Everyman Minis: Dynastic Armory
This Everyman Mini clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page advertisement, 4.5 pages of SRD, leaving us with 3.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
After a brief discussion of the dynastic races (i.e. the races covered in amazing detail in the Dynastic Races Compendium), the pdf kicks off with the engraved special weapon property, which is the equivalent of a +1 bonus and allows a character with Scribe Scroll to scribe scrolls into the weapon at 25% increased cost. A wielder who has identified the spell engraved may use it when wielding the weapon as though it were a scroll. The total number of spell levels the weapon can hold is equal to its enhancement bonus. I assume that using the spell thus stored eliminates it, but not the blade that held it or the engraved property per se. Furthermore, I assume that the weapon does not impede somatic casting as pertaining the stored spell. I like the notion here, but these aspects would have imho warranted being explicitly stated.
The bindi of the socialite comes in three different iterations ( +2, +4 and +6) and is basically a headband of alluring charisma with a +5 Knowledge (local) and Knowledge (nobility) bonus tacked on, which is priced for +2K gold. Lame. Mat of the scintillating mandala is a slot-less item that lets a creature 1/day meditate on it for one hour t attempt any Knowledge checks untrained, and a +10 insight bonus to their skill check’s results. NO LIMIT. This should definitely have a limit. Alternatively samsaranas or those reincarnate’d can enter a trance to begin a temporal stasis (spell reference not italicized) for one week, emerging as a Child or Youth (see Childhood Adventures), or, if reincarnated, as the previous race, including exchanges of class features, feats etc., where race-bound – basically an omni-retrain.
Nagastra are +3 arrows that may be fired as a full-round action in a special shot that destroys the arrow and spawns a summon monster VII giant snake, using tweaked dire crocodile stats as a base line. Shadow scar tattoos can depict nightshade, kytons or gloomwings, granting a +5 competence bonus to Stealth, Intimidate or Acrobatics, respectively. Additionally, 1/day, the user may use light piercing or slashing mithril or cold iron weapons to harm themselves, temporarily doubling the bonus. Kudos: This can’t be cheesed and initiates a cooldown before it may be used again. Wayang with the light and dark trait get to freely decide which bonus to gain, instead of being locked into one by the shape of the tattoo. Minor nitpick: Superfluous plus before the Cost in gp in the construction section.
The pdf introduces a new magic plant, following the Ultimate Wilderness rules. This would be the flowering foxleaf shrub, which weight 75 lbs., and the berries harvested net a +5 competence bonus to Bluff, Disguise, Sleight of Hand and Stealth for a day. Overindulgence can render you sickened, but the save DC is pitiful. That should scale for repeated use after the first.
The pdf also touches upon magic teas: If you have Brew Potion or Cultivate Magic Plants, you can make teabags. Everflow foxleaf blend changes age category to that remembered while imbibing, if only temporarily, tying in with Childhood Adventures’ mechanics. Ground foxleaf blend affects only kitsune, and locks them in their current form, but makes this form also act as the true form for purposes of magic detection etc. Cool! Infused foxleaf blend affects only humans or kitsune drinkers as though reincarnate’d (spell reference not italicized), with humans becoming temporarily kitsune, while kitsune get an additional form. Kyubi foxleaf blend comes in 9 iterations, and only affects kitsune with the Magical Tail feat. The drinker regains all uses of Magical Tail, or kyubi tricks from the Kyubi Paragon PrC that function as spells of the indicated level or lower. Not a fan of the delimiting here. Settlestomach foxleaf blend is another winner: When forced back into natural shape, the imbiber may make a Constitution check to prevent return to the true form. Additionally, this has synergy with the involuntarily shapechange drawback, partially mitigating the effects.
Editing and formatting are good on a rules-language level, okay on a formal level. For such a small pdf, there are quite a few formal snafus here. The instances where rules are a tad bit more opaque than they ought to be weigh heavier, though. Layout adheres to a two-column full-color standard and the artwork provided is nice. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.
Jacob McKiernan’s dynastic armory oscillates between some inspired and interesting aspects, and some components that frankly are filler (cough lame headband modification /cough) or rules-wise not as precise as they should be. There is some cool stuff here, and particularly kitsune players and rounds that favor smart intrigue should take a look at the teas – which btw. beg to be expanded as a concept! That being said, this still, as a whole, represents a mixed bag, slightly on the positive side of things. My final verdict will hence be 3.5 stars, rounded down.
You can get these items here on OBS!
Missed the inspiring Dynastic Races Compendium? You can find it here!
Missed Childhood Adventures? You can find it here!