DMs Guild Review – Compendium of True Evil

An evil-themed player supplement with new archetypes, feat, spells, and a new class.

dms guild review

A review copy of “Compendium of True Evil” was provided by the publisher. Find more DMs Guild Reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

Support my work by using affiliate links for shopping and pledging via Patreon.

Designed by: Clayton Whittle and Goblin Ink Productions

Evil player characters are obviously problematic, but not an impossible hurdle. The designer of Compendium of True Evil understands this, providing a helpful chapter of advice on creating compelling and sensible “evil” characters, as well as evil-themed class archetypes, spells, feats, and backgrounds.

For some bizarre reason, that insightful chapter on evil character creation is buried in the middle of the Compendium. It’s written in a more casual, intimate style, full of humor and pop-culture references that I found endearing. It should’ve served as the opening chapter, and I wish it were longer.

The new class is the Soul Binder, a somewhat magic-adjacent martial class that uses soul manipulations to empower their melee strikes and gain health. The concept is interesting but I wasn’t super excited about any of the abilities until level 9, when the Soul Binder can absorb souls to gain memories, and at level 14, when they can inhabit the bodies of slain foes.

Twelve new archetypes are provided (16 if you include the four Paths for the Soul Binder). I found about half of them interesting, while the other half were either boring ideas, or poorly executed. My favorites include the bug-themed Swarm Druid, the magic bag-crafting Witch Wizard, and the semi-transforming Lycanthropic Hunter Ranger.

dms guild review

Other archetypes, like the Sorcerer Shared Soul, had neat ideas but lacked interesting abilities to back them up, like manifesting an entirely shared consciousness as a lame invisible buddy, or a Judge Dredd-like Lawbringer Paladin getting advantage on Investigation and Insight.

The 10 new character backgrounds are all solid gold winners, however. Each one would make an excellent backstory to an evil character or dark anti-hero, such as Convict, Experimental Doctor, and Evil Within, and each feature multiple tables that serve as fine role-playing springboards.

The final chapters feature new spells, feats, and trinkets. I was pleasantly surprised and impressed by these chapters, particularly the fun list of evil-themed spells, which include bone shields, boiling blood, decaying curses, living bombs, and the almighty, all-terrible filibuster! There’s a rich amount of content for crafting fun and interesting anti-heroes.

Pros:

  • Insightful chapter on playing (and DM-ing) a party of evil characters.
  • Fun, well-written, and appropriately evil-themed character backgrounds.
  • Excellent collection of evil-themed spells, feats, and trinkets.

Cons:

  • Some neat archetype ideas held back by boring or lame abilities and powers.
  • Very little art.

The Verdict: The Compendium of True Evil offers appropriately evil-themed backgrounds, spells, feats, archetypes, and, most importantly, advice.

A review copy of “Compendium of True Evil” was provided by the publisher. Find more DMs Guild Reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

Support my work by using affiliate links for shopping and pledging via Patreon.

Author: roguewatson

Freelance Writer

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s