This collection of NPC-builds clocks in at 23 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with exactly 20 pages of content, so what do we get?
Well, the answer here is pretty straightforward – we get 20 kineticist-builds, one for each level.
What, you want to know more? All right, all right…So, the first thing you’ll notice is that, as denoted by the huge Porphyra-logo, the characters herein sport fluff that is tied to Porphyra, firmly rooting them in Purple Duck Games’ patchwork planet, though that does not mean that they don’t work in different contexts. The second thing you’ll notice is that each of the characters featured comes with a cool boon-entry that provides benefits for PCs engaging n friendly ways with the respective character. A closer look at the respective characters and their set-up will show you another rather interesting component – the characters themselves tend to be diverse. No, I mean REALLY diverse.
As in “Genderless oakling elemental ascetic”-diverse. As in Ultimate Psionics-Elan brothers. As in a kitsune overflowing soul. As in a god-of-war CR 20 forlarren or as an arrogant, superbly powerful genius half-elven artist of death in exile from court. The concepts of the characters are truly diverse and captivating and the builds themselves show Brian Jolly’s experience regarding the creation of powerful characters – I can see pitting these versus my players sans them erupting in yawning matches. As for the exotic races used, you can access them for free, so that does indeed not constitute a detriment in my book.
That being said, the builds of the characters, while diverse in races, do not sport the same level of diversity in their feat-choices, where the obvious Toughness, Weapon Focus, etc. reign pretty much – a bit more variety for different concepts would have been neat here. While there are some minor hiccups here and there, over all, the statblocks are well crafted, though quite a few avoidable glitches like e.g. “kimetic”[Sic!] blast have crept into the book.
Editing and formatting are generally solid, though not perfect – I noticed several typos and minor glitches. Layout adheres to Purple Duck Games’ two-column b/w-standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. The pdf has no art apart from the cover.
I enjoyed Brian Jolly’s humble collection of kineticists more than I thought I would – while the statblocks aren’t as flawless as those of some statblock wizards out there, we get a healthy dose of diversity in this book, with numerous uncommon character concepts and flavorful ideas. The write-ups actually make the beings portrayed here feel like proper characters, something I deeply appreciate. The kineticist builds themselves are pretty varied as well, though obviously beholden to the more effective options available for the respective direction. Beyond class abilities and races, diversity isn’t that pronounced in the respective feat-selection, though we do have e.g. a crafter (with proper skills and feats), a half-giant with wild talent and the like – there is variety here, it’s just not as diversified as for the rest of the respective builds. All in all, this is a nice, inexpensive, if not perfect collection of kineticists – my final verdict will clock in at 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4 for the purpose of this platform.