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Thread: Darkwalkers: The Evil Within
Tuesday, 6th February, 2007, 02:14 AM #1
Magsman (Lvl 14)
Darkwalkers: The Evil Within
123 Pages – Over a 100 of which are gaming specific material.
4 Core Classes
12 Prestige Classes
1 Legendary Class
25 New Evil Powers
14 New Evil Domains
28 New Evil Feats
12+ New Magic Items
60 New Evil Spells
Now this pdf was nothing like I feared. It was much, much better. I liked how the bookmarking works and connections to other websites. Several pieces of art were very nicely done. The lay out looked good, easy to read, and organized with a good table of contents.
Most of all I really liked the material. Every time I attempted to run a game with evil characters, whether everyone was evil or only one or two, the game always ended ugly. If these suggestions and guidelines are followed a "evil" character, and game can be run.
It covers ways to be evil, but still why you would be motivated to have the party remain your friends is thoroughly discussed. So as long as the player, or players, stay motivated to follow these guidelines evil characters are possible, and very challenging to play successfully. It has me desiring to try and pull it off.
The idea of playing an evil character in a non-evil party, and seeing how long I can get away without being "discovered" is a role playing challenge I find very appealing.
I initially wasn't very thrilled with the new classes and PrC's. Then I started thinking about the role play aspects, which I find crucial to games such as Ravenloft. Like "Hunter of the Child" gives me some wicked ideas for having such a "Bounty Hunter" type of class.
Plus their version of a "Magician" would have some wicked surprises for people expecting a "Magician" that fits the normal expectations of someone using that name.
I also found their Unholy Warrior to be an interesting blend of Cleric and warrior.
I don't think I would ever use them as written, but I would definitely find uses after tweaking them a little bit, just like the author recommends.
As you are warned, the classes and PrC's are probably a bit overpowered for "standard" D&D fair. They are very focused in their purpose, so that is why they may be too powerful. Standard D&D has most classes and PrC's kind of versatile in their overall powers, where these can be built very tight, and very powerful.
Then I realized the PrC's in here are exactly what I want out of PrC's. Very focused and flavor oriented to accentuate specific elements of a campaign world. Not just make a character "uber" powerful. Plus their power is very focused, in most cases, so that they can be countered by a knowledgeable and prepared opponent. Balance elements that I like a PrC to have.
As I read through this pdf I became more and more excited with all the evil ideas it was giving me, both as a DM and a player. This pdf will give good guidleines and suggestions to playing evil PC's, and give excellent classes and PrC's, as well as feats and spells, to help a DM make some very surprising and wickedly evil opponents.
To sum it up, this pdf gives me everything I look for in a game aid product. New ideas, and tools to implement those ideas with in new, wicked, unsuspecting ways with which to make my players very concerned for their survival.
From the player perspective this pdf gives them good advice on how to play evil without destroying a campaign. It gives them advice on how to play the various "Core" classes and PrC's from an "evil" perspective. It also gives them new classes, PrC's, feats, and spells with which to experiment with, as long as their DM is willing to experiment as well.
As a DM I would use these classes and PrC's to represent either a single large organization with similiar goals of evil domination, or a variety of smaller organizations, all fighting one another, and other organizations of "good", while trying to further their own evil aims. Then the DM can have a player, or their whole group of players, take up classes related to
these various evil organizations and run a campaign based on that.
Plus I am seriously considering the "Favor" rules, and the "Heretic" rules, and the "Piety" powers earned or lost. Excellent looking rules to implement for heavy religious flavor. My biggest question is will my players and I find the variant rules worthwhile to deal with. Which is another reason why I'll be using these as "DM only material" before I make a decision about integrating it into my games.
So my opinion of this product is that is is very well laid out, nicely bookmarked, OK to excellent art (The cover is particularly wicked looking), and chock full of excellent advice and other gaming material to help a player or DM add a lot of depth, and most importantly, stability to either PC's or NPC's who are evilly oriented. So I strongly recommend this
product for DM's and players looking for such ideas and advice.
I only noticed a half dozen or so mis-spellings, such as much being spelled "mush" in the Unholy Warrior section, but not enough to irritate me. I also failed to notice any big errors.
So I give this a solid 5 out of 5, because it delivers big time on game advice and ideas. Has me itching to run Ravenloft again and see how much evilness the players can survive.
Last edited by Treebore; Tuesday, 6th February, 2007 at 06:32 PM.
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