This book is tiny. Officially, the page count is 158 pages, which is larger than Complete Scoundrel. It feels REALLY light, though, especially when it's compared to Magic Item Compendium and even Drow of the Underdark.
Chapter 1: Religion
Finally, a treatment of churches that gives you measures for rank, tangible benefits for membership, and are easy on the DM who doesn't want to put a lot of effort into fleshing out every single church structure his players choose to belong to.
They also devote a small paragraph to making absolutely certain it's understood that these church layouts are just the default interpretation of a given standard pantheon deity's church, and that it doesn't prevent other sects from existing for DM (and player) customization. A welcome note when dealing with canon twonks.
Also of note is that these churches, with all their benefits, don't come free. Even aside from the normal "stay in the good graces" quests and such that adventurers normally have to do, if you want the benefits, you've got a cash outlay to gain that new rank. Churches eat money, and that money is provided by adventurers who want benefits of membership. There's also a significant opportunity cost, as there are a LOT of churches, and you're not allowed to gain benefits from more than one at a time, and switching one entails switching deities, something that is, shall we say, actively discouraged.
Advancement within a given church or organization is tied significantly to level. Churches want your money, which means that pretty much all organizations have a constant minimum affiliation score of half your character level, and if you're really following the god, other constant bonuses really can't help but boost you a rank or two. Getting the highest requires some amount of commitment, often, but getting to the mid-ranks just requires you to be relatively devoted and high level, and lay out the tithe.
Church entries are denoted by a series of entries:
1) Symbol: Hey, you gotta have a way to recognize your fellow zealots.
2) Type: All churches are religious organizations, meaning they're almost invariably not limited by race/type, just by veneration of deity.
3) Enemies and Allies: Hey, zealots are pretty much known for making enemies. LOTS of them.
4) Scale: Player's Handbook 2, page 184. Basically, this denotes how far-reaching the organization is.
5) Affiliation Score Criteria: This is where you go to figure out how high a rank you can pay for.
6) Titles, Benefits, and Duties: This is where you find out what the benefits are of that money you just spent, plus any extra duties required to KEEP those benefits.
7) Roleplaying Fluff.
The Anvil of Creation: Everybody loves Moradin, especially dwarves. Why, I've got a Moradin dwarf in my Shackled City party. That's good, seeing as how as a major major deity, Moradin's church is multiplanar. Constant bonuses for having lots of craft skills, being lawful, being earthy, and being a freakin' tank. Tanks will love Moradin, since they get bonuses for tanking. Taking on lots of enemies at once, defending things, slaying dwarf enemies, and just generally exploring for new resources will all move you up in the church. In addition to the tithe for advancing, you have to craft up an item for the church, but it's not hard. The first three ranks are absolutely worth it, bringing a short duration speed bonus, a bonus to saves against chaos, and quickdraw for shields. The last rank's not really worth the 13,000 GP it'd cost you to get it, but if you want to be that leet, go for it.
Assembly of Balance: Ehlonna is another favorite, especially of archers, since her arrows and quiver are totally frickin' leet. Advancement bonuses come from being naturey, rangers and druids can't help but advance, but due to a recurring bonus of 1/4 the creature's CR for slaying a creature with the Evil subtype, most adventurers won't be able to help hitting rank 5 if they want it, tree hugger or no. Accordingly, the benefits for rank are really pretty pathetic. Endure Elements once a day for rank two isn't bad for when you randomly wind up in the arctic, but the rank 3 and 4 may as well not exist. The rank 5, though, is halfway worth it if you can track. +4 to tracking rolls isn't significant, but a once a day smite against anything you've tracked -is-.
Blessed Bounty of Yondalla: Everybody loves Yondalla but me. She gives some good domains, but not stellar, and she's got a decent relic or two. I hate her because of Chris Tulach's Yondallan cleric from Living Greyhawk, and his annoying Yondalla Song. Constant bonuses for being a buffer and dispeller, and if you sacrifice yourself for someone else, you basically advance a full rank. In her alter ego, Dallah Thaun, you get bonuses for being a tricky gnome, basically, and for jumping the gun to "preemptive defense" of halflings. If you can cast lots of spells that buff AC and saves, you will hit rank 5 in Yondalla's church without even thinking, because for each spell you can cast, you get +1 affiliation. Not so easy to gain ranks in Dallah Thaun, but if you're into the whole avoiding combat through trickery, or slaying enemies through clever use of illusion, you can advance by a quarter of its CR a pop. Yondalla's benefits, though, are decidedly lackluster, until you hit rank 5 and get the once a day immediate action "this attack misses, k?" ability. Dallah Thaun, on the other hand, is the friend of all Beguilers, granting them +2 on feint checks, +1 on spell penetration, and 1 round per character level invisibility, activated and deactivated as a swift action. That's a church worth ranking in.
Brotherhood of Equals: Nobody really gives a damn about Obad-Hai, because all the people who like his domains are worshipping Ehlonna instead. There are some really big, and easy gains of rank in Obad Hai's church, like a flat +8 for hunting down an enemy of nature, or razing a stronghold thereof. On the other hand, there are some even worse losses, including a flat -8 for incarcerating or enslaving another creature, which is really vague, and lets the DM screw you over whenever he wants. Accordingly, his benefits for membership are REALLY good. Rank ONE is +1 to all saves that have an air/earth/fire/water descriptor. At three, if you can cast summon nature's ally, you get a free summon nature's ally of your highest level, as long as it summons an animal. And at highest rank, you get a once per day, one minute, IMMEDIATE action immunity to critical hits. DAMN good, if you can keep your affilitation score.
The Eternal Library: Boccob is like, the best deity ever. Advancing in his church pretty much reqires you to gain knowledge. Lots of it. Gaining ranks is -really- skill and cash intensive, since the easiest ways to gain affiliation are by having lots of knowledge skills and researching new spells. Boccob is a huge dick, so you also get bonuses for tricking people out of magic items, and stealing magic items, spellbooks, and magical lore. There are some fairly significant affiliation losses in there, too, but the benefits are MORE than worth it. +2 on a single knowledge skill, a once per day bonus on bluff, disguise, or hide, a once per day -free- identify, and, if you manage to hit 30+ affiliation, a once per day immediate action automatic counterspell. Yes, that's right, once per day you just nosell a spell as it's cast. Boccob is THE MAN.
Fharlanghn's Way: Everybody loves the god of fahrfegnugen, because he grants some of the best domains in the game. He gives bonuses for traveling and being knowledgeable about traveling, and if you're a cleric with the Travel and Luck domains, you pretty much just advance two ranks in one shot. The rank 1 and 2 bonuses are good, but not outstanding. Rank 3's once per day save bonus is wonderful, and rank 4's once per day ethereal jaunt is just plain sexy. Fharlangn's a damn cool deity, right there. I approve.
Fingers of the Laughing Rogue: Everybody hates Olidamarra, except for players, who love him, because he gives Luck and Trickery. If you're a tricksy sort of person, and can cast illusions, you're going to advance quickly. If you're chaotic and you know it and you really want to show it, then break some laws, and Olidamarra will be all over you. Advancement is easy, but affiliation benefits are bad, until you hit rank 5, when the Unluck power is actually pretty good.
The Fist of Valor: Ah, Heironeous. Everybody's favorite war god. Advancement would be difficult except that you get megapoints for slaying evil creatures and evil minions of Hextor. If you're feeling really brazen, go overthrow an evil government for a flat +8 affiliation bonus. Accordingly, benefits are small, with only the rank 4 bonus, a once per day burst of +1d6 electricity damage on any damage effect you use, including spells. It's decidedly lackluster, but hey, you didn't have to work to get there, so who cares?
The Mighty Arms of Kord: KOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORD, FRIEND TO CONAN. If you're a macho man, Kord is all about YOU. If you've got a huge Fort save, you've probably got HUGE GUTS, and Kord Wants You. If you can dish out the damage in a single hit, Kord REALLY wants you, and will give you leet bonuses, including a flat Intimidate bonus, a huge bonus against fear effects, a bonus on Fort and Will saves, AND Olidamarra's bad luck power. Kord is the all around good default god if you can bring the pain. Martial Adepts, pay attention, because Kord Loves You.
The Ruby Temple: Wee Jas! The original loligoth goddess, Wee Jas is the choice for clerics who want to be evil without being evil. If you like slaying demons, Wee Jas is willing to reward you with leet powers for it, as long as you're not Chaotic. If you're a Warmage, Wee Jas -really- wants you, and will happily reward you with more power for every enemy you blow to smithereens. Her rewards are pretty spiffy, too, with an easy to get +1 on death saves, +1 caster level for a single school of magic, and Boccob's once per day immediate auto-counterspell. She's not as good as Boccob, but if you're looking to be a goth, Wee Jas is your loli.
Scales of Balance: Saint Cuthbert of the Cudgel, god of common sense and whupass. advancing in Saint Cuthbert's church is just like advancing in Wee Jas and Kord's church. IF you can bring the pain, and like bringing the pain against demons and slaadi, then Saint Cuthbert will give you leet powers. Too bad only his highest rank ability is worth getting, for a once per day stun AND daze an enemy, with a decent save DC. Even then, it's a Fort save, so it's probably not worth it. Sorry, Cuthbert, your cudgel's just not good enough anymore.
The Shining Light of Pelor: Okay, rule #1. Everybody loves Pelor. Rule #2: Undead hate Pelor, and Pelor hates undead. If you enjoy destroying every undead you meet, Pelor wants to hook you up. A free Fire Shield, a bonus on turn checks, and ability to add your strength modifier to a save say that if you hate undead, you want Pelor, too.
The Temple of True Aim: Okay, nobody really likes Corellon Latherian. On the other hand, if you enjoy killing drow, Corellon likes you, and if you do it enough, he'll give you some pretty leet powers, including a smite that can boost the save DC of a spell and a smite that boost your power attack effectiveness. I don't think this will make people any more fond of Corellon, but at least he might see some worshippers in a drow heavy campaign.
The Temple of the Twinkling Eye: Garl Glittergold is the man. Er, the gnome. Not only does he have a killer relic or two, advancement through his church is dead easy if you like protective spells and illusions. Benefits are middling, with the best being a +1 to one save of your choice, and the second best being a once per day bluff check to dump aggro. You're not paying much for it, though, and for a back liner who draws aggro, it's good stuff.
They -didn't stat- the evil churches. Shafted by the gods of design, probably because they don't want to bring back the anti-D&D hysteria, Erythnul, Gruumsh, Hextor, Nerull, and Vecna all have no affiliations detailed, the DM has to make them up. I understand, WotC, but I am still displeased.
Domain Affiliations: They act pretty much like churches, but are focused entirely on a single domain. They're presented mostly as building blocks, used to construct homebrew deities and such.
Air Domain: Crappy domain, difficult to advance in, but DAMN the benefits are worth it, including a speed enhancement, ten rounds of Fly per day, and Overland Flight once per day.
Animal Domain: The only church so far that you can -literally- buy rank in, at the cost of 1000 GP donated to an animal shelter per affiliation point. The benefits are pretty bleh, and mostly resemble Obad-Hai, above, but if you spend the 30,000 GP to gain rank 5, you get a once per day physical enhancement spell. Too bad it's an enhancement bonus, so it's practically useless.
Chaos Domain: Gaining ranks is easy as pie, since you get +1 affiliation by secretly breaking laws, the only ability worth it is the once per day random deflection of a spell to a new target, and you need to break a LOT of laws to get there.
Death Domain: If you're a cleric of death this is the only church so far that offers an affiliation bonus for -not- doing something. Namely, not bringing someone back from the dead even though you could. At +2 a pop, you only need NOT raise fifteen people in order to cap out your benefits. A simple trip to a decent sized city's morgue can get you that. Benefits are lackluster until you hit rank 5, at which point if you're evil(and undead) you get +4 Turn Resistance, and if you're not, you get a once per day Greater Turning that doesn't require you to already have turning.
Destruction Domain: The first domain so far that offers an affiliation bonus that can't be achieved, Destruction gives you a flat +10 for destroying somebody so utterly that he can never be brought back from the dead. Too bad that's actually not possible outside of DM fiat. Abilities, though, are officially Worth It, giving you a flat +1 Fort saves, a once per day smite, and a tiny-arsed Earthquake spell in a 10' radius around you.
Earth Domain: Hard to advance ranks in, Earth offers nothing worth getting until rank 3 and 4, when you get a mini-Defensive Stance and a 10 round per day Burrow movement rate.
Evil Domain: If you're evil, go slay some angels. On second thought, don't, because the benefits suck. Hard. Who gave Evil a fear power vs Good when a significant chunk of Good enemies are immune? Assmonkeys.
Fire Domain: If you love you some fire, then fire loves you back. Desert Wind adepts, pay attention, because you can get +1 Init, and an extra 1d6 fire damage per hit, just for being yourself.
Good Domain: Hey, another domain that lets you buy ranks, and at -half- the cost. Only the rank 4 power is any good, but that power is absolutely -stellar-, giving you a once per day "target creature can't act next round", with a Will save of DC 10 + your character level + your charisma mod. Yes, that's right, -your character level-. NOM NOM NOM. Good is WAY better than Evil.
Healing Domain: Meh. The only ability worth getting is the last, for the once per day spontaneous Reach healing. And you advance by killing undeads. Meh meh.
Knowledge Domain: Advancement is dead easy if you're a sage and diviner. Abilities are totally worth it, with +2 to a knowledge skill, a once per day +2 to a d20 roll, and the capstone, ability to utterly negate a single ability from a creature, for one minute, with Fort DC 10 + character level + Int Mod to negate. If it's available, there's no reason not to take this one, folks.
Law Domain: Decidedly meh, Law lets you compel truthfulness, but the DC is only average, unlike the Knowledge ability.
Luck Domain: Dead easy to gain ranks in, Luck grants great abilities. If you feel lucky, join luck.
Magic Domain: Pretty much like Boccob, except that divine casters can get a flat +1 caster level out of it, which is pretty damn amazing.
Plant Domain: We've seen this before, above.
Protection Domain: It's like a beerslam of Yondalla and Heironeous!
Strength Domain: Uh. Uh. Uh. It's like Kord, only the highest rank doesn't suck. A permanent +1 strength for dishing out a bloody lot of damage per hit. Um. If it's available, there is no reason not to take this as a martial adept.
Sun Domain: It's Pelor all over again!
Travel Domain: If you've got the wanderlust, this one is definitely for you. Sorta makes Fharlanghn look like a slacker, granting Clairaudience/Clairvoyance once a day and a once per day swift action escape from any bindings or grapple.
Trickery Domain: We've seen this before. Bonuses to being tricksy and a round of invisibility per day. Really, -really- good last rank.
War Domain: Uh. Uh. VERY VERY YES. If, for some ungodly reason, you're playing a fighter, or a warblade who's taking the weapon supremacy tree, you need to be here. The highest rank lets you apply your weapon specific feats to all weapons of the same damage category. Not such a huge deal for Warblades, but it does let them be a better golfbag.
Water Domain: Worth it if only for the 20' swim speed (or +20' swim speed) at the highest rank.
Chapter 2: Divine Character Options
Alternative Class Features:
Barbarian: Spiritual Totems: Each totem trades your Fast Movement and your DR for something.
Bear Totem: Improved Grab? If you want to grapple, splash for this. I'd skip the +1 HP per class level, though. THe DR is pretty much flat better.
Eagle Totem: +4 Search and Spot? In exchange for +10 movement? Naga, please. Even gaining low light vision and an extra +1 every time your DR would normally increase isn't worth this steaming pile.
Fox Totem: +4 Hide/Move SIlently? Please. If I wanted stealth, I'd play a factotum. Similarly, replacing your DR with a dodge bonus to AC? Not all that good, unless you're -really- working the AC thing.
Lion Totem: Oh holy mother of cheese. Trade Fast movement for Pounce? Barbarian just becamse the #1 single-level dip in the game. And, if you're still taking barbarian, a fear roar that -stacks- with other fear effects, AND is based on your strength, isn't a bad trade for DR.
Wolf Totem: An extra +2 attack while flanking is really not worth the 10' of movement. Free Track feat is, similarly, very much not worth the loss of DR. Why wasn't this Improved Trip, WotC?
Barbarian: Trading improved uncanny dodge for a once per day darkvision, see invis, and +2 search/spot? Decidedly meh, even if you're taking Barbarian that far.
Bard: Adding your level to you (and your friends') healing done by spells isn't bad at all, and if you anticipate not being able to Fascinate, then this is definitely the way to go. As a bonus, you can sing before bedtime to enable the day's healing regardless of activity.
Bard: Inspire Competence is terrible, so trading it for the ability to throw down a Protection from Alignment on you or your buddies for a use of bardsong? Definite taker, if you insist on playing a floof.
Cleric: Sacrificing a level 4 slot for what amounts to half a Heal per day? Probably not worth it, since level 4's got some of the best cleric buffs in the game.
Fighter: Why are we still talking about this shitty class? Letting a fighter align his weapon is not worth a goddamn feat, even a fighter one, and especially not at level 4+
Fighter: Similarly, draining your Will save for AC is probably not going to do you any good.
Fighter: If you insist on playing a fighter, or splashing 2 levels and you -don't- need the feat (pff) then you can swap your level 2 feat for the ability to transfer half your BAB to your Will save, as an immediate action. If you're using fighter to gish it up (you shouldn't be) then this isn't a bad choice, since Will saves are DO NOT FAIL AT ANY COST.
Monk: Adding the Magic trait to your unarmed strikes is dead easy, so instead, we're gonna give you Good or Evil, according to alignment. If you insist on playing a monk, take this.
Monk: Giving up +2 to saves vs enchantment for +2 to saves vs Chaos and the opposite of your moral alignment? Naga, please. Don't make me come over there.
Paladin: If you're still using paladin, you're probably using it to qualify for a prc. If you don't need the crappy casting before you PRC out, then trade it for a bonus feat at level 4, by all means.
Paladin: If you're playing an underdark campaign, or are anticipating not being able to use your mount much, +10' movement isn't a bad trade. If you insist on playing a straight paladin, this will give you Earth Glide and a few uses per day of dimdoor through ground, which isn't horrible, but you're better off with Dungeonscape's holy ghosts.
Ranger: Ranger spells are a good deal better than paladin spells, but trading them for bonus feats is probably still superior for most builds. If you're making a Swift Hunter, though, stick with the casting, you'll love the Lion's Charge.
Ranger: Giving up Wild Empathy for Speak with Animals and Speak with Plants? A total of 3/day? HELL YES. TAKE THIS EVERY TIME.
Spiritual Guide: If your DM's one of those dorks who likes to forbid your animal companion going a lot of places... no, wait, this ability sucks, because it becomes inactive when you enter any decent sized town. Keep the animal companion.
Rogue: Giving up Trapfinding for a crappy religious-only identify? You're probably splashing rogue JUST TO GET trapfinding. I am NOT AMUSED.
Rogue: Once more, WotC makes ABSOLUTELY CLEAR that they want rogues to be able to sneak attack undead and constructs. Yes, give up your trap sense, it was terrible anyway. Now you can sneak attack undead at half your dice.
Rogue: Okay, if you're taking rogue for 10+ levels, you're probably stupid enough to take this ability. Improved Evasion for YOU is WAY better than evasion for all your budies within 5'
Rogue: Okay, if you're taking rogue for 10+ levels... well, actually, this one's not bad, adding +2 points of positive energy damage per sneak attack die you'd normally get, vs undead. You have to give up Crippling Strike, but that's worthless against undead anyway. If your DM is a big fan of the not quite dead yet, and you insist on going straight rogue, then sure, grab this one.
Sorcerer: Okay. It replaces familiar, which you didn't want anyway. It's based on caster level, not class level. It can't be killed. You fill it will spell levels, which a sorc has plenty of. And you can release it to either heal yourself for 1d6 per stored level, or give yourself a combat-duration, swift action bonus to AC AND saves equal to the number of levels spent? Uh. You would, frankly, be stupid not to take this. It's so far beyond amazing that it may even surpass the beats of the damage negation ability in Dungeonscape.
Wizard: Giving up a bonus feat for a domain granted power, if you choose wisely, is a fair or better than fair trade. If nothing else, it lets you grab a once per day reroll as a feat, via the Luck domain. This one's good on on.
Wizard: Just about the only thing that can compete with the last one, you give up a feat to gain the ability to spontaneously convert to any spell of divination school. You're not restricted to spells you know, or even spells on your spell list. Just... any divination. Take this, and if you take 10 levels of wizard for some reason, THEN take domain.
Devotion Feats: Okay. Almost all usable once per day, base, as swift actions. They can be taken multiple times, to stack uses per day, and can be powered up extra times by turn/rebuke attempts, usually at 3 turns per use. If you're a divine caster, you're limited to the domains of your deity, if you're not, you're limited to a few non-mutually exclusive domains that support your general beliefs.
Air Devotion: A minute per day, you get an AC bonus based on your character level and a 50% missile miss chance. Damn good.
Animal Devotion: A feat for a bonus to strength, speed, overland flight, or a poisonous bite attack? Choosable each time you use it? YES PLEASE.
Awesome Smite: This tactical feat is only useful for a single class, and it's a prestige class in this book. While said prestige class isn't bad, it's also not -good-, and this feat doesn't do anything that a martial adept can't do better.
Battle Blessing: If you insist on playing a paladin, AND on keeping his spellcasting, AND on not prestige classing out, then you should, beyond a shadow of a doubt, spend a feat on quickening all your standard action paladin spells.
Bestial Charge: If you're a wild shaping druid, you have better ways to gain pounce, better ways of gaining reach, and better ways of charging in a non-straight line than a feat that only works during the round after (or during, with quick-change) you wild shape.
Chaos Devotion: If you're a wild mage, I think you should give this one a shot. You start out with a d6, rolled at the beginning of each of your turns for one minute. If it's odd, you add it to your attack rolls, if it's even, you add it to your AC, and the die size increases as you level.
Charnel Miasma: Assuming the standard of DC 10+1/2 Level+ChaMod, this isn't a horrible feat. It's a Will save or be Shaken for a minute, and it stacks, even with itself, letting you panic enemies. You just have to have the Death domain, which sorta sucks.
Death Devotion: If you're doing the death thing, well, there are worse abilities to tack onto your weapon than a fort save vs gaining a negative level. I'm really not sure that it's worth it, since it -is- a Fort save, though. It's a real pain for enemies to have, though, and that makes it a good DM tool.
Destruction Devotion: Followers of Saint Cuthbert, this is your godsend. Activate it and, for one minute, every single attack you make automatically drains one point of natural armor or armor bonus from your target's AC, cumulative, until they both hit +0. And at level 10, the drain increases to 2 per hit, letting you eviscerate a dragon's AC in no time flat. I hear giving your -entire party- +2 to hit per hit you make is pretty terrible.
Earth Devotion: Okay, tanks! You're not going to use this one to ignore difficult terrain, probably, but blenders can. For tanks, though, you get battlefield control, getting to designate one square within 30' as difficult terrain, PER THREE CHARACTER LEVELS. They have to all be connected, but it can snake around as necessary, and what's more, at level 10, you can Spike Stones them for free, coating the surface with un-clearable super caltrops. GREAT tank feat.
Elemental Essence: Most druids have better things to spend wild shape uses on than adding +1d6 of a non-sonic energy type to their natural attacks.
Evil Devotion: Granting your whole party DR X/Good where X is 1 + 1/5 levels is so very not worth a feat.
Fire Devotion: Self immolation alone makes this ability worth it. The fact that it also adds 1 point of Fire damage, +1 per 3 levels, to all your melee attacks, is a nice bonus, AND the fact that it requires a reflex save or the target catches on fire, means that this is worth taking it if your DM's not fire-resist happy.
Fragile Construct: Reserve feat or no, reducing construct DR and object hardness is really not worth a feat. Just splash a martial adept class.
Good Devotion: Good devotion is even worse than evil devotion,because it's the same thing, only in reverse, and that means that evil outsiders, one of the most common high level enemies, ignore it entirely. If you waste a feat on this ability, I will personally hunt you down and rub your nose in dog doo.
Great and Small: Druids have better things to use their wild shape on than growing and shrinking their normal form.
Healing Devotion: Fast Healing for yourself or a buddy, healing, at most, 50 HP, for a feat, isn't worth a feat. BUT, if you have Turn Undead and aren't using it for anything else, I hear converting a use of turn undead into 50 points of healing is pretty damn good, post battle.
Holy Potency: Okay, I'm not taking four pages to explain this, so suffice it to say that this half page long feat gives you two crappy abilities, depending on if you channel positive or negative energy. It's crappy, don't take it.
Holy Warrior: Because fighters suck, war domain clerics get to add the level of the highest war domain spell they have ready to their weapon damage rolls. SUCK IT, WEAPON SPECIALIZATION.
Imbued Healing: If you're a dedicated healbot, this is a reason to take Healing domain, since it lets you tack +1 HP per HD onto your cure spells. Destruction Domain's another good one, letting you heal your fighters while also giving them +2 on melee damage.
Knowledge Devotion: Ever wanted to play a knowledgable fighter, like Roy? Knowledge Devotion makes any one knowledge skill a class skill, and in each battle vs an enemy that falls under that skill, you get to make a knowledge check to gain a damage bonus of up to +5. Still no reason to play not a warblade for an int-fighter, since they get more skill points. This one's a keeper.
Law Devotion: The best of the alignment devotions, it gives you a flat +3 to AC or attack rolls, chosen each turn at the start of your turn, and the bonus scales with level.
Luck Devotion: If you're playing a warmage or warlock, this is a good way to go. For one minute, if you roll less than average damage on anything, spell or weapon or ability, you can increase the damage to half the max you could have rolled. If you've got the crappy luck like me, this helps you nosell it.
Magic Devotion: If you ever wanted to turn a cleric into a mini-warlock, this is how. A bolt of magical energy for 1d6/2 levels, at short range, once a day, and two turn attempts get you another use.
Mitigate Suffering: A reserve feat that negates ability damage for 10 minutes at a time? Sign me up!
Plant Devotion: An immediate action natural armor bonus that also grants increasing levels of crit immunity as you level up? Not bad, and only two turn attempts per extra use.
Protection Devotion: A scaling (by character level) bonus to AC (Sacred, so it stacks with almost everything) that caps at +7 AC, to you and every ally within 30', is -totally- worth a feat and 3 turn attempts per extra use.
Protective Ward: If you're not keen on burning spells in combat, and not a wade-into-melee sort of guy, why NOT blow your actions on giving a buddy of your choice an AC bonus?
Retrieve Spell: Okay, um. Clerics could already apply metamatic for turn attempts. Now they can spend turn attempts to -recall spent spells- This is either terrible (if nightsticks aren't allowed) or broke (if they are)
Spiritual Counter: You can ready to counterspell, and instead of dispelling or countering, burn a boatload of turn attempts to auto-counter. Just buy yourself some damn greater rings of counterspelling, or rings of spell battle.
Spontaneous Domains: Not having to choose between your domains at the beginning of the day isn't great, but it's also not horrible. A solid, versatile choice, ifyour domain spells don't suck.
Strength Devotion: Ignoring hardness for a minute is decidedly lackluster, but it also gives you an extra attack per round, at -5 to hit, courtesy granting you a natural Slam attack.
Sun Devotion: If you ever wanted to walk into a room full of vampires, close the door behind you, and utterly rape them all, this is how you do it. This is, as far as I know, the only magical effect in the game that generates true sunlight for all purposes. As a bonus, you get a bunch of bonus damage vs undead while it's active.
Swift Call: Mounts are terrible, calling it as a swift action doesn't make it any better.
Swift Wild Shape: Two feats to wild shape as a swift action is definitely not a bad way to spend a couple feats, if you're a druid. And if you're a Master of Many Forms, this is not an optional feat.
Touch of Healing: A reserve feat to heal all your buddies up to half HP for free after battle? YES PLEASE
Travel Devotion: For one minute, using your swift action to move up to your full movement? I see only one use for this, and that use is boss. Travel-pounce-barbarian-frenzied berserker-leap attack-shocktrooper ownage.
Trickery Devotion: Okay. One feat for a minute per level of Kage Bunshin no Jutsu is good. The fact that it gets progressively better as you level up, eventually being -better- than the Ranged Legerdemain ability of Arcane Trickster, is really just gravy. At high level, every caster should consider spending their level 15 or 18 feat on this. It's just that good.
Umbral Shroud: If you take this, take this for the +10' to your darkvision, or for the flat 10' darkvision, not for the crappy reserve feat ability.
Venom's Gift: Here's a feat worth spending wild shape attempts on. No, wait, it's poison that only does 1d2 strength/1d2 strength, and it's actual poison, which 90% of enemies are immune to. SUCK LESS
War Devotion: I think they forgot to note the "one minute" on this, because spending a feat to gain, at -best-, a once per day -1 to hit for +5 AC for one round is goddamn terrible.
Water Devotion: Okay, ability to summon water elementals is good. Being able to spend ONE turn/rebuke attempt each? THAT'S REALLY DAMN GOOD. That's a lot of instant minions.
Disciples of Legend: This organization must have been founded around somebody's adventuring party, I swear. Okay. They're hard to advance in, but the only ability worth getting is the first one, a 25% discount on scrolls, potions, and spells copied from spellbooks. Other than that, you should only join if you want one of their two prestige classes, both of which are at least decent.
Guardians of the Green: A treehugger group, which should be obvious from the name. Advancement isn't terribly hard, but the only ability worth grabbing is the capstone of 1/day Control Plants or Transport Via Plants.
The Paragnostic Assembly: Remember the church of Boccob? The Paragnostic Assembly is almost the same, but it has monthly dues instead of advancement tithes, advancement is easy for any dedicated sage. Benefits are lackluster, being mainly research bonuses, but the capstone ability of being able to take 10 on all knowledge checks, regardless of circumstances, is worth advancing if you're a sage. Add to that the fact that you can advance in the assembly at the same time as a church, and it's golden.
Pelor's Shadow Guard: I have a terrible hate on for all the CIA spook type organizations and prestige classes coming out lately. I tolerate this one only because Pelor is a dick, so you pretty much expect him to have a secret cabal of stealth clerics. I still don't like this stealth paladin bullshit, though. Benefits are meh, gaining you access to a crappy P-class at rank 3 and greater invis 1/day at rank 4, it's not really worth it unless you're batshit for a stealth cleric.
Fist of the Forest: If you ever wanted to play Gau, this still wouldn't be your class. A crappy class apparently meant to turn a ranger into a crappy monk, you can potentially get in to take its three levels as levels 5, 6, and 7, but it's not viable as a PC class, because it requires you to be an uncivilized asstard. I'm not just talking, like, barbarian style, I'm talking about you can't sleep inside buildings, you can't purchase food, or you lose all your abilities. And the abilities aren't even that good. Strictly an NPC class.
Forest Reeve: Apparently intended to turn a ranger into a pseudo-barbarian, it doesn't give the barbarian's only worthwhile class feature. You can get camouflage at level 9 via this class, but you're better off doing a Swift Hunter.
Holt Warden: Finally, a prestige class worth taking. Some people initially thought that "Holt" was a typo or a made up word. These people need to read more. A Holt Warden is a full divine casting class, with no real requirements for entry, except that you have to be in good with the Guardians of the Green, and like plants. If you're a cleric, you lose nothing and gain an extra 2 skill points per level, along with a bunch of useful class abilities that make you a pseudo-druid. Druids lose wild shape, which makes this probably not worth it for them, since half the abilities it gives, they'd get normally as a druid.
Mythic Exemplar: Tied to the Disciples of Legend, above, this is a modular prestige class designed to work with six different classes. If you're a cleric or a wizard, you get 8/10 casting, assuming you take the appropriate path, 3/4 BAB. Each path has one favored save, differing by path. The class, in all its modular glory, can be viewed on the WotC site. I'm not going to go into it. The class isn't horrible, but it's not stellar, either. If you have nothing better to take, and don't mind losing the casting levels, go for it.
Ordained Champion: A paladin can get into this class as a level 4. It's 3/5 casting, gives you the War domain if you don't have it. If you can convert to cures or inflicts, you LOSE that and can now convert to War domain, which sucks unless you're level 9+ casting. You do get to turn turn attempts into smites, which isn't horrible, and it also lets you channel any spell you can cast into your weapon, as a move action, and that's just the first two levels. Since it's limited to Heironeous and Hextor, though, you can't combo with Ruby Knight Windicator, so it's really not worth losing the 2 levels. If you're looking to make a gish, though, a Mystic Theurge can wreak a lot of havoc here, since it can channel any spell you can cast, and wizards are a lot better for that than clerics. The one innovative use I see, though, is that you can pick up a sap, deal nonlethal damage to a friend, and channel a personal-only spell onto them.
Ordained Champions of Hextor organization: You get free Leadership, basically. Champions of Hextor are NOT party friendly, unless the whole group is evil and Hextor-riffic.
Paragnostic Apostle: You have to be a member of the Paragnostic Assembly. And you have to have, like, three knowledge skills at rank 5+, and third level spells/spell-likes. That's it. Very low cost of entry, very low benefit, though. Five levels, 1:1 casting, you get a crappy Bardic Lore ability, your turning progresses if you already have it, and each level you get to choose a minor bonus based on what lore skills you've got. The bonuses are, for the most part, negligible, and there are no shining gems.
Paragnostic Initiate: Three levels, and you can get in as a level 4 character. It's a non-casting class, but it gives full BAB and favored fort and reflex, so if you're not a caster, it's not horrible. Your abilities are entirely dedicated to helping out your allied casters, by giving them spell penetration bonuses, targeting bonuses on ranged attack spells, and protecting them from attacks of opportunity for casting. Overall, a pretty worthless class.
Sanctified One: Giving up three levels of spellcasting in exchange for some crappy spell-like and supernatural abilities is not my idea of a decent prestige class. OUT, OUT, DEMONS OF SUBOPTIMIZATION.
Shadowspy: Ten levels, half casting, with off-class feat prerequisites, requiring a high rank in a crappy organization. Pelor likes him some stealth clerics, but he doesn't like them having any real power. Smart guy.
Shadowstriker: If you ever wanted to make a paladin -even worse-, here's how you do it.
Squire of Legend: A three level prestige class that you can get into at level 4, potentially, it's another modular class based on the Disciples of Legend. You get 2 points of BAB, two levels of casting (the second two), and three abilities based on your paragon that range from crappy to decent, with the best being a once per day ability to take over concentration on a buddy's spell.
Chapter Three: New Spells
Aligned Aura: This spell is pretty much unilaterally terrible, even if you can get your entire party to agree on a single alignment component. 15d4 damage to all non
Benediction: A 10 min/level buff that gives a +2 luck bonus on all saves, AND can be discharged for a reroll on any d20? In a level 2 slot? Yes please!
Bewildering Mischance: A duplicate of a spell from a previous book, if you can actually land this through the will save and mind-affecting tags, making an enemy roll twice for everything and take the worst goes a LONG way towards winning a battle, even as a level 5 slot.
Bewildering Substitution: If Will didn't negate this, or it didn't have the Mind-affecting tag, it would be great. It's sorta the inverse of the arcane spell that swaps two people, but covers them in an illusion to make it look like they didn't swap. In this case, it's an illusion that makes it look like they swapped, when they didn't.
Bewildering Visions: Okay, this one is very odd. When you first cast it, the target makes a Will save or is Sickened. Then, each round on his turn, he has to make a Fort save or be Nauseated. Honestly, I'm not impressed with this, but it's cleric, so it's not like you're stuck with it long term. Just don't consider it as a shugenja.
Bleed: If your DM doesn't overuse the crit-immune monsters, a Fort Negates debuff that makes most of your fighters do a point of Con damage on every hit isn't a bad use of a spell. You can probably find better uses in a level 5 slot, though.
Body Ward: For a level 2 slot, if you're expecting ability damage, this is a very, VERY good thing to prep. 5 points of protection for a single physical stat, with a synergistic effect if you protect multiple stats, it's useful even at high level.
Bolster Aura: This spell is useless, and also, it should be illusion, not abjuration.
Conduit of Life: If you expect to be using a lot of turn attempts, getting healed for 2d10+10 every time you do it isn't a bad use of a level 2 cleric slot.
Confound: For a level 4 slot, I expect a hell of a lot more than a crappy +2 to me -2 to a target with Will negates. And for TWO level 4 slots, I expect WAAAAAAAY THE HELL MORE than a shitty Prayer. He just failed TWO consecutive Will saves, I should own him twice over.
Dampen Magic: For a level 4 1 round/level buff, I expect more than what amounts to +1 AC, DR 1/-, and +1 to all saves.
Darts of Life: A level 5 slot for 10d8 healing, dispersed in 1d8 chunks, at one per round as a free action, 3 per round as a standard action, or 10 per round as a full-round. I wouldn't bother with this unless I had Augment Healing, in which case each dart heals a massive d8+10. 10d8+100 healing for a level 5 slot is actually respectable.
Deific Bastion: Because Clerics needed a marginally better version of Magic Vestments that only lasts one round per level. No wait, they didn't. This spell is a waste of the nearly half a page that it takes up. SHAME ON YOU, WOTC. BAD DESIGNERS. BAD DEVELOPERS. YOU'VE BEEN VERY NAUGHTY.
Divine Presence: If you're particularly interested in intimidating people and nothing else, this can get you potentially to +15, but more likely +10. For my level 2 slot, I prefer the oneshot version from Spell Compendium.
Divine Retribution: Okay, designers? From a cleric 5 slot, we've come to expect a hell of a lot more than a oneshot retributive 15d4 damage and 1d4 stat damage, of type based on deity, with will negating stat damage and halving the HP damage. For a level 5 slot, we can just nuke the shit out of them and a couple buddies for 15d6, half fire, half holy.
Door of Decay: Well, if you don't mind keeping undead around, this will let you do with them like druids do with trees. Too bad plants are a LOT more ubiquitous than undead. For a cleric 5, it's only marginally useful.
Execration: Cool name, but the spell is just a Will negates version of Benediction cast on an enemy. When, oh WHEN will WotC realize that when a spell allows a save to negate, it needs to be -better- than the corresponding opposite in order to be really worth it?
Footsteps of the Divine: It's not exactly Fly, but honestly, it's probably better, if only because it can give your choice of movement modes, including Burrow, Fly, and Climb, along with flat movement boost, though strangely, no Swim.
Forest Child: Part of a spell cycle with Forest Eyes and Forest Voice, below, this one really isn't worth it. Even with the doubled duration for having all three up, 30 rounds isn't long enough to really make use of the ability to switch places with your double at will.
Forest Eyes: Now we see why exactly Forest Child's duration is so short. THis one lets you burn a level 3 slot to essentially CLairvoyance centered on any plant, anywhere. In conjuncton with the other two, this allows you to look in on a situation, talk to people there, and, if necessary, create a duplicate there and then swap places with it.
Forest Voice: I hate to say it, but this spell is basically a bananaphone. You touch one plant and can then speak through it with anybody within 10' of a similar plant at a destination. It's bananaphone. As far as level 8 spell slots go, I don't like this combo with Forest Child, but as a pair of level 3 spells, I rather like Forest Voice and Forest Eyes.
Healing Circle: I think they're getting hard up for spell names. Converting a level 5 spell slot into a Cure Critical, Cure Serious, Cure Moderate, and Cure Light, and then finally 5 points of damage isn't actually that bad a deal for after-battle healing.
Iconic Manifestation: If you're a Chaotic Neutral druid and you have access to Manual of the Planes for the Anarchic template, then use this spell frequently for the fast healing. Otherwise, leave it. It's mainly notable for having a note to the user that adding templates on the fly really bogs down the game,and they should work out the numbers in advance.
Impede: As a cleric 1, rooting an enemy in place for 1 round per level isn't -quite- so good as Hold Person at level 2, but then... it's level 1. I'd use it when I was level 1, and have my buddies carry bows.
Interfaith Blessing: At a minute per level, this actually isn't a bad spell, especially if everybody is worshipping class-appropriate deities.
Light of Courage: A swift action and a level 6 slot to tack a d8 per two caster levels onto a turn attempt. Too bad the spell doesn't actually work, though, because turn attempts don't target, leaving the interpretation of how it works entirely up to the DM.
Light of Faith: A swift action to gain up to +5 on your next turn check? I'll buy that for a level 2 slot.
Light of Purity: A swift action to add up to 5d6 extra HD of turning to your next turn? I'm not sure I'd buy that for a level 4 slot. For a 3, I'd do it. For a 4, it's decidedly ehn. By level 7, most undead are really getting up there in the hit dice, so the extra 2d6 you'd be getting wouldn't do more than turn one extra undead.
Light of Wisdom: A swift action to raise your turning level by 1 per 3 caster levels? I'll buy that for a level 3 slot.
Lore of the Gods: Ten minutes per level, in a level 2 slot, for +5 (or +10 if you worship a knowledge deity) on all knowledge checks? WHY MUST CLERICS BE BETTER AT EVERYTHING THAN EVERYONE ELSE?
Mark of Sin: If you worship Fharlanghn or Saint Cuthbert, this spell is essentially a no-save 4 points of Con penalty, in combat time. That's damn good, even for a touch attack.
Master Cavalier: Another synergy series, with Phantom Charge and War Mount, it's not actually worth using, except in combination with those two.
Metal Fang: Now druids can overcome Silver and Cold Iron DR!
Moral Facade: Because Misdirection sucks, and bards and clerics and -paladins- should have a better version. Of COURSE.
Phantom Charge: Because having your charge prevented by a ten foot line of difficult terrain is just annoying. Now, it's a swift action to skip that chunk of space-time!
Profane Item: Here's the rub. How would you, as a level 7 cleric, like to have a virtually infinite supply of 7d4 ranged touch attacks? Yeah, I thought so. Sure, it's plant/animal/good outsider/good shapeshifter only. That doesn't matter. Use it.
Ravenous Darkness: Because giving your undead blindsight, then dropping the area into magical darkness, doing 1d6 damage per round to your enemies and healing your undead for 1 point each round, uh, is terrible. Yeah. Terrible.
Rejuvenating Light: This is the inverse of Ravenous Darkness, only it's about a billion times better, because most PCs are not undead. That means that, after a battle, this is a level 7 slot to heal your entire party for 10 HP per level, with no cap. That's right, NO CAP. If you extend it, it lasts -even longer.- This spell will get used. Oh boy will it get used.
Sacred Item: Remember Profane Item? This is the same thing in reverse, only because it's good, it's about a billion times better, because it lets you store up an unlimited amount of 10d4(max) ranged touch attacks to be used against undead (yay) and evil outsiders (double yay!)
Seed of Life: At one level higher, this spell is actually worse, in all cases, than Vigor (level 3, spell compendium). If I catch any of y'all using this instead of Vigor, there'll be some beatings.
Soul Ward: Just like Body Ward, above, only for mental stats. Mental damage isn't as frequent, but if you're facing ghosts, this is a godsend.
Spiritual Advisor: Another decent duration bonus to knowledge checks that STACKS with the one above. Clerics are now the best sages in the game. +14 to all knowledge skills without even trying.
Spiritual Guardian: Now Ruby Knight Windicators can -really- duplicate Jojo's Bizarre Adventure! ZAAA WARUDO! WRYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!
Subdue Aura: Just like the one above to go UP in level, this one is also worthless, and should also be an Illusion.
Substitute Domain: Because sometimes, you want access to the Sun domain without having it all the time. Good gravy, this spell is insane for level 2.
Summon Holy Symbol: Because being unable to cast spells after you get captured is just -terrible.- Clerics are better than you.
Surge of Fortune: Okay. This spell is broken. Just flat out broken. I'm going to suggest you house rule it before you even read it. The entire last paragraph, about discharging the spell to make a single d20 roll a natural 20? Remove it. That's it. Gone.
Touch of Restoration: Healing ability damage with your lay on hands is good and all, but there's a cheap item in MIC that lets you do it and it doesn't use up a level -two- paladin slot.
Turn Anathema: Because clerics really need to be able to turn evil outsiders out of the box. Thanks so much, WotC.
War-Mount: A decidedly meh enhancement, for a level 3 paladin slot, I expect a hell of a lot more than a nerfed version of Superior Magic Fang.
Weight of Sin: Okay, figuring out the effects on this spell every time you cast it will be really annoying. Unless you're LG fighting demons, or CG fighting devils, don't bother with it. Ugh.
Wooden Blight: Okay, I'm getting really tired of all these "save every round, and a save ends the spell", WotC. I don't want to burn a level 6 slot to get what is, most likely, 1 point of Dexterity damage.
Chapter 4: Divine Items
Power Components: Just six months or so after making a material component system in Complete Mage, they completely abandon it in favor of the old, retarded one.
Angel's Blood: 85 GP for +1 save DC on any evil spell? Yessah, I'll take a dozen!
Ashes of Power: 1750 GP a shot to roll all dispel checks twice and keep the better? I'LL TAKE A HUNDRED.
Aurial Sapphire: 215 GP for a free Quicken on an Air spell? Isn't -Fly- an air spell? I'll take TWO hundred!
Crypt Powder: 150 GP for +1 DC and +1 caster level on any necromancy spell that targets undead or corpses? I'd buy that for a dollar. Or 150 GP.
Doppelganger Bile: 95 GP for free Extend on any invisibility or disguise spell? Gimme ten...thousand.
Dragon Ruby: 175 GP for free +100% area on a fire spell? I'll take one. But only one, fire sucks.
Essence of Order: 300 GP for +1 DC on a Law spell? Eh. The secondary use is also worthless, potions of lesser restoration are better.
Feather of the Far Reaches: +1 caster level or +10' movement to a travel domain spell? travel domain -rocks.- A bargain at 95 GP
Game of Fate: 550 GP for either +1 caster level, +100% duration, or regaining a spell slot? Uh. Duh? Buy these buy the bushel just for the 10% chance of regaining your buff slots, I swear.
Guardinal Feather: 600 GP for an extra +2 AC from any spell that grants AC? Good in a pinch, but probably not worth it.
Hero's Tears: 675 GP for +2 levels on a Holy Word? I'll buy that!
Horn of Gorgon: 575 GP in a pinch for an extra 2 strength? Sure.
Kiss of Discord: 310 GP for +2 caster level to my Word of Chaos? Hell yes.
Obaddis Leaf: 130 GP for double area AND duration on any plant domain spell, or spell that affects plants? Hell yes.
Pearl of the Waves: Free quicken on any water spell? Yessah please! I enjoy quickened elemental summons!
Scholar's Dreams: Double range AND duration on a divination, for only 175 GP? hahahahahaha.
Soil of Stone: This name is retarded, but 65 GP for extended earth spells is hard to beat.
Sunflower of Pelor: PELOR PELOR PELOR. 100 GP for double area on whatever arse-raping light spell you want to use. Like, y'know, the fast healing one, above. In case you need to randomly heal an army.
Talon of Ehlonna: 370 GP for +2 caster levels on a spell targeting an animal, or from animal domain? I know a LOT of druids who would like that. most of them are 1-2 levels away from a higher bonus on, say, Superior Magic Fang.
True Warrior's Blade: 650 GP for +2 damage per spell level off any divine damage spell? Eeeeeh. If you're doing damage with your slots, go for it. I wouldn't buy it.
TWilight Green: Even worse than True Warrior's Blade.
Unicorn Horn: 190 for free Reach on a healing spell? I'd take it.
Special Holy Symbols:
Anybody can use these, if they can cast the right spells, provided they offer up some respect to the patron deity. The threshold of respect is determined by the DM.
Erythnul: +1 save DC on illusions and chaotic spells.
Hextor: +1 caster level on Evil spells.
Heironeous: +1 caster level on Good spells.
Nerull: +1 caster level on Death domain and Necromancy spells, and +1 level for Rebuke/Command
Ehlonna: +1 HP per HD for Summon Nature's Ally and Summon Monster spells.
Fharlanghn: +5' movement rate on any spell that increases or grants movement abilities
Obad-Hai: +2 caster levels for Plant and Animal domain spells, and +1 level for Turn/Rebuke vs plant creatures.
Olidammara: +1 Caster Level to Luck domain or Chaos spells.
Moradin: +1 Save DC on Earth spells and +1 Level for Turn/Rebuke Air creatures.
Garl Glittergold: +1 Caster Level on Illusion and Trickery Domain spells.
Wee Jas: +1 Caster Level on Death and Necromancy spells, +1 to turning damage when Rebuke/Command (not Turn/Destroy)
Latherian: +1 Caster Level on Protecton Domain and abjuration spells.
Gruumsh: +1 damage per die on Evil spells and War Domain spells, that can't increase the maximum damage of the spell.
Pelor: +1 healing on Conjuration(Healing) spells, that can't increase the maximum healing/damage of the spell.
Boccob: +1 Caster Level and +1 on Spellcraft Checks for purposes of Knowledge Domain and Divination spells.
Kord: +1 Caster Level on Luck Domain and transmutation spells.
Vecna: +1 Caster Level and Save DC on Knowledge Domain and Magic Domain spells.
Saint Cuthbert: +1 Caster Level on mind-affecting spells and +1 level for Turning/Destroying undead.
Yondalla: +1 caster level on Law Domain, Good spells, or spells that create food and water.
Armor of the Beast: As a sixteenth level item, this is decidedly lacking. Druids have enough wild shape uses already, they don't need one more.
Bastion of Righteous War: While this shield lets you burn turn attempts to negate critical hits, it's not nearly good enough for its cost, and is only worthwhile for its set ability, letting you spend turn attempts to take free shots at people who attack your buddies.
Bulwark of the Living: A GOOD cleric shield, here, being a decent shield in and of itself, and letting you spontaneously convert spells into Death Wards for yourself. Death Ward is conditional, and sometimes you need it when you didn't anticipate needing it.
Blade of Righteous War: Letting you burn turn/rebukes for +4 to confirm a critical is terrible, and this should be used only if it's necessary to complete the set.
Bow of Elvenkind: ELVES ELVES ELVES. Because cleric archers weren't good enough yet, now they have an item set to aid them, giving them free Seeking, a bow that adjusts to their strength, and the free Far Shot feat.
Spear of the Wild: For 24,000 GP, I expect more out of a proc than a 3/day baleful polymorph with save DC 15 + Wis Mod. Especially when it's restricted to three classes, only two of which want to be using a spear.
Staff of the Vagabond: For the price (only 3600 GP) a quarterstaff that's +1/+1 when you're not carrying any other weapons, and in conjunction with the rest of the set can gain Merciful and Ki Focus, it's a decent monk weapon. Grab it and enhance it all to hell, it actually costs less than a straight +1/+1 quarterstaff.
Boots of the Wanderer: 1500 GP for +5' speed if you're a worshipper of a travel deity is pretty lackluster.
Bracers of Divine Luck: For 8000 GP, I expect rather more from my bracers slot than +1 Luck to AC until my next turn when I cast a divine spell. Even if you worship Olidamarra, you only get an extra +1 to saves and AoOs. Meh Meh Meh.
Cloak of the Dragon: 6000 GP for ten minutes of flight a day, and a once per day 6dX breath weapon, and +1 natural armor. That's a quality item.
Cloak of the Vagabond: Part of the vagabond set, it gives 5 points of Fire and Cold resist, and if you have two other parts, Elec resist 5, too. Kinda meh for 9000 GP in the cloak slot.
Crest of Valor: 2000 GP for melee weapon damage rolls while you're at 50% HP or less? No thanks.
Gauntlets of War: Ugh. 4000 GP for +1 damage. Hello, McFly.
Helm of Righteous War: at 5000 GP, this one's worthwhile just for the +2 insight to initiative. The rest of it is worthless.
Lancer's Spurs: For twelve grand and my boots slot, I expect better than a mount getting +1 natural weapons.
Mantle of the Beast: Eighteen grand to get Swift Wild Shape without using two feats. Uh, yeah. Get this. Wear it. NEVER TAKE IT OFF.
Pendant of Redemption: Okay, for 8000 GP to turn any paladin into Detect Crime, this is beyond retarded. Don't ever let players have this. NEVER.
Periapt of Valor: Another 4k for +2 AC while at 50% or less HP? No thanks.
Ring of the Beast: 8k to boost all your Summon Nature's Ally spells by one level except your max level? Um, sure. I'd buy that for 8k. Damn, uh. That's damn good.
Robe of the Vagabond: 6k for +1 luck to AC and saves? And it enables the other items? Hey, I'd buy that.
Sandals of the Vagabond: Do you have any idea how hard it is to get a luck bonus to initiative? And it's only 4k? AND it nosells exhaustion and fatigue? GOOD SIR, I BELIEVE THAT YOU DID NOT JUST GO THERE.
Tabard of Valor: Sixteen grand for Mettle while at 50% or less HP? No thanks.
Aspergillum of Perpetual Benediction: This name is absurd. But at 1500 GP for an unlimited supply of sprinkled holy water, I wouldn't turn it down.
Book of All Knowledge: Three grand for a +10 once per day on a knowledge check... after 2d4 hours of research? Only 1d4 if you're a Boccoby? How about NOT?
Domain Staves. 36000 GP for every domain spell, once each per day, as per a runestaff. Not a horrible buy, actually.
Iconic Guardian: 3,300 GP for oneshot spiritual guardian? No thanks.
Quiver of Elvenkind: Save yourself the 8000 GP and grab the Quiver of Anariel off the WotC site. It's about a billion times better.
Chapter Five: Divine Quests & Sites
As a set of adventure ideas, the divine quests are decent, and certainly worthy of their pages. One of them offers some interesting insights into Kord, though, and I like that.
The magical sites are, as usual, mostly meh. They're throwaway ways to add a little flavor, or serve as the object of a quest, though for the latter, they need toned up, badly.
In conclusion: This book has a larger proportion of fail than any of the past five or six I've reviewed. But there are also a few epic wins that justify its existence. I wouldn't recommend it for everybody, necessarily, but it's not a bad buy.