Deep Magic of the Shifting Sands!
For countless ages, the deserts have held secrets that fascinate, delight, and terrify. Ancient knowledge can be found here by those who know how and where to look. But beware, seeker—for this knowledge is difficult to learn, and dangerous to the unschooled…
Deep Magic: Hieroglyph Magic brings the secrets of hieroglyph magic into your 5e campaign, featuring:
- New Script Carver and Script Sage feats
- 21 hieroglyphs whose powers are unlocked by level, and by gaining greater mastery over hieroglyph magic
- 18 new hieroglyph spells, including bless the dead, conjure scarab swarm,
curse of dust, and form of the gods
- New magic items: Coffer of Memory, Eye of Tetsu, and Nurian Stone
Though the sky darkens and the jackals howl, your tread is resolute, O sage—for you have mastered the weret hekau, the words of truth. Let those who dwell in ignorance tremble at your approach!
Stephen Hurd –
A nice Southlands take on the Deep Magic: Rune Magic rune system. If you are familiar with that supplement, this will seem very familiar. They’ve tightened up the rules nicely, and abilities are tied to long rests and none of the bonuses are the once per week style. All the praise in the reviews for the rune system apply to the hieroglyph system, and pretty much all of the nitpicks have been fixed.
As with the Rune Magic, this is a great way to flavour your non-caster using a different path to magic. The powers are very nicely scoped to develop character rather than take it over and the bonuses merely take away some of the sting of giving up an ability score improvement to gain the powers.
The three new magic items are also great, the Coffer of Memory has a lot of richness, but given an unlimited capacity and vague restriction of “important events” is subject to a bit of cheese if your table swings that way. It basically writes the plot hooks itself though… finding a full Coffer stuffed with random clues to a mystery could drive any number of stories.
The Eye of Tetsu provides a poor mans familiar, though it’s not explicitly mentioned if the spirit can take any actions. A great item for a hieroglyph master to have, and it keeps with the theme.
Finally, the Nurian Stone helps shore up a low Int in your non-caster by effectively increasing your spell save DC by one, continuing the theme of a non-caster getting by with some magic he picked up along the way.
The spells are a nicely rounded set with an overall theme, but the theme is more strongly suggests pharoes and mummies than the hieroglyphs and items do. As with most of the Deep Magic series, if you have the excellent Midgard Heroes Handbook, you already have all the spells. That said, if you have the Heroes Handbook and like the rune magic, but tend to play further south in Midgard, the $2.99 is well worth it for the hieroglyphs and items alone.
The only reason I knocked a star off has nothing to do with the content, but the Open Game Content declaration. This supplement adds only a single usable new OGL item (the amazing Coffer of Memory). While the hieroglyph feats are Open Content, the hieroglyphs themselves are not, which effectively makes them unusable. Pretty much every other Deep Magic installment has been chock full of new usable OGL content, so I hope this isn’t a trend.
A great well themed supplement, and a perfect purchase both for someone who wants to expand on a Southlands cleric, sorcerer, warlock, or wizard (and doesn’t have the Heroes Handbook) as well as someone who has a non-caster or partial caster who wants to add a Southlands magical flair.