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Battlewagon Article #4: Battlewagon Scenario - Operation Regenbogen
Battlewagon Article #4: Battlewagon Scenario - Operation Regenbogen
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Foreven Worlds: Fessor Subsector (Traveller)
by paul h. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/25/2014 18:21:48
This was my first purchase of a JBE product. I had read the discussions on the MGT board and was interested in taking a look at what was being offered.

The supplement is 11 pages in total, of which only six having gaming information. The other five are the covers(2), a page covering the required OGL legalese and another information page with some more license/acknowledgements, and finally and introduction by the author talking about the sector and the direction he's taking with the supplement (it also includes some backstory for the sector as well). The additional backstory is a nice addition, the rest of the pages are to be expected.

Now, let's get on to the meat of the product. There is a sub-sector map page and accompanying table providing the breakdown of each system on the map. There are a total of 28 systems listed. Each of the major sub-polities (there are two) has their system clusters marked off on the map. There's also a single Zhodani planet along with a few empty hexes marked off as claimed by the Zho. No Imperial planets.

There's a page and a half detail for the subsector, providing some backstory on the region as well as an overview of the economics and political alliances. And there's some backstory on the pirates who flourish here as well. Fortunately for PC's, the pirates in this subsector are more concerned with smuggling than ship stealing or raiding.

There's a total of seven planets that have descriptions provided, with each one getting about half a page. I really enjoyed the detail provided for each one. Kudo's for the editing, since there's enough description provided for each of the detailed worlds to help a referee build a backstory around an adventure. Plus there are the always enjoyable snippets of information that helps provide character to each world. For example one world, known as the breadbasket of the People's Militia (one of the two multi-planet empires), has a problem with pollen that affects offworlders who have to wear filter masks. The author goes on to describe the social/economic layout of the planet in enough detail to provide adventure hooks. The rural nature of the planet offers opportunities for trade and adventure. Smaller towns offer potentially hostile or ill-tempered locals who need something done. And of course there's the built-in opportunity to do some profitable, if risky, smuggling.

The remaining six planets each get a similar descriptive breakdown - providing enough detail to set them apart from the rest while offering reasons and hooks for adventure.

I have two reasons for giving the product a three. The first is that the covers are in color, but the subsector map is black and white. It's easy enough to generate a color map, and the front and back covers (as well as some other pieces) are in color. In this day and age I expect color to used where it's most useful. And maps are (or at least should be) a primary focus of this.

The second, and main reason, I only gave this three stars was the lack of information on the remaining systems, and, to a lesser extent, more background on the two main political entities. There are 28 listed on the map and where system details are provided. But only seven get descriptions. The remaining systems only exist as far as system UPP's go (with a few exceptions to base listings, including pirate). There are two systems listed as Red zones and ten as Amber, so I would expect at least SOME description of why. A handful fall within the seven systems that are listed, but most aren't.

What I think should have happened was that the other 21 systems be given a paragraph description. And any system listed as Amber or Red definitely needed to have defined why they were listed as such. I find it annoying, to say the least, that planets get marked this way and no reason given. If there isn't a reason, then why bother? A referee can easy mark a planet as such if they so choose. If you are going to mark it you need to give a reason. I think it would have helped to provide more information on the two empires. There's mention of nearly 20 pirate bases in the region. I'm sure most are independent outfits, so it would have been nice to know which bases are known as the best places to fence stolen goods or ships, where you can go to repair damage or to get better weapons.

I think the supplement shows a lot of promise, but it's a bit light on details for my tastes. Hopefully the next ones will have more. I wouldn't mind spending double ($6 instead of $3) to get what I'm looking/asking for. It's still inexpensive enough that price isn't an issue.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Foreven Worlds: Fessor Subsector (Traveller)
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Publisher Reply:
After reading your review, I must admit that you are correct on why you docked this 2 stars. I will be updating with a color map as soon as possible. Also I will be sure to add details on all the other worlds in the sector for future subsector releases. For this one though, I will be posting details on all the other worlds free on JonBrazer.com. Thank you for your feedback. I really appreciate it. Dale McCoy, President of Jon Brazer Enterprises.
Foreven Worlds: Fessor Subsector (Traveller)
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/25/2014 12:13:38
New worlds to explore is what Traveller is all about - and here is an area with considerable scope, as much is not aligned with the big power blocs (Imperium, Zhodani, etc) and parts even unexplored... territory your party might put their own stamp on, maybe even establishing their own government.

Most of the worlds in Fessor Subsector either stand alone or as part of small multi-world states, with many regimes being noted for their tendency to be led by warlords or dictators rather than public servants in office for the good of their citizens. Other worlds began as colonies of like-minded folk seeking freedom (perhaps to practice a particular way of life) and some have even retained that spirit. Others were sponsored by corporations, content provided a regular supply of whatever resource sent them there in the first place is maintained.

As well as a formal UPP, each world gets a write-up of several paragraphs that gives a summary overview of what that planet is like. Whist short, these pen-pictures give a good feel of the overall picture at an appropriate level for a visitor to the planet - and should provide plenty of ideas for inventive referees should the party decide to go there.

A nice part of the universe to visit, scope for adventure without being the sort of place nobody in their right mind would visit. Oh, and they have pirates, too!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Age of Ideas: Character Backgrounds (13th Age/Archmage)
by Sylvain B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/27/2014 20:41:25
I was fairly disappointed with this product which essentially lists 100 mundane medieval professions. The four character backgrounds given as a sample are among the most interesting. The two pages of content are duplicates except that one of them is borderless.

I was expecting to see more inspiring entries to help spark the imagination when creating characters. Stamping it as 13th Age Compatible feels like a lazy attempt to profit from the interest generated by the game. You will likely get more mileage out of this free list : http://arcana.wikidot.com/list-of-medieval-european-professi-
ons

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Age of Ideas: Character Backgrounds (13th Age/Archmage)
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Book of Magic: Pirate Spells (PFRPG)
by Bob B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/12/2013 12:42:46
While there are only twenty four spells in this volume, each is quite evocative in their own way. Meant for inspired sea-faring, each of the spells serve a real function (as opposed to just merely being a way to stack on damage. The spells are well thought out and provide interesting avenues of application in a seafaring, or even sub-seafaring campaign. The imagery involved in spells such as "Kelp Grapples" is worth the price alone. I'll certainly be looking at a few other publications. While I don't play Pathfinder, these spells are easily adapted to other settings.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Book of Magic: Pirate Spells (PFRPG)
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d66 Reasons for an Amber Alert System
by Margaret E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/09/2013 06:10:31
Seems like Star Trek only had a Red Alert or nothing. An Amber Alert makes sense. A good list of things that aren't as serious as the things on the Red Alert list d66 has. I recommend both

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
d66 Reasons for an Amber Alert System
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d66 Narcotic and Recreational Drug Names
by Margaret E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/09/2013 06:01:44
I think all of the drugs on this list have excellent sounding names for sci-fi type scenarios. Good work!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
d66 Narcotic and Recreational Drug Names
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Book of the Faithful: Oracle Mysteries (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/05/2013 03:35:07
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf is 4 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving us with two pages of content, so let's take a look!



Why does this book exist? Well, author Dale McCoy Jr. considers mysteries as lenses through which the oracle should attempt to see life -and at the same time be MYSTERIOUS. Hence, we get two new ones:



First would be the Fitness-mystery, which nets a climb speed, immunity to fatigue (and later exhaustion), +2 to Str, Dex or Con that is later enhanced to +4, +10 ft. speed (and doge/mobility as bonus feats), bonuses to CMB, slow falling, minor natural AC, 1 minute per level sprout bird wings and touches that can decrease a creature's movement and deal 1d3 str-damage to a foe in range and get 5 x str-damage temp HP. The final revelation is awesome and lets you auto-confirm crits, never incur AoOs and doubles the amount of HP you have below 0 before dying.



The second mystery is focused on Joy -why has it taken so long for that theme to be covered? Oo Oh well, what do we get? Bardic performance, inflict sorrow-base debuffs on foes, 1/day heal more hp, buff allies with your presence, as a standard action make foes friendly as if charmed, 1/day freely enlarge/extend spells, gain endurance/diehard/heroic defiance (over the levels), infuse foes with overconfidence, emit damaging, ecstatic screams or grow butterfly-like wings. As a final revelation, immunity to fear and pain, or any emotion-effect you don't wish to suffer as well as cha-mod to all saves and remove negative emotion/fear/pain-based effects with a touch.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to a printer-friendly, no-frills two-column standard and the pdf comes bookmarked for your convenience in spite of its short length - awesome!



Allright, we get two excellent, balanced mysteries for a very fair price - nothing to complain about, the concepts are cool - and we have a winner! No issues, high concepts - 5 stars + endzeitgeist seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Book of the Faithful: Oracle Mysteries (PFRPG)
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Book of Beasts: Legendary Foes (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/26/2013 02:35:43
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This massive bestiary is 69 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC/introduction, 1 page advertisement, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 63 pages of content, so let's take a look!



High-level monsters are a whole different breed -in any setting where chimeras, manticores etc. roam the lands, these beasts of legend lose some of their oomph and thus, stories are woven around other beings, about creatures that can stand toe to toe with dragons. It is said high level foes that are movers and shakers, that shape a game, that can be the very goal of whole campaigns. It is said monsters that can, by their very existence and passing, change demographics and be the target of quests - the fascination with the Tarrasque, demon lords, archdevils etc. stems from this instinctual dread, from the sense of epic proportions - and from a DM's desire to play creatures that may kill characters and yet have the players cheer, as their beloved characters perished in combat with such a legend. I love high-level critters and this book is chock-full with them - but can they stand up to this lofty ideal?



Well, the first creature herein, at CR 20 is definitely no laughing matter - the 4-tusked demammoth behemoth is the granddaddy of all elephants/mammoths and beyond its impressive crushing powers and physical prowess, its very footsteps shake the earth. And worse, much like a dragon, it can emit a devastating attack with a cooldown: Once every 1d4 rounds, potential adversaries are in for 29d6 points of sonic damage in a 400 ft. line and may be deafened. Even those close to said attack may btw. share this fate. OUCH! Less impressive, but also dreaded would be the Blighrat - an aberration that not only regenerates quickly, but also has an aura that makes you susceptible to disease. As an ultimate nightmare for dwarves, these CR 15 menaces also come with two diseases - claws carrying a nameless nauseating disease, while bites carry a disease that makes your hair fall out in clumps - oh the shame for our poor dwarven brethren...



The flying, fanged and red-eyed CR 16 Blood Lions may have dire-animal-like bonespurs, but are so much more: Not undead, these apex predators can cure themselves via the ingestion of blood and make for deadly opponents. Deific Guards, the dwarven undead guardians of the pharaohs of old at CR 21 will drive the respect and fear into your PCs again - and if you're like me and tend to expand APs, then this should be remembered as soon as Paizo's Mummy's Mask AP hits shelves.



On the more mundane side, CR 17 doombats, huge animals, get an ultrasonic scream and pincer-legged, scaled dragon stirges are nightmares indeed, with their nauseating breath weapon and sundering pincers. At Cr 19, Fallen Angels could have been lazier in their approach, but instead come with a gamut of interesting abilities. Frozen Reapers may only be halfling-sized and subject to the player's ridicule, but 10d6 cold damage for every touch and the option to draw forth ice chunks from their body makes for a lethal foe. Why? well, said chunks deal 32d6 damage as well as potentially 2d4+1 rounds of stun. Yeah. Not laughing anymore, are they?



Vermiurges, Shadows of the Void and Gibbering Orbs (renamed Globs) make a return as old friends from the Epic Level Handbook. Speaking of old acquaintances - while I love the creature, I don't get why the Starak from the rather recent Book of Beasts for the Shadow Plane was reprinted in here . It feels a bit redundant.



Nature itself is not forgotten, though: Whether in the guise of the dwarf-hating, axe-vulnerable Great Caretaker that guards the primordial forests or the massive Guardian of the Mountain that gives elder earth elementals a run for their money. Speaking of element-themed outsiders: Lava Worms could have just been maxed out Thoqquas, but instead get a massive array of unique abilities that include increased chances of stealing and absorbing magic items even beyond the expected fire-themed abilities - and players HATE beasts that take their toys, so yeah - neat! Water Serpents and Wind Sentinels complete the deadly elemental-themed threats. The earth-themed Voidstone, though, deserves special mention, ranking among my favorites in this creature class with its blending of acid and life-drain.



If you're rather an aficionado of creepy crawlies, the walleye might suit your tastes - while not particularly impressive regarding their physical or damage-dealing capabilities, the creature gets a massive array of intel - one greater scrying per eye. As a spymaster, these creatures sitting in the midst of their webs are awesome indeed, if perhaps a bit high on the CR-scale for what they can do. Megabola spiders are another caliber - vermin, yes, but ones that will see any comparable brethren from their type pale and hide and millenial tigermoths and worms also make for nice creatures in the category megafauna.



Fans of the living dead are not left out either: Take the Jack-in-Irons, spawned from powerful beings executed via being drawn and quartered or the incorporeal memory of rage, spawned from years of torture - nice creatures indeed. There also is another failed lich-experiment resulting in a deadly swarm of death-dealing bone-debris. Neat.

The Darkblood Titan, bringing darkness where it threads - a cool creature, though at its size, an aura would probably be more suitable than at-will deeper darkness. Tall colossal creatures, after all, are usually assumed to be about 64 ft. or more - i.e. deeper darkness with its radius of 60 ft. already has a tough time concealing the titan. And yes, he can cast it as often as he likes, but still - an aura with a range of 120 ft. would have imho worked better.



On the slimy side, we get the CR 22 Ooze Dragons as well as godlings - and these toothy blobs are awesome: Primal gobs of slime, these intelligent creatures enslave humanoids to dance in blind reverence around them and worship them as they speak in all languages as once - disturbing and oozing sword & sorcery flair -two thumbs up!



Speaking of deadly chthonic creatures, two qlippoths can also be found in these pages, as can a swarm of will-o'-wisps.



Oh and then there's a rather interesting nod towards one of the most beloved discontinued settings. Does "Rupert" mean something to you? I know some of you out there are grinning from ear to ear right now. CR 25. Space-flight. Saber-toothed. GERBILSAURUS. Yes, not a hamster, but close! And having had gerbils, I can attest to the devastating power of even miniature one's aura of cuteness - does it surprise then, that this apex predator's aura takes immense force of will to resist? Also: crit-range 15-20 plus cursed bite and we get a creature that, like its artwork, manages to look both cute and threatening. Awesome. Of yeah, there's also a sabertoothed moose, but nothing can beat a sabertoothed space-faring giant gerbil destroyer of civilizations.



After that, we get a massive array of different NPCs for the highest echelons of powers: Banshee witches, shadow demon fighters and have i mentioned the awakened fortune-blessed unseelie dire tiger rogue otherwise known as Cat Sidhe? Or an oread worm-that-walks cleric? The 11 NPCs rock hard - but as NPCs, I would have loved backgrounds/legends for them - even at the cost of further increasing the page-count.



That's not the apex, CR-wise, of what to expect, though - there are 3 demigods in here: Pazuzu, the Green Knight and Libet, Deity of the Inner Self - all coming with various statblocks for followers, signature abilities and CRs nibbling at the 30 - in case your level 20 Mythic characters need their butts handed to them... Said minions btw. span the breadth of CRs, from low to high.



After that, we get 5 appendices: One containing universal monster rules (handy), one containing templates used, one for creature types and one containing one feat that allows you to wield two-handed spears in one hand. Have I mentioned the 12 lethal high CR-traps?



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I didn't notice any game-breaking glitches. Layout adheres to a printer-friendly two-column standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. EDIT: Minor bookmark hick-ups have been taken care of. The pdf also comes with an array of full color artworks and...well. Artworks are expensive, I get that - especially artworks like some of the ones we can see herein - there are some neat pieces in here. Some. There also are several pieces in here that are stock art and while beautiful, have been used before in numerous publications. Also, unlike previous Book of Beast-installments, the artworks don't blend too well together, adhering to very different styles. Also, there's something off about the way they've been integrated into the respective pages - perhaps it's the color vs. b/w-discrepancy between artworks and the rest of the page, perhaps it's the visible outlines of the artwork's borders showing up slightly on some pages - in the end, they don't fit organically with the very basic no-frills b/w-layout. The pdf is extensively hyperlinked for your convenience - EDIT: Some minor hyperlink-glitches have been cleaned up, increasing their usefulness



Dale McCoy Jr. and Richard Moore can create great monsters - no doubt about that and, coming from a proud tradition of great monster supplements, this one had me stoked hardcore - and indeed, these high CR adversaries are mostly awesome and ooze threatening iconicity. But.



But the monsters could have used monster lore DCs or at least a tad bit more fluff. And once I've seen one artwork used for 3 or 4 publications and then reused, it loses some of its potency. Still, I wouldn't complain (too loudly) about that - if the artworks at least partially managed to evoke a sense of cohesion. Instead, they actually, at least for me, detracted from the book's appeal in some instances: When obvious stock art that wasn't intended for the creature in question clashes with a new artwork and when the styles are so radically different, the book suffers - especially since the full color artworks in every instance just clashes with the pdf's layout to the point where it's imho visually jarring. The hyperlinks and bookmarks also suffer slightly and make this pdf feel like it's been rushed out of the door with some artworks missing/motivation waning.



Now don't get me wrong - this is still a great collection of high-level adversaries, but this pdf had all the makings of becoming a supplement as legendary as the foes included in these pages - and squandered it in minor issues that could have been addressed. I also often try to comment when a layout is truly gorgeous -what Marc Radle has done for Kobold Press-supplements comes to mind, and unfortunately, this pdf is the contrast - a full color artwork, some frills - anything really to make the artworks feel less jarring would have greatly benefited this book of beasts.

Why not e.g. make a box per page and limit the respective artwork to said room? Jon Brazer Enterprises has shown that they can make cohesive-looking monster books and in this one, the layout is really distracting - from the per se excellent content. While not every creature herein is great, the staggering majority are and the amount of work the statblocks take off one's shoulders make this worthwhile. Even with aforementioned glitches and the relatively undetailed, yet gorgeous NPC-statblocks, the additional content and general quality of the crunch makes this worthwhile - though I can't help but feel regret at what this book could have been. My final verdict, in spite of the minor rough edges, clocks in at EDIT: 4.5 stars, rounded down to 4 for the purpose of this platform and a definite recommendation to any DM excited by what I mentioned and in search for some foes to drive the fear back into the players.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Book of Beasts: Legendary Foes (PFRPG)
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Cavalier Mounts (PFRPG) (Printer)
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/01/2013 06:50:12
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf is 4 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving us with 2 pages of content, so let’s take a look!



This pdf is Dale McCoy Jr.’s answer versus the problem of boring cavalier mounts for e.g. dwarves and other races – ignoring the horse/camel limitation in favor for some more exotic, weird mounts – a total of 11 different base statistics, all of which advance at 4th level (with one exception, the wolfhound advances at 7th level) and the creatures are interesting indeed:



We get a riding ant, elks, riding beetles, cave salamanders, giant gila monsters, the obligatory riding eagle, riding hawks, spiders and OSTRICHS and TUMBLING PIGS! Hell yeah!



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any glitches. Layout adheres to a no-frills standard and the pdf actually, in spite of its short length, comes fully bookmarked – commendable! Better yet, the pdf comes with working d20pfsrd.com hyperlinks – the good type, where only rules-relevant pieces are hyperlinked.



What can I say – for a very fair asking price, this pdf offers some cool mounts and while I’m not sold on why we needed a hawk and an eagle, overall, this pdf offers some VERY cool mounts to use and add some very distinct cultural flair to your campaign and set cavaliers (and other mounted characters) more apart. I still would have wished for a second mount that is not yet another bird, but that’s about the only thing I have to complain about – hence my final verdict will clock in at 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cavalier Mounts (PFRPG) (Printer)
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Publisher Reply:
Thank you for the glowing review. To answer one point you raised, the hawk and the eagle are in there to allow both small and medium size player characters to have a winged mount. Again, thank you.
Book of Multifarious Munitions: Vehicles of War (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/02/2013 05:33:28
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf is 12 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, 1 page ToC/introduction, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 8 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?



All right, first of all: I LOVE that we get new vehicles - they feature heavily in my campaign, make combat more dynamic and bring whole new tactical options and cinematic flair to a game. That being said, not a whole lot of books have tackled the subject so far, in spite of the existence of these rules since ultimate combat. Enter Jon Brazer Enterprises' second Book of Multifarious Munitions and we thankfully get some new fodder to battle on and travel with - but does the vehicle-book hold up to its potential?



Well, the first of the vehicles is rather basic - a crescent-shaped hovering board, which, while based on magic, should also put a smile on the faces of any sci-fi aficionados that would enjoy some hover-board battles. By the way - an aquatic, no-current relying board is also part of the deal - something rather relevant for fans of Alluria Publishing's great Cerulean Seas Campaign Setting. The fast and mobile halfling frigates may be small, but fierce indeed and multiple of these could take down larger vessels...



Speaking of small, but fierce: Kobolds get an AWESOME tool: AN alchemical, extremely painful flamethrower that should put the fear of these little critters into your players - put one of these in your kobold warrens and watch the PCs squirm when the little kobolds douse them in concentrated, searing death.



Now if you're more of a fan of the Harry Potter-franchise or of the classic concept of witches flying on brooms, the vehicle-treatment for brooms of flying will surely put a smile on your face.

Of course, more mundane vehicles can be found in here as well, with three in particular addressing a mayor gap I'm surprised at it not having been filled before: Siege Towers! From ramshackle siege towers as probably employed by the huge horde of orcs to regular ones and the almost impregnable ones the dwarves employ, the siege towers could find a place in just about any campaign.



Fans of clockworks, whether in a steampunk-context or of Midgard's Zobeck can also rejoice - there is a ram propelled forward by mechanical feet and controlled via a wand as well as a clockwork horse possessed by a demonic spirit (perhaps a lost design from the days of the revolt in Zobeck?) and, of course - a clockwork tank armed with a ballista. Clockwork tank armed with a ballista. If that does not put a smile to your face, what does? I know I was grinning from ear to ear when reading this.



Now if warfare's the name of the game - then mobile barricades will provide shelter for the poor infantry and protect against the muscle-powered reapers, deflecting shields studded with multiple blades and used to overrun adversaries. Have I mentioned the wind/air elemental-powered land barges, essentially armored troupe transporters? Now if you don't want to get all into the fray, why not use a blade sphere?



What's a blade sphere you ask? It's a sphere of blades that doesn't decelerate for two rounds after letting it go, shredding and waltzing through anything in its path - of course, if your players fancy themselves sky pirates, you're in luck as well: On the one hand we get the low end of airborne vehicles with the flying wagon and on the other, the massive, intimidating, fortress shattering sky dreadnought - disabling one of these ought to be one epic hell of an adventure! And then there is the Warbird - if you happen to know a certain song "Flying on wings of steel...", you know what to expect - A mechanical, bird of prey-shaped vehicle that WILL go down in the legends of your group: "Remember that one time we flew on the mechanical eagle..." -epic indeed.



Of course, characters and factions more in line with the sinister aspects of magic also get new tools: Take for example the Zombie Bone Chariot, which is propelled by fast zombies (also nice for post-zombie-apocalypse-settings à la the upcoming "Warlords of the Apocalypse" or "Obsidian Apocalypse") or, one of my favorites, the bone skiff: A ship, which can be powered by channeling negative energy and which may extend up to 6 zombified arms (!!!) to attack a given target! This is disturbing indeed and gleefully so!



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to a printer-friendly two-column b/w-standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked. Beyond even that, we get hyperlinks (and the good kind!) of rules-relevant concepts to d20pfsrd.com -as well as artworks. A total of 4 beautiful full color artworks are in here, all of which to my knowledge are not only original, but also make you want to use these vehicles even more - V-Shane and Rick Hershey did a great job.



WOW. I liked the book on ships - but this is a whole different beast! Not only do the vehicles cover a wide array of ideas and concepts, they are innovative and often feature unique modifications for propulsion, attacks or special qualities that set them apart. I hoped I would love this pdf - turns out, I adore it! Author Dale McCoy Jr. has created an extremely iconic, versatile array of vehicles that are guaranteed to enhance your game - whether piloting them, fighting them or engaging in all-out warfare, whether on land or up in the heavens - this pdf delivers - in spades! Going beyond even what I expected, it delivers versatility, ingenuity, stellar ideas and marries them with top-notch production values - an all out joy to read and review, this pdf scores a hearty recommendation at 5 stars + seal of approval and is a candidate for the top ten of 2013 - it may be small, but like the kobold-flamethrower, it sets ablaze your imagination.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Book of Multifarious Munitions: Vehicles of War (PFRPG)
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Publisher Reply:
Thank you for taking the time to write such a glowing review.
Cavalier Mounts (PFRPG) (Laptop/Tablet)
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/07/2013 10:15:53
Here's a neat little collection of fantasy mounts for your cavalier characters (or indeed anyone who is fed up walking), stemming, as the author points out, from the thought having arisen one day: Why should the only riding beasts available be horses or a camel if you're lucky.

A Cavalier is defined by his mounted status after all, and as this is a fantasy world, fantasy mounts are surely appropriate. So here we have the likes of salamanders, elk, eagles, hawks and spiders all presented rather bare bones (just the statistics you'll need to run them including the level-based advancements). The underlying concept is that these are animals that are bred and trained to be riding beasts, very likely by cavalier orders for their members, and so likely to be quite hard to obtain if you are not a cavalier of the correct order!

Inventive GMs - or even business-savvy PCs - might set up a business breeding and training a particular species as mounts, of course... indeed, I can feel an adventure idea coming on... but they are still likely to be hard to acquire and quite expensive.

Neat thoughts, ripe for expansion and incorporation into your campaign world.

(As an aside, I actually find the 'printer' version easier to read electronically than this one!)

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Cavalier Mounts (PFRPG) (Laptop/Tablet)
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Cavalier Mounts (PFRPG) (Printer)
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/07/2013 10:14:29
Here's a neat little collection of fantasy mounts for your cavalier characters (or indeed anyone who is fed up walking), stemming, as the author points out, from the thought having arisen one day: Why should the only riding beasts available be horses or a camel if you're lucky.

A Cavalier is defined by his mounted status after all, and as this is a fantasy world, fantasy mounts are surely appropriate. So here we have the likes of salamanders, elk, eagles, hawks and spiders all presented rather bare bones (just the statistics you'll need to run them including the level-based advancements). The underlying concept is that these are animals that are bred and trained to be riding beasts, very likely by cavalier orders for their members, and so likely to be quite hard to obtain if you are not a cavalier of the correct order!

Inventive GMs - or even business-savvy PCs - might set up a business breeding and training a particular species as mounts, of course... indeed, I can feel an adventure idea coming on... but they are still likely to be hard to acquire and quite expensive.

Neat thoughts, ripe for expansion and incorporation into your campaign world.

(As an aside, I prefer the layout of this version for reading electronically rather than the one marketed as the 'laptop/tablet' version!)

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Cavalier Mounts (PFRPG) (Printer)
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Shadowsfall: Guide to Umbral Kobolds (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/23/2013 07:27:57
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf is 16 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 12 pages of content, so let’s take a look, shall we?

This pdf kicks off with an introduction of how Dale McCoy Jr., head of Jon Brazer Enterprises, was dissatisfied with the standard race of kobolds and an introduction of what this race is – essentially, a kobold-race ramped up to be on par with PC-races without using the identity of being koboldish. We also get a short rundown on Shadowsfall, the plane-of-shadows-setting of JBE before we delve into an actually very well-written piece of in-character prose. The short story gets you just in the right mindset before you get to take a peek at the mechanical traits of this race.

Umbral Kobolds get -2 to Str, +2 to Dex and Int, are small, get darkvision, +1 natural armor bonus, 2 to Craft (Trapmaking), Perception and Profession (miner). Stealth and Craft (Trapmaking) are always class skills for umbral kobolds. They also get light sensitivity, extensive pieces of information regarding their relationships with other races, alignment and adventuring etc. as well as thankfully a table for age, height and weight including starting age. They also come with 4 alternate racial options that may replace light sensitivity with albinism (weird choice, since albinism makes one not particularly appreciate bright lights either…), give them a blinding spit attack 1/day, make them especially tied to the plane of shadows (for increased caster levels in the dark, but also heavy drawbacks upon confrontation with bright lights and finally, kobolds that replace their natural armor bonus with +1 to Dex and +2 to stealth. With the exception of the albinism-trait’s minor fluff/crunch-disjunction’s exception nothing to complain about here.

2 racial character traits are also provided, one that nets you Knowledge (Planes) as a class skill and +2 on it and the other that gives you +1 to ref and initiative. After that, we're introduced to two new archetypes, with the shadowsneak getting bonuses to racial bonuses to movement and as well 1/2 rogue level to craft (traps) and Perception to discover traps. Solid, I guess, but nothing too special. The Mad Bomber alchemist archetype gets 10 + 3/4 level +Int to determine bomb-DCs, doesn't provoke AoOs when using bombs and counts as +2 levels with regards to alchemist discoveries related to bombs. Solid.

After that, we're introduced 4 new feats, with one allowing you to mitigate some issues related to 1s on disable device checks and gunslinger misfires, one that allows bonuses for saving throws for each kobold in range, one that doubles miss chance in dim light to 40% and one that allows you 1+Cha-bonus shadow jumps per day.

Two new items are also included, with a new nauseating, blinding poison being one and the other being a dye to color scales. 32 full-blown racial kobold gods are also here and after their well-written write-ups, we get 3 new spells - one that creates an illusory double you can blow up, assault foes with shadow-illusion coins and one to create an aura of darkness for which a swarm of shadowy kobolds panics foes. Among the new magic items, we get an incantation that makes shooting into melee versus undead easier, a crown that nets +2 to Int and Cha as well as form of the dragon I, black dust that sends the undead running from recollections of their past life and a kitchy talisman that guards you with minor bonuses versus specific types of death.

The pdf closes with 3 sample communities in neat write-ups (though sans settlement statblcoks) that can be considered well-written indeed. the final piece of crunch is a CR 11 shadowsneak umbral kobold.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to a parchment-background 2-column standard and the original pieces of full-color artworks are nice and tie neatly the content together. The pdf is fully bookmarked for your convenience. As per the writing of this review, the herolab-files for this has not yet been released, but will be soon. The pdf comes with extensive hyperlinks to d20pfsrd.com for your convenience.

This is essentially a nice little racial pdf that makes kobolds a nice, viable alternative to making to kobolds a better PC-race choice. The fluff is great and the crunch remains balanced, nice and I didn't encounter any particular piece of content I'd consider problematic. While neither the spells or items completely blew me away, overall, this can be considered a nice offering at a fair price and thanks to the great fluff, I'll settle for a final verdict of 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowsfall: Guide to Umbral Kobolds (PFRPG)
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Book of Magic: Insurgency of Summer (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/11/2013 02:52:07
This pdf is 10 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC/introduction, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let's check it out!

This pdf, like many a magic-book, kicks off with spellcaster lists of the new spells, covering all Paizo-base-classes (including the magus, but not e.g. the antipaladin) and introduces us to 10 new spells. And the first spell is already uncommon to say the least: As part of the spell's casting, the caster needs to stab him/herself with a +1 flaming dagger. This additional con-damage may not be mitigated and deals an additional point of constitution damage to the caster, but as a result, a deadly cone of searing blood (1d8 per caster level, up to 15d8) sprays forth, sealing not only its regular damage, but also con-damage to cold creatures hit - con damage they can't negate. A VERY interesting spell with an extremely iconic casting and honestly, I wished that more spells would do such things with their casting components. Campfire Forge is also interesting: It allows you to place weapons in your camp fire and when you draw them forth, they temporarily gain the flaming quality or if they already have that, the flaming burst quality. Interesting spell-mechanics indeed. When compared to these two, the conical fiery blast-spell feels very lame, as does the spell to summon a flight of giant eagles. Fire Mark and Fire Brand allow you to brand creatures, granting the branded +2 to Dex while the spell is in effect and the brand also provides resistance 20 to fire. Beyond that, these two spells can be discharged at any time for a fiery ray touch attack or a 6d6 fireball.

Incinerate Creature deals damage over consecutive rounds and has the potential to panic the incinerated being, while magma wave deals massive damage and can topple those hit by it. Finally, rain of fire may incinerate areas and fill the area of effect with fiery embers and smoke, while repeating fireball is just that - a spell that allows you to throw multiple fireballs on subsequent rounds, directing the follow-up spheres as a move action.

Beyond spells, we also get stats for two new animal companions, the fire ant and the poisonous giant bee (why no bumblebee as well?). Bards may now profit from the new "Melt the Heart with Love" bardic masterpiece, which makes enemies susceptible to emotion and fire-spells as well as making all weapons count as fire for purpose of ending regeneration. Adherents of the divine may now chose from 3 subdomains, the beltane domain (with a great defensive dance), the rainbow-subdomain (including dazzling rainbow light) and the summer subdomain (which grants resistance and later, immunity to cold). Witches may now choose the blood and summer patrons and any class capable of having improved familiars may opt to choose a mechanical owl (including information to build them as constructs) or young phoenixes (not yet able to rejuvenate).

The final new piece of content herein is the Holocaust cloak allows the wearer to sheathe him/herself in flames, getting either fire or cold resistance 10 and dealing 1d6+7 points of fire damage to the assailants if the wearer is hit with natural attacks/unarmed damage. Furthermore, the wearer may use 2 rounds of the daily allotment of activated rounds to emit a 7d6 nova.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are excellent, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to a printer-friendly 2-column no-frills standard and the 4 small pieces of b/w-artwork are nice. The pdfs come with extensive, nested bookmarks. Pdfs? Yeah, for Jon Brazer Enterprises has included an EXTREMELY tablet-friendly version optimized for 10-inch-tablets in the deal, the second pdf clocking in at 15 pages, with as many non-content-pages as the regular pdf. Still, especially for tablet/laptop-users, this is a new level of service and awesomeness and is a definite plus, as are the provided herolab-files and the copious hyperlinks to d20pfsrd.

The content in this pdf is well-balanced indeed, with two spells in particular being brave and rather innovative in what they do, with the rest of the new content seamlessly fitting in the fire-theme. Fire-theme? Yeah. While I get the summer/agility/fire vs. winter/static/cold dichotomy and while some of the spells actually make this connections, not all of them do and a slightly tighter focus on this new style would have made this pdf imho feel more distinct. Also, the creepy aspects of summer (sweltering heat, insect-plagues, virulent growth) have been mostly ignored, which is a loss to the theme - think about the Dresden Files: Summer can be scary. Taking e.g. the eagle-spell out (Yeah, I get the Hobbit nod - I just don't think it fits thematically) would have made room for that. Also, the mechanical owl feels a bit like an odd duck, but that may be me.

More pressing is another thing I feel the need to mention: While the content in this book is great and I don't consider any component to be unbalanced, it is also rather short. As a reviewer, I have to take the superb user-friendliness regarding tablets, hyperlinks, herolab into account as a positive aspect that will offset this relative brevity, but privately, I don't benefit from any of them. Since I figure that more people will belong to both sides, I'll settle for two verdicts: If you want to use these features, then this is a 4-star-pdf for you. If you are in for the content only, then due to the brevity, I'd rate this down to 3.5 stars, rounded down to 3. Since the average of both verdicts is 3.75, I'll settle for an overall rating of 4 stars in the end.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Book of Magic: Insurgency of Summer (PFRPG)
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Book of Magic: Insurgency of Summer (PFRPG)
by Derek B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/02/2013 03:15:22
Spells That Signify Your Seasonal Mark

To start off, let me say that my fire elementalist wizard LOVES this book. Honestly, he thought the book was made specifically for his character. If that doesn't get you wanting to buy this pdf, hopefully my review will.

The first thing that came to my attention is the immediate difference in editing and style of this book compared to the Signature Spells 1 book. It's like night and day, but unfortunately not in the good way. At least not for me. While the Signature Spells book looked very neat, well spaced, and was easy on the eyes, both the print and the tablet editions of this pdf are heavily bolded to the point that they tend to almost bleed together, and it makes it harder on the eyes. It doesn't look nearly as clean. The print version's much worse than the tablet version. The tablet version at least is passable, but it still suffers from the having too much text too close to each other. I'd have preferred things to have been spaced out more. A different text layout probably would have helped it go a long way as well.

Now that the negative aspects have been touched on, let's look at all of the positive. This product comes in a .rar file with three items contained within: a tablet copy of the pdf, a printer friendly copy of the pdf, and a Hero Lab add-on. With more people using Hero Lab these days, this is slowly becoming a standard necessity for distributors to have with each release. While I don't use the program, I know lots of people who do, and they welcome these very much. Anything to make a GM's life easier is fine by me.

Despite the faults of the text, the pdf itself is filled with wonderful additions for the Pathfinder game. The Table of Contents list everything that you can find in the product, including spells, new animal companions, a bard masterpiece, more subdomains for clerics and inquisitors, additional witch patrons, familiars, and a new magic item.

Much like the Signature Spells books, there's a listing section for all the spells, what classes they belong to, and a brief description of what each one does. The nice thing about this is you can look over each spell quickly and see exactly which ones peak your interest first so you can search it out later for a more elaborate description. One thing the reader will pick up right away is that this pdf is heavy on the fire spells, hence why my fire specialist wizard enjoyed it so much. There's definitely no shortage here. That's not all that's here though. There's a neat summoning spell for your summoner, or heavy summoning classes, to bring about a group of flying battle trained eagles to act as mounts for the party. They don't stick around for a long time so don't expect them to fly you from Point A to Point B, unless you've got the feats that'll extend it for that long. They're more meant for tactical advantage in a fight. Hopefully you don't have that large of a party though as you can only summon 1d4+1 of them per casting.

The new companions aren't terrible. It's a fire ant, and a giant bee. I like the idea of having vermin as companions that grow and get stronger as you do. The nice thing about these is you're not forced to be the very specific druid archetype. Anyone can take these. The improved familiars aren't too shabby either. Like the companions, one is fire based. They are the phoenix and the mechanical owl. It's nice to see access to a clockwork familiar without requiring a second feat on top of the Improved Familiar feat.

The new bardic masterpiece is pretty fun to read for its abilities, but other than that it seems pretty limited and circumstantial. Great for when you're fighting trolls though. If you've got a fire wizard in the party too, he's going to love the bard. It's just too bad it's not available to you until 7th level. Almost seems too little too late at that point.

The new subdomains are decent, but again the Rainbow Subdomain is a little troublesome. The Beltane Subdomain power is a nice swap-out for Nimbus of Light if you're not in a heavy undead campaign, and less limited in comparison to the Day Subdomain. At the very least, your party will appreciate the bonus during combat. The spells you gain are pretty decent too, and make some sense. The Summer Subdomain is probably favourite of the three. Swap out fire resistance for cold resistance, and eventually immunity? Yes please. Fire resistance is probably the easiest thing to obtain for any PC. Cold is a close second, and this helps make it even closer. Now the Rainbow Subdomain does give you arcane spells for the swap-out at levels 7-9, but the power you get in exchange for Storm Burst, is questionable. Don't get me wrong, Storm Burst sucks. It does nonlethal damage without the standard -4 penalty, and it's at range. Rainbow Light, however, is less circumstantial. It's melee touch instead of ranged touch, and it dazzles you for 1d4 rounds. Few things are immune to that. The only problem is finding creatures to affect with it. If at any time the character is not facing off against mooks, meaning they have more HD than the cleric, the ability is useless. It can't affect anyone who has the PC's HD+1. As long as their HD is equal or less, the cleric's power still functions. About the only reason you'd take it is because you gain the prismatic spells at 7th and on.

The witch gains two new patons, which are Blood and Summer. Both are quite nice, and great additions. Your players are going to hard up to figure out which one they want for their character. Personally I like Blood. Considering what it consists of, I honestly have to wonder if the 10th level ability is actually a typo. The 2nd level is inflict light wounds, but the 10th is cure critical? I guess that fits though as the 14th level one is regenerate.

And now finally, the new magic item. The Holocaust Cloak. Given the name you'd think it was something epic and expensive. Something almost apocalyptic in power and nature. Well, you'd be right in that it's expensive. It's a cloak that gives you either cold or fire resistance 10, makes you glow as if you were the light spell, an aura of fire that activates if hit by a natural weapon or unarmed strike for 10 rounds/day. However, you can sacrifice two of those rounds to do the equivalent to a mid-level fireball centered on you, for DC 16 Reflex. At 50,000 gold that seems way too limited.

Overall, the pdf is good. It's not something for everyone, but if you've got players who love fire spells, or you're a GM who wants to add a few more fire evocation spells to your spell book, or want to add a few more options to the clerics or witches in your group, you'll find something in here to satisfy. You won't be disappointed for what you paid for it. My player liked it, and another player is looking at it for a future witch character she'd like to do up. Chances are she'll go Blood, depending on the campaign we're doing.

I give this a 3.5 out of 5. It's got a little something for everyone, but it might not be enough for some people.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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