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Does anyone actually have this PDF? Be interesting to hear what its options for NPC classes are, seeing how they normally are completely forgotten about.
I grabbed a copy of this book, and I must said that I am strongly disappointed with it. A quick overview.
Content - Part 1 : New NPC Classes
The 16 New NPC classes "based loosely from the player character classes" are in fact for the most part stripped down version of the Core PC classes.
- The Ascetics is a monk with only Wis to AC and Flurry. He can take Stunning/Fatiguing/Sicking/Staggering Fist abilities instead of his normal feats.
- The Battle Mage, Conjuror, Enchanter, Illusionist, Sooth-sayer and Transmogriffier are basically specialized school adepts. There is little change between each class except for the spell list. All of them gain Spell Focus and/or a Familiar.
- The Berserker is a Barbarian with the basic Rage as only feature, though he can exchange feats for Rage powers.
To be honest, the new NPC classes simply feels like one of the core NPC classes with a VMC added to it, but without the freedom of VMCs.
For the sake of completeness, the full NPC class list : Ascetic (Monk), Battle Mage (Evocation wizard), Berserker (Barbarian), Conjuror (Conjuration wizard), Cutthroat (Rogue), Druid Aspirant (Druid), Enchanter (Enchantment wizard), Hedge Witch (Witch), Hedge Wizard (Universal wizard), Illusionist (Illusion wizard), Minstrel (Bard), Pickpocket (Rogue), Soothe-Sayer (Divination cleric), Thaumaturge (Alchemist), Transmogrifier (Transmutation wizard), Woodsman (Ranger)
Content - Part 2 : NPC Archetypes
This product contains a total of 34 NPC archetypes, half of them being soldier archetypes.
- The 6 Adept archetypes are okay. Not great, and certainly not imaginative, but it can give a bit of variance to the adept by giving a necromancer, healer, or missionary feels.
- The 6 Aristocrat archetypes are maybe the best part of the document, because they actually give more personality to the class, going from the Emissary to the Bandit Lord. The features are interesting, even if most are simply a skill bonus or a SLA.
- The commoner give a single archetype : Master Craftsman. He get bonus to craft checks, and reduced material cost. That's it.
- The 4 Experts archetypes are unexceptional. The only amusing one is the Bureaucrat, which make a Aristocrat-like expert.
- The 17 soldier archetypes are... 17 fighter archetypes downgraded for the NPC class. Pretty much all that is to say.
The product has a nice but not overwhelming background, has good readability, and comes with premade bookmarks. The images are nice and well placed. All in all, presentation is not top end, but of good quality. One major issue : the classes Progression tables are missing many special abilities (for example, the Spell Focus & Familiar features are on none of the Tables, when 8 classes have at least one of them).
Overall Opinion : Meh.
There's a distinct lack of originality here, and for the most part the content of this product could be recreated in 2h. A nice gift-wrap for a lacking content. If you really can't bear the idea of some NPCs having PC class levels, you could maybe possibly take this document. However, for this price tags, there's far better that this.