Review: Aberrant Blood

Aberrant Blood is the third product from Silent 7Seven, and its fucking sweet. Like Favored Forms it is cheap, short, and adds specific content to the sorcerer class in the form of an aberrant Spell Source. I'm going to admit that I'm a bit biased on this one, since I am a big fan of Lovecraftian horrors, but this is the best product from Silent 7Seven by far.
Its only four pages, costs only $1.50, but gives you a new class feature, powers, a feat, and a paragon path. Like all three products, it treads on some experimental ground, but even if you think that its terribly broken, and at the least it sparks the imagination and gives you something to work with.

On the tangent of experimentation, one of the features of taking the aberrant Spell Source is that you can shift a bonus from another ability score to Con if you dont have that already. I already know that a lot of people are going to react very harshly to this. My personal thoughts are that its not really necessary, since Con grants the striker bonus and most players are really going to ramp it up, anyway. That being said, if you dont like it, houserule it away. Its not a huge foundation of the class feature.
Perhaps, as a compromise, providing the Toughness feat for free would have been better.

That aside, the other stuff is really good. You get to choose one or two aberrant growths that manifest on your character and grant you acid and psychic resistance when active. If you choose one, then it gets some extra benefits. For example, coiling tentacles causes tentacles to erupt from your body when bloodied, allowing you to make a grapple attack with a reach of 2 as a minor action. If you only took this, then you get a bonus to the attack roll and the enemy takes a penalty on the escape roll. Once you get hit, the manifestation ends.

There arent a huge amount of new powers. Its a bit more like Wizards' Class Acts articles where you get a handful of new shit spread across a few levels (in this case, 1-9). I like induce mutation, which is the level 1 at-will that deals basic damage with a kicker effect if you are manifesting an aberrant growth. If you took coiling tentacles, then the target grows flailing tentacles that deal Con modifier damage to adjacent enemies when it attacks. Thats. Fucking. Cool.
Also, there's a level 3 encounter for each growth, which adds a thematic consistency to your character.

The paragon path is called twisted descendant, and lets you mainfest an aberrant growth by burning an action point, even if the conditions arent met or you already did so. You also gain bonus damage while manifesting a growth, and deal half damage even if you miss when using induce mutation as long as you are manifesting a growth. The powers granted are likewise awesome: distortion field lets you teleport and push creatures from your starting and ending locaiton, and warp pulse deals 3d12 damage teleports everyone in the area of effect.

My only complaint (aside from, again, the art) is that there isnt enough here. It works out extremely well for a heroic tier campaign, but once you hit paragon there isnt anything for you. The paragon path is all well and good, but without homebrewing your own powers (or a second release by Silent 7Seven, hint hint) you're stuck with using existing sorcerer spells. Of course, its a relatively simple matter of reskinning them to make them more thematic.

Its not a huge complaint. It is, after all, a very cheap document to get ahold of. I tend to view a lot of Silent 7Seven stuff as foundation products. They very cheap and personally worth the money, even if you disagree with the mechanics or design (and I did with some of the stuff in Lunar Scrolls). On the other hand, each of them has planted an idea with my head and made me think about a mechanic or concept that I might not have before. I want to make clear that this by itself can make it worth the cash. Both Favored Forms and Aberrant Blood have given me some great ideas that I am going to flesh out for future campaigns and characters.

This is the last review I've been slated for, and I want to thank Silent 7Seven for giving me the opportunity to let me review their products. I hope they've been satisfactory, and I look forward to seeing what they come up with in the future. I went through each prodoct in the order of release, and I was able to see noticeable growth in the quality and content. They are definitely a third-party company worth checking out.

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