This installment of the Prestige Archetype-series clocks in at 8 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, ~1/2 a page of editorial, leaving us with 5 1/2 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
First question – what are prestige archetypes? Well, they are essentially a breakdown of a regular PrC into a full-blown 20-level spanning class – so no, these classes don’t necessarily mean that you’ll have a universal archetype (wouldn’t have worked in this context, I think), instead providing a retooled playing experience so you don’t have to work your way up to the PrC via classes you don’t want to play. So that’s definitely a pro-side. On the con-side, *personally*, I treat PrCs as very much tied to organizations etc., emphasizing the “prestige”-component as opposed to archetypes, which are more traditions in my game. I’m not the target audience of these books, but I will take a stab at them anyways.
The Blood Mystic base class receives d6 HD, 2+Int skills per level, good will-saves, proficiency with club, dagger, heavy + light crossbow and quarterstaff as well as light armor – the latter does make the Blood Mystic incur arcane spell failure when donned, though – ALL with somatic components, not jsut the arcane ones.
Yeah, you probably guessed it – the blood mystic is the sorceror/oracle theurge class to the mystic theurge’s wizard/cleric. Blood Mystic spellcasting is governed by cha exclusively and is spontaneous; cure/inflict spells are added to the list. Akin to the mystic theurge, the class utilizes one array of spells instead of two different lists, choosing freely from the cle/oracle and sorc/wiz list and whether to learn spells that exist as either version as divine or arcane. At 1st level, an oracle mystery is picked, with one revelation and mystery spell progression at 2nd level and every even level thereafter, and yes, also a curse.
However, the bloodline abilities are less pronounced than those of sorcerors – they only receive the 1st level power, class skill, bloodline spells and bloodline arcana. It should also be noted that spell synthesis is this class’ capstone – no apotheosis, no final revelation – that’s the price to pay for the full spellcasting progression.
The pdf comes with solid FCOs for the core-races and sample characters at 1st, 5th, 10th and 15th level.
Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no truly significant glitches. Layout adheres to Purple Duck Games printer-friendly two-column standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.
Carl Cramér’s Blood Mystic is the better balanced Mystic Theurge – without minor balancing hiccups, the class provides spellcasting flexibility at the cost of a whole array of unique abilities that define sorcerors and oracles; Now you might argue that the flexibility is worth it and you may be right, but then again, revelations and bloodline powers tend to be the “how cool is that”-moments of the classes. With spell synthesis down to capstone status, I can’t find it in me to complain about this – while I’m not a huge fan of the theurge-concept, I can’t find a fault with this one. Hence, my final verdict will clock in at 5 stars -respect and reverence!