to determine whether a vessel carries valuable cargo, whereas the Spear of the Sun Hawk is particularly effective versus evil, undead, can be whirled to generate true sunlight. Good huginn may does something that requires careful thought - they may throw the spear at a target and ignore any range penalties - the spear has essentially unlimited range, with only visibility limiting its range. Upon being used this way, the spear turns into a regular masterwork spear for 3 days, though. This is awesome! Finally, a minor artifact, the Thief of Many Things, a carved wooden raven. Whisper to the raven and it will steal something for you - something which will potentially endanger you, be not applicable to your situation or be just the thing you needed. Great storytelling potential here!

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are now top-notch. Layout adheres to Kobold Press' beautiful 2-column full-color standard for Midgard and the artworks in full-color and b/w are universally awesome. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

Author Wade Rockett has delivered a compelling supplement here and I'd be a huge hypocrite if I complained about the new material. That being said, of course, I love the new material and I hope you will enjoy it as well. In my opinion, this pdf is vastly superior to its first iteration, with scaling advice for the race. Where before, the fluff was glorious, but the crunch couldn't live up to it, I'm confident you'll agree that all new options and revised archetypes now are much more unique, versatile and interesting. To me, this is now a 5 star + seal of approval file and one I have begun using in my own campaign. So yeah. Ladies and gentlemen, I consider this by now one of the best installments in the series and if you already have the pdf, be sure to download the revised version - my changelog was pretty long. :) Otherwise, consider this one glorious ecology/racial supplement dripping in awesome fluff that now has much more going for it!

Endzeitgeist out.


Mixed Bag

***( )( )

Advanced Races #5: Ravenfolk offers a look at Midgard’s Ravenfolk, a western take on Tengu. When I purchased this book I was considering playing a Tengu, but since it wasn’t going to be an eastern setting I thought I’d take a chance on these western Ravenfolk.

The book offers a detailed look into the Huginn/Heru, as the Ravenfolk are called in Midgard, and their place in the Midgard setting. Alternatively you could use the information for your own setting, though the connections they have to the gods might make things more difficult in some settings. I particularly liked the feather language it presents which could be adapted to any setting really. The fluff aside I found the crunch rather on the light side, with the alternate racial traits being somewhat hit and miss to me.

The feats, and archetypes presented offer a flavorful, if narrow in crunch, set of options. The Doom Croaker Oracle for example isn’t bad if divinations and a connection to the world tree is what you want, however it does not offer much outside of that narrow focus and probably does not do enough with it to make it worthwhile. Likewise the Sea Raven Fighter offers narrow bonuses in specific scenarios, such as outdoors and while in or on the water. This isn’t bad per se, but you’ll need to have a fair amount of foreknowledge of the campaign you’ll be playing to make use of them. Generally I dislike such narrow focused classes or archetypes because they tend to be fairly weak outside of their specialty, but the reverse would be true of the Tomb Raven Wizard, who gets a very substantial bonus against undead, a common foe, at the relatively low cost of a single bonus feat for that ability, and a second bonus feat for a potentially useful, albeit limited ability later. I would probably bar its use in any undead focused campaign as a result. The Tomb Ravens tenth level ability is also worded in such a way that could cause some debate as to what qualifies as an attack. Do offensive spells count, is it only physical, or melee? Is it an extra attack as part of a full attack action?

The spells and gear continue the theme of flavorful, but narrow. In spells however it works fine, Some of the fun of playing a wizard for instance is having a selection of spells that allow you to have just the spell for the job. Gear is likewise the same, with items like the fighting spurs requiring a very specific build to be worthwhile.

Overall I went back and forth on this, on the one hand I felt like the fluff presented and Midgard specific lore was great for anyone playing in that setting and wanting to know more about the Ravenfolk there, yet even still the crunch just felt as a whole too narrowly focused to have much use short of a campaign that was tailored in that direction. The product description also offered this book as a way to bring the Ravenfolk into a fantasy setting of your choice, but I would have to disagree. Not a lot here is setting neutral, most of it from the culture to the archetypes, to the feats all reference the Midgard setting. By the time you get through adapting it all to another setting, you may as well have just adapted the Tengu.

Ultimately the fluff makes this a potentially useful book for those playing a Midgard campaign, but isn’t enough to overcome all the flaws I found in the crunch, with narrow focus and situational items and archetypes, combined with potentially broken Tomb Raven, it all makes it difficult to recommend otherwise. As a result it falls into the middle ground of a three, out of five.


Webstore Gninja Minion

Now available!


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens Subscriber

Caw!

Good to see this land at Paizo.


Excellent. And I must ask, "Is the hat standard issue?" because the hat makes the huginn.

-Ben.

The Exchange Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

The hat is rather awesome. Sadly, we missed a bet in creating a new magical hat in the magic items section.

Maybe a blog post will ensue.

Liberty's Edge

Yeah, the fez has become kind of a ravenfolk staple, hasn't it?

I can say I didn't specifically include the fez in my art order (to the best of my recollection, anyway :) but when the sketches came back, I did gravitate to the ones with the hat!


3 people marked this as a favorite.
terraleon wrote:

Excellent. And I must ask, "Is the hat standard issue?" because the hat makes the huginn.

Hats do not come as standard issue, but must be earned through different tests: of strength, cunning, bladework, thievery or sorcery. A huginn onlooker can take one look at this fez and know that things are about to get real.

I hope you all enjoy the book! Wolfgang gave me a choice of races, and I jumped at the ravenfolk.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Curse you Kobolds! Stop making things I have to buy and putting them at reasonable prices!

I have to admit I love me some Kenku/Tengu/Huginn/Heku/Ravenfolk.

-Kcinlive

Shadow Lodge

waderockett wrote:
terraleon wrote:

Excellent. And I must ask, "Is the hat standard issue?" because the hat makes the huginn.

Hats do not come as standard issue, but must be earned through different tests: of strength, cunning, bladework, thievery or sorcery. A huginn onlooker can take one look at this fez and know that things are about to get real.

Also, any plan in which you lose your hat is automatically a bad plan.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

I think tengu are one of the most interesting races, so I am curious to see what is in here.

The Exchange Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

Apparently the Paizo crew likes this book as well, as it is featured in the Paizo store blog today!

(And Wolfwaker, I'd agree the tengu and their variants are among the most interesting of races. I like that they make such great tricksters, and good villains too.)

Liberty's Edge

Advanced Races: Ravenfolk is Number 1 on Paizo's Top Downloads From Other Companies list this week!

And without a single review! :)

The Exchange Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

Congrats to Wade and the crew!

The westernized tengu have taken the top slot as the #1 3PP download at Paizo this week.


Wolfgang Baur wrote:

Congrats to Wade and the crew!

The westernized tengu have taken the top slot as the #1 3PP download at Paizo this week.

Hurrah! I confess I yelled and ran around the room when I saw that.

Liberty's Edge

Advanced Races: Ravenfolk is Number 1 on Paizo's Top Downloads From Other Companies again this week - that's 2 weeks in a row :)

Silver Crusade

While going over it again for my review, I noticed two errors in the book.

Along the page margin, it says Ravonfolk instead of Ravenfolk.

Page 6, extra comma at the bottom of the page in Rookeries and Ghettoes section between the Khanate of the Khazzaki, and Tanserhall.

The Exchange Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

Thank you for pointing those out! We'll roll them into our update list.


Reviewed first on Endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here and on OBS.


Updated my review to reflect the significant improvements of the file in all the usual places. I hope all you ravenfolk-fans out there will enjoy the upgrade/changes made!

The Exchange Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Thank you, EZG! I'm very happy with the changes, and I suspect other people will be as well.

This is by far the strongest adaptation of the tengu for use in Western fantasy settings. Fun to play, and even more fun as scoundrel-NPCs.

Community / Forums / Paizo / Product Discussion / Advanced Races #5: Ravenfolk (PFRPG) PDF All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.