DMs Guild Review – Soth’s Accursed Journal

Player supplement with feats, spells, subclasses and three new classes, including a Soth-inspired Death Knight.

A review copy of “Soth’s Accursed Journal” was provided by the publisher. Find more DMs Guild Reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

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

Designed by: Matthias GildemynJan Sempels

I know a bit more about the Forgotten Realms now than when I first started playing D&D Fifth Edition back in 2015, but that knowledge still pales in comparison to the world of Dragonlance, a fantasy series I absolutely devoured in the 1990s.

Lord Soth the death knight was popular enough to get his own Ravenloft domain at one point. Now he’s the source behind a 75-page player-focused supplement on the DMs Guild, Soth’s Accursed Journal.

The supplement features five chapters, with chapter one taking up over half the book with 12 new subclasses (one for each existing class, minus the new Artificer) and three new classes (each with three subclasses).

Lord Soth is an evil death knight and one of D&D’s major villains, yet the journal isn’t necessarily themed around evil or dark powers. Soth, along with his traitorous seneschal Azrael, appear throughout the book as dueling narrator sidebars, a fact I only realized about two thirds of the way through. It’s a bit confusing since neither of them are attributed. And while I appreciate a professional layout with plenty of art, the differing free-use art styles often clash from page-to-page.

Thankfully the actual classes and subclasses are mostly top-notch, featuring new and interesting class features, such as the Circle of Water Druid transforming into a watery form, the Forbidden Way Monk using shadow clones, and the Telepath Wizard mentally incapacitating foes. Even the Fighter gets a neat subclass with the Duelist, able to turn on Stance Dancing to gain powerful effects when engaging with one enemy in melee. I also just love saying Stance Dance.

Stance Dance!

The three new classes are the Death Knight, Elementalist, and the Monstral. The Elementalist is okay; an attempt to make a more thematic sorcerer or wizard, but probably could’ve been reduced to a subclass.

death knight soths

The Death Knight is the signature feature of the entire book, and it’s a damn good one. The unique unholy warrior uses soul slots instead of spell slots, harvesting souls from slain enemies to cast their spells, and choosing from a list of Blessings from the Grave that grant everything from double soul-harvesting to permanent hover speed. All three subclasses offer cool new features as well, from debuffing curse spirits to deathly freezing powers and ice zombies.

The Monstral attempts to turn lycanthropy into a player character class, and mostly succeeds, though the actual were-animal concept is only one of three subclasses, the other two being succubus/incubus, and a slime-form, drastically changing how this interesting shifter class operates.

These new classes and subclasses are more than enough for an entire supplement, yet that’s only about half the book. The other half adds new feats, spells, magic items, and variant rules.

The variant rules attempt to fix some of the more universally acknowledged underpowered spells and abilities. Namely, Witch Bolt, True Strike, and Dual Wielding. I found myself agreeing with the designers completely in their assertions and fixes, and none felt like over-correcting.

The final chapter includes a few helpful pages on role-playing evil characters. It’s important information to have (and could be summarized by having a thorough Session 0 before the campaign) but also highlights how Soth’s Accursed Journal doesn’t really reflect the death knight’s villainy so much as offer a bunch of neat new player content. But what it lacks in theme, it more than makes up for in creative new toys for players to enjoy.

 Pros:

  • Professional layout and design.
  • The Death Knight is a compelling new class, with a unique soul slot spellcasting system.
  • Monstral is an effective lycanthrope player class, extending far beyond werewolf.
  • Several fun new subclass ideas, from psionically-charged wizards to water-transforming druids and elemental archer rangers.
  • Variant Rules offer optional buffs for underused and underpowered spells and features.
  • Racial feats for extra races beyond the PHB.

Cons:

  • Stock art with clashing styles.
  • The book lacks a cohesive theme, and the dual narrator sidebars are annoying.

The Verdict: With a large amount of useful and interesting new player-focused content, Any one chapter in Soth’s Accursed Journal could be its own supplement, particularly the well-designed Death Knight class.

A review copy of “Soth’s Accursed Journal” was provided by the publisher. Find more DMs Guild Reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

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

Author: roguewatson

Freelance Writer

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