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Everyman Minis: Cleric Options
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/15/2018 05:33:44

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Everyman Minis-series clocks in at 9 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page advertisement, 2.5 pages of SRD, leaving us with 3.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

In a sidebar on the introductory page, we are introduced to the feat Domain Flexibility (minor complain: Benefits and Prerequisites sub-headers are not bolded properly). This feat allows you to choose to gain the powers of a subdomain of your chosen domain, or the domain powers associated with your chosen subdomain when preparing spells: You can basically switch them, depending on your needs, but only within one domain/subdomain micro-tree – so no switching between subdomains granted by different domains. Similarly, the feat has a caveat that prevents the switching out of locked domain powers. Kudos. A bit of flexibility, but not so much that it’d become problematic. Also: Kudos for not stumbling in the rules-language here!

The main meat of the supplement is devoted to a total of three new cleric archetypes, the first of which would be the Bloodseeker. These fellows are locked into the War domain or Blood subdomain and deities worshiped must grant access to the War domain. They get diminished spellcasting for non-domain spells and may use the War domain’s battle rage on herself; this nets the bloodseeker a +2 untyped bonus on atk-rolls and +1/2 cleric level, minimum 1, as a bonus to weapon damage rolls, but only with the deity’s favored weapon. Bonuses are properly classified as sacred/profane, depending on alignment. This rage lasts for 1 + Cha-mod rounds and replaces the first channel energy.

At 3rd level, 5th level and every 2 levels thereafter, the bloodseeker gains a rage power, which may only be used while under the effects of the battle rage. Before you ask: No, you can’t cheese this: Barbarian rage powers and those granted by the archetype may not be used interchangeably. Totem rage powers must correspond thematically to the domains available to the deity, which provides a helpful thematic consistency. This ability replaces later channel energy gains. At 4th level, the archetype can Quick Draw the deity’s favored weapon and gains a +2 bonus to critical hit confirmation rolls with it. Additionally, the archetype is treated as fighter levels for the purpose of feat-prerequisites. At 8th level, when dealing damage to a target with the deity’s favored weapon, the character may, as a swift action, sacrifice a prepared cleric spell of 1st level or higher, choosing one so-called injury, which lasts for a number of rounds equal to the spell’s level. These injuries basically represent debuffs: Penalty to AC or atk that are more severe versus the bloodseeker, bleed damage based on spell level, etc. Cool: Interaction with mundane and magical healing is properly covered.

The second archetype herein would be the Flame Warden, who gains proficiency with light armor and simple weapons and the deity’s favored weapon instead of the standard list. They also only get one domain, which must be the Fire domain, not its subdomains. These fellows channel fire via Elemental Channel (fire) and may only heal creatures of the fire subtype; channeling to harm may actually be used to either deal fire damage to all creatures without the subtype, or harm creatures with it. At 4th level, the archetype can shape the channeled energy into 30 ft.-cones or 120 ft.-lines. Cool: Ability mentions the effects of holy vindicator’s versatile channel and the synergy of abilities. At 8th level, the flame warden may expend 2 uses to make half that damage directly divine damage (analogue to e.g. flame strike); the ability may be used in conjunction with Quick Channel for 3 uses of the ability instead.

Additionally, first level nets the fire bolt ability, which may be used in melee as a touch attack or as a ranged attack with a range of 30 ft. It inflicts 1d6 + Cha-mod fire damage, +1 1 for every 4 cleric levels you possess. They are treated as one-handed, light weapons and may be dual wielded. Weapon Focus (ray) doesn’t apply, but fire bolts qualify on their own as a candidate for Weapon Focus, applying the benefits of the feat to both melee and ranged use. Basically, we have a massive tweak of the default ability here. Additionally, flame wardens may choose to lose prepared spells to spontaneously cast fire elementalist spells as divine spells.

The third archetype would be the Spellkeeper, who is proficient with simple weapons and light armor as well as the deity’s favored weapon. The archetype suffers from arcane spell failure when wearing armor or shields not covered by these proficiencies. The spellkeeper is locked into the Magic domain and gains arcane bond at 1st level, though she may not choose familiar as an option and, if weapon is chosen, must choose the favored weapon of her deity. The archetype gains the arcanist’s arcane reservoir, with levels stacking with other arcane reservoir-granting classes, if any. The archetype may lose prepared spells other than orisons to cast spontaneously any spell both on sorcerer/wizard list and cleric list (which may require a bit of list-making); this includes domain spells and replaces spontaneous casting.

At 3rd level and every 2 levels thereafter, the spellkeeper gains an arcane gift, which can be arcanist exploits, prerequisite-less Arcane Strike for use in conjunction with her spells, the option to also spontaneously convert prepared spells into spells on sorc/wiz-list, but NOT on the cleric list (which eliminates the one restriction there) – but thankfully, the spell must at least be one level lower than the lost spell and requires Spell Focus with the spell’s chosen school, preventing full-blown abuse there. Mystic recall and spellstrike may also be found here. This archetype is really potent - basically a graft of magus and arcanist atop the cleric-chassis…and it does work, even though it probably is only suitable for the more high-powered campaigns, courtesy of the extreme flexibility granted by the wildcard-y spell-selection.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no rules-relevant problems in spite of the complexity of the material offered. Layout adheres to Everyman Gaming’s two-column b/w-standard and the full-color artwork is nice. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Alexander Augunas’ cleric options are executed with the precision we have come to expect from him; the focus here lies on the tweaking of the cleric’s engine to account for options reminiscent of hybrids, but without full-blown escalation. The three archetypes are per se well-crafted and fit pretty precise niches, with the bloodseeker perhaps having the most universal appeal; the flame warden is pretty specific and the spellkeeper is rather strong for my tastes, courtesy of its massive flexibility. That being said, the material is well-executed and worth taking a look at. My final verdict will hence clock in at 4 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Everyman Minis: Cleric Options
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Everyman Unchained: Fighters
by john m. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/11/2018 14:32:52

Does for the Pathfinder Fighter class what Frank Miller did for Daredevil in the eighties.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Everyman Unchained: Fighters
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Everyman Minis: Unchained Monk Options
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/07/2018 04:24:19

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Everyman Minis-series clocks in at 7 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with 3 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

As per the title, this book provides new options for the unchained monk, focusing primarily on style strikes. As such, the pdf recaps the ability before diving into the nit and grit of the respective options. The pdf provides a total of 5 different style strikes: Arm Wrench and Fake Out allow for free disarm/feint-checks; the former sans AoO. The latter is interesting: The monk gets + Wisdom-bonus to the check, and on a success, may designate an ally threatening the target, who then receives an AoO against the feinted target. The monk may not use this to grant herself an attack. Gut Blow requires 13th level and nauseates the target on a failed Fort-save for 1 round. Head Smash is pretty much the same, but instead uses confusion as the condition inflicted. Finally, outmaneuver allows the monk to make an Acrobatics check to move through the target’s space, ending up in any space adjacent to the target. This movement does not count towards movement totals and on a failed check, the monk may be pummeled by the target, but still – cool ability regarding the dealing with big baddies.

Next up would be style techniques: Whenever a monk would gain a style strike, she may learn a style technique instead, provided she has the Style feat associated with the respective style technique. Style techniques have the same use restrictions as regular style strikes, but also require that the monk is in the respective style. Using a style technique requires that the monk foregoes ALL style strikes to designate the flurry of blows a technique strike. During such a technique strike, you make any bonus attacks based on monk levels first. If the first of these hit, you gain the technique’s first hit ability; each subsequent such hit during a flurry adds another subsequent benefit. As soon as you reach 15th level, the first and second strike of a style technique are further enhanced with the so-called advanced benefit, noted for each style technique. Saving throw DCs, if any, are 10 +1/2 class level + Wisdom-modifier. A total of 8 such techniques are covered.

Crane imposes penalties to AC, with the advanced benefit allowing the monk to knock the target prone; Dragon increases the save bonus and may even grant temporary immunity to sleep, paralysis and stunning at high escalations, with the advanced benefit allowing for the swift action use of Dragon’s Roar for 1 ki point – each target that fails its save is treated as though it had been hit for the purpose of determining the effects of the subsequent hits of this technique. The Mantis technique nets a bonus to attack versus the first target of the hits, with subsequent hits also providing bonus precision damage. The advanced technique can render the target of the first hit flat-footed against the monk until the start of the next round. The Monkey technique lets the monk may move herself or the target by 5 ft. (Will thankfully negates, but still, a bit weird – this is usually tied to CMD); subsequent hits allow for additional movement and the advanced benefit yields flanking benefits, regardless of ally positions.

Panther technique lets the monk forego up to 3 attacks on a successful hit: For each such foregone attack, the monk may use Panther Style for a retaliatory attack as a free action instead; if the monk has Panther Claw, even when it’s not her turn. Unfortunately, this does not work as written. Style techniques require the use of flurry of blows, a full-attack action. Panther Style nets you a retaliatory AoO as a swift action against a target, but only if you provoke an attack of opportunity from the target by moving through a threatened square. Full attacks usually mean that you won’t move through threatened squares, unless via 5-foot-steps, which normally do not provoke AoOs. Now yes, I can create a build-constellation where the benefits become possible to trigger, but that would be a hyper-specialized case. I think something went awry with the action economy here – perhaps the technique was supposed to allow for some other sort of foregoing attacks, but I honestly can’t determine how this was supposed to work. And that is before the complicating factor of Panther Claw. Weird.

Snake technique allows you to forego attacks as well; for each attack thus not executed, you may apply the massive benefits of the activation of Snake Style’s benefits (basically, Skill as AC, which is problematic and pretty min-maxy, but not the issue of the pdf, but the feat) to 1 + the number of attacks foregone. The problem of the technique once more lies in the interaction of technique and Style-feat benefits: The technique reads “For each attack he foregoes…” and then proceeds to note the benefits mentioned above. RAW, if you forewent 3 attacks, you could gain the benefits of Snake Style for 3 (number of attacks foregone) x 4 (1+ number of foregone attacks) attacks; this makes no sense, for Snake Style requires an immediate action for this benefit, and the duration these can be held is only until your next round – the doubled benefit is obviously a relic of former rules-language, resulting in this weird doubling that doesn’t work as presented. This makes sense once the advanced benefit is unlocked, which nets you 1/round free action use of Snake Style even if its not your turn, but yeah…all in all, weird and surprisingly unrefined for the author.

Snapping Turtle technique boosts shield bonus as well as yields bonuses to grapple attempts via Snapping turtle Clutch. The advanced technique just provides further +1. The Tiger technique provides a 19-20 threat range, 17 – 20 with Improved Critical, but only on the first hit. Subsequent hits deal +1 bleed damage to the bleed damage dealt by Tiger Style, i.e. the 1d4 inflicted by the first attack’s critical hit’s bleed damage. Okay, here we have an instance where the ability MUST explicitly note its obviously intended deviation from default rules: RAW, bleed does not stack, much less with itself, unless specifically noted. Here, the subsequent attacks obviously are intended to stack bleed damage not only with themselves, but also with de facto another source of bleed damage. This increase, while not entirely unheard of, needs to be spelled out to make this work. The advanced technique increases bleed duration from 2 to 3 rounds.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are good of a formal level; I noticed e.g. a slightly confusing superfluous “that”; more importantly, though, the rules-integrity of quite a few of the more involved and complex techniques herein is compromised, not in presentation, but interaction. Layout adheres to Everyman Gaming’s two-column b/w-standard with nice full-color art. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none.

Luis Loza usually does much better. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy the concept of style techniques – they are interesting and I can see myself using most of them. As a nice bonus, hardcore WuXia-campaigns may consider to bake them into the style feats, should they choose to grant more flexibility to the unchained monk. I want to love this. However, there are a couple of pretty problematic issues herein, particularly considering the brevity of the pdf. While two of the issues, bad enough, compromise the formal rules-integrity, they can be solved by a competent GM. The same can’t be said about Panther technique, which even left me puzzled as to how it was supposed to work. The concept deserves further exploration and I like it, but as presented, I cannot rate this higher than 3 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Everyman Minis: Unchained Monk Options
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Everyman Minis: More Unchained Fighter Options
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/05/2018 11:47:26

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This Everyman Mini clocks in at 8 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page advertisement, 3 pages of SRD, leaving us with 2 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

After a brief recap of the class features expanded herein, we begin with one new advanced armor training option, namely effortless shielding: You can carry items while wielding shields (excluding tower shields), but at either -2 to atk or a decrease of shield bonus by 1. You choose the penalty at the start of any action with a weapon carried in shield hand. If you have Weapon Finesse, you don’t add the armor check penalty to atk rolls when using it. Nice one and great rules-hole fix!

Next up would be a total of 8 different advanced weapon trainings: Focused Freehand lets the fighter use 1.5 times Str-mod on damage-rolls with one-handed melee weapons from the chosen weapon group. No, does not work with TWF, thankfully. Grenadier lets the fighter treat thrown splash weapons as thrown weapons for the purpose of whether he gets an atk bonus. He also adds twice the weapon training bonus to damage for direct hits. This does not stack with other such options, thankfully, but does also explicitly allow the fighter, if he has Quick Draw, to use them at the normal rate of attacks. Javelin master allows for penalty-less melee-use of javelins. Lasso expert increases the concentration check required to cast spells while lasso’d as well as the DC to escape. Break DC and AC of the lasso is also enhanced. Nice. Precision over power is cool for weak archers: The fighter does not apply the negative Strength modifier to damage with bows, and when wielding a longbow or shortbow, the fighter gets to add twice the weapon training group bonus twice to damage. Rapid refilling lets the fighter refill e.g. battle aspergillums as a free action with splash weapons. Cool! Rapid retrieval lets the fighter improve the retrieval of weaponry that usually requires a move action possible as a swift action as well. Singelton sniper reduces penalties for TWF-crossbow use.

The pdf also sports two new fighter trainings: Assess combat prowess lets the fighter identify foes via Profession (soldier) (something I also use in my home game, but only for warriors etc., not weird critters) and the training sports synergy with the size up training option. The second fighter training would be defensive mastery, which halves fighting defensively penalties to AC (does not stack with other options) – but it also makes you count as Intelligence 13 for the purpose of combat feat prerequisites.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting re top-notch, I noticed no glitches. Layout adheres to Everyman Gaming’s 2-column b/w-standard; the full-color art is nice. The pdf comes without bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Alexander Augunas’ expansions for the superb Unchained Fighter cover a lot of cool, unique tricks this time around, focusing on enhancing less common tricks, enabling distinct and intriguing tricks. It’s less flashy than the first Everyman Mini-expansion, but it is in no way less excellent, providing some truly cool tricks. My final verdict will clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Everyman Minis: More Unchained Fighter Options
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Everyman Minis: Unchained Fighter Options
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/05/2018 11:45:10

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Everyman Minis-series clocks in at 9 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page advertisement, 3 .5 pages of SRD, leaving us with 2.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

All righty, there are basically three types of class features contained herein for the Unchained Fighter-class.

The first ones would be advanced armor training options: We get a total of 3 of them: Armored Dash is glorious: It lets fighters wearing medium or heavy armor ignore a number of 5-ft.-squares of difficult terrain per movement equal to Strength-bonus. This does not stack with Nimble Moves or abilities based on it. Guarded action lets the fighter, 1/round, use a shield to automatically deflect an attack of opportunity, but only while aware of the attack and not flat-footed. This costs 2 stamina and expends an AoO-use, and after using the attack, the fighter loses the shield bonus to AC unless he has Improved Shield Bash. It may be taken multiple times for multiple uses, with escalating stamina costs. I LOVE this. It makes shields matter more and retains balance. Huge kudos! The third option would be Two-Shield-Specialist, allowing the character to stack shield bonuses, but not their enhancement bonuses or effects that increase the off-hand shield’s bonus to AC. Nice fill of a rules-hole.

We also get 3 new advanced weapon training options: Knockback blow lets the fighter use bull rushes instead of melee attacks during full attacks or AoOs. The ability gets AoO-interaction right. Success also deals damage to the target and it may be used with ranged weapons, but at a penalty. Spell parry lets the fighter targeted by spells or SPs that allow for SRs expend 2 stamina points and an AoO to attempt to parry the spell, rolling 1d20 + BAB, weapon enhancement bonus and weapon training bonus with the chosen weapon. The fighter is treated as having SR equal to this amount; 1s are failures, 20s return the spell to sender as per spell turning; touch range spells cannot be sent back. This is powerful, but I really like it. If you need a customization suggestion, I’d suggest eliminating the bonuses granted by weapon enhancement and weapon training for less high-powered games. Thirdly, throwing mastery lets the character draw unhidden weaponry as part of the attack roll and may have the weapon return to his hand after the attack, making, in conjunction, thrown weapons behave analogue to bows. The ability may not be used with ammunition or items destroyed upon impact and improvised weapons don’t return, unless you have Throw Anything. Inspired!

Finally, we get 9 different fighter training options: Battle Medic nets Heal as class skill, lets the fighter substitute BAB for skill bonus and increases HP healed via treat deadly wounds. Master Climber/Swim are follow-ups for heightened climbing/swimming, respectively; Master Perception lets the fighter pinpoint unseen creatures and comes with proper synergy with senses. Master Senses allows the fighter to further increase the senses, building on heightened senses. Master Acrobat allows the unchained fighter to go full-blown WuXia Wire-Fu, employing Fly etc. Nice.

Hack apart is basically a coup-de-grace versus objects: Provokes AoOs, but can sunder objects etc. effectively, ignoring class level hardness. Adamantine weaponry interaction is included. Additionally, 5 stamina may be used as a swift action for a sunder effect added to a successfully attack. Recuperate builds on treat deadly wounds, allowing the fighter to use it on himself; he does not regain stamina points while treating his wounds thus. Minor complaint: The rules here get it the wrong way around: The ability states that the fighter may use Heal instead of fighter level and Wisdom modifier instead of Constitution when making the check – it should be the other way round, considering how Heal works. For 5 stamina, the fighter can add a bonus to the check. On a success, the fighter heals +2 hit points per class level; higher successes also add the highest physical ability modifier (positive only) to the hit points healed. This may be used Con-mod times per day. Finally, shrug it off lets the unchained fighter spend ½ class level stamina points as a swift action to gain fast healing equal to stamina spent for 1 minute. It can be used 3 + Con-mod times per day.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting per se are top-notch, with the one switcheroo-glitch being my only complaint. Layout adheres to Everyman Gaming’s two-column b/w-standard with a nice full-color artwork. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Luis Loza’s options are GLORIOUS. They are mechanically-complex and center all around dealing with holes in rules, are balanced, yet potent and actually manage to make e.g. shields matter. It is baffling how much coolness can be found herein. In spite of the minor glitch, I will settle on 5 stars + seal of approval. A must-own purchase for the excellent unchained fighter.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Everyman Minis: Unchained Fighter Options
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RGG's ALL Pathfinder Bundle [BUNDLE]
by Kevin C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/01/2018 09:14:34

In this day and age when for most of us money is tight this Bundle is wonderful. What a value... we are talking about 400 items for only $29.95 which equals just under 8 cents per item that is a blessing. Some of the items may not hit the mark for everyone but if you are a gamer, game master, or even a writer this is an escape you may be looking for. The art work is wonderful and the areas covered in this collection is sure to ensure there is something for everyone.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
RGG's ALL Pathfinder Bundle [BUNDLE]
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Monster Menagerie: The Swarminomicon
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/24/2018 02:41:47

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This deluxe-sized installment of the Monster Menagerie-series clocks in at 56 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page introduction, 3 pages of SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 49 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

Unlike many similar supplements, this book offers some supplemental material employed in the builds, so it makes sense to mention them before getting into the details of the monsters herein. We have a total of 8 different feats: Dispersing Evasion provides the option to fully negate area spell or effect tricks, but requires a full-round action to reassemble on the following round. Swarming Flyby Attack is pretty self-explanatory. Swarming Vital Strike is interesting, as you may determine a single target, doubling swarm attack damage versus the target, not including bonus energy damage etc. The Improved version upgrades that to triple, the Greater version to quadruple; Prerequisites make sense. Swarm Crusher lets you inflict 75% of damage when attacking swarms of Tiny creatures with slashing or piercing weapons; 25% if smaller. The Improved follow-up feat upgrades that to 100% for Tiny creature swarms, 50% versus swarms of Diminutive creatures, 25% versus swarms of Fine creatures. Swarm Spread, finally, lets a swarm use a swift action to expand reach, at the cost of a temporary swarm damage and DC reduction.

The pdf also contains spells pertaining swarms – summon swarm I is a 2nd level spell, with the upgrades going up to VII. Compress swarm makes the swarm fill the space between creatures, decreasing space, but providing increased damage and DC. Swarm malady adds poison to swarms and swarm wall, well, makes a wall of a swarm. Cool!

Now, as many of you know, I love swarms – swarms and troops are something you’d encounter in pretty much any PF-campaign I’m running. The tactics they require and the concepts are something I enjoy. The swarms herein range from CR ¼ to CR 20, which means that pretty much any group is likely to find some material here…but does it hold up? Well, we begin with the Assassin Swarm (CR 18), who gets massive sneak attack versus targets…and yes, these assassin bugs, specifically bred as killers by nasty druids, do get killing attacks…ouch! Know what happens when you attempt to create a male penanggalen? Something delightfully icky…the CR 7 bowel swarm that can attempt to replace the organs of its victims. See, in a lesser book, this would just be a necromancer’s experiment, but here, the contextualization adds another dimension – surprising what you can do with a bit of flavor. This is not the only creepy swarm herein, mind you: The CR 9 ghost swarm can proclaim utterances of doom and ride along within hapless victims; the Cr 6 gibberings warm makes for a cool idea for a phase two form of a mouther –based boss. Really spooky at CR 12: The shapechanging morphic swarm is an excellent hunter and utterly weird. At CR 20, pestilence swarms are things that herald the end of the world if they’re not stopped…good luck with that. Minor complaint here: The swarm employs unholy damage, which RAW does not exist in PFRPG. What about phalanges (CR 14), swarms of hands, still cognizant of arcane energies, now focus on spells…yeah, that should be a nasty wake-up call when the PCs expect wimpy crawling claws and get hit by hand-spells… The Cr 4 gloom swarm, with its light-dimming, can make for a surprisingly nasty foe in conjunction with the undead.

Beyond these, we get the CR 5 caltrop swarm – and, much like all construct-swarms herein, we get creation notes for the swarm. It should also be noted that such construct-like swarms include the innocuous ability, which allows such swarms to remain inconspicuous. It should also be noted that both caltrop swarm and chainlink swarm (CR 6) come with variants for further customization, something that btw. also applies to the CR 7 wire swarm and the shard swarm at the same CR. Sans variant, but no less cool, would be the filament swarm, result of an attempt to create monofilament weapons with magic. Also somewhat in line with potentially science-fantasy aesthetics would be the gravitic swarm (CR 11) that can exert control over gravity for potentially really nasty surprises for PCs…and players! The CR 13 glyph swarm would be a more far-out magical construct – susceptible to erase, capable of cannibalizing symbols and capable of using them quickly and in a deadly manner. Really cool one! What about sentient and usually lawful ki swarms, which sprang to life from ki-infused training materials, roaming the land in search for worthy adversaries? Yeah, that is damn cool. Players will hate the metal-consuming CR 13 adamantine mote swarm. Have I mentioned the CR 14 portal swarm that can teleport parts of you away, thus ignoring DR etc.? Of course, the regimented swarm at CR 12, creature of law and chosen foe of chaos, makes for another cool critter. We can also encounter good or evil toy soldier swarms (CR 5). The CR 8 spikeleaf swarm is a nice plant creature, though, in direct comparison to some of the creatures from the Deadly Gardens-series, it is a bit straightforward. Same goes, to an extent, for the tangelweed swarm at CR 3, though the low CR does make this one interesting and a valuable addition to the GM’s arsenal.

Are you looking for something more down to earth? What about the CR 2 electric eel swarm? The CR ½ firefly swarm? Or the incredibly adorable CR ¼ puppy swarm? Yeah, the “Adorable” is an actual thing here! Scum swarms would be aquatic, plant-based sludge and there is a CR 2 resin swarm that can attempt to encase targets in amber, entangling them first and then trying to suffocate them. There obviously also are creatures herein that can be classified as distinctly magical, steeped in the creature-contexts of the system. Take e.g. the CR 6 wisp swarm, air elemental wisps that can 1/day stun targets or choke its victims. Or what about the symbiotic ferromites (CR 5) that can inhabit rust monsters? Yeah, that is one damn cool idea! The CR 9 grifter imp swarm can steal a ton of items at once; At Cr 8 ice crystal swarms generate a biting cold and may even erect ice walls. The creatures on the cover? That would be the protoyughs, adding a cool component to the life-cycle of the otyugh. Some creatures that die spawn vengeance swarms (CR 15) instead of channeling their spite into becoming undead, a strategy that also is a favorite of hags, just fyi. There also would be a CR 11 flesh-dissolving ooze swarm…and what about the CR 12 entropy swarm, which has potent defenses (non-illusion 50% miss chance), starflight and may dissolve limbs? Oh YEAH! On the lower end of the CR-spectrum, the fatigue swarm (CR 4) can make for a great accomplice for sleep/dream-themed foes and represents an uncommon undead.

On the more whimsical (but no less deadly) side, we also sport fey, like the chordic swarm – music notes turned sentient, with discordant abilities to hamper foes and the ability to buff allies. At CR, the needle drake swarm, with its persistent cloud of stingers, is an intriguing twist on the concept of dragons and a light-based scintillating sprite swarm finally covers all basics you could want. My two favorites herein, though, would be the CR 14 swarmic infiltrator, the evolved form of the morphic swarm, a deadly, intelligent foe that can coalesce into humanoid shapes...and an utterly frightening monster. The temporal swarm, out of sync with time and studded with uncommon abilities would finally be another gem I will definitely use.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good on a formal and rules-language level: While I noticed minor hiccups in both departments (missing blank spaces, etc.), they are relatively few and far in-between. Layout adheres to the Grimoire-style 2-column full-color standard of Rogue Genius Games more recent books, making the pdf aesthetically pleasing, but also not particularly printer-friendly. The pdf sports several nice full-color artworks in Jacob Blackmon’s signature style. If you absolutely want an artwork for every creature, you may be slightly disappointed – most of the swarms come sans artwork. The pdf comes with non-nested, but very detailed bookmarks to the individual creatures.

Mike Welham is one of the authors who only very rarely disappoints me; his name on any given supplement is usually a very good indicator that I’ll enjoy what’s inside and this hold true here as well. The critters herein sport a variety of unique signature abilities that set them apart, many of which doe mechanically interesting things, often in creative ways I haven’t seen before. So yeah, the mechanics skill is there. While I did not reverse-engineer all critters herein, I did pick apart some and noticed no glaring issues in that department.

Beyond that, the skills of the seasoned monster author do show: Animal swarms feel like animals; constructs are geared towards functionality when intended as such; leitmotifs are maintained and in the brief paragraphs of flavor text for the creatures, we often add an imaginative and creative context for the creature, placing it in the fantasy worlds we explore. These may be small components, but they do serve to enhance the critters beyond what they would have been in the hands of a lesser author. These subtle extra flourishes are what makes you come up with ideas on how to use and place these monsters, in the cases where a dry statblock alone wouldn’t have sufficed.

In short: After the excellent installment on troops, the series’ deluxe-sized swarm-tome delivers big time. It may not be 100% perfect, but it is a very, very strong book, one very much worth getting, as the amazing components vastly outshine in both quality and quantity the few minor glitches. My final verdict will clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Monster Menagerie: The Swarminomicon
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Everyman Minis: Mesmerist Feats
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/22/2018 04:49:09

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Everyman Minis-series clocks in at 8 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page advertisement, 2.5 pages of SRD, leaving us with 2.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

After a brief introduction, we get two new spells: Mindshock (2nd level) laces your attacks with psychic energy that adds +1d4 nonlethal damage due to pain; critical hits cause the target to be confused for 1 round, which is pretty strong, considering the absence of a save to negate. That being said, immunity to mind-affecting or pain effects or critical hits prevents the confusion. The spell has another caveat that makes it balanced for the spell level: A target can only be confused by a single casting of the spell once per day. This limitation is crucial and very much appreciated. Well done. The second new spell would be phantasmal flagellant, which, depending on the class, clocks in at 3rd or 4th level. I love this spell, as it fills a rues-hole I always disliked intensely: It is basically a pain-based version of phantasmal killer that inflicts scaling nonlethal damage instead. Descriptors and scaling are perfect and neat…however, there is one rules-relevant inconsistency that, alas, influences rules-integrity: On a failed save, the target takes nonlethal damage, becomes exhausted and drops unconscious. On a success, damage is halved and the conditions are negated…but the condition mentioned here is fatigued, not exhausted. Sooo…which one is it? Sequence would make me think exhausted is correct, but fatigues imho would make more sense.

Okay, those two out of the way, let’s discuss the feats. It should be noted that, in spite of the respective names, only one feat herein has the Stare-descriptor, which is important, considering that only one stare-feat may be applied at any given time, at least if you do not have Compounded Pain.

So, what do the feats do?

-Agonizing Glare: Adds 12 pain-based spells to spell-list, some with metamagic hard-baked into them. They are also considered to be spells known. If you don’t have the metamagic feat in question or know the spell, you may only affect creatures currently targeted by your hypnotic stare, and sans gaining the benefits of hypnotic stare for them. Learning them properly later allows you to cast the as usual and hypnotic stare applies.

-All-Seeing Sight: Adds 8 divination spells to your spell-list and spells known, but with the same hypnotic stare restriction as before. Locate object can only find objects in range in the possession creatures that you have targeted with hypnotic stare; the same limitation applies for clairaudience/voyance. As you may have gleaned, this does not require that you currently target them, making establishing a network of such beings rather interesting…great tool for investigations!

-Burning Stare: Choose electricity or fire; half damage of painful stare thereafter can be turned into that energy type. May be taken twice to gain both energy types.

-Bright-Blazing Stare: Requires burning stare, which means that the 3rd level prerequisite, same as the Burning Stare-feat, makes no sense. That should be higher. Anyways, if a target takes 1 fire or electricity damage, they take -40 to Stealth versus your Perception (important!) for 1 + your Cha-mod rounds. Multiple instances reset this duration. Furthermore, the target of a Burning Stare, regardless of whether it takes damage, must succeed a Will-save or be outlined as per faerie fire until the start of your next turn, meaning that the penalties apply globally, not just to avoid you. And no, they don’t stack with one another.

-Kindling Glare (Combat, Stare): This is another upgrade for Burning Stare, and it unfortunately suffers from the same weird prerequisite-glitch as Bright-Blazing Stare. When using Burning Stare to inflict fire or electricity damage on a target, you inflict +50% damage, as though the target was vulnerable to the energy type. It does not stack with actual vulnerabilities. Additionally, inflicting fire or electricity damage via the Burning Stare feat requires the target to make a Fort-save or contract vulnerability to the energy type for one round.

-Imperious Stare: Cause targets to avoid their gaze from you for 1 round on a failed Will-save, granting you total concealment versus the target. The type of this effect is properly codified. Kudos!

-Majestic Stare: Follow-up feat for Imperious Stare; when a target fails its save against Imperious Stare, it also can’t approach you further for 1 round, duplicating the effects of antipathy. Cool: If a creature fails its save by 5 or more, they also have to prostrate before you, dropping prone, unable to rise. Amazing!

-Wrecking Stare: Whenever the target of your hypnotic stare attempts to save versus pain effects and fails, you can activate painful stare’s effects as though the pain-effect caused damage. If the source is a mesmerist spell you can cast, you inflict damage as though you had made a successful attack and were using painful stare to augment it instead. Big kudos for getting the tightrope-walk of a rules-language construct regarding the second effect! If the triggering effect causes nonlethal damage, you may elect to make the damage caused by this feat nonlethal as well.

-X-ray Stare: See creatures targeted by hypnotic stare up to 20 feet away, through solid matter- Different material densities are provided and interaction with obfuscating elements, are noted. Handy!

Conclusion: Editing and formatting are generally very good on a formal and rules-language level; apart from the two issues I noted, which unfortunately influence rules-integrity (though the prerequisite glitch is de facto just aesthetic). Layout adheres to the printer-friendly two-column standard of the Everyman Mini-series and the one artwork presented is nice. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Clinton Boomer is one of my favorite feat-designers. I have seen him write feats that literally make, by sheer virtue of existing, thoroughly amazing character concepts possible. If anything, there are two complaints I could field against them: They tend to be very specific, and they usually end up on the higher side of the power-level. The feats in this book are more broadly usable, but that doesn’t mean that they lose the high-concept impact I expected from them; They juggle complex concepts within a pretty complex engine, all while making me think of cool ways to use them. I am absolutely certain that pretty much all feats herein will see use in my games at one point, making this, at least to me, an all-killer, no filler supplement.

That being said, no matter how much I like this supplement, the fact remains that we have glitches that influence, in minor ways, the rules-integrity of two components. It is only this minor imperfection that ultimately costs this my seal of approval, though both can be rectified by any GM out there. If you don’t mind these, consider this to be a 5 star + seal pdf. If you do mind, then consider it to still be an excellent file, at 5 stars, which also represents my official final verdict.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Everyman Minis: Mesmerist Feats
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Everyman Minis: Patriotic Options
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/18/2018 04:28:31

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Everyman Minis-series clocks in at 9 pages,1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of advertisement, 1.5 pages of SRD, leaving us with 2.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

All right, after a brief introduction, we begin with 5 new traits, which include being a supporter of a rebellion against an occupying force (and a +1 save bonus to one save chosen), having the ear of a powerful individual (tie-in with Fame-rules), knowing particularly much about your home (translating into skill-bonuses to two Knowledge skills), +1 skill rank and a bonus to Profession (soldier) for being a true shield of your people…and there is one trait that makes you a regional symbol and hence allows you to request small sums in goods and services. All of these traits are well-crafted, meaningful and have proper roleplaying tricks. No complaints.

Beyond these traits, we also get two different story-feats (YES!): Ambassador nets you Knowledge (local) & (nobility) as class skills and with a bonus, with a further bonus if you already have them as class skills; the goal is to broker a major treaty or accord and, yes, this is very much a feat for the faces and similar characters who strive to lead not only by force of weaponry. Cool: We have Skill Challenge Handbook synergy for verbal duels and influence skill challenges!

The second story-feat would be Patriot, which nets you a 3/day +2 morale bonus on ability checks, atk rolls, initiative, saves, skill checks or weapon damage rolls while in the chosen region. The goal is to save the region chosen or supporting it with a hefty donation – upon completion, the bonus increases and becomes more potent versus overt enemies of your nation. Oh, and additional uses. I assume that this self-granted bonus is not an action and that it must be announced before the roll is made, but clarification here would be appreciated.

We also receive two new vigilante social talents. The first would be Patriotism, which requires that you choose a nation you lived in for 5 years; in that nation, the vigilante’s social identity can mix and mingle with government and military, improving their starting attitude to friendly if at least indifferent. The vigilante identity may be loyal to the nation chosen or oppose it, which determines the bonus gained by the vigilante. The second talent would be the Improved Patriotism, which nets social skill bonuses and Knowledge bonuses. On the vigilante identity side, we have diplomatic immunity for loyalists or an escalation of skill-boosts for those opposing their nation – interesting material that reminded me of plenty a masked diplomat/symbol in various forms of media.

The final piece of crunch herein would be the turncoat vigilante archetype, who is locked into loyalist as the 1st level social talent, choosing home country and feigned country – the latter is the opposed country. Instead of unshakeable, 3rd level yields the option to change the feigned country 1/month. Instead of the appearance ability tree, the archetype provides startling betrayal at 5th level: When attacking a creature that considers the turncoat an ally, the creature gets a Sense Motive check: On a failure, the target is so baffled, he becomes flat-footed against the vigilante for a minute, with all attacks against the turncoat penalized. At 11th level, helpful NPCs, instead of having a higher DC, automatically fail this check and the effect gains a 30 ft.-radius range of outrage…indeed, even a whole crowd could thus fall to the betrayal of a turncoat. At 17th level, creatures with an attitude of unfriendly or better may be affected, making it really hard to not be suckered in by these guys.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no glitches on a formal level and the rules-language is tight. Layout adheres to Everyman gaming’s nice two-column standard with a white background and the full-color artwork is nice. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Luis Loza’s patriotic options are cool: While the social tricks are not necessarily world-shaking, they are interesting and made me recall a long-time plan of a campaign focusing on fantasy warfare and diplomacy that I’ve been wanting to run for ages…but I digress. This is a well-made, interesting supplement, well worth a final verdict of 5 stars – well done!

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Everyman Minis: Patriotic Options
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Everyman Minis: Esoteric Implements
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/15/2018 04:38:39

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Everyman Minis-series clocks in at 7 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page advertisement, 1.5 pages of SRD, leaving us with 2.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

All right, after a brief introduction, we are introduced to the concept of esoteric implements; In case you’re not familiar with the idea, here goes: Basically, they capitalize on the amazing roleplaying potential ingrained in the occultist class (easily one of my favorite classes, btw.) – implements, per default, can be exchanged, but ostensibly are supposed to have some deeper narrative meaning/connection. This is not only a great adventuring catalyst, it also allows groups and GMs to generate meaning and mythology and ultimately represents one of my favorite concepts in Occult Adventure’s class design, one that has been overlooked by quite a few folks since the occultist, as presented, is less flashy than his brethren.

But I digress: Esoteric implements, as depicted herein, would hence be special implements that grant specific powers when invested with mental focus. As such, the items herein do come with brief background stories as well as prices, construction requirements, etc. Basically, these are items that represent specialist replacement resonant powers and as such. Blur the line between item and class option. We get a total of 4 such esoteric implements herein, the first of which would be Gorduin’s Obscuring Cap, which is particularly useful to those with the illusion implement school; mirroring the former wearer, an assassin overexposed to illusions, the cap grants occultists with that school of at least 7th level the ability to form a blanket guise that may conceal a whole array of magic items from detection´, though this is a resonant power that replaces distortion. Furthermore, at 9th level, with at least 6 focus invested, the wearer can gain the benefits of misdirection.

The Hypnotizing Pendant was once worn by a failed bard, who used her powers to convince the audience she was any good; as such, it is an implement for occultists with the enchantment implement school. The power is also unlocked at 7th level, though this time around, it is a focus power and lets the occultist duplicate either hypnotism or lock gaze via mental focus expenditure, with higher levels yielding more targets affected. Slightly weird, but only on an aesthetic level: While unlocked at 7th level, the determining level for more targets s based on 6th, which may be an anomaly or a minor hiccup. Power-wise, I don’t mind the presentation as such and the rules are intact.

Revenge of the Unknown Mercenary would be a robe for occultists with the necromancy implement school; it is the robe of a mercenary’s soul, fused with his fabrics during a horrid expedition into the negative energy plane; as such, it should surprise no one that it is a necromancy implement. The required level for the power would be 9th. The robe grants the focus power to expend 1 point of mental focus as a standard action to grant yourself a shroud of negative energy, which bestows a temporary negative level on those unlucky enough to hit you with melee or natural attacks. The negative level lasts 24 hours, the activation of the power 1 minute or until it is discharged thus, at which point it requires another activation to replenish. 13th level provides the option to activate it as a move or standard action.

Finally, there would be the Dangersight Goggles, which sport a bit of a weird inconsistency: They are obviously intended for divination specialists (7th level requirement), representing the semi-sentient goggles of an ascended samsaran, but they note enchantment implement school as a prerequisite. (The correct school is noted in construction requirements.)(Also: The focus power they grant is formatted in italics, when it should have its name bolded.) The focus power granted is pretty brutal: Expend 1 point of mental focus for +1/2 occultist level to initiative when rolling it…or act in a surprise round in which you usually wouldn’t be able to act as though you rolled a 1, excluding all bonuses and penalties. After the surprise round, you get to properly roll initiative. The powers are mutually exclusive, since the implement has a 1-minute cooldown. This implement can be very potent in PF’s gameplay and should get close GM-scrutiny; initiative boosts can be very, very potent…particularly in mythic gameplay. Personally, I’d increase the cost of the item’s use…particularly since its flavor mentions wearers over-relying on it…sounds like me like a cool angle to nerf this, which is just what I’ll do.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting, for the most part, are very good. As noted, the final item has a few minor hiccups, one of which can cause a bit of confusion. Layout adheres to the printer-friendly two-column standard of the series and the pdf sports a nice full-color artwork. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Jen McTeague’s esoteric implements are fun,. Interesting and left me wanting more; while the minor hiccups in the final one detract a bit from the pdf, I ultimately still consider it to be a great and inspiring resource for occultists and GMs alike; in fact, I’d love to see a bigger book (or more minis!) that provide such unique implements; sky and creativity are basically the limits here! All in all, a mini worth getting, which is why my final verdict will be 4.5 stars, rounded up for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Everyman Minis: Esoteric Implements
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RGG's ALL Pathfinder Bundle [BUNDLE]
by Bryan B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/14/2018 22:08:20

There is no way I could have looked through 2.9GB of information and over 400 PDFs. This means I have scanned through the material looking for useful content. Out of the hundreds of PDF's I found 8 that seemed like they had some promise. DO NOT get this for any type of map or art resources.

My purpose for getting this is not because I play Pathfinder. I am using the material for ideas and resource material for citie enrichment, shops, interesting cenarios. I was hoping to find some map or art material too but came up empty there.

If you do play Pathfinder this might be for you!!



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
RGG's ALL Pathfinder Bundle [BUNDLE]
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Four Horsemen Present: Hybrid Class - Mountebank
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/08/2018 04:34:05

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This hybrid class of mesmerist and unchained rogue clocks in at 14 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 11 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

The mountebank gets d8 HD, 6 + Int skills per level, proficiency with simple weapons, hand crossbow, kerambit, rapier, sap and sword cane as well as light armor. The class gets ¾ BAB-progression and good Ref- and Will-saves and begins play with consummate liar and hypnotic stare. 2nd level nets Weapon Finesse and finesse training with one weapon group for using Dex-mod to determine bonus damage. 2nd level also nets patter: The mountebank begins prattling away as a move action (maintaining it is a free action) and may maintain patter for class level + Charisma modifier rounds – all spellcasting and SPs within 30 ft. of a mountebank using this ability requires concentration checks to cast. 5th level penalizes this check by -2 and 8th level allows the mountebank to focus on a single target, potentially confusing it.

3rd level nets sneak attack, which increases by +1d6 every 3 levels thereafter. At 3rd level, the mountebank also gets a variant gaze that causes the target to lose Dex-mod to AC being flat-footed versus the mountebank, and the mountebank only, though this stare needs to be maintained as a move action. 8th level nets a suggestion stare – with a caveat that prevents abuse. At 10th level, the class becomes superb at lying and requires CL-checks from those using magic to coax the truth out of them. 14th level provides slippery mind and 16th level allows the mountebank to not be remembered by those he interacts with. The capstone nets permanent concealment and the ability to target two creatures with a mountebank trick.

The class begins play with one trick and gains another trick every 3 levels thereafter and may implant ½ class level (min 1) + Charisma bonus such tricks per day. The mountebank can implant them at a range of 30 ft. as a standard action, which a Charisma-governed Will-save DC. Trigger range is medium spell range, just fyi. These allows the mountebank to make targets suffer half damage inflicted, for example – big kudos for getting the rules-language right here! Heavily penalizing Sense Motive, causing instant paranoia, fear of the dark, telepathic interrogation, causing the target to be addicted to the mountebank’s presence (!!), implanting hatreds or trust, disguising the target or adding additional damage to the damage the target takes – these are complex rules-operations that handle evocative, really cool tricks and feature e.g. variant mirror images that don’t disperse when hit, etc. – really, really amazing array of options here!

At 7th level, those tricks may be implanted when sneak attacking foes, imposing a penalty to the saves versus the tricks…and even cooler, at 14th level a trick thus implanted does not count against the mountebank’s daily maximum of tricks implanted OR towards the maximum number of tricks that may be maintained at once.

At 5th level, the mountebank may use more concurrent tricks, upgrading the limit to 2, which increases further at 9th level, 13th level and 18th level, though each creature may only be affected by one trick at a given time.

Beyond the tricks, the class has more player agenda to offer, namely the chicaneries – at 1st level, the mountebank chooses one of the 4 chicaneries provided. These represent linear ability gains and provide a combination of bonus feats (with retrain caveat!), 1/day spell-like abilities that are governed by Charisma and act as psychic spells and unique abilities. 6th level provides the option to advance in the chicanery path, unlocking the next ability…or to choose a new chicanery, gaining the level 1 ability there. The paths provide 4 steps in advancement (minor, moderate, major, supreme) and the mountebank gets further advancement options at 11th, 17th and 20th level, which means that full-blown specialization in one chicanery is not expected. Liar’s gambit provides alignment masking and further inscrutable tricks; the grifter’s hustle nets negotiation and intimidation options; cat’s paw specialists are all about Sleight of Hands and Stealing in combat, while those that choose dodger’s strike are Stealth specialists.

Among the feats, there is one option to advance a chincanery, but only if it is one level lower than your maximum advancement – no abuse possible. Exluding allies from patter, gaining an additional trick or selecting from unchained rogue talents complement the meaningful feat options.

The pdf also sports two archetypes: The cardsharp is locked into one chicanery path, but changes its benefits to instead provide Profession (gambler) boosts, fast fingers and the option to form a deck of cards into a +1 keen magical weapon, which may later be enhanced. Instead of finesse training, we get 1/day forcing a target to roll twice and accept a result (+1/day use at 12th and 20th level). Instead of the 7th level trick, the archetype may 1/day as an immediate action roll 1-3 additional dice when making an attack, save or skill check, using the highest die roll, but at the cost of being forced to use the lower ones for a number of consecutive rolls equal to the number of dice chosen – cool!

The second archetype would be the mentalist, who is locked into cat’s paw or liar’s gambit, casting the SPs granted by the chicanery at +1 CL. Instead of consummate liar, they get a boost to Perform and on Bluff/Sleight of Hand checks used as part of a performance. The archetype may use patter to instead sow thoughts, with 8th level allowing for the focus on a target to daze it. Instead of sneak attack, trick attack and improved trick attack, the mountebank gains the option to cast spells as a mesmerist of his level, but only divination, enchantment, illusion and transmutation spells. 4th level nets Psychic Maestro and 10th Psychic Virtuoso, replacing the tricks gained at these levels. 16th level replaces incognito for an illusory double that may perform a physical ability-or skill check – basically a Schrödinger’s situation, where you determine which was real afterwards.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no issues in either formal or rules-language criterias. Layout adheres to Rogue Genius Games’ two-column full-color standard and the pdf sports a couple of nice full-color images. The pdf comes fully bookmarked with nested, detailed bookmarks.

Kendra Leigh Speedling delivers with panache aplomb! The mountebank is a fantastic class – it manages to be recognizable as a hybrid class, while still sporting its very own and distinct identity AND playstyle. The class tackles complex concepts and remains easy to grasp and play while doing so. It sports innovative and fun rules and tricks that no other class can pull off. It plays really well, in spite of the notoriously difficult to fill skirmisher/debuffer role. In short, this represents one of the best, perhaps the best hybrid class I have reviewed so far. The only class I’d consider to be on par regarding this amazing offering would be Purple Duck Games’ Vessel. Yes, that good!

The mountebank is a glorious class; it is inspired, interesting and, most importantly, fun – 5 stars + seal of approval, given sans hesitation!

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Four Horsemen Present: Hybrid Class - Mountebank
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Everyman Minis: Gloom Discoveries
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/08/2018 04:30:46

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Everyman Minis-series clocks in at 10 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page advertisement, 4.5 pages of SRD, leaving us with 2.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

All righty, after a brief introduction, we receive the gloom chymist archetype: These fellows replace bombs with glooms, which inflict 1d6 cold damage + Int-mod, +1d6 for every 2 alchemist levels beyond first – this otherwise is treated as bombs, but does NOT qualify as bombs for the purpose of prerequisites. Instead of poison resistance, poison use and swift poisoning, the archetype gains umbral gloom at 2nd level, which allows the gloom chymist to increase or decrease the light level by one step within the gloom’s splash radius, lasting Int-mod rounds. This decision must be made upon preparing glooms. At 8th level, the gloom chymist may expend two uses of daily glooms to increase/decrease light levels as per daylight/deeper darkness instead, using alchemist level as caster level- which is one cool idea!

The majority of the pdf then is devoted to gloom discoveries – these include doubling the splash radius for glooms,a dding a nauseating/sickening fume to the gloom…and pretty amazing: The alchemist can learn to create a crawling gloom: Place it, and it’ll move towards the target, crawling over objects etc. – the discovery is pretty amazing, and yes, the gloom has an AC and Ref-saves that scale. Blinding and deafening via a gloom and direct hits, confusing targets – the debuff options have sensible minimum level requirements. There is a fast bomb variant and the discoveries include a cool gravity option, which allows for some soft crowd control to the creatures in the splash radius, entangling them. Temporary fatigue can also be found.

Really cool would be options like masochistic gloom, which animates the shadow of a target that was directly hit – this requires an 4th level or higher extract slot expenditure, but animates the shadow to deal damage to its owner. Oh yes! High-level temporary petrification of targets is also neat.

Now, a significant part of the options would be devoted to living glooms: By using one gloom class feature use and a 1st-level extract slot, the alchemist can conjure a creature as per summon nature’s ally/monster I, adding the shadow creature template to the creature called. Higher spell-slots can be used for better summons. These gloom summons can be further augmented (analogue to the feat) with a discovery and another ones provides unique, expanded creatures to choose from, enhancing the unique flair of the discovery-tree. Finally, there is a complex one that lets the alchemist add extract levels to duplicate more potent summon spells, using ½ class level as limit. Cool! Speaking of which: Paired patches of shadow for dimensional bounce make sense and rock. The grand discovery lets the PC choose a discovery, which is then not counted as discovery to modify the gloom, applying it for free.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no serious hiccups. Layout adheres to Everyman gaming’s two-column standard, is printer-friendly and the full-color artwork is solid. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Luis Loza delivers some cool alchemist options here: While less openly available than I’d like them to be, they offer a distinct and fun shadow-themes variant for the alchemist, one that made me really wish there’d be more space for it – the living and crawling glooms deserve expansion and frankly, I think that the gloom-concept could have carried more. That is just me complaining at a high level, though – well worth checking out! My final verdict will be 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Everyman Minis: Gloom Discoveries
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Star Log.EM-007: Duelist
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/04/2018 02:16:54

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Star Log.EM-series clocks in at 7 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 1/3 pages of SRD, leaving us with 2 2/3 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

After a brief introduction, we access the archives of the Xa-Osoro system (I like how these little files strive to include such flavorful little bits) and the pdf provides a brief, fluff-only run-down of famous duelists, to be more precise, a by now famous cadre of legends.

After this brief intro, we move on to the archetype; envoys and operatives make probably the best duelists, courtesy of the focus on light and melee weapons- The duelist grants alternate class features at 2nd, 6th, 9th and 12th level. At 2nd level, we have uncanny defense, which halves the penalty to atk when fighting defensively (-2 instead of -4). At 6th level and every 6 levels thereafter, you also increase the AC bonus gained from fighting defensively by 1. Important: This bonus does not stack with others and does not apply while wearing heavy armor or powered armor.

At 6th level, you gain parry: When you use a full action to execute a full attack with a melee weapon, you may forego one of your attacks. If you do, you may, at any time before your next turn attempt to parry an attack against you or an adjacent ally as a reaction. You may then roll an attack with the same bonuses (and penalties, I assume) of the foregone attack. If your attack roll exceeds that of the incoming attack, you parry it and it automatically misses. You may use this ability to parry melee and ranged attacks, as well as spells and other abilities that require attack rolls, but not effects that don’t require an attack roll. It is, at this point, no secret that I am not a big fan of the use of competing attack rolls in the more complex of d20-based games, but in this case, the lock-down that the action economy requires to activate this ability makes me somewhat okay with it….though personally, I would have employed SFRPGs different AC values to determine what can and cannot be parried, that remains a personal preference.

9th level builds on that with riposte: When you successfully parry, you may immediately make an attack against the foe that you parried. Note that, while you can parry ranged attacks, you cannot riposte them, since the ability works analogue to AoOs. 12th level yields crippling critical: When you critically hit a target with a melee weapon, you can substitute your choice of reduced speed, bleed damage and penalties to atk, AC or saves for the weapon’s regular critical hit effects.

The pdf also sports 2 new feats: Perfect Defense requires Bodyguard or parry and 7th level. As a minor nitpick: The benefit-line is not bolded. The feat lets you use either parry or the Bodyguard feat 3times per round, +1/round for every 4 levels beyond 7th. It should be noted that this does require a full action. In Harm’s Way is similarly enhanced, should you have it. A minor complaint here: It is a bit weird to me that, RAW, uncanny defense’s benefits do not apply when using this feat’s defensive stance. The second feat would be Combat Reflexes, which allows you to execute more AoOs per round – however, each beyond the first requires that you spend resolve, which makes sense to me in the context of SFRPG. It should be noted that Combat Reflexes may not be combined with Perfect Defense.

Now, remember the legendary duelists I mentioned? We learn more about the tradition they created and even get a code of conduct of sorts, adding some nice, flavorful bits to the end of the pdf.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are good, though not as impeccable as usual for Everyman Gaming. Layout adheres to the nice two-column full-color standard of the series and we get a nice full-color artwork. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Alexander Augunas’ take on the legacy duelist is solid: It translates the core ideas to SFRPG, gets the interaction with the system done rather well…and left me, in spite of all that, with the slight feeling that the concept could have carried a bit more. If what you read above tickles your fancy, then the duelists will enrich your game; if not, then you will probably not be swayed by the pdf. As such, my final verdict will clock in at 3.5 stars, rounded up due to in dubio pro reo.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Star Log.EM-007: Duelist
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Everyman Minis: Motherly Options
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/03/2018 04:46:26

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Everyman Minis-series clocks in at 10 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 4 pages of SRD, 1 page advertisement, leaving us with 3 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

Okay, while this pdf is called “motherly” options, it should be noted that this is very much a parental book – one that takes the potential of adventurers with families and the resulting dynamics into account – so yeah, non-female characters can similarly benefit from the options presented herein.

The first of these would be the caretaker bard archetype, who is defined by 3 alternate bardic performances. The first replaces inspire courage and nets a single d10 reroll with a +1 competence bonus. An affected ally may only do so once per round of performance, but I am pretty sure that there is something amiss in the rules here: The power of a d20 reroll, with a bonus that increases by a further +1 at 5th level and every 6 levels thereafter, vastly eclipses inspire courage’s usefulness. While each ally can only benefit once per round (+1/round whenever the bonus increases!) from it, that is still really strong and should cost more – I think only one ally per round was supposed to be able to benefit from a reroll, something that got lost here – otherwise we have 4 rerolls per character! That would be insane!

8th level replaces dirge of doom and frightening tune with fly – this requires 4 rounds of continuous performance, but then behaves as though the spell was cast as a 3rd level bard spell. This is upgraded to mass fly at 14th level. Instead of deadly performance, the caretaker gains change of heart, allowing them to influence fascinated targets with a suggestion-like performance that acts as a geas/quest (italicization missing once) to fix dysfunctional relationships, as defined in Ultimate Charisma, and gains a bonus to do so – this is a really nice ability, though I wished a less potent version was gained sooner.

We also get a new paladin oath, the oath of guardianship, which replaces detect evil with double Cha-mod on Diplomacy (not a fan) and automatic successes of requests made to friendly targets. Smite evil is altered to smite creatures that harmed beings of lower age categories, granting bonus damage on the smite versus such targets instead of the usual undead/outsider/dragon-paradigm (nice). Instead of 6th level’s mercy, we get blindsense 60 ft. to detect creatures below the adult age category and the code and oath spells make sense.

The pdf also sports new spells, which btw. take ACG and Occult Adventures into account: Locate kin works like locate creature at a lower level, but only for kin; locate youngster follows a similar design paradigm. Mother May I is an interesting compulsion that begs to be used in a dark and rather twisted way – The subject is forced to ask for permission, requiring that they clearly state their intended actions, which you may deny via social skills! Cool! Soothing Kiss eliminates negative conditions and provides fast healing for the remainder of the spell’s duration. Finally, soulbound nanny creates a soulbound doll with your alignment and personality – it can use locate youngsters at will instead of its general alignment SP and you may designate it to nurture spellcasting ability modifier young ones. If it is destroyed, its memories are imparted on the caster. Can make for rather cool narratives!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no serious accumulations of hiccups. Layout adheres to Everyman gaming’s printer-friendly two-column standard and the pdf sports 2 nice full-color artworks. The pdf sports no bookmarks, but the pdf does not need them at this length.

Margherita Tramontano’s motherly options are per se nice: While the bard has some balance-issues, the cool and interesting spells do make up for that. As a whole, I consider this a worthwhile pdf, which, while not perfect, deserves a final verdict of 3.5 stars, rounded up due to in dubio pro reo.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Everyman Minis: Motherly Options
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