||The ?The Core Specialist Wizard? series is an interesting concept. It is meant to present specialist wizards as a core, 20 level class. They basically try to ?kick it up a notch? by making the specialists more distinctive than is possible with the core system. In this product, the author focuses on the specialist in the divination school of magic. This school, as you know, focuses on prediction, uncovering secrets and hidden objects, and disrupting spells which attempt to deceive the senses.
I?ve broken the review up to coincide with each content carrying section of this product.
The ?Specialist and Multi-classing? section simply states the rules for multi-classing any character that uses the proposed variant specialist wizard rules. Mostly, this section seems quite well thought out to ensure consistency with a particular campaign, though, as with most things of this nature, the final word will rest to the individual dungeon masters of the world that have a certain ?flavor? they are striving for.
The ?New Skill Uses? section sets out an interesting mechanic for handling the stereotypical ?fortune teller? scenario. The rules establish the procedures, and identify the core mechanics, which affect how difficult it is to convince a mark of the ?false prophecy?. It is fairly involved, in that it involves multiple rolls, and will not appeal to anyone that prefers a quick and easy system. At the same time, the procedure seems logical in the context of the mechanics it relies on. An interesting system that has been deeply pondered.
The ?New Feats? section describes the 10 new feats in the typical feats format. Also included is a table listing the feat name and the prerequisites. Unfortunately, it does not include a short description of the feat?s purpose as can be found in the analogous ?core? table. Nine of the feats are ?specialist? feats which have class restrictions of various levels. For example, a prerequisite of two levels in diviner.
?The Diviner Core Class? section sets out the variant diviner class in the traditional class format. As is true for each of the products in this line that I have reviewed, I would have liked to have seen a brief discussion of the ways in which the variant diviner compares to a core ?specialist?. Obviously, anyone can compare them so I am not asking for a simple list of changes. Rather, a brief explanation of the process by which certain abilities were dropped, why certain abilities were changed, why the new content was adopted in the structure that appears would be quite useful. This would be very useful to everyone that uses this product and, as we know gamers are apt to do, decides that this class can be slightly tweaked to make it perfect. Or need to make an adjustment or two to infuse the class with the flavor they are trying to cultivate in their campaign. This is a very particular concern that could push this series of Specialist Wizards to greater heights, but it does not detract from the value of this product.
Beyond that, the diviner variant presented here is an interesting concept that will prove useful to those of you anxious to explore a different take on a spellcaster focused on the divination school.
?The Cosmic Fist PrC? section sets out this new prestige class in the traditional class format. This prestige class presents an opportunity for everyone that has wanted to combine the monastic training of the monk with a caster of the divination school. I am slightly concerned about the playability of this prestige class as it leans towards the melee monk abilities and away from spellcasting. For example, by not advancing the character?s spellcasting level with every cosmic fist level. It would seem to fit better with a product focused on monks than one focused on the divination school. Regardless, it is an interesting concept.
?The Oracle PrC? section sets out this new prestige class in the traditional class format. This prestige class presents an opportunity for taking an extreme focus on scrying and forecasting the future. This option presents an opportunity clearly in line with the spellcasting focus of this product. Each of the special abilities clearly is related to scrying specifically, or some subset of divination magics.
The ?Magic Items? section sets out one weapon quality relevant to the ?uncovering truth? element of the divination school and four items. Unfortunately, it appears that the last magical item has its description cut short. For example, it is missing information on ?market price? in the notes that generally follow magic item descriptions.
To rousing gaming and ample rewards,
1. The concept of this variant is interesting.
2. The new skill uses are quite imaginative.
1. Minor errors.
QUALITY: Very Good
[4 of 5 Stars!]