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Thread: The Goy
Sunday, 31st August, 2008, 06:36 AM #1
Novice (Lvl 1)
Beware! This review contains major spoilers.
Page Count: 38
Price per page: About 14 cents per page
Format: 771KB Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) file
External Artwork: The website shows the face of a Goy as the main advertising picture though this is not actually part of the copy I have.
Additional Page Use: The first page is credits, the last page OGL
Internal Artwork: There are four pieces of poor black artwork (note the deliberate lack of the use of the word 'white' in that description).
Maps: There are no maps.
Text Density: Text density, graphic margin and white space are all average.
Text Style: The text style tends to be a little dry, and is full of jargon related to the subject matter of the sourcebook. This jargon is often used before an explanation of the word is given, causing some confusion and a need to flip forwards to find the explanation (theres no index).
Whats Inside: This is essentially a sourcebook of one humanoid race - The Goy of the title, but dealt with in detail with lots of 'crunchy bits' attached. After a brief introduction, the Goy's ethos is discussed in relation to a doctrine termed The Diktat which encourages contemplation, understanding and achievement - these seem like quite reasonable practices until we learn that they use the Diktat to back up their attempts for world domination. Goy society is then discussed, covering topics such as culture (belief in Goy superiority and aggressive tendencies), dress and appearance (ash-grey skin, nubs of horns, bald, agile, most dress in plain colours), language (fast, high-pitched and unrelated to other languages), and philosophy/psychology (think extreme lawful evil, oppression of all initiative, enslaving and mindwashing of other cultures, hatred of magic). The subject of Goy Reputation is then dealt with, which kind of replaces Charisma checks within Goy society, and can be influenced by various actions and their outcomes (e.g. defeated sworn enemy/defeated by sworn enemy).
The structure of Goy society is then dealt with. The Rija is the ruler, The Guljin is the warlord, and the Ellaern are the council of elders. Social hierarchy, lifecycle (Goy are genderless and are born in pools of Aisk, a substance that they must continue to ingest for the rest of their lives or else die; at the end of their lives Goy become frenzied monsters who can only be controlled by a special Goy class, the Wudu).
The option of running Goys as a PC race is then dealt with, and all the standard racial info is given here +2 Dex, +2 Con, -2 Str, -2 Int, 50 ft speed, bonuses to Escape Artist, Balance, Move Silently and saves vs fear. The roles of different classes are discussed (spell-casting classes are outcasts though psionicists are accepted, and there are several new classes including the oji (lore and knowledge experts) and wudu (explained above). There are aslo two new prestige classes - the camadhi (super-fighters with 2 blades) and nijin (weaponless martial artist). The classes and prestige classes come with full details and statistics.
The next section deals with Goy feats, and concentrates on Symbiotic feats (particularly suited for the relationship between a wudu and its Frenzied companion, but might be developed for mystical links between two PCs or NPCs). The symbiotic feats covered include Collective Fortitude, Empathic Bond, Empathic Link, Life Link, Life Transfer, and Share Spells but there are some general feats (such as Two-weapon Shooting and Keep At Bay) and Special feats (such as Nijik Weaponry and Weapon Mastery).
The next section covers Goy equipment and deals with currency, weapons, and armour.
The Appendix gives a monster entry for Goy, a Frenzied template, that can be added to any Goy classed character when they become old.
The High Points: The symbiotic feats in this module were, for me, the most interesting thing in this book, and the most adaptable for use outside the concept of The Goy. The book is concisely and intelligently written with some genuinely creative ideas on the subject matter. The Goy philosophy, society and class roles all fit together logically and consistently, and there seems to be few stone unturned when it comes to detailing this race.
The Low Points: Think of this as somewhat akin to Mongoose's Slayers Guides, except dealing with a new race and with more crunchy bits. However, it is still a book about one race, and unfortunately a race that does nothing for me personally. Perhaps if the module had focused on rules a little less I might have found it more enjoyable.
Conclusion: Its not a race I'm ever going to add to my own campaign. Despite the statement in the module that the Goy do not have to be overpowering and are easily integrated into a campaign world I will have to beg to differ - they certainly are not a good fit in mine and at times I found them just plain boring. The feats, particularly the symbiotic ones, brought it up a notch and peaked my interest. Well-written overall though, and useful if you are looking for an aggressive lawful evil race for your campaign, or like playing evil-orientated PCs.
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