Spheres Apocrypha: Light Talents
This installment of the Spheres Apocrypha-series clocks in at 4 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving us with two pages of content, so let’s take a look!
The pdf kicks off with 7 basic talents, one of which, Solar Strike, is untagged: When you hit a creature with an attack, you can make it glow as a swift action, or glow brightly at the cost of 1 spell point. It should be noted that the pdf does miss the proper glow formatting, which can makes the rules-language somewhat obtuse. The pdf also includes a (lens) talent, the Halo Effect, which nets a scaling bonus to Bluff and Diplomacy (and optionally to Performance as well. The skills are not properly capitalized.
The remaining 5 talents all have the (light) tag. Fenestrate lets you create a bright light that makes everything and everyone in the area translucent enough to see through. Objects that grant cover still grant concealment, but Stealth is seriously impeded. Interesting one, though I’d be interested to know whether this means that you can have line of sight through creatures or not – a pretty crucial aspect, as the talent seems to imply so, but the change this would bring for magic would be pretty vast, so I’m not sure. Inner Sun lets you grant a creature you made glow brightly a weapon of light that may be any melee weapon you’re proficient with, with its damage being scaling fire damage. The blade of light can’t hurt translucent targets and may have interesting interactions with reflective creatures. Precious lets you make an item glow – all that see it will then try to get it and admire it, basically turning Gollum on a failed Will-save. This will not make them suicidal or stupid, but it does affect allies. The effect is properly codified and allows for shaking off, but ONLY initially and when admiring it. Shouldn’t this have Hypnotic Pattern as a prerequisite?
Revelation allows you to bestow a light of a text, allowing for the full lecture of the material, including erased text. This can also reveal hidden text and meaning, and even bypass magical protections if you succeed at your Magic Skill Check. Shining Arsenal makes your weapons inflict full damage on incorporeal targets, and fortifies armor and shields aglow to provide full defense against such targets, and you choose a single metal or material – the light mimics this material for the purposes of vulnerabilities, making e.g. cold iron or silver valid choices. Since the glowing items don’t actually get the property, adamantine wouldn’t help.
The pdf also contains 3 new feats: Afterglow lets you add a glow to positive energy ability applicants; Crimson Flash lets you, as a swift action, spend a spell point to expel a blast that only one ally sees who hasn’t yet acted. The ally may act on your initiative count instead of their own. Lightshow, finally, combos inspiring song with glow, including glow effects, but excluding ones that require targets to glow brightly.
Editing is good on a formal and rules-language level, but suffers from the lack of quality control regarding formatting – the pdf has a surprising amount of formatting oversights for its brevity, and does not consistently apply the formatting conventions established for the Light sphere, which hurts the integrity of the rules somewhat. Layout adheres to the series’ two-column full-color standard. I’ll never be a fan of yellow headers for the Light sphere; they are strenuous to read. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.
Adam Meyers knows what he’s doing, and the Light material herein is, for the most part, interesting. There is, though, as a whole, a sense of this one being rushed, with a ton of formatting hiccups for such a short file, more than necessary. As such, my final verdict can’t exceed 2.5 stars, rounded up due to the low price-point.
You can get this inexpensive pdf here on OBS!
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