RPGNow.com
Close
Close
Browse
 Publisher Info









Back
Other comments left for this publisher:
Remedial Tinkering: Rocket's Red Glare
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/20/2015 03:18:16
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This expansion for the tinker clocks in at 7 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let's take a look!



As the pdf observes, this pdf offers options for lower levels tinkers - though this time around, a minimum of 3rd level to get properly started. It should also be mentioned that this pdf links up with rules in the SUPERB tinker-expansion Happy Little Automatons, which every fan of the class should have.



We have three new invention types herein - compartments and fireworks. Compartment inventions are introduced to streamline the compartment-questions provided in previous installments that featured some sort of fuel/etc. Fireworks-inventions are special inventions that occupy space in a given compartment as though they were goods - they thus need compartment space and may, important, NOT be launched by hand, only by the respective invention. Fireworks have a range of 30 ft., max 150 ft. and they are executed against grid intersections (AC 5) and may target occupied and unoccupied intersections, thus deviating from splash weapons, though occupied intersections are treated as ranged fire into melee, including potential for penalty negation via Precise Shot. Intersections sans walls etc. also have their AC increased. On a miss, we determine how it missed, also providing concise rules for determining z-axis issues when shot into the air (or into a pit).



Finally, there would be propellant inventions, which modify all fireworks in a given compartment at the time of deployment; only one propellant can be added per compartment.



All right, got that? We thus gain 3 new innovations: One that negates the chance of fireworks exploding when going unlaunched, one that increases capacity of all compartments by +1 as though they were improved compartments for the purpose of holding different substances and one that lets you break the "only one propellant"-rule and allows you to add 2 in a single compartment.



And then, we have inventions - and at this point, anyone who has ever made a tinker starts cackling with glee, mainly because the by now beautifully customizable system benefits from the expansions made so far: Take e.g. Alphas that contains vast amounts of fireworks that furthermore has an increased propellant capacity, increasing the value of the fireworks stored by the alpha.



The base for fireworks would be firework tubes or hot pockets, reloading from a chosen compartment as a move action, launching them as a directed attack, with potential options to fire multiple fireworks and synergy with Rapid Reload and Rapid Shot. Hot Pockets may be used to prime fireworks and fire them all at once as a directed attack, though primed fireworks continuously decrease their maximum range and may even explode in the automaton if the tinker fails to direct the attack, making the base system work essentially like a pretty interesting game of action-economy conversion and set-ups. And yes, e.g. The Late Bloomer can be used to increase the radius of launched fireworks, while a propellant may be added to increase the range of fireworks - a potential synergy with another range-increasing tube-modification.



Even general fireworks end up having something interesting going for them, with AC-penalizing caustic fireworks, propellants that may dazzle those adjacent to the flight or fireworks that contains hundreds of angry spiders (!!!)?



Want something cooler? What about a propellant that makes it hard for undead to cross the exhaust-line left by a rocket for smart terrain control? Or ones that contain entangling good? What about a glitterdust-y emission of tracer particles? Have I mention condition stacking, damage to adjacent creatures in the flight path? Oh yeah!



Oh, and btw. - yes, the pdf has a list of which inventions get the compartment-subtype. Kudos!



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no glitches. Layout adheres to Interjection Games' two-column b/w-standard and sports thematically fitting b/w-artwork. The pdf has no bookmarks and does not necessarily require them at this length.



The last Remedial tinkering-expansion by Bradley Crouch was absolutely AWESOME in that it not only provided great low-level tricks, its combo-set-up potential was thoroughly inspired. Now, one can say pretty much the same for the content herein, with one minor gripe on my end: It quite frankly took me longer than I would have liked to piece together how exactly fireworks are launched - a slightly more concise explanation in the beginning would have certainly helped here.



That being said, not only do the fireworks here work how they should and in a mechanically distinct way, they also sport a damn cool array of combo potentials. Now I might grumble a bit here, but then there's one more thing to consider: This is FREE. It costs zilch, zero, nada, nothing - and who am I to nitpick on a quality, fun and simply interesting expansion that is free to boot? All in all, I'm glad I can now add this cool array of options to my tinkers, though I certainly wished that a) this was longer and b), it explained the process of launching fireworks in a slightly more concise manner. That being said, this is still a great expansion and one that requires literally zero investment from you - well worth a final verdict of 5 stars +seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Remedial Tinkering: Rocket's Red Glare
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

The Motebringer - An Edgewalker Archetype
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/30/2015 04:13:10
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This archetype for the edgewalker-class clocks in at 6 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 4 pages of content, so let's take a look!



The motebringer has the same basic class-chassis regarding saves and BAB as the edgewalker - unlike the edgewalker, who oscillates between light and darkness, the motebringer is a specialist of utilizing light - as such, the archetype only receives a radiance pool equal to class levels x2 + Wis-mod - but no shadow pool. Seeing how this means that several of the combo-set-ups that render the edgewalker captivating to play fall away, we thus receive a significant array of infusions, the first of which is gained at second level, +1 at 3rd level and every 2 levels of motebringer thereafter.



This list of unique tricks, ultimately, is here for one reason - to add a level of flexibility the class would have otherwise lost - and I applaud the motebringer for it. Reflexive temporary hit points, high-level poison immunity, energy resistance and the like can all be found herein -as can blinding motes of light that act as replenishing blinding flash bombs. The significant array of choices is interesting due to two further design decisions - at 2nd level, the motebringer receives a mote pool that scales with the level totaling 1/2 of class levels, rounded down -these are spent when infusing aforementioned infusions into the second interacting component - the radiant shawls.



Also gained at 2nd level, radiant shawls constitute pieces of roughly-shawl-like solid light that can be modified with infusions by spending 1 hour. The shawl occupies the shoulder slot and also provides a bonus to AC and a penalty to Stealth-checks - it can be activated and deactivated as a standard action, and yes, the infusions that can be woven into the shawl can, for example, grant temporary radiance pool points to power the waypoints learned. Both radiance and mote pools increase over the levels and obviously, hide in plain sight is not part of the deal for motebringers. The capstone allows for instant modification of infusion loadouts as well as replenishment of daily uses of infusions.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no serious glitches. Layout adheres to a printer-friendly 2-column b/w-standard and the pdf has no bookmarks, but doesn't necessarily require them at this length.



Bradley Crouch's motebringer is a good archetype - it replaces the MAD and combo-playstyle of the edgewalker with a more deliberate planning that makes the motebringer easier to run for less experienced players. While I was weary of a loss in flexibility, the new mechanics and their interplay render the playing experience per se fun. While personally, I draw more satisfaction from setting up combos and the duality of the base edgewalker, the motebringer provides for a fun experience with a different emphasis. I really applaud the fact that this is not a bland +/-2 archetype, but one with a completely different style and for the extremely fair price, this pdf definitely delivers. I know I'll send some light-shawl wearing badasses at my PCs sooner rather than later. My final verdict will clock in at 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Motebringer - An Edgewalker Archetype
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Remedial Tinkering: Happy Little Automatons
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/19/2015 03:24:09
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This expansion for the Tinker base-class clocks in at 6 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 4 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?



What do most of the *really* cool Tinker-expansions have in common? Jup, quite a few of them come into play in mid and high levels. So this pdf is geared for 1st-level usefulness, though admittedly, it will retain its usefulness far beyond the low level range. The pdf also handily points out that this and the excellent grafter PrC as well as the Tinkering 301-pdf provide some pretty interesting synergies.



Better than this, this may well be the most concise tinker-supplement to read so far: We get an explanation of the alpha and design-descriptors as well as some of the BP-tricks one could execute with the copious supplements for the class. A short explanation on interaction with the grafter also helps here. Among the basic explanation, one can also find the rationale for the unobtrusive Bob Ross-jokes herein, the new paint-descriptor. Essentially, inventions with this subtype provide a coat of paint for a target automaton and, per default, only one paint-job can be applied to one automaton - still, this is Bradley Crouch we're talking about here, so yes, there are means to break this rule.



A total of 6 innovations are provided to modify and play with this pretty interesting concept: When, for example, an alpha would lose an invention with both design and paint subtypes, the alpha retains the bonuses for class level rounds. Further innovations allow you to apply paint to yourself and relatively spontaneous reassignment of paint jobs to grafted creatures and adjacent automatons can also be executed. This quick, spray-based paint job may also be utilized as a makeshift flamethrower and yes, you can potentially change the coats of more than one target at once via spray nozzles. A greater innovation allows for "happy little accidents" for quicker paint jobs and expand the inventions used in conjunction with soem of your innovations. Where things become VERY tactical is with the means of doubling kamikaze-directives with paint-dispersal. And yes, if you think about this one, you can set up absolutely awesome "See what I did here"-combos! A thing of beauty indeed!



Okay, let's take a look at those inventions, all right? The base one would be the primer coat, which renders an automaton eligible for becoming a target for the painter's station. This invention, usually only applicable to Alphas, allows the automaton to change the paint-coats of deployed automatons 1/day; additionally, automatons deployed with the primer coat invention can have their coats changed after being deployed, thus bringing aforementioned BP-limit-shenanigans into play. Oh, and yes, whirlwind splashing of colors is possible. Need to get rid of primer coats in another way? An automaton with the Homogenization Enforcement Protocols can be deployed to eliminate primer coats and replace them with any paint invention part of its BP. Oh, have I mentioned the invention that allows for two paint coats at once? The combo-potential of this system is VAST! It is utterly beautiful!

Automatons with paint-jobs targeted by fire may elect to burn the paint to burst into flames or lose their paint to get DR 5/- versus an attack...or lose their paint to net additional uses of low level inventions with a limited number of uses. The combo-potential keep stacking up - but you're probably wondering whether the basic paint coats are worth anything. Short answer: YEAH! Long answer: What about a paint coat that nets temporary hit points (with anti-abuse caveat), dazzling added to kamikaze, increased base speed, DR 1/-, save-bonuses, better feinting or a reroll, though at -2? Yes, you may note that some of these benefits look slightly stronger than the others - well, they come balanced via a once per 24 hour-caveat. I also like the paint that nets your automaton + 1 fire damage by day, +1 cold damage by night - cool!



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no glitches. Layout adheres to Interjection Games' printer-friendly two-column b/w-standard and the pdf comes sans bookmarks, but needs none for this length.



Beyond the awesome imagery evoked, Bradley Crouch delivers perhaps the most awesome base-system-expansion I've seen for one of his classes so far. The paint-jobs with their massive combo-potential and versatility exponentially expand the options at your disposal in so cool, diverse ways, I can't wait to see even more of these great tricks. More so than even the previous installments, this expansion does not simply roll with one high-concept image - it gives you a stellar toolkit to play with, one that has changed how tinkers, all tinkers, work in my game.



This is perhaps THE must-have expansion for the class, provided with a superb quality that makes the fair price-point an utter steal. It is also the single best example for the fact that the tinker's concepts are not yet depleted - the combo-system provided herein renders the class more fun and can easily be further expanded. No other tinker-expansion made me this excited, made me want more this much - this humble pdf enhances the class in absolutely stunning ways. Everyone using this great class NEEDS this pdf. My final verdict will clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval and nomination as a candidate for my Top Ten of 2015.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Remedial Tinkering: Happy Little Automatons
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

The Ironclad - A Tinker Archetype
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/15/2015 04:21:48
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf clocks in at 6 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 4 pages of content, so let's take a look!



The Ironclad archetype gets 3/4 BAB-progression, invention levels that scale up to 6th and a dual blueprint budget, with primary and secondary blueprints being tracked separately, the former beginning with 1 point and scaling up to 20 budget, the latter beginning with 1 point that scales up to 5, 2 known scaling up to 8.



Primary? Yes, this would be a blueprint with a schematic that contains class level (if you haven't gleaned that from the above) BP. Secondary blueprints are limited in that the number of inventions it can contain is equal to or less than 2, with said limit increasing by +1 at 3rd levels and every 3 levels thereafter. Not that hard, right?



1st level also sees the Suit up ability - essentially, this is the Ironman-archetype for the tinker - suiting up and exiting the suit are full-round actions that provoke AoOs, though only the ironclad can suit up and reentering a suit is not possible. Suiting up nets you 2 x class level temporary hit points. The suit can have any combination of primary and secondary blueprints, which means that the primary blueprints provide the basic array for the suit, with the secondary ones providing modification-suites.



An ironclad may suit up once at 1st level +1/day at 2nd level +1/day every 3 levels thereafter. Since the suit is physical only, skill rank-granting or class skill-granting inventions have no effect. Non-design-inventions that grant untyped bonuses instead grant enhancement bonuses, making synergy with magic items work properly and prevent abuse. Inventions that repair damage instead grant half the benefit as temporary hit points to the ironclad's hit points.



Cockpits and its follow-ups don't work, but saddle can be applied to an Ironclad's suit, allowing other creatures to hitch a ride. Inventions that net proficiencies do not provide weapons - unlike automata, though, the suit allows for the wearing of magical items, though not ones that require line of sight to the target of the magic item to work: Obviously, a ring can't emit a blast of fire, when a sheet of metal is in the way. Conversely, no delicate manipulations can be made to activate the like.



If an ironclad has a feat an invention grants, then the ironclad may prepare suit blueprints as though that invention were already present, thus allowing you to save on BP-cost, with similarly a suit granting such a feat can be considered sufficient for the purposes of feats and similar prereqs, though sans the suit, the ironclad obviously can't utilize a feat based on one the suit grants. Conversely, such a ruling applies to equipment and physiology. Obviously, an ironlcad does not need to give directives to his suit, instead counting as though the invention use were an alpha, with the exception of counting as a tinker for purposes of reloading inventions with compartments. Additional deploy automata-grants instead apply to additional suit-uses. The ironclade pay for this with his regular automata, but not with his alpha.



Innovations and their greater ilk do not modify standard automata or blueprints and instead modify the ironclad while within the suit or the suit blueprints, respectively - but since he needs no directives, an ironclad obviously cannot learn more of them and he obviously cannot learn to deploy new kinds of automata or directives. HD of the suit are not modified by choosing innovations that modify the HD of regular automata, instead gaining twice that many temporary hit points.



*takes a deep breath* So that would be the primary set-up of this archetype; now if you end up slightly confused by the set-up provided here and its interaction with primary/secondary blueprints, you should take a look at the array of new innovations provided - here, we have interactions with the secondary blueprints influencing the capabilities of the ironclad - for example in the guise of extra ammunition. beyond those, boosted reflexes, more HP etc. make sense. On a nitpicky side, the innovation that nets DR 3/- should specify that the DR is only granted when receiving temporary hit points from the suit, not "Whenever you have temporary hit points." The innovations allow for a painful overheating (akin to kamikaze with no save for the ironclad, but no instant-death) and also alternate acid blasts - and you may activate an ejector seat at higher levels. Alas, I'm not sure how much damage a hurled ironclad deals to targets subjected to such an ejected ironclad.



At higher levels, ironclad can include inventions with the Alpha-descriptor in this suit and the greater innovations allow for a means to burn suit uses to refresh suit HP to prevent having to execute suit-changes mid-battle. Retrieval of items when inside the suit, weapon mount attacks as off-hand additions to full attacks with ranged weapons can also be executed - interesting, though quite situational, would be the option o send ray that exactly hit your armor back at the original source of the ray.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, though not as tight as in most Interjection Games-releases - beyond the above, I noticed a bolding glitch, for example. Layout adheres to IG's crisp two-column b/w-standard and the pdf has no bookmarks, but does not require them at this length. The pdf does not sport artworks.



Bradley Crouch's Tinker Expansions are a ridiculous amount of work for such short pdfs. No, seriously - it takes me longer to review these cool, complex expansions than to analyze pdfs with 10 times the pages. The concepts are complex, the options unique and awesome - and this is no different. Now, I do think the ironclad can benefit from some streamlining - while the exceedingly complex suit works well in practice and actually manages to completely rewire the tinker's rules-corset (in an exceedingly impressive feat, design-wise!) to work in a completely different way, the presentation could be slightly more concise: beyond the aforementioned hiccups, I think the primary/secondary blueprints and the cap for the suit could have benefited from a more explicit explanation.



Playtest also did show that the HP-increase of the suit could have used some extended defensive capacity to make up for the action economy loss due to no regular automatons and, more importantly, the more focused heat the tinker thus necessarily receives. The HP-increasing should be available for multiple, increasing iterations, be stacking or have some upgrades - remember, the suit is essentially like an automaton and as such, pretty fragile. That being said, this has, at least as far as my tests went, provided a huge bunch of interesting options and the customization of suits is glorious, especially with the massive expansions out there. This is probably as close to being a full-blown, playable ironman you'll get with PFRPG. In the end, my final verdict will clock in at a solid 4 stars - a good, interesting and versatile archetype with some minor rough edges that do not significantly detract from the awesomeness of the concept.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Ironclad - A Tinker Archetype
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Ooh, Shiny! - 20 Unique Armors, Shields, and Helmets
by Ben B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/08/2015 16:03:30
This supplement clocks in at seven pages, including five pages of content. After the cover, we jump right into the crunch (no table of contents). In this installment, we get 20 magic items, four helmets, seven shields, and nine armors. As in the previous installment, every item includes xp in its crafting cost, per 3.5 rules. If you are using Pathfinder crafting rules, you can simply ignore the xp cost.
One piece of mundane equipment that I always wanted to like but never received enough love in the system is the tower shield. In this supplement, we get The Door, a 23500 gp magic tower shield. It opens a five-foot-long hallway which can go through solids it is attached to, and crush anyone inside when it is moved.
On the cheap end, there is a 1000 gp helmet ironically called Old Reliable, which provides DR 2/-, but only against attacks which exactly match your AC. It’s a nice alteration to the usual all-or-nothing nature of the d20 system.
On the high end, there is the Tortoise Plate, a 42500 full plate. It allows the wearer to retract their limbs inside the “shell” like a tortoise, granting a variety of immunities and resistances, and a slam attack.
There is almost no visual artwork in this product.
Short Term Use: Every item in this supplement can be dropped into a campaign without trouble. The effects are sufficiently interesting and varied to make the game immediately more enjoyable. At such a low price, this is an easy 5/5.
Long Term Use: This supplement is hands down better than the rest of the [i]Ooh, Shiny![/i] series. Finally getting a well-designed tower shield is great all on its own. Some items in this supplement are more amenable to modifying with further enhancements than others, so the relative quality of each item are different in the long run than the short run. Nevertheless, there are enough interesting effects in here to merit a long term rating of 4.5/5, rounded up to 5 due to the low price.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ooh, Shiny! - 20 Unique Armors, Shields, and Helmets
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Ooh, Shiny! - Entropic Equipment
by Ben B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/07/2015 20:27:44
This supplement clocks in at fourteen pages, including twelve pages of content. After the cover, we jump right into the crunch (no table of contents). In this installment, we get 17 magic items, all of which have some random effects. As in the previous installment, every item includes xp in its crafting cost, per 3.5 rules. If you are using Pathfinder crafting rules, you can simply ignore the xp cost.
On the cheap end, we have the 200 gp Piece of Fate, a one-use item which enhances every [i]other[/i] item in this supplement, granting a +1 to the die roll on items with random-effect tables.
Then there are things like the Dilettante’s Cape, which grants one of eleven minor bonuses, each corresponding to a core base class. The bonuses last for a day and you get a different one each day.
On the expensive end, for 75000 gp, we get the “Perfectly Normal Axe”. As you can probably guess, it is far from Perfectly Normal. The Axe causes the wielder to feel Empathy for one specific (random) race, and Loathing for another, triggering different effects the first time you encounter a member of either race (after which you reroll for a different race). It has the potential to cause crazy things to happen in a campaign, even more so than the other random items in this supplement.
There is almost no visual artwork in this product.
Short Term Use: Unlike previous installments, not all of these items can be dropped into a campaign on their own. Some of them only work in conjunction with other items in the supplement. Others, like the Perfectly Normal Axe, can cause chaos in your campaign and should be used with caution. However, if you [i]want[/i] to make things crazier, these items do a good job. Hence, it gets a 4/5.
Long Term Use: While some players may not want to use items with chaotic effects, you can increase the longevity of this supplement by combining these items with more beneficial enhancements. Even if you don’t, some of these items can cause crazy outcomes which reverberate on your campaign. Hence a final long term rating of 3.5/5, rounded up to 4 due to the low price.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Ooh, Shiny! - Entropic Equipment
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Ooh, Shiny! - Bardic Instrumagic
by Ben B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/07/2015 19:02:01
This supplement clocks in at ten pages, including eight pages of content. After the cover, we jump right into the crunch (no table of contents). In this installment, we get 20 magic instruments, sorted by real-world instrument classes (brass, woodwind, string, percussion). As in the previous installment, every item includes xp in its crafting cost, per 3.5 rules. If you are using Pathfinder crafting rules, you can simply ignore the xp cost.
Here, finally, we start to see a hint as to what the future of Interjection Games will be like. Rather than simply a collection of items which fit existing categories or templates, Bradley Crouch adds another layer of complexity to the game with a new type of item. A Bardic Instrument is a consumable magic item which can enhance Bardic Performance. The way they are used depends on the instrument group. Brass and woodwind instruments have magical mouthpieces, which provide additional buffs to those affected. String instruments get enhanced strings which enhance their effects. Percussion instruments get things like a drumhead which causes tremors, knocking enemies prone.
There is almost no visual artwork in this product.
Short Term Use: Despite introducing a whole new category of magic items, these items can be easily dropped into a campaign without trouble. Many of the effects are rather dull, but since they all have to work on top of Bardic Performance that is understandable. For such a low price, this supplement nets a 4.5/5.
Long Term Use: If you have a bard in your campaign, you could be using this supplement for a while. I would have liked to see it expanded to include a wider variety of effects. As it is, though, it nets a 3.5/5 for long term use, rounded up to 4 due to the low price.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Ooh, Shiny! - Bardic Instrumagic
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Story Mechanics: Incremental Antimagic
by Ben B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/07/2015 18:39:52
I got this back when it cost money. It was a good purchase then, but it is great now that it is free. This supplement comes it at four pages, including the cover and OGL, leaving us with two pages of content. Aside from the cover, there is no visual artwork; just tightly-packed crunch.
Anti-magic fields can be difficult to handle well in the d20 system. Once an AMF turns on, magic jumps from being super powerful at everything to being completely nonfunctional. There is no middle ground. This supplement corrects the all-or-nothing nature of AMFs. There are three separate mechanics, each of which can adjust the power of magic in an area: Difficulty (to use a spell), Consequences, and Radius. Difficulty refers to a check required to overcome the effects of an AMF (the ‘traditional’ AMF in the game’s core rules has an infinite DC). Radius is self-explanatory. Consequences has four mechanics for altering the effects of magic: Chaotic magic, Delayed magic, Eliminated magic, and Hindered magic.
Afterwards, there is a sample golem which emits a Hindering anti-magic field.
Short Term Use: Incremental Antimagic can be added in to an encounter or monster statblock without much work, and can produce interesting encounters or traps. And, it’s free. 5/5
Long Term Use: The system presented is robust enough to handle a wide range of situations, while simple enough to use easily. It’s really short, but you can keep mixing these effects into encounters for as long as you are running the d20 system. For a free product, this is an easy 5/5.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Story Mechanics: Incremental Antimagic
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Subterranean Races: The Puddlings [PFRPG]
by Ben B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/07/2015 18:39:04
This PDF clocks in at 16 pages, of which 13 pages are content. This supplement introduces a race of intelligent ooze-like creatures. To start, we get a description of the puddlings’ history and society, including the species’ creation myth. It is written to be sufficiently generic to fit in to a typical campaign setting. The story also has the puddlings restricted to a relatively small region, making them easier to fit into your world. Puddlings do not have genders, and their language (Puddle) involves visual motions and effects as well as sound.
Next we get the racial traits. Puddlings are humanoids with a special subtype. While this typing may disappoint those who wanted a true playable ooze, it is much easier to work with (if you really want a true ooze race, consider [i][url=http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/146966/In-The-Co-
mpany-of-Gelatinous-Cubes-PFRPG?term=in+the+company+of+gel]I-
n the Company of Gelatinous Cubes[/url][/i] instead.) Puddlings must pick a skill as an “Obsession”, which gets a bonus and becomes a class skill, but which they are required to keep at max ranks. Their ooze-like body takes up their armor slot, but can be enhanced like a normal armor.
As usual with racial write-ups, I am irked by the fact that a default alignment is included. While the default puddling alignment (neutral good) fits with the lore presented, I’m still not fond of non-neutral alignments being made the default for an entire species.
Next we get a bunch of alternate racial traits which replace the standard puddling traits and mimic the abilities of “actual” oozes like Gelatinous Cubes, whilst still remaining balanced against the core races. There is a racial trait which increases your charisma when you are wearing a hat (explained via racial lore).
After that we get a bunch of racial feats which build off of the puddling’s racial features. These feats range from basic number-boosts to feats like Slimepression, which allows a puddling to squeeze through cracks significantly smaller than themselves.
Next comes a bunch of new items and alchemical goods, with explanations as to how they fit in to Puddling society.
Finally comes a pair of monsters native to Puddling society. There is the Arcanoplasm, a CR 8 ooze, which disrupts and feeds on spells cast nearby, and temporarily drains the power from magic items (but without the headaches of permanent item-destruction that accompany rust monsters). There is also the Blindfish, a CR 1 animal adapted to the dark underground area of the puddlings. It reflects foreign sources of light, giving it concealment and dazzling those who looks at it.
There is very little visual art in this product, and what art there is is mostly black-and-white.
Short Term Rating: This supplement is sort of a grab-bag. The monsters can be easily inserted into an encounter without much trouble. The items are trickier, since they are all tied to puddlings and puddling lore, so putting them in a campaign without introducing puddling society may be difficult. It is relatively easy to add puddlings into a campaign world, though, making for a final short term rating of 3.5/5.
Long Term Rating: Okay, I’ll admit it, I am biased in favor of oozes. Even so, the puddling society as presented is easily added to most campaign worlds, and provides enough information to make puddlings the focus of an adventure or even a whole campaign. It’s not perfect: not every feat or item is particularly interesting. But for such a low price, what you get is really good. 5/5.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Subterranean Races: The Puddlings [PFRPG]
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Ooh, Shiny! - 20 More Unique Weapons
by Ben B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/07/2015 18:38:17
This supplement clocks in at ten pages, including eight pages of content. After the cover, we jump right into the crunch (no table of contents). In this installment, we get 20 magic weapons. As in the previous installment, every item includes xp in its crafting cost, per 3.5 rules. If you are using Pathfinder crafting rules, you can simply ignore the xp cost.
On the cheap end, we have the Mimeowand. It’s a lot like an Eternal Wand from the MiC (can be used twice per day, no total charge limit), but whenever you cast a spell of an appropriate level, it morphs into a wand of that spell. The greater version can become a wand of any level 1-3 spell, the normal version any level 1-2 spell, and the lesser version only mimics 1st level spells. It’s a curious item, as it lacks the normal advantages of wands in the d20 system, but has some other potentially creative uses.
On the other end of the price scale, we get the Spell Swallower, a 125000 gold piece short sword which drains spells and spell-like abilities from its target on a critical hit. For a creature with many different spells prepared/known, though, it doesn’t specify how to determine which spells are drained. The drained spells can then be used on command by the wielder of the weapon.
There are also simpler weapons like the Keenblade, a magic falchion with a critical threat range of 13-20.
There is almost no visual artwork in this product.
Short Term Rating: Almost every item in this supplement can be dropped into a campaign without trouble, although a few rules ambiguities make these a bit cumbersome to use. The effects range from unique and fun to bland number boosts. 3.5/5.
Long Term Rating: Most items in this supplement are either dull or won’t be used much in the long run. However, there are a couple of items that I can see myself coming back to and modifying with further enhancements. Hence, this supplement gets a 3/5.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Ooh, Shiny! - 20 More Unique Weapons
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Ooh, Shiny! - Long Arm of the Elf
by Ben B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/07/2015 18:37:16
This supplement clocks in at eleven pages, including nine pages of content. After the cover, we jump right into the crunch (no table of contents). In this installment, we get 26 magic items related to ranged weapons. As in the previous installment, every item includes xp in its crafting cost, per 3.5 rules. If you are using Pathfinder crafting rules, you can simply ignore the xp cost.
On the cheap end, we have the Arrope, a 165 gold piece arrow which grapples its target rather than cause damage. It also automatically ties rope around trees or other inanimate objects it is fired at. There’s the Dragonbane Arrow, a 1280 gold piece arrow which suppresses a target’s ability to use a breath weapon.
On the expensive end, there is the Arcane Arbalest, a 46500 gold piece crossbow which can store spells and imbue ammunition with their effects. While potentially fun to use, it lacks an explanation for how to add spells to its storage.
There is almost no visual artwork in this product.
Short Term Rating: Almost every item in this supplement can be dropped into a campaign without trouble, although a few rules ambiguities make these a bit more cumbersome to drop than previous installments. Where they work, though, the effects are more interesting, bringing the short term rating to 3/5.
Long Term Rating: This supplement represents a marked improvement over previous installments in the series, although it is still a long way off from Crouch’s work two years later in the One Bling to Rule Them All series. The ammunition is the best part of this product, while the quivers are comparatively underwhelming, leading to a final long term rating of 3/5.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Ooh, Shiny! - Long Arm of the Elf
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Ooh, Shiny! - The Clothes Make the Man
by Ben B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/07/2015 18:36:37
This supplement clocks in at seven pages, including five pages of content. After the cover, we jump write into the crunch (no table of contents). In this installment, we get 16 magic items which fit on different slots (as opposed to the all-weapons previous installment). As in the previous installment, every item includes xp in its crafting cost, per 3.5 rules. If you are using Pathfinder crafting rules, you can simply ignore the xp cost.
On the cheap end, we have the 2500 gp Everready Gloves. It gives the user the ability to conjure a variety of non-magical tools as a move action (with a once per day limit per tool). While potentially useful, it feels a lot like a “Swiss army knife” item. It competes for the same design space as the Handy Haversack (which can be obtained and filled with the mundane tools conjured by the Everready Gloves for less than the cost of a pair of Everready Gloves).
There’s also the 2500 gold piece Fighter’s Tabard, a chest-slot item which grants a +1 bonus to one specific combat maneuver (using Pathfinder terminology despite using 3.5 crafting cost rules). Again, not an interesting item.
On the expensive end, there is the Circlet of Infinite Hues, a 61500 gold piece item. It gives a variety of spell-like effects…which seem to be one-use-each, although it is not entirely clear from the description. This item is also underwhelming, especially for such a high level item.
There is almost no visual artwork in this product.
Short Term Rating: Every item in this supplement can be dropped into a campaign without trouble. For the most part, they are not particularly interesting, but they do function, making for a short term rating of 3/5.
Long Term Rating: Bradley Crouch eventually developed into a great game designer…but his future mojo isn’t present in this bag of magic items. Skip this, and jump to his more recent works on magic items. If it were any more expensive, I’d rate lower, but at only one dollar this gets a 2/5.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Ooh, Shiny! - The Clothes Make the Man
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Ooh, Shiny! - 20 Unique Weapons
by Ben B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/07/2015 18:35:18
This PDF supplement clocks in at nine pages, including seven pages of content. After the cover page, we jump straight in to the descriptions of magic weapons (no table of contents).
The first thing of note is that every item includes xp in its crafting cost, per 3.5 rules. If you are using Pathfinder crafting rules, you can simply ignore the xp cost.
These weapons range in price from the 308 gp Bolt of the Shrubber all the way up to the 97300 gold piece Flail of the Hydra. There is a mix of ammunition, ranged weapons, and melee weapons.
On the low end, the Bolt of the Shrubber can cause a small area to become overrun by shrubs, making movement in the area difficult.
On the other end, the Flail of the Hydra temporarily sprouts heads when it is used to attack, effectively giving the user multiple attacks for a single action. There are also pyro and cyro variants which do extra energy damage. The weapon gets an additional bonus when the user is under half health. While this item is very flavorful, the actual effect isn’t particularly interesting: it’s really just more damage.
There are also melee weapons like the Light and Darkness quarterstaff, which can switch between flaming and frost, and grants a different power to the wielder depending on which is used.
There is almost no visual artwork in this product.
Short Term Rating: Each of these 20 weapons can be dropped into a campaign without much trouble. While some are basic number boosts, most have interesting effects or requirements that can make them fun loot. 4/5.
Long Term Rating: Most of the items, however, are not items I can see myself coming back to campaign after campaign. Also, the best abilities don’t synergize well with other weapon abilities, limiting this product’s use in creating new magic items. Hence, my long term rating is a 2.5/5, rounded up to 3/5 due to the low price.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Ooh, Shiny! - 20 Unique Weapons
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

The Gadgeteer: Mother of Invention [PFRPG & D&D 3.5]
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/05/2015 06:16:28
AN ENdzeitgeist.com review of the revised edition

This massive, highly-customizable, complex base-class by Interjection Games is 38 pages long, 1page front cover, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, leaving us with a massive 35 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?



The gadgeteer-class gets d8, proficiency with medium armor and shields as well as simple weapons, hammers (light war- and lucerne), 3/4 BAB-progression, 4+Int skills per level and no good saves. Yeah, all slow progression -how come? The answer is simple: At first level a gadgeteer chooses one of 3 so-called professional angles - essentially a set of skills that are added to the list of class skills. Beyond that, each professional angle corresponds to one save, which then becomes the good save of the class, with the regular good save progression as noted in the class table's professional angle save entry. Nice idea for some basic customization here. To represent a wide array of expertise, 5th level and every 4 levels after that net the class Skill Focus: Knowledge (any) as a bonus feat



Gadgeteers of 2nd level also get a bonus to saves against mechanical traps and a bonus to AC versus their attacks that scales up to +5, and yes, this potentially stacks with trap sense. At 11th level, the gadgeteer also gets essentially evasion against traps as long as she/he is not under the effects of int damage/drain or wearing too heavy armor. Now onwards to the central feature, the gadgets - Gadgeteers need to have 10+ total amount of structure points of the respective item, with saves per default being 10 + 1/2 class level +int-mod. There are two types of blanks for gadgeteers: Custom weapon and custom accessory blanks. Each blank starts with 2 structure points assigned to it. The total amount of structure points per blank increases by +1 at 3rd level and 7th level and every 4 levels after that.

Accessory blanks can be enhanced via add-ons (which depend on the item) and custom weapons have three types of enhancements: Offensive, defensive and addon: Each custom weapon can only have one enhancement per type, i.e. no two defensive customizations on one weapon. In order to improve a weapon, a gadgeteer needs to be proficient with it and apart from that, anything, from mundane to artifact-level may be enhanced by the gadgeteer. HOWEVER, in order to retain a weapon's enhancement bonus, a number of SP equal to the weapon's enhancement bonus need to be expended, thus meaning that powerful weapons are harder to modify. Special weapon abilities may also be retained, with the cost of SP being equal to the ability's enhancement bonus equivalent. If the points are not expended, the weapon counts as simply masterwork and yes, flat-price enchantments are covered as well. Bonuses and penalties incurred only feature into the equation when actively wielded. The preparation of these gadgets follows much the same rules as the prepared spellcasting of spellcasters, i.e. 8 hours rest + preparation time. Daily uses, if applicable, are also reset thus. It should be noted that custom weapons take a full 8-hour slot to assemble/disassemble.

So far, so (relatively) linear - additional blanks (either accessory OR weapon!) are gained at 4th level and every 4 levels thereafter up to 16th level, though a gadgeteer may never have more than 4 blanks of a given type. At 2nd level, gadgeteers get access to a second pool of SP - 1/2 class level + int-mod. These can be used to further modify blanks that already have their SP expended.



Finally, at 20th level, the gadgeteer may chose from one of 6 different capstones - so-called masterpieces, which can come as a bonus to saves and an attribute via a self-performed operation. More interesting would be a filtration-unit that can fire adamantine needles that deal five points of attribute damage in addition to some base damage. Alternatively a 10d6/instant-destroying crystallization-spray (cool idea, but why not follow the extreme-damage-formula of most PFRPG-death effects?) or contact lenses that provide a fire-damage dealing gaze attack, 3/day rerolls via talking to alternate reality versions of oneself, while universal lubricants can add +20 to checks rolls against grapples, cancel entanglement/staggered conditions and autotrips anything trying to pass over it.



We also get favored class options for the core-races, aasimar, tieflings, kobolds, puddlings, hobgoblins and drow and 3 feats for the class: Extra Parts increases your spare parts pool gained at second level by +1. Jury-rigging allows you to McGuyver your way out of tight situations - each accessory gadget has materials - as long as these are available, you may scrap one of your accessories (or use a blank if you have one) and spontaneously recreate one accessory of your liking at a -2 SP-penalty. This takes 1 minute per SP-cost and can be done only to one accessory per day. Finally, quicker custom weapon assembly/disassembly is possible.



Speaking of custom weapons - a total of 3 pages are devoted to the list of custom weapon modifications, providing type, SP-cost, prerequisites and effects at one handy look before going into details. So what do these do? Well, let's take the first cluster of abilities - via diverse alchemical procedures, weapons can grant +2 to Str, Dex, Con, damage or +1 to hit - all with different requirements regarding the necessary ranks in Craft (alchemy). None too wowed, well, as always with Interjection Games' classes, there are some abilities here that make use of more obscure rules - there is for example a berserker button - pressing this declares the next attack with the weapon a smite (unfortunate nomenclature there), which, when hitting a construct, nets it a significant chance to from there on go berserk. Especially tinkers or machinesmiths will learn to hate this one, I'd wager! You can also add e.g. +1 bleed damage for -2 to AC, +1 AC for -1 to initiative or make your weapon a charge-deterrent.



The weapon can also net you AoOs at -4 (reducing the penalty at higher levels) against charges made against you. Increasing CMD or CMB, a capsule that releases 1 minutes worth of breathable air, adding a battery to a weapon that deals additional damage (untyped, probably should have either the weapon's type or deal electricity damage) when expending charges (or later, lesser damage sans charges...) or ignoring partially miss chances and damaging incorporeal foes - quite some options here. Adding small cones of elemental damage is also possible, as would be easier hiding of weapons via sleight of hand, absorbing up to gadgeteer level points of physical damage. Elemental batteries can provide resistance at the cost of minor penalties to saves against other elemental attacks. You can also have your weapon mimic the energy you're damaged by, hurl balls of energy, react to energy damage by gaining temporarily fast healing - thankfully with a minimum amount of damage. *packs away the bag of elementally-infused kittens* What about adding a hamster-powered light to your weapon? Yes, the class is suffused by cool, unobtrusive humor like this. Beyond expanded threat ranges, adding int-mod instead of str to weapon damage (also relevant for composite bows now using int) is another option available to the gadgeteer. The Kinetic Potential Conversion unit may act either offensively, defensively or both, allowing you to gain charges by being damaged physically and using this momentum either offensively or defensively - depending on which version you chose. While in theory, you could get 1-damage-dealing dire-kitten-adversaries and fast heal/regenerate/orison-cure, the limited bonuses granted don't make this strategy rewarding.



Laser Sights added to ranged weapons allow you to make a standard attack action at +4 to hit and you can tie weapons to your hand via leather straps, gain SR, mental/physical poisons...and there is Mr. Thingy. What's that, you ask? Well, it's a gadget that temporarily adds a random condition to foes hit by your weapon upon the expenditure of a charge - said conditions upgrade over the levels, getting a second table and more rolls. And yes, fear-based ones count as mind-affecting - nice catch!

Rerolling mind-affecting saves at +2 DC, adding a weapon's enhancement bonus again as an insight bonus to damage or as enhancement bonus to AC, immunity to mundane splash weapons (alchemist bombs are still a problem), incurring bleed damage to cancel out poisons/diseases on a successful save...there are some rather unique tricks here. Take for example one particular gadget that converts your weapon's damage to positive energy, thus healing the person hit (at decreased potency at range to maintain balance) - cool idea as a minor support healer, though limited by charges. What about a gadget that turns the weapon to creature-type bane for the day upon hitting the first creature? Or gadgets that penalize natural attacks/unarmed attack by dealing thorny retribution damage? Increased combat maneuver bonuses? There are A LOT of customization options here, especially when taking into account that magical weapons can be enhanced with these, stacking further damage upon them - oh, and the revision now also covers interaction with special weapon abilities...so yeah, combo away!



A total of 13 accessories are presented, each with its own custom set of add-ons - take adhesive strips: a total of 10 add-ons can be added to the strips and they can be used to repair objects, weapons and be used to improvise weapons - sans add-ons. With them, they can be sued to tape shut the mouth of adversaries (including bleed damage upon removal for bearded adversaries) and yes, even the fixing of constructs and complex devices, glue foes/objects to walls, improvise ammunition, entangling taped foes, or add bleed damage and further increase the efficiency of improvised weapons. As mentioned, each entry of add-ons etc. comes with materials for true Mcguyver-scrapping AS WELL AS information whether or not it can be jury-rigged.



What about a chemical dispenser that can be used to render alchemical items useless but also alternatively increase their potency? On the interesting side, the add-ons allow the dispenser to negate e.g. the effects of glitterdust, blinding powder etc. or makes the dispenser dissolve unattended inorganic objects (why no damage for constructs/items?) or temporarily grant DR, but receive the damage after that (but not below 0) via Titan.-(Arkham City, anyone?)



Next up would be Cigars - these come with an integrated micro-camera. Yes. Photography. No, I don't see an issue there -especially since info on cracking the micro black box is given -nice story-telling potential for espionage-themed scenes and in a world of excessive divination, I don't see this breaking the mood. On to the add-ons - Itching powder, knockout darts, especially noxious fumes, increased DCs to crack the box or detect it and yes, even a PARACHUTE (clamp down on the cigar...as tight as your mouth allows...) make this gadget awesome in every way.



More esoteric would be the Doppler Device, which provides concealment that can't be pierced by true seeing and may be extended to allies -that's about it, though. Only 3 modifications here. More are available for the energy bar compressor - these can turn food into energy bars that heal the persons eating them (or damage undead - yeah, death by snickers!) - but eating more than one causes indigestion (sickened!) sans save - nice bluffing potential here. Special animal bars that make handling them easier. If you don't want to spend ranks in profession (cook), you can use craft (metalworking) via add-ons instead and yes, you can make mushroom-bars that nauseate tricked adversaries via their disgusting food additives. This one has been upgraded in its potency a bit - good to see!



Extreme Vision Goggles can grant the gadgeteer low light vision and can be enhanced for a low-range fire-damage-dealing gaze attack and/or darkvision, increase saves versus blinding/dazzling effects (and resistance versus light-based spells), dazzle adversaries or help your sleuthing. The Facetome allows the gadgeteer to duplicate an adversary's face, producing very convincing disguises by pressing the mold first to the target to be copied and then to him/herself. Among the add-ons, "saving" one face for later use, gaining DR 5/- and further increasing disguise and bluff as well as distorting the face in a frightening manner are possible. I got a distinct clayface-vibe here - which is awesome as far as I'm concerned.



The Fist Cannon can be enhanced by elements, supercharge it and convey additional detrimental effects to those hit depending on the elemental damage chosen. Flare Guns can be used to create colored flares, burning and/or smoking flares and even add inhaled toxins to the smoke of the flare gun. All right, the next one had me chuckle - the joy buzzer allows the gadgeteer to daze foes with melee touch attacks, dealing electricity damage, send foes prone via the shock, stun or bull rush the target or reduce the target's movement rate. As a joker-fan, I really liked this one! The multifunctional pocketknife is all about utility, getting an inexhaustible supply of tindertwigs and one daily use of antitoxin (both of which can't be sold anymore), bonuses to open locks or disabling traps, ignoring the hardness of glass or reflect incoming rays with an opposing attack roll as a readied action or create mundane metal or wood items, raw materials provided, in one hour or extend to a 10-foot pole.



Sound Emitters are essentially remote-wired megaphones that can be augmented to deal sonic damage (including a dog whistle option that only damages animals, magical beasts and anthropomorphic humanoids like catfolk, canids, tengu etc.), longer wires, ear-drum rupturing blasts, damage to objects (and beings of glass/crystal) - name the sound-based mayhem, it's here. Something for dandys and femme fatales would be the stealth lipstick -poisonous like the kiss of Poison Ivy, the potency of the poison and which attribute it affects can be changed - as can the poison be made plant-based.



The final gadget would be the automated workhorse - while useless in combat, it can make your bed, cook etc. and thus delivers morale bonuses to those employing them. Functions can, via add-ons, be triggered at precise times and the morale bonus can be upgraded and even shared. It should be noted that all accessories come with add-ons that increase their uses/day - these can be taken multiple times, limited by the class level of the gadgeteer.



Conclusion:



Editing and formatting are up to Interjection Games standards now - the beta-terminology hiccups and remnants have been cleared up. Layout adheres to Interjection Games' 2-column b/w-standard and artwork is thematically fitting stock art. The revised edition has no bookmarks, which renders navigation of the massive class less comfortable than it ought to be.



Ahhh, Interjection Games classes - there are none quite like them out there. With the notable exception of Morgan Boehringer's Direlock, none take me as long to review as mastermind Bradley Crouch's beasts (looking especially at you, Ethermancer and Mechgineer!), and there's a reason for that - they have a lot of customization-options, are complex and never simple in their math. That being said, my primary gripes with them tend to be minor instances where things are handled slightly differently than in comparable spells/maneuvers etc. Then I started looking in-depth at this one...and was honestly surprised.



Why? Well, most classes are centered on combat. This one is not. Yes, it has combat capabilities, yes, fiddling with one's customized weapons is fun. But honestly, the class is simply not that awesome in combat and after Tinker, Herbalist and especially Ethermancer, I somewhat expected another class with such a focus. Still, the spark did not really ignite me - the weapon customizations are nice, yes, but the gadgeteer is generally is decidedly not about inflicting max damage.



It's not intended to. Its only restrictions to what it can do are the skill ranks/levels required, which means each gadgeteer has an incredible amount of things to do/jury-rig - and these, especially the accessories, can be summed up as "Batman's Rogue's Gallery's Gadgets - the Class" - which honestly hits a VERY soft spot of mine. I'm a total Batman fanboy and from cigar-parabols to buzzers, the gadgeteer makes for a superb gimmick-based agent-type character. Will the gadgeteer shine in every campaign/environment? No. While not a bad choice in dungeon-crawls, the class is simply not that geared towards hacking and slashing everything apart, instead providing ample thoroughly unique options that have been lacking in the game so far. In short, it does something defiantly new in its focus on the ROLEplaying, with multiple options requiring smarts of not only the character, but also the player. If you're into espionage/investigation-modules, this should be considered a required purchase. The gadgeteer makes for a great support character that has its best moments to shine beyond the tawdry concerns of combat - and it is, at least in my opinion, that is what makes it great.



The gadgeteer's revision sees full blown magic item synergy for an influx in power, has gotten rid of the formal glitches that hounded the first iteration and, by now, has had some underpowered options upgraded. The superb expansion should be considered a must-have supplement for the class, as, without it, I still retain a certain sense of the class needing something more. As written, though, the base class as such now works well and breathes unique concepts. My final verdict will hence clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 for this revised edition.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Gadgeteer: Mother of Invention [PFRPG & D&D 3.5]
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

The Sanguine Disciple - A Maneuvers Base Class
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/05/2015 06:03:58
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This base-class, commissioned by Preston Mitchell, clocks in at 21 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page b/w-version of front cover, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 17 pages of content, so let's take a look!



Sanguine Disciples receive 3/4 BAB-progression, good fort- and will-saves, d8, 4+Int skills per level, proficiency with simple weapons, all melee martial weapons dealing slashing/piercing damage (including all weapons that deal either as part of their damage), light and medium armor and shields. They may cast sanguine disciple spells while wearing these armors + shield without incurring arcane spell failure. Okay, so spellcasting is VERY odd at first glance - sanguine disciples are spontaneous casters and cast their spells not governed by Cha, as one would expect, but by Con. Sanguine Disciples may cast each spell they know exactly once per day and learn new spells for high con-mods, akin to how the Composition Magic-system handles spellcasting. At 7th level and every 3 levels thereafter, the sanguine disciple may retrain a spell. As a special component of the spellcasting, the spells deal damage equal to their spell-level to the sanguine disciple upon being cast - I assume after the respective casting, but on a nitpicky side, that ought to be specified to prevent concentration-confusion.



At 1st level, the sanguine disciple chooses a bloodsong and at 2nd, 3rd, 4th and every two levels thereafter, the sanguine disciple learns an additional bloodsong. Now here is the rules-modification that makes a blood-themed class work in the first place - bleed effects generated by bloodsongs stack their bleed damage, thus directly contradicting the bland way bleed works in vanilla PFRPG. No, not going to complain about that. I've been pretty vocal in my praise for TPK Games' Laying Waste's design decision to get rid of the stacking-prohibition of bleed damage. Wounding weapons also are taken into account, but thankfully, all other bleed effects do not stack with them, preventing a pretty obvious potential problem.



Bloodsongs are grouped into 4 categories: Builders have a cost to activate and generate one focus, a resource required to activate a finisher. A focus lasts for up to 1 minute before it vanishes and can be stacked - the maximum amount of foci a sanguine disciple can thus have would be 10.

Finisher bloodsongs have a focus needed-line, which mentions the minimum required focus to activate the finisher - and upon executing a finisher, focus is set back to 0. So no focus-hoarding. Harmonies grant a double-edged bonus/penalty and once activated, cannot be dismissed - they need to run their course. only one harmony can be in effect at a given time. Resonances are constant abilities that are always in effect and do not require a cost to activate.



There are two ways to pay for these bloodsongs - number 1 would be to reduce con by the bloodsong's blood point cost for 1 minute. This is not damage or drain and thus cannot be healed by any means. At 2nd level, the sanguine disciple also receives a blood pool with a maximum size of 2 + 1/2 class level. This pool's points can be used to pay the cost for bloodsongs without incurring the Con-reduction. When the sanguine disciple reduces a creature suffering from an ongoing bleed effect to 0 hp or lower, the sanguine disciple regains 1 blood point. And yes, the ability comes with an HD-cap, thus rendering it non-kitten-able. Nice! The blood pool also replenishes upon resting. Btw., in case you don't want to do the simple blood pool size math, the table also sports a column that lists the maximum pool size for each level.



At 1st level, the sanguine disciple also receives a so-called sanguine relic - -this is a martial weapon that doubles as a bonded object. The weapon can be enhanced with a specific list of weapon special abilities. The sanguine disciple can have his relic "eat" other magical items, paying thus for the enhancement of the weapon. Changing relics etc. is also covered.



Now if you've checked respective creatures, there are certain types/subtypes that are immune to bleed damage - enter the 5th level ability everything bleeds, which allows you to choose a creature type/subtype and ignore bleeding immunity for the type. An additional creature type/subtype can be chosen at 11th and 17th level. Now personally, I consider the attached template a bit of a trap for inexperienced players, mainly because some choices are obviously much, much more potent than others - constructs and undead, for example, universally have immunity to bleed, whereas none of the other choices (yes, including oozes/aberrations!) receive automatic immunity to bleed damage per their creature type. From the top of my head, I couldn't mention a single creature of the animal type that is immune to bleed. However, outsiders and humanoids have a pretty fine-grained distinction, whereas a bunch of subtypes (like the bleed-immune behemoth or kami) are not per default covered as their own entry. Now yes, there is a 12th level bloodsong that nets you 2 blood points when defeating a creature of the chosen type and the drow's FCO, which nets +1/3 dodge bonus to AC against the chosen type, but that's about all the additional reasoning I can find for some of these. Don't get wrong - I can easily make creatures bleed-immune as a DM - that's what templates and similar tricks are for. Still, inexperienced players may receive a bit of a hamper to their fun here if they make a bad choice.



At 7th level, whenever an ongoing bloodsong-caused bleed-effect receives magical healing, the healer must succeed a DC 10 + 1/2 Sanguine Disciple level + Con-mod level check - on a failure, the healing only halves the bleed effect's damage. Now personally, I think that the Heal skill check should also receive an increasing DC - per default, bleed can be ended at a fixed DC 15 check - not terribly relevant in combat, but still - feels like an oversight to me.



High level abilities include immunity to bleed damage, DR reduction equal to ongoing bleed effects and the powerful option to halve the potency of magical healing, fast healing and regeneration. The class receives FCOs for the core races, aasimars, tieflings, drow, orcs, hobgoblins, kobolds and puddlings. They are generally nice. There also are two new feats - one for an extra bloodsong and one that nets you a secondary bloodpool of 2 points - it can only be used when wielding the sanguine relic AND can only be replenished by resting. This pool can be further increased.



The spell-lists take all big Paizo hardcovers into account and feel pretty well-balanced...but let's get on to what you've all been waiting for, the bloodsongs.



Generally, bloodsongs tend to have level-restrictions and a few of them also sport minor feat/skill prereqs or a minimum number of bloodsongs known, but ultimately, these are pretty easy to qualify for.



Now as mentioned before, resonances are constantly in effect - and include aforementioned better blood point generation, temporary boosts to knowledge skill checks, treating 1s of bleed damage rolled as 2s etc. The interesting thing about them would be the inherent combo potential - receiving e.g. a temporary luck bonus when willingly reducing your Con to pay for bloodsong activation should be considered interesting. Automatically fatiguing creatures suffering from bleed damage while within 10 feet of you also can be considered an interesting tactical option. Receiving a temporary blood point for 1 round upon being critically hit also can be considered a nice way to exert vengeance on your foes. Now where things become pretty interesting would be with the builders - for example, temporarily increasing your movement rate by a +30-feet enhancement bonus, adding demoralization to bleed or immediate action-based dodge bonuses all provide a diverse array of tricks that can be easily crafted into a nice skirmishing/combo-potential. Replacing the spell's usual damage to the sanguine disciple with healing can also be found.



On the harmony-side, Bloodletter Savant also can be considered an interesting bloodsong - it doubles the effects of bleed, but suspends the effects of the laceration class abilities. Here, a minor glitch has crept in - the bloodsong refers to jagged lacerations, a class ability that does not exist and probably has been renamed persistent lacerations. A somewhat unfortunately named rage called "Bloodrage" is cool. Bloodsongs dealing attribute-damage, exsanguinating blasts...quite a few very interesting options. For example, 10th level sanguine disciples can learn to enter a harmony that lets you no longer provoke AoOs, but also prohibits you from executing any yourself - very powerful skirmisher option! Another harmony would also be interesting - it increases speed and morale bonuses, but increases the penalty the character receives when frightened, shaken, etc. What about drawing weapons and executing retributive attacks with the weapon as an immediate action? A curse-like effect that spreads bleed to other creatures is also interesting and receiving reflexive, shrapnel-like blood is also pretty awesome in imagery. What about ending bleed effects in favor of a fiery burst?



Extremely important for low level sanguine disciples: TAKE THE SANGUINE HUNGER, spasmatic influence or a similar level 1 builder bloodsong as soon as possible. Why? because it's a builder that allows you to deal bleed damage with your sanguine relic - without it, low level sanguine disciples may be stranded without means of causing bleed damage - on which almost all abilities are based.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are good, but not as good as in most Interjection Games' releases - I noticed some minor issues. Layout adheres to Interjection Games 2-column b/w-standard with thematically fitting stock-art. The pdf comes with full, nested bookmarks for your convenience.



This base-class is very much exciting - its complex resource-management game and skirmishing are a playstyle I very much enjoy and the relatively powerful options and stacking combos you can pull off with these guys can be rather impressive. That being said, the class does have its downsides, which boil down that one can very much see the iterations this class went through - author Bradley Crouch's gift at making finely-entwined, complex systems that allow for awesome combos can be seen in the bloodsongs. The class itself, on the other hand, feels like a slightly disjointed chassis for the system, rendering the sanguine disciple less user-friendly than usual for Interjection Games. See, usually, the difficulty of Interjection Games' systems stems from grasping the system in the first place and then mastering it - which is also the reason these reviews take me so long. Not so here - with the notable exception of the edgewalker, the sanguine disciple can be considered one of the most simple base classes released by Bradley Crouch. - everything bleeds vastly fluctuating effectiveness would be one rough edge. One, I think, that can be explained. At one point, the class feature probably had additional effects that were re-assigned/changed. And then there's the very real possibility that a careless player may be stranded without access to bleed-damage at low levels. This particular problem is pretty nasty in my book and not an issue any of the other Interjection games-classes share - why not put a class feature that is required for just about everything in the non-optional part of the class? Yes, careful reading and properly understanding the class does help mitigate this, but my argument remains.



Now don't get me wrong - in playtesting, this issue did not come up at my table - why? Because my players are *very* experienced. In the hands of a novice, the class can be pretty sucky - but in the hands of my players, it was a very fun melee skirmisher with some rather nasty, unique options and glorious flavor. But that may just be my inclination towards anything blood magic-related gushing like a fanboy. The diverse stacking options very much are thematically awesome and the sanguine disciple will fit perfectly into more gritty campaigns. Which brings me to another interesting fact the playtest spat out - the class fits thematically and mechanically perfectly with TPK Games' Laying Waster critical hit-enhancing book - they share a propensity for stacking bleed and visceral imagery that blend together surprisingly well. Additionally, with the more numerous options to cause bleed that laying waste offers, it is harder to build yourself into a dead end. Hence, for campaigns using that book, I very much recommend the sanguine disciple, provided the player has enough experience.



Now the decision on how to rate this one has been exceedingly hard for me - for the class works in play. Pretty well, actually. I *love* the system and I am not kidding when I'm saying that this is my favorite martial system since Dreadfox Games' Swordmaster. Bloodsongs ooze style (haha...I'm sorry. I'll hit myself later...) and practically demand expansion. Indeed, I could envision the whole bloodsystem as provided herein work for a diverse array of classes. Then again, the class is rougher around the edges than what I'm accustomed to by Interjection games, it feels slightly less refined and, much like the gadgeteer back in the day (before its awesome expansion!), like it could have used some additional tools at its disposal. Hence, my final verdict will clock in at 3.5 stars - novices should round down, whereas experts and rounds utilizing Laying Waste should definitely round up and give the class a shot. While I usually round up in such cases, my official reviewer's rating here will round down, in spite of me really liking the class (and, as mentioned, as a person, I'd round up) - the blemishes can be pretty nasty.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
The Sanguine Disciple - A Maneuvers Base Class
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Displaying 1 to 15 (of 85 reviews) Result Pages:  1  2  3  4  5  6  [Next >>] 
0 items
 Hottest Titles
 Gift Certificates
Powered by DrivethruRPG