RPGNow.com
Close
New Account
 
  
 
 
You will lose your chance to get the free product of the week.
One-click unsubscribe later if you don't enjoy the newsletter.
Close
Log In
 
 Forgot password?
 

     or     Log In with your Facebook Account
Browse
 Publisher Info









Back
Other comments left for this publisher:
Prestigeous Organizations: The Order of the Nullblades
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/01/2014 06:46:33
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf clocks in at 14 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 12 pages of content, so let's take a look!



So what are the Nullblades? Essentially, they can be considered an organization fiercely opposed to the MACS-suffering casters - megalomanical arcane caster syndrome that tends too infect just about every high-level spellcaster. You know the drill - the point where the friendly arch-wizard experiments a bit too much and makes the fabric of reality unravel, transforming the town of Bimberton into undead oreo-cookies. And this makes sense in-game to me - there would probably be an organization like this, annoying, harassing and potentially, eliminating spellcasters they deem an issue. The organization and its stance on members, relationships with other classes, buying potions (only from bards and alchemists!), the chance of there being a chapterhouse in a given settlement - 6 possible amenities to be found in a chapterhouse - all of these (and the at times hilarious humor) render the organization a joy to read and highly entertaining. That being said, I'm a bit sad that chapterhouses don't have an influence on a settlement's statblock/kingdom building rules-information or prestige-mechanics based benefits - there's a hierarchy and benefits, why not codify them in the given system?



Oh well, the pdf also features a new 10-level PrC, the Nullblade, which provides full BAB-progression, 1/2 fort-save progression, d10, 2+Int skills per level. The class gets a 15 feet-lead-based aura that hampers concentration (and extends to 30 feet at later levels, increasing its potency throughout the PrC-progression) and become immune to lead-poisoning and more resilient versus diseases and toxins. furthermore, they may detect and identify magic a will and may choose up to 5 techniques (the talents of the class) over the course of their ten levels. A total of 20 techniques are provided for the PrC. These include preventing the teleport of foes, dealing damage to foes that fumble concentration, granting himself temporary SR and even forcing foes to stutter-cast, i.e. only be able to cast the last spell they cast for a round - a bunch of powerful, yet never overpowered abilities here. And, as a capstone, how could it be any other way - antimagic field-generation.



We round off this pdf with two pregenerated NPCs complete with story-hooks, background, appearance and tactics, reaching a neat level of detail one usually only sees in releases by Raging Swan Press. First would be Drimble Underhill, a fighter 6/Nullblade 3 halfling, second would be Cerabiel, an elven bard (arcane duelist)7/bard 2/nullblade 4 - a surprisingly varied and cool build, if I may say so.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I didn't notice glaring glitches. Layout adheres to Interjection Games' two-column b/w-standard and the pdf comes sans bookmarks, which is a slight bummer. The pdf's artworks are thematically-fitting stock art.



Bradley Crouch has humor - I've rarely enjoyed the subtle (and not so subtle) jibes herein, but rest assured - this is no joke. Indeed, this PrC ranks among the better takes on the innumerable anti-magic archetypes and PrCs I've read over the years and the Nullblade, honestly works rather well. The organization makes sense, the NPCs are neat and the PrC does what it sets out to do - make a magic-bane fighter. Now not all is perfect, as mentioned above - kingdom building/prestige/settlement-rules would have been the icing on the cake. Then again, this pdf is FREE. FREE is very hard to beat at this level of quality and thus, my final verdict will clock in at 5 stars.


Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Prestigeous Organizations: The Order of the Nullblades
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Click here to issue a publisher reply
Under the Knife: The Grafter, a Tinker Prestige Class
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/29/2014 04:13:48
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This Tinker-expansion clocks in at 6 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 4 pages of content, so let's check out the Grafter!



Mechanically, we have a 5-level PrC with 10 ranks heal, 7 ranks knowledge (engineering), skill focus (heal) and 3rd level invention/blueprints as prereqs. The class gets d8, 3/4 BAB-progression, good will-and fort-saves and 4+Int skills per level, but ONLY heal and intimidate as class skills. They also get full invention-progression, with the important caveat that BP per blueprint DO NOT increase via grafter level.



Got that? All right. At first level, a grafter gains a grafting pool equal to class level X 3. These points can be used as BP to apply inventions to the grafter's own body when preparing inventions and do not replenish, unless the grafter removes a given graft to free points. Inventions with limited uses per day refresh upon blueprint-preparation and at 3rd level of the class, the grafter may apply grafts to others as well. Inventions that require activation also require at least int 3 (no grafted oozes, sorry) or int 11 on behalf of the controller in the case of controlled unintelligent foes (like undead). This also provides an interesting precedent for similar master/minion relationships with other creatures such as constructs. A given creature can maintain a total of grafter's int-mod in BP as grafts at a given time.



Now there are restrictions - skill bonuses, class skills and proficiencies cannot be granted via these grafts and any untyped bonus for an automaton becomes an enhancement bonus for an intelligent grafted creature. If a graft requires a given feat via an invention and the base creature also has that feat, it can take the follow-up invention as a graft, but graft-granted abilities cannot be used as prerequisites to qualify for feats etc. Got that? Good!



At first level, the grafter also learns to add int-mod to wis-mod regarding heal-skills (NOT a fan of two attribute-mods to one skill). As you may have noted, grafters can be somewhat neutered in their grafting capabilities by their graftees simply walking away - this is remedied at 3rd level, when they get full control over their grafts, allowing them to declare them obsolete when resting and thus making them break/reclaim their grafting BP...which allows for nice roleplaying potential: "Yes, Mr. Ogre...I can graft you so you can eat those knights in the castle." *ogre flies off with rotor* "I declare it obsolete." Ogre falls...far. (Though this does, unfortunately, not work - design-inventions can't be grafted...)



At 4th level, the class nets those grafted with 5 BP or more one of 5 bonuses (HP, CMD, fort, COn or natural armor) as long as they remain enhanced by you. At 5th level, the grafter may artificially increase his graft-pool temporarily by expending his infuse automaton ability, allowing for even more flexibility in that regard.



It should also be noted that the grafter at 2nd level learns a so-called implant, essentially an invention that can only be applied to organic beings and not automata. He also learn another one every class level after that (though it should be noted, that, like regular inventions, only one of a kind can be applied to a given being, i.e. no doubling of a given implant on a creature). Some of these have level restrictions as well.



I was talking about implants. What about an adrenaline injection unit, that nets a bonus of +4 to Dex (or Str...) for one round as a swift action class levels x 2 per day times? Vastly improved carrying capacity? A nose-installed flame-thrower? (If you're like me and grew up with Sonic, remember the final boss of Sonic & Knuckles and chuckle...) A limited use +5 insight bonus to attack? Limited times per day auto-succeed saves versus toxins and diseases, even if you have failed the save? Immunity to fear at the cost of gaining no morale bonuses? Fortification-like metal plates that help versus sneak attacks? Simply more Hp? Auto-heal via stimpack when reaching 0 hp (but not when dying immediately)?



The most powerful of grafts allow you to grant yourself (and others) dragon-like energy lines (and even cones!) as breath weapons and implant artificial brainstems that temporarily revive your minions as double HD fast zombies that retain their weapon and armor proficiencies - great if your villain just has to run...or if your fighter has no scruples about that sort of last ditch-effort to take down a villain...



Now, I know what you're asking - how does the PrC play with all those inventions? Well, there are (as can be imagined in such a wide field) some cases, where the interaction between inventions and implants, for example, take a VERY experienced player to handle. Take Augmented (or Definite) Structure: +1 Hp per HD of the base-creature at 2 BP cost. Does that one stack with the structural augmentation implant for +5 maximum Hp at 1 BP? (Answer: Yes it does - bonus-types stacking...) What I'm trying to say here is -know the rules, tinker and this book - this is complex as hell.



It should be noted that by now, prior ambiguities as to e.g. arms/legs etc. and inventions have been cleared up and via the now established transparency between implant and invention-usage, another source of potential confusion has been streamlined away.



The revised rules also properly cover action economy for graftees of varying intelligences by being treated like an alpha using the invention, thus eliminating some of the ridiculously action-economy breaking potential builds I could construct. Great to see this smoothed and made work!



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to Interjection Games' two-column b/w-standard and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length. Artworks are thematically-fitting stock.



Okay, Bradley Crouch's Grafter's V.1.0 struck me as awesome, but unrefined. I wrote a review and then, life happened. For a time, I was actively out of the reviewing game as you may know and then, I get back and I find this beast. I check back...and by now it actually works. At least I couldn't, from the top of my head, break it and reading this revised edition provided no angle for me to break this beast -and this deserves accolades. No, seriously. Fixing glitches to provide a better experience for one's customers is great, especially when always trying to stretch the boundaries by trying insanely complex rules-stunts and classes and actually getting the job more than done deserves applause. The grafter as such took a mind-bogglingly complex base class and made it more complex while also opening its benefits up to other classes, adding some significant value to your tinker-class in game. Well worth a final verdict of 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Under the Knife: The Grafter, a Tinker Prestige Class
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Click here to issue a publisher reply
The Brewmaster: Life of the Party
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/24/2014 10:13:52
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This base-class by Interjection Games clocks in at 32 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 29 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?



The brewmaster base-class gets proficiency with simple weapons, martial reach weapons, martial bludgeoning weapons and light/medium armors and shields, but not tower shields, d10 HD, 4+Int skills per level, a good will-save and, surprisingly, full BAB-progression.



A Brewmaster starts game with 2 casks and increases that number by +1 for every 3 class levels up to 8 at 20th level - but what store in the casks? Well, beverages, of course! Homebrew, to be precise! That this stuff is potent (and can vary in effect) can anyone attest who had the joy of tasting some different types of hembränd sprit - but the brewmaster's draught is...different.



So, how does homebrewing work within the context of this pdf? Well, there are essentially a couple of things to bear in mind: Each cask must contain a sugar and a fermenter and may contain additionally a single clarifier and up to a number of additives as prescribed by the fermenter. So far, so simple!



Sugars dictate how often a cask can be used - essentially, sugars determine the charges and also determines the primary benefit. Brewmasters start game with 2 sugars known and add +1 at 2nd level and every 2 levels after that. Fermenters determine how long the brewing takes and how long the buzz, being "roaring drunk" as determined by the alcohol level, lasts. Brewmasters start game knowing all of them.



Additives modify being roaring drunk and often scale with the drink's alcohol level. They also "Each additive has a "minimum quality level", that is, they have no effect in a homebrew"...and this is where the sentence ends - which should have probably gone on to describe that a brewmaster requires a minimum class level to use them. Unless otherwise stated, only one additive per homebrew. A brewmaster starts with 2 additives known, +1 per level.



One clarifier can be added to a drink after it has matured and generally have significant influence on the homebrew. A brewmaster learns the first clarifier at 4th level, +1 every 5 levels after that. Thus, over 20 levels, the brewmaster learns up to 12 sugars, 21 additives and 4 clarifiers.



In order to prepare a given homebrew, the brewmaster must have a minimum wisdom score of 10+the total number of ingredients in the cask, with saving throws, if applicable, being against 10+1/2 class level + wis-mod. Non brewmasters can benefit from casks as well, but gain no benefit from effects modifying the brewmaster's class features if they don't have them themselves. Tricks to consume potions faster do work, but if that results in a required action only being a move action, swift action or less, the faster consumption spills 1 additional dose, essentially consuming 2 uses instead of one, with the second being just spilled. This is a very cool balancing mechanism in my book!



Okay, so what about the brewing process? This one includes essentially 3 phases - The first phase would be the fermentation phase - a fermenter determines, when a dink is good and when not - a drink has either a poor, a good, or a perfect quality, depending on the speed of the fermentation and the number of days the drink had to age. After waiting until either poor, good or perfect result can be yielded, boiling is initiated - here, additives are added. Then, conditioning begins - here, we calculate the brewing DC. This one consists of the base sugar's base DC, modified by fermenter, clarifiers and additives. Then, you make a d20+level+wis-mod check - if you fail, quality can degrade by one or two steps (or even totally ruin the homebrew), potentially modifying which additives work out in the end. The table with degrees of failure and overall system make for a nice, planning-rewarding risk-reward-system here. The handy table listing the qualities by fermentation speed along the days is extremely handy here as well.



Now, I've mentioned before being "roaring drunk" - this is the result of drinking from a cask, lasts for alcohol level rounds and is somewhat akin to a rage (+2 Str, Con, will-saves, -2 to int/wis-based skill checks), increasing by +1/-1 at 4th level and every 4 levels after that to a maximum of +/-6 at 16th level. When already this drunk, drinking further from a cask nets the character an extended duration for the effect, while drinking from a cask when the remaining rounds of being roaring drunk exceed class level, the brewmaster gets sick instead, potentially barfing on the baron's carpet...or the dragon's favorite coin-pile.



Brewmasters add 1/2 class level to max HP and also get this bonus to saves versus spoiled/poisoned food and similar ingested threats. Starting at 5th level, the brewmaster can accelerate a cask to immediately ferment 1d4 days 1/day, +1/day every 5 levels up to 3 accelerated fermentations per day - though one cask can only be accelerated 1/day. At 7th and 13th level, brewmasters learn to mitigate aforementioned spillage from fast drinking.



At 11th level, the class gets Brew Potion as a bonus feat and counts his class levels as caster levels for the purpose of this feat - he can bypass the spell-requirements usually required, naturally (since the class is no caster), but that requires more money. He also counts as having class level ranks in spellcraft for the purpose of identifying potions and produce potions much, much faster at higher levels. As a capstone, the class can create instant-perfect, improved homebrew.



The class comes with favored class options for the base races, drow, hobgoblins, orcs, hobgoblins, kobolds, tieflings, puddlings and aasimar. Brewmasters may also select from 10 feats, which include extra sugars, additives, clarifiers, offsetting the penalty to wis-based skills while drunk (instead applying it to dex-or cha-based skills), better potion-spell-requirement-bypassing, get full 4 hours of work done while adventuring, +2 to brewing checks, +2 to damage while drunk, +4 to fort-save vs. saves to become sickened or spike potions with alcohol (triggering roaring drunk).



So what about those fermenters - this is perhaps best explained with one example, so I'll provide one: Dwarven Breakfast Blend is a fast fermenter, which means alcohol level 3 on day one (perfect), 2 at day 2 (good) and one at day 3 (bad) - after that, the cask spoils. Other fermenters have Poor 3, Good 4 or Perfect 6 as alcohol levels. Brewing DC-modifiers are either +0 or +3 and the number of additives the fermenters allow ranges from 1 to 3. It should be noted that each fermenter comes with a nice bit of awesome, often hilarious flavor-text.



Now on to the sugars, shall we? It should be noted that several sugars herein feature a base level prerequisite and some of them also require a set amount of ranks in a given skill in order to utilize - a handy table sums these up for your convenience. Base brewing-DCs range from 3+1/2 level to 11+1/2 level and the sugars have varying effects depending on the quality of the homebrew ingested.



But what exactly do these sugars do? Well, let's take at the level 8 Barrel Cactus Fruit Sugar - upon imbibing a homebrew made with this sugar, a timer starts - 2, 5 or class level rounds. The first charge attack you make within this time frame allows you to end your charge with one additional attack at your highest BAB -essentially allowing for two attacks at the end of a charge. While thankfully including a caveat against stacking with pounce etc., the additional attack could still use some clarification - do the modifications to atk of a charge still apply to the second attack? What about the bonus to bull rush? And more importantly, what about mounted brewmasters and lances? Would both attacks count as mounted charges or would the second attack granted count as a regular melee attack?



Belchweed allows you to belch at foes in melee, temporarily sickening them on a failed save, at level 11+ even potentially sickening multiple foes in a small area - cool! Also rather interesting would be sugars that allow you to deal attribute damage - sans save. While usually, I'd go bananas over this, the mechanics are interesting here - the roaring drunk class feature's morale bonuses are temporarily mitigated, instead allowing you to deal half this bonus as damage to attribute(s) depending on the sugar, but only with the first attack, making stacking of such damage harder. Powerful, yes, but at required level 9 not broken.



Blue Agave is a nice risk/reward gambit - when drinking from this cask and executing a full-round action, you may elect to provoke an AoO from all eligible targets to get an additional attack at your highest BAB. However, if you're hit, all your attacks receive a penalty to atk -from -3 to -1, depending on the quality. And no, no stacking with haste et al. Not all sugars are offensive - there's also essentially medicinal alcohol that can burn diseases from your system by allowing for a new save. If you fail, though, you'll take damage. Another sugar nets you a fiery (or ice-cold! Or acid!) breath weapon that you can use in lieu of a charge or full attack action's attack. It's a bit strange that the fire-sugar requires 5 ranks along as level 6, while neither the cold, nor the acid-damage dealing one has a skill prerequisite. Another sugar makes a drink essentially a thrown weapon of tarry goo - neat! Healing homebrews are also possible (including caveats that undead shouldn't drink these...)...



Short-grain and its bigger brother, long-grain Rice laced with Koji also deserves mention due to a strange mechanic: All physical damage beneath a low threshold is ignored. Starting at 2 at the lowest quality and increasing by +1 for every 4 class levels (or starting at 2 and increasing every 2 class levels at perfect quality), all attacks that deal below these damage are ignored. So, like DR? No. All attacks that surpass the threshold deal full damage. Now per se, I like this mechanic, but it does have its issues - if a character has resistance to a given physical damage due to DR, does it apply first or after the drink's effects? Also, this one lacks a duration.



Minor buffing, increased speed, creating a fast-healing granting cloud of vapors, a lesser bonus (scaling up to lesser true strike)-style bonus to one attack (class level of the brewmaster) and a sugar that temporarily nets you spring attack and shot on the run make all for interesting options. On the interesting side, creating difficult terrain and the schadenfruit that heals you whenever an ally within range takes more than 10 points of damage make for fun concepts. It does say something about my players when they really, really got into the latter in playtest. And no, I didn't find a way to break the latter. Another sugar allows you to wreck foe's armors with cumulative permanent penalties (until magical repair/Craft/Profession is received!), while the highest level sugar can allow you to ignore the effects of being below 0 hp for 1 round - and yes, even death! But only in the perfect quality - no effect whatsoever in the other two. VERY interesting!



Onwards to additives - these again have usually a class level prerequisite, with some also having skill prerequisites. They also have a minimum quality of the brew - every drink that fails to meet this standard gets no benefits from the additive, as mentioned above. They also increase the brewing DC of the respective homebrew from +1 to +5. Oh, and the list of them is LONG. From spell-like effects like enlarge person, stacking acid resistance, bonus to knowledge check while drunk, swim speed and similar buffs are in here, as are several tricks that mitigate the roaring drunk penalties to specific skills. Spit e.g. on your weapon to make it flaming? Yep - possible! Increased speed due to my beloved habanero peppers? Yup. And no, not going to break down all of them. If you're storming a mage academy, you might wish to choose the additive that allows you to become utterly immune to a first level spell for some time.



Finally, there would be 9 clarifiers - which modify the brewing DC by a range from -1 to +8 and include prerequisites from levels to clarifiers known. These allow you to double the effects of one additive, improve roaring drunk, lower the minim quality required for a specific additive or increase a cask's quality. Distillation (the +8 one) is also interesting - alcohol level is multiplied by the number of doses, hereafter the dose is reduced to 1 - essentially allowing you for a rather long-lasting roaring drunk rampage - but drinking cannot be faster than a standard action.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, though not perfect. Layout adheres to Interjection Games' two-column standard and the pdf comes bookmarked for your convenience, though not excessively so. Artwork is thematically fitting stock-art.



The brewmaster is a class that sounds like a joke - so let's get that misconception out of the way from the get-go: It's not. This is a fully functional, rewarding class to play. Fun, yes, but pity the fool who taunts a brewmaster! This is the class for those fans of Drunken Masters, for those players who always wanted to play the hedonistic dandy, the drunken dwarf that smashes all opposition. Now it should be noted that, at least for Interjection Games-levels, this class is VERY easy to get into. Complex and customizable, yes, but it should NOT be considered hard to get into.



Also, contrary to expectations you might have, the brewmaster is a thinking man's melee class - less in direct combat, more so in the planning of adventuring. Due to the homebrews taking some time, we have a similar experience like prepared casters - planning ahead is rewarded with this class, with more flexibility being possible, but also requiring some thought. This has two direct results - number one, the class is actually rather versatile, especially for a full BAB-class. Number two - while combat might be fun, humorous even here and there, this class still is serious - seriously fun! Now extremely simulationalist DMs should beware that the components don't need to be purchased - but for most campaigns (who glance over component pouches etc.) that should not prove a hindrance.



I seriously enjoyed the brewmaster, its unique mechanics, the nice descriptions and its unobtrusive humor - and consider it a great addition to the game...but one that has some minor glitches, as mentioned above. While no deal-breaker, they keep the class from the highest honors, making me settle on a final verdict of 4.5 stars, rounded down to 4.



Excuse me, it's my heritage coming through - as a Franconian (we do have the highest micro-brewery density in the world!), I think I'll have to get a beer now!

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Brewmaster: Life of the Party
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Click here to issue a publisher reply
Libram of the First Language: Truename Magic Reborn
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/09/2014 04:15:40
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This massive pdf is 68 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 65 pages of content.



Yes, 65 pages of Interjection Games-level complexity content for me to analyze. Ouch. But I won't complain - instead, let's take a look at the base-class, the Truenamer: At d6, 2+Int skills per level, d6, good will-saves, 1/2 BAB-progression, we have no doubt a full caster on our hands. The first interesting component can be found in the proficiency section - truenamers do not take the classic arcane spell failure chance, instead increasing the DC of their recitations by at least +1 (for armor/shields etc. sans armor check penalty) or otherwise by their armor check penalty. It should be noted, that, while they do get proficiency with simple weapons, no shield or armor proficiencies are part of the deal, thus imposing a feat tax. Still, an interesting design decision here.



Okay, much like the malaligned original 3.X Truenamer, Bradley Crouch's class gets access to a diverse set of codices: First would be the codex of mind body, which is essentially a starter's codex. Truenamers start game with 3 recitations from this codex and get +1 at every level. At 4th level, the truenamer gets access to the codex of artifice, with another recitation gained at 5th level and every two class levels beyond that. The third codex, the codex of far-flung spheres, is gained at 7th level, with an additional recitation every 3 class levels after that. Finally, the codex of the realized vision nets the truenamer the first recitation at 10th level, with 14th, 18th and 20th netting additional recitations. All recitations gained are subject to their respective limitations/prerequisites.



Got that? Okay, so how do recitations work? First of all: Thank all philosophies you may or may not believe in - it's not a skill-check. How that system didn't work, anyone who tried truenaming in 3.X already knows. But it does maintain the spirit - there is a so-called truenaming check: DC 7 + 3xrecitation's level. The check is essentially a d20+class level+int-mod, saves against them 10+recitation level+int-mod analogous to spells. Relearning recitations, interaction with established spell schools (via similar schools), Spell Resistance - all the interactions with regular magic/spellcasting are taken into account. And yes, defensively reciting at the usual 5-DC-penalty is also included. Now it should be noted that truenaming magic always is verbal (d'uh), but rather interesting, penalties which would apply to a similar concentration-DC are halved.

Now failure has its price - 4 laws govern truenaming magic: Upon failing a truenaming check, the truenamer incurs a penalty to subsequent truenaming checks equal to the failed recitation's level for 5 rounds. Whenever a truenamer recites a recitation one level lower than the maximum of what s/he can recite, s/he may take 10 on the check, resulting in less chaos and some degree of reliability. VERY interesting would also be the law of flowing rhetoric - a truenamer cannot have the same effect twice in play, i.e. no two same recitations. Even if counterspelled or otherwise failed, a truenamer needs to wait for the recitation's duration to have elapsed to again try to utter it - this makes durations of buffs etc. a double-edged sword...interesting. Finally, the multiverse gets annoyed by truenamers asking the same thing over and over again -each subsequent use of a given recitation per day increases the truenaming DC by +2 until the truenamer has sufficiently apologized to the multiverse (i.e. rested).

If you're like me and think: "But what about the poor linguistics-skill!" - well, at first level, if you share a language with a creature (and truly share it, i.e. not via magic shenanigans), your recitations targeting that creature get a bonus of +2 to their truenaming check. At 2nd level and every two levels after that, you also learn an additional language - which may be nice, though personally, I would have preferred a tie with the linguistics-skill, but oh well.



Now if that wasn't enough complexity for you so far, at 3rd level the truenamer gets an inflection, and another one every 3 levels after that. A total of 15 different inflections are provided. These increase casting time of an recitation to a full-round action and also increase both the DC of the truenaming check to properly cast them and the law of malleability-DC by a fixed amount. The latter would be the law that makes casting consecutive iterations of the same recitation that day harder. Essentially, these are kind-of metamagic modifications that allow you additional effects, but at the cost of not being able to pull off the same trick that often. And yes, inflected recitations count as the base recitation for purposes of the law of limited malleability. These inflections allow you to e.g. substitute a chosen energy form with another, empower recitations, increase their range, maximize them or even penalize target creature's saves by -2 as well as forcing them to reroll the save and take the worse result. As you can glean, the respective inflection vary in strength, but thankfully are concisely balanced via level-requirements.

The class also gets a bonus to saves against language-dependant spells and at 12th level, may add two inflections to a given recitation (but at a further +2 to limited malleability) and finally, as a capstone, a truenamer may 1/day per codex take 20 on a truenaming-check.



We also get truenamer archetypes - The Orator gets a modified spell-list and increases the bonus gained for speaking a creature's language at higher levels at the cost of one inflection. Instead of the 12th level inflection, he becomes harder to demoralize (and more adept in this game of chicken!) He also becomes rather adept at prepared speeches, adding int-mod to them if he had time to prepare (does not extend to truenaming!). Instead of the double-inflection-trick, an orator gets a special inflection that extends a recitation to all creatures close to the primary target of the recitation.



The Truescribe can create one scroll per available codex, containing one recitation that does not influence the law of finite malleability, essentially netting the archetype a small pool of reserve recitations (which can't be used by others btw. - no UMDing these...) These special scrolls adhere to their own set of unique limitations and, while expanded via another ability, they remain thus limited. They also become particularly adept at resisting writing-leitmotif spells and effects and later even gain a save against the dreaded explosive rune-spell. At 12th level, they even have a shorthand, which allows for a difficult UMD-check to properly use their scrolls - rather cool.



The final archetype would be the verminspeaker, who gets the shared-language-bonus versus mindless creatures (thus making him/her also an ooze-talker or golemwhisperer) as well as a vermin-animal-companion sans share spells and very limited tricks. At 6th level, they learn an inflection that allows you to use mind-influencing effects on mindless beings...which can be VERY strong in my experience. DMs should take care when throwing golems and the like at a vermin speaker... Now each of these archetypes comes with a full table, and we also get an animal companion table, which is nice. On the very minor nitpick-side, the archetypes and base-class do have varying degrees of somewhat dead levels, but at full casters and in this case, that's okay in my book.



One final thing - recitations are grouped from levels 1 - 6. We also get FCOs for all base races, drow, orcs, puddlings, tieflings, aasimar, kobolds and hobgoblins and 12 special truenamer feats. These allow you to gain additional inflections, counterspelling recitations (two feats), recitation specialization (where a follow-up feat allows you recite that one defensively, sans the +5 DC penalty) and of course there also are feats for additional recitations. It should be noted that a feat makes secret languages accessible - which depending on your campaign, might be rather cool. Check with your DM regarding that one, though!



All right, got that? Great, let's take a look at some select recitations (though I'm NOT going through all in detail - you want this review to be shorter than 10+ pages, don't you?).



The first thing you'll note in the codex of the heart and mind would be that we not only get a list of all the recitations - beyond sharing a range of 60 ft and targeting one creature and applying SR, they actually have two effects! Take the attraction-recitation: You can pull creatures 10 feet in a straight line towards you, the movement netting a +4 dodge bonus to AC vs. AoOs. The reverse instead sends the target away. So far, so obvious, right? What about slightly increasing/decreasing DR? Things become more interesting with e.g. ice-themed attack recitations that can deal damage to targets or provide a defensive, cold-damage dealing sheen? Here, we have different durations for the regular and reverse effects and both have their own conditions to reduce the damaged target's movement speeds temporarily halved. And yes, temporarily raising zombies (or destroying mindless undead) is possible.



Rather awesome would be a recitation, which makes a target a living bomb - but also makes the target realize this, allowing it to being able to minimize collateral damage. The reverse is rather special as well - this one makes it possible to negate self-destruct abilities. Beyond the tinker's kamikaze directives, think certain staves and their planes-shattering final strikes. Yes, useful and unique. Many of these recitations actually work with rather cool durations/effects that only happen on the end of a recitation's duration, necessitating actual planning on behalf of the truenamer.



Now the codex of artifice is more about item-modification, allowing you to net temporary charges to wands (or make them consume twice that amount when used), buff weapons/armor etc. A minor nitpick here - the recitations dealing with charges should probably in their reverse function double the amount of charges consumed. As written, the recitations only consume "2 charges" when activated, which becomes problematic as soon as some item has abilities that cost multiple charges - is it double the charges or +1 charge consumed?



What about instilling alchemical items with paranoia, inciting them to go off? What about making items orbiting bodyguards or imbuing items as deadly splash weapons? Ranged stealing (via proper use of CMB etc.) or protecting belongings is possible! Very cool for those ambushes in the night - make temporarily hastily donned armor properly donned and vice versa.



The codex of the far-flung spheres has a range of 100 ft and an AoE of 20 ft. and, unless the first two codices, this one has only one effect per recitation. Barring creatures from teleporting, making creatures more adept at grappling etc. - all nice. But what about yodeling and making the target area difficult terrain? Yes, funny and oh so cool! What about insta-growing plants/fungi etc. for rations? Also VERY interesting - an area that deals damage to the target in it that has the MOST hp. This one has a LOT of tactical potential!



The final codex, the codex of the realized vision, is the one closest to regular spells, with just about every recitation featuring its own formal properties like individual ranges (e.g. 60 ft., personal, touch...) etc. Animating up to gargantuan animated objects, afflict targets with crushing ennui (save or do nothing -for 5 rounds! Ouch!), creating non-weaponized spheres that can dig tunnels for you. Also interesting: Cover the floor with material that deals +3d6 damage upon falling, including being tripped! Cool for its tactical options! Asking questions to the multiverse, fabricating objects ex nihilo - quite a few options here. Oh, and there is also a recitation that erases creatures from the multiverse - but instead of save-or-suck, it requires consecutive saves over the duration. Once the target has failed 3, s/he/it's gone - cool take on the mechanic - Think about players scrambling to take down the truenamer to prevent their comrade being erased! When mechanics in themselves make for more fun/excitement, then that's a good indicator for good design! (Preventing falls with huge spongy discs can also be achieved, should you be so inclined!)



Got all that? Well, there also are three (yes, 3) new prestige classes for the truenamer. Since this review already is rather long, I'll just give you the cliffnotes-version of them, all right? First would be the 5-level Speaker of the Word, essentially a combo-divine caster/truenamer, gaining cool synergy of truenaming/channel energy and limitedadditional recitations that work similar to divine spells. Iconic! The 10-level Willshackler is very interesting - the PrC studies a certain creature type and gains so-called command words, a total of 10 are available for selection. These have a diverging DC from the standard truenaming formula and allow you to narrow possible futures to force targets to do your bidding - non-mind-influencing! These words are rather powerful, iconic and well-worth the choice! (Oh and expelling targets from the universe, utterly destroying them via the utterance of a single name makes for a neat capstone!)



The final PrC, the wordsworn defender may need to be able to recite from the codex of far-flung spheres and have significant proficiencies (martial weapons + tower shields), but essentially, it takes the concept of truename magic working better bith armor and allows you to create a truenaming knight - bonus feats, d10 and especially...tower shield specialization. Yes. the poor, often neglected tower shield actually gets some unique tricks in this PrC - I so want to make these guys a guild/order in my campaign.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, though not as superb as usual in Interjection Games' releases - I noticed a couple of punctuation glitches that make sentences that are finished look unfinished and similar minor glitches, nothing that impedes usability, though. Layout adheres to Interjection Games' 2-column b/w-standard with thematically-fitting stock art. The pdf comes fully bookmarked, though don't expect bookmarks for individual recitations. You should print this beats for your game.



When author Bradley Crouch made this one, I cackled like a mad man for a second. Why? Because Interjection Games-classes tend to be HARD to review. They're complex, there's a lot of math and complex concepts in them. I once spent a total of 4 hours on a small Prestige Class-pdf. Yeah, they're work. Experience in my campaign has shown that they're also fun. I've tried all of them so far in my game (re all I've reviewed) and they tend to bring some rather unique tricks to the table. At this length, though...ouch. A lot of work. Then, there's truename magic. From the 3 cool, but universally failed concepts from 3.X's Tome of Magic, this one was probably the worst. (though Shadow Magic wasn't much better...) Pact Magic has since, to much acclaim and praise, been taken up by Radiance House with their superb Pact Magic Unbound-series.



So here's master Crouch taking on the terribly broken truenaming...and by divorcing it from skill-mechanics while maintaining (and honestly, greatly expanding) the customizability, this type of magic suddenly doesn't suck anymore - highly variable, the duration-based necessitating of planning of recitations makes playing this class a) effective and b) terribly rewarding. Not only are the effects unique, the book suffused by a neat trademark humor, they actually allow you to do things thoroughly different from what other casters can do, while maintaining compatibility and making playing these guys actually reward proper planning.



One can see the hand that wrote the superb ethermancer (btw. - the best warlock class I've seen in any d20-iteration...) here - which, with the in-game experience I have for that class by now, works much better (and more balanced!) than even the playtest I did for it predicted. Let me say this loud and clear - this system for truenaming is great. It's modular, versatile, comes with various class-options and unique PrCs and the overall casting and recitations are so compelling, so distinct from standard options, that I can all but recommend this one - while the price-tag may seem high, I can assure you this monster is worth each cent, offering a vast array of cool options and salvaging the truenaming concept, making it actually work while maintaining its distinct identity.

Final verdict? 5 stars + seal of approval and a spot on my list of candidates for my top ten of 2014.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Libram of the First Language: Truename Magic Reborn
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Click here to issue a publisher reply
The Cartomancer: A Deckbuilding Diviner
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/24/2014 09:52:08
The Cartomancer is an entertaining concept: he seeks to tweak Fate itself into doing what he wants. The mechanism by which this is accomplished is a deck of cards - you can use anything from Tarot cards or a regular deck to the print & play cards provided in this product. These are used to used to determine potential futures or 'portents' which act in a manner akin to a divine spell. However, the cartomancer is able to sway the outcome - for example, if he is telling someone's fortune he can decide if that individual will have good or bad luck, although what is actually going to happen is randomised rather than determined.

Naturally, whilst many of the cartomancer's abilities are wrapped up in the language of fortune-telling and divination many of them have game mechanical effects based on the alteration of die-rolls - which may be the cartomancer's own or those of someone upon whom he wishes to have an effect.

Complete with a table covering 1st to 20th level, an array of class abilities and everything else you need for a base class, loads of feats and other materials - including a custom card deck to print out if desired - everything you need to design and play a cartomancer is here. It's a good class for the mathematically-inclined, as a good understanding of probabilities will be helpful in determining just which portent will be most effective in a given situation. It also has a delight - given the way the mechanics are laid out - of being quite GM-friendly. The GM isn't required to come up with forecasts of what might happen for the character to interpret, as so often is the case with divination magic: the cartomancer is busy affecting, little by little, the outcomes of the ongoing situation.

Perhaps a little strange, but it could well be fun to play, especially if you enjoy messing with people's heads!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Cartomancer: A Deckbuilding Diviner
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Click here to issue a publisher reply
Greater Manifestations for the Ethermancer Base Class
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/19/2014 12:09:06
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This expansion for the ethermancer is 10 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 8 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?



We kick off this supplement with a short introduction that explains the matter at hand - essentially, the idea is to create greater manifestations as a way to nova for the ethermancer, granting x/day abilities (in contrast to the perpetual casting of the base class). These abilities impose a tax on the class, though - but more on that later.



First, we get a new multiuniversal philosophy, the multiuniversal perfectionist. This philosophy allows the ethermancer to replace a 2nd level or higher manifestation with a greater manifestation of the same etherheart and level and learns this instead. The 20th level capstone allows for all greater manifestations chosen via this philosophy to be used 2/day - a cool idea for an impressive 20th level.



We also are in for 6 new feats - one being particularly interesting - the bombardier feat allows you to deal +2d6 bonus damage with greater blast-based manifestations if you also managed to hit regular AC, not just touch AC. I'm looking forward to seeing how this one handles in-game (since one of my players currently plays an ethermancer). The feat Greater Manifestation Study allows you to replace a manifestation known of 2nd level or greater with a greater manifestation of the same level and heart, much like the new philosophy. Another feat allows you to choose an etherheart and use a greater manifestation of said etherheart a second time after you've expended it. Now Shed Alteration is a feat I know my player will take, for it allows you to dismiss the otherwise un-dismissible alteration manifestation for a point cost, while shed gifts allows you to do the same for bestow effects. Finally, weaponized shedding allows you to deal damage to your immediate surrounding when dismissing alterations and to the target, when dismissing bestow manifestations. Note though that this feat, while powerful, also is a double-edged sword - it works AUTOMATICALLY. No choice there - once taken, you ALWAYS inflict that damage. Interesting!



So what can those greater manifestations do? Well, what about one that reduces the next regular etherspell's cost to 0? Sound relatively...regular, but once you start thinking about the way you have to budget your etherspells, this becomes rather interesting. At ethermancer 5, there is also the option...to create a FRIGGIN BLACK HOLE. Yes, an insta-death orb that draws targets inside, obliterating one target totally. On the slightly nitpicky side, the manifestation does not specify whether the ethermancer can choose which target to annihilate - this is relevant since the black hole does not discriminate between targets - allies and even the ethermancer himself can potentially be destroyed by the forces unleashed. Personally, I'll settle for a random-determination...just to drive home that some forces ought to be respected (and since I consider it cooler that way) - not a deal-breaker, mind you, just a minor imperfection in an otherwise cool ability.



rather cool - clockwork universe. As a level 6 greater manifestation, it's the apex of power and damn, does it feel like it! First, you choose a star (from 5) - each star has a an EP-cost (which may be 0, though) and modifies the maximum amount of satellites available in a given system or provides a different passive benefit. You may also throw these stars as splash weapons to deal rather unpleasant amounts of damage on the target square. A given solar system can also contain up to 1/2 caster level, rounded down, satellites, chosen from an array of 8 different types. The respective satellites have their own restrictions. Just to give you an impression here - if your model contains an inhabited planet, the planet replies to a thrown satellite by launching a miniature mothership (!!!!) you can direct to attack your foes. Yes. If you're in any way like me, that not only made you chuckle, but rather grin from ear to ear. ^^ Have I mentioned that you can actually grant this manifestation to another character if you have the right feat? Yes. Passive and active, very modular, iconic in imagery - in one word: Glorious.



A maximized etherspell, an insta-kill death effect, a bestow that stuns foes with unearthly screams...cool. What's truly glorious would be Erase Physics - choose an element, erase it from the creature. Spell-like abilities, supernatural abilities, resistance, damage - all gone. And yes, the wording is concise enough to make that work and yes, additional conditions etc. remain. There is also a powerful auto-buff herein and a greater manifestation to blast multiple blasts at once...Awesome.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to Interjection Games' 2-column b/w-standard. The pdf has no bookmarks, but doesn't necessarily need them at this length.



So if you've been following my reviews, you'll be asking...why doesn't Endzeitgeist complain about the insta-death effects? Because they're more limited than regular spells, extremely high level and are based on sphere of annihilation as a model. So no matter which way I look at it, I can't complain. Speaking of which - the galaxy model is glorious. This pdf made my ethermancer player grin from ear to ear and I'm the same - this pdf offers some rather cool, new options for the ethermancer that improve the base-class with thoroughly iconic, cool tricks that just OOZE awesomeness and should be considered a must-buy for ethermancer-players and those interested in the class. And if you haven't taken a look at Bradley Crouch's ethermancer, this expansion is an excellent additional reason to do so. Final verdict? 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Greater Manifestations for the Ethermancer Base Class
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Click here to issue a publisher reply
The Fat Lady Sings: 14 Compositions for the Maestro Base Class
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/11/2014 06:10:56
An Endzeitgeist.com review

Interjection Games' maestro is one of the more colorful, unique and awesome base classes out there and this pdf is all about additional fodder for these guys - clocking in at 5 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, we get 3 pages of new compositions - but can they hold up to the base classes' tremendous potential?



I'm assuming you're familiar with how the class works; If not, check my review for a break-down of it. Got it? Okay!



So what do we get? Well, there would be for example 4 new intros. The first one would be the Anthem of the dutiful knight, which conjures forth an intangible spectral knight that readies an action to hit people trying to attack while remaining adjacent to you to attack the intrepid interloper. Balance-wise, here is an interesting innovation - using this intro reduces the amount of melody slots by one. Conjuring forth illusory doubles of allies within 30 feet also works rather neat. When invoking a song of friendship, maestros can highjack dominations and similar mind-influencing effects - awesome! Finally, maestros can use an into to annoy enemies with miss-chance inducing (get this!) sugarplums. Yes. Sugarplums. Cool! (I know, bad pun...)



A total of 9 melodies would be next - one lets your allies emit AoE-demoralizing shouts that deal minor sonic damage, while another allows for rerolls for allies, for balance's sake at -2. Yet another defensive melody can prevent flanking (ouch!) and another penalizes any attack on you or your allies within 30 feet with 1 point electricity and 1 point sonic damage. Might look like it's not much, but believe me...these can accumulate. Another melody makes it possible for a maestro to help e.g. other elemental blasters by adding penalties to foes damaged by more than 5 points of elemental damage. A haunting tune to penalize fear-based saves would be more common...but Interjection Games' trademark imaginative ideas are back with a miss-chance granting interposing musical notations (!!). Yes. Awesome. Though don't expect these to catch giant's boulders. Also cool - maestros may offer their will-save to allies, but if said ally fails, both are hit by the effect. Finally, what about a melody that allows you to once per round force opponents in range reroll their roll, but at +2? Rather cool!



Finally, there is one new eponymous outro - the Fat Lady cometh. It is awesome. You conjure forth a slow-moving, ponderous spectral opera singer that you can move around throughout the composition. She arrives with the intro and remains for the whole composition. In the end, she emits a shriek that AoE stuns opponents, but compositions that include her cannot be aborted prior to reaching the outro. Design-wise, this hints at vast untapped potential via other intros/melodies/outros and the imagery...is damn cool.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to Interjection Games elegant 2-column standard and the pdf comes sans bookmarks, but needs none at this length.



This additional fodder for the great Maestro-class is simply glorious and hints at a lot of design-potential that could be explored here. The ideas are fresh, the wording is concise (in spite of rather complex concepts realized) and the added oomph makes the maestro even cooler - what's not to like? Well, personally, I'm not too big a fan of the spell focus feat that acts as a prereq to many of the compositions. Yeah. That's all the nitpick I've got here. A personal preference. Final verdict? 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Fat Lady Sings: 14 Compositions for the Maestro Base Class
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Click here to issue a publisher reply
The Maestro Base Class [PFRPG & D&D 3.5]
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/05/2014 06:46:15
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This new base class is 25 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 22 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?



The Maestro-class gets 1/2 BAB-progression, good will-saves, d6, 4+Int skills per level, proficiency with simple weapons and shields (but not tower shields), but not any kind of armor. They also ignore the arcane spell failure chance of said shields. From this, one would presume a full caster class - the notion of which a quick glance at the table dispels: The class starts with maximum spell level 0 and only gets 1st level spells on 3rd level. Yes. Weird. But we've come to expect that from Interjection Games by now, haven't we? So let's see what this class has to offset that.



The Maestro starts game with 2 scores and gets an additional score at 5th level and then another one at 11th level and 17th level for a total of 5 scores. However, each score can be modified by a melody - at st level, only one melody can be applied per score, which increases to 2 at 3rd level and then by +1 at 8th level and every 5 levels after that for a total of 5 melodies. Furthermore, there are so-called refrains, the first of which is gained at 2nd level. At 8th level and every 6th level, the number of refrains available increases by +1 for a total of 4 refrains at 20th level. Finally, at 4th level and every 3 levels after that, the Maestro gains an opus. *takes a breath*



Let's start with the spells, shall we? Maestro-spells ALWAYS have a somatic component and are cast spontaneously via cha. Spellcasting is completely different from any other class - a maestro can cast every spell s/he knows once per day - no more often, no less. They also don't get bonus spells per day, but rather use this value to determine bonus spells KNOWN. They also are limited by not ever being capable of using any type of metamagic, whether by feats, class features or items.



So what about those compositions? Let's start with scores. A Maestro starts the game with 2 scores plus 1/3 int-mod, rounded down, min one score. These consist of an intro, a melody and an outro - at least from the beginning. As mentioned, later levels allow for more melodies to be added to the respective compositions. To prepare a score, the Maestro requires an int-score of 12+amount of melodies used and the DC clocks in at 10+1/2 class level + int-mod. If a maestro's int-mod is higher than his cha-mod, he may use that modifier to supplement his/her perform skill instead of cha.



A Maestro also has a composition book, which is somewhat akin to a spellbook, hut is only required when changing prepared compositions - lacking that, the previous compositions are regained upon rest, meaning a maestro is not left crippled upon losing his/her book, just stuck with their currently prepared compositions. They may also prepare compositions from recorded compositions on folios and get 1/2 class level to all knowledge-checks pertaining music. A maestro starts with 3 of any combination of intro/outro and 1+int-mod melodies, min 1. Each new level, a maestro gains one intro/outro and 1 melody. Beyond these, much like prepared casters, maestros may write compositions via a costly process into their books.

How does the Maestro cast, then? An individual score can be maintained for Perform (conducting) skill ranks + Int-mod rounds per day. Starting a composition is a standard action that provokes AoOs and it then can be maintained as a free action. The intro-effect of said composition begins immediately upon starting conducting, as do all melody effects associated with the performance. Now a maestro can either opt to end a performance as a free action - however, there is another option. By spending a standard action that provokes AoOs, the maestro can instead end the performance with the outro-effect chosen for the composition, which is immediately triggered upon completing the finishing flourish. While conducting cannot be interrupted in the most common ways, killing the maestro or incapacitating the character via paralysis etc. also ends the composition. Only one composition can be in effect per Maestro. Now refrains can be used to further spontaneously modify the compositions - by spending a move action, the maestro can use a refrain for one round, suspending the regular melody benefits of the composition (though the times still counts against the total time limit), while intro/outro remain unchanged.



12 intros, 13 outros and 2 that can act as either provide the basic framework for the melodies, of which we get no less than 40 (unless I've miscounted). Each has certain prerequisites, which can range from none to requiring e.g. spell focus (enchantment) to certain skill ranks and minimum levels. It should be noted that, though one composition requires leadership as a prerequisite, there is an alternate prerequisite for campaigns where that feat is banned. Compositions are considered supernatural abilities unless they contain one component that is a spell-like ability, in which case they count as the latter. Finally, it should be noted that, provided the requirements are met level-wise, most melodies stack with themselves - this way, e.g. the buff to wreathe the Maestro's weaponry in +1d3 fire damage-dealing flames could be stacked with itself, as could the save-enhancing blare within 30 ft. against sonic descriptor-spells and verbal-component dependant bardic performances.



Now if that doesn't look that impressive so far, remember that that's just one of the components - take for example the accelerando-intro, which nets you and all allies within 30 feet +5 ft. movement to their base land speed, + an additional 5 ft. is added every round after that capping at +5 ft. for every two maestro levels. Nice way to create a rules-representation of the rising speed - and it should be noted that the bonus is untyped, thus allowing synergy with your spellcasters...one thing to keep in mind when running from the errupting/volcaano/collapsing dungeon/avalanche next time your PCs are in a shuffle...



Now if you instead want to use perform to gain money, you can also do so with an outro that allows you to instead add the remaining rounds as a bonus to increase the check to earn a living via perform in downtime activities - nice synergy with the underused downtime rules there! Another intro generates a continuous aura of indiscriminate sonic damage around the maestro. What also makes this interesting is the interactivity between the components of compositions - via the melody Deceptive Cadence, the outro-DC is increased by +1 per times the melody is chosen. Or take the outro encore: Requiring 13th level, its effects only work after conducting a composition for 5 rounds or more, but after that, the outro allows you to restart the composition with a bonus of +1d4 rounds that do not count against the composition's daily limit.



The End with a Whimper outro also deserves special mention - a target creature within 30 feet of the maestro must save or die, provided it had less HD than the Maestro and listened to the composition for at least 3 uninterrupted rounds. EDIT: Interjection Games has fixed a minor issue here in record speed. One thing to bear in mind: The outro requires 15 ranks in heal and a maestro level of 13, which means that a maestro can only take this outro at 15th level, try as he might. It should be noted that I assumed a Skill-prereq-relic here, but Bradley Crouch has explained on my site that this is actually intentional, to reward multiclassing. This also extends Elegy for the Living with its prereqs of level 3 and 6 ranks.



Another melody allows maestros to cancel out morale bonuses from just about any source - which should make evil parties with e.g. antipaladins cackle with glee. Synergies that bolster bardic performances as well as maestro compositions also are within the range of possibilities here. There are also options to use an outro to maintain a refrain for 1 round after the respective composition has ended or until a new composition has started.



Via Klangfarbenmelodie, the Maestro can also influence foes that have already successfully saved against a melody, thus being rendered immune against it to require a new, second save. Creating a variant air elemental that can deafen targets also is within the distinct realm of possibilities here. There is also an option via an intro that halves the area of effect, but also makes melodies that can be taken multiple times count as if they've been taken an additional time without counting these against the melody-limit. Conversely, doubling the effect of melodies via an intro for one round also is possible, as would be the AoO-provoking option to create walls of solid, damaging sound - the latter per se works well, with its prior single nitpick taken care of.



Healing via an outro can also be a nice benefit, as can the melody that allows a down on his luck maestro and his allies to make just about any food more palatable.



Now I've mentioned the Opus - where the regular compositions of a maestro are very much customizable, the opus is not (with one exception: Via an intro, aborting a regular composition to start an opus still triggers the outro of the composition) customizable - they are essentially 1/day complete packages of effects. Each Opus can be selected multiple times, adding +1 use per day to said opus. And these offer quite significant benefits - 10th level maestros can resurrect allies at 10th level. Other examples include granting massive physical benefits to one target creature, deal ability damage to ALL scores, a lesser version of irresistible dance... and then there is the option to darken the skies and rain down fiery death or even, yes cannonballs! Yes, bombard adversaries with cannonballs while conducting other melodies (here is an exception to the no-synergy/parallel compositions-rule). Fly speed for multiple allies, sanctuary + SR and calling forth walls of stone - quite a few neat options here. Really cool: Real life masterpieces of classical music, the inspirations for the respective opus-compositions, are provided for each and every one of them, allowing you to get in the mood (or even play the piece at the table!) - awesome!



Now at 20th level, a maestro can choose 1 of 3 capstones - one makes you famous throughout the multiverse (resulting in e.g. demons wanting your autograph) and also making the chosen composition available as a bardic performance to EVERY BARD. A second capstone nets the maestro an infinite amount of royalties for creating a new genre equal to 1d6X 100 GP, while the third option lets the maestro create a new instrument, gain 20 ranks in it and allows the maestro to inspire competence as a bardic performance AND maintain that while also conducting. Very unique, epic and damn cool capstones.



We also get favored class options for the standard races, aasimar, drow, hobgoblin, kobolds, puddlings and tieflings. We also get a spell-list (unfortunately sans denotions where the respective spells can be found - slightly uncomfortable when not allowing laptops at ones table and relying on books, but then again not that bad due to the limited amount of spells available) and also 6 feats to increase the DC of favored scores, +3 compositions, longer durations for favored scores, and +1 round duration for all scores. One feat also allows you to conduct refrain AND melodies at once, but consumes 2 rounds of the composition IN ADDITION to the rounds it already consumes.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any true flaws. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience, though not excessively so. Layout adheres to Interjection Games' elegant 2-column b/w-standard and the pdf comes with thematically fitting stock art.



The Maestro is an exceedingly awesome class - the base concept of making essentially bardic performances a three-component, highly complex and customizable array of cool unique options is simply great. The amount of tinkering here is mindboggling and the overall playing experience is complex and more intuitive and easier to grasp than any other Interjection Games class I've reviewed so far - so either I'm getting just better at analyzing them or author Bradley Crouch has improved his writing further. The options galore reward careful planning while not stifling creativity, making this class a) unique, b) damn cool to play and c) an all-out success.

Now here I had minor complaints, which have all been addressed perfectly. While I'm still not sold 100% on the skill rank/class level prereq-divide, this alone is essentially preference and since there are no other complaints for me to file, my final verdict now clocks in at a triumphant 5 stars + seal of approval! Get this awesome class! Oh...and first candidate for my Top Ten list of 2014.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Maestro Base Class [PFRPG & D&D 3.5]
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Click here to issue a publisher reply
Words of Power Unleashed
by Nickolas F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/01/2014 08:36:30
I suppose that the price for the word count is pretty good, and there are some innovative ideas here, but overall, for my purposes, I found it near completely useless. Some of the ideas here were a stretch and because of my own additions to the Word of Power rules, I know there are simpler things that can be added to the Words of Power rules. I will look it over again, but in my first reading there is not one thing in here that I will utilize in my Words of Power game. Of course, that is my opinion and I'm pretty picky.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Words of Power Unleashed
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Click here to issue a publisher reply
Publisher Reply:
I totally agree, sir. Words of Power is not a friendly system. One man\'s additions can totally invalidate another\'s. That\'s why this product is small - I saw oncoming issues and walked away from it without making it large. In the end, I cooked up the ethermancer as a way to make words of power work by not needing it to be compatible with every spellcaster ever while affixing it to a chassis that made odd spell concatenation fun and balanced instead of a way to make a character weak and piddly. Give it a shot - it\'s my #1 product of 2014 by sales :)
The Brewmaster: Life of the Party
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/27/2014 11:24:38
I'm not quite sure if this is a joke or serious. Yes, brewing was an important aspect of mediaeval life (and still is today...) but does it need a complete levelled class of its own? It's more likely that brewers would settle somewhere and, well, brew than go adventuring. On the other hand, if you like your game to be a microcosm of an alternate reality, then it is as likely that a brewer might be around - especially if you are running urban adventures or indeed ones based in any single locality - and get involved in whatever plot is going on.

Then we get onto the class features... and there's a whole bunch of information about the brewing process, in excruciating detail. OK. If we are going to have a player-character brewer, he's going to want to conjure up the odd keg of ale; and if he settles to brewing we'll need to know how well that batch of ale turned out... but isn't that what the Craft skills were invented to deal with? It all gets rather dizzying with the brewer learning about new sugars, additives and clarifiers as he rises in level...

The saving grace comes right at the end, when you've waded through the brewing process itself, an assortment of feats and other odds and ends we actually reach a list of additives, sugars and clarifiers. If you want to get down to this level of detail, you can then start designing your own ales, ones that have game mechanical effects over and above the obvious one of getting the characters who drink it inebriated.

You either like the idea of all this detail, or you think it is liable to bog everything down whilst conferring only minimal added flavour to your game. I imagine brewmasters will be popular anywhere there are dwarves, however.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Brewmaster: Life of the Party
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Click here to issue a publisher reply
Publisher Reply:
Hi there, Megan. The central pillar of the brewmaster went through six redesigns in about two days. You see, I went out and asked people what they would want for such a class. While some of my repeat customers looked at it strangely and said a class that made \"playing the drunk\" easier was not appreciated, others saw a system for making magic food and tried to have me construct a general case: magical bread, magical jars of pickles, magical jams, bread golems, etc. etc. Apparently, the battle baker, as well as other food-producing themes, is severely under-represented. Anyway, in the end, I had to scrap the idea of a general case because all of the other instructions from the community clashed horribly with that general case, particularly the bit about no spell levels attached to ingredients. I couldn\'t imagine the psion and the psychic warrior existing side-by-side without points and levels. Given that simplification here, the general case became a near-impossibility. So, no, this is not a joke, but is rather a totally serious experiment of sorts. I had never received as many desires from my customer base before, so I built a class that contained the most important mechanical crunch thing to each of them. As it turns out, the people who deigned to respond liked complexity - and I, as it turns out, like making the stuff. -Brad
The Gadgeteer: Mother of Invention [PFRPG & D&D 3.5]
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/13/2014 18:34:15
An Endzeitgeist.com review

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. As a minor gripe - the ability once calls the gadgeteer "rogue". 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 1 structure point 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. If the points are not expended, the weapon counts as simply masterwork. 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. Gadgets have a fixed maximum amount of Gadget Points assignable per blank, starting at 1 at first level and increasing by +1 at 3rd level and every 4 levels after that up to a maximum of 6 points (GP versus SP)



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 3 accessory or 3 weapon blanks. While I get the restriction here, 3 feels a bit limited - personally, I would have preferred a limit of 4. 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( which makes me wonder - does the penalty apply even when not wielding said weapon?) 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.



Which also brings me to a minor point of criticism - the additional SP-cost-tax is dependent on a magic weapon's enhancement bonus, thus requiring the weapon's custom special qualities like flaming etc. be suppressed - while I get why this was done, a synergy would have been awesome to see, especially since due to not all enchantments adhering to straight bonuses; codifying these would have been a monumental task and a near endless herding of multi-dimensional kittens on speed, but still - it would have been awesome to see. Okay, so this was me complaining at a high level, so onwards to accessories, shall we?



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 maximize their numerical potency? Sounds awesome...BUT: Can they be used on extracts/bombs/etc.? I *assume* no, but as written, a tag-team of alchemist/gadgeteer would be fearsome indeed. 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. Still, overall, this one feels rather weak for its investment... I can't help but feel it could require a power-upgrade.



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 (which I assume can't be sold - a caveat would be in order here...) , 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. Personally, I would have enjoyed a slightly reduced poison-damage for a longer duration/multiple saves to cure, but that is somewhat cosmetic of a gripe. Get it? Yeah, I'll punch myself in the face later for that one.



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 good - though not as tight as I'm used to by Interjection Games: For once, the header spells "Gadgeeer"[sic!], missing a "t" on each and every page's central box - which made me exceedingly neurotic during the reading of this. Beyond that, quite a few entries read "Gadget points" instead of "Structure Points", which was the beta's terminology and could result in some confusion. Layout adheres to Interjection Games' 2-column b/w-standard and artwork is thematically fitting stock art. The pdf comes with rudimentary bookmarks - but not truly extensive ones. Individual accessories, for example, get no individual bookmark, which makes navigation slightly less comfortable than I would have liked.



Ahhh, Interjection Games classes - there are none quite like them out there. With the notable exception of Morgan Boehringer's superb 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.



That being said, I also think that the gadgeteer, more so than other Interjection Games base classes, would benefit extremely from expansions, so here's to hoping we'll see some - the agent's toolbox still has quite a few options the class could emulate beyond its already impressive arsenal and an Innovator-like monster-weapon with even further enhancements to weapons might turn out to make the class also more interesting in combat. What about customizing armor? Bluffing magical means of detection/discerning truth? Expansion potential galore that unfortunately also shows that teh base-class, while good, could use some further fuel to widen its focus.

That being said, there are some minor glitches here as well - take e.g. the custom weapon modifications: Do e.g. penalties also apply when not wielding the weapon? Why can certain acids not be applied against constructs? There are a few of these instances, and while not enough to drag this class down, they remain minor blemishes.



The gadgeteer is not a min-maxer's class, but it's a great class for anyone who wants to go secret agent/MacGuyver and aforementioned complaints should not deter you from taking a look. As written, due to the glitches and minor oversights, though, I have to rate this down to 4 stars - in spite of really, really loving what the class does.

Endzeitgeist out.

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

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Click here to issue a publisher reply
Libram of the First Language: Truename Magic Reborn
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/25/2014 07:06:12
In the beginning was the Word - and a truename studies that word, and all the others that came after, using the power inherent in such words to manipulate reality. Most outsiders think he's just another wizard, but he knows he's not: his power is derived in a completely different manner. A truenamer's source of power is his encyclopedic, or rather dictionarylike, knowledge of the First Language, also known as Truespeech, or so we are told here.

So what is this Truespeech? Basically it describes everything that is, was, and shall be - items and concepts alike. If you knew it all, you'd have complete control over, well, everything. It is impossible for any sentient mind to manage that, of course, but even limited knowledge confers great power. Philosophy aside, the game mechanics create a spell-like mode of operation, with the truenamer using 'recitations' to cause desired effects by articulating the change he wants to take place.

As the truenamer rises in level, he understands more and more and has access to a wider range of recitations, and the ability to cause more complex effects. To increase the range of effects, there's a sort of meta-recitation called inflexion - it's all in the way you say it, as well as what you say... however the universe itself is more resistant to some things than others, so some of these variants are harder to cause.

As well as the core character class, several archetypes are given: the orator, the truescribe and the verminspeaker. These explore different aspects of truespeech, and introduce greater variety as to what you can do with it. Feats that enhance your use of truespeech and (of course) a whole bunch of recitations themselves are also provided. Finally, there are some prestige classes for those that progress that far.

It's a whole new area of study, opening up new horizons, and yet working mechanically within established patterns so it is not so hard or unbalancing to introduce it into your game. A nice concept to add to the wealth of magical theory.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Libram of the First Language: Truename Magic Reborn
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Click here to issue a publisher reply
The Ethermancer: An "Eldritch" Reboot [PFRPG & D&D 3.5]
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/07/2014 06:04:34
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This class-supplement is 33 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page ToC/introduction, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 30 pages of content, so let's take a look!



But before we do - take a short look at the introduction - it helps get into the vibe: The ethermancer as a class gets d6, 2+Int skills per level, proficiency with simple weapons, light armors and the starknife and the ethermancer's etherspells are subject to arcane spell failure in armor. The class gets 1/2 BAB-progression, good will-saves...and that's where anything resembling basic spellcasting, whether psionic or vancian or skill-based stops. *takes a deep breath*



So basically, there are infinite universes and planes, separated from another and their conflicting reality by a substance called ether, which ethermancers may manipulate via essentially a tiny metaphysical pinhole into the membrane that separates universes -extracting the material in-between is used to fuel ethermagic: An ethermancer may have a maximum of twice his class level +cha-mod ether points (EP) at a given point. At the beginning of the ethermancer's turn, he gains half class-level in EP.



Now ethermagic has essentially two components - the etherheart and the ethermanifestation. Etherhearts are essentially the basic ways of manipulating the ether, with manifestations adding modifications to them - essentially, they are a basic core component to which the manifestations are added. Unlike schools of spells, etherhearts have effects of their own - at least some do. Now the manifestations span 6 levels - the maximum manifestation level is upgraded by +1 on 4th level and further +1 every 3 levels after that, capping at the maximum manifestation level of 6 at character level 16. Unlike magic schools, not all etherhearts are available from the beginning - ethermancers start the game with access to the alteration and lesser blast etherheart and at 4th level, the ethermancer learns the bestow etherheart, at 7th level the greater blast etherheart and at 8th level the genesis etherheart.



In order to use a manifestation, an ethermancer needs to have a cha-score of at least 10+manifestation level. The ethermancer starts the game with 5 lesser blast manifestations and 2 alteration manifestations. Each level, he learns at least one additional manifestation - up to a total of a maximum 14 lesser/greater blast manifestations, 12 alteration manifestations, 7 Bestow manifestations and 5 genesis manifestations. New manifestations learned have to adhere to the maximum level as determined by the ethermancer's character level and he may never know more higher level manifestations for a given etherheart than he has lower level manifestations. I.e. one could never have two level 2 alteration manifestations and only 2 first level alteration manifestations - before taking the third level 2 manifestation, one would need to first learn a third level 1 manifestation. However, every level, an ethermancer may switch out one of the manifestations he has learned for another eligible one of the same level. The save versus a given manifestation is 10+ the highest manifestation's level used in the etherspell + cha-mod. To cast an etherspell, one simply adds the EP-cost of the etherheart in question and the manifestations used together. It should be noted, though, that the EP-costs of the etherhearts can vary depending on the used level of the manifestation - alteration etherhearts cost e.g. 1 base EP + 1/4 EP per level, rounded down. Casting an ether spell is a standard action unless otherwise noted and when modified to take longer, the longest casting duration takes precedence. It should be noted, that only genesis-manifestations can be dispelled - the other etherspells need to run their course. It should be noted that entering regular casting PrCs, identifying ethermagic and counterspelling is covered as well - though regular casters should never try to bleed dry an ethermancer: As mentioned, he always gets half his class level EP each round - which means he never, ever runs out of juice!



Now additionally, the respective etherhearts have limitations to their mutability: Alteration manifestations MUST be modified by ONE manifestation and only ONE alteration-based etherspell can be in effect at a given time. Lesser and greater blast etherhearts require no minimum amount of manifestations, but a maximum of 3 can be added to them - this means they can be cast without manifestations. Bestow etherheart-based etherspells have a range of touch and need to be delivered thus. They cannot be used by the ethermancer to touch himself (that came out weird...) and are not discharged upon a failed touch attack. However, the maximum EP of the ethermancer is reduced for the duration of the held charge AND the etherspell. They also require exactly one manifestation. Finally, Genesis etherheart based etherspells are permanent until dismissed/dispelled, but for as long as they persist + 1 minute cooldown, their caster's EP are reduced by the amount the etherspell consumed. Once again, precisely one manifestation must be added to the etherheart.



Brain already overloading? It's not THAT complex on paper, believe me! Plus, the class also has a more regular component with the Multiuniversal Philosophy. At 2nd level and every 4 levels beyond, the ethermancer chooses one of 5 paths, from multiuniversal hedonist to tinker or megalomaniac. These benefits increase/ can be used additional times upon being selected multiple times and in one case, requires access to the bestow etherheart to select. These philosophies will also determine the capstone - the philosophy most often selected will provide the 20th level benefit - nice way to show the character's growth and tie it to mechanics.



Beyond that, Ethermancers build up a certain resilience against precision-based damage due to their continuous exposure to alien energies: Strange rashes and lumps, discolorations...that translate to a 10% chance to ignore precision damage at 5th level and increases by +10% every 4 levels after that, capping at 40% at 17th level. And no, thankfully crits are not negated thus. At 12th level, an ethermancer has an interesting choice to make: Immunity to either poison, disease or fear - and -2 to saves versus the other two. OUCH, but damn cool.



Favored Class Option-wise, beyond the core-races Aasimar, Drow, Fetchlings, Goblins, Hobgoblins, Kobold, Puddling, Slyph and Tiefling are covered and we also get a total of 13 feats: One that makes identifying ethermagic via spellcraft more precise, a focus for etherhearts (+1 DC, with the greater focus follow-up, yet another +1 DC), a feat that reduce the EP-cost for one manifestation by -1 to a minimum of 0, two to increase etherspell duration as if you had +2 caster levels, a feat that allows you to extend bestow etherheart-based etherspells to affect an adjacent creature of the target, one that increases the limit of alteration etherheart-based etherspells you can maintain at one time by +1, one that allows you to deals either slashing, piercing or bludgeoning damage with your blasts, one that allows you to hand genesis etherheart-made weapons to nearby allies (or losing it via disarm and having it not evaporate) and finally one that immediately restores your etherspells upon dismissing a genesis etherheart-based etherspell, essentially eliminating the 1 minute-cooldown period these usually have. Oh, and there is a feat that nets one the benefits of one philosophy, but excludes you from ever taking it again. The astute reader will notice that these feats, beyond simple ability upgrade, allow the player to modify the playing-experience and rules of the class quite profoundly. It should also be noted that manifestations modify only etherhearts, not other manifestations. Also, continuous manifestations modified by instantaneous effects only add this effect the first time the etherspell is cast, not every round an effect can potentially be maintained: Lesser and greater blasts thus can be made into round-spanning effects, but potential manifestations added are only applied to the first round.



But I've been talking forever about the basics, let's take a look at what these manifestations may do, shall we? As you could glean from aforementioned explanation, each entry of a manifestation comes with a spell level, an etherheart-restriction (essentially denoting to which etherheart the manifestation can be added) and an EP-cost. Where applicable, they also have a range and a target. EP-cost wise, the EP-cost span a range from 0 to 15. We get lists of all ether manifestations by etherheart and level for our convenience's sake, which is nice for convenience's sake. Now let's take a look at how those ether manifestations work, shall we?

Let's take for example the first one, A Thousand Eyes: An alteration manifestation, it costs the etherheart's cost (1 + 1/4 level, here +2/4, thus=1) plus the manifestation's cost, which in this case is 3. Eyeballs around the ethermancer appear, increasing initiative by +2, +1 for every 3 caster levels up to +5. The second effect essentially conjures forth a barrier versus one element of the caster's choosing - either fire, cold, electricity or sonic - but surprisingly not acid. Interesting choice to include sonic instead here. In an improved version, said screen can transform absorbed energy into a limited amount of ether points. What's weird here is that the screen delivers a flat 2 EP regeneration per completely or partially absorbed energy. Now this ether manifestation can be abused in a VERY minor way -have any other (like an adept/follower/cohort) caster spam energy-damage dealing cantrips on the shield for a +2 EP increased regeneration. In any other class, I'd start complaining right now, but since the ethermancer's resources replenish every round and the required action requires rather close proximity to the ethermancer as well as an action-tax, it does work. Still, personally, I would have made the regeneration no flat amount, and instead based on the amount of damage prevented by the granted resistance - 1 EP for every 5 points of damage prevented, for example. That's a personal preference, though, and will thus not influence my rating. Another variant of this particular manifestation allows the ethermancer to modify the energy every round. Finally, there is a variation that not only provides resistance, but instead immunity. Two of these shields, the basic one and the flexible one, can also be bestowed upon allies via the bestow etherheart and two respective manifestations.



Also interesting (and now concise thanks to author Bradley Crouch IMMEDIATELY rewording the manifestation - that is great customer-service!) would be Alteration Cascade - this alteration manifestation allows the ethermancer two 1st level alteration-etherspells at once by paying the cost in addition to the one incurred by the manifestation. Nowwhen interacting with the Alterer-feat, which allows the ethermancer to have two alterations simultaneously in effect, things become interesting: The Alteration Cascade manifestation counts both effects as one etherspell, hence with the feat, the ethermancer could theoretically stack up to 4 1st level alterations with Alteration Cascade. The Greater variation of this ether manifestation can also be used to combine 2nd level ether manifestations, but due to the feat's level cap, can't be used to stack 4 - which oddly makes the regular version more flexible than its big brother. Also, would it be possible to stack the same manifestations with e.g. other elements chosen this way? EDIT: I contacted the designer and yes, the stacking of alteration cascades with the Alterer-feat is indeed intended.



Flavor-wise awesome, the Asphyxiate-manifestation, based on the Bestow-etherheart, can be used to force air from the mouth of the target, dealing 1d3 points of str-damage and staggering the target on a failed save for 1 round. Working much like a poison, the effect requires 3 consecutive saves to end. I like that incorporeal creatures and golems are immune and that creatures with an exoskeleton get a bonus to save and the pdf by now makes it rather clear how the power works - nice!



Not all effects are offensive or straight defensive, though - ethermancers can e.g. create one or more floating eyeballs that they can see through. The particular effect comes with a cool caveat that stuns the ethermancer if an eyeball gets destroyed and also a penalty to his/her defenses while not in sight of the eyeball. Now the Greater version, which provides multiple eyeballs, can thus see more than one eyeball destroyed, with AC-penalties stacking, whereas stunning duration does not.

Shields from nowhere can be conjured and of course, there is a wide variety of options to enhance the diverse blasts: Physical (or mental) attribute damage (which can be negated with fort-saves), elemental damage (which even can be blended!), making blasts count as cold iron or silver, adamantine or crystal, adding to the caster level, making the etherspell a 10 ft.-burst (or a 15ft. im/exploding burst that moves adversaries closer/away on a failed ref-save), 30 ft/60 ft.-lines or a 15/30 ft.-cone with a ref-save instead of a touch attack or have SR-repelled rays rebound to other targets you choose. Among the more unique benefits, we can have blasts trail 5-feet high walls of energy (which dissipates after the first target has been injured by it) for the round the ethermancer casts the etherspell. Cool idea! Making blasts that continue to deal damage on the follow-up round (unless you drop prone and spend a move action rolling around, essentially eating 1 full round including standing up) on the other hand feels off - at least some sort of save would be required here to negate catching fire/acid/whatever.

More complex would be celestial spheres, which essentially adds bonus-damage to a blast and has a sphere of energy streak along. This bonus damage can be negated, but can hit multiple targets in the path from the ethermancer to the intended target. Now these spheres have a duration longer than instantaneous - which allows the ethermancer to target adversaries with blasts and have the sphere move towards the targets of the blasts - cool! It should also be noted, that these modifications, like the burst/cone-shape, cannot be stacked, as denoted by the (Shape)-descriptor attached: Only one such effect can be used to modify a given blast.



You can also make invisible targets temporarily visible via cosmic rays, making bones etc. glow - nice imagery. Here was once a 150-word rant about how imbalanced Deep Impact was - alas, Interjection Games has fixed the manifestation and it now can be considered a nice option.



Straight damage-upgrades to blasts are also possible, as is the option to get temporary hit points instead of EP while under the effects of a certain alteration - this may sound powerful, but funnily, the lack of options to dispel this effect as well as the caveat that the etherspell immediately ends as soon as EP reach 0 mean that this particular buffer must be well-considered in its application. Via Doppler Effects, the ethermancer may also grant him/herself 10%/25% miss chance. It should be noted that said manifestation applies the same distortion to the attacks of the ethermancer, making it a double-edged sword (and interesting).



Ethermancers may also create a type of vortex - whenever he is dealt damage from a chosen type of energy, the ethermancer gains a charge, which, upon the third charge, he may as an immediate action manifest a blast sans manifestations as the etherspell disperses. Boosting and penalizing saves, granting allies DR and transforming the damage-type they deal to e.g. bludgeoning, dealing damage only to a specific creature race/type, increased range, the duplication of a haste-like effect by touching hyperspace, sending foes to a catatonic state in which they need to defeat a shadowy figment to return to reality (and not die to the shadow's tender assaults), increased mental stats or object hardness, improved movement, handholds ex nihilo, making etherspells illuminate the darkness (and even glow to dazzle foes) and even standing in midair -all possible. Ethermancers may also conjure blasts and have them wait for the next spell/spell-like ability/item activation - whomever the unlucky being, whether friend or foe, is attacked by the blast.



Quantum Indeterminacy deserves special mention, as it allows you and the touched willing creature to exchange places as long as you're not too far apart - these switcheroo-effects tend to be a lot of fun and useful for creative players. Turning into antimatter, essentially teleporting and damaging all in a line and reconstituting you via Quantum Leap also is rather cool - it does a decent amount of damage, has a cool effect for the strain on your body (temporarily lowering your EP-cap). We also get penetrating SR (optionally, also automatically, but at only half damage), inflicting a variety of temporary negative conditions, having a blast emit essentially a trail of magical tripping marbles (and their spiked cousins)- the effects are rather versatile.



Emitting a Scream from Beyond is fluff-wise right up my alley - imbuing the target with the option to scream and cause confusion (including the screamer!) feels just awesome and cool - and perfectly in line with the theme. This one is also now short of a minor ramble - it now can be countered by bards.



Oh, by the way, ethermancers can also look through solid matter, should they learn the appropriate manifestation or create sentries charged with blasts that hurl these at any non-friendly target the ethermancer specified at the time of the casting. Unfortunately, the etherspell does not specify the respective saves for these very fleeting guardians, though I assume e.g. auto-failure for ref-saves due to being immobile.



Have I mentioned the option to emit vampiric blasts and similar effects or the one to turn invisible by Ultraviolet Shift?



Conclusion:



Editing and formatting are very good, I didn't notice significant glitches. Layout adheres to Interjection Games' 2-column b/w-standard and comes with thematically fitting stock-art. The pdf comes bookmarked, but only in a very rudimentary sense - one bookmark for feats, one for all manifestations. Looking for a particular manifestation is not really comfortable/possible with them - problematic.



So...the Ethermancer. The big heir to the blasting classes of the 3.X days of old. Let me go on a short tangent here - unlimited spellcasting was one of the reasons I turned my back on 4th edition. I'm a difficult audience when it comes to the very concept. That being said: I love the fluff of this complex class. I love its modularity and how it actually makes a regenerating spellcasting pool work. What leaves with a bit of a belly-ache is the relative potency of the blasts - 1d3 for lesser blasts at level 1 may not be that impressive, but add cha-mod to the equation and things get nasty with high-cha races/builds: 1d3+5 ranged touch attacks are a tad bit too strong for first level for my tastes. Why am I not bashing on this, then?



Simple: A combination of requiring a touch attack and having a sucky BAB. At 1/2 BAB, the ethermancer is simply not that accurate, which meant that in playtesting, it did not outshine ranged fighters etc. unless used against heavily armored targets. In contrast to older takes on the blaster-caster, the ethermancer is not doomed to fiddle his/her thumbs when not in battle and also has an array (though admittedly not that many) things s/he may do when not pulverizing adversaries. So yes, per se, I do consider the class well-crafted and once you get behind how it works, actually rather intuitive - just bear in mind the limits of manifestations and you're good to go.



Now that being said, while I'd love to praise this class unanimously, it does come with its flaws - the stacking of alteration-effects via manifestations and feat could have used some explicit clarification.



Another issue would lie in the etherspells universally counting as evocation - since they clearly include effects one would consider conjurations (and ones that would be closer to other schools), regular spellcasting defenses, conjuration-prohibiting effects simply don't work against them - which becomes relevant as soon as a teleportation-hampering effect is on an area - one that the Ethermancer could, RAW, simply ignore since it does not have the teleportation-descriptor. And yes, while just designating teleportation redirects etc. to work for Quantum Leap etc. would well be in the providence and capability of just about any DM, RAW that would be cheating the player. This lack of distinction re spell-schools and exclusive focus on evocation is perhaps the one halfway significant flaw of the class and it is one that could be easily handled by the DM.



So, how to rate the Ethermancer, then? Generally, I do love its complexity, its fluff, variety and its chutzpa in attempting to create a blaster-class that is balanced, but doesn't run out of juice. It may not be a class for every power-level out there, but it does work.

Then again, I don't feel justified in consigning this class to the netherworlds of mediocrity, since it clearly doesn't belong there - especially since it has been rid of the most grievous glitches I complained about in my first drafts of this review. My final verdict will hence clock in at 5 stars for the purpose of this platform, just shy of my seal of approval, with the caveat that DMs should take a good look and understand the class before allowing it - the implications of ethermancers in a setting can change the dynamics of warfare (and "forbidden" magic) in rather interesting ways.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Ethermancer: An "Eldritch" Reboot [PFRPG & D&D 3.5]
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Click here to issue a publisher reply
Super Mega Ultra Mecha Fighting for You, Me, and All of Our Friends (A Tinker Prestige Class) [PFRPG & D&D 3.5]
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/11/2014 04:58:30
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf is 6 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 4 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?



So, this is the much-anticipated installment of Tinker-expansions Bradley Crouch has promised should ever 200 Tinker-pdfs be sold - The SMUMFYUMAOOF-(said that out loud - surprisingly fun!)-expansion that provides us the Mechgineer, a 10-level PrC that gets 3/4 BAB-progression, medium ref-save and full invention-progression as well as d8 and 4+Int skills per level. The requirements for this particular PrC are rather steep, requiring ten ranks in Ride and Knowledge (engineering), the endurance-feat, the option to install 4th level inventions as well as the Megadroid greater innovation.



At 1st level of the PrC, the Mechgineer gains the cockpit innovation and may install it in blueprints, even if the Mechgineer's level would otherwise not be high enough to install them. Also at first level, all of the Mechgineer's blueprints automatically have the Megadroid greater innovation added - and yes, this includes any future blueprints - the ability isn't called "Go Big or Go Home" for nothing. Note, however, that this does not extend to the Alpha. As written, this does not retroactively decrease the number of automatons, so yeah, a rather powerful ability that adds +50% build point limits for all automatons sans the innovation's usual downside.



At 2nd level and every 2 levels thereafter, the Mechgineer increases the HD by +1. At 3rd level, we get the ability "Powers Combined" - insert your favorite Captain Planet, Power Rangers , or imho, even better, Saber Rider-reference here. But how does the ability work? Essentially, at 3rd level, a Mechgineer may combine his Alpha with a deployed Megadroid to form a Super Ultra Mega Mecha, or SMUM. This is a full-round action that provokes AoOs and requires the Tinker to be in the cockpit of his Alpha. This combination consumes one use of the infuse automaton class feature. Per se cool and concisely-worded, though I think a caveat for the non-alpha megadroid to be required to be adjacent to the Alpha for the transformation would be prudent. When automatons combine, their maximum and current HP are added together for the new maximum, while the ability scores of the automaton with the most HD are used, thus meaning that usually, the Alpha will be the determining factor. It should be noted that size increase (for the SMUM is +1 size larger than its largest component) bonus HP are also depending on the size of the "dominant" construct, meaning e.g. a huge SMUM formed from a medium and a large automaton would get +20 HP if the medium automaton is the one with more HD and only +10 HP due to size increase if the large one is the one with more HD. A handy table summarizes the amount of bonus hp for size-increase, btw. - a smart move, since not many players out there will be familiar with this particular rule. It should also be noted that how daily uses of inventions, stacking of bonuses etc. is addressed.

On another note unrelated to this pdf's content: Sadistic DMs out there, take heed: An organic creature combined via these rules would get a whopping +80 bonus HP - keep that in mind for the next mad alchemist/fleshwarping beast...

Another thing you should be well aware of, is that automata need to be one size larger than their riders to have them in a cockpit, hence the medium Alpha of the example can only house a small Tinker, since the Tinker NEEDS to be in the Alpha's cockpit in order to combine into a SMUM. Medium Tinkers better increase the size of their Alpha as well...



Disassembling a SMUM once again costs a full-round action that provokes AoOs and sees the remaining hit points evenly distributed among participating automata. Excess hit points of single automata instead are added to other component automata. Inventions of the combined automata stack, as do bonuses and daily uses of duplicate inventions if applicable, though duplicate inventions per se do not. While Tinker, Alpha and Megadroid essentially form into a SMUM, the SMUM/Tinker only get one array of actions, essentially a balancing factor for the power-gain the SMUM offers.



At 4th, 7th and 9th level, the Mechgineer gets to choose from a list of 14 Super Mega Ultra Subroutines, which include massive barrages of all electro-related inventions, alchemical barrages (Full Mental Alchemist - nice nod to one of my all-time favorite anime...), the option to put allies into one of its cockpits (thus potentially saving them from being swarmed), the power to activate inventions that are already expended by tapping into the daily uses of other inventions, always having greenblood oil ready for poison-manufacturing inventions, dealing +twice BAB as damage as a standard action, as an AoO keeping foes from moving through threatened squares or the use of an activated invention as a swift action, which consumes all its daily uses, though, - all of these are possible via this PrC. Said latter invention needs to have at least two uses left, though.



At 5th level, the Mechgineer gains the Gigadroid greater innovation and may take it multiple times, while at 6th level, Alpha, Megadroids and Gigadroids ALL get free cockpits (and at 6 BP, that's a lot of free space to fill with gadgets and weaponry...). Finally at 10th level, the Mechgineer gets an epiphany, which can be used 1/SMUM-deployment, i.e. upon disassembly and recombination with another automaton, the ability is refreshed - and each and every selection here will bring broad smiles to the faces of otakus out there: From long disintegrator-rays (Saber Rider!!!) to coup-de-grace-damage dealing slices, kamikaze-attacks that leave the SMUM (relatively) intact to automatic ejector seats to the ability of the SMUM to interpose itself and catch attacks that would kill allies to repair subroutines that prevent destruction to the options to go into a defensive stance or even punch foes in orbit (or an adjacent height), these capstones ROCK. HARD.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to Interjection Games' two-column b/w-standard and the pdf comes sans bookmarks, but needs none at this length.



Let's you things out of the way: Number 1: I absolutely adore the concept of this class - it caters to some of my unfulfilled nerdy sensibilities in roleplaying and I so want to go all Saber Rider (listen to this kick-ass theme music) on adversaries and blast them to shreds. Secondly, if you get this pdf, you should be thoroughly familiar with the Tinker class - not cursory, but really, intimately familiar with it. The concept is so complex that you'll require some book-switching unless you're very familiar with the class. This is by far the most complex Tinker-PrC released so far and it also doubles as perhaps the best: building your own mech and going toe-to-toe with the biggest of monsters, this pdf offers you an AWESOME take on being able to pilot mecha that does not compromise your ability to undertake regular dungeon exploration. Furthermore, the sheer coolness of the abilities more than make up for the loss of flexibility that results from combining automata.



This pdf took me longer to review than most 20+-page supplements out there: This class is complex and requires you to take a look at things you probably haven't seen before - bonus hit points for bigger construct-sizes, for example, but once you get behind it, it also is cool, rewarding and offers something no other class even has attempted. unique signature abilities, solid rules. How to rate this? All right, I'll get one thing out of the way: This is one of my all-time favorite PrCs. Seriously. I love it to death. Hence, my final verdict would be a gleefully giggling, mecha-name-shouting, orbital-punching 5 stars + seal of approval, while also being a candidate for my top-ten-list of 2013, of course!

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Super Mega Ultra Mecha Fighting for You, Me, and All of Our Friends (A Tinker Prestige Class) [PFRPG & D&D 3.5]
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Click here to issue a publisher reply
The Ethermancer: An "Eldritch" Reboot [PFRPG & D&D 3.5]
by Mathew I. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/02/2013 00:00:00
If you were/are a fan of 3.5's Warlock but have made the switch to Pathfinder, this is the PDF for you. This is how the Warlock should have been mechanically. It has the "I can do this crap all day!" mentality but its done with flair. Thematically, The Ethermancer is fantastic and open as it doesn't get it power from the hells. I highly recommend picking up this PDF.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Ethermancer: An "Eldritch" Reboot [PFRPG & D&D 3.5]
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Click here to issue a publisher reply
Displaying 1 to 15 (of 58 reviews) Result Pages:  1  2  3  4  [Next >>] 
0 items
 Hottest Titles
 Gift Certificates
Powered by DrivethruRPG