Review: Rite Publishing – Way of the Samurai (Kaidan)


Way of the Samurai
Way of the Samurai is an Asian epic fantasy horror for the Kaidan setting for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game written by Jonathan McAnulty and published by Rite Publishing.
By Venus De Coy

Learn more about Way of the Samurai here
Purchase Way of the Samurai here
Find other Kaidan products here

CONTENT

The Way of the Samurai is a whopping 52-page book quite loaded full of options to expand the Samurai class.

  • An all new Honor Mechanic: Detailing its inherent impact on the Kaidan Campaign setting and as a mechanic providing a useful scale to measure your samurai’s standing in the eyes of your peers. A lot like “Hero Points” with a few differences.
  • An array of new traits, feats and Samurai orders that add more power and flavor to a class that is heavily underplayed in Pathfinder.
  • New Multi-Class Options to expand on the Samurai: Gunslingers, Paladin, Ranger, Wizard. It also has new Prestige Classes along with four specific class archetypes for the Samurai.
  • Creating a Samurai Clan: Guidelines and rules for creating customized factions of samurai reflecting the philosophies of its daimyo, the goals of its clan head, the size of the clan, its source of income, and its influence at court.
  • A new location to build off of: Kawashi, Samurai Town—Completed with maps and art!

This is all currently available at DriveThruRPG for the incredibly affordable price of $5.99

OVERALL

The samurai class is one of the quieter classes of the Pathfinder system. But for 3rd party publishers, this is one of the most expanded upon classes. Rite Publishing however, has taken the expansion of the class to a whole new level, which makes the class that much more awesome. Add to the fact that if you intend to utilize the Kaidan Campaign setting that Rite Publishing has developed, you can’t go wrong with picking this item up!

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 9 out of 10
Presentation of Layout: The presentation of this book is well done. The bookmarks are well done, and the artwork is incredibly impressive. Although most of it is public domain, you can tell they did a great job in choosing very delicately what they wanted to showcase, and it was quite impressive indeed. If printed, this would look magnificent, and I would definitely purchase it printed for any campaigns in which I would utilize it for.

Ease of Mobility: It comes in at 38MB, which means it’s a little bigger than what Rite Publishing does normally. But in size, they make up for in layout and presentation. I am wondering if they do have plans to print this one eventually, for it would make a great addition print wise into any campaign setting as well as their own that they are working with. Navigating it though is a little bit of a challenge on tablets and E-readers due to size. The bookmarks in place make this a lot easier, but if you are looking for something specific via search , it’s quite a bit of work due to the size.

Mechanics: 10 out of 10
There are no major issues with the mechanics of the archetypes, traits or feats. I am not a big fan of the Honor system, since Pathfinder already has Hero Points in place that can do the same thing. But it’s not a deal breaker in the grand scheme of things. Also, the clan building stat blocks are a little confusing at first, but if you take your time and read it, it’s a nice little addition – it takes it’s cues off of the Kingmaker Adventure Path and makes things easier to understand.

Value Add: 10 out of 10
There is so much stuff here, that it will last quite a long time! Even if you don’t play the Kaidan campaign setting, there is still a good number of items that make expanding on your normal Samurai even better. What impresses me is the price. For $6 you get a book that normally you would see for $10 in the industry, if not more. So Rite Publishing has definitely won my heart in the “affordable publisher” category for 2012.

Overall: 10 out of 10
The last few reviews I’ve had of Rite Publishing have been a little blah. But this is a product that not only do I mind giving 10 out of 10 for, mechanically and on item presentation. But this product is something that I actually plan on using in my newest campaign that I am writing. It’s a product that if you plan on utilizing for Kaidan and/or your own personal games, you will have material to last you for quite a long time.

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