Sunday, 16 February 2014

[Review] The Baleful Sorcerer Of Tsathag'kha

Venger Satanis' blogpost of the product

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The Baleful Sorcerer of Tsathag'kha is a small booklet of 6 pages. But the actual character class material is covered in two pages only.

One page for character class information and rules and the other page for total of 9 new spells for this class.

Other pages are cover, one full page illustration (which is quite nice), credits page and an introduction page explaining the product. The text is nice but obviously after you have read it once...

The focus of this product is obviously those two pages. The new character class The Baleful Sorcerer of Tsathag'kha.

The rules of the class are really OSR compatible to those traditional fantasy rules. It doesn't matter what kind of save system you use or is the AC descending or ascending, as those are universal here. If you need more customized converting it should be extremely easy.

The character is based on the wizard or magic-user of the game you use. But there are some minor differences. For example Sorcerers of Tsathag'ka can use some bladed weapons and they have their unique spell list - with unique mechanics.

Even though this product introduced a new spell cost compared to vancian magic, it is not too hard and not full of mechanics to remember. Basically it is a CON drain where CON act as magic points. But there are also options to drain the CON to fuel the spell from enemies.

The Sorcerers of Tsathag'kha can only learn 9 spells. One at each level. In addition they have some powers from the Cleric class. The spells are fun and weird and horrible.

Because of the spells variation I see this character class for a traditional vanilla fantasy of the bad guy. And still he might be a little too sinister. As a player character this class is absolutely not a part of "fellowship of the ring".

But for darker games (especially Swords & Wizardry what +Venger Satanis says to be inspiration behind the Sorceror) this is great villain - or even a player character.

I am sold, I like this character class a lot but I know it is not for every game or setting.

Oh, and there is some fluff text for The Baleful Sorcerer of Tsathag'ka too. Unfortunately that is too short. For six pages I would have liked a little more fluff text than just few (physical) inches on my laptop screen. They are powerful, like remote realms and worship this nasty frog god. I want more! This is a huge disappointment. I understand this is a free product but still.

And there is the frog god Tsathag'kha who is behind the power of the Sorceror. But that power has its own price. The frog god is not that friendly god to know.

This I am not 100% sure but there might be a small change that the Sorcerer might turn to a Lich. Makes sense if you know how Lichs are born but this is a little unclear for me and is not expanded at all. Can your player character (if "lucky") turn into a Lich? Isn't that awesome for bad sorcerer? Or is it a bad thing and you loose your character as a NPC?

I don't claim that would be too hard for a Referee to decide himself but that was an interesting part in the text and wasn't not expanded. What was Venger thinking himself? This is his product, his idea and his vision after all. I can make my own shit up myself.

And well, this is not all Venger's work. It's a collection of shared ideas Venger made available.

I'd give this 4 skulls of 5. The product is neat. There's too many pages but you can easily print only those two you need. The introduction is nice but I hoped that the Sorcerer had more meat wrapped on its bones. It is a good character class but the fluff is stub.

For people who like darker and weirder fantasy I recommend this. For those Referee's also who are looking for a good villain for good guys to pursue.

Grab it!