EZG reviews Amazing Races: Svirfneblin
This installment of the Amazing Races-series is 4 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 2 pages for new options for the Svirfneblin, so let’s take a look, shall we?
To go on a short tangent: I consider the ARG’s Svirfneblin-race to be one of the most broken pieces of race-designing toxic waste to come out of the book. Now that that’s off my chest, let’s take a look at the new feats:
-Alchemical Wonderworker: Ignore caster level prereqs for Brew Potion and create a selection of wondrous item-types as if you had Craft Wondrous Item. You may also use Craft (Alchemy) instead of Spellcraft when creating potions or wondrous items.
-Expert Alchemy: + 5 to Craft (Alchemy) when creating potions or wondrous items.
-Stone-Faced: Sense Motive-check to get a hunch about your motives take a -10 penalty.
We also get 4 new traits for +1 to atk with alchemical weapons (but not bombs) and + 5ft range increment when throwing them, +5 to opposed charisma checks, +2 to Knowledge (Arcana) and Spellcraft while your spell resistance is lowered or finally +5 to Perception to see through magical disguises.
We also get 4 new alternate racial traits that allow you to get +4 to saves versus figments, patterns and divination spells, cast darkness 1/day and gain +4 to stealth to hide in an area darkened thusly, +1 point healing whenever subjected to magical healing, or prevent spells that fail to overcome a Svirfneblin’s SR to affect them for one round.
Finally, we get a Svirfneblin Druid archetype, the Fungal Shepherd – who gets modified class skills, can modify terrain to spontaneously sport fungal undergrowth, create faerie circles that enhance conjured creatures with the fey creature template, a subterranean version of trackless step and a limited wildshape that allows you to turn into fungoid versions of plant shapes.
Editing and formatting are very good, I didn’t notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to Abandoned Art’s 2-column no-frills standard and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.
I hate the Svirfneblin-race as a playable race, but as a pdf, this is actually not bad, offering a multitude of nice options. Personally, I enjoyed especially the first feat and the fungus/alchemy theme of the content herein and while the respective crunch never truly is mindblowing or particularly brave, we do get a solid assortment of different pieces of crunch to modify your characters. As such, I’ll settle on a final verdict of 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4 due to the low and fair price and lack of issues with this pdf.