Tabletop Review: The Invention Book (Pathfinder)

The Invention Book
Publisher: Interjection Games
Page Count: 15
Cost: Free
Release Date: 04/22/2013
Get it Here:

I came to this book for inspiration in my own campaign since it’s going towards a clash between sci-fi and fantasy, but that’s a different story. The Invention Book is the collected inventions for the Tinker class. This supplement for Paizo’s Pathfinder is for use with the Tinker class only. It’s a handy list if you already have a Tinker created and you want to look up what exactly this or that invention does. Interjection Games had a golden opportunity to look a little further than just class-specific mechanics. A name like The Invention Book made me expect more, but that may just be me.

If you are unfamiliar with the Tinker, it’s a class that summons/constructs an automaton to come to his aid. The Tinker can then upgrade his automaton with various inventions. These are scribed unto Blue Prints. A Tinkerer has a limited amount of Blue Prints each day. He has however an Invention Book that contains all the inventions he knows. It’s like a mix of Wizard and Summoner that enhances his Eidolon with transcribed scrolls from a gadget inspired spell book.

I was hoping The Invention Book would expand on the concept of inventions in a high fantasy setting. I remember in my fledgling years playing AD&D the gnomes had marvelous inventions, and not just for fighting either. A stone lavatory with a Black Pudding in the septic tank, and voilà! You had in-house toilet facilities. Water clocks. Gears and levers. A water spout with create water. BAM! Complete indoor plumbing combined with a Black Pudding Stool(tm). Sadly, there are no such thoughts in this book. It’s a bare bones list of all the inventions available for the Tinker class, so without further delay let’s see what all the fuss is about.

This book gives a detailed list over inventions the tinkerer might have available to him. The Invention Book lists all 121 inventions available for the Tinker class. I find the book lacking in organization. It would benefit from either grouping the inventions with level, or type. As it is now its strictly alphabetical order sorted by name of invention. It can get quite hard to find level appropriate inventions. Also if you want your automaton to specialize in something, for instance poison, you must either know the specific names or read through the whole list to find what you are after. Imagine if you had a list of all wizard spells, except instead of being listed by level, they are listed alphabetically regardless of spell level. It’s messy.

The visual layout of The Invention Book is pleasing with two columns in black and white on each page. Barring the front page and the OGL statement on the last page, the only thing remaining is thirteen pages with 121 inventions for the Tinker and his automaton.

I feel that Interjection Games missed a great opportunity with a supplement named like that. They have made a class that could bring a little more tech or steampunk feel to an already established fantasy setting. I would have loved to see what the Tinker could accomplish other than enhancing his automaton. I realize, of course, that Interjection Games may have expanded more on the subject of invention in their other supplements to the Tinker. I urge you to inform me in the comments if they have or not. All in all, it would be nice to have some mechanic-specific thoughts on how to implement inventions and not just automaton upgrades. The book is only suited as a reference book, for those moments when you just want to look up exactly how that invention was phrased again.



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