Friday, September 23, 2011

Early look at Darker Paths 1 (Necromancer), by BRW Games.

I got the privilege of being one of the proof readers for Darker Paths 1, by Joseph Bloch of BRW Games and The Greyhawk Grognard. It has been announced that it is going to be released in October just in time for Halloween.

As I mentioned in my previous post, Darker Paths 1 is a Necromancer Class for ADD and any game compatible with the 1st edition of the world's most popular roleplaying game. Now for the juicy information.

For a second I almost started writing about technical information like how many spells the book had or how many pages long it was. But what I want to talk about is what this class is, what it is not and what I like about it.

The class is a commander of the undead, with the ability to command and eventually raise massive armies of zombies, skeletons and other creatures. It is a magic user but can command undead similar to a cleric. It was originally made for human characters but there are rules for playing a Drow as well, which is part of what I am playtesting. The class has a spellbook with new macabre cantrips and has rules for making magic items.

The class is not a mage with a dabbling in necromancy it is fully devoted to it. It also is not a Dr, Frankestien or golem crafter. Also the book has a nice intro and descriptions but it is not a bunch of fluff it has well written mechanics, style and crunch in there. None of the pages are wasted.

What I like about this product is that for me this is exactly the kind of necromancer I have always imagined should exist, he isn't loosely based on commanding death and the undead, he does it. Although there are summoning spells available he is not just a summoner he can animate corpses and try to take control of another necromancers minions. It's not just another evil cleric or a negative energy mage, I know I keep repeating myself but it is a necromancer, for once.

I don't know what the price is going to be yet but I'm sure it will be worth it. Especially for an Adventures Dark and Deep game, it is a great expansion. As for the artwork right now it has some great black and white old school art. None of it is silly or weird it all fits the theme and seams dark and imaginative. However If I am remembering correctly some more art is being commissioned at least for the cover.

Update: Turns out there won't be an included adventure, but that's probably a good thing as that means more time to make sure the rest of class is a good as it can be.
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