This installment of Rogue Genius Games’ Advanced Options series clocks in at 12 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving s with 8 pages of content, so let’s take a look, shall we?
We begin this pdf with a brief introduction to the matter at hand, namely 16 blessings devoted to the terrain/animal-themed domains as presented in Ultimate Magic back in the day. Each of the blessings comes with a minor and a major ability, with e.g. the aquatic blessing netting a scaling bonus to swim checks for a limited time, while the mayor ability functions as a combined water breathing/freedom of movement – pretty useful! Now surprisingly, none of the blessings turned out to be clones of one another -take e.g. the arctic blessing: It nets the ability to grant allies cold damage and icewalking/spider climb and eliminates penalties when moving across ice. Now, one would assume a clone of that for deserts and badlands, right? Well, badland’s minor blessing allows for the traversal of rocky terrain and the major blessing nets you an earth elemental that also receives an array of unique spell-like abilities. Weapons blessed by the desert shed light and may dazzle foes on crits, while the mayor blessing helps movement through sand and also mitigates some of the detrimental terrain aspect. Yes, I can most definitely appreciate the variety here!
Natural armor and minor DR may look like obvious calls, but e.g. hide in plain sight via the crocodile’s blessing makes surprising sense and constitutes a cool benefit – especially since the obvious bite/death roll-combo was avoided, also a combo that simply is interesting. Becoming poisonous (sickened) as per the blessing of the frog or moving trackless through the jungle. This variety also extends to the animal-themed blessings – while there is a beast shape III-duplicating blessing, this by no way holds true for all animal-themed blessings: E.g. better squeezing through cramped spaces, improved pack/teamwork capacities…rather awesome.
Now even better would be the additional synergy-support fans of RGG get – a total of 8 blessings, with themes based on domains introduced in various RGG-supplements are also provided – now before you hiss and boo: All rules required to use these blessings are in here, so yes, even without the RGG-pdfs that inspired them, they retain fully autonomous functionality. Now the attunement blessing may be a bit too strong – allowing for range “you” spells to be applied at touch range is a pretty nasty trick, especially since it also allows you to ignore creature-type based restrictions – while not broken on its own, this one constitutes a pretty nasty snowball-effect that can be abused in pretty nasty combos – so regarding that one, one should be pretty careful. The cold iron blessings can randomly end defensive effects on targets based on fort-saves, which also feels a bit clunky to me – why not take CL/caster capacity into account? Now yes, the save is pretty conservative, but still. The fire/cold duality of the hellfire blade may be pretty cool…but also odd. Why? Because the original hellfire magic pdf establishes the damage of hellfire blasts of the domain as half fire, half acid – so internal consistency is a bit off here. Now this is easily fixed and does not detract from the blessing, but it is still something I felt obliged to mention.
The pdf also sports 5 feats – increasing DC by 1, additional blessings per day, longer durations – pretty standard. As an interesting option, a feat may be taken to ignore blessings altogether, instead increasing atk for all weapons with which the warpriest has Weapon Focus. The Anointed Blessing feat may be a bit too much – it allows you to freely choose the blessings based on the domains of your deity – you select them again every day from your deity’s portfolio. This wildcard-feat with its prereqs of Wis and Cha 13 feels too easy to get for my take. The significantly expanded additional flexibility simply requires a higher entry-barrier in my book.
Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to Rogue Genius Games’ 2-column standard with thematically-fitting stock-art in full color. The pdf is fully bookmarked and hyperlinked for your convenience.
Andrew Marlowe’s blessings are surprisingly awesome – the vast majority of them are downright inspired, cool and nasty – they breathe style and flair and complement the base-class more than well. The conscious decision to avoid bland clones must be applauded and over all, I considered this pdf to be surprisingly inspired! On the downside, the attunement blessing and one feat are too strong and the pdf does sport some rather minor issues. Now this should not detract from the fact that the vast majority of the content herein is inspired and cool. Hence, in spite of these complaints, I will settle on a final verdict of 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 for the purpose of this platform – just beware the few problematic bits.