DMs Guild Review: Honor & Devotions

Honor & Devotions is a supplement by Outlandish Adventure Productions and David Adams.

Kara-Tur is part of the world of Toril, where Faerun can also be found. This supplement focuses on the Eastern Realms and provides character options inspired from that part of the world.

Chapter 1: The Races of Kara-Tur

The first chapter of the supplement talks about the races that can be found in Kara-Tur. There are four new races and a subrace for Dwarves.

The first new race is the Hengeyokai. They are humanoid spirits that can take an animal and a hybrid form, based on their subrace. There are twelve available subraces in this supplement. The amount of them can feel a bit overwhelming but they seem to be well made, both mechanics and lore wise.

After them we get the Kuo-Toa. It looks like they have been created based on their Monster Manual entry since they share most of their traits with them, as well as their lore. Of course, however, there are differences because the Kuo-Toa mentioned here live in Kara-Tur.

Next come the Pandaren who are humanoid pandas. Like with every race in this supplement, they get a nice amount of lore. They are portrayed as a race that reveres tradition and is also hospitable to others. In case you have played the MMORPG World of Warcraft, you may find some similarities. This races doesn’t appear to have a subrace.

Finally, there are the Spirit Folk. What I found extraordinary about them is that they are usually born from non Spirit Folk parents. Mechanics wise, the core of the race is pretty stripped down and the flavorful mechanics can be found in the three subraces.

Overall, the race options look pretty balanced, with nothing standing out as broken. I like that there is enough lore for all of the races for both the players and the Dungeon Master to work with.

Chapter 2: Archetypes of Kara-Tur

This chapter features class options. There’s a new subclass for each class of the Player’s Handbook, which means there are twelve new ones. Additionally, one more is included, which is for the Dracoknight, a new class that’s not included in this supplement. However, buying this supplement gives you the document that features the Dracoknight as well.

For the Barbarian there’s the Path of Sumo. It focuses on hand to hand combat, which is something I thought was missing from the Barbarian.

Bards get the College of Heikyoku. It focuses on the fact that you have to become blind in order to join the college. However, your other senses are heightened in order to balance your lack of sight. Also, the college provides you with other ways to see.

For the Cleric there’s the Godai Domain. The Clerics following this Domain become conduits of the five Prime Elements. Mechanics wise, it’s a subclass that focuses on spellcasting. It has a very interesting feature that gives you different spells and a resistance depending on which element you’re attuned with.

The Dracoknights create a bond with a dragon companion and that’s what the core idea of the class is. The Draconic Bonds, which come in a great variety, provide the class with a focus. The accompanying document contains the Dracoknight class along with four Draconic Bonds. These focus on close combat, mounted combat, ranged combat, and magic. This supplement contains an additional Bond, the Bond of the Spirit. Your dragon becomes a spirit dragon and you gain the ability to use ki.

The Circle of Onmyoji is the option for the Druid. It is a combination of a utility character and a summoner. It has some interesting ideas, such as expending Wild Shape uses in order to use features that “reset” with a long rest more than one time.

The Fighter Martial Archetype presented here is the Uruwashii. Basically, it feels like a take on 4th Edition’s Warlord.

Next is the Monk who get the Way of the Sohei and focuses on mounted combat. The question of what happens when you can’t be on your mount remains for this subclass as well. However, the fact that this is a monk subclass, instead of the usual fighter one, makes things really interesting by giving various options for your ki.

The Paladin’s Oath of the Mountain has some interesting mechanics as well. Using Lay on Hands to remove exhaustion definitely piqued my interest. Even if it’s a higher level feature it feels it could be really strong.

The Ranger subclass is called Ashigaru and it’s all about using guns (Dungeon Master’s Guide). However, it’s mentioned that more traditional weapons work as well. Moreover, improvised attacks get a small boost, which fits its flavor well. I’d also like to note that both the Player’s Handbook and  Unearthed Arcana Ranger are taken into consideration.

The Shinobi turns the Rogue pretty much into a ninja. There are seals that the Shinobi can perform that provide various options, making them versatile. Of course, you can create illusions as well as clones.Honor and Devotions

The Sorcerous Origin presented here is the Kitsunetsuki. I found the flavor quite interesting because it feels more like a symbiotic relationship. Mechanics wise, a Kitsunetsuki can transform into a multi-tailed fox. Depending on the number of tails you gain various powers, such as the ability to cast extra spells and summoning a familiar.

The Warlock’s Otherworldly Patron is the Jorogumo Queen. It’s a spider like entity that grants you the ability to transform into a Drider like form. The mechanics of this subclass focus on poison. You get to deal poison damage, become immune to it, and make your enemies vulnerable to poison.

Finally, the Wizard gets the Brahmin. It revolves around creating and using spell scrolls. The process of creating them is simplified. Someone could debate that it’s oversimplified, and also I’m not sure if it’s a good choice to have the core mechanic of the subclass cost gold. Other than that, it seems an interesting subclass that works as a utility character. Another thing that came to mind when I read about it is that you can have some fun roleplaying it. When you create a spell scroll you don’t regain the spell slot until the scroll has been used. Someone could roleplay a wizard that has lost their powers because they have lost the spell scrolls and they’re on a quest to gather them back.

Overall, I believe the subclasses are more or less balanced. I’ve expressed my concerns about the Brahmin but you have to actually play it in order to be sure. What I like a lot is how well the flavor for each class is presented as well as the level of detail.

Chapter 3: The Yojimbo Class

While chapter 2 provides options for the existing classes of the Players’ Handbook, chapter 3 presents a totally new class, called Yojimbo, along with seven subclasses for it.

The Yojimbo is a martial class that focuses on close combat. It has a resource called balance points that come in two different versions, positive and negative, and can be used in various ways. The most important is when you go into a stance. Depending on what kind of balance points you spend, each stance provides different bonuses.

The seven subclasses, called Codes, differ quite a lot from each other, which brings a lot of variety to the class. Also, all of them come with an additional stance which is more or less the signature stance of each Code.

Chapter 4: The Feats of Kara-Tur

Chapter 4 contains 11 new feats. Most of them are meant for the character options presented in this supplement, since they have racial requirements. However, there are some pretty interesting ones that don’t have any requirements, such as Origami Master. All of them seem balanced enough.

Chapter 5: The Treasures of Kara-Tur

The final chapter of this supplement contains magic items. There are 8 magic items included, some of which seem to be quite powerful. Apart from them there’s also a really interesting set of legendary magic items that can be combined into one. They seem a bit powerful but they could make a nice plot hook.

Extra: Yojimbo Character Sheet

At the end of the supplement there can also be found a character sheet optimized for the Yojimbo class. There are a lot of notes already included on it, making it easier to create and play a Yojimbo.

Overall, Honor & Devotions is packed with character options as well as a lot of flavor for them. You will find it useful if you want to run a campaign set in Kara-Tur but also if you’re interested in running a Far East inspired campaign in general. To be honest, however, many of the character options look fun to use no matter the theme of the setting.

P.S: Until the 9th of June, Honor & Devotions will have a special early bird price.

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