The 6th collection of new bloodlines for sorcerers clocks in at 14 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page blank, 1.5 pages of SRD, leaving us with 10.5 pages of content, laid out in 6’’ by 9’’, so let’s take a look!
All right, we begin with 5 new feats:
-Bloodline Beast: Counts as Improved Familiar sans requiring the familiar class feature. There is no such feature. It’s witch’s familiar, arcane bond, etc. Level-restrictions thankfully still apply. A dead familiar causes Con-drain, but does not require costs to replace. Cool: Lets you bypass alignment restrictions.
-Bloodline Bias: Choose a monster type from a list; you get +1 damage with damaging spells versus the chosen type and +1 DC. This also applies to sorcerers and bloodragers.A handy mini-table nets you the equivalents.
-Sorcerous Battery: Use a limited use bloodline power to activate a magic item with charges as a standard action. CL of the item must be equal to or less than UMD ranks, and single use items can’t be activated thus. Nice one!
-Sorcerous Power Drain: The inverse one: Drain magic items to power limited use bloodline powers. Caster level of the item must be higher or equal than your CL. This and battery could power a whole culture and are inspiring, though potent.
-Sorcerous Synergy (Teamwork): +1 CL and +1 to DC and roll twice to bypass SR when aided asa full-round action by your buddy.
The pdf also includes 7 bloodlines, the first of which would be aeon, which may never choose a good or evil spell to the list of spells known, but which allows you to combine Knowledge checks with spellcasting. This is a leitmotif of sorts herein: While I don’t always agree with the balancing, which sometimes makes the bloodlines clock in at rather strong levels, I applaud that they provide meaningful changes for the base spellcasting engine.
Anyways, where was I? Oh yeah, aeon. We get a touch that dazes targets and also nets insight (Knowledge bonus) – nice limited use touch. Neat defensive tricks and a high-level combo-buff complement this one. The capstone makes you basically immortal…with auto-resurrection…but you do lose equipment…Cool one!
The Demodand bloodline nets you a limited use Str-damage touch. Their higher-level slime-ability, oddly, works RAW versus ranged or reach weapons as well, which it should not. Cool: At higher levels, the bloodline lets you temporarily suppress divine casting and channel energy.
The eclipse bloodline yields a positive or negative energy touch that can harm or heal, analogue to channel et. al. Dodge bonus, a wall of fire that can fascinate you, shadow step as a SP (plus immunity to [darkness] and [light] spells as well as an apotheosis of sorts complement this one. Also cool: The spells known make alignment-variations of spells more sensible for the sorcerer to take.
Leshy-blooded sorcerers may add druid spells to their spells known, fire entangling pods, a “double-strength” (not exactly perfect rules-verbiage) shield with unique properties and more subdued abilities complement this one, making up for the potent spells-known expansion.
The manasaputra bloodline nets you a third eye that opens on your head when casting spells, granting you a temporary skill buff. The bloodline also lets you fire limited fire or positive energy blasts, adaptive resistance and make a really powerful buffing aura at 9th level. The high-level abilities are slightly less potent to make up for that.
The sakhil bloodline enhances the DC of fear-spells and gets a fear-inducing limited use gaze. Nitpick: Save DC should refer to class level, not just “level.” Ectoplasmic Spell sans casting-time increase (verbiage a bit wonky) and added ghost touch (not properly italicized) are okay, but the capstone immunity array is imho a bit overkill.
Finally, the yaksha bloodline nets you spell level as a bonus to Fort-saves for 1 round after casting. The touch attack labors under the misconception that “distracted” is a condition – it’s not. Worse: It generates a gold coin. Sure, only 3 + Cha-mod per day, but you can wreck an economy with a bunch of these sorcerers. The bloodline also includes a fertility field, metamagic and an interesting apotheosis.
The pdf comes with a bonus-file depicting the Children of the Dead, a monster penned by Mark Gedak and Perry Fehr. These are undead that are spawned by the dread crypt mothers – they have the dhampir subtype and are slavishly devoted to their horrid progenitor. The pdf includes three variants. Really cool, if grim CR 1 critter with a neat full-color artwork.
Editing and formatting oscillate a bit: I did notice a few formal glitches and rules-verbiage deviations, but also a couple of complex concepts well executed. The pdf actually manages to be innovative and interesting more than once, which does help mitigate some of the issues I encountered. Layout adheres to Purple Duck Games’ 1-column standard with purple highlights. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.
Perry Fehr knows how to write intriguing, creative crunch, and when he makes sure his rules-fu is top-notch, we get amazing stuff. There are a couple of real gems herein, but also quite a few hiccups and potential issues. This is not a pdf that will fit every campaign, but it is one that may well be truly inspiring for some. Ultimately, this is pretty much the definition of a mixed bag, which lies slightly on the positive side due to its neat ideas (=3.5 stars). Now, usually, I’d still round down here, since a few of the hiccups are pretty grievous, but the neat bonus critter and low and fair price point make me round up instead.
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