Earlier this week Rite Publishing introduced a new playable race to the Pathfinder roleplaying game with the release of the In The Company of Lurkers sourcebook. I think these secretive creatures could provide interesting character options both for players and NPC-s.
The lurkers is a race which was created by an accident from gnomes and cloakers, and they posses abilities from both races. They are masters in spying, information gathering and manipulation and their natural abilities (racial traits) offer great support for this role.
In this tightly packed 16-page supplement we receive every bit of information we need about lurkers, including their background (history, relations, society), their game statistics (racial traits, favored class options) as well as character options (feats, archetypes)
On the first three pages we receive answers for all the basic questions regarding the lurker race. What's their origin? How they look? What kind of society and relations they maintain? Everything is here with enough detail. They seems to be a small race overall, with most likely no more than several thousand members. While most of these half-cloaker half-gnomes like to keep a low profile and often disguise themselves others are real thrill-seekers, and much more open.
After that we receive those informations and statisctics which are needed to run a lurker character. There are many abilities to mention here : their small size, skill bonuses, darkvision, their tail (usable as weapon) and their unique scream. I think their fearful scream is their most powerful trait, but it still doesn't seems too overpowered. Alternate racial traits and favored class options (including 3rd party classes) are also provided for more character customization.
We also receive some feats to improve upon the lurker's racial traits and they may even fly if they want. The only feat I don't like is the Racial Exemplar, as possibly providing two more options to scream is a bit overkill for the cost of a single feat, especially if we are speaking about a high charisma character (sorcerer or bard)
The sourcebook also contains three new archetypes : dirty trickster (bard), night haunt (inquisitor) and kithmourn lurker (shadow assassin), but since I don't know the shadow assassin class from Super Genius Games I could only praise the other two. The dirty trickster is an ultimate spy, who can erase memories, fake evidences and perform many more interesting tricks. It's repertoire include one seemingly overpowered ability : survive anything what would kill her at high levels (17+), once per day, which is empowered with further effects to ensure her survival.
The night haunt on the other hand is something like the fantasy RPG version of the Batman, with full BAB, shadow lines, and an information network (connected telephatically) and a cohort. The class alse receive two new inqusitions : one to demoralize foes, and one to use dimension door in the shadows. Overall I think it's an interesting and very viable concept for an inquisitor who hunt wrong-doers in the shadows of the night.
After reading the supplement, I think In The Company of Lurkers offers an interesting new race, and also some new options in the form of archetypes for non-lurker characters. I guess that if your campaign is not taking place in Questhaven the lurkers could be more suitable as NPC-s than players, but encountering them in a world where the are completely unheard of could be an interesting twist. As a final score I give 4,5/5 points.
For those who are interested in the In The Company of Lurkers supplement, it's avaialble on DriveThruRPG on this link.
Zoltán "Cain" Mészáros