Review: Rite Publishing – Students of Arcanum Archetypes (Convergent Paths)


Convergent Paths: Students of Arcanum Archetypes
Students of Arcanum Archetypes is an epic fantasy supplement from the Convergent Paths series of supplement for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, written by Eric Morton and published by Rite Publishing.
By Cape Rust

Learn more about Students of Arcanum Archetypes here
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This 11 page product ends up with 6 pages of content. Students of Arcanum Archetypes introduces 4 new archetypes for magic users, in the form of different houses that focus on various forms of magic use. The houses include House Dweomerden, House Glammerforge, House Nethervault, and House Spell Tower. This book includes 4 new spells, and 6 new traits.

House Dweomerden focuses on utility spells and for the sacrifice of the scribe scroll feat gives a member of this house an extra spell slot and includes a limited amount of daily opportunities to substitute the wizards bread and butter spellcraft skill for much more utilitarian skills like heal, craft, and survival skill checks.

House Nethervault members are the heavies of the institution, for taking the nethervault template they are given intimidate as a class skill. To add to this they are given the coveted use magic device skill. Because of their duties as protectors of lore that is best forgotten, they get a secret language that has a good deal in common with druidic. Nethervaulters are given a +5 to their spellcraft checks when they are building items they couldn’t normally build. As they gain levels they become more and more resilient to curses, poisons, and diseases and acquire some immunities at 20th level. Because of the nature of their positions as lore keepers, when contacting creatures from other planes they can take some wisdom penalties to tell if their otherworld contact is telling the truth or not.

House Glamerforge is aptly named as it adds perform to a wizard’s skill list and gives the wizard a limited amount of daily uses of bardic music-like abilities. These abilities are limited to countersong, distraction, and fascinate. But with great power comes great responsibility and the use of each of these abilities has a condition that goes with it. Being a member of this house includes the ability to fuse scrolls with inanimate objects and they have the bonus of concealing their spell books in works of poetry and drawings.The final house, House Spelltower, is listed as One School and provides no archetype.

Rite Publishing has managed to put a large amount of useful information in a very compact package. Mechanically, Rite Publishing is spot on, but for any of you who are familiar with them, this shouldn’t surprise you. I’m sure you are tired of hearing that in my reviews, but you can’t marginalize their ability to make really good ideas balanced and effective. The cover was a mix of original art and stock art and I could tell it wasn’t horrible, but the styles just didn’t quite mesh for me. The caster portrayed on the front was really well done and really stood out when it was used as a stand-alone later in the book.

As for the House concept, I get it. Sure it might reek of Harry Potter, but it isn’t like different houses were not around way before that series. What I liked is that Rite Publishing used the function of the house members for the naming convention, rather than mythical animals or even parts of those animals. I was going to ding Rite Publishing for not giving House Spelltower more love, but I remembered that this product is designed to be used in almost any setting and to achieve that there was no need to go any further into the house that basically produces the kinds of wizards you’d expect to find in a fantasy setting. Over all this is well worth your time and money. There are some great archetypes, spells, and feats. The school and the house concepts can be plugged into any setting with little or no effort and all in 6 pages of content.

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