Supplement Review: Legacy of Heaven and Hell (Pyromaniac Press): 4.5 Stars
In very rare cases one of these encounters results in an offspring, a mixing of the blood. The resultant being is a creature of both worlds – mortal and immortal – yet outcast from both. Feared, hated, desired or coveted, these planar races stand apart from their prime plane contemporaries. These new bloodlines are strong enough to continue on through the mortal generations, creating a distinct family line reflecting the characteristics of the ancestor being.
Legacy of Heaven and Hell is a well-conceived and executed expansion of the tiefling and aasimar. While the aasimar currently have multiple subraces, the ones added by this supplement are excellently done. Perhaps the most valuable aspect is the various options it adds for Tiefling characters, and woefully neglected race that has always needed more options. There is also a page of well-written and valuable lore and new feat options for each race. While a few of the subraces feel a bit derivative and formulaic, overall, Legacy of Heaven and Hell is a refreshing and well-crafted addition to two races that will probably see more play time once Baldur’s Gate: Descent into Avernus drops.
Subraces. The aasimar subraces make up the smaller section of the supplement, which is appropriate since they already have official subraces. Legacy offers nearly a half-dozen new subraces, as well as angelic and celestial blooded variants. The extra feature they get is typically either an aura (defender, life, knowledge) or a type of transformation (knowledge and unbinded), though the variants have more unique features. These auras are excellent–both interesting mechanically and would be fun to roleplay–and add a lot of variance in the roles that aasimar can play while still being optimized.
The tiefling subraces are the largest, and in my opinion most valuable, part of the supplement since the race technically only has a single official subrace. There is a new option for each demon, devil, and yougoloth (plus succubus/inccubus) for a total of OVER THIRTY options. Among the predominantly “innate magic” features shine a few gems like the ability to use your tail, condition-applying effects, and even some martial ability which, along with an increase in the Strength ability score, really increases the utility of the tieflings as a race.
Fluff. The supplement comes with only a page of fluff, which is just enough to give pertinent, interesting information without boring the reader. Not only does it give a bit of background into tieflings in general (for people who may not play them much), but it also gives some brief insight into the mechanics and design choice based on that background. Micah Watt did an excellent job in this section.
Feats. We always need more racial feats–their like the flavor in an otherwise cookie-cutter dish. With at least 10 feats for each aasimar and tiefling, and more that are “shared”, these feats present seemingly infinite combinations for more complex and unique characters.
Overly Formulaic. At times, the vast options these subraces present actually begin to start to blurr together, seeming almost formulaic or “cut-and-paste” mechanics. Every tiefling has some sort of resistance. Most of the tieflings have innate magic. At this point, the variety actually becomes numbing, less a product of interesting mechanics or providing flavor, and more a point of wanting a product that provides options for even the most nuanced differences. This doesn’t diminish the value of the Legacy‘s offerings, but does make me wish there was a bit more variation in mechanics.
Legacy of Heaven and Hell is a quality product that breathes some much needed fresh air into otherwise neglected races. We’re giving it 4.5 Stars and Highly Recommending it to just about every table. If you have players who might want to play aasimar or tiefling, the need to have these options! You can pick it up using the picture below.