I’ve been away from reviews far too long. Let’s get back to it!
When I first received a review copy of this supplement I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. I had not yet downloaded the file but from the description I wondered if this could be something I would find useful. Let me backtrack a little bit and tell you how I received the copy of the Character Change Log.
My good friend Daniel Perez, aka Highmoon, sent me a message inquiring if I would be interested in reviewing the Change Log, an Asparagus Jumpsuit (love the name BTW) production by Berin Kinsman, and Katie Kinsman. (Who by the way happens to be a great guy and they make a wonderful couple, but I digress…) Daniel knows I’m a Pathfinder fan and I was surely interested. However, as I said in a previous post, my life has been VERY chaotic recently, so I told him it may take a while before I got to review the product.
While all this happened I began to plan for the imminent return of my Pathfinder RPG swashbuckling campaign. Since we took an 18+ month break I’ve decided to allow the players to rework their characters. Not to completely rebuild them, but to reselect feats, maybe change some levels of a certain prestige class, use archetypes or other rules that we didn’t use the first time around, as long as they remain faithful to the character and his or her story. When I began to consider this I said to myself “If I only had a record of how the characters leveled up to make this easier”.
Well for this need, and more, there is the Pathfinder RPG Change Log. What is it? It’s a 22 page document in PDF format, the last page being the Open Game License. The other 21 pages are the worksheets that will allow you to record your character’s leveling from 1st level all the way to 20th. This is a combination worksheet, leveling up diary and learning tool rolled up into one. The document itself has no illustrations, but I really like the clean look and font selection, it feels very nice and approachable. The style of writing is clean, friendly, and to the point, a feat in what could have easily turned into a boring set of instructions. A short one paragraph introduction tells you how to use it and then it’s on with the fun.
The book is a series of questions and fill in the blanks that guide you as your create and level up the character. Each page covers about one level, except for the first level which takes up two and serves as a sort of checklist for character creation. It has page references to the book and tells you where in the official character sheet you should jot down certain information. I like that it reminds you of the little things (+1 Hit Point or Skill Point when you level up on your favored class), and the big ones (reminding where to look for things like class features on your class table).
The way the supplement is written it makes it usable for classes beyond the Core Rulebook. My one nitpick in this area is that on the first level worksheet it directs you to look for the races’ write ups on page 19, but for classes it lets you write down the book and page reference where the class is found. It would be nice to have that for race as well. My other nitpick is that that area to record new magic items seems small, but maybe that’s just me being all “Monty Hauly”. Besides that there is nothing I can find as a major fault on this supplement.
What can you use this supplement for? Well for starters as a record of leveling up characters (duh!) which makes revising or reviewing characters in the future that much simpler. It can be a learning tool to help a new player learn the process of character creation, freeing the GM of much hand holding. It can help a GM develop important NPCs and players who love complex builds a way to keep track of their future plans. It is a really versatile product. This along with SORD, are two indispensable third party products that every Pathfinder fan should get.
My fears and worries were dismissed, this is a product I can truly put to good use. All that’s left to do is print out the document and you are ready to go!
There are electronic tools that help with something similar, such as Hero Lab, but what I like about the Change Log is that filling this out helps you think of all the decisions you make along the way, you get to consult the books (physical or PDF), or the Reference Document if you are so inclined, and while doing this I really believe your mastery of the rules will improve. The one thing I would love is a form fillable version of the Change Log, or a way to fill this in some sort of electronic form. Give it some thought Mr. Kinsman, you’d get my money for that…
This supplement is just $3.00 and very reasonable. For such a short document you will get a lot of use out of this document.