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Faces of the Tarnished Souk: Po’Kesteros, the Lostling RPG Review

Posted on May 15, 2012 by Flames


Available at RPGNow.com

    Po’Kesteros, the Lostling.
    This is one of the Faces of the Tarnished Souk series NPC’s for use with the Rite Publishing campaign setting/ adventure arc Coliseum Morpheuon. This is a setting of adventures and intrigues in the Plane of Dreams, where people can burn their dreams (Dreamburning) to influence fate and events. Not only can someone choose to burn a dream to control their circumstances but dreams can be stolen. On the Plane of Dreams, a dream is power. From what I can gather this high level setting, 16-20th levels, has roots in Planescape, with intrigue between factions, gladiator games, crazy occurrences, otherworldly landscapes and things unusual and odd to throw at your players.

    Now on with the show. This review focuses on a character who wanders the Tarnished Souk, a fantastical marketplace in the Plane of Dreams.

    The 16 page book features three versions of Po’Kesteros at levels 20, 15 and 7, with background and how to use him in the setting. The book also features his magic weapons, stat blocks and luckbringer abilities, a new class also created by Rite Publishing. Finally the book includes three templates that can be applied to Po’Kesteros or others to change and enhance an encounter.

    First I will discuss the story and usage suggestions for Po’Kesteros, followed by discussion of his game abilities and finally general thoughts on the work as a whole.

    Po’Kesteros is a half elf kidnapped by dark fey at birth, and left to run feral as a child. His wild upbringing has created an unlikely assassin who relies as much on his improbable luck as his enchanted knives. He is known for killing more foes by “freakish happenstance” than with his blades, even if something can’t go wrong with one of Po’Kesteros’ opponents, it likely will anyway. The book then goes on to describe how to use him, Po’Kesteros is the ultimate wildcard. His sheer improbability can make an easy explanation for utterly impossible events, or to sweep some GM handwavery under the rug. There are also suggestions to integrate him into several of the adventure sections of the Coliseum Morpheuon, and entangle him in feuds between factions that the PCs might have to deal with.

    The majority of the book is devoted to the various stat blocks, magic items and special abilities possessed by Po’Kesteros. He is mostly the Luckbringer class created by Rite, with a few cherry picks for abilities that interact in interesting ways with the Luckbringer. The Luckbringer class is about using your power over probability to influence the world around you in exceptional and, you guessed it, improbable ways. There are also combat suggestions if you want to drop Po’Kesteros in as an opponent for your PCs, as stated earlier he is an assassin and I can see him doing some heavy damage to a PC with a price on her head in just a few rounds before escaping. His Luckbringer abilities, along with his alchemist and ninja cherry picked levels allow Po’Kesteros to ensure that one deadly hit, with enough punch to finish the job and improbably escape retribution. The book helpfully details the options from the Luckbringer class that he can use so you don’t have to have that separate supplement, a nice
    touch.

    The book also includes a few new to me templates, Adaptable, Preternatural and Trickster; as well as rules for creating fey creatures. The Adaptable template gives situational survivability to a creature. They can change damage types to bypass damage reduction; gain energy resistance to whatever energy type is around them and can gain immunity to unique attacks after being affected by them. The Preternatural template suffuses a creature with magic, giving spell like abilities, spell resistance, the ability to absorb magic and damage reduction negated only by natural weapons such as wood or a fist. A creature with the Trickster template gains spell like abilities to play tricks on opponents, such as turning a sword into a rubber snake or vanishing into thin air.

    Overall this is an interesting character that could be fun to further develop what appears to be a rich and diverse campaign setting. However, it suffers from all high level encounters for many systems, especially those derived from OGL d20; pages and pages of stats and numbers and feats and abilities and spells and magic items. That is no fault of either Rite Publishing or Pathfinder, just a feature of the system. I don’t tend to play higher levels because I don’t want to keep track of all of that. But judging by this character and what I have read of Coliseum Morpheuon, Rite has created a very interesting and fleshed out campaign setting that might make me give higher level play a second look.

    I would recommend this character to add some unpredictability and chaos to a Coliseum Morpheuon campaign and for those not playing in Rite’s world to give it a look.

    Review by Bryce Pearcy
    Bryce is gamer who has recently finished law school and hopes to keep playing wargames, boardgames and RPGs while holding down a job. He blogs about 40k and gaming at dissentingdice.blogspot.com. He can also
    be found on twitter @bryce963

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