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[PFRPG] Eldritch Secrets, Vol 1 $12.00 $6.00
Average Rating:4.3 / 5
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[PFRPG] Eldritch Secrets, Vol 1
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[PFRPG] Eldritch Secrets, Vol 1
Publisher: Headless Hydra Games
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/04/2012 11:13:41
This extremely attractive book is full of all sorts of new spells, feats and magic items for all the spell-casting classes in Pathfinder (or the 3.x product of your choice).
The vast majority of this book is devoted to spells and there a spells here for every need and situation. There a few new feats and some magic items, but the spells here are the main course.
There are several useful Appendices including Spells by Descriptor, School and use.

At 12 bucks this product is not exactly a steal, but really, really close. The art and layout is fantastic and you get a printer friendly version as well.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
[PFRPG] Eldritch Secrets, Vol 1
Publisher: Headless Hydra Games
by Paco G. J. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/17/2011 11:11:49
This review was written by Thilo Graf and first published in G*M*S Magazine

This pdf from Headless Hydra Games is 106 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page blank inside front cover, 1 page header, 1 page editorial, 1 page back cover, 2 blank pages inside back cover, 2 pages of advertisements, 1.5 pages of SRD, leaving 95.5 pages of content, so let’s check out this spell selection.

First of all let me say that I LOVE the beautiful full-color artwork – the full color artworks spread throughout the book rank among the most creepy, evocative and cool I’ve seen in any 3pp’s book out there. Unfortunately, the file does not come with a printer-friendly version, though, so prepare your printer to be challenged. The result is worth it, though! Secondly, you’ll realize that this book offers full-blown support of the APG, including spells that have been specifically designed for the new classes and even features some new alchemist’s discoveries in a side-bar. Which brings me to my hallmark for great spells, Rite Publishing’s awesome 101 spells series, which as of the writing of this review, does not feature this support. (Though it is in the process of being added in the upcoming compilation!) Thus, Eldritch Compendium gets 2 plus points. What about the spells, then?

They are interesting, that’s sure. Ever wanted your death to trigger the arrival of a terrible bird that carries your corpse away to have it resurrected? Create mirrors to show other places? Conjure up terrible silent, disturbing entities of pure magic (that come with awesome artworks – the Ether Child ROCKS!)? What about a spell for each school of magic that can be considered the epitome of the respective school, making you temporarily a tremendously powerful incarnation of the respective force of magic? A spell to make a ship fly for a limited amount of time? A spell that synesthetically exchanges two of your opponents’ senses, thus confusing him/her? A spell to summon tiny, disturbing stick effigies to obey your command? A spell to add magical blades to the sides of horses, making for an even more deadly charge. “Ladder of Tresses” lets the hair of the target grow long and makes it climbable. There’s also a cantrip that makes regular surfaces temporarily a mirror.

There are also “Quintessential” spells for each of the schools of magic – these spells are 9th level and are the epitome of the arcane power of the respective school, making e.g. the necromancer an avatar of death. While powerful, I can see them being a great high-level-reward or even the aim of a caster’s whole career. While some side-boxes acknowledge their power, personally I don’t consider them OP. Among the rather story-centric spells, we also get a ritual to restore a ruin to its former state. A spell I considered interesting, but potentially unbalancing, is “Spellbreaker” – it works on another spell and makes it automatically bypass spell resistance.

We also get 6 new feats, 7 new magic items and appendices of spell-lists by schools, use, descriptor and author, helping to find the spells you’re looking for.

Conclusion:

Editing is ok – I noticed less than 10 glitches on 106 pages and none truly impeded my enjoyment of the spells. Layout and full-color artworks absolutely rock – this is one of the most beautiful 3pp-books I’ve seen out there. On the downside, though, there’s no printer-friendly version and this book extols a heavy price from your printer. The pdf is extensively bookmarked and in contrast to other spell-books, features a lot of spells with a story/non-combat usage, which is awesome, at least in my opinion – it means that the book serves rather as a complimentary book to e.g. the 101-series by Rite rather than being a direct competitor. The book is so different in focus and tone from RiP’s stellar series that I’ll be using both. Where the RiP-series is rather focused on mechanics and encounters, this book does not offer as many brilliant rules as RiP, but it has some story-heavy fluff that immediately makes you come up with cool ideas to use them. On the downside, though, some of these spells suffer from their rules being not as clear as they could be. While the book is stunningly beautiful, not having a printer-friendly version hurts the usability of the book. In the end, my final verdict will be 4 stars – if you’re looking for an old-world-style spell-book, this is a great, albeit not perfect buy. If you’re looking for some spells that feel different or some APG-support, this might even be 4.5 stars for you.

Source: G*M*S Magazine (http://s.tt/12PRU)

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
[PFRPG] Eldritch Secrets, Vol 1
Publisher: Headless Hydra Games
by Dark M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/27/2010 17:23:43
Eldrith Secrets by Headless Hydra Games

This product is 106 pages long. It starts with a cover, credits, and Forward. (5 pages)

Chapter 1 – Spells and more spells (14 ½ pages)
This is the section of all the spell lists added to each class. The numbers may or may not be exact it was easy to miscount.
Alchemist - 24
Alchemist Discoveries – 4
Bard – 82
Cleric – 101
Druid – 75
Inquisitor – 45
Paladin – 27
Ranger – 52
Sorc/Wiz – 209
Summoner – 30
Witch – 43

Next is the spells themselves (69 ½ pages)
Here was some of my favorite spells. There is way way to many to list all so I will only list a few examples.
Abrupt Summoning – like normal summoning spells but with a shorter casting time, except you don't always know what you will summon, summoned creature is random.
Actaeon's Breath – creates a short term large area of fog. All that come into contact with the fog save or suffer from Baleful Polymorph effect for 1 week.
Alluring Voice – A sirens call to cause the target to come to the voice.
Bolt of Animation – causes negative energy dmg, those slain by it rise as a zombie under the control of the caster.
Eerie Forest – Makes a forest seem eerie cause those traveling in the area effected to make a save or become shaken. I do have one problem with this spell, area effected. I think this would have been a lot cooler of a spell with a much larger area covered, even if that meant raising the level.
Hornet Breath – vomit forth several swarms of hornets/wasp, while not under control they ignored the caster and their allies.
Lightning Web – works like web but made of electricity. Those caught it in take damage each round, those trying to break free take more. Save for half damage.
Manipulate appearance – Can change hair, skin and eye color at will for duration of spell.
Obscuring Flock – summons a flock of crows in a cone. Obscuring vision and causing damage to those inside. I think it should have been a area instead of a cone.
Plague of Fear – Cause sever fear in those that fail the save, in addition they can spread the fear like a plague to others for a long period of time. The only part that is not clear is once the plague starts can the targets be reinfected, my guess is no. But it doesn't say one way or the other.
Relocate and Relocate Other – Requires use of arcane mark on a target. The first spell allows the caster to teleport to the target at the casting of this spell. The other summons the target to the caster.
Transfer Soul – Move your soul into the body of a nearby animal and control it for the duration of the spell. Your body stays where it was in suspended Animation.

There was a couple of spells I had problems with.
Death Bird – When you are killed or dropped to negative points a Death bird shows up, claims your soul and carries your body off to a predetermined spot, moving at it's best speed. My problem with this spell what does it mean when it claims your soul? It doesn't explain what the means. My guess is that it is just fluff. The other problem is, what happens if before it reaches the location the spell duration runs out. Does it drop the body there? Or is the duration only for how long till the death bird can be activated and has no effect on the travel time for the bird. This spell while neat needed to be more clear.

Chapter 2 – More Eldrith Options (4 pages)
This section has 6 new feats and 7 new magic items.

Appendix 1 – Spells by school (1 1/2page)
Spells listed by school.

Appendix 2 – Spells by use (1 page)
Spells listed in either offensive, defensive or utility.

Appendix 3 – Spells by Descriptor (3 pages)
Acid, Air, Chaotic, Cold, Darkness, Death, Earth, etc.

Appendix 4 – Spells by Author (1 ½ pages)
You can see who designed each spell.

It finishes with a OGL, 2 ads and back cover. (6 pages)

Closing thoughts, this is a big book just choked full of spells. Some are variations of existing spells, others are improved or lesser versions of existing spells but many likely most are wholly new spells. The art work is fair to good, with a side bar listing each piece of art and what spell it is of. There is several side bars talking about making spell permanent, 2 new gods, to stats for a new monsters the Death Bird, Manifest Children of Ether and puppet Imp.

There is a lot to love about this book. Including a nice print friendly copy. There was very few bad spells if any. There was some spells I didn't like but that was more of not that they was bad, so much as they just didn't appeal to me. There is a few problems with the book. One of the problems which is hard to critic since few do it anyways. Is the appendix's, I love them but with them broken up in paragraph form instead of list form and in level makes them a lot less useful. I wish they have been broken up in spell list form or maybe a web enhancement can be added. This is especially true for spell schools.

The other problem and by far the biggest is some spells where not as clear as they could have or should have been. Most was very clear or clear enough but some was not, which is a pity. For the most part you can make a educated guess but in some cases the GM will just have to make a decision such as with the Death Bird Spell is listed.

The final thing is there was some spells I really felt should have been added to some classes spell lists. This is especially true for the new APG classes, who I felt got a bit short changed.

So whats my rating? I am torn I keep flip flopping between a 3.5 and a 4 star. What is good is very good but it needs work some places that really hurt. For the sheer number of spells and price it is a good by. I am coming down at a 4 star but just barely, truthfully it is likely more of a 3.75 star.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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