Spheres Apocrypha: Nature Talents – Earth
This Spheres Apocrypha-installment clocks in at 4 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, leaving us with 2 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
We begin this pdf with 5 new basic talents: Earthlord enhances the radius of earth geomancing abilities by 5 ft. per (earth) talent you possess. (Fyi: All talents herein have that tag!) Also designated as (spirit), Foundation requires dirt, sand or stone and nets you a deflection bonus to AC and CMD equal to 2, +1 per 5 CL when concentrating on earth geomancing. You can spend a spell point as a standard action to make that buff last, but you need to be standing on proper material. Cool one! Granulation is the first of 3 (geomancing) talents, and lets you create sand or loose dirt as an instantaneous effect (remember, geomancing has a default action economy cost of a standard action), and the cost may be reduced by breaking up rock; additionally, this may be used in conjunction with other geomancing abilities (cool!) and can be sued to create weakened areas and collapse structures. Two thumbs up!
Sandstone gets its own table and lets you transform sand into stone, or sheathe dirt or sand in stone, and yes, you may encase targets, who get a proper save. The talent also accounts for size categories, codifies escape methods properly, etc. – in short, this is the cool, and complex rules-operation I enjoy seeing in files like this. Two thumbs up! Unearth, finally, is a great means to combat burrowing or earth gliding targets.
The pdf also features 5 spellcrafted spells (all clocking in at 2 spell points): Bless/Corrupt Earth is a curse that lets you enrich the soil and fortify plants – or cripple harvests etc. – and yep, for years. This requires Forge Earth and the Fate sphere, which seems appropriate. Earth Surfing requires telekinesis, and allows you to ride the earth, gaining a significantly improved, scaling speed. – or the spell can move the caster, even while immobilized. Mudslide also has the water tag and works better in conjunction with Create Water, and is a nice AoE trick that causes bludgeoning damage and employs the Buy rules. Sand barrier needs the Protection sphere, and, bingo, is pretty much what it says on the tin – the interaction with AoE effects is nice. (Nitpick: Formatting not perfect.) Stalagmite needs the Destruction sphere with crystal blast and acts as a dust storm, and as a swift action, make the dust form piercing damage-dealing stalagmites that also impale targets. The pdf also features the rules for cave-ins and collapses.
Editing and formatting are good to very good on a formal and rules-language level, respectively. Layout adheres to the series’ two-column full-color standard, and the pdf has no artwork or bookmarks, but needs none at this length.
Derfael Oliveira’s expansion for the earth sphere rocks. … I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist the bad pun.
Kidding aside, the material is complex, interesting and offers some evocative tricks. Less basic than e.g. the file for fire, this presents a couple of intriguing and creative options that I very much consider to be worthwhile for pretty much every fan of earth-themed abilities. My final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded up due to in dubio pro reo.
You can get this inexpensive expansion here on OBS!
You can directly support the creation of more Spheres of Power content here on patreon!
You can support the creation of Ultimate Spheres of Power here on kickstarter!