Subclass Review: Those Lost In Madness (Milosz Gawecki): 5 Stars
The Far Realm is a place that escapes cognition. Those who enter often lose their sanity upon gazing on the unspeakable horrors of the place beyond the planes. Eldritch gods and ancient beings spread insanity of unknown proportions. Yet few who survive to find their way back home can’t call themselves lucky. The Far Realm leaves an indelible mark and its influence is ever lasting.
Those Lost in Madness is the debut title of author Milosz Gawecki, and features four well-crafted archetypes based on the Far Realm. With gritty darkness as a permeating theme, the Far Realm comes to life in these archetypes as a twisted, horrific place that grants both gives and takes away. While on the higher side of power, the changes these archetypes bring to their class will be abundant with roleplaying opportunities and the occasional mechanical challenge. A perfect addition for any gritty, horror, or aberration based campaign, Those Lost in Madness will leave you with a chilled sense of awe and a cautious obsession to delve deeper into what the Far Realm has to offer.
Theme. Those Lost in Madness is permeated with a nearly tangible feeling of creepy crawly eeriness that brings to life the physical and mental morphing power the Far Realm. Whether it’s sprouting eyes all over your body, the ability to shoot mucus, or going plain ol’ insane, your character’s changes will bring a sense of uneasy approval. The beautiful, cosmic art only adds to the immersion. Anyone reading this should get the sense that the text itself is transforming them as the lines between game and life blur.
Originality. The author brings some very original rules to the mechanics and features of the four archetypes. The meatshaper (barbarian) actually changes its type to an aberration. For better or worse, I never would have thought to change the creature type of a player character. The, on the other hand, druid has a “mucus problem” (you’ll have to buy the product to figure out how, exactly). The cleric and the rogue have less thematically eccentric mechanics, but are just as unique in their abilities.
Artwork. I don’t usually mention artwork anymore unless it stands out one way or another. The artwork in this product is high quality, well placed, and significantly enhances the immersion of the piece. The meatshaper art, in particular, brings to life its aberrance in a way that is both chilling and awesome.
Few Drawbacks. The only problem with these subclasses is that they seem on the high side of power. While you gain awesome mechanics like immunity to being charmed (cleric), and expanded sneak attack conditions (rogue), the drawbacks you receive are mostly roleplay. Yeah, you might look horrible and suffer negatives to your charisma checks. You may suffer some quirks that, among other things, force you to lie all the time, but I am unsure the thematic and roleplay drawbacks balance out the mechanical benefits. However, the subclasses have been playtested and evaluated by third party creators, so it’s likely they’re on the “high end of balance”.
Those Lost in Madness is a brilliantly produced and emotionally evocative product that we’re giving 5 Stars and is Highly Recommended for everyone unless they’re uncomfortable with far realm and lovecraftian themes within their sessions. If you appreciate these reviews and want to buy this product, please click the picture below to do so!