Book of Heroic Races Compendium (PFRPG)

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Be Heroic!

Go beyond elves and dwarves with the Book of Heroic Races Compendium. Inside you will find eight brand new races. From the tree-kin seedlings to the wacky half-faerie dragons, these amazing races will bring something fresh and exciting to your game. Each of these new races comes complete with new class options, spells, equipment and much more. In addition, many existing races receive new favored class options, greatly expanding your enjoyment of them. Take your Pathfinder game to the next level with these exciting new races!

This 117-page supplement features:

  • 8 playable races, balanced with the Pathfinder Core Rulebook races
  • 30 class archetypes and class options and 4 prestige classes
  • 46 feats, 14 spells, 16 magic items, and 5 artifacts
  • Favored class options for all races included as well as 11 races from the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Advanced Race Guide

Be heroic with these new races today!

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An Endzeitgeist.com review

*****

This massive supplement clocks in at 117 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC/introduction, 2 pages of advertisements, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 110 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

This review was requested as a prioritized review at the request of one of my patreons.

All right, so this is a compilation with new materials added – it collects the first three spotlight-pdfs for new races released by Jon Brazer Enterprises, namely the Half-Faerie Dragon, the Seedling and the Umbral Kobold races. The latter have been released as part of the supplements intended for the Plane of Shadows-related supplements that, alas, much to my chagrin, never kicked off beyond a few initial supplements. Jon Brazer Enterprise’s Shadowfall material is definitely worth checking out.

Now, I have written full reviews for these 3 massive chapters/stand-alone supplements – they do several things right: The seedlings still rank as one of the most balanced plant-PCs out there, and the umbral kobolds do a great job remaining kobolds, while being a better PC-race choice. The book compiles these three sections into new chapters, improving sequence of presentation and the like. However, e.g. the balance-concerns I have about the half-faerie dragon’s breath weapon feat chain (which lets you get a breath weapon that affects targets even if they make their saves) still remains valid – that aspect hasn’t been cleared up. In short, these chapters very much remain compilation-chapters sans further refinement. While understandable, considering that the three racial files range within the upper echelon of quality levels, it’s a missed chance to make them universally laudable files; as written, the rich lore provided and execution renders the races basically a good-to very good selection of tricks. These also take up the lion’s share of the book – 87 pages of the content are devoted to this massive collection of material. So yeah, this would be the tl;DR-version; for your convenience, and since I had to go over the compendium and original files, here would be the compiled information of the 3 reviews, for your convenience.

---------Begin of Review Compilation---------

Half-Faerie Dragons:

. If someone had told me I'd one day review such a book, I would have laughed that person in the face - which is thematically fitting, as few words describe this race's outlook as well as "whimsy". As the superbly amusing monologue that starts this pdf proves, Half-faerie dragons may not be too wise, but damn, they can be fun to play as a race - or can they? Well, let's take a look at the mechanics: Gaining +2 to Int, Dex and Cha, but -2 to Con and Wis, they are fragile. They also get the draconic subtype, slow speed, are small, get darkvision 60 ft., can cast prestidigitation Cha-mod times per day as a spell-like ability, +2 to saves versus paralysis and sleep effects and courtesy of their butterfly wings, +2 to acrobatics and fly-checks. They can also 1/day breathe a cloud of euphoria-inducing gas that staggers and sickens those hit by it, but also makes them immune to fear-effects, making it possibly to use it both offensively and defensively. Generally, the race feels like it belongs to the upper power echelon, but not necessarily in an unhinging way.

Taking a cue from the first book of the series, we go on to get extensive descriptions on the physical characteristics of the race, relations etc. - all in all well-written and compelling and also links the faerie-dragons with wishing. The 5 new traits allow you to customize your half-faerie dragon to be naturally adapt at magic, good at running away from angry tricked larger folk or better at acquiring things. Also, if you want to sparkle, there's a trait for that - just take care you don't become a vampire if you do! (Or wait, THAT would actually be damn funny...). The race also comes with 5 alternate racial traits that exchange draconic resistance for the option to cast disguise self cha-mod times/day, for 1d3 claws and if you also lose the power to use prestidigitation, you can belong to the dragon type. Alternatively, you can just sacrifice your capability of arcane whimsy for +2 to AC or sacrifice your breath weapon for the power to cast sorceror spells at +1 caster level.

Favored class options for bard, cleric, druid, paladin, rogue, sorceror, summoner and wizard are provided as well, as is a discussion on Half-Faerie Dragon psychology that includes the Art of the Prank, their approach to technology and magic, love and mating, history and lore etc. - all painting a surprisingly logical, well-presented panorama of an uncommon race to say the least. Oh, by the way, age, height and weight tables are also part of the deal.

Three new racial archetypes are presented after that, with the bookwyrm (for the wizard) replacing his 5th level bonus feat with getting half his class level as bonus to all knowledge-checks and providing the option to make these checks untrained. Thieves with Wings replace uncanny dodge and a rogue talent with gaining the fly-skill as a class skill, the feat to allow them flight as a bonus feat and the flyby attack feat. Butterfly Troubadours may boast of their exploit to the extent where they believe themselves to be actually better, mock foes and subtly weave the usage of his breath weapon into his performance, which is perhaps my favorite piece of rules in this context. This chapter also provides the new faerie dragon bloodline for sorcerers, which allows for befuddling touches, the signature euphoric breath weapon, butterfly wings, swap locations at higher levels with other beings and finally become a Half-faerie Dragon/live up to your full draconic potential. Quite nice about the bloodline: Its abilities take half-faerie dragons also into account and expand their racial powers instead of granting them like the bloodline does for none-half-faerie-dragons. The pdf also includes a new PrC for the race, the Dappled Theurge, who gets d6, 2+Int skills per level 1/2 BAB-progression and medium will-progression. What's interesting about this PrC is that it grants full spellcasting progression to BOTH prepared and spontaneous arcane spellcasting classes, taking a holistic approach to both. Rather interesting is the ability to cast progressively higher (starting at first level and going up to fifth) spells she knows (but need not have the spell prepared) by sacrificing a spontaneous spell slot of one level higher. As a capstone, the class reduces the level-increase of meta-magic applied to spells by half to a minimum of +1 spell level Int-mod/day. A thoroughly interesting design and an intriguing PrC.

A total of 9 racial feats have been included in the book to develop the race further: Temporarily blinding foes with light reflected from your blade, beast-shaping into a faerie-dragon, chameleon scales that allow you to use stealth even when observed and unable to hide, telepathy as a spell-like ability and at 7th level a fly-speed are some of the new options. Breath weapons may be augmented to use them once every 1d4 rounds and via other feats, add the confused effect to the others AND even get an option to make the breath weapon make foes staggered, confused and sickened for 1 round EVEN if they save. And honestly, that is where the pdf kind of underestimates the power-level: We are speaking of a 30 ft cone every 1d4 rounds that has a save of 10+ 1/2 class level + Con-mod and inflicts move OR standard actions (No more full-round actions), -2 to ability, skill checks, saves, atk and damage and the effects of confusion - for 1d6 rounds per application, at least 1 even on a successful save. As a supernatural ability that CAN'T BE DISRUPTED. This is the pay-off of 3 feats. This is insane on so many levels: Once every 4 rounds would be insanely strong even sans the confusion added. Making it apply even if foes save is really, really bad. And offering no way to counter it (it doesn't even count as poison) is just the icing on my personal Broken-rules-cake. Yes, I get that the Con-penalty is significant regarding the DC, but for e.g. martially inclined half-faerie-dragons this mini-feat-tree is rather powerful and unbalanced. Either a fixed limit, getting rid of the effects even on successful saves or a way to counteract the breath weapon are required to salvage this. A feat that lets you cast any prepared spell spontaneously by sacrificing one prepared spell of one level higher would also set off my radar, but its limitation to being usable once per day saves it and makes it an actually rather interesting idea.

Among the new items introduced in this installment, we get a kind of hookah that mixes multiple breaths for a more hilarious story-telling, globes containing bottled breath, swords that deal less damage than similar ones, but count as cold iron and have a threat range of 18-20, timed purse-shaped color-bombs to stain potential thieves, laughing poison, patchwork armors and arrows that essentially are stinking bombs of the most disgusting variety. All in all, cool items!

The pdf also includes write-ups of Half-Faerie Dragon theology and 3 racial deities as well as the new butterfly and wish subdomains and 4 new spells that allow you to conjure up butterfly swarms, plaguing victims with a chaotic (and funny) curse that changes properties each day, conjure a phantom crowd to mock your foes and transform just about anything into a pile of apples or a giant apple. Why? Half-faerie dragons LOVE apples, as the flavor-text in the book shows... Thus, we also get 3 magical apple tree tokens and the "Bag of Awesome", a bag of holding that can vomit forth items in a belch of euphoria-inducing gas, has a tongue-like rope (that can be used for rope tricks) and can blast foes (while in rope-trick-form) with euphoria-gas. There is also a foolish cape and a fitting rakish hat you can use to disappear in - when the fickle magic works...

The two artifacts are also neat: One straight-forward crown and one an artifact-level rod-of-wonders-style item that can summon giant squirrels to do your bidding or rain frozen apples from the sky or turn foes into dark chocolate...

GMs daunted by integrating this race into their campaign will welcome the 4 sample communities (sans settlement statblocks or the like, but full of ideas) as well as the advice given for both players and DMs to avoid turning the inclusion of this race into a kender-fiasco V.2.0. Be sure to read this chapter carefully! We also get sample NPCs, with the first being a straight-forward bard level 1, the second being an illusionist/sorcerer 4/dappled theurge 2 and the final one being truly interesting: At CR 11, the character is a bard 2/fighter 2/oracle 2/ranger 2/rogue 2/sorcerer 2 - a jack-of-all trades, indeed, though one that uses all the broken breath weapon feats.

Seedlings:

Kicking off with in-character journal entries that depict the life of one of the race of seedlings, this book introduces us to the new race called Seedling: These beings get +2 to Con, +2 to Wis, -2 to Dex, low-light vision, +1 natural AC, +2 to con to avoid suffocation, drowning and starvation as they can draw sustenance from photosynthesis, can as a standard-action treeshape (and gain tremorsense 30 ft.), +2 to saves versus mind-affecting effects and paralysis, and 1/ day speak with plants. As you may notice, seedlings get the distinct fluff of being plant-like creatures and appropriate benefits without succumbing to gaining the subtype and its associated benefits, going thus a similar route as RiP's Ironborn did for constructs. If you want more alien plant-beings, I'd point you to Purple Duck Games' Fehr's Ethnology: Xhesa.

The race is extremely detailed and up to current rules-developments: From favored class options, alternate racial traits (which include resistance to fire and electricity, having thorns, hailing from the underdark with darkvision and burrow speed and resistance to disease and poison) to favored class options, all niches are covered. Better yet, I don't have anything to complain about!

In stark contrast to many race-supplements, we get quite extensive pieces of information on seedling-culture-lore and land and of course, also on their takes regarding other races and classes - two thumbs up for these avidly and well-written pieces that make the race stand out and feel integrated into a campaign world, not just some addition. The race also gets two racial archetypes, with the first being the Switcher, a fighter that uses the new weapon of the seedlings, the signature switch whip (which is essentially their hair) and allows it to be used to inflict bleeding damage, ooze a poison that makes its victims flat-footed, grow razor-sharp leaves on the head etc. VERY COOL! The second archetype, the tree spirit druid, is extremely adapt at scrying via trees by focusing senses into trees - again, very cool!

The race also gets an exclusive PrC, the negotiator. The PrC gets d8, 6+Int skills per level, 3/4 BAB and medium Will-saves as well as a gamut of abilities that allow them to form binding agreements and make them superb "face"-style negotiators. Nice! The 9 new feats allow seedlings to further expand their switch whip powers and also do some interesting things via their rooting-ability, allowing them to better weather assaults and also increase their healing/photosynthesis.

Beyond aforementioned switch whips, we also get a new armor, glow moss and a serum the seedlings use for ritual scarring and healing. Beyond these crunchy bits, we also get a massive genesis-story told in captivating prose, a write-up of their 4 deities (with appropriate domains, subdomains and mysteries - nice indeed!) and 4 cool new spells, themed for plants and seedling flavor and anatomy. Among the new magic items we get explosive seeds, the dread aurora pendant, heartwood, two iconic artifacts (one of which can grow a forest - over night!) and even more:

5 fluff-only community-write-ups (I.e. no settlement-blocks, but ideas galore) provide further ideas for GMS and players alike to capitalize on and the write-up also features extensive advice for DMs to fit this race into a campaign.

Finally, the pdf includes 4 sample seedling characters, using the content herein, all ready to be dropped into your game and spanning CR 1/2 to CR 14.

Part II of my review can be found here!


****( )

Well I already got into reviewing two races from this book, Seedlings and Reapers, so here's the recap:

Seedlings are great and fairly easy to get into a campaign. Reapers are somewhat narrowed by their theme and so have a hard time finding the right setting but are otherwise interesting and okay. Both products came with a ton of lore and flavorful racial options.

The first thing I haven't already covered are the Half-Fairy-Dragons, or HFDs for the rest of this review. The base racial traits are somewhat boring but decent and pretty expected for what they are. They do have one weird ability. A breath weapon that deals multiple status effects in a cone including staggered which looks incredibly broken but the save DC is based on their CON which they get a penalty to. Still a powerful ability to put on a racial trait despite the race nerfing the ability, which feels like the most bizarre ability I've seen. And that's before the fact that the third status effect is an immunity to fear effects for the duration of the ability. Its a flavorful ability but it dances the line between overpowered and dumb. luckily you can live without it without being an underpowered race, its just that that one ability feels off.

Like the other races HFDs get a ton of fluff, traits, alternate racial traits, tables and class options. They also get a prestige class that requires spell levels from a prepared and spontaneous arcane caster. They also get feats and items and other goodies matching up with the Reapers and Seedlings.

Overall HFDs can either be your small dragon-ish race with some cool mysticism and lore or your campaign's Kender. But I may be biased because every GM I've seen roleplay Fairy Dragons have made them beyond annoying to me.

You get Umbral Kobolds in here. They're pretty much Kobolds but instead of getting +2 dex, -4 str, and -2 con, they get -2 str, +2 dex, and +2 int. After that I don't care what else they do or their flavor of coming from deeper underground than normal Kobold. They're just strictly better than Kobolds and don't have any extra abilities so you can just replace normal Kobolds and let them get all the kobold things that Kobolds get. They get similar goodies to the previous three races with a lean towards shadows and the shadow plane in some of them.

The rest of the races are nowhere near as supported or as interesting. You get Fosterlings which I can only summarize as Cthulu Tieflings. They get access to a 'progeny feat' that on top of making you fugly enough to have severe penalties to diplomacy gives you some kind of buff that takes advantage of your gross-looking mutation. There are Melodian, half fey pretty bimbos. There isn't much to them. There's Sashahars, which are snakey psionic people which are kind of redundant considering that Ultimate psionics has their own psionic reptilian race. Ursine are more interesting as a race of durable Bear-men.

You also get a lot of favored class options for all the uncommon races and races that appear in this book and some class options for uncommon races, which aren't that interesting but aren't bad.

Now I love the sections on HFDs, Seedlings, Reapers, and Umbral Kobolds. I also like the Fosterlings and the Ursine. But chunks of the rest of the book I can do without. The Melodian just seem like filler, the Sashahars aren't needed at all and although the support in the appendixes are nice aren't really needed. The four all star races, HFDS/Seedlings/Reapers/Umbral Kobolds come with a ton of lore, and options giving you a lot of tools to put them in your game and really get a feel for them. The remaining races get barely any support each, mostly filling about two pages and only two of them are really interesting so this book is less about 8 new races and more like 4 new races and a lot of footnotes. That said the first four kind of inflate the value of the book as a whole and the Ursine and Fosterlings make you wish they had more to them for being intriguing. I'm giving it four out of five stars. The book as a whole has a lot of value but there is too much filler for me to say that everyone that buys this will be completely satisfied if they were expecting all the races to get a similar treatment. The product is otherwise a great bang for you buck introducing 6 really interesting and useful races and options to make them a real part of your campaign. Would reccomend to anyone interested in the main 4 races.


Webstore Gninja Minion

Now available!

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Wahoo. I am really glad this book is available. brings together a number of balanced, playable races that I have wanted to see released for quite some time. The four main races detailed are:

  • Half-Faerie Dragons,
  • Reapers,
  • Seedlings, and
  • Umbral Kobolds.

Plus there are four other races detailed in this book:

  • Fosterlings, a race of lovecraftian horrors mixed with humans,
  • Melodians, a half-fey race they are musically gifted,
  • Sashahar, a psionic kobold race that venerate their ancestors, and
  • Ursine, a bearfolk race that are both savagely bestial and spiritual.

All of these races have favored class options for all of Paizo's classes from the Core Rulebook, Advanced Player's Guide, and Ultimate Magic. We also included favored class options for the four classes from Dreamscarred Press's Psionics Unleashed. These races were not the only one to get so many favored class options. We also included favored class options for the dhampir, drow, duergar, fetchling, grippli, hobgoblin, kobold, orc, ratfolk, tiefling and wayang.

And before you think that that is all, we included archetypes for the dhampir, duergar, dwarf, grippli, hobgoblin, ifrit, and wayang.

We really hope you enjoy this book.

Sovereign Court

Awesome!. When is the Print edition estimated to be available?

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

I am suppose to get the printer proof today. I'll be able to give a firmer estimate when I look it over. But I'm hoping for the end of September.

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

Just a quick update: I received the proof last night. Some of the artwork needed lightened. I lightened it and re-uploaded it. As soon as I can get another printer proof to confirm all is good, I will get books printed. Assuming there are not any issues then mid-end of Sept is a good estimate for books to arrive at Paizo's warehouse.

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

If you like races that are far from the Tolkein, be sure to check this book out, but also let us know what other races you want in this thread.

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

Another update. The second printer proof arrived while I was on vacation. I looked at it over the weekend. Short of the long, more of the artwork was good, but there are a number of images that are just too light. So I am going to send it back to fix it and send it back to the printer for a redo.

I was hoping to be ordering copies to send to Paizo this morning, but that did not happen. I'm expecting printer copies to arrive in Early October now.

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

Over the weekend I approved the printing of the Book of Heroic Races Compendium. Pretty soon, it will be on its way to Paizo's warehouse.

Webstore Gninja Minion

Dale McCoy Jr wrote:
Over the weekend I approved the printing of the Book of Heroic Races Compendium. Pretty soon, it will be on its way to Paizo's warehouse.

YAY. ^_^

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

The print version of the Book of Heroic Races Compendium is now available at Paizo.com

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

Wahoo! A great 4 star review by Malwing. Thank you good sir!

Links to Malwing's reviews of Reapers and Seedlings

Editor, Jon Brazer Enterprises

As a follow-up to Malwing's review, I designed the fosterlings and would be delighted to flesh them out more fully for a larger release down the road if there were sufficient demand to do so. Lovecraftian content tends to sell pretty well, and this was my first foray into writing game material based on the Cthulhu mythos. It'd be fun to explore them further, so drop a comment here or hit us up on social media if that's something you'd like to see!


What do Fosterlings look like?

Editor, Jon Brazer Enterprises

A fosterling's appearance (or an oracle with the "mad" curse, if you use those rules from the Book of Heroic Races Compendium) varies greatly depending on which Progeny feat they select: Elder (deformed hands), Lurker (leathery skin), Leng (horns and long nails), Mi-Go (no physical difference from humans), Skum (bug eyes, webbed digits, gills), or Starspawn (no physical difference from humans).

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

Part of our PaizoCon Sale. Download this book of new races for 25% off today.


I'm not sure how I missed this one. But, I just rectified that by placing an order for a print copy.

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

James0235 wrote:
I'm not sure how I missed this one. But, I just rectified that by placing an order for a print copy.

Wahoo. If you are at PaizoCon right now, I can sign it.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dale McCoy Jr wrote:


Wahoo. If you are at PaizoCon right now, I can sign it.

Unfortunately it is a bit too far. I limit myself to Origins each year and that is a far enough drive. I mean the convention center is almost 15 whole minutes away.

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

Want to see the races before picking this up? We've been adding the races to d20pfsrd.com.

Half-Faerie Dragon
Reaper
Seedling
Umbral Kobold
Ursine

We're adding more to the site all the time. Purchase it today so we know you want us to add more.

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

Just a reminder, the Book of Heroic Races Compendium is available right now for 30% off.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Grab this book and the Book of Heroic Races: Advanced Compendium and get a complete set of some amazing races for your game today.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Excited for Ultimate Wilderness? Download the Book of Heroic Races Compendium and play the bear-like ursine race, the half-fey melodians, and the plant-like seedling race. This is a must have for your adventures away from civilization.

Order your copy in print and download the PDF today.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Excited for Planar Adventures? Download the Book of Heroic Races Compendium for a half psychopomp race designed by Mark Seifter before he joined Paizo.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Doing a plant race, a small winged race, and a neutral-touched planar race before it was cool.

Makes me wonder if Paizo is going to do a balanced kobold race next. Just saying ;)

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Umbral kobolds are not the only race in this book getting support in the upcoming Book of Heroic Races: Occult Intrigue in the Wilderness. Are you excited for these fun-sized, scaly heroes to get more support?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Dale McCoy Jr wrote:
Umbral kobolds are not the only race in this book getting support in the upcoming Book of Heroic Races: Occult Intrigue in the Wilderness. Are you excited for these fun-sized, scaly heroes to get more support?

I may buy that book just for the title! :D

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Wahoo!!!

Jon Brazer Enterprises

It's the GM's Day Sale and the Book of Heroic Races Compendium is now available for 30% off. Download these awesome races today.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

No matter what edition of Pathfinder you play, these races are imaginative, and their descriptions of their societies are always useful.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Paizo still has copies of this book available, but not many. Order your copy today before they run out.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Would you like to see the races within updated to Pathfinder 2e?

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Yes.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Thank you Rysky. Anyone else?

Jon Brazer Enterprises

8 new playable races, 30 class archetypes, and a whole host of feats, spells, magic items, and artifacts. All for $10.


Part II of my review:

Umbral Kobolds:

Dale McCoy Jr., head of Jon Brazer Enterprises, was dissatisfied with the standard race of kobolds and an introduction of what this race is – essentially, a kobold-race ramped up to be on par with PC-races without using the identity of being koboldish. We also get a short rundown on Shadowsfall, the plane-of-shadows-setting of JBE before we delve into an actually very well-written piece of in-character prose. The short story gets you just in the right mindset before you get to take a peek at the mechanical traits of this race.

Umbral Kobolds get -2 to Str, +2 to Dex and Int, are small, get darkvision, +1 natural armor bonus, 2 to Craft (Trapmaking), Perception and Profession (miner). Stealth and Craft (Trapmaking) are always class skills for umbral kobolds. They also get light sensitivity, extensive pieces of information regarding their relationships with other races, alignment and adventuring etc. as well as thankfully a table for age, height and weight including starting age. They also come with 4 alternate racial options that may replace light sensitivity with albinism (weird choice, since albinism makes one not particularly appreciate bright lights either…), give them a blinding spit attack 1/day, make them especially tied to the plane of shadows (for increased caster levels in the dark, but also heavy drawbacks upon confrontation with bright lights and finally, kobolds that replace their natural armor bonus with +1 to Dex and +2 to stealth. With the exception of the albinism-trait’s minor fluff/crunch-disjunction’s exception nothing to complain about here.

2 racial character traits are also provided, one that nets you Knowledge (Planes) as a class skill and +2 on it and the other that gives you +1 to ref and initiative. After that, we're introduced to two new archetypes, with the shadowsneak getting bonuses to racial bonuses to movement and as well 1/2 rogue level to craft (traps) and Perception to discover traps. Solid, I guess, but nothing too special. The Mad Bomber alchemist archetype gets 10 + 3/4 level +Int to determine bomb-DCs, doesn't provoke AoOs when using bombs and counts as +2 levels with regards to alchemist discoveries related to bombs. Solid.

After that, we're introduced 4 new feats, with one allowing you to mitigate some issues related to 1s on disable device checks and gunslinger misfires, one that allows bonuses for saving throws for each kobold in range, one that doubles miss chance in dim light to 40% and one that allows you 1+Cha-bonus shadow jumps per day.

Two new items are also included, with a new nauseating, blinding poison being one and the other being a dye to color scales. 32 full-blown racial kobold gods are also here and after their well-written write-ups, we get 3 new spells - one that creates an illusory double you can blow up, assault foes with shadow-illusion coins and one to create an aura of darkness for which a swarm of shadowy kobolds panics foes. Among the new magic items, we get an incantation that makes shooting into melee versus undead easier, a crown that nets +2 to Int and Cha as well as form of the dragon I, black dust that sends the undead running from recollections of their past life and a kitchy talisman that guards you with minor bonuses versus specific types of death.

The pdf closes with 3 sample communities in neat write-ups (though sans settlement statblocks) that can be considered well-written indeed. The final piece of crunch is a CR 11 shadowsneak umbral kobold.

---------End of Review Compilation---------

EDIT: So, I totally managed to miss copying my discussion on the reaper-race into my review – because it had languished in the drafts-section. It was penned at a time when I was asked to hold on to the review, and while it was done back then, I never ended up releasing it. So yeah, with a bit of delay, for the first time.

Reapers:

After a brief bit of evocative introductory prose, we dive into the section on Reapers – what are these fellows? Well, they are basically a plane-touched race with psychopomp blood. Trait-wise, they get +2 Dex and Wisdom, -2 Charisma, are native outsiders, have darkvision and get a +1 racial bonus to saves vs. death effects, energy drain and negative levels – when wearing funeral masks. This is the only item type they may wear in the face slot, but masks may be enchanted. (Cool!) 1/day whenthey would die from hit point damage, they get a respite unto next round, potentially delaying their deaths or avoiding them – sufficient healing can prevent death. This only works for hit point damage, so rules-integrity is perfect here, though personally, I’d have made this abilityhave a scaling maximum – as written, they get even the 1 round when blasted to shreds by a deity, firmly anchoring them on the high-fantasy side of the thematic spectrum. They can, as a swift action, wreathe their scythes in a ghost touch weapon, and they may crit incorporeal creatures, unless these are also immune from a different source, such as being an ooze. Great catch. Additionally, they may damage haunts with their weapons as though they were positive energy effects – a great mechanic!! Use daily is equal to character levels. Reapers get +2 to all social skills (minus Sense Motive) versus undead and geta 5 ft. undead-sense that works akin to blindsense for undead only, but does not extend to possessing spirits. All in all, an amazing race! Slightly on the powerful side, but chock-full with flavorful narrative facilitator abilities that make them stand out. Great return to form and, with the seedlings, another highlight for the series!

As before among the races covered in this series, we do get a couple of interesting race traits and a selection of alternate racial itraits that include psychopomp bloodline synergy, the ability to 1/day manifest an incorporeal spirit of themselves when dead or dying, undead hunting – particularly the spirit-angle is really, really cool. Detailed information on lands and cultures are provided as well as notes on their languages and relations with other races. As far as class options are provided, we get a memento mori/anti-undead style druid who receives access to a tweaked spell-list, Knowledge (religion) and one appropriate domain. Solid engine tweak. The second class option would be the psychopomp bloodline, which, with its spirit touch and sepulchral veil, should be considered to be one of the better examples for bloodlines.

The pdf does include two PrCs – the memoriam amanuensis, who gets d6 HD, 4 + Int skills and good Will-save progression as well as 4/5 spellcasting progression. It spans 5 levels and basically represents a historian of the dead, who collects information from the dead and masters obscure knowledge to the benefit of allies – solid one! The second PrC spans 10 levels and would be the spirit guide. Here,w e have d8 HD, 6 + Int skills per level, proficiency with light and medium armor and shields, excluding tower shields, ¾ BAB-progression and ½ Fort- and Will-save progression. They are spear specialists and get really cool abilities – crossroads can lead them to souls in need of assistance, and they are specialists of the mask feats (more on that below) – they are one of the best “focused” PrCs I’ve seen in a while, making spears potent and focusing on more than just adding combat power versus undead. Big fan!

As before in the series, we get an assortment of new feats, many of which make up a kind of mini-tree: Bonded Mask makes your mask a kind of bonded item that can then be enhanced by the other ones, with a spirit inhabiting it, causing of fear, etc – rather nice, and reminded me somewhat of good ole’ Shadowman! (That’s a good thing!) Better undead sight and undead-affecting bardic performances complement this section. We also get a selection of really neat mundane equipment pieces, interesting deity write-ups, a new subdomain for Repose, the psychopomp subdomain and 4 neat spells that include a portal that sucks incorporeal creatures towards the afterlife! Oh yeah! Two magical masks and a potent artifact spear complement the arsenal of reapers.

We close the reaper-section with a selection of flavorful notes on reaper communities as well as sample NPCs ranging from CR ½ to CR 11.

Beyond these previously released, super-detailed races, the pdf also features 4 new races in significantly less detail – only a total of 18 pages are devoted to these new races, which means that, alas, we do not get the same excessive, cultural detail as for the first three races within. The first of these entities would be the Fosterling, a result of the dalliance of mortals with eldritch horrors from beyond. These guys get +2 Constitution and Wisdom, -2 Charisma, are Medium humanoids, and they may keep fighting as if disabled until negative Constitution modifier hit points. They can’t be reincarnated, and their bodies rapidly decay, so if they are to be returned to life, their allies should better hurry. The race gets Skill Focus for one knowledge skill chosen from a list of 4 at 1st level, as well as -3 to Handle Animal, but +3 to Diplomacy with aberrations etc. – the bonus type here should probably be racial, not untyped. They get a +2 racial bonus to saves against mind-affecting effects, may reroll the percentile die of being confused, and rolls to confirm crits against them suffer a -4 penalty due to their weird anatomy. Interesting take here! To supplement the race, we get 6 racial feats, each of which locks them as the progeny of one mythos-creature like mi-go, etc. The race also comes with an oracle curse. All in all, a solid take on the “touched by eldritch things”-concept, and one I wished had received more room to shine.

Melodians, according to legend, are the offspring of immaculate humans and fey songbirds, and they receive +2 Dexterity and Charisma, -2 Wisdom, are Medium and count as fey for the purposes of race-related effects. Minor complaint: Can they choose which type they count as for the purpose of e.g. a spell that harms fey while bolstering humanoids or vice versa? Or not? They get low-light vision and +2 to saves to resist fear- and despair-based effects and may 1/day reroll a natural 1. They also get +2 to one type of Perform check and add +1 to the save DC of spells with the sonic descriptor. Melodians with Cha 13+ get sound burst as a 1/day SP. This SP and DC-increase may be exchanged for 2 others via alternate racial traits, and other alternate racial traits allow for bard FCO-improvement, and one for better Linguistics instead of singing. The race also gets a fighter archetype that is a dervish-y one with minor bard tricks spliced in. The write-up also includes three feats and the songsteel material.

The Sashahar are Small reptilians that receive +2 Intelligence and Constitution, -4 Strength, who are also naturally psionic, and may use conceal thoughts and detect psionics at-will as psi-like abilities. They have only 20 ft. speed, but get a whopping +2 luck bonus to all saves. They also are ebrrations with the psionic subtype, which is a bit odd – I’d have expected humanoid (reptilian) here. The write-up includes 2 solid traits and 3 ones that provide alternat psi-like abilities. A minor psionic rogue engine tweak archetype and 2 feats are provided. One of these feats, Force Burst, fails to get the rules-language for psionics correct, mistakenly mixing the rules-language for attacks and powers for a somewhat confusing whole. 2 solid equipment types and a power to locate traps complement this fellow. I would have really enjoyed to learn more about this race – more so than the previous two, it would have greatly benefitted from having the room to develop a unique culture etc. to set it apart.

The final one of these new ones would be the Ursine, who, bingo, would be bearfolk that get +2 Strength and Wisdom, -2 Dexterity. Low-light vision and hatred versus aberrations and giants (+1 to atk), as well as +1 to CL-checks to overcome SR are also part of the racial traits. These guys get +2 to saves vs. polymorph spells and effects, diseases and versus ingested/inhaled poisons. In a pretty cool and unique ability, these guys may wield a couple of less impressive weapons as though they were a size larger, making them viable. Beyond these, the ability actually makes this “kind-of-a-size-larger” ability active, allowing for selective target choice. The race also get Lucerne hammer familiarity. This and the size-trick may be replaced with natural weapons, which are properly codified regarding type, but require defaulting regarding damage type. There is a means to replace low-light vision with scent. The save-bonuses may be replaced with Handle Animal bonuses, and the alternate racial traits include a Craft/Profession and more martially-inclined trait that also is pretty interesting. A spirit caller druid archetype is provided, which replaces the ally-summoning angle with spells. The archetype also has a surge-like self-boost and is a solid engine-tweak. There are 3 racial feats, with a 2-level mini-tree allowing for 1-handing a two-handed weapon or wielding a one-handed one of a larger size. This is, in a way, tapping into one of PF’s more problematic engine-parts, so yeah, not the biggest fan.

The first appendix collects a HUGE amount of favored class options for pre-ACG-classes as well as the pre-Psionics Expanded psionic classes: So Psion, Wilder, Psychic Warrior and Soulknife. FCOs for dhampir, drow, duergar, fetchling, grippli, etc. are provided – a ton of these can be found, including ones for the new races. Apart from the ones for the new races herein, many of these have been taken from the Shadowsfall Favored Class Options-pdf, though the Time Thief/Warden and Malefactor class option-references have been eliminated.

The second appendix comes with an assortment of engine-tweak-style racial archetypes for duergar, dhampir, dwarves, etc.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good on both a formal and rules-language level, which is pretty impressive for a book of this massive size. Layout adheres to a printer-friendly two-column b/w-standard, and the pdf contains quite a few really nice b/w-artworks. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. The pdf is hyperlinked for your convenience.

Michael Eshleman, Dale C. McCoy Jr., Richard Moore, Mark J Seifter, Marie Small, Todd Stewart, R. William Thompson, George “Loki” Williams – this cadre of authors does know what they’re doing. The races within have one major benefit, as far as I’m concerned: None of them are boring. They all have an interesting angle, and the base races themselves should not provide any balance-issues with these, even if you gravitate to lower power-levels. This level of precision, alas, does not always extend to the supplemental material, and a couple of feats in particular should be subject to GM-oversight. The racial archetypes, as a whole, tend to gravitate to the engine-tweak side of things. All in all, this compilation is well worth getting, particularly if you don’t already own the seedlings, half faerie-dragons, reapers and umbral kobolds – the four previously-released races are the stars here and warrant the asking price.

That being said, you should be aware that the release of this one predates both ACG and Occult Adventures, so no synergies there. I am not going to penalize the compilation for this, as it wouldn’t be fair, but it’s something to bear in mind.

If you already have the four main-races, the compilation unfortunately has a bit less to offer – the new races are all interesting, but universally suffer from the brevity of their presentation. While we do get age-height and weight tables and basic rules-customization tricks and supplemental material for them, compared to the first 3, one can’t help but feel the absence of lovingly-crafted, detailed fluff and cultural information for them.

How to rate this, then? Well if you have the first 4 races, this’ll be a tough sell on you and probably is something only for the completionist. If, on the other hand, you have missed them, then you’ll find some interesting and creative playable races here. As such, my final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars – whether you’ll round up or down will depend on how you value supplemental material in relation to the race: if you want in-depth cultures and flavor, then the first four truly deliver – round up; otherwise, the racial options presented tend to gravitate to the smaller and simpler side of things, so if you’re looking for complexity, you may want to round down. As a reviewer, I have an in dubio pro reo policy and thus will round up.

Endzeitgeist out.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

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I'm glad you enjoyed this. Thank you for the review.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Endzeitgeist just game the Book of Heroic Races Compendium a 4.5 star rating and now it is on sale for 75% off. Grab this highly rated book while it is at an amazing discount. Download now!

Jon Brazer Enterprises

There's nothing like the original Book of Heroic Races Compendium. It has some seriously imaginative races that you should check out if you love plant people, planar-touched, winged races, and much more. Download now.

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