The Diviner: The Core Specialist Wizard
Author: Steve Trustrum
Page count: 13 + OGL (landscape); 11 + OGL (portrait)
Price: $1.40 at RPGNow or $2.00 at DriveThru RPG
The Diviner: The Core Specialist Wizard is another product in an ongoing series with the aim of turning the wizard specialist options into fully developed, 20-level core classes. However, it is not only limited to developing the core class; The Diviner includes new feats, prestige classes, and magic items. It also includes two versions; one designed for screen reading, and the other optimized for printing.
The Diviner: The Core Specialist Wizard begins with rules for running a prophecy scam – this allows a character to attempt to foresee the future, or at least, convince others that he can foresee the future. This scam uses three skills, requiring a variety of skill checks. At first glance, it appears that this may be a complicated way of running the mechanic, but it is actually uncomplicated, and runs well.
Following this is a selection of new feats. This section contains 10 new feats (11 if you count that one is printed twice). Most of these feats allow the Diviner to detect certain things as if using the appropriate spells (evil, secret doors, etc). The feats are functional, if not particularly interesting.
The Diviner core class is next. This section expands the Diviner specialist into a full-fledged 20-level core class. One of the more interesting changes between the Wizard and the Diviner is the primary ability score for spellcasting; The Diviner is not an Intelligence-driven class, but instead, uses Wisdom as the primary ability score. Unlike the Wizard, the Diviner does not get four bonus feats, but instead receives only two. Replacing these bonus feats are a few special abilities. The Diviner receives an ability that lets him alter a die-based result a certain number of times per day, depending on his level. He also develops the ability to alter a limited number of prepared spells, based on precognitive insight. Whether or not these abilities compensate for the loss of two bonus feats depends on the player of the Diviner. Players that make use of metamagic and item creation feats will not find these new abilities just compensation. However, if the player is not fond of using wizard bonus feats, then he may find these abilities useful.
The Diviner: The Core Specialist Wizard also contains two new prestige classes – the Cosmic Fist, and the Oracle. The Cosmic Fist is based on a Monk/Diviner build. The Cosmic Fist is more of a melee character than the typical wizard or Diviner, and his abilities demonstrate this. He gains abilities, derived from divinatory insight, that enhance his offensive and defensive capabilities. The Cosmic Fist is an interesting prestige class, but it requires the character to have at least 6 levels in Diviner. Because of this, I don't see this prestige class being particularly popular with players, but it is excellent for GMs, who can use it to create a specific monastic order for their world.
As might be divined, the Oracle is specialized in divining. The Oracle's abilities focus on enhancing scrying, and reducing the time required to learn information from various detection spells. Once the character has advanced a few level in the prestige class, he gains the ability to use certain divinatory spells as supernatural abilities. The Oracle prestige class has some interesting abilities. Players that prefer flash and bang will not use it, but those who enjoy subtlety and a "knowledge is power" attitude will find the class of interest.
The Diviner: The Core Specialist Wizard includes a new magic weapon quality, and four new wondrous items. The most interesting of these is the deck of fate. The deck of fate is similar in some ways to a deck of many things, but it doesn't have the power of that artifact. Like a deck of many things, characters draw x number of cards, and suffer the results. The results of the deck of fate are typically less tangible than those of a deck of many things, and more often affect actual mechanics. For example, one card, when drawn, allows the drawer to survive to twice the normal number of negative hit points the next time he is reduced to 0 or fewer hit points. One card provides the drawer with a damage bonus on his next critical hit, while a different card may turn a failed roll against the drawer into a success. The deck of fate is a viable alternative for GMs that would like to introduce a deck of many things into their game, but do not want to deal with the possible long-term consequences of that artifact, like the Donjon or the Void.
Layout and Style
The Diviner: The Core Specialist Wizard includes a landscape version for easy screen viewing and a less graphics-intense portrait version for printing. Both use a standard two-column layout with a small font. The text flows well and is easy to read.
Each product in this series has a theme color; in The Conjurer, the color was green. In The Diviner, the color is a yellowish-brown. This is initially less jarring than the green of The Conjurer, but it is also less attractive. The Conjurer coloration gave the product an otherworldly sensation; the yellow-brown of The Diviner is simply plain.
The Diviner: The Core Specialist Wizard has only a few pieces of art, the quality of which ranges from unattractive to average.
Trademarks, registered trademarks, proper names, artwork and trade dress are considered product identity. Otherwise, the text of The Diviner: The Core Specialist Wizard is open content. As always, this is a positive feature – game products cannot have too much open content.
The Diviner: The Core Specialist Wizard is a closed document. You cannot copy text, extract pages, or otherwise alter the document. This lock on the document reduces the value of the document, since you cannot edit to fit your needs.
The Diviner: The Core Specialist Wizard does what it sets out to do – it turns the specialist into a fleshed-out core class, and it does a decent job. The class is not flashy, but it is balanced with the wizard core class, and certainly has its uses. The Diviner: The Core Specialist Wizard includes prestige classes that are solid in design, if perhaps a bit limited in application. The magic items are functional. The Diviner: The Core Specialist Wizard is not an exceptional product, but it is a solid product.