RPGNow Staff Reviewer
The Divine Order: Jute - Faith of Creation is a supplement from Tangent Games for
their Ados: Land of Strife campaign setting. The zipped file is seven megabytes in size,
and contains a single PDF. The PDF itself is one-hundred-sixty-six pages long, including
two pages for the covers, one for the credits, two for the legal, one for the OGL, and
one for ads. The table of contents (but not the index) is hyperlinked, and the product
has full bookmarks.
The artwork is fairly sparse in the book, and while the covers are in full-color,
the majority of the interior artwork is in black-and-white. The pages don?t have any
borders or recurring markings, save for a small design behind the page numbers. Ultimately,
there's not enough art here to make the absence of a printer-friendly version truly painful,
though you might need to leave off the covers.
Jute - Faith of Creation is a book all about the goddess Jute, the major Lawful Good
deity of the Ados campaign world. Called the Life-Giver, Jute is the deity of both the
creation of and preservation of life. As such, her worshippers are never allowed to kill
(though destroying undead and constructs is not considered killing), which makes for some
interesting options for player-characters. The book is divided into eleven chapters:
Chapter one serves as a primer to the cosmology and nature of religion in the Ados
multiverse. It covers the nature of the planes, gives a complete table of the deities of
Ados, and discusses the nature of The Great Game that the deities play to determine who
will rule the multiverse. Interestingly, Tangent Games is quite forthcoming with mechanics
for deities and The Great Game, whereas anything even remotely resembling mechanical
information for the planes is absent.
The second chapter moves on to Jute specifically. It opens with the basic information
you'd find in the PHB about a deity, plus some extra tidbits. It then gives the statistics
for her realm, her avatar, and her aspects (a la the Miniatures Handbook). Clearly, Tangent
is covering their bases early on here.
In an abrupt shift from the purely stat-based previous chapter, chapter three deals with
the fluff of the Jute religion. It opens with their history, discussing how Jute became a
goddess, and covers the basics of her dogma, what constitutes a sin, the afterlife for her
worshippers, and more.
Chapter four is somewhat more specific, covering how the faith relations to various people
and organizations. A large table cross-indexes how the Jutians feel about other religions,
before it talks about how they feel about other races, and other classes.
The fifth chapter follows in the same vein as the previous chapters, covering a specific
aspect of Jute's faith. Here, it's holy days, ceremonies, and, in a return to more mechanical
concerns, items and weapons of the faith. The latter are worth noting, as all of the weapons
here are designed to cause nonlethal damage. It's a major sin against Jute to cause lethal
damage to a creature, even if you know it won't kill them. This has resulted in some creative
weapons, such as using weighted sleeves, or even better, weighted hair, to attack with.
Chapter six is one that deals most directly with PCs, as it talks about Jutian adventurers.
The first section talks about why members of the base classes (and the Divine Warrior from the
Ados campaign setting) would follow Jute, and how they?d uphold her beliefs in doing so.
Almost all of these classes have a sidebar listing a mechanical change or two, to reflect
how they follow her desire not to harm living beings. After this is a new base class,
the Mold Breaker. Mold Breakers are holy warriors who focus on laying constructs low. While
this is a cool concept, I can?t help but wonder if it wouldn't have made a better prestige
class. Speaking of which, there's three prestige classes here: the esprit (an adventuring
healer), the order of the red sash (nonlethal fighters who defend people from death), and
the seeker of the immortal (spellcasters who try to find a way to eternal life through Jute's
faith and their spellcasting).
The seventh chapter deals with the hierarchy and organization of the church. It covers
the ranks of priests and priestesses, before talking about some of the offshoots of the
main church of Jute. Four such groups are discussed, ranging from the very close Church of
the Inquisition, to the extremist Life Church (who spend all of their time making and
caring for new children).
Chapter eight deals with churches of Jute specifically. It goes over the main church of
Jute, giving a map of the building and keyed locations which are then explained in detail.
After this we?re given a listing of holy sites of the faith, several of which have magical
effects on people who go there (and perform a certain action).
Chapter nine covers new skills and feats. These are a relatively small selection, as
there are five new feats (two new subsets of the Knowledge skill, and two new subsets of
the Profession skill, along with Proselytize), and a dozen new feats; many of these
consist of converting damage-dealing effects (such as normal attacks and spells) into
nonlethal versions thereof. Others are somewhat more offensive, such as Turn Construct.
The tenth chapter in the book covers magic items. The new weapon and armor qualities
are small but impressive, giving options such as armor that makes all hit point damage
nonlethal, or the construct version of a disrupting weapon. There are also some rods, staffs,
and wondrous items, in addition to a few cursed items and both major and minor artifacts.
The last chapter, chapter eleven lists thirty-seven new spells. Virtually all of these
spells are surprisingly innovative, from special de-animating spells (for objects, not
undead) to 'reverse buff' spells, to construct-specific inflict spells and more, there's a
lot here, presenting a nice variety for new magic that works in any campaign.
Altogether, The Divine Order: Jute does a truly excellent job of portraying a fantasy
d20 religion. No punches are pulled in how this product presents the religious faith here
(the Jutian love of life means that they run hospices and soup kitchens, for example,
but viciously come down on abortion or homosexuality), and the crunch is solid, backing
up the fluff material. Even considering that this is campaign specific, this is easily
adapted to any campaign world. Jute - Faith of Creation is hefty enough to be of great
use in your campaign world, whether you play in Ados or not.