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Five Henchmen
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NPC Arsenal No. 4: Kitsune Mistress of Manipulation
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/15/2014 04:51:25
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This new series by Abandoned Arts offers you one NPC-build, a complex one - 3 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, 1 page character, so what do we get here?



The Kitsune Mistress of Manipulation at CR 7 is a straight level 8 sorceress of the Maestro bloodline - and at first sight, as an enchantment-specialist, that seems not particularly impressive complexity-wise. Where this build shines is in the small moving parts - from racial traits to feats, the character is thoroughly geared towards being a master-spy if there ever was one; With 4th level-spells at DC 23,a hat of disguise, a total of +45 to disguise and smart feat-choices that make this possible in the first place, this mistress should be considered an exceedingly good at evading/setting up PCs. Add to that the fact that the build is relatively neutral and you could either have a superb benefactor or deadly manipulator - in any way, she is guaranteed to be one of the top brass in any given social situation - though in combat exceedingly vulnerable and fleeing won't be an option, lacking any movement-related skills or thieving capabilities.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to a landscape two-column standard and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.



This kitsune is a master manipulator and top-brass in her given field, yes. However, as an agent/courtier, I don't think she works quite as well as she could, mostly due to not having any tricks beyond great disguises/social skills/enchantments. No stealth, no sleight of hand - as written, she is a great social manipulator, but not as cool/versatile an agent as she could have been. Hence, my final verdict will clock in at 4 stars - a good, but VERY specialized build.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
NPC Arsenal No. 4: Kitsune Mistress of Manipulation
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Racial Ecologies: Guide to Feyborn
by Thomas C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/09/2014 20:44:04
This was a really well-thought out supplement and professionally done. The dice-roll for fae traits was fun. Really an amazing find for 2.00.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Racial Ecologies: Guide to Feyborn
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Class Acts: Monks
by Nick S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/03/2014 09:55:54
I've picked up one or two other Class Acts before and enjoyed them quiet a bit but I'm sorry to report CA:Monks fell well short short of my expectations from others other PDFs. The feats presented here at the same dull monk feats you get pretty much everywhere else. Like most bad monk feat they are overly narrow and don't really evoke any sort of different feel from your standard fighter feats giving you a slight buff to one specific attack. They are not particularly exciting or imaginative, they don't offer very much in the way of new options and they don't even offer particularly strong buffs for the power gamer. Further since many of them have a lot of requirements they are not even the sort of feats you can take up casually but need to fully commit to the exclusion of other feats, as such I'm sad to say I'll likely never use any of these feats. While normally class acts are a steal at a dollar with CA: Monks I don't feel I got my money's worth.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Class Acts: Monks
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NPC Arsenal No. 3: Mercenary Pikeman
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/03/2014 03:07:11
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This new series by Abandoned Arts offers you one NPC-build, a complex one - 3 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, 1 page character, so what do we get here?



This time around, we get a human polearm master fighter 9 at CR 8 - finally some love for the poor, underutilized polearms! The mercenary fights with a glaive-guisarme and when pictured, should remind you of how fighting against Kilik (or any other long-range character) can annoy the hell out of you in Soul Calibur: With improved readied actions and pushing assault as well as vital strike, running against the readied actions of this guy will prove painful indeed. The extensive notes on further leveling the build and tactics of this NPC add more value, showing (gleefully so), how utterly evil this build can be in melee, with potions helping against some of the character's weaknesses.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to a landscape two-column standard and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.



A more than solid build centered on just being a polearm master, AoOs and readied actions, this build may not be the most complex one, but it is a fun build; One that should definitely make some PCs gnash their teeth. Now it's not a particularly complex build, but it's versatile and mobile enough to make for a fun NPC - taking the low price into account, I'll settle for a final verdict of 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5: A very good, if not exceptional build.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
NPC Arsenal No. 3: Mercenary Pikeman
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NPC Arsenal No. 2: Troll Witchdoctor
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/22/2014 03:08:03
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This new series by Abandoned Arts offers you one NPC-build, a complex one - 3 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, 1 page character, so what do we get here?



Well, we get a beastmorph alchemist 6/Gravewalker Witch 2 Troll for a CR of 12! Troll physical prowess plus beastform mutagen + buffing + enhanced spell/alchemy-empowered regenerative properties supplemented by smart item-choices make this one memorable BEAST of a character! Add to that a smart spell-selection that allows for the purchase of time for the buffing suite and the information on build and tactical notes provided should guarantee that your PCs will NOT forget ending on the business end of this shaman's longspear (or bite!). And yes, he can fight until -47 HP and has a good chance to negate crits - I can see players crying "WHY WON'T HE DIE!!!"



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to a landscape two-column standard and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.



OMG - THIS, ladies and gentlemen, is a prime example of a damn cool, smart build -memorable, deadly, versatile and thoughtful, this creature is GOLD. Ever wanted to go Resident Evil: Nemesis on your players? Yeah, this one's pretty close - and gloriously so! The Aasimar was neat, this troll is glorious: 5 stars + seal of approval and well worth the fair asking price!

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
NPC Arsenal No. 2: Troll Witchdoctor
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[PFRPG] Pug's Bazaar: Tent #2
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/11/2014 04:53:32
An Endzeitgeist.com review

The second installment in Tricky Owlbear's Pug's Bazaar-series is 12 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 10 pages of content, so let's take a look!



Written in-character like the sales pitches of Pug, we are introduced to a variety of curiosities and oddities in this supplement, first of which would be hexeater voodoo dolls - these essentially work as buffers for curse-spells and hexes, with each prevented one draining chrages from the doll. As a nice idea, each item herein comes with adventure hooks, the Hexeater's one dealing with the potential that these dolls that emit shrieks upon expending their final charge, may actually be linked to orphans...haunted orphanages...perhaps using lifeforce to fuel their protective properties? Disturbing!



Desert-dwelling characters may be interested in the Sacrabshell Breastplate, which is actually a +2 shadow agile breatplate that protects the wearer from heat dangers and damage incurred by sandstorms, even allowing the wearer to burrow at 10 ft through sand - cool armor!



Blasting bubbles are actually a new battlefield control spell that allows Magi and Wiz/Sorcs to place bubbles around the battlefield - these not only block squares (but not line of sight/effect), you may cause them to emit damaging pulses as standard actions - oh, and trying to destroy them results in unfortunate explosions - which may result in rather deadly chain reactions that may be a bit much damage-wise for the level. Still, since the explosions cannot be triggered by the caster without attacking the bubbles, I consider the spell interesting enough to consider it cool and working - oh, and the hook has a wizard trying to make the PCs destroy their copy of the spell, claiming copyright infringement. XD



Now if you like those blackpowder weapons, do you know about the new Dragonfury Cartridges? No misfire, no attack-roll, 30 foot fire cone, 7d6 damage, ref 16 for half damage. Oh, and there are ones for other damage types as well. Powerful, but also rather cool and limited enough.



I love battlefield control and Banerock Caltrops - these caltrops are not only more efficient than regular ones - they actually move towards a creature type specified and deal even more damage to said targets NASTY and cool!



We get another spell that deserves the moniker "nasty" with the level 7 sor/wiz-spell Portal Guillotine - warding a portal, door or similar gate, the spell deals force damage to those trying to pass it, potentially decapitating foes! My only gripe here is the lack of mundane means of disarming the ward.



Marionette Meathook Gloves act as +1 cesti and may be quite nice - where they start becoming sheer awesomeness is when the wearer is swallowed whole -DR 25/-, acid resistance 20 and apart from the usual way to lsoe the grapple condition, as a standard action, the wearer can attempt to hichjack the mind of the creature that swallowed him/her - will save or dominated... OUCH. Purple Worm tank/Dune, anyone?



The final new spell herein is Bloodfrost, for Druid 2, Sorc/Wiz 3, Summoner and Witch 4 - this spell deals cold damage, more so if the target suffers from bleeding wounds. Solid, but compared to the other pieces of content herein, rather common.



The Amplifying Wand Widget can be applied to wands to burn more charges, but apply specific metamagic effects to the wand's effects - at the cost of a 10% misfire chance on every use. Nice!



The final item would actually 3 i one - Gerzar's Amazing Unguents: Crimson Clay may be shaped in either a doll that can do easy tasks for you or into a protection from evil-effect or it may be ignited for small bursts via fire or electricity damage. Green Gel nets natural armor bonus, but decreases starting attitudes due to smell, can be stretched into a bubble that allows temporary breathing under water or be formed into bullets/sling-stones that deal non-lethal damage. Awesome! Finally, Purple Putty can be used for +10 to disguise (but does not affect clothes and must be of the same creature type and only allows for 1 inch height-difference), allow the user to walk over liquid or copy a page of nonmagical writing by pressing it on the page - I LOVE these! Kudos for all of them!



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to an easy-to-read, nice and printer-friendly 2-column b/w-standard. The pdf has no bookmarks, which is a minor bummer, but still okay at this length - though only barely so. The pdf offers awesome little b/w-artworks for each and every item herein, amazing at this fair price-point.



Author Wendall Roy has created a selection of items that is almost exclusively killer, bereft of components I'd consider broken and full of cool ideas, with aptly-written prose adding fun to the reading experience of cool items - add to that the top-notch production values Tricky Owlbear Publishing has provided here and we get one stellar supplement indeed - apart from the lack of bookmarks, I've got nothing to complain and honestly, I can't justify rating this down for such a paltry oversight - it's just too much fun! Final verdict? 5 stars + seal of approval!

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
[PFRPG] Pug's Bazaar: Tent #2
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CLASSifieds: The Saint
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/06/2014 06:22:58
An Endzeitgeist.com review of the revised edition

This pdf is 18 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, ~1/2 a page editorial, leaving us with 15 1/2 pages of content, so let's take a look at the saint, shall we?

Saints need to have the same alignment as their deity and get d8,4+Int skills per level, proficiency with the deity's favored weapon and simple weapons as well as shields and simple armor, but not tower shields. Saints get prepared divine spellcasting via wis of spells of up to 6th level from their own spell-list, 3/4 BAB-progression and good ref and will-saves and one domain from their patron's available list. Regarding their spell-list - the list has been modified and has lost, among others, expeditious retreat, moment of greatness ,timely inspiration,, vanish, gallant inspiration, control summoned creature, litany of sloth, litany of defense, litany of eloquence, litany of righteousness, glibness, litany of escape, litany of sight, primal scream, commune, litany of vengeance, getaway, veil but gained sun metal, reprobation.- all in all, still a strong spell-list with some exclusives, but not as broken as it was before.
Aforementioned domain deserves special mentioning, for it does NOT add the respective spells to the spell-list, instead converting them into spell-like abilities that can be cast interchangeably (essentially like the domain is cast spontaneously via a pool). The save-DC for said abilities is 10+1/2 level + wis-mod and are cast from essentially a pool: 3+Wis-mod cats per day, with spells level 1 to 3 costing one use, level 4-6 spells costing 2 uses and higher level spells eating 3 uses per day. A rather interesting expansion of the spellcasting capabilities - though I'm not comfortable with the increased DC - domain spells tend to be rather powerful and further increasing their DC might propel them towards regions I'm not wholly comfortable with - especially since they can't be counterspelled. While before, they ignored some of the costs, now saints need to provide costly components... which violates how spell-like abilities work: They have neither somatic, verbal, or material components and require no focus.

Saints add their class level to diplomacy and intimidate-checks versus unbelievers and get bonus feats at level 5 and every 4 levels after that - and that's the only ability to help the fluff-concept of a negotiator/peaceful agent of the gods. That's not the signature trick of the saint - said component would be favor, of which the saint gets wis-mod per day. They can be regained by vanquishing challenging foes with the deity's favored weapon and non-combat ways of gaining favor, like converting others and proving your loyalty are also included - essentially, we thus get a version of grit based on faith. And I love the idea. Seriously, my one complaint with divine spellcasting always was that it didn't FEEL like wonders bestowed by a god - but rather a class feature analogue to the one of arcane casters. Tying a class ability to a deity's favor feels distinctly divine to may and makes this a rather neat decision - so kudos to designer Tyler Beck for that!
A Saint's favor caps now at wis-mod. Furthermore, several graces may award temporary favor, of which a given Saint may have a maximum of one at any time and they only lass for class level rounds.
Where there's something like grit, there'll better be some mechanics akin to deeds - and we get them in the guise of graces: At 1st level, 3rd level and every 4 levels after that, the saint learns new favors, of which a total of 18 such favors are provided. Thematically, akin to deeds, there are some favors that require the expenditure of a favor point, whereas others are passive and work as long as you have at least one favor point in your pool. The favors per se are interesting - one for example nets the saint access to the bodyguard feat and expands it if the character also has combat reflexes, making it usable dex-mod times per day - really nice to see such interwoven rules. Since the graces now no longer allows for the infinite regaining of favor, no more complaints on my side. Another grace allows the saint to temporarily (for class level rounds) make his deity's favored weapon merciful and when s/he manages to render a foe unconscious with the weapon s/he gains a point of temporary favor. One minor nitpick here would be that the Saint could hand said weapon to an ally - while not getting the temporary favor, I'm not 100% sure that was intended. No penalty-points for this very minor ambiguity, though, since either interpretation isn't too strong. Favored Dodge has been purged and no longer exists..

There is also the so-called favored onslaught - an array of attacks that requires the expenditure of one point of favor, but nets the saint an additional attack at his/her highest BAB with the penalty of -2 applied to all attacks. As a caveat that makes this more viable regarding the saint's less than stellar BAB, favored onslaught uses a full BAB to calculate the attacks at -2 and also requires the use of the favored weapon of the deity and while it can be used in conjunction with two-weapon fighting and similar attacks, it does not stack with haste-based effects. This is essentially the saint's signature offensive ability and it can be combined with two weapon fighting. I applaud the courage of this decision, as most designers won't touch the mess that is something like flurry of blows with a 10-foot pole, much less potentially combining it with TWF. The ambiguities that hounded the previous iteration of this ability have been thankfully cleaned up, though it still requires careful deliberation on the side of the player.

At 3rd level Saints benefit from the "In Harm's Way"-feat as long as he has at least one favor point and gains a temporary favor point whenever he takes an attack for an ally. They may also use a bard's fascinate ability. They may also spend favor to increase the DC by + 2 when casting spells that influence the target's attitude - note that per the wording of the ability, this means that the domain spell-like abilities cannot be enhanced this way! (Otherwise you'd have me complaining about a high DC being increased even further...)
At 7th level, Saints may spend favor to cast cure-spells on allies at range, with one point making the range 15 feet, 2 points increasing it to 30 feet. To heal e.g. dhampirs, he can use this ability in conjunction with inflict-spells, but either application may not be used offensively. Wording-wise, this ability is slightly ambiguous since e.g. heal and similar conjuration [healing]-spells probably should be covered as well. That's nitpicky, though. Saints also may, as a swift action, spend a favor point to bypass up to 5 points of DR (unless it's DR/epic) with his/her favored weapon or add for one favor silent spell to his/her spells sans increasing the spell level. Unfortunately, no action-type is given for this application of favor and the ability can be added to spell-like abilities, which makes no sense since last time I checked, spell-like abilities had no verbal, somatic or material components.
At 11th level, Saints learn to spend favor to channel energy as a cleric of his level, but NOT power this ability via temporary favor. Furthermore, the Saint always may choose whether to channel positive or negative energy and always uses the variant channeling rules from Ultimate Magic, halving dice, but adding an effect depending on the Saint's chosen domain. Also at this level, the Saint gets bonuses when s/he interposes him/herself between allies and foes and further increases the amount of bypassed DR when using the righteous strike grace, dealing bonus damage, which even multiplies on crits. Not a fan of that one since it runs contrary to how bonus damage is handled in almost all other cases – this may lead to some confusion in the long run.

At 15th level, saints may sacrifice all remaining favor and take 1d6 points of damage on ALL physical attributes - but also save an ally that would otherwise perish. VERY cool last second save ability that comes with enough of a drawback to be considered well-crafted! The saint also gets a now fixed protective aura that slowly increases over the levels. Saints may also spend favor to pay for expensive components of their domain spell-like abilities...which makes sense in the context of these domain-spell-like-abilities, but it should be noted that the domain-casts per default are spell-like abilities and thus would not require material components in the first place - hence also my complaint in the original review (and here again) that these are slightly too powerful. Essentially this whole grace is moot.

At 19th level, the Saints may use divine vessel with favor for class level rounds, further improves righteous strike and shorten the casting of a spell from standard action to swift action via 2 points of favor - thankfully not working on the domain-casts.

As a capstone, we get an outsider-transformation, that nets the celestial or fiendish template, with neutral saints being able to choose as well as smite like a(n) (anti-) paladin 1/day and essentially sees the saint turn into a herald-like figure of the deity, including some exclusive casts that may only be used if they pertain their divine mission.

We also get three new feats: Expanded Favored Weapon, which allows you to use abilities that would usually require wielding your deity's weapon to the weapon's whole group (As if the basic ability wasn't powerful enough already...) and one for +2 favor points per day. The final feat adds +2 uses for the domain spell-like ability pool.

The pdf also features massive lists of favored class options for ALL core races, featured races and uncommon races -kudos, since some of them actually are very unique: Kobolds e.g. getting 1/4 ranger trap fits nice with their racial theme.

The updated version also has two archetypes for the Saint, first of which would be the Temple Guardian, who gains no spells, but retains the domain spell-like abilities (with all the issues they entail). They do get access to ranger traps, though these may only be placed close to places of worship. Instead of favored onslaught, the Temple Guardian gains access to a monk's flurry of blows as long as he has at least 1 favor, useable freely with unarmed strikes and the favored weapon. Problem here - sans improved unarmed strike, flurry of blows using unarmed attacks is a bad idea at best. Why is flurry of blows powerful here? Choose ANY deity with a two-handed weapon and you’ll know why – Greatsword-flurry. Yeah. Ouch. Not every DM will be comfortable with this. Temple Guardians also learn to spend a point of favor to create an aura that makes foes shaken (later frightened) on a failed save, consecrate areas via favor (allowing them to use ranger traps). They also get a sense on a limited area of 10 ft./level and can determine the presence of non-believers. So....do heretics count? What if an area is high? As written, the ability is 2-dimensional. Also: What type of action is designating the area in question? No idea. At 19th level, the temple guardian can meditate 1 hour to create portals to the nearest temple of his/her deity, a portal only he can use. So...can this portal be blocked by teleportation-hampering/redirecting spells/effects? How wide is it? Does it have a CL, if so, which one? Why is it SU when it does what spells do? Can e.g. a siege engines drawn by designated horses go through? Is there a limit on the amount of beings/material that may pass through? Could he create a portal to empty e.g. a small sea into a temple by designating that the water may pass? Can such a portal transcend planar boundaries of demiplanes or full planes? Many questions and alas, no answers.

The second archetype would be the Dark Apostle: Instead of favored bodyguard, these individuals get a rogue's sneak attack of up to +6d6 as long as s/he still has at least 1 favor remaining. Dark Apostles also get the poisoner (ex) quality and may gain temporary favor by poisoning creatures of a CR of at least their HD-2. Due to the cap of temporary favor still okay in my book. They may also spend favor to have their weapon weep a special profane poison (which is rather potent at DC 10+1/2 level, wis-mod rounds frequency, 1d3 Con and 2 required consecutive saves) and spend favor when sneak attacking foes to set them up for easier disarm attempts. At 7th level, one particular ability is hardcore broken here - Forget Secrets. As a SUPERNATURAL ability, the Apostle may cause nearby foes to forget the last minute, dazing them. While only usable once in 24 hours on a target, the ability ISN'T mind-influencing: No protections, no counterspells. That's insane and would change how many organizations work. This needs to AT LEAST be (sp) and mind-influencing. At higher levels, Dark Apostles may spend favor to make extra attacks against foes they sent into the dying state, shadow jump. At 15th level, the Apostle exudes an aura that causes non-allies to forget to forget all that happened inside the aura after 1d4 minutes - since this counter does not start upon leaving the aura, this is a permanent amnesia-machine. This is so insane. The aura requires no conscious effort and is maintained as long as the Apostle has at least one favor - an apostle could steal YEARS with this ability, by mere continued presence. Again, no protection since it's supernatural and not mind-influencing. Oh, and the Dark Apostle gets 1/2 class level to disguise, bluff and sleight of hand as well as a modified spell-list.
.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting, while not perfect, can still be considered very good - I didn't notice significant typos. Layout...is DROP-DEAD-GORGEOUS. I mean...beautiful. Evocative. Awesome. The full color artworks also help here and make this pdf a true beauty to behold. The pdf has no bookmarks, which I'd usually complain about - but this pdf is extensively hyperlinked: With the good kind of hyperlinks - you know, the ones that take a lot of effort. Where a hyperlink actually pertains to the right content -even the dispel alignment-spells are properly hyperlinked and you won't see e.g. "will" hyperlinked to will-saves when it does not refer to them! My hat's off to Fat Goblin Games for getting this right and for the significant increase in production values they have achieved since the last pdf I've read from them!

So this is author Tyler Beck's second shot at the Saint and he has learned from his last beat-down - with cleared-up rules-language, vastly improved abilities and better balancing, the saint now actually works as intended thanks to the introduction of the concept of temporary favor. The DC for the domain-casting is still too high, though, and he unfortunately did not get the mechanics of spell-like abilities right, which extends to some of the graces.

So no, the new saint is not perfect, but it's a VAST improvement, with the newish/modified graces kicking ass. What about the new content? Oh boy...well...I'm sorry to say it, but I wouldn't allow either of the archetypes in my home-game. The Temple Guardian is rather weak (unless you go greatsword/similar 2HW-flurry) and his limited ranger traps do not pay well for the loss of spell-casting. Add to that the fact that some of the archetype's ability require further clarification and that one falls through for me. The Dark Apostle is just downright broken: Poison, spellcasting and the insanely powerful amnesia as well as the ability that is an all-but-de-facto guaranteed kill on downed foes conspire to make this archetype too powerful. Add to that the fact that the aura requires clarification and we get an archetype that gets so much more than it loses.

So...how to rate this? Well, the base-class is *MOSTLY* fixed, but unfortunately, the archetypes require some work. There still are no bookmarks in here, but the hyperlinks are great. Were it only for the class, I'd settle for a final verdict of straight 4 stars, but with the massive issues of the archetypes, I'd have to go down to 3.5 stars, rounded down. My final verdict will be in-between, at 3.5 stars, with a recommendation to ignore the archetypes. Whether you round up or down much depends on your personal preference, personally, I'll round up because I REALLY like the concept of graces and how they feel divine.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
CLASSifieds: The Saint
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NPC Arsenal No. 1: Drunken Aasimar Sensei
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/06/2014 05:47:56
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This new series by Abandoned Arts offers you one NPC-build, a complex one - 3 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, 1 page character, so what do we get here?



Well, we get a middle-aged aasimar monk (drunken master) 9 - as a peculiarity, the build gets lesser age resistance as a Spell-like ability and Panther-style feat-tree. The NPC comes with extensive notes on how the build was made, what magic items can further supplement it and tactical options, which make running the build much more comfortable (and fast!) for the beleaguered DM.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to a landscape two-column standard and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.



This pdf delivers exactly what it promises - a moderately complex build for a NPC that would take quite some time to put together for a solid, fair price-point. I don't have much to complain here and seeing the NPC is high in concept and nicely built, I'll settle on a final verdict of 4.5 stars, rounding up to 5 since I don't consider it to be a brilliant build or too complex, but still interesting enough to warrant a heartfelt recommendation.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
NPC Arsenal No. 1: Drunken Aasimar Sensei
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NPC Arsenal No. 4: Kitsune Mistress of Manipulation
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/15/2013 11:15:17
Occupying but a single page (so handy to slot into your game notes...), this presents an 8th-level NPC, a Kitsune Mistress of Manipulation (just why the product page says 'Mistress of Enchantment I'm not too sure!).

The character is definately a schemer, but can be shaded towards good or evil as you wish. She might be a spymaster or other court intriguer, rather than a criminal mastermind or thrall to some dark deity. A detailed stat block is provided as well as plenty of background notes.

Interestingly the first part of the notes explains the thought behind the build of this sorcerer kitsune. As well as showing you how she was put together, the rationale makes it possible to make intelligent changes as required to suit your needs.

There are also some tactical notes, although to be fair this character is not one for whom violence is a preferred option. She'd rather hire or otherwise manipulate others into engaging in brawling on her behalf or to further her ends, than do it herself! Yet should the distasteful need arise, she's perfectly capable of defending herself.

A neat character, just the sort of person you could imagine spinning intrigue and plots throughout part of your campaign world.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
NPC Arsenal No. 4: Kitsune Mistress of Manipulation
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Amazing Races: Halflings!
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/05/2013 03:56:19
An Endzeitgeist.com review

By now you know the drill – 4 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 2 pages of content, this time for halflings, so let’s take a look, shall we?



We kick off this pdf with three new feats:

-Combat Improvisationist: Whenever a foe larger than you misses you, you gain the benefit of aid another versus that foe as if the opponent had helped you. This is simple, flavorful and elegant – two thumbs up!



-Halfling Gourmand: +1 to skill-checks (+2 to food-related Craft and Professionchecks) as long as your last meal is no longer than 3 hours past. Meals require 30 minutes to count as such. Nice idea, if a bit weak for a feat.



-Halfling Pipe: +2 Performance (oratory) + (comedy), also inhale inserted drugs as a free action while smoking and add +1 to the DC of your fascinate bardic performance DC, if you have it. Nice idea –personally, I would have loved some slightly more pronounced benefits/more smoking feats.



As per the tradition, we also get new traits, this time around 3 of them for either +1 use of adaptive luck per day, controlling frightened mounts as a move action instead of as a standard action and gain the well-prepared feat, but only for food/drink-related purposes. If you already have the feat, gain +1 use. Nothing to complain about these.



We also get 4 alternate racial traits: One nets you alertness, one that increases effective skill ranks for purposes of skill focus and similar feats by your wis-mod (which is rather cool), one that nets you +2 to atk after hitting a creature with an AoO and one that does not penalize your AoOs when fighting defensively – which is neat as well – not only for Halflings.



Now the archetype you probably won’t have seen coming: We actually get a gunslinger! The Shire Sheriff (kind of redundant name since sheriff etymologically derives its meaning from shire+reeve, but oh well…) - the archetype gets an expanded skill list (and 6+Int skill points…), but needs to take the feat to handle two-handed firearms. Now rather interesting and in line with the non-evil alignment, the shire sheriff gets slightly less grit (wis-mod -1, min 1), but actually regains grit whenever he manages to call for parlay or make foes submit nonviolently. AWESOME! When readying shots versus foes, they may also penalize them, even if missing the shot. Shire sheriffs also get their nimble bonus to diplomacy and sense motive, twice the amount versus cowering/shaken opponents. Instead of bleeding wounds, shire sheriffs can avenge allies brought below 0 hp by a foe within 24 hours, getting a massive +4 damage and finally, at 15th level, they may fire warning shots into the sky to make enemies cower –awesome to get one last chance to use non-violent means. Simply glorious!



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any glitches. Layout adheres to Abandoned Art’s 2-column no-frills standard and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.



Daron Woodson has created one intriguing pdf here – from the feats, which could be slightly stronger, but ooze cool concepts to solid traits and alternate traits, he manages to breathe some style and iconic panache into what is widely considered one of the hardest races to make cool – but the true selling point of this one would be the archetype – with the exception of its redundant name, it offers true coolness and is an avid depiction of a gunslinger not only as a good guy, but actually as a force of law and order. With neat non-lethal capabilities, unique tactical options and its modifications, it is a prime example for good archetype design – it’s not mechanically brilliant, but it doesn’t need to be – it’s just a good, fun archetype to enjoy and one lawmen of all firearm-using races will use in my game. Add to that how the other crunch manages to pin down peculiarities of the rather hard to pin down essence of what being a Halfling means and we arrive with one damn fine offering of the series and well-worth 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Amazing Races: Halflings!
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Fat Goblin Travel Guide To Horrible Horrors & Macabre Monsters
by Chris Z. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/21/2013 10:29:01
To be open and honest, I was allowed a copy of “Fat Goblin Travel Guide to Horrible Horrors & Macabre Monsters” to check out and do a review. And thank you to Fat Goblin games for allowing me to do that.

I really enjoyed this book. The first thing that stuck out in my mind is that every monster entry had a full color illustration. This is fantastic. Most of the art is from Rick Hershey and it is very cool. I said to myself, man I want this as a print book.

I must admit I am a print copy guy. I fully understand that pdf is a very affordable and solid option for 3rd party companies, but with this book especially, I thought the art looked so high quality, that I wanted to own a print book of this product.

As far as the monster content goes, it has a large collection of varying creatures. I believe its 47 new monster entries. As I looked through the pdf, I kept thinking to myself, okay I want to use that monster, or oh that would be very cool in a Vathak campaign. For those who do not know, Fat Goblin games also produces a campaign setting called Shadows over Vathak, and with this pdf, I might very well be running my next campaign in the Vathak world. A lot of the entries seemed to fit very well in Vathak. This is not to say that they couldn’t be used in any other campaign world.

I am not a huge fan of monster books, mostly because I usually run pre-made adventures, but with this pdf, I could easily see myself wanting to write up an adventure or two using these monsters. Great Job guys.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fat Goblin Travel Guide To Horrible Horrors & Macabre Monsters
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Amazing Races: Tengu!
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/20/2013 04:01:23
An Endzeitgeist.com review

You know the drill by now – 4 pages of content, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of content, this time for the Tengu-race, so let’s take a look, shall we?



As always, we kick this pdf off with new racial feats, this time a whopping 8 of them:

-Carrion Feaster: Improved Carrion Feeder; Immunity versus 1-save ingested poisons and 1 save less to cure; also bonuses are increased to +4.

-Carrion Beak: Don’t take ability score damage or negative conditions from diseases, but still spread them. Appropriate and since it requires some serious feat-investment to unlock, still ok, if powerful.

-Glider: Get lateral movement of 5 ft. when falling for every 15 ft. of falling.

-Glittering Greed: Appraise the most valuable object on a foe – fast, and get a bonus to CMB for attempts to disarm or steal it.

-Ki Screech: Spend two ki points to emit a 15 ft. screech that deals remaining ki pool points damage. Quite weak.

-Shrill Screech: Potentially deafen victims of your screech for 1 round.

-Tengu Nightwing: When changing into giant raven form, you get +4 to perception and darkvision 60 ft.

-Tengu Terrorwing: Gain the grab quality when in raven form.



We also get two new traits, with one offering +1 to Knowledge (history) and linguistics and one becomes a class skill and the other allows for +2 to disarm and steal in a surprise round.



We also get two new alternate racial traits: One nets +1 to natural weapon damage and treat your HD as BAB for gaining the Improved Natural Attack feat, whereas the second reduces your weight, improves the fleet-feat by +5 ft if you have it and nets you +2 to acrobatics – especially the latter is rather cool – weight and height feature all too rarely in crunch like this.



The issue’s archetype would be the Kenjin Lorekeeper, a tengu wizard archetype with some uncommon premises. The Kenjin Lorekeeper may replace arcane bond and add a massive bonus to Knowledge-checks, potentially stacking with bardic knowledge and furthermore eliminating a couple of prerequisites for the loremaster PrC. Also rather interesting – in lieu of wizard’s bonus spells, these tengu can get either style feats or ninja tricks (but NOT rogue talents!) – that makes for a surprisingly versatile and iconic archetype in such a small allotted space.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting re very good, I didn’t notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to Abandoned Art’s two-column no-frills standard and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.



So…Tengu. I expected this pdf to be redundant when compared to e.g. Rite’s “In the Company of Tengu”, but it isn’t – instead, we get some rather cool options, unique feats and alternate traits rock and the archetype is neat as well. While not all pieces are glorious, generally, you’ll definitely get some awesome pieces of content herein for a more than fair price. My final verdict will hence clock in at 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Amazing Races: Tengu!
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Feats of Evocation
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/19/2013 03:58:46
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of Abandoned Art’s more feats-series is 3 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 1 page of content, so let’s take a look!



-Brilliant Light: Deal nonlethal damage to light sensitive/blindness creatures that enter the area of your spells with the light descriptor, but only once per cast. Very cool!



-Disruptive Evocation: Increase the concentration DC of those damaged by your spells.



-Elemental Evocation: When using an elemental spell metamagic-enhanced evocation with a duration of concentration, switch element each round. Interesting, though very specific.



-Evocator: Apply improved critical and weapon focus to evocation spells.



-Evoker’s Wand: Use 1 charge from the wand to unleash a ray at 1d6 per spell-level of the spell contained. Interesting mechanic, though it could use a cap. (And yes, I'm aware of the 4th level cap of wands etc. - It's matter of similar wording. For the whole discussion, check Endzeitgeist.com)



-Evoker’s Staff: As Evoker’s Wand, but for staves, with increased range – and weirdly, it damage caps at 4d6, whereas the wand-feat has no cap.



-Force Missile Font: Sacrifice up to wizard level spell levels when preparing spells for an equal amount of additional force missiles.



-Improved Elemental Evocation: As its lesser form, but applicable to any non-instantaneous, non-permanent evocation and usable as a move action. Opens some rather interesting tactical options.



-Shimmering Force: Radiate light with force spells.



-Viscid Force Spell (Metamagic): Grant non-instantaneous force ffects regenerative capabilities à la fast healing 10. +1 level. A bit weak for my tastes.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I didn’t notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to a no-frills landscape two-column standard. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.



I did not look forward to reviewing this one. In fact, I expected it to at best bore me – the opposite was the fact – for the most part. There are several feats herein that open up some rather interesting tactical options for evocation specialists. That being said, the feats also vary rather in their power – between weak and on the upper end of the power-scale, there is some diversity in here, and in the details…some feel a bit off. The lack of e.g. a cap n the wand-feat, the rather weak light-shedding of force effects… there just are some examples herein that could have used some balancing in one direction or the other. Hence, in spite of really liking several concepts, their respective executions did not always win more and thus will result in a final verdict of 3 stars: Some gems, some duds and some rough edges.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Feats of Evocation
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Fat Goblin Travel Guide To Horrible Horrors & Macabre Monsters
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/15/2013 07:22:55
Complete with a beautiful fat goblin in hiking gear on the cover, this book contains nearly fifty of the most horrible and depraved monsters you've ever wished not to meet when out for a stroll.

Each monster comes with full-colour illustration, complete stat block and comprehensive notes to aid you in situating it appropriately and running it in combat... most are not the sort to consider a chat over a drink with passing adventurers. Even the sentient ones tend to the ferocious and hostile and as for the rest - well, the Bone Gorger is just after your bones, for example, and is none too particular whether you are alive or not when it gets to eat them.

There are some innovative constructs here, too, like Clockwork Children and the Arc Hound. There's a sad tale behind Clockwork Children. They were created originally to ease the grief of those who lost children to accident or disease - but some abandoned them once they had come to terms with their loss.

Clockwork Dead, on the other hand, are an horrific combination of corpse and construct, moving jerkily around and created by the collaboration of necromancers and artificers to serve various ends, none of them particularly pleasant.

Many of the monsters herein are well suited to 'jump-shock' horror, surprising unwary travellers and proving themselves to be just as unpleasant as they look at first glance. Yet watch out for that nice young lady in the tavern - she might be a Masked Ghoul, poised to resume her normal form and feast upon you rather than with you.

Conveniently, most are contained on a single page, so you can print out just the monsters you need.

An excellent collection, and you can never have too many monsters, after all!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fat Goblin Travel Guide To Horrible Horrors & Macabre Monsters
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Fat Goblin Travel Guide To Horrible Horrors & Macabre Monsters
by Joshua G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/15/2013 05:59:14
I am associated with Adventureaweek.com, were I operate as the main PDF monkey. My reviews are written with a desire to remain unbiased as many of the designers, writers, artists and publishers are considered friends to me. Having said that I am first and foremost a reviewer, and in respect to these people and their product I intend to evaluate this product honestly and fairly.

Fat Goblin Travel Guide to Horrible Horrors & Macabre Monsters.....wow that is a serious mouthful of a title. 52 pages, in full bleeding color populated with 47 entries from the minds of Jason Stoffa and Rick Hersey, all crafted to life with the art stylings of Mr. Hershey. Format follows the standard format for creature statblocks from Pathfinder, with the creatures kept to a single page per creature. Personally, I love the idea of single page creature entries, as if I want to print out a few critters for a session they tend to look far more cleaner when they are not sharing half of a page with something else.

The range of creatures here are quite varied, with some things in this collection that will easily make a playgroup work for their lives, with others leaving them scratching their heads wondering if perhaps you have lost your mind, lol....but we'll get to those soon enough. The majority of what you will see here is new art in this collection, with a few pieces that have appeared in other products Rick was involved in one way or another. There are a few pieces here from the Creaturedaily collection, and I am thrilled to see them come to light for all of those who might have missed these creatures the first time through. There are a few editing hiccups, the Table of Contents lists 48 creatures when there are in fact 47 (Stonework Guardian was separated into two words and listed on two different lines), and the bookmarks could possibly use a polishing (spacing, capitalizing and several two word names split into separate bookmarks). So, all of that out of the way, shall we take a look at some of these critters? It is the reason we are here, right?

The Artican will start us off, a variant giant with some seriously unique abilities that allow it to transform into a living snowstorm. How freaking cool is that. Their skins are branded with rune shaped coverings that give them not only great resistance to heat, but leave them conducting cold as well. Am loving this giant variant, a great design paired with an awesome piece of art that I can guarantee will be finding themselves at my table to menace my players. The Blighted Creature is a great template for giving a GM an instant variation to what their group might be used to facing. Created by exposure to those spaces we all know not to dwell for long, the blighted creature comes with a d10 random table for quick and easy creation of the new version of the base creature, with an art piece that is freaking great, although shows the creature with an apparent breath weapon, or perhaps ate really strong chili for lunch, lol...either way, a great and easy to apply template.

Clockwork Children, all that needs to be said here. Creepy, very very creepy. Druboar answer that question for us, If human stock gave us the minotaur, what would orc stock give us? Not going to lie, I'm digging it. Offering essentially another creature to take the place of the standard minotaur in an encounter that will present you with something perhaps your players haven't already fought a thousand times before, not to mention that its new tactics and ecology give more options for how to utilize it in the encounter. Oh, and for the record, Rick? Get to work on getting miniatures freaking licensed, seriously, this thing needs to be available as a miniature.

HagWasp Swarm just might be my favorite addition to the creatures presented here. A swarm of lethal wasps that can bring the pain with their Nightmare Fever poison, these freaking winged killers bring something far more dangerous to the game, Hag Servant. Able to be used as a familiar by a coven of hags, this freaking swarm takes on an entirely new level of dangerous, very quickly. Didn't I mention that these are on my top list? There is just so much win here for an evil GM to devastate for fun....ah, the screams and lamentations....sweet music to the ears......ah, sorry, didn't realize you are still here...ahem..so, moving on...

The Imperial Cannon reminds me a lot of the canon golem, albeit far more refined to its shape, and purpose. A very cool idea, both in design and visual presentation (OK, seriously, will someone out there with some sculpting skill (or knows someone working with one of these smaller mini companies) get a hold of Rick and do some talking about licensing some of these into minis, please!!). Mousling, remember I mentioned a few that might leave people scratching their heads. So, an anthropomorphic mouse, standing at around 4 to 4 1/2 feet in height, with the ability to take advantage of their capacity to share space with others of their race. OK, at face value it would be real easy to look over these creatures, but when you slow down and look at them, and what you can go with them, suddenly they are not so cute and funny looking, they take on an entirely different light and threat.

Going to end this with the Wing Worm. A tiny flying critter that tend to travel in groups of 100-1000, and eat anything in their path. Their bite comes along with an acid that plays havoc on the best defenses, along with a bore and infest ability. A tiny cloud of fyying worms with the capacity to devastate an entire community if not dealt with properly. Just another reminder to your players that they are not the end all be all, and there are still things in the universe waiting to eat them lol.

So, one page for an ad for another line carried by Fat Goblin Games and the OGL and we're out of pages. So, wrapping it up.....the minor issues with the editing are all fixable, which is always a good thing. The creatures lend themselves to feeling like things a GM will want to use, and the design is solid to support the concepts. The art is visually inspiring or making one want to use the creatures. Yeah, am having a real hard time coming up with anything to really complain or whine about here, lol....perhaps the fact that I want a miniature or two made? The fact here is that this is exactly what you want to see in a bestiary, and am impressed with what the Fat Goblin Games guys have produced, this is an excellent collection of creatures. A solid 5 star rating, and well worth the price of admission folks. And guys, get this into print, I want it on my shelf.

edit- all corrections required to handle the TOC and the bookmarks wre handled within minutes of the Fat Goblin crew having it brought to their attention. This is the mark of people who care, and are willing to fix things. Thanks Rick!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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