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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://seaofsta-
rsrpg.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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The Otherverse America Catalog Spring 2013
by Michael D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/08/2013 12:36:40

Meh. The intro to the company's products... For an intro, it doesn't whet my appetite for more. In fact, it does the exact opposite.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
The Otherverse America Catalog Spring 2013
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Autorun -Generic Cyber-Hacking for D20 Modern
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/20/2013 06:50:05

Originally posted at: http://diehard-
gamefan.com/2013/05/20/tabletop-review-autorun-generic-cyber-
-hacking-for-d20-modern/


I have a confession to make: I don’t play enough cyberpunk games. Still, I am familiar with the whole issue of one player (the “decker” generally) entering the realm of cyberspace while the rest of the party does something else. Split the party, split the game master’s attention, make it easier to lose track of stuff. Got it, I see the problem. What Autorun is trying to do is to help solve or minimize the issues that this causes at the table, by essentially introducing a mini-game that the decker(s) can play while everyone else is doing their stuff they need to do.


Plug In


The introductory material for this sourcebook indicates that it can be used with systems like D20 Modern or Pathfinder (Pathfinder…?), but of course, it can be hacked to work with anything. The only real stats have to do with the various anti-hacker programs and decker equipment that use Difficulty Class (“DC”), the rest is just conceptual. The book also makes some presumptions, like that I would be playing a game where players wait for turns, that I would be using tactical maps or battle mats, and it generally assumes a sort of typical Pathfinder play experience.


Setting up a hacking event with Autorun is pretty easy, there’s a one-page 8.5×11 hex map to print out that represents the virtual space. After that gets put out, some sort of marker is physically thrown onto the map to represent “code walls”, spaces the hacker can’t pass through. Then, depending on how strong the computer security is, a number of programs are placed on the Goal space of the mat, and the hacker is placed on the Home space on the other end. Basically, the hacker has to get through the code walls and malicious programs to reach the Goal space.


Ride the Wave of Computer Use Checks


When a hacker is trying to gain entry to the virtual space, and when the hacker wants to do various things inside the space like kill, evade, or subvert programs, he or she is going to need to make lots of checks against Computer Use, or whatever skill is analogous to that in the game that is being played. Programs move automatically toward the hacker in the most direct possible way, so he or she will likely end up having to tangle with them. The book provides lots of possible programs to run against the hacker, from the lowly and weak Basic Gremlin to the Dracula program; each one takes up a certain amount of slots, which are the available space of the computer system to host programs. When the player has programs in a hex next to them, they are going to suffer damage. This sounds a bit arbitrary to me, but whatever. As mentioned, players can try to either kill, subvert (so that the program attacks other programs), or evade the programs around them. Each time, they will need to roll Computer Use.


Once a hacker reaches the Goal space, that’s it! Balloons fall from the ceiling, prizes are won and the hacker achieves whatever they were trying to do inside the system.


Autorun seems geared toward a certain play style, but I think it’s definitely a neat idea. It’s certainly a quick, tactical game within a game. It has shortcomings, like the fact that it’s very two-dimensional when a lot of the cyberpunk fiction we read talks about flying in virtual space or doing other crazy stunts (like things we see in The Matrix). The hacker is more like a running-back trying to score a touchdown than a traveler of the virtual world or a distinct presence and personality in the realm of cyberspace. Speaking of distinct presence, one of the cool aspects about it is that you can (and are encouraged to) use figurines to represent your avatar, so your virtual representation can be any awesome figure you have lying around. I like that.


My nigglings are a bit beside the point, since the book is meant to simulate a specific function: the decker hacking a computer system for a specific goal. It might also be fun to use the cyber-map when playing out encounters in virtual space, like the Black Sun club in Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash. The author offers several twists and optional rules for the mini-game as well, such as additional obstacles, bigger maps, or Sys-Admins who take you on personally. There are also lists of gear, hacker abilities, and decks. All in all, a good supplement with lots of neat ideas and a nice full-color board you can print out for play.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Autorun -Generic Cyber-Hacking for D20 Modern
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Free20: Forbiddance
by Janessa R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/20/2013 02:23:27

Well, you certainly get what you pay for with this free download. In short - it's terrible.


It's a very short PDF that basically lists types of undead and then turning restrictions for them based on well, they basically plucked reasons out of thin air. If you ate radishes in the last week, you can't turn undead killer tomatoes. In short, it's not only nonsensical, it's uninspired nonsense. I would say save your money, but it's free, so save your time instead.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Free20: Forbiddance
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Ley Lines
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/18/2013 13:03:40

If you have considered adding ley lines, or similar magical phenomenon, to your Pathfinder world this product should be a useful resource. Not perfect by any means, but a good starting point for thinking about such magics in a world.


Ley Lines is a Pathfinder source book from Scorched Urf’ studios detailing ley lines, that is the lines of magical force that can exist in a game world (and some say exist on Earth). It details various types of ley lines, divided by color, how they affect magic (and more) and what sort of patterns (“world lace”) they can form to enhance world building along with a meta-explanation for why multiple worlds have ley lines.


To further integrate ley lines into the existing rules there is: a goddess with a new clerical domain and nested sub-domains. A prestige class, Geomancer, whose skill list has not made the transition from 3.5 to Pathfinder. A magic weapon trait and new material (ley ash). With quite a few feats, some of which do not require ley lines including my favorite, Arcane Dancer, however I deeply fear that the Elemental Dominance chain of metamagic feats are overpowered and very abusable. Lastly there are traits linked to ley lines. This product provides a wealth of ley line related resources of various levels of usability.


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://seaofsta-
rsrpg.wordpress.com/



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Ley Lines
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The Nemesis Bestiary Volume One
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/13/2013 14:32:30

An interesting concept. 20 monsters complete with stat-blocks, art and description of their special abilities. There is almost no "fluff", just "crunch" to this book. The idea is you create the background yourself.

A lot of the monsters have origins that can be explained (undead, abberation) others just beg for their story to be told (whore eater and God Sperm for example).


Each monster was created in response to a piece of art. So somethings form can flow from function (Arm Stealer) or something else entirely.


If you want a book of ready use monsters, sans backgrounds, then this is a good choice.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Nemesis Bestiary Volume One
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Ghosts and Promises: The Secrets of Kodiak Island
by Richard A S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/09/2013 14:33:51

I can't believe i actually wasted my money on this... I'd have been better off going to the movie theater to watch JJ Abrams Star Trek (2009) at $40 for tickets and snacks.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Ghosts and Promises: The Secrets of Kodiak Island
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Otherverse America Campaign Setting
by Richard A S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/09/2013 14:13:44

In a quick word on what's wrong with this product.... this setting is beyond ridiculous. The political strawmen that makes up the setting is so far out there that it's not even funny. But the premise that Pagans and Pro-Choicers are the good guys, while Christians and Pro-Lifers are the bad guys goes into a whole new shock fest that has basically made up 'Otherverse Games' stock setting.


With the fact that this product line makes heroes of men like Kermit Gosnell makes me wonder just how far our entire society and culture has gone in what can only be classified as a free-fall.


The setting is colored by the worse aspects of creating Strawmen to argue against... and that's saying a lot after having taken the time to read the blog of the creator of this setting and quickly learned just how thin-skinned the guy actually is... and how quickly he wants to get into other peoples faces when it comes to his own stances, and then takes an overblown amount of offense when they don't automatically agree with him and yet still wish him well.


Now I admit that I gave this product a chance because I've liked much of what Skortched Urf' Studios has put out, and have parted ways with my money so I can get them... and i was sorely disappointed with this product, and felt like someone had taken a 50lb. Sledge Hammer to my head with the incredibly one-sided view on what should be an open and honest debate between two points of view. My personal belief is pretty much that the procedure should be legal, but it should be rare and not used as a form of birth control... nor do i support those who want to give mothers the right to kill a child after it's been lucky enough to actually be born.


Now the Pro-Choicers like to say that they want Abortion to be a rare occurrence, but at the same time they remain silent when butchers like Kermit Gosnell and the many other abortion mils show just what is actually happening in many of these clinics. They completely gloss over how these organizations were founded as a method of Genocide against minority groups. They don't want to stand up against the way these abortion mills have made select few billions of dollars at the expense of broken lives and dreams. And yet when someone on the Pro-Life side of the debate does get violent and kills someone... the entire movement comes together to decry this as going against the vary basis of what the movement has been about since it's founding.


And to have this history of actions is completely ignored or derided kind of shows where this setting is all about. Creating a political strawmen to tilt at while making the author feel superior to all those whom they despise for no good reason. And for that reason, I won't be making anymore purchases of anything associated with this product or it's creators. It's their right to write this, produce this and market this. My broken body, along with the honored dead I have had the honor of serving beside defending those freedoms of the creators of this product to do what they wish with their lives and their careers. But i still retain the right to decide that I will not purchase their products in the future. And I will continue to exercise this right by ensuring that I will not be having anything to associate with them.


And I will remain willing to die so that others may express themselves in this manner... but I will not be a patron of their products.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Otherverse America Campaign Setting
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Space Monsters, Volume Three!
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/21/2013 11:17:23

Claiming inspiration from low-budget 1970s space epics, it's not just stock-art that has been used to illustrate - indeed spawn - each and every monster. Some ideas and concepts are clearly there... take for example the adorable little Breeder Poof, a tiny fluffy beast that reproduces like crazy, or at least exponentially, at the drop of a hat. The notes do not mention if they like triticale seeds, but any follower of the original Star Trek will recognise the inspiration for these little menaces!


There is a whole collection of other critters here, all with copious notes on appearance and behaviour along with stats and a picture, plus a section headed 'Role-Playing' that covers not just the creature in question but their role in society as well. Excellent material to help you embed your space monsters into the universe rather than just use them as a monster-of-the-week to provide a spot of combat exercise for the characters.


There are constructs and ancient dinosaur-like creatures, even humanoids, all ready to stride across worlds and do battle... or even be cute and cuddly. It's good to see the 'monster' concept firmly embedded into space gaming, it's not just a fantasy thing!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Space Monsters, Volume Three!
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The Nemesis Bestiary Volume One
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/09/2013 12:29:52

This is 'yet another monster collection' with a few outstanding and unusual features that makes it noteworthy over and above the general usefulness to any GM of having even more monsters to hand...


Conceptually, it's interesting because each beastie has been created in response to a piece of art rather than a load of monsters being dreamed up and then artists commissioned to provide the illustrations. It's an approach which resonates, I once invented a monster when looking at a patch of light on the side of the bath... and it was such a good monster that a whole 3-part adventure grew up around it!


Even better is the way in which they are presented. Along with that inspirational illustration and a standard stat block, the descriptive material - background, behaviour, ecology, etc. - is written up in the style of a 'field report' - not only does this work remarkably well as an in character resource giving verisimiltude to each monster, it suggests the existence in your world of people who go around collecting and describing just like real-world naturalists do. Many suggest adventure ideas even as you read through them. Or perhaps you'll be inspired to play a naturalist character, it's a good role for rangers and certain types of mage for a start, or perhaps a cleric of a nature deity.


The creatures themselves are fascinating, ranging from quite vile (the Arm-Taker) to something that's beautiful (the Diamond Owl) or just plain strange (nearly all of them!). Many will work well in games where barriers between planes or dimensions are weak, you can just imagine them having come from somewhere that is a twisted parody of your own world, having slipped through a crack and possibly being as baffled by this reality as your characters are by them.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Nemesis Bestiary Volume One
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