This installment of the Animal Races-series clock in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 6 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
Much like prior installments to this series, we herein receive rules for PCs belonging to one of the tightly and concisely-presented animal clans, with deer therians this time being the focus of attention. The first choice this highly modular therian race offers would be the size – medium or small. Medium deer receive +2 Wis, -2 Int. Small deer receive +2 Wis, -2 Str. medium deer have a base speed of 30 ft, small ones only 20 ft. They are humanoids with the faun subtype – which is a bit odd, since the other installments of the series used the adlet subtype – why introduce another subtype? The members of clan deer also receive low-light vision, natural armor +1 (scales up to +2 at 10th level), scent, a gore attack at one step below what would be standard for the creature-size and selection from 4 different clans.
Deer Clan members receive +2 to Dex and may choose to select the deer clan racial heritage feat as a ranger combat style feat. Members of the Elk clan receive +2 Str and may choose to select the deer clan racial heritage feat as a ranger combat style feat. Musk Deer Clan members receive +2 to Dex and may choose to select the racial heritage feat instead of a rage power. Reindeer receive +2 to Con and may choose to select the racial heritage feat as a ranger combat style feat. The clan heritage feat may be chosen 5 times, with increased gore damage output and movement, hooves and finally, after the 5th time, the ability Hard to Catch of the liberation domain, with additional uses equal to the character level. As a pretty cool idea, a feat allows members of clan deer to use the antlers as an unholy symbol and be treated as cold iron, evil and lawful for the purposes of DR – ouch and quite frankly, slightly overpowered, but also pretty iconic!
Much like the other clan-pdfs, we also receive excessive information on the genealogy of the clan, the folklore and receive a small write-up of the racial deity Cerunnos and once again, traits may be exchanged for bonus feats at the cost of penalties to saves or initiative.
Editing and formatting are very good, there is not much to complain about here. Layout adheres to a very crisp and concise two-column b/w-standard with cool heraldic crests and stock art mixed. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.
Eric Morton’s Clan of the Deer is one of the coolest, most iconic animal race-pdfs so far – from the smart ideas to the excellent execution, the deer herein are stunning indeed – and somewhat frightening. This review is admittedly rather scarce on the fluff, but rest assured that this is intentional – this pdf manages to make deer-humanoids inspiring and I simply don’t want to spoil the means by which it does that. A truly unique rendition of the concept, even my own skepticism regarding the new subtype does not mar this pdf, being cosmetic at best. My final verdict will hence clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval.
You can get this awesome installment of the series here on OBS!