The Destroyer's Handbook (PFRPG) PDF

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The Destroyer's Handbook is an expansion to the Destruction sphere from the Spheres of Power magic system. This book contains new talents, new feats, new magic items, alternate destruction-themed racial powers, new monsters, rituals and incantations, and more!

The Destroyer's Handbook is book 3 in a multi-part series, funded via Patreon.

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An Endzeitgeist.com review

5/5

This installment of Drop Dead Studios' Spheres of Power-expansions clocks in at 40 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page of back cover, leaving us with 35 pages of content, so let's take a look!

After the introductory prose, we dive right into the archetype-section of the book, with the first being the Admixture Savant elementalist, who gets a modified skill-list, casts via Int and gains an admixture pool instead of evasion and the dodge bonus at 2nd level. These points may be expended to either remove the increase of casting time of the Admixture talent or reduce the spell point expenditure of metamagic feats by 1 point per admixture point spent. Instead of combat feats, these guys gain metamagic feats and 3rd level allows them to target adversaries with destructive blasts, gaining +1/2 level as a bonus to damage, with 9th and 15th level increasing that further, though at the cost of favored element. 11th level provides a wild card destruction sphere talent and as a capstone, we have a spell point cost reduction for blasts modified with metamagic.

The blaster armorist gets an arm cannon bound weapon, which attacks touch AC and has a base damage of 1d6, +1d6 at 5th level and every 5 levels thereafter, with no range penalties and a maximum range of close, being treated as both a destructive blast AND a ranged weapon. Destruction is granted as a bonus talent (with replacements, should you have it already) and unique arsenal tricks being provided as well: With buckler as a secondary function for the cannon, charging your shots, gaining an intelligent cannon or adding blast shapes to the cannon, the archetype has some seriously cool tricks - and yes, this can be considered to be the megaman-archetype. Kudos!

The doomblade mageknight, can, as a swift action, form his blast into a blade-like shape that lasts for casting ability modifier rounds - cool. And yes, takes blast shape etc. into account. Elemental Scion shifters cast via Cha, get a modified skill list and gain the Alteration sphere as well as Elemental Transformation, but also beast soul as a drawback sans associated granted talent and, should the character already have the like, proper wording for these cases. The class may use a lesser Elemental Transformation sans ability increase, fly speed, earth glide etc. (but also sans spell point cost!) and, at higher levels, reduced costs for elemental transformation when using the talent self-only. When in the shape of a given elemental, the scion increases the potency of associated destructive blasts.

The entropic sage hedgewitch loses traditions and a modified proficiency list as well as the Destruction sphere and Energy Blade talent at 1st level, but also Focused Shape as a drawback, with monk-like AC and CMD bonuses as well as Improved Unarmed Strike at first level; higher levels unlock more monk-style benefits...and, in case you were wondering, the archetype is compatible with PFU's unchained monk, allowing for the learning of ki powers as well as style feats. Interesting one!

The kinetic scourge mageknight has a modified proficiency list and gains both Destruction sphere and the Energy Tether talent as well as the focused shape drawback, with only move actions required for concentration of these tethers. The archetype focuses of ranged combat maneuvers via Energy Tether and e.g. anchoring flying foes via Tether Adept. The Soulfire Master Thaumaturge suffers no backlash when using forbidden lore, instead taking ability burn - Constitution, to be exact, which is regenerated after 8 hours of resting,but to offset this power-increase, backlash chance is increased to 50%, with 4th level unlocking Soulfire and burning lore sans risk of backlash and higher levels allowing for the passing off of Con-burn via channel punishment.

The wandslinger gunslinger would be, yup, another take on the wand-blasting gunslinger, complete with modified skill list, with the grit-determining attribute being treated as casting ability modifier. Interesting: grit can be used to prevent wand spell point expenditure for destructive lasts and aiming that increases range as well as Dex-mod to damage with destructive blasts from wands and Gather Energy when firing wands. 11th level provides dual-wand activation. Solid.

The second chapter herein covers basic magic, grouping blast type groups as well as providing blast shapes -from chain blasts to energy bombs and auras to using your destructive blasts to propel you forward, to gaining a satellite that you can discharge upon nearby foes as an immediate action to aforementioned energy tethers, the options are neat. Blast type talents are similarly diverse: Want alkali blasts that send foes to the floor? Done. Bull rushing stone hails? Temporary Fort-debuffs? Tripping nonlethal blasts? Temporary hit points for allies, balanced within SoP's frame? Shrapnel or concentration/mental skill-check hampering blasts? The pdf obliges.

Other talents, including the aforementioned admixture, are provided as well - which deserves special mention, as it takes the discrepancy between blast die-sizes into account, providing concise guidance here. Cascading penalties, immunity to your own blasts...very helpful. Since SoP talents usually lack the descriptor tags (but they're nice and pretty helpful to have) the pdf provides a short summary here as well - kudos.

Chapter 4 provides a smattering of advanced talents for your perusal, with an upgrade of Crystal Blasts to encase foes in cocoons of crystal. Extreme range energy sniping is cool: 1000 ft. + 100 ft. per CL (OUCH!) range, but it can only target squares or large objects, making it basically SoP-siege blasts. Personally, I'm not a big fan of sacred and profane damage featuring here, but since the primary source of conflict regarding these damage types are spells that are absent in SoP, I can live with them making a return here. Causing radiation sickness via your blasts in 4 radiation severities is similarly covered. Here's the section, though, that will make this pdf a must-own buy for pretty much every SoP-using group: The chapter covers adaptation of new blasts: Basically, it codifies detrimental effects codified via blasts in an easy to grasp system, allowing you to create your very own custom blasts via an easy to grasp system. Two thumbs up!

The pdf also features two rituals as well 5 fully detailed incantations - that allow you to call forth spheres of annihilation, perform the dance of ruin, call forth omnimental or make willing/helpless targets walking bombs - this section is pure awesome.

The book also sports a wide array of new feats, with Arcing Strike blasts, higher crit-range, blasts that snake onward (combo-potential = awesome) or adding effects to specific types of destructive blasts. combo-sphere talents, feats to increase e.g. Energy Leap or better tethering - basically, the array here allows you to specialize in a wide variety of manners. The pdf also provides the shape focus drawback, 5 traits (with the proper trait-type) as well as tricks for the arsenal and incanter specialization. Fans of DSP's races will certainly enjoy the alternate racial traits for Forgeborn and Dromites that are featured among those for more common races herein - if you're like me and gravitate towards combining SoP and Psionics, you'll certainly enjoy it!

The pdf also features new weapon properties and specific items that can be utilized to add weapon properties to blasts or imbuing weapons with them; massive disintegrating but unstable cannons, bullets of entangling crystal - pretty cool selection here and the cost/strength-ratio of the items generally seems to be neat as well - kudos!

Chapter 7, then, provides the bestiary, which contains the CR 7 crystal golem alongside 6 types of omnimentals (ranging from CR 2 to 12), adapting the classic creature concept well to the SoP-destruction sphere context. The pdf also features several templates, from destructive elementals to walking bombs and creatures attuned to elemental rifts. Finally, the last page provides a couple of tips and tactics for playing destructive blast specialists.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are very good on both a formal and a rules-language level. No complaints here. Layout adheres to Drop Dead Studios' two-column full-color standard for these books, with a mix of stock and original full-color artwork. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

Andrew Stoeckle's Destroyer's Handbook had the potential to wreck the whole SoP system. It is my pleasure to tell you that it doesn't. Instead of going a power-creep route, this focuses on options galore, with evocative concepts, unique tricks and a wide, wide arsenal of cool tricks to employ. But we've come to expect the like from these books. Where this one truly captured my heart and what elevates it from very good to excellence, though, at least to me, would be the DIY-build-your-own-blast section. Extremely useful and a perfect representation of the "Say Yes!"-enabling spirit of the Spheres of Power rules. My final verdict will hence clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.


5/5


The Most Important Handbook Yet

5/5

Disclaimer: As those who have seen my other reviews for this series already know, I'm a Patreon backer for these supplements. I paid the full price for this product.

To keep this reasonably brief, I've always considered the Destruction Sphere to be one of the most important Spheres in this magic system. Almost every character in the game wants to have SOME way of dealing damage to enemies, even if it's just a backup for when there's nothing else they want to do. It's one of the things the game sort of expects from you (unless your GM is running a VERY non-standard game, at least), and that makes offensive ability important on a more fundamental level than most other abilities in the game. A party can generally get by without teleporting or telekinesis - you're probably *not* going to get by if your party can't do damage.

What really makes this book shine is the way it encourages dealing the kind of damage you WANT to deal. In addition to a large selection of pre-formatted blast options (usually damage + effect), this handbook actually gives a system for creating your own destructive blasts and giving them any theme you want... while still being reasonably balanced when compared to other powers. Throwing thorned vines to entangle enemies? You can do that. A cloud of negative energy that nauseates those you catch in it? You can do that. Stab someone and drain their energy? You can do that, and I love it so much.

I'm pretty sure I've said this before, but as a system, Spheres of Power is about saying "yes" to your ideas. It asks you to imagine the kind of magical character you want to play, then gives you the tools to create that character. It's simple, intuitive, and a heck of a lot of fun.

Now, just so nobody misunderstands, I actually enjoy seeing creative, nonviolent solutions to problems. Sooner or later, though, combat's inevitable - and this book is about making combat significantly more enjoyable. Valuable for both GMs and players alike, this Handbook earns 5 Stars and a personal recommendation from me. Spheres of Power is a great system, and this book makes it even better.


Community Manager

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Another excellent supplement for probably the best magic system out there for Pathfinder.


Aaaaaaand reviewed. XD


I'm a little confused on the balance of Living Crystal Blast: it sounds better than Crystal Blast from the core book, and doesn't reduce the damage die type like Crystal Blast. Omission typo?


In regards to the wandslinger archetype: I just want to confirm that they can only make wands with the base talent for destruction; and have to either get another caster's help to supply other talents, or buy a wand with them.


The rules for Crafting Wands in Spheres of Power include "A crafter must possess each talent to be placed in the wand, or else must have access to that talent through another caster." (They can also buy a wand containing it, yeah. An earlier line makes that work.)

Nothing I see in Wandslinger changes this, so it would remain true. ^^ Seems confirmed to me.


GM Rednal wrote:

The rules for Crafting Wands in Spheres of Power include "A crafter must possess each talent to be placed in the wand, or else must have access to that talent through another caster." (They can also buy a wand containing it, yeah. An earlier line makes that work.)

Nothing I see in Wandslinger changes this, so it would remain true. ^^ Seems confirmed to me.

That's what I thought, but wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something.


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

For the Space-rending Admixture feat, it doesn't actually require you to have the Unwilling Teleport talent to take it; is this intended? As-written, it seems like it allows you to use the talent under those specific circumstances even without possessing it, which, while not necessarily broken, just seems a bit strange. Mind you, if it's intended, that's fine, just thought I should ask...


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

@Luthorne: I stumbled across the same hiccup re Space-rending, but considering the circumstantial nature, I *think* it's supposed to be intended...but I do agree with you: This could be clearer!


Why do the blast types changing the damage to electricity cost a spell point and any others don't?


That's... not really correct. Quite a few of the new blast types in this handbook cost a spell point to use. That said, the usual answer is "because of the rider effects". Things like the Shock Blast's Dazed rider or the Static Blast's ranged, accurate Disarm chance are fairly powerful, and as such they're more expensive than a 'standard' blast would be.

Of course, you're free to design a blast yourself if you want to use electricity without spending spell points all the time - the book has a table for that, and it'll tell you whether or not it ought to have a spell point cost. ^^


Now that you've mentioned that, there ARE other types with spell point costs... ^^'

It's just that I looked at the Shock Blast first, realized it has a spell point cost, couldn't remember if this were the case in the original SoP, looked at the other electricity one Static Blast and at (most of) the others and didn't see any one with spell point costs.

Anyway, thanks for this fast answer and yeah, the dazing effect is convincing.


You're welcome. ^^ Feel free to ask if you have any other questions.


Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Are abilities for Sphere casters that say they scale with your level instead of your caster level intended to scale with your class level or character level?

Class level seems like the obvious answer since that's how the base rules work in most cases, but then Spheres tend to work off your caster level which was changed to explicitly stack so that multi-class casters are more viable, so I'm really not sure what the RAI is.

Specifically, I really want to make a multiclass Armorist (Blaster) / Mageknight (Doomblade), but I'm not sure how to interpret the level scaling.

Arm Cannon: "The arm cannon is a ranged weapon that makes ranged touch attacks, and deals 1d6 bludgeoning damage +1d6 at 5th level and every four levels beyond 5th... In all other ways, the arm cannon counts as a destructive blast from the Destruction sphere with a caster level equal to the armorist’s level."

Destructive Blade: "Rather than having its power determined by the doomblade’s caster level, the destructive blade always treats the doomblade’s level as its caster level."

My expected reading of those features is that they'd scale by class level only, but that seems directly in conflict with how the system works and would be pretty disappointing.

My best guess for the RAI is actually that you're supposed to treat your class level as your caster level for those abilities, but it stacks normally with caster levels from other sources, such that, for example, a 4 Armorist / 6 Doomblade would have a caster level of 7 for Arm Cannon (3 + 6/2) and 8 for Destructive Blade (4 + 4/2), but that's not really supported by the RAW.


Both of those are interesting in that they give you higher-than-normal progression with the abilities.

That said, while talents generally stack caster levels, class abilities don't. You actually need to progress your class level to improve those abilities. (This helps to prevent strange ability-stacking scenarios where someone could get a ton of boosts to something by getting a wide variety of different class powers that all add up.)


Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Yeah, that was my assumption of the RAW. It's unfortunate that that's RAI, I much prefer the design decisions in the classes and archetypes that treat their improved progression as a higher caster level progression for the ability. The whole beauty of the Spheres system in my eyes is the cross-compatibility.

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