Reviews of 'Complete Divine'
Reviews of 'Complete Divine'
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Like Complete Warrior before it, Complete Divine is billed as the ultimate player's guide to divine magic for all classes. As such, many of the rules presented in the book are appropriate for not only clerics and other divine spellcasters, but characters of all classes that may have a smattering of divine influence in their repertoire. The material presented in the book will greatly enhance any "divine" character's game; however, since much of the book is comprised of material revised for the 3.5 rules and previously published in Dragon magazine and two other sourcebooks—Defenders of the Faith and Faiths and Pantheons—the Complete Divine falls short on originality.
Complete Divine is divided into seven chapters. In order, they cover: classes, prestige classes, supplemental rules, magic items, deities, the divine world and domains/spells. Chapter 1, The Devoted, discusses who or what divine characters serve and where they draw their power from. Three new base classes follow: the favored soul, the shugenja, and the spirit shaman. The favored soul is simply a divine magic version of the sorcerer, with a couple of bonus feats and powers thrown in as they progress in level. The shugenja is the oriental version of a cleric, focusing primal energies to cast spells like the sorcerer, but with a special elemental connection to the world. The spirit shaman speaks and communes with spirits to get their powers.
Chapter two covers prestige classes. Given a cursory glance, the chapter contains 24 prestige classes—good for a book this size. The only problem is that on a cursory glance, eight were lifted directly from Defenders of the Faith, with several more from Masters of the Wild, Faiths and Pantheons and even the Book of Vile Darkness. If you have any of these books in your library, the roughly 60 pages of prestige classes will be largely reprints of your existing material.
Chapter three presents a variety of feats, from the general to the divine, item creation and a number of new wild feats. Chapter four presents a number of divine relics and magic items, most of which require the user to worship a particular deity and sacrifice a spell slot of a particular level to use the relic.
The fifth chapter details the deities of the "core" D&D setting. Each entry contains details on their status (lesser/greater), portfolio, domains, clerical training for their followers, quests, prayers, temples, rites, allies and relics. However, the information is useful only as a template unless you're playing a game set in the Greyhawk campaign, which makes the chapter utterly worthless for Dragonlance fans.
Chapter six, The Divine World, is somewhat more useful—it details what happens after a character passes into the afterlife (and the choices the character may have), though not nearly in as much detail as the Ghosthawk campaign setting. The chapter also discusses the organized religions of the D&D world, providing some good adventure seeds and comments on church hierarchy for the various types of societies (theocracies, sects, cults, global churches, etc.).
The final chapter provides new spell and domain lists. Most of the spells are very specific in their usage or don't provide any significant new abilities, though the domain lists are helpful (if uninspiring), but don't in themselves justify the purchase of the book.
Poor editing is evident throughout Complete Divine. For example, in the section on the shugenja, the book instructs the reader to see "page XX", an obvious remnant of bad proofreading. The Black Flame Zealot prestige class lists Exotic Weapon Proficiency (kukri), which is now a martial weapon, and also has the "page XX" reference.
The upshot: if you don't have Defenders of the Faith and are playing a divine spellcaster in the Greyhawk setting, then you should definitely pick up Complete Divine. For those playing in other settings, including the Dragonlance setting, Complete Divine is a much less useful book. And if you already have Defenders of the Faith, save your money for a better sourcebook with fewer errors.
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