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Sunday, 18th March, 2007, 06:37 AM #1
Untapped Potential: New Horizons in Psionics (Expanded Version)
First off, I would like to note that the production quality in Untapped Potential (UP) is quite good for a 3rd party resource, especially in its first foray into the field. I was pleased to find the PDF version was all bookmarked appropriately. However, I would have liked to see the art inked, as the majority of it is penciled illustrations. At least in my copy, I saw some typesetting errors. Nothing is too obvious except for your average anal attentive reader (guilty!). Though one cannot help but cringe when seeing the “Skill points at first level” info taking up two lines.
The book is setup in the familiar Players Handbook setup, which is worth noting, because some other companies fail to pick up on that.
The Racial levels in UP are well thought out and flavorful, and nothing unbalancing from a mechanics standpoint. The Replacement levels are also a welcome addition.
UP gives us 2 new base classes and a variant on the psion. The Devoted Psion is better than the specialist wizard, but still feels a little lacking until the 20th level capstone. The Marksman is the “Full-warrior” class that psionics has been lacking, even with the advent of the Complete Psionic by Wizards of the Coast. It has a number of interesting abilities, but would like to see options for sling users and/or firearms. The Society mind is generally the high-point and gem of the book. It gives psionics users the party-support class they’ve been starving for. Although power acquisition is a tad wonky, and the Planar Network range has potential for abuse, it is quite an attractive class that is well worth the addition into any game with psionics included.
The feats are all worth adding to your game as well. The poison feats seem a bit out of place in a psionics supplement, though not unwelcome. The racial feats are flavorful and well thought out, and the mind blade feats were a necessity. The newly introduced Mantra Feats are well done, providing an interesting new way to utilize the Psionic Focus mechanic.
The prestige classes all continue the same great psionic prestige class design, in that they are all well balanced (if not balanced, than actually underpowered). Nothing glares out at me as game breaking, and none of it is too specific to cause DM’s trouble integrating it into their games. (All too common in some supplements)
UP provides us with a Psionic NPC class. The Organizations have good fluff, and again, aren’t too specific as to be unusable.
The psionic powers are a worthy addition to any psionic character’s repertoire. I was glad to see some clarifications and fixes to troublesome powers in the past.
The items are both familiar and fresh at the same time. Familiar in that they work well and fit the theme of existing psionic material, and fresh in the sense of a welcome variety. Some prices seem a tad off, but nothing obvious.
The monster section is well done. Likely to keep players on their toes, and the CR are fitting.
UP offers two “fixes” for existing base classes. The Soulknife variant gives the otherwise lacking class more of a niche. The multiple throw still needs to come earlier, however. The Wilder fix does alleviate some of the issues with enervation and wild-surge, as well as provides some more flavorful and useful abilities.
In all, it is a great addition to any DM or player who enjoys psionics. It was worth every penny I bought it with, and save for a few minor things, it is the best psionic product to have come out since the Expanded Psionics Handbook!
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