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None So Vile: Disciples of Darkness II - Soul Harvester

Graywolf-ELM

Explorer
Title: None So Vile: Disciples of Darkness II - Soul Harvester
Author(s): Aeryn Rudel aka Blackdirge
ISBN: .pdf, no ISBN
Publishers: SkeletonKey games / Blackdirge Publishing

Genre: D&D Fantasy, (Dark Material)
Class: 3rd Edition and Revised, OGL
Orientation: DM vs Player 65%/35% This product is weighed toward DM use, but could be used by DM's
Length: 12 pages of content, out of 16
Cost: $3.75 US at rpgnow.com for download

    • Creative concept - 4.8
      • The Soul Harvester is the second of a planned 4-part series of Disciples of Darkness PDF documents. Feeling a little evil today? Don't want to send all that power up to that pesky god. Why not keep a little for yourself? The Soul Harvester is able to keep some portion of power, called essence points, from souls that he sends to his chosen god. He can use this power to enhance his own combat skills, magic, or his chosen weapon abilities. A selfish prestige class, bent towards personal power as much or more as the advancement of a deity’s spheres of influence. A completely different concept from the first Disciple published.
    • Mechanics - 5
      • I changed over to a look at mechanics, from examining the veracity of a publishers claim about their product. It makes more sense, we'll leave it at that. I won't go into a detailed comparison against other prestige classes, because they all have their good points and bad, and some may seem broken. This prestige class has a decided focus on a combatant cleric, and enhancing that strength. Some of the abilities are bound up in the special weapon a Soul Harvester must be able to create, and I like the drawback for the story side of a campaign. The character is 1 sunder away from losing a decent part of their combat abilities. This can only be recovered after the creation of a new sacrificial blade.
    • Liking/Lacking - 4.6
      • The favorite part of this .pdf resource would have to be the initial story, and later history of the NPC. Ok, I know it isn't supposed to be the primary focus of the .pdf but as good as the prestige class looks, with abilities locked up in its' weapon, and access to essence points, I'm a sucker for a good story, and I've yet to be disappointed here.
      • My least favorite part of this .pdf resource, was actually something that is common, and is not solely done in Blackdirge's work. When the example NPC is stat-ed out, the abilities are re-written again, duplicated and personalized from the statistic data given a few pages earlier. I know this is very common, even from Wizards. But I'd like to see a little less of this in the same document, and maybe a bit of something else, a lair map, or something other than a page of duplicate material. I admit it, I would rather have more.
    • Readability - 4.8
      • The format mirrored the first entry in this series. It begins with a short story to introduce the prestige class, followed by requirements, features, and statistics. The format is clear and explains ability functions well, and gives motivations and how it might be worked into a game. The Soul Harvester seems to be presented as more of an NPC villain prestige class. I see it as quite possible to use in an evil oriented campaign, as a party member. Again Erik Nowak did a great job on the artwork.
    • Fun Factor - 4
      • This kind of work, makes me want to read the Wizards, book of vile darkness to see what I've been missing. As a player, in an evil campaign, I can easily see a player having to kidnap, or subdue enemies to feed his abilities, and to take advantage of spell effects in combat to deliver the enhanced coup-de-grace on a helpless foe. As a player in that kind of game I see the potential for great story from a DM. Using the Prestige class as a DM, I see the a little less chance for the abilities to shine to the players, simply due to the mechanics of D&D. An hp and strength bonus from a Dread Mark killing will seem not much different than hp or strength enhancements from some other method. Compared to the Ravenous of Agramogg where many of the prestige class abilities are apparent in combat.

Overall: 4.6 rounded to 5
Again a creep factor of 5 for the sheer villain this prestige class highlights. I would add this prestige class to my stable of offerings for players in a darker game, and would consider using it as an NPC class in an adventure story arc that leads to the recovery, or not, of potential sacrificial victims, possibly with one of the party in line for sacrifice. To me this document seems worth the listed price shown here at review time.

Reviewer: Graywolf
PlayTested: No
Obtained: Copy Free to Review
 

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