EZG reviews the Time Warden
This pdf is 15 pages long 2/3 of a page front cover, 1 page credits and SRD, leaving 13 1/3 pages of content for the sequel to the much-lauded Time Thief-class, so let’s check the wardens of timelines out!
The Time Warden base class gets d8, ¾ BAB, good ref and will saves, 4+Int skills per level and spontaneous spellcasting (guided by Cha) of up to 6th level spells. As the Time Thief, the Warden gets access to motes of time as his signature ability. However, while there are some overlapping abilities both Wardens and Thieves can use, the Time Warden actually gets a quite expanded selection of time mote abilities he learns in a linear progression when compared to their thievish opponents. They also get a selection of 7 different aevum powers to choose from over the course of their career. The capstone ability, Lord of Time, lets the Warden reassign feats, skills, etc, essentially making for the ultimate versatile character then – cool idea!
Speaking of cool ideas: One of the aevum abilities lets the Time Warden jump through time and take friends with them, up to the point when they last interacted with a creature with Int, Wis or Cha of 1+. This ability alone is worth gold – the amount of plot options for the DM and cool plans for the PCs is staggering – excellent and thanks to the restriction, easily controllable by the DM.
Speaking of easily controllable: The time manipulation trope, easily one of the most bothersome ones in the hands of PCs, gets a large box in which the basic concept of time manipulation as used by the warden is explained. Additionally, the Time Warden’s spells, chronothurgy, and its peculiarities are extensively reflected on: Basically, there are some cosmetic, yet very cool differences from regular arcane or divine spells (the DM can freely choose to which side the Wardens belong): The spells of the Time Wardens don’t break e.g. space, that means that a time warden could teleport to a place he could theoretically reach on foot, but not e.g. inside a resilient sphere. While minor, these special little additions are what in the end constitute a flavorful, cool class. Several pages are devoted to the complete spell-list of the Time Wardens and 6 spell variants (all cool ones, btw.!) and 2 new spells are presented, among them the one spell that HAD to be in this book for me to enjoy it: Time Travel. And yeah, mechanically the spell is sound. Next up is a short template to create creatures that can use aevum and motes of time.
Next up is a section that is actually needed or should be consulted, even by experienced DMs: A discussion of adventures in time. If you don’t want time travel, you can easily eliminate it from the Time Warden and still have a blast. If you do, several ways of handling e.g. paradox, are mentioned and I’ve used some of these approaches myself in my homebrew, prior to purchasing this book. I have to admit, though, that I’d like some more definite rules for paradox along the lines of Mongoose Publishing’s otherwise not too stellar Chronomancy-book. While I wasn’t all into the rest of said 3.5-book, I scavenged some of the paradox-rules.
Editing and formatting, as almost always in SGG-pdfs, are top-notch, I didn’t notice any glitches. Layout adheres to the 3-column-standard and artworks once again are cool, larp-style photographs, this time of a male model – nice! There are no bookmarks, which is a pity. It would have been easy to replicate a fighter-style Time Thief, but rules-mastermind Owen K.C. Stephens has gone out of his way to create a distinct experience that differs in almost all key aspects from the Time Thief, while still having some basic principles in common. All in all, I’m very happy with this awesome class and once again applaud the great concept. My final verdict will be 5 stars with the Endzeitgeist seal of approval.
Check it out here!