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Treasures of NeoExodus: Scepter of Perpetual Sacrifice (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/21/2013 03:59:52

An Endzeitgeist.com

This pdf is 4 pages long, 1 page SRD/editorial, leaving us with 3 pages of content, so let's take a look!

The Scepter of Perpetual Sacrifice is a dread item and one of the first relics that sprang from the worship of the dread god Khayne - the signature weapon of one deadly warlord of Khayne, the scepter's incantation was completed by an act of mutual destruction, with the fanatic meeting his end when facing one of the legendary sorceror-kings.

Rules-wise, the item is a +2 keen flaming burst spear. Where the item gets interesting is with its critical hits - upon critical hits, the spear deals 2 points of constitution damage to both wielder and victim of the crit. The wielder, though, gets a +2 profane bonus to Str, Dex, Int, Wis and Cha and DR 3/- for damage divided by 4 rounds, minimum 1. Additional crits lengthen the duration and subsequent bonuses are reduced to +1, whereas the DR remains at 3. Since this weapon is definitely evil, good wielders are quite heavily penalized by wielding this weapon and for every week that goes by without the wielder slaying an intelligent, the wielder gets -1 to all skill-checks based on mental attributes. Against foes sans blood, the weapon is less efficient, working only as a regular +2 keen flaming burst spear.

The pdf also comes with item-cards for the weapon.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to a beautiful 2-column full-color standard and the pdf comes with a second more printer-friendly version. The artwork, as always, is awesome and beautiful - though honestly, I have a minor issue with it - the weapon works as a spear, when the artwork simply makes the weapon look more like a bludgeoning weapon - I don't get how this is supposed to impale anything. Yes, the blood-draining spikes are there, but still - a slight disjunction here.

Another issue is that the scepter's bonuses don't work as written - the bonuses are supposed to be profane and profane bonuses DON'T STACK. Yeah, it's nitpicky, but it detracts from the item's appeal nevertheless.

Due to the image/text disjunction and the bonus-issue, I'll settle for a final verdict of 3 stars since the issues are admittedly not significant, but still detract from the overall appeal.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Treasures of NeoExodus: Scepter of Perpetual Sacrifice (PFRPG)
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Enemies of NeoExodus: Widowmaker Scarlet (PFRPG)
by David W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/10/2013 10:34:38

The Good: A brand new villain capable of challenging end-game level adventurers is nice, but there's enough flavor here that you could build an entire campaign around her. It'd be a waste to shoehorn her into your latest campaign. This IS your next campaign. Without giving too much away, I'll say that tracking her down is going to be a frustrating experience, and your players will be itching to bleed her at the campaign's end. Also, there's a full page glossy of Scarlet's rockin' bod. The Bad: Not enough pictures of Scarlet's rockin' bod.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Enemies of NeoExodus: Widowmaker Scarlet (PFRPG)
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Treasures of NeoExodus: Claw of Xon (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/06/2013 12:06:09

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Treasures of NeoExodus-series is 4 pages long, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving us with 3 pages of content, so let's take a look!

A legacy of the legendary dread necromancer and war-criminal Xon, these heavy flails are made from a new special material, so-called Blood Iron. This material deals an additional point of damage to bleeding foes and multiple attacks may sicken the victims of the dread ministrations on a failed save. Furthermore, the weapon may repair itself or cure its owner's constitution damage.

Rules-wise, the weapon is a +1 wounding blood iron heavy flail that makes stealth impossible - the howling of tortured souls emanating from it also shakens all foes around it, though, offsetting this huge penalty. The lack of a save versus the shaken condition might be considered problematic, though. Those slain by it have their souls bound within the weapon and the dead can be conjured from the flail as shadows under the control of the wielder.

The pdf also provides us with item-cards.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I didn't notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to LPJr Design's full-color two-column standard and the artwork is awesome, as we've come to expect. The pdf comes with a second version that is slightly more printer-friendly and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

This is a solid, evil item that lacks any subtlety - I don't like that the new material has a fixed DC and there have been installments in the series with slightly cooler abilities, but generally, this is a solid product and well worth a verdict of 4 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Treasures of NeoExodus: Claw of Xon (PFRPG)
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NeoExodus Chronicles: Fleshwraith (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/30/2013 06:04:58

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf is 13 pages long, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving us with 12 pages of content for the class, so let's take a look!

The Fleshwraith, (very) loosely based mechanically on the Machinesmith, gets 4+Int skills per level, proficiency with simple and natural weapons and light armors, 3/4 BAB-progression, good fort and ref-saves and access to prototypes of up to 6th level. Unfortunately, the pdf fails to specify the type of HD the class gets, though I assume d8 analogue to the Machinesmith. Nevertheless, a major glitch that renders the class potentially unusable.

Like the Machinesmith, the Fleshwraith can create a greatwork, though there's a major difference here - a fleshwraith's greatwork is a bioengineered construct with d10, fast BAB-progression, no good saves and no skill points. Their whole features are provided in a comprehensive list (and yes, being bio-constructs, they can be healed) before we delve into the different types of bioengineered greatworks.

The Mechanus, Mobius Weapons and Mobius Puppets (Check RiP's excellent "Secrets of Renegade Archetypes" for those) get some additional rules to set the fleshwraith-take on them aside from the machinesmith-take. The class also gets two new greatworks - the Genetic Lab. Unlike other greatworks, this one is not particularly mobile, though a new one can be set up via either some time or a shorter time-frame supplemented by monetary investment. This lab produces so-called gesigner-cells, but more on them later. This lab also provides an array of low-level at-will/charge abilities as well as the option to get 1/2 class level to Knowledge (Nature) and create toxins via this skill instead of Craft (Alchemy) as well as the poison use ability.

The second greatwork would be a more disturbing one - the hivemind, which allows the Fleshwraith to cultivate insects to bring forth 1/2 level + Int-mod hivemasters, which act as a kind of charges. Fleshwraiths with this greatwork gain a vermin companion and use the hivemasters for a limited array of basic spell-like abilities. In contrast to Machinesmiths, Fleshwraiths get a scaling healing touch, usable 3+int mod times per day, which is not based on positive energy and makes for an interesting ability - allowing for non-divine healing.

The Intelligent Design ability is also interesting: The Fleshwraith gets 1/2 level in evolution points, with which s/he can modify her own body just as if s/he were an eidolon. The rules are relatively solid here, but there's a weird disjunction regarding fluff and crunch here: At first, from the description, I thought the Fleshwraith could only modify her constructs via this ability when in actuality it is his/her body that is being modified - the fluff here is just confusing and needs a rewrite.

As the Machinesmith, Fleshwraiths get tricks, to be precise at 2nd level and every 2 levels after that. Beyond Machinesmith tricks, we get 3 new ones for the genetic lab that allow for the addition of alchemical extracts to be added to the list of his/her prototypes, consume unused prototypes to duplicate healing effects or imbibe poisons and drugs to create clouds of spores with the respective effect - nice for an escape-bluff, for example. Adheres to the Hivemind-type of Fleshwraith may get vermin affinity, improved stealth when moving slowly or 1/day web shelter. Other tricks enable her to reappropriate 1/day one point of her evolution pool to another evolution as a standard action, more often at higher levels or gain the craft construct feat - all, of course, with a distinct focus on her/his biomechanical work.

As the machinesmith, greatworks get updates over the levels - this time around a rather cool one: They may essentially highjack racial abilities via RP and temporarily grant racial abilities to the recipient (whether willing or unwilling) of the injection. I'm not particularly sure whether detrimental racial abilities like light blindness and similar traits with negative RP-costs fracture into this ability, though - which is relevant, since the potential for offensive use is there and the lack of save against it means that a cocktail of racial weaknesses might make for a powerful tool. The amount of creature-types that can be used as well as the spell-like abilities are further expanded.

Hivemind-Fleshwraiths can add evolutions to their vermin, as granted per intelligent design class features and mount vermin and even vermin swarms (like a certain Spiderman villain) and heal themselves via their hivemaster insects. Chitinous plating and finally, frightfully powerful insects complement this greatwork's upgrades.

After that, we get a second new base-class, the Host. The Host gets 4+Int skills per level 3/4 BAB-progression, proficiency with simple weapons, good ref and fort-saves and no spell-casting. The lack of class HD here really hurt the class, since whether d12, d10 or d8 are granted really would make a difference - after all, the class is rather melee-centric. Essentially, the basic idea is to allow you to play a creature akin to my most beloved Spidey-villain Venom. The Symbiont that melds with you allows you to create gory shields and also permanently enhance your physical attributes and gain faster healing. Per se a great concept - but the execution makes some mistakes: Level 18 is an empty level - no benefits, nothing - that does not confirm with PFRPG-design standards. Also, the class is terribly linear, offering only a minimum of choice and no e.g. talent/trick-selection etc., rendering its characters more exchangeable than I've come to expect from classes. The decision to make the class 3/4 BAB would require it to be supplemented with abilities on par with that of e.g. the monk and honestly, I don't see that right now. It doesn't happen often, but here I'm actually asking for a power-boost - tricks, full BAB, something in that vein. Oh, and we NEED those HD to play this in the first place.

9 new spells/prototypes for the Fleshwraith have been included in the deal as well, many of which are exclusive to the class: Making animate objects bioengineered constructs is cool, though spells in the description have not been properly italicized. Spitting or sneezing corrosive acid, grant 1-point evolutions, grow spiky exoskeletons, add poison to target creature's attacks, implant brains into bioengineered constructs, throw sticky nets - it's there. Two prototypes in particular are awesome: Larval clone grows a cocoon and makes your body grow a tumor-like larva that can carry your consciousness from your dead body and rejuvenate you or even carry it to other creatures, allowing you to dominate them bodysnatchers-style. The other lets you, as an immediate action, fall prone and be covered with a rather powerful defensive mucus and crawl only while under its effects, leaving a slimy trail - awesome imagery there!

We also get a new feat that allows you to demoralize flat-footed creatures in the surprise-round and a new 2-point evolution that nest your eidolon a small pool of 1-point evolutions that can be changed for a more versatile companion.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are not particularly impressive: While I didn't stumble across any too glaring glitches, non-italicized spells in text and the overall formatting and at times disjunction between fluff and crunch make this pdf a harder read than it ought to be - especially with complex classes like this , this is an issue. Layout adheres to NeoExodus 2-column full-color standard and is beautiful to behold, as is the alternate, slightly more printer-friendly standard in the second version of the pdf. The pdf comes extensively bookmarked with nested bookmarks as well as several pieces of full color artwork which will be familiar to fans of NeoExodus-products, as they've been used before.

Damn. This is one of the cases where I just don't like being a reviewer. Why? Because I LOVE THE IDEAS TO DEATH. Author Benjamin Rombeaut has created a compelling class/variant with cool abilities and a sufficiently icky feeling. However, this pdf features several issues beyond the subpar formatting - while now the class-tables are included, the pdf still lacks the HD of the respective classes, which renders them unusable as written.

Worse, I somehow feel as if the Host-class just doesn't belong - linear design, dead level, overall rather weak, this one feels like it desperately needs another takeover/its own pdf to properly shine. Said space should have been devoted to providing more abilities/greatworks and especially, tricks, for the fleshwraith - as provided, the Host feels like half-done filler material that has been dropped into a pdf where it doesn't really belong.

This pdf has/had potential galore, but as written, it falls terribly and painfully flat of its own potential, with the lack of necessary information and the none-too-easy to process presentation conspiring with these glitches to force me to rate this at a verdict the pdf doesn't really deserve - 1.5 stars, upgraded to 2 for the purpose of this platform - I hope the issues will be addressed and that I'll be able to upgrade this pdf's rating in a manner similar to what happened with the Machinesmith back in the day.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
NeoExodus Chronicles: Fleshwraith (PFRPG)
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NeoExodus Chronicles: Fleshwraith (PFRPG)
by Carl A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/15/2013 20:31:23

I really liked the way the MachineSmith class worked. I wish it had a hero lab file, but I liked it enough that I seriously thought about playing it when we decided to play an evil campaign, where the characters started locked away in a sort of extradimensional super-max prison. But it didn't quite fit the character concept I decided to go with in the end: A flesh crafter.

After using a custom craft skill we sort of made this work, but it didn't quite have the crunchiness I wanted. I looked at a couple of supplements, almost went with one but it quite have what I really wanted.

Enter the Fleshwraith. The only thing I don't really like is the name. Based upon the Machinesmith in much the same way the antipaladin is based upon the paladin (antipaladin, even worse name for a class than Fleshwraith) and this class can do almost everything I envisioned my Flesh crafter is supposed to be able to do.

The pdf is 13 pages long, but since it builds upon another class there's more possibility here than you might expect. The class skills change, the abilities are in some cases similar, and in other completely different than the Machinesmith. Attacks, saves and hp are the same. Prototypes are a different list, but the overall choices are on par. One thing I consider a bonus is their healing by default works on living creatures, and at full strength, where a Machinesmith needs a feat to get it to work at half. They lose the ability to repair objects (and constructs) but that seems fair, and since most parties will have more living characters than constructs, probably makes the Fleshwraith a decent backup healer.

As they level, starting at second level, they start getting a few Evolution points to spend on themselves like a Summoner's Eidolon, to represent their own "intelligent evolution" experiments upon themselves. It isn't a lot of points, at 1/2 their level, but it isn't bad, especially since as they level they gain abilities to adjust it a bit per day (Don't need wings today but really need gills and a swim speed? No worries! Standard action and swap them out, and then swap them back tomorrow.)

Just like with the Machinesmith, you pick a Greatwork. But they add a few options. If you go with a construct, it is a biomechanical construct, which has a few effects on it (it can be healed, but is still mindless, etc). My favorite is the Genetics lab, because it allows you to store racial traits, which you can implant into other people (or your self) to give you that racial trait for 1/hour per level, with some limitations. Eventually you could even change the racial traits a character has permanently, though I'd like to see a way to add a template or something as well, that seems like a good candidate for a feat.

Finally, there's another class in this pdf that is related to the Fleshwraith, but trades the prototypes (spells) and repairing touch abilities for better Evolution Points and direct combat oriented abilities. It seems like a great companion or minion/master creation of a Fleshwraith.

I didn't even talk about the Hivemind and his.her/its love of Vermin!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Treasures of NeoExodus: Grasscutter (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/14/2013 03:09:36

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Treasures of NeoExodus-series is 5 pages long, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving us with 4 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?

When a great warrior and his best druid friend were stranded on an island and the foolishness of said warrior cost the life of said friend, the legend of grasscutter was born - a blade of wood, by now infused with the intelligence of a guardian spirit that has since become a legend. Rules-wise, the blade is a +1 club - unless wielded by a fighter, in which case it turns into a +2 impervious keen longsword of speed that compels its wielder to never use another weapon again. Rather cool: If you happen to belong to the great swordsman's bloodline, you may call upon the blade's guardian spirit that functions like a summoner's eidolon.

Full stats for said guardian spirit are provided as well, though sans a CR. The pdf also features item-cards.

Conclusion: Editing and formatting are very good, I didn't notice any significant glitches this time around. Layout adheres to LPJr Design's drop-dead-gorgeous full-color two-column standard and the pdf comes with a second, more printer-friendly version. The artwork for the weapon is, as always in the series, beautiful. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length. Coming with a compelling, yet not brilliant story and solid rules, Grasscutter is a great blade that is further enhanced by the guardian spirit and his stats - the one thing I would have loved to see how this item and it's eidolon influence the CR of NPCs. Apart from this - nothing to complain about. Final verdict: 5 stars, just slightly short of the seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Treasures of NeoExodus: Grasscutter (PFRPG)
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NeoExodus Chronicles: Cutting Edge Machinesmith (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/08/2013 05:37:33

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This supplemental pdf for the Machinesmith-class is 9 pages long, 1 page editorial/SRD, 1/2 a page advertisement, leaving us with 7 1/2 pages of content, so let's take a look at this!

This pdf kicks off with two new types of greatworks, the first being the converter, which fluff-wise converts latent energy into effects that duplicate a limited array of spell-like abilities. Converters get 1 +1/2 class level + Intelligence charges - at least that's what the pdf specifies. Which makes me doubt whether this is correct - usually, we'd be looking at an addition of the intelligence MODIFIER - adding the whole stat is something completely different and hopefully just a glitch. From at will powers that don't use charges to those taking up 3 at the fourth and final greatwork update, the converter allows for access to spell-like abilities running the gamut from dancing lights at will to implosion for 3 charges. What's rather odd is that implosion takes up as much charges as telekinesis and reverse gravity, two power-wise rather inferior spells. Also, getting telekinesis at 20th level is too late. On a nitpicky side, the spell discordant blast has not been italicized in the pdf. I don't know, the curve at which the powers become available feels a bit off.

The Converter also gets 4 new augmentations that allow converters to assimilate limited amounts of energy, increase DCs by 1 and may, as the coolest of the abilities, shape one 10 ft. cube per two levels, allowing for really cool ways of modifying non-instantaneous energy effects - walking literally through forest fires, for example or creating holes in roaring blizzards conjured by hostile forces. The final one allows that at 12th level even as an immediate action for double charges.

The second Greatwork would be the Mobius Suit, which is obviously inspired by one particular Mr. Tony Stark - based on an armor, the suit grants armor-bonus and can use its charges (of which it gets 1/2 class level + int modifier) to gain either DR 1/- or energy resistance 5 to one chosen energy for int-mod rounds - essentially, the suit has charge-powered abilities that become progressively more versatile. More's the pity that the basic ability of the suit fails to specify whether it can be used multiple times at once - could e.g. a machinesmith grant him/herself 5 resistance to fire for 4 rounds and on the next round also get 5 resistance to cold for a second expended charge or can only one effect be in place at once? This becomes especially relevant on the first upgrade, which suddenly nets DR 2/- and energy resistance 10. Does the Machinesmith still have to specify which type of energy? I assume so, but the wording is ambiguous. The suit also grants proficiencies with armors and up to 4 integrated gadget-slots as well as the option to retain its AC versus firearms, increase AC versus crit-confirmation rolls and use swift actions to temporarily gain access to evasion for a ref-save.

The Mobius Suit also gets 4 new augmentations, which allow for enhanced str-and dex-based skill checks, lift as if under the ant haul spell (which the pdf fails to italicize), supercharge the suit for a massive +6 bonus to Str and Dex at the cost of 1 hour of not working (cool) and use charges to extend the duration of integrated gadgets.

After that, we're off to 14 new gadgets. We get one to launch snapdragon fireworks over multiple rounds (again, lacking italicization), create temporary Resilient Spheres, Defensive Shocks, temporarily suppressing machinesmith gadgets and dazing constructs (sans save), add firearms to turrets and create a power gauntlet-like device -at least in theory. EDIT: I botched. Impact Knuckles do specify what they're supposed to do, though the entry lacks italicization of the spell effect they duplicate

He may also duplicate the Polypurpose Panacea-spell via an injector, create proximity mines that duplicate blast glyphs and shout non-lethal restraining cables at opponents, enhance the invisibility cloak to follow up with displacement (Imho a great idea!), duplicate excavations via sonic diggers, the battlemind link-spell via tactical communicators (though construction options to widen the network from two presumed participants would have been nice), get a beacon that makes hitting illuminated foes via turrets faster and more reliable (nice!) or suspend him/herself in temporal stasis.

We also get 4 new tricks (though the header faultily calls them techniques): Caustic Refuter stuns those affected by Axiom or counter-science, Drone Expert improves all created constructs (including the pocket army), increase your to-hit prowess with your tools and recycle prototypes (i.e. his/her spells): Upon using a prototype, the machinesmith may for one round change one of his prepared prototypes of the same or higher level into the one he just used.

Next up are two archetypes: The Gadgeteer, who sacrifices his/her greatwork for more spells and a focus on being faster at creating magic items and commanding/enhancing drones. The second one, the Wonderbuilder, does essentially the exact opposite, sacrificing part of his prototype spells for a secondary greatwork (and later even a third one), but at the cost of never having his primary greatwork reach upgrade 4.

The pdf also provides us with 6 prototypes to revisit the topic of drones, which had been scrapped from the original class-pdf. Two of the prototypes allows you to grant limited mobility to your turrets or grant them climb speeds respectively, while the other 4 create small assisting drones - at level one drones sans combat capabilities, at 3rd level conjure up swarms of nauseating drones, create at 4th level spying drones to track foes and provide visual feedback and at 5th level finally create deadly extermination drones with melee and ranged attacks. My only gripe with this one being that it does not specify what action a reload of the ranged weapon is and how much ammo the drone gets. Other than that, the concept of drones has been quite adeptly been salvaged.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are not that great - apart from nitpicky issues like non-italicized spells, the pdf also suffers from a missing sentence in one of its gadgets. All in all, this feels like it could have used another pass at editing in order to properly unleash its potential. Layout adheres to LPJr Design's beautiful two-column standard for NeoExodus and we also get an additional version that is slightly more printer-friendly. The pdf features a beautiful new piece of full color artwork and is fully bookmarked for your convenience - nice! The pdf also comes with spell-deck cards of all the new prototypes - very nice if you use them, especially for the very fair price!

I love the Machinesmith-class to death - it has seen some justified support by Super Genius Games and Rite Publishing and deservedly so - the class rocks hard and is a great treat to play. Unfortunately, much like the first iteration of the class it's based on, this expansion by Wendall Roy suffers from several issues - nothing too significant, but quite enough to drag down the actually REALLY cool, glorious concepts. Without glitches, I'd gladly give this 5 stars - but as provided (and I didn't mention every glitch), I can't for the life of me, rate this higher than 2.5 stars, rounded up to 3. I'm hoping for a revision I can rate higher and truly recommend.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
NeoExodus Chronicles: Cutting Edge Machinesmith (PFRPG)
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Treasures of NeoExodus: Scepter of Perpetual Sacrifice (PFRPG)
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/07/2013 09:10:59

What a refreshing change! Not, I hasten to add, a bloodthirsty and cannabalistic cult that produced this treasure; but the statement that "No true minister of the dark god’s teachings considers his own blood too sacred to spill" - it is good, if that's the appropriate word, to hear that the priests are as ready to mutilate themselves for their god as they are to spill other people's... there are far too many such that will sit back and expect others to do all the bleeding and dying for them!

Herein there are all the materials you need to create and run an entire nasty cult worshipping a deity called Kahyne, who demands blood - plenty of it - from followers and enemies alike, as well as a powerful artefact created by a devoted preacher of the cult. Acting as a +2 keen flaming burst spear, this sceptre lusts for blood to the extent that if its owner does not use it to spill the blood of an intelligent creature at least once a week they suffer mounting impairment to intelligence, wisdom and charisma until they either kill something or manage to get rid of the thing.

Perhaps your characters will have to face cultists led by a blood-crazed cleric wielding the sceptre, or they may find it lurking innocently in some treasure hoard and discover its dark secrets the hard way. A neat (and nasty) thing to have around, enjoy!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Treasures of NeoExodus: Scepter of Perpetual Sacrifice (PFRPG)
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A Place Beyond Hell (PFRPG)
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/07/2013 08:52:28

Do you want to have something really weird going on in your campaign world?

If so, you might just find the resources, the tools to arrange for some serious oddness here, especially if you like Lovecraftian-style weirdness. Apart from a few references to the world of Abbadon, on which it is assumed this infestation of alien beings has landed, it is not tied to a specific location so it could come to a campaign world near you.

The resources provided are rich and varied. The core aliens, the H'laqu, that are bringing about the weirdness are gone in to in quite a lot of detail. There are new feats, traits and spells galore; even a new cult based around misperception of their almost god-like abilities deluding people into thinking they deserve or even want to be worshipped. A real gem is the array of 'new monsters' each of which has not only the usual bits and bobs you expect with a monster listing, each one also has its own selection of plot seeds to help you incorporate them into your game.

There's also an illness that can be contracted, and the way - through 'breaching points' - that the aliens arrive on your campaign world in the first place. These too come with masses of ideas on how to weave them into your plots or create whole adventures around them as the characters - and no doubt just about everyone else - battle to save their world from the infestation.

There's a lot of magnificent stuff here... but it lacks any overall coherence (hence 4 rather than 5 stars... it's so almost a 5* product!), rather its a toolbox that you'll need to sift through and work with to attain your desired outcome.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
A Place Beyond Hell (PFRPG)
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Treasures of NeoExodus: Infinite Fury (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/01/2013 04:18:46

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf is 4 pages long, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 3 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

The blade Infinite Fury was crafted by the legendary Cynean arcanist Kal-Dor upon mastering (at least in his perception) the arcane arts and turning to physical combat. The Cynean saw the end of his lifespan approaching and tasked the entity within the blade, one Sana-Dol he created, to continue to track the progress of wielders in order to one day accomplish mastery of the martial arts. The blade has since, guided by the intelligence, changed hands multiple times and is an intelligent item.

Rules-wise, the blade can cast 1/day Tactical Acumen. While the write-up features a minor glitch (“insight” has slipped one word ahead of where it’s supposed to stand), the blade can bestow a +2 insight bonus upon identifying creatures. As a full round action, the wielder can even focus on a creature within 60 ft. to gain a +10 bonus to identify the creature and the weapon gains the appropriate bane quality for the type/subtype for the respective creature. You can also use Transformation at will – rather powerful – and lacking the italicization in the text. The blade is a +2 defending transformative mithral longsword, btw.

The final page of the pdf is devoted to beautiful weapon-cards of the sword.

Conclusion: Editing and formatting are not up to the recent standard of the line – two (minor) glitches in such a short pdf could have easily been avoided. Layout adheres to LPJr Design’s drop-dead-gorgeous 2-column full color standard and the blade’s artwork is awesome. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none and the pdf comes with an additional, more printer-friendly version.

I really like this blade- not only does it allow mages to stand in the front-lines, should they choose to do so, it also makes for great roleplaying/questing goals – perhaps the PCs need the knowledge of the blade. And what if it deems its task complete? That’s narrative potential there. The glitches still somewhat weigh this pdf down, unfortunately, and make it impossible for me to rate this the full 5 stars. Instead, I’ll settle for a final verdict of 4 stars – author Loren Peterson has done a neat job.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Treasures of NeoExodus: Infinite Fury (PFRPG)
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Ultimate Spell Decks: Ultimate Combat Spell Cards (PFRPG)
by James K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/27/2013 02:25:35

I love these cards, they make tracking and preparing spell so much easier. My preferred way to use them is to keep my spells known in a deck box, and use a set of card-holder sheets to store my prepared spells. Then I just cross off each spell with a whiteboard pen as I cast it. This makes storing, preparing and reading up on my spells quick and easy.

My one complaint is that it can be very tiresome putting together a large number of spells at once. For example, if you want to print out all the level 1 cleric spells, its simple enough if all you want are the core rulebook spells, but to get the APG, UM and UC spells you have to compile a list of spell names then search out each spell one at a time, until you have a list of page numbers for each spell. It would be really helpful to get updated version of the class-specific pdfs with all the spell from the Core book right through to UC.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Ultimate Spell Decks: Ultimate Combat Spell Cards (PFRPG)
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Image Portfolio Platinum Edition 24: Storn Cook
by Leland S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/26/2013 19:00:46

Great stuff... as always, great images by Storn and a great value!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Image Portfolio Platinum Edition 24: Storn Cook
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Image Portfolio Platinum Edition 24: Storn Cook
by Sean F. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/26/2013 16:19:56

SEAN'S PICK OF THE DAY: Storn A. Cook is not just a friend and one of the first artists I ever worked with, he's one of the ~finest~ RPG artists anyone's worked with. The Portfolio packs are awesome for publishing, or if you just want to do some fun fan stuff!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Adventure Path Iconics: Path of Jade (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/26/2013 04:10:54

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This collection of pregens for the Jade Regent AP is 29 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD/editorial, 1 page caravan-sheet, leaving us with 25 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

Now this is the second set of pregens that a 3rd party publisher has released for the Jade Regent AP and hence, I’ll compare how it fares with Imperial Heroes by Legendary Games. That out of the way, we get a short introductory page that explains how Paizo’s intellectual property is maintained before providing us with the first character – Chan-Ona, a cynean wizard who may seem ponderous, but in fact is a brilliant scholar with a good heart. Cyneans, btw., are one of the races introduced in the NeoExodus campaign setting by LPJr Design – Essentially, Cyneans are magically-adept crystalline humanoids with a rather massive physical build. Now, half of the characters se these NeoExodus-races, while the other half are human characters. Whether you like the new races or not somewhat influences thus how you useful this pdf is for you as the races per se are not per default part of Golarion and is something you should be aware of.

That out of the way, the characters all come with original, full-color mugshots, a sample quote and are structured thus One the first page of a character’s depiction, we get the mugshot and crunch information/statblock. On the second and third page, we get advice on roleplaying advice, background, physical description etc. as well as level progression advice of up to 4th level and information to scale the 20-point builds up to 25-point builds or down to 15-point builds. The final page of a character usually has some free space as well as a transparent version of the character’s mugshot enlarged in the background. As a final note to Cahn-Ona – I’m not a fan of his name. The -chan-suffix is usually belittling/familiar in its use in Japanese and if my very rusty and rudimentary Japanese doesn’t deceive me “Ona-” as a suffix denotes something akin to honor, which doesn’t fit together that well for the character. I know, that’s nitpicky, but -chan is one of the most recognizable syllables in the Japanese language and its inclusion in the name slightly bugs me.

The second character is one Chelish alchemist named Colm Durban, who has a nice easteregg-nod in his background story to a certain event involving giants as depicted in Rise of the Runelords -nice! Not particularly versed in social graces, he is a brilliant bomber nevertheless – compelling character! Dorozan Alned Jawal is a Gevet, NeoExodus-nomenclature for Tiefling – and he looks the part: Horns, black and red eyes, he looks extremely badass and that contrasts nicely with his lingering childhood crush, heretical views (which are explained – a plus!), witch class and included scorpion familiar-stats.

Horse-Breaker is next up, an Enuka fighter. Enuka are beast-men of NeoExodus that may sport an incredibly wide variety of mutations, this one looking somewhat simian and coming with an increased physical stature that makes using large weapons possible -OUCH! I quite like this character, but his final age is only his scaling information – a bit of a pity, I would have enjoyed slightly more information on this character.

Saiyeth Inissi, best friend of the destined empress and Taldan Zen Archer monk, makes for the next character and an interesting combination of stemming from a wealthy family and being kind-hearted as well as a monk. Neat combination!

The Prymidian cleric of Desna, Talar Meda belongs to a race of beings suffused with linguistic powers and arcane polyglots and she combines this ancestry with being a rather forceful personality, often cursing in her obscure native language.

Valentina Yeris, a Varisian rogue (acrobat) is next up and her artwork and cheerful manner should make for a nice character especially if you’re not that into the brooding hero type – reading her entry, at least, made her sound fun to me. The final character in the collection is one Vash Kandar, whose artwork reminded me of Mitsurugi from Soul Blade/Calibur – and that is a good thing, for the man is a Varisian Samurai – how that works? Well, after a youth of crime, he was taken in and schooled by an aging samurai, again tying hsi background-story in with the history of Sandpoint via a traumatic incident. Also rather neat: We get a fully-described code for Vash and a cool discrepancy between his honorable samurai-class and his somewhat crude utterances. Nice one!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to a glorious, original and professional full-color two-column standard and as mentioned, the artworks are glorious indeed and make for beautiful complements to the pdf, bringing the characters to life. The pdf comes fully bookmarked with nested bookmarks and in two versions, with one being more printer-friendly than the other one. Sooo…how does this stand up to Legendary Games’ pregens?

Now let’s compare the formal criteria, shall we? Whether you prefer Imperial heroes’ full-body artworks or the mugshots of this pdf, artwork-wise, they both range in the highest echelons – you’ll rarely see this well-crafted artworks in any publication. While the Legendary Games-product has slightly more detailed progression-suggestions, a big pro in favor of Adventure Path Iconics is that we get advice on scaling the characters up to 25-point-buys, something absent from legendary Games’ offering. That one, though, has slightly more archetype usage – but LPJr Design’s iconics uses the more interesting races. Both pdfs feature characters that deserve the name – with codes, complex personalities, easy tie-ins into the AP that link them to the characters and both have characters I wouldn’t hesitate using as a DM. Adventure Path Iconics has no hyperlinks, though it features a samurai code.

I honestly didn’t expect this, but in the end, both are on par with each other, delivering top-notch content for a fair price and if you’re looking for pregens, your class preference will probably be the deciding factor.

For this collection of pregens, my final verdict will also be 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Adventure Path Iconics: Path of Jade (PFRPG)
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NeoExodus Chronicles: Quartermaster’s Handbook (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/18/2013 07:15:25

This pdf is 27 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 25 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

As an equipment book, we kick off with the section on mundane equipment and honestly, many of them had me wonder why the items had not been covered before – take for example the two versions of ball and chain we get in here or the tracing paper. Among the items, we also get some anachronisms like razor wire, which, while personally I like the idea, will probably not fit in with every setting. The Field Medic Kit deserves special mention, as it allows for the non-magical removal of a variety of minor negative conditions – nice if you’re like me and want to keep a slightly tighter lid than usual on magical healing. That being said, there’s also an item I’d consider problematic in the Burglar’s Bane-powder. By adding water, it emits a rosy glow, denoting those that have tried stealing items treated with it. In the NeoExodus-setting, the powder and its solvent are exclusively available to the Jannissaries, which limits it, but the fact that neither perception DC to notice it, nor easy way to get rid of it (universal solvents do the trick – not helping…) are provided mean that it is VERY powerful and should be handled with care by respective DMs. Speaking of NeoExodus-specific items – Dalreans (the plant-PC-race of the setting) get a type of rope that may regrow after being cut. Nice idea and easily adaptable to one of the multitude of plant-races out there!

Among the general adventuring gear items provided, we get tinctures to get rid of parasites, garbs that help versus pollen (I’d need those irl…), crystals specifically created to torment the crystalline Cyneans, lenses made to burn paper/temporarily blind foes, fungi that consume corpses, welding grenades to destroy animate and inanimate objects (but weirdly doesn’t ignore hardness/golem DR), hand and leg-prosthetics, scent-bane, grappling hooks and waterproof tindertwigs and just a few of the items in here. Not all of them are awesome or new, though, as e.g. the oommphteenth aspergillum, barbed caltrop or items like travelling guides and five-copper novels may work as intended, but not necessarily elicit any form of excitement.

For the less scrupulous and shady characters, 23 new poisons allow them to add anticoagulants to their attacks or use a wide array of deadly poisons to wreck more direct havoc. It should be noted, that among the mixtures, there is one that has death as a secondary effect – not a fan of that. What I’m also not a fan of is the fact that every secondary effect, when applicable, suffers from a formatting glitch and has the “secondary” not in bold. There also are multiple minor glitches beyond that, with the final poison for example having its gp-value listed instead of the number of saves it takes to cure it.

The following chapter deals with alchemical items – from alchemical charges to perfume masks, healing-supplementing brandy, paste that makes blood residue glow etc. There also are pickles that help regaining psionic foci – per se cool – only: In PFRPG, gaining psionic focus no longer requires a concentration check, which renders this item a bad 3.5-anachronims bereft of its intended use. Among the better items, we get oil that bursts aflame on weapons, symbiotes for Dalreans that, while susceptible to cold, allow for bursts of speed, dire versions of coffee, gingko and ginseng extracts, haunt and undead-detecting candles, glass-spheres containing corpses/undead-eating beetles or excrements of beetles that work as a substitute for wood in e.g. desert-regions. A big issue I have with this whole chapter is the fact that we get diddly-squat information on alchemy-DCs to create these items or harvest them – something I’d btw. also consider slightly problematic regarding the alchemical items featured in the first chapter.

12 tools and kits that include poisoned smokesticks, code books, larger bear traps, drillspikes, spring saws and tine wind-up tools to set off traps and an extracting 20 ft. measuring rod provide some interesting items – the poisoned smokestick btw. features the craft alchemy DC absent from the whole alchemy-chapter.

We also get 4 new mounts/cargo-transporters that feature walking trees domesticated by the Dalreans, cargo scorpions and also the new war wagon vehicle, rules for cithin shields and a variety of new materials that include petrified wood. Two new traps, both very generic and 19 new spells complete the offering. Among the spells, the clean-cantrip, which gets rid of dirt in a room, is problematic, since it fails to specify what is considered dirt – viscera? Other forms of incriminating evidence? On the cool side, there’s a spell to blind tremorsense, make finely-crafted texts fireproof, call weapons to you or conjure up walls of mithral. Unfortunately, the pdf also reprints the broken 0-level tripwire cantrip from RiP’s 101 0-level spells.

Conclusion: Editing and formatting are quite flawed in this offering – I noticed a significant amount of formatting glitches, editing glitches etc., some of which actually impeded the usability of the content. Layout per se is beautiful and adheres to LPJr Design’s 2-column full-color NeoExodus-standard and the pdf also comes with the slightly more printer-friendly, no less beautiful version. The artworks per se are drop-dead-gorgeous and two have not yet been featured in another NeoExodus-publication…but. But NONE of the artworks has ANY connection whatsoever to the content herein. There’s not a single artwork of a featured item or creature and the artworks, no matter how beautiful they may be, feel disjointed from the content. The pdfs are bookmarked, but don’t feature nested bookmarks, which make the bookmarks very unhandy to use. Additionally, the final 1/3 of them are suddenly in all-caps. Weird.

Damn. I’ve said it on multiple occasions and I’ll say it again – LPJr Design products often feature stellar ideas and these genius ideas can be found within these pages as well. Especially when the magical and uncommon nature of NeoExodus is evoked, the entries drip flavor and offer fascinating windows into this compelling setting, offering insights on cultures and customs heretofore unrealized. And then there are the issues. The missing DCs, the glitches – and worst of all, another major issue: For every brilliant item, there is at least one that has been done before. For every great fluff-description of a poison, we get yet another lame attribute-damage/1-save-way out. Honestly, this pdf feels almost like the authors lost interest halfway through it. After having gathered together a variety of cool ideas, they ran out of steam and just kept adding filler upon filler. On the one hand, several pieces of content are great and ooze iconicity and a sense of wonder – on the other hand, there is MUCH content herein that is almost insultingly unimaginative, bland or has not been thought through regarding its logical conclusions/limits. Add to that content (especially among the poisons) that feels like it has been taken from 3.X and 3.Xism like the psionic focus-glitch and we have a pdf, that in spite of its sparks of brilliance shining through here and there, I can’t unanimously recommend. In the end, this pdf feels like it was rushed, in spite of its long gestation period, and like it has simply lost its way halfway through. Another pass at editing and less filler material would have definitely helped this book in my opinion.

I constantly felt myself thinking “but this one idea there is so good…” when writing this review, but I’ve been comparing this pdf to other equipment books I’ve reviewed and the standard I applied then and, as much as it hurts me, can’t rate this higher than 2.5 stars, rounded down to 2 for the purpose of this platform – I have to maintain fairness to comparable books, after all. If you’re going for NeoExodus-fluff or simply are willing to ignore the filler material, then this still might be worth a look for you.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
NeoExodus Chronicles: Quartermaster’s Handbook (PFRPG)
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