Dungeon Master’s Guild Review: Backgrounds, Vol. 1

Full Disclosure: Shamus Williams, author of this product, asked me to review it.

This product is an interesting opportunity for me, as a reviewer/critic/whatever. When I review a class, archetype, or subsystem, I have a lot of crunchy bits to talk about. So much, in fact, that I think I went a little overboard last time, with the Swordmage. I left basically nothing to the imagination.

With this one…if I talk about the crunchy bits, there’s really not much for people to spend money on. Therefore, I’m going to have to be a bit more careful with my wording on this review.

Before we begin, here’s a link to the document in question:

BACKGROUNDS, VOL. 1, BY SHAMUS WILLIAMS

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Dungeon Master’s Guild Review: The Swordmage

I chose the Swordmage as my first DM’s Guild review for a reason: these kinds of spellsword classes have always had a special place in my heart and in my games. Going way back to the Eldritch Knight of 3rd Edition, I was consistently enamored with these kinds of classes, and sought them out wherever I could. Bladesingers, Rune Knights, Spell Swords, Abjurant Champions, Daggerspell Mages, Duskblades, and even the blade magic of the Tome of Battle enraptured my early D&D years. My friends and I even tried to create our own class: the Arcane Swordsman (the original idea must be credited to a friend whose name I won’t reveal without permission, but you know who you are). And once I moved from D&D to Pathfinder, that love followed me. Whether it was the divine Inquisitor or eventually the Magus, I definitely have a type.

Except the Spellrager. I have an inherent and irrational dislike for the Spellrager.

So, of course, when I saw the Swordmage on the Dungeon Master’s Guild, I had to have it. It’s unfortunate that the class is so…underwhelming. Continue reading