Mark of the Vestige
Writer(s): E. R. F. Jordan
Publisher: DMs Guild
Product Length: 56 pages
Available Format(s): PDF
Fact: I think I played fewer sessions of 3.0/3.5 than I have fingers. It was for no other reason than availability. I didn’t have friends who were interested back then and I still had all my AD&D stuff anyway. The gaming scene in my hometown was nonexistent back then and we didn’t have things like Roll20 to close the geographic distance between players. I say that to confess to you that I don’t know anything about vestiges which is clearly what Mark of the Vestige by E. R. F. Jordan is all about. I was apprehensive about agreeing to this review but Jordan convinced me that I wouldn’t need prior vestige knowledge to understand her product.
I don’t want to presume whether or not you know what a vestige is so I’ll share what the author says they are: “entities of unusual power” who are “more powerful than the average mortal, but not quite as powerful as a warlock patron.” So I guess it’s safe to say they’re padawan patrons maybe.
This book teaches you how to use pact magic as it pertains to conducting rituals and the conditions for them. A second chapter collects the vestiges in a list and gives a detailed entry of each of them (35 of them). The last chapter collects 20 new magic items tied thematically to using vestiges in your campaign.
Here’s an example of one of the vestige entries. A portion of it anyway. The entire entry is a full page long. I like how Jordan took time to give a brief history of each vestige and a reference of where to find them in earlier edition’s publications as with Acererak and the Tome of Magic. She also includes the details for the summoning ritual, manifestations, binding signs, influence, and powers. Plenty of detail for a player have highly descriptive detail to go along with the mechanics of what they’re doing. But be careful. Using these vestiges has physical consequences. For example, with Acererak, a gem replaces one of your teeth. Pull it and you have…a tooth. And a new gem replaces the one you just pulled. Each vestige has its own binding signs that may leave you wracked with coughs or glowing pupils for example.
Apparently with great power comes great body mutilation. Consequently, a DM may choose for these tell-tale signs to make it hard for the PC with them to operate under the radar.
Fortunately, a player is limited in the number of vestiges they can have. The limit is roughly equivalent to the tier of the character, but not exactly so. A player should use caution with selecting multiple vestiges though. Some of them may be contradictory or may exacerbate danger for the player.
Mark of the Vestige is well-written and presented. The chosen font size is a little on the small side for my tastes however and it would have been nice to have bookmarks or a linked table of contents. The art is simplistic but it works. Nonetheless, this is a good product that would be a nice softcover to own.
- good, detailed writing with a lot of useful information to bring vestiges alive
- serves as a good alternative for players who don’t wish to fully commit to being a warlock
- small font
- lacks bookmarks/hyperlinks