Subterranean Races: Puddling Archetypes
This long overdue expansion for the awesome puddling-race clocks in at 4 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 2 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
We begin this little collection with the Crystalbroken – puddling bloodragers that had a mishap when interacting with memory-crystals…resulting in unforeseen split personalities. These translate, mechanics-wise, to them being capable of replacing the bloodrager’s 1st level bloodline power with cleric domain- or sorceror bloodline- powered SPs. Interesting – this can only be cast when bloodraging, but the usual bloodrager spells can’t be cast. The archetype continues this theme, replacing powers with more SPs and later even domain powers/sorceror bloodline powers. It should be noted that this archetype is particularly rewarding when used in conjunction with The Big Book of Bloodlines.
The moderator wizard can speak telepathically to all creatures touching it (later: range 30 ft.) and may even restrict the communication of one touching character. This costs arcane school and the bonus feat at 10th level. Additionally, the archetype nets at 8th level status of all creatures in this telepathic network. Very flavorful archetype.
The protoplasmic fist monk replaces the bonus feat gained at first level with gaining DR 1/- due to wobbling until the next turn whenever he uses ki or stunning fist. 2nd level nets a 25% chance to ignore precision damage (50% at 10th level), while 3rd level allows the puddling to move on walls, sticking to surfaces spider climb-style Wis-mod times per day sans cost; subsequent uses cost 1 point of ki. Falling on creatures counts as charging and at higher levels, these guys can engulf creatures, which allows them to gain ki on a temporary basis – and no, this cannot be kitten’d. Unique: At 12th level, even when helpless or paralyzed, they can turn into an exceedingly fast moving, shapeless goo…and yes, this means auto-escape from grapples, though the ability costs 2 ki and a move action to activate. Pretty awesome!
Editing and formatting are top-notch, even ki has been properly italicized. Layout adheres to Interjection Games’ two-column b/w-standard with stock art and the pdf’s artwork is stock, excluding the cute cover. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.
The puddling archetypes Bradley Crouch has crafted herein are flavorful, balanced and fun. They all have a cool, unique shtick that makes them stand out, with particularly the monk archetype being pretty damn cool. That being said, they live very much from the cool flavor of the race and should not be considered separate entities – they add to the canon of puddlings and probably won’t blow power-gamers away; they are not weak, but their fascination lies in their interaction with the puddling race and the emphasis on unique playing experiences that feel unique, on the roleplaying aspect, which trumps the rollplaying aspect here. Instead, one should consider these to be truly fun, unique and flavorful options for a more than fair price point. Hence, my final verdict will clock in at 5 stars.
You can get these inexpensive, neat archetypes here on OBS!