Review – The Genius Guide to: the Dragonrider

29 November, 2009

The Genius Guide to: the Dragonrider is a 13-page PDF (12 pages if you remove the credits/OGL page) for the Pathfinder RPG written by Owen C. K. Stephens and published by Super Genius Games.  This is the second of Super Genius Games’ Genius Guide line.

The layout is a screen-friendly landscape design, with cover art and 1-column on the first page and three columns on the rest.  The four charts are easy to read.  The art is full color and supports the draconic theme especially.

Dragonrider is a full 20-level base class combining excellent survivability (d10 hit dice, all good saves), solid offense (full base attack progression with an acceptable range of weapons), very minor spell casting but, most importantly, a bonded dragon steed.  After all, you could hardly be a dragon rider without a dragon to ride, now could you?  Embedded in the class are ideas for how to include a Dragonrider in a campaign.

The bonded dragon steed gain size and powers based upon the level of its rider, and the Dragonrider gains certain abilities (some tied to the type of bonded dragon) from the bond as well.  The more powerful dragons are harder for the rider to direct as they are stronger willed, giving riders a reason to choose a slightly less powerful (and willful) dragon as a companion.

This product provides a good basis for the Dragonrider class in a campaign but some feats and items to support the class and provide more options would have rounded out the class.  The biggest gap, however, is providing advice for how to deal with the dragon steed for the DM and player.  How to play them (and should the player or DM control them out of combat)?  How much do they eat?  How do horses react to them?  And so on.  Some general advice to help with such question would be welcome.  Still, another strong showing from the Genius Guide.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

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