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Gothic Grimoires: The Necrotic Verses Review

Posted By Megan On December 18, 2012 @ 10:25 am In Reviews,RPGs | No Comments

Available at RPGNow.com

    Packed into but four pages (the other four being filled with a fancy cover, the credits and an introduction explaining what it’s all about, and a page of adverts for other Legendary Games product) here is a wealth of material designed to support and enhance one of Paizo’s Adventure Paths. As explained in the introduction, they have chosen not to mention just which Adventure Path (so as to avoid even suspicion of using Paizo’s intellectual property) but as I am GMing the one in question at the moment, it’s not too hard to guess. (‘Carrion Crown’ if you really want to know!)

    So, what’s there? The background notes explain that The Necrotic Verses was written by a brilliant but probably quite mad young bard, apparently after he lost patience with a fellow who listened unmoved to several of his performances. On challenging this churl to show him something he didn’t know, the fellow played a simple sequence of notes that haunted the bard for the rest of his days…

    Spooky enough for you? The poor bard ended his days in an insane asylum that was obliterated by a falling star, allegedly summoned by his ravings. The work presented here was pieced together after his death from fragments of his work and other materials, several people claiming authorship of parts or the whole but with little evidence to support any claims.

    Characters studying The Necrotic Verses may develop obsessions of their own, or have the opportunity to learn spells not usually available to bards. Much of the material is downright strange and complex, as are the obsessions that unwary readers may develop, all carefully explained in terms of rule mechanics as well as atmospheric flavour text.

    The work also contains nine masterpieces which bards may study and perform (if they dare!). Each has specific effects but learning them comes at a cost – generally loss of feats or spells already known. Perhaps there’s not room in the poor bard’s head for all of them. Once learned, however, you may perform the piece whenever you dare to gain the stated effects.

    Beautifully presented, you may wish to consider using the printer-friendly version onscreen as well, as the fancy background makes it a bit sluggish to page through. A minor carp for an outstanding and original supplement.

    Review by Megan Robertson

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