Review: Rite Publishing – Po’Kesteros, the Lostling (Faces of the Tarnished Souk)


Faces of The Tarnished Souk: Po’Kesteros, the Lostling
Po’Kesteros, the Lostling is a supplement for Coliseum Morpheuon and the Pathfinder Fantasy system written by Matt Banach and Justin Sluder
By Cape Rust

Learn more about Po’Kesteros, the Lostling here
Purchase Po’Kesteros, the Lostling here
Find more Faces of the Tarnished Souk products here

Most fairytales that we were told as children were much more gruesome and seldom had happy endings (what do you expect from a pair of brothers with the last name Grimm). Po’Kesteros made a wish that took him to a land full of the kind of fairies that don’t leave change under your pillow in exchange for body parts, these fairies just take them, by force! The little boy survived and even grew up and now he is a tricksy old man who walks the dream streets ignoring every penny he passes, because he knows that luck is already on his side.

CONTENT

This 16 page supplement has 11 pages that include Po’Kesteros at CR 20, 15 and 17, variants of Po’Kesteros at each of those CRs including the adaptable, fey, preternatural and trickster templates. There are 3 feats, The dream-shattering weapon enhancement, 2 new mundane daggers and 4 new magic items all of this is topped off with information on the Luckbringer class.

OVERALL

When I think of lost boys I think of Peter Pan and not glittered vampires; minus the semi-Native American appearance of Po’Kesteros the similarities end there. Po’Kesteros alone is interesting, but his role as the deposed reluctant leader of the Court of Fell Fortunes (the Tarnished Souk’s thieves guild) takes him over the top. This supplement is another example of why Rite Publishing is a force to be reckoned with.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 10 out of 10
Rite Publishing is full of human beings and while I have lowered my ratings for past editorial mistakes, for Po’Kesteros, the Lostling no errors jumped out at me. Rite Publishing was wise to stick with black and white illustrations, instead of risking color which has had mixed results for them in the past. Rite has really embraced branding in a really smart way. Instead of trying to shove stock art in whenever they can, they are using the picture of the luckbringer when they give us luckbringer stats. This might seem like common sense, but many of the smaller companies don’t get it. Wizards was actually really smart by making their core classes character art iconic. When you saw pictures of those characters you knew you were looking at the Monk or Cleric or Fighter or whatever.

Mechanics: 10 out of 10
Because of the high character levels in Coliseum Morpheuon, things can get complicated. Rite Publishing has found a way to strike a balance between the numbers game that occurs at close to, and at epic levels and playability. I love to game but I do find myself lost with the rules and mechanics complexities around 15th level. Think about the amount of abilities you need to manage for a fighter at this point in their career.

Value Add: 9 out of 10
By Himself, Po’Kesteros is a well thought-out NPC, put him up against Z.Z. Grimshanks (Faces of the Tarnished Souk) the current leader of Court of Fell Fortunes (the Tarnished Souk’s thieves guild) and that is where the real value comes in. Sure Po’Kesteros can stand on his own, but his tie-in with the Court of Fell Fortunes and Z.Z. Grimshanks makes him stand out. I would not want to get caught in the middle of an encounter between these two and to be honest, I would love to see a Tarnished Souk Fight Club over on Rite Publishing’s web site. This product’s value is limited for the player, but great for the GM. As a player there are some outstanding character ideas and good mundane and magic items, but Po’Kesteros really lets GMs take a walk on the wild side.

Overall: 10 out of 10
At this point it shouldn’t be a surprise that the Faces of the Tarnished Souk team consisting of Matt Banach and Justin Sluder is a winning combo; add in a little Stephan D. Russell and the result is a line of products that is hard to beat. I like the intertwined story arc between Z.Z Grimshanks, I think Rite might have done well to bundle both of these products or to come up with a versus PDF bundle in the future. This product is well done and reasonably priced; it shouldn’t be overlooked because you could be lost without it.

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