Game: Unorthodox Fighters
Publisher: The Le
Review Dated: 3rd, January 2005
Reviewer’s Rating: 6/10 [ On the ball ]
Total Score: 6
Average Score: 6.00
I’d argue with you if thought Unorthodox Fighters wasn’t good value at US $2 for nearly 30 pages. Sure, you might have to take off a few pages for the front cover, intro and d20 legal foo. On the other hand you add in 24 pages of appendix for OGL spells and feats. That’s about 50 pages for $2.
Yeah, The Le Games’ Unorthodox Fighers is a PDF product not a glossy hardback. That only matters to some gamers.
The Unorthodox Fighter’s worth, I think, is measured by its usefulness rather than the cost-per-page count. There’s a whole series of Unorthodox Class Books and it’s the “Unorthodox” title that really interests me. Unorthodox Fighters lives or dies on whether it can provide unconventional, divergent and unique classes. This challenge is especially tricky when dealing with the Fighter.
The Bastion believes he is the anchor in any shield wall or any melee mosh at all. He’s the big, tough, armour clad tank with a small collection of simple but effective weapons. This core class’s most remarkable class special is damage reduction. It reaches damage reduction 3/- at level 20. That’s pretty intoxicating. It’s also pretty dull. I think the Bastion is only an appealing class because it’s a tempting (and powerful) alternative.
The Bully is a big strong fighter with less of an enthusiasm for heavy armour and heavy weapons simply due to laziness. At the 8th level the Bully’s body is hard enough to have Damage Reduction 2/- and receive half damage from non-lethal damage. At 20th level this Damage Reduction is 4/-. Once again this is a tempting class if you want to play a lazy brute of a (powerful) fighter. It’s also very similar to The Bastion.
The Dogfighter, on the other hand, is nice. This is an interesting class. The Dogfighter is unorthodox. The Dogfighter is someone who’s grown up living with dogs – the default example is of a street urchin who’s only friend was a dog. As the Dogfighter levels up his ability to communicate with his dog companion and then a small pack of them improves. The Dogfighter and his dog companions improve their coordination in combat too. Sure, I think the evil GM will make mincemeat of the unarmoured dogs but I suppose in a fantasy world it might be easy enough to find an especially tough one. The Dogfighter is original.
The Legend Seeker seeks to become a legend. At the first whiff this sounds like another boring class – with a range of specialised power ups. On closer inspection the class is a bit of a mix. It does have its specialised power ups but at least they’re interesting; signature weapons and signature moves. Surprisingly the annoying aspects from this class come from the other class specials. The Legend Seeker gets Groupies. Okay, nice idea – but it’s a pain in the arse for the GM to deal with. There’s also a risk the extra NPCs will over shadow the group’s own dynamics.
The Second Son is steeped in Oriental mythos. Here we have an honourable and strong personality who just has the miss-fortune of not being the eldest and heir to a family estate. We’ve two blade fighting and horse riding class specials in addition to some regal abilities like leadership and voice of command. The Second Son works for me as an alternative class because I can imagine campaign worlds where the Second Son stereotype is the default trained fighter type (with the Warrior NPC class picking up the minions).
As with the other latter Unorthodox Class PDFs there is an impressive amount of text; flavour and crunch for each class. At about 5 pages each there’s no skimping on the details. Sheer word count is impressive but the fact that quality with the quantity is. Which alignment would you think suits the Second Son? There’s over 100 words discussing it – what about Second Sons which carry a grudge? It would be easy given they’ve been deprived of so much due to an accident of birth.
Unorthodox Fighters is a palpable hit. It would have been very easy for the PDF to scrape along on the “meh” level – where the product was professional enough just terribly dull. It’s pleasant and quite an achievement that Unorthodox Fighters has the interesting bits it has. On the other hand there’s no thick vein of good stuff here. There’s good stuff but it’s patchy and sporadic.
Overall it’s a simple call. If you’re looking for an alternative or even an additional fighter class – and you don’t mind powerful fighters – then every reason to shake US $2 from your PayPal account and walk off with Unorthodox Fighters.