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In The Company of Dragons (5E)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/21/2016 05:43:35

An Endzeitgeist.com review

The conversion to 5e of the massive book on playable dragons clocks in at 29 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 2 pages of advertisement, which leaves us with 24 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?

Okay, so the first thing you need to know as a 5th edition player - the In the Company of...-series started off as a PFRPG-exclusive line of unusual races that codified monstrous races as balanced player options, often utilizing a class to represent progression into becoming a proper full-blown member of that race. This class was optional and thus allowed you to play the race sans progressing in it, at the cost of losing the ability-progression you'd associate with the respective monstrous entity. In the Company of Dragons was arguably the biggest of these books and will become even bigger soon, with an upgraded kickstarted version waiting in the wings.

You have to know a couple of other things: I LOATHE the concept of playing dragons. As a person. I hate it. Seriously. Not as much as I hate Dragonlance and dragon companions, but still. I want my dragons to be the huge, big, bad bosses, the nigh-unbeatable army-squashing apex-predators. It's a personal thing, though and, diligent review that I am, I actually reviews the original ItC:Dragons. And, picture me saying this through gritted teeth...I actually really liked it. Damn.

Why? Well, the reasons for this are manifold, but at least partially are found in the superb in-game prose provided: You see, Rite Publishing's crunch books tend to be actually good reading experiences. I know, odd, right? Kidding aside, ItC-books are written from the perspective of a member of a given race, which here would be the taninim -a kind of proto-dragon that lives in an isolated area/demiplane/suit your needs-type of locale (hence allowing easy integration into a given campaign setting), roughly aligned with Rite Publishing's Questhaven setting that is assumed as the backdrop of all their books. Before you groan - integration into just about any setting is dead simple - no big hassle required. So yeah, by making this decision, the author managed to make dragons viable sans making wimps out of the dragons our players came to fear.

Here's the next thing, though: Beyond this interesting narrative framework, the dragons depicted herein actually also, in the PFRPG-version, had a fearsome array of power and customization options to tailor-make just about any type of dragon you wanted...and they were pretty high up on the PFRPG-power-scale. (In play, this did even somewhat out since most people will try to take down the big, nigh-impossible to overlook dragon...) Anyways, enough of a history lesson - why should you care? Well, as you may have noticed, 5e has a bit of a different design aesthetic and power-level than PFRPG: A conversion of such magnificent beasts has to walk a very thin line indeed...but does it succeed?

Well, racial traits-wise, taninim get Con and Cha-increases by +1, darkvision, proficiency in in Perception and Insight and may hold weapons in your claws, but make attacks with them at disadvantage and only walk half your speed. The quadruped stature of taninim means that your slot-array is changed and they get a bite that uses Strength and deals 1d4 piercing damage...oddly sans gaining proficiency in the bite. 3 subraces are provided - truescales get +1-increases to Str and Wis and a "fly" speed of 30 feet. That should be flying speed in 5e. In a formatting glitch, Deadly Tail is written twice and nets you 1d8 (2d8 if Large or greater in size) Strength-governed bludgeoning with a range of 10 ft....as a bonus action. Not "as a bonus action when making a melee attack". As a bonus action. Oh, and you get a wing attack that deals 10-ft.-AoE-damage to nearby foes and has the potential to knock them prone on a failed Dex save with DC being governed by Strength.

Lung dragons get an increase of Strength by 2 and walking as well as climbing speed of 40 feet as well as +1 natural armor and spines that deal damage to creatures grappling the lung. Lung are proficient with their claws and deal 1d6 base damage with them. Feykin dragons increase their Dexterity by 2 and are of a tiny size, with a base walking speed of 20 ft and a fly speed of 30 feet. They gain advantage on saves versus being charmed and "cannot be put to sleep." They also learn one sorceror-cantrip governed by Charisma.

So, base-race-wise, we do have an issue here - base flying speed. Now while there already are precedents for flying races in 5e, a GM should take heed in this regard and always remember what great targets those flying PCs make... Apart from the minor hiccups mentioned, though, this iteration of the taninim can be considered a well-crafted option.

The pdf also provides class options: The Scaled Juggernaut fighter gets a new fighting style, namely claws and scale - which nets proficiency with claws (base damage 1d8) and also nets you +1 AC. Claws are improved at 7th level, increasing their base damage and making them count as magical. 3rd level nets you resistance to fire and cold and adaption to extreme temperatures. 10th level provides proficiency in all saving throws and at 15th level, you can combine a Dash with a melee attack that can drop foes prone on a failed save and at 18th level, these juggernauts can make claw attacks after reducing a foe to 0 HP - as a free action. 5e usually codifies this type of behavior with bonus actions.

The dread white worm, the undragon of taninim myth, also gets a new cleric domain - with generally solid spell-selections and the option to use channel divinity to consume damage you incur. Any amount of damage. God-strike of deadly annihilation? No problem...at least if you still have a channel divinity uses left. Personally, I would have prefered a scaling amount of damage absorbed here - absolute "I absorb everything"-type of abilities tend to cause issues sooner or later. 2/day, you can, at 6th level, disgorge a massive swarm of nasty grubs. Pretty awesome - at 17th level, when failing a death saving throw, you can spend your reaction to reassemble your body at full HP, at the cost of suffering "1 point of exhaustion" - which should be "level of exhaustion." The ability can only be used 1/day - but still: Damn cool.

Sorcerors may elect to become trueblood sorcerors, gaining a draconic essence (more on that later) at 1st level, but there is a chance of material components being consumed in you casting spells - and yes, this means that these sorceror have to eat the components before casting spells...which can btw. result in rather hilarious roleplaying for the more disgusting components. These sorcerors also get a breath weapon with short rest recharge that increases in potency and can be improved via "sorceror points" - which do not exist - that should be "Sorcery Points". Higher levels increase these potencies and unlock a second draconic essence.

The pdf also contains the conversion of aforementioned racial paragon class, obviously - the draconic exemplar, who gets d12 HD and no armor, weapon or tool proficiencies with saves being Str and Int and three skills chosen from Arcana, Athletics, History, Insight, Intimidation, Nature, Persuasion and Survival. The class gets no starting equipment, but begins play with proficiency in claws that scale from 1d6 to 1d12. Claws can be used as an attack action AND as a bonus action. You also get an AC of 10 + Dex-mod+Con-mod, courtesy of your scales. Your size increases at 5th level from Small to Medium, then by one step every 5 levels thereafter, with corresponding weight increase. Similarly each increases by +5 ft. at 10th level and 20th level. As a minor complaint, I think Lung taninim should probably get some replacement benefit here. Bite attacks scale up from 1d6 to 2d10 in base damage. The base class also provides a draconic gift - 3 are provided and grant abilities at 1st, 6th, 11th and 17th level. The Gift of the Behemoth allows you to regain hit points (short rest recharge) as a bonus action and renders you immune to being frightened. Personally, I think Pinion Strike needs a save - striking a foe with an opportunity attack automatically sens the creature prone to the floor...which is a bit...well. Odd. Flinging foes sans dealing damage is cool and trampling foes similarly rocks.

Gift of the ancients provides elemental bonus damage to bite and claws (OUCH) as well as a shield and reflecting magic that targets you back at the caster is nasty. While this is wording-wise pretty much in line with established wording, it imho could have used a bit of clarification regarding AoE-effects for e.g. spells like fireball etc. - since 5e got rid of the "target"-line in the spell-statblock, this can otherwise be a bit problematic/cause confusion. Not a bad gripe, mind you, but one I noticed. The gift also nets you an elemental aura. The gift of the third eye provides a charming gaze that improves over the levels. On a nitpicky side, the 6th level ability's light should probably specify the spellcasting attribute for it on a design aesthetic level, but as written, it is functional.

The class also undergoes dracomorphosis, which is the name for all the aforementioned attack/size/weight-increases - with feykin dragons gaining the option to ignore them for spells based on Cha gained instead and advantage on Dexterity (Stealth)-checks. I already mentioned draconic essence - these basically determine sclae-color, damage type of your breath weapon and its shape and also offer a compulsion, basically a drawback - to e.g. have to save when trying to retreat, etc. - a total of 20 such essences are provided and allow you to tailor the chassis to generate the taninim you want to make. Aforementioned breath weapon is, fyi, unlocked at 2nd level and 3rd level provides a single alternate humanoid form so your taninim doesn't have to wait outside the dungeon that's too small for him. Ability score improvements work as usual and extra attacks are gained at 5th and 14th level. 7th level provides advantage on initiative rolls and 9th renders your claws magical. At 13th level, you can crush foes beneath you and at 18th, you get a terrifying roar - recharge durations for these class features make sense.

The pdf provides also a significant selection of feats and while their formatting looks rather Pathfinder-ish, they still very much are products of 5e - i.e. they provide significant benefits, usually more than one...and if they provide only one benefit...well, then they at least offer one brutal benefit - take Appendage Severing. This one makes your bite crits incapacitate targets until the start of your next turn and makes them drop an item they're holding. Similarly, size-increases for non-paragon-class taninim are cool and necessary feats like Flyby Attack are included - though here, the wording could be clearer - "If you target a creature with a melee attack, you no longer provoke opportunity attacks when you fly out of that creature's reach." All right. For how long? As written, one attack suffices to never provoke opportunity attacks from that target again -which is clearly not the intent. A high-level, balanced option to decapitate foes can be btw. also found here - and yes, it has legendary action, head-less etc. caveats.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good on a formal level, slightly less refined on a rules-level - while the basic rules-language is precise and to the point, there are some minor hiccups to be found here. Layout adheres to Rite Publishing's two-column full-color standard and the pdf sports a ton of glorious dragon-artworks in full-color. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

Wendall Roy and Joe Trotter's conversion of this book to 5e proved to be honestly much better than I imagined it would be - the taninim as an intricate, customizable power-house have been transported well to the 5e-rules and generally are a fun race to play...but also, much like in PFRPG, a very strong race. While I'd hesitate to call it overpowered, the race itself is certainly on the strong side and honestly, when comparing lung with truescales, I think the lung got the short end of the stick. There are some components that I consider to be a bit strong, with most of them being that due to bonus actions for additional attacks not being tied to melee, allowing for a bit to much flexibility for my tastes. As for rules-language, while there are some minor Pathfinderisms herein, these do not unduly impede the functionality of the options presented herein.

All in all, this is a well-crafted, if not perfect conversion of an exceedingly hard to convert book and as such, this must be called impressive. Still, with the couple of flaws noted throughout the review, I can't award this my highest honors. Hence, my final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, roundd down to 4 for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
In The Company of Dragons (5E)
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Rite Map Pack: Coastal Region
by Jeremy B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/08/2016 18:16:58

Yet another high quality product from the folks at Rite Publishing. This 3rd party publisher produces some of the most impressive content on DTRPG. The cartography is excellently render. The PDF contains the full map and individually formatted sections of each map. It can be printed and pieced together for in person play. I have not tried to print and assemble, but it seems like it would be easy to do with the provided 1/2 inch overlap. Rite Publishing was also thoughtful to include black and white versions of the map pieces, helping to reduce printing costs for those on a budget.

I am a map junky and really appreciate this product. Its a beautifully designed region that is left blank, ready for the fertile mind of the DM and actions of the players.

5/5 stars. Definitely worth your coin!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Rite Map Pack: Coastal Region
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Book of Icons (13th Age Compatible)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/06/2016 05:36:19

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This massive pdf clocks in at 46 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with an impressive 42 pages of content, so let's take a look!

All right, at this point it's not a big secret that I'm not the biggest fan of 13th Age's vanilla icons - while recent installments of 13th Age Monthly and similar supplements have added dimensions to some of them, I still consider them to be a bit too archetypical. Similarly, the rather freeform approach to icons can be challenging for a GM, which is why this pdf provides pretty much a rather simple, yet more streamlined and concise nomenclature regarding icons and the interaction with them.

A proxy, for example, would be an NPC that serves as a reliable intermediary/liaison between PCs and icon, meaning that your low level PCs don't always get to hassle their icon, diminishing the effectiveness of actually interacting with them. An investment is a gift, an object or piece of information that provides a permanent advantage in the grand scheme of things, while an event would be a single occurrence that fits the theme of the respective icon. Similarly, the pdf provides the term of "thematic adjustment", which means that the GM reskins a given area to fit more closely with the themes of the respective icons.

As a nice nod to one of the cooler aspects of Rite Publishing's conversion of the superb Breaking of Forstor Nagar-module, the pdf also provides dead simple, elegant basic rules for hazardous terrain/attacks by the terrain. Two thumbs up!

Now before I get into the nit and grit of the respective icons featured within these pages, I'd be grossly negligent to mention an aspect that may well enhance your 13th Age GMing prowess, particularly if you are a relatively new GM - the rather handy step-by-step break-down and explanation of Relationship Dice and how to handle icons in the game. This section is VERY detailed and, particularly for GMs that aren't as good at improvising, pure gold - with advice on staging events, balance-considerations regarding aforementioned investments and thematic adjustments, it is a handy section to have, though one more experienced GMs won't require.

Now I mentioned new icons, so what's their schtick? Well, basically, the 6 new icons herein are based on 6 cards of Tarot's major arcana, with the first, the Fool being reimagined as the adventurer. (And yes, dear fans of the Persona-franchise, I'm thinking the same thing here and really want to expand that aspect...) The general presentation of the respective icons in this supplement sport information regarding heroic, ambiguous and villainous adventurers and d8 themes that can be mixed with the following to provide contexts relevant for the icon. Each of the icons sports a d6-table for proxies, events and investments that can be blended with the aforementioned leitmotif. Each of these d6-tables sports negative spins for the respective entries.

Based on the reversed fool, the revolutionary would be the next icon - where the adventurer is happy-go-lucky and all about the challenges in a given moment, the revolutionary is methodical and exists to take a stand - particularly in the regular 13th Age context with its plethora of established icons, this guys makes for an interesting addition as a more methodical wildcard. The order, in contrast, based on the Emperor-card, is, as the card shows, perhaps the most redundant of these - while one can envision it as a cabal that enforces the status quo, the obvious thematic overlap with the emperor icon and similar icons is apparent, though conflict between the two may make for an interesting narrative.

A similar duality can be seen with the Cult of One, based on the reversed emperor - this one is basically rooted in the belief of individual exceptionalism and can be used to spin it in a priestess-like believe in a messianic figure or twisted towards an ideology seeking to create a new species under an enlightened leadership...and history has certainly provided ample of examples how horribly wrong this type of ideology can turn out. The Monster, based on the devil arcana, would be an icon that is useful for the opposition: Brute, vile, tainting evil, this icon would be the mirthless, raving sledgehammer as opposed to the diabolist's razor or the crusader's pragmatic discipline - the icon of vile perversion, mutation and unwholesome change.

The more elegant and less overt evil icon herein, the tempter, also based on the devil arcana, could be bast summed up as the more subtle part of that, providing some overlap with the diabolist - basically, you can envision the methodology here as the devilish equivalent to the monster's demonic brute force, more Faustian than brute force.

This pdf does not stop with these icons, though: The book also sports some handy tools to add depth to the game, beginning with 10 abbreviated NPC-write-ups, several of which sport unique abilities alongside general guidelines and backgrounds as well as trappings. Beyond these, the book also sports no less than 7 sample organizations, ranging from the Fireworks, Demolishing and Quarry Blasting Company to the order of knight-hospitalers and adventurer guilds, the respective entries sport information on goals, structure, status and key areas of influence - but, as often, all may not be as it seems, which means that the GM is also presented with 6 secret agendas that include a claim for domination, being fronts for invaders from beyond and similar unpleasant, if classic twists.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to Rite Publishing's two-column full-color standard with nice, full-color artworks...though fans of Rite Publishing may have seen a couple of them before. The pdf comes fully bookmarked with nested bookmarks for your convenience.

Patryk Adamski's Book of Icons is a good read and particularly useful for less experienced GMs - anyone who has had issues with the presentation of icons in 13th Age and handling them in-game can consider this to be a useful, nice sourcebook - which is also pretty much the theme for this book: The general presentation of the new icons, NPCs etc. is overall solid, easy to grasp and well presented, providing some additional structure to the icon-rules, while retaining the flexibility championed by 13th Age. Novice GMs and those who had/expect to have issues with icons and relationship dice should consider this well worth the investment.

At the same time, while certainly not a bad book, personally, I didn't take much out of this book - as a longtime veteran GM and someone who can improvise PFRPG-statblocks and whole adventures, I had no issues adjusting to the icon-mechanics of 13th Age. The new icons presented herein, by necessity of them being setting-agnostic, felt a bit opaque to me and while I like the Tarot-idea, the restriction to only 3 cards means that the new icons on their own can't really replace a pantheon of existing icons - and, more jarringly to me, they offer quite a bit of serious thematic overlap with 13th Age's default icons - unnecessarily so, at least in my opinion. By emphasizing other aspects of e.g. the tempter or the order, they could have been made more distinct...but perhaps that's just me being spoiled and expecting something akin to what Icons of Parsantium or the Midgard icons delivered regarding facets and depth.

Please take my criticism of this book with a grain of salt, for, as mentioned above, I may simply not be the target audience - for less experienced GMs and those struggling with integrating icons, this pdf may well be a godsend, though veteran GMs get decidedly less out of this book. My final verdict will hence clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded down to 4 for the purpose of this platform - a good offering, though one that could have done a bit more to also provide material for the veterans.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Book of Icons (13th Age Compatible)
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Lucien's Guide: Legends & Lies (Diceless)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/28/2016 03:42:42

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Lucien's Guide-series for Rite Publishing's critically acclaimed Diceless system clocks in at 18 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, leaving us with 16 pages of content!

This pdf, presented as an account of famous Lucien, depicts various legends and ominous tales that make their rounds among the blessed beings capable of navigating the Grand Stair - generally, the respective entries begin with a brief legend that can be encountered, to then go on and discuss the truth...or one of it, behind the respective legend. The first of these we encounter would deal with Doorghuls - the legend of mimic-like creatures, masquerading as doors, waiting to swallow hapless travelers...

The second legend herein is a more complex one and one that will bring smiles to fans of the Dark Tower - it pertains the Fall of Gilead, reimagined as an inconceivably powerful world, one possibly shut down or destroyed by the Dwimmerlaik...or...well...perhaps they have chosen isolation? Instead of King's gunslingers, the fabled champions of this iteration of Gilead were the paladins and we do get concise rules for the 57 point paladin armor as a sample relic of fabled Gilead. By the way, have you heard about the darkened doors, that seemingly can't be opened, sealed from one side or another? For what reason, none can fathom...

Know how the Grand Stair is reasonably free of detritus? Well, in the drowned expanse, this is not the case, with partially and fully submerged doors leading...somewhere. To be more precise, the realms of a once unified lizard-like people called the Notar -and these fellows, as a whole race...can NATURALLY navigate the stairs. It's not rocket science to grasp the implications of such a race existing...and lets you gulp when thinking about the progenitors that engineered them. Lucien, btw., does not believe in the Old Ones that presumably exist beyond Eidolon and Umbra.

If you've read my review of the Gossamer World detailing the ramifications of colonization by the Incursion, you'll already be familiar with some of the problematic implications of this empire - which consider the Stair foremost a logistic problem - one they are methodically solving, step by step...and sure, their empire may have collapsed...but perhaps, they are just preparing themselves to rise...this time, with magic as well.

The legend of the infinite door is dismissed pretty quickly, but the nature of dragons and their interaction with the Stair...well, let's just say it's hard to find reliable sources. Oh, btw. - there is a section of the Grand Stair called God's Passage - where doors range from 60 ft - 200 ft....and if that doesn't unnerve you, you probably are a fool...particularly since they all lead to dead worlds, burning under a red sun. The pdf also talks about the forest of doors and Old Man Cavendish, who has lived through all tragedies of the Stair. Really cool: The cupboards - think of the Grand Stair, but only for interconnected cupboards...as though for mice or similar beings...

Finally, the pdf talks about broken stairs - the hypothesis being that the Grand Stair may shed sections of it, which then tumble as separate entities through time and space, but continue operating on a smaller scale...which is narrative gold.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no glitches. Layout adheres to Rite Publishing's two-column full-color standard with ample of high quality, glorious full-color art and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

Rob Donoghue's Lucien's Guide to Legends and Lies is a truly inspiring read that provides not only ample intriguing ideas and narrative potential, it also lets you ask some important questions pertaining the nature of the Grand Stair, while providing an indirect glimpse at the psychology of those that travel its expanses as a social entity. This is an inspired pdf and well worth a final verdict of 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Lucien's Guide: Legends & Lies (Diceless)
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In The Company of Unicorns (PFRPG)
by Trev W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/25/2016 17:26:17

This is an impressive book on bringing unicorns into your Pathfinder games. It begins with a conveyance of the unicorns’ sense of transcending and surviving great epochs of time, their experiences and what they learned, their roles since the beginning of time, and their derisive observations of those proud being that walk on two legs which harmed them and drove them into secrecy. We have presented information on unicorn society, relations with others, various types of unicorns: all that is needed to run unicorns and have them feel different with their own perspectives.

The base stats are presented, and the benefits are many and well thought out. Strangely they are listed as small, but height and weight are listed if they are medium or large. This makes more sense when you look to archetypes, and the unicorn hero at 5th level becomes medium size, and at 10th becomes large. The hero gains many bonus spells, feats, and altered abilities. The unicorn sorcerer was particularly well tailored, with the very nice bloodline powers, making the unicorn quite the adept supporting character to a party. The Arboreal equine, a ranger archetype for the unicorn, gets woodland stride at first level (very nice!) and stalk at level 7, fast stealth, would make the unicorn considerably sneaky. Your unicorn can easily fit different roles, and be of an existing class, or, a new class.

The Silvermane unicorn paragon has a plethora of “Alicorn” abilities. They get teleportation, changing shape, poison horn attacks, and natural armour. There are pages upon pages of abilities to customise your unicorn. The Alicorn bolt, a nice energy line attack is one that grows in power as the Silvermane levels, making it very useful in giving a reliable magic attack. I think the Silvermane would make a particularly strong player class with a great number of options in one class, and if I were throwing in a unicorn npc ally, or a unicorn as an enemy, I would make them a Silvermane. The book ends with feats and teamwork feats.

If you like unicorns you are going to want this. If you want to put unicorn spellcasters as friends or foes into your game, the rules are here. If your players may want to run unicorns of any class with new abilities, this will excite your players. There are a large number of rules, and a great deal of choice in what is used, and in how your unicorn develops. I would try the Silvermane first, and dive into full customization.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
In The Company of Unicorns (PFRPG)
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Publisher Reply:
Thanks for taking the time to do a review of our product Trev!
Pathways #57 (PFRPG)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/24/2016 19:17:10

Layout is very good. Very professional looking. Good, clean look and easy on the eyes. Interesting stuff here for a Pathfinder GM. Interesting new monster, lots of reviews of other books for Pathfinder. About a quarter of the page count is ads (more...about a third if you count the cover, small ads and the SRD). I figure that pays for the content. Curious how much the mag would cost if you took away the ads. Overall, some good stuff here for fans of RPGs and Pathfinder.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Pathways #57 (PFRPG)
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Addendum: Shape Shifting (Diceless)
by Daniel W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/22/2016 14:19:07

A good addendum to the Lords of Gossamer game line. A nice additional power to the set.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Addendum: Shape Shifting (Diceless)
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The Secrets of the Metadventurer (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/22/2016 07:30:09

An Endzeitgeist.com review

Wow, wow, wow...are you serious? This is the reviewer who is supposed to judge my magnificence? This odd, long-haired German goth/metalhead-sod? Really? Oh well. I'm in a good mood, so I'll "help" you, okay endy? Great! So, my splendorous debut is 11 pages long, though 1 page is the front cover, 1 the editorial, 2 are advertisement and 1 page is the SRD, which means I get a full 6 pages...not that I'd need more to show how awesome I am, mind you...but still, gotta talk to my agent about that... walks off

Ehem, yeah, so this is a prioritized review and was moved up in my queue at the request of my patreons, before this strange guy rudely interrupted...oh damn, he's coming back!

Hey, Chris...yeah, about those... WAIT. You there, endy! I said I'd do that for you, right? Right! So, what do I do - urgh...I hate repeating myself and I explained it in the book already...but, in a nut-shell:

I WIN PATHFINDER.

There, 'nuff said.

Urgh, you're still reading. I can see you. So yeah, wanna know more? Gotcha. I am better and more awesome than all other classes, because I friggin' know. I'm not some pseudo-smart wizard-sheeple...I know I'm a character in your game. Yeah, you heard me. I know I have 2+Int skills (really? come on!) and d8 HD and proficiency with simple weapons, light and medium armors. I have 3/4 BAB-progression. I also am good at Min/Maxing - bonus points for kicking off a discussion on the Stormwind Fallacy. When resting, I choose one good save (two good saves at 12th level) and the others are bad save.

Starting at 4th level, I can select two skills that are not knowledge (No, GM, I don't care about the intricacies of your world!) and get max ranks for the day. At 8th level, I can also swap attributes and at 16th level I can swap 1/day saving throws, ability scores and bogus feats. I also am a master of optimizing flexibility: I can choose each day to gain arcane casting, divine casting, martial tricks or a crapton of skill. Oh yes, I'm that awesome.

Starting at 2nd level, I get a metagaming pool equal to 1/2 class level + 3. I can spend these as free actions to get skill bonuses, additional non-AoO-5-foot movements and even negate partial effects on successful saves. At 3rd level, I know what you know. No seriously, I can simply metagame what you know - d20+class level + Int-modifier and bam...you're GM is pissed. Priceless, believe me.

At 5th level and every 6 thereafter, I get Bogus feats. I can change these whenever I rest. Why? Cause that is how I roll! Oh, and 6th level, I can spend metagaming points to alter the damage of my weapons. At 7th level, I am adept at making allies count as abettors for Betrayal feats...who needs these suckers, after all? Oh, and yeah, at 9th level I can Rules Lawyer game-mechanics 1/day and alter them by +2/-2 or +10%/-10%, twice that much at 19th level, +1 daily use every 5 levels above 9th.

At 10th level, I can change energy types or better pass through SR via metagaming. At 13th level, I can divert effects when I failed my save to allies - we all know we only have to do better than the other suckers, right? And guess what? I have read all those supplements - at 13th level, I can take a treasure and identify it...and determine which treasure it is, within GP-boundaries. I always get what I want, man. At 15th level, as long as you, the player, bring a third party book to the table, it'll be game for me. I know. Awesome, right? Oh, guess what, at 18th level, I can metagame those stupid action economy limitations. But the most fun is 20th level - the ability's called "Make the GM Cry" - extraordinary wish. Oh, and when I die, I immediately resurrect. Oh yeah. You know you want to see that in action, right? Thought so.

Conclusion:

All right, so this reviewer-git doesn't pay me enough for this, so blabla, nice artworks full color 2-column layout etc. Bookmarks are there as well.

So, I dictated the book to Wendall Roy and he seems to be able to write it - congrats, dude. No seriously, I couldn't wait anymore. This game needs my awesomeness in it. It's time that those prissy wizards and stuck-up paladins learn their place. This is where I come in, by the way. So do yourself a favor and get this book - we'll have a lot of fun making your fellow players cry. And best of all - you can always just point to the fact that I'm not "overpowered." Not our problem if the others just can't play the game, right? Hate the game, not the player!

Ehem...how do you end these things? Oh yeah, I'm obviously 5 stars + seal of approval (Seriously? "Seal of approval"? Pretentious much? Man, reviewer-dude, you got some issues...) and totally inexpensive, so buy my awesome book!

Metadventurer out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Secrets of the Metadventurer (PFRPG)
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The Secrets of the Metadventurer (PFRPG)
by Sam H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/21/2016 22:55:57

Very amusing with unique but balanced abilities. My only issue being the 24 hour limit on nearly all abilities which can severely neuter the character in campaigns with irregular rests or attrition themes.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Secrets of the Metadventurer (PFRPG)
by Robert M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/15/2016 13:07:49

Firstly, I have not actually made a character with this class so I cannot speak of how well it plays. However, I have shown the class to multiple people in my gaming group and they all found it to be absolutely hilarious.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Secrets of the Metadventurer (PFRPG)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/15/2016 12:53:27

Actually I was quite surprised by the class. When I first read it, I was expeciting an overpowered class with overthetop abilities. But to my surprise, the class was actually quite balanced, and I would honestly allow the class to be played in any games I run (however, I may require the renaming of all class features so to promote good roleplaying). The general feel of the class gave me the impression of the factotum class (from v3.5 Dungeons and Dragons: Dungeonscape). It is very adaptable to different encounters while not overshadowing the staple abilities that other players may have. In short it is a very decent class, and one that I would allow to be used in-game.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
In The Company of Dragons (5E)
by Jacob B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/12/2016 13:38:44

I am glad to see the "In the Company of" series make its way to 5e rules. While this pdf does not have as many options as the Pathfinder version, it is still and excellent read. I lok forward to getting the chance to play a dragon in the next 5e game I play.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
In The Company of Dragons (5E)
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Addendum: Shape Shifting (Diceless)
by Paul B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/10/2016 15:11:39

If you've played the old Amber Diceless RPG then most of what's here won't be a surprise. Shape Shifting gets broken into four levels; Lesser, Normal, Advanced, and Exalted.

Lesser nets you one alternate form and some limited partial shifts. Say a were-panther who can change just their eyes with a bit of work.

Normal gets you a broad set of abilities, covering most 'normal' forms.

Advanced you start getting better access to more fantastic forms and some related powers, such as making detachable limbs or aligning your shape with cosmic principles for fun and profit.

Exalted really opens up the potential size changes, although you'll need some work for the truly massive shifts, and grants additional esoteric capacities.

Overall it is well presented, we get some abilities explicitly stated rather than implied like in Amber, and it makes Shape Shifting a solid enough platform to serve as a character's focus. The overlap between Shape Shifting the Umbra Personal Transformations feels a bit strange; especially since we've already seen characters in other books using the Umbra to take on different forms but such is the price of expanding a game line.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Addendum: Shape Shifting (Diceless)
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Faces of the Tarnished Souk: An NPC Collection (PFRPG)
by Elexious C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/06/2016 16:36:31

Faces of the Tarnished Souk is quite the bookful. It is a huge book with lots of pieces. When I first heard of it I was under the impression that it was pretty much an NPC codex but it’s a bit more than that making it a lot to take in and evaluate who would want this and what they would use it for.

Well for the most part it is mostly an NPC book but the NPCs are crazy. They’re all a mixture of third party classes, archetypes, templates, races and/or feats, making for characters that don’t really don’t really fit in most situations. They’re mostly NPCs that you would want as an endgame villain or the end of a chapter of an adventure path. To make them fit in a few slots other than the end of an adventure each of the NPCs come in high CR, mid-CR and low CR. That way if you encounter them early in your adventuring carreer you can meet them again later when they’ve leveled up too.

Each NPC has a few paragraphs about their personality and history along with how they appear in Coliseum Morpheuon and how to use them. Sometimes there is a lore chart to determine what kind of information you can get about them using knowledge checks. This is the point where I realized that while I’ve heard of the Coliseum Morpheuon I have no idea what that is, and I refuse to look it up for this review because really it can stand on its own and I think that’s important for my purposes.

There is a downside. Since there’s a lot of third party material used sometimes you’re left not knowing exactly what’s going on with a character. The races, feats, templates and traits are all covered because they mostly appear in the last ¼ of the book, (Which is actually pretty amazing, I didn’t know about some of these despite having a lot of third party products and some of those are really cool.) but you’re going to have to find some of the classes on your own. For the most part it isn’t that big of a problem but the psionic one, the Savants that make you need to really need to look at another product to figure out how the NPC works. Although the Artisan’s portfolio was confusing because I don’t know what it is. Luckily this doesn’t cost you money because all of the classes in the book appear on d20pfsrd.com except I can’t figure out if the Artisans in the book is a Drop Dead Studios Artisan or something else.

There are a few format glitches, like text that should be bolded, the Rite logo looking wonky and one bit where two paragraphs are in the wrong order but other than that I didn’t really notice anything wrong. As a whole I really like this book. These aren’t really NPCs that you throw in a game and more NPCs that you build a campaign around which says a lot for their creativity, vividness and uniqueness. The format is nice and easy to read, and the art brings some of the characters to life very well. I would give this product 4 stars. Its imaginative and useful but I feel like it makes me have to do almost as much work as it saves by pulling from such a variety of sources. I’m a bit okay because I have most of these options in other books I own but I can’t say the same for everyone.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Faces of the Tarnished Souk: An NPC Collection (PFRPG)
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The Secrets of the Metadventurer (PFRPG)
by Si N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/02/2016 00:44:58

Hilarious, clever, definitely going to trick my GM into letting me play this after he kills my current character. Mwahaha.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Secrets of the Metadventurer (PFRPG)
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