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  • By Shane O'Connor
    Oct 15, 2009
    "The Practical Enchanter review" Having been a heavy d20 enthusiast since the system came out, I've become somewhat jaded towards new d20 magic books. They all tend to be either filled with new spells that just don't seem very original anymore, or they totally reinvent the wheel with a new magic system that, as often as not, seems more complex and useless than what they wanted to replace. Ultimately, new d20 magic books just felt like a pretty big waste of time once you had most of the major books in that niche. And then, I discovered The Practical Enchanter. While this book is comparable to Distant Horizon Games's other huge book, Eclipse, this one doesn't go quite as far for magic as that one did for character generation. That is to say, The Practical Enchanter isn't quite introducing a new magic system per se; nor is it a big book of just new d20 spells. Rather, it has elements of both, but presents them in a way so as to make them incredibly useful, both for how... More > innovative they are, and for how easy it is to cherry-pick the parts you like into your game. A few words to those looking into downloading this book. First, the PDF has no front and back covers. Secondly, it has no bookmarks nor OCR, which can make navigating it a bit cumbersome. Finally, don't forget, it's almost 300 meg. The book is divided into six chapters, each of which I'll go over. The first chapter is the most basic, and off the bat will probably be the most useful at-a-glance. This begins by methodically going over the various bonus types in the d20 system, and giving spells that affect them. It's worth noting that these spells do away with class lists, having just level listings; the rationale here is that GM's can assign class lists as they like. What's far more noteworthy, though, is that these spells largely break down the existing spell parameters, reinventing classic spells into more manageable versions. For example, there are several different spells of Haste (including a higher-level version that mimics the 3.0 spell), depending on how powerful you want it to be, and how many characters you want it to affect. Several spells take this even further, being "spell templates" that have their spell level modified depending on how you set the other conditions, e.g. range, number of targets, etc. Once this chapter is done covering bonuses, it moves on to more exotic fare, such as constructs, curses, and more. The sheer number of new spells here is staggering, especially considering what you can do with the spell templates. None of this happens in a vacuum, either. There are numerous sidebars explaining how they came up with various calculations regarding their results. The second chapter covers different aspects related to actually casting spells. From adding metamagic effects as an inherent part of a spell, to casting magic rituals with the Spellcraft skill, and more, there's quite a few new magic (sub-)systems here. The third chapter presents new feats (referencing feats found in other chapters). Although it's short, these feats are extremely innovative in what they offer. Chapter four covers a handful of new magic items. The common factor is that these are magic items that make sense in a land that has always had magic. Chapter five covers some alternate magic systems. These are actually much more brief than you'd think, largely retooling existing d20 mechanics to have a different feel. The work on charms and talismans offer a new take on magic items. Chapter six covers two major types of location-based magic. Heartstones are places of inherent magic that can be tapped into. Wards are magic that can be added to a place. Both sections have several examples. Buy this book today!< Less
  • By Paul Melroy
    Dec 6, 2007
    "Re: The Practical Enchanter review" Hmm... The correct PDF version - Indexed, Searchable, and only 37 MB - is available for 9.99 under the Digital Edition listing on the main page. The PDF version here is the print file, which was set up as an image to avoid font problems. It wasn't supposed to be available for download at all, but for some reason I haven't been able to get the download link for it here to go away. Other than that note, thank you very much!
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Product Details

Paul Melroy
April 19, 2007
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
1.61 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
8.5 wide x 11 tall
Product ID
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