This pdf is 8 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, 1 page introduction, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 4 pages of content for this Gothic Grimoire, so let’s take a look!
This grimorie is an interesting tractate that ideologically serves as a justification for adhering strictly to an amoral chain of command under an immortal god-king. As such, it has the potential of inciting a psychosis that makes you Lawful evil, and as a grand innovation, offers us also an expertly-written excerpt from the pages of the tome.
It should be noted that the mechanics in this book use Tomes of Ancient Knowledge and Way of Ki – two stellar, superb supplements you should own – if you don’t, get them. And yes, I wholeheartedly encourage interlinking products this way as long as it does not invalidate the product – and this one doesn’t suffer from this, so no issue there.
Studying this grimoire allows the student to become a lawful evil antipaladin (Way of the Wicked-players, rejoice!) and helps with creating drugs to erode the will of subjects. Depending on your base-class, this pdf also features lists of bonus feats that get added upon study to the respective class-lists of bonus feats, ninja tricks, rogue talents, teamwork feats or in place of cruelties: Antipaladin, Cavalier, Inquisitor, Ninja or Rogues are covered and get their respective lists.
Additionally, inquisitors studying these pages may opt to use a selection of judgments that allows you to split judgments to allies via the bodyguard judgment and one that will offer you the option to get deadly terrorizing feats while using the judgment – enhanced at higher levels. Shattering defenses and offering deadly strokes or stepping up feats. Interestingly, in a grand web of complex and cool mechanics, this book also grants access to monk vows and ki.
The Vows of Obedience and Self-Sacrifice require a careful selection of master and may be restrictive and thus, advice is provided for PCs and DMs and the significant mechanical benefits are smartly offset by the vow’s restrictions, allowing you to e.g. play a stoic bodyguard of a loose cannon ward. Nice!
The grimoire also provides sample spells, allowing inquisitors to add permanently spells to the inquisitor’s array – at the potential cost of the inquisitor’s sanity. Furthermore, the grimoire allows readers who possess a ki-pool a VERY cool option: Depending on the level of the character, s/he may opt to spend ki to cast those spells as spell-like abilities – very interesting!
The pdf also provides 3 new spells – Extravasation of Tears blinds foes with their own tears in addition to a crushing despair effect. The second spell allows you to return those who swore vows of obedience to return to unlife as revenants (if the master was killed) or skeletal champions (if the master still lives) – Cool indeed! Ruthless Beating is another interesting one – dealing non-lethal gestures at range, also potentially fatiguing foes. As a minor gripe, the pdf could have used another spell – the last 1/3 of a page of the pdf is blank.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any glitches. Layout adheres to Legendary Games’ beautiful 2-column full color standard and the piece of artwork is just gorgeous. The pdf is fully bookmarked, which is awesome.
The Gothic Grimoire-series kicks onward with yet another all killer, no filler offering, doing extremely smart things with the rules – the way judgments and ki-points are linked and modified, how the new abilities modify what’s there is smart, cool and awesome in every way conceivable. Does that mean that this is all glorious? Well, there is the blank space at the end that I wished had been used for additional content or more excerpts from the tome – I love these and hope to see more in the future. My final verdict for this grimoire will kick in at 5 stars plus seal of approval since I feel that the overall quality makes up for this very minor complaint, especially at the pdf’s very fair price point.