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Insta-NPCs #1: Motivation, Attitude, and Appearance
Insta-NPCs #1: Motivation, Attitude, and Appearance
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Broken Earth Player's Guide (PFRPG)
Publisher: Sneak Attack Press
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/19/2014 12:12:39
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This supplement is 55 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 51 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?



So what is Broken Earth? It is, essentially, a post-apocalyptic setting on our very own planet earth - the Great War has passed, and now the world is changed. Thus, one can assume a bunch of differences from traditional Pathfinder fantasy campaigns. So let's skip the basic introduction and its flavor for now and focus on the options available for character generation, shall we? First of all, it is recommended you use hero points as per the APG - why will become more evident later.



First of the "new races" would be the freaks - changed by radiation and genetically-engineered viruses, these beings get +2 to an ability-score of their choice, +20 to fort-saves against radiation (and no auto-fail on a natural 1), +4 to saves versus diseases and poisons and +1 to AC.



Simians would be just the race for fans of "Planet of the Apes" - these mutated, upright walking intelligent chimpanzees get +2 to Str and Dex, -2 to Int, low-light vision, a climb speed of 20 ft., +2 to acrobatics (and acrobatics and climb are always class skills), are never prone as a result from falling (and get +1 to CMD versus trip) and finally, receive improved initiative as a bonus feat.



If you'd rather go for a synthetic lifeform, the synths would be your race of choice with +2 Con and Int, -2 Cha, increased natural healing, 25% chance to negate crits, 10 ft. less falling distance for means of damage, +2 to two skills (which become class skills) and +4 to skill-checks when dealing with AIs.



All right, that out of the way, let's take a look at classes - and here you'll get a minor shock: No divine and arcane magic. None. That means only the barbarian, fighter, monk and rogue are available. This also means no Knowledge (arcana), Use Magic Devices etc., but Knowledge and Craft get some new subcategories. But before delving deeper into that matter, I feel obliged to note that barbarians get two new rage powers - one making him/her resistant to radiation, while the other grants a raging barbarian a RADIATION AURA. Yes. This is awesome. Fighters may opt for the waste warrior archetype, which essentially takes handguns and long arms into account as weapon categories, Living Weapons, i.e. Broken Earth's monks, become immune to radiation and also can actually temporarily fly at 12th level by virtue of their ki! In a world sans magic, rather awesome! Rogues of the Scrapper archetype can wilder in chemistry and psionics.



Wait...yep, alchemists are represented via the Chem-heads, who use chemistry instead of alchemy. Their extracts can be injected, transmitted via patches etc. Discoveries, appropriate extracts etc. are covered in this section as well. Cavaliers remain unchanged, whereas gunslingers (here known as boomers) also get a minor modification.



Now I've already mentioned psionics - and yes, this setting actually integrates Dreamscarred Press' superb psionics-rules, though once again, limitations to maintain the world's integrity are mentioned. In even more cool cross-3pp-support, Kobold Press' great Spell-less ranger and Rogue Genius Games' superb Anachronistic Adventurers are also mentioned, even giving a nod towards the Warlords of the Apocalypse book in planning, even though that might be considered direct competition. Superb sportsmanship and camaraderie from Sneak Attack Press here - two thumbs up!



As mentioned, we get new skills - two to be precise: Drive and Pilot and they do just what you'd expect them to. 10 new feats allow you to shoot burst fire, double tap with semiautomatic firearms, gain mutations, radiation resistance, affect vermin with your psionic powers, get subdermal blades as a synth, create super drugs or drive surface vehicles sans penalty. We also get a trait for a minor mutation and 9 traits assigned to 3 locales, usually offering additional starting equipment and also offering minor bonuses.



Now I've already mentioned mutations - these are determined by their mutation points, or MP. Mutations either offer you a cost in the case of beneficial mutations or a value in the case of mutation drawbacks. Mutations either are cosmetic, minor, major or drawbacks and a total of 37 of these allow for some mayor character customization - from unnatural eyes, darkvision to weak (and superb) immune systems, webbed digits, lost arms, tails, especially pronounced sense of smell to even growing to size large, there is quite an array of cool options, some of which can be combined - if a bite attack is not enough, you can always upgrade that with acidic spittle - just remember that kissing will never be the same...



We also are introduced to a new anti-radiation formula and 4 new psionic powers that deal with radiation and technology.



After this, we are introduced to the 3 sample communities mentioned among the traits, offering unique perspectives and flavor -from the primitive Axe Tribe to the Iron Shelter and the prosperous Wright Town, each gets a full-blown settlement statblock, interesting background info and even local slang - awesome.



What about gear? Well, to cut a long ramble short - there is A LOT of gear in here, including different tech levels and a re-examination of the basic firearm rules and proficiency availability. The concept of item rarity and proficiencies with exotic weapons like flame throwers are covered here as well as rules for autofire. Tons of weapons and items as well as rules for weapon accessories and yes, even ammo weight, are provided, as are various super-drugs. Beyond these, we also get 8 new vehicles to pilot with the drive skill, from bicycles and canoes to SUVs and harleys - a nice array, which btw. also includes fuel efficiency. It should be noted that Broken Earth presumes trade points as an abstraction for the relative value of items, allowing you to easily convert from gp-values. Oh, and there are mastercraft items, which, in the absence of magic, work as more varied degrees of superior manufacture.



The gear out of the way, next up would be rules for varying degrees of radiation sickness, overland hexploration/overland travel rules, harvesting and scavenging according to the item's respective rarity. Where the pdf starts shining excessively would be in the settlement construction rules, which not only greatly expand those provided in the glorious Ultimate Campaign book, it also offers equivalents of titles and a total of no less than 64 (unless I've miscounted) buildings, all with BP and lots, allowing you supreme construction options to create your own settlement and essentially run survival-themed kingmaker games in the post-apocalyptic wasteland. Better yet: Community-events are covered in similar, massive detail and even mass combat army resources are part of teh deal here - glorious!





Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are good - while I did not notice any significant glitches, some minor typos have crept in - though nothing too serious can be found glitch-wise. Layout adheres to a printer-friendly 2-column b/w-standard with neat b/w-artworks that thematically fit the setting's flair. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.



Matthew J. Hanson delivers a dauntingly conservative post-apocalyptic setting that comes alive surprisingly well thanks to the absence of magic - instead of trying to be too wide, the setting is narrow, concisely made and shows significant awareness for what's out there, allowing you to make use of all those cool rulebooks you have gathered without explicitly requiring you to do so. The Broken Earth Player's Guide is a massive post-apocalyptic toolbox, a supplement that works as a great introduction to the setting and its possibilities. Broken Earth is well-crafted and the book manages to make me excited to try for a settlement-building "stem the tide"-scenarios and more secrets on the DM-side about the world. And that is the hallmark of a good supplement. My final verdict will hence clock in at 5 stars, missing the seal of approval only by a tiny margin.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Broken Earth Player's Guide (PFRPG)
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Greater Manifestations for the Ethermancer Base Class
Publisher: Interjection Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/19/2014 12:09:06
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This expansion for the ethermancer is 10 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 8 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?



We kick off this supplement with a short introduction that explains the matter at hand - essentially, the idea is to create greater manifestations as a way to nova for the ethermancer, granting x/day abilities (in contrast to the perpetual casting of the base class). These abilities impose a tax on the class, though - but more on that later.



First, we get a new multiuniversal philosophy, the multiuniversal perfectionist. This philosophy allows the ethermancer to replace a 2nd level or higher manifestation with a greater manifestation of the same etherheart and level and learns this instead. The 20th level capstone allows for all greater manifestations chosen via this philosophy to be used 2/day - a cool idea for an impressive 20th level.



We also are in for 6 new feats - one being particularly interesting - the bombardier feat allows you to deal +2d6 bonus damage with greater blast-based manifestations if you also managed to hit regular AC, not just touch AC. I'm looking forward to seeing how this one handles in-game (since one of my players currently plays an ethermancer). The feat Greater Manifestation Study allows you to replace a manifestation known of 2nd level or greater with a greater manifestation of the same level and heart, much like the new philosophy. Another feat allows you to choose an etherheart and use a greater manifestation of said etherheart a second time after you've expended it. Now Shed Alteration is a feat I know my player will take, for it allows you to dismiss the otherwise un-dismissible alteration manifestation for a point cost, while shed gifts allows you to do the same for bestow effects. Finally, weaponized shedding allows you to deal damage to your immediate surrounding when dismissing alterations and to the target, when dismissing bestow manifestations. Note though that this feat, while powerful, also is a double-edged sword - it works AUTOMATICALLY. No choice there - once taken, you ALWAYS inflict that damage. Interesting!



So what can those greater manifestations do? Well, what about one that reduces the next regular etherspell's cost to 0? Sound relatively...regular, but once you start thinking about the way you have to budget your etherspells, this becomes rather interesting. At ethermancer 5, there is also the option...to create a FRIGGIN BLACK HOLE. Yes, an insta-death orb that draws targets inside, obliterating one target totally. On the slightly nitpicky side, the manifestation does not specify whether the ethermancer can choose which target to annihilate - this is relevant since the black hole does not discriminate between targets - allies and even the ethermancer himself can potentially be destroyed by the forces unleashed. Personally, I'll settle for a random-determination...just to drive home that some forces ought to be respected (and since I consider it cooler that way) - not a deal-breaker, mind you, just a minor imperfection in an otherwise cool ability.



rather cool - clockwork universe. As a level 6 greater manifestation, it's the apex of power and damn, does it feel like it! First, you choose a star (from 5) - each star has a an EP-cost (which may be 0, though) and modifies the maximum amount of satellites available in a given system or provides a different passive benefit. You may also throw these stars as splash weapons to deal rather unpleasant amounts of damage on the target square. A given solar system can also contain up to 1/2 caster level, rounded down, satellites, chosen from an array of 8 different types. The respective satellites have their own restrictions. Just to give you an impression here - if your model contains an inhabited planet, the planet replies to a thrown satellite by launching a miniature mothership (!!!!) you can direct to attack your foes. Yes. If you're in any way like me, that not only made you chuckle, but rather grin from ear to ear. ^^ Have I mentioned that you can actually grant this manifestation to another character if you have the right feat? Yes. Passive and active, very modular, iconic in imagery - in one word: Glorious.



A maximized etherspell, an insta-kill death effect, a bestow that stuns foes with unearthly screams...cool. What's truly glorious would be Erase Physics - choose an element, erase it from the creature. Spell-like abilities, supernatural abilities, resistance, damage - all gone. And yes, the wording is concise enough to make that work and yes, additional conditions etc. remain. There is also a powerful auto-buff herein and a greater manifestation to blast multiple blasts at once...Awesome.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to Interjection Games' 2-column b/w-standard. The pdf has no bookmarks, but doesn't necessarily need them at this length.



So if you've been following my reviews, you'll be asking...why doesn't Endzeitgeist complain about the insta-death effects? Because they're more limited than regular spells, extremely high level and are based on sphere of annihilation as a model. So no matter which way I look at it, I can't complain. Speaking of which - the galaxy model is glorious. This pdf made my ethermancer player grin from ear to ear and I'm the same - this pdf offers some rather cool, new options for the ethermancer that improve the base-class with thoroughly iconic, cool tricks that just OOZE awesomeness and should be considered a must-buy for ethermancer-players and those interested in the class. And if you haven't taken a look at Bradley Crouch's ethermancer, this expansion is an excellent additional reason to do so. Final verdict? 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Greater Manifestations for the Ethermancer Base Class
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The Secrets of the Divine: Pantheon, Love, Sky, & Wright
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/18/2014 12:37:10
An Endzeitgeist.com review of the revised version

This massive pdf is 36 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD and 2 pages of advertisement, leaving us with 31 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?



So if you've been following Rite Publishing's releases for some years like I have, you probably will have to have noticed by now the implicit setting of the books, Steven D. Russell's much-anticipated Magnum Opus Questhaven. This supplement constitutes one of the releases that can be considered very much tied to the setting, with us getting an introduction to some of the deities of the setting and their servants. Thus, one could call this a sourcebook of divinities as well as of their adherents.



First of all, it should be noted that the respective deities are not called by their name, but rather by epithets - a notion which I have adapted to my campaign: The deity of song and love would be for example known as "Our Laughing Traveler of Passages and Messages", while, when talking about e.g. Asmodeus, a good character would probably call the archdevil "Their Dark Lord of Fire" or "Their Infernal Tyrant" - a great way to utilize processes of identity construction and othering to create identities. The respective entries of the deities come with full (sub-)domain-information, portfolios etc. as well as information on the respective church's background, secrets, manifestations, holy days, mythology and hierarchies, written in lavish, awesome in-character prose that actually makes the pdf a joy to read.



So let's get into the meat, shall we? Well, first would be the church of the great pantheon, which is essentially the catch-all pantheon sans evil deities - and thus, clerics of the pantheon can choose from almost ALL domains or subdomains. Read that again. Yes. When I showed this to the player in my group who almost always likes to play divinely-inspired characters, he was grinning from ear to ear. On one hand, it's awesome because you get to finally choose the obscure domain/subdomain combination you always wanted. On the other hand, this can be potentially problematic if you use a lot of domains in your game and consider the assignment of domains to deities a balancing factor - after all, some domains simply are, at least regarding their granted abilities, better than others. So yeah, DMs beware regarding that one.



The first servant of the Pantheon we're introduced to would be the Deacon of the Great Church, a 10-level PrC that gets d8, 6+Int skills per level, 3/4 BAB-progression, 1/2 ref-and will-progression, +1d6 sneak attack progression on every odd level and full bardic spellcasting progression, should you have bardic levels. It should be noted that the classes HD are somewhat hidden directly below the table above the requirements, a slightly confusing place layout-wise. Beyond the obvious agent-angle, the PrC also get a discount at most places. At 4th level, Deacons get the Astute Planning-ability - 1/day, the Deacon can devise a plan as a move action that adds the Deacon's class level to any roll and even flat-footed AC of an ally. EDIT: Now, the ability is fixed, comes with a limit that makes sense - nothing to complain anymore!



They also get a cohort and as a capstone, may use suggestion at an increased, rather evil DC, with mass suggestion also being possible. Another quick fix that over all, makes the PrC now completely bereft of complaints on my part.!



We also get a new paladin archetype, the Orphans of Ecumenical Commandments. These paladins replace their detect evil with the option to assist healing by maximizing numerical variables of their own or another's healing, but only for one target. They also are keepers of the law, modifying smite evil to work against known lawbreakers instead and get law-themed auras. What's downright genius is their mercy that nets them essentially an extra-dimensional holding cell to temporarily keep hostiles you don't want to kill. This one is glorious and wills be quite a bit use in my campaigns - great to see some non-lethal ways to deal with foes, though the lack of any form of increased non-lethal capabilities mean that the archetype could have used a bit more options in that array. Nice: We get a proper code of conduct!



Then there would be Divine Vessels - summoners that cast from the inquisitor spell-list as divine spells and divine variant of any directly eidolon-influencing spells. Additionally, they may enter what can be considered a kind of avatar as a standard action. This form allows you reassign your attributes (with a bonus), skills and even feats, but also temporarily prevents you from using some abilities. This form has its own hit points to take care of and effects, curses etc. all are covered. Essentially, this allows you to pseudo-gestalt with your eidolon, though the armor-bonuses the form may have beyond those granted for eidolon-form, are negated. A former issue here has been fixed as well - the avatar now has fixed stats.

The new feats for the archetype allow you to have your animal companion change to fit your avatar form or hit harder when charging while transforming. 1/day form-change as an immediate action is also rather powerful, as is an elemental aura, and similar effects to accompany transformations - now all with concise, nice limits to eliminate an exploit that was there before. Now, this archetype is actually THE way to go Captain Marvel on your foes and one of the most ambitious ones I've ever seen. Kudos!



The Fairest Lady of Love and Song's two new domain feats that allow you to expend domain abilities to create unique effects - rather cool ones, if I may say so! Lacing spells with channel energy as damage is a concept I like, as is inciting permanent megalomania. Hedge Knight cavaliers replace mounts and cavalier's charge with an option to temporarily make armor or shield magical, choosing from a wide array of possible spontaneous enchantments and at 11th level, may combine full attack with total defense - interesting take on the mount-less cavalier! Speaking of cavaliers - they get a new order with the Order of the Nightengale: These knights may grant temporary hit points with inspiring poetry and are buffed by permanent heroism (which can be suspended to temporarily become its greater-version) as long as they have a love. Awesome RP-potential there! At 15th level, they may also force all creatures within 30 feet to take the same damage they do - though the cavalier may not willingly fail saves while the ability is in effect. WHICH IS AWESOME! Seriously, now perfectly working!



We also are introduced to 6 bardic feats (one of which you'll know from 101 bardic feats), on allowing you to duplicate dimensional lock via bardic performance, antimagic field summoned/called creatures, inflict damage to aberrations or steel your will against will-save-prompting effects. Nice feats.



Next up would be Our Master of Thunder, who comes with a (YES!!!) Legendary Curse that depicts the consequence of speaking the deities names in vain - loved this one in 101 Legendary Curses, still love it. The first archetype in service to which we're introduced to would be the Hawk of Vengeance, an inquisitor archetype with a full BAB and no spellcasting..and it may also execute coup de graces as a MOVE action - OUCH! Rather cool - instead of killing adversaries, these inquisitors may elect to instead withhold damage to instead main/scar etc. their targets, the effects requiring a CL-check to heal. I only wished the pdf had a table of more varied effects regarding the consequences of maiming/scarring etc.



Rogue Genius Games' Dragonrider also gets support in the guise of the windrider, who may choose just about any flying creature. They also cast spells as a divine caster and use the ranger spell-list. Essentially, the class is a more versatile than the standard dragonrider in its mount-selection. There also are two new feats, one of which lets you create a net of thunder and lightning on your weapon or add the thunder/lightning to attacks, Sphinxes, Griffons, Hippogriffons and Birds of Prey, Manticores, Pegasus, Chimeras and Perytons are included among the steed choices. Nice one for flying-heavy modules.



The final deity would be the Grand Wright of Heaven. Via a domain feat, clerics may grant items 3 temporary charges, which you can expend in increments to activate items as certain actions sans expending charges - thankfully with a caveat that leaves the final say to the DM. The first archetype would be the Relic Seeker, an inquisitor who gains SR against curses instead of detect alignment and is particularly adept at finding and identifying items. Not that interesting.

Artisans of Hallowed Vessels, a type of rogue who is particularly adept at crafting magical items (and counts as with a caster level etc.) and also get a pool of points that scale and refresh with levels (but don't accumulate - not spending = your loss!) - these may be used as substitutions for gold when crafting. The archetype also gets an array of rogue (and advanced rogue) talents, themed around item creations Doing the math for this one took FOREVER. While the archetype shares some characteristics with the artificer that can become problematic for very WBL-strict campaigns with a lot of downtime, I did not experience a significant detriment to balance as long as a DM isn't too careless with it. So yeah, while the archetype could be slightly abused, I do think that in most campaigns, the class will not prove to be problematic - so yeah, kudos. One thing that's somewhat a pity - this would also have been a nice opportunity to fix the broken crafting of mundane items .



The pdf closes with a short 2-page introduction to Questhaven.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good now - Rite Publishing has wasted NO time and immediately started fixing just about all issues I pointed out. See, that's them doing things the rite way! Artwork contains awesome holy symbols in full color for the deities and original pieces, but also features some nice b/w-pieces you may know from other supplements.



This pdf is a joy to read, and, much like the best of Steven D. Russell's writing, not only contains glorious prose, but also several distinctly high concept-ideas: From the mostly awesome feats to the cool deities to the archetypes, there is no filler material herein. Everything breathes inspiration and there are quite a few pieces of crunch here that are downright inspired, brilliant. The complaints I had have been almost unanimously been purged and what remains is a thoroughly cool supplement, full of great prose and evocative character concepts, just waiting to be unleashed upon your players. Hence, I upgrade my review to 5 stars, omitting my seal only by a very slight margin - this revised version is worth your every buck.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Secrets of the Divine: Pantheon, Love, Sky, & Wright
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Dungeon Dressing: Walls
Publisher: Raging Swan Press
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/18/2014 06:45:05
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Dungeon Dressing-series is 11 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page stock art, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let's take a look!



As almost always in the Dungeon Dressing-series, we kick this pdf off with function and construction summaries, in this case in different environments and for wood, stone and even metal. Even exotic walls of glass and e.g. a nomadic culture's skin-walls are mentioned. The "dressing" in "Dungeon Dressing" is more pronounced than usual here, providing even valuable dressings and even DCs to perceive hidden dressings or remove them. Unless I've miscounted, the first table offers 29 fully ready dressings that include items and spells as possible origins for the respective walls.



The second table covers a total of 100 entries for dressings of walls, including love notes, sloughing off parts, integrated gargoyles, fist-sized holes, poisoned sections etc. Even strange illusions, centipede-inhabited holes are included herein.



After that, we are introduced to a total of 3 traps (CR 7, 8, 8) - automatic murder holes (with variants), crushing walls (multi round trap, again with variants) and a false secret door that doubles as a delivery system to a nasty area round out this product.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to RSP's 2-column b/w-standard and the art is fitting stock. The pdf comes in two versions, with one optimized for screen use and one for the printer. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.



I don't envy author Alexander Augunas the task set here before him - writing a compelling supplement...about WALLS probably isn't the easiest task one could wish for. So how do these dressings fare? Surprisingly well, actually - there are quite a lot of nice dressings in here and the amount of crunchy entries also helps keeping the supplement useful. That being said, while in no means bad, this supplement of dungeon dressing also falls a bit short of what it could have been - an additional table of carvings/more complex exotic materials (what about force walls? Crystal?) would have been interesting. The three traps are also nice, yes, and mechanically sound, but they also aren't something I haven't seen before - one stranger/more uncommon trap would have been nice.



Still, this is complaining on a high level. In the end, I'll settle for a final verdict of 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4 for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Dressing: Walls
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Razor Coast Freebooter's Guide - Pathfinder Edition
Publisher: Frog God Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/17/2014 09:37:49
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This player's guide for Razor Coast is 98 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 92 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?



We kick off the Freebooter's Guide with an overview of the races and their respective roles in Razor Coast - including rather the central conflict between the pirateish settlers and the Tulita, the indigenous people of the Razor Coast. A lot of flavor is devoted to depicting these ethnicities, but we also get new races, two to be precise: The first would be the Dajobasu, Tulita cursed (or blessed) by the dread shark-god. These ostracized outcasts gte +2 to Str and Wis, -2 to Int and Cha, darkvision 60 feet, +2 to stealth and survival in swamps, +4 to swim, may hold their breath thrice as long as humans, +4 to sense motive, +1 natural AC and as alternate racial traits, they may 1/day utter a drowning curse (as per the gatorfolk's ability - why not include the stats here? Players won't have access to the stats of the curse - which is btw. detailed in Razor Coast's main book...) at the cost of a phobia for water - which unfortunately has no mechanical repercussions. They may also opt for +2 to intimidate to demoralize foes or exchange the paltry bonuses in swampy terrains for a swim speed of 20 ft. - the latter feels a bit like a powerful trade-off. Overall, a solid race, if a bit on the powerful side with two +4 skill bonuses.



The second race would be the Menehune, small somewhat gnome-like followers of Pele, the fire goddess. Menehune get +2 to Con and Cha, -2 to Str, have a base movement rate of 20 feet, get +2 to AC in their favorite terrain, have resistance 5 to fire, +2 to perception and Craft/Profession to create objects from stone or metal, are treated as one level higher regarding spells with the fire descriptor, fire domain, fire bombs etc. Menehune of Cha 11+ also get 1/day dancing lights, flare, prestidigitation, produce flame as spell-like abilities. Meheune also get low-light vision, gnomish weapon familiarity and may 1/day shroud their arms in fire for cha-mod+ character level rounds, dealing an additional 1d4 fire damage + 1d4 for every 4 character levels. Sooo... do low level menehune with low cha-scores get no access to this? The ability has no minimum-round caveat. Alternate racial trait-wise, Menehune may get fast healing 2 anytime they take fire damage, but cap at 2 times character level. Alternatively, they can get the traditional gnomish SLAs or exchange their slas/fire magic affinity with either 1/day invisibility (though only for themselves)or expeditious retreat. Finally, they may choose for a knowledge skill as class skill and a bonus to climb or a further +2 bonus to craft/profession. They also suffer from cold vulnerability, which somewhat offsets their otherwise significant bonuses. Still, slightly on the powerful side. Another nitpick would be that the invisibility & expeditious retreat SLAs lack the minimum charisma-score restrictions - though whether by design or oversight, I'm not sure. It should be noted that both races come with 3 favored class options each. One of the Meneuhune's FCO's have some minor issues - the bardic FCO specifies "Add +1 per every six class levels to the number of people the bard can affect with the fascinate bardic performance." Does that mean it can be taken once and then automatically nets the benefit every 6 levels? I assume not, so why not stick to the established formula à la "+1/6 to the number of people..."



All right, that out of the way, we are introduced to traits - 11, by the way. The traits are solid. Next up would be archetypes - a coastal barbarian with favored terrain water, a cannibal that can mitigate parts of his/her post-rage fatigue by devouring the flesh of foes, a Tulita-bard with 3 exclusive performances (one of which allows for the substitution of performance-checks to protect allies from movement-impeding effects), a tomb raider-style chaser of legends (who may temporarily heal allies or temporarily grant improved uncanny dodge) who is particularly adept at disabling traps and evading things.



Clerics may opt to become servants of Pele via the Volcano Child archetype, requiring them to take the fire domain (and only that) at an effective +2 cle level (thankfully not netting access to abilities earlier), diminished spellcasting, but also endure elements versus hot climates, the ability to sheathe weapons in flames and later channel slightly enhanced fire instead of positive/negative energy. The caller of storms is similar, but gets full spellcasting and replaces channel energy with the ability to recall expended spells. The buccaneer fighter is essentially a swashbuckling fighter, replacing armor training and weapon training with the option to deal additional damage whenever he/she has moved through threatened squares as well as some naval-themed bonuses. Harpoonists are exactly that, specialists of the harpoon...and honestly, I really liked this one. It makes choosing the harpoon as a weapon a valid, if not optimal choice. The Deep Sea Tracker is an aquatic ranger who fights with net and trident and later becomes amphibious, gains cent etc. More interesting would be the Headhunter-archetype, who utilizes four types of shrunken heads for various benefits - interesting!



Blockade Runner rogues are specialists of disguise and smuggling. One of their abilities allow them to use Escape Artist to trip foes - something I'm not 100% comfortable with, since skills are rather easily boosted. I'd also be interested whether bonuses to trip that usually apply to CMD would then apply to the skill-check instead? Finally, the Scrimshaw fetishist would be a wizard archetype who may enhance his spells via the inflicting of painful boosts and scribing their spells on their own body - at the cost of both spellbook and access to scribe scrolls. This archetype is rather cool and works surprisingly well, coming with mutagen-like benefits and better metamagic..for the price of pain.



We also are introduced to two new base-classes, the first of which would be the Disciple of Dajobas, who gets proficiency with shields, light and medium armor, simple weapons and shark-tooth based weaponry, d8, 4+Int skills per level, casts divine spells of up to 6th level spontaneously via wisdom (which is a bit odd - plus: Raging shark-worshippers and high wis...I don't know), 3/4 BAB-progression, good fort- and will-saves and must take the hunger domain. They get a scaling bite attack that counts as a primary natural weapon (or secondary when wielding manufactured weapons) and they can enter a non-fatiguing variant of a barbarian's rage. They also gain the ability to speak with sharks and crocodiles and may, as befitting of servants of the shark god, act rather well in water, increasing aquatic adaption over the levels, becoming even amphibious later. They may also turn into sharks. All in all, an interesting blend of cleric/druid and barbarian, though probably not a class players should aim for...unless they are okay with serving a truly vile god. Also, don't expect favored class option benefits or archetypes for this class or the second one, for that matter.



The second base-class would be the Yohunga, a Tulita-class that gains d8, 4+Int skills, proficiency with 3 Tulita-weapons, light armor and simple weapons as well as 3/4 BAB-progression, good will-saves and spontaneous divine spellcasting via Cha of up to 6th level The Yohunga also gets a mana-point of 1/2 character level + cha-mod (+1 at 3rd level and every other level after that) and a special necklace tied to a tikiman - if the tikiman is destroyed, then so is the necklace - which deals damage to the Yohunga. Tikiman? Yes, the class is, much like the summoner, a pet-class, i.e. the tikiman remains active as long as there's at least one point of mana left. Various passive powers of the tikiman, of which there are 11, can be added to a tikiman's already nice ability-suite - which btw. includes improved evasion. As a balancing factor, HD-increases have to be purchased also via these powers, meaning you'll be spending a lot of tiki power-slots on those. Now I *assume* that the chosen powers apply to ALL tikimen, but the pdf fails to specify that particular tidbit of information. Unlike familiars (though they also share spells), Yohunga get additional tikimen at higher levels, allowing them to have multiple tiny constructs at their command. There also are several powers available that utilize mana to temporarily bolster the tikimen's capabilities - from poisoned/paralyzing blowgun darts (Diablo II, anyone?) to temporarily granting DR/energy resistance to them. The tikimen can also grow in size, mimic jungle-animal voices, grow and even merge with your tikimen. Several of these abilities have HD-limits/caster level limits to choose them. Per se a cool idea for a class, though honestly, the HD-increase is rather costly when compared to other pet-classes. Also, the spells to properly heal a tikiman ought to be expanded - RAW it is very hard to heal tikimen, with mending being rather slow and boring and not particularly effective in battle, which makes the tikimen rather fragile - to the point where the spells are imho all but required. Additionally, no time-frame for tikiman-creation is given - does it take time to craft them? Can they be replenished quickly or do they require a hiatus after being destroyed? A promising class, but one in dire need of clarification/more information.



Next up would be write-ups of Razor Coast's deities (not including Dajobas or Tulita spirits, btw.), including two new domains (in addition to the aforementioned hunger domain), closely followed by the chapter on PrCs. The Captain of the High Seas and the Old Salt, two 5-level PrCs deserve special mention here - both provide further benefits when combined with the stellar "Fire as She Bears" and allow you to dive further into the naval aspects of a campaign. Non-Tulita living among them, may become Paheka - per se a solid, if not too awe-inspiring 5-level PrC that represents well someone who has gone native and received the blessings of the people. The table is missing all plusses, though - somewhat irritating. The 5-level Pele Liberator PrC (which the table calls Tulita liberator instead) may lose one level of spellcasting progression...but oh boy - wis-mod times/day AoE 20-foot healing at long range equal to 1d8 per two caster levels, plus nauseated enemies on failed save. OUCH. Speaking of ouch - lava burst capstone. 1d10 per caster level, half on round 2, half on round three. While not broken per se, rather impressive - then again, the PRC's smite is based on class level, so more of a dud there - until 5th level, where in addition to cha, wis is added and full character level to damage. That's regular attribute, cha AND wis? Sorry, not gonna happen anywhere near my game - especially since their smite does not end with one attack and since it can be used character level times per day. This needs a massive whacking with the nerfbat.

We also get a 10-level PrC with the Shaw Sheriff that once again lacks the plusses in the table. The Shaw Sheriff gets up to +5d6 sneak attack progression and several trick shots, essentially way to increase the efficiency of blade+pistol fighting. Fluff-wise, the Dragoons of Port Shaw put out a reward on the sheriff's head, just as his/her renown grows and makes it less and less likely that the general populace hands him/her over - adding informant networks etc. makes for a PrC that is tied in a very cool manner into a setting - one that could easily be modified to work for other cities/settings with problematic authorities. Two thumbs up for that one!



After that, we are introduced to a variety of different mundane weapons and equipment as well as 3 new drugs, one new poison and 3 small boats - the latter sans the FaSB-stats though - I would have loved to see them for tiny vessels like this. Prices and short pieces of information on some famous/notorious captains and ships for hire in Port Shaw also can be found here - nice!



We also are introduced to a chapter of feats - 24 to be precise. While there are some filler feats in here (boring +2/+2, later +4/+4 to two skill-checks-yawn!), we also get feats to improve mana/tikimen, use pistols as melee weapons, quicker shapechanging, more reliable swimming, cleave-tripping, feint while moving, make swim-by-attacks or essentially surf. One particularly awesome feat allows you to efficiently hold a pistol to an opponent - potential (and rules) for Mexican stand-offs included! Now see, that is a cool type of feat, though the puzzling mentioning of a ref-save to negate damage in the stand-off sidebar feels like a relic of a previous design - as written, the attacks do not allow a ref-save to reduce damage. Cool in concept would be a feat that nets one tikiman a massive (cha-mod) HD-boost - but has it go haywire upon rolling a 1. Unfortunately, the feat fails to specify whether the rogue tikiman still goes dormant upon expending all mana. If so, does it retain its hostile intent? If it does become dormant, what if you feed blood as per another feat to one of your non-rogue tikimen and regain a point of mana temporarily? Does it reactivate? Can you replace a rogue tkiman or does the haywire tikiman reduce your maximum amount of tikimen available while it still roams the wilds? The Trance Dancer feat allows you to enter a ritualistic dance as a full-round action to temporarily ignore the dazed, fatigued, exhausted and stunned conditions as well as enchantment effects - but only for as long as you can make perform (dance)-checks with an ever-increasing DC. The problem with this feat would be that it does not specify what type of action maintaining the dance is - since Perform-skill-checks can vary wildly in length, that's a crucial issue - move action? Standard action? Does tripping the dancer end the dance?



We also get new spells to help targets reach the surface (or drown them) via an in/decreased buoyancy, make them immune versus the cold of the abyssal depths and their pressure, hit vessels with rogue waves, implant false memories of taboo acts in targets or make a breach watertight. Among the magical items, we get strange harpoon bags, enchanted fish-hooks (that conjure forth fiendish sharks or crocodiles), obsidian/pyroclastc grenades, a quarterstaff that dominates those beaten into submission (which could use a slightly more precise wording - its intent is that it only dominates those beaten into unconsciousness via non-lethal damage, but it can dominate unconscious targets even when dealing non-lethal damage to another creature) and magical tattoos: Created via one of the new feats, these count as wondrous items, take up an item-slot and get per se neat, concise rules. Among the tattoos, there also are special Tulita tattoos - one of which e.g. generates as many +2 icy burst shurikens as the Tulita can throw in one round. The problem here would be that they do not vanish - RAW, the shuriken are permanent and thus could be used as a steady source of income, at least in theory. The other tattoos are fine, though.



Among the animal companions, we get Haast's Eagles, Moa and Wetapunga as well as some minor local variants of existing animal types. Also rather cool, we are introduced to 17 local herbs and plants and how they are used - neat! The book concludes with a nice gazetteer-chapter in which players can glean some basic information on the respective locales and thus spare the DM a lot of exposition while providing enough player-friendly information to entice one into the rich lore of Razor Coast. The book also comes with two pages of char-sheets.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting is okay, but not that great - there are quite a few editing/formatting glitches to be found herein, sometimes acting as slightly detrimental to the rules-language. Layout adheres to RC's per se beautiful 2-column full-color standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. The full-color artworks are almost universally completely awesome. The hardcover book's cover-artwork is not as blurred as the one of FaSB. Paper is rather thin in the physical version.



Lou Agresta, Tim Hitchcock, Tom Knauss, John Ling, RA Mc Reynolds, Rone Barton and Greg Vaughan are all talented designers and authors and it shows in the compelling narratives herein, in the setting-flavor that oozes in buckets from these pages. In the brightest moments, this guide indeed captures well the flair and panache of Razor Coast and showcases their capabilities. Unfortunately, that does not extend to the whole pdf - there are quite a few issues with the rules-language herein, filler-feats, massive issues with the Yohunga base-class... all of those accumulate.



Another issue would be that this pdf endeavors to be a player's guide and partially succeeds at its goal - at the same time falling flat of guiding players regarding the tone the campaign shoots for, which approach (as per the RC-book) to take etc. - if one player shoots for a Disciple of Dajobas, another for a Tulita and a third for essentially a colonialist pirate, as a DM you have an issue on your hands. Especially the former class does simply not belong in a player's guide - or at least requires a massive caveat. As a sourcebook, it fares slightly better, though e.g. the decision to include the player-material indulgences in the campaign setting instead of in this book should be considered slightly unfortunate. Personally, I also would have loved to see a slightly tighter synergy with FaSB, but that's okay and just a nitpick on my part. In the end, the Freebooter's Guide to the Razor Coast makes for a valid companion for a RC-campaign, but one that should see careful DM-oversight due to some problematic options/balance-concerns (*cough* Pele Liberator /*cough*).



In conclusion: Some light, some shadow - a mixed bag - final verdict: 3 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Razor Coast Freebooter's Guide - Pathfinder Edition
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Mythic Monsters: Oozes
Publisher: Legendary Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/17/2014 09:32:43
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of Legendary Games' Mythic Monsters-series is 28 pages long, 1 page front cover, 2 pages editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 2 pages of introduction, 2 pages of advertisement and 1 page inside back cover, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 17 pages of raw content, so what do we exactly get here?



Well, let's take a look at the oozes - which present a unique challenge at mythic levels: Being mindless for one, an optional rule to retain the usefulness/threat of grab (ex) and mythic splitting are covered before we dive into the statblocks - all of these initial options are more than viable and fit the theme.



At CR 8/MR 3, Mythic black puddings may modify their reach for more attacks (great idea - more amorphous being should have that one!) and, while resistant to fire, are covered in an oil-like slick that can easily be ignited - yeah, picture that black blob dissolving AND burning your allies, leaving slime-trails of flammable material behind... Speaking of deadly - what about the CR 16/MR 6 Mythic Carnivorous Blob and its ability to negate temporarily its cold vulnerability. The blob can also spit globs of its matter and soften/liquefy bones of adversaries. Ouch!



At CR 10/MR 4, the mythic version of the deathtrap ooze can duplicate ranged traps, complex traps and even subdivide itself into various connected traps - which an enterprising DM can craft into a truly fearsome encounter! Glorious - now say again that oozes can't make for complex set-ups. The CR 5/MR 2 mythic electric jelly gets a reflexive shock and can emit electric pulses. At CR 4/MR 1, mythic gelatinous cubes get the adherence special quality to have weapons stuck to them. Solid.



Mythic Gray oozes at CR 5/MR 2 leave trails of caustic slime behind and corrode non-mythic items exceedingly fast and even extend their camouflage to include blindsense etc. The CR 8/MR 3 Mythic Hungry Fog can cause its victims to become shaken by shapes half-glimpsed and even duplicate the effects of phantasmal killer thus. These fogs can also kill foes and benefit from the death of engulfed adversaries. Mythic ID Oozes (CR 7/MR 3) can emit poisonous psychotropic vapors alongside caustic trails, adaptive camouflage (again) and may power its confusion causing-abilities via mythic power.



The Mythic Magma Ooze's lavabody and burning aura are neat (CR 9/MR 3, btw.), but its ability to kind of-detonate itself, entangling nearby foes in burning lumps of stone and its lava bomb-emitting capabilities are what make this one for me. The CR 6/MR 2 Mythic Ochre Jelly heals when dealing damage and can emit poison-delivering tendrils and noxious fumes. Nice! The CR 5/MR 2 slithering tracker's mythic version increases its con via blood drain and yes, it finally actually gets good at TRACKING. Prey. fast. Thanks! That one always annoyed the heck out of me.



The CR 7/MR 3 white pudding's mythic brother can make itself a fountain of acidic, cold death and also can burrow through snow/ice and turn itself into a kind of living avalanche. Very cool!



As has become the tradition, we also get a new creature, this time the CR 12/MR 5 quicksilver ooze that may auto-accelerate itself, block attacks, melt metal, can choose which damage type to deal (among the base damages) and that's not all: The ooze can diffuse elemental attacks to adjacent squares and duplicate the enchantments of weapons that hit it. Oh yeah, movement rate 60 feet. SUFFER! Glorious!



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are once again very good - I didn't notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to Legendary Games' 2-column standard and the two pieces of original full color artwork are glorious. The pdf comes with the good type of hyperlinks, but unfortunately no bookmarks - a comfort detriment here.



On the nitpicky side, once again ecology-sections are missing from some of the statblocks - gelatinous cube, gray ooze, id ooze, ochre jelly and the new quicksilver ooze all lack this component of the statblock - which while not crucial, represents a detriment. Jason Nelson delivers a cool array of oozes with a surprisingly diverse set of cool signature abilities that not only make oozes more diverse, it makes them actually FUN to ooze. Yeah bad pun. Sorry, couldn't resist. The oozes are cool and honestly, I'll rather use them than their non-mythic brethren, especially since non-mythic oozes tend to be boring for the DM to run. This, these oozes aren't. That being said, I think a slight bit more content for some, a signature ability here and there, would have been enough to make this truly legendary. Speaking of which - know what seems to be a running theme? The mythic versions are cool - the unique creatures are stellar. Personally, I'd love to see much more NEW monsters by LG!

All in all, in spite of the lack of bookmarks/partially missing ecologies, a pdf that gets my wholehearted recommendation, especially and additionally for even non-mythic DMs who want to scavenge some abilities to make the standard oozes less bland. Thus, in spite of its minor flaws, I'll settle on a final verdict of 4.5 stars, rounded down to 4 by a margin.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mythic Monsters: Oozes
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Midgard Tales (Pathfinder RPG)
Publisher: Kobold Press
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/16/2014 07:45:02
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This massive adventure anthology is 198 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page backer-list/ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 192 pages of content, so let's take a look!



Midgard Tales...an anthology with the goal of creating adventures to talk about. Not only are these supposed to be exciting, they are supposed to resound with the stuff of mythology, of being iconic in the truest sense of the world. This anthology is one massive book and thus, I will not go into as many details regarding the modules as usual, instead giving you a short heads-up regarding the respective modules. Also: I was a backer of this on kickstarter, but did not contribute in any shape or form to it. Got that?



Awesome! The following thus contains SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion, mostly because, believe me, you don't want this spoiled.



Tim Connors kicks off with the weirdest, most glorious 1st level module I've read in quite a while: Set upon the infinitely delayed Great Old Ones in eternal struggle, the PCs awake in "Atop the Warring Blasphemies" in essentially a nest...of one weird, semi-cthulhoid dragon-like being. Escaping from their predicament, the PCs have to navigate the gigantic bodies of the old ones and the politics of the weird goblin-tribes that worship and live among them. Worse, there actually are pulpy pieces of technology that keep the aura of bloodlust emitted by the huge creatures in check. Navigating the strange vertical settlements, shooting ballistae at adversaries, climbing, betrayal - this is one damn furious first module for any campaign and should be considered a true gem - it's only downside being that it will be hard to trump this tour-de-force.



Next up would be Morgan Boehringer's "Curse of the Witchkeep". Intended for 2nd level, the PCs are introduced to the village of Loshtadt in the Krakovan hinterlands. Intended as a horror adventure, a sense of desolation suffuses the area. And indeed, a dread curse has fallen upon the xenophobic settlement - biological time is passing exceedingly fast and this amplified ageing process may actually hit the PCs as well. Beyond this curse, not all is well - the village suffers from a powerplay between the lady of the area and the deadly cult of the harbinger, and at night, fear of the "night beast", which is in fact an eidolon, reigns. Undead witchwolves roam the countryside and in order to break the curse, the PCs will have to infiltrate the local keep's dungeon and put an end to the powerplay and deal in a great puzzle-combat with a semi-sentient orrery. Have I mentioned the antipaladin that may actually not be the worst possible ally or the other factions involved in the power-play? This is relatively complex and one of those deceptive modules that don't look that awesome on paper, but running it actually works exceedingly well and remarkable. Again, two thumbs up!



The next module, Ted Reed's "On the Fourth Day, We Kill Them All", for level 3 characters...is downright glorious. You may know that I have a soft spot for stories in the northlands, but all too often, the issue is that the authors don't get the mindset. Well, Ted Reed does. Set against the backdrop of a feud at a Þing, i.e. the kind-of-somewhat-democratic meetings, the PCs not only get to embark in simply superbly fun mini-games that breathe social flair and fluff, in order to persevere, they have to explore a fortress once swallowed by a living glacier and return, triumphantly, with an army of lost ancestors to prevail in a gambit for power. Have I mentioned the diverse political intriguing? Even if you don't like the Northlands, this module remains among the apex-modules in iconic imagery and things to do and should be considered a must-run masterpiece. I bow to the author! If all modules were this good, I'd be out of reviewing.



Chris Lozaga's "Bloodmarked of White Mountain" deals with a village under a strange curse - it seems like the dread ghost folk have bloodmarked a whole village to fall victim to their depredations, sending the whole village into a deep, unnatural slumber. What are the ghost folk? Essentially inbred, white face-painted orcs that ignite in white fire thanks to their strange customs and alchemy upon being slain. In order to lift the curse, the PCs will have to unearth the traumatic history of a hermit, climb a dread idol of the white goddess and finally enter an abandoned mine and defeat the ghost folk in their own environment. Sooo...this is the first module herein I consider good, but simply not that awesome. Yeah, orcs in Midgard are rare and the ignition-upon-death angle is nice...but I can't help but feel I've seen this exact plot before. Feeling more like a post-apocalyptic module, I was reminded of some classics of the genre (brownie-points if you can recall them). Now don't get me wrong - this still is a very good module, but in direct comparison, it somewhat pales.



Module number 5, Michael Lane's "Dawnsong Tragedy" (also for level 3) see the reappearance of a fabled yurt in the Rothenian plane...and the potential for sinister influence. Entering the yurt, the PCs find themselves trapped in a demiplane-style environment, requiring them to defeat a coalition of 3 agents of gods most foul, who, as it turns out, were responsible for the disappearance of the yurt. Each comes with its own, deadly environment and minions, making for a fun romp through uncommon areas. While there is not much going on beyond combat in the respective areas, their iconic layout helps make this module remarkable. Somewhat similar to Legendary Games' "Baleful Coven", this module is great, but not as 100% iconic as I would have liked. Primarily, I think the respective areas of the adversaries could have been a bit more far-out and feature some more unique terrain features. What I do really enjoy is that the respective areas are presented as hexes, though going full-blown hexploration, including random encounter tables, weird weather etc. could have made this very good module into a true legend.



Matt Hewson's "The Tattered Unicorn" (again, for level 3), kicks off with an unicorn ghost herding the PCs toward the village of Astig, where further issues ensue. Delving into the social dynamics of the small place and trysts long gone, the PCs have to find out, what has happened to the unicorn... and during the investigation, also manage the dynamics between a nymph and her forlarren sister as well as prevent a bound demon from being released by the mastermind of the unicorn's demise. All in all...an okay investigation. It's background isn't too special, the means of research not that pronounced, the plot ultimately somewhat simple. It's one of the modules where your PCs are most likely to stumble across the solution without getting all the details. Also: The final ritual, while called incantation in the text, does not get a full incantation treatment, which is somewhat of a pity. Now don't get me wrong, this module isn't bad in any way, but it also could have used more research consequences/pieces to put together. The threat promised by the set-up isn't really followed up on and while timeline etc. help, overall, it is a rather simplistic scenario for an investigation.



Ben McFarland's "To Resurrect the Steigenadler" (intended for level 4) is a whole different beast: When a bone-storm downs the airship the PCs boarded to traverse the wasted west, not only do their actions determine whether NPCs survive the crash, they also find themselves beseiged by mad cultists, terrible beasts born from insanity and in an area that simply is one of the most iconic, deadly ones in Midgard. In order to make the ship once again rise to the skies, brains, brawn and stealth are all required in a tale of survival, madness and consequences. Breathing the flair of the wasted west, this module is superb and ranks among the finest crash-landing scenarios I've seen in quite a while - once again, one of the legends and befitting Ben McFarland's superb resumé.



Erik Freund's level 5 module, "Masquerade", takes a different approach: Two-star-crossed lovers on different sides of a war, a forced marriage looming...realize something? Yes, this module is essentially "Romeo & Juliet"...much like some other modules I've read. But don't skip! Why? Because it is distinctly NOT "Romeo & Juliet" - the player characters first have to brave the seedy underbelly of Capleon for legwork and to acquire an elixir that is supposed to put Seletta, the Baron's daughter into a coma. In order to deliver the elixir, the PCs have to infiltrate a masque ball (complete with a SUPERB mini-game between Exposure and gaining enough clout to approach Seletta) - upon delivering the assassination attempt, a wild chase resumes, the after math of which is depending on the PCs managing exposure versus subtlety. Trying to retrieve her comatose body by breaking into the cemetery, the PCs finally have to flee the city and intrude into a realm in-between of Hellraiser-like madness between pain and insanity to finally face an ending that may be resoundingly triumphant or just as heart-rending bitter-sweet as its literary inspiration. The premise made me groan, the execution is so utterly ultra-glorious, though, that I can simply only slow clap to the ambition of the author. One legendary, smart epic indeed and one of the best modules I've read in ages.



Mike Franke's level 6 module "Whispers in the Dark" is more conservative in the ground it treads by having the PCs explore creepy mines and finally brave the derro-incursion beneath Breccia. Overall, a weird little crawl that, much like the second module, doesn't read as exciting on paper. However, Mike Franke seems to have a gift for fusing encounters and traps into a cohesive whole that works surprisingly well when run, creating an atmosphere beyond the sum of its parts.



Next up would be a module by the master of the macabre, Richard Pett: "Sorrow", for level 7 characters. The module kicks off with the PCs being invited to a "royal" wedding in the backwater town of Twine. As tradition will have it, the King in Rags, a debased Dark fey-lord is out to take the lord's daughter to claim his prize for services rendered in the past and thus, the PCs get to participate in a forced marriage-ceremony, where dancing with baccae, succeeding at fey-tasks and generally breathing the palpable sense of dark fantasy grit is tantamount - even before the lord tries to kill the King in Rags, thus sending his whole county into the fey's domain, where in a race against time, the PCs have to do some hasty hexploration to track down the King in Rags before the entity can consummate his marriage...potentially dealing with former brides and similar fey creatures and only, if they can stop the king's mantle of living crows from stopping their best attacks. The master of horror and dark fantasy at his finest, on par with the legendary "Courts of the Shadow Fey" in delightfully evil dark fey-flair. Another legend!



"Among the red monoliths" by Brian W. Suskind (level 7-9) caters to my preference of shades of grey morality - the city of Bourgund is a radiant place and when the PCs arrive there and have items confiscated, they probably will be rather grumpy, with those white knights mumbling something about primal giant slaying...and they'd better. The order of white knights has fallen victim to the very human sin of hubris and an ally of the most uncommon kind, the dread church of Marena, may all that stands between the city and utter destruction. In order to prevent the immortal primal guardians from escaping the monoliths that litter the city, the PCs have to help the dark cult get their hands on various items and finally, conduct the rite...which adds another issue...it requires human sacrifice. Shades of grey are not for every group, but this module makes a great stance for a module that does require adventuring on the darker sides of morality. As soon as the constantly regenerating giants get free, that ought to be rather clear. Uncommon and a type of module I haven't seen before in commercial publishing and surprisingly in line with how my campaigns tend to run, this one is rather fun, though players who see everything as black and white might disagree.



Thankfully, Brian W. Suskind also gets another module to show off his versatility as an author with the "Five Trials of Pharos", intended for level 10 characters. The premise is as uncommon as they come - Mharot dragon Yiraz invites the adventurers alongside some competing teams to embark on a race to 5 trials, each of which requires the solving of mundane, riddle-like instructions and ultimately is designed to realign ley-lines towards one nexus. The race comes with a vast array of different challenges and the symbolic power of the respective challenges also resounds properly. After a glorious, breathless race, the PCs will even have to save their draconic patron, who has been duped and thus had her body taken over by a grisly, legendary dragon/aboleth hybrid thought long-since perished. Yes. EPIC FINAL BATTLE indeed!



The final module, "The Stacks Between" is penned by no other than Crystal Frasier and takes place in our favorite clockwork-city of Zobeck, to be precise in the legendary, teleporting library Bibliolethe, last repository of so much lore of the reviled Stross family. Entering the precipice on the trail of a vanished mage, the PCs have a scant few 10 hours to navigate bound azata and their contractual obligations to a bound contract devil, avoid the groundkeeper and golems, navigate a cool puzzle-floor and finally defeat the spirit and madness of the library's former master, split in twain by the dread artifact that is responsible for the Bibliolethe's planehopping - if the shadow fey or former victims turned dread undead don't get the PCs first! Success may actually return the legendary library to Zobeck! Gloriously wicked, dark dungeon, somewhat reminiscent of Frog God Games' super "Black Monastery", but unique enough to exist alongside it.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are one of the unfortunate weaknesses of this book and one reason it did not score even higher on my Top Ten list of the best of 2013 - from bolding errors, wrong page-headers and typos to even map-glitches, one more thorough editing pass wouldn't have hurt this one. Layout adheres to Midgard's two-column full-color standard and is gorgeous. The same holds true for the extremely evocative, cool b/w-artworks throughout the book that convey so much better the darkness and grit of these modules than the deceptively light cover implies. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.



Speaking of artwork and maps - there is a second pdf that contains look-see-handout versions of the superb artworks and maps and while I'm not a big fan of non-KS-backers paying extra for them, I wouldn't complain, after all the maps are awesome. Or rather, I wouldn't complain, for the second gripe I have is that, once again, we get no player-friendly maps of the places, not even in the extra, for-sale handout-pdf! That's NOT cool - had I paid extra for handouts, I would have at least expected to have the maps sans letters, creature-markers etc. So yeah, that was the second factor that brought this down a notch. On the plus-side, the hardcover I got from the KS is a solid beauty with good paper and solid craftmanship -it certainly looks awesome and production values are top-notch here!



Now don't get me wrong - I've been at my top-notch complaining level throughout the whole review - there is not a single bad module herein. Not one. There isn't even a mediocre one in here. the worst I could say about any given module in this anthology would be that a module is just "good". But how is the ratio? 7 of these modules, on their own, would have me gush, grin and heap superlatives on them. 7.

That's more than 50% A++-modules, of which, I guarantee that much, you won't be disappointed. Add to that that the other modules all occupy slots at the higher echelons, never dipping to mediocrity, and we have an anthology that succeeds at its lofty goal of proving modules that players WILL talk about. That, ladies and gentlemen, is superb density regarding quality and sheer narrative potential. Have I mentioned that most modules herein coincidentally also make simply good reading material? To cut a long ramble short:

This anthology is well worth its place on my Top Ten of last year and 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Midgard Tales (Pathfinder RPG)
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Mythic Monsters: Molds, Slimes, and Fungi
Publisher: Legendary Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/16/2014 07:42:04
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of Legendary Games' Mythic Monsters-series is 32 pages long, 1 page front cover, 2 pages editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 2 pages of introduction, 2 pages of advertisement and 1 page inside back cover, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 21 pages of raw content, so what do we exactly get here?



I like the gritty and dark. My campaigns tend to feature a lot of diseases, poisons and the like. Add to that the fact that I have some serious health issues with regards to fungus spores and a traumatic horror story I read as a child and I'll come right out and say it: Demons? Lovecraftiana? Pfff. If you want me to feel uncomfortable, put me some fungi before me. I just consider them CREEPY and thus, I love using them. They also make players squeal - after all, who wants to be rotted from the inside-out?



As a nice idea, this pdf kicks off by introducing the optional fungus-subtype before providing...yes, 8 mythic fungus hazards. Though regular brown mold was bad? Wait until you fall into a patch of the mythic variant! Seriously, I love hazards and these add nastier variants to a DM's arsenal - so kudos!



Now let's look at the creatures, shall we? At CR 6/MR 2, the mythic ascomoid has not only better control via spore jets (and thus about their charging), it also is a neat fungal overrun machine. Cool! At the same CR/MR, the mythic basidirond not only gets poison blood and the option to entrap foes in ropy tendrils, they may also emit a sympathy-inducing aroma that can even fascinate those witnessing it from close-by. Creepy! At CR 12/MR 5, the Mythic Fungus Queen is a threat to fear indeed - not only can she energy drain, create difficult terrain (connected with her entrap ability!) and fight through her sporepods, she can also create legions of slain spawn. *shudder*



On the less high level/boss-battle style adversaries, we'd get the CR 3/MR 1 Mythic Leshy Fungus with soundburst (that one should probably be italicized) puffballs and yes, we also get full information for the ritual to create these.



Well, though the fungus queen was bad? CR 26/MR 10. MYTHIC MU SPORE. 'Nuff said. Or not - 8 signature abilities versus two of the non-mythic version. One-page glorious full-color artwork. Shudder, tremble and fear, mortals. One glorious beast! At CR 5/MR 2, the mythic myceloid can go one step further and transform those infected by their purple pox into full-blown myceloids - oh, and they may actually taste your emotions, highjacking morale bonuses and ferret out you via emotions. CREEPY. CR 4/MR 1 Mythic Phantom Fungus may spew forth dazzling spores. At CR 5/MR 2, the mythic phycomid can rapid fire their pellets and have them pop up in splash-damage-style bursts.



CR 3/MR 1 mythic slime molds can disgorge green slime and make those hit unwitting carriers. Mythic vegepygmies and their champions (at CR1/MR 1 and CR 2/MR 1) get greensight, can create greenblood oil and chieftains get essentially defensive russet mold.



At CR 4/MR 1, mythic violet fungi get tentacles with barbs, okay, I guess. Finally, we get a lavish one-page illustration in full color of the Fairy Ring, a CR 8/ MR 3 new beast that is a plant swarm with various SLs that can act as a planar crossroads, disenchant magic items, act as a guarded rope trick-style pocket dimension, deals its swarm damage not only selectively, but also non-lethal and can even put you to sleep or pronounce ageing curses! Superb, iconic, awesome and a final capstone offering for the book!



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are generally, rather good - while there aren't any significant glitches that detract from the entries per se, it should be noted that basidirond, leshy, phantom fungus and violet fungus miss the ecology-entries of their statblocks. Not a catastrophe, but also a minor glitch. Layout adheres to Legendary Games' two-column full-color standard and the two 1-page full color illustrations are glorious. The pdf comes bookmarked, but not to the respective entries and the bookmarks seem to be taken from the Demon-pdf, another minor gripe there. the pdf comes bookmarked with the good type of hyperlinks that is applied to rules/components where it makes sense.



Jason Nelson has crafted a thoroughly disturbing array of cool creatures (and hazards) here, with just about every critter filling very iconic roles and some monsters actually doing exceedingly cool things. That being said, this level of awesomeness is not continuous - the violet fungus, for example and the vegepygmies feel somewhat less inspired than the otherwise awesome creatures herein. Add to that the aforementioned glitches, and we arrive at a verdict where I can recommend this installment of mythic monsters at a heartfelt 4.5 stars, but will round down by a very small margin to 4 for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mythic Monsters: Molds, Slimes, and Fungi
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Pact Magic Unbound, Vol. 2 (PFRPG)
Publisher: Radiance House
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/11/2014 06:14:44
An Endzeitgeist.com review

The second Pact Magic-book is a whopping 107 pages long, 1 page front cover, 2 pages editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 blank page, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 100 pages of content - so let's take a look!



So, how do we start? Well, essentially with class options for all non-core classes - from exorcizing bombs to spirits in a bottle (i.e. poor pacts via mutagens), we get two damn cool discoveries for the alchemist as well as the occult chymist archetype - who gets diminished alchemy to pay for access to spirits. As a cool drawback, the alchemist develops an addiction to one chosen constellation, getting penalties when not bound with a spirit of said constellation - it should be noted that slowly, the penalties of this addiction can be overcome. Cavaliers may choose from two new orders - the order of the Occult Eye and the Order of Saelendrios - whereas the former would be dabbler in the occult, teh former are devoted to the eradication of pact magic, following in the footsteps of a particular order from Tome of Magic - only with vastly superior rules and proper benefits! Of course, Cavaliers also get a new archetype, the Pactsworn Knight - essentially a cavalier with binder capabilities - here the synergy between bound spirits and cavalier abilities is formidable, allowing the cavalier to e.g. challenge a foe and treat it as the favored enemy of his bound spirit(s). Occult Avengers are Gunslingers that live only for revenge - and thus use pact magic to hunt down their respective marks - while bound to spirits, their two exclusive deeds allow them to act as superb trackers of adversaries.



No other class is as predisposed fluff-wise to opposing pact magic as the inquisitor and hence the class gets a new anti-spirit inquisition. The occult abolisher is hence also a specialist of combat against pact magic - whereas the occult sadist pays for binding spirits and a painful touch (i.e. an antipaladin's touch of corruption -PLUS cruelty later!) with slightly diminished spellcasting, while the Pact Protector is just the opposite - a protector of spirits and occultists that has a glorious idea - instead of solo tactics, it allows for teamwork-feat synergy between practitioners of pact magic instead of the regular solo tactics! Glorious and elegant! The Magus may now opt for the Sibyl archetype - using essentially a pact magic's equivalent of spell combat, these beings can also use arcane strike to replenish the expended abilities of spirits and later even quickly exchange spirits!



Of course, Occultists also get a new archetype, the Occult Scholar - these scholars get access to a revelation from the lore mystery, but also are barred permanently from one constellation, unlike the other archetypes, which more often than not choose a particular constellation alignment and prohibit the respective binding character from binding opposed spirits. We also are introduced to new binder secrets - for example one that allows you to redirect abilities that have been saved against to other eligible targets! Echoing abilities (for increased cool-down), affecting incorporeal creatures, a spirit alarm-system, particular efficiency against favored foes and even a way to heal oneself by temporarily suppressing spirits. The occultist also gets favored class options - including ones for all those ARG-races! Oracles of the Spirit Realm mystery can learn via a revelation to bend targets into greyish mockeries of themselves, cloak you and your allies from the unwitting eyes of mortals and whisper maddening, confusing whispers, reincarnate those perished by virtue of your connection to the spirit realm and even untether your very soul from your body! The Spirit Medium comes with a custom curse that represents the continuous onslaught of spirits, worrying away the medium's will and subjecting them always to the influence of spirits. Have I mentioned that they may bind spirits (d'unhhhh) and also gets an actually functioning Ouija-board.



Summoners may now add minor granted abilities to their eidolons or have them steal minor abilities! Archetype-wise, summoners may now opt for the Spirit Caller - these beings essentially replace their eidolon with vestigial spirit companions that can easily be suppressed and further enhances said companions - damn cool! The Spirit Drudge Witch has the familiar exhibit/suppress the sign, making for a rather unique situation roleplaying-wise - depending on the constellation chosen, the archetype also gets a neat array of different bonus spells, but also prohibited constellations.



Chapter 2 kicks off with new uses for established skills and new feat: Ability-sharing via teamwork-feats, increasing binding DC for a higher effective level, minor access to low level domain powers, occult spells modified with metamagic that automatically succeed at their concentration-checks for +2 levels, having a reserve spirit, partially ignoring DR of favored foes via the expenditure of grit, more control on monstrous aspects - these feats are surprisingly, all killer, no filler!



Next up would be new spirits - 31 of them! Fans of the original "Secrets of Pact Magic" will rejoice here - for not only do we now get full legends for more of the respective spirits! Forash the mule-headed demon and e.g. Marat, who may have been either an intelligent construct with a story that is an interesting twist on the old Pinocchio/Gaining of sentience-trope, the first of the gearforged or a similar case would be two of the old favorites that have been updated here - much like the first Pact Magic Unleashed, the mechanics and their application to Pathfinder are vastly superior to the original D&D 3.X-iteration - Alexander Augunas is having a roll here. Even Milo of Clyde, the cynical detective, originally appeared in Villains of Pact Magic, makes a return here - and awesomely so: You may as an immediate action convert regular damage into non-lethal damage, but only if you're not immune against the former: Awesome to survive uncommon threats and possibly even survive what otherwise would be a TPK! Other favorites like Lord Foxglove IV, the exchequer of the stole purse or Cornelius Button, the dual-minded gardener of dreams or the grisly tale of Ethaniel Midnight, the sadistic torturer that not even hell wanted to accept - all of these and many more can be found herein.

To my delight, the rather complex "spirit" of Circe's 32 runes has also been upgraded - in a rather interesting way: instead o simply gaining access to some spells depending on the runes chosen (in addition to the other benefits), the spirit now makes a distinction between upper case and lower case runes and the spell-like abilities they grant, adding another dimension of tactics to the fray when choosing runes. As a minor fly in the ointment, I would have loved to see the visual depictions of the original runes in this book as well - but that's just me being obsessive about runes and symbols, I guess. The Primordial Titans, Merickel, Hero of False Destiny - many of these have been updated, but it should be noted that unlike most updates from 3.X, these often come with new, revised and thoroughly changed/streamlined abilities, often not even being the same level as their original iterations - so yeah, even if you do own the original books, this one provides so much more than even a diy-conversion in line with PU 1 would offer - and that is what makes a great update, at least for me! Now originally, the spirit known as Overmind was rather broken - it is my utmost pleasure to report that the spirit's power to jump forward through time is still there, though now balanced by a higher level! The tomb of the immortal god-king Septigenius Maximus is featured fully mapped - by the way, this one allows you to gain a gaze attack that can transform adversaries into salt, granite...and even gold!

Not all spirits herein are simply conversions, though - take Al'akra. Also known as the Tall Man. if you're not shuddering at least slightly by now, go watch "marble Hornets" on youtube. I'll be waiting.

....

....

...

Back? Yeah. Want paranoia-inducing powers, terror and spatial blending at your disposal? All possible! Damn cool! Speaking of which: Especially Midgard-aficionados should have a very wide grin upon reading of the option to bind FRIGGIN' JÖRMUNGANDR as a level 7 spirit! Synchronizing wounds with foes, control water, raining poison from the skies - this is incredibly awesome and makes for a damn cool addition to the plethora of spirits available! Now what happens when Alexander Augunas' preference for Kitsune meets with Lovecraftiana? Yith' Anu, a trickster/body-snatcher kitsune/Great race of Yith-hybrid that not only allows you to emulate the mind-swapping gambits of said kitsune and erase the memories of others - instead of vestigial companions, you can get extra bodies into which to swap! What about making a pact in what is essentially Lamashtu in all but name, allowing you to summon deadly, powerful spirit-touched monsters and even heal yourself by drinking the blood of the freshly slain. As an adversary, the wolf-headed, extremely potent Worglord, first of the Hero constellation, is also tied in a rather interesting way to aforementioned mother of monsters.



Next up would be new spells - but first we are introduced to the new [occult]-descriptor as well as the aging-necromancy subschool as well as 3 new cleric subdomains - since this review already is rather lengthy, I'll skim over these and just say: Awesome, cool - no complaints. Among the magical items, we get new qualities, exorcism bells - and thoroughly unique items like lenses that may store and copy information - or what about the orb of soul binding, which is a massive 100 pounds heavy!- oh, and we get gnostic tomes, which include the information to bind spirits - nice to offer them as treasure!



Chapter 5 is titled as esoterica and adds an "occult" background to... *drum-roll* the easy character background generator from ultimate Campaign! Hell yeah! Now that is not only useful, it's awesome! Of course, we thus also require new traits, of which we get 16 and yes, we even get 4 new drawbacks to accompany these! Finally, we get Pact Magic's spellblights, so-called pact maladies - essentially supernatural afflictions that can result from Pact Magic.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are excellent, I didn't notice significant glitches, only minor ones and few to boot. Layout adheres to a 2-column b/w-standard that is both elegant and nice to look at. The b/w-artworks are raw and convey well the unique feeling of pact magic and the respective spirits all come with depictions of their seals, which is something I consider thoroughly awesome - having players draw the seals themselves is a fun means of immersion, by the way. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.



Pact Magic Unbound 2...is essentially Pact Magic's APG - not only in support of the non-core-classes, but in the vast array of new options, the smart conversions, the quality of the new material - this is a completely non-optional expansion for the awesomeness that is Pact Magic - not only do the respective rules go beyond lame spell-like abilities and instead offer some truly unique things to do that no other class covers, it also irons out many of the glitches old spirits had in their former incarnation and simply adds so much more to the fray. While not all spirits have legends, we get more of them than in PU 1 and the tie-in with Ultimate Campaign's char-generator is a blessing indeed. Mechanically more than solid and creative and expanding the lore of Pact Magic with thoroughly awesome new spirits and options, Pact Magic Unleashed Vol. 2 is a superb book in just about every way, with great production values and awesome content - If you're looking to introduce Pact Magic into your game, get it along Pact Magic Vol. 1 - the two books combine to give you a much richer experience that allows you to make Pact Magic a vital, cool component in your gaming world - so bring a sense of the occult to the table and bind the friggin' Tall Man/Slender Man/Operator! Final verdict? 5 stars + seal of approval + candidate for my top ten of 2014 since I didn't get review done in 2013!

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Pact Magic Unbound, Vol. 2 (PFRPG)
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The Fat Lady Sings: 14 Compositions for the Maestro Base Class
Publisher: Interjection Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/11/2014 06:10:56
An Endzeitgeist.com review

Interjection Games' maestro is one of the more colorful, unique and awesome base classes out there and this pdf is all about additional fodder for these guys - clocking in at 5 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, we get 3 pages of new compositions - but can they hold up to the base classes' tremendous potential?



I'm assuming you're familiar with how the class works; If not, check my review for a break-down of it. Got it? Okay!



So what do we get? Well, there would be for example 4 new intros. The first one would be the Anthem of the dutiful knight, which conjures forth an intangible spectral knight that readies an action to hit people trying to attack while remaining adjacent to you to attack the intrepid interloper. Balance-wise, here is an interesting innovation - using this intro reduces the amount of melody slots by one. Conjuring forth illusory doubles of allies within 30 feet also works rather neat. When invoking a song of friendship, maestros can highjack dominations and similar mind-influencing effects - awesome! Finally, maestros can use an into to annoy enemies with miss-chance inducing (get this!) sugarplums. Yes. Sugarplums. Cool! (I know, bad pun...)



A total of 9 melodies would be next - one lets your allies emit AoE-demoralizing shouts that deal minor sonic damage, while another allows for rerolls for allies, for balance's sake at -2. Yet another defensive melody can prevent flanking (ouch!) and another penalizes any attack on you or your allies within 30 feet with 1 point electricity and 1 point sonic damage. Might look like it's not much, but believe me...these can accumulate. Another melody makes it possible for a maestro to help e.g. other elemental blasters by adding penalties to foes damaged by more than 5 points of elemental damage. A haunting tune to penalize fear-based saves would be more common...but Interjection Games' trademark imaginative ideas are back with a miss-chance granting interposing musical notations (!!). Yes. Awesome. Though don't expect these to catch giant's boulders. Also cool - maestros may offer their will-save to allies, but if said ally fails, both are hit by the effect. Finally, what about a melody that allows you to once per round force opponents in range reroll their roll, but at +2? Rather cool!



Finally, there is one new eponymous outro - the Fat Lady cometh. It is awesome. You conjure forth a slow-moving, ponderous spectral opera singer that you can move around throughout the composition. She arrives with the intro and remains for the whole composition. In the end, she emits a shriek that AoE stuns opponents, but compositions that include her cannot be aborted prior to reaching the outro. Design-wise, this hints at vast untapped potential via other intros/melodies/outros and the imagery...is damn cool.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to Interjection Games elegant 2-column standard and the pdf comes sans bookmarks, but needs none at this length.



This additional fodder for the great Maestro-class is simply glorious and hints at a lot of design-potential that could be explored here. The ideas are fresh, the wording is concise (in spite of rather complex concepts realized) and the added oomph makes the maestro even cooler - what's not to like? Well, personally, I'm not too big a fan of the spell focus feat that acts as a prereq to many of the compositions. Yeah. That's all the nitpick I've got here. A personal preference. Final verdict? 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Fat Lady Sings: 14 Compositions for the Maestro Base Class
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Wilderness Dressing: Deserts
Publisher: Raging Swan Press
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/10/2014 05:30:42
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Wilderness Dressing-series is 11 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 6 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?



This time, we go to the windswept dunes of the desert - where circling vultures, breezes carrying the aroma of exotic spices and strange carpets in the middle of nowhere await discovery by intrepid adventurers, with and without skill-checks, while enigmatic edifices loom half-buried in the sand - in case you haven't noticed - I consider the 100-entry strong first table of the supplement well-crafted and diverse enough to fulfill my by now rather strict criteria and high standards for the line.



In the second table, concerned with dressings, we are no less pampered by unique sights and sounds - sinkholes containing dead dust diggers, half-buried tablets of hieroglyphs, scenes of carnage that bespeak the cruelty of the gnoll instigators behind them - once again, 100 entries in which only scarcely a filler like "Black smoke on the horizon" can be found. Better yet - scorpions taking refuge in boots (including poison!) make for some nice mini-challenges herein - as far as I'm concerned, we could have more of these!



As in the snow & ice-installment, we get 12 sample random encounters, which, while not fully statted, come with rather extensive sidenotes and utilize the young and advanced simple creature templates. That being said, these feel a tad bit more versatile -while they do offer the usual suspects with scorpions and dire hyena and a blue dragon, we also get a lich, a janni, some death worms and yes, even a jackalwere - so enough versatility for me to keep my trap shut - nice diversity in ELs from 1 to 13.



As always, the final page is devoted to the DM-cheat-sheet, this time covering stealth and perception in the desert, rubble and sand dunes and sandstorms. As with the last installment, we get a nice piece of artwork here, though, again, I would have loved to see more environmental rules here: A summary of heat-dangers to avoid skipping books, quicksand- the like. If only because I love RSP's concise way of collecting this data and consider these pages extremely useful.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting, as usual in offerings of Raging Swan Press, is superb - I did not notice any glitches. Layout adheres to RSP's 2-column b/w-standard and the pdf comes in two version, one optimized for screen-use and one for the printer. Both are fully bookmarked for your convenience.



So this is author Brian Wiborg Mønster's first offering for Raging Swan Press -let me say without a doubt that I look forward to seeing more: The distinct flair of cinnamon seems to emit from these pages (which is interesting, considering his name points towards a Norwegian, Danish or Faroese ancestry) and speaks of an attention to detail, versatility and modularity - while here and there slightly less intriguing entries can be found, the majority of entries herein actually is fun, well-written and diverse, with all points of criticism I could muster being only me nitpicking an otherwise great supplement. My final verdict will hence clock in at 5 stars, just short of my seal of approval - looking forward to seeing more from the author!

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Wilderness Dressing: Deserts
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The Maestro Base Class [PFRPG & D&D 3.5]
Publisher: Interjection Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/05/2014 06:46:15
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This new base class is 25 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 22 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?



The Maestro-class gets 1/2 BAB-progression, good will-saves, d6, 4+Int skills per level, proficiency with simple weapons and shields (but not tower shields), but not any kind of armor. They also ignore the arcane spell failure chance of said shields. From this, one would presume a full caster class - the notion of which a quick glance at the table dispels: The class starts with maximum spell level 0 and only gets 1st level spells on 3rd level. Yes. Weird. But we've come to expect that from Interjection Games by now, haven't we? So let's see what this class has to offset that.



The Maestro starts game with 2 scores and gets an additional score at 5th level and then another one at 11th level and 17th level for a total of 5 scores. However, each score can be modified by a melody - at st level, only one melody can be applied per score, which increases to 2 at 3rd level and then by +1 at 8th level and every 5 levels after that for a total of 5 melodies. Furthermore, there are so-called refrains, the first of which is gained at 2nd level. At 8th level and every 6th level, the number of refrains available increases by +1 for a total of 4 refrains at 20th level. Finally, at 4th level and every 3 levels after that, the Maestro gains an opus. *takes a breath*



Let's start with the spells, shall we? Maestro-spells ALWAYS have a somatic component and are cast spontaneously via cha. Spellcasting is completely different from any other class - a maestro can cast every spell s/he knows once per day - no more often, no less. They also don't get bonus spells per day, but rather use this value to determine bonus spells KNOWN. They also are limited by not ever being capable of using any type of metamagic, whether by feats, class features or items.



So what about those compositions? Let's start with scores. A Maestro starts the game with 2 scores plus 1/3 int-mod, rounded down, min one score. These consist of an intro, a melody and an outro - at least from the beginning. As mentioned, later levels allow for more melodies to be added to the respective compositions. To prepare a score, the Maestro requires an int-score of 12+amount of melodies used and the DC clocks in at 10+1/2 class level + int-mod. If a maestro's int-mod is higher than his cha-mod, he may use that modifier to supplement his/her perform skill instead of cha.



A Maestro also has a composition book, which is somewhat akin to a spellbook, hut is only required when changing prepared compositions - lacking that, the previous compositions are regained upon rest, meaning a maestro is not left crippled upon losing his/her book, just stuck with their currently prepared compositions. They may also prepare compositions from recorded compositions on folios and get 1/2 class level to all knowledge-checks pertaining music. A maestro starts with 3 of any combination of intro/outro and 1+int-mod melodies, min 1. Each new level, a maestro gains one intro/outro and 1 melody. Beyond these, much like prepared casters, maestros may write compositions via a costly process into their books.

How does the Maestro cast, then? An individual score can be maintained for Perform (conducting) skill ranks + Int-mod rounds per day. Starting a composition is a standard action that provokes AoOs and it then can be maintained as a free action. The intro-effect of said composition begins immediately upon starting conducting, as do all melody effects associated with the performance. Now a maestro can either opt to end a performance as a free action - however, there is another option. By spending a standard action that provokes AoOs, the maestro can instead end the performance with the outro-effect chosen for the composition, which is immediately triggered upon completing the finishing flourish. While conducting cannot be interrupted in the most common ways, killing the maestro or incapacitating the character via paralysis etc. also ends the composition. Only one composition can be in effect per Maestro. Now refrains can be used to further spontaneously modify the compositions - by spending a move action, the maestro can use a refrain for one round, suspending the regular melody benefits of the composition (though the times still counts against the total time limit), while intro/outro remain unchanged.



12 intros, 13 outros and 2 that can act as either provide the basic framework for the melodies, of which we get no less than 40 (unless I've miscounted). Each has certain prerequisites, which can range from none to requiring e.g. spell focus (enchantment) to certain skill ranks and minimum levels. It should be noted that, though one composition requires leadership as a prerequisite, there is an alternate prerequisite for campaigns where that feat is banned. Compositions are considered supernatural abilities unless they contain one component that is a spell-like ability, in which case they count as the latter. Finally, it should be noted that, provided the requirements are met level-wise, most melodies stack with themselves - this way, e.g. the buff to wreathe the Maestro's weaponry in +1d3 fire damage-dealing flames could be stacked with itself, as could the save-enhancing blare within 30 ft. against sonic descriptor-spells and verbal-component dependant bardic performances.



Now if that doesn't look that impressive so far, remember that that's just one of the components - take for example the accelerando-intro, which nets you and all allies within 30 feet +5 ft. movement to their base land speed, + an additional 5 ft. is added every round after that capping at +5 ft. for every two maestro levels. Nice way to create a rules-representation of the rising speed - and it should be noted that the bonus is untyped, thus allowing synergy with your spellcasters...one thing to keep in mind when running from the errupting/volcaano/collapsing dungeon/avalanche next time your PCs are in a shuffle...



Now if you instead want to use perform to gain money, you can also do so with an outro that allows you to instead add the remaining rounds as a bonus to increase the check to earn a living via perform in downtime activities - nice synergy with the underused downtime rules there! Another intro generates a continuous aura of indiscriminate sonic damage around the maestro. What also makes this interesting is the interactivity between the components of compositions - via the melody Deceptive Cadence, the outro-DC is increased by +1 per times the melody is chosen. Or take the outro encore: Requiring 13th level, its effects only work after conducting a composition for 5 rounds or more, but after that, the outro allows you to restart the composition with a bonus of +1d4 rounds that do not count against the composition's daily limit.



The End with a Whimper outro also deserves special mention - a target creature within 30 feet of the maestro must save or die, provided it had less HD than the Maestro and listened to the composition for at least 3 uninterrupted rounds. EDIT: Interjection Games has fixed a minor issue here in record speed. One thing to bear in mind: The outro requires 15 ranks in heal and a maestro level of 13, which means that a maestro can only take this outro at 15th level, try as he might. It should be noted that I assumed a Skill-prereq-relic here, but Bradley Crouch has explained on my site that this is actually intentional, to reward multiclassing. This also extends Elegy for the Living with its prereqs of level 3 and 6 ranks.



Another melody allows maestros to cancel out morale bonuses from just about any source - which should make evil parties with e.g. antipaladins cackle with glee. Synergies that bolster bardic performances as well as maestro compositions also are within the range of possibilities here. There are also options to use an outro to maintain a refrain for 1 round after the respective composition has ended or until a new composition has started.



Via Klangfarbenmelodie, the Maestro can also influence foes that have already successfully saved against a melody, thus being rendered immune against it to require a new, second save. Creating a variant air elemental that can deafen targets also is within the distinct realm of possibilities here. There is also an option via an intro that halves the area of effect, but also makes melodies that can be taken multiple times count as if they've been taken an additional time without counting these against the melody-limit. Conversely, doubling the effect of melodies via an intro for one round also is possible, as would be the AoO-provoking option to create walls of solid, damaging sound - the latter per se works well, with its prior single nitpick taken care of.



Healing via an outro can also be a nice benefit, as can the melody that allows a down on his luck maestro and his allies to make just about any food more palatable.



Now I've mentioned the Opus - where the regular compositions of a maestro are very much customizable, the opus is not (with one exception: Via an intro, aborting a regular composition to start an opus still triggers the outro of the composition) customizable - they are essentially 1/day complete packages of effects. Each Opus can be selected multiple times, adding +1 use per day to said opus. And these offer quite significant benefits - 10th level maestros can resurrect allies at 10th level. Other examples include granting massive physical benefits to one target creature, deal ability damage to ALL scores, a lesser version of irresistible dance... and then there is the option to darken the skies and rain down fiery death or even, yes cannonballs! Yes, bombard adversaries with cannonballs while conducting other melodies (here is an exception to the no-synergy/parallel compositions-rule). Fly speed for multiple allies, sanctuary + SR and calling forth walls of stone - quite a few neat options here. Really cool: Real life masterpieces of classical music, the inspirations for the respective opus-compositions, are provided for each and every one of them, allowing you to get in the mood (or even play the piece at the table!) - awesome!



Now at 20th level, a maestro can choose 1 of 3 capstones - one makes you famous throughout the multiverse (resulting in e.g. demons wanting your autograph) and also making the chosen composition available as a bardic performance to EVERY BARD. A second capstone nets the maestro an infinite amount of royalties for creating a new genre equal to 1d6X 100 GP, while the third option lets the maestro create a new instrument, gain 20 ranks in it and allows the maestro to inspire competence as a bardic performance AND maintain that while also conducting. Very unique, epic and damn cool capstones.



We also get favored class options for the standard races, aasimar, drow, hobgoblin, kobolds, puddlings and tieflings. We also get a spell-list (unfortunately sans denotions where the respective spells can be found - slightly uncomfortable when not allowing laptops at ones table and relying on books, but then again not that bad due to the limited amount of spells available) and also 6 feats to increase the DC of favored scores, +3 compositions, longer durations for favored scores, and +1 round duration for all scores. One feat also allows you to conduct refrain AND melodies at once, but consumes 2 rounds of the composition IN ADDITION to the rounds it already consumes.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any true flaws. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience, though not excessively so. Layout adheres to Interjection Games' elegant 2-column b/w-standard and the pdf comes with thematically fitting stock art.



The Maestro is an exceedingly awesome class - the base concept of making essentially bardic performances a three-component, highly complex and customizable array of cool unique options is simply great. The amount of tinkering here is mindboggling and the overall playing experience is complex and more intuitive and easier to grasp than any other Interjection Games class I've reviewed so far - so either I'm getting just better at analyzing them or author Bradley Crouch has improved his writing further. The options galore reward careful planning while not stifling creativity, making this class a) unique, b) damn cool to play and c) an all-out success.

Now here I had minor complaints, which have all been addressed perfectly. While I'm still not sold 100% on the skill rank/class level prereq-divide, this alone is essentially preference and since there are no other complaints for me to file, my final verdict now clocks in at a triumphant 5 stars + seal of approval! Get this awesome class! Oh...and first candidate for my Top Ten list of 2014.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Maestro Base Class [PFRPG & D&D 3.5]
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Mythic Options: Mythic Rogue Class Features
Publisher: Rogue Genius Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/05/2014 06:34:32
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This supplement is 6 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 1/2 a page editorial/SRD, leaving us with 3 1/2 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?



After a short introduction, written in neat prose, we are introduced to mythic class features for the rogue, 6 to be specific. These work as either a 1st tier universal path ability or can be taken in lieu of a mythic feat. You need to have the non-mythic variant of such a class feature in order to take its mythic equivalent. Got that? All right! So what do we get here? Mythic evasion allows you to expend one use of mythic power to halve damage you receive - ANY damage you receive, but not further ongoing damaging effects. In direct comparison, mythic improved uncanny dodge, which adds half your mythic tier to your rogue levels for being able to be flanked purposes, pales. Mythic Sneak Attack allows you to automatically deal sneak attack damage to non-mythic creatures with each first attack in a given round. You may also extend one use of mythic power to apply sneak attack to a creature usually immune to sneak attack. Where I'm slightly confused here would be - does that mean the rogue could expend one use of mythic power to deal sneak attack to a foe when directly (i.e. non-flanking) attacking a mythic foe? What about mythic creatures usually immune to sneak attack? Some kind of clarification would be in order to make the ability work as precisely as it ought to. Searching as swift action, trapfinding aura... generally, I enjoy the ideas here.



We also are introduced to 15 mythic rogue talents -via mythic combat trick, rogues can easier meet feat prerequisites by adding mythic tier to prerequisite fighter levels for feats Better fast stealth, more bleed damage, dex-mod to damage instead of str-mod, treat narrow surfaces as regular terrain and disable traps VERY fast etc. Have I mentioned the option to deprive foes of AoOs for multiple rounds and even slow those hit by sneak attack? Free standing up for the rogue and adjacent allies also makes for a cool option. We also get 8 mythic advanced rogue talents that include better crippling strikes. Rather cool - +1/2 mythic tier to defensive roll-saves or 2 mythic power uses to use defensive roll in spite of having already used it. Extending dispelling attack to any spell on the target is also a rather fine option to have. However, one particularly irksome glitch has crawled in - the Mythic Opportunist advanced talent confuses opportunist and opportunity, making for an at first glance rather confusing read. On another note, Mythic Skill Mastery is decidedly LAME - when taking 10 with a skill the rogue has skill mastery for, they add their tier. Yawn? Mythic slippery mind is better - it lets you continue to try to slip from enchantments, albeit at increasing DCs.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are good, though not perfect. I noticed a minor glitch here and there, though nothing too serious. Layout adheres to RGG's printer-friendly 2-column standard and the artworks are thematically fitting stock. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience- commendable at such a small size!



Owen K.C. Stephens knows his crunch damn well and it reflects in here. A quick glimpse at mythic evasion would probably send a lot of people up the walls - but keep in mind - we're talking rogues here. Not exactly the most powerful class and especially in Mythic Adventures, a class that can use some amped up potential. So yeah, I do consider this a necessary, nice power-boost for mythic rogues, one that makes them more fun to use. However, balance between the respective abilities feels a bit off (mythic evasion and sneak attack vastly outclassing the other class features, for example -the others could have used a slight power upgrade), and some abilities herein could benefit from a bit of clarification and a slightly tighter wording. This does not make this damn fine little pdf bad, mind you, but it is enough to prevent it from reaching the very highest echelons. My final verdict will clock in at 4 stars - a good, almost required upgrade for the mythic rogue.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mythic Options: Mythic Rogue Class Features
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B17: Death & Taxes
Publisher: Adventureaweek.com, LLP
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/03/2014 02:31:34
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This module is 46 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page ToC (plus settlement statblock), 1 page editorial, 1 page advertisement, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 40 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?



This being a review of an adventure module, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players may wish to jump to the conclusion.



Still here? All right! The city of Hordenheim is a dangerous place - situated at crossroads, everything from nasty humanoids to power-mad wizards and pillaging armies makes its way through the area. Maintaining a careful neutrality, the city has been plagued for some time by its often violent guests - oh well, at least the location means the town is profitable - that does account for something, doesn't it? Pollard Varice, burgomaster of Hordenheim has a shrewd sense of business and made an...interesting move. He appointed known upstanding citizen and practicing necromancer Findle Stirr the high sheriff. Now tax season is approaching and the PCs are hired to act as tax collectors since three particular problems have haunted the besieged burgomaster - first of all, whole neighborhoods are in open revolt. Secondly, counterfeit coins have appeared and thirdly, members of the tax assessor's guard tend to turn up dead with a disturbing frequency.



In the streets, the PCs will encounter rats here and there as they investigate the thieves guild - which is easy to find...and innocent, at least regarding the recent crimes. In case you don't want to put the PCs in medias res, an encounter with a necromancer and his zombie guardsmen should also serve as an apt introduction to the uncommon police-force of Hordenheim: Speaking of which - the city comes with a surprising amount of local color - from smoke shops with fine cigars (and potentially pot) to the guild of sweeps, we get some exceedingly awesome ideas here. What is the guild of sweeps you ask? It's a guild of people who have prods with alchemical salts that use these prods to herd slimes and oozes through the streets, thus cleaning them fast and efficiently. Is that awesome or what? But back to the module - the burgomaster deputizes thus the PCs and sends them off with the obviously xenophobic, nasty necromancer-sheriff to the Trots - a blue color neighborhood, where hard-working centaurs, satyrs and even minotaurs await the PCs - their rebellion can be ended by navigating the urban labyrinth and finding the ringleader - hopefully taking the minotaur alive or using their social skills to convince him to come along. The second task, ending the counterfeit ring, has the PCs interrogate an illiterate mute (have fun!) and then investigate the temple of wealth, where, after some snooping, they'll find a group of leprechauns - including the high priest, as culprits of the counterfeiting.



The final issue has the sheriff accompany them to the high assessor - a prissy half-orc with an aururumvorax kit as pet. The man's guard has been decimated at night and hence, guard duty is up next to apprehend the assassin - which turns out to be harder than anticipated. Via red herrings, the help of a pseudo-hag and an uncommon elixir (which should get a range limitation or not be featured beyond the confines of this module), the PCs can track the culprit - which turns out to be the kit#s mother. Whether they return her child or slay the golden-furred creature - the threat is ended. Celebrations are in order!

...

On the next day, the PCs won't be paid. The tax-bloated treasury has been cleared. Completely. In order to get paid, the PCs will have to find the thief - the thing is, who or whatever was the culprit, he/she/it is long gone and was careful - no obvious leads. Just as the PCs start to get frustrated, they'll get a letter from aforementioned Pseudo-hag, who implores them to visit her. Turns out, that the city's rats have been all but exterminated - they are afraid and have just one bastion left. Hopefully, the PCs smell that something's fishy here and investigate - that way, they can defend rats against swarms of undead rats. If the rioting populace doesn't get them first, that is. The swarms of undead rats were created via a ritual that ahs them all point back towards the ritual's origin and astute players should realize that an army of undead rats makes for excellent thieves - thus explaining the complaints of the poorer folk that the thieves went over quota.



The trail leads to the station house, where deputy necromancer properly park their zombies and similar fun hijinxs ensue as the PCs confront the sheriff, who is smelting the gold into his own golden undead monstrosity, designed to purge the non-human inhabitants of Hordenheim once and for all. Defeating him and his beast ends the module, which btw. also includes the simple gold-leafed template that allows you to fortify undead, constructs and outsiders with gold at CR+1.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I didn't notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to AaW's nice 2-column full-color standard and the pdf's artworks are partially full-color stock and partially original, but fit style-wise well together. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience and with player-friendly versions of the two full-color maps.



Colin Stricklin weaves a yarn that is thoroughly exciting - slightly tongue in cheek, though never to the extent that it would break immersion, full of fun oddities, local color and great ideas, the city of Hordenheim comes to life in these scarce few pages in an extent that speaks of the author's mastery in concise writing. Unique characters abound, non-lethal problem-solving, interesting terrain - this reminded me of the best instances of 0onegames' Great City or Kaer Maga, to the point where I definitely wouldn't object to a massive, full-blown city sourcebook. Yes, that intriguing. The module's prime achievement would then be that it manages to cram the city information AND a compelling, sandboxy investigation into its page-count without losing its appeal. This is a glorious module that has me wanting more of Colin Stricklin's offerings. If you like aforementioned city-settings or have a soft spot for uncommon locales, then don't let this one slip by.



Final verdict? 5 stars +seal of approval!

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
B17: Death & Taxes
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Dungeon Dressing: Wells
Publisher: Raging Swan Press
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/02/2014 03:56:44
An Endzeitgeist.com review

The latest installment of the Dungeon Dressing-series clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 6 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?



So this time we're introduced to wells - whether dug or drilled, getting the water or water quality, basic ideas are covered first, before we get 4 wall conditions including climb DCs to scale them. Of course, adventurers are wont to "do the Timmy" and fall into wells - hence a handy table of damage incurred from falling into water (or on ground) is provided for the DM - excellent and handy to have around!



The basic set-up out of the way, we are introduced to the first table, which, unless I've miscounted, has 46 entries of characteristics to add to your wells - from interlocking stone blocks, wells that actually are long slopes, bore holes of purple worms and even wells with stairs in the walls, we get quite a cool array of wells, with some featuring things to glean/learn about them with skills.



The second table spans a whole 100 entries, covering e.g. giant centipede-droppings (including Knowledge DC to identify them), strange stalagmite structures, smeared goblin graffiti to finally walls that have been transformed into OOZING PUTRID FLESH. Yes. Delightfully twisted and versatile, from the common to the uncommon to the far-out, disturbing, this table runs the gamut - two thumbs up!



We also get 3 traps/hazards of Raging Swan Press' trademark complexity, i.e. with multiple rounds of results and multiple skills/things happening: Methane-filled Wells at CR 4, a Gravity Well at CR 8 and finally a well that imparts maddening visions at CR 8 make for cool obstacles. Have I mentioned contaminated and tainted waters?



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to RSP's two-column b/w-standard and the pdf comes in two versions, one optimized for screen-use and one for the printer. Both versions come fully bookmarked for your convenience.



Author Brian Gregory offers us another glorious installment for Raging Swan's Dungeon Dressing-series, with nifty crunch-tables, cool dressing and versatile hazards/traps - what to complain about? Well, if I were to complain on a very high level, then perhaps that there is no table or the like to cover falling into the wells - slippery floors, crumbling floors, something like that. Precipitation, moss, mold and their modification of how easy to scale a wall are all fall under a flat +5 DC, which is slightly less varied than I would have liked - a couple more entries to modify the base DC would have made this even better. I am complaining at a top-notch level, though - my final verdict will still clock in at 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Dressing: Wells
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