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Black Operators
by Angelo C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/15/2015 00:31:01
This product greatly improves the races presented in the Psi-Watch campaign book (both Original and Ultimate Edition) and adapts them to the Pathfinder way of making races. They all have a number of alternative abilities to help further customization and make even a team made of a single race (such as Cityborn or Military Post Humans) feel varied. Hopefully there will be a Pathfinder edition of the Psi-Watch campaign book that will contain this and (fingers crossed) the excellent material from Psi-Watch: Issue Zero supplement.

If you have bought products from Skotched Urf or Chris Fields before you kind of know what to expect in terms of art quality and layout. This is probably one of his best looking books he has put out. There are some errors in the text, mostly repeated words but nothing that makes the text hard to understand.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Black Operators
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S.C.A.R.E. Vol.4 - Vasko Anurin
by Jim C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/25/2015 21:16:29
He's a complex individual serving what strikes me as a very useful function for a GM.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
S.C.A.R.E. Vol.4 - Vasko Anurin
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The Black Bestiary
by Barbara H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/20/2015 15:56:24
Hello everyone and welcome to the Black Bestiary review! For the purposes of full disclosure, I received a complimentary copy of this book for review.

Clocking in at 225 pages, this book has a massive 218 pages of creatures, with the rest of the page count being the cover, table of contents, monster-by-CR, and OGL.

As a caveat to readers, the book definitely has some mature material, seeing as how it was made for the amazing but extremely mature Black Tokyo setting. That said, many of the creatures can be reflavored to suit a less racy campaign, so if the problem lies solely with player sensibilities, you should be able to get a lot of use out of this book.

Many of the creatures are drawn from Japanese mythology, pop culture, and, of course, anime, so there is quite a wide range of creatures in this book. The monsters are well-researched and it shows throughout the book. I will, for the purposes of illustrating how great this book is and for brevity's sake as well, list some of the more iconic creatures within the book.

The CR 10 Amakaze are the souls of ancient businessmen corrupted by the Oni into fiendish undead with golden talons. These guys get SEVERAL abilities, including the ability to fire bolts of cold and dark Chi energy, put a 'spiritual bounty' on foes to induce a sort of frenzy on allied Outsiders, bribe dark spirits into coming to their aid by offering up some of their wealth, an aura that makes them and their allies look completely human, enhanced social and combat capabilities against poorer characters, and even the ability to steal wealth, sustenance, knowledge, or even a target's youth with their claw attacks. All and all, a VERY cool creature! To top it all off, there is even a more powerful version of the evil creatures, termed 'Executive Board Members', who are CR16 monstrosities that not only have the powers of their lessers, but can also become a dark shade that dims light and sheds murderous cold by shifting partially into the coterminous Black Else, they revive in their estates almost like a lich revives with it's phylactery unless their source of wealth is taken from them or destroyed (Which should prove quite a difficult task!), and it's claw attacks can now steal spells, INT, and even memories, in the form of levels, from those hit by their claw attacks! The executives are also bound to whatever country they reside in and suffer when leaving it, making it a pretty cool, if hard-to-exploit, weakness.

The CR 2 Aosaginohi are heron-like spirit birds whose silent presence foretells death and woe. They can turn into an ethereal mist-like state that allows them to enter any non-airtight building that is not hallowed or from which tantric sex has occured. They also have a permanent Deathwatch effect and can cast Death Knell, plus they have an aura that bolsters undead. While I would have liked to see this creature's statblock get more signature abilities, the flavor is just awesome and anyone who plans on using undead or evil outsiders owes it to themselves to use this bird as an ominous precursor to the attack, because it just adds SO much flavor to the encounter!

The CR 18 Bake-Kujira are the vengeful undead remnants of whales. These things are DEADLY with a capital D. They, quite obviously gain Swallow Whole as an ability, but this is the least of the massive beast's powers. It can sweep it's tail to deal slam damage to all creatures in a cone (Presumably in the back 180 degrees of the Bake-Kujira's profile, but it is not specified,). While above the waterline, they burn noxiously, creating concealing smoke that sickens and nauseates nearby creatures. Their most deadly ability, however, is Sonardirge. This ability, even while above water, is deadly, because it paralyzes those who hear it and fail their saves. When the Bake-Kujira and a target are below water, it is even harder to resist and deadlier as well, because being paralyzed while sinking in the ocean's depths is a very quick way for a character to drown.

The CR 14 Corpse Gallows is quite interesting. It is the remains of a gallows infused with the suffering, fear, and anger of those who died within its embrace, granting it a gruesome unlife. The base creature has 'noose arms' that allow it to quickly strangle those it catches, but it REALLY becomes deadly once it has a corpse within one or more nooses, using the corpses to deflect attacks from its main 'body', using the dead to bludgeon the living, and even consuming the corpse to heal and free up more Strangling Noose attacks. It can also freeze and look like a normal, if macabre, gallows. For all the power of the Corpse Gallows, a Resurrection or similar spell can instantly kill it by driving out the animating spirits, which is a neat weakness.

The CR 13 Dollmaker Ooze is something that bears mentioning. These acidic oozes were created by the Oni to turn the beautiful into sex dolls, gaining paralyzing slime, a suffocating engulf, and the ability to turn the dead into sex dolls. While I am deliberately trying to shy away from the more 'sex-themed material', this thing is EASILY reflavored as the tool of mad artists or demons, who use it to produce extremely life-like 'statues'. This should be roleplaying gold for even GMs who run campaigns in settings other than Black Tokyo.

Familiars are also covered, with several new familiars and reskinned or reimagined familiars also being present.

The CR 3 Hell's Maids are perfect tools for depraved nobles and evil arcanists everywhere! While hardly a physical threat, they can cast cantrips at will and heal nearby devils if they choose to not perform a full round worth of actions. The idea of a fiendish maid or butler is just awesome!

The Hyakki Yokai, a new player race, are HILARIOUS! They are, essentially, numerous very small demons who inhabit a 'woman suit' that they build out of leather and clockwork components, which they don to go about and have fun in. The little demons bicker amongst themselves, drink themselves silly, are extremely frisky, and have little grasp about human nature, which means roleplaying the little buggers is a study in silliness as they, unsuccessfully, try to ape humanity and come off as being some of the oddest people ever.

The CR 3 Ironbrother Yakuza are basically fiendish toughs who emulate the Yakuza. With abilities like Murder Zen and Too Honest, how could one not enjoy using these creatures?

The CR 15 Tottori Horrors are massive, Lovecraftian-esque monstrosities who operate on different terms in regards to space and time, able to 'store' rounds of inactivity and then unleash them in bursts of frenetic activity. Their alien intellect can incapacitate those who touch their minds, causing severe neural hemorrhaging that, if lethal, can transform the victim into another Tottori Horror. Not only that, but these beasts have 1,000 ft 'death rays' and powerful claw attacks and Regeneration 10 (Good or Lawful), making them extremely capable combatants. Make no mistake, these things are TPK machines!

All of the above creatures are but a small fraction of the well-made creatures in The Black Bestiary.

So, let's break down the book. The material is well researched and quite flavorful, giving the 'Fluff' score 5. The monsters are all relatively balanced according to CR, with a few small squicks here and there, but nothing that should diminish the 'Crunch' score of 5 that I feel it deserves. The art is a mix of stock art and commissioned art, both drawn and computer-generated, and is appropriate for the book, with several excellent pieces of art that remind me of the long nights watching anime back in high school.

All in all, I rate the book as being 5 star and highly recommend it to anyone that is looking for a book of solid, interesting monsters. I especially recommend it to anyone who has the Black Tokyo setting, because the material is spot-on for the setting.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Black Bestiary
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Free20: The Haunts of Black Tokyo
by Ben S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/08/2014 04:09:04
A nice group of plot ideas for a GM to flesh out based in Japan. Definitely worth your time to check out if you're looking for modern Japanese adventures.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Free20: The Haunts of Black Tokyo
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Otherverse America Campaign Setting
by Andrew K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/14/2014 02:25:42
First off does the author know what editing and formating are? Because the "book" seems to show a complete lack of both. Secondly I had no idea it was even humanly possible to be this laughably ham fisted about a political message, farms around the world are missing their scare crows because this book has so many straw men in it.

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Otherverse America Campaign Setting
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Sentai Sequel!
by Curt M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/27/2014 10:50:40
Rarely do I print out the PDFs I buy on rpgnow. This series is an exception. It contains a lot more options and some nice advice for integrating Fursona. Even if you don't play d20 / Pathfinder, there's some good genre emulation here that could port well into other games. A great follow-up would be a Fursona-style rubber suit kaiju / giant robot builder.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Sentai Sequel!
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Keys of Magic
by Micah B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/15/2014 10:45:12
This book contains 10 Magic keys. Many of which are interesting and even has one key which is split into four pieces and can be used as a campaign hook. The reason for getting 3 stars is because unfortunately 3 of the ten keys are somewhat unoriginal. Two simply add bonuses the way an amulet would, one adds a lock picking bonus.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Keys of Magic
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Fursona -The Definitive Guide to Creating Anthropomorphic Characters
by Patrick G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/08/2014 13:34:47
I purchased this looking for a TMNT/Yosag Jimbo type of rules. I was looking to create a homebrew "Justifiers" conversion to the D20 modern/future rules.

I was very disappointed in the furry fetish comments throughout. I really did not want to have obscure and sexualized material in the book.

I hope the author takes feedback and adjust future products accordingly.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Fursona -The Definitive Guide to Creating Anthropomorphic Characters
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Busty Extreme!
by Colin Y. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/16/2013 15:12:39
In a nutshell: this 'book' is terrible.

The art is terrible. Even for poser work, they are horrifically bad, with poorly considered lighting and stiff poses with garish photoshoped in backgrounds. The main ability's flavor text is flawed and vaguely racist (FYI: non-asians can be absurdly buxom in hentai as well). I understand that the idea was to make a big tits hentai themed D20M book, but this is badly executed all the way around. The abilities are badly balanced, and everything is named out of a bad American hentai dub.

It might have actually been good if written in a tongue in cheek manner, or even treated seriously as a magic system. Instead it is neither funny, nor interesting.

It's single redeeming feature is that it's mercifully short at only 12 pages long, with several half page spreads of the aforementioned badly done poser art.

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Busty Extreme!
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Nobility and Eros: The Noble Succubus
by gerald h. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/12/2013 05:50:01
This is a fun, and quite original race. There is good flavor & background provided; the reproductive cycle is unique. Tantric pool is unlike anything I've seen on another Pathfinder race. Makes them a little hard to rank, but mechanically they're probably in the lower half of the Advanced race bracket.

There's a large assortment of traits provided for Noble Succubae, and they seem pretty fun also. Also provided are guidelines for using the race in Skortched Urf's Otherverse settings. They seem like they'd be an entertaining option there.

Unfortunately, the space dedicated to Otherverse probably caused the most aggravating thing about the product. There aren't any Favored Class options, Archetypes or Racial Feats. They probably need a Sorcerer bloodline also, since they're neither Abyssal nor in any way connected to Celestials.

The other Native Outsiders are almost worth playing just for their Racial Feats. Instead of a chance to further develop supernatural otherness, the Noble Succubus get one general feat as a virtual. There aren't any Alternate Racial Traits or Subtypes either, but I'm not convinced they're necessary for this particular race. Not sure if the intention was to put out another book later with all the options, but they are sorely missed in the product.

There are also some parts that are vague or confusingly worded. None worse than their language description.

"Noble Succubi speak a strange dialect of
Infernal and Common. Their dialect is almost
incomprehensible to other Infernal speakers; true
Succubi especially have been known to disembowel
anyone speaking this ‘vile and offensive tongue’."

So what does this actually mean: they speak neither Common nor Infernal--and can't learn them as bonus languages-- instead only speaking their unnamed creole/pidgin (which is what it says); they speak both Common and Infernal, but have an excruciating accent and code switch more than anyone else can follow; they speak Common, Infernal, and their own (possibly secret) Common influenced Creole Infernalis? For that matter, why Infernal and not Abyssal? We are talking about Succubae here. How well do Common speakers understand them?

Overall, I love the race and think they'd be a good addition to a campaign. A Noble Succubus as a Summoner would be a strong power-build (they can refill their Tantric pool by making their Eidolon's night), and they'd also make great Oracles and Magisters.

However, there may be more work required to initially integrate them as a PC race than some DMs would like. Still at $1.99, it's a good buy despite the issues I've mentioned, and homebrew friendly groups should find a nice opportunity for further development.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Nobility and Eros: The Noble Succubus
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Razor Culture -An Otherverse America Sourcebook
by Benjamin M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/31/2013 15:57:22
I found this to have a nice punk/ cyberpunk feel to it, showing how the criminal males could be used to support the Lifers fight in the Otherverse World. It details a bit about how they live off the "grid" and are not easy to track for the "law enforcement".
The book also adds details of the life in the enclaves of the lifers, and how some of the things work within it, and how some of them work around the choicer that is not so clean and clear as the main book would like to be clear. It also has notes on some of the side services that are "covert" unless you are in the know.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Razor Culture -An Otherverse America Sourcebook
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D20 Decade: The 1980s
by Michael S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/13/2013 03:54:06
Some good to middling ideas in here, but mainly missing the point. My one major complaint is with his bibliography since there is a porn comic book. This illustrates something I have had a problem with this author in the majority of his offerings. Adult references are not appropriate to a product offered to the general audience. A waste of money.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
D20 Decade: The 1980s
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Front Lines of Choice
by Jason C. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/27/2013 22:13:44
So here's a puzzle for an RPG supplement reviewer. How do you go about talking about a game supplement that's so far out there that there's nothing really to compare it to? Gonna do my best with this one, in part because it's such lunacy that it really does deserve a closer look.

Front Lines of Choice is by the same author who wrote Choice & Blood, which I gave 3 stars to, because it had the very basics of some really interesting "organization-scale" roleplaying opportunities in d20 Modern, but was a bit of a jumble mechanically and wasn't well-put-together.

Front Lines of Choice, by contrast, takes the same concept - an abortion clinic - and updates it for the Otherverse, a 22nd century science fiction world where the issue of abortion has literally torn the world in two. A religious war between "Lifers" and "Choicers" rages, and these citadels, which are far more than just abortion clinics, have become crucial parts of it. They also serve as pagan temples, defensive military outposts and cultural icons for local communities.

The psychedelic Otherverse at first struck me as a somewhat clumsy attempt to stir up controversy with its central conceit of sexual license versus conservative religosity, but as I went deeper into the highly detailed setting, I started to appreciate it more and more. Science fiction has often translated modern day conflicts into fantastic setting elements in order to expand and explicate them, and the detail and care that has gone into the Otherverse is exceptional. I was finally hooked for good when I got to the section of Front Lines of Choice in which various character archetypes were given a choice of 20 one-paragraph background story outlines to explain how they came to join this particular faction and have their particular role. This is a setting that treats its characters and their motivations as real, at least within the bizarre milieu they find themselves in. You may very well need to get some other Otherverse supplements to get all of the jargon (and I certainly will be looking back at those now that I have a better grasp of the setting), but even without a full understanding you'll find Front Lines of Choice intriguing if you want to see a social conflict unfold in the concrete way that only science fiction (well, and superheroes) can do.

Everything I said was a weakness in Choice & Blood has been expanded into a strength. There are rules for setting up the strength and health of an organization, and a random event table to provide hooks for characters who are invested in it. Characters also get benefits from the organization, in the form of wealth, equipment and skill bonuses. Mechanically, the feats and talent trees are a lot better thought out. Some, like the feat that makes you really good at spotting concealed weapons (important for clinic defenders) seem like a natural fit for any sort of setting, but it stood out to me as an example of something mechanical that brought the Otherverse to life.

If there was one way I would improve this, it would be to make a version that was friendlier for the printer - especially the feat, equipment and motivation sections that would be most useful for players to have copies of while making characters or discussing characters.

So yeah, if you are not interested at all in the subject material, or you think your group would consider it too exploitative, or ugly, or divisive, give it a pass. But for what it is - a supplement about a futuristic science fiction organization based around being an abortion clinic in a world where that's the battle that everyone's fighting...well, how can I even assess it? It's absolutely one of a kind.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Front Lines of Choice
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Spells of the Animal Kingdom
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/22/2013 15:52:21
Spells of the Animal Kingdom by Otherverse Games is a collection of animal-themed spells, building from spells such as Bull’s Strength and the other animal-named enhancing spells. There are twenty-five new spells here (not counting the mass versions of the spells) divided up into minor (seven spells of 2nd level or below), average (twelve spells of 2nd level) and major (six spells of 3rd level or higher). Good things about these spells: quite a few of them are built around interesting non-combat applications and several of the combat oriented ones have interesting, if narrow, applications (Mongoose’s Alacrity will be prized by any dragon or snake hunter for instance, or Horse’s Swishing Tail which is an anti-swarm effect). Bad things: Several are missing the material component needed, others seem either too weak or too strong for their level, Bear’s Slumber is -inadvertently- a stunningly effective combat spell and Rabbit’s Fecundity just seems problematic. Still, there is a lot of inspiration here if you wish to play around with animal-themed magic just consider the effect of each spell carefully before allowing it into your campaign.

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:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Spells of the Animal Kingdom
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Sentai Spectacular! The Ultimate Guide to Playing Sentai Superheroes!
by H. G. C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/11/2013 08:28:21
Pretty good product all told. Someone did their Sentai research. Only drawback is that it isn't too clear about being d20 Modern based instead of 3.x D&D based.

Also dropping it an additional star because of the excessively glitzy color interior.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Sentai Spectacular! The Ultimate Guide to Playing Sentai Superheroes!
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