Compendium Review: Forgotten Gifts (Zavier Bates): 4 Stars
Throughout my years of temporal and physical travel, I have met a wide variety of odd and unusual beings. Entire civilizations that have been lost to time or hidden from others. What brings about these oddities in nature? Anything from forbidden love to horrific experiments and the occasional divine intervention seems to be the culprit. We may never know if there is another race of advanced creatures just beyond the next great hurdle. We can only keep fighting and searching until our curiosity is satisfied.
Forgotten Gifts is a player-facing compendium filled with races, classes, backgrounds, feats, and spells focused on the dangerous, risky, or marginalized characters. Whether you want to play a character descended from trolls or prey on your enemy with nightmares, this product has everything you need for pushing your characters to the edge. While it suffers from a few balance problems throughout, most of the material is solid, and will add amazing opportunities for roleplaying and fun mechanics to play around with.
The Races. Every single one of the these races is fun, interesting, and balanced. There are options for playing as a “troll-blood”, an “illithid-influenced” human, a temporal shifter, and more. The racial features are predominantly combat, and some races could actually use 1 or 2 more features. Still, there’s plenty of roleplaying opportunities with these races and they’ll be fun use in combat.
Most Classes. All of the classes in this product are fun and would make for some interesting playtime and character growth. My favorite is probably the Witch Hunter–an anti-magic rogue that can disrupt spell casting and funnel it’s energy. There’s also a barbarian that can have a beast companion, providing a nice crossover between barbarian and ranger. For those who hate Wildshape, there’s a Druid that can give up wildshape in favor of some ‘evolutionary benefits’.
Most Backgrounds. The backgrounds are well-crafted, minus the Inventor who should probably have a second skill. The privateer and the sentinal are a bit derivative, but are balanced and have some interesting features. The sentinel’s Careful Watch feature is excellent:
You are accustomed to keeping watch through the night. Because of this while you are on watch throughout a long rest you have advantage on Perception, Nature, and Survival checks, likewise while on watch you have temporary hit points equal to your level.
Spells. With fifteen new spells of up to 7th level, there’s a bit of something for everyone. The spells come with a couple new reaction casting times (which are sorely needed), and has options like causing a creature to go mute, gaining immunity to damage, giving an object invisibility, and even the ability to possess someone. The spells have great thematic power and have various combat and roleplaying potential.
Feats. The feats are quite underpowered. They have a lot of potential, but wouldn’t actually be worth taking because they all only have a single, moderate ability. Adding an ability score to each of them, or giving them another ability would make them excellent, as they all have great concepts.
A Few Classes. A few of the classes, while conceptually interesting, are a bit overpowered. For example, the bard’s ability to ignore somatic components may not seem like a big deal, but it’s a small thing that could have significant ramifications within a campaign. There are a few instances of this in a couple other classes, but overall the classes are balanced and playable.
Even though it has a few weaknesses, Forgotten Gifts is a useful and fun collection packed full of player options. We’re recommending it for anyone who wants cool, thematic options that players will enjoy building characters from. You can pick it up by clicking the picture below.