Ok let me say it outright, I love the cover! After complaining about previous covers in the Advanced Feats series, with the exception of The Witch’s Brew, I must say this is my favorite cover thus far. It has action, it tells a story and it makes me want to read what’s behind the digital cover.
After such a stellar first impression I sat back with great expectation to read The Cavalier’s Creed, the 4th installment if the Advanced Feats series published by Open Design. They provided this review copy of their new book aimed at another of the classes introduced in the Pathfinder RPG Advanced Players Guide, the Cavalier.
Some personal details in the interest of full disclosure, I am a big fan of the AD&D cavalier originally presented in Unearthed Arcana. My favorite character, and the one who bore the name Sunglar, was a Cavalier/Paladin under the rules presented in the AD&D 1st edition Unearthed Arcana. The Pathfinder cavalier is NOT a rehash of that class, being its own creature, but I could not avoid making the connection and more goodies for the class is a big plus.
The book is 16 pages long, 12 of those pages actual gaming content when you discount the cover, adds and the OGL. The layout on these books improves with each installment and this is not the exception. The normal two column layout is adorned with flair and details, shields, silhouettes and woodcuts that enhance the theme of the book, giving it an air reminiscent of jousting tournaments, very fitting with the class.
The Cavalier is the odd one out of all the new classes in the Advanced Players Guide, it’s the only non-caster. The opening discussion on the class and its abilities touches upon this and all relevant abilities a player should be aware of. Be mindful, the fact the cavalier is not a caster doesn’t make it any less versatile. The cavalier’s orders offer many role playing opportunities and the challenge and tactician abilities change the tide of battle and give flavor to the class. Specifically the Cavalier’s Creed refers the reader to more Teamwork Feats available in Kobold Quarterly #15, a fine and entertaining publication on its own right.
The builds at the end of the book cover traditional knightly archetypes of myth and literature, the Green Knight, the Tawny Knight and the Black Knight. Notes on historical bucklers and horsemanship, while short, are very informative and really invite the reader to further research historical details for their games.
But, what about the feats, that’s why you are readying a book called Advanced Feats after all if? (Not really, the book is chock full of other useful information, but I digress.)
There are 30 new feats, all useful to the Cavalier, but like in previous Advanced Feats books, many are useful for other classes as well, here are feats of particular interest to combat heavy characters. The author notes on the feats are always informative and interesting form a game design point of view. Many feats play off the classes specific abilities, which is always good. Some generally useful feats, like Campaigner (need less rest and food, accustomed to being on the road) and Bravery (resistant to fear effects) are useful for building knightly or military themed characters even if they are no specifically cavaliers.
Clever Critter, meant for the mount is simple, it makes the mounts just a little smarter, but very useful. Many feats enhance Leadership. Moral Chameleon allows the character to change orders and there are plenty of combat and teamwork feats to make your cavalier interesting.
The author, Sigfried Trent, continues to impress me with his rule insight and mastery of the rules. While there are many feats products out there, many have balance issues and I always think twice about letting my players pick from those books. This is not the case here, the Advanced Feat series are books I would allow my players to use sight unseen, and this is my campaign we are talking about here, so this is high praise! This, and previous installments of the Advanced Feats series, are a great digital stocking stuffer for your friends who love Pathfinder or play these classes.