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Vathak Grimoires: The Drowning Ceremony
by Shane R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/22/2015 22:35:16
A handy Spellbook for any of your elemental or horror games ! I gave it a full review on my Blog over at rpgrunkleplaysgames.wordpress.com

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Vathak Grimoires: The Drowning Ceremony
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Trusty Tavern Menus
by Shane R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/22/2015 20:57:45
Just picked these up today in the mail ! So worth it. Great job guys at FGG keep up the good work !
my Full review is on my blog over at the link below
rpgrunkleplaysgames.wordpress.com

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Trusty Tavern Menus
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Monster Movie Matinee
by Shane R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/14/2015 16:19:03
Fat Goblin Games has reached back to the sliver screen with their new supplement for the Pathfinder RPG. Monster Movie Matinee is exactly as it sounds. It’s a collection of ten horror movie monsters that you can bring to the table to terrify your players. Each monster has a standard stat block and nice set of skills and ability’s to bring the feel they have on the big screen right to your game table.


Check out my Blog at www.rpgrunkleplaysgames.wordpress.com

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Monster Movie Matinee
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Mindblast! - Classic Monsters Augmented (PFRPG-Psionics))
by William W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/07/2015 18:12:56
Want to add a bit more psionics to your campaign? Then this is the book for you. This is a top notch product from Fat Goblin Games. It takes several classic monsters and gives them a psionic spin! Very happy to have this as part of my collection. I hope they produce more products like this one!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mindblast! - Classic Monsters Augmented (PFRPG-Psionics))
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Monster Movie Matinee
by William W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/07/2015 18:06:42
I simply LOVE this product! I can't wait to use the monsters from it on my unsuspecting players! Matinee Monsters from a wide variety of environments are presented, you are bound to be able to find something in here to unleash on your players!
Hope they do a sequel!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Monster Movie Matinee
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Fat Goblin Games Presents: Silent Night, Darkest Night
by James H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/02/2015 17:20:32
A fun little book for a quick Christmas special, specially if you're going for a more traditional approach to the holiday; there's tons of Santa builds made out there, but I doubt there are many Krampus' out there. Its also for charity, and you can pay what you want, so really, its an all around nifty piece. The only improvement I could ask for would be more holiday themed options, and a little bit more story behind its more unique creations.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Fat Goblin Games Presents: Silent Night, Darkest Night
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Shadows over Vathak: Colonies - Game Master's Guide
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/23/2014 17:39:27
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This GM's Guide clock in at 42 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 37 pages of content, so let's take a look!



Analogue to the Player's Guide, the DM's Guide begins with hand-out-level detailed parchments providing an aptly-written in-character introduction to the matter at hand and provide a solid example of the threat suffusing the setting - and then, we dive into the respective local material. From the get-go, one realizes one thing - the crew of Fat Goblin Games obviously realized what ought to be in the GM's guide - where the player's guide sported tantalizing hints and general information on towns, the GM's guide provides full-blown settlement statblocks. On a extremely nitpicky side, I'm not a fan of round numbers for the demographics listed for the various cities; I prefer exact numbers over general notions of population, but I'm aware that this is just me being exceedingly anal-retentive and hence will not influence the final verdict. No less than 10 settlements are provided - nice! But that's not where the pdf stops - from eerie forests to cyclopean statues, quite a few local sights are provided for the DM to be inspired by and/or expand upon.



And then, immediately, the supplement turns into one downright inspiring read by providing a selection of fluff-only NPC-write-ups - and oh boy, are they AWESOME. Want examples? From shrewd politicians to cult leaders unwittingly under the control of Mi-Go to insane vampire alchemists, dhampir pseudo-monasteries seeking to teach about controlling bloodlust to twisted serial killers and beyond, these NPC-write-ups are glorious! Beyond them, we also are introduced to the local factions. From the ancient vampiric bloodlines to the werewolf packs roaming the land on to the enigmatic Church of the Unspeakable Masses and the mysterious Many Masks, quite a significant array of cool, inspiring information is given.



But that does not necessarily provide the DM with the tools to properly depict life in the colonies and that's exactly where the pdf goes next - from general information to local holidays that OOZE flavor and yes, even common phrases that have their own significance, the material can be considered downright glorious - mainly due to, for the first time, managing to provide a concise, believable vista of what life in a dread realm like Vathak would be like - without devolving into grimdark splatter-fests, instead focusing on more subtle hints and hooks. Now speaking of locations - here, the guide just becomes more awesome - a number of locations are provided alongside DCs to gather information about them. HOWEVER, unlike *every* similar entry I've read, the information provided is just as extensive for those failing the check as for those succeeding in it, rendering the whole experience awesome. Yes, you will want to roll these checks yourself as a DM and the wealth of information provided for either way ensures that proper story-telling will continue either way. Two thumbs up! Better, further information to be unearthed via non-specified means (PCs asking allies etc.) also reaches that level of detail, allowing DMs to easily craft a rather detailed panorama/adventure via these pieces of information provided.



Speaking of the DM - Vathak has suffered in the past from a lack of focus - does it want to be gothic horror, cosmic horror or survival horror - while it supported all playstyles, its identity suffered and hence, the extensive pieces of advice provided for either playstyle and what to consider when running them should be useful for DMs. Speaking of variance - one of the things that annoyed me with the default vampires (and indeed, even with the expanded rules provided by Paizo) would be a lack of variables - we receive herein more than 3 pages of content providing alternate defenses and weaknesses, rules for more powerful, elder vampires etc. - a nice little toolkit, though honestly one I'd have loved to be expanded into a full-blown mega-template book. But that's just the Ravenloft-spoiled DM speaking who made 21 unique bloodlines (not the sorceror class feature) for vampires for his home game.



We also receive two new monsters, each with their own, glorious artwork - the worm/wolf hybrdi Volworms and the bloodsucking vamplings - I didn't do the math, but at first glance, I noticed no glitches in the statblocks - kudos!



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting this time around are VERY good - I noticed no significant glitches or issues. Layout adheres to Vathak's two-column full-color standard with glorious full-color original artworks - this book is drop dead gorgeous to look at. Alas, oddly, the pdf lacks any bookmarks, making navigation slightly less comfortable than it ought to be.



If you've been following my reviews, you'll probably know that my first love as a campaign setting will always be Ravenloft. I adore the setting, its content and lore and have managed to track down each and every product for it. It is with the utmost respect I thus say the following - this is the best land/region-sourcebook I've read for any horror-themed/setting are since the legendary series of Doomsday Gazetteers by Arthaus or the superb free work by the Fraternity of Shadows. Author John Bennett finally manages to provide a distinct, concise voice for Vathak, one that gets what makes the respective modes of horror tick and work. Even if you are not using Vathak, this supplement can be considered an inspiring and fun read for DMs - its prose is vivid and fluent, its ideas diverse and whether its Carrion Crown, Ravenloft or any other horror-themed setting -you'll probably get some awesome ideas out of this - the information can easily be extracted. That being said, this supplement, more so than the massive campaign setting, manages to generate a proper identity for Vathak. Add to that the nice vampiric expansion material and neat bonus critters and I arrive at a final verdict of 5 stars + seal of approval, in spite of the missing bookmarks. If that is the level of quality we can now expect from Vathak-supplements, consider me utterly hyped!

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadows over Vathak: Colonies - Game Master's Guide
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Shadows over Vathak: Colonies - Player's Guide
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/23/2014 17:33:21
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This massive player's guide clocks in at 34 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with a massive 29 pages of content, so let's take a look!



Withered parchment, with half-concealed pencil drawings in the back, a small splotch of blood at the bottom right corner of the page - there's a reason layout designer and artist Rick Hershey is as prolific and well-regarded as he is. From the very get-go, you'll realize one thing - this book is beautiful. I own all Ravenloft supplements ever released and have a vast collection of horror-themed books beyond that. This ranks among the most beautiful - but that's one factor Fat Goblin Games always managed to pull off, so let's see whether taking John Bennett on board has helped the writing and crunch to keep a consistent quality - the intro-narrative on the parchments does make one hope for the best.



The very first thing you'll notice, would be emphasizing the peculiarities of the Vathak campaign setting and acknowledging a basic issue of the campaign setting - in its diversity, it, at least in my book, stretched itself too conceptually thin. Let me elaborate - Vathak can be seen as a kind of ravenloftish world meets colonialism meets full-blown warfare against the Old Ones. The lands have been conquered and colonized by foreigners following the pr se benevolent One True God (who suffers from a majority of corruption among the followers); before this backdrop of vanquished vampire lords, the warfare against the Old Ones is a pretty open secret in the world of Vathak, making it quite grim. Now this player guide acknowledges the potential disparity of playstyles, from psychological horror to full blown horror hack-'n'-slash and takes note, advocating communication - moreover, it de-emphasizes a black and white ideology thoroughly unsuited for horror gameplay and emphasizes shades of gray morality. Moreover, the pdf provides questions to guide players to flesh out their characters with regards to the colonies as a region and their mindset, providing a first, immersing guideline that does help make the setting feel much more concise.



Now, like any *good* player's guide, this one does sport several short entries of local towns and forests, all with legends and the like, without spoiling the truth behind the tantalizing and often rather unsettling tales. John Bennett's experience also shines through by providing a staple from Raging Swan Press - whispers and rumors of the respective environments, which can either be considered adventure hooks or just local color for the PCs to use to provide some in-game pertaining knowledge - nice.



We also receive traits that range from slight damage bonuses to easier stabilization, belief in elder gods, a remnant of necromantic bloodline that nets temporary hit points per cast to a scholarly (or rich) relative you can contact for money or to do your research for you - the traits succeed in one way: They are, unlike many traits, NOT boring. However, at the same time, their editing is not that tight - while universally conceptually cool, they have some minor (and I mean minor) issues - aforementioned necromantic bloodline grants you 1 temporary hit point whenever you cast a necromantic spell, unfortunately extending to the infinitely available cantrips. Will this break your game? No. But it's slightly less elegant that I like it to be. More annoying is the fact that not a single trait specifies its bonus type - it's supposed to be a trait bonus, every time, not just a "+1"or a "+1 bonus." This does not break the section, but it's an easily avoidable issue that may come around at later levels to bite one in the behind.



We also receive 9 new feats. The feats here range from mechanically interesting to dull/problematic - I generally like the idea to quick draw light weapons for a +4 shield bonus; Alas, the feat does not specify what action it takes, only that it's "Once per round" - this should probably be an immediate action. Then again, executing an AoO to a target who has attacked and missed you after you activating this defense makes for a nice parry-mechanic. Would you take a feat for +1 to atk, damage and survival versus lycanthropes and skinchangers? No? Boring? Yeah, I think so too. I mentioned "slightly problematic" before - adding a second attribute modifier to a skill can imho always be gamed, especially at lower levels, and +int-mod to BLUFF becomes somewhat problematic at lower levels; Remember, bluff also governs feint! This probably is not the intent of the feat, but the lack of closer restriction renders this use possible. Not a fan. A feat that allows you to gain a kind of information network for gather information via diplomacy would be pretty useful, especially in the context of Vathak. Staggering channel is imho broken, depending on the amount of undead you intend to use + channel dice rounds stagger for +2 channel energy uses is a pretty nasty save or suck for undead. Adding bleed damage to spells via metamagic is pretty cool, though the feat's wording could use a slight polish - " Whenever you cast a spell that causes damage, any creatures that take damage from the spell..." does not conform to how metamagic feat wording usually works and is slightly confusing, as it insinuates that the feat is applied to all spells. Now note that this feat is fully functional; this is just me being very nitpicky and no, I will not punish the pdf for this wording-wise..



Okay, so next up would be Lineage feats - what are these, you ask? Well, essentially they are a take on the horror trope of a sinister legacy your character may have - you know, the idea of tainted blood and the lure of its power that may turn you into the very monster you're seeking to defeat. Thus, they come with drawbacks that are hard to resist and LP-costs that represent one of 3 general stages of influence exerted over the character - and yes, they may prompt saves. The way to track the influence is via a Lineage Point score. Let's just say this: The concept is NARRATIVE GOLD. This is essentially one of the best takes on Ravenloft-like dark powers I've seen in ages and I *really* hope Fat Goblin Games will continue to expand the concept - two thumbs up, especially for horror games! Herein, a werewolf-themed lineage is provided and while I could begin nitpicking here as well, that's not my task and the concept overrides that voice in my head easily with the glorious fluff.



Speaking of which - the new items are awesome in their flavor and fluff: From hidden blade straps to odd roots, the items are damn cool, though the lack of proper bonus type codification once again has me gnash my teeth slightly. Want an example of a cool item? What about balls that contain silvery mist that potentially sickens creatures vulnerable to silver? Yeah, damn cool.



The magic items provided should also fit perfectly within any horror-themed game - from a mask that nets you a vampiric bite attack to a hide armor to transform into a wolf, the items and the new special weapon ability are nice - though e.g. not all spells have been properly italicized. Now I've been exceedingly nitpicky in this review so far, but it is my joy to pronounce that the new spell-section is pretty awesome - from better tumbling due to the protection granted by mirror image-like duplicates to turning into angry swarms of bats or conjuring instantaneous swarms that deal damage and vanish, this section conjures awesome imagery. As a special treat, we receive one glorious incantation to make all creatures in the AoE into animals - absolutely awesome in its details and fluff.



The pdf also provides archetypes, the first of which would be the many-masked rogue - masters of disguise and vanishing in the crowds, also tied to a neat organization. The advice provided for players and DMs also help make this one distinct. The wrathful hunter ranger is interesting in that it may forgo gaining additional favored enemies in lieu of a couple of different options for an array of solid options - not particularly awesome, but okay and solid.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting per se is rather nice, though the rules-language editing could have used another go. Layout adheres to a 2-column full-color standard...and this book is one of the most beautiful I've read by any 3pp, on par with LPJr Design's books. Yeah, that beautiful. The original pieces of full color artwork have their own, distinct and awesome style, rendering this book VERY beautiful. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.



John Bennett is one of my favorite authors regarding the genre of horror - he just *knows* how to properly weave a great tale. He can be considered a story-teller and yarn-weaver and for the first time, Vathak really came alive from the pages while reading this. The negotiation of the disparate elements have been subsumed under one cohesive, compelling narrative voice that provides a cool array of options. That being said, there are two components of being a game designer - the fluff and the crunch. John's talent in crafting superb prose suffuses this book and makes it a good read indeed and yes, the high-concept approach extends to the crunch.



Crunch-writing, alas, is less of an art form than fluff, more of a kind of craft. And it is here one sees that John Bennett lacks experience in that arena - from the universally absent clarification of bonus-types (crucial to stacking) to slight wording ambiguities and minor design issues with e.g. the feats, the execution of these falls behind the promise of the superb prose. Add to that missing italicization for spells and you get the idea - essentially, this one suffers from a bunch of beginner's mistakes. I'm confident they will be absent from future guides.



All in all, this is a nice player's guide with some pretty cool ideas - the lineage feats are one glorious concept (which, not so coincidentally, can easily be mixed with Zombie Sky Press' symbiote-rules from "It came from the Stars") and the prose is extremely captivating. More than that, though, this guide made Vathak feel more like a whole, less like a disjointed tangle of ideas, than ever before. The writing is great, and while not yet perfect, this book sees me in very high hopes indeed for the future of the Vathak-setting. My final verdict will clock in at 4 stars - this is an inspiring read and one of those supplements that make you immediately want to play in a setting, in spite of its minor blunders in the crunch-department.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadows over Vathak: Colonies - Player's Guide
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Monster Movie Matinee
by JEROME M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/15/2014 12:19:05
There's a Monster Movie Matinee Loose In Your Campaign!

Despite playing RPGs for a good thirty years, I had no idea that the first two 3PP monster books that I would buy for the fantastic Pathfinder RPG would come courtesy of a Fat Goblin! I was still basking in the afterglow of Mindblast! Classic Monsters Augmented and the psionic creepy crawlies within when I stumbled across the listing for Monster Movie Matinee - also from Fat Goblin Games. Being a long time horror fan and believe it or not indie filmmaker, I decided to scoop up a copy sight unseen - and I'm glad I did.

I downloaded the PDF copy right away but I waited until my softcover arrived to flip through it. This is a fantastic 26 page supplement of horror movie monsters converted to the Pathfinder RPG. CR ranges from 3 to 11 and it won't take much to modify those up or down as needed. When I opened the book, I expected to find a couple cool varations of classic Universal monster movies like vampires, mummies and lagoon creatures and I couldn't have been more mistaken - and wonderfully surprised by the contents within!

What you get instead is a list of ten monsters adapted from horror films ranging from classic to modern B-movies! Instead of vampires and mummies we have killer clowns and grey invaders alongside red and green sweater wearing nightmare stalkers! Fat Goblin Games brings you monsters clearly adapted from the main baddies of a plethora of horror hits such as The Creature from the Black Lagoon, Mars Attacks, Stephen King's It, Predator, Pitch Black, A Nightmare On Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Tremors, Little Shop of Horrors and Sharknado! Yes, you read that correctly!

These monsters are perfect for adding to any campaign as each one has its own appropriate envirnment. Currently running a wilderness based campaign and you need a more engaging encounter than another orc hunting party, then unleash the Jungle Predator on your unsuspecting PCs! Is your party is trekking through a forbidden swamp, then summon up the Aquamonstrosity from its murky depths to intrigue them! Are your PCs waiting around bored in town until they can catch the next ship to adventure, then call down a mighty Shark Tornado to make them afraid to go in the water again - or the land for that matter!

This little monster book is equal parts fun and fury and I absolutely love it! The story and encounter ideas practically write themselves! The book is error free and features the glorious full color monster art that Fat Goblin Games is known for.

What are you waiting for? Buy it today!!!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Monster Movie Matinee
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Mindblast! - Classic Monsters Augmented (PFRPG-Psionics))
by JEROME M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/15/2014 11:27:33
Mindblast Your Campaign Right Where It Hurts!

I recently picked up a copy of Ultimate Psionics from Dreamscarred Press and found that I loved the mechanics so much that I considered the additions absolutely indispensible. Unfortunately, Paizo has yet to fully embrace these alternate psionic rules therefore there is a paucity of NPCs and monsters utilizing the psionic rules. Dreamscarred recently released both an NPC collection and their complete Psionic Bestiary containing many magnificent new psionic creatures - but there was very little info on using classic monsters with psionics.

Enter Fat Goblin Games and MINDBLAST! Classic Monsters Augmented! Now, I have a fine selection of psionic versions of several classic fantasy monsters and I absolutely love it. We get psionic versions of the bugbear, barghest, owlbear, goblin, rust monster and several more!

Mindblast! Classic Monsters Augmented perfectly supplements Dreamscarred's Psionic Bestiary and Psionics Embodied without rehashing the same material. They're designed to sit side by side and that's exactly what they do on my shelf. I love monster books and having this little supplement makes my shelf happy.

Now, when my players want to dable in psioinics, all I have to do is reach for Mindblast! Classic Monsters Augmented and flip through the pages until I find an encounter appropriate for the setting. The text and information seems error free and the art for the monsters is quite beautiful.

Highly reccomended. Buy it today!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mindblast! - Classic Monsters Augmented (PFRPG-Psionics))
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Monster Movie Matinee
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/09/2014 21:28:56
Monster Movie Matinee provides ten new monsters plucked from horror and other movies and able to be dropped into a Pathfinder campaign. While some are probably best suited to one-shot adventures, others could be woven into an ongoing campaign. Pretty much, this product does what it says on the tin, if you want some movie monsters to bedevil your players, this is for you.

Monster Movie Matinee by Fat Goblin Games is a monster sourcebook for Pathfinder featuring versions of famous movie monster for use in your campaign. The monsters range from CR 3 to 11, a good spread, and while most are lone threats several can operate in groups providing a wide range of encounter options.

Each monster gets a two-page spread complete with full color illustration and it is an interesting collection of famous movie creatures and part of the fun is matching the creature to the source (though there is a watching list in the back that spoils all that). The adaption of movie abilities to Pathfinder is quite well done and there is some very nice design work here.

While I would have liked some magic items and adventure seeds tied to the creatures, most GMs probably already have their own ideas how to use them so it is not as much of an issue. A well done and most amusing product.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Note: Read more reviews and other gaming articles at my journal https://seaofstarsrpg.wordpress.com/

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Monster Movie Matinee
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Quick Covers- Landscape Edition
by Dale M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/04/2014 11:49:50
I've used these covers with 6 different products now and I plan to keep using them. They deliver exactly what is promised and they look good.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Quick Covers- Landscape Edition
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Publisher's Choice - Fantasy Design ( Interior Backgrounds #2)
by Dale M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/04/2014 11:38:29
I've already used one of these designs in a product and I'm going to be publishing one soon using another. These interiors are a simply, cost-effective way of giving your pages a real professional look. I highly recommend them.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher's Choice - Fantasy Design ( Interior Backgrounds #2)
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Enhanced Racial Guide: Bhriota
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/04/2014 10:16:30
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This massive racial guide for the Bhriota clocks in at 42 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page advertisement, leaving us with an impressive 36 pages of content, so let's take a look!



The Bhriota are a human ethnicity and as such, I feel I should mention one fact - I'm a huge fan of human "races" - chalk it up to my extensive reading of Sword & Sorcery literature, but I'd rather have different stats for different ethnicities than x pseudo-humanoid races with almost human cultures and outlooks. It's a matter of taste and thus, I am rather in favor of the base concept of the Bhriota. Now of course, one may suppose that such rules may not necessarily be perfectly politically correct, but then again, the same argument could be applied to all humanoid races, so I'm going to ignore this discussion for the matter of this review - as long as the fluff is great and the crunch lines up, I'm happy.



Now the semi-nomadic Bhriota are a people essentially sundered - chosen to be custodians of a seal holding the old ones in check, the majority of their race has succumbed inevitably to the seeping unearthly corruption imposed upon them by the dread things from beyond. Rules-wise, Bhriota receive +2 Str and Con, -2 Cha, +2 to intimidate, a bonus feat, weapon familiarity with axes and Bhriota weapons. Generally, the race is cool, but the dual statboost to physical attributes gear them slightly too strongly towards melee-roles for my tastes.



Extensive information on takes of the respective classes, outlooks on religion etc. are all provided and we also receive favored class options for all core and APG-classes - these generally are well-balanced. No issues here! As has become the tradition, Bhriota may choose from an array of alternate racial traits, which include exchanging the intimidate bonus for stealth or increased resistance against diseases and similar conditions, better CMD (or saves)for weapon familiarity. Once again, no complaints here.



We also receive 4 racial archetypes - the insane assailant can enter a reactive rage that also doubles as a confusion-effect on him in favor of better DR and scaling, powerful damage boosts. Over all, an archetype high in concept, if a bit on the weak side for my tastes. The Savage Huntsman ranger is a specialist of traps, being able to add negative conditions to their effects. Additionally, these guys may temporarily decrease their favored enemy bonus to attack a suiting creature and apply negative conditions upon targets - a damn cool mechanic: Finally, something interesting to be done with boring favored enemies! Over all, a cool one!. The esoteric binder summoners receive diminished eidolons in favor of expanded spell-lists and have his eidolon deliver touch spells. Thankfully with a caveat that prevents stacking of held charges. Spell-like abilities and an aura that cancels out morale bonuses and penalties make for an interesting archetype as well. Finally, there would be the Bhriota Witch Doctor - who uses con instead of int as governing attribute - highly uncommon! Patron-access is limited, though, and in order to learn hexes, these guys need to live through permanent disfigurements, which will see them ostracized in most civilized societies - the mark of agony clearly denounces them as adherents to unsavory practices and rites. In lieu of a familiar, these fellows receive a fetish mask to act as their channel to their patrons, which they later can enchant. Additionally, 1st and 10th level hex are fixed via the 2 new hexes: Rending hex duplicates a 1/creature/24-hours inflict light wounds, while another forces open wounds healed and deals damage + bleed - which can only be stopped by regular heal-skills, not magic. The first hex may be a bit much - every day, infinite inflict light wounds, provided you meet enough different targets feels a bit much, especially in combination with the con-based casting - con being the most useful stat for casters anyway and the lack of MAD of the witch class making this more grievous. While the implied social stigmata of this archetype, when properly evoked by the DM, may offset these balance concerns, unfettering this archetype from its fluff and the peculiarities of the setting may see this not work anymore. So, while not downright broken, one option that requires deliberation.



Next up are 10 new racial feats - Bloodlust being the first, allowing you to add base will-save (NOT the modified one) to atk and damage against uninjured foes. Wait...come again? While the bonus thankfully is not the modified will-save, the damage+atk bonus's scaling surpasses similar feats almost immediately and increases the mook-mowing capacities of charges and vital strikes further. With the rather low prereqs, especially for multi-class builds a nasty glass-cannon enhancer that needs some nerfing. +1AoO with unarmed strike is neat, as is better charging versus inanimate, unattended targets. rerolling fear-saves, resistance to saves versus disease and poison - per se cool. Odd, though - the Grudge Bearer-feat, which allows you to retaliate against racial hatred foes with +1/2 last received damage on the next weapon damage roll. Apart from the obvious means of exploitation, the race does not receive hatred - so it can't take the feat. Attacking unattended objects whenever you miss makes sense and applying wis-mod, if negative, as a bonus to will-saves while raging makes thematic sense for insane characters. Penalizing perception and concentration while in the presence of a non-instantaneous spell's area of effect at +1 spell level would be interesting. Making full-damage attacks against swarms as a standard action (somewhat akin to vital strike) also is within the boundaries of what I consider valid.



We also receive quite an array of different traits - from minor bonuses to small pseudo-rages and birthmarks that denote the chosen of the Old Ones, these traits generally are well-crafted and supplied with nice fluff.



Next up would be Bhriota Rune Magic - using the rules via Rune Catser and providing full synergy with e.g. how they are handled in Northlands and similar publications, we receive an array of various runes - including a total of 6 feats to dive into runic magic, should you not be familiar with the concept. The runes per se are rather awesome and well-balanced, though minor exceptions can be found - the Na'arlosham Rune for example, allows you to do the following: "Invoked upon a spear, the rune invokes divine favor from the Old Ones upon the first character who throws it over the head of an enemy force (nine or more opponents) in the next nine hours." -so what are the benefits? Another rune that nets you a bonus of +20 to the next bull rush attempt executed may feel a bit excessive. Why not opt for a scaling benefit depending on HD? On the cool-side - we receive a drawing for each rune - nice!



The Bhriota Shaman-PrC receives 1/2 BAB-progression, 1/2 ref and will-progression, full spell-casting progression, up to +5d6 sneak attack progression,d6 and 4+Int skills per level. The class receives a curse board with which to curse adversaries and special dances, which allow for the casting of particular spells (depending on the school) as spell-like abilities a limited amount of times per day. Alas, the class seems to have undergone some revision - the PrC's table sports various abilities like ranged legerdemain that are not listed in the class' write-up - while I *know* what these do, I'm happy they *seem* to have been cut - this PrC is rather strong even without them. That being said, the PrC is still feeling like it's missing half its content. Fun fact - Herbal Remedies, gained at 3rd level, is also missing from the table. So yeah, massive update glitch.



We also receive an array of cool, generally balanced and rather flavorful Bhriota-specific weaponry - sneak attack with specific darts reduces movement, special caltrops, a sacrificial kit - glorious pieces, even before the alchemical war draughts and war paints. A total of 4 different magical items, from aberration blood to insanely powerful, high-level bone rattles (almost 2K price!) and a cool two-bladed sword make for interesting options - the latter increases its enchantment by +1 upon scoring a crit, changing its bleed damage to cold damage for a limited time makes for an interesting mechanic. As a particularly nice service for guys like yours truly, we also receive a legendary weapon. These would be weapons that require specific wielder-characteristics and in turn, increase in potency with their wielder - the swords of legendary Vathak, Ataciber and Reratuv, scale in 10 steps over 20 levels and makes combatants truly fearsome indeed - a cool, almost artifact-level weapon-duo, though one I wished had some unique traits.



Now the next chapter would be among my favorite in this book - here, we receive tribal symbols and glyphs and complete write-ups of the corrupted, degenerate tribes. A total of 4 such tribal write-ups, full of great hooks, can be found herein and each write-up sports two exclusive alternate racial traits - no complaints there!



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are better than in any Fat Goblin Games-pdf I've read in quite a while - very good, actually! Layout is beautiful in all the right ways - the 2-column full-color layout is easy to read, beautiful and still printer-friendly. The full color artworks, original pieces, are STUNNING. Seriously, these pieces are GORGEOUS and have their very own style and allure, rendering this pdf over all a true beauty to behold. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.



Rick Hershey always had potential as both designer and writer. The glitches lay in the detail and so, the presence of line developer John Bennett is felt indeed - this pdf is a joy to read. Its fluff is superb and of a high quality that makes reading this pdf inspiring. The quality of the crunch also has seen a significant step upwards - the majority of the content herein is rather cool and there indeed are some rather damn cool ideas in here. That being said, the few broken feats and glitched, unusable PrC somewhat neuter this pdf's otherwise stellar track-record. Were it for the fluff only, I'd rate this 5 stars +seal f approval, but with the glitches, I can't go any higher than a final rating of 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4. Still, consider me rather intrigued about Vathak - I now really want to see where the Fat Goblin Games crew takes the setting with this increased quality!

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Enhanced Racial Guide: Bhriota
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Fat Goblin Games Presents: Carnival of Sinners
by Shannon J B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/07/2014 12:34:56
Excellent creepy setting. Perfect for even my Savage Worlds Gothic settings Im running.
Easy to change stats. Its the great writing, ideas and flavor that Carnival of Sinners gives that can be used by anyone for any era or ruleset.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fat Goblin Games Presents: Carnival of Sinners
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