Rite Publishing released a new Pathfinder supplement for their Faces of Tarnished Souk NPC series : Bonetongue, Steward of Dead Dreams. Regular readers may remember, that we already reviewed one book from the series, Kahrvass Fleymbrow, Smith of Burning Desire, which I think was a very good addition to the game. So, lets see if Bonetongue is as good as Kahrvass was.
So what is in the book? We receive the background of Bonetongue, with several adventure seed, as well as different versions of him to include in the campaign. We receive three different versions of him (CR 16, 11, 6) as well as 3 template-modified versions for all 3 base statistics block. That means 12 different version of him! This is much more than with Kharvass, where we had only 3 base versions. Above the character we receive several new necromantic spells, some new magic items, feats and 5 different templates, from which several was already published in 101 Not So Simple Monster Templates, I reviewed earlier this month.
On it’s strongest base version, Bonetongue is an “eternal ogrekin white necromancer 15”, so I think there is a lot to discuss here. White necromancer is something new, I haven’t seen before. For this book we don’t receive a complete description about the class, but all information needed to use the Steward of Dead Dreams in a campaign is presented. I think the abilities and spells he receive from this class are really thematic, and well balanced.
Eternal and Ogrekin are two new CR +1 templates, appearing in this book. Ogrekin features some ability changes (increased strenght and constitution while decreased mental attributes) as well as some random deformities. Eternal on the other hand is what it’s name suggests : the creature having it is practically unkillable. Even disintegration can’t permanently destroy an eternal creature !
While I understand the intention behind the Eternal template, I feel it’s way overpowered. An insane regeneration and several immunities are much more than we should see in a +1 CR template, even if they tried to counter it with an extremely narrow “weakness”. Well, if you call it weakness, because it’s simply means that there is still one way to kill the creature.
I think the other content in the book (the remaining templates, feats, items) are ok, but nothing truly outstanding here. Also, I felt that there is much less additions to the game as we received in the supplement about Kharvass, but since it’s an NPC series it’s not really a problem.
Overall I think Faces of Tarnished Souk : Bonetongue, Steward of Dead Dreams is a good NPC supplement, and the character is really unique. However the eternal template seems wildly overpowered (maybe not a problem if you don’t use it on anyone except on Bonetongue). Also, it’s natural to compare it to the last “face”, and we received much more additions to the Pathfinder RPG with Kharvass. In the end I think the final score should be 4/5, as the book is good, but not outstanding.
If you are interested, you may buy Faces of Tarnished Souk : Bonetongue, Steward of Dead Dreams on DriveThruRPG here, or the whole NPC series here.
Zoltán “Cain” Mészáros
The White Necromancer orginally appeared in Kobold Quarterly #19 (to which every tabletop gamer should have a subscription too)
The Eternal Creature Template “If an
attack that is associated with this weakness deals damage it deals +50%, if it offers a save the eternal creature suffers a -4 penalty to that saving
throw.” Also remember the template adds no offensive powers hence the low increase to CR but I can understand if you felt it should be higher.
Hope you enjoy it.
Thank you for the qlarification !
I undestand your point with Eternal Creature. I guess because it’s the GM’s job to give the creature a reasonable weakness it’s hard to pinpoint the CR.
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