|Rick Kunz Webstore Coordinator
Part II of my review:
Beyond this, we have a fey domain (with Seelie/Unseelie subdomains) and 2 incanter specializations – for 2 points, fey servants, and for 3 points a sphere-specialization. Warpriests and (unchained) rogues also get a bit of material. There are alternate racial traits for more fey-ish races included, as well as two properly codified traits, which both are mechanically relevant and not boring. Two different traditions, the ley-line tapper and elf-shot hunter can be found alongside two general drawbacks. Some sphere-specific drawbacks would have been nice to see.
The magic item section includes a compass that points to the closest fairy ring while in the land of the fey; we also have an item-based version of aforementioned stagger-inducing music trick, thankfully retaining the anti-abuse caveat. We also have bells that notify you of gremlins and rules for the sphere in conjunction with the crafting rules. A neat CR 1 and CR ½ gremlin, as well as concise and well-presented rules for fairy rings, travelling through the lands of the fey etc. may be found within as well, and the book closes with some solid advice for applying fey-themes in your campaign – helpful thoughts to consider, basically.
Editing and formatting are not as well-executed as usual for Drop Dead Studios; while the material as a whole remains functional and often admirably precise in the details, there are a few aspects that have a somewhat compromising effect on the overall integrity of the material within. A bit of refinement and a careful pass has the potential to make this a true gem, though. (Indeed, capable GMs can benefit from this book in its entirety right now, though some minor judgment calls may be required.) The pdf adheres to the series’ two-column full-color standard, and the pdf sports a couple of solid full-color artworks. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.
I really appreciate what Andrew Stoeckle did here – the base-engine of the sphere is interesting, in that is super-lenient regarding its action economy, but punishing regarding its costs. This is a smart way of handling the design here, and it makes the sphere feel very DIFFERENT from the other spheres – and I certainly enjoy that! The respective abilities often ooze flavor and made me smile time and again. I’m not sure whether the issues I noticed are due to version-conflicts or simple oversights, but particularly considering the unique action economy situation, there needs to be some serious clarification regarding the interaction of sharing fey-blessings. That being said, if you take this one crucial component away, the remainder of the book provides often evocative and interesting benefits. As a whole, I feel justified (though, admittedly, barely) in rounding up from my final verdict of 3.5 stars, with the express hope that the sphere will receive the fine-tuning it deserves to shine as it should.
Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS, etc.