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The Genius Guide to the Dragonrider $3.99
Average Rating:4.5 / 5
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The Genius Guide to the Dragonrider
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The Genius Guide to the Dragonrider
Publisher: Rogue Genius Games
by Richard H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/22/2014 15:38:56
Just checked out Owen Stephens' Genius Guide to the Dragonrider, after his ‪#‎microfeats‬ post this morning on FB. If dragonriders are something that interest you, you need to have this. If you're on the fence about dragonriders, you should seriously consider picking this up. Owen's "focus" mechanic is a brilliant way to balance out, not only the number of actions the PC/dragon can take in a round, but the power you're dealing with. It's a mechanic I wish they had incorporated into familiars, summoned creatures, animal companions, etc. Nothing slows down play like a druid with a companion who has just summoned a several metric tons of claws and teeth.

The dragonriders themselves are decent in a fight (Full BAB, monk-like saves), but only wear light armor, have limited weapons and very limited selection of spells. Still, these features compliment their companion well. The focus is on the dragonrider/dragon combo, not one or the other. Even the explanation behind why an intelligent dragon would bond with a humanoid rider makes sense, game-wise at least.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Genius Guide to the Dragonrider
Publisher: Rogue Genius Games
by Shawn N. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/28/2012 20:53:46
Product is good quality, easily playable and fun. You get to play a dragon if you like as a mount and its balanced
to fit well into the game. Mostly I like the fact that it comes ready to download into Hero Lab which is a major bonus!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Genius Guide to the Dragonrider
Publisher: Rogue Genius Games
by Shane O. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/01/2009 15:25:54
There are some images that are the epitome of the genre they come from, whether it’s a psychic monk with a glowing energy sword for space opera or a leather-clad rebel fleeing from police on hover-bikes through the filthy alleys of a dystopia for cyberpunk. For fantasy, though, the iconic image is that of a sword-wielding hero riding on the back of a dragon. Despite its iconic stature, however, it’s not something that’s easy to pull off in your average Pathfinder game simply because of the problem with finding a dragon that your character can ride on…until OtherWorld Creations published The Genius Guide to the Dragonrider.

For a technical perspective, this PDF does relatively well. There are no bookmarks, something I prefer in PDFs, but since there are only thirteen pages here, I can’t really take off points for that. There are brief borders along the top and bottom of each page, and several full color pictures, so printing this out shouldn’t be too much trouble for anyone who wants to play one of these.

And in all honesty, who wouldn’t want to play a dragonrider? When I read the description for the book, I reflexively put my pinky to the corner of my mouth and exclaimed “Are you telling me I have a frickin’ DRAGON for a mount?” And indeed, that’s what this class offers, and that’s just for starters.

A full 20-level base class, the dragonrider has full BAB progression and all good saves. Moreover, eventually is able to cast a few levels of arcane spells (fourth being the highest), and gains new class abilities at each level (e.g. energy resistance, scent, etc.), but all of that pales in comparison to the dragon steed he gets right from 1st level. While this might sound horribly overpowered, the book actually makes it work, since the dragon is not only young, but less powerful than normal dragons, though it grows stronger as the character advances. As such, there are balancing factors like the breath weapon being very limited, the mount needing to spend an action to give the dragon full actions in combat, etc. The end result is that while there might be some issues (a flying mount that can carry you at 1st level, or trying to fit a Gargantuan dragon into a dungeon at 16th level), this class is one that stands alongside the other Pathfinder classes on relatively equal footing.

By itself, that would be an incredible accomplishment, but what really makes this book superb is the narrative descriptions for why all of this works the way it does. Author Owen K. C. Stephens has some serious RPG chops on him, and he shows it off here. Why does your dragon have less power compared to other dragons? Because its innate magic is being largely spent to fuel your mystic bond with it. Why would any dragon agree to this in the first place? Because after the rider dies, the dragon gains all the powers it’d have at the age it hits that size (since it grows larger as you gain levels) even if it’s otherwise very young. It’s this kind of in-game perspective that really makes the class shine, since it comes up with reasons for why this class works like it does, rather than glossing over those issues.

There are ten dragon types listed, those being the five chromatics and metallics, each having three special mount stat blocks for each size. In effect, this also fulfills the Pathfinder paradigm of having classes whose main feature(s) is variable, making for different iterations of the same class. A dragonrider with a silver dragon is similar to one with a red dragon, but some of the powers are altered.

Looking over this book, I tried to find some aspect of it that I was critical of, but all I really found was in the things it didn’t do. Beyond questions of bookmarks or printer-friendly versions, I can see wanting there to be some related content here, like dragonrider-specific feats or spells. That said, I really don’t think that’s much of a strike against what is here, since it’s already done very well in being mechanically balanced and flavorfully evocative. This is a strong addition to the lexicon of Pathfinder material out there, and as such I definitely recommend picking it up so you can finally make a PC that evokes that iconic image of the hero riding into battle atop his dragon.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Genius Guide to the Dragonrider
Publisher: Rogue Genius Games
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/29/2009 12:56:54
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 Game. 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.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Genius Guide to the Dragonrider
Publisher: Rogue Genius Games
by Nathan C. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/29/2009 11:28:53
I come into this review with a bit of a bias.

I strongly believe that every campaign should have a point where the players get a shot at riding a dragon. In my current campaign, a player wants to utilize its new dragon buddy. She immediately perked up when I told her how cool of a supplement Super Genius Games has released with A Genius Guide to: The Dragonrider.

Dragonriders is a 13-page supplement that introduced a single class, The Dragonrider. Lets face it, the name of the game is Dungeons and DRAGONS. They are the iconic monster of the game. Every campaign I have completed, I have finished with a big battle with a dragon. Considering how powerful these creatures are, they are hard to ally with players. My current player had the delusion that she was going to train a dragon as a pet, and she soon learned that it was her who was the pet. Super Genius understands this, and has though the class mechanics of Dragonriders is pretty familiar with other dragon rider classes of 3rd edition ole, the idea to underpower the dragon and explain it with the flavor of bonding is super genius. Okay, maybe not genius, but a pretty smart and balanced idea none the less.

The class demonstrates a true bond. The Dragonrider gains spells and dragon like abilities while maintaining the dragon’s ability as a strong flying mount. As the pcs grows, so does the dragon. Stat progression and level packages are included to easily guide the reader. This is a complicated class, but the layout and detail are specific enough to guide even a novice player to creating a high level character.

For the Player
Flavor and mechanics unite to create the dragon riding class you have waited for. It runs balanced with the pathfinder classes, though the d10 hit die may be one step too many. I like the idea of the limited spells that go well with the dragon nature.

For the Dungeon Master
This feels more like a player class to provide a balanced dungeon rider. A DM would probably be best picking a normal dragon and npc if he is going to go the route of an npc riding dragon that will only make a guest appearance. However, if an NPC is going to travel with the party for a while, then using the dragonrider class would be the best way to insure party balance. There are stats provided for both good and evil dragons.

The Iron Word
A Genius Guide to: The Dragonrider is a superbly designed class that allows players to finally have that dragon mount without screwing with the balance of the game. The key comes in the dragon progression start and doing away with minor differences between the various dragons. Super Genius put a lot of work into one class and it shows with the Dragonrider.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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