The Rangers of Uteria
This FREE little supplement clocks in at 8 pages, 1 page (gorgeous) front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 2 pages of advertisement, leaving us with 3 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
Okay, so the first thing you’ll notice is…well, as Uteria is an E8-setting, the ranger class depicted herein sports 8 levels. The second thing you’ll notice is a modified list of ranger favored enemies…and one crucial change: Spellcasting works differently in Uteria and hence, the class gains no spellcasting progression – instead, it gains mana – based on Dexterity. Ranger with Dex<=14 get the first mana point at 5th level and can reach up to 4, while those with more than Dexterity 14 get the first mana point at 4th level, +1 every level thereafter, with 8th level providing a bump, increasing mana by +2 instead.
The spellcasting of these rangers is explained as natural talents. These require a Dex-score of 10 + talent tier to perform and save DC, if applicable, is 10 + tier level + Dex-mod. They are treated as spell-like and are used spontaneously. To regain mana, a ranger has to meditate for 1 hour and Cl is equal to ranger level -3.
Next up would be the lists of 1st tier (mana cost 1) and 2nd tier (mana cost 3) natural talents, both of which sport a new talent: the tier one ability Dazing Strike can daze foes of 4 HD or less. The talent also, oddly enough, explains the difference between being dazed and stunned, which could be considered to be somewhat confusing. The tier 2 talent, Stag’s Reflexes increases AC and Perception by +2. Here, the explanation is downright incorrect, stating “…+2 Armor bonus (as a Dexterity bonus, though it does not raise the ranger’s actual Dexterity).” You see, there is no “Dexterity bonus” unless you’re talking about a bonus to Dexterity – there is a Dexterity modifier, which is applied to AC…and a metric ton of bonus types that could have been used here instead of this wonky wording.
Editing and formatting are very good on a formal level, though the rules-language sports some hiccups. Layout adheres to a solid full-color two-column standard and the artwork, both the cover and the interior art, are phenomenal. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.
Michael Bielaczyc’s take on the E8-ranger is per se interesting, if not too remarkable. I consider the Dex-based casting interesting, but rules language is ultimately not as tight as it ought to be – still, this is a FREE book and as such, it gets a bit of a leeway…and the nice artworks may make this worth for you. Hence, my final verdict will clock in at 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4 due to being FREE.
You can get this FREE little supplement here on OBS!