Friday, 14 October 2011

review: divine favor - the cleric

Metrics: Censers.  Clerics need some kind of accompaniment and a censer full of incense suits the style of this sourcebook down to the ground.
DISCLAIMER: Review is based on a PDF copy provided by Open Design
Overall: 5 censers (looks good and plenty of tasty content).
Divine Flavor - The Cleric provides some great options for the workhorse of the party.  Archetypes expand role-playing opportunities and new domains and subdomains offer further options for a GM.  An emphasis on cleric as more than party healer harkens back to the hobby's roots while providing Pathfinder GMs and players with plenty of inspiration for their games.

Content: 5 censers (a divine smorgasbord with substantial crunch)
First an examination of the cleric class, considering it's strengths in spellcasting, channelling and looking at how the cleric plays in combat.  Next, new domains and subdomains provide even more options for your cleric and their gods.  A GM looking for something specific missing from Pathfinder's Advanced Players Guide subdomains might find it here.  Archetypes offer variations on the cleric theme, along with crunch to support them.  The ascetic makes a great multiclass option for cleric/monks, the theosophist is a great choice for future mystic theurges. The more combat-minded may peruse the exorcist, flagellant or weapon-sworn (imagine a clerical magus with more hit points).  Variant channelling provides new uses for turn undead more in line with stated domains.  This is reminiscent of 2nd edition with it's variant abilities for priests instead of turn undead, Finally some new spells to manipulate luck and magic, as well as a couple of spells available to bards, sorcerors and wizards.   The absolute kicker is wind down, which makes any prolonged magical battle shorter. 

Art & Layout: 5 censers (most illuminating and thematically appropriate)

The cover by Christophe Swal features a female cleric wielding two swords amid a throng of foes.  Not the typical image of a cleric but appropriate given the content.  The internal links work and the layout is effective and uncluttered.  Where this really shines are the little touches like the page number and Stefan Styrsky's name at the foot of the page in burgundy ink giving an impression of illuminated text.

In conclusion, the first of the Divine Flavor series offers a format familiar to the Advanced Feats series.  Where they differ is the broader perspective on the class, additional abilities/spells and consideration of core classes established since the beginning of the hobby.  This provides a good introduction to the class for those unfamiliar with Pathfinder.  Excellent value as always and terrric content makes this one a must-buy.

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