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Epic Mecha: 01 Infantryman
by Robert A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/30/2017 17:57:06

This is a great product that fills a much needed role! As an avid Battletech and Robotech fan I need about 30 or more mecha! I love that they include BOTH stats for starship and vehicle rules. I'll be excited to see what they do in volume two  Pick this up!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Epic Mecha: 01 Infantryman
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Castle Falkenstein: Curious Creatures
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/29/2017 17:52:42

As a long-time Castle Falkenstein player and Host, I jumped at the idea of a new supplement for the game and I was not disappointed. The first thing that I noted was that I now had the mechanics for a character based on Rudyard Kipling's Mowgli, or some of the American Legends (Davy Crocket comes to mind). The idea that the narrator was the young apprentice of Doctor Doolittle was particularly apt. This book also provided a mechanic for something I felt had been missing from New Europa's magicks; Familiars. Now if a wizard decided to keep a black cat, or a raven, as a familiar, there existed a mechanical advantage (and some disadvantages) to doing so.

Altogether, this book was fantastic, and I look forward to the opportunity to bring it into my future Castle Falkenstein games.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Castle Falkenstein: Curious Creatures
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Castle Falkenstein: The Second Tarot Variation
by Nick M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/29/2017 15:24:21

The Second in Mr J Gray’s series on Castle Falkenstein rules variations, once again ,covers the use of Tarot cards instead of an ordinary pack of cards but this time as the general Fortune Cards pack rather than one for Magicians only. There is a very useful page of discussion about the effects on game balance that using a Tarot-based Fortune pack produces and suggestions of a variety of ways this can be balanced or used to enhance the wild card nature of the Major Arcana cards. Just like the previous Tarot Variation, the Minor Arcana cards simply act like slightly altered normal pack of cards. The Major Arcana produce a range of quite powerful negative and positive, but always interesting, outcomes on play.

From my strictly personal view, I won’t be using this Variation in my campaign. simply because I really like the idea of the Tarot pack being a Special Set of cards just for magical purposes (as in the first Variation) and since Magick gives great power to a Dramatic Character, I love the idea of Magicians having less control over the outcome that the Major Arcana cards bring to the game system.

That said, what I will do is make a small Host’s pack made up of just Major Arcana cards and use Mr.Gray’s excellent ideas as wild card effects. So, when a joker comes up in the mundane pack, I, as the Host can draw a card from my little pack and gain inspiration for the outcome the players receive.

As ever, this Fat Goblin’s Games product is beautifully laid out with clear text. Even though I am not making use of all of it myself, it scores 5/5 as this is a quality product that many Hosts of “The Great Game” will like.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Castle Falkenstein: The Second Tarot Variation
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Castle Falkenstein: The Ability Variations
by Nick M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/29/2017 15:19:55

The Third in Mr J Gray’s series on Castle Falkenstein rules variations, this Variation deals with Ability specialisations, varying the suit of Fortune Cards played for an action and Ability improvement points.

Firstly, the Specialisations Variation allows players to gain an advantage in a specified area covered by an Ability. Secondly, the Divorce Variation gives the opportunity to apply the value of a Fortune Card of a different suit to the one normally used with that Ability, under certain circumstances. Thirdly, the Improvement Variation finally gives a clear format for acquiring new Specialisations and increasing existing Abilities with a choice of mechanics for short or long term campaigns.

In my opinion, this is the best of the variation series yet produced. The other two were nice tweaks but this one makes actual play easier. Unlike the original Castle Falkenstein books (much as I love them), Mr Gray’s personal Great Ability seems to be in the succinct and clear explanation of rules. These Variations fit very well into the mechanics and spirit of the game. They also clarify and improve the existing rules.

As stated in all the Variation series, the new rules are optional for each Host’s campaign, but I will definitely be opting in with these.I;d give a score of 6 out of 5 for this one if I could!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Castle Falkenstein: The Ability Variations
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Castle Falkenstein: Babbage’s Engine
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/28/2017 05:48:12

An Endzeitgeist.com review

Ladies and gentlemen, gather round, as we elucidate upon this latest adventure entertainment provided for your edification by Fat Goblin Games. It covers a total of 28 pages, with a total of 4 of the pages being devoted to the paraphernalia of such tomes, thus making the totality of the content span 24 pages.

In case your undoubtedly busy schedules should have prevented you from crafting sample dramatic characters, no less than 6 of these have been provided for your immediate enjoyment. These include lavish pieces of artwork and photography and some guidance to properly depict these fine individuals of, as a whole, more or less proper breeding and education, in the entertainment to commence. These individuals are obviously presented in proper hand-out format, as well as in a form that collates the more mundane information in a few pages, as is proper: After all, the host should have an idea of the capabilities and peculiarities of the dramatic characters.

Now, obviously only the most dastardly scoundrel of questionable morale would engage in the heinous behavior of reading an adventure entertainment’s pages with the intent of participating in it as a player. However, as a reviewer, I feel it is my duty to inform hosts properly and thus, I will have to discuss the subject matter within these pages. I do strongly encourage all individuals of upright morals and proper standing to avoid reading the following. Instead, let me bid you adieu for now – we will see each other in the conclusion. Hosts, on the other hand, should very much continue reading, this section, so profanely littered with what the common man considers to be SPOILERS in today’s parlance.

..

.

Are only hosts left at this point? Marvelous! We begin this adventure entertainment with an alphabetical list of the dramatis personae, with full ability-sets included – for the dramatic characters will have plenty of interaction opportunity as they board the Duchess Elizabeth (yep, named after Sissi, empress of hearts) on her maiden journey on the Paris-München-Wien (funnily called Paris-München-Vienna in a bit of a linguistic inconsistency) express line – propelled forward by the revolutionary, eponymous Babbage’s engine in record time; it should be noted that this adventure entertainment is for once not based on the notes of Tom Olam – and while this may sound sacrilegious to some, Grandmaster Stephen Kenson’s notes do act as a more than adequate substitution.

So, the dramatic characters are witnesses and guests of the maiden voyage of the Duchess Elizabeth and they will have a chance to prove their proper upbringing and defend Professor Reinhard from some lower class ruffians – upon doing so, they will have an easy means/hook to get aboard, in the case the host has not yet provided such an angle to pursue. The Professor’s daughter/son (gender depending on the host’s decision, as Alan/Aileen acts as a love-interest) also joins them and they explain the reason for the professor’s presence: The Automated Telegraphic Punched Card Shuffler, a device crucial to the speedy and remote operation of the eponymous babbage’s engine powering the train.

Speaking of trains – alas, it should be noted that the adventure entertainment assumes a degree of familiarity with trains of our age; neither an overview or map, nor a closer depiction is provided, as it acts only as a backdrop for the inevitable arrival of some dastardly scoundrels hell-bent on attempting to kidnap the professor…which, after a scuffle, results in the train’s entire car being stolen via the massive airship that he dastardly villain of this tale commands. Apologies, my dear hosts, for I am getting ahead of myself, failing to note that the train can act as a perfect way to introduce some of the famous individuals of our age – from Arsène Lupin to Mark Twain, there are more than a few famous individuals on board, though these colorful persons and their involvement in the proceedings to come ultimately depend on the needs of the host.

I was elaborating on the villain of this dastardly ploy, correct? Well, one Lord Anton Dire, undoubtedly of questionable breeding, lord of a tin-pot Germano-Slavic micro-nation, has managed to construct this airship, courtesy of a strange material called Radium -and he considers Babbage’s engine to be one step towards his imminent rise to power. The whole capture of the draatic characters, alas, lacks crucial freedom for the respective guests entertained; it is simply assumed that they are overwhelmed and brought into the hidden hangar of aforementioned lord – at this point, I distinctly recalled Mr. Olam telling of a series of tales of a man named “Bond”, projected in mving images, not unlike those generated by a laterna magica; the similarities are peculiar indeed, including an all but moustache-twirling villain-monologue.

The inevitable escape of the dramatic characters from the map-less base of the archfiend is, alas, once again glossed over. This can prove puzzling, to say the least, for we are living in an age of high adventure and it is hard to picture something as adventurous as climbing outside of a train car, hijacked by evil forces unknown, to bring righteous battle to the adversaries…but I digress. The escape is supposed to be relatively easy for the dramatic characters, though I do consider it to be similarly lacking in depth – while Lord Dire does adhere to at least basic premises of honorable conduct, I nevertheless found myself to be a bit flustered here: The adventure entertainment does try to justify the lack of a map for the baron’s fortress, but considering the tropes of espionage, a proper means to plan for the dramatic characters would have greatly enhanced the experience here. It is also puzzling how a lord like Dire can obviously not even contemplate dueling with dramatic characters of proper standing that demand satisfaction – the whole idea has not even briefly been touched upon.

Ultimately, the dramatic characters will have to attempt to pursue the Reinhards and the Baron onto his flying platform (which receives the proper statistics for use in the Grand Game), where the villain escapes with the younger Reinhard as hostage on an ornithopter – and potentially, an interesting chase begins, concluding this brief adventure entertainment with a well-written epilogue.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no serious issues. Layout adheres to a beautiful, elegant 2-column full-color standard and the artworks constitute a wonderfully chosen blend of period piece photography and fitting art. The electronic format sports navigation helpers, commonly referred to as bookmarks, for your convenience.

Grandmaster Stephen Kenson and Mister J Gray provide an adventure entertainment, which structurally mirrors the means of propulsion that is at the center of the proceedings depicted: To put it bluntly, this is a railroad. If an engagement of your higher faculties is what you are looking for, then I do suggest “Firearms & Margarine” instead – which, to me, is the vastly superior offering. Why? Well, this, as the pedestrians would call it, thrill-ride sprints from evocative scene to evocative scene and paints in gorgeous colors a vision that makes great use of the unique peculiarities of this gorgeous world of ours; alas, while the prose paints the proceedings of the plot in poignant highlights, the details that are expected, if we remain within the metaphor employed, remain sketches that are not filled out.

As long as the dramatic characters follow the linear structure of the plot, this works brilliantly, beautifully; however, there are plenty of times when the proposed course of action may not necessarily make sense from the dramatic character’s perspective. Here, the illusion of choice is very thin indeed and as a whole, even in the more open sections of this offering, the host will have to engage in A LOT of improvisation. To cut my lengthy and undoubtedly, sufficiently verbose analysis short: This adventure entertainment buckles under the weight of its own ideas and simply does not spend enough time and pages to adequately develop the respective scenes. As long as you can maintain a brisk pace and the dramatic characters cooperate, all’s well…but there are plenty of potential hiccups if they start tugging at the very thin curtain that’s hiding the wizard. As long as the host maintains the hasty pace, it feels like a sequence of highlights and can work as such.

All of these criticisms may not apply to some groups out there, but for me, this left me dissatisfied on a high level – with about twice the pages allotted for the details and a less breackneck pace, this could have easily went down in the annals as a true masterpiece. In its current state, however, I cannot rate this adventure higher than 3.5 stars, rounded up due to in dubio pro reo. If your group prefers action, then you should round up as well; if you’re like me and prefer Castle Falkenstein of a more versatile, cerebral bent, then round down instead.

I bid you adieu for now, mesdames et messieurs,

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Castle Falkenstein: Babbage’s Engine
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Castle Falkenstein: The Ability Variations
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/18/2017 06:05:14

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This supplemental rules-pdf for Castle Falkenstein clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ ½ page of SRD, leaving us with 8.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

So, after a brief framing narration by Tom Olam (which resurfaces in the respective sub-chapters), we begin with the first of several tweaks to the base engine of Castle Falkenstein – in this instance, we’re introduced to the Specialization variant: Instead of general Ability capabilities, the system allows you to take a Good or Great ability and trade it in for Specializations, a number equal to ½ the value of the traded ability, with Good being worth 3, Great being worth 4 specializations. Specializations can be applied to any Ability in which the character is Poor or Average – the specialization increases the Ability by one step for the purpose of performing Feats that relate to the Specialization in question. Thankfully, a massive table (greater than 1 page!) provides sample specializations and also provides synergy with the great Tarot Variation suits – so no, you’re not left guessing regarding how narrow you should design Specializations. It should also be noted that compatibility with Comme Il Faut is maintained.

The second variation featured within the pdf would be the divorce variation, which once again features compatibility with the Tarot Variation. Each Ability is governed by a playing card suit, but with this variation, the Abilities allow for players making an argument of why a given suit may apply its bonus to a given task – in two variations: Half and full value. There is some value in this – you will probably be able to perform at an increased efficiency. However, while the Host remains the final arbitrator of what you can do, I really don’t like this one – it smells of FATE and competitive BSing to me, but, obviously, your mileage may vary and thankfully, we are the final instance that decides which of the rules herein to use and which not to – this will find its fans and it makes the game easier and while, as a person, I don’t care for it, as a reviewer, I can appreciate its appeal.

The final variation would be the improvement variation: In this variation, dramatic characters improve by spending Improvement Points. Hosts are guided in detail: You determine Deeds during the adventure, a kind of important waypoint and determine an Improvement Point value for such Deeds. Beyond the confines of adventures, dramatic characters may try to earn Improvement Points via Resolutions, which can be completed, but take time to complete, with each character getting one of these – the Resolutions can be similarly broken down into Deeds, with samples provided. The resolution allows, in a way, for downtime activity: Players really invested in their Dramatic Characters can thus be rewarded for e.g. writing copious amounts of prose – or you can simply control character power thus or provide an illusion of cohesion beyond the confines of the gaming sessions.

Once earned, Improvement Points can be spent to improve Abilities (cost being equal to the Ability’s new value). When also using Specializations, they can be used to purchase Specializations, which cost 6 points. An alternate for faster growth of dramatic characters can also be found, with decreased costs – and since the metrics are pretty simple, tweaking the variation remains very simple. If you’re concerned about justifying Improvement in-game, the pdf does provide guidance in that arena.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to fat Goblin Games’ elegant, really neat 2-column full-color artwork. The pdf features fitting stock-art and sports no bookmarks – due to its brevity, it does get a pass there.

Mister J Gray LOVES Castle Falkenstein – as much becomes evident in every single of his supplements. The means by which this establishes a continuity with the venerable original Castle Falkenstein books is amazing, and so is the quality. The variant rules presented herein for a measly buck allow you to tweak the playing experience very well and net an interesting array of customization options for the game. I hope the Talsorian-crew reads these reviews and lets the Fat Goblin Games-crew update the Castle Falkenstein-core books in a new edition – if anything, all these variations really make me crave a big, new and shiny book. This is a fun offering, it is VERY inexpensive and thus gains a final verdict of 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Castle Falkenstein: The Ability Variations
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Cosmic Odyssey: Service Bots and Synthetic Companions
by James E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/17/2017 23:19:54

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this product for the purpose of this review.

This is a 62-page, full-color product - and as the name implies, it's all about Service Bots and their place in a science fantasy games. Service Bots are notably distinct from androids, another rather artificial race, in that they're less independent and generally more available to those with the ability to buy them. In other words, if your character wants a robot butler or sparring companion (or even love interest), you're probably in the right place.

The book opens with a discussion on the role and history of Service Bots, Artificial Intelligence vs Autonomous Intelligence, and so on. There are also some guidelines on how they should generally behave, including that they are not autonomous and generally need direction from others to function properly. Among other things, this helps stop SBs from infringing on character classes who specialize in creating artificial companions, and these are limits that should probably be respected.

Each SB is built from a variety of parts, starting with the frames. Frames determine how many appendages and add-on slots it has, from the affordable "Nil" series with 0 appendages to the expensive "Oct" series with 8 appendages. The table here is in alphabetical order, although personally, I would have sorted them by 'series' with the smallest and least capable at the top and the most capable at the bottom. Other parts include propulsion, computers (which are found in the CRB), power sources, and so on. All together, this allows for a wide variety of potential designs and strengths, although the SB may end up being more expensive than people realized at first (since each part is generally purchased separately, and it adds up).

That said, the most fun part of making the SBs is probably the Add-ons section. These are various 'things' a robot might have that don't really fit into any other category, from alcohol dispensers to charging devices, holoprojectors, and liquid purifiers. Honestly, if I were to be making an SB, I'd probably start by looking at these and trying to get a sense of what I wanted the SB to do, then picking other parts to fit that concept.

Following the build rules, we get a set of potential SB creators, which come with bonuses (like a free entertainment add-on, or a free slot for someone else to add) and drawbacks (chances of add-ons failing or overheating the unit). This is entirely optional, of course, but can add a little bit of randomness to what are otherwise fairly predictable inventions.

Starting on page 23, we get to the biggest part of the book - example Service Bots of varying prices, from small cleaning devices and pet-like bots to chefs' assistants, emergency rescue assistants, and holographic superhero-mimics. There are quite a lot of samples in this book, enough to easily add SB's to your game without having to touch the building rules. Also, be sure to look past the OGL - a printable sheet for SB's is included.

Overall, this is a very solid product, and it looks like it does exactly what it set out to do - add a variety of relatively low-powered, but amusing or useful, robots to your science fantasy game. Whether you're looking for an advanced protocol droid in a diplomatic compound, an assassination unit that pretends to be something innocuous, or some flashy robotic entertainment, this book can probably help you make it. If you're looking for some more mundane robots for your game, I recommend taking a look at this product.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cosmic Odyssey: Service Bots and Synthetic Companions
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Cosmic Odyssey: Pirates of the Starstream
by James E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/17/2017 22:50:33

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this product for the purpose of this review.

This is a 52-page, full-color product - and as the cover notes, it's one of the first Starfinder-compatible releases! Let's get right into the meat of this, shall we? Pirates of the Starstream is broken into five major sections.

The first section is largely historical, with some history on pirates and a sample pirate code that characters may wish to follow. This is only two pages, and serves mainly as an introduction to the rest of the book.

The next section is focused on player options, starting with two new themes. The Brute (+Str) is good at treating deadly wounds, using improvised or nonproficient weapons, and staying conscious after they've taken damage, while the Rogue (+Cha) is good at changing attitudes, using skills they haven't trained in, and finding friends.

Following this are three new archetypes - which, remember, can be taken by pretty much any character. (Of course, some character idea work MUCH better for a given archetype than others.) These include the Boarder (who's good at taking advantage of cover even when they're not behind it), the Gunner (who excels at hitting fast and hard with ranged attacks), and the Senior Officer (who support allies).

That's not the extent of the added options here, though. We also get new options for the Mechanic (like an Assassination Drone chassis), the Mystic (mainly the Destroyer Mystic Connection, which is as violent as you'd expect), and a spell for the Technomancer that turns vehicles invisible.

The third major section (yeah, that was all part two) is about Pirate Loot, and covers new general equipment, melee weapons, small arms, and even starship equipment that pirates might like to have. Some of these are pretty nasty tricks to use against players - or to have players use against others! - so GM's should be careful about what special technologies players are given access to. There are also two new starships: boarding shuttles and gunships, which aren't very impressive solo but could be rather nasty in larger numbers.

The fourth main section focuses on NPCs. Now, as the publisher was quick to point out, the full rules for making NPCs hadn't been released at the time this was published, so the various characters appearing here might not be quite 'by the book' as allies or opponents. Still, they should be perfectly usable, and players probably aren't going to notice a difference.

The last section is a 'neutral' zone friendly to pirates. Known as 8-Pieces Port, this is pretty easy to drag-and-drop into any campaign as a site players can visit. Each of the sections of the port is given a one-page writeup, describing the demographics, notable locations, and general personality of that area. Several rumors (i.e. potential plots) round out the section.

Overall, I feel this is a pretty solid supplement. Now, I'm not going to attest to any mechanical excellence in the rules, because Starfinder literally came out on the day I wrote this, and I haven't had time to digest its math and systems yet. Nevertheless, I feel like this is a pretty solid product, and an excellent option for any GM who wants to add a little (or a lot) of space pirate flavor to a Starfinder game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cosmic Odyssey: Pirates of the Starstream
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CLASSifieds: The Wind-Warrior
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/17/2017 03:57:56

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the CLASSifieds-series clocks in at 14 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 9 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

The wind-warrior class presented herein gains d10 HD, 4 + Int skills per level, full BAB-progression, good Ref- and Will-saves as well as proficiency with simple weapons, one-handed martial weapons, light armor as well as katana, naginata and wakizashi. Starting at 1st level, the wind-warrior may use Dexterity instead of Strength modifier with one-handed weapons capable of dealing slashing damage (oddly locking out the naginata -making me think it may have been a leftover from a previous iteration) with the Way of the leaf ability. Starting at 3rd level, the ability is upgraded to provide Dex to damage instead of Str-mod as well. Starting at 5th level, using way of the leaf provides a visible wind-effect that nets +1 to atk and damage while using Way of the Leaf, which increases by +1 every 4 levels thereafter. At 18th level, the critical multiplier of weapons used in conjunction with way of the leaf increases by 1.

2nd level provides an interesting ability that is pretty important for the class – a flurry of sorts, which comes with the standard -2 penalty and stacks with haste – all in all, solid in wording etc. However, 2nd level provides a more important ability, namely boundless step: When making a full attack and successfully striking the enemy, the wind-warrior may take a 5-foot-step. Kudos: it gets the interaction with the regular 5-foot-step right and even the action economy. The movement has to remain in the threatened area of the target and movement provides a stacking dodge bonus for such movement, which plays more interesting than it looks on paper. Starting at 7th level, this ability allows for the ignoring of difficult terrain and at 10th level, things become interesting, making these steps 10-foot steps that count as two steps each. The ability also has a cap per round – while the wording is missing a “times” in the ½ class level times per round cap, that is a cosmetic oversight.

On the defensive side of things, the class gains uncanny dodge at 4th level, improved uncanny dodge at 8th, evasion at 12th and improved evasion at 16th level. 2nd level and every 3 levels thereafter yields a bonus feat. 6th level provides gust of wind as a SP, usable 3 + Wisdom modifier times per day and 8th level provides an immediate action wind wall SP, also governed by Wisdom. 15th level provides the option to assault foes with 8d8 slashing cones Wisdom modifier times per day and 19th level provides constant freedom of movement. The capstone lets the class execute a full-attack as a standard action…and even after a charge. OUCH!

The pdf comes with favored class options for the core races and a couple of others, though oddly, the skills and saves here are not properly formatted, being lower case and lacking brackets in e.g. references to Knowledge (nature). The FCOs themselves are solid.

The pdf also contains a couple of archetypes: The windwalker would be a monk-like version of the class, who modifies the proficiencies and instead increases the benefits from boundless steps. Instead of the way of the leaf upgrade, we have the option to, as a full-round action, move twice movement rate, including movement over water, lava and on surfaces that wouldn’t carry the character’s weight. 5th level provides a scaling shield bonus that increases every 4 levels thereafter. 6th level and every 5 levels thereafter upgrades as what the unarmed strikes as treated for the purpose of overcoming DR as part of an attack, usable a limited amount of times per day. 15th level yields a properly codified control winds. Really cool: At 18th level, after moving twice via the boundless step variant of the archetype, you may execute an attack that can send the target flying. Nice one.

The Bladewalker is basically the TWF-version of the class, losing some of the more supernatural tricks of the base class, with a decreased boundless step potency due to the increased attack array. Finally, the windbender would be the 2-handed weapon specialist, who may take penalties to attack CMB in favor of damage-increase, thankfully not stacking with Power Attack etc. (the feat-reference is not capitalized properly, as a nitpick). Other than that, basically a two-hand weapon iteration of the class.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good on a rules-language level and the few glitches I noticed on a formal level do not impede the ability to understand the material. Layout adheres the neat 2-column full-color standard of the series and the pdf provides some nice pieces of full-color artwork. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. Nice!

I wasn’t excited for Andrew Campbell’s class at first – however, the wind-warrior has some serious raison d’être: The class is flexible and allows you to play a skirmisher martial and rewards smart use of the stepping-tricks. The rules-language of the abilities, which is more difficult than you’d think at first, it really solid, so nice job. Balance-wise, the wind-warrior should not pose a problem for any table: The class is well-balanced and I can see it working in an otherwise magic-lless WuXia-setting even – so yeah, very easy to integrate into an ongoing campaign.

While there are a precious few formatting glitches, that is not really enough to compromise the pdf. From a design-aesthetic point of view, I would have liked to see more unique class abilities, but the number of bonus feats provides sufficient customization options. First level is a bit bland, though. Anyways, that is me complaining at a high level – this class is very much worth checking out and hence, my final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded down – this is a good, worthwhile addition to the roster of classes.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
CLASSifieds: The Wind-Warrior
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Trusty Tavern Menus
by Ben D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/14/2017 14:09:05

The Trusty Tavern Menus cards are FANTASTIC! I wish I’d known about these years ago! Each card is broken down into 4 tidbits of information: name, descriptive paragraph about the tavern (including info about the owner and renting beds), a menu (with different meals, drinks, and prices), and rumors related to the tavern. It would have made running my games move a little faster if I’d been able to just draw a card and read the info instead of trying to make up stuff on the spot. You know how players are, if they see their GM squirm, they keep putting the pressure on. ;D



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Trusty Tavern Menus
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vs. Stranger Stuff Official Playing Card Deck
by Ben D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/14/2017 14:02:45

I just got my deck of vs. Stranger Stuff playing cards in today. The cards are high quality, and printed well. The art is intentionally distressed to give them a more ominous feel. You can easily use these cards for any card game and obviously the vs. M Engine games. They certainly aren't "necessary," as any deck of cards work for vs., but, they add a fun bit of immersion. This is a 52 card deck, no jokers included. My one critique of the art is this: the King and Queen cards have skulls wearing crowns. The art is the same, but says “KING” or “QUEEN” in the crown. I think the Jack and Ace are much more interesting as they are a bloody knife, and occult iconography respectively.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
vs. Stranger Stuff Official Playing Card Deck
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Shadows over Vathak: Player's Guide to Vathak
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/11/2017 16:18:35

This setting is a reimagining of Lovecraftian pulp fantasy with a bit of Poe and Gothic fantasy added for good measure. There is great attention world-building in the book, with in-universe logic added to help visualize the setting. Of particular interest is the take of the setting on Mythos cults, one of their tricks is that they use the theme of Elementalism well to disguise their true nature (and the authors make a point to note that "Join us and go utterly insane" is very far from how a cult recruiter operates). My favorite aspect of this setting is that it doesn't try to "be everything." Yes, it borrows from Victorian fantasy and Lovecraftian lore, but it doesn't borrow every aspect of that earlier period of fantasy. Of particular note is a lack of outsiders in the setting. It is stated that they are rare, because the main enemies are supposed to be the abominations, cults, and Great Old Ones of the Mythos fantasy. I suppose I should add the caveat that the setting has its own Great Old Ones, too. There are plenty of player options for races and classes, and their use of imaginary mythology has both simplistic and complex approaches. The most common belief system in the setting is a monotheistic one, but it includes saints with a broad scope of morality. The familiar polytheistic approach of D&D is present too, but in a unique way. I think a Ravenloft fan might even be inspired from the approach used with them. This is, after all, a sort of engine for a game about storytelling. The only thing I think that could have made it better is if it had adapted the Sanity rules available in the SRD. But for that matter, any GM running this setting can just look it up as it is freely available, and more details can be found in Unearthed Arcana or the Call of Cthulhu d20 RPG. I enjoyed reading this book, and plan to look for ways to implement ideas from it in future campaigns.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadows over Vathak: Player's Guide to Vathak
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8-Bit Adventures - The Legend of Heroes
by Matthew S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/05/2017 10:08:36

Love the humor and adaptation. I have every intention of using this in my future games!



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8-Bit Adventures - The Legend of Heroes
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8-Bit Adventures - The Legend of Heroes
by Jerry L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/31/2017 22:12:48

Fat Goblin Games’ 8-Bit Adventures Series for Pathfinder has helped peel back some years by allowing us to re-live some classic video games via tabletop RPG format. So far we’ve been treated to evil turtles tyrannizing mushroom land, hunting the bloodthirsty in an unholy castle, and now this one (if you can’t guess from the cover and "The Legend of..." title, you’re not trying).

Creatures are up first, with advice given on which to cannibalize from existing Pathfinder Bestiaries, suggestions on tweaking others to retro-fit the Kingdom of Highland, and a few "originals" slightly altered from our old-school gaming console cartridges.

Feats (like Bomb Jump and Shield Rider), Spells (such as Freezing Ray), Spring Spears, Lava Armor, etc. all follow, and provide that same, wonderful (8-) bit of nostalgic flair. They seem pretty spot-on for this setting, so you should get acquainted with them a bit before squaring off in the Campaign Kit at this supplement’s end against the cursed CR 16 Boss, Droch-lann and his monstrous minions...

After all, Princess Zena and the Kingdom of Highland are counting on you!

Liked: Layout, writing, setting familiarity, creative arrangement of adventures to allow for a larger campaign, and an option to play The Legend of Heroes as a one-on-one adventure. Disliked: Not having a "Lirk" write-up? (J/K)



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
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8-Bit Adventures - The Legend of Heroes
by James E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/29/2017 10:11:50

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this product for the purpose of this review.

This is a 42-page, full-color product... and if the cover doesn't serve as a pretty big hint, I'm not sure what else to tell you. Well, aside from some details on the actual content, anyway.

At the basic level, this product aims to convert a certain franchise (that rhymes with "Legend of Shellda") to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, including a variety of creatures and character options. After an introduction to the product itself, we begin with monsters like the Gripper, Robed Wiz, and Roctopus. These aren't full stat blocks all by themselves, but rather, suggestions for modifying existing bestiary creatures to work as the new versions. I'm kind of iffy on this as a design choice - generally, when offering a creature, you want to provide a playable statblock. (The exception is actual templates - which these technically aren't.)

Thankfully, we do get a few actual stat blocks shortly after, including the Bladed Trap (a CR 4 Construct), the Burning Skull (a CR 8 Undead), and the Cactus Plant (a CR 11... you guessed it, plant). There's also a CR 16 boss, an Orc Magus with the Cursed Warrior archetype.

The next bit provides a few new thematic feats, from Bomb Jump (add the explosion's damage to acrobatics checks when jumping) to Reflect Shot and Reflect Ray, which let you use an Attack of Opportunity to bounce an attack towards a foe. These do have some fairly hefty requirements, including decent Dexterity scores and the Shield Ally (new) and Shield Focus feats, so they seem like they're definitely meant for fairly specific builds.

There are also a few new spells (Retriever, Freezing Ray, and Magnetism), and various iconic pieces of equipment like a Leaf Mask (a Plant Shape I effect), the Miniscule Cap (Reduce Person 3/day), and the Saga Stone (which Reincartates the possessor when they die). The price for that one is 600 GP... or 1200 GP if you're crafting it yourself, which I can only assume was an editing mistake. (Bought at 1200 GP, however, it is pretty close in price to the cost of buying a Reincarnate spell from a Druid at the lowest Caster Level available. (That said, the Saga Stone is a "CL 6th" item, which it probably shouldn't be, as Caster Levels for items generally shouldn't be below the minimum necessary to cast it.)

This book also includes a few sample adventures - including advice for running it as a one-on-one, rather than as a party, which is a nice touch given the source material. These are essentially brief descriptions of scenes and encounters for a GM to fill out, and range from APL 4 to APL 16 as a climactic battle. It's fairly amusing, but given the wide disparity in levels, you'd definitely want to have a lot of adventuring between these main points... or perhaps just summon the PCs to "Highland" every now and then as they level up in their main campaign world.

Overall, I feel this product is a fairly solid 4/5. There were some definite hiccups in the editing, and the adventures are best thought of as an outline rather than a full game to sit down and play. Despite that, I do think this sets out to do what it's trying to do, which is broadly replicating the feel of a certain popular video game franchise. If that feel is what you're looking for, then this is the right product.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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