Sunday, May 5, 2013

An Expert Look at Experts

"Experts 3.5" by various, published and distributed by Skirmisher Publishing.
ISBN = 0-9722511-9-7  SKP # 0502

Quick Look-see:

Forward by Gary Gygax
1) Craftsmen
2) Entertainers
3) Professionals
4) Scholars
5) Tradesmen

Here, purports to be a through look at the often neglected Expert class, which is only briefly described in the DMG.  Let's open the book and see what we discover.

Forward: A two page praise for what Skirmisher has done with this book.

Acknowledgments: A two page list of thank yous for people helping with the book.

Introduction: A 10 page overview for how to use this book, including a new PC class: The Specialist.

Chapter 1: Craftsmen: Various details about Craftsmen, including: Armorer, Blacksmith, Brewer, Jeweler, Sculptor, Shipwright, Stonemason, Taxidermist, and Weaponmaker.  Many good facts about the craft-related jobs included.

Chapter 2: Entertainers: Various details about entertainers such as: Minstrels, Actors, Acrobats, Clowns, Courtesans, Opera Divas, Balladeers, Mimes, Skalds, Jongleurs, Poets, and Storytellers.  Specifics only given on Acrobat, Actor, and Courtesan, but there's a page detailing other types of performances.

Chapter 3: Professionals: Various details about Professionals such as: Barristers, Cartographer, Engineers, Architects, Navigators, and Physicians.  Engineers and Architects are grouped together.  There's also a short list of Medicinal Compounds.

Chapter 4: Scholars: Various details about Scholars such as: Alchemist, Archaeologist, Astronomer, Sage, and Scribe.  There's also a section on Alchemical Elixirs.

Chapter 5: Tradesmen: Various details about Tradesmen such as: Animal Trainers, Exterminators, Guides, Merchants, Millers, Miners, Sailors, Slavers, and Undertakers.  There's also a chart for value of slaves. 

Appendix 1: Prestige Classes: New Prestige classes for players include the Guildmaster, the Militia Leader, and the Spellcrafter.  The usual tables are given for each.

Appendix 2: New Skills: A large number of new skills, primarily intended for the Experts within this book.

Appendix 3: New Feats: A couple pages of new Feats, primarily intended for the Experts within this book.

Appendix 4: Sample Characters: 30 new people to populate your campaign with.

Appendix 5: New Magic Items: 21 new magic items, some of which might be found in the possession of an expert.

Appendix 6: Guilds: Some tables for local guilds and a short guide to guilds in game.

Appendix 7: Costs: A very general guide to costs, and a random cost table.

Appendix 8: Expert XP: One page guide to awarding NPC's some XP.

Appendix 9: Expert Work Areas: Some great ideas on where Experts would

Appendix 10: Open Game License

This list isn't anywhere near as comprehensive as it could be.  Yes, there are a =lot= of appendixes.  There is a lot of material in the 10 appendixes that compliments the main material.  A good GM could also derive even more experts than the ones in the book.  Since this is the first book to expand upon the limited info in the DMG, I, for one, was glad to see this 176 page tome.  The New Skills appendix really helped me flesh out major NPC's.  It also could serve as a way to show newer GM's that their NPC's deserve XP, too.  The fully fleshed out NPC Characters show what would happen if somebody utilized the new Expert abilities.  Appendix 9 even has a couple maps that could be used in a campaign.  Altogether, a very worthwhile purchase for any GM.

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