First, I can't let the name escape notice. "Book of the Magnakai" is actually the name of a book in the Lone Wolf world that plays a critical role in the solo adventure books. It's also the name of a Joe Dever novel.
This book is EXACTLY what Lone Wolf Multiplayer needed. From the core rules and Heroes of Magnamund, characters start at level 5 and progress to level 10. For an ongoing campaign this doesn't allow very much play time before your characters are hitting the top of the charts and "know everything." Terror of the Darklords alone will take your characters to level 10! Mongoose once again follows the lead of the solo adventure books and makes it possible for your character to go to level 20 by adding ten new abilities!
I've got to say that I'm very impressed with this book! It doesn't seem to be an afterthought at all - it seems like this book was part of the plan all along. The new powers naturally expand what already existed without sloppy contradictions. The authors even go so far as to address the "11th discipline" issue with the White Knights! Very nice!
The intro to the book is very clearly written and actually serves an important purpose - setting the stage for characters of this level. Essentially, once you've reached level 11 you're an "epic" character. You're no longer going on petty errands or stopping a common band of thieves to go up a level. You've got to have epic adventures! I thought the authors did a very nice job of describing that.
Now, not everything is sunshine and roses. A couple of minor nit-pics:
- The character sheets are still fuzzy. Come on, people! Figure out how to print without this pixelization! The Kai weapon list on page 70 is the same way. Ugh!
- As with all LWM books, this one suffers from some misprints and typos. For example, for the Border Ranger's ability High Mark of the Marksman it says to count a "zero" as a "5" or a "6" instead. But a 5 or 6 are worse than a zero! I think it means to count a "1" as a "5" or a "6." D'oh! Stuff like that should be child's play for an editor.
- The intro gives rules for increased combat skill over time... what about endurance? Most of the new spells use more willpower than before... doesn't this mean that spellcasters will run out of willpower that much quicker? A character's willpower should increase over time as well.
All in all, an excellent supplement despite some minor flaws.
1LR Review - 18 out of 20 - It's a Solid Hit!