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Image Portfolio Platinum Edition 28: Jack Holliday
by Todd C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/23/2015 12:28:16

It's as if Jack knew what I needed before I even started writing it. Very high quality, professional looking illustrations that fit my needs perfectly.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Image Portfolio Platinum Edition 28: Jack Holliday
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Image Portfolio Platinum Edition 3: Storn Cook
by Joe W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/22/2015 12:28:38

I've reviewed a few of these packages from Storn. I picked this up based on the strength of others, but this for me was a dud. As I've written in other reviews, Storn's work doesn't work for me when it has more of a prominent linework style (as opposed to a fully painted style). Unfortunately all of these are the prominent line-work style, so I likely won't use any. However, the preview gives you a view of each, so maybe they will work for you.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Image Portfolio Platinum Edition 3: Storn Cook
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Image Portfolio Platinum Edition 32: Storn Cook
by Joe W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/22/2015 12:24:54

As I wrote in another review, Storn's work for me is hit-or-miss. I like his work when it has a fully painted look. Bur when the lines are prominent, it doesn't work for me. This package contains all of the former fortunately. There are two pieces here that don't work for me, but that means that 4 of them do. At this price, that's worth 5 stars.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Image Portfolio Platinum Edition 32: Storn Cook
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Image Portfolio Platinum Edition 24: Storn Cook
by Joe W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/22/2015 12:15:43

Storn's art is sort of hit or miss for me and I think that depends on how heavy/prominent his lines are vs. a more painted style. The painted style I like better. In this collection 2 pieces have that style: a werebear type creature and a sorcerer in a green cloak. Getting two worthwhile pieces out of this is about what I expected, so 4 stars.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Image Portfolio Platinum Edition 24: Storn Cook
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Chronicle of the Gatekeepers Alpha: To Save a Soul (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/12/2015 03:41:50

An Endzeitgeist.com review


The first book of the Chronicles of the Gatekeepers-saga 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!


This pdf was moved up on my review-queue at the request of my players.


But before we do, let's just talk a bit about what this book represents - essentially, this series can be considered a kind of Third-Party Crisis of Infinite Earths, a campaign with a fixed beginning (this book) and a fixed end, with all other sidetreks in between representing excursions to various campaign settings, allowing you to present a setting-spanning threat, engage in world-hopping. I absolutely adore this concept, but can this module live up to the awesome premise?


The following being an adventure-review, potential players may wish to jump to the conclusion to avoid the SPOILERS to come.


...


..


.


All right, still here? Great! There are gates spanning NeoExodus - and there are gates spanning the planets. Created by mysterious beings, these Nexus Gateways are growing more powerful by the day, for their creators, the Atlanteans, have returned....but alas, not as benevolent people, but as a race most desperate, for their home world is in danger: One of their colonies, far removed, has encountered a world-ending threat - and so, the decadent empire slouches into activity, sending forth their insectoid vespan servitor-race to collect the most capable and least scrupulous of minds from all the worlds to stem the tide against a threat so dire, it cannot be fathomed. But none of that is known by the PCs from the get-go - instead, this begins as pretty much a local threat - in any world you like.


The default assumption is that the funeral of a wizard (one Merlet Chem, benefector to the PCs - or similar mentor-figure) was unduly interrupted by a psychopomp, providing dire news - the wizard's soul has not passed on to the afterlife. Responsible for this rather troubling state is a necromancer called Pushae, an expert on the subject of the manipulation of souls - and so the PCs have tracked this man down - his trail leads right into a small ruin within a secluded hillside. The fully mapped ruin (which also comes with a player-friendly version) is pretty much (apart from a minotaur skeleton), a pretty conservative, small dungeon that will lull the players into a sense of "been there, done that"- by design. For within these ruins lies a shimmering portal, guarded by the strange vespans - and it is obvious that Pushae has ventured through this gate!


Here, the true dungeon begins - as the PCs go through the gate to Exodus, they find themselves in similar ruins - they know the layout...but they also face resistance from the insectoid vespans! When a manticore (!!!) attacks, the PCs have a chance to make friendly contact with one of NeoExodus' strange races, a Sasori, who assists them in the battle and also can act as a guide. But where did Pushae go? Well, they can track him down, but the overland journey down the mountain on which they are (again, supplemented by a beautiful overland map) will prove to be pretty challenging - including a rather deadly grit-storm and traps left behind. Trekking through the corpselands, cursed coins that attract the walking dead prove that not all treasures should be looted. As they finally reach the Koryth steppe, more vespans stand between them and the village of Teryth (with full statblock) - here, more information on the movers and shakers of the settlement are provided, alongside some interesting...developments for those familiar with NeoExodus-lore. cough Church of Makash /cough Here, the sasori proposes an alliance to hunt down the wizard - but with which sidetrek you'll continue this saga, depends on your whims as a GM...


The main meat concluded, we are introduced to the Vespans as a new creature, including their unique weapons and the Nexus Key the PCs can attain - though that one will come into play at a later point... The racial implant Sasori Plate and Large-Biter's stats complement the pdf.


Conclusion:


Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no glitches. Layout adheres to a gorgeous two-column, full color standard and the pdf sports numerous pieces of beautiful full-color cartography, which also comes as player-friendly versions. The pdf is excessive in its use of beautiful full-color artwork - this is one damn good-looking pdf! Oh, and it comes with a second, more printer-friendly version. The pdf comes fully bookmarked with nested bookmarks for your convenience.


I was somewhat dreading this one - LPJ Design can make absolutely gorgeous, awesome books - when the company isn't winging it. This is a great example for what the company is capable of: For once, this is an absolute BEAUTIFUL book - I mean it. You'll be hard-pressed to find modules with this much beautiful full color art. More importantly, its focus is right - it gets the PCs from a more conservative world and drops them right into awesomeness, resulting in hilarious "We're not in Kansas anymore"-moments. Most of all, it provides a good motivation for the quest, sets up the primary antagonists (at least for now) and provides a nice mix of challenges the different classes. Yes, it's kind of linear; yes, it leaves you craving more - that's what it's designed for.


It also is a solid challenge, so that's nice as well. In fact, the interesting thing is that this way well be one of Michael McCarthy's most well-rounded modules - as an author, he tends to put a bit too much in his modules, thus diluting the focus. Not so here. This module does what it sets out to do in a formidable manner, namely, make me excited about this saga. Yes, it may not be a grand epic, but it is a pretty furious opening that breathes the spirit of high fantasy. It should also be noted that it plays better than it reads - the change of tone you'll have in this book can be played up for some REAL fun. Another note - I assumed to see some thematic overlap with Legendary Games' Legendary Planet AP - and so far, I see none. Theme and focus are completely different and that in particular is just the cherry on the pie. This is a well-crafted, fine opening module that makes you crave more - and what more can you ask for? As a reviewer, I will rate this as what it is - as the first step of a potentially truly grand epic - and as such, this is a damn fine example of the strengths of both LPJ Design as a company and Michael McCarthy as an author. My final verdict will clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval.


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Chronicle of the Gatekeepers Alpha: To Save a Soul (PFRPG)
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Lost Races: Elves (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/08/2015 08:04:04

An Endzeitgeist.com review


This supplement for NeoExodus clocks in at 22 pages, 1 page front cover, 3.5 pages of advertisement, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 16.5 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?


In the world of Exodus, the elves are a lost and splintered race -struck hard by a biological weapon, they have long since lost their position of supremacy...but in a world of intrigue and world-spanning conspiracies like NeoExodus, that does not necessarily have to be true now, right?


Hence, this supplement covers elven subraces (including nomenclature etc.), beginning with the high elves that pretty much represent the elitist elves that left the world behind - only to return? That's up to the DM, I guess. Racial stat-wise, they get +2 Dex and Int, -2 Wis,a re fey with the elf-subtype, get low-light vision, +1 to atk vs. First Ones, DR 5/cold iron, +2 to Perception, elven weapon familiarity and 1/day can cast dimension door as a spell-like ability, but with the interesting limitation that it can only drop them in liminal spaces - whether they be crossroads, doorways or the like - interesting and flavorful limitation. Personally, I would have made the DR a scaling option via FCOs or the like, with especially 1st level being otherwise pretty broken for the race - unless you already feature some races in an above average power-curve. As alternate racial traits, they may replace weapon familiarity with +2 concentration when casting defensively. Liminal magic can be replaced with immunity to dazzle effects and blindness based on light-effects, while 10+ Int high elves can cast light at will. Generally, no complaints regarding these exchanges. The race gets a massive array of solid FCOs, including the hybrid-classes from the ACG - no complaints there.


Desert Elves would be a bit lopsided in that they get +2 Dex and Con, -2 Cha, being geared towards physical classes more than I like in race-design. They also are fey with the elf-subtype, get low-light vision and DR 5/cold iron. They are more resilient against forced marches etc. incurred by hot (o cold - remember, nights in deserts = COLD) environments and get +4 to stealth while in desert environments and may, as a standard action grant themselves concealment in desert environs. They also get silent hunter AND can make objects from sand as a full-round action. The latter can be replaced by better spellcraft and racial bonuses versus arcane casters and silent hunter can be replaced with +2 AC while in the desert. Once again, the FCOs are nice - but we only get 3 ranger, rogue, slayer. I love the sandshaping, but the race suffers imho from being essentially a high-elf on speed in deserts - much like similar races in 3.X, the race is too strong in its chosen environment and falls into the trap of being very niche-centric -the situational nature of such bonuses don't really help and I think that the DR in particular should have been reserved to the high elves - here, it only exacerbates the strength of the race.


Mountain Elves get +2 Dex and Con, -2 Int, making them also lopsided in my book. They once againa re fey with the elf-subtype, get low-light vision, +4 to resist the effects of extreme cold, are immune to altitude sickness, may ignore natural difficult terrain in mountains (and keep dex-AC when climbing or balancing) and gain DR 5/cold iron as well as a modified weapon familiarity. The alternate racial traits replace moving through natural difficult mountain terrain with cold terrain or gain +2 to AC in a specific terrain. the final trait is baffling: You can replace immunity to altitude sickness and not losing Dex while balancing or climbng with a +2 racial bonus to Acrobatics to cross narrow ledges and to saves versus altitude fatigue and sickness. Wait, what? Where do I sign? Why would anyone take this downgrade? This is pretty much the desert elves, minus the cool, unique tricks of the race. Not a fan. The FCOs cover druid and ranger.


Deep Elves would adhere to a similar formula, with their basic attributes not being lopsided (kudos!) at +2 Dex and Wis, -2 Cha and get stonnecunning etc. - I do massively object to constant nondetection (!!!) and meld into stone as SP at lower levels, though I do very much enjoy that this one has a proper scaling mechanism that increases the usefulness over the levels, even granting high-level earth gliding. The race has two solid FCOs - one for Cleric, one for Oracle.


Dark Elves are even more lopsided +2 Int, Wis and Cha, -2 Con. They are fey, get darkvision 120 ft. (!!!), DR 5/cold iron, light blindness, +4 to Bluff-checks to lie, +2 to any Craft skill in which they have a rank, can cast nightmare 1/day at character level = CL, +2 to saves versus diseases, ingested poisons and becoming nauseated/sickened. They also suffer from light blindness and get supernatural alter self as a standard action for character level minutes, providing a +10 racial bonus to disguise - and the ability allows you to go for small size. As a further downside, exposure to sunlight potentially petrifies these guys. The shifting can be replaced by planar ally to summon daemons at 1st level and +4 Diplomacy versus them and the Bluff-bonus can be replaced with Poison Use. This race is severely bloated - so many small skill-bonuses accumulating with superb senses and too many powerful spell-like abilities render this race broken in my book, even in high-power games. Additionally, the shifting ability should be SP in my book. The race has two solid FCOs for alchemist and sorceror.


Planewracked Elves are perhaps the most modular of the elves - beyond the basic traits à la DR, low light vision etc., they can select from a theme like chaos, umbral, etc., representing the plane upon which they have crashed - they receive scaling bonuses versus spells and effects associated with the plane, a defensive bonus and a 1/day SP, ranging from entropic shield to burning gaze. Know what's kind of odd? Though this is the most modular of elven races herein, this represents perhaps one of the best-balanced herein and one I'd potentially allow in my games - minus the DR, of course, but you probably have guessed that by now. No FCOs for the planewracked, alas.


The pdf also sports archetypes, the first of which would be the charioteer for the cavalier, who gets a chariot at first level and...wait...I have this odd sense of déjà-vu...but no, this one is different from Flying Pincushion Games' charioteer, granting you options to prevent damage to the creatures drawing your chariot and is all about ramming - effective size-increases makes the focus here pretty much linear. What's nice is that we get a chariot-themed order here - though the order's second ability, which allows you to add free combat maneuvers to full attacks, should probably specify whether they still provoke AoOs and improve upon the text to make it a tad bit more precise. The Desert Viper Slayer can study opponents as a move action...and at 7th level, they can study opponents as a move action...wait, what? Well the 7th level upgrade also makes it possible to study foes as a swift action, allowing for more control over action economy. Apart from that poison use and anti-caster feints are okay, but nothing to write home about.


Dream-Eater witches must have either nightmare or dream prepared as spell or hex to heal herself by feasting on dreams or providing a buff, with the ability scaling with the levels and replacing a total of 3 hexes. Other than that, this archetype is okay, if not revolutionary - were it not for one thing - it fails the bag o' kitten test -while the healing gained is less efficient, since hexes have no daily limit, one can heal infinitely until one runs out of kittens. Earth's Scion is a Brawler with solid anti bullrush/trip-etc.-tricks and double damage versus object and AoE-trips at higher levels - solid.


We also get a new material type with desert glass, which may be subject to nasty sonic damage, but it can be enchanted more easy for certain enchantments - nice! Elven Bronze is also introduced. 5 new racial feats allow for more uses of liminal magic's dimension door (allowing others to follow through with another feat), longer lasting shad-crafted items, desert glass crafting and a teamwork feat that allows for ritualistic casting - the feat is pretty powerful and could use a slight rephrase: One of my players misread it the first time around, as the cap the feat imposes is only mentioned in one of the uses of it - RAW, the other use is uncapped, which would translate in potentially very nasty abuse scenarios obviously not intended.


The pdf concludes with two cool, magical arrows as well as the elixir of stolen dreams, ending on a definite high note.


Conclusion:


Editing and formatting are good, though some obvious cut-copy-paste errors have crept in, some of which unfortunately influence the ability to properly understand the crunch. Rules-language, as a whole, shows Jeff lee's aptitude for providing concise crunch, so not much to complain in that regard. Layout adheres to LPJr Design's two-column full-color standard for NeoExodus with quite a bunch of absolutely glorious original full-color artworks. The pdf comes with a second, more printer-friendly version and is fully bookmarked for your convenience.


This pdf is in a tough spot with me. I loathe "terrain-races" - you have this cool, hostile terrain with all the requirements to survive - and instead of making it a matter of smarts and adaption, you get races that are strong in that terrain and ignore its key difficulties. In my book, that was never and will never be good design - I hated it in Frostburn and Sandstorm etc. and still loathe it. That being said, I did NOT expect to actually like some components of the desert elves, who actually get some unique tricks. DR 5 for all base races herein is too much for my conservative tastes, but that could be still appropriate for some high-powered groups, even though the races herein surpass what I've seen from comparable NeoExodus-races. Generally, I think the races could have used a bit of a nerf. The dark elves are broken, but that is somewhat offset by the planewracked eleves being pretty cool as well as with the genius liminal porting ideas of the high-elves and the neat sand-sculpting.


The archetypes beyond the racial write-ups are pretty much solid and fun, even though they're not always perfect. The item-section was my favorite herein, while the feats once again proved to be a mixed bag.


I usually tend to love Jeff Lee's work, but here, I just wasn't that blown away - but granted, that may very much, at least partially, be due to me considering DR 5/cold iron at first level pretty broken and loathing terrain-races - in my book, they are pretty much the epitome of bland race-writing - though the fluff, while not copious, at least partially manages to save them.


Still, all in all, I am just not 100% sold on this supplement. It has some cool concepts and ideas, but even when trying to abstract my personal tastes, some issues remain. So I did what any good reviewer should in the face of an obvious personal bias and ask for help - my gaming group read through my printed out copy and ultimately, the consensus came down as this not being a bad supplement by any stretch, but also as one that did not elicit awe from them. It was considered, generally, to be solid, if slightly flawed. My final verdict will hence clock in at 3.5 stars, rounded down to 3, with the caveat that you should round up if you like terrain-specific subraces and/or don't mind the power-level and few balance-issues.


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Lost Races: Elves (PFRPG)
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Terrors of Obsidian Apocalypse: Haunts (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/03/2015 03:28:07

An Endzeitgeist.com review


This supplement clocks in at 9 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD/editorial, 2 pages form-fillable character-sheets, 1 page mini-monster-sheets, leaving us with 4 pages of haunts, so let's take a look!


This pdf provides a collection of haunts, obviously, one ranging from CR 1 to CR 10. The respective haunts follow a nice formatting, with CL, XP-values, CRs etc. being provided alongside a short flavor-text and, obviously, triggers, hp and all required pieces of information.


Now haunts constitute one of my favorite innovations that came out of Pathfinder, as a franchise, not as a system - I'll always fondly remember entering Foxglove manor for the first time, with downright brilliant spooks that still are fondly talked about - Richard Pett's inclusion of them and their subsequent way into PFRPG 4 APs later has been a continuous source of joy for the horror-aficionado, though I sure wished more rules actually properly interacted with them. That being said, this is not what makes them awesome - in my book, haunts are great because their visions, their effects, are an exciting way for indirect storytelling, a perfect way to slowly unearth more and more weird pieces of knowledge and flavor while also challenging your PCs.


When Rite Publishing started stacking them upon another, I was ecstatic and to this day, I have used them in various ways. The haunts herein do also sport some of these narrative peculiarities, though admittedly, since they're not tied to a concrete adventure, the ties themselves are obviously less pronounced. But are they still interesting? Well, let's take a look at the very first one, Bell Tower - when a bell ringer fell to his death, he wished he didn't. So once your PCs try scaling the tower, he'll fall past them...and then, fall back up, in reverse, accompanied by a potentially lethal reverse gravity effect. The latter is btw. not properly italicized.


Sickening roots of corrupted, dead trees wriggling from the ground, grease-duplicating ectoplasms goo, a cursed door, mists trying to dissolve you - the variability and imagery evoked skirts the line between being easily plugged in and being too generic, rendering them per se memorable, while still maintaining an interesting set-up. There also would be a library that blinds those seeking the knowledge contained within, Project Zero/Fatal Frame-style hangman's ropes falling from the ceiling (that don't actually kill the character, but don't tell that your players!), defeated elementals still seething with rage, graves wherein skeletal hands may pierce and destroy you...quite a few nice images here. What about a ghostly mother, emitting deadly, ear-piercing screams?


Obviously, haunts are also defined by their means of destruction and whether halfway creative and competent players can deduce on how to put them to rest once and for all -and here, this rather ephemeral quality has been fulfilled. The respective means can universally be deduced by competent players.


Conclusion:


Editing and formatting are good - while not perfect, most of the entries get everything right - kudos! Layout adheres to LPJr Design's beautiful two-column full-color standard with GORGEOUS pieces of full color artwork provided. In spite of the pdf's brevity, it comes fully bookmarked with CRs included in the bookmarks - nice! The pdf comes with a smaller version in full-color intended for hand-held devices etc.


Wojciech Gruchala delivers an intriguing, nice array of haunts, with unique imagery, easy plug-in capacity and over all, a solid diversity of effects. Now, as always, I do have some nitpicks - for my own tastes, there are more spell-duplicating haunts when I prefer unique effects. At the same time, the imagery accompanying them is nice and unique. I was also a bit surprised to see this branded as Obsidian Apocalypse, when, bar a subtle theme, this does not tie in with unique subsystems featured in that book - essentially, this works perfectly in vanilla PFRPG. Note that I do not consider this a positive factor or a detriment, just something I observed.


In the end, this is a nice collection of haunts for a low price-point - it quotes some classic tropes in nice ways and can be considered a solid offering indeed, though one that falls slightly short of being truly brilliant. What we have here is an inexpensive, nice pdf - well worth a final verdict of 4 stars.


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Terrors of Obsidian Apocalypse: Haunts (PFRPG)
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Ultimate NPC Deck
by Emmanuel R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/19/2015 08:46:04

This pdf is a compilation of fantasy portraits covering the basic NPC we could use in a campaign.
But the drawing techniques are all different, some portraits are not usable, some are but I am ashamed to bring that at my table. The only constant is the ugly purple border that is here to tell you, hey it's a card !
On my opinion : not worth the price, should be pay what you want.
Better get the baldur's gate portraits.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Ultimate NPC Deck
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Races of Pirates of the Bronze Sky: Tocarra (PFRPG)
by Debra L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/14/2015 05:17:16

Beautiful layout, great flavor, but doesn't include any racial traits making this hard to use.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Races of Pirates of the Bronze Sky: Tocarra (PFRPG)
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Classes of NeoExodus: Machinesmith (PFRPG)
by James M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/08/2015 11:50:09

This product introduced a class whose concept is that it combines magic and technology. In concept it reminds me a lot of the Eberron Alchemist, but the execution is very different. I have not played the class nor I have I seen it played, so I am not going to comment on who well or nor the mechanics work.


The write-up was done very well and the editing and layout were top notch. The pages flowed nicely and I did not notice any spelling or grammatical mistakes. The artwork was superb at conveying the concept of the class.


I fully intent to use this class in my home games.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Classes of NeoExodus: Machinesmith (PFRPG)
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Classes of NeoExodus: Mythic Machinesmith (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/30/2015 07:20:10

An Endzeitgeist.com review


This pdf clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 7 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?


The machinesmith class is a deservedly beloved addition NeoExodus has contributed to many a group beyond the scope of its own campaign setting - and here we get the material needed to run these guys in a mythic context, so how do they hold up?


We begin this pdf with the 10-tier Futurist mythic path - which already provides imho a basic issue: Is it a path for just the machinesmith class? The answer, thankfully, is NO. The path nets 4 hit points per tier and a path ability at every tier, with first tier granting one of 3 futurist revelations: Surprise grenade allows you to expend a swift action and mythic power to draw and throw an alchemical item, thrown weapon or grenade, suffering a penalty to saves equal to your tier. per se cool, but why lock alchemist bombs out of the equation? As written, bombs are not covered, which remains my one gripe in an otherwise nice ability. The second revelation would be the energy shot, which allows you to attack with a ranged weapon as a swift action for the expenditure of mythic power, increasing the attack's damage by + tier and changing the damage-type for this attack to force. An issue here would be the omission of specification at what BAB the attack is executed - while the default, obviously, is full BAB, this still constitutes a minor blemish in rules-precision. The third option would be to use mythic power as a substitute for uses of extracts, prototypes or wands without expending a slot or charge, forcing non-mythic creatures to roll twice. This ability has two issues: Can one mythic power act as fuel for an ability or effect that would require the expenditure of multiple slots or charges? Would it instead decrease the number of charges by 1 or can't it be used? Secondly, what action does this require? Swift? immediate? Free? Part of the activation? While not rendering the ability unusable, it does constitute an issue.


As always, you can select more of these revelations as path abilities, but you may want to think carefully here - why? because the path abilities are pretty much unique: What about making all damage your vehicle does (including all attached weapons) ignore ALL DR? Yes, this is damn cool, but I very much wished it was not automatic and had a scaling mechanism that progressively unlocked DR-ignoring at higher tiers - as written, it means low level futurists can pretty much mow down legions of golems beyond their levels. Disarming traps and opening locks as move action sans provoking AoOs kind of works, though, once again, I wished it had a scaling-mechanism tied to the tier.


On the nice-side, this does provide full-blown support for the Technology Guide, sporting a means to offset glitches and firearm mishaps, an integration I also hope to see in the compiled machinesmith. Less charge-consumption for such items due to mythic power is also an intriguing option that adds a nice level of versatility. A humble and yet cool path ability allows you to wield firearms one size larger than you without penalty - though I'd definitely prevent large PC-races from taking this ability. On a design-aesthetic perspective, I am not a fan of an ability that allows you to return any single-target arcane spell or spell-like ability back to its originator when you save or SR against it for one mythic power - while limited by mythic power - there ought to be a discrepancy here between non-mythic and mythic magic. This is baffling since the similar ability for divine spells has just that caveat - though here, it pertains to the duration of short-term STUNNING - without save to resist, mind you.


A nice ability that takes the DiY into account would be Force Armor, which allows you to add AC bonuses of any armors you craft to touch AC, but only when wearing them yourself. I am also pretty much a fan of an ability that allows you to reverse-engineer spells from magic items to add them to your spellbook. Now while the spellbook does imply a sense of limited usefulness, I would have preferred a more open wording to allow non-spellbook-using prepared casters to benefit from this path ability. What about doubling any AoE spell or effect via the expenditure of mythic power, while also increasing the damage output AND knocking non-mythic targets prone? That one is incredibly broken -stack that with metamagic and/or class abilities get HUGE blasts - not gonna happen in my group.


On the plus-side, upgrading weapons in a flexible manner to higher technology tiers on the other hand is pretty much awesome! Class-specific options can be found inside as well - greatworks that are not the mechanus can provide a mythic power-based buff to allies upon activation. Nice! Cybertech implantation can also be found alongside the option to add metamagic to spell trigger or spell completion items. I also enjoy particularly the option to UMD past magical traps without triggering them, potentially allowing you and your allies to turn a deathtrap dungeon against its inhabitants.


Among the 3rd tier abilities, scaling DR 1/epic that improves by 1 for each implant and using mythic power to make one drone-spell or prototype permanent (and only one at a given time) is a neat idea, as is firing through foes. Among the 6th tier abilities, construct-apotheosis and turning non-magic items into universal crafting material grey goo also is nice, though perhaps a bit high up the tier-scale. Merging magic items for slot-convenience also constitutes an interesting design-choice. Awakening constructs and mythic power-based rerolls can also be found within these pages. As a capstone, the path allows for the creation of technological items in one day and for the purposes of cybertech, your capacity is vastly enhanced.


A feat nets you +1 machinesmith trick and we also get 8 new mythic versions of feats - which include, obviously, rules from the technology guide - from Craft Technological Arms and Armor to quicker crafting of Pharmaceuticals, these feats generally make sense and do a good job at integrating technology and mythic. We also get a total of 6 mythic versions of drone-spells that include unlimited ranges for exterminator drones - which is awesome. I am VERY weary of mythic moebius converters - why? Because it can be used to restore mythic power IN ADDITION to spells, extracts or prototypes - seeing how mythic power can be used to power these, this regeneration of mythic power as the most powerful resource available is something usually avoided - and for a good reason.


The pdf also provides a CR 10/MR 5 Mythic Ironforged.


Conclusion:


Editing and formatting generally are very good, I noticed no significant issues regarding the formal language, though rules-language could be more precise. Layout adheres to LPJr Design's gorgeous two-column full-color standard and includes some beautiful artworks you may know from other NeoExodus-supplements. The pdf has no bookmarks, which constitutes a slight comfort detriment. The pdf comes with a second, no less beautiful, but more printer-friendly version.


Mythic Rules are VERY hard to get right, not only because balancing them is exceedingly peculiar and hard, but also because the intricacies of rules-language are amplified by the inclusion of new terms and components. Worse, the balancing of mythic, as peculiar and fragile as it is, very much requires a lot of knowledge of abstract, implicit rules-decisions and it is this component that this pdf, alas, flaunts in quite a few instances - essentially, mythic is, at least in lower tiers, not about absolutes, but about enabling a distinction to operate on the power-level of heroes like wonder woman or superman instead of on those of batman or green arrow - you get some tools on the superman-level that are extremely efficient versus mere mortals, but you don't yet get to walk right over them - that comes at higher tiers. While not per se bad, this pdf gets exactly this component wrong in quite a few instances. Author Jonathan Palmer has grasped the basic concepts on how to write and use the syntax and semantics of the mythic rules - you can see that he gets the grand picture and delivers something functional. At the same time, it is apparent to me that the interaction and way things work diverge from the base mythic standards - and this constitutes an issue in a system this fragile.


At the same time, this pdf juggles another component, namely the Technology Guide-sub-system and it does this rather well - as problematic as some decisions in the path are, as awesome is the blending of both systems. I also pretty much like how you could mash this and Legendary Games' genius-path together without that much overlap.


On the one hand, and there is no denying this, we have here an example of a flawed pdf. At the same time, though, universally, the issues can be caught by a capable DM and yes, ironed out with a minimum of effort - fixing the balance-issues that are herein pretty much would probably amount to about 2 hours and that's it - if you do that, you'll have a functional and fun pdf for a more than fair price at your hands. This has the potential for full 5 stars +seal of approval, but as long as the issues persist, I cannot rate this higher than 3 stars.


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Classes of NeoExodus: Mythic Machinesmith (PFRPG)
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Little Black Drug Book
by Lucas B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/21/2015 01:14:14

Great little 2 dollar campaign enhancer. Not for every group or every story, but when you need balanced drugs, this will give you your fix.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Little Black Drug Book
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Obsidian Apocalypse: Players Guide (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/08/2015 02:51:29

An Endzeitgeist.com review


This supplement clocks in at 24 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, 2 pages char-sheets, 1 page monster-mini-sheets, 1 page advertisement, leaving us with 18 pages of content, so let's take a look!


So, what do we have here? A collection of the racial traits of the Obsidian Apocalypse races, with reprints of the racial traits? No, this supplement is all about new content supplementing the unique races of the obsidian apocalypse campaign toolbox. We begin, without any introduction or the like, with Zebadiah's progeny, the celestial-blooded Exalted - interestingly, this content, though, is not presented in a cut and dry manner, instead providing nice pieces of introductory prose for each of the races covered before providing favored class options that fit in interesting ways with the base races - take for example the one for the monks: Utilizing the angelic wings racial trait, it enhances the speed of movement via these wings, actually enhancing the unique racial tricks of the race. Guardian Angel clerics replace the option to cause harm with their channel energy with an AoE-alignment-based sanctuary-like effect- solid and makes nice use of the concept of guardian rituals on a lesser scale. Avenging Angels barbarians receive wing attacks that do mention correctly the effects of using wings as weapons, but should probably determine their type as well - still, fully functional. Scaling soulsword and modified DR/SR complement a solid archetype here.


The Genesai witch can learn to enhance the unnatural aura and in a pretty cool manner, the racial archetype for the ranger takes this aura, ties it to the favored enemy class feature and renders the result surprisingly nice for such a small archetype - like it! Dark Comic bards can replace three buffing performances (inspire courage, competence and soothing performance) with pretty cool debuffs, the last of which may even preclude creatures from targeting the victim of it with beneficial effects - the concise wording does get this concept right in as few words as possible.


The Harrowed's FCOs unfortunately sports one minor issue for the paladin "Add +1 to your roll when you channel positive energy against undead or haunts." -that is supposed to be the DAMAGE roll, I think. The Harrowed Predator barbarian receives what amounts to lifesight and gains life from vanquishing foes - and yes, the archetype is kitten-proof! Grave caller summoners are locked into the undead appearance evolution at 1st level. The signature ability is at once great and woefully problematic - the grave caller can create temporary haunts that duplicate spells, which do not need to be on the summoner spell list a limited amount of times per day, but only while the eidolon is not manifested. The issue here is obvious - this is an insanely overpowered wildcard of haunts, essentially access to all spells ever without knowing them. Worse, the archetype does not provide a guideline for the creation of haunts, meaning that notice DC, reset time etc. are issues for most players. I like the general notion and the mechanic that rewards the eidolon not being always active, something seen all too rarely, but overall, I wished this had limited the spell-selection and provided proper haunt-creation guidelines for the purpose of this ability instead of remaining opaque.


The Infernals receive FCO-powered increases of their limited use racial abilities and the paladin archetype for them is law-themed and receives an aura that reduces the elemental resistances of evil outsiders in the proximity, while also, at high levels, learning to prevent the calling in of reinforcements of hostile outsiders. On the evil side, demonic servitor oracles get a fiendish familiar, but are also easily tracked due to their infernal stench. Solid.


The Khymer generally also get cool FCOs, including ranegrs that learn to sustain the host-bodies of favored enemies for a longer duration. Sorcerors can opt for the hemotheurgical leech-archetype, which allow for the borrowing of bloodline powers depending on the host body entered - and yes, the mechanics actually work! This one was very impressive in my book, especially since it also helps the DM with sample bloodline suggestions. This is simple, but also provides pretty unique options. Two thumbs up! Body Snatcher rogues may use sneak attack to intrude foes, gaining the option to issue commands to the targets, later scaling up in potency and effect to dominate monster, while also getting full-blown body invasion against helpless foes. Additionally, bonuses when inhabiting large or small foes complement one awesome archetype - I adore this one and its quick body-switching. Kudos!


The Lykian race can opt for increases of the damage-output of their already pretty much impressive array of natural weapons via FCOs and receives an alchemist archetype of all things - instead of swift alchemy, they learn to make alter self-like mutagens to conceal their nature and conceal their presence as humans, later increasing the potency to beast shape II and its options. The archetype also sports unique discoveries that are pretty much awesome: What about a bomb that cuts down the incubation period of diseased characters? Yeah, pretty cool! The other options also are unique: When a target believes it has turned into a wolf, the imagery is nice. Alas, the wording here, while not bad, could be more precise: So the target tries to attack with "natural weapons only" - how does this work with creatures that have no natural weapons? I assume the default would be unarmed attacks - if so, does the target incur attacks of opportunity? Does the target drop weapons held? Can the target opt to hold on to the weapon and attack at penalty? This one needs some work to properly. Other than this hiccup, which can be solved by a good GM, this is pretty much awesome.


The Osirion's range-increment-increase for necromantic hellfire lacks the unit of measurement feet beyond the "Add +1", but that remains a cosmetic glitch. The archetypes allow gunslingers to gain an arcane pool that applies only to the gunslinger's firearm and lace bullets with necromantic hellfire as well as minor arcana abilities. The arcane tattooist wizard archetype is interesting - instead of spellbooks, they inscribe spells upon their flesh. As a free action, a tattooist can cause a learned spell to appear for "his study" - I assume that refers to preparation - not a fan of infinite spellbook-trickery. An arcane tattooist can inscribe a number of tattoos equal to his level in each magical item slot. Activating a tattoo in a slot wherein another tattoo is active ends the effect of the former. Overall, I consider this one to be slightly too strong.


Clockwork prometheans can become clockwork mount-riders and may repair the mounts as well. I'm not sold here - the clockwork benefits greatly outperform the basic animal's traits and a cavalier's mount already is VERY powerful at low levels. Add to that the lack of a need for handling the construct mount and we have an imbalance here. The lack of payout for this component makes me consider this archetype in need of some slight rebalancing. promethean machinesmiths may opt for the new Mobius Body greatwork, which gets 1/2 class levels + Int mod charges per day. On a nitpicky side, the minimum 1-caveat only extends to the class level, so theoretically, a machinesmith with a negative Int-mod (an absurdity) would end with 0 charges at first level. Now granted, this is only a glitch on a design-aesthetic perspective, no any viable glitch, but I still figured I'd mention it - rest assured it does not impede the final verdict. Said charges can be used as a swift action to increase Str- or Dex-based skill-checks by 1d4, upgrading said die-size at higher levels and also learning to negate negative conditions via the expenditure of more charges. The augmentations allow for SP-like effects to buff physical-attributes, extra limbs for the purpose of swift action item retrieval. The improved extra limb addition upgrades this to a fully functional off-hand, which is pretty nasty. Only two such additional hands can be added, though, with the second only becoming available at 10th level.


The Flesh prometheans have a cut copy paste error that denotes their chapter as "Promethean, Clockwork" - a rather obvious glitch that should have been caught in editing. Wildman druids replace wild shape and nature's bond with a hunter's animal focus, applying the animal aspect to herself and benefiting from an unlimited duration, with 6th level and every 4 levels thereafter adding +1 aspect. Now said additional aspects have a duration, which has to be spent in 1-minute increments. Personally, I think the ability would have benefited from explicitly stating this distinction/ option to stack additional animal aspects on the first, especially since the ability fails to mention whether more than the base and a second animal aspect can be stacked on another. The inquisitor archetype here is particularly resilient against madness/confusion-inducing abilities and spells and also receives this bonus to sanity-checks if you're playing with these rules. Instead of greater bane, these guys can inflict temporary insanities on foes and gains more domain powers.


The Raijin's FCOs allow the character to help mitigate conflicts of interest with the avenging spirits powering them. The Sword of Vengeance fighter gains a hatred pool (which lacks an editing glitch of 3 blank spaces missing) equal to Cha-mod, minimum 1. This pool, much like grit, can be refreshed by rolling a natural 20 on an Intimidate check or landing a killing blow against undead - both kitten-proof'd, btw.! Now pretty cool would be the fact that pool interaction etc. is covered and discussed. Deed-wise, immediate action 5-foot steps +2 AC-bonus versus triggering attack, barb-rage (with rage power-crossover, if applicable!) etc. Now overall, I like this one, though I am pretty weary of the high-level ability that allows for hatred (a limited, refreshing resource)to power rage powers (when barbarian rage is a limited, non-refreshing resource), but it is still functional.


The final race covered would be the Uzamati, whose FCOs for example allow cavaliers to extend the duration of necromantic phasing by +1 round. Among the archetypes, the Rift Mystic monk can ignore natural armor, armor and shields with unarmed strikes a limited amount of times per day, replacing stunning fist while still retaining the rules-language required to potentially combine them. Nice! Using phasing and ref-saves to negate attacks may not be particularly elegant regarding competing throws, but at least the math did show that the ability is conservative enough to be feasible sans being too reliable. High level mystics may discorporate foes. The new hexes provided here allow for quicker duration lapses of spells and also provide options to temporarily age foes, cause starvation or progress diseases by one day. Now while most diseases work on a daily basis, highly virulent strains could render this instantly lethal, so if your campaign does feature such uncommon diseases, that's something to bear in mind - settling on a one-step progression along the disease's progression track would have been slightly more elegant.


Conclusion:


Editing and formatting is good on a formal level - there are some glitches, cut-copy-paste errors etc. Rules-language is pretty concise and only very rarely sports minor ambiguities, so good job there! Layout adheres to LPJr Design's beautiful full-color 2-column standard with several original, gorgeously nightmarish full-color artworks. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.


Jacob W. Michaels actually does deliver herein -I did not expect to like this player-guide, but I ended up enjoying it much more than I thought I would. Why? because it gets right what many similar pdfs fail at: A good racial archetype not only ties in with the race's unique individual flavor, but also ties in the best cases the unique mechanics of a given race to a class feature, making the racial archetype truly unique. To a lesser extent, this also applies to FCOs and this pdf gets both components triumphantly right. In fact, while there are quite a bunch of small archetypes, not one of them is boring. NOT ONE. My dislike for small archetypes tends to be grounded in a bland reconfiguration of content that usually just elicits yawns - instead, the archetypes herein not only tie class and race abilities together, they do so in an interesting manner.


Now, if you've been following my reviews, you'll recall two things: One, Obsidian Apocalypse's races are slightly stronger than core-races, so be aware of that. Two, some of the races have slight wording ambiguities. Now the intriguing feat this pdf accomplishes would be that it manages to actually circumvent these issues. It takes a truly skillful designer to pull something like this off. Finally, there is another reason I like this book - its flavorful, fun amount of cool fluff that made this pdf actually exciting to read.


So yes, I am not 100% sold on some of the abilities herein and yes, there are some rough edges herein. But know what? I'll take a glitch here and there in interesting mechanics over boring content that's perfect any day - and the overall package works for me pretty well. As long as you don't expect perfection and/or fixes for the more problematic race-hiccups, this will be a blast for you, offering damn cool options for all those delightfully grim races. My final verdict will hence clock in at 4.5 stars - round down if the aforementioned glitches rub you the wrong way; but if you're like me and prefer unique mechanics and properly-tied race/class-synergies, round up instead.


Endzeitgeist out



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Obsidian Apocalypse: Players Guide (PFRPG)
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Daily Spell List (PFRPG)
by Ronald G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/25/2015 18:18:59

Tired of the miniscule area for spells on the standard Pathfinder character sheet? At last! A fantastic spell specific sheet to record all the spells your caster needs to keep track of. Love that there are different sizes for characters of different classes or levels so your character portfolio doesn't become crowded. WELL worth the nominal price. Put it in your cart right now.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Daily Spell List (PFRPG)
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Adventure Path Iconics: Lords of Undeath (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/22/2015 02:41:43

An Endzeitgeist.com review


This pdf clocks in at 13 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page combat & initiative tracker, 1 page mini-sheets, leaving us with 8 pages of content, so let's take a look!


What do we get herein? Well, essentially - pregens. Pregens using the unique character options that have been introduced in Obsidian Apocalypse's more recent offerings. The pregens are provided as 20-point-buy characters, with information on increase and decrease to the established 15- and 25-point standard. Each character comes with a per se well-written background story and advice on level progressions.


The first character would be Alberdeen, an uzamati (not uztamati, as the pdf one time puts it)magus who is suffering from seeing the state the world is now after the apocalypse. He is pretty much a standard magus, set apart only by the race - longsword? Check. Shocking Grasp? Check. Not much to say about him.


The second character would be Joa, a flesh promethean barbarian that could have come directly from a Tim Burton movie - were it not for the great and rather nightmarish story - for the body in which Joa was re-created is that of a patchwork woman, while the spirit within identifies as male. Bravo for tackling this taboo topic.


Mixer, the clockwork promethean alchemist provided herein, is, unsurprisingly, asexual, being a brain in a jar on a clockwork body - more interestingly here would be the awesome, chilling narrative on HOW the amoral being of mixer came to life - and no, I am not going to spoil how, just that shoving fragments of vials into eyes and a self-lobotomy are involved. And yes, this constitutes my favorite background story. The clockwork promethean's (overly) powerful traits are somewhat offset by an uncommon focus on melee.


The final character herein would be Siriah, a raijin cavalier and powerful force of vengeance created from tragedy. Siriah is by far the most powerful of the characters herein, btw. - with greatsword, lance and raijin abilities, she surpasses the other characters.


Conclusion:
editing and formatting are okay - the pdf does sport a bunch of glitches, though - from not being able to decide on how many Rs there are in Siriah to bolding errors and cut-cop-paste glitches in the point-buy boxes, this pdf could have used a closer glimpse. Layout adheres to Obsidian Apocalypse's two-column standard with a gorgeous full-color artwork for each character. The pdf has one bookmark per character.


Alexander Augunas' pregens here are varied and this pdf does sport my favorite pregen background story EVER, so that would be something going for this pdf. Now that being said, this pdf does suffer from the base-races used to make the content here not being perfectly balanced among one another. The difference in power-level of the characters themselves is exacerbated by the difference in racial power-levels, so take these with a grain of warning.


I am also not particularly excited about this pdf not working as stand-alone - the cool builds utilize rules of the non-standard races, that's the premise. But without the proper book, one has an issue playing e.g. the raijin - or the other characters. The immunities granted by subtypes and races could have used a brief explanation -that way, this pdf could have served as a kind of teaser for the proper racial books while being self-contained. As provided, this is one of the weaker API-installments, with editing glitches etc. rendering this less compelling for me than I expected. If you already have the OA-books and want pregens, you should be aware of the different power-levels and assign pregens accordingly to player capabilities.


In the end, my final verdict will clock in at 3.5 stars, rounded down to 3 since, the +0.5 stems primarily from me really loving the prose.


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Adventure Path Iconics: Lords of Undeath (PFRPG)
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