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Magitech Archetypes
by Vladimir C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/18/2017 18:45:58

DISCLAIMER: This review is based on a free PDF provided by the author and the publisher, which in no way had an influence on the final score.

Magitech Archetypes is a sci-fi/fantasy fusion-themed book by Legendary Games. As all books by the publisher, this one includes amazing layout and art, but they are not only beautiful; they are handy for players because of the many electronic links it includes, so you get a lot of information interconnected.

What’s inside? 21 pages of content, which include:

-7 archetypes: Astrologers are mesmerist who study the stars, and exchange many of their tricks for star-flavored abilities, even creating miniature satellites to attack their foes or travel to and survive in another planet! Delvers are wizards who are very at home in the underground and, in exchange for their arcane bond, get many abilities useful in dungeons and ruins, and can also summon some underground creatures (ending with neothelids!). Engram channelers are spiritualists that summon not a restless phantom, but the encoded memory of a dead being that presents as a hologram; a flavorful and very strong class hack that gets away from the undead and becomes closer to technology; Nanotech infusers are sorcerers who replace several bloodline powers for some abilities that derive from your nanites, without overspecializing on robots or technology; while this archetype doesn’t replace your bloodline, it does replace many bloodline powers and I wonder if it couldn’t have worked better as an aberrant bloodline, but to be fair, some of the abilities are so strong that they replace bloodline powers AND feats! Necrotech masters are vile, unliving (construct or undead only) kineticist that focus on the vilest portion of the new machine element mixed with void; these guys aren’t that player oriented, but work wonders for enemy NPCs; Penumbral arcanists focus on darkness and shadow, gaining access to many appropriate spells and to some exclusive exploits and at the end of their careers they can create darkness so powerful that not even true seeing can penetrate, and only those that can see inside magical darkness will be able to see you; finally, Robot fighters are rangers who specialize at hunting constructs, especially robots, losing many nature-themed ability for more appropriate abilities.

-1 kineticist element: Machine, with a heavy focus on interacting with the technology rules, also work with metals and other constructs, with many abilities to enhance the user’s own body, and even others’! While many abilities work and interact with machines, I can see a technokineticist character built for campaigns without technology, robots and the like, but they shine and have wider options in games that include such. Later in the book we find an elemental saturation, a place of power, with a greater benefits on technokineticists.

-7 Feats: 4 of them are available only to necrotech masters, 2 of them interact with technology and grant a weird telepathy/hacking ability to interact with computers. The final feat gives you the ability to spontaneously summon junk golems of increasing potency. It is worth noting that this last feat is open to technokineticist (they can even ignore prerequisites), but they can’t use it as is since they can’t cast spells. I suppose the summons could have a burn cost but I can only wonder (unless they multiclass).

Of Note: Engram channelers are a roleplaying goldmine and a nice tool to have as a game master to give hints to the PCs. Robot fighters sound lame but are anything but, they are urban warrior that could work in steampunk campaigns. I was expecting lame bonuses to attack and damage, but believe me, these guys rock!

Anything wrong?: The astrologer mesmerist archetype is cool, but the abilities don’t mesh well with the base class flavor; I would have preferred the archetype for wizards or psychics. Delver wizards and penumbral arcanists are cool and flavorful, but also don’t really scream “magitech” to me. These three feel sci-fi but not magitech, which is a shame in a book called “Magitech Archetypes”. Also, no magus? No occultists? No summoner? These three classes would have rocked in a magitech campaign with an appropriate archetype. Maybe for the sequel? (wink wink)

What cool things did this inspire?: Necrotech master androids or, better yet, ghouls with class levels, could fuel an entire campaign of technofantasy horror. What about undead giants with class levels? Something like Attack on Titan meets Tetsuo? I would play/run that! I would also LOVE to play a samsaran engram channeler whose engram is his past life or past life’s love! (you seem strangely familiar). An android kinetic shinobi who uses the new element sounds too obvious but awesome at the same time. Also obvious but cool: a ghoran, elf or any sylvan race robot fighter in the same party as an android technokineticist would bring several roleplaying opportunities for intra-party interaction, or would be perfect as a good-aligned enemy for a techno-heavy party.

Do I recommend it? Yes! I have yet to be disappointed by a LG’s book, but I must say the title of the book is a little misleading. I rate this book with 4 ½ stars, rounded down for plain blend-y, magitech campaigns but rounded up for sci-fi meets fantasy campaigns.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Magitech Archetypes
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Legendary Kineticists II
by Vladimir C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/17/2017 17:57:11

DISCLAIMER: This review is based on a free PDF provided by the author and the publisher, which in no way had an influence on the final score.

Legendary Kineticists II is a sequel for the critically acclaimed volume 1, by the same author and master of all things kinetics N.Jolly.

What’s inside? 30 pages of content, which include:

-8 archetypes: Bestial Kineticist for animal companions, which mean you artic druid can have a cold-breathing wolf, or a sky druid an air-blasting eagle etc. Metakinetic savants are kineticists who get different, more varied metakinesis ability, and a metakinetic buffer that has more points but are only usable for metakinetics. Nihilicists are weird, using the power of nothingness itself; their blasts dealing a new type of “nihil” damage; they lose any access to other elements and getting only universal talents, but are their own breed of awesome. Onslaught Blasters are multiple targeting kineticists, able to throw myriad of weaker blasts. Order of the scion is not really an archetype, but an order for the cavalier and samurai classes; they devote themselves to an element, gaining a minor blast ability, and enhance the power of certain powers and spells related to their element. Planar Custodians are druids whose devotion to an elemental plane becomes a blessing, in the form of kineticist abilities. Planestouched Oracles lose both their mystery and revelations in exchange for kineticist’s toys. Telekinetic bladeshifter are the true warriors among the kineticists, getting a full BAB and getting a normal Ref save; they control their blades with their mind!

-6 general infusions: Two manipulate water-related blasts to dehydrate their targets, two other counter spells, one affects them with the masochistic shadow spell and one makes blasts ricochet.

-13 wild talents: These include basic abilities for cold and electricity, while the others mostly focus beyond the basic 5 elements presented in OA.

-11 Feats: some of them focus on multiclass kineticists, while others enhance archetype’s abilities.

-4 Spells that interact with the burn mechanic, forcing it on targets, delaying its effects etc.

-1 Prestige Class: Kinetic Mystic, a 10 level “theurge” class that mingles kinetics with either arcane or psychic spellcasting.

-1 variant class: Legendary Kineticist sport many changes, but the biggest one is how burn affects the LK. They also get a special, temporary “battle burn” that instead of weakening the kineticist, weakens the ability it enhances. This class hack may sound too strong, but it is still ok when compared with what wizards or clerics can do.

-1 variant multiclassing for the kineticist, perfect for Avatar-like campaigns where everybody who is somebody does the kinetics.

-1 NPC: Trueno, Herald of the White Sky, an 8th level middle-aged female half-elf onslaught blaster legendary kineticist who focuses on wind and aether. Trueno has ties with Mindfang, another NPC from the previous Legendary Kineticists book. She is different in the sense that she LOOKS like she has been in some serious adventuring, sporting a missing arm and eye. As always with the author, the NPC can bestow a boon, but in this case it is a tad too strong for my tastes.

Of Note: The nihilicist archtype is awesome in concept, while the non-kineticist archetypes and options are perfect introductions for the kineticist system. The NPC looks like a true adventurer, with scars and even missing body parts to show it.

Anything wrong?: This book is not really about kineticists but about “kinetics”, their unique magic system. Many of the kineticists toys are used by many a class, which is good in my opinion. The only thing I’m missing is the class template for monsters. I would love an efreet fire kineticist, or a dryad wood kineticist… You get my drift. Also since there is an archetype for animal companions, why not familiars? Eidolons? Elemental eidolons with a kind of minor magic evolution but with kinetics.

What cool things did this inspire?: A dhampir or tiefling nihilist is too obvious to not try one. A sylph telekinetic bladeshifter makes my wuxia boil. And man, I really want a dwarven planar custodian druid with an earth badger.

Do I recommend it? If you really like the kineticist magic system, yes. If you just wanted more options for the kineticist, you might be disappointed. So, 4 stars if you wanted more Kineticist-only stuff, full five if you wanted more kinetics in your games.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legendary Kineticists II
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Legendary Hybrids: Yakuza
by Vladimir C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/03/2017 18:00:42

DISCLAIMER: This review is based on a free PDF provided by the author and the publisher, which in no way had an influence on the final score.

Legendary Hybrids: Yakuza is Legendary Game’s hybrid for the Cavalier and Ninja classes. It includes a new base class with supporting material.

What’s inside? 19 pages of content, which include:

-Yakuza hybrid class: Yakuza get medium BAB and a d8 HD, with good Ref and Will saves and sporting a nice 6 skillpoints per level, with a vast enough class skill list to cover different roles. Their gang choice supposedly increases this, but no gang offers additional ones (not needed anyway). They get proficiency in all simple weapons and light armor, with a short list of martial and exotic weapons. Here I would have preferred the option for the game master or player to choose, or maybe that the weapons were dictated by their gang.

They start getting access to new game tech, in the form of contacts from Ultimate Campaign, which may or may not be from the same gang. The choice of gang is similar to how cavaliers become members of an order, with the option of changing gangs which is, in the case of a criminal organization, much more dangerous. Also like cavaliers, Yakuza get free teamwork feats that they can share with their allies. From their ninja class parentage, they get a charisma-based ki pool but with different, more appropriate benefits; they also gain sneak attack a slower rate than ninjas. Later they get access to ninja tricks, which is a good decision instead of making their own list of poached class talents and also increasing the options for yakuzas for every other ninja class book available!

Unique to the Yakuza, they treat “urban” as a ranger favored terrain; get tattoos which make them fearsome and fearless; are adept at dealing with black markets and get one of the new feats from this book for free; are better at flanking (which makes a lot of sense since they are going to deal with a lot of other classes with Uncanny Dodge); later, they become very good at using their ki to enhance poisons, drugs and alcohol. As master gamblers, they are better not only at that but at luck in general. As a cool capstone, age doesn’t affect them anymore and can even become “younger” using ki!

-5 Yakuza Gangs,which are formatted in a similar manner to cavalier orders, having edicts, situational bonuses to sneak attacks (similar to challenge bonuses), situational bonuses to skills, and three specific abilities gained at 2nd, 8th and 15th levels. These include the Black Rain, information specialists adept at metaphorical backstabbing; the Blood Tong, “honorable” loansharks who are devilishly able at making deals, getting mystical abilities to ensure getting their end of the deal; the Dragon Lords, loyal as Hell (or Nirvana?) and better at fighting with their gang brothers/sisters; the Jade Triad, terrorists supreme and masters of intimidation; and the White Tigers, which are the only gang that have abilities with one theme (pack hunting, immobilizing) while having a completely different outlook (gang above all), which is not a bad thing in itself.

-8 archetypes: the Absent Bansho is the solo Yakuza, who get the dual identity and other toys of vigilantes in exchange of all gang abilities, especially nice for adventurers. Flying Tigers are wuxia criminals who fight both unarmored and unarmed (well, mostly), getting many monkish abilities; this one is especially suited to characters who want to play a non-standard, un-sneaky, flashy criminal. Gun Runners fuel their poached gun-slinging abilities with ki, and lose their gang’s special techniques in favor of being better shots; sadly, they don’t get shot on the run for free (they are called Gun Runners after all). Junk Pirates are especially good at smuggling and fighting on board, and even gain a pet! This archetype changes a lot of the base class and sports one of the funniest names out there (junk being, you know, a type of old Asian vessel); Pack Rats are those funny rogues who have a pet trained for larceny; Serpent Chemists are the poisoners of the yakuza world, getting even mystical abilities to help them with making and administering drugs, poison and alcohol; Tatooed Ones get help from the magical tattoos they wear, getting the ability to summon illusionary allies, this one is cool but maybe too fantastic for some games. Triad Enforcers are strong at demoralizing, even denying morale bonuses and uses of resolve (a samurai ability), getting a resolve ability of their own.

-Favored Class Bonuses for the Core and Featured races

-3 Feats, including Black Market Dealings (you are able to buy more goods from a settlement when you get access to their underworld market), Mind Trick (which give charismatic characters an edge at finesse activities) and Overflowing Ki (perfect for any character with a Ki Pool).

-1 NPC: Shinsuke Tatsu, an 8th level human tattooed yakuza. This fellow has ties to another NPC from the book Legendary Villains: Vigilantes, who is the murderer of his lover. One thing I really liked is that the sex of the lover is left vague and Japanese names can sometimes be given to both sexes, so if you are OK with gay relationships in your games, you can go that route. If not, simply rule that the lover was female and end of the story. Unlike some other NPCs in the series, you can use Shinsuke just as he is as an emergency PC, story an all, since he has a reason to adventure!

Of Note: Wow, what is there not to like? All the gangs and archetypes are really flavorful and present many opportunities to play criminals. My favorite archetype being the Flying Tiger, Tatooed One and Triad Enforcer. They are just plain cool!

Anything wrong?: While I appreciate the Pack Rat, it is the weakest archetype, specially next to the Junk Pirate since both get a pet. It is, however, not a bad archetype. Also, as I mentioned under the class entry, the weapon proficiency is a missed opportunity. Finally, I would have appreciated an archetype that changed your ki pool for panache, grit or luck, especially for non-Asian campaigns. Maybe more archetype for other classes belonging to gangs, but that is beyond the scope of a brand-new class’ book.

What cool things did this inspire?: I was just planning on running a fantasy campaign in modern Mexico, and this class is perfect for some of the villains I had in mind, being Maras Salvatruchas (Google them if you dare, they are scary). Apart from that, I’m planning on adding to the gangs, with a Geisha-ish, female only sisterhood coming out of the top of my head.

Do I recommend it? Yes, especially for grittier, down-to-earth campaigns even in a fantasy context. The underworld can be a difficult topic to run for some gamers, while being pure gold for intrigue-heavy campaigns. Don’t get fooled by the Japanese name, Yakuza can just as easily represent triads, mafia, narcos, hashashin, and hooligans! The unique roleplaying opportunities separate this hybrid class from both of its parents, and in some cases being better representations of ninjas than, well, the ninja class. So, my veredict is 5 poisoned shuriken of death!

Trivia: The Yakuza have been part of D&D since the Old Oriental Adventures, where it was a bit different that your base thief. It had a ki power where you could halve any damage a few times per day (which suspiciously sounds like certain rogue talent). You could also be a ninja at the same time, since any human character of any class in the old OA could be a ninja (it was sort of a multiclass).

As someone native of a country with another type of glorified criminals (narcos), I really appreciate adventurers that are part of a “criminal” organization. These type of characters are humans, and they can represent some of the most complex characters out there. Recently, criminals started giving away free gasoline, which of course was stolen, to the common citizen, as a result of the government suddenly increasing the price. But then you cannot trust them, since they stole it in the first place so…



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legendary Hybrids: Yakuza
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Legendary Planet: Dead Vault Descent (Pathfinder)
by James E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/03/2017 13:56:28

Disclaimer: I backed the Kickstarter for the Legendary Planet Adventure Path and received a copy of this as part of that.

Dead Vault Descent is Part 3 of the Legendary Planet Adventure Path (not counting the prologue), and by this point, you probably have a pretty good idea of whether or not you want to keep playing it. That is, I'm honestly not sure my review here is going to sway you one way or the other... but I would like to briefly talk about the contents.

The previous adventure was something of a scavenger quest on a barren world, and like the other adventures in this campaign, Dead Vault Descent goes somewhere new - a tidally locked world where the sun hangs stationary in the sky and deep vaults burrow underground. Of course, in order to get there, the players are going to have to find a way through the next gate, and that's never as easy as they'd like... alas, I can't say much more because of spoilers.

Suffice it to say that Dead Vault Descent continues to maintain the level of quality we've come to expect from this Adventure Path, and there's plenty of content in addition to the material. From a nasty new construct swarm to what is definitely not a lightsaber (you can make ranged attacks with it, too!), there's a lot of good stuff to be found in this book and I'm looking forward to the point when my players reach it.

If you liked the previous adventures, know that this is a solid follow-up that will continue to challenge your players... and prepare them for the greater challenge to come.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legendary Planet: Dead Vault Descent (Pathfinder)
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Legendary Villains: Vigilantes
by Vladimir C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/02/2017 08:36:53

DISCLAIMER: This review is based on a free PDF provided by the author and the publisher, which in no way had an influence on the final score.

Legendary Villains: Vigilantes is Legendary Game’s antagonist entry for the Vigilante class, which first appeared in Ultimate Intrigue. Like all LGs products, this one has excellent electronic features (for the pdf), and awesome art! While this book has “Villains” in its name, very little content is restricted to evil characters, so you can play a standard or anti-hero.

What’s inside? 29 pages of content, which include: -8 archetypes: Alchemical scoundrels borrow a lot from alchemists, being able to do most things that an alchemist can (infusions, mutagens, bombs), but of course not as well and, unlike most hybrid-y archetypes, this one does NOT replace your specialization!; Consumed Vigilantes lose their dual identities and shy away from social talents, instead focusing on their other abilities; Dread Champions are the antipaladins of the vigilante world, which meshes extremely well with their dual identity ability; Fortune Thieves are cool, getting a luck pool that fills when opponents save against their hexes, and yes, that means they get some hex-like abilities from witches!; Plague Scions are truly vile, infecting opponents with a variety of diseases; Protean Prowlers also borrow cool toys, but not from a class, but from a “pet”, being able to evolve and morph like eidolons!; Shadow Savants can clone themselves using shadow stuff, making for a truly intriguing a sneaky opponent (or character); Symbiotic Slayers get a symbiote a-la-Venom, which make them not only the most innovative of the archetypes but also the one with the most potential! -10 New Villainous Social Talents, giving access to cool, evocative abilities that you may have seen somewhere. Some give you a bonus feat or two and some borrow abilities from other classes. Only 2 feel really villainous though. It is worth mentioning that one borrows abilities from the Legendary Assassins book by the same publisher, so unless you have that one… it is only one, though. My favorite here is Unbound Ethics, which is a goldmine of NPC building for a Game Master within a single talent! -36 Villainous Vigilante Talents, which again don’t feel like too villainous IMHO. Some give you one or two (sometimes 3!) feats, or abilities from other classes. Unlike the companion volume (Legendary Vigilantes), this offer more varied options. I found a glitch though, The Magic Killer talent refers to the Imperial Archetypes book, which I think it should refer to Asian Archetypes: Martial (another excellent book which I also reviewed). -20 Villainous Vigilante Feats, which like the talent sections, include more varied content than in the companion volume. Also, many feats here can be chosen by non-vigilantes! -1 Prestige Class: The Crimson Dreadnought is a short (5 levels) but cool PrC. BAMF, perfect as the right hand of another powerful villain. They are very hard to control or kill! They also give a slight Darth Vadder vibe! -Vigilante Variant Multiclass: This one is crazy good when taking into account the power of talents. It is also an excellent way of playing a Vigilante-light character using a non-standard character class. -3 Villainous Magical Items, with one being exclusive to characters with the Mystic Bolt class feature. The other two feel more villain-y to me, and they have a cool option to be better in the hands of characters with dual identities. There is a small edit glitch in the False Friend Gloves entry, saying “reach” instead of “each” in the pricing section. -1 NPC Villain: Kareena Ratika/Red Love, a Symbiotic Slayer vigilante who has ties with the NPC found in the companion volume. The build is nice, going as far as having a sound escape plan. You can see the character depicted on the cover, giving her a nice Carnage (from Marvel comics) vibe. As is the author’s tradition, this NPC includes a nice backstory and a boon!

Of Note: This book has a lot going on for it. It gives not only Game Masters but also players a vast amount of content, increasing the type of vigilantes they can make. The archetypes, while some being hybrid-y, are very flavorful. The vigilante class feels very “Gestalt” as it is, so adding other classes to the mix is genius! This is particularly true for the variant multi-classing rules!

Anything wrong?: Some of the borrowing talents make you better than the original class, which can be an issue if a vigilante uses one talent to gain 3 feats worth of abilities with just one talent while another party member has to spend all three feat slots. Also, while not exactly a “wrong” aspect of the book, few of the options in the book are vile and villainous, which one may hope to find inside this product line.

What cool things did this inspire?: A hobgoblin samurai crimson dreadnought as the sub-boss (or accompanying the main boss) of a military invasion by hobs. A dread (from Ultimate Psionics by Dream Scarred Press) with the variant vigilante multiclass, having a Scarecrow (from Batman comics) as the inspiration. A jackal-headed (or vulture, or both) rakshasa with the plague scion archetype as a high-level adversary in one of the campaigns I am planning.

Do I recommend it? Yeah! In fact, this book is so stacked with content that I would recommend it over the companion volume if you can only afford one. 5 full ninja stars!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legendary Villains: Vigilantes
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Aethera Campaign Setting
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/31/2017 20:06:58

Really love this book. Puts a whole new spin on the Pathfinder setting throwing it headlong into space. Not just a supplement, this massive effort redesigns the system from orcs and elves to flying through the stars, blasting at spaceships. Only been through the first few chapters, 500+ pages in it, but so far the story and balacing have been amazingly well handled. If you have any love for Pathfinder and Sci-Fi then this is for you.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Aethera Campaign Setting
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Legendary Vigilantes
by Vladimir C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/30/2017 16:06:25

DISCLAIMER: This review is based on a free PDF provided by the author and the publisher, which in no way had an influence on the final score.

Legendary Vigilantes is Legendary Game’s entry for the Vigilante class, which first appeared in Ultimate Intrigue. Like all LGs products, this one has excellent electronic features (for the pdf), and awesome art!

What’s inside? 27 pages of content, which include:

-9 archetypes: Arsenal Summoners call a sentient magical weapon called an Anima; Beast Born get an animal companion and can transform into animals; Dynamic Strikers are powerful martial artists and come in two flavors, the offense-oriented brawlers and the precision-specialized technicians, with access to many monk toys; Exposed Vigilantes lost their dual identities, instead honing their skills while being barred from talents that depend on having dual identities; Focused Hunters replace the power of a Vigilante’s appearance for the ability to focus on chosen terrains; Masked Grapplers are luchadors who focus on grappling techniques, be them submissions or techniques; Noble Souls also come in two flavors, Crusaders and Healers, and both of them borrow toys from paladins, even spellcasting; Outrageous Lyricists also steal toys from another class, this time the bard, with awesome visuals and flavorful abilities; Sentai Soldiers again steal toys from another class, kineticist this time. -8 New Social Talents, half of them giving specific interaction abilities, and the other half letting the Vigilante get a bonus feat or borrow a pre-existing class ability. -27 Vigilante Talents, many of them giving a bonus feat (sometimes more), and others depending on the vital strike feat to work. -11 Feats, with most of them being specific to Vigilantes. There is a specific feat line that gives you vigilante toys. -5 Magical Items, good for Vigilantes but not exclusive. 2 are good for unarmed combatants. -1 Prestige Class: Scion of the City. Think Batman and Gotham, these Vigilantes get especially good in their city. -1 NPC: Rashid Zill/Dark Star, a 10 level tiefling sentai soldier vigilante focused on void. This NPC has ties with the companion volume to this, Legendary Villains: Vigilantes. As is the author’s tradition, this NPC includes a nice backstory and a boon!

Of Note: Each of the archetypes include unique, exclusive talents, and every one of them, with the notable exception of the Exposed Vigilante, is based on being a hybrid. This is not to say they are bland because they borrow toys from other classes; quite the contrary, they offer players and game masters the option of playing with the newest class’ flair using their favorite class’ toys. In my case, my favorite are the Dynamic Striker and the Masked Grappler, which both reaching my interests in martial arts.

Anything wrong?: Some archetypes don’t feel like they need the dual identity. However, if you like the ability chassis of the archetype but don’t want to deal with dual identities, just take the Exposed Vigilante and forget about it. Also, there is a clear narrow focus on the talents (both social and vigilante) and feats.

What cool things did this inspire?: Well, I know I’m going to make a vanara-trained human vigilante with the Dynamic Striker archetype, focusing on technique and calling himself “The Mad Monkey”, plus an Outrageous Lyricist aasimar who calls himself “Val Hallen” ;)

Do I recommend it? Yes if you like the Vigilante but you can’t build the concept you want, or you want to expand the options for your Vigilante players or NPCs, or better yet, you want to run a full medieval Avengers-like Vigilante only campaign! Even with the (IMHO) small flaws, you get a lot from this book, so 4 and a half, rounded up.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legendary Vigilantes
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Legendary Kineticists II
by Andrew D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/24/2017 11:09:49

The elements move in mysterious ways.

I'll begin by saying I was provided a review Copy for this.

Here we are, Legendary Kineticists 2. Is the ride coming to an end? well... If it truly is, this is leaving with a decent bang, ill tell you that. Although, I think the sentiment from me on this is "not what I was expecting." Lets see what we have here.

Bestial Kineticist- Right off the bat, something I didn't expect.This is new animal companion archetype! Your animal companion is infused with a level of kineticist energy and can trade tricks for limited access to wild talents and infusions. It can also enact blasts on it's own, and even pass you it's blast for use- plus if you and it own the same element of blast, it can tag-team blasts with you. I find this archetype pretty interesting. That cats a Dynamo!

Metakinetic Savant- Hrm... you can modify and manipulate metakinesis by way of using metamagics at an improved degree, including improving your internal buffer specifically to use it - it has a helpful list of what the blasts you can manipulate count as and what you can't take using this archetype. it can be taken so long as not EVERY metakinesis is replaced by another archetype, and metakinetic master or internal buffer aren't modified. not my style at all, but credit where due.

Nihilicist- Now this is an intriguing one. This one denies the use of ANY established element (if you willingly do, you lose access to this), and must be within two steps of neutral to stay in "class". In exchange you get a notable blast pair- empty and Zero, which do Nihil damage. You can fire both blasts as physical or mental, and they come with their own selection of infusions to choose, but you only get universal wild talents to pick from. Nihil Damage is nonlethal damage that can't be ignored- if you take to much of it you become outright disintegrated. Intriguingly you can convert nihil damage from nonlethal to lethal in a few ways, which allows you to turn it into a condition you can inflict based on damage dealt (wow, reminded of healing hands...), and some of these are killer effects. Defensively they can convert lethal damage taken to nonlethal, eventually become untraceable, even disappearing from peoples minds. The finale is two fold. You can do far more pain with Nihil conversion for statuses, but if you want, you can go out with a... shall we say Annihilation- tier bang. Just make sure your affairs are in order- nobody else will remember them.

Onslaught Blaster- OOH HOO HOO, I was waiting for this one. This is one of my favorite Kineticist variants, and one of the two reasons I wanted this product. It changes up the gameplay by adjusting how the blast works- instead of one big shot based on your level, you can splinter it into many smaller ones with some caveats- or essentially pool them all back up into one. damage takes some adjustments, and ill admit my brain wishes some of the additional damage written into some of these abilities stack across the board, but I know better. if you play kineticist for its ranged damage component over its melee variants, and no other archetype intrigues you, this one has some great applications for spreading debuff centric infusions around at the least. plus its the missile spam Kineticist- what's not to love about this, assuming you can take the cost?

Order of the Scion- This is a Cavalier order that turns them somewhat into Kineticists- or more apt, Knights of the elemental balance. You get a kinetic whip simple blast as a level 1 kineticist that can function as a lance on charge, you get elemental defense and an odd variant of elemental overflow. But you have to strive for elemental balance, do an 1 hour ritual each day to maintain your powers, and your challenge is limited in effectiveness by what element you chose... ill just say this isn't for me. but I DID see an opening in my Knights of Flame.

Planar Custodian- First off, love the art around this class. second of all, PARTIALLY KINETIC DRUIDS. Storm Earth and Fire, heed my call? No, not sorry- couldnt resist. This pulls power from the druid shell to add Kineticist elements into it- Bestial kineticist animal companion, a kinetic blast, some infusions, Element defenses... but to get the full effects your druid elements tinge to a specific set of element focuses and there are some as I see it major tradeoffs. I like the feel, but I don't know how many would use it, and there's things I just wouldn't give up to have this.

Planetouched Oracle- Hrm. A simple modification to the Oracle in my eyes, but a partially kinetic Oracle is the result. however, much like the Planar Custodian I do not know if this would be worth the trade off, which I see as even bigger. You trade mysteries and revelations for an element focus, a simple blast and a progression of infusions and wild talents- plus a method of reducing infusion cost and some blast modifications as you progress. I'm lost on this one- with so many kinetic elements combined with the number of mysteries and revelations, this adds a LOT of potential options overall but the stipulations involved just have me going no from what I know about oracles. But it is a functional Kineticist/Oracle hybrid, and if your looking for more "all-day" capability, it can provide a thing or two.

Telekinetic Bladeshifter- So we have an Aether Full BAB Kineticist archetype that can turn items they effect with telekinetic blast into a chosen one light melee, one handed melee, or thrown weapons, dealing damage with it as a Warpriest Sacred Weapon. In exchange, other Kinetic blasts are WAY weaker than normal, and you get no form infusions. From there they progress down a fighters route, using burn and elemental overflow to modify weaponry and shields, trading talents for bonus feats if you wish to, and progressing into two handed, dual wielding, blade and board, or throwing style. it's.. pretty cool, but it's specialized element comes into it's own a bit to late for my taste, and it's not the only class sharing this kind of space nowadays- but it is the Kineticist Fighter, and it appears to do that job pretty well.

Kineticist Talents- Some new stuff to play with here. In infusions my favorites are Water dehydration blasts, and the ability to ricochet blasts- though counterspellers will love some of these. My picks from wild talents include modifications to chain and ricochet infusions, the ability to specialize in electricity or ice blasts, Wood gets a variant of Shillelagh with some new tricks, and mind gets some new tricks (YES!, more for mind!) including wiping memories and access (along with Aether) to the oddity of Life after Undeath, which lets you become a positive energy undead if you were undead and human shaped! Oh, and also Void Kineticists can become Liches. figured id bring that up. However, i spy a reprint- improved Celerity is here from LK 1. an awesome one to reprint, but it wasn't helpfully marked at such or anything.

Kineticist feats- YUM. Some of these could be great for multiclassing, like using burn in place of Ki pools, for example. Theres some stuff in here for Dark Elementalists, but also Bestial Companion users- those with metakinesis can teach their bestial kineticists metakinesis as well, for example. But my love is the classic efficiency stuff. Enhanced Composite Boost is sweet for those who use the Boost series- it allows you to add the substance infusions of that type to the usable list with a blast you apply the boost to. Though the example is apparently illegal, oopsie! Still works with a different type of simple blast though! I'm a bit to into single elements mentally to spot them all, but there's potential here. Kinetic Disruption means you can kinetic counter ANY evocation (if mental) or Conjuration (creation) if physical- spell on top what you already could counterspell. This lets you mess with some parades. plus there's a bit more for certain other elements. but anyone who likes the Onslaught Blaster will NEED this one- Kinetic Railgun. It seems to function as the Onslaught Blasters rendition of Kinetic Acceleration from KOP 3, with a bit of difference involved. Color me a haste junky if you like but- GIMMMMMEE!

Kinetic Spells- ...Eww. Here we have spells that inflict burn on enemies, can turn burn into lethal damage, and one spell that lets you suppress the negative effects of burn in a buff form for a time. my favorite one is Burning Prohibition. once applied it forces will saves based on what you try to do and if it was prohibited by the caster. Succeed? Eat a burn. Fail? Eat a burn and waste the action. it's also a permanent duration. it's nice, but personally? I'm just not a fan of this section otherwise. this feels to me like an anti-kineticist section- and as someone who doesn't care for casting usually, and likes Kineticists not exactly what I signed up for!

Kinetic Mystic- Speaking of unexpected things. But to be fair, the books got more than a few, a arcane/psychic and kineticist prestige class. I remember this kind of thing and it's nice to see something like it again. while you miss out on some levels of spellcasting progression here, you do count as the class you got the kinetic blast you need this prestige from for all features EXCEPT spells. in play.. okay, I JUST professed I don't care for casting very much, but this is COOL. you start breaking down the lines between magic and kineticism, turning the blasts into functional touch spells (OH MAGUS!) and being able to stick blasts as the vector for hitting with casted touch spells, which progresses as you do. the capstone is intriguing as well- you can accept a certain amount of burn to cast spells, but you can reduce burn costs a few ways, AND you can sack spell slots in order to make a kinetic blast precanned in that slot that uses that much burn (with some limitations, not including specialization reductions, sadly). This is one neat capstone to me. Id like to give this one a shot someday, and perhaps I will... one thing though, there's an issue in my copy. The fraction is missing at the end in Kinetic Conduit. Based on the list, it takes some time before you can use your kinetic blast fully in this set up- it begins in fractions of 1/5th, but the text seems to have an error here.

Legendary Kineticist- The OTHER thing I wanted this book for. This is a redone kineticist that in my opinion was sorely needed. So, what's new? Well so far as I can tell, Wild Talents now autoscale in DC (YES!). Burn is changed from nonlethal damage to a penalty on all STR and DEX ability and skill checks except for Initative (well, im not half-killin' myself normally, but...). Gather power needs only one hand now. Metakinesis Maximize is gone and Metakinesis Persistent is in it's place (yay, personally!). Internal Buffer is a level earlier and naturally fills up (no more "well, ill light myself up before i go to bed for internal buffer anymore!, GOOD!). Expanded element kicks in a level earlier each, you still normally get a utility talent choice then as normal and you still get an infusion choice at its old level, PLUS YOU NO LONGER SUFFER THE PENALTY FOR THE EXPANDE- okay look. about the only negatives to this are loss of maximize, the skill burn (if that bothers you more then nonlethal damage), and expanded element chosen for the same element does NOT let you take an extra wild talent. It only allows infusions (SHAKES FIST). There's other class changes I didn't mention, one of which is a SWEEET buff, and the old Extra wild talent feat is also listed here, and changed to fit in with this kineticist. If your worried about archetypes not matching, there's even a piece here about helping them fit. anything replacing Metakinesis Maximize eats the Persist. adjust down the levels of expanded element and internal buffer. and War Kineticist from LK 1? STACKS. this solves a lot of those concerns, and this is my Kineticist +1 as a consequence. If you are allowed to use it, JUST DO IT. you will be glad you did.

Lastly there's a Kineticist VMC (I do not use this system, so i cannot begin to comment- but i don't care for it at a glance) and there's a sample Onslaught Blaster, who ill say I enjoy the theme of- they use a combination of air and Aether that puts both to good use.

I spied a few issues with the writing in this book- the missed fraction in the Kinetic Mystic for example, another being the lack of bolding on the Metakinesis ability in the Legendary Kineticist. not enough to take away much for me, but... still worth pointing out.

My thoughts overall on this book? well, some of it either really intrigues me (Nihilicist, Kinetic Mystic), or blows me away (Onslaught Blaster, Legendary Kineticist). Everything in here appears to work just fine as written, but a good bit of it does nothing for me at all. The last LK book had me dancing in glee by comparison. but then again, I got Bob Ross and Adagio Dazzle-esc Kineticists out of it- the arts in combat are things I ALWAYS want more of. a lot of this book feels more like an expression of the kinetic elements on the world at large, rather than the kineticists themselves- after all, 4 of the archetypes in this book aren't for the base kineticist, Kinetic Mystic is a hybrid prestige, and there's the spells. in that context it is a good book, but as a dedicated Kineticist player book, is it still worth it?

Yes. because this book still provides more kineticists abilities and feats, 4 good Kineticist archetypes that is bound to at least intrigue someone, and an amazing quality of life increase to a class that I feel could use it in the Legendary Kineticist. if this is the end, it came around pretty good, back to where it all started. It didn't light the fire under me like the last book, but it's STILL one worth picking up.

See you on the other side, folks. I have some kineticist sizing up t'do. got a Lucha Libre wrestler Gestalt to make, and some of the stuff in this book reminds me of ideas...



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Legendary Kineticists II
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Mythic Magic: Intrigue Spells
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/23/2017 05:21:20

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Mythic Magic-series clocks in at 32 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page ToC, 2 pages of introduction, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 24 pages of content, so let's take a look at this book!

So, at this point, you probably are familiar with what these books by now - if not, the pitch is simple: We get mythic versions of all spells contained in Ultimate Intrigue and thus, we begin with an alphabetic list of the spells featured within this book. However, there is an important paradigm shift in this book, courtesy of the changed design paradigm Paizo introduced back in Occult Adventures and continued in Ultimate Intrigue. You see, the adaptations of spells in earlier hardcovers have been somewhat different in tone and focus; numerical bonuses and damage types, as a whole, obviously lend themselves to an adaptation to mythic adventure contexts based on numerical escalation; you get the idea - expend mythic power for x, use mythic surge in conjunction with it for y.

That type of design simply does not gel too well with Ultimate Intrigue's spell selection. What do I mean by this? well, the first spell already makes this clear: Mythic absolution allows you to retain specific charms and compulsions, while still allowing for code of conduct violation rerolls, with the 4th tier augment allowing for the expenditure of 2 uses of mythic power, with better saves for the target. Similarly, aerial tracks augment options allows you to automatically succeed Survival checks of DC 40 or below if you power it via mythic power. Aphasia can bypass tongues and may be upgraded to behave basically like a curse, audiovisual hallucinations actually react appropriately towards damage inflicted and may receive more complex instructions.

Mass Charm Person is harder to detect when used in its mythic iteration, while codespeak significantly increases its duration - amazing: The mythic version actually PERMANENTLY teaches to read and understand the code...which is amazing for complex spy-games. Similarly, making a conditional curse hereditary represents an amazing augment and conjuration foil's mythic iteration may represent a numerical upgrade, but also includes a variety of tactical options. The crime spells allow for multiple rolls and the caster's choice of the result taken. Dark whispers affects up to two creatures per tier beyond line of sight/effect and may even imitate voices. Deadman's contingency's upgrade allows you to actually layer several of them upon each other. False Belief allows for the implantation of fake memories, while e.g. handy grapnel is indeed a full-blown Batman-level super-grapnel. Cool: Hollow Heroism is incorrectly identified by probing magic as mythic heroism, while illusion of treachery allows for a significantly increased control.

Casters of majestic image may employ other spells in conjunction with the spell and phantasmal affliction may impose curse, poison or wasting-like benefits. Rumormonger also gets an amazing upgrade, providing basically a rumor-web, which can really make high-powered investigations provide a whole new assortment of options -same goes for trace teleport....and treacherous teleport.

Now there are also a couple of different spells that do not go this way - true prognostication, for example, has a higher maximum chance of success and does not have a cost. Undetectable Trap continues until the next time the trap is triggered, while also increasing the DC to notice the trap...and no automatic detection chances for anyone. Vicarious view has a longer duration and may be used in conjunction with senses of a spell level lower than your tier. So yes, there are a couple of diverse spells that are a little bit less extensive in their options.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to legendary Games' two-column full-color standard and the pdf features several nice full-color artworks, though fans of Legendary Games will probably be familiar with several of them. The pdf comes fully bookmarked with extensive bookmarks for your convenience.

Alex Riggs and David N. Ross went above and beyond in this mythic magic-installment: The spells and their effects have been seriously expanded, allowing for a wide variety of brilliant gambits to stack upon another. In fact, this is probably the best Mythic Magic-installment so far. Why am I saying this? Simple: This book has managed what no other Mythic Magic book made me want to do: Play a very specific game. As some of you may know, I'm a huge fan of Batman, Death Note and similar battle of wits type of scenarios and this pdf's spells allow for the truly epic battling of magical wits: The spells in the base book already had this Batman/Sherlock detective-battle-of-wits type of vibe, but once you add this book's vastly expanded options to the fray, things become amazing, allowing the PCs and villains to pit complex gambits against one another...and boy, do I love that! I really want to make a truly intrigue-heavy game with these!

Expertly crafted, this installment is absolutely inspired and allows the GM and players to engage in a whole new level of deception, subterfuge and style. This is an amazing, diverse and extremely well-made pdf, well worth 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mythic Magic: Intrigue Spells
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Mythic Monsters #40: North America
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/21/2017 05:49:02

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of Legendary Games' critically-acclaimed Mythic Monsters-series clocks in at 34 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page ToC, 2 pages of introduction, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page inside of back cover, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 23 pages of jam-packed content, so let's take a look!

We, surprisingly, begin this pdf with supplemental material that is not only useful for mythic contexts per se - the pdf introduces Scrimshaw items as an item-class, with a respective feat to fashion these (though it oddly does not have the Item Creation descriptor, but that just as a nitpicky aside) - scrimshaw magic items, though, are rather fragile - and this fragility is a central focus of the respective items introduced: E.g. a knife that returns those slain with it as undead servitors, which is balanced via the chance of splintering. The pendant of life sense can help communicating, but excess damage to the target depicted in the pendant can result in a collapse. Whalebone Helms can emit thundering cones and emit high-pitched cries that allow for long-range communications...I like this general item-class and the guidance provided for the GM is nice. The class certainly has some serious potential for e.g. an ice age-themed game.

Beyond these items, the pdf obviously also contains a selection of creatures - the CR 16/MR 6 version of the Akhlut can instantly generate devastating storms and add devastating takedowns of the assaults...and it also learns to perform truly devastating smashing assaults and fly during storms...oh, and they become gargantuan. A true classic would also be the CR 10/MR 4 Jersey Devil - this being receives an AoO as a result to mythic power expenditures and may even expend mythic power to assault foes...and it actually gains temporary mythic power when targeted by an appropriate hit. Adding a curse-debuff to the breath...and the version may combine the breath via trampling for ghost rider-style running over...oh, and it finally is as hard to kill as befitting of the legend.

The CR 7/MR 3 mythic hodag not only gains better ambush predator tricks and may execute devastating attacks from below...and these guys are incredibly hard to hunt down, making for deadly hunters. The mythic ijiraq at CR 11/MR 4 may banish foes affected by the disorienting gaze into the plane of shadows and the constantly blurred form adds a significant defense upgrade to the critter. Nice one!

At the highest echelons, the mythic manitou receives a CR 18/MR 7 incarnation that has a powerful domain of guarded lands and also sports a powerful aura of karmic retribution aura, which can negate the defenses of foes foolish enough to attack him...oh, and he may possess foes! Beyond this, powerful clouds of steam and an improved spirit stampede and a mythic power expanded token of fortune is pretty intriguing. (Oh, and the Mythic Awesome Blow feat is reprinted here for your convenience!) So yeah, a great one!

The pdf's next critter would be the CR 9/MR 4 qallupilluk, who gains grasping claws, seriously powerful additional options when the creature hits multiple times with its claws, and may tunelessly hum to lead its victims astray as well as employ with deadly hexes. There is yet another critter - the sasquatch, at CR 3/MR 1 receives the blurred form trick and also receives a particularly nasty stench. At CR 4/MR 1, the snallygaster receives a horrific shriek...and once again, the mythic Flyby Attack feat, used in the build, is included here.

The most American of critters in iconography would perhaps be the thunderbird at CR 13/MR 5 - these beings may not only absorb lightning, they can actually assume lightning form, a reflexive electrified body and is particularly effective in combat versus serpentfolk and similar reptilian threats. And yes, the mythic version can use mythic power to greatly enhance the signature storm aura...and I should also note the ability to fire whole salvos of thunderbolts! Amazing! The tupilaq's mythic version, at CR 8/MR 3, can have spells inscribed upon it and with blood of a victim, can become a deadly, unrelenting bloodhound - and yes, these base creature abilities become even more potent in the mythic version, supplemented by better physical power and feats. Nice representation of a construct being created to fulfill certain functions.

The wakandagi, at CR 17/MR 7, is surrounded by an aura of toxin-cancelling purity and may counter the first attack each round, form the weather and utterly obliterate ships...so a massive upgrade for the base creature, which always felt a bit limited to me - big, big kudos! (Mythic Multiattack is reprinted here as well, as it is used in the build!) One of the most epic builds in the whole series is next - and it better should be: The wendigo has been done often in various iterations, but the CR 21/MR 8-version herein is a true beauty of utter, deadly destruction - exceedingly fact, with the option to instill wendigo psychosis via nightmares, and absolutely phenomenal evasion tricks, these guys can actually stand before high-level mythic PCs - wreck them; hit and run; drain mythic power - the signature abilities span two pages on their own, making this build a glorious story-foe and villain.

The CR 5/MR 2 wikkawak gains mythic power from making creatures frightened and, on crits, these guys can take mementos from crited foes, which thereafter make the creature more deadly against the being in question. Oh, and thuggery is enhanced as well!

The new creature herein, lavishly rendered in full color, would be the CR 6/MR 2 Giiwedin, an incorporeal undead with the air and cold subtypes - these beings can possess others, wracking them with spellblights and hampering the healing options of the character in question...and those slain return as frost wights. Spirits of those slain in the frozen tundra, these hunters are delightfully deadly, if not absolutely mind-boggling in their options, but their strong and evocative theme makes sure I'll certainly use them in my adaptation of LotFP's excellent "Weird New World".

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no serious glitches. Layout adheres to Legendary Games' two-column full-color standard and the pdf sports pretty amazing original pieces of artwork. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

The mythic monsters featured herein, penned by the veteran hands of Jason Nelson and Alex Riggs, count among their number some of the coolest critters in the series...and indeed, not one of the conversions has disappointed me with its tricks; they build expertly upon the mythological foundation of the respective creatures. The mechanics are similarly excellent and manitou and wendigo alone may well be worth getting this file on their own. In short - this is an excellent addition to the Mythic Monsters-series and thus receives my highest accolades at 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitegist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mythic Monsters #40: North America
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Mythic Monsters #39: Slavic
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/20/2017 05:32:29

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of Legendary Games' critically-acclaimed Mythic Monsters-series clocks in at 30 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page ToC, 2 pages of introduction, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page inside of back cover, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 19 pages of jam-packed content, so let's take a look!

We begin this pdf in the most flavorful of ways - with a nice short story, a fairy tale if you will - the "Bear with Steel Fur", a great little story that established the mood for the pdf...and could frankly yield quite a lot of inspiration in particularly for fans of Kobold Press' Midgard or similarly more Slavic/Germanic environments. Thus, in the proper mindset, we are introduced to the diverse mythic creatures found within, beginning our journey with the mythic Bagiennik (CR 7/MR 3), whose nasal spray is upgraded to also allow for the dousing of those slain to return them back to life via the expenditure of mythic power...oh, and they can emit a cloud of total concealment-granting murk. Nice one!

At the lowest CR/MR-spectrum (CR 1/MR 1), the Etiainen is greatly expanded - while the nice artwork used previously for a unique creature in the series is a rehash, the critter more than makes up for this: You see, they may not only expend mythic power to assume Tiny or Large sizes, they also do not perish when fading, thwart detection and can stack its memory drain - making completely new angles possible. Great example of low-level mythic critter-design! On the other end of the CR-range, at a mighty CR 18/MR 7, the gorynych may emit a fascinating haze, its breath weapons are also modified in their cooldown mechanics and may be enhanced with mythic power, adding some serious tactics to breath weapon use. Oh, and know what's worse? If you manage to slay this monstrosity, it discorporates in flame and death...and reassembles, hurt, but very much in fighting shape, with different defensive properties. Round 2 of the boss fight. NICE!

The famous domovoi at CR 4/MR 1 actually represents the spirit so much better with clean sweep - a telekinetic-style option to AoE clean/repair...and move foes. Add to that the option to assume the shape of a revered ancestor and we have a definite winner on our hands that feels truly magical. At one CR and MR more, the Dvorovoi similarly have been brought closer to the real world's tales - they enhance the growth of nearby plants, but once their ire is roused, they can utterly ruin a farmer's life with their magics and curse. At CR 3 and MR 1, the ovinnik would be another house spirit whose mythic upgrade receives unique tricks - namely a menacing bark to scare away intruders and fires started by them may warp the perception of creatures and allow for clairvoyance/audience tricks. I love all of these house spirits.

The CR 6/MR 2 kikimora receives a greatly empowered hidey hole that allows for some additional tactics; beyond that, they can enter the dreams of the sleeping, causing nightmares and also gaining bonuses versus those afflicted...and they can employ flaxen traps and spin it so quick, it can help them get away, making them a far deadlier adversary. Another classic that is often used would be the Rusalka, whose mythic version clocks in at CR 15/MR 6 and may maintain the beckoning call; beyond that, they can emit a shriek that can force others to attack a designated foe...and if you do not heed the ruslka's call, you suffer. Their powers to enslave nonmythic creatures are horrid, they can attack with their tresses of hair and in water, they receive a serious defense upgrade, making them an appropriately formidable, dare I say "mythic" foe. Kudos indeed!

Compared to these guys, the CR 3/MR 1 upgrade of the tatzlwyrm is a bit less impressive - mythic power expenditure for conical poison or free action breath...okay, I guess, but not too exciting. At CR 8/MR 3, the air veela's mythic version can draw the air forth from nearby creatures and gets a mythic power-based immediate action defensive power that ensures she does not go down quickly. The vodyanoi, at CR 6/MR 2, may summon water into the lungs of its victims and imprison the souls of its victims, drawing strength from them - this critter is basically an adventure plot in one statblock and a glorious representation of the creature's mythological tropes. Two thumbs up! At CR 4/MR 1m the vukodlak has a steal breath ability...which is unfortunately missing a part of its text and thus does not really work in a pretty glaring glitch.

The pdf also includes a new creature with a glorious full-color artwork would be the stalimedved - the eponymous, CR 21/MR 8 steely bears - gargantuan engines of destruction, whose flaming breath lingers; the creature can not only perform devastating physical attacks, its massive stomps can really wreck formations and structures. The quills are lethal as well and the sweeping claw attacks can hit multiple foes. All in all, a glorious, massive monstrosity.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, with the glaring exception of the cut-off steal breath ability. Layout adheres to Legendary Games' two-column full-color standard and the pdf sports a blend of classic full-color artwork and the amazing new artwork for the stalimedved. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

Victoria Jaczko knocks this one right out of the stadium, if you want to engage in a Baseball-metaphor: The creatures herein and their respective upgrades represent amazing variations of the classic critters and bespeak a love for the mythology that inspired them - apart from the unfortunately cut off ability and the slightly less interesting tatzlwyrm, the pdf's critters are absolutely amazing, rendering this a very worthwhile addition to the series. While not perfect, it represents an inspired collection of critters and thus, my final verdict will clock in at 5 stars, just short of my seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mythic Monsters #39: Slavic
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Asian Archetypes: Magical
by Thomas P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/13/2017 21:44:35

Solid Set up. Full of lore and some good stuff to be had.

They could have added a few strong mechanic archetypes for classes that could use an eastern mechanic boost.

Pros: Flavor, themetical correct, covers a lot of classes.

Cons: light on mechanic boosts. Sometimes the rule of cool isn't enough for a GM.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Asian Archetypes: Magical
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Legendary Kineticists II
by James S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/11/2017 09:58:33

Wow, didn't think that Jolly had another book left in him, especially one of this quality, but I got proven wrong hard. From the nihilicist actually exploring no element (not void, literally no element) to the onslaught blaster basically being the beam spam hero that every shonen anime portrays, there's still a lot of untouched ground in this class. Big props for the legendary kineticist, the rebuild that this class desperately needed; with this, you can easily play the class with far less issues than the original version, and it's pretty compatible with all the old content as well, something which I was worried about. Overall, you're looking at an amazing book with a really cool sample character who helps show off the mechanics of the new rebuild very well, making this a solid addition to the legendary kineticists/kineticists of porphyra family.

P.S. The color of the cover looks off here, maybe it was uploaded wrong?



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legendary Kineticists II
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Legendary Hybrids: Kinetic Shinobi
by TJ C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/10/2017 22:53:24

Float like a Butterfly, Sting like Kyuubi - Or, What Ninja Should Have Been

Have you ever looked at the Ninja alternate class in your trusty old copy of Ultimate Combat and thought, "Boy, you sure are an awkward blob of mechanics hung together by dental floss and strung over a weaker version of the already underwhelming Core Rulebook Rogue's chassis?" Ever wondered how you could create a character that evokes the stealth, combat power, and psycho-spiritual pseudo-magic of Ninja Gaiden's Hayabusa Ryu, Darker than Black's Hei, X-Men's Psylocke, or Naruto's... well, everyone? Look no further! You've found your class.

The first thing you need to know about the Kinetic Shinobi is that it's built on a very clever premise. The authors marry the bare bones of the Kineticist – elemental focus and a version of kinetic blast that comes coupled with a weapon creator form infusion somewhat reminiscent of the Occult Adventures Elemental Annihilator's Devastating Infusion at first level, with a small array of other rethemed Kineticist features that come with deeper levels – to the good ideas behind the flawed execution of the UC Ninja – a version of the ki pool that feels impactful, sneak attack, and access to ninja tricks – while leaving behind the flaws of both parents: the much-maligned burn resource and the Ninja's narrow and overall weak focus. This gives the Kinetic Shinobi a ton of flavor right out of the gate, unburdened by overly-restrictive baked-in mechanics. The one “downside” (and I use that term loosely, here) to the approach taken with this core design is that the Kinetic Shinobi does, more or less, render the Ninja obsolete. Under normal circumstances, I would count that as a harsh penalty against a hybrid class. In this case, however, the Ninja was arguably a worse version of the CRB Rogue it's based off already, and Paizo put the final nail in its coffin long ago with the Pathfinder Unchained Rogue. I can't fault this book for burying a dead horse.

The second, and arguably most important aspect of the Kinetic Shinobi to be aware of, is that the skeleton I've described above is fleshed out with an enormous variety of customization, offering a unique experience for every character. The straight use of the Kineticist's elemental focus makes the Kinetic Shinobi fully compatible with all (7, as of this writing) Paizo Kineticist elements, any further options added in the future, and the plethora available in other third party books, such as the excellent Kineticists of Porphyra series also by this team of authors. The real value of both the class and the book, though, is the Shinobi Talents feature, gained at every odd level starting at 1. There are some 50-odd of these, ranging the gamut from alternate weapon forms (known as Hadou techniques), poison use, skill tricks, special defenses, and a few very anime-inspired one-offs (Bunshin Rush and Dragonbreath will remind you of a certain pair of ninja from a village hidden in leaves). Included are even a handful of options that facilitate both manufactured weapon and unarmed strike builds (although they are in large part outshone by the archetypes that focus on those styles). Also accessible through Shinobi Talents are the Kineticist's basic and composite blasts, substance infusions, and utility wild talents, and the aforementioned Ninja Tricks, including Master Tricks (and, by proxy, Rogue Talents and Advanced Rogue Talents). All accounted for, I would be surprised if there were less than 200 options available.

If that doesn't sound like enough material to you, there are also a whopping 11 archetypes included with the Kinetic Shinobi, which include a couple of slgihtly-more-Ninja variants, a couple slightly-more-Kineticist variants, and a series of gish archetypes that hybridize in a third class, including: gunslinger, fighter, monk, vigilante, swashbuckler, bloodrager, and magus. Each is, of course, provided with a twist that makes them more than a simple combo deal. Alternate Favored Class Bonuses for every race in the Advanced Race Guide and a handful class-specific Feats round out the player material, and a sample NPC (featured in the cover art) is provided as the finishing touch on the book.

I have only two gripes with this book; both are small. The first is that, as written, there is an issue of clarity in the function of the advanced Hadou techniques, which are central to the class's combat mechanics from very early on. I was able to suss out the correct Rules As Intended in every case after a single reading of the class, but there's enough ambiguity to the wording that an inexperienced player might find themselves lost (or a malicious player might find themselves tempted to exploit the Rules As Written). I can't hold this fault too strongly against the book, but it is a bit jarring, if only due to the fact that the rules text of the rest of the material (which far, far outnumbers the Hadou techniques) is very meticulous. The second is that the core class offers no way to attain an enhancement bonus or weapon properties on its attacks, which is a problematic oversight for an iterative attack focused class – solved by allowing an amulet of mighty fists to affect the class's form infusions. That said, the authors were very quick to answer all the questions I had about clarity (too verbose to repeat here), and offered easy solutions to the few problems I noted, so I would strongly recommend any would-be player or GM of a Kinetic Shinobi give a brief read over N. Jolly's and Onyx Tanuki's clarifications on the Paizo Product Discussion page unless or until the text is updated following the date of this review (3/10/17).

Overall, I give the Kinetic Shinobi 4.5/5 Stars (rounded up for this platform), for excellent flavor that fills a badly needed niche, creative and fun mechanical design, and a body of work that is high in both quantity and quality, having extraordinarily few issues for a fully featured class.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legendary Hybrids: Kinetic Shinobi
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Legendary Hybrids: Kinetic Shinobi
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/08/2017 09:40:35

An Endzeitgeist.com review

The second of Legendary Games' hybrid classes clocks in at 34 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page ToC, 2 pages of introduction, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page inside of back cover, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 23 pages of content, so let's take a look!

The kinetic shinobi, if the name was no clear indication, is a hybrid class of ninja and kineticist, which receives, chassis-wise d8 HD, 6 + Int-mod skills per level, proficiency with simple weapons plus kama, katana, kusarigama, kyoketsu shoge, nunchaku, sai, shortbow, short sword, shuriken, siangham and wakizashi as well as light armor. The class receives 3/4 BAB-progression, good Ref- and Will-saves and 2nd level nets sneak attack, which continues to progress by +1d6 every 3 levels thereafter, up to a maximum of +7d6.

The class begins play with elemental focus and kinetic blast with kineticist levels equal to kinetic shinobi levels, but must either add the physical jutsu or elemental jutsu form infusion to any kinetic blast she manifests. A kinetic shinobi's kineticist tricks are governed by Charisma instead of Constitution- Both of these form infusions, just fyi, do not have a burn cost.

Unfortunately, the physical jutsu infusion does have a pretty nasty glitch: It is used as part of any attack action, creating a weapon that deals "1d4 + Cha" damage, regardless of level. It can be used with Vital Strike, Spring Attack etc....but for one, I am pretty sure this should be Charisma modifier: RAW, this adds the Charisma score to damage, which is...too much. The elemental version behaves analogue to this, but does not sport the problematic "+Cha" addition and targets touch attack instead.

2nd level provides a ki-pool equal to 1/2 class level + Cha-mod. This ki may be spent to enhance physical jutsu attacks by +1 or the damage of elemental jutsu by +2. These bonuses increase by +1 and +2, respectively, at 4th level and every 4 levels thereafter. Additionally, an expenditure of one ki can net them a whopping +20 to Acrobatics for one round, or a +4 to the skills associated with the elemental focus. Beyond these basic uses of ki, the kinetic shinobi also learns so-called Hadou techniques at 2nd level, which remain available for as long as the shinobi has at least 1 point of ki left in her pool. These hadou techniques basically are what lets you generate unique effects with the jutsus. It is here, in the technique that makes the jutsu behave as a katana, that the aforementioned confusion regarding "+Cha" is resolved btw. - here, the wording is correct and notes that it's the Charisma modifier that is added to the damage-output, which is for 2-handed weapons btw. increased to 1d8. Dual wielding weapons made from jutsu and thrown weaponry are included here as well, just fyi.

Starting at 3rd level, kinetic shinobi become harder to track and better at Disguising and Stealth, emphasizing the ninja-component with scaling bonuses that increase every 3 levels thereafter. 4th level provides gather power, which, considering that the kinetic shinobi pays ki instead of burn, obviously pertains ki expenditure, though gathering power does require concentration -on a failed check, you have a cooldown there. 4th level and every 8 levels thereafter net a substance infusion, with 6th level and every 4 thereafter allowing for the switching of such an infusion. 4th level decreases the ki cost of their combined substance infusions by 1, with further reductions unlocking at 10th and 16th level. Since the burn-to-ki-conversion is stated in another ability, I am okay with the class calling this burn-cost reduction. 6th level provides the option to expend +1 ki to double the duration of effects, with 10th level allowing them to spend 2 points to maximize their blasts. 14th level allows for the expenditure of 3 points for a required second save and 18th level lets the shinobi expend 4 points to have the blast ignore 10 DR or resistance and SR and mitigate energy immunity to resistance 20: Big kudos here: The immunity-to-resistance-transition could have resulted in confusion in the hands of less careful authors: Kudos for the clarifying example!! 7th level nets evasion and, as a capstone, the metajutsu abilities that allow for the expenditure of ki to add metamagic-y benefits is decreased by 1. They may also regain 2 ki when sneak attacking a creature with at least half their HD: Kitten-proof capstone. Nice!

Now, I have consciously not commented so far on the massive array of shinobi talents included here: They represent the biggest unique player agenda component here. The first of these is gained at 1st level, with every 2 levels thereafter providing an additional such talent. These talents provide a blend of active benefits and talents that behave like hadou techniques and include the classic options you'd expect: From a variant smoke bomb to the option to provide one poison's benefits to his jutsu-formed two weapons to standard action only increased damage blasts, which can be further modified to act as lines or cones. Increased sneak range for sniping, synergy of Spring Attack or charges with the aforementioned standard action damage-increase...there's a lot here. Higher levels also allow for composite blast jutsu weapons, aligned strikes, applying infusions to full attacks, synergy between ki strike (which can be gained via another talent) and kinetic blast, advanced hadou techniques for dual thrown weapons or splash weaponry. Very cool: Kinetic shadow can add a miss chance to the shinobi in the aftermath of attacks and there even is one that allows for the decrease of sneak attack in favor of a reduced burn cost. Thankfully, the notorious flurry of stars-option has been locked behind an appropriate level, showing that the designers have done their math here. Highest level shinobis may even learn supercharge thus. Have I mentioned the option to gain detect thoughts? In case you haven't noticed by now: Combined with Legendary Kineticist, this pdf is pretty much "Psylocke the Class" - or all those elemental ninja dudes and dudettes. As a whole, the massive selection of shinobi talents covers a pretty amazing array of options.

This is not, however, where the pdf stops: Instead we get a TON of archetypes: 11 to be more precise. Arsenal snipers modify their proficiency-list to gain access to crossbows and firearms and indeed, that's what they can create: The rules-language provided for the ability is beautiful in its complexity, addressing several potential stumbling stones and eliminating multiple game-breaker-level issues from the get-go. Beyond increased accuracy, the class also receives an array of unique shinobi talents that include interaction with automatic fire, several investigator talents and replaces sneak attack with studied combat and Ranged combat at 3rd level, with further levels providing range increases. Lethal...but for once not a sniper class that overshoots (get it?? I'll punch myself later for that...) the line.

The second one would be the Brutal Assassin, who loses a bit of versatility in favor of Strength as governing attribute and increased sneak damage output whenever he expends ki, with fighter-level bonus combat feats and more damage-focused tricks - which remain within the proper levels...so kudos! The archetype does lose much of the shinobi's stealth and versatility for these, though. Thirdly, the burglar is a quick one: 3rd level safe house instead of a shinobi talent, HiPS instead of evasion. Solid.

The elemental shinobi replaces 12th level's ninjutsu training and evasion with access to elemental defense , powered by ki, at 2nd level. Their ki expenditure per round is capped, though, and their pool is reduced to 3 + Cha-mod to retain balance and they may also not perform the +20 Acrobatics tricks via ki, though 6th level allows them to take Charisma damage to increase the ki pool for a limited number of times per day. Weird layout glitch, btw.: Starting at 3rd level's elemental overflow, the whole text that follows, until the second sentence of the next archetype, seems to be bolder than it should be. The ability is btw. pretty impressive, providing bonuses to atk with blasts equal to the ki points expended since the last rest, and the ability even knows thresholds for further bonuses, which makes for a very cool experience of resource-management I enjoy immensely: On the one hand, you want to expend those points, on the other, you don't this retains a fluidity of options and generates this cool and pretty cinematic feeling. Very, very cool. I am so going to see what I can do with this engine!!

Fading Shadows gets a delayed sneak attack progression and are masters of camouflage, the silent killers and ghost-like infiltrators, with Conceal Spell and vanishing trick. A relatively simple one, but I like it. The hand of the kami would be, surprise, the archetype that makes the class behave like a kinetic unchained monk instead of a kinetic ninja - with quinggong monk ki powers, faster movement, flurry, the like. The Hi-Den Noble would be a similar hybrid-y archetype, but one that would basically represent a vigilante-ish shinobi that makes for a great face of the party, with knowledge and social skills and hidden strikes et al. - Really like this one, as it also has some seriously nice flavor written into the abilities. The metaformer replaces the metamagic-like tricks gained at 6th level and thereafter with extended access to form infusions - basically, this is an engine tweak, designed specifically to allow for kineticist-style meta-magic as opposed to the feat-based metamagic of the base class, making it a useful and cool addition.

Following this sequence, the next one would be the needler, whose ki pool behaves pretty much like a variant panache. Yep, this would be the swashbuckler-multiclass. And before you ask: The reason why I'm not screaming fire and brimstone right now regarding replenishing ki is the restriction that eliminates the elemental jutsu from the equation. The piercing focus can slightly be expanded upon with shinobi talents, one of which allows for the addition of usually bludgeoning-only kinetic blasts that may now inflict piercing or slashing damage. This archetype, while solid on its own, delimits a limited resource, so utmost care should be taken by GMs allowing the archetype to multiclass. The shadow stepper is locked into void and gains arcane spellcasting with slots equal to the bloodrager, but draw them from wizard/sorc and psychic spell-lists, though they are limited in what spells they can learn. The archetype pays for the flexibility that offers with a lot shinobi talents and regular stealth. Additionally, they may cast spells by expending ki and spell slots, drawing from a thematically nice list. The final archetype would be the shikon, whose spell-list and equivalent levels are treated as either bard, hunter, inquisitor, magus, mesmerist, spiritualist or warpriest, chosen at 1st level, rendering them pretty much a catch-all blend of the kinetic shinobi with the black blade of the bladebound magus (they gain a variant of the black blade), making this a pretty significant and interesting departure from the base class. Kudos!

Big, big plus: We get a TON of favored class options: Core races, featured races, uncommon races, and they actually tie in thematically with the respective races: Orcs gain damage upgrades for empowered weapons, dhampirs better negative blasts...nice. The pdf also features 4 feats: Beyond the Extra Shinobi Talent and Favored Shinobi Talent (decrease ki-cost of that talent) to using Cha for one Dex-based class skill to Overflowing Ki, which treats you as always having at least 1 ki and allows for 1 hour of meditation to regain ki...which can be an issue in REALLY grim, low-powered games. In most standard rounds, its meditation duration is long enough to make me consider it to be okay.

The pdf closes with the lady depicted on the cover, Valerie Jette, a level 9 half-elven kinetic shinobi whose colorful history includes a healthy infusion of drow blood as part of being resurrected. Sounds intriguing? Yes, it does! She does come with a boon, just fyi!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting is very good, though not perfect. Layout adheres to Legendary Games' two-column full-color standard and the pdf's artwork has been employed in other LG-books for the most part, though a couple of nice ones are included that I have not seen before. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

N. Jolly, with additional design by Blake Morton and OnyxTanuki, delivers once again in this hybrid class. Now, what do I look for in a hybrid class? For one, if a simple archetype of a scavenging of class ability could do what the hybrid class does, then it has missed its mark. Secondly, and that's just as important, if not more so, it has to feel unique: It should not play like just a Frankenstein-conglomerate of class abilities that have been stitched together. Thirdly, the class needs its unique identity. A hybrid of hunter and slayer will probably be just another woodsy pet-fighter dude, for example. The kinetic shinobi fulfills all of these criteria with panache. The significant array of archetype support adds some seriously nice customization options to the class as well, making it excel at being the anime-ninja, the Psyclocke-ish character par excellence. That being said, there are a couple of minor issues here and some options that can potentially can cause hiccups in some games. Granted, these are few and far between and can easily be identified by a competent GM, but they're here. In the end, I consider this a very good hybrid class - one of my favorite 3pp hybrid classes alongside Forest Guardian Press' savage and Purple Duck Games' luminary , in fact, but these small imperfections are what costs this my seal of approval. Still, this remains one excellent addition to the game and well worth 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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