Fehr's Ethnology: Urisk
By Thilo Graf
This pdf is 8 pages long, 1/3 page editorial, ~1.5 pages of SRD, leaving us with about 6 1/6 pages of content for the Urisk, so what are these beings?
Essentially, the Urisk-race is of the fey-type, get +2 to Dex and Con, -4 to Cha, low-light vision, 1/2 their level as DR/cold iron, 1/2 level fire resistance, 1/day faerie fire, 1d6 gore natural attack with full damage bonus and 1d4 hoof-secondary attacks. They incur a -2 penalty with attacks with manufactured weapons and gain +4 to stealth in mountainous/hilly terrain. The race comes with full age, height and weight-tables and they essentially can be considered bovine fey hillbillies. Yeah. I couldn’t believe it either first but then thought: Actually, damn cool!
The race comes with 4 race traits that allow them to use guidance 1/day, losing the penalty with manufactured weapons, +1 to all saves for a year, +1 to sleight of hand and initiative. There also are 6 new alternate racial traits for the race that include e.g. replacing fire resistance with climbing speed and +8 to climbing.
The pdf also has 6 different racial feats, allowing them to daze opponents with bluff, but each opponent only once in 24 hours. Now, the Dance of the Fey-feat is strange: 1/day you can substitute your BAB for an equal competence bonus to AC. Does the character lose the substituted bonus to BAB? For how long? I don’t have the slightest idea how this feat was supposed to work. Another feat helps the race influence commoners and experts (being useless and too weak for players), heal yourself in limited ways via exposure to fire, while yet another feat grants 3 feats after 4 hours of meditation, but only for 1 hour – interesting – but oh so open to terrible, terrible, terrible abuse and unbalanced like all hell. The final feat adds +2 to CMD vs. trip, overrun and bull rush.
As all pdfs of the series, we get information on the race’s stance on classes as well as 6 favoured class options and a sample urisk witch.
Editing and formatting are very good, I didn’t notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to PDG’s two-column standard and the 1-page full colour artwork of the Urisk is neat. Very cool – even though the pdf is short, it is fully bookmarked. Kudos!
Fey-type. Scaling DR AND resistance AND options to get rid of the penalty with manufactured weapons? And ALSO spell-like abilities AND two types of natural weapons???? Not going to happen in my game and I won’t even start to elaborate in how many ways this is broken. This race is too strong for my tastes and needs some kind of weakness to offset its powerful abilities. Also, its “Dance of the Fey”-feat is unbalanced and needs clarification on how it’s supposed to work. After the recent rather well-made entries into the series, the Urisk, while cool in concept feels terribly like an unbalanced Mary-Sue-race that can do anything better than standard races. Since I consider the Urisk broken as written, I have to warn you away from it – check out some other installments of the series – there are better ones out there. My final verdict, until this has been revised, will be 1.5 star, rounded down to 1.
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