A Review of the Role Playing Game Supplement The Genius Guide to the Time Warden

The Genius Guide to the Time Warden is a role playing game supplement published by Rogue Genius Games, although it was originally published by Super Genius Games. This supplement is a new base class for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. The supplement is covered by the Open Game License and therefore some of it is Open Game Content.

The Genius Guide to the Time WardenThe supplement is available from RPGNow at the regular price of $3.99, but was purchased as part of a special bundle which reduced this price to only $0.20. This is a fifteen page PDF which is in a generally unusual landscape format, which was something that was common to the publisher during this period. Two thirds of the first page are the cover and one page is the Open Game License and credits.

It begins with a brief overview of time, and how time wardens protect it, before getting into the actual class. There is an extensive list of class features – like the time thief, the time warden makes use of motes – small instants of time – and aevum – larger, more important pieces – to power his class abilities, only unlike the thief, the warden doesn’t steal them. These can be used to do a range of abilities from adding a bonus to a roll to stopping time. The most powerful time warden ability, Lord of Time, is not gained until 20th level and does not appear to be powered in this way. This, quite impressive, ability allows a time warden to reassign skill points, feats and abilities every time he regains the use of his abilities and spells every day, with some limitations.

A large chunk of the supplement, around three and two thirds pages, is the actual spell list that the class draws from. There is also a new creature template, temporal creature, and a section on incorporating time travel into a campaign, and different ways of handling it. There are also sidebars on various topics of temporal note.

The supplement is mostly in a three column layout, although two columns of the front page are taken up by the cover illustration. No errors were noted. The illustrations are actually photographs of a person dressed like – well, perhaps Hollywood’s idea of a desert bandit. A bare-chested man with a sword and a veil around his face doesn’t seem very connected to the class. There are four of these illustrations, excluding the front cover, which are fairly sizeable.

One thing that is rather noticeable is that, for a spellusing class focused on time, there really isn’t much in the way of true temporal spells. All spells cast by a time warden are considered temporal, rather than arcane or divine, but otherwise the vast majority are identical in nature to the spells bearing the same name. There are six spells that are essentially reskins of existing spells and only two brand new spells, with the “chronothurgy” descriptor – and one of these is a 0-level spell. This seems like a bit of a missed opportunity. Temporal magic is, indeed, tricky, but so many of the time warden’s temporal abilities are actually class abilities that it seems a bit pointless being a temporal spelluser.

Potential foes of the class are a negative version of the time warden called the time reaver – this version does not protect time but is otherwise identical – and the Time Thief, which is considered to be a companion class. The time warden is an interesting new class for a campaign that has a temporal focus, but it is let down a bit by not going the extra, admittedly quite tricky, mile of actual chronomancy spells rather than abilities. The Genius Guide to the Time Warden is a bit on the pricy side at $3.99 but at $0.20 it was well worth it, and it can be found by clicking here.

 

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