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101 Subterranean Spells (PFRPG)
by Trev W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/26/2015 21:31:28

Ever wanted to turn your character’s head into a dracolisk and use their breath and gaze attack while growing tentacles with reach that can rot the flesh off your enemy's bones? Or, create and use crystalline weapons that go straight through armour and even mage armor to help you as you summon a plague of wights to crash a party? Indeed perhaps you could give your character the DR of a zombie and added resistances, and then decide to conjure two centipede swarms to bring a “death by centipedes”. If that isn’t nasty enough, you could curse a foe so that they think ants, spiders and any vermin are talking to them. They may go insane in 2d6 days. If your dungeons or tunnels need something extra, you could summon a gelatinous cube (that comes with the advanced template if summoned underground), or afflict an enemy with the delusion that they think they are a vampire . If you ever wanted to turn into a xorn and live off nothing but earth, stone or metal, well now you can and the spells to do all of the above are within.


This book has great potential and it is all about the spells (mostly conjuration) and the new options that they offer. It also comes with some great art, which is more than a little bit trippy and alien. I really liked this and a lot of thought went into the spells, some of which are delightfully cruel.


5/5



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
101 Subterranean Spells (PFRPG)
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#30 Magic Tools (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/23/2015 03:15:46

An Endzeitgeist.com review


This pdf clocks in at 13 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 2 pages of advertisement, leaving us with 8 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?


So, know what pretty much I don't get? In all those high magic magocracies and settings, why are there no actual tools, you know, everyday-useful magic items to make life more convenient? I mean, literature is full of wizards using convenient items to render life more comfortable for themselves and in a setting where the crafting of deadly, costly magical weapons, it is only sensible that some of the funds circulated would be used to actually improve the tools used to generate the respective tools, right?


Right - so here we are, new magic tools. All of them are masterwork per default, as the pdf notices and framed by an aptly-written, short piece of IC-prose, we dive right in: The Arcane Anthology, for example, opens itself on the correct page and politely positions itself in front of the reader, levitating and leaving his or her hands free. If that is not inspiring to you in and of itself, then the short piece of history provided for each item should exactly help in that regard. Now this is pretty much awesome, though, alas, not all items herein reach this level of coolness - take the Brass of Binding: It prevents the rider from being dismounted "no matter what happens." No matter how good the CMB, no matter the circumstance - unless the points of the maple-leaf brass are tapped. Alas, this does not specify what type of action tapping the maple leaf's points is. Oh, and cost: 1000 GP. For never being dismounted, ever. WUT? This sounds like it needs a hard whack with the nerf-bat or rather, a tighter wording: It is clear this should only prevent dismounting due to the rider's own failed checks - and yes, I am very much aware that this is supposed to be a tool for the Ride-skill only, but as written, it does look like it can be used otherwise AND it still fails to mention the action required for (de-)activation, alas a glitch I noticed a couple of times when the item's text (à la mental command) etc. provides no clear means of determining the activation action, though I do assume the standard action default for wondrous items. But I'm rambling about a nitpick, so onwards!


A spoon that can purify any poison from food 3/day and detect it 3/day as well is a cool item, though personally, I think I'd prefer the detecting and purification to be based on poison DCs, but I am aware that this is just a personal preference and won't hold it against the pdf. There also would be an enchanted chisel that can carve into wood on its own. A compass that can lead you to food, animals or locations pictured in your mind is nice, as are gloves that turn held items invisible. The Flawpicker item needs a scaling mechanism - picking out flaws from gems is fine with me - eliminating curses from cursed items, on the other hand, imho should have a scaling rate of success chances. I do like the sight-enhancing magical kohl. Mantles that help you avoid detection are nice, but what about shoons that 1/day create a platform mid-flight to push off, adding +10 ft. height and length to a jump? Yeah, awesome. Pins to improvise opening locks and helping with escaping manacles et al. also are a-ok with me. What about a patch that allows for quicker application of liquids?


There also would be slippers that allow caught thieves to generate an illusion of an animal darting away, providing an excuse for any noises created? Using a needle to animate cloths and the like to entangle foes? Cool! What about a babelfish-like translating butterfly? Nice!


Conclusion:


Editing and formatting are good, though not perfect -I noticed a couple of typos, italicization glitches and the like. Layout adheres to Rite Publishing's two-column full-color standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. Artworks consist of thematically-fitting stock art.


Liz Smith's items are glorious on the one hand - they make sense and in many, many cases, they can be considered awesome in their flair - breathing the spirit of fairy-tales and feeling like actual MAGIC instead of an accumulation of numerical bonuses, the tools herein may not be 100% perfect, but they have more soul than many magic item books I've read. Yes, there are some minor ambiguities and yes, I pretty much prefer Scaling options over those that work as a default - but in the end, most of the gripes I could field apply mainly to my personal preference, which has never been a sufficient reason for me to rate a pdf down, leaving as valid gripes only the glitches and non-preference hiccups, which ultimately are offset by the sheer imaginative potential herein. It should be noted that the items herein fit perfectly as rare items in a low magic game, so yeah, versatility is accounted for.


Hence, my final verdict will clock in at 4. 5 stars, rounded up to 5 for the purpose of this platform.


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
#30 Magic Tools (PFRPG)
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The Breaking of Forstor Nagar (5E)
by Matthew A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/13/2015 21:37:26

A little about me: DM for over 20 years. Playtester for Montecook Games, and currently a DM for a Ptolus City by the Spire game using the D&D Next (5e) rule set, played over the Roll20 Virtual Tabletop.


The Breaking of Forstor Nagar (5E) by RITE Publishing is an adventure for 8th level characters. If you've been into 5E for a while you know there's not a lot of 3rd party content for it yet, so this is a welcome addition. The art direction and organization of the module is top notch. The PDF is fully bookmarked so a DM can get where they need to quickly. The module itself is about 50 pages long, broken up in 9 parts. I'd imagine you could easily get 5-10 sessions out of this, depending on the pace you and your players enjoy.


Suffice it to say the "City of Grinding Ice" takes place in a cold environment. You will get to explore some weather hazards from DMG in this module which helps to keep things interesting. Since it's a higher level adventure there's plenty of advice for if the players try to turn invisible or fly, or use their other "circumnavigation" abilities. The advice doesn't nerf the player's abilities, it just gives the DM tools to handle those situations, which is great. There's also a reasonable amount of "if the players do X, or Y, or Z, then..." that handles the most likely decisions throughout.


The maps and environments are high quality, and there's something unusual going on to spice up most of the encounters. There's also notes for scaling the encounters up a couple of levels if you'd like to run this for a 9th or 10th level group. As an added bonus, there's a 300+ megabyte folder full of ALL the art at high resolution, which could be printed for tabletop, or it would be awesome for Roll20. So you've got both the DM friendly maps in the module itself with all of the secrets revealed, and then full color printable versions of the maps without the secrets on them. The art pack includes high quality tokens for the NPCs too. I really like that RITE is catering to both traditional tabletop and virtual tabletop audiences.


Overall, this is about as good as it gets in 3rd party module. As a point of reference, comparable to the higher end of Paizo Publishing's PDF modules. Very professional, very fun, and totally worth 10 bucks.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Breaking of Forstor Nagar (5E)
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101 1st Level Spells (PFRPG)
by JOHNNY J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/08/2015 15:01:11

I was very disappointed with the spell selection, because I wanted spells that control the battlefield. The most promising spell in the spell descriptions was PUSH. Unfortunately, it was left out of the actual listing of spells. This product has been around for a while. I can't believe this oversight wasn't updated. The 0 level spells deserve 5 stars. 1st level spells only get two for layout and ease of use.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
101 1st Level Spells (PFRPG)
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Publisher Reply:
Thanks for taking the time to a review of our product, the product was updated in the Compilation 1001 Spells. Steven D. Russell.
Gossamer Worlds: Incursion Earth 626 (Diceless)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/07/2015 04:05:45

An Endzeitgeist.com review


This installment of the evocative Gossamer Worlds-series clocks in at 19 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, leaving us with 17 pages of content, so let’s take a look!


Incursion Earth 626 is one of the infinite allotopias (i.e. alternate earths) than can be reached via the Grand Stair - but is a unique one. In 1985, reality cracked - this time not due to earth's humans screwing it up, but due to an extremely expansionist empire called the "Incursion" piercing the veils of reality. These technocratic conquerors botched something, though, when they arrived in this reality and mankind suddenly was faced with a vast influx of psionic power - from pyrokinesis to uncontrollable telepathy, the sudden rise of powers left the world almost in an apocalyptic state, when Switzerland, for example, paid for its lockdown with utter annihilation, becoming a creepy ghost-country. Just as things began to settle, with the powers-that-be establishing elite-squads of psionics, the incursion attacked.


With brutal displays that annihilated Washington D.C. and Moscow, the Incursion established supremacy over earth, rendering it one of its colonies. Now, two decades later, life remains pretty much normal for the average citizen. Once you've gotten accustomed to the shadows and drones, no issues. Unless you are psionically active, in which you immediately become a target for the incursion's forces...especially if you are a psycher - one of the powerful, almost demigod-level psionicists. Speaking of which - multiple ways to handle psionics and distinguish (or not distinguish) it from sorcery are provided. The incursion's renegade commander, Tau-Psi-5 receives full stats and beyond the threat of the incursion, the hidden remnants of the erstwhile secret service are creating their own cadre of super-psychers to reclaim earth, while Irkutsk is now the place, where a lot of earth's psionics are brought - for what purpose, though - none knows so far.


Oh, and then there would be the rise of a new spiritualism, with ancient, strange psychic entities rising, possessing people and turning them into nightmarish creatures...Yes, there is a lot of lethal potential for storytelling.


Conclusion:


Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to Rite Publishing’s beautiful 2-column full-color standard for LoGaS and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. Artwork consists of glorious full-color pieces that are absolutely gorgeous to behold.


Matt Banach's Incursion Earth 626 is interesting, with a special shout out going to the interior artists Tarakanovich, Wataboku, Michael Richards, David Revoy, Justin Nichol, J.J. Tarujärvi - the artworks stand out even in this series and create an atmosphere that reminded me of Death Note's N as a psychic in some frames, creating a unique visual style. The potential of the world is vast - from teh Incursion's motives to the obvious potential for ALL kinds of X-men-style narratives, this place sports adventuring potential galore and is well worth 5 stars + seal of approval.


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Gossamer Worlds: Incursion Earth 626 (Diceless)
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In The Company of Angels (PFRPG)
by Trev W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/05/2015 21:02:42

This adds Angelic options to your Pathfinder games (and other similar systems). The art is thematically strong; it starts how you would expect with holy angels, but then changes to less typical types. I found myself intrigued where they were going and that not all angels inside are actually the typical angels of art and Western myth.


The angels, or, Empyreal Lords are called Grigori within. There is a good introduction explaining their place, who they serve and additional information to place them in your games and get a sense of how to use them. What is also found is some on the heavens and how they could be considered and presented, as well as mention of hierarchies to navigate. On where your place is, goodness and actions matter, not appearances and those in the heavens will differ immeasurably in a setting because souls have been flocking there for thousands of years. A DM could truly present the realms of the Grigori as very alien, influenced by mortals many from centuries past and have a lot of fun roleplaying this context.


So we have our unusual setting, what is next? We have name suggestions and base Grigori stats. Options to modify these are given. The Grigori are quite strong and don’t have many weaknesses but they have a lot of options and plenty of abilities “come standard” as it were. Curiously the celestial fertility ability allows Grigori to quickly reproduce with mortals, even if infertility was in play and it applies to both sides. Grigori can reproduce with the barren. As will be welcome for those wishing to multiclass, there are also the rules for Grigori of specific normal classes (like monk and paladin).


There is a great deal crammed into this book. We have the paragon class allowing further abilities to be chosen as one levels, and a ki pool of sorts called the “Pool of Providence”. These grant a range of capabilities that would make monk players highly jealous. You just don’t see options like this in base Pathfinder. Two I particularly like are soulfire, hilariously causing a target to burst into flame, and angle of terror. The Grigori are meant to be scary and these abilities would allow them to really beat about and terrify weaker creatures.


Also within are celestial gifts, a summon celestial table and many archetypes. I quite liked the seraph. Snake Grigori they have grab and constrict options, a breath weapon and immunity to fire and some other things.


Originally, I did not care much for angels or celestials, but within I found a range of options to make some very powerful Grigori and all that is needed to run Grigori adventurers or the angels as foes. They would truly be a force to reckoned with were they the enemies of the party.


4.5/5. It is also very affordable for the HUGE range of options and rules inside.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
In The Company of Angels (PFRPG)
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Faces of the Tarnished Souk: An NPC Collection (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/29/2015 04:35:48

An Endzeitgeist.com review


This massive book clocks in at no less than 323 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of ToC, 4 pages of SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 314 pages of content, so let's take a look!


This review was moved ahead in my reviewing queue as a prioritized review at the request of my patreons.


Well, first of all, I will deviate from my usual take on detailed analysis of the individual pieces of content herein -why? Because that would take AGES and bloat this review beyond the page-count where this would have any semblance of help for anyone of my readers. Beyond that, there is another factor - I have written detailed reviews for each and every NPC (apart from the new one) sported in this massive compilation - combining them would result in more than 30 pages, so there you go. If you're interested in one particular NPC, you can have a detailed analysis of said build in my individual review of the respective pdfs. If you have read them, here's a general summation of what sets the NPCs apart.


Fluff-wise, the Tarnished Souk can be considered an interplanar nexus situated on the plane of dreams, right outside the legendary Coliseum Morpheuon, where the most powerful mortals and immortals duke it out under the auspice of the khan of nightmares, all hoping to gain the cusp of desires. Oh, and yes, the tarrasque is actually part of the competition's challenges, to give you an inkling of the level of expertise required in this competition. Dreams are a vaulable currency in Coliseum Morpheuon and thus, they actually carry relevance beyond the story's basic requirements for the characters in question. As such, they may actually be found by PCs and provide a level of background information one regularly does not expect. Dreams are more, though - they are power. While dreamburning rules from Coliseum Morpheuon are not required for this book, it does add a nice further dimension and honestly, Coliseum Morpheuon is the best high-level module available for Pathfinder, so you definitely should have that beast anyways.


So what is special about the NPCs herein? Well, regarding crunch they are special to me because they don't suck. There. I said it. Pathfinder's high-level gameplay and the general experience of many a DM that high-level gameplay comes apart, at least partially, is due to just about all published books simply having an impossible job at their hands: The directive is to create adversaries that a casual gaming group can vanquish and the more the levels pile up, the bigger the discrepancy becomes between people that exhibit a high degree of system mastery and those who don't. At high levels, this ultimately leads to whining I've seen on boards about ACs of 36 in high level-ranges where that is not an insurmountable defense. At the same time, posts complain about 1-round curb-stomping BBeGs, a problem exacerbated by the mythic rules, famously being quoted by Alexander Augunas as the Rocket-launcher-standoff.


In my main campaign, I run next to no unmodified published modules - why? Because, if I took Karzoug against half my group, they'd mop the floor with him. Yes, I'm talking about the enhanced Anniversary Edition. Playtesting published modules only VERY rarely results in any PC deaths at my table, even in Frog God Games killer beasts. And I'm not alone in this issue. While my group may be an extreme example, it is a trend that is exacerbated with each new release, with each slight power-creep. In 3.X that resulted in me wearing down my Advanced Bestiary and templating EVERYTHING. In PFRPG, I follow a similar modus operandi, though one supplemented with many, many base classes, archetypes etc. So that would be problem No.1.


Problem number 2 is a more pleasant one to have - ultimately, there are MANY awesome 3pp-products out there -glorious base-classes, exceedingly fun subsystems etc. - and yes, I'm using more 3pp material than Paizo material at this point. Alack and alas, there is no big 3pp NPC Codex and that means making A LOT of NPCs and monsters from scratch. Faces of the Tarnished Souk did something rather unique - it provides a vast array of templates,. both original and from the best of sources and combines them with unique classes - taskshapers and time thieves, malefactors - whatever your heart desires, there is a good chance you'll find some of the unmitigated stars within these pages. Add to that unique, custom-tailored magic items and you get an array of NPCs that is ACTUALLY CHALLENGING.


Now that would be awesome in and of itself, but it becomes even better when you take into account the vast imaginative potential that lies at the roots of the characters provided herein - you won't find "Human Paladin 20" herein - instead, you'll find, for example, Nameless Nil, the Beggar of Self. An imaginary friend turned killer turned beggar, whose wonderful class/template line reads "Bloody Maw Half-construct horrifically overpowered hungry nightmare unfettered eidolon savant 10." This is, as the back cover proudly proclaims, NOT your pappy's NPC book. Nameless Nil's prose and background story ranks among the best pieces of character writing I have seen in ANY roleplaying product, btw. - this guy is my favorite NPC for Pathfinder. Yes, I'm talking about all-out number 1 spot. Oh, and have I mentioned that, for example the legendary bulwark Ahnkar-Kosh has an AC of 64? This should put an end to the smirk on your level 20 min-maxers face...


But wait, before you put away this review - no, not all NPCs in this book exist only in the CR ~20-range - instead, each of the NPCs herein comes with a build for low levels, mid levels and high levels, allowing you to introduce the NPCs at any level you like and depict their progression to greatness- or utilize the statblocks of the lower iterations for servants, creatures or whatever you like. Another issue you may expect to face would lie in the aforementioned presence of a lot of 3pp-content utilized in the truly beautiful builds created herein. Well, approximately the last 100 pages of the book are used to provide all rules used in the builds of this massive cadre of glorious CHARACTERS. For, thanks to the interplay of glorious prose and superb crunch, the NPCs become more than the sum of their respective parts.


If you are not inspired by the glorious write-ups of the respective NPCs, many of which can spawn multiple adventures (or even campaigns!), boxes with pieces of advice further help using the NPCs and integrating them into the mythos of your campaign. Have I btw. mentioned Smiles-Under-teh-Bed, the legendary Cheshire cat that is pretty much a psychotic, playful killer that clocks in at CR 19 in its most powerful iteration? The eidolon that is the summoner that wants to be mortal? The goblin time thief convinced that things between the seconds are gearing up to tear time and reality asunder? If you have ANY joy contemplating high-stakes games, personal tragedies, captivating NPCs and a level of imagination I have not seen since the heyday of Planescape, and there only in its better products, then this compilation should be considered a ridiculously glorious must-buy.


How can this be further enhanced? well, the original pdfs sported some artwork which has since been used by other supplements as well - this has been expanded by new pieces that seamlessly fit with the respective character portrayals, with Juan Diego Dianderas and Kamil Jadczak delivering great pieces in the fitting b/w-standard this book offers and adding to the talents of illustrators that not only include master of the creepy Mark Hyzer, but also Tamás Baranya and Hugo Solis and many, many more. How can this be made better on a content-level, you ask? Well, what about adding a brand new NPC by none other than legendary, Ennie-award-winning design Ben McFarland? This would be Strai Tkossirk, the whispered word of dream. This would be, in his highest CR-iteration, a psychic (telekinetic) vrock oracle (aetherurgist) - and the level of imaginative potential of this NPC in no way falls back behind the ridiculously high standard of the series, utilizing for example a magical drug-addiction in the mid-level version. And yes, as per the tradition with this series, vivid prose, GM-advice and tactics combine to create a creature that is more than the sum of its myriad parts. On a nitpicky side - I think it would have made more sense to include him in the NPC-roster instead of in the appendix, but that is ultimately one design in a huge book....and remains the only true gripe I can muster against this tome.


Conclusion:


Editing and formatting are very good, especially for a massive tome of this size. Layout adheres to a printer-friendly two-column b/w-standard with elegant borders and the artworks provided, as mentioned above, are thematically fitting and, in many cases, awesome. The book comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.


I have all individual pdfs printed out. I want this book in dead-tree. This is not "an" NPC collection - to me, this is THE NPC collection. Faces of the Tarnished Souk epitomizes what made me a fan of Rite Publishing in the first place: The combination of awesome prose and imaginative fluff that goes one step further. I guarantee that the vast majority of characters herein, once encountered, will remain the talk of your gaming groups for years to come. Beyond the cool mechanics, this series has pretty much defined what I consider apex-level NPC-crafting and remains my point of reference for any such book. It should be noted that exactly ONE pdf can claim to adhere to this level of awesomeness beyond the series - LPJr Design's Cyrix. That's pretty much it.


When anyone asks me for challenging or simply evocative NPC builds, this book immediately comes to mind. When someone asks me for the spirit of truly uncommon fantasy, this book is what I think about. Whether as antagonists, allies or both, the characters herein pretty much define my campaigns in subtle ways - by the legends they have crafted, by the guidance they provide, by the growth my PCs can witness. Matt Banach, Justin Sluder, Steven D. Russell and Ben McFarland have quite simply created THE NPC collection for the discerning game-master, the remedy for players bored with standard builds and, via the builds herein, a great toolkit for GMs to use themselves.


Even if you never plan to run any of the characters herein and are not interested in Coliseum Morpheuon, this book provides so many iconic characters that it remains my honest belief that this book can serve as an inspiration for other settings as well. If my gushing diatribe before was not ample clue, I consider this quite frankly the best NPC collection out there, one distinguished by excellence in the beautiful statblocks AND the prose that draws vivid pictures of truly unique characters that deserve the moniker while epitomizing the key strengths of Rite Publishing as a publisher. This book, unsurprisingly, receives a final verdict of 5 stars + seal of approval as well as being a candidate for my Top Ten of 2015.


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Faces of the Tarnished Souk: An NPC Collection (PFRPG)
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101 Swamp Spells (PFRPG)
by Trev W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/27/2015 20:49:29

In 101 Swamp Spells we start off with great art and get into truly ingenious great spells. The font is an excellent choice and the design is solid. After readings this I know my players are not going to trust swamps or swamp spellcasters in the future.


This is about adding spells and that is what it does. I want to mention six of my favourites so you get a sense of what is inside. First, Awaken Algae, to kill foes with an algoid that is immune to electricity and fire and has mind blast. Wonderful. I’ll take seven.


Secondly, blinding mist. An offensive spell that hides that the targets have even been blinded while they are in the bog. Nice low level group-blinding spell.


Thirdly, boiling fog. Now that’s just cruel. If you can keep them... bogged down inside the mist the damage becomes amazing.


Fourth, daemonic spit. Warps your head, grants you abilities like poison immunity and you gain a sleep-inducing spit. How horrifying.


Fifth, decay weapons. No saving throw, medium range -2 to hit and damage for weapons. A very useful spell to hinder a foe before they engage, or a spellcaster could launch this at the party before they fight a challenging boss or group of foes.


Sixth, grippli guise. Turn temporarily into a grippli to gain many benefits. The picture is rather cute.


There are many more, and I would like to talk about them all day, but I suggest you buy the book to check out these excellent new spells. Really complements the 101 forest spells if you want the wilds to be truly wild and dangerous for pcs.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
101 Swamp Spells (PFRPG)
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101 Barbarian Feats (PFRPG)
by Ben B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/25/2015 20:47:39

This supplement clocks in at 27 pages, including 23 pages of content. With no introduction at all, we start with a standard table of feats, with prerequisites and short descriptions. After the table comes the full description of 101 feats, all intended for barbarians.
Most feats have as a prerequisite either Rage class feature, a specific rage power, or class features specific to certain barbarian archetypes.

A few feats, such as Improved Body Bludgeon, fall into the unfortunate trap of overly long feat chain prerequisites. Feats are a rare commodity in Pathfinder, so a feat which isn’t all that powerful to begin with shouldn’t require five other non-synergized feats as prerequisites. Fortunately, only a few feats in this supplement fall into this trap.
Many archetype class features have ‘improved [alternate class feature]’ feats. Those which already had such feats get ‘greater [alternate class feature]. The benefits of feats are quite varied, from inflicting curses using rage power, to an immediate-action charge which costs three uses of rage, to feats like Demonic Rage, which grants both the benefits and drawbacks of having a demon live inside the barbarian. There are feats which can allow a barbarian to transfer afflictions from themselves to enemies. Some feats are essentially ‘bane’ feats, giving extra bonuses when attacking creatures of a specific type or subtype. Mindless Rage allows you to become immune to mind-affecting effects while raging, at the cost of having to follow pre-set tactics. Some feats are tied to races. For example, halflings and blinklingsget Maul Joint, which allows the user to damage enemies’ joints. There doesn’t seem to be much reason the racial feats are tied to a specific race, though, except possibly to make the reader aware of races from other Rite Publishing products. Then again, the same can be said of most feats with racial requirements in Pathfinder.
There are small, full-color illustrations spread throughout this PDF.
Short Term Use: The editing and formatting are top notch, and the effects of each feat are clear. Hence, it is easy to add these feats onto your NPCs with little preparation. Of course, for PCs, more planning is typically required, given the nature of feat chains. Still, the variety of interesting effects earns a strong short term rating of 4/5.
Long Term Use: The nice part about these feats is that due to the variety of effects, they can be reused endlessly. You can combine them in a lot of different ways, or you could put them on monsters. These are all well-written and mostly interesting feats. If you are reading this review, you probably know what to do with a bunch of feats. The long term rating is 4.5/5, rounded up to 5 due to the low price.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
101 Barbarian Feats (PFRPG)
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Publisher Reply:
Ben, thank you for taking the time to do a review of so many of our products recently. Steve. I would like to send you a copy of something more recent, if you have the time please reach out to me via Steve at RitePublishing dot Com, thank you again Steven D. Russell Rite Publishing
101 Pirates and Privateer Traits (PFRPG)
by Ben B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/25/2015 20:46:37

This supplement clocks in at 18 pages, including 13 pages of content. I should start by saying that I dislike traits as they are presented in Paizo products. But this supplement isn’t full of Paizo traits, so I will try to assess it on its own merits, rather than on my dislike for the subsystem it is based on.
After a brief introduction, we dive right into 101 traits. There is no table of contents or bookmarks, though they are not strictly necessary for a PDF of this size. One thing that makes these traits different from those in Ultimate Campaign is that these traits do not have categories (they are not combat traits, magic traits, etc.), meaning they can be taken alongside each other or any other traits.

The effects of the traits are diverse. For example, False Flag allows you to disguise the flag (and hence allegiance and purpose) of a ship using the disguise skill. Hung From the Yardarn makes it easier for allies to raise you from the dead. Keep to the Code gives you a daily-use bonus against others who have broken codes of conduct.

Many of these traits are much more powerful than standard traits, but come with extra restriction. For example, Hornswaggled Davy Jones allows you to negate a character death, but it only works once. One of my favorites is Parrot-Voice, which grants you a free Parrot familiar (with the same stats as a raven), [b]but[/b] makes you permanently mute. Several traits have abilities that work once per week rather than once per day, which may contribute to ‘nova’ play, but they do allow those traits to do more.
Small color illustrations are sprinkled throughout this PDF.
Short Term Use: If you are running a pirate-heavy game, you will most likely want to add some of these traits to NPCs, and your players will likely want to take some of them as well. The use-per-week effects, however, make many of them harder to use on short-term NPCs. A lot of the traits have somewhat ambiguous effects, and the editing is worse than Rite Publishing’s usual standard, so you may need to consider what a trait does or should do before adding it to your campaign. Even with those problems, though, there are enough interesting effects to warrant a short term rating of 3/5 stars.
Long Term Use: If you plan on running a campaign with a lot of pirates or privateers, you can get a lot of milage out of these traits. While they do require more work to utilize fully than other traits, they are a lot more interesting, and there is little to complain about for such a low price. Hence, it gets a long term rating of 4/5.



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[4 of 5 Stars!]
101 Pirates and Privateer Traits (PFRPG)
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101 Npc Grudges (PFRPG)
by Ben B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/25/2015 20:45:28

This supplement clocks in at 17 pages, including 12 pages of content. An NPC Grudge is the opposite of a boon: it is something an NPC can do to make things more difficult for the PCs other than just attacking them. After a brief introduction, we dive straight into a list of Grudges, sorted by the kind of NPC that gives them. They are organized first into regions (Urban grudges from NPCs in a generic city, followed by Rural, Frontier, Nautical, and Wilderness). Within each region, the grudges are sorted by the social standing or occupation of the NPC who grants them. For example, the urban grudges are sorted into lower, middle, and upper class NPCs, along with guard NPCs and other generic occupations.

The effects of the grudges are quite varied. The simplest grudges involve the NPC using their influence to give the PCs circumstance penalties on some kinds of skill checks while they are in the area. Others involve providing information to enemies of the PCs, or providing false information to others to create new enemies for the NPCs. Many grudges work via deception, such as giving the PCs an item which supposedly indicates favor with one faction (that the PCs will deal with shortly), but which actually indicates favor with an opposing faction. Wilderness NPCs can destroy or conceal bridges or shortcuts, or guide predators to the PC.
Many NPCs can influence others to apply their grudges as well. For example, one NPC can blackmail others into causing trouble for the PCs, but if the PCs end up helping the one being blackmailed, that NPC can switch from a grudge to a boon.
A few NPCs have stat-blocks, though most don’t. It might actually have been better without the statblocks, as they aren’t particularly remarkable and won’t be as helpful to the user as more grudges with the same word count would have been.
Small color illustrations of generic NPCs are sprinkled throughout this PDF.
Short Term Use: Since the NPCs are all fairly generic, it is relatively easy to work several grudge into your campaign, either by introducing an insignificant/generic character, or, more likely, by attaching grudges to appropriate existing NPCs in your campaign. Also, if the PCs earn the ire of an NPC, you can look for a generic NPC in this supplement which matches and use that grudge. However, they do take more planning to utilize fully than a typical combat encounter. Hence, this supplement earns a short term rating of 4/5.
Long Term Use: If you have time to plan grudges, you can cause far more trouble for the PCs than with a simple combat. Due to the way grudges can trigger each other, and the fact that the PCs may earn new grudges in their attempts to bypass or undo existing grudges, you can spin entire adventures out of a relatively simple objective blocked by a barrage of grudges. They work best at low and lower-mid levels, though, as higher level PCs are more likely to be able to negate the effects of most of the grudges. There is a fair amount of repetition in the later sections of the supplement. Even ignoring the repetitive grudges removed, though, you can get a lot of use out of this supplement without too much difficulty. Hence, it earns a long term rating of 4.5/5, rounded up to 5 due to the low price.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
101 Npc Grudges (PFRPG)
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101 Malevolent Magic Items
by Ben B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/25/2015 20:43:36

This supplement clocks in at 35 pages, including 31 pages of content. There is no table of contents, although the bookmarks fulfill much the same function. We start with an introduction, and advice on how best to use cursed items.
There are two kinds of items in this supplement: cursed items and malevolent items. Cursed items are much as described in the core rules: poorly constructed magic items which do something harmful to the user. Malevolent items, on the other hand, are built like normal magic items, but are intentionally crafted to be harmful to the user. In essence, cursed magic items are like a fantasy analogue of software containing a critical bug, whilst malevolent magic items are analogous to purposely-constructed malware.

After the introduction, we get eleven cursed/malevolent armors. Also introduced is a +2-equivalent armor property, Fearlessness, which makes the wearer immune to fear. It is introduced alongside a cursed variant, which still makes the wearer immune to fear, but forces them to make will saves to avoid taunting others in situations where it could cause trouble for the wearer.

Next we get eleven malevolent weapons. These include things like the Deafening Weapon, which is a thundering weapon that has the side-effect of deafening the user, and the Narcoleptic Weapon, which has the benefits of a Shock Weapon, but also buts the user to sleep on a ‘successful’ hit.
After that comes seven potions and oils, such as the Potion of Blindness, which carries the normal (beneficial) effects of a potion but also blinds the user.
Subsequently we get 11 rings, five rods, five scrolls, six staves, six wands, and 29 wondrous items.
Finally, we get 10 malevolent Legendary Items. Legendary items, unlike normal d20 magic items, are items with long, detailed, and unique histories. They don’t have the same game-shaking power levels of major artifacts, but they are comparable in power to high-end non-legendary items. They cannot be destroyed by simply attacking them—each legendary item has a unique method of destruction, such as being struck by the weapon of an efreeti noble on the plane of fire, submersing the item in holy water for a full year, or appeasing the spirit of a deceased dragon. All the legendary items in this supplement have backstories written for the Questhaven campaign setting, though a few name changes would allow them to fit into other fantasy settings.
There are black-and-white illustrations woven throughout this supplement.
Short Term Use: Usually the short term test for a book of magic items is how easily you can plop them into a treasure hoard and have the PCs (or an NPC villain) start using them. Cursed items, though, need to be used sparingly and carefully. The GM should carefully consider why a cursed/malevolent item is where it is. The nature of the supplement does not lend itself to short term use. The items in this supplement are well-edited and easy to understand, though, so I’ll settle on a Short Term Rating of 2/5.
Long Term Use: My primary complaint about cursed magic items in the d20 core rules is that they are essentially simple traps. You roll a check to identify their cursed nature. If you fail, you are cursed, and if you succeed, the item is discarded. This supplement gets around that issue entirely. While a few items here are like those in the core rules, most of the items in this supplement [i]do[/i] provide benefits to the user, along with a drawback. Hence, even if the PCs correctly identify that the item is malevolent, the players still have to make a difficult decision as to whether or not to keep it. The final section gives a glimpse into what has become a stunning campaign setting, Questhaven. This installment of the 101 series easily earns a Long Term Rating of 5/5.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
101 Malevolent Magic Items
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101 Magical Weapon Properties (PFRPG)
by Ben B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/25/2015 20:41:38

This supplement clocks in at 25 pages, including 20 pages of content. Right at the beginning, we get a big chart of weapon properties for those who like to generate magic items randomly. This chart also functions as a table of contents. Afterwards, we get the full descriptions of all 101 weapon properties.
24 of the weapon properties have fixed cost increases: they increase the weapon cost by a set amount regardless of how many other enchancements it has. On the cheap end, adding only 400 gold pieces to the cost, is the Gripping Weapon, which gives a +2 to CMD against disarming. On the expensive end, at a whopping +42000 gold pieces, is the Revitalizing Weapon. It is…underwhelming. It is a limited use ability which allows you to heal for each successful hit. And not very much, either.
There is also the Friend weapon, a class of weapon restrictions which limit who can use the abilities of a weapon, and reduce its price by either 10% or 30%.
The remaining weapons all have plus-equivalent cost modifiers. At the low end, we have +1 abilities like Hexing, which applies various penalties to those struck by it, and Hindering, which can disable its target’s natural weapons. There’s the Interfering weapon, which forces casters to make concentration checks as if its damage had been continuous.

Most weapon properties are cheaper: there are only six +4 weapon properties and one +5. The +4 properties include the Spellstealing Weapon, which can dispel active buffs on its target and transfer their effects to the wielder.
The single +5 weapon ability is the Perilous weapon. On a critical, it allows the wielder to repeatedly roll to ‘confirm’ the critical until you fail (-5 penalty on each successive roll), with each additional confirmation adding more damage. It isn’t as deadly as the same-price Vorpal, but it can be used on more weapon types, is compatible with weapons with wider critical threat ranges, and can still damage creatures immune to Vorpal’s effect. It’s still underwhelming for a +5, but it’s not bad if damage output is what you want in a magic weapon.
The supplement has full-color illustrations of weapons spread throughout.
Short Term Use: The clean organization and random chart/ToC makes it easy to drop some of these items into your campaign with very little preparation. The editing is unfortunately not up to Rite Publishing’s usual standard. You can mostly still use it without trouble, though, making for a short term rating of 4.5/5.
Long Term Use: The emphasis on low-cost weapon properties makes it easy to combine them in unique combinations. Some of the weapon properties have very interesting effects, but others don’t. It’s a mixed bag, but for such a low price, you’ll probably still find enough to get your money’s worth. 4/5.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
101 Magical Weapon Properties (PFRPG)
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Gossamer Worlds: Dragonhearth (Diceless)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/19/2015 03:22:10

An Endzeitgeist.com review


This installment of the evocative Gossamer Worlds-series clocks in at 17 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, leaving us with 15 pages of content, so let’s take a look!


So what is dragonhearth? Well, if the name wasn't ample clue for you, let me fill you in: It is a world of DRAGONS...yeah, I'm proud of my astute observation as well. kidding aside, everything on this world is draconic to some extent - from serpentine waves of light to myriad forms of draconic life, there are a lot of supreme serpents inhabiting this place. So attuned to the very notion of dragons is this world, that even plants and most predatory animals share some component of lethal grace with the serpentine masters...oh, and paltry little squishy creatures from other realities, i.e. neither dragons nor the two draconic humanoid races, tend to suffer from a disease as the reality of the very world wastes them away - unless they enter a dragonbond. This can be pictured as an abstract relationship of friendship, love or simple subjugation - various strengths exist, some of which can transcend even the boundaries of gossamer realities. And yes, they have rules-relevant repercussions.


Now so far, so common - at this point, dragonhearth may not seem too impressive -I mean, apart from the continent-sized dracoliches and the system of reincarnation that governs life. Wait, what? Yes, concise rules for dracoliches are provided and hoards etc. are rationalized by a metaphysical reality that acts as a ruthless karmic meritocracy - which is cool on its own - but the whole thing becomes interesting with the existence of the golden wyrm Khemezatron (fully statted, btw.), a dragon awakened to the existence of the Grand Stairs and recently returned. beyond a gorgeous illustration, Khemezatron also introduced a nanite-based psychoactive virus to dragonhearth, courtesy of some highly-developed world she visited. Styling herself as a benevolent messiah, she infects draconic life, severing dragonbonds and rendering those subject to her dread disease thralls to her will, bonded to her technological assault on the very metaphysical powerstructures that govern life on Dragonhearth...for now, unopposed, but sooner or later, the world itself will take out the big, big guns and we have adventure potential galore.


Conclusion:


Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to Rite Publishing’s beautiful 2-column full-color standard for LoGaS and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. Artwork consists of glorious full-color pieces that are absolutely gorgeous to behold.


Matt Banach provides a setting that could theoretically be reduced to dragonsploitation - with draconic themes everywhere, I can well imagine a certain fatigue setting in sooner or later, so for my part, I'm not that blown away by the basic premise, no matter how good it is executed. However, the introduction of the alternate bond and the obvious theme of changing times that echoes the central conflict of umbra vs. eidolon makes this a rather unique and awesome set-up: If not for a whole campaign, then at least for a sojourn of one or more adventures - Khemezatron is a damn cool villain that provides a truly unique imagery. My final verdict, hence, will clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 for the purpose of this platform.


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Gossamer Worlds: Dragonhearth (Diceless)
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Coliseum Morpheuon (PFRPG)
by R. W. T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/18/2015 22:23:43

Planar Adventure and Mini-Setting for High Level Adventuring


This astounding document is 130 pages long, including beautiful front and back covers, a credits page, two pages for Table of Contents, and introduction, 10 chapters plus 3 appendices, and a single-page OGL. It is clearly intended primarily for GMs to use as a new planar mini-setting that can be used for plug-and-play within your own setting/campaign, and includes a full adventure for high-level adventures (intended for 16th to 20th level PCs), centered around a major event in the Coliseum Morpheuon: The Damnation Epoch.


I have a few beefs with the layout of certain bits that are spread across pages, but given the nature of the adventure's non-linear layout, the overall structure of the document is nice. It should clearly be easily accessible (physical printed document is best), since it's clear a GM running this setting or adventure module would want to easily reference material from many sections of the book. There are sections that would be more appropriate for players appropriate to functioning well in the Plane of Dreams (feats and spells, specifically), and should be printed out separately for player reference. Along with a few bits of text for major NPCs and creature entries running across pages that feels awkward, I feel these minor setbacks to the document only take off 2/10 deduction, and will end with a 5-star review (4.8). This is a great product that, if employed properly, is everything needed to run a really amazing and memorable adventure at high-level.


Furthermore, this product is not just an adventure, because it is also the entire description of elements of the coliseum (and all surrounding sites) within the Plane of Dreams, in a moderately stable, finite planar region. This planar site serves as the central focus for the adventure and all related plotlines. Being strange and ephemeral, the Plane of Dreams has new rules and planar traits that allow both GMs and PCs a chance to have a lot of fun in a free-form manner, allowing the PCs to follow a central storyline, while still giving them a chance to interact with a very lively and imaginative setting that never has to be the same thing twice. The product outlines major NPCs, including patrons who may employ/mentor PCs during the coliseum events, as well as a host of other individuals who are involved in the mini-politics and plot hooks of the adventure. It is not intended to be linear, and PCs have a lot of choice in how things play out, and how big and tough the opponents are which they wish to take on. It has all the elements of an epic story, no matter how you look at it.


Chapter 1-2 covers the Plane of Dreams and dream-related abilities and effects. Ch. 3 includes other inhabitants of the dream realm, and specifically the site of the Coliseum Morpheuon. Ch. 4 is an overview of the island region within the dreamscape, and ch. 5 is all the major NPCs within the adventure and surrounding plotlines. Ch. 6 gives the overview of the Damnation Epoch and the adventure to come, while ch. 7-9 is the actual adventure. Ch. 10 ends with the secrets of the region, the major NPCs, and ways to continue the adventure beyond its scope of the tournament's trials. The appendices include the two major rival groups of adventurers, as well as four other pre-generated characters that could be PCs or potential other gladiators or NPCs.


This includes several new map images (very nice looking and useful, both in the adventure and possibly for other application), and the adventure clearly has ties to other related products in the Faces of the Tarnished Souk series, which can expand the diversity of faces at the site if things start to get boring or repetitive (and you would have a difficult time accomplishing that, IMHO). It's hard to add anything to what other reviewers have said about this great product, but it's worth checking out and putting to use at the game table!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Coliseum Morpheuon (PFRPG)
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Publisher Reply:
RWT thanks for taking the time to do a review of the prodcut would you be interested in doing a review of the follow up book Faces of the Tarnished Souk an Npc Collection, or the Novel set there. Lost in Dream?
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