EZG reviews The Clockwork Primer
This pdf is 12 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page fluffy introduction/editorial,1 page SRD, leaving us with 9 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
The pdf kicks off with an updated version of the Clockwork Adept-PrC – first pioneered in KQ #16, the PrC requires 7 ranks in Craft (clockworks), Knowledge (Arcana) and 4 ranks in Knowledge (engineering) as well as the Craft Construct and Skill Focus (Craft [Clockworks])-feats and the option to cast 4th level arcane spells.
The PrC gets proficiency with simple weapons, 2+Int skills per level, d6,1/2 BAB-progression, good will-saves and full spellcasting progression. Clockwork Adepts may highjack constructs of up to 1/2 character level, no more than twice character level HD 3+Cha-mod times per day, for 1 + cha-mod hours! OUCH! Furthermore, they may imbue spells into constructs and at 3rd, 6th, 8th and 9th level they may select one of 10 different insights – essentially the talents of the class.
These talents include improved flanking (which is odd, giving the PrC’s caster-focus), reduce costs, increase max HD you can control, make constructs faster (or create them faster) or repair them faster. One of the insights is somewhat unbalanced, adding cha-mod to the 10+ 1/2 level +Int-mod-formula constructs need to save against to prevent highjacking – with the notoriously sucky will-saves of constructs, this one is too powerful in my opinion – especially since the PrC further increases the power of the ability. As a capstone, the adept may essentially transform his/her sentience into a preprepared construct body – a nice apotheosis.
A sidebar explains the update of the Craft (Clockworks)-skill that is next up – with it, you may temporarily enhance weapon, armor, physical skill, hit point or hardness and even overclock them – at the expense of becoming staggered afterwards, the skill allows for a +1 bonus to an attribute. Suffice to say – not only constructs, but items as well can benefit quite a bit from this skill. Furthermore, it allows the user to program constructs – with 13 sample ones given. Treating critical damage and quickly jury-rigging items is also possible. This skill ROCKS hard!
Engineer’s kits, masterwork engineer’s kits and precision tools complement as items the skill. We also get the clockwork domain, which allows you to buff constructs and emit a construct/item-repairing aura. Next up are 6 new spells: One that conjures a box of tools only designated people may use, one to breathe life and sentience into a construct (which essentially is almost a template!), Gear Alignment in two versions (i.e. a bonus to skills and AC for constructs), +2 to the next Craft and Knowledge-checks or temporarily disable the use of one limb of an awakened construct.
The final pieces of content are 4 new items: The first being the Runegear-staff, but it pales before the Clockwork Sword – essentially a sword with a button that can make it shocking and keen – hell yeah! There also are goggles that help versus ref-saves and with clockworking skill-checks. Finally, we get vambraces that net +1 to AC and may shock foes – nice, though I would have loved a scaling DC instead of the rather DC 11 to avoid dazing.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to a beautiful two-column standard with a parchment-style background and the b/w-artworks are awesome – we get btw. 3 original pieces of artworks for items! Two thumbs up! The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.
I wasn’t particularly excited about this pdf – and honestly, the Clockwork Adept-PrC feels overpowered with regards to constructs and weak with regards to other foes – a specialist. And then the pdf picks up – the new skill ROCKS HARD and while I’m not too keen on the new domain/spells, the items once again are awesome! All in all, we thus get a solid, neat pdf, which, especially if you like the idea of the skills, should provide some neat options for your game for an affordable price – hence, my final verdict will kick in at 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4 for the purpose of this platform.