A chapter on Magical Items follow, with 16 transmutation-flavoured items, including a couple of artifacts. This book is a bit heavy on the fluff and seems to run out of steam before its 64 pages are up, but the rules that are here are pretty solid and useful. I intend to extract that bit from the book. Posting Quick Reply — Please Wait.
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With the earlier books in the line becoming hard to find and not up to date with 3. Encyclopedia Arcane: Compendium, which came out in May , is that compilation. The titles are: Demonology: the one that kicked off the line back in , concerned with the summoning and controlling of fiends, and the great risk this process carries with it.
Necromancy: the second book in the line and the first to cover a specific arcane school. Battle Magic: from , focusing on the Battle Mage and slinging arcane powers of destruction. Transmutation: the brand-new EA title only found in this book, looking at the school of Transmutation. The full title on the cover is Encyclopedia Arcane: Compendium Volume I, implying that there may be more Compendiums to follow, but as of one year later nothing further has been released or announced.
A gathered throng of various creatures gazes up from below with serious-looking faces. Each of the original EA books ran 64 pages, and with a total of pages in this hardback this pretty much a straight-up presentation. A new page border design is here too, comprised of old cover art from other EA books. All the credits for the books have been squeezed into one big front page.
Demonology: The Dark Road by Matthew Sprange provides the mechanics for characters to attempt to summon and control fiends, risking their eternal souls for great power. This book is a bit heavy on the fluff and seems to run out of steam before its 64 pages are up, but the rules that are here are pretty solid and useful. I do kind of wish, though, that demons and devils were handled a bit differently for a bit more flavour. All fiends are handled pretty much the same way mechanically, but what if only demons used the rules for attempting to possess characters, while devils instead tried to trap mortals in pacts for their souls?
Verdict: 3 out of 5. This is the one book I have the 3. I see some changes in the formatting, but the book still reads the same way beginning to end. The tables now have alternating grey bands to make them a bit easier to read.
I did notice that the spells-per-day progression for the Deathseeker prestige class has been halved. The parts that required the most re-writing were the stat block entries for the monsters that appear towards the end of the book, and this has been done. This book remains among my very favourites in the EA line.
Verdict: 4 out of 5. Nevertheless I had a look through to see if there was anything I could extract for my own use, and was kind of left wanting there too. The book makes a big deal about the special prestige class of the Battle Mage and how you have to join their guild to use their secrets of battle magic, which cost tons of gold.
Something I did find kinda neat were the new areas of effect, such as a stream attack that sweeps a spell with a straight line of effect across a battlefield just like the beam on a radar screen. I intend to extract that bit from the book. The book begins with a chapter-and-a-half of an overview and some general observations about the open-ended nature of transmutation, and how a spellcaster can get the most out of the school.
The next chapter is Transmutation Spells, there are 29 in total. There are also three power levels of a spell called Alchemistry that allows the caster to drain a magic property from one item and transfer it to another. Calcifying Caress is a little confusing though, when it says it "imparts a form of stone to flesh".
The wording of the rest of the spell clearly intends it to mean that a creature made of flesh is to be turned into stone.
Transmutation Feats are the next short chapter, there are 10 here. Some of them let you do a little more with polymorphing effects than those spells normally allow. Bodycrafter, for example, lets you incorporate extra exceptional abilities to your new form when casting alter self. A chapter on Magical Items follow, with 16 transmutation-flavoured items, including a couple of artifacts.
In all this is a pretty satisfying look at the very flexible school of transmutation. It did get me thinking about creative applications for this school which is exactly what the author says he set out to do in his Designer Notes. To summarize, Encyclopedia Arcane: Compendium is a solid compilation.
The nature of a compilation book makes it hard to give a grade, as a lot of its utility will depend on how much of this previously released material you already have. This is basically a good way to pick up some books in the EA line and have them in a nice hardback, with the enticement of revisions and an exclusive extra book for those who own any of these titles already.
Encyclopedia Arcane: Compendium
9781904577713 - Encyclopaedia Arcane: Compendium by Tucker, P