Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Review: Super Genius Games- The Genius Guide to the Shadow Assassin

During my initial exploration of Pathfinder, a little over a year ago, I stumbled upon some bizarre looking downloads at Drivethrurpg. Instead of the large hundred page books I was expecting, there were a lot of bite sized products. There were still plenty of the more traditional releases, but the volume and variety of the smaller releases astounded me.

And here is where I show my age. I don't have a cell phone or ipod. I don't play any of Zynga's Facebook games. I occasionally download a bit of WiiWare, but otherwise I don't interact much with the whole "microtransaction" thing. I understand that it is a popular and growing business model today. I simply don't use it much. In my eagerness to sample some of the third party products for Pathfinder I bypassed my typical microsale reluctance. There are few better decisions that I have made in my gaming life.

The presentation is decent, but a little bit oddly shaped. It fits my screen differently than my other pdf gaming books. It is not a poor design; just a bit awkward to view on my netbook. Thankfully, the content is superb and more than makes up for any design quirks.

While similar to the Rogue, the Shadow Assassin presents the players a very different take on stealth combat. Sneak attack damage is replaced with multiple options for increased overall weapon effectiveness. Shurikens, Two-weapon Fighting, and a conjured blade are a few of the possible weapons styles. Each weapon style can be selected multiple times for increased effectiveness. Also, the Shadow Assassin can qualify for fighter feats with select weapons. While the weapon training provided to the Shadow Assassin may not directly counter the loss of sneak attack damage the class fights a bit more like a Ranger and should be able to hit more often than a rogue of equal level with the right build.

Aside from possibly lower damage output, the Shadow Assassin also lacks the Trapfinding ability. I have played in parties without Trapfinding, and it was never an insurmountable problem. Some areas of an adventure would require us to approach it differently, but we were always able to proceed. If your party would feel safer with Trapfinding, plan accordingly.

All of the Genius Guide supplements that I have bought have been excellent. When I start the Character a Day feature I want to showcase these classes along with the traditional ones. As soon as I double check the legal type stuff I plan on starting with some of the Genius Guide classes. I might do a theme week if I am so inspired.

1 comment:


    I meant to provide a link to the product.