A Review of the Role Playing Game Supplement Genius Options: Masters of Time

Genius Options: Masters of Time is a role playing game supplement published by Rogue Genius Games, although it was originally released by Super Genius Games. This is a supplement for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and therefore it is covered by the Open Game License, with some of it considered to be Open Game Content.

Genius Options: Masters of TimeThis is a thirty page PDF which is quite substantially bookmarked, especially for a supplement of this length. The PDF is available from RPGNow at the regular price of $4.99 but it was purchased as part of a bundle at the reduced price of $0.25. The PDF is in a landscape format, rather than in the more usual portrait, although this is common for this publisher. Two thirds of the first page is taken up by the cover illustration, one page is the credits and one page is the Open Game License.

This is essentially a book of additional material for The Genius Guide to the Time Thief, The Genius Guide to Time Warden and Mythic Menagerie: Ravagers of Time. It expands on the concept of “motes of time” and “aevum” seen in those supplements. It begins with a section on how to use the book, including using the options presented for campaigns that don’t use the three mentioned supplements, and what are described as “chronthurges” – characters able to manipulate time using motes and aevum. There are four main classes able to do this, two of which were previously covered and one being mentioned, as well further options discussed later. Next there is a section on the Timestream, and some notes on using this concept, which is essentially similar to another plane of existence.

It then moves on the powers related to motes of time, starting with basic and then moving onto advanced. These are various class abilities, some of which have level requirements. These can be used to replace the standard class abilities from the Time Thief and Time Warden supplements; there is a sidebar on how these abilities are the same as those in the two supplements, but have now been named in order to clarify what they are. The existing classes can still be used in the same way as previously presented or, alternatively, they can have a new class ability which allows them to choose which mote power they wish to pick (similar in some ways to witches’ hexes; witches can all cast hexes, but they get to choose which ones they learn). Aevum powers are then treated the same way as mote powers but, because aevum are larger chunks of time than motes, these powers are commensurately greater. There are a range of abilities, although some of the abilities are restricted as to which of the classes can use them – some are open to all four, others range from one to three.

Next is a selection of new temporal feats, some of which can be used by classes other than chronothurges. There are then new options for chronothurge base classes; the time reaver is now an archetype that can be used by either the time thief or time warden, rather than being simply another type of time warden, and therefore has different abilities. There are new talents for the time thief and a new archetype for the time warden only, as well as two new spells. These are linked to motes and aevum rather than being temporal in nature themselves – the time manipulation powers are still primarily those of the class. The standard base and core classes have new temporal options, including such as archetypes, new cleric domain, witch hexes and a cavalier order, in the next section.

Next is a section on temporal threats, starting with the zone of broken time, which can have odd temporal effects on those within it. Finally, there are temporal monsters, with options for giving monsters motes and aevum, and an example monster.

The PDF is exceptionally well bookmarked for a 30 page supplement, making navigation definitely above average for one this size. It primarily has a three column layout, although does skip to a two column once, due to a sidebar. The illustrations are mostly photographs reused from the Time Thief and Time Warden supplements, but there are some new illustrations derived from these.

Rather than going down the path of true chronomancy – spells – Masters of Time instead goes down the alternative route of all temporal powers in it being connected to motes and aevum. This is on the one hand more flexible – players can choose which class ability they want to use when they want to use it, rather than being stuck to learned spells – and on the other less powerful – a character cannot stock up on a complete portfolio of chronomantic spells, nor are these available to other classes. Instead, those classes will need to take a new temporal option. Whether the lack of spells used to alter time appeals or not will probably be a matter of personal preference. This route may be more balanced, or at least less open to potential unbalancing abuse, than the route of true magic. Genius Options: Masters of Time does expand the options available in the previous supplements, and provides quite a lot of interesting information, expanding this alternative method of time manipulation, and can be found by clicking here.

 

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