Monday, January 23, 2012
AEG Undead, Share Strength
AEG did a fine job of portraying them in the way they deserve to be shown. I will not say that this is my favorite of their books i have written about but it does have a number of good points. As with all of their books there is as much that can be taken and used in other ways as there is that has to be used as written.
The first chapter of the book looks at undead in broad stokes. It deals with the cornerstones of the undead such as why they exist and why some of the living seek to become undead. It serves to lay out the feel of the book. It does a good job of what it is meant to do though it reads like a term paper at times. There are sidebars in this section that do go beyond that though and provide excellent ideas on devices that can be used in the game.
Chapter two provides section that I have come to expect in the AEG books. There are sections on new skills, new uses for old skills and new feats. The chapter also provides information on something that I have never been shy on expressing a dislike for. This chapter provides information on no less than fourteen new prestige classes. Some of these I can see making into opponents of the characters and some would even make for good characters in fantasy novels but I do not see anything here that I would ever let a player use. I could see me using the Wasteland Druid in some fashion in a campaign but not allowing it for player use.
In the third chapter we get information on magic including the deities that would be connected with the undead. These are system neutral and could be dropped in even in an existing campaign as forgotten deities. The chapter also discusses new clerical domains that can be connected with the worship of undead related deities. There are of course new spells and new magic items. The chapter closes off with providing six new artifacts. I can not see using most or any of these in a campaign but then I may be crazy because every DM wants to allow a +10 Unholy Keen Vorpal Scythe into their campaign....right?
Chapter four presents us with archetypes for most if not all of the standard types of undead. I think the intent was for these to be used for characters as much as for NPCs. Since I find it hard to ever see myself allowing undead player characters into the game this would be limited to use for villains. There is some great ideas here though. I can see a DM taking some of these and using them to make very memorable villains or NPCs for their players. I would not allow an undead character but an undead benefactor or mentor is another story.
In Chapter five the topic turns to an undead campaign. There are things here that I can see using in a campaign but not one where the entire topic is undead connected and never one where the players are undead. There is still good information here for the DM to borrow and steal from. The section on settings ranging form low magic to ultra modern are nice sources of ideas. If allowing players in an undead form or a strictly undead campaign is something a DM would allow they will appreciate the section.
The final chapter deals with the creation of both liches and mummies. This is something that a DM could use as a blueprint for an NPC trying this out or if a player wanted to end their character and perhaps run them as an NPC both of these would be options they might consider. The section has parts written in character and these are fun to read. I wish that more of the book had been written in character as it were.
Undead like all of the other AEG books I have reviewed so far are worth picking up. This is by no means a book I regret having though too large a portion is dedicated to prestige classes for my taste. In the end the sections on magic and the archetypes for the undead are the highlights for me.
From the Back of the Book:
This is a Guide to Immortality
This sourcebook contains everything a GM or player needs for campaigns and adventures involving undeath. All of the torments of hell are bound within these pages. Undead and undead hunter prestige classes, magic items and artifacts for life and unlife, and details on the rituals of mummifications and lichdom are detailed within.
The text within this tome is forbidden, its secrets damnable. The records of undeath cost more than any can afford.
Flesh is an Illusion
* New feats
* 13 new prestige classes
* New divine domains
* Returning from the grave
* New spells and magic items
* New gods
* Undead campaigns
* Faith Hunters and more
Duration: 1 Turn + 1 Turn/Level
Area of Effect: One Creature
Casting Time: 5 Segments
Saving Throw: None
When this spell is cast the magic user allows other characters or NPCs to share their strength with the target creature. The strength that is shared is not a perfect transfer and there is a recovery time for those sharing the strength.
To share their strength the willing must be in either direct or indirect contact with the recipient of the strength. The type of contact does not matter but they must remain in contact until the casting of the spell is complete. They can join anytime during the casting of the spell though.
Each person sharing their strength will donate two points of strength to the cause. The recipient will only receive one of these though. The calculation of the recipients strength will not take percentile strength into account. The additional strength will go from 18 to 19 directly. The recipients strength will max out at 25.
The donated strength will return though in parts. The donated strength will return at a rate of one point per day starting the day after the spell is cast. The recipient of the spell will also suffer a strength loss when the spell expires. They will lose one point of strength until such time as they have had eight hours of uninterrupted rest.
Disclaimer: The spells that you will see, for how ever long the write ups last, were all written up or conceived of back in the 80's so the terminology may not appropriate for anything other than 1e and depending on how well I did back then it may be slightly off for that as well. If there is any duplication of spells that exist now it is most likely I wrote mine first :) Please feel free to comment on them but try not to be too hard on me. If anyone wishes to use these in anything they print please let me know in advance and all I ask is proper credit.
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