Game: Emerging Forms – D’Ah Rien
Publisher: Primal Urge Games
Review Dated: 5th, January 2005
Reviewer’s Rating: 6/10 [ On the ball ]
Total Score: 6
Average Score: 6.00
The D’ah Rein are the second strange race to be visited by Primal Urge Games’ Emerging Forms series. The Aegire, the race described in the first Emerging Form, are insectoids. The D’ah Rein are insectoids. The Aegire live in swamps. The D’ah Rein live in swamps. The Aegire are peaceful protectors. The D’ah Rein are peaceful tutors. The Aegire do not have a name until they’re mature. The D’ah Rein do not have a name until they’re mature.
Yeah. It’s true. There are some similarities between the Aegire of the first PDF and D’ah Rein of the second. That’s bad in way. In another way it works quite well. An imaginative GM could work with the fact that lots of interesting races seem to be coming from the world’s large and unexplored swamps. What else might be in the swamps? How many other insectoid races might there be? Haven’t the insects been around for a while?
It’s fortunate that the D’ah Rein are wise and most interested in teaching the other races in an attempt to better themselves as the D’ah Rein are powerful psions. They’ve wings and can fly too. I imagine there’s nothing quite as frustrating for a Fighter as a psion who flutters overhead and annoyingly out of reach of even the great big spear.
There’s also a problem with the helping, willing to teach, wanting to teach, aspect of the D’ah Rein. Where the hell have they been? If you’re looking to introduce the D’ah Rein into an already running campaign then you’ll need to work out a faff as to why the PCs haven’t heard of them before. This is made more awkward if one or more of the PCs is supposed to be educated.
Emerging Forms – D’ah Rein costs $2 and is 15 pages long. 15 pages isn’t very much but it is many more pages than you normally get for a PC race (for any race really). That’s value for money. The value is slightly (but not much) mitigated by the fact you’ll have to buy a second (or third) product to meet most minimum checkout values. I’ll say this again in the summary but it’s simply the case that if you think you might have need for a psionic, teaching, insectoid race then buy the PDF. What do you have to loose?
I’m not a fan of Effective Levels although the D’ah Rein are certainly more powerful than the average elf and human. Instead the race book offers three levels of the D’ah Rein “class”. Instead of taking a level in a class a D’ah Rein can take a level in D’ah Rein. Doing this costs them the class advancement but enables them to improve as a D’ah Rein (fly better, for example).
I do like the natural D’ah Rein improvements. As the D’ah Rein masters new psionic abilities they develop another band of colour on their scaled skin. Each colour relates to the ability they’ve just mastered.
Oh, needless to say it helps a great deal to have a copy of The Psionics Handbook or similar from Wizards of the Coast before you can really use the psionic D’ah Rein.
We’ve a full 15 page to play with (and without any internal art that’s a full whack of text) and its not surprising (in fact I think it’s a legal d20 requirement) to find new crunchy bits. Emerging Forms – D’ah Rein has a couple of new Psionic Powers. Many of these powers relate to memory. Memory and learning is the D’ah Rein shtick.
The D’ah Rein is a fiddly race. It won’t fit into most armours (nor helmets). They can fly and can see in a 360 degree arch. These are all things DMs need to keep tabs on. Flying is especially awkward as it dramatically alters the dynamics of any outside scene and the DM might be accused of hamstringing the D’ah Rein if they keep the action underground all the time.
I quite like the D’ah Rein. I think Primal Urge Games have successfully described an interesting and colourful character. There’s no way in which I can see myself actually using this race though. Not in the near future. What I want from Emerging Forms is alien and exotic races. Emerging Forms says its trying to move away from the usual fantasy standards and although I can’t think of a use for the D’ah Rein I do appreciate their exoticness, the quality and value of this edition of Emerging Forms.