Villain Design handbook – The page book is the ultimate guide to in your Kingdoms of Kalamar campaign or any other campaign world. Review of Villain Design Handbook Chapter 7 is Prestige Classes, which tend to be very Kingdoms of Kalamar specific (which is great if you’re a Kingdoms of. D&D – Kingdoms of Kalamar – Villain Design – Ebook download as PDF File .pdf) or read book online.

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Results 1 to 9 of 9. Join Date Apr Posts 2, Villain Design Handbook This Kingdoms of Kalamar supplement is perfect for the Dungeon Master who wants to easily create fantastic villains with detailed histories and motives. This is more than simply a book of NPCs! This handbook contains dozens of new villain archetypes that DMs can use as a foundation for creating their own villain, prestige classes, feats and anti-feats, as well as information on giving villains real motivations and obsessions, the criminal psychology of the villain, the villains place in society, building levels of intrigue, how to avoid common stereotypes, prestige classes, feats, anti-feats and more!

A new Kingdoms of Kalamar adventure is also included! This is not a playtest review, nor did I receive the book as a review copy. It is, however, a sort of karmic payback for me never writing a review of Midnight’s Terrorwhich I did get free from the Kenzer folks. Overview The Kalamar Villain’s Design Handbook is much like the characters and magic items described in its pages: Although the book is not printed on the glossy paper that WOTC and other companies tend to use for their hardbacks, the paper is high quality and feels very sturdy and it doesn’t show fingerprints like the glossy stuff, either.

The art is fairly infrequent and no particular pieces stand out in my mind as being notably good or bad. Advice The book starts out with some excellent broad advice on what makes a good villain and how to tweak classic fantasy stereotypes to make them a bit more interesting. The ‘villainous classes’ information that follows, on the other hand, is not as good – mostly very obvious blurbs such as “Fighters make excellent villains in combat heavy campaigns” that seem to exist to fill space.

How about showing us how to turn those stereotypes around? Hints on how a fighter could be used as a villain in a non-combat campaign would have been far more valuable. There’s also a Good aligned villain section – depending on your views of alignment, you may like it or hate it.

It falls into the ‘alignment is relative’ theory that caused so much debate in earlier editions – are good intentions enough to make one ‘good’, even when they lead to acts like genocide, poisoning and the like?

I don’t think so, but the authors seem to. There are 6 villain archetypes detailed, although each has a variety of sub-archetypes and even sub-sub archetypes, making for quite a few more.

Kenzer Kingdoms of Kalamar D 20 Villain Design Handbook V 3.0 HC NM

The main archetypes and sub-archetypes are well decribed, with notes that highlight the unique factors of each, and differences from the other archetypes. Each sub-archetype comes with a sample villain complete with descriptions and discussions of exactly why they are villains – these “Why?

Stat blocks for the sample villains are neatly tucked into an appendix. There are also discussions of villain motivations, henchmen, settings discussing what types of villains are more appropriate to urban or wilderness desibn and organizations. The organizations section could have used a little more meat: If you’re not a Kalamar player, note that these feat paths do tend to include feats from the KoK Player’s Guide. There’s also a section on placing your villain inside an organization, with questions to make you think about his relationship with the organization and what that might reflect about the villain.

Mechanics Feats There are several new feats in the Villain Design Handbook, most of which look relatively balanced – many of them I would only take if it were strongly appropriate for the character in question, which is a decent enough measurement.

The one that gives me pause is Spell Swap, which lets a wizard trade in a spell to spontaneously cast another spell which he has memorized. There’s a Spellcraft check involved, and failure means the loss of both spell slots, but it’s fairly powerful as it lessens one of the major advantages a sorcerer has over his wizardly cousins – the tactical flexibility of choosing the spell mix at casting time.

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Anti-Feats Then there’s the Anti-Feats. An interesting idea, anti-feats kungdoms ‘disadvantages’ that can be taken, one per level. Two anti-feats will get you a regular feat. While it’s an interesting concept, it has some fairly major flaws, and is probably one of the more handblok parts of the book. First, the anti-feats are randomly rolled on a d table, meaning that you could easily get results that are no penalty at all.

For example, take a wizard with four anti-feats. I suppose that might come up. My familiar loses the ability to fly. If it weren’t a toad, that might have hurt. Spirited Charge – I do kwlamar half damage when mounted and performing the charge action. Must remember to merely do normal attacks from horseback, I suppose. Second, some of the conversions from feat to antifeat are particularly ill thought-out – take the Psionic Weapon anti-feat, for example: This attack is less potent than normal.

There’s the core of an interesting idea here, but the execution is, sadly, very sloppy. Prestige Classes After that we have some Prestige Classes. Blackfoot is a 5-level ‘revolutionary’ class with mob-inciting abilities. Blue Salamanders are much like rogues with some added psionic abilities although added as Spell-like abilities and not actual psionics.

The first of the ‘problem’ PrCs is the Unchainer. It’s a 5 level class that doesn’t require any spellcasting to enter – but under it is a chart marked ‘Unchainer Spells Known’ and directly under that ‘Free Domain Spells Per Day’ huh? I am completely baffled by this table.

Villain Design Handbook (Dungeons & Dragons: Kingdoms Of Kalamar Supplement)

That seems a bit excessive, especially considering that one of the available domains is Celerity a Prestige domain from Defenders of the Faith. The Darklight Wizard is even handbolk. A level prestige class that can potentially be entered at 2nd level requirement: Well, you would if there were any 9th level spells on the darklight wizard list.

Plus, you get class abilities like animate dead and control undead as well as kaalamar times the skill points of a normal wizard. Way too over the top for my taste, even if the list of viillain is severely limited. The table here also has the ‘spells known’ header directly above the ‘spells per day’ header. Cut and paste error again, I suppose.

After this, things calm down again with the Sentinels of the True Way 5 level PrC member of an anti-magical organization and the True Disciples of Avrynner, a psionic group. Last is the veteran officer, which is a great concept that is crippled by the entry requirements – 8 ranks villxin in class skills plus 4 malamar each in 4 different Knowledge skills means that your typical fighter the apparent target of the class, since it requires Weapon Specialization can’t get into the class at all – it would require all 20 levels of his desjgn points, unless he was human or had an Int bonus.

I’m not sure this is exactly what was intended. None of these groups or classes, by the way, seem all that inherently villainous with the exception of the Darklight Wizard and the Blue Salamanders and many could be hanxbook as ‘good’ organizations or PrCs.

Some are underpowered boil really shouldn’t be a 2nd level spell – the ability to boil 1 quart of water per level is pretty minor all things considered – or personal combustiona 4th level spell that does less damage than a fireball and hurts the caster as well.

Some seem fine like night watchmana sort of combination alarm and unseen servant. Some are just plain strange like tooth decay or bat accidentwhich covers the target in guano.

The next rulesy section is on magic items – mostly items with curses or drawbacks. There are a few rules hiccups here, like the arrow which compels its firer to go retrieve it after it is shot with no save apparently possible, and apparently ignoring the fact that magic arrows are basically only good for one shot anywaybut for the most part the items are well done – and you won’t have to worry too much about your players wanting to keep them.


The rules finish up with some new monsters – the Darkling Snatcher a goblinoid and the Guardian Effigy a ot of mini-golemplus a set of undead templates – renamed wraiths, ghouls, mummies, vampires and wights, intelligent skeletons and zombies, and of course the lich.

Each of the templates has a detailed description of the ritual needed to add it, and the templates themselves look fairly reasonable. There’s also a short ‘adventure’ in the book although it’s more just an ‘encounter’ – a simple run-in with some kalamra.

But what about Evil? So, the question that is no doubt on everyone’s mind after handvook of this is, “How does it stack up against AEG’s Evil?

It’s also a deeign. The evil in Evil seems more vile – it handles topics like selling your soul, demonology and the like that villxin Villain Design Handbook hardly touches on.

The Kalamar book, on the other hand, is much more concerned with the villain as opposition to the PCs.

The personality archetypes are more detailed than those in Eviland there’s definitely more rules based stuff – most of which is pretty good, with the major exceptions noted above. If you’re not as interested in running evil PCs, I would lean kqlamar towards the VDH – even with the mechanical problems, it’s got a lot of good raidable rules stuff.

Villain Design Handbook by Brian Jelke

I would love to compare this with the old 2e Villains book, but unfortunately I don’t have a copy of that work. After hearing so many positive things about klaamar Kalamar line, and knowing that it was endorsed by WOTC, I expected great things from the book. And really, it could have been great.

It had the right ideas, but it fell short of their execution in too many ways. Still, it is definitely raidable for ideas. The advice and planning tips are sound, even if the mechanics are not always, and that definitely keeps the book from falling kingroms too low of a rating. One of the problems a lot of older gamers like myself have with 3rd edition is that despite desgin overabundance of garbage for 2nd edition, there were some fine gems out there too.

In my opinion, the old blue book, The Complete Book of Villains, was a strong offering of rules and ideas on how to incorporate villains into your campaign. Well, that was and 2nd edition and the 3rd edition has needed something similar for GMs for a long time.

Suffice it to say, this is a worthy successor in almost every way. The book starts off by turning some of the old stereotypes of fantasy role playing on their ear. For example, instead of adventurers beginning in the tavern, the town dislikes adventurers and sets up taverns as a trap to get rid of these bothersome mercenaries.

How about the damsel in distress? How about a good warlord, leading his people to freedom? In actually crafting the villain though, the genesis of creation is chapter 2, Archetypes.

There are six broad categories, deviant, devoted, fallen, inhuman, power mad, and visionary, with subcategories within them. These sections provide the GM with good ideas in a board sense and a narrow sense.

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They use specific examples and explain why said example is a villain. They include sidebars that have variants so that GMs unsatisfied with the core idea can move onto another type. For example, the Necromancer has three variants. The Academic, the Megalomaniac, and the Undead Hunter.

Does it hit all the broad types? I was also a little disappointed not to see something under the Fallen where they were cursed by a powerful magic item they owned and if klaamar only got rid of it, desgn could redeem themselves.