Short Reviews – Half (Orcs) and Half (Elves) for Pathfinder

29 June, 2014

All of the Player’s Options products for the various races from Four Winds Publishing / Purple Duck Game share a structure: They start with variants of the race, add new feats, optional flaws, and new equipment to provide more options to those playing the race.  Let us see what is in these two:

Player’s Options: Half-Elves provides Strandlings, half aquatic elves, and Wellens, children of a half-elven union, as their racial variants, both have good roleplaying potential and interesting mechanics though the Wellens’ enthusiastic ability, which can negate surprise, may be a little too powerful.  Fifteen new feats emphasize the half-elven ability to adapt, though unpredictable behavior (which gives a combat bonus) and versatile hands (which help craft, preform and profession) may be a bit on the strong side.  The eight flaws play off of either the physical or social effects of being of mixed heritage and can be useful to inspire roleplaying even if not used in full.  The new equipment comprises a weaponized buckler, a bow that can be used as a melee weapon and a specialized type of rope, nothing ground breaking here.  Overall, a useful set of ideas and options for half-elves and if they play a major part in your campaign world or you are a fan of playing them, this may be a worthwhile investment.

Player’s Options: Half-Orcs begins with Orc-kith, those who have more distant orc blood, and the unhappy Sharukh, half dwarf and half orc, both look good mechanically but the Sharukh seems like a vanishingly rare creature.  The eighteen new feats are primarily combat oriented, brutish charm being a notable and amusing exception, several of them are “storm” feats which can only be used in the first round of combat (and not in conjunction with each others) that are quite effective, despite the combat focus there is an interesting selection of way to customize a character here.  The six flaws focus of the physical or psychological damage that being among the orcs can cause, most are unpleasant but not unreasonable.  The equipment section is the weakest part of this product: an iron jaw to improve bite attacks, a better whip, a “human seeming” kit and scarification kit, what stands out is the idea of the arena mask (a customized helmet that identifying the fighter) is good but should it not provide a minor bonus to intimidation?  While the equipment section is weak and the Sharukh seems unusably niche, the product as a whole is solid and worthwhile for those who make use of half-orcs in a campaign.

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.


One comment

  1. Kudos to you
    For powering through!

    Let there be no gaps in history!

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