Yes, Starlanko is back again, this time describing his collection of spells from the Transmutation school. As before, the spell mechanics and description are accompanied by his own quirky notes on how to use the spell to best advantage, and even if you aren't in the market for transmutation spells right now, it proves an entertaining read.
Unfortunately, as a major use of transmutation spells by a combat wizard is to enhance himself or his colleagues, poor Starlanko has descended into a bit of American slang which is jarring both to anyone trying to read the book 'in character' and in particular to non-Americans... the word 'buff' is just not used in that manner on this side of the pond (the polite use of it is to describe light-coloured natural leather) so unless you are familiar with American slang terminology it gets incomprehensible.
Once you get past that single jarring note, however, the book is well worth the reading. Each spell comes complete with notes on quick casting, as well as regular mechanics and description, and Starlenko's own personal comments covering both how he invented or found the spell, and his recommendations on good ways in which it might be used.
For easy reference, the spells are presented first as level-based lists for wizard/sorcerer, assassin, bard, cleric, druid and ranger users; and then as an alphabetical list, which is where the full details are to be found.
So, would you care to mess around with gravity, or detach one of your hands and send it scuttling around like Thing from the Addams Family? Maybe hurling big boulders - even making them change into steaming chunks of lava on the way - is more your thing. Or perhaps the thought of seeing your foe's sword turn into a poisonous snake which tries to bite him appeals... learn the spells herein and all of these and more will be at your fingertips.
Apart from the single linguistic caveat, this book is highly recommended to budding or experienced spellcasters, and DMs who like to toss unusual spells around.
Return to 50 New Ways to Turn Things Into Other Things: Starlanko the Magnificent's Big Book of Transmutations page.
Reviewed: 7 May 2006