Supplement Review: Tome of Twisted Things from Little Red Goblin Games

Though I have played a fair share of D&D 3.5e, I have not played any Pathfinder even if I have read more than a few supplements and adventures written for PFRPG. I typically read PFRPG-themed books for inspiration, looking for great ideas more than anything system-specific.

Tome of Twisted Things - Little Red Goblin GamesThat brings me to the Tome of Twisted Things from Little Red Goblin Games. This 34 page PDF offers 31 pages of content. What does it include? Exactly what the title says – plenty of twisted things! Prestige classes and regular classes that may be more for GMs than players due to their powerful features. Designers Ian Sisson, Caleb Aylsworth, Scott Gladstein, and Christos Gurd have really pulled together an intriguing collection of PFRPG toys that may not appeal to everyone but definitely add some fascinating options to role-play with.

It starts with the “Darkborn” prestige class, which has some intriguing story possibilities. These characters revolve around the sacrifice of good beings to do things that normally good beings can’t normally do… delving into the realm of evil to fight evil on its own terms. This is one of my favorite parts of the book, as it involves some cool effects and background ideas to play with. You must start as a Good-aligned character, but by the end you may devolve into a demon and completely lose yourself in the process.

The most intriguing part of the class is that it’s built on two new qualities for characters… Purity and Wickedness. Purity is nobility of heart. Wickedness is the presence of malice and evil. With points in each, you “wager” to perform an ability… The target wages purity. The attacker wages wickedness. Whomever paid least is affected by the ability. And the abilities are taken right out of religious lore and fable… retribution, damnation, punishment, despair, guilt… it’s all there and ready to wield.

Another of my favorites is the Ruiner, an antipaladin archetype who would be at home in a campaign where evil was walking the land and the PCs were struggling to defeat it. These characters are described as “the envoys of the apocalypse” causing everything around them to wither and die or suffer pain. Their abilities are devastating and nothing I’d want in the hands of the PCs, but would definitely be fun to play with as a GM.

And the Tyrant is quite intriguing as well as another prestige class. These lawful (non-good) characters are built around commanding others to do their will. Through the use of Conviction points (the unshakable belief that they are always right) they struggle against chaos, never backing down from what they believe. Though it would have to be a high-powered campaign, it would be just as intriguing to have a Tyrant as a PC as it would be as a NPC and the potential philosophical battles that might ensue could be fascinating.

Other bits included are the Avenger (an alternate Paladin class with no alignment restriction seeking revenge for themselves and others), the Warped (an unnatural combination of humanoid and eidolon), and many new feats to explore.

Though I appreciate the thought that went into these classes, as a GM I would be extremely concerned with unbalancing a campaign by dropping any of these in as PC-available options. That may just be me, but I prefer low-level campaigns to high-level campaigns most of the time anyway. The ideas are awesome and would be fun to play with as GM, but I’d really have to be secure in knowing my players would roleplay these to the hilt and not just munchkin the world to death.

Couple of things about writing, art, and layout. First of all, I thought these were pretty well written. I would have liked to have had even a short table of contents at the front of the book, but at only 34 pages it’s pretty quick to flip through. I would also have liked to have each section roughly follow the same format. The Darkborn section follows a different approach than the Ruiner, which is different from the Tyrant and the Warped, etc. I’m a fan of consistency.

Art-wise there is some fantastic stuff in here from Nathan Winburn and Tamas Baranya. From the totally creepy cover (Winburn) to some of the amazing stuff on the interior (both) I spent many a long moment admiring the black and white ink. So kudos for that.

And layout-wise… This is the first time I’ve seen anything from Little Red Goblin, but I have to say I’m not a fan of the reddish/purplish background on every page. It’s more than a bit disconcerting and dark. I would have preferred a standard black and white presentation or the option of reading one copy with color and another that’s B&W, something along the lines that Raging Swan Press offers their print-friendly and screen-friendly versions of every product. The colored background made italicized text very difficult to read on my iPad. But other than that, the book was presented  easily in two-column with occasional one-column sections at the beginning of each new character class.

If you’re looking for some new toys to throw at your experienced Pathfinder players with high-level characters, Tome of the Twisted offers some fun options to explore. Like anything of this nature, it’s not for everybody and twisted is definitely a key word here. But definitely some fun concepts!

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