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Armada: Expanded Sea Combat and Rules Sourcebook (PFRPG)
by Philip M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/20/2016 21:47:52

The overall layout of the book is nice but the stats and mods for the ship seem a tad overpowered for the price they cost. Streamlining the hull apparently gives your ship extra moves, putting a dagger point on your ship makes it move faster, and other oddities. I still plan on using things from this book but GM's be aware, this book can be a little unbalancing



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Armada: Expanded Sea Combat and Rules Sourcebook (PFRPG)
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Classes of NeoExodus: Protean Scribe (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/12/2016 02:27:27

An Endzeitgeist.com review


The protean scribe class clocks in at 12 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving us with 10 pages of content, so let's take a look!


Chassis-wise, the protean scribe receives d6 HD, 4+Int-mod skills per level, 3/4 BAB-progression and good Will-saves as well as proficiency with simple weapons and light armor. A protean scribe wearing heavier armor than light or a shield suffers from arcane spell failure regarding some of the abilities they have...but more on that below.


A protean scribe begins play with a stylus, a special instrument that is hardier than its mundane version. The stylus can be used to erase something the protean scribe has written. Without a stylus, using her abilities requires making a concentration check with a DC of 10 + twice the number of eloquence used. Eloquence? We'll get there in a second.


As the name scribe implies, the protean scribe obviously is all about writing - writing is categorized in three distinct categories: Embellishments represent buffs; phrases are used offensively as debuffs or damage and stories are about creating creatures, objects etc. from thin air. Regardless of the type of writing used, protean scribes may add primordial words to their writing. Adding a primordial word adds at least +1 eloquence to the cost, potentially more depending on the word in question. A protean scribe begins play with 4 + Wisdom modifier points of eloquence and gains +1 eloquence per level. This pool refreshes upon resting. Upon death, effects of writing persist for 24 hours before dissipating.


Now let's take a look at the types of writing: Embellishments have a range of 30 feet and grant the target affected a morale bonus to atk and damage or a morale bonus on all skill checks. The morale bonus is equal to the total number of eloquence used in the embellishment and may not exceed 1/3 of the class level, minimum 1. Embellishments are supernatural and last until erased or when the protean scribe recovers eloquence and are suppressed in antimagic zones etc. or when removed further than 1 mile from the protean scribe. Starting at 7th level, protean scribes can choose to grant the bonuses granted to an additional creature within range per point of eloquence spent.


Phrases allow for the direct assault of enemies - as a standard action, protean scribes may make a ranged attack against a foe within 60 feet, dealing 1d6 of either slashing, piercing or bludgeoning damage, using Wisdom as the governing attribute to determine bonuses to atk and damage. Phrase base damage increases by +1d6 at 8th and 15th level, respectively. If a primordial word was added to a phrase, it affects the target even when the phrase fails to damage the target, with a save DC of 10 + 1/2 class level (min 1) + Wis-mod to negate unless otherwise noted. Starting at 11th level, a single phrase may target an additional creature in range, including the effects of any primordial words added, sans additional costs.


Stories can be distinguished in two categories - storied objects and storied creatures. Both have in common that they emit dim light in a 5 ft-radius and that writing a story is a full-round action that costs 2 eloquence. Upon completion, the respective creature/object manifests within 30 feet of the scribe. Storied objects may be any nonmagical object (or well-defined set of objects - you'd get a set of lockpicks, not just one) and may not exceed 5 ft. in the longest dimension. Storied objects must be composed of relatively common material and those with a certain complexity or moving parts require a Perform (Oratory) skill check against the Crafting DC of the object to be created in a manner that actually is functional. Masterwork objects can similarly be created via Perform (oratory) versus DC 15, though failure by 5 or more provides a broken object instead. Storied Creatures can either be Medium or Small and share an array of base stats, with each additional eloquence spent providing one Hit Die to the storied creature. At 3HD and every 2 HD thereafter, the creature gains a feat of your choice and similarly, skills are covered. Stories remain in effect until they are removed more than 1 mile from the protean scribe, reduced to 0 hit points, willingly erased or the protean scribe regains eloquence.


Beginning at 4th level, the protean scribe may generate magical storied objects - this requires no less than 10 minutes and make Spellcraft check against Dc 10 + the item's caster level + twice the number of spells listed in the item's construction requirements. On a failure, only a mundane version is created. On a success, the scribe spends an additional 2 eloquence, plus additional eloquence depending on the item type and price: Consumable items are more expensive than non-consumables and the break-down is pretty simple.


Beginning at 2nd level, the protean scribe receives her class level as a bonus to Linguistics checks and at 5th level, she may write 60 words per round when writing mundane texts. She may even scribe scrolls for other characters, at the pace of 5 minutes per spell level. At 6th level, the protean scribe learns a so-called spell word, which is an SU duplication of a 1st level spell she may write 1/day sans expending eloquence; any subsequent use costs eloquence equal to the spell level. At 8th level and every 2 levels thereafter, the protean scribe learns an additional spell word for a higher level spell, as noted in the class table. The governing attribute for spell parameters is either Int or Wis, whichever is higher, and CL is equal to class level.


Now I've already mentioned primordial words: The protean scribe begins play with 3 of them and gains additional primordial words as the levels progress, up to a total of 13 known at level 20. Not all primordial words have effects for all types of writing, so there is a chance that a given word only has an effect on embellishments and storied creatures, for example. Unless I have miscounted, a total of 24 such primordial words are provided. With the exception of one word, they do not have prerequisites, since their effectiveness is directly tied to the bonuses e.g. embellishments grant. From adding different types of energy damage to phrases to providing temporary hit points, making storied creatures undead, the effects are wide and diverse and contain unique boons like the ability to seemingly occupy (one or more) contiguous adjacent square for the purpose of flanking, teamwork feats, etc. Disguise self (not properly italicized, as are other spell-references in one of the few glitches herein), adding senses to creatures, growing in size, SR, miss chances - the interesting component here is most certainly the means by which the effects are concisely capped via bonuses and the like.


Starting at 13th level, the protean scribe reduced the eloquence cost of the first primordial word added to a given piece of writing by 1. Starting at 17th level, the protean scribe may 1/day ignore the eloquence cost of a single primordial word and add it to her writing - whether she knows it or not. This ability can be used an additional time per day at 19th level.


Starting at 3rd level, protean scribes may inscribe harmful words directly onto foes: As a standard action she, may use a melee touch attack to affect targets with primordial words, but unlike utilizing phrases to deliver them thus, the target takes a -4 penalty to saves against it. At 9th level, the effect of phrases is also added to this. At 15th level, she may incur a penalty of -2 to such a tattoo combat attack to basically flurry versus all creatures within reach, applying the effects to each. OUCH!


Capstone-wise, protean scribes may select from gaining one permanent embellishing tattoo, Constitution bleed causing phrases or stories that have their eloquence cost reduced by 3..oh, and if the cost is reduced to 0 or below, the creature/object becomes permanent.


The class comes with no less than 5 archetypes: The scrollblade makes stylus and scrollblade a weapon and gains Two-Weapon Fighting at the expense of reduced eloquence and the loss of the Linguistics-enhancer. The worldwriter replaces phrases with the ability to write a demiplane in a book: At first, it is only a sensory experience, but at higher levels, you can enter it and even shove unwilling creatures inside. The Censor flips embellishments on their head, making them debuffs (yes, with proper language). Runewriters replace the creation of magic items via stories with Craft Wondrous Item - no wonder, they replace stories with a limited array of runes that are used as eloquence-powered spells. Orators may prepare writing in advance, though it only takes effect upon being spoken aloud - this does not require a stylus or writing material. Instead of tattoo combat, orators get increasingly powerful taunts that duplicate the effects of phrases, at higher levels even against mindless targets.


The pdf also contains a total of 6 feats: More range for phrases, higher DCs, making stories linger when refreshing eloquence, extra eloquence, recovering a bit of eloquence when erasing a story or adding eidolon evolutions to storied creatures...all possible.


Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are good or very good, depending on how you look at it: On a formal level, there isn't much to complain about, even though the italicization-missing spells annoyed me. On the plus-side, the internal formatting of the class is precise and to the point and I can field no complaints there. The rules-language is similarly rather precise, particularly for the complexity of the subjet matter. Layout adheres to the beautiful two-column full-color standard used for NeoExodus-supplements and the pdf comes with a second, more printer-friendly version. the artworks featured herein are absolutely gorgeous. The pdf comes with minimalist bookmarks for general sections, but not e.g. individual words, but at this length that's still okay.


So, the protean scribe is a class that you will either love or hate - if raw damage is what you're looking for, then there may be better choices. I won't lie, this is a class that, on paper, didn't look like it would have too much staying power or too fun in play. I was pretty wrong in that regard, as the playtest showed. While it takes a bit to grasp how the system works (presentation here could be a little smoother), Michael McCarthy's class actually played rather well - in a 15-pt.-buy context, I needed no nerfing and at higher point-buys, it still worked rather well, though eloquence is a conservative resource; you will want to take that extra eloquence feat as soon as possible.


Role-wise, we have a support-class here, but one that exceeds in spontaneous modularity just about every class I know and has some serious crazy-prepared tricks written into it. The option to create glowy creatures and objects can offer a TON of fun and roleplaying potential. In a pure hack-and-slash campaign, the protean scribe may be useful, but she shines brightest in an intrigue and roleplaying-heavy campaign where there is a lot of problem-solving beyond "I bash its brains in" - in such scenarios, the flexibility of the class becomes absolutely impressive and extremely rewarding.


As a word of warning - more so than the bard, for example, the protean scribe is a jack-of-all-trades; this does mean that it requires really understanding the class, which could have been made a bit easier from a didactic point of view. (Explaining primordial word use in the primordial word section again, for example.)


Beyond that, though, there is one aspect that will determine whether you enjoy the class: Your own creativity. In an interesting way, the focus on creativity inherent in the act of writing the protean scribe uses, also extends to the player: The more creative the player, the more fun and efficient will the protean scribe be. In short: The class can reward improvisation rather well and does so beyond the confines we usually see in class design. I know a bunch of classes with modular systems; Bradley Crouch delivers them rather often and in crisp precision and detail. However, this class may not reach that level of precision, but it does make up for it in creativity. Younger players that are frustrated by the confinements of most classes in particular, provided they grasp the rules/have them explained, have enunciated that they were more than pleased with the protean scribe class.


In short: This class, even after the literally hundreds of classes for Pathfinder I've reviewed, feels fresh in its playing experience and remains reigned in, in spite of its wide-open focus. Ultimately, beyond didactics, there is but one gripe I do have: We can really use more primordial words for this fellow. Well, that and the TWF-archetype is a horrible trap - melee focus (instead of last-ditch resort) with d6 HD? Not a good idea. If you want to know a quick analogue for the class - to me, it feels like "Read or Die" - the class, with the focus taken away from the medium of paper and geared towards the content itself. But how to rate this? See, that's where things get tricky - I really like the class herein, but, in a rare case, I actually believe it could have used a bit more eloquence per level; plus, it does have a trap option; while the rules are pretty clear, their presentation could be a bit clearer...but at the same time, this was met pretty enthusiastically and does offer a novel playing experience unlike any I've seen in a while. So how to rate this? Well, the engine can be modified pretty easily sans breaking the class, which is a good thing indeed.


Oh, and it allows for truly astonishing flexibility. This may not be perfect...but I don't often find myself enjoying a class to this extent. If you're looking for a class where creativity and flexibility are the bread and butter, you'll love the protean scribe. In the end, I will settle on a final verdict of 4.5 stars, and while I'd love to round up, the pdf could be slightly more refined in the presentation of its concepts and the class could use favored class options...so I'll have to round down. But since I really, really enjoy some things this guy lets me do, I'll still slap my seal of approval on this guy. Can we have more material for this great class?


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Classes of NeoExodus: Protean Scribe (PFRPG)
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Classes of NeoExodus: Protean Scribe (PFRPG)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/04/2016 11:09:19

This class is filled with amazing creative potential! The protean scribe's concept is so strong and execution so fun it literally kept me up all night consider all the ways to play the class. And best of all, there is so little required "locked in" class features that you can change your play style with as little as a full-round action. Living stories! Magical phrase attacks! Day long augmenting embelishments! If you CAN'T decide between being a buffer, a pet master, a ranged attack specialist or a debuffer... DON'T. Just play this class and switch up your style with your stylus when ever want!


More thoughts h-
ere
.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ultimate NPC Deck
by Michael T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/15/2016 16:04:06

It's okay for what it is, the art is good, but for my money there are way, way, way too many "gonzo" characters. An otter pirate? When am I EVER going to use that? More importantly how could I EVER use that MORE than once!


So while there are 68 cards (and one blank - what the heck am I going to do with a blank), I'll be lucky if I can use 30 of them.


If you're okay with each of these guys being usable only once, you might like this. Otherwise, there's not a lot of 'normal' NPCs here.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Ultimate NPC Deck
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Classes of NeoExodus: Machinesmith (PFRPG)
by Elexious C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/06/2016 16:34:07

The Machinesmith is a fun class. Really all you need in a magi-tech artificer is right here and covers a lot of bases that I could think of and that I desired to play.


It does hit on a few pet peeves. It gains 'prototypes' of six levels that function like spells and it makes me have to explain why this class gets technology and others don't. Balance-wise it makes sense that a mechanic class only has technology that functions for itself the same way that a caster cant grant the ability to cast spells to someone else (wands and scrolls withstanding) but with Paizo's Technology guide it became easy to dismiss what the machinesmith does as personal magitech and leave it at that. There are some points in the font however where its hard to tell where a list of selectable options ends and a new class feature ends but that only required one double take. Also this class feels like it doesn't have a real place outside of campaign that uses high technology in general.


With my nitpicking out of the way, the class itself is balanced, fun and has a lot of options. Whatever you want out of an artificer this class has it. There are also some feats to support it, some archetypes a prestige class and spells that are also compatable with other spell lists.


If you got the print copy like I did you'll be surprised to see two extra goodies. There are the Fleshwraith and Host classes. The Fleshwraith is less machinesmith and more bioengineer. it seems to be missing it's hit die though but I assume it's a d8. The Host, also missing it's hit die, is a symbiote possessed class that gains eidolon evolutions as mutations from the creature living inside him.


Overall the product gives a lot of bang for the buck and the hit die and font problems aside it is my second favorite engineering class. Its easy to understand and varied in it's execution and a lot of fun to play so I'm giving it five stars.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Classes of NeoExodus: Machinesmith (PFRPG)
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Monsters of NeoExodus: Dragons (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/05/2016 03:50:48

An Endzeitgeist.com review


This monster book clocks in at 34 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, 2 pages of advertisement, leaving us with a massive 30 pages of content, so let's take a look!


Ah, dragons! Who doesn't love them? They're the apex-predators, the big, nasty super-killer creatures and there is no adversary as iconic out there. Suffice to say, I've read a lot of dragon-variants over the years and I very much loathed the "everything needs to be a half-dragon"-trend in the dying days of 3.X - the tendency cheapened dragons in my opinion and took away from their impact. I've also been pretty vocal about my preference for dragons to be smart adversaries that should be played and presented as such...but that's just my take on the concept.


More important for the purpose of this review would be another component: Both in official bestiaries and in supplements pertaining dragons, I've noticed a tendency towards cop-outs or, if you like, less thorough presentation: Dragons, traditionally, sport a massive table that lets you customize them by age category; in the better installments, we also get sample builds for some different age categories. This, at least in my opinion, in important - it further emphasizes the iconic place these magnificent beasts have in our games and sets them apart - basically, a dragon is already a customizable threat, an entry already covers diverse variants for different CRs. Now this does take up space, sure -but know what? It's a significant part of draconic identity as far as their status as monsters is concerned. This pdf begins by doing this honored tradition justice with the required tables and summary of dragon senses, no breath and similar fun abilities -yes, including starflight.


The respective entries for the dragons themselves sported in this book provide 3 different sample builds, for the young, adult and ancient age category, respectively and each dragon gets a thoroughly AWESOME, truly evocative mugshot - I'm not kidding when I'm saying that these are absolutely gorgeous. Obviously, the respective dragons also sport individual tables that denote ability-progressions over the respective age categories. The cool thing, at least in my book, is that this book does not simply add more chromatics or metallics to the fray - instead, we are introduced to two categories of the dragons with multiple subtypes. The first of these categories would by conflict dragons, and they are nasty. No, really.


Take the first kind and look at the name - In clear letters, one reads "Armageddon Dragon." Yeah, these guys are not playing around - with a starvation aura that fatigues creatures, SPs that include cup of dust, waves of exhaustion and many more and a slashing/dehydration-based breath weapons, these creatures' abilities make pretty clear that they are about the ruination of...everything. More unique still would be the fury dragon - while an acidic breath weapon may seem pretty conventional, these dread beings are plague carriers have an aura that increases the potency of diseases (and makes them more virulent) and they can incubate an insanity-causing berserker-disease. Oh, and they pretty much look like a horrid blending of insects and dragons, with a CR 6 parasite swarm being provided as well. Why? Because they can disgorge increasing amounts of these nasty, lamprey-like worms! Disgusting and glorious!


The holocaust dragon would be the necromancy-themed of these nasty dragons - with an aura that weakens the living and strengthens the undead, a negative energy-based breath weapon (that alas, does not heal undead) and a limited ability to throw disgorged souls at his foes (dealing negative levels AND reanimating present corpses...) as well as the soul devouring abilities of these beasts make clear that they are not to be trifled with. Now wrath dragons would be basically the big, nasty and rather unsubtle destroy-em-all type of grinders - beyond a berserker-rage-including aura and additional fire damage, they can breathe burning shrapnel (which doubles as caltrops), eat most metals easily (ignore 10 hardness) and combine bites with lower-strength breath weapons for truly apocalyptic damage. Oh, and what about a limited breath of molten metal or retributive damage versus weapons that strike these beasts? Yes, pretty awesome!


The second class of dragons introduced here are stellar dragons - where conflict dragons are predisposed to an unraveling, an end, stellar dragons strive to maintain balance and existence - though that does NOT mean they're necessarily nice: Alignment-wise, they are LN or CG and take the VERY large picture into account - which means that yes, they may sacrifice a kingdom or even world to maintain balance and defeat a greater evil. Their abilities are no less unique, mind you: The first of these dragon types would be the gravity dragon: With a slowing presence, gravity-increasing breath and particularly brutal melee attacks, they are intriguing. As a minor complaint - their natural attacks increase as though they were one age category older, but no progression for dragons beyond great wyrm is given, which is a small oversight. One easily rectified, granted, but still. They can also create massive singularities a limited amount of times per day - with devastating effects.


The Nebula dragons can cause cold damage as well as radiation exposure with their breaths and they do receive a nice, defensive concealment-granting cloud of particles and may unleash a magic-suppression cloud a limited amount of times per day. Pulsar dragons can dazzle those nearby and suppress darkness-based magic completely. Oh, and they have laser breath that may not be effective versus all creatures...but it can pass through e.g. walls of force. Additionally, they may use their breath weapon in pulsing blasts, customizing the damage output of each blast according to his needs. The final stellar dragon herein would be the supernova dragon, whose very presence heats metal and hampers cold creatures. His breath incinerates all that fall before him and he may use is breath in a massive radius around him - said breath is btw. a combination of fire and electricity and yes, their SPs are deadly.


This is not, however, where this pdf ends - instead, we are introduced to the two dragon lords - masters of all conflict/stellar dragonkind. Conflict dragons revere the CR 25 monstrosity called Eschaton. If the name was not ample clue, yes, this basically takes the mythic beast from revelations and codifies it not as a metaphor, but as a full-blown engine of annihilation. Whenever one of the 7 heads of eschaton is destroyed, it regenerates a new head associated with whatever destroyed the head, growing stronger...or more versatile. An aberrant head grown can breathe a cone of devastating, mutating slime; a mechanical head has teeth of adamantine and breathes poisonous steam...and a spectral head increases the reach of this engine of destruction to the incorporeal. Oh, and if you're like me and consider that not enough yet...well, there is a mythic version: CR 30/MR 10.


This beast...is so beautiful. An aura that staggers AND has a 50/50-chance of inflicinting murderous command or terrible remorse. Nigh indestructible. Mythic power to make the breath linger or rip open reality to gate in tentacley doom - awesome.


The adversary of this all-destroying master of annihilation would be the infinity dragon Ananta, CR 25. Encompassing both male and female, this dual-headed dragon (you can see the picture on the cover) has devastating sonic and cold breaths and is quicker when undertaking starflight journeys. The combined blast of the dragon's breath weapons can destroy just about anything utterly...oh, and ananta can exist in two places at once, treating either as her location for attacks, reach, etc. Similarly to Eschaton, we do btw. receive a truly awe-inspiring mythic version of this steward of the multiverse - at CR 30/MR 10, this iteration of the mighty infinity dragon can create creatures to fight from the dust of the foes vanquished by Ananta. Similarly, the multi-existence ability and a benevolent, exceedingly powerful music of the spheres complement an awesome, unique take on the mighty dragon lord.


Conclusion:


Editing and formatting are very good - beyond minor hiccups, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to LPJ design's gorgeous two-column full-color standard and a smaller version is provided in case you want to use this on mobile devices. The artwork is absolutely staggering and excellent - both the mugshots of the dragons and the two full-body renditions of the dragon lords are gorgeous. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.


Jeff Lee delivers here - the dragons presented in this book utilize unique, evocative mechanics, have cool, unique themes that set the apart and the superb artwork further emphasizes that - seriously, one glance and you'll want to use these asap! The pure imaginative potential of these dragons is impressive indeed and the book, as such a steal for its price-point, particularly if you're like me and enjoy truly devastating adversaries to challenge your players. My final verdict will clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval.


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Monsters of NeoExodus: Dragons (PFRPG)
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Obsidian Apocalypse: Sinful & Vile Feats (PFRGP)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/04/2016 03:58:02

An Endzeitgeist.com review


This collection of dastardly feats clocks in at 19 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving us with 17 pages of content, so let's take a look!


Okay, before I go into this pdf, let me state that loudly and clearly - this is a book of feats, yes...but it is a book full of Clinton J. Boomer-feats. This sets this pdf pretty much apart from every feat-pdf you'll ever seen...why? Well, we all know how feats work, right? Basically, they are short pieces of crunch that provide a rules-option, for the most part a relative generic, wide-open one that makes a character better at something or adds an option to the character's arsenal or makes it viable. Mr. Boomer's approach to feats is completely different, beginning with flavor-text - most of his feats sport a whole paragraph of flavor-text before going on to present the prerequisites. But guess what? Said prereqs are actually pretty hard to fulfill - when one takes a look at Bright-Burning Tempter, for example, one notices that the feat requires class levels as antipaladin AND of the wishcrafter ifrit sorceror archetype, a rather uncommon option.


So yes, there are feats intended to make less viable options that make for cool character concepts more viable. The second thing a newcomer to his design-approach would note is that the benefits...are complex. As in "I can literally list a huge amount of archetypes that do less" level of complexity.


To take the aforementioned feat as an example: When a creature benefits from your wishbound arcana, it is thereafter declared as a "supplicant" - said targets may be healed via touch of corruption as though they were undead and you may spend 2 uses of it to remove a variety of different negative conditions. In a twist, this does not remove disease or addiction - just the effects. Additionally, when you use wishbound arcana, you may expend a number of daily uses of touch of corruption, capping at sorceror level, to evoke one of two or both of the following effects: Effect 1: You may apply a metamagic feat to the spell cast, requiring expenditure of touch of corruption equal to the amount of spell level increases the metamagic feat would apply. The second effect makes the power you bestow addictive, prompting the supplicant to save versus a scaling DC to not fall prey to your power's addictive qualities. Additional expenditure of touch of corruption uses increases the potency of said addiction.


That was one feat. You'll notice 3 peculiarities here - a) this does more than a simple archetype, b) is incredibly cool and evocative and c)...is arguably pretty strong, as it basically unlocks paladin mercy-style tricks for the antipaladin class. Via a follow-up-feat, you can use touch of corruption as a free or immediate action to gain the benefits of e.g. air walk/water walk, bypass fire resistance (but not immunity - immune targets instead get half damage), destroy unattended objects, lace flaming burst on all attacks, king's castle or elemental body II (fire elemental only) for 1 round and you may expend 2 uses to provide the benefits until the end of your next round. Oh, and the supplicant needs to be able to ask for the respective benefits. This feat is aptly called Answer to Apocalyptic Desires and it should pretty much highlight something to consider - these feats are powerful; specific and complex, but very powerful.


Now this is pretty much what makes Obsidian Apocalypse the perfect fit for this kind of design - after all, most "regular" folks have either been killed or corrupted...and these feats very much make clear how the forces of darkness could win.


Another feat herein, Devil's Gate, allows you to expend ki in the dark/dim lighting to summon eidolon/lesser eidolon surge as a SP, with higher levels allowing for progressively higher expenditures of ki for more powerful SPs. There is also a similar feat that substitutes grit for that, which is slightly more problematic, considering that grit is a refreshing resource as opposed to ki. Both feats have btw. in common that they don't have a prerequisites-line. While it's rather apparent that one should have both eidolon and the respective pool, the nitpicker in me still would have wanted a line à la "eidolon class feature, ki/grit pool class feature."


Elemental Adeptness is also interesting - it locks your Elemental Fist into a given element, but grants you a revelation associated with the given energy type (oracle class level = character level) and allows you to, as a standard action, expend spell-level ki or grit points to cast mystery-spells, though they are treated as SPs, get a scaling save DC and they are governed by Wisdom.


Another feat basically takes the skinwalker-theme - you can wildshape into a disgusting proto-beast (at decreased duration - only 10 minutes per level) and fluidly switch between forms - including swarm forms, though these make you exceedingly vulnerable versus AoE-effects. Oh, and yes, animals and vermin shy away from your abominable form. There is also a feat that ties Bloodrager to Charisma, making the class work better with the undead, while Sense of the Shrike allows you to know when your name/title is uttered - the more often the target has spoken your name, the easier you can sniff out the fool who dared to speak your name.


It should be noted that the pdf blends Boomer's design rather well with the unique options of Obsidian Apocalypse - the genesai-race, for example, can extend greatly the use of shattersoul blade, expending it for alternate, defensive purposes. Several other feats follow similarly complex rules-operations, codifying spells as castable via class resources, extending spell-lists.


There is also a feat called Terrifying Blow that lets you utilize natural attacks as Awesome Blows, in spite of not fulfilling the prerequisites for the latter and while the feat provides synergy with the Awesome Blow-feat, the potency of the maneuver and the minimal prereqs here mean that this is rather nasty - even before the added AoE shaken-effect accompanying the attacks. On the plus-side, however, it should be noted that a vast amount of synergy between other feats and this makes the mechanics here solid. Insane gunslingers (or swashbucklers) worshipping the elder gods can inflict damage upon themselves (to hasten activation action) and expend grit/panache to temporarily gain the tarrasque's carapace...and yes, the damage cannot be mitigated.


It should also be noted that the Burning Necropolis provides a feat tree, which, when combined, in text exceeds two pages - and they are intriguing, for prereqs contain exposures to various environmental hazards and the feats add necropolis tokens you can expend to increase the potency of your summon monster spells...oh, and the final feat lets you call forth a fully statted golden-clad legion of skeletons (using the mob rules)...and it can be remotely detonated.


What about a mantra of madness that allows you to use Linguistics as an immediate action to negate attacks or touch attacks by substituting it for AC? Yes, these feats are powerful...but oh so well-written. No, I haven't even touched upon e.g. the feat that makes undead gunslingers basically revenants and lets them rejuvenate for as long as they have grit...including the return of their weaponry...


The pdf also contains the Singer of Praise, a bard archetype, who gets a cleric's Ref- and Will-save progression, 4+Int skills per level (and a decreased class skill-list), but replaces bardic knowledge with access to a mystery (but no revelations, though they can be gained via Extra Revelation). The archetype may only inspire allies sharing their faith (or are within one step of the alignment axis) via bardic music. 2nd level provides a domain, subdomain or inquisition instead of versatile performance, while well-versed only applies to creatures opposed to the patron deity. 5th level provides channel energy at -4 levels instead of lore master and 10th level unlocks a sorceror bloodline, adding bonus spells, treating sorceror levels for bloodline powers as -6. This archetype is very complex, considering the amount of moving parts - so yes, depending on the amount of resources you use, it can become problematic. However, it doesn't have to be.


Conclusion:


Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to LPJ Design's two-column full-color standard for Obsidian Apocalypse-pdfs and the pdf comes with gorgeous full color artworks. The pdf is fully bookmarked and a second, smaller version intended for mobile use is provided in the deal.


Okay, so why did I ramble on for about half the review on the design philosophy behind these feats? Well, because I need you to understand that these feats are not balanced against your average standard feat - what we have here are essentially character concepts in feat form, narrative options. Unlike most feats, the material contained herein, sans exceptions, is so evocative and unique, it made me really want to create characters FOR the feats, not the other way round - prior to reading this, I wasn't aware I needed a wishcrafter antipaladin villain - now I certainly KNOW I need one of these guys in my rogue's gallery! Much like the feats Clinton has crafted for Legendary Games' Legendary Villains-series, these feats are pure, evocative brilliance....and should not find their way into the hands of players unless you're gunning for a truly high-powered campaign or need them to make a character concept work. (Alternatively, these make for great story-rewards...) One can also see Jeff Lee's talented design in these pages.


Here's the thing, though: This approach to feat-design fits perfectly with Obsidian Apocalypse's brutal, high-powered and twisted setting - the last heroes and villains, the sheer epic scope of their conflict...it works with the setting exceedingly well and complements it in a delightfulyl wicked wayx - even among master Boomer's feats, some of these stand out by virtue of their imagery and awesome themes. If the title wasn't ample clue for you: These feats are intended for the bad guys out there and at best, provide morally questionable power and yes, they stumble here and there regarding the precise implementation of prerequisites...but they also manage to juggle extremely complex concepts sans stumbling.


Let me reiterate this: I am going to rate this according to its intent -as a feat-toolkit to craft truly astounding villains or high-powered anti-heroes. And, oh boy does this do its job - usually, reviewing feats is a rather tedious, none-too-exciting process. While reading this book, however, I thoroughly enjoyed myself...and when it was done, I immediately felt the urge to craft some unique adversaries. A single feat herein can inspire a whole cadre of villains - and that is, pardon the horrible pun, a feat indeed. As a GM toolkit, this is pure awesomeness, the astounding concepts and overall execution mitigating the minor issues this has. So what's my final verdict?


Well, I can't rate this the full 5 stars...but this is the first feat-pdf in ages that really blew me away. Hence, my final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded up and I'll add my seal of approval to it. Seriously, if you're looking for complex, inspired and extremely flavorful design and a crunch-book that is actually a good read, get this! Beware when using this for PCs, though.


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Obsidian Apocalypse: Sinful & Vile Feats (PFRGP)
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Crisis of the World Eater Prequel: A Warning Too Late (PFRPG)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/08/2016 23:00:05

This one succeeds on all counts-it successfully blends elements of high fantasy, superhero tropes, and science fantasy, serves as a set-up for events to follow, and is an entertaining mini-adventure in its' own right. While a bit linear (as might be expected in a scenario of this length), ambitious GMs could certainly expand on the options given inside. Though I'd normally give this one a four star rating, the spectacular cover artwork puts it over the top.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Crisis of the World Eater Prequel: A Warning Too Late (PFRPG)
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Crisis of the World Eater Prequel: A Warning Too Late (PFRPG)
by Marshall G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/01/2016 21:56:37

This looks to be a very intriguing start to a very intriguing campaign. I can't wait for the Kickstarter, coming on Leap Day this year. I've read through this prequel, and it has definitely whetted my appetite for more. I'll wait to actually run it until the full campaign is closer to available, but on a read through it definitely promises some great play.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Crisis of the World Eater Prequel: A Warning Too Late (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/30/2015 04:38:24

An Endzeitgeist.com review


This prequel for the unprecedented Crisis of the World-Eater-saga clocks in at 14 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page advertisement,1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 9 pages of content, so let's take a look!


This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion.


...


..


.


All across the world, an uncanny psychic scream echoes through the minds of the minds of the world, driving many individuals to suicide - and the trail leads to the irradiated Kray Wasteland, officially a hostile area broken by the impact of a meteorite. Major Marco Dempompa send the PCs into this wasteland - and it is here, the PCs find something they did not expect: Beyond the deadly gangs that inhabit the wasteland, the PCs unearth a strange, star-shaped complex - for from it, the scream was sent forth. They are not alone in their discovery, though - it is here that a secret super-soldier program was launched and three of these changed beings now have returned: The apathy-field generating arcanist Synapse, the unbreakable Colossus like berserker Vault and the Magneto-style elven storm sorceress Ozone.


Finally, beyond the locked down central section, the deadly quicksilver/flash-like Black Silver and the cabalists of the Onyx Cabal remain - and here, the PCs find the broken figure depicted on the cover, the chronicler - who has regained his strength to emit the scream...to warn the world of the approach of Saitan, the deliverer of Omega...before falling back into hibernation. I should btw. mention that the bosses/super-soldiers of this module, like bosses in Metal Gear Solid or superheroes/villains sport unique abilities that render them significantly more interesting than the sum of their builds.


It is with a sense of doom impending, paranoia versus the world's nations and a player-friendly map of the complex that we end this first taste of the dread things to come...


Conclusion:


Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to a printer-friendly, elegant 2-column full-color standard established in the surprisingly awesome "Chronicle of the Gatekeepers"-campaign serial, though with minor modification. The pdf's artwork is original and absolutely stunning and the cartography is just as awesome. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.


This brief module by Michael McCarthy, Jeff Lee and Louis Porter Jr. delivers in its promise - it makes me excited for "Crisis of the World-Eater" - even more so than I was before - the evocative backdrop suffused with exceedingly cool bosses renders this a great little module. Oh, and this one is "Pay What You Want" - which means there is literally no reason why you shouldn't check out this cool little module. Personally, I do believe that it is worth a tip/compensation for the obvious care that went into it for the unique bosses alone. Seeing how this is PWYW, I can't see a reason why this should not be considered to be 5 stars + seal of approval - an intriguing, first glimpse at the vast things to come.


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Chronicle of the Gatekeepers Omega: Dawn of a Thousand Wars (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/27/2015 05:45:06

An Endzeitgeist.com review


The final adventure in the Chronicle of the Gatekeepers Campaign Serial clocks in at 22 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 18 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?


Now if you want to know what happens if the PCs did not play all the sidetrek and thus have not yet reached the required 4th level of this module...well, the book already hints at what to expect from "Crisis of the World-Eater," as a handy sidebox provides suggested fluff-only adversaries from diverse worlds to be inserted after the first encounter of the module: Whether drow from AAW Games' Aventyr, Puppeteer-ridden humanoids from Dreamscarred Press' Third Dawn, leather-clad ladies from Legendary Games' Hypercorps 2099, goblin firestarters from Rogue Genius Games' Veranthea or ghouls from LPJ Design's Obsidian Apocalypse - there is some serious diversity here regarding the suggested adversaries to bridge the XP-gap.


This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion.


...


..


.


All right, still here? Great! Atlantis folly and hubris are well-documented in the myths we weave o earth - struck down by a cataclysm of deific proportions, the Atlanteans drew back from the worlds and their nexus gateways - until recently, when the Deltans, former colonists, re-established contact to save their home world from the forces of Entropy. Bringing Atlantean weapons to bear, the inexorable advance was slowed, but not stopped. Where Atlantis fell into fatalism, the vespans didn't - and thus, Sodan took control of the legendary city and sent forth legions to scour the worlds for something to save Delta. He found what he was looking for on NeoEoxdus, in the guise of the rather unpleasant animancer Pushae, whom the PCs hunted back in module alpha. Thanks to the work done in the previous sidetreks, the PCs and their mentor Large-Biter can finally narrow down the activity of the Vespan's to one particular gateway - and beyond that lies the answer to their questions - stepping through the portal with the nexus key (or not, if you want to reiterate the cool portal activation in "Speaking the Same Language", the PCs arrive in the buffer - where a Comozant Wyrd awaits - and after this line of defense, there lies Atlantis.


The beautifully mapped (player-friendly, btw.) city then constitutes the backdrop for the PC's further investigations - and if visitors from hundreds of worlds were not ample clue, then the Vespan patrols will be: They better be low key. Alas, unfortunately news travels fast, even in Atlantis - hence, the module tracks PC notoriety, with certain special encounters happening upon PCs crossing a certain threshold. It should be noted that multiple skills and degrees of success are featured here for a pretty fine-grained investigation, particularly for a module of this one's brevity - bravo! Indeed, finding Pushae may go both ways - with either the PCs finding the animancer or him coming after them - still, exploring the wondrous vista while laying low does have its appeal in either way. Sooner or later, the PCs will have to venture forth to Old Atlantis and the soul crucible there. And exploring the place does reveal some terrible truths: Beyond the scrupulous guards and assistants, traps and people stripped of their souls do not bode well as the PCs explore this fully mapped mini-dungeon (including a player-friendly version, just fyi!) - and finally, the PCs will be face to face with Pushae inside his Soul Crucible. Interesting here: Pushae is a powerful foe, but as a researcher convinced of the necessity of his work, he is thankfully underprepared for the PCs.


The module does not end here, though: As Pushae's own soul is consumed by his crucible, Sodan and his vespans enter the building, telepathically contact the PCs...and make clear that they just literally stuck their faces in the wasp's nest: From here on out, the PCs will be hard-pressed to run...fast...and hopefully, to the artillery range...to sink Atlantis! As legions of vespans assault the PCs, they'll have high-powered atlantean siege-weaponry at their disposal to mow down scores of attacking foes while the Obliteration cannon charges - 10 rounds. Believe me when I'm saying that 10 rounds can be a nail-biting experience. It should be noted that this encounter is not run as a siege-weapon combat, but rather as a mini-game - a welcome change of pace in this instance...and yes, notoriety also features in how quick Sodan can muster his troupes...


Soon after Atlantis' hull is breached, its final defense mechanism kicks in - and the city warps to NeoExodus, stranding on the planet! Let's hope that the PCs can escape in the chaos...but this is not yet the end of either the story of the pdf: 12 hook allow for further customization and the pdf ends with a brief gazetteer of Atlantis, fully depicted Atlantean siege engines (like miniguns and tesla lances) as well as magic items and stats for the no-longer fully human CR 6 Atlanteans and the powers - which includes a domination aura that does look a bit like Khaynite tricks to me...but we'll see.


Conclusion:


Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no glaring glitches (apart from one instance mentioning "Hypernet 2099", which should be "Hypercorps 2099"...); the pdf's layout adheres to LPJ Design's beautiful 2-column full-color standard and the pdf's artworks are pretty gorgeous, as is the cartography. The book comes with a second, more printer-friendly version. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.


Michael McCarthy and Louis Porter Jr. had me curious, but ultimately skeptical regarding the end of the "Chronicle of the Gatekeepers"-serial - I wasn't sure whether the omega-adventure could live up to the hype and anticipation generated by the previous modules, particularly after the more down-to-earth sidetreks. Then I saw the page-count and my heart just dropped. I couldn't conceive the module living up to its ambitious premise and title in so few pages. Well, I'm glad to report that the omega adventure of "Chronicle of the Gatekeepers" is a fast-paced, exciting action-romp par excellence: Partway infiltration/espionage, partway full-blown action-movie escalation, this trip to the legendary city is not only well-structured, it is downright cinematic and bombastic in its concepts and settings - most AP-ending adventures do not manage to evoke such a palpable sense of high stakes. At the same time, the module does have one "flaw", if you will: Due to its brevity, the legendary city explored in this book does not get that much space to shine, when it, by concept alone, could have carried an epic 100+ page plot of a mega-adventure. Oh well, GMs can add to this unique location, so if you're like me and excited for this...well, there you go.


The furious finale, with its alteration and reveal of one damn cool addition to NeoExodus' metaplot made me conclude this module with a palpable sense of gravitas and foreboding, but also with a lot of excitement and anticipation for the world-spanning "Crisis of the World-Eater." Oh, and the unique finale's mini-game is, in the hands of a capable GM something players will keep talking about for years to come. Beyond being a very good module, this also constitutes, in my opinion, Michael McCarthy's best module so far and a worthy conclusion of a series that saw me skeptical and managed to win me over via the diverse, unique challenges offered - in short, a final module for the serial well worth a final verdict of 5 stars + seal of approval.


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Chronicle of the Gatekeepers Omega: Dawn of a Thousand Wars (PFRPG)
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Chronicle of the Gatekeepers Sidetrek: Speaking the Same Language (PFRGP)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/25/2015 05:22:16

An Endzeitgeist.com review


This installment of the chronicle of the gatekeepers campaign serial clocks in at 10 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, 1/2 page advertisement, leaving us with 5.5 pages of content, so let's take a look!


This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion.


...


..


.


Okay, only GMs around? There is something odd, about similarities between worlds when you think about it: From dominant races to linguistic similarities, there are parallels in spite of vastly diverging cultures. I mean, oddly, PCs had not much acclimation issues on NeoExodus, right? Well, Large-Biter needs the PCs to verify something - namely whether the activation of the Nexus Gateway that brought them here was a fluke - and hey, if they're stranded on the other side, at least they're home, right? Pretty neat: If the PCs have played In His Bad Books, they'll have an easier time activating the portal - which, btw., turns out to be a Stargate-esque task of activating different dials to properly calibrate the portal.


Calibration is a tricky business and actually a fun, old-school-ish puzzle that rewards PCs for thinking about how the device works...and yes, they may, for a brief second, open a gate to a sun and be slightly toasted by the experience (they should thank the creators of these gates for the failsafes...). Other failures like the void or other worlds may pit the PCs versus proteans or vespans, but at home, they will meet a local monk...and prymidian bards: These beings from NeoExodus are exceedingly gifted polyglots and have determined on the PC's home planet, that the similarities in languages and cultures are highly unlikely - so much so, that a common influence has to be assumed. Just as they're about to discuss this further, something emerges from the gateway - a creature that WILL require the assistance of the NPCs...or a quick escape, for a Hound of Tindalos has tracked the PCs here - and even with their allies, the PCs will be hard-pressed defeating this creature. That being said, escape back to NeoExodus is an option - though it might waste the portal, requiring another way home at some point...


Conclusion:


Editing and formatting are very good. Layout adheres to LPJ Design's elegant 2-column full-color standard for the series and the module comes fully bookmarked and in a second, slightly more printer and mobile phone-friendly version.


Michael McCarthy and Louis Porter Jr.'s Speaking the Same Language is an inspiring sidetrek: Much like the previous installment, it has a unique, creative central premise, here the activation of the gateway. This premise of gate activation alone is imho worth the asking price and can easily be scavenged for similar planar portals and gateways. The emphasis on intelligence-gathering and some truly intriguing repercussions from the knowledge gained also render this brief module more fun that one would expect from its brevity. Finally, the extremely challenging final encounter is a nice reminder of the things that lurk out there and the fact that sometimes, escape may be the smartest move. All in all, a damn cool sidetrek and well worth 5 stars + seal of approval.


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Chronicle of the Gatekeepers Sidetrek: Speaking the Same Language (PFRGP)
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Chronicle of the Gatekeepers Sidetrek: Not of the Same Mind (PFRGP)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/24/2015 03:58:47

An Endzeitgeist.com review


This installment of the chronicle of the gatekeepers campaign serial clocks in at 10 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 6 pages of content, so let's take a look!


This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion.


...


..


.


All right, only GMs around? One of the most unique races of NeoExodus would be the Cavians - rat-like humanoids that are all psychics...and that differ radically from any other race by one crucial fact: The race sports a hivemind, which renders them unique and alien in an uncanny way. Large-Biter has news - a group of cavian monks is nearby and may prove vital intelligence on the Vespan's work and the flare of activity of the Nexus gateways. It should soon dawn upon the PCs that there are some racial tensions here - indeed, even before they venture forth towards the Cavians, they'll be confronted by villagers warning them in no undue terms - tensions are flaring and, indeed, this module is about the two disparate groups.


The module tracks every little interaction between both groups, so here's the deal: Teryth's natives are pretty hostile towards the Cavians and thus, each interaction, each wrong word, may provide a mob point; the interaction with the Cavians may yield Diplomacy points alongside information and the PCs better take heed - upon their return to Teryth from the trip to the Cavians, the local populace seems awfully interested in the details of the Cavian's strength, numbers, etc. - and yes, here the PCs better ought to remain unspecific. Now the cool thing here is the following: The points ultimately determine how the final showdown between the two groups turns out - and there are a lot of different, fine-grained results here, with the non-bloodshed ideal case being pretty hard to achieve...but not impossible.


The module also sports one cavian magic item, just fyi.


Conclusion:


Editing and formatting are very good. Layout adheres to LPJ Design's elegant 2-column full-color standard for the series and the module comes fully bookmarked and in a second, slightly more printer and mobile phone-friendly version.


Michael McCarthy and Louis Porter Jr. provide one extremely elegant sidetrek here: Focusing on Diplomacy, this humble little module offers a welcome change of pace from the usual adventuring fare, with interesting supplemental rules that render running this one pretty easy. Additionally, this module rewards Diplomacy and bring heroic (i.e. not kill-happy) - it's ideal solution is that no one gets hurt. More importantly, while there are ample skill-checks here, many of the actions and actual points the PCs get depend on roleplaying as opposed to simply rolling a die - a fact that further improves this already cool set-up. I am seriously impressed by this cool, little sidetrek - it is different in all the right ways, fun and a great chance for actual roleplaying to shine. Barring any proper complaints, I can wholeheartedly endorse this fun, uncommon sidetrek, since it exemplifies what you can accomplish with even limited space. My final verdict will clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval.


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Chronicle of the Gatekeepers Sidetrek:  Not of the Same Mind (PFRGP)
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Chronicle of the Gatekeepers Sidetrek: To Not Serve Man (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/19/2015 03:11:00

An Endzeitgeist.com review


This installment of the chronicle of the gatekeepers campaign serial clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, 1/2 page advertisement, leaving us with 6.5 pages of content, so let's take a look!


This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion.


...


..


.


Among the races of NeoExodus, few have as bad a reputation as the ominously-named Calibans - the white-skinned creatures can consume their foes to take their strength into them and as such, do not have a particularly nice reputation. Civilization does what civilization does, though - ultimately, it is superior to less developed societies and as such, by now a significant array of these humanoids have become more enlightened, more civilized. These beings are known as the kalisan and the module begins with one of these people arriving in Teryth with dire news: Branded an outcast and expelled from the caliban tribe to which she once belonged, a caliban named Koorka, now turned kalisan, brings news of a vast amount of calibans preparing to raze Teryth to the ground. Unfortunately for her, she lands in prison for her troubles and it'll be up to the PCs to make the populace see - the caliban hunters and their hounds on the heels of Koorka lend further credence to the veracity of her claims.


In any way, time is of the essence: Getting the mayor on their side, the support of the church and springing free Koorka are all valid actions, all with their own consequences - and ultimately, the number of casualties the assault will have depends on the PCs - they will have to stand their ground against the assault of the calibans. After driving back the attack, Koorka is free to go and leaves with warnings of the Vespans... The pdf comes with full stats of calibans and their dogs, a magical, bite-attack-granting item and stats of the caliban bola.


Conclusion:


Editing and formatting are very good. Layout adheres to LPJ Design's elegant 2-column full-color standard for the series and the module comes fully bookmarked and in a second, slightly more printer and mobile phone-friendly version.


Michael McCarthy and Louis Porter Jr.'s "Not to Serve Man" has a somewhat interesting twist regarding its name. Over all, I enjoyed the simple basic set-up of this sidetrek and its climax is sure interesting. At the same time, this module is slightly more conventional than most siege scenarios I know: The PCs stand their ground against the waves of the foes and that's basically it - casualties depend on their actions, sure, but unlike other installments in the series, there is less distinction regarding the rewards gained than in other sidetreks and during the siege, there is not much variety in the tasks - just kill the foes, done. No infiltration, no sudden eruptions from underground, no disgusting, plagued meat flinging catapults... Ultimately, this is a good, fun sidetrek, but one that falls slightly short of the best installments of the series. My final verdict will thus clock in at 4 stars.


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Chronicle of the Gatekeepers Sidetrek: To Not Serve Man (PFRPG)
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Chronicle of the Gatekeepers Sidetrek: In His Bad Books (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/17/2015 04:27:05

An Endzeitgeist.com review


This installment of the chronicle of the gatekeepers campaign serial clocks in at 12 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, 1/2 page advertisement, leaving us with 7.5 pages of content, so let's take a look!


This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion.


...


..


.


All right, only GMs around? Great! Just because you're a creepy, poisonous scorpion-person doesn't mean you don't have feelings, right? Large-Biter, the sassori-contact of the PCs as they investigate the incursion of the Vesparans into NeoExodus, has a past - and this time around, it's a delicate matter. You see, the sassori's former adventuring companions split after he confessed his love to the Cynean (crystal-person, for NeoExodus-newbies) conjuror of his group. Yep, the cynean is a man, so we have a queer romance backdrop here - personally, that is something I enjoy to see. And no, this is not something particularly dominant or the central theme here, but still - nice to see some diversity here.


Anyways, the Cynean Raxe has his own issues, as will become readily apparent upon the PCs finding his cottage, built around a dormant Nexus Gateway: There is a stone pedestal outside, and in it, you can see A BARBED DEVIL. Yep, CR 11. No, the PCs should NOT try to kill him...or...well, they kind of should. You see, when the Nexus Gateway flared to life, Raxe summoned the creature, but had it locked in the circle. Unfortunately for him, he lost the book containing the means to dispel the devil to clumsiness and the machinations of a nasty imp and has been locked inside his safe room ever since. (Which btw. is the only component along the access tunnel to it not mapped.)


The PC's task is clear - Stop the annoying imp and get the formula book...or find the well-hidden dispel-roll buried in the garden (taking anti-detection spells into account - kudos!!) and get rid of the devil. Sure, they could also haggle with it OR destroy it from afar with the proper strategy (it's what my PCs did), but at this level, all such options are potentially dangerous. Raxe is thankful for being freed from this predicament and has a nice ritual to open Nexus Gateways to share alongside a warning (and yes, if they elect to kill him instead, there is an alternative to get the info), thus leaving this sidetrek with a crucial piece of information and some interesting insight into their employer's past. A new magic item is also included.


Conclusion:


Editing and formatting are very good, though at one time, the GM-only part of the text refers to the devil as a demon...yeah, I know, nitpickery...Layout adheres to LPJ Design's elegant 2-column full-color standard for the series and the module comes fully bookmarked and in a second, slightly more printer and mobile phone-friendly version. Tommi Salama's map of the cottage is glorious and the added inclusion of a player-friendly map is much appreciated.


Set-up-wise, this is probably the most boring of the CotGK-sidetreks I've read so far, but it played as the most interesting: First of all, we have CHOICE and player-agenda: This is a mini-sidebox that very much leaves how to handle it up to the players. There are ample choices to deal with the threat in various ways and variations of the two major approaches to handle the issue. It's also a good module in that it emphasizes a sense of caution and shows the PCs that not every threat can be defeated by brawns alone. Yes, the backdrop may not be particularly exciting, but the playing-quality of this one is high - it's basically a big puzzle-encounter that can be solved in various ways - and for that, I really like it! My final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5.


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Chronicle of the Gatekeepers Sidetrek: In His Bad Books (PFRPG)
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