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Faces of the Tarnished Souk: Primus Gearheart, the Clockwork King (PFRPG) $2.95 $0.99
Average Rating:3.5 / 5
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Faces of the Tarnished Souk: Primus Gearheart, the Clockwork King (PFRPG)
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Faces of the Tarnished Souk: Primus Gearheart, the Clockwork King (PFRPG)
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Chris J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/20/2014 15:57:46
I have purchased quite a number of things from Rite Publishing – however this is my first glimpse into the Tarnished Souk. I should preface this by stating that the author offered me a copy of this product in exchange for this review.

I really enjoyed reading about the Clockwork King, Primus Gearheart. The description made him seem like a very vivid and engaging NPC with unique goals and insight. After reading the first page I wanted to read more about Black Glass Spade and the Jack of Diamonds. The Clockwork King seemed like he would be a very interesting NPC for PCs to encounter and interact with. The description page also offered a number of ways to have Primus interact with a party – which seems particularly helpful.

The endless stat blocks that followed were something of a disappointment. An immortal golem sorcerer with a superb armor class and some really neat and terrifying attacks is not what I was expecting. The stat blocks present three very formidable combat opponents – which is fine. In fact if I need some really devastating opponents for a party the stat blocks for Primus Gearheart (at three different CR’s) would be excellent. Though I would probably replace all the non-combat feats and skills with things more relevant to inflicting maximum damage and destruction on the PCs. And I think that is the problem here. After reading the first page I wasn’t looking for a devastating martial and arcane opponent for the party. I was looking for an engaging NPC, building intelligent constructs in his workshop and pinning for his unrequited love. And while the NPC stat blocks presented could probably do that – that didn’t seem to be their focus. I get that sorcerers need to have a high Charisma – the description provided doesn’t sound like someone with a Charisma of 27. Granted that this is when he is CR21, but even at CR7 a CHA18 seems wildly out of character. Frankly the stat blocks didn’t match the description.

I know that Pathfinder is all about beating on monsters and I probably shouldn’t expect anything different, but the first page of this NPC set me up to expect something unique and flavorful which the following pages failed to deliver. And while I am tempted by what else the Tarnished Souk might contain in terms of roleplaying potential – I’m cynical enough to think that it will perhaps only offer the usual “beat on the next monster” fare.

If you are looking for three kick-ass opponents for your PCs – Primus Gearheart is an okay choice. The stat blocks would need to be tweaked for optimization. Primus Gearheart’s description provides a potentially interesting role-playing opportunity but fails to survive “let’s turn everything into a combat encounter”.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Faces of the Tarnished Souk: Primus Gearheart, the Clockwork King (PFRPG)
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Dawn F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/06/2011 13:03:43
Note: some spoilers exist in this review and should be read only by those GMs who intend to run a high level campaign.


Primus Gearheart is yet another denizen of the Tarnished Souk and a traveler in the Plane of Dreams. Role play opportunities abound with Primus and he has a number of tasks for PCs and enemies to defeat. Should the PCs impress him with their ingenuity, he also has some unique rewards for them as well. He provides ample opportunity for a Game Master to introduce his players to the complexities of the Plane of Dreams and find adventure in the Coliseum Morpheon beyond that which has been provided in the original supplement. This along with the multiple CR stat blocks and the section on creating a Clockwork Creature make Primus an essential addition to the Tarnished Souk.

Of course there is also the possibility that Primus can help the PCs in turn. Primus sells goods from the mundane to the magical and even clockwork constructs, if the PCs promise to treat them well. It is possible that Primus can craft Ironborn technologies onto the PCs themselves, though a separate supplement by Rite Publishing would need to be purchased for this “template” should a GM not wish to design his or her own.

What didn’t really interest me as much was some of Primus’s back story, particularly the often overdone trope of unrequited robot love. This is very minor though and can be ignored quite easily as there are plenty of other tasks. Some may find his more “human” side makes Primus even more interesting. I did like Primus’s other motivations particularly with regards to freeing other clockworks and constructs from slavery imposed upon them by the organic. Depending upon the make-up and possessions of your PCs, this could either place the PCs at odds with Primus or make them instant allies.

I rate Primus Gearheart at 4 of 5 stars due to some back story elements and for the fact that a separate supplement is needed to make full use of Primus’s benefits. Primus makes an essential part of the Tarnished Souk, so I would not want to exclude him when bring my PCs to this place. So far I have been very impressed with the denizens of the Tarnished Souk. Each one adds interest, complexity and excitement to a high level campaign. I hope to see many more clever ideas from the folks at Rite Publishing.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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