RPGNow.com
Close
Close
Browse
 Publisher Info









Back
Other comments left for this publisher:
5 Magic Items: Staves
by Stephane G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/12/2015 17:01:44
The 5 magic items series is always a good resource for ideas and inspiration

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
5 Magic Items: Staves
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Bite Me! Playing Lycanthropes
by Craig C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/30/2015 20:11:17
My one gaming group has always had an uncomfortable issue with the way lycanthropes have been portrayed (both fluff & crunch-wise) in 3.5 and PF. The dissatisfaction with PF's Blood of the Moon Player Companion further cemented that dislike. So my suggestion to try and playtest the Bite Me! series was met with some trepidation. I was able to gently persuade two of my players (both of whom are excellent judges of balanced game mechanics) to try lycanthrope PCs. One player chose an Afflicted Wereviper, the other chose to play a Natural Weregorilla. I also introduced a "runt of the litter" Werecrow Wizard into the campaign as an NPC.

Using just the Bite Me! Playing Lycanthropes PDF for the majority of our lycanthrope gameplay needs (Core Rules were still used for baseline needs), we've had a lot of fun reintroducing ourselves to lycanthrope-immersion in PF. There's a tremendous amount of both PC and GM advice (especially in the PDF preface) on getting lycanthropes properly integrated and played in a given campaign setting. This was useful to help scrub my players negative predispositions and start fresh. For me as a GM, it's an extremely valuable resource due to its detailed depth, meta-psychology and pragmatically helpful tone (I'm not fond of harsh preachiness in advice pieces).

It's interesting to see how much my 2 were-PCs use this PDF as a frequent go-to reference for advice on RP and campaign integration (especially since both players have around 18 years combined RPG experience). That's a sign of a useful game supplement. It's refreshing to see some of player's actually enjoy "properly" playing traditional were-creatures.

As for the crunch part of the PDF, it's mechanically solid and thoroughly covers the primary bases of playing either an Afflicted or Natural were-creature. We found that just about any kind of feat, archetype. magic item or gear piece that a were-PC would want - is in this book. I would love to see an expansion of the spells ... and even more options for non-martial lycanthropes (i.e. primary spellcasters), personally - but perhaps the other Bite Me! supplements will cover that territory.

While writing this review, I found myself pretty-much echoing Endzeitgeist's remarks *way* too often. Lol. Albeit in a less-refined fashion. So I do reference you to his more comprehensive review for the drilldown on the book's minutaie ... as I'm pretty much in lockstep with 95% of what he wrote about this terrific book. Finally, since this review is really an amalgam of 3 people's opinions (mine and my 2 were-PCs), please note that our final rating of 4.5 stars is allocated thusly .... GM (Me) = 4.5, Afflicted Wereviper = 4.0, Natural Weregorilla = 5.0.

In closing, we're happy to include Bite Me! Playing Lycanthropes into our PF Campaign's allowable library of quality 3PP supplements. And that's saying something. I highly recommend it and I look forward to checking out the rest of the Bite Me! line as well (I bought the WereMantis book - but haven't playtested it enough yet to comment on it).

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Bite Me! Playing Lycanthropes
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Bite Me! Archetypes
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/08/2015 02:47:25
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Bite Me-series clocks in at 17 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page advertisement, leaving us with 11 pages of content, so let's take a look!



The first archetype herein would be the Lycanthologist alchemist, who chooses one type of animal - said type becomes available for a kind of empathy that allows for better handling (i.e. "raptors") and at 3rd level, the mutagen of this archetype allows for kind-of-lycanthropic shapes and some minor alter self-bonus scavenging instead of swift alchemy, with subsequent levels allowing for mutagens that also allow for beast shape-like benefits alongside some minor lycanthrope-themed benefits.



Feral Ragers replace their defensive tricks with DR/silver equal to 1/2 Barbarian level -which may not sound like much, but he also gets + class level extra rage rounds - upon first entering them, though, the feral rager becomes confused on a failed will-save, rendering this a dangerous proposition. The Soother of the Savage bard gets a modified spell-list and is themed around emotional control - whether it is according to calm allies and prevent hostilities or incite them, with lycanthropes or raging creatures being particularly susceptible.



The wild rider cavalier can instill barbarian-like rage in his mount and even share natural attacks with the mount, with higher levels further increase these powers - rather interesting one here! Moon Templar clerics must choose the lunar subdomain and 1/day during a full moon, may freely augment domain spells via metamagic. Alas, I'm not sold on the ability to channel energy at +50% efficiency for lycanthropes, with free selective channeling for the purpose of lycanthropes - whether as hunters or in all-lycanthrope-parties, I'm not sold on the massive damage-increase this freely provides for some of the most powerful 1st level abilities out there.



The Lycanthropic Soul Druid receives beast shape added to the spell-list and may cast them spontaneously; DR and summoning lycanthropes are also provided. Fighters may opt for the Master of Tooth, Nail and Sword for a better manufactured weapon + natural weapon-synergy -less penalties, full Str-mod, etc. - while not something flashy, it does the job well. The Avenging Gun Gunslinger gets favored enemy and two deeds - one for better atk versus foes that have damaged him and one to bypass DR - this one is pretty bland in my book, and the same extends to the Hunter of the Damned inquisitor, who gets an annoying shapeshifter-detect and better atk and damage versus lycanthropes. The Clawed Magus can enhance both natural attacks and weapons at once - nice! Simple, but nice!



Master of Inner Turmoil Monks may add non-claw-natural attacks to flurries and uses unarmed strike damage for the bite of her animal and hybrid forms - nice! Using hybrid attacks in humanoid form also is interesting -a cool archetype here, even before ki-powered shapechange-healing! The Oracle may opt for the Lunar Prophet archetype, with a moon-powered augury and immunity to lycanthropy and disruptive tricks via touch attacks. Paladins can turn into Holy Beasts, allowing for control over their lycanthropy and spell-list enhancement. The archetype also gets an animal companion at -4 levels and can smite evil lycanthropes with higher efficiency than other smites -solid! The Beast Warden ranger can identify lycanthropes via a check that does not take into account the disguise skills of lycanthropes, only HD. Bad in my book. They may grant favored enemy bonuses to their companions and high-level wardens get a lycanthrope cohort.



Bestial infiltrator rogues do not gain evasion, but can grant himself +2 to Dex for 2 x level rounds as a free action...lame? Danger sense and animal companion/scale up to +4/+6 Dex via talents doesn't help much here to remedy the weak rogue class bereft of one of its best, free defenses - needing to spend a talent on it is not cool. Sorcerors can take the new Lycanthrope bloodline - which obviously nets you scaling bite, DR, increased speed, etc. - still, not a good choice for squishy sorcs.



Moonlight summoners can easily make their eidolons get bites and can give them DR and make them inflict lycanthropy. Nice one! The Werelock witch is perhaps the most unique archetype herein - and awesome: They can turn their familiars into an anthropomorphic animal, with more forms, proficiencies etc. all being covered - this makes the witch more of a pet-class and thus results in diminished spell-casting, with 7 hexes/major hexes allowing for more customization. The final archetype would be the Feral Caster, who gets free natural spell at 5th level and automatically adds beast shape spells. As bland as the werelock's awesome.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting, both on a formal and a rules-language level, are very good. Layout adheres to a beautiful two-column full-color standard and the copiuous artworks provided are original and high-quality. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. The pdf comes with a second, more printer-friendly version that sports the artworks in b/w. Nice!



Mike Welham's archetypes (with additional content by Sean K. Reynolds, Morgan Boehringer, Jim Wettstein) herein are not bad, not at all - while the unifying theme arguably makes much variation not something you find herein, there is more diversity in here than one would expect at first glance. And indeed, quite a few of the archetypes herein are interesting and tackle relatively complex concepts. However, at the same time, some archetypes are obvious filler material and fall behind significantly behind the more inspired examples of design herein, which is also why this mechanically solid pdf misses highest accolades and only clocks in as a solid, good pdf for a final verdict of 3. 5 stars, rounded up to 4 due to the inspired archetypes for some of the classes in here.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Bite Me! Archetypes
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Bite Me! Skindancers
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/18/2015 03:42:15
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Bite Me-series clocks in at 21 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, leaving us with 16 pages of content, so what exactly do we get here?



Well, on the basic level, the reply would be that we receive a race - which gets +2 Dex and Con, -2 Wis, gearing it towards the physical pursuits. Not a fan of that, as I prefer races to be balanced between mental and physical attributes. Skindancers are humanoids with the shapechanger subtype and one subtype of the player's choice and count as both for purposes of vulnerabilities to targeted effects. Skindancers are medium, have low-light vision and may use Diplomacy to influence the attitude of animals related to their chosen form, receiving a penalty to Diplomacy against other creatures with the animal type - not that you'd usually use this skill often on animals. They receive +2 to Perception and Bluff and the supernatural ability "Form of the Wild" - this allows the skindancer to assume the form of an animal eligible as a druid animal companion. Changing form is a standard action that provokes AoOs and is considered to by a supernatural polymorph effects. A skindancer can maintain said form for character level hours per day, which must be spent in 1-hour increments



Now the alternate form does deviate in some key aspects from a regular polymorph-effect - while it grants the appearance, movement modes and speed as well as natural attacks size, extraordinary and special qualities, it goes further. Unlike regular polymorphs, the change also nets the skinchanger the chosen animal's physical attribute scores, allowing for some seriously massive min-maxing potential. Additionally, the form increases in potency as if it were an animal companion, with 4th and 7th level being the most obvious candidates for improvement for most such forms. The animal form is unique to the skinchanger and thus does not allow to disguise as another creature - alas, the pdf ought to specify whether a polymorph effect's usual +10 disguise to appear as the creature into which you morph is still gained. The alternate form also does not properly specify the interaction of equipment with the basic form - while I assume the default of equipment melding into the new form, I do think that the cool concept would have warranted a unique balancing mechanism here to offset the ridiculously powerful min-maxing possible via the alternate form - as provided, a skindancer should be a caster, since for these, the animal companion-form essentially amounts to almost free gestalting: Dump-stat physical attributes, choose an animal with good ones, get natural spell - done. Spellcasting animal of death. This is unfair towards the other players, but just the type of mindset these rules encourage.



The race does sport 6 alternate racial traits that help with minor skill-bonus exchanges and provide a means for skindancers to be small. More importantly, the traits link nicely with one gruesome origin myth of the race - basically, there have been people who skinned lycanthropes alive to infiltrate their communities. If that reminds you of George R. R. Martin's "The Skin Trade", your association would be the same as mine, and yes, the overall prose here can be considered evocative, with anti-Skinning skindancer racial traits that are particularly adept as scourging the practitioners of this vile rite being the example of my favorite trait herein, at least concept-wise. On the downside, this one is based on alignment, thus either imposing a bigger book-keeping on the DM or acting as a free detect alignment by means of bonus/penalty-metagaming. It should be noted that the Embrace constitutes a second origin myth for the race, providing an inherent duality as a theme, which is rather nice to see and works well with the race's basic concept. The race also sports 3 sample builds for general concepts. The pdf sports favored class options for the classes released prior to the pdf's release, which means it covers the APG-classes and those introduced in Ultimate Magic and Combat. The bonuses here would be okay.



We also get racial archetypes, the first of which would be the dark hunter inquisitor - instead of monster lore, the inquisitor may add Int-mod to Perception and receives a scaling AC-and save-bonus versus shapechangers, culminating in an AoE-capstone that is cool, but also very late to the party - the unique benefit here would be that allies with at least one rank in Knowledge (nature) may aid as a swift action, which would have been more interesting as an earlier ability-gain. Same goes for a unique bane gained at 14th level. Tracking shapechangers superbly via observation that doubles as magic is also part of the deal. An okay, if somewhat uninspired archetype.



The community infiltrator rogue can fool magical means of detecting the truth instead of trapfinding and gets better social skills. Okay, but nothing to write home about. Skindancer shaman oracles have their own bonus spells that replace the ones gained by their mystery. The archetype also locks you into a revelation at 3d and 11th level: The 3rd level one grants you a shield of spectral animals that 1/day nets allies either an AC-bonus or an option to heal, as decided by the ally (and sporting minor scaling) - which is awesome regarding the imagery, but kind of underwhelming regarding the potency. A slight increase in healing power or more uses per day for such a cool signature ability would have been in order - +3 AC or +3d6+cha-mod healing at 14th level are not that impressive, even with the flexibility of choice for your allies. The second revelation provides +4 Str and Con and natural armor, full BAB and free Improved Critical with a weapon/natural attack of your choice. The ability can be used for 1 round per 2 class-levels, to be spent in 1-round-increments and is pretty powerful, but also kind of limited.



Blinding bone dust and mating scent can be found among the alchemical equipment introduced herein. The new feats herein are kind of a mixed bag in my book - why? Because e.g. gaining magic AND aligned claws at the price of one feat is pretty nasty. Using Dex instead of Str for Climb and Swim is okay. On the awesome side, what about an extraordinary effect that penalizes intelligent foes for attacking you for as long as you do not initiate hostilities yourself? I like this diplomacy-style trickery. At the same time, increasing the animal form's size by +1 is nasty when you recall all those options like reach etc. that come along with it. On the formal side, Double Bluff may allow for a second bluff-check at -5 once your firs has failed, but I have no idea whether this amounts to an immediate action or not an action - the wording does not specify an action-type and utilizes the word "immediate", so some clarification would be in order. Nasty creatures practicing the Skinning-ritual can benefit from the Dark Dancer-mini-feat-chain, allowing for superb infiltration via the absorbed skins of your victims - including their memories in the improved versions - and yes, the capstone even allows for the access of class abilities and the like, while losing your own - this is EXTREMELY powerful and obviously belongs into the hands on NPCs, not into those of players.



3 sample magic items allow for the fooling of bane-effects, dispelling illusions and alternate forms (covering SUs via concise mechanics) and a ring that provides a general sense of pack empathy. The pdf also provides 4 new spells - one reduces a target to animal-like behavior, one has a curse that makes animals harass the target and one for faster tracking and one that improves starting attitude of humanoids. The iconic rituals provided as an origin myth, i.e. the Embrace and the Skinning, are also covered.



The pdf closes with a fully-illustrated 2 skindancers, one at level 11 and one at level 4 - both are pretty cool and come with an interesting write-up.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting, both on a formal and a rules-language level, are very good. Layout adheres to a beautiful two-column full-color standard and the artworks provided are original and high-quality. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.



Robert H. Hudson Jr.'s Skindancers are very much a matter of taste and group - I can see them going either way. On the one side, the fluff of the race and its execution is pretty cool and delivers just what you'd expect and render a shapechanging race a more than viable option. On the other hand, my players would have a field-day breaking the shapechanging - the alternate form amounts to more than just a pet-like alternate form and instead provides an almost gestalt-y level of additional tricks. Especially for low-level casters made with a modicum of capability, this allows for some very nasty combos that are bound to provide some nasty tricks, especially at low levels. The basic issue I identified herein would be that skindancers try to be what amounts to 2 different types of character - at the one side, they try to be a conservative race that happens to be a shapechanger. On the other, the morally-ambiguous tricks associated with the Skinning are so powerful, they should be banned for players - allowing the latter set of abilities for PCs will end up creating problems galore.



The supplemental content provided ultimately remained a mixed bag for me - while not bad per se, I saw most concepts herein provided in other executions before - perhaps that's the bane of the reviewer talking; perhaps I've seen too much, but I caught myself thinking rather often that e.g. some feats would have worked better as archetype options due to their power, whereas some archetype options ultimately left me uninspired or unimpressed. The abilities, in part, are awesome and cool, but limited use and not particularly pronounced tie-ins with the race itself did not capture my imagination.



While this does sound negative, you should make no mistake - if your campaign sports powerful races anyway and min-maxy system-mastery is less of an issue at your table, the skindancers may just be what the doctor ordered. The deviations from standard wording are few and far in-between and this pdf can provide some fun for your group. The concepts are high, with especially the evil Dark Dancer-feat-tree being inspired. In the end, the supplemental content and minor balance concerns I have mitigate some of the awesomeness herein and render this book a highly situational offering, edging slightly towards the good over the problematic. My final verdict will hence clock in at 3.5 stars, rounded down to 3 mostly due to the balance-concerns I have and the power-level of some options herein feeling off.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Bite Me! Skindancers
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Better Mousetrap 3e
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/16/2015 15:24:39
Described as "the most extensive, largest third-party rules supplement for ... Mutants & Masterminds" this book lives up to the hype. At 293 pages (covers, ogl, and toc still leave this at 289 pages of solid content) calling it "supplement" undersells it. Personally I prefer to think of it as "The Villain's Handbook". Everything you need to create a super-villain (not just a villain), their lair, plenty of skills and gadgets and of course powers. There is so much here really.

Chapter 1 covers skills. Plenty of new uses for old skills. Reading it over it seemed obvious that a lot of skill uses for ancient or immortal characters/villains/heroes. So perfect for your Vandal Savage types or old vampires like Dracula. There are some new skills as well. Brainwashing is a nice one. But there are lot of good ones. All in all about 25 pages worth of skills.

Chapter 2 gives us new Advantages. Ace is a nice one but there plenty here, including some Minion Advantages. This is actually really nice. I tend to gloss over minions. Maybe all those years of watching the "Adam West" Batman series. There are also Organization Advantages.

Chapter 3 has all the new Powers. And there are a lot here. There are new Power Effects and new Power Builds. There are also plenty of new Flaws. Needed for bad guys really.

Chapter 4 covers new rules. This chapter is more utilitarian. There are some car chase/combat rules and some mounted combat rules. There are some limited Mecha rules too.

Chapter 5 gets into what I consider the meat of the book and the reason I like it; Making a Better Bad Guy. This is what you need to make your villains into super-villains. Some of this chapter covers the motivation of villains and (the best parts) their evil plans. Some motivations are given ("The World Shall Be Mine!" and "The Voices Told Me to Do It" among others) which discusses why villains do what they do. Motivations are also discussed based on when the villain got their start. For example A Silver Age Villain does things differently than a Golden-Age or Modern-Age Villain.
It is often said that a hero is only as good as their enemies. Well this takes the opposite take, a villain is only as good as their enemies are evil. There is a good section on anti-heroes and even Arch-Enemies. Every hero needs a good arch-enemy.
Several new villain archetypes are presented. Many should be familiar since they pull on some strong archetypes or at least stereotypes, but that is perfect really. Any of these can be filled out to a full blown villain. Once you do that there are plenty of rank and file minions; brutes, troopers, pilots, infiltrators and cyber versions of all of them.

Chapter 6 includes Gadgets and Gear. This includes melee weapons and archaic weapons. Again for our old immortal villains. There are also plenty of guns and vehicles for the minions.

Chapter 7 is the Many Faces of Evil. This covers not just villains, but their organizations.
Chapter 8 covers Headquarters. This covers where those organizations and villains will hide
out. There is quite a lot of material here too.

Chapter 9, Evil to the Utmost, talks about how to use evil and villains. There are even some villains detailed here.

All in all a really good product. If you need to detail your villain and evil organization then this is the book you need.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Better Mousetrap 3e
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

OBS Footer Code for OneBookShelf Publishers
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/02/2015 22:04:22
Finding better ways to cross-promote your products can be difficult. OBS footers offer a great opportunity for cross-promotion, as long as you can either take the time to build that footer or know how to do it using HTML. Misfit Studios makes that process 100x easier!

Worth every penny!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
OBS Footer Code for OneBookShelf Publishers
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Eric Lofgren Presents: Female Human Fighter
by Sheldon F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/14/2015 16:05:29
I find little use in artwork that I can't alter to better fit the work it was intended for.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Eric Lofgren Presents: Female Human Fighter
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Publisher Reply:
Eric has revised his license. There is no longer a limit on the amount of times you may use the image in your products. You can crop the images so long as you move the artist\'s signature so that it remains visible within the cropped image.
Villains Abound: The Gamemaster
by Chad B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/31/2015 21:37:29
Funny, self-aware, self-deprecating humor. Will totally be using this villain in my super campaign!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Villains Abound: The Gamemaster
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Bite Me! Playing Lycanthropes
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/30/2015 19:15:48
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This supplement clocks in at 48 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 2 pages of SRD, 2 pages of advertisement, leaving us with 41 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?



FULL DISCLOSURE: I was a stretchgoal for the Bite Me! kickstarter and was compensated for what I wrote for it. I was in no way involved in the production of this book or its contents and thus do not consider my verdict compromised in any way.



So we kick off this book with a massive rumination on the fascination of what contitutes a lycanthrope as well as on the terminology itself - namely the opposition of therianthropy and lycanthropy. While in no way a bad introduction to to the matter at hand, I was somewhat disappointed by the lack of acknowledgement regarding the discrepancies between lycanthropes and therianthropes in iterations of D&D/PFRPG. What do I mean by this? Well, back in the day, there were two types of shape changers that could turn into animal/human-hybrids. Lycanthropes are just what you may suspect they are - haunted by a curse (or cursed from birth), they cater to the trope of the animal inside, a loss of control and danger lurking beneath the surface - they thus represent what is currently understood as a were-X, whereas x can be replaced by just about any carnivorous (or omnivorous) animal. Therianthropes, on the other hand, are always born this way and do NOT suffer from a curse. Traditionally, they have not been susceptible to silver, instead featuring a weakness against cold iron. They are essentially intelligent animals that can turn into humans; often with a taste for flesh and strange supernatural abilities - jackalweres, for example, had a sleep-inducing gaze and greater wolfweres took only the enhancement bonus of a weapon in damage and instantly regenerated ALL LIFE every round unless slain. Yeah, you feared these guys not for a curse, but for their sheer power. Nomenclature-wise, therianthropes use, as you may have noticed, -were as a suffix, not as a prefix. things get more complicated once you realize they exist as PFRPG conversions and that they are traditionally considered mortal enemies of werewolves and lycanthropes.



So much for a bit of roleplaying games history with uncle endzeitgeist - you may realize why I expected more than a simple "Lycanthropy is now the term we all use" - it's simply wrong. That out of the way, the pdf then proceeds to do a good job regarding the matter at hand, namely describing the differences between natural lycanthropes, i.e. those born with the condition, and afflicted ones - those that were infected. Beyond the psychological ramifications, this also includes minor modifications of the respective base stats. From here on out, we embark on a massive discussion of what playing a lycanthrope means in the context of the game - not only in-game, but also as a player in the context of the party. Thankfully, unlike some other books I've read on the topic, this pdf does not mince words and explicitly states that the loss of control, the inner struggle with the beast etc. all constitute components of what makes lycanthropy cool in the first place - otherwise, you can just play any old anthropomorphic race and be done with it. My favorite parts herein were those that dealt with raising awareness for not screwing your allies over if possible - you know, not shifting in the middle of the market-square... The general passage does an excellent job of showing the myriad ways in which becoming a lycanthrope may result in strife and how to avoid that - maturely, focused and well-written.



Now having dealt with lycanthrope PCs over and over in my Ravenloft campaigns, I was particularly looking forward to the advice for the DM: And here, the book is no less clear - lycanthropes are neither anthro-superheroes (there are races for that!), nor are they noble defenders of the earth - they're capital M, underlined MONSTERS. The mindset out of the way, emphasis is put on using clear words when telling the player - while this may seem an obvious thing to do, it is pretty important. Now handling the choice of victims is no less necessary and tackling the guilt and "penalty" without penalizing the whole group too severely would be another thing you have to take into account. Now unlike previous edition, in PFRPG only natural lycanthropes can spread the curse - which I never liked. It just feels wrong to me. Now yes, I get why this decision was made and so does the book, but thankfully, a discussion on that aspect of lycanthropy is part of the deal as well.



Now where things become interesting is when dealing with non-evil lycanthropes - e.g. wereboars and -bears. Thankfully, the pdf also covers these and makes running a game for them no harder, instead providing interesting suggestions that build on the archetypical nature of the respective lycanthropes. I also enjoyed some finer points here - e.g. the fact that in order to remove the curse, one has to affect the creature while transformed...



Now where I somewhat get my nerd-rage is when the book goes on to describe natural lycanthropes as NOT monsters - instead, they are...well. Playable lycanthropes that only slowly receive the power that one associates with lycanthropes. And I get the design-rationale behind this decision. It is well-reasoned, it explains the issues that plagued lycanthropes before. It explains why PFRPG's one-size-fits-all lycanthropy table sucks hardcore in my book, etc. And then proceeds to present a highly modular take on the natural lycanthrope as a base race. Or rather, a significant plethora of base races. 19 suites of attribute-arrays dependent on the base animal, plus concise guidelines to make your own are provided. And while thematically fitting, they do follow the design paradigm of two physical attribute bonuses, one mental attribute penalty. Now while fitting for lycanthropes, for reasons of class diversions, I tend to prefer an equilibrium between physical and mental bonuses. Lycanthropes are humanoids with the shapechanger subtype and also receive the benefits of belonging to the base humanoid subtype of their parent race. They may use diplomacy at a +4 racial bonus to influence the attitude of animals of their breed and receive low-light vision, +2 to Perception and Survival as well as beast form. D'uh! Interesting would be the DR 2/silver they gain - it increases by +2 every odd level to a maximum of 10/silver and they also suffer from vulnerabilities when targeted with wolfbane or attacked with silver for an overall pretty solidly balanced race in the upper echelon of the regular power continuum, approximately on par with the planetouched races.



An extremely detailed take on family-ties, racial relationships etc. further helps portraying natural lycanthropes, while8 alternate racial traits allow for customization. Becoming small, skill-bonus exchanges, another array of attributes and better nocturnal attacks are part of the deal here. A total of 6 traits are provided, though not all manage to get the trait-bonus properly classified, they can be considered solid. As an additional nitpick -they ought to specify their trait-subtype (magic, combat, social etc.).



We also receive favored class options for all CORE, APG and UM/UC-classes, but not all of them are glorious - magi can get rid of spell combat penalties over 8 levels - after that, the FCO no longer has any effects. The alchemist can increase mutagen-duration by 2 minutes per class level - but is that cumulative per FCO taken? Do the benefits of past FCOs increase retroactively? No idea. Clarification is required here. Sorcerors may now opt to choose the new lycanthrope bloodline, which nets you claws, animal empathy - what you'd expect. One ability lets you choose to be treated as either your type or an animal, which allows you to essentially have 3 types and benefit from the respective spells - a subtle, yet powerful tool. Not bad! Other than that, the bloodline is pretty conservative.



From silver shackles to grooming kits and tattoo kits, a couple of thematically appropriate items can be found within these pages and for the truly savage butchery, why not go for the new battle cleaver? Did I hear someone say "Ah, fresh meat?" Sling gloves with different, partially alchemical ammunition make for an interesting ranged weapon.



The astute reader may have noticed that I have not commented on hybrid forms, and this is not due to a glaring oversight on my end, but rather the result of that being taxed by a feat, which also doubles a prerequisite for growing claws - and yes, both manage to get the complex natural weapon shenanigans right. It is pretty odd, though, that the pdf introduces (lycanthrope)-feats without properly defining the feat-type. One feat, a variant of Natural Spell, receives the modification-descriptor, which, while accurate, could also cause some very minor confusion. Yes, I am nitpicking at a high level here. Less nitpicky and more an issue is the paltry DC 15 save to avoid contracting lycanthropy via a bite - the feat ought to have a scaling DC based on character level to remain relevant. On the formal nitpick criteria, some feats have their regular text improperly bolded, an issue which also partially extends to the magic items. Finally, I have a minor issue with the Pack Tactics teamwork feat - what? Well, there already is a feat with that name, though admittedly one from Advanced Class Origins - which was preceded by Bite Me!, so no rating-penalty here.



The 4 new magic items are iconic and solid and range cover traditional tropes from movement slowing arrows to wolfpelts, a grab-enhancing gauntlet...and a neat, lycanthropy-inducing, cursed ring. A total of 9 spells (even crediting the inspiration from the forums, if applicable!) can be found herein and generally do interesting things - faster shapechange, forcing the change, calming the beast - you know the drill. Now personally, I don't think that spells like detect lycanthrope should exist (they make it too easy to root them out) and Hide from Lycanthrope, spell-wise inducing lycanthropy and moon beams that can trigger a change all can be considered solid, but also not mind-boggling.



The pdf closes with two fully-depicted sample NPCs - complete with extensive background stories, cool artworks and statblcoks for both base and hybrid forms - both of these NPCs were compelling and cool - at CR 11 and 10, they both are archetyped and multiclassed and pretty effective. Nice!



Conclusion:

Editing is pretty much top-notch - apart from nitpicks, I noticed no significant issues. Formatting does sport slightly more, but over all can still be considered top-tier. The pdf sports a beautiful 2-column full-color standard and multiple, beautiful full-color artworks, while still remaining printer-friendly. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.



I am not the target demographic of this book. Why? Because I've reveled in lycanthrope lore, I've researched it extensively and across cultures and I've utilized it to full extent in numerous campaigns. I'm a veteran of the subject matter and thus wasn't looking forward to yet another book on the topic. Surprisingly, this book did manage to win me over - first of all, it doesn't treat lycanthropy as a power-up - it treats the subject with the respect and maturity it deserves. Secondly, I really wished I had this book back in the day, when I first had a lycanthrope PC and botched just about everything there is to botch regarding handling that guy. More than that even, I wish I had this book back then due to one thing I'd have immediately done:

I would have handed over the book, told the guy to read it and then have an actual common basis from which one can develop the concept and make it work. What I had to learn the hard way, this book compiles and collects - so in that regard, it is a GLORIOUS tome. The crunch provided also falls into the upper echelon of quality, with a more-than-average level of professionalism regarding the wording, bonus-types etc. On the downside, most of the supplemental content is *very* conservative and chances are that veterans won't find that much new regarding concepts and the like in here.

Almost all complaints I can field against this book have a basis in either being a tad bit too conservative for my taste or having design-aesthetic decisions like static DCs. Don't get me wrong, this book has nothing per se bad in it and the few ambiguities that do exist are scarce and not bad at all. But the crunch also didn't blow my socks off....mainly because I'm not the target demographic. My home campaign sports no less than 43 types of lycanthropes, all with different templates, vulnerabilities, etc. Only vampires, my modular golem-system, mummies and similar ancient dead and comparable classic creatures have received this much attention in my games. The consequence is that I have a hard time separating what *I* think lycanthropes should be like to what the consensus or feasible take is. Taking away my own convictions, I can see the natural lycanthrope race as presented herein work as a PC. Easily. As mentioned above, this book sports very little in the amount of complaints you can field against it and the few that I managed to find tend to boil down to personal preference or being just minor problems. Beyond the therianthropy-guffaw in the beginning, my main gripe is the relative dearth of advice regarding the handling of PCs vs. the lycanthrope PC and the component of the mental addictiveness of the transformation. One of the best scenes in that regard I ever saw, was a shackled PC, not yet transformed, feverishly trying to get his comrades to cut him loose - "Really, I have it under control!" This immensely rewarding component of the curse, its allure, is something that would have deserved more space herein.

Robert H. Hudson Jr., Jeff Erwin, Rich Howard and J.M. Perkins have delivered a more than solid guidebook here: This pdf is a godsend for beginner and journeymen DMs seeking to include lycanthropes in their game. It should also be considered a must-read tome for any player badgering the DM about lycanthropy - know what you're getting into. That being said, for horror-DMs with a ton of experience under their belt, for expert ROLE-players who've been through the lycanthropic dance more than once, this book does have significantly less to offer, with the crunch being over all good, but not earth-shattering. The former should consider this a must-have, 5 star-file. The latter still a worthy book, but one with slightly less utility - 4 stars for you guys.



My final verdict will hence clock in at a final verdict of 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 since this book is too good to not recommend it and can save plenty of campaigns from some of the nastier effects of including lycanthrope PCs. For that: Two thumbs up!

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Bite Me! Playing Lycanthropes
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Eric Lofgren Presents: Female Halfing Fighter
by Joe W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/24/2015 12:00:52
The license is too restrictive/unclear:
"You may use the images for a one time, first edition use for either print or web." So if I have a print and pdf version? do I have to pay twice? What if I expand the product, it seems to say I need to buy again.
"You may not crop, colour, modify, adapt, translate, reverse engineer, decompile, or disassemble the images." So can I scale it down to fit a smaller area? Why not? What if I only want a head-and shoulders view of the character? Why not let people crop it? (Throw in a clause requiring the artist's signature to appear if needed.)
"This includes, by way of illustration only and not by way of limitation, displaying images in any format (including thumbnails) for download on a website..." So I can't use drive thru's preview feature to show a sample/small version of my work if the sample will include the art here.

Few of the other stock art available here is anywhere close to this restrictive. (Even others from Misfit Studios, which is why I bought it without the full license in the description... I thought the art from the same publisher would have similar licensing.) This needs to be more flexible. At the very least, make the full license available (and prominent) before people purchase.

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Eric Lofgren Presents: Female Halfing Fighter
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Publisher Reply:
True, you cannot crop it or the like, but you CAN resize to fit into a smaller area. By \"modify,\" the artist\'s license is directed more towards directly modifying the art itself. The artist does not want the integrity of the piece, as it appears, changed. And you can use thumbnails of the art as it appears in your product. The \"including thumbnails\" means you cannot display thumbnails of the art on its own (much as you cannot make a product of your own that is just the art sans any supplementary content.) It\'s meant to prevent people from posting thumbnails to web forums or the like, for example, and say \"look at this licensed art we\'ll be using\" that can then be distributed in its own right.
Eric has revised his license. There is no longer a limit on the amount of times you may use the image in your products. You can crop the images so long as you move the artist\'s signature so that it remains visible within the cropped image.
Do-Gooders & Daredevils: Knights of the Pentangle
by Jae C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/01/2014 08:54:19
Just purchased and really enjoyed - first an admission I'm not a fan of swords and lethal weapons being used by heroes in a UK setting but for anyone who would like to bring King Arthur and his Knights into a campaign really need to buy this as this pdf contains some wonderful write ups and wonderful ideas. 37 pages worth of ideas including details of New Camelot, the political issue of an alternative claim to throne by a mythical monarch, the reincarnated knights and a young Merlin (he ages backwards after all) including a cybernetic Galahad (previously the hero Templar) a black Guinevere (previously a thief called Neural) and background to the Holy Grail as a chalice (as opposed to a stone or cauldron both of which were alternative descriptions).

My only pet peeve (and it really is a minor one) is that Gawain's strength didn't increase throughout the daytime as per the most common legend about the character.

I'll admit I'm not sure how I'd personally use King Arthur and the Knights as written in my current campaign but elements will definitely leak through as they are too good not to and I definitely want these characters as part of my collection. If the use of guns and swords aren't a turn-off in your campaign then they will make for interesting alternative overseas heroes and I'm actually playing with the idea myself of making them misguided villains determined to reclaim the throne and control of the UK (there was a Chaosium CoC adventure who's name currently escapes me that had a similar theme) as Arthur believes he's been raised to become the future king replacing the current system of democracy with feudal system of government.

Regardless of how you play them, this is a superb supplement and well worth the money...

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Do-Gooders & Daredevils: Knights of the Pentangle
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

You're Gonna Die Screaming
by Nathan K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/09/2014 05:53:24
Such a simple idea, and yet this supplement was required to fire the imagination. It is well written and thought provoking, well worth the asking price and yet the publisher lets you choose what you want to pay. I cannot emphasize enough how intuitive this book is, everything he tells you makes complete sense and while you may not need this book to come to the realizations that it puts forth, the way it reads quickly and explains the choices made will encourage you to try it while avoiding some of the pitfalls of trial and error. I highly recommend this for experienced gamers ready to try something different and for DMs so that they realize that while not as effective as PC classes even the weakest of NPC classes is capable of at least existing (I know I've encountered games where even random shmoes seem to be built with fighter levels)

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
You're Gonna Die Screaming
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

You're Gonna Die Screaming
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/08/2014 13:47:00
An Endzeitgeist.com

This Pay-what-you-want-optimization guide clocks in at 22 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, leaving us with 17 pages of content, so what exactly do we get here?



Firts of all - this is exactly what it says on the tin - an optimization guide. In case you're not familiar with these, usually, a color code of Red, Green, Blue and Purple is applied to skills, feats, spells etc.pp. to denote at a glance the feasibility of options available.



That being said, personally, I'm not too big a fan of optimization to the oomphteenth degree, mainly because some of my players *are* into it - adhering strictly to these can get in the way of making a character rounded, if you adhere too strictly to a guide. Those little touches like your PC being a baker's boy - they don't contribute to the combat capabilities and thus are often left by the wayside. Rogue Genius Games proposed bonus skills per level for exactly such "non-relevant" skills and introducing this house-rule into my game helped quite a bit.



That out of the way, the more pressing question on your mind will probably be "Why play a commoner?" And the pdf delivers answers - in brevity, here are *my* answers, for I have actually already pulled off this stunt. 1) The challenge. My players are extremely capable and taking away all those class features makes for a very challenging game-play less based on system mastery and more on guerrilla warfare and player smarts. 2) Get a perspective. I do like my main campaign (the non playtesting one) gritty and beyond 15-point-buy, players are wont to forget *why* those commoners keep on buggering them to kill threat xyz - even 15-point-buy heroes are exactly that - HEROES. This means they have so much more capabilities to deal with threats than average joe. Playing a commoner can make that apparent and drive home the reason why those guys don't deal with threats themselves. 3) Go for a tactics-high game. Every item, every purchase in a commoner game is relevant - each little bonus precious. 4) A change of pace. The PCs have been captured and those guys they saved time and again may now be their only hope - as an alternative to a TPK, the "PCs are captured"-scenario that has the players save their characters via commoners is better because the adversary not necessarily has underestimated the PCs, but failed to take those nameless, faceless losers into account - and that, ladies and gentlemen, is rather easy to justify and believe...



So these are my basic suggestions, so what does the pdf offer - well, essentially an optimization break down of attributes, core races, skills - one by one, with feasible and well-thought suggestions. It should also be noted that general combat styles (as in not-style-feats) receive their break-downs - suddenly those light crossbows and halfling slingstaffs don't look so bad anymore, don't they? Fascinating, what a few lacking attributes, feats and proficiencies can do...



It should be noted that even non-recommended styles d receive concise break-downs of options to make them work. Traits mainly are glanced over, with highlights pointed out.. Beyond these options, advice on granting at least a bit of starting gold, weapon-selection and magical/mundane items rounds out this pdf.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to Misfit Studios' two-column full-color standard with artworks ranging from b/w to full-color and being stock as far as I could tell. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.



This is intended as a teaser and first introduction to the matter at hand for author J. M. Perkin's "The Adequate Commoner" kickstarter to making commoners not suck...so much. As an optimization Guide, it does a decent job and is actually a good read, though you should be aware that it does not go through all options available at the level of detail found in some guides online - it can be considered a basic optimization guide that is well-written and actually fun to read. It offers smart advice for truly low-power-level gaming and as such can be considered a well-crafted book. This being a "Pay what you want"-file, it can be obtained for free, though I do suggest some sort of donation. But how much? Basically, this guide is good at what it is intended to do - it's a teaser, a help, an introduction and does that job well. If you have expected a full-blown, ultra-detailed 100+page guide of covered options, well, then this pdf does not deliver - surprise.



What it's intended to do, it does well and hence, my final verdict will clock in at 4.5 pages, rounded up to 5 for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
You're Gonna Die Screaming
by chris m. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/25/2014 11:42:23
This guide is amazing!!! I picked it up free 99 and read through it and had to go back and pay some coin for this gem!

In the familiar style of most other Pathfinder class guides out there, this manual goes through telling you what is best [blue], fair [green or black] and worst [red] for a character built as a commoner in a campaign that focuses on playing commoners in a legitimate and serious manner. it ha slots of funny writing too and I found myself laughing a few times through out. This guide also gives you some real ideas as GM for what NPC commoners might do to maximize their survival.

I'm pretty much fatigued on playing d20 games, but this book has renewed my interest in delving into pathfinder for something fresh to do with the system! Highly recommend!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher or Talent Website Analysis Report
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/24/2014 10:17:40
Hi, I'm Steve DeBaun, from Trip West Games. Steven Trustrum reported the web site for our first title, Ars Victor. (http://www.arsvictor.com)

I'm a 20-year veteran of web development. I've forgotten more code than most developers have written. I've always been dubious of SEO consultants, because many of them don't go into the nitty-gritty of what actually needs to be fixed -- they just point out that there's a problem.

Trustrum's detailed, 25-page report was a breath of fresh air. It got into every aspect of my site. He found not only the problems I knew about, but pointed out huge issues that I hadn't even considered. And the report doesn't just list problems -- it lists solutions, with convenient links to explain things in more detail. Microformats? What the hell is that? Ahh....

I highly recommend this service for anyone, new or experienced, that has a web site that is important to them. Even if you're a hardcore developer like me -- if you don't have specific experience in SEO, you won't pick up half the things that Trustrum finds you.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher or Talent Website Analysis Report
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Displaying 1 to 15 (of 196 reviews) Result Pages:  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 ...  [Next >>] 
0 items
 Hottest Titles
 Gift Certificates
Powered by DrivethruRPG