The Saving Throw
d20 - Advanced Player's Manual 03.20.2008
Saving Throw's review of Advanced Player's Manual

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Advanced Player's Manual
published by Green Ronin reviewed by Martin Drury
224 pages, 2005, $34.95
Content 17
Organization 16
Consistency 16
Intelligibility 16
Solid Hit
Review Scoring

   The Advanced Player's Manual provides new and expanded options for d20 gaming designed to push the limits of the rules back by removing some of the roadblocks in the basic ruleset. This is accomplished by adding a new ability score, options for races, classes, alignment and skills, rules for mass combat, rules for spells and an assortment of other minor tweaks.

The Luck ability, introduced in the first chapter of the book, provides an ability score to handle those situations that are not handled efficiently by the original six abilities. This ability can be used to spice up game play by measuring a character's luck at performing a skill untrained or other random events within the bounds of a typical campaign.

Chapter two covers options for tweaking the core races. Like the rest of the book it is designed to give the player optimum control over the character, with minimum fuss.

The third chapter introduces six new character classes: the eldritch weaver, evangelist, scout, spellmaster, thanemage and warpriest. Each one of these classes provides something new from the eldritch weaver's "thread" spellcasting to a spellmaster's never-ending supply of spells to the thanemage and warpriest's mix of magic and physical combat abilities.

Chapter four provides new takes on using the base skills provided in the core rules while chapter five provides new feats, mostly tailored for the mass combat rules provided chapter seven. The sixth chapter provides a new take on the character description, from rules for randomly determining starting ages for new races two several new takes on alignment, including the ability to convert alignment to a score that can be used similarly to ability scores.

Chapter seven covers mass combat, one of those situations that is not covered well by the core rules. These rules are very detailed, but can be a boon to any Game Master wanting to involve the player characters in the fringe of a battle between large armies or in the heart of one.

The last chapter of the book provides new spells. These are useful to any mage or cleric, but are essential for the eldritch weaver's thread spell casting. Rounding out the book are two appendices. The first is essentially a reprint of some of the information found in Green Ronin's Psychic's Handbook. The second appendix provides unit stats designed to make chapter seven's mass combat rules easier to implement in a campaign.

For gamers looking for ways to tweak and modify the core rules for those situations that always come up unexpectedly in campaigns, from the luck factor to mass combat, the Advanced Player's Manual provides the keys to making the game more flexible and more importantly, more enjoyable.

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