The Plaguewright: Lord of the Microscopic (PFRPG) PDF

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"They are everywhere, crawling upon every surface, living inside every body, and finding a way to feed on everything from carrion to the blood of the mountain itself. They are ubiquitous. They are legion. And I command them."

Harness the collective power of single-celled organisms with the plaguewright base class! Start with a strain, then slowly add mutations as you selectively breed your pathogens and symbiotic microbes to fulfill the precise function you desire. Once you have the mixture you want, inject somebody with it and take note of the results.

Featuring abilities that trigger on injection, after the primary disease effect ends, and even every time the subject fails a saving throw against the strain, the plaguewright can breed thousands of potent pathogens to literally melt faces in that special way that is dearest to his heart.

Product Features

  • Over 80 strains and mutations that can be mixed and matched to make potent cultures
  • Class uses both vessels and vials. Vessels allow for multiple injections per day, while vials are numerous, but only allow for one injection per day. Mix and match the bread-and-butter and the situational.
  • Innovative beneficial disease system - Make a saving throw each round. If you fail, the effect ends!
  • Terminal mutations produce a short-term second disease after the first disease is shrugged off.
  • Deliver diseases through syringes, which are effectively strapped to any melee weapon or crossbow with which you are proficient.
  • 10 feats that expand vials, allow for cultures with two strains, and even make a disease a poison instead.
  • Amusing favored class bonuses. Gnome players will be particularly happy.

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***** (based on 1 rating)

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An Endzeitgeist.com review

*****

This pdf clocks in at 28 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 25 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?

So what is the Plaguewright all about? Well, basically, we get a 3/4 BAB-progression-class with good fort and will-saves, d8, 4+Int skills per level, proficiency with simple weapons and syringe spears, light and medium armors and shields and when wearing shields with which the character is not proficient, it will decrease action economy efficiency of loading syringes. Now the name Plaguewright may sound awfully negative, though one should be aware that this class, as a pioneer in biology and its application in warfare, can just as well be used for good -so no, not an evil-only class.

Plaguewrights compartmentalize these weapons in containers of different sizes that hold the microbe-containers. Plaguewrights begin play with one vessel and receive another vessel at 5th level and every 4 levels thereafter. They also receive 1 vial at 1st level and the class receives +1 vial every level. Their difference is in container-size. A vial can contain enough culture to fuel one syringue, whereas a vessel can contain 1/2 class level +Int-mod uses.

The cultures made require a minimum intelligence score of 11+number of filled mutation slots of the given culture. The save-DC for the respective culture varies on the basic strain used. While plaguewright cultures refresh daily, they do not require sleep.

Now I mentioned strains - the Plaguewright begins play with 3 strains known and at 2nd level and every even level thereafter, the plaguewright receives an additional strain. Plaguewrights also begin play with 2+ Int-mod mutations and learn an additional mutation every level.

Got that? All right! So what type of methodology do these cultures adhere to? Essentially, cultures have 1 mutation slot and increase the amount of mutation slots by +1 at 4th level and every 4th level thereafter. Now here's the catch - microbes don't grow on trees. Well, all right, they actually do, but generating cultures actually takes a bit of time.

Now since attacking (and delivering) with strains of microbes via syringes requires precision, the class also receives the scaling ignoring of DRs and as a capstones, removal and changing of mutations becomes twice as effective.

The class comes with full FCOs that also cover exotic races like puddlings, hobgoblins, kobolds, and the plane-touched aasimar and tieflings. The pdf also includes 10 different feats to further enhance the options available of the plaguewright. Faster mutation-application, increased DCs and additional mutations and strains, improved vial capacities, making hybrid strains and reloading as a substitute for an AoO etc. - quite a nice array of nice options.

Strains generally can be grouped in benignant or malignant strains (though one can be categorized as either) and the same holds true for mutations. All of the respective strains and mutations count as supernatural effects and supernatural diseases that bypass immunity to mundane diseases - otherwise, e.g. adding a mutation with the mind-affecting descriptor renders the whole culture mind affecting. The system is relatively easy to grasp. Some strains have cumulative save modifiers that actually increase, durations and symptoms - and some of the mutations are terminal; Essentially, they are the end-game effects and a separate supernatural ability to the respective culture.

So what about those strains? Take the Barbaris-strain - a benign bacteria, it provides temporary DR to the target - and duration is an interesting component here - benign strains tend to have their duration measured in an interesting way: The recipient saves every round and upon a failed save, the effect ends, but a maximum duration prevents infinite buffing exploits. Increased temporary hit points, being enabled to temporarily "fly" by making jump-like saunters, getting roid-like str-enhancements.

Among the malignant strains, we have those that cause nausea, shortness of breath, confusion -dex-damage-causing, crashing all strains and mutations for painful damage...bleed-inducing elephantitis, a virus that makes the recipient treat all creatures as if they had been subjected to a mirror image-like effect. Higher level malignant strains can induce heart-failure (with a cool mechanic - exhaustion for x rounds, once rounds elapsed > HD, the creature dies), cripple casters, mind-control parasites that make the recipients suicidal and classic flesh-eating bacteria - there are quite a few rather nasty and versatile options. Of course, as you could probably glean from these, Interjection Games' unique effects can be found herein as well - what about e.g. a damage-dealing strain that grows a nodule of skinsack, which can then be harvested as a rather effect healing potion? Yucky, yes, but also rather cool! On another level, it should be noted that the respective strains sometimes modify the amount of mutations that can be applied to them for further concerns in the customization department.

Now you should remember - these examples only covered a selection of the base strains - so what can mutations accomplish? Well - for example, they can affect creatures adjacent to those infected by the syringe at the cost of mutations applied, there are mutations that can decrease the amount of AoOs the target can perform, those that bypass even immunities to supernatural diseases and negative conditions, susceptibilities, an euphoria-inducing bliss (which translates to temporary hit points) - all of these modifications are fun to play with, but where things get REALLY nasty would be with ones that end in a terminal cloud that may infect adjacent targets - crafting a micro-epidemic of effects may actually work out for Plaguewrights that handle their craft well. Of course, similar synergy effects might also be achieved for buffing strains, though it should be noted that these imho benefit more from symptoms - when e.g. your infected ally not only benefits from the primary effects of the strain, but also kicks off with healed attribute damage? Or a fast healing added to the effect? Chances to ignore precision damage? The smart combination of a basic strain, symptoms, regular mutations and terminal boosts to e.g. atk can make for rather interesting effects and the same holds true for the possible combinations of offensive strains. Now I can see the central question - all fort-save based? Well, it's my pleasure to tell you that there are mutations to make the saves will instead.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I didn't notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to Interjection Games' 2-column b/w-standard and the pdf's artworks are thematically-fitting stock art. The pdf comes sans bookmarks, which is a slight comfort detriment.

Bradley Crouch's Plaguewright is a very interesting concept - a debuff-warrior kind of akin to the glorious Maestro; I.e., a highly-customizable class that allows the player to tailor-make the buffs and debuffs of the given culture to make truly unique effects. Unlike more common options of buffing/debuffing, the sheer amount of customization and daily uses and the option to combine, realign etc. so many components makes optimizing the class interesting and allows for quite some versatility to make the right tools, for the right job. The respective strains and mutations offer for a neat array of fun options that should allow the player hours of fun in making new and unique tools to vanquish foes. Both strains and mutations are easy groups of abilities to expand for the enterprising DM (and potential future supplements, should there be any) and Interjection Games' trademark unique abilities, none of which just lamely duplicate established spells, just add a piece of icing on the cake.

Now not all is perfect here, though - the pdf could have been more precise regarding the mechanics of growing cultures with applied mutations and costs for applying syringes to other weapons (with hardness for sundering etc.) would have made this pdf even better, as would have bookmarks. These nagging points out of the way, this should not be deemed a significant detriment - the Plaguewright is still a glorious, unique class with a significant array of innovative options that, most of all, is a unique playing experience - hence, in spite of the minor flaws, this is well worth a final verdict of 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5.

Endzeitgeist out.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

6:54 PM: "Oh hey, a new Interjection Games base class."
6:55 PM: "Hey wait a sec, what's this email from Paizo customer service...?"

At 6:56 PM, I'm already thinking of ways to throw one at my unsuspecting Kingmaker players. >:D


You can subscribe to instant notifications when I release something, eh?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If I could, that would make me feel a whole lot less like I'm stalking the boards for more wacky and complicated base classes.


OneBookShelf does that, mate, or so I've been told.


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


i have a hunch this classes usefulness will diminish a lot if your fighting large amounts of undead or constructs


I... don't quite remember everything in this one, but I seem to recall making stuff that hits odd creature types. At the very least, your buffing can't be made obsolete.


im having difficulty convincing GM's of this classes's balance,got any ideas?


Sure. Draw up a wizard of the same level and slap your GM around with it. If he doesn't relent, you wouldn't have won the argument, anyway.

The only T1 classes in the IG library are the herbalist and the herald of the void ethermancer archetype. For everything else, an "OP" argument is likely either pointing at one specific ability I messed up on or is a kneejerk reaction to psychotic mechanics. By my reckoning, a plaguewright is a solid T3.


noticed a little error on the PDF

for the mutations ruptured muscles and internal bleeding, they have the same text word-for-word


Mmm, yeah that's an issue. Let me take a look at my sources and see if I can figure out what it was supposed to be. If that doesn't work, I'll eventually get around to cooking up a new ability for one of them.


i assume ruptured muscles is the odd duck, cause it sounds more of a STR damage kinda thing


ok i got quite a bit of play time with this class and i got a few gripes

1.there needs to be more things for the PW other then its microbes mechanically, there nice and all but even full casters got other things to do with there time then cast spells

2.injecting other players with microbes is very awkward from far away,its a bit odd having to shooting a friend with a crossbow, since it takes a move action to load something into your melee weapon always

3.there is ALOT of microbes on the list that are really not worth taking ,ogre hide,will-hardener,twitch,dullard, all just either inferior versions of what already exists or so niche whats the point?

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