This Everyman Mini clocks in at 7 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2.5 pages of SRD, leaving us with 2.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
So, in case you’re new regarding the concept of power components: These are basically optional material components that may be applied to the casting of spells to change them in intriguing and novel ways. I really love the concept, and if you enjoy it as well and think that it makes magic feel more magical and rewards clever players, well, then you’re in luck: Rite Publishing’s has a book full of them, and Playground Adventures’ excellent Creature Components book similarly should be considered to be an excellent purchase.
Anyhow, this one focuses on alchemical power components and presents the base rules in a concise and meaningful manner: In short, they are expended, and effects, if any require one, employ the save DC of the spell enhanced via the optional material component. Here’s a cool thing: This humble pdf takes alchemical items that already exist and adds further depth to them by codifying them as power components.
Okay, so far, so good – but what do these alchemical items do when used to complement spells? Well, for example, when taking blood-clotter salve and applying it to a cure spell, a target that suffers from a bleeding wound heals an additional +1d6 damage and the bleeding stops, with 3rd level spells and higher increasing that value. Cure spells targeting more than one being can apply the benefit to multiple targets, which is pretty damn cool and can potentially turn the tide of battle!
Bottled lightning can be applied to three different electricity-based spells: When used in conjunction with lightning bolts, it can magnetize affected targets temporarily; shocking grasp provides minor electricity arcs that affect adjacent opponents (really helpful at lower levels) and wandering star motes can gain the electricity descriptor (kudos for catching that!) and now also cause electricity damage, which makes all kinds of sense to me – I can see that modification. Adding defoliant to an entangle spell allows you to choose squares in the spell that are not affected, allowing for tighter tactical control. Love it!
Diamond dust vials added to gust of wind can blind targets on a failed Reflex save, and a similar upgrade may be made for snapdragon fireworks, though thankfully in a limited manner. Adding a gravelly tonic to a magic mouth allows the spell to demoralize a target in the trigger area – and yes, this accounts for the caster to have line of sight…or not. Flame arrow and spiritual weapon may be enhanced with holy weapon balm to inflict additional damage versus the undead and evil outsiders. Big kudos for not falling into the “holy damage trap” (does not exist in PF) – the damage type is concisely and professionally presented here!
With some impact foam, your mage armor not only provides minor DR/Slashing, but can also cushion your falls really well. Fire breath is twice as much fun with keros oil added – and suddenly, your enemies catch fire! Even cooler: Add the oil to obscuring mist and fire-based spells will cause the mist to go KABOOM! With summon monster creatures that have been enhanced with skyrocket fireworks, you’ll bring some fun to evil-doer slaying, as the creatures can have mini-fireworks explode upon hitting targets. And yes, I’m only scratching the surface here!
Editing and formatting are top-notch on a rules-language level, very good on a formal level – apart from minor typo-level hiccups (“blanach” instead of blanch), I noticed no hiccups. Layout adheres to the colorful two-column full-color standard of the series, with the artwork-borders. The new piece of art is nice. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.
Jen McTeague is a designer to watch – she has already created/contributed to quite a few files I loved. Unless I am sorely mistaken, she also tackled Everyman Minis: Esoteric Implements, and did so rather admirably! If this mini is an indicator, I expect great things: This humble little book makes alchemical items matter more and adds seriously cool, diverse and creative components to spellcasting. Not a single component herein is OP or mechanically problematic, and they all go beyond simple tweaks of base properties. In short, this is an inspired file, well worth 5 stars + seal of approval. Can we get more?
You can get these cool power components here on OBS!