Dynastic Races Compendium (PFRPG) PDF

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Races from Lands of History and Mystery!
Indulge in races from lands of history and mystery like never before with the Dynastic Races Compendium, by Everyman Gaming, LLC. Designed to be the ultimate guide on races commonly found in lands ruled by dynastic legacy and ancient mysticism, the Dynastic Races Compendium provides players and GMs with the ultimate resource for including capricious kitsune, proud nagaji, ancient samsarans, and shifty wayangs into their Pathfinder Roleplaying Game adventures!

The Dynastic Races Compendium includes:
— Over a dozen pages detailing each of the four dynastic races, including common bits of information, biology and physiology, culture, religion, origin stories, and more.
— A special article pertaining to some unique aspect of each dynastic race, including kyubi kitsune and day-seeking wayangs.
— 20 all-new alternate racial traits for each race, designed specifically to support the new lore provided.
— Alternate favored class bonus options for 30 different Pathfinder Roleplaying Game classes and alternate classes, including fan favorites like the occult classes and the vigilante.
— Archetypes and class options themed around each race, many of which are available to all characters from these mysterious lands.
— New feats designed to supplement the dynastic races and capture their unique culture and values.
— New spells pioneered by the dynastic races, many of which appear in their ancient myths and legends.
— New character traits and drawbacks designed to help players place their kitsune, nagaji, samsaran, and wayang characters in the world.
— Tables designed to help determine age, height, weight, and background for kitsune, nagaji, samsarans, and wayangs
— And much more!

With Everyman Gaming, innovation is never more than a page away!

Page Count: 202

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An Endzeitgeist.com review

5/5

This MASSIVE sourcebook clocks in at 165 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 2 pages of editorial/ToC, 4 pages of SRD, 3 pages of advertisement, 1.5 pages of KS-backer-thanks, leaving us with 152.5 pages of content, so let's take a look!

This review was moved up in my review-queue as a prioritized review at the request of my patreons.

So, what is this? Well, first of all, this would be a massive sourcebook that takes 4 races of the PFRPG-game and provides the details we always craved; two of these have been covered before - namely the Kitsune and Samsarans, in their respective compendiums - if I am not mistaken, roughly 90% of the content from these books should be available herein as well. However, this is more than a partial rehash of previous material: Instead, we gain massively expanded content. Beyond the previously noted two races, this pdf also takes a look at the nagaji and wayang, two races, which, much like the samsarans, have received basically no love whatsoever.

Now, as some of you may have noticed, I have a very firmly-held conviction that races are more than the sum of a couple of racial traits. At least, for me, they better should be. A race that is not human should have a distinct culture, a distinct outlook and, hopefully, some unique mechanics...but these alone do not make a race. Hence, I was less than enthused by the way PFRPG introduced a wide variety of races without really contextualizing them in a cultural context. This was changed for the two aforementioned races when Everyman Gaming released the respective compendiums - the attention to detail and lore provided for the races suddenly made me actually enjoy both kitsune and samsarans, two races I previously did not even consider introducing to me game.

How did those pdfs, and by extension, this book, achieve such a goal? Simple: By writing an actually believable ecology and psychology for the races into them, by elevating them from the status of just collections of stats. Now, the respective racial write-ups do replicate the stats for these races, obviously, but beyond them, we are taught about psychology (loyalty, shapechanging and a kitsune's trickster-reputation can make for intriguing combos), their life cycle, internal and external physiology and more: Coming of age, childhood, falling in love, death, clothing habits, what one can expect from the respective race's communities...heck, we even get to know about clothing, cuisine, familial structures, languages and the stances towards other races - the attention to detail exhibited here is a beauty to behold, the prose crisp and 5 truths and falsehoods commonly associated with the race represent fun stereotypes to play with.

Beyond that, the races also sport ethnicities, which is a big plus as far as I'm concerned: polar fox kitsune? Yep Black- or White-furred ones? Included. This whole section also features the respective alternate racial traits commonly associated with the ethnicity, adding crunchy components to the massive flavor. Speaking of flavor: What about diversified and unique origin myths and, indeed, even deities? Heck, the pdf does talk about chakras, mythic ascension and the like within the context of the respective races, generating an overall sense of holistic coverage basically never seen in gaming supplements...and yes, I am aware that I have so far not talked about the crunch supporting these extended ethnologies - there is a reason for that, namely that it has been collected in its own chapter - which, to me, is a good idea, organization-wise, but more on that later.

Now, I previously touched upon the kitsune and while this book does provide significantly more material than previously released, I'd like to spend a few lines talking about the nagaji: Their culture is noted as xenophobic and based on might makes right, but also values experience as a crucial factor - we learn that the nagaji do not worship nagas...and no, they do not hatch from eggs and they actually have a sense of humor. It is interesting to note that the revulsion often sparked by their snake-like appearance can be one of the reasons they have a reputation for being no-nonsense and xenophobic - when interacting with species likely to potentially want to kill you, you do become a bit...let's say...cautious.

The life cycle is interesting to observe as well, as moulting and birthdays are touched upon and the reserved traditions for love and death similarly fit seamlessly into a vision of a highly structured and traditional society, basing them on fictionalized Asian cultures, but with enough twists to make them more than simply a reptilian version of real life cultures - instead, we basically have a race on our hands that can be summed up as a logical consequence of the respective cultural components interacting in a concise manner. Less verbosely: I can picture them existing, which is a feat in and of itself. Eel-like or cobra-headed nagaji and those seemingly descendant from nagas in their coloration and heritage add an interesting caste-like structure to their society that adds further adventuring potential and local color.

Beyond all of this, the tradition of scale bindi, adorning one's chakras, makes for a flavorful and potentially very rich collection of culturally distinct signifiers.

The samsarans, if you recall my review of that race's original compendium, aren't a race I was particularlyl fond of: The lopsided racial traits and powers made them not interesting to me, a fact Alexander Augunas changed back then - the race, with its unique psychology and outlook on life and its focus on constant reincarnation, renders the race's expanded lore one of the most successful examples of excellent storytelling in crunch-design I have seen in quite a while - the way in which their unique mythology and psychology shapes their cultures and the attention to detail provided therein render the samsarans as presented herein significantly more compelling than what the sum of their crunchy bits would suggest. The logic employed throughout the pdf is also extended towards the concept of ethnicities, codifying them for samsarans by whether they're awakened, slumbering, reborn - you get the idea. And yes, reborn samsarans get their own set of racial traits, deeply aligned with Occult Adventures, as befitting of a race with these esoteric themes.

Beyond the philosophy of samsarism, the wheel of rebirth is fully elaborated upon as well in this section, making for an overall extremely compelling reading experience...but many of you may have guessed that. If you're like me, the race that will probably have you guessing the most would be the wayang - only recently introduced and bereft of predecessors in the traditional sense, the race very much felt like tabula rasa to me - so how has its void been filled?

Well, the wayang as depicted herein are shy and reclusive and, somewhat akin to e.g. the Aztecs, they expect life to e painful and full of toil; they also place a high value on survival and their discomfort in daylight obviously has significant repercussions regarding their culture and racial psychology. Indeed, from the wayang's perspective, they have been exiled and damned to an existence in a world that is unerringly hostile to them, instilling a significant amount of Weltschmerz, quite literally, into their culture. A general distrust of curiosity is also a trait only rarely touched upon in cultural write-ups, but one that can provide a lot of interesting food for roleplaying interaction.

The alien nature of wayang also is represented in their physiology and life cycle, as we learn that they are born blind...and while they are pretty glum, at least for me as a goth, I consider their pessimism at least partially amusing - with love vows like "I will love you to the day my soul dissolves into the eternal shadow of night...and beyond.", which frankly could have been spouted by particularly kitschy, lovestruck fellows of my sub-culture...so yeah, while you can play them as angsty guys, there is an inherent melancholy and romanticism here, one that the right player can showcase with a wink. Dining etiquette and familial structures similarly are taken into consideration, as the book enumerates the consequences of the deeply-ingrained cultural belief of being stranded in a thoroughly hostile environment. Have you btw. known that their boogeymen, unsurprisingly, would be the lurkers in light?

Unique scarification techniques set e.g. the beber wayang ethnicity apart, while gedong wayangs limit this practice to their faces, giving them a unique, mask-like appearance. Indeed, body modifications, from split tongues to implants and brandings set the respective ethnicities apart in rather intriguing procedures. The tragic history of the race and their philosophy, the "Dissolution, road to the eternal night", can also be found herein: Big kudos, btw. - the racial philosophy, while tied to nihilism, is for once not evil. Oh...and then there would be the dayseekers...but most wayang will be loathe to talk about those folks...for good reason, if you have read the origin myth...but a great way to play a wayang distinct from the traditional racial ideology.

Okay, so I mentioned that I consider the structure of this book smart: Well, at this point, we have pretty much covered the first 100 pages of this tome and everything that follows is rock-hard CRUNCH, which makes this a rather dense book in that regard The structure employed in this chapter is as follows: We begin with alternate racial traits for the respective races, as well as the favored class options, in sequence. The astute reader will recognize, however, that the latter does cover newer classes like vigilante and occult classes, which constitutes a big plus. Alternate attribute arrays can also be found herein, with e.g. the kitsune getting an option for a mental, lopsided +2 Wisdom and Charisma - not the biggest fan there, but oh well. on the plus side, favored class options and alternate racial traits actually make use of the respective unique options and themes represented by the race. It should also be noted that, in spite of the sheer massive density in this section. bonus types generally are very concisely defined - while there are a precious few instances where the bonus remains untyped, for the most part, this is impressively concise, as we've come to expect from Everyman Gaming. Other nitpicks here, purely cosmetic, would pertain e.g. the italicization of ki, which is inconsistent in single abilities...but then again, it is inconsistent throughout the whole gaming oeuvre, so consider this me just being a nitpicky prick. Nagaji can become masters of exotic arms via traits, gaining a thankfully limited charming gaze or increased potency when handling poisonous magic. Samsarans "slumbering" still can benefit from a variety of base racial traits, aligning them with more common races and further diversifying the concept for the player (and allowing for awakening storylines...), while the propensity of the wayang for scarifications and body-mods can yield a surprising diversity of pretty cool options as well.

Once we have taken all of that in (and believe me, it's a LOT!), we move on to the significant cadre of racial archetypes. Now, as much as I'd like to go into details regarding each and everyone one of them, that would bloat the review even further and wouldn't be too helpful, so, in all brevity, let's take a look at the options: The (nagaji - the archetype works for everyone) paragonchemist basically gains a variety of mutagen, the paragogen, which heightens one aspect of the racial attributes at the cost of others, emphasizing the notion of becoming a heightened, more pronounced version of one's race's virtues. There are arcanist exploits that allow for the temporary switching of how subjects react to positive and negative energy (really cool!), distort magical illumination or hijack polymorph effects - unique and make sense, as far as I'm concerned. Rage power-wise, we get poisonous bites and raging/shapechanging combos. A total of 6 bardic masterpieces can be found herein, tying into the respective racial components - from the eternal cycle, represented in two of them, to Sun's Requiem, these are neat.

The bloddrager kitsune bloodline features the kumiho form and spellcraft and the high-level option to snatch the beating heart from the chest of your opponents. Badass! The guru cleric represents an investigator/cleric-crossover with diminished spellcasting, while the scripture-scribed priest takes the wayang obsession with body mods and applies it religiously: Less domains, but they etch their spells into their own bodies...they may later even scribe scrolls into their body - to resume my asinine nitpicking: In one of the book's rare glitches, a spell-reference here in not italicized, but that remains a purely aesthetic glitch. The book also features 3 subdomains: Agriculture, Kami and Manasaputra - all of these are balanced and bereft of complaints from yours truly.

The dancing blade would be a fighter with panache and deeds. Okay, I guess. The reincarnated hunter is really interesting - slightly diminished in spellcasting, they can tap into past lives, gaining abilities based on previous lives when tapping into them. Interesting, if strong option. The skulker hunter gains the slayer's studied target and a modified spell list. Inquisitors may elect to gain the communal guardian archetype, gaining a kind of collective-like bond with tactician-like tricks. The shapeshifter hunter inquisitor should be pretty self-explanatory. Two brief investigator talents are part of the deal and the enthraller mesmerist gets a fascination-style gaze instead of 1st level's mesmerist trick, which higher levels enforcing further the charming/fascination focus, replacing the touch treatment tree of abilities. The kyubi visionary monk, unsurprisingly, blends SPs with martial arts and the higher level option to use ki to refresh the SPs. The monk of a million lives is pretty cool and focuses on reincarnation and also features Childhood Adventures-tie-in. The serpent-fire discipline represents a kineticist/monk crossover...and frankly, I'm not the biggest fan of this one, as flurry + blast =...ouch. So yeah, I wouldn't consider this one a good idea for grittier games.

The formless ninja kitsune archetype focuses on shapechanging and ninja tricks allow for wildcard combat feats as well as trapping the souls of the slain. The nine-tailed mystic oracle focuses on the Magical tail engine for the kitsune. Oracles can also choose the reincarnation oracle mystery. The seinaru paladin replaces the aura tree of abilities with potent banners and a wide array of rogue talents are geared towards letting them choose boons, panache, etc., with advanced talents providing limited hex access. The wandering swordsman would be a finesse, defensive samurai. The Jiuweihu shaman uses the kitsune star jewel concept and, once again, the tail-engine. The spirit seer shaman is a minor modification. 2 slayer talents are included and sorcerors can choose to become reincarnated sorcerors, with the kitsune bloodline being provided as an additional option...and if that's not far-out enough, what about the kyubi mutated kitsune bloodline or the nogitsune bloodline based on the oni bloodline?

The caller of ancient fangs spiritualist gains a modified naga phantom and a modified spell-list, but these may only be cast (at least until 10th level) while the phantom is within the character's consciousness and the phantom does not grant the Skill Focus of its emotional focus. The concept of the ronin is represented via a swashbuckler archetype. Vigilantes with the wildsoul archetype may choose the vulpine natural course, which combines evil eye and feinting for cool combo game-play. The new witch-hexes include the jewel-bound familiar (the basis for aforementioned star jewel) or the option to assume the form of a past life.

Part II of my review can be found here!


Very Inspirational - Highly Recommended

5/5

I purchased this book to learn more lore of for the Samsaran race, and was not disappointed! Alex Augunas put together a very well written book on the origins, cultures & beliefs for 4 races available to Pathfinder players. They were very thought provoking and provided many seeds for excellent role-playing.
If you want to role up a Kitsune, Nagaji, Samsaran, or Wayang, consider this title to create a well fleshed out character. I cannot recommend enough!


Great Race Resource

5/5

This is a *massive* book (compared to most race books) covering four races--the kitsune, nagaji, samsaran, and wayang--in considerable depth. It contains about 150 pages worth of good stuff for these four races.

What kind of stuff? Well, it has two major sections, the race description section and the character options section. The race description section goes through each race in great detail, broken down into a number of subheadings:

*Facts and Falsehoods, each one having five commonly known facts and five commonly believed myths about each race.
*Life as a X, describing such things as physiology and life cycles for each race (including cool art sequences of a character of the race over their lifetime).
*X culture, covering the culture and relations of each race. As a 3rd-party supplement they can't talk specifically about Golarion lore, but most of the culture and such transfers without any problem.
*X ethnicities, detailing a variety of different ethnicities for each race, also with some great art illustrating them
*X origins, relating a few different origin myths for the race, great for mining ideas about the kinds of stories a race tells about itself.
*X religion, describing a god or philosophy that could be common among the race. Again, these aren't Golarion deities, so there's some translation required if you're playing on Golarion, but it's still good for idea mining.
*A section unique to each race, such as kyubi (multi-tailed kitsune) or reincarnation for the samsaran

After this section is the character options section, which is packed full of alternate racial traits, feats, archetypes, favored class options, and more. There's far too much to review, but the sheer quantity means that just about anyone playing one of the four races detailed can probably find something they'd like to use. Some of the options are even open to other races, being more Asian-mythology themed rather than something specific to a race.

Last is an appendix which includes starting ages and aging charts, height and weight charts, and random background generation charts.

All in all, there's a lot of great stuff in this book!


Contributor

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After an extremely successful Kickstarter and six months of intensive work, the Dynastic Races Compendium is now available at Paizo.com!

Thanks Chris & Rick!


Blast! And I just paid off something big too. Oh well, if I must wait a few more days than I must.

Good luck with this Mister Augunas, I'm looking forward to hearing about it here and getting a copy.

Contributor

Eric Hinkle wrote:
Blast! And I just paid off something big too. Oh well, if I must wait a few more days than I must.

That's okay! I'm sure Paizo will keep your copy warm for you while we wait. ^_^

Quote:
Good luck with this Mister Augunas, I'm looking forward to hearing about it here and getting a copy.

Here's hoping there's more discussion! Its a REALLY big book (164 pages of content, plus an appendix, index, OGL, and so on) so it might take time for people to read through it and talk about it.


I've skimmed it. I definitely appreciate the Kitsune art. The other art is good too, but... I supported the Kickstarter mostly for the Kitsune art. :D I'll have to set aside some time to give it a thorough reading and then write up a review!

Contributor

Almonihah wrote:
I've skimmed it. I definitely appreciate the Kitsune art. The other art is good too, but... I supported the Kickstarter mostly for the Kitsune art. :D

To each their own! I know plenty of people were really excited to see kitsune of different ethnicities—the arctic kitsune especially was a popular one.

I really like the nagaji art in the book myself—VERY colorful and diverse compared to what you traditionally see for nagaji. (They tend to be portrayed as all green, all the time, despite their connections to a very diverse creature type.)

Quote:
I'll have to set aside some time to give it a thorough reading and then write up a review!

Great! Please do—every review helps another customer decided whether or not to pick up the book!

Contributor

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Just as a heads-up, there WILL be a print version of the Dynastic Races Compendium, and it is glorious. (You can watch me unbox the first proof copy here.)

RGG and I are still talking about how we're going to handle print availability with Paizo and the Open Gaming Store. Its a big book that's more expensive to ship, and its possible that it wouldn't be cost-effective to keep it anywhere. We're still exploring the economics of it.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Alexander Augunas wrote:

I really like the nagaji art in the book myself—VERY colorful and diverse compared to what you traditionally see for nagaji. (They tend to be portrayed as all green, all the time, despite their connections to a very diverse creature type.)

I hadn't taken a very close look at it, but now that I do, yes, that's very cool! The differences in their head shapes and scales in addition to coloration are a nice touch. The wayang and samsaran art is pretty neat, too.

But I still admit to being rather biased towards the kitsune art, given the fun I've had with such characters already.

Contributor

Almonihah wrote:
Alexander Augunas wrote:

I really like the nagaji art in the book myself—VERY colorful and diverse compared to what you traditionally see for nagaji. (They tend to be portrayed as all green, all the time, despite their connections to a very diverse creature type.)

I hadn't taken a very close look at it, but now that I do, yes, that's very cool! The differences in their head shapes and scales in addition to coloration are a nice touch. The wayang and samsaran art is pretty neat, too.

But I still admit to being rather biased towards the kitsune art, given the fun I've had with such characters already.

Its perfectly alright to like one race more than others! That's why the Dynastic Races Compendium has four races in it instead of just one. (My experience with the samsaran section was that they weren't as popular as the kitsune, and my market research led me to believe that wayangs and nagaji were less popular than either of them. But by pooling them all together, hopefully everyone can see the race they want to see while being inclined to check out races they wouldn't normally look at.

Also, thanks for the review!


You're welcome! Hopefully it's helpful. I'm not nearly as practiced at writing RPG supplement reviews as video game reviews.

Contributor

Almonihah wrote:
You're welcome! Hopefully it's helpful. I'm not nearly as practiced at writing RPG supplement reviews as video game reviews.

You know, I often find that honest reviews are the most effective—people want to see what other consumers liked and didn't like about a product so they can decide for themselves whether those points are important to them.

Like, someone who wants wayang content isn't going to care for the person who gushes for a full paragraph about the kyubi spread. When it comes to "ordinary people" (as in not review Superstars like Endzeitgeist or Luthorne), must customers are more than pleased by something like what you posted for us.

Thanks again!


Glad to be of service, then. :)


I look forward to purchasing this as soon as it's available in print.


Any word yet on a print edition?

Contributor

Jon Shelky wrote:

Any word yet on a print edition?

They're available on DriveThru as a POD product, but Owen and I are still discussing the economics of offering them at Paizo. Apparently Owen has this industry-changing product that's coming out and is taking almost all of his waking hours. ;-P

So yes, it is on the list but realistically we both need to be in a more stable place before we discuss it more. If you are antsy, I recommend DriveThru RPG.


Alexander Augunas wrote:
Jon Shelky wrote:

Any word yet on a print edition?

They're available on DriveThru as a POD product, but Owen and I are still discussing the economics of offering them at Paizo. Apparently Owen has this industry-changing product that's coming out and is taking almost all of his waking hours. ;-P

So yes, it is on the list but realistically we both need to be in a more stable place before we discuss it more. If you are antsy, I recommend DriveThru RPG.

Actually I only see it on DriveThru as a PDF.

Contributor

Jon Shelky wrote:
Alexander Augunas wrote:
Jon Shelky wrote:

Any word yet on a print edition?

They're available on DriveThru as a POD product, but Owen and I are still discussing the economics of offering them at Paizo. Apparently Owen has this industry-changing product that's coming out and is taking almost all of his waking hours. ;-P

So yes, it is on the list but realistically we both need to be in a more stable place before we discuss it more. If you are antsy, I recommend DriveThru RPG.

Actually I only see it on DriveThru as a PDF.

Huh, weird. Let me check in with RGG and see what's up.

Contributor

I checked in with Rogue Genius Games, and the problem has been resolved!

We're looking into getting a couple print copies into Paizo's Warehouse, but I don't currently have an ETA on how long that'll take. In the meantime, you're free to pick up a hardback copy here!.

Contributor

Thanks for reviewing, Severia! I'm glad you enjoyed the flavor content for the samsarans especially. They were a lot of fun to write just because their life cycles are so different.


Does this include the material from Samsaran and Kitsune compendium?


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the xiao wrote:
Does this include the material from Samsaran and Kitsune compendium?

Yes, and more! (Can confirm, I backed it.)

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
the xiao wrote:
Does this include the material from Samsaran and Kitsune compendium?

90% of it, yes. There are a couple archetypes or class archetypes from each book that I didn't have space for because of one reason or another, but mostly everything in those books is in the Dynastic Races Compendium.

Granted, all of the flavor has been polished and expanded on heavily, but it is there!


I didn't know it was out, but I'm out of cash for hobbies right now. Christmas bonus is getting thinner every day LOL!

Contributor

the xiao wrote:
I didn't know it was out, but I'm out of cash for hobbies right now. Christmas bonus is getting thinner every day LOL!

That's okay, we'll wait for you! :D


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Part II of my review

Beyond this massive chapter of archetypes, we also gain a ton of racial feats: For example, the Body Modification feat, which alone spans almost a page, providing subdermal implants, neck elongation and more - here I can once again nitpick something - while it is easy to default to the standard, I would have appreciated the codification of a bite attack as primary here. Speaking of nitpicks: Technically, only the base feat of a chain of Style-feats gets the style-descriptor, since these generally requires actions to initiate, so while I love the styles herein, the descriptors they use are a bit misleading. This is a bit puzzling, considering that there are Styles that get this right herein. Equipment tricks for kitsune star gems can be found and the helpful sidebar regarding the optional remedial shapechanging rules makes a return - nice!

Forced and voluntary theriocephic transformations, detecting shapechangers, magical representations of ghostlights and ancestral spirits, rebirth (a better reincarnate with more control) and the like make for some solid spells and a ton of race traits (ALL with proper bonus types!!!), some nice religion traits and drawbacks complement this section and before you ask: The appendices help as well: Age, height and weight tables for all races; background rules for the races (see Ultimate Campaign), rp-breakdowns for the races and a detailed two-page index complement the book, making navigation easy.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, considering the length of this book: While a few hiccups can be found, they generally are aesthetic and do not wreck the integrity of the crunch - as expected from master Alexander Augunas, the rules-language is very crisp and precise. Layout adheres to a two-column full-color standard and features a metric ton of original Jacob Blackmon artwork - the aesthetic vision is pretty holistic and seamless and in particularly the representations of the racial ethnicities deserve applause. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. I cannot comment on the qualities or lack thereof of the print version, since I do not own it.

Alexander Augunas' Dynastic Races Compendium ranks as one of the best racial books I have read for any iteration of a d20-based game. While not every little component herein is pitch-perfect, the holistic vision exhibited herein has managed to take 4 races I did not like in their original iteration and made me really cherish them - never before have Kitsune, Samsarans, Wayang or Nagaji felt so alive, so organic, so worthwhile. Fans of these races will consider this a no-brainer anyway, but frankly, this is worth getting if you're like me and hated crunch-only races, if you always wanted races to make sense. The depth of the cultures herein make them all practically demand being included in your game - their unique outlooks and worldviews, their cultures and traditions practically jump from the page. The prose is captivating and, even better, the crunch supports the complex and rich cultures presented within this book. In case you haven't noticed: This should be considered to be a "This is how it's done" for racial books; this attention to detail and realism, in lack of a better word, is what makes races work, what captures the imagination.

In short: Even if you consider the races herein lame, give this book a shot - as mentioned before, I very much went into these books disliking them all and ended up a convert, if you will: I can't wait to have my PCs encounter these unique cultures. My final verdict, unsurprisingly, will clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval.

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

Endzeitgeist out.

Contributor

Thank you for the in-depth review, End!


You're welcome. master Augunas - thanks for making such a great tome!!


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That's one great review, End! I hope you think of much as the sequel(?) to this one, the Kyubi Paragon racial prestige class, whenever you can get to it. I'm about to post my own review, and I think it's great.

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Eric Hinkle wrote:
That's one great review, End! I hope you think of much as the sequel(?) to this one, the Kyubi Paragon racial prestige class, whenever you can get to it. I'm about to post my own review, and I think it's great.

Expansion on the kyubi stuff? (Sort of.) It's not really a sequel to the whole book as much as it is a more codified set of rules for the kyubi stuff.


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Alexander Augunas wrote:
Eric Hinkle wrote:
That's one great review, End! I hope you think of much as the sequel(?) to this one, the Kyubi Paragon racial prestige class, whenever you can get to it. I'm about to post my own review, and I think it's great.
Expansion on the kyubi stuff? (Sort of.) It's not really a sequel to the whole book as much as it is a more codified set of rules for the kyubi stuff.

Whatever, I am delighted that you made it not only possible for kitsune players to make a nine-tails, but even non-spellcasters can do so and get some great options out of it.


I finally got this one and I love it. I mostly got it for the kitsune information, but the sections on the nagaji, samsarans, and wayang were wonderful work as well. Especially the parts on their cultures and how they handle weddings, births, funerals, and all the rest. Part of me wants to have some PCs get asked or hired to 'rescue' some poor lad from being made into "human soup" at a kitsune wedding. Hopefully they'd do some recon before charging in, swords and spells flying.

Given how the nagaji feel about their naga rulers, I wonder how they'd feel about the much more malicious Serpent People if they ever met them?

I have one question about the kitsune alternate racial traits. Under the 'Aurora Magic' it says that the kitsune choosing it treats her caster level as +1 higher when casting pattern spells. They also get color spray 1/day, and it replaces agile. Something about that last part sounds odd to me. Was it perhaps originally written as 'replaces kitsune magic' instead? It just feels more 'correct' that way.

I'll have to do a review for this one.

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