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10 Dragon Magic Items (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/17/2014 05:16:29
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of Rite Publishing's 10-series clocks in at 8 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 5 pages of content - quite a bunch for the low price point



So magic items for dragons? Yep, beyond the obvious option to use them in conjunction with Rite Publishing's excellent "In the Company of Dragons" or Rogue Genius Games "Dracomancer", the items should be considered a treasure trove for DMs - take the barbules of missile nullification, which net a 75% miss chance versus non-ray ranged attacks...which is powerful, but the beauty here would be in the fluff - the barbules are adamantine spikes that are drilled into the scales of a dragon, emitting missile-hampering force pulses - awesome imagery!



An item that allows dragons to receive the compression ability (extremely useful for dungeoneering dragons - all but required, in fact!) would also be damn cool. The aforementioned Tanimin from ItC:D can enhance their abilities with a crown, receiving more draconic weaponry and modification of a breath weapon into fire-ball like blasts also makes for a long overdue, cool trick. A ring that helps protect against the dread apostates of the White Worm and their aberrations also can be considered a damn cool flavor tie-in.



Or what about smoke-emitting barbules? A howdah to carry humanoid allies into battle? The option to suppress energy effects that include the dragon among their targets, provided the dragon has the baleful glare draconic weaponry? What about greaves made explicitly to defend against pesky humanoids?



The pdf also includes a legacy item (a magic item that scales with levels if you perform certain rituals, the Elder's Pixane that denote the dragon as heir to one of the elder's seats among the lost isles - these bracers increase not only the prowess of the tanimin and nets additional uses of draconic weaponry and improve social skills, at higher levels, the pixane allow the dragon to pronounce a naming curse and even return the recently deceased to life!



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no glitches. Layout adheres to RiP's beautiful two-column standard and the 2 pieces of color artwork are awesome. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.



Wendall Roy delivers a cool expansion for the tanimin, but not exclusively for them here - whether you are a DM looking for some awesome draconic magic items or a player looking for some improvements for the dragon PC or companion, this is the go-to place. If you're not using ItC:D, some items may be less useful to you, but at this price-point, this is still a steal - short concise, and blending neat crunch with glorious fluff, this is well worth 5 stars + seal of approval!

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
10 Dragon Magic Items (PFRPG)
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In The Company of Dragons (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/12/2014 06:35:05
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf clocks in at 39 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 36 pages of content, so let's take a look!



So...this pdf introduces playable dragons - how does it go on to maintain balance and a world's fluff? Well, by a number of rather unique, narrative stunts - first, the pdf maintains compatibility with your campaign setting's dragons by assigning a unique, separate, but distinct fluff to these dragons - called Tanimin, they live in the secluded place called "Lost Isle", isolated by planar boundaries from the realms of mortals. In this sheltered place, these beings called Tanimin, have prospered - but, as their origin myth specifies, there is a taint, a cancer growing at the heart of this place, its genesis crucial part of the extensive origin myth provided. There, in this taint, all draconic is twisted, turned into undragons (here, I had a UnLunDun-flashback while reading) - in here, wyrm truly are rendered into a worm, all perverted and lost. The whole myth and following discussion of the alignment, adventuring roles, etc., including age, height and weight-tables for various sizes, all is written in gorgeous, captivating in-character prose, rendering the pdf more enjoyable to read than comparable pdfs.



Now, it should be noted that chromatic/metallic distinctions are not *necessarily* color-coding Tanimin, though alignment-changes result in a molt that sees the creature hampered, only to emerge with a new coat of scales closer to their new alignment - can you see the gold dragon molt red? I can! Mechanically, Tanimin receive +2 Con and Cha, -2 Dex, are small, receive regular movement (1/2 when wielding items in their claws), can use manufactured weapons et al (at a -2 penalty), receive darkvision and low-light vision, are immune to sleep and paralysis, can glide, receive +1 atk and +2 AC versus dragons, +2 to identify dragons, a natural primary bite of 1d4, +1.5 str-mod, +2 natural AC, +2 perception and sense motive. When wearing armor, Tanimin increase ACP by 2 and suffer the same amount as a penalty to atk and are quadrupeds, receiving modified slots and increased carrying capacity. Alternatively, they can elect for +2 Str and Con, -2 Int, +2 Dex and Cha, -2 Wis and +2 Wis and Cha, -2 Dex. Among the alternate racial traits, better concentration, 1d3 secondary natural weapons (claws), giant killer-bonuses, manipulate objects sans penalty, get different bonuses, spiny hides or toxic blood.



The race also receives a couple of favored class options -barbarian, druid, fighter, magus, monk, paladin, ranger, soceror, taskshaper and war master are covered. Before I delve into the respective archetypes provided, let's not mince words so far - the tanimin are strong. The race does suffer a bit from feature-bloat, with minor racial abilities increasing the power of the race. I generally tend to consider such bonuses somewhat unnecessary. That being said, I'm not going to start my usual "this is too powerful for campaign xyz"-rant here. Why? Because we're talking DRAGONS. This book actually, by means of its very definition, is geared towards high-fantasy/power gaming and as such, it feels unnecessary and probably unfair to judge this race as being too strong low point-build campaigns on the gritty side. Got that? Awesome! On a cosmetic level, the slight feature-bloat and two alternate attribute-sets that gear the race towards caster/martials are not something I'm overly fond of. Still, generally, the race itself can be considered strong, but manageable.



Now the archetypes - first would be the draconic hero - an archetype that allows a tanimin of any class to grow at the cost of some class abilities usually gained - as a massive multiclass-covering archetype, the abilities replaced vary from class to class, once again including taskshaper and war master among the supported classes. Scaled Juggernauts are essentially tanimin fighters specializing in combat with their natural weapons, gaining rake and pounce at higher levels. Trueblood Sorcerors are locked into the draconic bloodline, but receive a scale-spell-component that replaces material components/divine foci and replace regular bloodline powers with a breath weapon. White Worm Apostates, oracles tainted as undragons, receive degrees of fortification and may disgorge a swarm of consuming, maggot-like worms and later, rise as a twisted phoenix from their corpse 1/day - a very powerful archetype that absolutely *requires* the immense social stigma associated with the white worm to be added to the campaign.



Now the racial paragon-class, which covers 20 levels, nets the tanimin full BAB-progression, 3 good saves,d12, 4+HD skills per level, no proficiencies apart from natural weapons. The tanimin also receives a draconic essence - each of which provides one type of scaling energy resistance, a color, a breath weapon type and a unique compulsion, which always remains hard for the dragon to refrain from doing - Which fits in thematically nice with the overall theme of draconic types - a total of 20 such essences can be found herein. Additionally, at 1st level, 7th, 13th and 19th level, the draconic exemplar can choose draconic weaponry - these can be used 1/2 class level + con-mod times per day. Rather interesting - if applicable, their save-DC is governed by either con or cha, depending on the ability. They include fascination-inducing gazes, bolstering oneself against assaults, receiving the breath weapon associated with the chosen essence, minor spellcasting, elemental aura, charging through allies, enemies etc. Additionally, at 2nd level and every 3 levels thereafter, the exemplar receives a draconic defense, which is chosen from its own list - rerolls versus sonic/language-dependent spells, evasion while airborne, spell resistance (even reflective one!) - quite an array of iconic tricks here.

As if that wasn't enough, we receive a third list of special abilities - draconic gifts - chosen at 3rd level and every 3 levels thereafter, they are also governed by con or cha, depending on the ability. These gifts usually require a specific draconic essence to pull off - without access to energy (acid) and a corresponding breath weapon, you can't make pools of acid, to give you an example. Adding an auto-trip on a failed save to the breath weapon would be possible, as if lacing the bite with the breath weapon's energy. Somewhat metamagic-y tricks based on using draconic weaponry's daily uses as a resource for bonus damage, growing an alignment detecting pearl that works with Tanimin exclusively, adding poison to the breath, mastery of the elements, shapechanging into a humanoid, better frightful presence while airborne or increased speed/expanded class skill lists - the choices are many and while some are limited and available only to specific alternate racial trait choices of the tanimin, the sheer amount is rather impressive, though you'll be expect to do some very careful reading here - quite a few combos are available only to specific builds and locking yourself out of a specific option might be something you wish to avoid.



Now you may have noticed that I've been mentioning flight and that the base race does not offer this. Well, here's where dracomorphosis comes into play - gained at 4th level, this one nets you increased reach with the bite, secondary wing attacks (or gore for Lung-dragons), AC and attribute bonuses and size increases - and flight. Dracomorphosis is gained every 4 levels thereafter, allowing the tanimin to grow to gargantuan size at 16th level - the race also reduces dex during the size-increases and receives tail sweeps, crushes etc. Which is damn cool, granted...but what happens if dex drops to 0? No, I'm not kidding - with a total reduction of -8 to dex, this is a real possibility. And yes, I am aware of how this sort of thing is usually handled with monster-advancement, but the point remains that this pdf ought to have tackled this particular issue. The capstone is, of course, the final great wyrm apotheosis.



Of course, we also receive quite an array of new feats - additional uses of draconic weaponry, additional draconic defenses and gifts, better crushing, breath weapon modification, turning claws into primary natural weapons and high-level appendage severing (and even vorpal!) natural attacks become part of the deal.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no glaring glitches. Layout adheres to Rite Publishing's two-column full-color standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked and with an array of different, neat full-color artworks of various styles.



Wendall Roy's Tanimin have a difficult standing with me - as perhaps the ultimate of high-powered races, at least concept-wise, playing dragons is honestly not something I'm the target demographic for. The issue is simple - make them balanced versus standard races and you have pseudo-dragons (pardon the pun) or make them as they should be and you have over-powered beasts. *Personally*, for me dragons are the apex-predators and anything that diminishes them is not something I tend to enjoy. The narrative frame provided herein would be a neat way to offset this particular issue - and one that I wholeheartedly applaud.



So are the tanimin deadly? YES. They are. While their most powerful draconic weaponry thankfully has a daily limitation imposed on them, the sheer array of natural weapons and powerful options available make them formidable foes. The almost universally applicable archetype for draconic growth is a great way of handling adventuring tanimin of all couleur. And I do really like the highly modular draconic racial paragon class - much more so than I deemed possible.



Are the tanimin perfect? No - they have a bit of "rules-fat" that could be trimmed so they work better for less high-powered campaigns, the same problem many races balanced with rough regards to the ARG have...but then again, they probably don't belong there in the first place. And yes, they are better balanced than *A LOT* of the ARG races. Two sets of alternate racial stats are geared towards martials/casters, respectively - and I'm not a big fan of that, preferring a more universal take (as per the default attribute-array) - but since that is easily disallowed/adjusted to your personal preference, again, at best a minor nitpick. Now as a DM's toolbox, this is one glorious book, an alternate, highly modular toolbox to make dragons work more as a force/nation, rather than individuals - also thanks to quick and dirty, by no means extensive, but at least existing, renown/reputation-rules.



Now as for the player-part - the tanimin are not a weak race and you should be aware of that as a DM. Not all campaigns will find them fitting in well; If magic items are e.g. pretty rare for you, these guys immediately lose one of their drawbacks, the decreased slot-array. That being said, if you don't play your cards right as a tanimin-PC, you can still pretty easily die - the tanimin's defenses, in spite of armor, SR, DR etc. are pretty weak and while they can wreak deadly havoc, they will also find themselves at the highest priority to kill of just about any foe - after all, who do you kill first? Easy, the friggin' dragon! Add to that the big form and thus, high chance of being a target of enemies/in the AoE of spells...you get the drift. Increased cost of armor and the resource-expenditure (either in items or abilities chosen) to maintain adventuring shape (shapechange to fit into tunnels, etc.) required for them also are rather ingenious, subtle balancing mechanisms. Now the oracle archetype definitely only belongs into DM-hands, but the rest of the options provided may be strong, but aren't broken per se.



In fact, in spite of my admitted trepidations against the very notion of playing dragons, I can't find it in me to bash these guys. While a couple of the abilities (crush, tail sweep, breath-tricks, etc.) are powerful and lend themselves to the full-blown knee-jerk reaction of screaming "This is OP", actually playing the beasts tells a different story - the larger dragons require room to properly act and that is simply not always there. The decreased slot-array for magic items also hampers them at high level play, offsetting some of the admittedly meat-grinding oomph their array of natural weapons may cause. When they *can* act a perfect round, the player *will* be grinning, though, as damage keeps piling up. So, how to rate this, then? That's a tough one. For DMs, I'll settle on a full-blown get-this-recommendation to up their draconic arsenal or simply to use the tanimin as a much cooler draconic race that mops the floor with draconians, half-dragons etc. - they have the better flair, fluff, etc. For players - IF you are playing a high-fantasy campaign and lean towards the higher end of the power-spectrum, go for this. For low-powered games...why are you reading a review on playing DRAGONS? Kidding aside, there are some minor rough patches here and there and with the significant array of unconventional tricks usually reserved for apex predators and monsters, especially inexperienced DMs should *very* carefully read this one, lest it prove too much for them. On the other hand, one may argue that the "KILL THE DRAGON!!!"-factor, social stigma etc. can help quite a bit streamlining this one further.



For me personally, the pdf clocks in at 4 stars due to aforementioned minor hick-ups and my own mentality towards when to play dragons as PCs (In short: Not in my campaign.); As a reviewer, I have to applaud the significant task and achievement that this pdf represents - streamlining the collective of dragonkind into an actually rather well-crafted race that should work perfectly in most campaigns that take up the theme of draconic PCs. As such, this would be a 4.5 stars file, due to the minor issues here and there, but one I grudgingly have to round up - the tanimin's flavor is too interesting, the options too varied and the racial paragon class ultimately, too cool to ignore or even call "only" good. DMs - to properly judge the impact of this class, don't just stare pale-faced at the potential calculated damage output of a full attack; Instead, make a PC, run the character to ye average module (NOT a simulated fight in a vacuum)- you'll see what I'd call intangible (i.e. non-math) balance factors - which for once, work in favor of this book.

Congratulations to Wendall Roy for pulling off this stunt - consider me definitely looking forward to the planned expansion!

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
In The Company of Dragons (PFRPG)
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Lords of Gossamer & Shadow (Diceless)
by Paxton K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/06/2014 10:57:17
Jewelers' rouge works like gunpowder? Well. that preconceived notion cost me a few of years of reading Amber. Fortunately, Christmas and a girlfriend who accepted role playing games as presents changed my life forever. I remember going through "dice withdrawal" and trying to roll things that were not in my hand.
Amber Diceless changed gaming for me forever. The first campaign was two years and my character diary became impossible to carry. My girlfriends Trump Deck had become similarly problematic. I had often thought that it would be fantastic to try and use a "non-Amber" setting. I gave Lords of Gossamer and Shadow a rating of 4, mostly because Amber was a 5. They did a fantastic job with the rules and setting; but it lacked some of the motivations that being of the Royal Family of Amber had. The right GM and players could possibly tie a good story together; but The Grand Staircase, itself does not bind players the way being related does. It also seemed that all the characters presented had a "Cold War Style" escalation of toys. Not only do these create a "point sink"; but it focuses to much attention on "out gearing" each other. It can not be done. Amber nicely kept the focus away from this trend. Pattern Sword, Trump Deck and a "gifted" riding crop were all that was required, the rest was out in Shadow somewhere waiting for you. Access to the Stairs also seemed fairly limited in Lords of Gossamer and Shadow and did not have that feel of "Shifting Shadow". The war for the stair also did not have the "feel" of Amber, Order verses Chaos; but with no clear right or wrong, except both were required. Lords of Gossamer and Shadow had an "ancient enemy" that seems to be clearly bad guys but very two dimensional with conquest for conquest's sake alone. So, criticism done. Should you buy this product? If you are a fan of Amber, it has some very useable ideas. This could make a very interesting "new power". If you are have not played Amber, this is a chance to discover some of the real depths of role-playing. It is not in anyway like any other gaming book, except Amber itself. Even if you never play it, because it does require the right group, it still forms part of a cornerstone that every RPer should have. It is not about how many "inches" a fireball will travel. It is about beating Benedict's record for holding the Alamo.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Lords of Gossamer & Shadow (Diceless)
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101 Not So Simple Monster Templates (13th Age)
by Nicholas B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/29/2014 17:54:08
Original review: http://realmsofchirak.blogspot.com/2014/10/rite-designs-reac-
hes-13th-age-with-101.html

This crept up rather innocuously on rpgnow.com (and its other drivethrurpg site). Rite Publishing has done a lot of stuff for Pathfinder over the last few years, most of it good or notable as 3PP resources go. This foray into the 13th Age is no exception, and actually the first really cool 3PP resources I've stumbled across that's worth a review and mention.

101 Not So Simple Monster Templates provides exactly what it indicates: one hundred and one templates you can overlay on existing 13th Age creatures. The templates follow the standard set in the 13th Age core rules, which is basically additional features or modifications that enhance or change the existing creature (so, standard D20 system stuff). Unlike some of the existing monster templates in the game, these offer a really wide range of the strange and familiar all at once.

Want a kyton-bound minotaur? Here you go. Are you determined to stat out that homeless, legless beggar? Add the legless template. Eager to take out your party with an exploding manticore? Add the Pyrrhic template. There's some good stuff here.

All of these templates are concise and too the point, except for the ones that are really complicated or offer a lot of specific detail such as the winterwight, walking fortress, grim reaper or bloodshackle templates.

Some of the templates add in some "D&Disms" to 13th Age currently absent or under-represented. If you've been missing crypt things in your game, you can make all sorts of them with the appropriate template. The aforementioned kyton-bound, constructed, divine, phase, and others will fill in needed gaps.

All of the templates offer definitely flavor and make for interesting and distinct creatures....for the right mix of encounter stew, naturally. A few could be the basis of entire plot lines (I'm thinking a kyton-bound template would open up all sorts of interesting denizen concepts for a visit to the City of Chains, for example).

Anyway, if you're a 13th Age junkie like me this is a PDF well worth checking out. I've printed out my copy for easy access at the table in my next planned 13th Age campaign (coming soon!)

Rite Designs has a sample on their blog if you'd like to see a bit for free.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
101 Not So Simple Monster Templates (13th Age)
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Lucien's Guide: The Black Files (Diceless)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/28/2014 04:07:25
An Endzeitgeist.com review

If you read this review, one of the following is true:



1. You're me. Hello, handsome devil!

2. I have shared this information with you - don't screw this up!

3.You have stolen this homepage - I have been notified of your identity and location.

4. You have killed me. Good for you, but you have eliminated the ward that left a whole bunch of nastiness in check.

5. I have died and you took up my mantle - good for you, but I hope I've had the chance to provide the keys, because I wasn't joking in 4.

...

This intro mirrors (in less vivid prose) how this guide begins - to give you an inkling of the level of quality of the writing. The pdf clocks in at 14 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 12 pages of raw content, so what is contained in these pages?



This pdf blasts off with a rant that actually had me laugh - on the nature of scholarship and misidentifying artifact and relics as Typhonian - only to provide what can only be called a cornucopia of diverse theories regarding the nature of Typhonians - as in the best of LoGaS-supplements, the content herein is all about potential - the theories are provided with cues to what is or may be true, but no universal monolithic truth is prescribed - we receive ideas: How the Typhonians and the grand stair interact, for example. What actually constitutes a Typhonian as to opposed what makes one an Echidnan - the added diversity makes for a truly compelling addition to the lore.



The second file contains information on a civilization kind of lost - the Ildari. A vast star-spanning empire that has been subject to a cataclysm, much like Warhammer 40 K's empire, it still looms strong, if not as powerful as before - having mastered space travel, the Ildari may make for a cool addition to one's world, especially since the Grand Stair as an alternative (including the opposition that uses it) may very well see a massive conflict brewing...awesome! Especially since proper mechanics for Ildari supplement the information provided -secret realms, arrays and cosmos make for great additions for the DM to weave stories around!



The third file kicks off with an amusing rant on the cliché of an evil overlord who called himself "Harbinger" - alas, the irreverent tone of the narrator is only half justified - unlike many similar pseudo-villains that think they're big shots until a Gossamer Lord/Lady puts them in their place, this guy actually had a very powerful patron - an entity called Matekai. This entity gobbles up world. Yes. And the irreverent tone might be justified, but on the other hand, this creature may be a Typhonian...or something completely different.



Speaking of different (and to me, profoundly frightening) - Basta. A plant that controls the biome of its whole world, the size of a town, which must have consumed an entity of significant power, receiving impossible knowledge. Worse, its strange psychology makes for a difficult decision on whether it is benign or simply amoral...and it's rooting on other planets.... *shudders*



The modification Basta-controlled for worlds and attributes for lesser and greater basta are provided.



A total of 4 diverse mini-hooks of outstanding Black Files are also provided before we're introduced to the Black Office -and the caretaker of the files, one lady Kitabu, fully portrayed in all her glory as an NPC servant of Lucien.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no glitches. Layout adheres to Rite Publishing's two-column full-color standard for LoGaS and the pdf comes studded with GLORIOUS full-color artwork of the highest quality. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.



It is, in one word, ASTOUNDING how many awesome ideas Rob Donoghue has managed to cram into these pages - the content herein is universally inspiring, top-notch, and each and every Black File quoted herein can fuel an adventure, perhaps even a campaign. This book is one brilliant, superb supplement full of awesome ideas and should be considered not only a great buy for LoGaS-fans, but also for any DMs looking for inspiration (or simply a good read!) beyond what one usually receives in pdfs.



Final verdict? A must-buy LoGaS-pdf, well worth 5 stars + seal of approval!

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Lucien's Guide: The Black Files (Diceless)
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Lords of Gossamer & Shadow: Gossamer Heroes (Diceless)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/26/2014 03:09:14
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This LoGaS-supplement is 12 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, leaving us with 10 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?



This pdf kicks off with a short introduction to the matter at hand - namely, the depiction of new player characters, readily generated at the suggestions of Kickstarter-patrons to serve as player characters. hence, by intention and to allow for a user-base as wide as possible, the characters herein have a limited breadth of powers, which should not be considered a detriment, though.



So, who do we get? First of them would be Cordelia - a kind of pirate-queen/gossamer lady studded with quite an array of different unique magical items - sword, armor, crown, etc., she is a lightning swashbuckling lady.



Grendel is a master of the umbra and believes to have potentially reincarnated into his current form, offering quite a few nice built-in roleplaying opportunities. Harrison is a totally different breed - a veteran of a war-torn world, his warwalker (a mech more than 10 ft. high) sports its very own personality to complement the monocle-wearing gentleman-pilot.



1st rank Psyche Jessamyn may be pictured as a progressive lady of a neo-victorian bent and true mistress of sorcery, bent on further improving her impressive powers -as a nice nod, she is directly tied in to the legendary Lucien.



Lowen would be something for fans of Shadowrun et al - born on a world of high techno-magical progress and teeming, never-ending sprawls, this powerful man sports a suit which renders him a superb assassin and combatant...and a crystal arm that acts as a prosthetic. Have I mentioned his mastery of eidolon?



Moreltheus is a master of umbra wholly unlike Jessamyn - devoted to eradicate all traces of his (or her? or its? It's supposed to be a guy, but then again...all that is written may be misinformation...) former existence, this entity is god-king to his (or her...or its...) personal Hollow World of dinosaurs, reigning there as a god-king.



Natasha would be a true warrior queen and mistress of wrighting, born and raised to rule and a background of privilege, she is indulging her curiosity. Reevard would, on the other hand, be 1st rank warfare and should be considered a light-hearted trickster - including shapechanging garments and a demonic servitor side-kick.



Taltos, 1st rank endurance, would be more grim - a veteran of wars against the ghoul-king of his home realm, he saw courage and ideals fail and, after destroying the legendary foe, has taken as a mercenary to the Grand Stair. Oh, and he is allied with the Dwimmerlaik empress.



Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are good, but not as good as in most LoGaS supplements - I noticed e.g. an instance of a verb missing and similar minor glitches. Nothing game-breaking, though. Layout adheres to Rite Publishing's two-column full-color standard for LoGaS and the supplement sports one stunning full-color artwork for each and every character herein, many of which I haven't seen before - rather impressive. And, ladies - the female characters herein actually have PROPER armor. Kudos! The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience and also with a second more printer-friendly version.



Jason Durall provides a cool array of compelling heroes herein -interesting characters that have the basic stats ready and offer enough of a blank slate to develop in multiple directions. In fact, all of the heroes herein could be developed into villains or act simply as the emergency pregen if a PC does die and the player has no time (or inclination) to build a new one. That's perhaps the thing here - while character-death is uncommon in LoGaS (as opposed to more dice-happy RPGs), it can happen. And while LoGaS is very new-player friendly, requiring no mastery of x rule-books to get, this pdf does provide quite a benefit for new players - just hand them one character and teach them as they go - all is done, all convenient - neat pregens indeed! Add to that the built-in hooks and we get quite an interesting, diverse array. One can also see that the characters themselves are essentially commissioned, though - some just feel a tad more common and slightly less compelling to me than others - Grendel, Jessamyn and Lowen resonate with me just a tad bit more since their personalities shine a bit more through.



If you don't want your pregens to come with too much background, this pdf will be straight 5 stars for you. If you do prefer some more hooks and pieces of information regarding the character you'll be playing, if only to ignore (or inspire you), then you may stand before these stats wishing you'd have a tad bit more to develop. What is there can be ignored, but what isn't can't be rated. Hence, my final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded down to 4 for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Lords of Gossamer & Shadow: Gossamer Heroes (Diceless)
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Addendum: Empathy (Diceless)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/13/2014 07:42:17
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf clocks in at 14 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, leaving us with 12 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?



This supplement details a new Lesser Power for LoGaS, namely empathy. the power costs 30 points and is based on Psyche, though long-term use also makes endurance important. As you probably have gleaned by now, Empathy allows you to open a gate to other minds, for better and for worse - causing or diminishing pain, even controlling lesser minds becomes possible, but at a risk - the channel opened goes two ways and makes one susceptible to psychic attacks, Icons and magic in general - empaths better tread carefully, especially when faced by the Dwimmerlaik's channeling. On the upside, they have an easier time with invocations since they can *relatively* easily glean True Names.



It should be noted that Empathy is neither aligned with Umbra, nor Eidolon and available to all. So how does it work? Well, first, one requires an empathic link - more of a passive ability that requires line of sight or similar long-range means of establishing contact. Sensing psyches, auras and reading items becomes possible. Mind reading and sensing thoughts and probing minds have already been hinted at in my above explanation. Where there's detection, there better ought to be hiding and camouflaging one's psyche becomes a distinct opportunity, just as well as the sending of messages or the manipulation of emotions.



Now if that is not enough for you, for 50 points you can instead gain advanced empathy to enter an empathic, problem-solving trance, increase healing, transfer energy from minds and environment, control lesser minds and even gain a measure of prescience.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are good, though not as good as in most Rite Publishing books - I noticed sentences with verbs missing and minor formatting glitches, though nothing that would break the book. Layout adheres to the gorgeous full-color two-column standard of LoGaS-releases and the copious original pieces of artwork are impressive and stunning. The pdf comes fully bookmarked with nested bookmarks.



Jason Durall's Empathy is a cool ability to have in LoGaS and comes with quite a lot of interactions with established abilities - and it covers most bases. Now where it somewhat falls flat is with regards to the Typhonians - being essentially fragments of a larger entity, some advice on handling empathy with regards to these extremely compelling adversaries, especially since these fragments potentially can be played, would have been helpful . That being said, this is me being nitpicky and chances are, you won't have an issue here. The ability per se is well-constructed and hence, my final verdict will clock in at a solid 4 stars - a good, if not perfect addition to LoGaS.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Addendum: Empathy (Diceless)
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10 Paladin Magic Items (PFRPG)
by Trev W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/10/2014 21:30:08
This is a short review for a compact product. If you are playing a warrior of justice, kicking in doors and smiting the lowly and malevolent, this is the book for you. If you are dming for a paladin player or a group of paladins then this will make the game more fun—although they may argue over who gets the cool new items.

To the magic items themselves, they are pretty potent. We have weapons and wondrous items, boots, a bracer and even a tabard. I liked that the bracers, gauntlets and ring had varying levels of power and abilities, so they can come into a high or low level game. That type of consideration for the players is great to see. My favourite would probably be the Ring of Honour’s Justice. It really punishes those that use “cowardly” attacks upon the wearer. This includes ranged attacks! A lot of thought went into this, and for those that fight fair and honourably against those that do not, it can really even the playing field. It can curse and debuff, and its greater version truly handicaps a coward. Which, could actually leading to the enemy being more cowardly to try and win and escape. So using the ring will really add something to games. There is also an artifact, and yes, it is potent.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
10 Paladin Magic Items (PFRPG)
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Publisher Reply:
Trev, Thanks for taking the time to do a review Steve Russell Rite Publishing
Faces of the Tarnished Souk: Dread Captain Miraxa, Queen Corsair of the Slumbering Sea (PFRPG)
by Mike F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/08/2014 20:49:50
For the sake of full disclosure: I received a free copy of this product in exchange for promising to write a review.

Dread Captian Miraxa: Queen of the Slumbering Sea

This is an 18-page black-and-white supplement. It presents the title NPC at three different challenge ratings: CR 21, CR 14, and CR 7. It also includes several additional items in support of the character: A new race (the Draken), complete with full alternate favored class options; 5 character archetypes; 9 feats (most of which are "horrifically overpowered" feats, which are essentially monster templates); and 4 magic items (one of which is presented in standard, lesser, and greater versions).

I chose this character as a potential additional NPC for my Skull and Shackles game. I did not realize that the character was going to be built around the "horrifically overpowered feats," which kind of rub me the wrong way. As monster templates, I can see their value, but I usually prefer my NPCs to be built around normal class options. I was also not that big a fan of the new Draken race.

Those complaints aside, the character's background and personality are very interesting. I can very much envision how to run this character if I chose to introduce her in my campaign. However, there's enough about the design philosophy of this character that doesn't sit well with me that I'd end up redesigning her significantly-- and if I'm going to do that, I might as well design my own character.

Overall-- interesting character that relies on some new rules I'm not fully on board with. This character would not easily plug into my game, but would do well in a game whose GM has more of an "anything goes" attitude that I do.

Overall: If you're looking for a very unusual pirate captain for your game, this is a decent choice.

Good overall, but doesn't knock my socks off.

3 stars.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Faces of the Tarnished Souk: Dread Captain Miraxa, Queen Corsair of the Slumbering Sea (PFRPG)
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Pathways #43 (PFRPG)
by Ben S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/08/2014 04:12:32
Pathways is always a good source for game ideas. I pick up each and every one that comes out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Pathways #43 (PFRPG)
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#30 Mercenary Companies (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/04/2014 04:25:03
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This supplement clocks in at 23 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD and 2 pages of advertisements, leaving us with 18 pages of content, so let's take a look!



I *love* Ultimate Campaign. It's one of my most favorite PFRPG-books and I just don't get why, in spite of Legendary Games' expansions being rather popular, there hasn't been that much support for e.g. kingdom-building, mass combat and downtime rules. And here we go to partially remedy that conundrum - Liz Smith delivers a total of 30 different mercenary companies as armies to drop and insert into your campaign - which btw. includes mixed population-rules for companies.



The respective company statblocks feature information on the respective resources, banners and even come with lore-DC and proper descriptions of the armies in addition to the basic army statblocks for the companies. Now what makes these entries actually nice to read beyond the crunch would be the fact that the descriptions are provided in well-written in-character prose a DM can easily paraphrase to introduce the companies into his/her game.



From cadres of vile killers to buccaneers, chivalrous knights, dwarven cavalry and even a cadre of guardian lycanthropes that demand their tithe in the old and sick, the pdf's respective companies run the gamut from uncommon and at times, even suffused with a very subtle rumor here and there - sorcerors, eagle + griffon riders...we receive a cool, diverse array of creatures herein.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, but not perfect - I noticed some minor glitches, but none that made the content harder to understand. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience and the pdf comes with thematically-fitting stock art that fits perfectly with the theme of the pdf.



Liz Smith delivers herein -with glorious sample units that not only provide statblocks, but also fluff and story-hooks galore - the armies herein are fun and unique and deliver hooks and ideas beyond the obvious utility of the statblocks. In the absence of complaints or the like and thanks to the great writing and more than fair price-point, I'll gladly settle on a final verdict of 5 stars + seal of approval for this pdf. Any campaign using mass combat should get these.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
#30 Mercenary Companies (PFRPG)
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Faces of the Tarnished Souk: Elspeth Black, Executive Officer of Blackblade (PFRPG)
by John O. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/22/2014 02:37:34
This short PDF is about 13 pages long, 1 for the cover, 1 for the credits, 1 for the SRD, 2 pages for ads, leaving 8 pages to actually talk about Elspeth Black.

There are 3 different stat blocks for Elspeth at various stages of her career, as an Agent, an Operative, and an Executive Officer, which take up 4 pages altogether. I don't know Psionics, so I can't comment on how well built she is mechanically, but I do like that her tactics across all 3 versions remain consistent. Also, her high-level versions have tactics that say she likes to hang back and bark orders to her minions, which normally means nothing to a non-bard, but there are feats included in this book to make that tactic do something.

There are three feats in this book, which vary from okay to pretty good. There are two magic item properties included, Reshaping and Weightless. The former is essentially a glamer that can look like anything, not just normal clothes. The latter does exactly what it says, makes the armor weightless as well as some extra effects that come with that (less Armor Check Penalty, more Max Dex, less Arcane Spell Failure). Both interesting, but I'm not sure the Weightless is worth the +2 enhancement bonus that it costs.

There are a few magic items included. Three are a series of keys that let the user travel between planes, and one are a set of gloves that provide a bonus to Use Magic Device.

Elspeth has a sentient psicrystal, which also comes with three statblocks to match Elspeth's progression. An interesting sidebar is provided on the psicrystal's personality and how it tries to influence Elspeth.

Finally, there's one page provided that provides some details about Elspeth's personality and goals, as well as ways to use her in adventures. Some information is also provided about the organization of Blackblade itself. There's not nearly as much information as I was hoping for, though. Blackblade is fairly simple (an extraplanar mercenary group), but Elspeth is a fairly interesting character and I would've rather had an extra page or so to learn about her than one of the statblocks, or the gigantic picture of a fist on page 8.

Overall, my feelings are a little mixed about this PDF. I wish there was more information about Elspeth and less mechanics in here, and due to that lack of information I don't see myself getting much use out of this, but what *is* here is done fairly well. My final rating is basically a compromise between "this is done pretty well" and "this isn't what I was hoping for."

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Faces of the Tarnished Souk: Elspeth Black, Executive Officer of Blackblade (PFRPG)
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Faces of the Tarnished Souk: Primus Gearheart, the Clockwork King (PFRPG)
by Chris J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/20/2014 15:57:46
I have purchased quite a number of things from Rite Publishing – however this is my first glimpse into the Tarnished Souk. I should preface this by stating that the author offered me a copy of this product in exchange for this review.

I really enjoyed reading about the Clockwork King, Primus Gearheart. The description made him seem like a very vivid and engaging NPC with unique goals and insight. After reading the first page I wanted to read more about Black Glass Spade and the Jack of Diamonds. The Clockwork King seemed like he would be a very interesting NPC for PCs to encounter and interact with. The description page also offered a number of ways to have Primus interact with a party – which seems particularly helpful.

The endless stat blocks that followed were something of a disappointment. An immortal golem sorcerer with a superb armor class and some really neat and terrifying attacks is not what I was expecting. The stat blocks present three very formidable combat opponents – which is fine. In fact if I need some really devastating opponents for a party the stat blocks for Primus Gearheart (at three different CR’s) would be excellent. Though I would probably replace all the non-combat feats and skills with things more relevant to inflicting maximum damage and destruction on the PCs. And I think that is the problem here. After reading the first page I wasn’t looking for a devastating martial and arcane opponent for the party. I was looking for an engaging NPC, building intelligent constructs in his workshop and pinning for his unrequited love. And while the NPC stat blocks presented could probably do that – that didn’t seem to be their focus. I get that sorcerers need to have a high Charisma – the description provided doesn’t sound like someone with a Charisma of 27. Granted that this is when he is CR21, but even at CR7 a CHA18 seems wildly out of character. Frankly the stat blocks didn’t match the description.

I know that Pathfinder is all about beating on monsters and I probably shouldn’t expect anything different, but the first page of this NPC set me up to expect something unique and flavorful which the following pages failed to deliver. And while I am tempted by what else the Tarnished Souk might contain in terms of roleplaying potential – I’m cynical enough to think that it will perhaps only offer the usual “beat on the next monster” fare.

If you are looking for three kick-ass opponents for your PCs – Primus Gearheart is an okay choice. The stat blocks would need to be tweaked for optimization. Primus Gearheart’s description provides a potentially interesting role-playing opportunity but fails to survive “let’s turn everything into a combat encounter”.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Faces of the Tarnished Souk: Primus Gearheart, the Clockwork King (PFRPG)
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101 Not So Simple Monster Templates (13th Age)
by Sylvain B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/19/2014 12:06:41
This product provides a wide variety of templates which can be easily applied to13th Age creatures to add flavour to the game and keep players on their toes. Some of the templates, such as Stealthy, are more mundane in nature while others, such as Winterwight, veer toward the fantastic. Some of them add or subtract to the creature's effective level. For example, the Cowardly template reduces the creature's level by 1.

The pdf is well laid out with a piece of quality color artwork on most every page. I appreciate the fact that the creature illustrations showcase some of the templates described within. For those concerned with the artwork's offensiveness, the cover's picture of a pixie might be considered the "worst" of the product, although I personally don't find it out of place to illustrate the subject. I did not bother to count but, cover aside, the gender representation also appears to be fair at first glance.

All in all, although a bit pricey for the page count, it offers useful content to help GMs balance-out encounters and get more mileage out of their creature roster. I would award it 3.5 stars if I could but will round my score up to 4 stars because I can't get enough 13th Age goodness.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
101 Not So Simple Monster Templates (13th Age)
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Publisher Reply:
Thank you for taking the time to do a review of our product. Steven D. Russell Rite Publishing
101 Swamp Spells (PFRPG)
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/09/2014 07:15:39
If ever your party takes it into its head to visit a swamp, you can make life very... ah, interesting for them if your swamp denizens have access to the spells herein. A spellcasting character who lives in a swampy area or came from/studied there might also wish to incorporate at least some of them into his spellbook, although many are not of much use if you are not in a swamp at the time.

Others however - like a huge array of fog effects - will come in handy wherever you are. Fancy a boiling or freezing fog, or one which has soporific effects on characters trapped in it? Or maybe you'd like to be able to relocate yourself from point to point within a fog bank... all these and more are here.

One of the most useful is a 0th-level Druid spell, Stepping Stone. This brings a solid foothold into existence just where and when you need it by causing a stone to emerge under your feet to give you somewhere to stand. There have been times when poking around in swamps when I would have found that useful!

Most of the spells will be splendid if you are running a swamp-based adventure, all manner of effects to throw at the party that both fit their surroundings and which will be totally new to them. It's almost worth writing a swamp adventure to try them out!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
101 Swamp Spells (PFRPG)
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