|Rick Kunz Webstore Coordinator|
Conclusion of my review:
Editing is very good on a formal and rules-language level – particularly regarding the density of this book, I was duly impressed. Same can’t be said about the formatting of the rules-components, which often deviates from the established standards. A thorough check in that regard would have helped the book. Layout adheres to the 2-column full-color standard of the series, and artworks are solid stock art. EDIT: There has been an issue, where not all tables had been bookmarked correctly. The publisher Adam Meyer has responded swiftly and fixed that! Kudos indeed!
I do NOT envy Andrew Stoeckle the epic task that the completion of this book must have been. Writing basically 76 pages of mechanically relevant tables for the spheres, taking all the peculiarities of spheres and how differently they operate from another into account, must have been a truly daunting task. Particularly since chaos magic is already a difficult subject: You have to be volatile and chaotic without being too random; you have to walk the tightrope between benefits and penalties…and if you overshoot in one direction, it’ll be called OP; in the other direction, no one will use it. Chaos Magic is hard.
Particularly considering that premise, it’s pretty baffling when you stop for a moment and think about it –this book could have just slapped “you get chaos magic access” on all Spheres base classes and be done with it. The first three tables would have sufficed, done. Most freelancers would have probably opted for that option. Instead of this, the book pretty much is the definition of going not one, but several extra miles. The archetypes presented within are not simple “slap chaos magic on xyz”- options; and we get not only the expected standard tables, but a vast, ginormous array of them! And they actually are genuinely distinct in tone, in rules employed, etc. Some effects are very potent, some are devastating, and some are just genuinely funny and unique.
This, in short, is the most impressive chaos magic book I’ve seen for PFRPG. my final verdict will clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval…and while the formatting isn't as tight as it should be, this nonetheless represents a tremendous design achievement, and now, with bookmarks completely there, this also gets a nomination for my Top Ten of 2018. While nominally, the formatting snafus alone would usually drag this down to 4.5-stars terrain at least, the book is so chockfull with amazing stuff, oozes passion to such a degree, feels so genuinely fun and inspired, that anything short of 5 stars + seal of approval would be an atrocious injustice to this gem.