Game: SRD Illustrated: Core Classes
Publisher: The Le
Review Dated: 30th, January 2005
Reviewer’s Rating: 4/10 [ Just shy of the mark ]
Total Score: 4
Average Score: 4.00
The Le have bundled together free or low cost goodies to produce a luxury. The text in SRD Illustrated: Core Classes is all free. The Systems Reference Document (SRD) for d20 is a collection of rules which can be used by other d20 products. They’re free. If you don’t mind downloading rich text documents and putting them together then you don’t need this product. If you have the Player’s Handbook then you don’t need this illustrated PDF.
The artwork is nearly as un-original as the text. Some of it comes form ClipArt (as does plenty of GameWyrd’s) and others come from Mongoose’s Character Portraits: Fantasy Heroes.
What’s the point of paying money for The Le’s SRD Illustrated: Core Classes? It’s a luxury. It’s a convenience. You may well not have the core classes in PDF form (and hopefully no one reading this review has downloaded/swapped illegal electronic copies – authors need to eat). I run much of my life from my laptop at times and so a PDF copy of these rules can be useful.
The Le have done well enough with the formatting. The class tables fit into the two column presentation gracefully. Even extra tables such as the Monk’s unarmed damage don’t end up stuck out on a limb. Illustrations are handled in the same way, never so large that they can’t be placed alongside text and never so small that they’re lost in print.
There’s a functional bookmark tab so you can leap back and forth between the classes but the using them causes the page to re-size back to actual width. I (and most people?) tend to default to fit to width. I always look at this when I’m reviewing a PDF but it’s been a while since I’ve actually written it down – but then there’s not a vast wealth of new subjects to discuss here.
With the illustrations we enjoy an average of three per character class. That’s not bad at all. I’m not sure what the value for money is there but it certainly ensures that the PDF avoids looking cheap and succeeds in looking professional.
I think SRD Illustrated Core Classes is just shy of the mark. Just. It’s a professional product and it does what it sets out to do. I think it just needed to add something extra; some small innovation, some new presentation, a cross-referenced table or something on those lines.
I do think the SRD Illustrated will be useful for some people – and you’ll know who you are. The majority of people won’t see the need for the PDF nor benefit from it hugely. I will say that if a couple of bucks is nothing to you and your proficient with your PDF indexing then this revisit of the core classes should be tempting.