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Class Expansions: Fighter Archetypes for Bad Weapons
by Patrick G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/21/2017 17:36:04

Several good ideas in this book, still looking through it. i hope I can make use of it in a game.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Class Expansions: Fighter Archetypes for Bad Weapons
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Runesmithing Expanded: Equipment Runes
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/19/2017 06:34:45

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This expansion for Interjection Games' Ultimate Runesmithing system clocks in at 6 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 4 pages of content, so let's take a look!

I obviously expect you're familiar with Ultimate Runesmithing in my review of its expansion. If you haven't checked it out, you can read up on my review of that book.

So, let's begin without further ado with the allaying mark - as passive benefits, the rune, inscribed upon armor, grants increasing amounts of temporary hit points that refresh each round. As far as active benefits are concerned, we add DR/- to the fray, with an amount equal to the temporary hit points granted. Nice one. The bladesong sigil is inscribed exclusively on melee weapons; the lesser passive benefit helps vs. disarm attempts. The greater one makes the first creature to attack with it hit itself instead, potentially autocritting itself. The grandmaster rune, finally,, duplicates the lesser benefits, but also adds +2d10 to the weapon's damage on a critical hit. As for active abilities, the lesser one nets dancing, the greater one allows for more uses of the auto-critting and the grandmaster version allows you to add spell storing and expend scrolls to include their spell in the weapon. Since the greater version is radically different from the others, we have some cool potential mischief here...and the inscription costs reflect these unique tricks - activation of the greater version is actually cheaper than that of the lesser version. Pretty amazing rune that resonates with the yarns of myth.

Maker's mark is inscribed on the hands slot and its least passive bonus allows you to choose a Craft skill, Disable Device...or Open Lock?? Yeah, that skill does not exist in PFRPG. The user is treated as having the required tools, which makes this kinda work...but still. The lesser version provides the tools for all skills. Active benefits let you roll twice for the chosen skill and take the better result in the case of the least rune; in the case of the lesser one, the benefits apply to all skills...but how? Only to one? To each of them? This needs some clarification.

The mark of the jeweler is applied to the head and only exists in a lesser iteration with no active benefit - it creates an indentation on a headgear that can hold a ring, conveying its benefits. Shuffler's sigil exists in a lesser and a grandmaster version: The passive benefits are identical: You designate an ally. If the wearer is rendered helpless, but remains capable of moving, he moves towards the designated ally with a land speed of 30 feet. The grandmaster version also has an active benefit, which costs 5 inscriptions points and may be activated as an immediate action. The wearer of the boots, upon dying, is temporarily raised as a zombie that retains feat- and extraordinary-ability use. Pretty cool!

The starmark would be a pretty complex rune that is inscribed upon cloaks. Upon inscription, the wearer receives a stellar pool with 5 points per category of the rune - greater starmarks would e.g. yield 15 points. These points can be used to hurl flaming globs at foes as a standard action or enhance Flying/jumping. As a nitpick - PFRPG has rolled jumping into Acrobatics, so referring to jumping as capitalized may be considered to be a minor glitch. Beyond the pool-size, the lesser, greater and grandmaster runes can also allow for the expenditure of stellar points to gain temporary hit points as a swift action or launch one's self into the air like a rocket. The greater and grandmaster versions, finally, allows for a kind of rocket-charge as well as resistance to fire and cold and functionality in vacuum sans dying. The grandmaster's version's pool replenishes by 1 point every round and when activated, the pool is similarly refilled. Damn cool one!

Theorist's comfort, inscribed upon the head, exists in 4 versions: Both lesser and least net undetectable alignment. Greater also provides +2 to saves versus compulsions and the grandmaster version adds mind blank to the fray. The rune has no least active ability, but lesser/greater ones allow for retroactively escaping mental domination, while the grandmaster version allows the wearer to help an ally thus, even substituting his own save. The thiefcatcher rune may be applied to feet, hands, head and shoulders and exists only in least and grandmaster versions. The rune has only passive abilities. The least one lets you choose a color. The first creature to wear the item thereafter has skin, scales etc. turn that color for 24 hours. The grandmaster version instantly kills the unfortunate, with a save to negate.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good on a formal level. On a rules-level, some minor hiccups of the mostly aesthetic kind have crept into the pdf. Layout adheres to Interjection Games' two-column b/w-standard and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none. Artworks would be thematically fitting stock art.

I love Bradley Crouch's runesmithing engine and this pdf sports some serious gems. The starmark, thiefcatcher and bladesong sigil alone may warrant getting this - they are not only INTERESTING, they actually do some pretty cool things with the engine and with what runes can do. Now unfortunately, the pdf also sports a few hiccups that influence the rules-language itself, which is why I cannot rate this as highly as I'd like to. This is still a steal for the low and fair price point, well worth 4.5 stars, though I have to round for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Runesmithing Expanded: Equipment Runes
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Runesmithing Expanded - The Animator Archetype
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/13/2017 06:51:56

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This expansion for Interjection Games' impressive Ultimate Runesmithing clocks in at 5 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 3 pages for the Animator archetype for the Runesmith base class, so let's take a look!

Instead of modify runes, the animator learns to instill long-term animation in inanimate objects. When the animator prepares inscription slots for the day, he inscribes runes on a Tiny object in a 1-minute process. Once this inscription is complete, the object animates for 24 hours or until destroyed. Starting at 4th level and every 4 levels thereafter, the animator learns to animate an object of an increased size, with a handy table noting the construction points (CP) and the CR of the respective object. (As a minor nitpick: The ability refers to "Animated Objects Primer", while the table is called "Animated Objects Essentials." When animating an object with this ability, he may spend inscription points: 1 on a Large or smaller object, 2 on a Huge or larger one - spending these points nets the object +1 construction point. (Minor nitpick:"Animated objects come standard with..." sounds a bit clunky, but that glitch doesn't influence functionality.)

Starting at 8th level, animators may choose to not animate an object of their maximum available size - if they do, they can instead animate one object of each smaller size he has unlocked. Animators at 1st only get equipment runes. At 3rd level, animators receive the runic script modification, the first unique construction-based one: At the cost of 1 CP, an animated item with it can have a least equipment rune inscribed upon themselves, with weapon runes modifying their natural attacks, while others apply their default benefit. Presentation of a rune may be achieved by the object jiggling its body and the objects automatically know how to use runes inscribed upon them. Multiple runes can be applied to one item, but may not overlap - no two boot-runes on the same item, for example.

At 7th level, for 2 CP, lesser equipment runes may be applied, while at 15th level, for 3 CP, greater runes can be inscribed - though, in a rather nasty cut-copy-paste glitch, the pdf here once again refers to "lesser" runes.

Somewhat sad - Colossal items, while included in the table, cannot by animated by Animators RAW. As a capstone or mythic optional ability, that may have been a nice icing on the cake. On the plus-side, we gain a significant array of construction point benefits, from extra attacks, gaining slam attacks, to the burn ability, being made from metal, etc. - and there even is an assortment of flaws you can include in the item's CP-array to increase it and stack more beneficial abilities on the item...but at the risk of an Achilles heel. Quite a bunch of customization options here, though the engine imho has not nearly exhausted its possibilities – the construction point engine could carry significantly more. What’s here is nice, but delivers the very basic options you’d expect for the theme.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are good, but not as good as usual for Interjection Games - there are a few formal glitches and some do influence the rules-component. Layout adheres to a 2-column b/w-standard and the pdf features thematically fitting stock art. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Bradley Crouch's animator is a fun archetype for everyone who fantasized about being the sorceror's apprentice with some actual control over those darn animated items. The rune engine works well in conjunction with the animated pets of the archetype. At the same time, the pdf feels a bit rushed and like the archetype did not tap its full potential; from the construction options to the animation itself, I think the engine could have carried so much more. This is an interesting, worthwhile archetype for the price, but it falls short of its own potential. As written, I can't go higher than 3.5 stars, rounded up due to the very fair price-point.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Runesmithing Expanded - The Animator Archetype
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Ultimate Herbalism (PFRPG Edition)
by Vladimir C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/06/2017 23:20:30

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

Ultimate Herbalism for both Pathfinder and D&D5e is the first part of Interjection Games third Kickstarter project, Strange Magic 2. It is the complete overhaul of another, older project, called simply The Herbalist, and even if you have it (like I do), you get a much more improved version of the herbalism magic system. Unlike many class books or tomes, Interjection Games creates most of their new classes from scratch and, while some systems are inspired in others (antipodism in shadow magic, aether magic in the 3.5 warlock etc.), most are brand new. Interjection games are perfect for people who are bored of the same Vancian magic and spell lists, the same 3.5 sub-systems. This review tackles the Pathfinder version.

What’s inside? 158 pages of content (for 15 bucks!), which include:

-The herbalism magic system, which is used by the three new base classes. Basically, each day the herbalism-user rolls on a terrain-dependent table (called a Biome) to see what herbs he finds, each herb being a kind of “spell”. To reduce the randomness and let players continue use of their favorite herbs, they get an ability called earthenware jars, which let them cultivate herbs or preserve them and other plant products. These herbs are different depending on the Biome, which gives the herbalist unrivaled variety. No matter where you are, each roll gives you access to 10 points worth of herbs (6 in the case of naturalists), with plants having a point value of 1, 2 or 4, which also determine their power. There are no high level abilities here, since all effects increase with the level of the user. The herbs can also be used to prepare recipes and other plant products, depending on certain class or archetype abilities.

-The Gourmend base class, a flavorful (hehe) class who specializes on using the herbs found to prepare recipes. They are the least combat able of the classes, but get many weird abilities related to food. They get a culinary pool to power some of their abilities. While this is the only class that doesn’t get archetypes, a sidebar mentions how you can adapt herbalist archetypes for the gourmend; however, they are not really needed, since at first level you get to choose a kind of specialization, culinary skillsets: Baking, Candymaking, Cheesemaking, MEAT! and Brewing. Apart from recipes and skillsets, gourmends get culinary talents, with some restricted to certain skillsets. Finally, they get Culinary Bond, which nets them a familiar made of food.

-The Herbalist base class, the original that started it all. An herbalist is a bit better at combat than a gourmand and can also learn some recipes, but they also get the compress ability that mixes herbs in a single usage. They get a green thumb pool to power some class abilities. They also get 9 archetypes, designed for taking more than one.

Aromatologists exchange the ability to make compresses to create incense blocks, which basically give personal effects at range.

Compounders are healers, who can use poisons to heal ability damage they would otherwise inflict with a chance for failure, and placebo sugar pills that give the eater an extra save against ongoing poison or disease effects, both as a replacement for the compress ability.

Entomologists are bug collectors. Bugs are similar to herbs in that they can be found and are terrain-dependent, but need to be fed to be preserved; some bugs have special dietary considerations, and some get more powerful when fed certain herbs. Bugs have a special ability usable once per day, but can be preserved indefinitely. Entomologists loose recipes in exchange for bugs.

Flowerchildren give a lot (earthenware jars, recipes and focused foraging) to gain the companionship of a special familiar. This familiar works a bit different from a wizard’s, growing a specific biome’s plants on its back, for example.

Gardener are the meta-herbalists. They lose a couple of preservation vessels during their career and the potent poison ability to get the green thumb ability to give infuse the soil of their earthenware jars with a so-called “rare earth”, specific meta-effects that enhance plants.

Geologists rock hard! (hehe). In exchange either preservation vessels or cultivation pots for the ability to collect special kinds of rocks which, unlike herbs or bugs, don’t spoil until used, with a hard limit on the number of in possession. Rocks come in three varieties, sharing 3 biomes where they can be found. They are basically triggered area-of-effect mines.

Mycologists exchange their first find herbs roll of the day for a special roll in a unique biome, the fungal forest. They can also exchange none or all recipes gained for special combinatory formulae that, like gardener’s rare earth, modify the effect of herbs.

Poisoners can’t make compresses. Instead, they learn to combine poisonous plants into increasingly deadly cocktails that are applied to weapons. A short but powerful evil archetype.

Zen Cultivators are, you guessed right, monkish herbalists. They replace their green thumb pool with a special ki pool they fill while meditating with the help of a miniature zen garden. This ki pool can be spent on a few abilities and any other class or feat that depends on ki. They also gain some bonus feats.

-The Naturalist base class. They have the least powerful herbalism abilities, but make up for it with a giant carnivorous plant! They get bonus feats and their plant gets access to many talents. They can even get the plant time for a short time! They also have access to three archetypes.

Creationists don’t get earthenware jars (!) and their plant companions don’t get talents, all in exchange for some druidic spellcasting (0 to 4th level). Overall the weakest archetype in the whole book.

Mycologists not only share the name of an herbalist’s archetype, they have their own mini-fungus forest table. Their plant companions can in fact be a man-eating mushroom, which loses access to some talents while gaining some exclusive ones. This archetype doesn’t replace anything, so you can com-vine (hehe) it with the others.

Sporekeepers apparently lose their plant companion, I say apparently because apart from the introductory “facts”, it is not mentioned anywhere else in the text. Instead, they get fungal swarms that are planted in terracotta pots. They can be worn in the back or left on the ground, active or inactive. They get many talents that makes this ability very different from plant companions.

-Feats: All of this section include your typical feats that enhance your class abilities, including very niche feat available only to specific archetypes. The only one that doesn’t follow this theme is the Verdant Protector feat, which inherited the unique, almost-extinct plants available to an archetype of the old herbalist.

-Herbs: after almost 30 pages of tables (9 biomes for the herbalist/gourmand, 9 for the naturalist, and 9 plant summary tables), we get to the meat (hehe) of the herbal magic system. Herbs are formatted with name, followed by the type in parenthesis (be them herbs, fungus or fruit), with some fruits having a descriptor in brackets (similar to spells). They are followed by the biome(s) they are found in, their point value (1, 2 or 4), Duration of the effect, and which recipes can they be used for, if any.

-Recipes: these again have an easy to grasp format, with the craft DC being the most important here. Some of this are the most powerful effects an herbalist can create! A poison that damages all ability scores, the ability to shot spines that do more damage than a kineticist blast, a wine that gives you an alchemical bonus to any ability score, things like that. These are balanced not only by its ingredients, but by their craft DC.

-Microcosms: Not content with 9 (10 really) biomes, this is an optional ruleset that include special mini-biomes each with new, exotic plants! These include aberrant, anger, arcane, evil, good, graveyard, irradiated, legend and sylvan. Imagine your character visits a jungle where there is an ancient temple of a demon prince. Simple slap the “evil” microcosm to the jungle biome and you are covered.

Of Note: The herbalism magic system is advertised as druidic chaos magic, and it shows. Instead of rolling every single time you cast a spell to see if butterflies appear instead of fire, or that your strength spell drains the fighter’s instead of making him stronger, the chaos here happens at the beginning of the day, leaving it to the ability of the player to do with what Mother Nature (and his luck) offers.

If the original system wasn’t enough, Ultimate Herbalism includes food magic, bugs, rocks, soil, fungus… so many new things it can make your head spin! It may be hard to believe but, it is very difficult to point at something that is better when everything is top quality. In no particular order, my favorite are the gourmand, the gardener and the entomologist which, when put on top of the herbalism magic system, bring a lot of variety to the game table.

Anything wrong?: While the book by no means looks bad, it features little art and to be frank, I don’t mind the little art in the book, it’s the repetition of it. However, when the author can pump layer upon layer of awesomeness not only in his rulesets, but in the flavorful descriptions, art becomes secondary. The class and archetype art, while B&W only and a bit on the simple side, goes well with the tone of the author’s writing: Serious with a dash of cheesy and a sprinkle of humor. I also didn’t particularly like the organization, I would have preferred all “spellbooks” at the end instead of in the archetype entries. Also, a section on how to include a new magic system would have been nice, as well as a section on how herbalism interacts with traditional magic.

What cool things did this inspire?: Where do I start? I want a fat she-ratfolk gourmand, cheese maker extraordinaire, from the village of Ash (get it? I AM FROM ASH). An oread geologists who is looking for the philosopher’s stone. A dromite entomologist who wants to create a new race of insect folk. A goran naturalist infected by spores, using both fungi-flavored archetypes. I could go on forever!

Do I recommend it?: If you are tired of casting magic missile, flame blade or cure light wounds, and are up to the challenge of learning a whole new magic system, do yourself a favor and get this book. It is also a blast for people like me who used to collect bugs! I kowtow to the author and offer five flaming blossom stars!

Trivia: I teach at an agronomy university where you can major in soil, insects, plants or products. I was planning to open a role playing workshop, so I think my students will surely enjoy it more with this book!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ultimate Herbalism (PFRPG Edition)
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Ultimate Herbalism (PFRPG Edition)
by Adam S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/04/2017 17:13:40

First of all, I was given a copy to review.

First class, the Gourmend. Poor attack bonus, proficiency with simple weapons and no armor, so these guys aren't meant to be front line combatants without help. If they were armor they suffer the arcane spell failure chance as a chance of their preservation vessels spoiling overnight.

Stuff they can do includes building a familiar out of foodstuffs. So a lot of options here, from gummy monkey to a cat made out of bacon.

Gourmends choose two cooking methods to specialize in ala sorcerer bloodlines. Bakers can throw dough balls and make gingerbread golems for example. Candy makers can make weapons, etc.

1 minor issue there seems to be a mistake in the chart, in that +4 impact or keen weapon don't have a level requirement listed. I assume level 20 though, from context.

This class has plenty of flavor (pun intended), but they might be too over the top for some games, and the meat specialization seems to encourage combat a bit more than is healthy for someone who has the combat skills of a wizard. But since I haven't playtested it, my fears might be unfounded.

A mistake at the end, it says that the Gourmend lose class features if they gain a prohibited alignment, since Gourmends have no prohibited alignments that's superflous.

Next up is the Herbalist. Like the gourmend they have options for capstone, which I like. One of them makes their plants sapient enough that they'll stuff themselves in someone's mouth to give them their benefit, or druid spells.

Lots of archetypes here. Like the Compounder who heals through poison or Entomologists, who have a capstone that turns them into the amazing bugman.

Naturalists- Weird weapon proficiencies, they are proficient with weapons with no metal in them. If that means that weapons normally made out of metal that aren't in this instance are kosher is unclear. So the base of this class is having your very own plant companion, naming it Audrey 2 is optional.

Breaks the standard of having multiple possible capstones in this product, at 20th level when killed the plant companion turns the character into a plant zombie. Creationist archetype gains druidic spells in return for a less awesome plant companion and the ability to store their herbs. The mycologist archetype is for those who would rather sic a man eating mushroom on their opponents. Another fungus based option is the Sporekeeper whose companion shoots spores instead of biting.

It provides rules for multiple climates to pick your herbs from and optional rules for microcosms such as evil, aberrant, or arcane, and rules to make your own, which is quite useful.

The material is fun and interesting, and I can see people wanting even more, despite how much material is included here.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Remedial Tinkering: Happier Little Automatons
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/03/2017 05:52:36

An Endzeitgeist.com review

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

Now, you probably have already expected this, but this would be a continuation or sequel of sorts to the amazing combo-potential and fun that paint inventions brought to the tinker class. We begin with the handy invention subtype cheat-sheet and then continue with new innovations: These include the spontaneous replacement of design and paint subtypes with others...or making the paint fumes enrage all automata nearby...dealing additional fire damage. Talk about incendiary rages... Similarly, temporary hit points granted to nearby automata upon deployment represents one cool gambit. My favorite, though, would be the mighty artist afro that qualifies as a separate target for paint! And no, just cutting hair doesn't destroy it - the afro is a metaphysical concept...and eternal. Yeah, I actually laughed out when I read that one and smiled with glee! The pdf also allows you to gain two innovations instead of a greater innovation and a further expansion of aforementioned fume benefits allows for even more delicious combo potential and even some automaton healing via the application of the paint.

We also receive a collection of 16 inventions that build perfectly on existing material: Adding temporary hit points to asbestos or ablatic paint, caustic coats of paint, doubling numerical benefits of passive paint inventions...cool. And the really combo-monster would be the option to splatter nearby automata with heart's paint upon death, allowing for even smoother transitions in combat. Also cool: losing a paint and still retaining its benefits for a number of rounds. Also cool: Upon slaying a creature, the automaton may anoint itself with the blood of the slain creature, using the respective blood as a use of a paint invention's ability requiring the loss of the invention...which generally is cool, but I really wished it wouldn't be potentially kitten-powered. Granted, the anointment does not allow for serious cheesing, but still.

Being treated as one size smaller (and thus look like an easy target), losing paint to make another creature's attack flaming (not properly italicized) ...some nice tricks here. Alphas can trigger the aforementioned fumes...and have I mentioned that the alpha, with instant abstract art can hold several warheads and use these to splatter paint...or acid...or fire...or extend the range? Yeah, this one is glorious.

What about an automaton that can remove fluidly primer coats as it moves? Or what about a pseudo-herby-automaton that can provide minor healing...or damage to an undead creature? Also really cool: Tagging spray that makes hitting a tagged target easier for everyone involved. And nope, this is not all. This pdf has a metric ton of amazing potential for the tinker class!!!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant issues apart from the aforementioned cosmetic glitches. Layout adheres to Interjection games' no-frills two-column b/w-standard and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Bradley Crouch's happier little automatons are a chess-master's wet dream: The massive combo-potential of the previous installment is amplified greatly by this one; the fume-tricks are glorious and can most certainly present some truly fun and evocative options. Playful and funny, but thoroughly mechanically relevant, this is a gem and one of the absolute must-have-you-need-this-OMG-so-cool tinker expansions. I'm serious. Impressive work indeed...and in spite of the minor hiccups, the extremely fair price-point and quality of the material herein makes me settle on a final verdict of 5 stars + seal of approval. Amazing! Now get this, smile enigmatically and start scheming...I'll keep the secret of the amazing combos we can inflict with this! (Punches himself for bad attempt at Bob Ross imitation-joke)

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Remedial Tinkering: Happier Little Automatons
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The Primordial Dancer: Creation's Muse
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/28/2017 04:06:15

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This base class, commissioned by Sasha Hall, clocks in at 26 pages,1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 23 pages of content, so let's take a look!

Chassis-wise, the primordial dancer receives 3/4 BAB-progression, good Ref-saves, d8 HD, 4 + Int skills per level as well as proficiency with simple weapons and light armor. Primordial dancers wearing armors or shields in which they are not proficient cannot use dances. Primordial muses spontaneously cast divine spells of up to 6th level, with the spells drawn from the druid spell list. Her selection of spells increases to up to 6th level.

The central class feature of the primordial dancer would be, surprise, the dance - a dance is activated as a move action and may be maintained as a free action. A given dance has one passive, always-on bonus while it is maintained. While a dance is activated, the primordial dancer may activate one of a dance's active abilities. Dance abilities generally are considered to be supernatural, unless otherwise noted. Each individual dance may be performed for a number of rounds per day equal to 3 + Charisma modifier. Each level beyond first, each dance's total number of daily rounds by +1- The primordial dancer begins play with 2 dances and learns an additional dance at 2nd and 3rd level as well as every 3 levels beyond that. Dances also have subtypes, rewarding specializations - for each dance of a particular subtype beyond the first, all dances with that subtype can be used an additional round per day.

At 1st level, only one dance may be in effect at a given time; falling unconscious, being paralyzed or otherwise completely unable to move also ends a dance. Starting at 5th level, 2 dances may be in effect at any given time, 2ith 11th level unlocking the option to maintain three dances at once.

Active abilities of a given dance consume between 0 and 4 rounds of that dance's allotment and the second and third active ability of dances are unlocked at 6th and 12th level, respectively. In order to activate such an active ability, the character must have a Charisma score of 10 + 1/2 class level required to activate that ability. DCs are equal to 10 + class level + Cha-mod - which means that they are HARD to resist. Replenishing the daily contingent requires 8 hours of rest plus 1 hour of practicing steps to get in the flow.

Starting at 4th level, the primordial dancer may 1/day activate two active abilities in a single action, with the activation using the longer of the two activation actions - nice: They have been listed for your convenience. 9th level and every 5 levels thereafter yield an additional activation of this ability in a given day. 8th level yields evasion, 17th improved evasion and as a capstone, the class looks at the subtypes of dances chosen: The most subtypes chosen determine the favored dance subtype, with ties allowing the player to choose. The primordial dancer receives a primal pool, which consists of the total of Int-, Wis-, and Cha-mod. This pool's points may be used instead of the dance's daily activation cost. The class has a catch-all favored class bonus, namely +1 round of activation for a chosen dance.

2 archetypes are included, the first of them being the primalist, who begins play with only one dance, and may not learn rhythm of life. The daily duration of all dances, however, is increased by +1 round. However, when preparing dances on a given day, the primalist may choose a Small elemental of the 4 basic types, behaving as though it was a summoned creature without actually counting as one. 5th level unlocks Medium elementals, 9th Large ones, 13th level Huge ones and 17th level provides elder elementals. Instead of the quicker activation at 4th level, the archetype gains dancing elements at 5th level - an element created by the primordial dancer is taught a single dance, behaving as though it had 1/2 its master's class level, with 3 daily rounds. Primordial dancers may not activate a dance while the elemental is performing it and vice versa. 9th level and every 4 levels thereafter increase the elemental's dance by +2 rounds. Solid pet option.

The second archetype, the weaver, associates energy types with all subtypes of primordial dance subtypes: Cosmos is assigned to sonic damage, life to positive/negative energy, sky to electricity...you get the idea. Starting at 5th level, while dancing, the weaver may expend 2 daily rounds of a known dance as a standard action, rewriting the an extraordinary or supernatural abilities of a willing creature within 60 ft.: Resistances, immunities, damage etc. of the creature's ability are replaced with those assigned to the dance's subtype. Starting at 9th level, unwilling creatures may be affected, with a Will-save to negate - I assume the DC here to be the dance's DC, but I'm not 100% sure. 13th level may also target ongoing spells, which is REALLY versatile and cool, with 17th level allowing the dancer to spontaneously expend 2 rounds of a dance while casting spells to modify the spell's parameters to conform to the energy of the dance. Positive or negative energy cannot heal via this ability. Once again, this replaces 4th level's dual activation ability. I really like this archetype's complex ability - I think it most certainly could carry more than it does here and even act as a base class chassis. Nice one.

A total of 13 feats is included in the deal and goes beyond the expected extra dance array and increased dance DC. There are quite a few feats that build upon the unique effects of the respective dances. In fact, the feats are entwined with the dances and interact with them thematically: Caterwauling Dance-Magic, for example, nets you lesser confusion as a bonus spell known, continuing the theme of the dance. Other feats penalize, as an example, the AC of a target, whose ray you reflect back on them via a dance. One of the dances creates an iceberg, which you can pilot - with the proper feat, you may pilot it even when not dancing anymore.

Now, it should be obvious at this point that the dances themselves are the central heart and soul of this class, with the first being absolute zero. This dance nets you immunity to supernatural and magical fatigue while dancing, with higher levels providing downgrades of exhaustion to fatigue and immunities. The active abilities provide a bonus cold damage with a short-term fatigue. Higher-level abilities allow for the temporary halving of all nonlethal damage incurred by allies nearby, with the 12th level option providing a fire-damage halving effect (properly codified with hardness, resistance, etc.) as well as a defensive shield of retributive cold.

Other dance passive abilities include growing clouds of obscuring mist, fire resistance and increased damage output for fire spells and dance effects, fast healing, swim speed, a modified, sonic-damage-causing flare and the like. There are, however, also more complex dances: Explorer's Lament nets you a saline point pool equal to class level + Cha-mod; while performing the dance, you may expend a number of these points equal to a penalty to AC to negate the penalty...and upon negating the penalty thus, you become immune to this specific penalty's source for the duration of the dance, which is really cool. Higher levels also allow for the temporary auto-granting of acid immunity, and at 12th level, botching foes can allow you to regain saline points. Those are only the dance's passive benefits, mind you!

I already mentioned active benefits like the hard terrain control iceberg/floe-generation, and hailstorms etc. can also be found among the tricks the class offers; negative levels for foes (capped to prevent cheesing), temporary access to healing while in the proper dance, with a point-based casting mechanic supported by the dance...quite an assortment of interesting tricks. Heck, even the classic elemental options provide their benefits in relatively interesting ways. Self-granting quasi true strikes at range, quicker movement or better standing one's ground - the dances can yield a rather diverse array of different playstyles/switches between them. The visuals are also cool: I mean, who did not want to dance through foes, hurling meteors at them, only to burst in a sudden, nova-like flare when foes get too close? There also would be a flight option that allows the dancer with an engine-tweak to maintain its effects for longer, which is pretty nice.

Where things REALLY get interesting as far as I'm concerned, would be with tangos - these are a bit more complex and allow you to determine an ally within 30 ft. - when you activate one of the active abilities of a given tango, the chosen tango partner also receives the benefits. These include bonus speed boosts for allies, sharing in your mental skill capabilities, reflexive shields that can render targets prone or environmental adaptation. (As a nitpick: Spell-references here are not italicized.) Also cool: Draw a line from you to the partner, cause damage in between. There are some highly tactical and rewarding options to be found here and I frankly wished we got even more of them!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good on both a formal and a rules-level - I noticed no serious glitches. Layout adheres to Interjection Games' elegant, no-frills b/w-2-column- standard and the pdf's artworks are mostly swirlies, fractals and the like. The pdf comes bookmarked for your convenience.

Bradley Crouch is a damn good designer; I'll stand by that statement any day of the week. The primordial dancer is an interesting class, somewhat akin to a druidic bard or alchemist. Why? Because the flexibility is closer to the latter than the former. Whereas bards tend to have a ton of bardic performance rounds, primordial dancers really have to be careful in their use of dances to not run out of one dance's array of rounds. This also means that the signature ability of the class forces you to alternate between dances and thus prevents spamming the same trick over and over. The spellcasting adds further flexibility to the playing experience. Now, after testing these guys, I have a couple of observations: a) Dances are awesome. b) You never have enough dances. Yes, you can use FCOs and feats to expand your uses, but the central class feature can only be part of the experience; you can't exclusively rely on them; you need the spells. Now, and this is only a personal preference and will not influence the verdict, but I would have loved to see the class focus a bit more on the dances...but then again, that may just be me and should be taken as a testament of how cool they are. The primordial dancer plays smoothly, is VERY easy to grasp as far as Interjection games-classes are concerned and proves to be a fun addition to the class roster. Can we have more tangos now? Kidding aside, the tangos can be rather rewarding for all concerned, much like their real life counterparts....but I digress.

My final verdict will clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Primordial Dancer: Creation's Muse
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Ultimate Herbalism (PFRPG Edition)
by James E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/14/2017 12:27:44

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this product as one of the rewards for backing the Strange Magic 2 kickstarter. I did not pay the price you'd be paying here, but I did pay for this product.

Ultimate Herbalism is part of a new series of systems by Interjection Games, following on the fun of systems like Ethermagic, Composition Magic, and Truenaming. Now, those who have bought from Interjection Games in the past will know that Bradley Crouch is a systems guy - and being honest, I love new systems. These are the sorts of things that truly change the feel of a character, helping to make them distinct and memorable.

Now, this product itself is a 162-page PDF, with a full-color cover page and numerous pieces of colored artwork sprinkled throughout. At the time of writing, only a PDF version is available, but it's my understanding that physical copies are likely to be available at a future point. Aside from the generous amount of art, this product is essentially solid content - it jumps right into the table of contents and continues on right to the OGL on the last page.

Now, with that in mind, what do we actually have 160 pages of? Well, plants, and the people who use them. (That was pretty obvious from the name, though.) Herbalism is a system focused around gathering plants, then mixing them together in specific combinations to produce various effects - poisons, healing items, debuffs, and so on. Characters using Herbalism essentially prepare for the day by going out and collecting plants, rolling a dice for their current biome (forest, mountains, etc.) to see what they can actually collect. This is made a little easier by the way characters can learn to cultivate plants and get a more reliable supply of those they use the most often. The classes have ways to mix plants together, but many plants can also be consumed individually for specific effects. Essentially, this gives classes at least two different ways to use the herbs they gather (assuming they know recipes for them), which is a nice touch.

Anchoring this system are three new classes.

The Gourmend is a low-BAB class specializing in cooking, and quickly gains the services of an animal companion created out of food (yes, really). They're also defined by their skillsets - for example, a Gourmend who works with baking can learn to create Gingerbread Cookie Golems (yes, really), while a Gourmend who works with MEAT! (yes, it's spelled that way in the book) can butcher fallen foes and cook meals that provide morale bonuses to physical scores. There is a bit of a limit on the class - they need to revere nature somehow (it's how they get their stuff, after all), and it is possible to 'fall' like a Paladin. Honestly, though, that's probably not going to be much of a problem for anyone who wants to play this class.

The 'main' class in this system is unsurprisingly named the Herbalist, a mid-BAB class which uses plants in a more raw form. They learn recipes for using plants at first level, second level, and every even level thereafter, allowing them to create poisons, provide insight rolls to knowledge checks, or negate many weather effects.

The Herbalist also comes with a number of distinct archetypes, from the Aromatologist (who creates therapeutic incense) to the Gardener (who emphasizes their cultivation pots). Like all good archetypes, these represent distinct changes in the way the class plays, and they're definitely worth taking a look at before you start to build your character.

The last of the three new classes is the Naturalist, who collects fewer plants than the other classes but, at the same time, is noticeably better on the front lines thanks to their ability to raise, and I quote, "enormous, autonomous carnivorous plants" (yes, really). That alone is probably enough to tell you whether or not you want to play that class.

The rest of the book - starting on Page 90, actually, so a little less than half the content - is focused on supporting the classes. It opens with a selection of Herbalism-focused feats (grow things faster, learning how to cook more, etc.), then moves into the herb finding tables for the classes (at 6 and 10 points per-roll - which one is used depends on which class you're playing). Following this is an extremely nice touch on Interjection Games' part - biome summary tables that briefly explain the effects AND, more importantly, have a blank space for people to write down their current quantity. These are definitely meant to be printed out for use at the table, and I thoroughly approve of anything that makes it easier to track the many resources these classes have access to. (Seriously, other companies? Take note of this if you have a resource-heavy class.)

The book wraps up with three final sections. The Herb Log provides the basic rules for using herbs (attacks of opportunity, administering them to people who can't act, etc.), as well as a detailed list of each herb and its normal effects when used. The Recipe Book holds the various mixes than can be created for more powerful effects, and finally, the optional Microcosm rules deal with plants that might be found in rare areas (fey territory, battlefields, places of extreme good or evil, and so on). I would definitely recommend implementing these rules, since players in general tend to enjoy finding rare things and it really drives home the variety of things that Herbalism classes can find.

Overall, this PDF is a very solid product, and it compares quite favorably to previous releases by Interjection Games. It's definitely different, but you know what? Different is often fun, and I didn't see anything that looked horribly game-breaking. (Like I said, the author is a systems guy. He gets this stuff - not just how to come up with ideas, but how to make them fair, reasonably balanced, and fun. Many kudos are deserved.)

Now, I feel that ratings are a bit superfluous for this product - I mean, either you're interested in playing one of these classes or you aren't. This is by no means a general product that everyone ought to have, but if it sounds fun to you, know that you'll be picking up a creative, well-done system that adds a genuinely unique twist to the way characters get and use their powers. It gets a well-deserved five stars, and I'm looking forward to my chance to pick up a physical copy when the rest of Strange Magic 2 is done.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ultimate Herbalism (PFRPG Edition)
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Tinkering 302: Modules - Tinker Magic Items
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/01/2016 11:37:58

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This expansion for the Tinker class clocks in at 8 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 6 pages of content, so let's take a look!

All right, the tinker class by Interjection games, by now, has a ton of amazing expansions and we begin this pdf with a recap of the invention subtype introduced so far in a handy cheat sheet. The pdf also offers a crucial component missing from the tinker class so far, namely magic items for the Tinker-class. These are called modules and can be fashioned via the Craft Module feat, which btw. requires CL 1st and deploy automaton, and yep, even though the tinker has no CL per se, only a quasi-CL, the feat explicitly notes that he qualifies.

The pdf offers 4 innovations to work in conjunction with modules: Juryrigged modules lets you improvise one module of less than 100 gp cost for the day; and no, it can't be stacked upon itself. Mastermaker increases your CL by +4 for crafting purposes as well as quicker module crafting. Module Maximizer lets you employ a module with a CL less than or equal o 1/2 your class level 2/day instead of 1/day and Rapid Infiltration lets you apply modules to yourself as a swift action via the organic infiltrator greater innovation.

Wait, what? Yep, there are 4 greater innovations here as well: Organic Infiltration lets you apply up to 3 modules to yourself, as though you were a better automaton cap. (More on that below!) Master Modifier allows you to change deploy automaton's activation action to a full-round, but also lets you add two modules to the automaton deployed. Energy Capture is an amazing high-level option with combo-potential galore: When using a module, you gain the benefits of the module until the end of your next turn. Finally, Alpha Modifier lets you add modules to your alpha and change it when you regain your daily deploy automaton class feature.

I mentioned the automaton cap - this is basically the item that makes it possible to apply modules to non-automatons - 1/day. The Directive Beacon is absolutely amazing: It lets you program a directive into an automaton, which is then stored - this directive can then be activated as an immediate action. The next item herein would be a whole class - inventor's helpers exist in 6 different categories. These contain a non-alpha, non-design, non-arcanotech invention or a series of inventions wherein one both requires and replaces another invention contained - basically, they can contain inventions with prereqs that build/expand a basic concept. Maximum BP-value for these is determined by the category of helper employed. The contained invention may 1/day spontaneously add its contained invention to a given automaton, allowing you to transcend the BP-cost maximum for the automaton thus, which is an interesting option.

Obsidian-Lead Spray Coating grants your automata scaling SR. Omega Modules allow for a more reliable hitting/damage. Overcharger allows for more uses of limited use inventions. Peepers are cool - they allow other characters to peer through automaton eyes in a certain range. Plasticizers also come in various versions, allowing you to add temporary hit points to automata. Propellant Pumps allow for the addition of propellants to a single firework, whereas Protectors can increase the AC of deployed automata. Refraction Modules provide invisible automata, while Spray Paint allows for the replacing of paint inventions - amazing! Now many of these modules need to be held like a one-handed weapon to be applied...and this is where the utility belt comes in - it lets you use a module sans holding it thus.

And finally, there would be weaponized backup, which is a gigadroid-only: 1/day, when wielded as a two-handed weapon, this one lets you substitute your gigadoid's blueprint with that of your alpha. Yep. This allows you to have an autonomous mecha with rudimentary intelligence. OH YES!!!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to Interjection Games' printer-friendly, elegant 2-column b/w-standard with fitting b/w-stock art and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none.

Whenever I think I'm done with the tinker, that I have seen everything Bradley Crouch can coax out of this amazing class, he one-ups himself. The modules presented herein are absolutely phenomenal and allow not only for a wide array of new combos, they also retain compatibility with the more complex components the tinker-engine by now offers. The enrichment the options herein provide and the added flexibility make this an absolutely must-have iteration for the tinker-class, well worth 5 stars + seal of approval. Can we get more modules...like...now? I haven't been this excited about the class since the combo-fest of paints was introduced...

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tinkering 302: Modules - Tinker Magic Items
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Class Expansions: Natural Disaster Animist Aspects
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/09/2016 10:11:46

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This expansion for the animist class clocks in at 4 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 2 pages of content, so let's take a look!

All 4 aspects provided herein are major aspects and the first would be the avalanche; it provides protection versus cold climates and gets a ice-sheet-based array of class level + Wis-mod temporary hit points.

For each major slot the aspect provides beyond the first, the animist class level is treated at +4 levels for the purpose of determining temporary hit points. Prominence 2: nets a 60-ft. line at 1d4 + class level, Ref to negate. Foes damaged can heal the animist's array of temporary hit points (can't be kitten'd, just fyi); at prominence 3, the damage is increased 1/day via a supercharge and grants more temp HP and prominence 4 nets the frost ability. 5 provides a final supercharge upgrade. Cool!

Pyrcoclasm would be next and adds explosions to objects damaged by the animist/creatures killed, provided they are taken apart/die at the latest the round after the animist damaged it. Prominence adds fire damage to weapon attacks. Prominence 2 extends the explosion counter to a minute; 3 decreases poison duration to 1 round for the animist, 4 adds +5 feet to the explosion-range and 5 adds the fire bonus damage to all attacks, not just the first.

The third aspect would be the tornado and increases movement rate and cause slashing damage to adjacent creatures of up to 1 per 10 feet moved, maximum Wis-mod. The latter cap can be enhanced for each prominence and 2 eliminates AoOs provoked beyond 20 feet of movement when charging, running, etc., emphasizing the skirmishing aspect. At 3 slots, you add a free trip to the first target beyond 20 feet movement. 4 lets you add an AoE attack as a substitute for the regular charge attack, based on slashing winds (cool!) and 5 adds increases to prominence 2 and 3 and also the speed quality.

The fourth aspect is the upheaval, whch lets the animist generate difficult terrain in bursts that does not hinder him; for each slot occupied, the radius increases. At prominence 2, chunks of stones can be generated from this upheaval and at prominence 3, chunks may move and bull rush foes (including damage). At prominence 4, more chunks can be generated and 5 increases the benefits further.

The pdf also sports a cool new feat: Select a major aspect occupying 2, 3 or 4 major slots; this aspect loses the prominence each benefits, but is instead treated as +1 prominence...cool!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no glitches. Layout adheres to Interjection games' elegant two-column b/w-standard and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Bradley Crouch's expansions for the animist provide some cool crowd control options to the class and feature complex tweaks of the relatively simple engine. The combo-potential is neat indeed and...well. I love this pdf. It's cool, evocative and fun. 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Class Expansions: Natural Disaster Animist Aspects
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Class Expansions: Gadgeteer Accessories
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/07/2016 07:33:51

An Endzeitgeist.com review

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

We begin with the Craft (alchemy) 1 rank-requiring aerosol sprayer - it can't be juryrigged and may project chemicals into 5-foot squares in reach, activated as a standard action. Aerosol chemicals spoil over night and cannot be stockpiled. The default chemicals can duplicate obscuring mist or a Fort-negates sickening pepper spray. We also get add-ons - solid fog upgrade for 1 structure point, class level times 1d6 acid damage to be distributed among the affected for 1 structure point +1 daily use (1 structure point), upgrade to 15-ft-cone for 2 structure points that begins in a 5-ft-square chosen and spray to suppress fatigue/exhaustion is cool and non-cheesable. Healing 1d6 per class level via refreshing spritz at 2 structure points is also neat.

Tnaglefoot sprays are self-explanatory and there is a spider climb admixture for use with it, which is a neat combo - even though the reference to the spell isn't properly italicized. For 3 structure points, universal solvent may be sprayed. The James Bond-ish hat-a-rang gets enhancement bonuses and automatically returns to the thrower and is pretty hard to identify. It requires Craft (any) 1 rank and may be further made more stealthy with an addon. The non-juryriggable projectile parasol would make Batman's penguin proud and may be reloaded as a standard action, with notes on interaction with Rapid Reload...kudos! It can fire alchemical weaponry and is pretty neat. Addon-wise, antimicrobial/toxin bonuses for the wielder, making it double as a club, +1 maximum capacity, resistance 5 versus fire and acid and internal, regrowing alchemist's fire (may not be sold/taken out) and +5 feet splash can all be added for 1 structure point. For 2, you can increase direct hit damage output by +1d6, splash by 1 or get DR 2/- and the option to use the parasol as a tower shield.

Conclusion: Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no rules-relevant glitches. Layout adheres to Interjection Games' two-column b/w-standard and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Bradley Crouch's gadgeteer accessories are cool, evocative and provide some nice versatility to the diverse tricks the class can pull off. The options are creative and fun. No complaints...and for just a single buck, most definitely a worthwhile expansion. Barring significant complaints, I will hence settle on a final verdict of 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Class Expansions: Gadgeteer Accessories
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The Assassin: A Modular, Momentum Maneuvers Base Class
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/18/2016 09:55:51

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This base class, commissioned via Interjection Games' patreon by Brandon Funderburgh, clocks in at 36 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 33 pages, so let's take a look!

An assassin-class? Another one? Why would anyone care? Well, there IS a reason and this one was crafted by Bradley Crouch, so I'll expect something rather unique here...so please continue reading. What does the assassin class get?

Chassis-wise, the class gains d8 HD, 4 + Int skills per level, 3/4 BAB-progression, good Fort- and Ref-save progression and proficiency with simple weapons, blade boot, hand crossbow, katana, kukri, rapier, sap, scimitar, short sword, shortbow (including composite), shuriken and wakizashi as well as light armor. The class begins play with sneak attack +1d6 and increases sneak attack damage by +1d6 every 3 levels thereafter. As a minor nitpick, the table lacks the "+" before sneak attack, but is at least consistent in that regard. 2nd level nets evasion, just fyi.

The first defining aspect of the assassin class would be assassin techniques - the class begins play with 4 of them and learns a new one each level, up to 23 at 20th level. Techniques have two categories, "hot" and "cold" techniques and a save Dc of 10 + 1/2 class level + Int-mod, if applicable. Unless stated otherwise, only one technique per round may be executed. Hot techniques interact with Presence: An assassin begins play with the ability to exploit emotions and instinctive reflexes of targets - and uses them to accomplish deeds otherwise impossible. When a non-allied creature approaches within 60 feet of the assassin, the creature gains a presence pool, which can hold a maximum of 4 presence points and the pools are lost when a creature leaves the 60 ft. range for the assassin's Cha-mod minutes. Techniques modify the presence pool and can increase or decrease the presence pool of the creature in question. Thus, hot techniques have a presence source, which is usually single target (affecting the presence pool of a single foe); the more fantastic techniques have a certain presence required and they sport a presence change that modifies the presence points of the affected foe.

In contrast to hot techniques, cold techniques do NOT modify the presence pool and instead modify the assassin's technique pool. The assassin gains technique pool points equal to class level + Int-mod. These points replenish after 8 hours. These cold techniques ignore the presence required and presence change entries. They are paid from the technique pool and cost a number of points equal to the presence change. Finally, there are "lukewarm" techniques that may be executed as either hot or cold techniques. If that sounds complicated, rest assured that it really isn't once you've read the pdf.

Each of the two technique types also has 4 categories, which could be likened to schools - for hot techniques, we get acupressure, execution, initiation and magehunting, while cold techniques encompass infiltration (not properly italicized), intuition and poison. A system of this versatility does look like it could suffer from not having the necessary ease of building, but the class has a total of 5 universal techniques hard-wired in the class: At 1st level, studying a target can net you a presence change (and this one can be used in conjunction with other techniques). Later, creatures with HD equal to 1/2 assassin HD or less, you may reduce the presence pool of such a foe down to 0 and net you a temporary technique pool against the target, allowing for relatively quick dispatching of mooks. At 8th level, at the end of your turn, a nearby creature with 0 presence gets +1 presence (at 20th level all creatures are affected). 12th level lets you reduce a target's presence to 0, but also execute + 1 technique this round and 14th level nets you a luck bonus versus creatures with a presence pool that increases at 18th level.

As always, we get favored class options for aasimar, drow, hobgoblins, kitsune, kobold, orc, puddling, tiefling, vanara, vishkanya and core races and the class comes with almost 20 new feats for the class - beyond the obligatory increase of the technique pool, the feats allow for absolutely impressive, creative operations: Adding presence to adjacent foes after using an execution technique, retaining more stolen spells spells, spells as SPs... but there is more to be found: For example teaching an ally technique pools and the basics of assassination for 24 hours! Absolutely awesome and may be expanded! Gaining the option to add presence in surprise rounds is neat indeed. Have I mentioned gaining an infiltration technique. These feats allow for unique gambits, daily limit tricks, passive and active tricks - all in all an inspired set-up!

So, let's take a look at the technique lists! Structure-wise, we have the majority of techniques sans prerequisites, level 4, 6 and 8 as further prerequisite-levels and the techniques are listed by specialization and prereq-level in handy tables for your convenience. Let's start with the hot techniques: Acupressure techniques allow you to cause foes to drop objects, deafen or blind them or force them to move - basically, it takes all those cool chakra control and acupressure tropes we know from Easterns, WuXia movies and anime and codifies them as cool tricks.

Execution is awesome as well - Take the eponymous execute technique: It requires 4 presence, but deals damage to the target equal to the damage taken so far, max 1d6 per level, allowing you to finish off critters with awesome precision. I have never seen an ability that takes this concept actually work - here it does. Impressive. Nasty debuffs, bleeding wounds and adding feints combine brutal end-game attacks and set-ups. Awesome and absolutely glorious. Initiation allows for sniping: Instant throwing knives, disarming shots...oh, and what about hitting a target and then causing its actions to damage the target? That is mechanically intriguing and the sniping tricks work perfectly for Hitman-style assassins - get your inner 47 on!

Magehunting is similarly awesome and something I mentioned before: Spell-pilfering, penalized CLs, better saves, making homunculi from mages slain (!!!), dispel magic or copy spells you saved against - this one technique officially makes the assassin my favorite take on the anti-mage killer/ (slightly) arcane trickster trope ever.

Cold techniques are nothing to sneeze at either: Quicker movement, instant Kip Up, leaping through difficult terrain, walking up walls, blending with crowds: Infiltration makes you the badass secret agent/killer the assassin should be.

Once again taking the tropes of the Eastern/WuXia/tropes associated with mystic assassins, Intuition is all about preternatural awareness with lie detector tricks by touch, store d20s to later use (and even share with allies) - the tricks here go far beyond what we usually see and are creative, different and simply impressive. Finally, poison specialization autogrants poison mixology, which nets you daily, highly customable poisons as a basic framework that is used by all techniques, featuring additional doses, the option to drink poisons to heal (!!!) and squirt it from your eyeballs (!!!!) at foes. Making lethargic liquids to impose increasingly powerful conditions on foes...absolutely amazing.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good - while I noticed some formal hiccups, these never impede the rules-language, which is impeccably precise, as we've come to expect from Bradley Crouch. Layout adheres to Interjection Games' two-column b/w-standard and the pdf sports solid stock art. The pdf comes with basic bookmarks, but does not feature bookmarks for the individual techniques.

OH MY GAWD. Sorry, I can't contain myself here. I read this and liked it. I tested it and loved it. I picked it apart and truly adored it. I saw it and thought "Great, yet ANOTHER assassin class." Don't be fooled. I am NOT kidding when I'm saying that:

A) This plays incredibly well, allowing for all the things that assassins were always supposed to do. B) From all the classes and takes on the concept I know of, none even comes remotely close to this class in versatility and, more importantly, in the category of fun. C) I have literally not seen about 90% of the tricks this class has before, and when I have seen one before, it was usually the one truly impressive trick of a class, not one among the vast numbers of unique options.

The momentum and point engines interact absolutely beautifully and the math framework is a beauty to behold if you pen it down: You have the passives, the set-ups, the daily tricks, a vast assortment of customization feats and, on a whole, truly different focuses in the specializations - each of them alone can make for glorious playing experiences, but mixing and matching is even cooler. With a ton of options in combat and beyond, this class is simply one of the best, most rewarding and unique playing experiences I know of for Pathfinder. It perfectly takes the much-maligned and often sucky trope of the assassin and makes it work perfectly, flawlessly and awesome for the first time in PFRPG.

Whether you want to play Assassin's Creed, Ninja's Scroll, Raj' Al-Ghul's killers, Codename 47 or any combination of these guys - this delivers and oh boy, do I want MORE!

This class may quite literally be my very favorite class from the pen of Bradley Crouch; it's that good. Let me reiterate: Even among his unique roster of classes, this stands out far above and beyond in concept and execution. It finally gives the superb concept of the assassin the proper due it deserves and actually has replaced the swordmaster as my favorite non-spellcaster class. Easy to grasp, with a glorious playing experience, this is a must-own class, one of the best classes out there and well worth a final verdict of 5 stars, my seal of approval and is a candidate for my Top ten of 2016. Oh, and it is from now on my go-to class for assassins and thus gets my EZG Essential tag.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Assassin: A Modular, Momentum Maneuvers Base Class
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Strange Magic Expanded - The Ethercoustic Theurge
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/14/2016 05:58:39

An Endzeitgeist.com review

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

The ethercoustic theurge is a new 5-level PrC who gains up to +2 BAB-, Fort- and Ref-progression and +3 Will-save progression. The class gains 4+Int skills per level, no new proficiencies and has d6 HD. To qualify, you must have 7 ranks in Knowledge(Arcana) and Perform (Conducting) to show for as well as the ability to cast etherspells with 2nd level manifestations and prepare scores with at least two melodies.

This being a theurge-PrC for combining composition and ethermagic,, the levels of the class stack with composition class levels for the purposes of compositions gained, effective composer level, total number of scores and number of melodies per score; in the case of the harmonicist, this also influences the number of scores that can be conducted simultaneously. Additionally, the ethercoustic theurge's class levels stack with ethermagic-using class levels for purposes of CL, manifestations known, acquisition of new etherhearts, ether pool size and EP regeneration rate. In the case of belonging to multiple classes of either half of the equation (breakdancer/maestro or etherslinger/ethermancer, for example), the class for which the benefits apply is chosen upon taking the PrC.

At 1st level, the class gains etheric drone, which is a score that contains a sinmgle melody, uses the harmonicist effect language and may only target the theurge; as such, only melodies that can be learned by the harmonicist may be added to an etheric drone score. This drone cannot be used via composition; instead, whenever the theurge casts an alteration etherspell, the theurge may lower her maximum EP by 2 for the etherspell's duration, looping the etherspell. While the etherspell is thus looped, the theurge may begin conducting an etheric drone as a swift action that provokes AoOs, persisting for 10 + Perform (conducting) ranks rounds. This drone requires no conducting to maintain and cannot be willingly ended. This can be done 1/day, +1/day at 5th level.

Starting at 2nd level, the PrC can reduce her EP maximum by 2 to generate a summon instrument (which should be italicized in the pdf) voidhorn with a CL equal to composer level and Charisma as key ability modifier. The voidhorn is masterwork and permanent until dismissed. 2nd level also nets the musical paradox ability: Such a paradox is a 1.minute ritual using a non-conducting perform-check (though conducting can be substituted at a penalty) - upon completion, she chooses a paradox that is inactive until triggered as a free action or when replenishing the daily allotment of conduct composition. The higher the skill-check result, the higher the bonus; while skill checks can potentially be boosted pretty high, the effects of the paradoxes are really interesting and consist in reflexive DR or bypassing, SP or spell modification, tactical movement benefits, initiative boosts and resistances. The ability is kept in check by requiring different Perform checks for different effects and daily uses...and has a ton of cool tactical options.

At 3rd level, we get singing goop. Yes, this is glorious: When modifying a lesser etherblast with them, you lob them at allies (or foes) and instead of causing damage, they either allow you to name a score and be treated as though they were within 30 ft. of the caster for the score's purpose or render targets valid for the purpose of harmonicist scores, regardless of distance. LOVE IT!

As a 5th level capstone, the PrC gains temporary Ep equal to a score's base number of melodies when conducting a score. (And no, melody-increasing abilities do not increase this amount.) The PrC also comes with 4 feats: +1 drone per day, affect two creatures with paradoxes, increase the paradox's benefits and a 5th-level-prereq feat that unlocks the multiverse-famous song apotheosis as a bonus when reaching 20th level, providing the cool capstone you'd otherwise miss out due to multi/prestige-classing...though at a slightly decreased potency.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good - apart from a missing italicization, noticed no real issues. Layout adheres to Interjection games' two-column b/w-standard and the pdf features fitting stock art. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

From my own experience: There certainly are easier systems to work with than the intricate created and cool magic systems Bradley Crouch has designed. It takes a serious level of precision, commitment and math-skills to get right. Author Bennett Selchow has jumped in the deep end of the design-pool here; the one with endzeitgeist-shaped sharks waiting to take a bite out of the poor designer... Kidding aside - this is the first pdf by the author I've read and, spoilers, I certainly hope it won't be the last. Making theurge classes it hard. making theurge classes for spellcasting systems that are this complex and unique is even harder. Making sure that the result isn't boring? See, that is REALLY hard.

The author has succeeded at every one of these tasks: The ethercosuic theurge is flavorful, cool, has unique tricks and mechanics, feels different, maintains wide compatibility with the constituent systems. More than just two systems slapped together, the class has its distinct identity and as a fan of drone doom and similar music styles, I'll certainly reappropriate the damn cool drone mechanic beyond the confines of this PrC. You see, both drone and paradoxes could carry, concept-wise, their own archetypes or classes and my one regret herein is that this is not even longer. What we have here, in a nut-shell, is one damn inspired prestige class that fans of Strange Magic should consider a must-own pdf. My congratulations to the author alongside a verdict of well-deserved 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Strange Magic Expanded - The Ethercoustic Theurge
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Ultimate Runesmithing
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/08/2016 04:06:43

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This massive supplement clocks in at 43 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page of SRD, leaving us with 40 pages of content, provided as a birthday present/commission via Interjection games' patreon for Preston Mitchell...so let's take a look!

The runesmith class, chassis-wise, receives d8 HD, 4+Int mod skills per level, 3/4 BAB-progression, all good saves and proficiency with simple weapons as well as light and medium armor. Runesmiths wearing shields increase their inscription costs of all rune activations by +1 inscription point. Furthermore, the methodology employed by the runesmith, chosen at 1st level, influences proficiencies. Calligraphy-users get whip and switchblade knife, runesmiths opting for chiseling gain hammer, warhammer, lucerne hammer and maul; Fingerpainters get Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat; gougers get light and heavy picks and the pickaxe and painters get the starknife and the syringe spear.

In case you haven't got that - yes, we get a new spellcasting system here - runes. These are magical glyphs that need to be charged before each use. A runesmith begins play knowing 3 runes and learns an additional rune at each new runesmith level. Runes fall in one of two categories - equipment or projection. Furthermore, there are generally 4 categories (or levels) of runes: Least, Lesser, Greater, Grandmaster. The first lesser rune known is unlocked at 5th level, the first greater at 11th level and the first grandmaster rune at 17th level.

Equipment runes are inscribed upon gear, indicating the type of gear it applies to. A given piece of gear may carry one such equipment rune and they usually grant a passive bonus. However, when within close range (25 ft + 5 ft./2 levels) of the rune, the runesmith that made it may activate it, granting a short-lived burst of power. Only least equipment runes may be inscribed upon magical items, with more powerful runes interfering with magical objects; equipment inscribed with the like does not gain benefits from spells or SPs or weapon special abilities.

Projection runes work regardless of the object on which they're inscribed and usually are carried around on stones, sketchbooks and the like; they are unusable by anyone other than the runesmith. They have no passive bonus, but may be activated when presented in one hand. The radii of two projections with the same name cannot overlap. Additionally, their activation cost when used the first time each day is 0.

Inscribing runes is somewhat akin to preparing spells - once the allotment of runes available is inscribed, previously potent runes exceeding the limit cease to function. Characters need to be proficient with equipment to gain the benefit of runes inscribed upon it. Runes have an activation time and an activation cost; activation cost is paid with inscription points Activation times vary and runes that can be activated as free, swift or immediate actions do not provoke AoOs. The save DC to resist rune-effects is 10 + 1/2 runesmith levels + Int-mod.

Equipment runes count as magic items for the purpose of interacting with effects that hinder magic, potentially suppressing it and ongoing effects continue to have the duration elapse. Effective caster level is equal to runesmith level and runesmith levels double as CL for the purpose of feat and PrC-qualification. Projection runes are treated as arcane spells, but do not incur arcane spell failure. They may be used defensively and have a school associated counting as spells of 1st, 3rd, 6th and 8th level spells for the purpose of counterspelling/interaction.

The runesmith begins play with an inscription pool equal to class level + Int-mod, which replenishes after 8 hours of consecutive rest. 2nd level provides a bonus equal to half class level to Linguistics and Profession (scribe)-checks. Starting at 3rd level, the runesmith may apply lesser, greater and grandmaster runes to magic items and armors with a +1 enhancement modifier, but all effects on the weapon are suppressed while the rune is applied to it. At 7th level and every 4 levels thereafter, these runes can be attached to progressively better magic items; at 11th level, for example, the runesmith may add these runes to +3 weapons and armor.

Interesting: At 4th level, the runesmith may transform one of his inscribed runes within 30 feet into another rune of the same power level and type he knows as a full-round action that provokes AoOs - this may not sound like much, but it provides some interesting tactical flexibility. At 6th level, the runesmith learns to generate and inscribe a compound rune - two least runes can be inscribed as a lesser rune, with a single activation triggering both. One such rune per day can be made, +1 at 10th and 18th level. Starting at 14th level, the runesmith may combine two lesser runes into a greater rune, but may only have one such rune per day. Finally, as a capstone, the runesmith may combine a least, lesser and greater rune into the equivalent of a grandmaster rune. For these combined rune-tricks, activation cost and time is always equal to the highest of the activation costs and time of the runes involved in generating the compound structure.

9th level provides a luck bonus to saves versus writing-related spells or effects that further increases at 13th level and the class comes with favored class bonuses for the core races, aasimar, drow, hobgoblin, kitsune, kobold, orc, puddling, tiefling, vanara and vishkanya - and these should nt be discounted: Some allow for the stacking of identical runes on equipment or temporary hit points when activating runes as a kind of buffer shield. So yeah, mechanically relevant and creative.

Beyond these, the pdf also features 3 archetypes, the first of which would be the campaigner. The campaigner must take the sigil of the campaigning soldier at first level and always inscribe it in its highest level possible iteration; if objects are drawn from the cloak it is inscribed upon, the campaigner may roll twice. This sigil generates pockets, from which useful things may be drawn - including armor, weapons, medicine, weapons...and no, they can't be sold. At 2nd level, the campaign replaces the skill-bonuses usually gained with The Adventuring Soldier feat. This feat expands aforementioned rune to include a dungeoneering pocket and features 2 temporary inscription points for activation of this rune only. At 4th level and every 2 levels thereafter, the temporary inscriptions thus gained are increased by +1. 6th level provides the follow-up feats The Devout Soldier and The Inquisitive Soldier, which provide access to divine and arcane 1st level spells respectively and increase activation cost of the sigil of the campaigning soldier thus modified by +1. Starting at 10th level, the archetype treats the scrolls thus drawn as though they had the campaigner's full CL and the increased activation cost is eliminated. At 14th level, class ability only upgrades for the pockets containing arcane and divine spells are providing, allowing access to 2nd level spells at 1/2 class level CL and at +1 activation cost. At 18th level, metamagic with a spell-level increase of +1 may be spontaneously applied to scrolls drawn from these pockets for spell level inscription points and an action extended to a full-round action. As a capstone, an oblivion pocket is gained, which may contain multiple powerful random spells.

The Forgemaster archetype gets Knowledge (local) as a class skill and at 2nd level, for every rune class (least, lesser, etc.) he knows, he may inscribe one rune on two items, declaring one a rental, which works just like a regular rune, but may not be activated...until 4th level, when a forgemaster may activate a least rune inscribed and at the same time trigger a single rented rune within 30 ft. of the same type at double activation cost and as a full round action. This ability is unlocked for lesser runes at 8th level, greater runes at 12th level and grandmaster runes at 18th level.

The third archetype would be the projectionist, who only gains projection runes, but gains the Metaprojection Study feat at 3rd level and every 4 levels thereafter. This feat unlocks metamagic feats for which you meet the prerequisites and grants you its benefits to apply them to projection runes, increasing activation action to full-round, but without increasing the rune's level; instead, activation cost increases by a number of points equal to the level increase of the metamagic feat that particular iteration of Metaprojection Study mimics. At 16th level, activation time is no longer extended. Starting at 4th level, the projectionist may forego learning a rune and instead choose a known projection rune with a least variant; when inscribed as a least rune, said rune may thereafter be activated two times for free, not just once. 12th level, lesser runes qualify as well. At 8th level, the projectionist may inscribe a rune and activate it as a lesser type of the same rune, allowing for some flexibility; only the actually inscribed rune qualifies for purposes of the daily free activation(s).

The pdf also features an extensive selection of feats and includes notes on the interaction with arcane spell-modifying feats and the respective runes. A total of 11 feats are covered and I already mentioned a couple of them in the archetype section, since they directly pertain the functionality of the archetypes in question. The feats allow for the DC-increase of runes used in a certain slot, double-inscribe a single item, get more modify runes, learn a least rune or gain two temporary inscription pool points to use in conjunction with a chosen rune. Finally, you may inscribe trickster's calling card as a grandmaster rune - the rune, as a passive benefit, usually allows for the use of a cantrip, an orison and a 1st level spell, with activation replenishing the uses. The feat increases the scope of this sigil.

Equipment runes are compatible with the armor, feet, hands, head, shoulder and weapon item slots. When a rune mentions "all" slots, it refers to these. The runes, in organization, are formatted by rune level and type - we get alphabetic lists for the equipment and projection runes. Beyond that, we also gain a very handy list of runes alphabetically by function; since runes may be inscribed as multiple levels, the respecive write ups denote these with Lt, Lr, Gr and Gm for Least, Lesser, Greater and Grandmaster, respectively. P denotes the passive ability summary, A the activation summary and S for Special any special ability summary. The list also collates the respective slots and the runic lists, once again, distinguish between equipment and projection runes - these only have an E-entry for effect in the list. Now this may sound a bit confusing when I break it down like this, but rest assured, it's not.

Now if the runic system, so far has not evoked this impression from you, rest assured that you will not mistake them for spells; there are, for example, runes that increase your inscription pool. To provide an analogue - this is a bit like a spell increasing your spell slots...and yes, this is actually balanced. The gamut of the effects and their internal scaling is similarly intriguing - higher levels of runes not only escalate numerical benefits, they provide whole new, thematically linked options. When you e.g. activate an inscribed duelist's insignia, a +4 dagger and rapier manifest in your hands. And yes, if you have not gleaned that by now - while passive benefits have a basically infinite duration, active benefits do have an activation duration. And yes, the runes take a lot of cool concepts and don't operate in a vacuum: With the right rune, you can make people capable of operating siege engines as though they had the Siege Engineer feat, for example and via activation, a single character can count as a full crew for reloading purposes. Evader's Deletion provides means to counteract scrying for progressively more powerful items.

Hangman's Assistant also deserves special mention - it makes your cloak capable of being used as a primary natural attack that adds progressively better monster quality abilities pertaining combat maneuvers like trip and constrict as activation benefits. Of course, the usual suspects like skill-enhancers can be found, but, as a huge plus, the pdf takes a cue from the Master of Forms in terms of elemental creativity; you will not find boring cut-copy-paste element-themed options herein; instead, elemental themes, when featured, come with unique benefits, with Hoarfrost Emblem inscribed weapons reducing the movement speed of creatures struck by the weapon it is inscribed upon. This should not be taken as an indicator that resistances or elemental bonus damage cannot be found, mind you; but it does mean that, upon activation, an electricity-enhanced weapon generates arcs of lightning upon striking a foe for the first time each round. Using the Exodus Rune to teleport unattended objects as a lesser effect from an entry to an exit area may be nice; at higher rune levels, you can do the portal trick instead, though! If you've been thinking that the quasi-Norse theme often associated with runes seems to be missing, let me counter that with the assertion that AoE-designation of areas as halls wherein speaking lies is prohibited or that structures may be erected from the very ground - yes, potentially with permanency option.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to Interjection Games' two-column b/w-standard and the pdf sports copious amounts of thematically fitting stock art. The pdf features bookmarks for the chapters and tables (for e.g. the robe of many-things-like runes), but not to the individual runes.

It is pretty hard to convey the fascination this system has provided for me; you see, the runesmith, make no mistake, is a caster; yes; but at the same time, the class obviously has a completely different feeling than just about all casters I know. Similarly, it is easy to see the appeal regarding an utility/tools character, but that would not take the magical capabilities into account. The appeal it has also does not lie within the engine, for while it like the mechanical framework underlying these guys, it is not my favorite of Brad's engines.

The best picture to exemplify what these guys do I can come up with is that of the rune-savvy skald (not the PFRPG class) in literature; the rune-casting Pict banishing the giant golden slug-thing in Conan (kudos if you know that one!), the soldier who knows some magical runes in a magical quartermaster-style way; the wise and mystical philosopher-calligrapher in a WuXia-setting or the primitive runecaster in a savage culture - runesmithing represents all of these and does a better job at that task. Better yet, the framework and how it works is really simple. The system itself is complex and allows for great tricks, but as for difficulty to play and build, the runesmithing options here are easy to grasp and implement, easier to grasp than e.g. the kineticist, if you need a direct comparison. Runesmithing makes sense in a traditional fantasy context as well as in a more savage or sword and sorcery-esque scenario.

That still does not properly enunciate what I love about this class: Runesmiths are a trickster's option; an utility (or blasting) option...and they have a very unique feeling. After digesting and testing the options herein, this pdf did not only leave me with the wish to implement the content in my notoriously hard to get in main campaign; it actually made me come up with campaign ideas that focused on it as the primarily available means of performing magic for the PCs. Whether it's one set in a medieval/stone-age period of our own world, a savage trip through hyperborean realms of ice or early Malazan-like struggles of elite units in a war in a fantastic world - runesmithing, as a system, feels like it could carry a setting. The expansion potential for new runes and tweaks of the system is huge and I do believe that crossovers with e.g. truenamers or similar more caster-y spellcasters would actually work...but for now, I'm content. This book seems to be pretty successful and Bradley Crouch has been consistent in his class support for the classes that have an extended audience. In this case, this is excellent news, for the whole concept of runesmithing as present here has nigh infinite expansion options on its own. Similarly, no or rare magic (items) campaigns could easily use the framework posited here and modify/scavenge it to replace magic items in a world that simply doesn't have as much and somewhat mitigate the issue of PFRPG's math falling apart without them.

So yes, runesmithing works impressively smooth, is pretty easy to grasp and has a ton of potential... and I'll put a campaign using these instead of more traditional types up magic up for a vote when we decide on the next main campaign to run. That's a pretty huge deal. This is a truly inspiring little book and well worth 5 stars + my seal of approval as well as being nominated as a candidate for my top ten of 2016.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ultimate Runesmithing
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Remedial Tinkering - Obligatory Lovecraft Expansion
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/29/2016 11:30:54

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This expansion of the tinker-class clocks in at 5 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page of SRD, leaving us with 3 pages of content, so let's take a look!

"It had to be done." This simple sentence and the very title made me smile. It takes cojones to choose such a title...and make its very introductory title actaully kinda funny. So yes, this would be the "obligatory Lovecraftian expansion" of the tinker's options...but is it on par with the more evocative tinker-expansions?

As we have so far established a ton of new descriptors in the expansions and the pdf thankfully collates all of them for your convenience; the content herein ties into the absolutely GLORIOUS Happy Little Automata-expansion (aka provide unique paint-jobs that allow for combo-tricks!) - and if you don't have that one yet, you should certainly get it. If you absolutely don't want to, you don't have to, though - only one of the inventions herein has the paint descriptor. The pdf introduces a new subtype invention, the tentacle invention. Only a single tentacle invention may be added to a given blueprint and since it directly influences the grafted tentacle, benefits only come into play when the tentacle is actively used.

We begin this supplement with two innovations: Tentacle Savant nets you the grafted tentacle invention as a bonus invention, treat it as a 2nd level invention with a BP cost of 2. In addition, all tentacle subtype as though their invention level was 1 lower for the purpose of learning them and adding them to blueprint. The second innovation, Wiggly Decorator, builds on it: Tentacle subtype inventions are treated as though they had the design descriptor and grafted tentacle (here not italicized properly) is treated as though it had a BP cost of 1.

The pdf also sporst a greater innovation, namely non-euclidean pathfinding...and it is a truly unique one: Automatons using diagonal movement get +10 ft. to their movement rate and don't provoke AoOs when moving diagonally. This is so simple and cool, I honestly found myself wondering why utilizing diagonal movement this way has not been done before. Two thumbs up!

The pdf also features no less than 15 inventions: All-seeing eye nets automata darkvision 60 ft.; conduit of revelation grants automata a kind of aura that allows other characters an insight-bonus to Knowledge checks. Automata with speakers can gain a retributive tune-in to the dimensions of madness, rendering foes that attack the automaton shaken on a failed save. There also are inventions for the discerning kamikaze directive (but not contingent kamikaze directive): Lingering vestige Adaptors let the automaton remain standing after executing the kamikaze directive at 1 hit points, with limited use inventions reduced to 0 uses. The improved variant, the lingering bestige autonomy module lets the automaton use a limited-use self-targeting invention as a free action before setting the uses to 0, allowing for combo-set-ups via kamikaze directives. Particularly considering the squirming tentacles invention: Unlike what one would expect, this one does not build on grafted tentacle and thus does not have the tentacle subtype; instead, the kamikaze directive is modified to display squirming, flaming tentacles that impose the entangled condition on those hit by the kamikaze directive.

Aforementioned paint invention, bile green paint, imposes a penalty on Will-saves on those hit by the automaton. Automata with a maintenance mode are not destroyed at 0 HP, but rather at -10 HP; between 0 and -10 HP, the automaton is in maintenance mode, which behaves basically like the unconscious bleeding out so many mortal creatures of flesh are prone to. There also would be two strange aeons inventions: The strange aeons parser has you roll a d20 and record the result upon deploying the automaton; this roll may later be substituted for a d20 roll executed by the automaton, but only once and before results are made known. The follow-up invention, the strange aeons precognition device lets you use that result even after results are made known.

Now, this has been pretty much a tradition, so I expected that: The one tentacle restriction imposed on the tentacle subtype? With the dual tentacle invention, you can ignore it and use up to two tentacles at once. Additionally, the benefits of the grafted tentacle invention are maintained when making use of a single invention with the tentacle subtype - the other tentacle can cover for it, after all! Tentacles! Finally! So, what modifications for tentacles are available? Itchy trigger tentacles works with grafted tentacle...and it must, for it allows the tinker to issue a kamikaze directive as a free action after an automaton successfully hits with the tentacle, but only at halved tinker level for the purpose of the kamikaze directive.

Prehensile tentacles allow the automata to wield one-handed melee weapons in the tentacle, adding reach to it. Sticky tentacles is cool: The tentacle emits a sticky good that duplicates the effects of spider climb constantly...and finally, sludge launchers, usable as a directed standard action, allow the tinker to have the automaton fire a blast of adhesive goo at a target within 60 feet. This is a ranged touch attack and entangles the target for 2 rounds on a successful hit. The grafted tentacles remains inoperational until the master's next turn after being used.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good: The rules-language is as precise and to the point as I've come to expect from Bradley Crouch. On a formal level, italicization and the like isn't as concise as in most Interjection games-books; I noticed a couple of "requires" erroneously italicized. Only cosmetic glitches, though. The pdf sports nice b/w-stock art and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Bradley Crouch's "Obligatory Lovecraft Expansion" is a cool addition to the tinker's arsenal. Using diagonal movement type as a game-relevant basis for unique tricks is actually something I have never seen before - and in an engine as versatile and long-used as Pathfinder, that's indeed something! Similarly, the respective inventions are fun an evocative, though I honestly wished the pdf had a means to kamikaze a tentacled automaton and "spread the taint" of the tentacle to another, non-tentacled automaton...it would have worked well within the context of the theme. Oh well, that kind of combo-potential may perhaps be found in a future expansion...if I may suggest a title there: "Lovecraft Expansion II: Non-euclidean bugaloo." I'm kidding, of course - I'd actually want to see that!!

All in all, this is a fun, cool expansion to the tinker and, in spite of very minor formal hiccups, this is well worth 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Remedial Tinkering - Obligatory Lovecraft Expansion
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