EZG reviews Welcome to the Jungle: The Tropics Biome for the Herbalist Base Class
This would be the first expansion for Interjection Games unconventional, complex Herbalist-base-class and the pdf clocks in at 9 pages – 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 7 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
Now if you haven’t taken a look at the Herbalist, here’s the basic premise: Herbalists essentially can collect herbs depending on their biome and store them in special pots – each herb corresponding to some unique effects that go beyond boring duplications of spell-effects. Furthermore, they all require different capacities from the herbalist and can be mixed into special recipes. Got that?
Great, so, like the title suggests, this pdf provides a new biome and 17 herbs that can be found therein: By chewing carrion flower, for example, the herbalist can become so foul-smelling that adjacent attackers must save to stand the smell or become nauseated. Also rather interesting would be the chameleon flower, which allows you to choose one alignment axis and not count as that component of the alignment, allowing e.g. evil characters to ignore the worst of the effects of holy word – only the least detrimental effect or least possible amount of damage is incurred. Nice one!
By using dragon’s maw, herbalists can conjure forth close-range bursts of devastating fire, cocoa can be used to increase acrobatics-checks (though the untyped bonus there slightly galls me and emperor’s candlesticks allow herbalists to coat weapons with goo that burns foes hit by it over multiple rounds – so far so cool. Also rather nice, concept-wise would be the harmony fruit – by waving it, all creatures within 30 ft get resistance to acid, sonic, fire, electricity and cold for 1 round. equal to the herbalist’s class level – nice to survive that squad of mages pelting fireballs at you.
Lianas allow you to gain concealment and bonuses versus gaze attack-saves and there also is an unpleasant, sticking vine that dissolves organic tissue to be found herein. On the mechanically more interesting side, let’s take a look at the night-blooming jasmine: The fragrance may suppress (NOt dispel) all morale effects, but also all fear-effects temporarily. It’s versatile, potentially double-edged effects like this one I consider interesting even within the context of the rather innovative herbalist-class.
Pineapples are also interesting – they can either be eaten to heal or be brewed into a longer-lasting, but slightly less potent healing draught. While personally, I’m a bit concerned about herbalists opening pineapple-plantations and selling healing draughts, I still like it, though a caveat to mention that the draught follows the limited preservation herbs usually have would have been nice. There is also a cool toxin that weakens bones of creatures with skeletal structures, rendering victims who foolishly ingest it staggered until properly rested. Adding sonic damage to weapons is also within the options provided herein, as is a d20-reroll at -4.
Uniquitine also deserves special mentioning – it can be used to replace other herbs, duplicating their effects – though they have to be properly tended. Very cool!
We also get 5 new and updated recipes: Healing fruit wine, acid and fire-infused lichen as thrown weapons etc. – as a cool idea, by combining dragon’s maw with elementally appropriate energy types, the energy type can be changed – awesome. Especially so since chokevine and cattail can also thus be modified in various ways.
The pdf also provides a biome-table, a tropic biome summary table and a table of herbs by point value, including some values of so far unreleased herbs.
Editing and formatting are very good, I didn’t notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to Interjection Games 2-column b/w-standard and the pdf comes with thematically fitting stock art. The pdf has no bookmarks, but doesn’t necessarily need them at this length.
This pdf makes for a cool supplement for a complex, nice class and shows Interjection Games mastermind Bradley Crouch delivering some neat samples of what can be expected from the Herbalist without just duplicating material – oh, and this is free. 0 dineros. Even if you don’t use the herbalist, a given DM can probably easily create some cool items out of the ideas herein and for the non-existent price, this makes for a great teaser indeed. Well worth the space on your HD – 5 stars + seal of approval for this FREE expansion!