RPGNow.com
Browse
 Publisher Info













Back
Other comments left for this publisher:
Spell Themes: Fog
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/17/2014 07:04:06

Originally posted at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2014/01/17/tabletop-review-spell-themes-fog-pathfinder/

I remember well my days with AD&D, Second Edition. With the help of a single first level, rarely used spell, I managed to stymie many a fon, stump several DMs and get some extra experience points for creativity with it. That spell? Little old Wall of Fog. I was able to do the same thing with Obscurement when I played a Cleric, but that would wait until I could cast second level spells. I have so many fond memories of fog based spells and how they’ve kept my characters alive even when my dice had turned against me, so it’s no wonder that I picked up Spell Themes: Fog, the second in the Spell Themes series by gannet games. Yes, they put their name in all lower case; I’m just following their lead.

For only a dollar, you get seven pages of mechanics involving fog. The other four pages are the two covers, the OLG and a cover page. There are new spells, new feats and new takes on old favorites that didn’t necessarily make the jump from TSR/WOTC to Paizo. I’m actually shocked at how much content is crammed into this piece. You get a whopping TEN feats and TWENTY new fog based spells. That’s right, all in just seven pages. There are no pictures aside from the front cover, just tiny text so that everything can fit into this one PDF. The layout is a bit odd as they have one feat, Fog Mastery, then the spells and then the rest of the feats. I think this was to highlight the aforementioned core feat, but the piece would have flown better had it been all spells and then feats or vice versa. It’s also a disappointment that the spells are Wizard/Sorcerer only, as several of them feel like they should be Druid spells as well. Still, these are minor quibbles on an otherwise amazing job.

Let’s talk about feats first. Fog Mastery lets you switch out a spell for a fog based one similar to a Cleric’s quick healing ability. Dismissible Fog lets you end your fog spells early. Energy Fog lets your fog do damage. Hollow Fog allows for a clear area in the mess, giving your side a tactical advantage. Moveable Fog is self-explanatory. Resilient Fog makes your fog spells hard to dispel. Curtailing Fog makes your fog spells harder to traverse through. Sickening Fog adds the sickened condition to any fog spell, making them all quasi Stinking Cloud spells. Finally, Sparkling Fog turns those that walk through it into a Mormon Vampire (Okay it hampers vision). These are all pretty interesting. Most of these require a specialization in Conjuration (Old school D&D in me save Evocation/Invocation or Alteration) or to have the feat Spell Focus (Conujuration). A caster’s Spell Level must be between 3rd and 5th as well, meaning these are out of reach for the lower level casters that live or die by fog spells. Now that doesn’t mean you still won’t use these feats once you have access to them, just that many gamers tend to go for the more damage dealing feats at that point.

Spells in this supplement are: Asphyxiating Fog (3rd Level), Choking Cloud (4th Level), Clinging Fog (3rd Level), Cutting Fog (4th Level), Dampening Fog (3rd Level), Expanding Fog (3rd Level), Fog Burst (0 Level), Fog Shape (0 Level), Following Fog (2nd Level), Greasy Fog (6th Level), Guided Fog (3rd Level), Hanging Fog (2nd Level), Intoxicating Fog (4th Level), Irritating Fog (3rd Level), Restraining Fog (5th Level), Rolling Fog (4th Level), Rusting Fog (6th Level), Shadowing Fog (3rd Level), Tenuous Fog (1st Level), and Wall of Fog (2nd Level).

Again, all of the above spells are a lot of fun and a very defensive or clever gamer can make great use of these. It’s also great to see Wall of Fog back, but it is a bit disappointing to see it at second level instead of first where I am used to it. Ah well, that’s why I’ll play 2e instead of Pathfinder, eh? The spells suffer from the same minor problem that the feats have and that’s that once a character is powerful enough to cast them, their eye is more on crazy damage or spells with more lethal effects. The 3rd level spells especially suffer from that since it’s the time you get everything like Fireball, Lighting Bolt, Vampiric Touch, Fly Haste and so on. That’s not a flaw with the spells in and of themselves – just a note at how most gamers tend to play their wizards.

Overall, Spell Themes: Fog is fantastic and the fact it only costs a buck means that any Pathfinder gamer worth their salt should download this. It will give you a ton of great options for a more defensive or trickier based wizard and more a DM, some of these spells will drive your players crazy. Big recommendation here.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Spell Themes: Fog
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

TEXT_CLICK_TO_REPLY
Spell Themes: Fog
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/14/2014 10:54:33

Some folks don't bother with fog-based spells, preferring other more offensive ones... but even as they exist in the core rulebook they can be useful, and now they are taken to new heights in this little collection.

The main use for a fog or mist is to hinder creatures that make use of sight - whether you are trying to sneak past unobserved, or wish to evade someone's gaze weapon... or even make it hard for them to use ranged weapons against you. But as you will learn here there are other things you can do with them.

First up is a Fog Mastery feat, which allows spontaneous casting of fog/mist spells. Then there is a whole collection of variant fog spells - asphyxiating fog, choking cloud, clinging fog, cutting fog (which has nasty sharp ice crystals in it), dampening fog, expanding fog, fog burst, fog shape, following fog, greasy fog, guided fog, hanging fog, intoxicating fog, irritating fog, restraining fog, roiling fog, rusting fog, shadowing fog, tenuous fog, and wall of fog. All of these give you different options and some are really quite nasty.

Then there are some more fog-related feats, including some metamagic ones that enable you to alter the parameters of whatever fog spell you want to cast. There's just a lot to play with... and GMs would do well to study this to think of ways of thwarting advancing parties of adventurers, too!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
TEXT_CLICK_TO_REPLY
Wondrous Creations 7: Monstrous
by Shane O. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/03/2013 19:58:03

It’s a sad fact that monsters get the short end of the stick where magic items in Pathfinder are concerned. It’s not that most monsters can’t necessarily use most magic items, per se. Rather, it’s that none of the magic items in the Core Rules – or even in the expansions – speak to monstrous abilities specifically. Sure, anybody can use an item that boosts their Charisma or gives them a higher AC, but where are the items to protect against channeled energy or help heal constructs?

The answer is that they’re found in Wondrous Creations 7: Monstrous, from Gannet Games. This book presents almost four dozen new magic items, all of which put the monsters first. As the title indicates, all of these are wondrous items, all written in the familiar Pathfinder format.

In terms of presentation the book is a spartan affair. There are no illustrations of any kind to be found here. Each of the items receives a sentence or two of description, however, so the text does help to flesh out how each item looks in addition to how it functions.

Said functions are fairly multifaceted, as they vary widely in what sorts of being can use them. Some, for example, are targeted at very narrow ranges, such as the cohesion sphere, which stops oozes from splitting when damaged. Others can be used by almost any sort of creature, such as the pouch of usability, which contains a small magic item that affects whatever’s carrying the pouch (e.g. so a naga can put a ring in there, and receive its effects).

While a few are specialized in being used against creatures of a certain type, the vast majority of these are made to abet monsters. A few have universal enough applicability that anyone can find some use for them, such as medusa syrup, which turns the gear of a petrified creature back to its normal state, while leaving the creature itself still petrified.

Overall, what I enjoyed most about this product was the element of verisimilitude it presents for a Pathfinder game world. Monstrous spellcasters that make items are going to inevitably make some that are specialized towards their needs; it’s here that we get to see such creations. Armor that’s designed to aid flying creatures, for example, or goggles designed to let creatures restrict the always-on nature of their gaze, are something you’d think would be more common. And of course, GMs will get a mildly sadistic kick out of their PCs slaying the monsters only to find magic items that they can’t use.

Show your PCs that there’s more magic in the world than that of men and elves. Some wondrous items are monstrous in what they do.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Wondrous Creations 7: Monstrous
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

TEXT_CLICK_TO_REPLY
Wondrous Creations 7: Monstrous
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/23/2013 11:40:10

Adventurers go to a lot of time, trouble and expense to kit themselves out with suitable magic items to enhance their combat prowess and confer other abilities. So do NPCs, at least that's the way GMs and scenario authors build them as if they had done the same during their careers prior to meeting the party.

But what about monsters? Many are capable of using magic items, or at least benefitting from their effects if carrying or wearing them. Most of the existing items could be retooled for 'monster' use, even if you might need to change them a bit - turning a ring into an armband or bracelet, for example, or rigging a collar for a creature that doesn't have regular limbs - to enable them to be worn or carried.

But that's advice that can be written in a sentence or two, and of course you get much more in this product - a whole raft of devices made for (and perhaps by) monsters for their own use. Most could be used by anyone... although an Amulet of Life Aura, for example, is really only of use if you are undead and wish to conceal that fact from the world!

Some serve to enhance natural abilities of monsters, just as regular items enhance character abilities - so for example a Harness of Swift Flight enhances flying capability in a creature who can already fly.

Although this will be of most use to a GM seeking to enhance monster capabilites in new and interesting ways, those who have a familiar or even a companion animal may just find something their friend can use here. A nice selection of items in an area as yet unexploited.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
TEXT_CLICK_TO_REPLY
Ruster's Blood
by Peter I. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/18/2013 15:05:32

Ruster's Blood is a 54 page pdf adventure for the Pathfinder RPG suitable for characters of 4th level. The adventure is entirely location-based, meaning it can easily slot into any specific campaign setting. The product is neatly presented and well organised, with some excellent and detailed maps. The product is strangely devoid of any art, and even the cover doesn't feature anything specific. Nevertheless, the overall impression is one of professionalism and dedication to delivering a good product.

In this adventure the characters are approached by a miner who enlists their aid in assisting him rescue his co-workers and recover his mine, after it was attacked by some unknown assailants. The adventure takes place in the mine itself and the region directly surrounding the mind, and will take the characters on a wild ride through the mine and into it's deepest and darkest depths. The characters will face multiple threats once they reach the mine, not only from the those involved in the initial attack, but also from new inhabitants that have since claimed the mine as their own. The characters will need all their wits about them if they're to break into the mine, vanquish the initial foes, and then plumb the depths of the mine to get to the bottom of the who the mysterious attackers are.

I found this to be a fun adventure, with plenty of opportunity for tactics, strategy and roleplaying. This isn't an adventure for the faint-hearted, as the combat encounters can be quite tough and often deadly. In a way that's one of my few complaints against this product - due to the difficulty of some of the foes, the party will experience a case of fighting one battle, retreating for the day, and then repeating the same thing the next day. I would've preferred to see a more dynamic approach, particularly on the deeper foes of the mine. I think the initial breaking into the mine should be a fun challenge, although I would imagine that some parties would find it frustrating. The adventure itself could've done better to cater for different eventualities, again more specifically with reference to the final foes of the adventure. Here it could've explored peaceful solutions, or alternative offerings as a way of concluding the adventure.

I thoroughly enjoyed the creatures and characters of this adventure, and I think they make an interesting and eclectic challenge. I would've liked to see more motivations and personality here and there, but by and large there's a lot to go on. This adventure has a lot of potential, and creative DMs can develop it further or expand the adventure with tie-ins to future adventures. The location of the mine is well detailed and interesting, and is realistically presented with some good attention to detail of mining terrain, activity and difficulties.

Overall, I think this is a strong adventure. Characters will have some fun, particularly if the DM can develop the action a little more dynamically than the adventure currently explores. It would've been nice to see more attention to roleplaying as a solution to certain scenarios, and perhaps negotiation as a means of solving problems. Still, it's a well presented product with good attention to detail, strong writing, challenging encounters and lots of interesting new creatures and magic. Good adventure.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Ruster's Blood
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

TEXT_CLICK_TO_REPLY
Publisher Reply:
Thank you for reviewing my product! It is much appreciated.
Fight for Freedom
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/05/2013 04:10:11

This is an evil little side adventure to spring on your party when they are asleep!

The backstory that introduces it is compelling and coherent, telling of conflict between two monasteries and a climactic battle in which one enacted a kind of magical 'self-destruct' as a last gasp of defiance... only it didn't quite work as expected, with one monk (who really didn't want to die with his comrades) left sort-of alive and trapped. He of course is now trying to escape, but for that he needs to entrap the living and use their life-energies...

The complex in which the characters find themselves is well-described, and allows for combat and investigation skills to be used as they attempt to figure out what is going on and how they are going to get out of it. They are not the only beings trapped there, and the monastery has its own guardians (mostly mechanical) as well, so there is plenty to fight. Tactics as well as stat blocks are provided just where you need them to facilitate the flow of the adventure.

It's a particularly neat adventure because it doesn't matter where your characters are or what they think they are doing (well, apart from sleeping!) when you hit them with it. It might be particularly effective with a party that has not had much contact with an 'oriental' style region in your campaign world (if you even have such a thing) but could equally well work for a game that's set in an oriental-style world. After all, as it involves other-worldly dimensions, being a demi-plane, it doesn't matter if it's native to your campaign world or not!

An Appendix has a new monk archetype, the tortured spirit monk (they reckon everyone's ki energy is there for them to exploit, so unless your campaign is particularly evil, it will be an NPC archetype), as well as a new monk feat and a couple of templates. Mostly these are used to explain some of the creatures to be found in this adventure, but you may find uses for them elsewhere.

Overall, something nice to have to hand. Perhaps your characters are getting just a little complacent and sure of what they are doing... so give them a little surprise one night!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fight for Freedom
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

TEXT_CLICK_TO_REPLY
Ruster's Blood
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/12/2013 08:11:08

This is a well-constructed adventure for low-level but experienced characters (around 4th level), which melds a classic 'dungeon crawl' with a good backstory and plenty of misdirection as to what is really going on down there. It is written so that you can drop it in to your own campaign world with little more effort than finding a suitable location, and yet will contribute to the ongoing development of that world thereafter.

The product opens with a detailed exposition as to what is really going on before covering the likely course of the adventure itself. The introduction for the characters is well-described and makes the classic 'someone approaches you in an inn' not sound completely clichéd: a very worried mine owner needs help, he thinks claim-jumpers or bandits have taken over his mine and some of his workers - and his brother - are trapped down there. It's a few miles out of town, but can they help...?

Every stage of the journey to the mine and then what happens in its depths has been detailed clearly, with plenty of options to enable the GM to cope with just about anything that the players might choose to do. Stat blocks are just where you need them with additional bits like good thumbnail descriptions to read out and notes on how each being encountered is likely to react - not just in combat, but should characters try to talk instead. Too many adventures assume you'll fight all the time, it makes a nice change! Naturally, some of the current inhabitants of the mine will attack first, given the opportunity - but in places when it's appropriate you get two responses for the same individual: one if they know the party's there and one if they are surprised by the party.

The potential to succeed, if not to find out abosolutely everything that's going on, is there but things could go horribly wrong. Some notes are provided about how to help the party out if needs be, and on likely outcomes of the adventure. Some may lead to further exploits, but on the whole it is quite self-contained.

A rather neat new sorcerer bloodline (which I won't tell you about as it might spoil the surprise of what's down there!) and some associated spells are given at the end. There are also a few useful new magic items, especially if you're interested in mining. Maps are clear and simple to understand.

Overall this is a very good adventure. I just wish I hadn't read it... I suppose I'd better round up some players and GM it instead.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ruster's Blood
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

TEXT_CLICK_TO_REPLY
Ghostly Powers
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/22/2013 04:20:24

In terms of Pathfinder undead encounters, ghosts must be feeling somewhat left behind by the current plethora of fascinating haunts... this product goes some way towards redressing the balance by providing a wealth of options to make ghosts more interesting, more challenging and quite unique.

This is done by presenting a range of powers and a carefully-devised system to enable the creation of specific ghosts balanced for whatever level you need and tailored to the circumstances that caused that particular ghost to come into being. A nice feature is that each power is linked to an example ghost, showing how the power is appropriate to the death of whoever has become the ghost, making the whole thing fit together and make far more sense within the context of the alternate reality in which the game is set.

Mechanically, a ghost gets a power for every three levels of CR it has, with a minimum of one which, to maintain the specific character of ghosts, must be corrupting touch. A few are denoted as being more suitable for the higher-CR ghosts, being ones that can present a significant challenge and so are more appropriate to higher-level parties, a neat touch for those who like to maintain game balance rigorously.

The new powers are quite wide-ranging. Many are further touch attacks or area effects which continue with the concept of ghostly nature by enabling the ghost to exert a malign influence by its mere presence. An example of this is the dead air power, which renders an area around the ghost unbreathable - any creature that enters the area must hold its breath and even worse, if it fails a Fortitude save, the air can be literally sucked out of its lungs! The risk of suffocation becomes very real. The example ghost given for this effect is that of an unpopular miner left behind by his co-workers when trapped in a rock fall. He slowly suffocated, cursing them to his last breath.

The other powers, some 17 of them in total, are in like vein and should prove useful in deigning ghosts that have point and purpose, and which exert baleful effects appropriate to their backstory. A well-considered resource.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ghostly Powers
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

TEXT_CLICK_TO_REPLY
Displaying 1 to 8 (of 8 reviews) Result Pages:  1 
0 items
 Hottest Titles
 Gift Certificates
Powered by DrivethruRPG