EZG reviews FoTS – Yog’vhus’chuul, Harbinger of the Deeping Void
The final installment of the FoTS-series is 25 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD and 2 pages of advertisement, so let’s take a look!
Following my format established for the FoTS-series, I’ll first tell you about the additional content herein: Template-wise, this pdf provides us with teh Worm-that-Walks-template (CR +2), the Divine Creature template (CR +1), the Hive Creature template (CR +2), the Beyondling template (CR +2) and the aquatic creature template ( CR +0). Beyond these templates, we also get the universal beastlord and mystic archetypes as well as the Blight Druid archetype for…surprise: The druid. Didn’t see that one coming, now, did you?
Kidding aside, we also are introduced to the Void domain and the dark tapestry subdomain and 6 new feats: 3 of these feats allow you to create wondrous creatures and advance/augment them via the respective feats. The other feats cover the monkey style, gaining a spell from a spell-list you usually have no access to or increase your caster level. There is also a new trait that allows you to conjure forth a being from the stuff of dreams. We also get the information for the breaking and shattering magic weapon qualities.
And then there are the signature magic items of Yog’vhus’chuul – Bracers of the Monkey may seem common, but then things start getting…unique. His mask combines the benefits of 2 magical masks, his vest is a combined version of no less than 3 (!!!) magical vestments and his amulet also combines 3 item-benefits. His slippers have the combined properties of no less than 6 (!!!!!) different magic items – and that is not where everything stops, quite to the contrary: His weapon, teh rod of the veiled mastsers falls just short of being artifact-level powerful, while his robe is a major artifact: Protecting against all elements, it allows the wearer to conjure forth massive amounts of powerful elementals – and even shoggoths! And he also gets a Lokanaut-ring – a godling-relic. What are godling relics you ask?
Well, Super Genus Games has so far released two pdfs providing rules for magic items that improve in power over the levels – each and every level of your character unlocks a new ability for the item and the Lokanaut, introduced in the Genius Guide to Relics for the Godlings II, is part of Yog’vhus’chuul’s arsenal. Ouch!
Beyond regular supplemental crunch, we also get a host of stats that are not different incarnations of the NPC – we get stats for the Advanced Grindylow (CR 1),Blotfly swarms ( CR 4), Advanced Froghemoths (CR 14), 6- and 10-headed Cryohydras (at CR 8 and 12), advanced stirges (CR 1) and finally, Syncs – weird humanoids that gain strength when fighting prolonged fights as they start adapting to their foe’s power.
The statblocks of Yog’vhus’chuul clock in at CR 10, 15 and 21 and each comes with two variants that use other templates, adding more versatility to the stats, but as with any FoTS-installment, it’s not only the stats that make this installment interesting – it’s the story as well.
Here are minor SPOILERS. Potential players may wish to jump to the conclusion.
Still here? All right – we actually get dreamburning information for this character as well as a how-to-use – for the creature called Yog’vhus’chuul is not your regular villain: It considers itself rather benevolent, the influence of the dark tapestry a step forwards in evolution – for he is a druid, though one devoted to the alien nature of foreign dimensions, gleefully watching the progress of not only his minions, but the blending of dimensions itself. And all the while, he is posing as a relative harmless fishmonger with a gassy froghemoth – in plain sight.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any glitches. Layout adheres to Rite Publishing’s old rune-bordered 2-column b/w-standard and the artwork of Yog’vhus’chuul by Juan Diego Dianderas is awesome. The pdf comes extensively bookmarked for your convenience.
So…this is it. The final installment of what has by now become my go-to-series for awesome NPCs with complex builds, for the one series that continuously brought us complex characters worthy of the name with advanced, extremely versatile statblocks. The series that combined more third party publications in unique ways than any I had ever seen and that has vastly enhanced the already impressive awesomeness that is Coliseum Morpheuon. It is with one teary eye I read the farewell-note included in the pdf, but I’m glad as well – glad that the series can go on a high note. While probably no NPC ever will beat my all-time favorite Nameless Nil, Yog’vhus’chuul is both an interesting build and cool character to end the series on.
What I do know is that I’m looking forward to what Justin Sluder and Matt Banach are up next – Matt is currently writing his novel – and I’m sure we’ll be seeing some interesting content from both. Oh, I forgot my final verdict – this, once again, due to awesome content and fair price, is worth 5 stars + seal of approval.