This pdf clocks in at 11 pages of content, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 8 pages of content, so let’s take a look, shall we?
A total of 7 new edges are provided – which sounds like not much. Well, they cover pages 2 -5: What I’m trying to say is – they are LONG. A total of 16 companion tricks, from trample to grab etc. – all those NASTY monster qualities, are for example part of the tricks! Or what about more hunter’s tricks like one that prevents AoOs from spells or spell-like abilities? What about upgrading movement to flying, but with the caveat that you have to end your movement on solid ground or fall – WuXia-rangers, anyone? Oh, and fighter feats. Yeah.
A total of 13 new talents are also provided – including unnatural auras, a revenge smite for killing animal companions, fast stealth in the right terrain, etc. 5 new advanced talents, allow you to make overland chases hard for your enemies (Yeah!), see through plant matter and even using level-checks to temporarily disable abilities of favored enemies.
We also receive a massive 8 new Grand Talents – restoring favored allies from the dead, adding the advanced template to animal companions, free withdraws after hitting foes for ultimate skirmishing… the options are deadly and nasty indeed! Or want to make your spells supernatural? There you go!
The final page groups the talents by theme and does something awesome – it provides advice for using Rogue Genius Games Ranger’s Knacks and the talents of Kobold Press’ Spell-less Ranger. Nice shout-out and cool to see!
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no glitches. Layout adheres to Rogue Genius Games’ two-column full-color standard and the pdf comes with nice stock art. The pdf comes fully bookmarked with nested bookmarks for your convenience.
The options provided in this expansion of the talented ranger are powerful – some of the animal tricks, especially when taken out of context, can result in really nasty tricks and the same goes for some of the other options herein – so yes, imho this is a power-level upgrade for the Talented Ranger. Owen K.C. Stephens has obviously left the more experimental pieces for this expansion, nut unlike the book on the barbarian, the talents herein feel more inspired, more unique and more streamlined than the expansion for the barbarian. While I do think that the edges and talents herein can be used to craft deadly rangers indeed, I failed to make anything truly broken – and e.g. the ability-disable strike requiring prior knowledge of a monster’s capability rewards the good ole’ “The more you know…”-G.I. Joe trope and is something I really like.
Overall, that’s the gist – the options are powerful, but damn cool and often just…interesting and uncommon. Hence, my final verdict for this expansion will clock in at “only” 4.5 stars, still rounded up to 5, mainly because the options herein may need a bit of scrutiny from DMs, but are too neat to leave by the wayside.