[Review] Vathak Times Issue 3 (Shadows over Vathak)
By Thilo Graf
The third issue of Vathak Times is 5 pages long, 1 page being devoted to SRD, leaving 4 pages of content, so what do we get?
As in the first two issues, we kick off this issue with a letter from the front describing the on-going battles between the lands of Vathak and the dread spawn of the Old Ones, also featuring a new feat which allows the user to add bonus damage to their mounted charges. Whether this damage is also multiplied when used in conjunction with mounted charges, though, is not specified – we need this information/clarification.
On the second page, we get again 3 local news/adventure hooks to pursue as well as an article on suddenly incited attacks by animals and druids turning up dead – well-written, that one, though the supplemental disease Mind Fire and its rabies-like simple template, while cool, suffer from some editing glitches.
A further article is all about a collection of weird scrolls that have been found, which per se makes for a nice expanded hook, though the associated spell provided feels a bit disjointed from the article. Sir Timothy’s Emporium sells a really cool alchemical item this round – silver smoke, which sickens creatures weak to silver and helps overcome their DR. Nice one!
The beautifully illustrated CR 6 Bone Gorger, a huge disturbing undead, finally makes for a cool critter to round out the issue.
Editing and formatting are good, though not as concise as in #1, but better than in #2. Layout adheres to the b/w-2-column standard and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length. The artwork, as mentioned, rocks – especially for the low price. Vastly superior to the ill-fated issue #2, Vathak Times #3 is more concise and well-thought in presentation, more concise in its writing and offers some actually rather cool ideas. While not reaching issue #1 excellence due to aforementioned feat-glitch and minor editing issues make it impossible for me to rate this 5 stars – I’ll instead settle for 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4 due to the fair price and nice ideas.
Vathak Times Issue 3 (Shadows over Vathak) is available from: