Four Horsemen Present: Abstraction Golems Expanded
This pdf clocks in at 10 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 7 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
What is the abstraction golem? Well, the obvious response would be that it is a mythic template that allows you to create golems from the very fabric of concepts like love, war etc. – abstract concepts. First introduced in the massive and exceedingly impressive Construct Companion, the base template is provided herein, but, as the title suggests, the options introduced there are further expanded herein, providing new abstraction templates to craft these conceptually awesome golems from.
The first of these would be Fate, which obviously is luck/doom themed and can even grant mythic wish 1/week. More interesting to me, since it pretty much was an imho required addition, was the Hate golem, which not only sports a rage-inducing aura, but also the titan’s rage champion ability and associated benefits versus the targets of the ire….which can be manifold indeed.
More sagacious characters will most certainly be surprised when the repository of ancient, lost knowledge turns out to be a Knowledge golem that can educate mortals as well as mimic class abilities akin to the trickster. Personally, though, I consider the life golem with its granting of regeneration, the ability to animate plants (instantaneous AND awakened!) and, more importantly, a kind of super resurrection that can even thwart old age interesting – we all know the inevitables don’t like meddling like that and indiscriminate life can end up a huge issue. The Archmage’s competent caster and the option to temporarily learn spells that magic golems sport is similarly interesting, as is the war golem that scavenges the marshal’s Fight On, while being superb in conjunction with teamwork feats…and canceling them out.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no issues. Layout adheres to the neat 2-column full-color standard established for the series and the artworks by Jacob Blackmon are great. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.
Stephen Rowe delivers exactly what the pdf says on the tin – more, cool abstraction golem concepts and, honestly, I still love the concept to bits. At the same time, with the novelty worn off, the spoiled reviewer-bastard that is me couldn’t help but feel that this book very much plays it safe – compared to some Mythic Monsters by Legendary Games or mythic templates released by Stephen in his gruesome-series of pdfs released by Rogue Genius Games, the abstraction golems herein felt less unique.
Basically, I see the framework: Add + x abilities, which include SPs, an ability-scavenge from a path…you get the idea. Much like a series where one is aware of the set’s nature, this does take a bit away from the pdf – in direct comparison, Stephen Rowe has simply crafted more inspired material.
That being said, I could rattle down a list of publications that wish they reached the level of these ideas – the golems within these pages are solid and fun and I’m basically being a very spoiled reviewer right now. Still, I couldn’t help but feel that hatred could have used a spitefully self-destructive ability; that magic could have used a truly unique way of modifying spells, perhaps even of breaking the laws that govern magic. Again, I’m spoiled, but the golems herein could have used a codification for the blending of abstract concepts (love-hate golems?) or a similar step forward. The book makes the concept broader, but not deeper. This should not prevent you from checking this out, though – this is still a fun book, well worth the asking price. My final verdict will hence clock in at 4 stars.