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Castle Falkenstein: The Ability Variations
Publisher: Fat Goblin Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/18/2017 06:05:14

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This supplemental rules-pdf for Castle Falkenstein clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ ½ page of SRD, leaving us with 8.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

So, after a brief framing narration by Tom Olam (which resurfaces in the respective sub-chapters), we begin with the first of several tweaks to the base engine of Castle Falkenstein – in this instance, we’re introduced to the Specialization variant: Instead of general Ability capabilities, the system allows you to take a Good or Great ability and trade it in for Specializations, a number equal to ½ the value of the traded ability, with Good being worth 3, Great being worth 4 specializations. Specializations can be applied to any Ability in which the character is Poor or Average – the specialization increases the Ability by one step for the purpose of performing Feats that relate to the Specialization in question. Thankfully, a massive table (greater than 1 page!) provides sample specializations and also provides synergy with the great Tarot Variation suits – so no, you’re not left guessing regarding how narrow you should design Specializations. It should also be noted that compatibility with Comme Il Faut is maintained.

The second variation featured within the pdf would be the divorce variation, which once again features compatibility with the Tarot Variation. Each Ability is governed by a playing card suit, but with this variation, the Abilities allow for players making an argument of why a given suit may apply its bonus to a given task – in two variations: Half and full value. There is some value in this – you will probably be able to perform at an increased efficiency. However, while the Host remains the final arbitrator of what you can do, I really don’t like this one – it smells of FATE and competitive BSing to me, but, obviously, your mileage may vary and thankfully, we are the final instance that decides which of the rules herein to use and which not to – this will find its fans and it makes the game easier and while, as a person, I don’t care for it, as a reviewer, I can appreciate its appeal.

The final variation would be the improvement variation: In this variation, dramatic characters improve by spending Improvement Points. Hosts are guided in detail: You determine Deeds during the adventure, a kind of important waypoint and determine an Improvement Point value for such Deeds. Beyond the confines of adventures, dramatic characters may try to earn Improvement Points via Resolutions, which can be completed, but take time to complete, with each character getting one of these – the Resolutions can be similarly broken down into Deeds, with samples provided. The resolution allows, in a way, for downtime activity: Players really invested in their Dramatic Characters can thus be rewarded for e.g. writing copious amounts of prose – or you can simply control character power thus or provide an illusion of cohesion beyond the confines of the gaming sessions.

Once earned, Improvement Points can be spent to improve Abilities (cost being equal to the Ability’s new value). When also using Specializations, they can be used to purchase Specializations, which cost 6 points. An alternate for faster growth of dramatic characters can also be found, with decreased costs – and since the metrics are pretty simple, tweaking the variation remains very simple. If you’re concerned about justifying Improvement in-game, the pdf does provide guidance in that arena.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to fat Goblin Games’ elegant, really neat 2-column full-color artwork. The pdf features fitting stock-art and sports no bookmarks – due to its brevity, it does get a pass there.

Mister J Gray LOVES Castle Falkenstein – as much becomes evident in every single of his supplements. The means by which this establishes a continuity with the venerable original Castle Falkenstein books is amazing, and so is the quality. The variant rules presented herein for a measly buck allow you to tweak the playing experience very well and net an interesting array of customization options for the game. I hope the Talsorian-crew reads these reviews and lets the Fat Goblin Games-crew update the Castle Falkenstein-core books in a new edition – if anything, all these variations really make me crave a big, new and shiny book. This is a fun offering, it is VERY inexpensive and thus gains a final verdict of 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Castle Falkenstein: The Ability Variations
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A Friend in Need 5E
Publisher: Playground Adventures
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/18/2017 06:02:34

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This module clocks in at 26 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 20 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

This review was moved forward on my reviewing queue as a prioritized review at the request of my patreons.

First of all, before I go into details: This module is intended for a younger audience - basically, this is intended to be a very kid-friendly module. To be more precise, for the age-range of about ~ 6 years. I ran the module in my playtest with a mixed group spanning the ages of 4 - 11 and the players that had most fun were those in the lower ages, so personally, I'd suggest this approximately for ages 4 - 8.

The adventure does take into account the changed requirements of the target demographic - namely by calling out when a good time for a break would be, when to guide them by incorporating suggestions into your "What do you do?"-questions, when to explain the discrepancy between character and player-knowledge...the like.

For parents not sure whether their kids can handle "killing" adversaries, an alternate wording is provided as well, with the defeated "returning home." The copious amounts of advice provided are generally not only welcome additions, they tend to be very sound.

Distribution of candy/gummibears used as monster-substitutes on the map is a pretty sound advice, since it prevents instances of jealousy and kill steals, while still providing immediate gratification. Puzzles, where included, do mention less complex alternatives for younger audiences and means for the GM to make how items work immediately evident-

All right! Children/players, in case you're reading this, please jump to the conclusion. No one likes a cheater and I'm going to explain the adventure now. If you continue reading, you'll only make the adventure boring for yourselves and have an unfair advantage that will be noticed by your GM. Please do what's right and jump to the conclusion.

...

..

.

The monastery of the monks of the kneeling wind is a tribute to the elements and, visually inspired by Japanese aesthetics, well-represented by a truly beautiful full-color map. Alas, all things must end, and so did the time of the monks - and after they were gone, the crystal dragon Azhuryx chose this place to rear her precious wyrmling Kurisutaru. Alas, once again, trouble brewed and the mother dragon did not return from a hunt, leaving Kurisutaru terribly bored with only the companion soulbound doll left for him, yet cautious of strangers. One day, Kurisutaru saw a child folding origami and was left overjoyed when he saw dragons among the figures crafted - he thus swooped down to talk with the magical prodigy Azumi, who, in a panic, conjured forth an origami crane (made possible via the new spell, which has been properly converted to 5e) and sent it forth - said crane is what jumpstarts the module in earnest, as the PCs happen to find the origami swan and read the cry for help on it.

In order to reach the monastery, the PCs have to start climbing the mountain (a great way to btw. use the exhaustion mechanics) and on site, the exploration can commence - the PCs can for example brave the most huggable earth elemental I can imagine. It should also be noted that the research and prior knowledge, when player and PC-knowledge diverge, can allow for an easy and painless teaching of 5e’s relatively simple skill rules-

A Wisteria tree whispers to the PCs that the key to Azumi's location is hidden in the koi pond and indeed, swimming in can yield it. Underwater, the PCs encounter a friendly, awakened koi who breathes bubbles on them and wants to talk to them: He'll give them the key, if they answer a simple riddle. This would be as good a place as any to note that the statblocks of the wondrous creatures encountered have been converted rather well to 5e’s mechanics.

Beyond the moon-viewing tower, there are animated dog statuettes that may attack. In PF, these statuettes were pretty strong, but in 5e, they, at least to me, represent a missed chance. You see, 5e very much focuses on a sensible rock-paper-scissors-type of gameplay with the variant damage-types, resistances and vulnerabilities: Making the dogs resistant to e.g. slashing and piercing weapons would have been a nice way to teach the kids about these mechanics. It’d also make sense and is something most groups would get right from the get-go: Back in the day, my PCs simply assumed that skeletons would not be susceptible to piercing, for example – it makes sense. Alternatively, a vulnerability would have made sense…but that is me nitpicking.

The PCs will also have a chance to test their mettle against the spirit of a non-evil undead weapon master of the monks in honorable combat. In the lavishly-rendered map of the complex beneath the monastery, a Sudoku-puzzle beckons alongside a friendly test of the PCs, focused on whether they can distinguish reality from illusion, while another requires balancing on a rope to swing a bell...in an interesting twist, the spectral teachers of the monks may provide guidance in-game to stumped players. This is btw. also where disadvantage and the like come into play more.

Combat-challenges include dealing with the dragon's overprotective soulbound doll and some animated objects – here, we do have the resistances, but they apply to all physical damage types – and PCs of level 1 are really limited regarding their magical arsenal, so this section can take a bit longer. A centipede whose poison can cause paralysis upon reducing a PC to 0 hp is another minor snag…or rather, something that could have been solved a bit more smoothly: You see, the pdf does contain a logo-less version of the cover artwork in b/w- yep, like in a coloring book. So, one way to help a player pass the time while the PC is paralyzed would be: “Color this page, when you’re done, you’re fully healed!” – unless, of course, the other PCs heal their comrade first.

When the PCs finally happen upon the dragon, they'll think they have a deadly fight on their hands...but Azumi intervenes and the PCs have a chance to make friends with the dragon, the positive modifiers of which btw. also entail playing a game of hide and seek with the dragon...and hopefully convey to him that kidnapping others, no matter how well-intentioned, is not a good way to make friends. In the end, though, capable PCs will probably leave on Azumi's origami riding cranes, with Kurisutaru's friendship bracelet for a fine, tasty dinner at Azumi's house - who now has a friend most unique. As a minor complaint, the rules-language of the crane mentions maneuverability, which does not exist in 5e.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to a Japanese-looking, beautiful 2-column full-color standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. The book provides ample of child-friendly artwork from the pen by Jacob Blackmon -more so than in many modules of this size, rendering it a nice, visual treat. The unified and beautiful style also extends to the gorgeous cartography by Travis Hanson, which also features player-friendly versions that you can print out, cut up and hand out to them as they go! Extra kudos for including those!!

Jenny Jarzabski and BJ Hensley have already proven that they can make good crunch; however, as it turns out, they can also write captivating modules. "A Friend in Need" is a great first module for the small ones, breathing a bit of the spirit of Hayao Miyazaki's movies and the innocence conveyed therein. It is not perfect in the 5e-version, but Dan Dillon, being the expert that he is at 5e content, has translated the module very well to the system, ironing out some of the hiccups in the original. At the same time, I do feel that it is, system-immanently evident that the original design was for PFRPG – there are a couple of 5e-rules that could, didactically, be highlighted better. This does not mean that the conversion’s bad, mind you – it’s really good! But it comes close to transcending the original iteration sans making the leap.

Let me state that clearly: The module does a lot things right: The flavor is child-friendly. Even the spirits of the monks, which may evoke a slight sense of creepiness (in a good way), still provide more aid than hindrance. The challenges are diverse and the inclusion of social encounters, riddles and puzzles make sure that the players actually are challenged in more than one way, which is a good thing in any module, particularly so in one intended for kids.

Now personally, I do believe that even small kids can handle a bit more threat and danger than this module featured (see e.g. the pretty serious themes of fear of loss and reorientation in "My Neighbor Totoro", for comparison), but I will not hold that against the pdf. It should be noted that I ran the original version with a 4-year-old among the players and the module proved fitting for children this young as well, while the kids in the age-range of 8 and beyond would have liked a bit more grit.

Now the good thing here is that, should you not endeavor to cater to a crowd as diverse as I did in my playtest, you'll have no issue slightly increasing the creepy-factor of the benevolent monk-spirits. In my playtest, I added some minor creepy-dressing to them and thus managed to engage the kids even more - if you heed this advice, though, please make sure you know what your players are comfortable with - a tiny scare is okay, but not more.

How to rate this, then? Now that's the tricky part: You see, I very much believe that we need more modules like this and Dan Dillon delivers in the conversion.

I have vastly benefited from my roleplaying in both terms of foreign languages, vocabulary, problem-solving and social skills and the sooner we can get such a positive development going, the better. At the same time, I am somewhat hesitant of awarding this per se very good module my highest accolades – I think somewhat more pronounced tweaks to account for and teach system-peculiarities (backgrounds, for example!) could have heaved this to the levels of excellence.

In the end, we are left with one well-crafted module for young children that does not lose any aspect of its appeal in 5e. My final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars for this. While the original version was rounded up due to being Playground Adventures freshman offering, I, alas, cannot extend this courtesy to this version.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
A Friend in Need 5E
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Additional Fight Clubs for the Pugilist Class
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/18/2017 05:59:21

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This expansion for the pugilist class clocks in at 4 pages, 1 page front cover, 3 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

This pdf was moved up in my review-queue as a prioritized review at the request of my patreons.

The first of these fight clubs would be the Arena Royale – which creates an alternate persona. You make a Charisma (Disguise Kit) check at advantage. Creatures with passive Insight lower than that result will not recognize the character and unarmored AC is increased to 10 + Dexterity and Constitution modifier. 6th level may be a bit much: While in the alternate persona, you may make a Charisma (Performance) check to instill adoration or fear – all creatures within 30 ft that can see you must succeed a Wisdom save to avoid being charmed or frightened for 1 minute, with a long rest to recharge. Compare that to charm person, which has a fixed limit based on spell level used. That could use some nerfing. Why not tie the number of affected targets to proficiency bonus? Also, RAW, it does not end the charm effect upon being attacked, affects ALL creature types. This ability, in short, needs clarification and nerfing. Restricting affected targets, moxie point cost and decreased efficiency would make sense.

11th level yields +10 ft. speed when in persona, tripled jump distance and bonus action Dash – which probably should cost a moxie point. 17th level provides the ultimate mook sweeper: Signature move lets you jump into the air and smash down on a target – you crit if you hit and stun the target, no save (!!) – and you only expend it (requires a long rest to recharge) if you do not reduce the target to 0 hp.

The second fight club would be the bloodhound bruisers, who are basically martial detectives – 3rd level yields the options to spend moxie points for advantage on Intelligence (Investigation), Wisdom (Perception) in settlements or Wisdom (Insight) to determine when someone’s lying. 6th level provides a Sherlock Holmes movie style “in your head” planning, represented by Wisdom saves contested by Intelligence (Investigation), moxie-based attack evasion and moxie-based analysis of enemies (if they fail a save). 11th level allows you to attune yourself to a city: You cannot be surprised and add proficiency bonus to initiative; darkvision 120 ft; doubled proficiency bonus for aforementioned investigative skills and double movement rate to travel when not in combat. The doubled proficiency to skills used to negate attacks etc. is very potent and something I’d nerf. 17th level lets you spend 3 moxie points as a bonus action to get free access to all moxie-based features – no cost for 1 minute. OUCH. This tries to duplicate the Sherlock Holmes from the popular movies and I really like it for that, even though I consider it to be honestly a bit over the top regarding its power. The evasion tricks are better than those of comparable fight clubs.

The final option would be Salt & Vinegar, which gains an ability to infuriate targets via moxie-spiced insults, basically drawing agro and imposing disadvantage on attack rolls of targets not attacking you…oh, and the creature takes psychic damage. 6th level provides 3 moxie-based tricks to temporarily blind foes, slow them or knock them prone. 11th level increases the save DC for the insult by 2 and eliminates the moxie point cost for the insult….which means infinite psychic damage, which is almost never resisted. Not a fan. 17th level nets you the option to, as a bonus action, expend 3 moxie or enrage a target, forcing it to attack you. All in all, not a fan. Seen insults done better.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting re very good on a formal level, I noticed no serious glitches. Layout adheres to the PHB’s 2-column full-color standard and the pdf provides nice artworks by Ners and Alys Flock. The pdf has bookmarks, in spite of its brevity – kudos! Also nice: A printer-friendly version is included!

Benjamin Huffman’s new fight clubs for the already potent pugilist class leave me torn – on one hand, I love the Sherlock Holmes-inspired club…but the base class already is stronger than the monk…and these pretty much one-up the options. I have some concerns regarding all three fight clubs and they feel, as a whole, less refined to me than the options provided in the base book. That being said, this is PWYW as for higher-powered games, this may well work out. Hence, my final verdict will clock in at 3 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Additional Fight Clubs for the Pugilist Class
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the Pugilist Class
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/18/2017 05:57:23

An Endzeitgeist.com review

The pugilist base class presented herein clocks in at 8 pages, 1 page front cover/editorial, leaving us with 7 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

This review was moved up in my reviewing queue as a prioritized review at the request of my patreons.

The pugilist base class presented here gets 1d8 HD and proficiency in light armor, simple weapons, improvised weapons, whip and hand crossbow as well as artisan tools, gaming set or thieves’ tools. The class is proficient in both Strength and Constitution saves and you may choose two skills from Athletics, Acrobatics, Deception, Intimidation, Perception, Sleight of Hand, Stealth.

The pugilist gains fisticuffs at first level – a variant of the monk’s Martial Arts feature that increases the base damage die by one step – it begins at 1d6 and scales up to 1d12 for base damage and, akin to Martial Arts, the class feature does not gain the Dexterity modifier substitution. However, when using the Attack action to make an unarmed attack or pugilist weapon attack, you can make an unarmed attack or grapple as a bonus action. As a minor complaint: The rules-language here deviates slightly from the precedence of the monk here. Pugilist weapons are defined as simple weapons without the two-handed property. Weapons used as pugilist weapons do not benefit from the finesse property. Weird: The class gains the whip, but it is RAW not included in the pugilist weapons.

The class also uses Constitution modifier instead of Dexterity modifier to determine AC when wearing no armor or light armor, which is pretty potent. This would be as well a place as any to note that the rules-formatting is not always perfect: Attributes here are not capitalized. Starting at second level, you gain moxie points, 2, to be precise – and these are upgraded to up to 12 over the course of the progression of the class. Moxie points are replenished upon completing a short or long rest and three basic uses are presented. As a bonus action, you may spend 1 moxie point and roll your fisticuff dice, add pugilist level and Constitution modifier (why not proficiency bonus instead of class level?) to gain as many temporary hit points. After executing an Attack on your turn, you can spend a point for +2 unarmed strikes as a bonus action. Finally, as a bonus action, you may spend 1 point for a shove attack or Dash. 2nd level also nets you a form of streetsmarts – once you have partied in a settlement for 8 hours, you know the public locations as though born and raised there. Imho, this should have a variable formula to account for settlement sizes. I can see that for thorps etc. – but not for e.g. a metropolis like Sigil. At 13th level, after carousing thus for a night, you btw. gain advantage on Charisma (Persuasion) and Charisma (Intimidation) rolls in that settlement.

At 3rd level, when reduced to below ½ maximum hit points, you gain class level + Constitution modifier temporary hit points and regain all spent moxie points. This ability recharges on a short or long rest – and frankly, I think it should only replenish on long rests. At 9th level, you may also add proficiency bonus to damage for one minute when activating the feature, though this damage boost only recharges upon completing a long rest.

4th level and every 4 levels thereafter yield ability score improvements. Additionally, as a bonus action, you can grant yourself resistance to bludgeoning, piercing or slashing damage for 1 minute, but thereafter you gain a level of exhaustion. 5th level yields Extra Attack as well as the option to swing wild haymakers – you may only do that for attacks not suffering from disadvantage, since the ability imposes disadvantage on your attacks, but an attack that does connect hits for maximum die result damage. This is problematic when multiclassing or handling pugilist weapons that add damage dice to the damage caused. The ability would benefit from a caveat that makes it only apply to the fisticuff base damage.

At 6th level, unarmed strikes or pugilist weapon attacks are treated as magic and 7th level allows you to use your action to shake off the charmed or frightened conditions. 10th level yields resistance to psychic damage as well as advantage on saves versus the stunned or unconscious condition – weird: Shouldn’t this first apply to the incapacitated condition and then move on to the more potent ones?

At 14th level, you gain advantage on all three physical saving throws and whenever you fail a saving throw, you may spend 1 moxie (not even a reaction) point to reroll the save and take the second result. I am not sure whether this rebrand of Diamond Soul’s save rerolls should work for all saves. 15th level doubles carrying capacity, jump height and distance and when dealing damage to an inanimate object, damage is doubled – I assume before damage threshold? Or after that? At 18th level, when you have 4 levels of exhaustion or less and are reduced to 0 hit points, you regain ½ maximum hit points, ½ maximum moxie points and gain a level of exhaustion – with a long rest to recharge. 20th level yields a Strength and Constitution increase by 2 to a maximum of 22 and you recover 2 levels of exhaustion when taking a long rest and you also regain all expended hit dice.

At 3rd level, the class may choose a fight club, two of which are included herein. These net features at 3rd, 6th, 11th and 17th level. The first would be the squared circle nets 3 new uses for moxie points for reaction grapple breaks, using reactions in opportunity attacks to grapple foes or add knocking prone to grappling. At 6th level, when grappling, you can use your reaction upon being missed to make the grappled creature take potentially the hit. 11th level makes you count as one size larger for purposes of grappling (ouch!) and allows you to move at full speed while dragging/carrying grappled creatures and 17th level lets you score critical hits on rolls of 19 and 20 against targets you have grappled. Basically, a grapple specialist and its execution is pretty neat indeed.

The sweet science would be the second fight club, who learns to spend two moxie points as a reaction to reduce the damage of incoming attacks – once again, using class level as part of the formula, which may cause some purists to scowl. When reudicng an attack to 0 damage, you get a counter attack, which can be pretty cool. 6th level yields the option to, as a bonus action after hitting with the quasi-flurry, add another attack, but only if both attacks of the flurry hit – but interesting: The attack knocks the target prone instead of causing damage. 11th level nets you a regained moxie point when pulling off a counter attack. Due to the moxie cost of counter attempts, this remains kitten-abuse proof. Good! The 17th level ability lets you roll 3d12 + 1d12 per moxie point you expend when hitting a creature – if the result exceeds the creature’s hit points, you knock it unconscious for 10 minutes.

The class comes with multiclassing notes, 3 nice pugilist simple weapons as a couple of magic items: unarmored AC-bonus granting magic leather jerkins, an everfull stein (can I please have one IRL?) and the rerolls-granting loaded dice. An amulet grants you more temporary hit points whenever you gain them (which can be problematic), while fist-based weaponry can help dealing with fiends and undead. A rare potion provides a static damage boost for 1 minute and a grappling whip as well as thundering fist weapons can be found. The magic items, while not bad, feel a bit focused on number-bonuses.

Oh well, the pdf closes with a sample challenge ½, 3 and 5 NPC making use of some of the rules.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are good on a formal level. On a rules-language level, this is pretty impressive as well, often tackling complex concepts rather well. Layout adheres to the 2-column full-color standard established by the PHB, with solid art-choices. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. The pdf comes with a second, printer-friendly version –kudos!!

Benjamin Huffman, with support by Ners, has created a class for all those folks who want Rocky, not a WuXia dude jumping around. One of my players loves the concept of martial artists, but hates the whole Eastern mysticism etc. – and this delivers. Emphasizing Strength and some SERIOUS damage-soaking abilities, the pugilist presented herein is less flexible and versatile in his tricks than the monk, but more potent at the same time – whether you like that or not is a matter of taste. I actually thought it’d be worse and plays better than I expected – while I am not the biggest fan of using PF’s class levels and basically 4th ed’s bloodied style mechanics to trigger some of the abilities, and while I wished it tried to use formulae akin to those employed by the base classes, but it does work out and this complaint is mostly aesthetic.

Note that the class is pretty potent and will eclipse the monk’s straight damage output, but lag behind in other disciplines., and I am not the biggest fan of the magic items presented herein – but the matter of the fact remains that this pdf is PWYW, which allows you to check this out and then judge for yourself whether this is worth getting. My final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars – and while the imperfections would make me usually round down, I’ll round up due to the fair PWYW-offering.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
the Pugilist Class
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Places of Power: Raveneye Sanatorium
Publisher: Raging Swan Press
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/17/2017 04:05:44

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Places of Power-series clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page back cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let's take a look!

So, we all have presumably played an adventure in a Sanatorium, right? At least those of us who enjoy dark fantasy and roleplaying games will know the tropes at this point. There's a reason for that, and it is mainly due to reality and how we see sanatoriums and the treatment methods employed there - while, from our modern perspective, e.g. lobotomies may look barbaric, not so long ago, they were considered to be a fantastic, extremely humane form of treatment. The advances in medicine have colored our view of these facilities and that bleeds, of course, into the games we play.

This modern notion of medicine has influenced and shaped the respective representations of sanatoriums in the fantasy games we play - which btw. is closer to a Early Modern period in mindset and technology than the Medieval Age, but that as an aside. Sanatoriums are a pretty recent innovation, as far as our species is concerned, so we do have, by definition, a sort of anachronism here. At the same time, however, it is surprising that the original spirit of sanatoriums has not really been represented in gaming -the idea of healing the body and mind in an environment conductive for such treatments is something I have only very rarely seen in gaming -perchance due to the prevalence of divine magic. Now, if one takes into account, however, the different afflictions that beings can have in a fantastic context, the institution suddenly makes sense once more - from curses to possessions and worse, there are plenty of afflictions that aren't easily healed by means of magic. This is where this sanatorium comes in.

The institution is headed by a rather brilliant scholar, with further staff being a doctor prone to quick diagnosis, a none-too-nice chief of staff...and the fortified grounds include a garden and some fluffy write-ups for patients - from beings halfway transformed to a skum, kept here to prevent the poor being from going to the ocean, to the possessed, with malignant spirits seeking freedom, the patients here are dangerous...and include benevolent werewolves. Still, with the marketplace section of neat items to purchase and 6 sample rumors (some being nasty and playing to the bad reputation of sanatoriums) as well as 6 events, we have an overall great locale...and if you do want to use this in a more traditional manner, you're covered - one NPC can be used as a malignant infiltrator and BBEG, if you wish to use the place in a more traditional manner...or if you want to have this place of healing transform...or come under threat.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no serious glitches. Layout adheres to Raging Swan Press' elegant two-column b/w-standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. The b/w-artwork of the sanitarium is an amazing pieces. The pdf comes in two versions, one optimized for screen-use and one optimized to be printed out. The cartography by Maciej Zagorski is well-made and in b/w. Supporters of Raging Swan Press' patreon can get access to a player-friendly, key-less version of the map, at least to my knowledge.

David N. Ross' sanatorium is a great place - it inverts the traditional expectations of such locales in roleplaying games, while still allowing for the use in a traditional context. the characters presented, from the staff to the patients, are similarly colorful, with most being capable of carrying at least a session or sidequest, making this a rewarding place to include in your game. In short, the pdf is great and rewarding for the low and very fair price point. The optional trope inversion adds a nice level to this pdf as well - nothing to complain regarding this gem. My final verdict will clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Places of Power: Raveneye Sanatorium
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Publisher Reply:
Fantastic! Thank you for the review. I'm delighted you enjoyed Raveneye so much!
Places of Power: Raveneye Sanatorium (SNE)
Publisher: Raging Swan Press
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/17/2017 04:04:01

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Places of Power-series clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page back cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let's take a look!

So, we all have presumably played an adventure in a Sanatorium, right? At least those of us who enjoy dark fantasy and roleplaying games will know the tropes at this point. There's a reason for that, and it is mainly due to reality and how we see sanatoriums and the treatment methods employed there - while, from our modern perspective, e.g. lobotomies may look barbaric, not so long ago, they were considered to be a fantastic, extremely humane form of treatment. The advances in medicine have colored our view of these facilities and that bleeds, of course, into the games we play.

This modern notion of medicine has influenced and shaped the respective representations of sanatoriums in the fantasy games we play - which btw. is closer to a Early Modern period in mindset and technology than the Medieval Age, but that as an aside. Sanatoriums are a pretty recent innovation, as far as our species is concerned, so we do have, by definition, a sort of anachronism here. At the same time, however, it is surprising that the original spirit of sanatoriums has not really been represented in gaming -the idea of healing the body and mind in an environment conductive for such treatments is something I have only very rarely seen in gaming -perchance due to the prevalence of divine magic. Now, if one takes into account, however, the different afflictions that beings can have in a fantastic context, the institution suddenly makes sense once more - from curses to possessions and worse, there are plenty of afflictions that aren't easily healed by means of magic. This is where this sanatorium comes in.

The institution is headed by a rather brilliant scholar, with further staff being a doctor prone to quick diagnosis, a none-too-nice chief of staff...and the fortified grounds include a garden and some fluffy write-ups for patients - from beings halfway transformed to a skum, kept here to prevent the poor being from going to the ocean, to the possessed, with malignant spirits seeking freedom, the patients here are dangerous...and include benevolent werewolves. Still, with 6 sample rumors (some being nasty and playing to the bad reputation of sanatoriums) as well as 6 events, we have an overall great locale...and if you do want to use this in a more traditional manner, you're covered - one NPC can be used as a malignant infiltrator and BBEG, if you wish to use the place in a more traditional manner...or if you want to have this place of healing transform...or come under threat. Really nice, btw.: The system neutral version, big plus, actually does come with a marketplace section of goods and services to acquire, which is really nice to see. As a VERY minor nitpick, some NPCs are called "wizards", not "magic-users."

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no serious glitches. Layout adheres to raging Swan Press' elegant two-column b/w-standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. The b/w-artwork of the sanitarium is an amazing pieces. The pdf comes in two versions, one optimized for screen-use and one optimized to be printed out. The cartography by Maciej Zagorski is well-made and in b/w. Supporters of Raging Swan Press' patreon can get access to a player-friendly, key-less version of the map, at least to my knowledge.

David N. Ross' sanatorium is a great place - it inverts the traditional expectations of such locales in roleplaying games, while still allowing for the use in a traditional context. the characters presented, from the staff to the patients, are similarly colorful, with most being capable of carrying at least a session or sidequest, making this a rewarding place to include in your game. In short, the pdf is great and rewarding for the low and very fair price point. The optional trope inversion adds a nice level to this pdf as well - nothing to complain regarding this gem. This pdf doesn't lose anything in the system neutral iteration, with only aforementioned, very minor terminology hiccup. My final verdict will clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Places of Power: Raveneye Sanatorium (SNE)
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Fantastic! Thank you for the review. I'm delighted you enjoyed Raveneye so much!
Places of Power: Raveneye Sanatorium (5e)
Publisher: Raging Swan Press
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/17/2017 04:02:14

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Places of Power-series clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page back cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let's take a look!

So, we all have presumably played an adventure in a Sanatorium, right? At least those of us who enjoy dark fantasy and roleplaying games will know the tropes at this point. There's a reason for that, and it is mainly due to reality and how we see sanatoriums and the treatment methods employed there - while, from our modern perspective, e.g. lobotomies may look barbaric, not so long ago, they were considered to be a fantastic, extremely humane form of treatment. The advances in medicine have colored our view of these facilities and that bleeds, of course, into the games we play.

This modern notion of medicine has influenced and shaped the respective representations of sanatoriums in the fantasy games we play - which btw. is closer to a Early Modern period in mindset and technology than the Medieval Age, but that as an aside. Sanatoriums are a pretty recent innovation, as far as our species is concerned, so we do have, by definition, a sort of anachronism here. At the same time, however, it is surprising that the original spirit of sanatoriums has not really been represented in gaming -the idea of healing the body and mind in an environment conductive for such treatments is something I have only very rarely seen in gaming -perchance due to the prevalence of divine magic. Now, if one takes into account, however, the different afflictions that beings can have in a fantastic context, the institution suddenly makes sense once more - from curses to possessions and worse, there are plenty of afflictions that aren't easily healed by means of magic. This is where this sanatorium comes in.

The institution is headed by a rather brilliant scholar, with further staff being a doctor prone to quick diagnosis, a none-too-nice chief of staff...and the fortified grounds include a garden and some fluffy write-ups for patients - from beings halfway transformed to a skum, kept here to prevent the poor being from going to the ocean, to the possessed, with malignant spirits seeking freedom, the patients here are dangerous...and include benevolent werewolves. Still, with 6 sample rumors (some being nasty and playing to the bad reputation of sanatoriums) as well as 6 events, we have an overall great locale...and if you do want to use this in a more traditional manner, you're covered - one NPC can be used as a malignant infiltrator and BBEG, if you wish to use the place in a more traditional manner...or if you want to have this place of healing transform...or come under threat. The NPC stats have been properly correlated to the default NPC-cadre and the pdf does contains a properly modified marketplace section for 5e - big plus and kudos for going the extra mile here!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no serious glitches. Layout adheres to raging Swan Press' elegant two-column b/w-standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. The b/w-artwork of the sanitarium is an amazing pieces. The pdf comes in two versions, one optimized for screen-use and one optimized to be printed out. The cartography by Maciej Zagorski is well-made and in b/w. Supporters of Raging Swan Press' patreon can get access to a player-friendly, key-less version of the map, at least to my knowledge.

David N. Ross' sanatorium is a great place - it inverts the traditional expectations of such locales in roleplaying games, while still allowing for the use in a traditional context. the characters presented, from the staff to the patients, are similarly colorful, with most being capable of carrying at least a session or sidequest, making this a rewarding place to include in your game. In short, the pdf is great and rewarding for the low and very fair price point. The optional trope inversion adds a nice level to this pdf as well - nothing to complain regarding this gem. The 5e-version of the fie is just as cool as the other iterations, making this a compelling and cool supplement, worthy of 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Places of Power: Raveneye Sanatorium (5e)
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Publisher Reply:
Fantastic! Thank you for the review. I'm delighted you enjoyed Raveneye so much!
CLASSifieds: The Wind-Warrior
Publisher: Fat Goblin Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/17/2017 03:57:56

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the CLASSifieds-series clocks in at 14 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 9 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

The wind-warrior class presented herein gains d10 HD, 4 + Int skills per level, full BAB-progression, good Ref- and Will-saves as well as proficiency with simple weapons, one-handed martial weapons, light armor as well as katana, naginata and wakizashi. Starting at 1st level, the wind-warrior may use Dexterity instead of Strength modifier with one-handed weapons capable of dealing slashing damage (oddly locking out the naginata -making me think it may have been a leftover from a previous iteration) with the Way of the leaf ability. Starting at 3rd level, the ability is upgraded to provide Dex to damage instead of Str-mod as well. Starting at 5th level, using way of the leaf provides a visible wind-effect that nets +1 to atk and damage while using Way of the Leaf, which increases by +1 every 4 levels thereafter. At 18th level, the critical multiplier of weapons used in conjunction with way of the leaf increases by 1.

2nd level provides an interesting ability that is pretty important for the class – a flurry of sorts, which comes with the standard -2 penalty and stacks with haste – all in all, solid in wording etc. However, 2nd level provides a more important ability, namely boundless step: When making a full attack and successfully striking the enemy, the wind-warrior may take a 5-foot-step. Kudos: it gets the interaction with the regular 5-foot-step right and even the action economy. The movement has to remain in the threatened area of the target and movement provides a stacking dodge bonus for such movement, which plays more interesting than it looks on paper. Starting at 7th level, this ability allows for the ignoring of difficult terrain and at 10th level, things become interesting, making these steps 10-foot steps that count as two steps each. The ability also has a cap per round – while the wording is missing a “times” in the ½ class level times per round cap, that is a cosmetic oversight.

On the defensive side of things, the class gains uncanny dodge at 4th level, improved uncanny dodge at 8th, evasion at 12th and improved evasion at 16th level. 2nd level and every 3 levels thereafter yields a bonus feat. 6th level provides gust of wind as a SP, usable 3 + Wisdom modifier times per day and 8th level provides an immediate action wind wall SP, also governed by Wisdom. 15th level provides the option to assault foes with 8d8 slashing cones Wisdom modifier times per day and 19th level provides constant freedom of movement. The capstone lets the class execute a full-attack as a standard action…and even after a charge. OUCH!

The pdf comes with favored class options for the core races and a couple of others, though oddly, the skills and saves here are not properly formatted, being lower case and lacking brackets in e.g. references to Knowledge (nature). The FCOs themselves are solid.

The pdf also contains a couple of archetypes: The windwalker would be a monk-like version of the class, who modifies the proficiencies and instead increases the benefits from boundless steps. Instead of the way of the leaf upgrade, we have the option to, as a full-round action, move twice movement rate, including movement over water, lava and on surfaces that wouldn’t carry the character’s weight. 5th level provides a scaling shield bonus that increases every 4 levels thereafter. 6th level and every 5 levels thereafter upgrades as what the unarmed strikes as treated for the purpose of overcoming DR as part of an attack, usable a limited amount of times per day. 15th level yields a properly codified control winds. Really cool: At 18th level, after moving twice via the boundless step variant of the archetype, you may execute an attack that can send the target flying. Nice one.

The Bladewalker is basically the TWF-version of the class, losing some of the more supernatural tricks of the base class, with a decreased boundless step potency due to the increased attack array. Finally, the windbender would be the 2-handed weapon specialist, who may take penalties to attack CMB in favor of damage-increase, thankfully not stacking with Power Attack etc. (the feat-reference is not capitalized properly, as a nitpick). Other than that, basically a two-hand weapon iteration of the class.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good on a rules-language level and the few glitches I noticed on a formal level do not impede the ability to understand the material. Layout adheres the neat 2-column full-color standard of the series and the pdf provides some nice pieces of full-color artwork. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. Nice!

I wasn’t excited for Andrew Campbell’s class at first – however, the wind-warrior has some serious raison d’être: The class is flexible and allows you to play a skirmisher martial and rewards smart use of the stepping-tricks. The rules-language of the abilities, which is more difficult than you’d think at first, it really solid, so nice job. Balance-wise, the wind-warrior should not pose a problem for any table: The class is well-balanced and I can see it working in an otherwise magic-lless WuXia-setting even – so yeah, very easy to integrate into an ongoing campaign.

While there are a precious few formatting glitches, that is not really enough to compromise the pdf. From a design-aesthetic point of view, I would have liked to see more unique class abilities, but the number of bonus feats provides sufficient customization options. First level is a bit bland, though. Anyways, that is me complaining at a high level – this class is very much worth checking out and hence, my final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded down – this is a good, worthwhile addition to the roster of classes.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
CLASSifieds: The Wind-Warrior
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5E Mini-Dungeon #033: The Legacy of Theft
Publisher: AAW Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/17/2017 03:56:53

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf clocks in at 2 pages and is a mini-dungeon. This means we get 2 pages content, including a solid map and all item/monster-stats hyperlinked and thus, absent from the pdf, with only deviations from the statblocks being noted for the GM. Unlike most 5E Mini-Dungeons, this one does not come with VTT-maps or player-friendly iterations, which is a bit of a bummer.

Since this product line's goal is providing short diversions, side-quest dungeons etc., I will not expect mind-shattering revelations, massive plots or particularly smart or detailed depictions, instead tackling the line for what it is. Got that? Great!

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

...

..

.

Still here?

All right!

When recent construction of an inn revealed the presence of a presumably abandoned complex, the owners of the inn to be constructed, Edwyn and Jackson Cairn decided to explore the complex. Dumb idea. It's been 3 days and now it's up to the PCs to find out what happened. The PCs get into a long corridor with decayed doors; 8 to be more precise. While footpaths can be seen in the dust, there seems to be no discernible pattern. Beyond nasty traps and doors slamming shut, the complex presented may look dull on the map, but it isn't - it manages to evoke a concise, creepy atmosphere supplemented well by the traps – kudos for Kyle Crider providing damage type variants here for some traps.

In the original version, a crypt thing and its teleportation tricks provided some challenge; in 5e, a shield guardian trying to get its amulet is what It’s all about as far as danger is concerned.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to a beautiful 2-column full-color standard and the pdf comes sans bookmarks, but needs none at this length. Cartography is full color and surprisingly good for such an inexpensive pdf, but there is no key-less version of the map to print out and hand to your players. The pdf does sport one nice piece of original full-color art - kudos!

Michael Smith's "Legacy of Theft" is well-presented, manages to evoke a nice atmosphere and is, as a whole, a truly useful mini-dungeon. Its set-up lets you put it frankly just about everywhere, making is very easy to use without any hassle; whether as a dungeon-sub-level, a rescue mission or below any structure, it requires no set-up. As a whole, the module is mostly about exploration and can be run as a nice rogue-solo-adventure or as a means to let these guys shine. The conversion by Kyle Crider is nice, though it loses the disorientation angle. Still, as a whole, a nice offering – well worth 4 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
5E Mini-Dungeon #033: The Legacy of Theft
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Hybrid Class: Vessel
Publisher: Purple Duck Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/16/2017 06:42:15

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This Hybrid Class clocks in at 26 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 23 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

So, what is the vessel? In short, it is a hybrid class of the medium and the oracle, but that is not really enough to adequately describe it. Chassis-wise, the class gets ¾ BAB-progression, good Will-saves, d8 HD, proficiency with simple weapons, light and medium armor and 4 + Int skills per level. Vessels start drawing spells from both medium and cleric spell-lists, starting at 4th level, casting them as psychic spells which are governed by Charisma as spellcasting attribute. As you will have noted, they are cast spontaneously and the class does not treat cleric spells of higher than 4th level as belonging to the list and is beholden to alignment restrictions regarding cleric spells. This also btw. Takes into account how orisons are treated as knacks. It should be noted, btw., that the class comes with a massive, custom spell-list you can use instead of blowing it wide open. An interesting pecualirity would be that the class does not cast at -3 levels, in spite of gaining spellcasting late – this does look like it may be an intentional decision, however.

Now, it is impossible to talk about this class without first explaining the centerpiece of the class, the cursed spirits: 6 are presented and he may choose one upon preparing spells, being granted divine bonuses and revelations that may be prepared. Similarly, each spirit is also defined by a curse the vessel must bear while thus possessed. A vessel can prepare one revelation from a spirit, +1 at 3rd level and every levels tehreafter. Unless otherwise noted, these are standard actions and the vessel can dismiss spirits as a full-round action, losing the respective abilities. Saving throw DCs are governed by Charisma and follow the 10 + ½ class level + Cha-mod formula. A vessel gains a spirit bonus while channeling a spirit, starting at +1 at 1st level and increasing that by +1 at 5th level and every 5 levels thereafter.

Starting at 2nd level, the vessel may avoid failure: After rolling a d20, the vessel can allow his cursed spirit to add +1d4 without requiring an action. This may be used 2 + Charisma modifier times per day and 10th and 20th level increase die-size by one step. At 4th level and again at 6th level and every 3 levels thereafter, the vessel may once completely reassign his skills over night. 5th level yields location channel, duplicating call spirit and requiring that other characters pose the questions. 7th level eliminates the requirement for a special connection to the spirit called via location channel. 13th level yields a reliable, non-draining contact other plane. 14th level provides astral projection, but 18th level becomes really interesting: If an ally that has participated in the special location channel seance (which, like other abilities, refer to it as seance – which it is, granted, but using the name would have been better) dies, the vessel can take his spirit, forming basically a two-player gestalt – really cool, as it allows for the dead PC’s player to still act! The complex rules also work. The capstone may be freely chosen from the spirits and remains active, regardless of spirit inhabiting the vessel. These are potent and flavorful.

Okay, so, what do these spirits do? Well, the Babling Priest is cursed by tongues, with 5th level and every 5 levels thereafter yielding an increase of the powers granted by the curse. Each spirit has unique, custom revelations that include, in this one as an example, better spellcasting under the starry sky, calling down the cold of interstellar cold, immunity to lycanthropy or the like; big kudos for going the extra mile and providing custom packages for the spirits! The other spirits share, btw., a similarly strong array of leitmotifs: The blinded warlord gets battlecries, healing and defensive capabilities, and special, supernatural martial tricks. The disturbed captain is haunted and can call forth the spirits of the dead as shields, as buffs, become incorporeal, etc. The hobbled lictor may be lame (regarding his legs), but is anything but lame, design-wise: With his rusting grasp, item conjuration, scrying through iron and his martial tricks, he makes for a damn cool spirit. The unhearing criminal is one with his city, a nameless killer hiding in urban environments and from urban survival to intelligence gathering, he is the spirit you want. The withered sage, struck by wasting, provides limited arcane spell access and may use his Charisma instead of Dex for AC and Ref-saves with the right revelation. Symbol spells and Knowledge tricks complement this one.

All of these spirits have several things in common: They feel complex and interesting, archetypical without being too specific; they offer a surprisingly unique variety of tricks each and they make for damn cool options. Oh, and their rules-language is point on. They also breathe that sense of the occult, of slight hints of the darker, that really made the class stand out for me. Now, if you prefer a less occult-feeling version, fret not: I’d like to direct your attention to the archetype presented herein, namely the primalist, who replaces the spirits gained by the regular vessel with elemental spirits (no surprise there, given Porphyra’s element-theme) –beyond the 4 classic elements, creation and destruction make up for the missing two spirits to bring the archetype to 6: And yes, these are depicted in just the same, highly-detailed manner.

And yes, they have curses assigned to them, which is a bit weaker from a fluff point of view in my mind, but retains the spirit (haha!) of the class. The custom revelation lists for these fellows include being able to assume a form of pure life eenergy that allows you to walk through allies to heal them (with a limit, thankfully!) or damage the undead; stagger foes with attack spell crits; establishing life links…we have some healing options here that are relatively unique and uncheesable. Now, not all aspects are perfect – uttering a doom-prophecy debuff, for example, imho should be language-dependant and is “only” mind-affecting – but as a whole, the mechanics are surprisingly concise and really well-crafted. Seeing through stone and earth, gaining steelbreaking skin…it’s really uncanny. Whenever I think I have seen everything cool that can be done with the very well-covered elemental theme, some author from PDG’s cadre surprises me in a positive manner!

4 feats are included: One can double the spirit surge bonus for a 1 hour cool-down; 1 nets +1 revelation. Mixed spirits allows you to be inhabited by 2 spirits, with stacking benefits and penalties, which is pretty much a must-have feat for the class, locked behind 2nd level, which may be a bit early. Wakeful Spirit lets the spirit guard you while sleeping and allows you to wake up as a move action, sans this hassle with the sleeping rules. The pdf provides a massive list of favored class options, which cover not only the core races and some of the more exotic ones, but also a significant assortment of Porphyran races. These are all solid and we conclude with Madame Xemu, a sample CR ½ level 1 human vessel currently inhabited by the disgruntled captain.

The pdf also comes with a bonus file: The Shadowcat monster, penned by Mark Gedak. Clocking in at CR 8, we have basically a psionic chameleon cat with a serious damage output Really deadly and perfect for when your PCs stopped fearing dire lions etc. At Str 25, these fellows bring the pain!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch. On both a formal and rules-language level – I noticed no crucial hiccups and the only valid complaint I could come up with would be the nomenclature of referring to seances. That’s it. Layout adheres to a full-sized 2-column standard in b/w with purple highlights – printer-friendly, no complaints. The pdf has no art apart from the covers. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience, with nested bookmarks and all. The bonus pdf has no bookmarks, but since it contains one creature, they wouldn’t have made sense anyways.

First of all: Kudos to editors, Perry Fehr and N. Jolly for making this as crisp as it is –bonus types are concise, complex rules precise and healing is cheese-proof. And, of course, the congratulations should extend to the author Aaron Hollingsworth, who has come a long way indeed. You see, hybrid classes have a tough position: In order to be truly valid, they have to be more than the sum of their parent classes. Similarly, they need something that sets them apart as a distinct entity, something unique that changes the playing experience beyond what a simple archetype could provide. And preferably, they should also have their own in-game identity. The vessel succeeds at all those tasks. The low-level spellcasting capping at 4th level makes the class not one for novice players, but the spirits are amazing. The flexibility is here and the vessel plays in a truly distinct and interesting manner.

The spirits are cooler than those of the standard medium, at least as far as I’m concerned, and they offer a serious array of unique options that make the class feel unique. The bang for buck ratio is also strong in this one: You get basically an alternate class as an archetype (MASSIVE!) that’s just as strong, if in a different tone, as the base class and the length of the options is neat, particularly considering the more than fair price point. Now yes, I had a couple of comments here and there, but I honestly consider the vessel to be one of the best hybrid classes I’ve covered so far – precise, unique, fun – this is well worth getting and I really hope we’ll get alternate spirits at one point, to exchange with the existing ones – the archetypical, storied tropes employed here really struck a chord with me. If you even remotely like how occult classes feel, then this is a must.

In short: This is an excellent, affordable offering, well worth a final verdict of 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hybrid Class: Vessel
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Pusher Gnomes
Publisher: Knight Owl Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/16/2017 06:40:15

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This little pdf clocks in at 12 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page back cover, (no SRD), leaving us with 8 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

So, first things first: Pusher Gnomes, as depicted here, are situated in Knight Owl Games’ Meatlandia-setting (review forthcoming), and the vast majority of the gnomes encountered in the setting belong to this trade, which stirred up no small amount of resentment. As written, they, flavor-wise, sport a significant distaste for meat-magic and the information contains quite a few references to Meatlandian specialties, though it should be noted that the meat (haha!) of the pdf can be used sans access to the big book.

The Pusher Gnome class gets – 1 Str and Wis, +2 Dex, infravision 60 ft., magic resistance (all saves versus made are made at +2), 2 in 6 digging skill and a 5 in 6 chance to detect grades/slopes. They gain 1d4 HD and the class progression caps at 12th level and 450 K XP, with 11th and 12th level no longer providing new HD. Pusher gnomes save as thieves/rogues/specialists and have no armor restrictions. As they are Small, weapon use is restricted, though. They gain +1 to hit versus kobolds and goblins due to racial hate and +4 to AC versus large or bigger creatures. Their fighting ability remains at 1 for the first 3 levels, then proceeds to increase every even level – personally, I would have preferred that aspect to be codified more precisely.

That being said, the eponymous gnomish drugs that they create is interesting – you consult a table, then add the bonus (based on the class level, up to +21 at 12th level) to the DC…as well as Intelligence modifier. The drug creation system is pretty simple: Ability score modifiers net an increase/decrease of +2 to the DC for every point change. While the intent is clear here: (Decreasing one stat for a lower DC, increasing abilities = higher DCs), the rules-language still could be more crisp here. This same complaint can be fielded versus to hit, damage, AC or save modification, which is based on a point-for-point ratio. Additional attacks cost +3 DC. Skills can be enhanced, taking LotFP-style as well as percentile systems into account. Spell-duplication costs spell-level times 3 in DC-increase. Alchemy kits yields +5 to the check, labs a whopping +10. Help when crafting imposes cumulative -1 penalties per helper.

Durations range from instantaneous to 24 hours (DC 1 – 13 as basis) and the smaller the hit size, the smaller the DC. Different types also have different DCs and delays of the effects can also influence the final DC. Big plus: The system knows pretty diverse degrees of failure, differentiating 4 types of fumbles when making these special drugs, depending on by how far you miss the DC. 6 fumbles are also included…as are 20 side effects, which help you decrease the DC by -5 per side effect you’re willing to take. Each drug should have ingredients equal to the DC, btw. – these have a base value of 1 GP…which basically constitute the only limiting factor of the system. There is no cap regarding number of attacks, attribute bonuses or the like, making this class a min-maxy nightmare of potent effects. Similarly highly problematic would be that the pdf fails to specify how long it takes to make a drug and when it’s done – only after resting? Any time? Do more complicated drugs take longer to manufacture? No idea.

The pdf concludes with 4 sample drugs.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting on a formal level, are very good. On a rules-language level, the system is RAW non-operational and requires a) nerfing by the referee and b) some serious decision-making regarding its base way of operating. Layout adheres to a nice-two-column standard that is pretty printer-friendly, with a few colored highlights and solid full-color pieces of artwork. The pdf has no bookmarks.

Wind Lothamer’s pusher gnomes are evocative and often sport some precise, surprisingly precise, tidbits – but at the same time, the gnomes, alas, are pretty opaque in the way they’re presented. The rules-language lacks some necessary pieces of information and is a long stretch from what I’d consider to be sufficient, even in OSR-terms. That being said, this should not be taken to mean that this is all bad: The basic premise of the system works as written and while the class desperately needs a scaling potency cap for drug-effects to maintain balance with other classes, it can still make for a pretty interesting supplement to build upon. Well, that, and the pdf is PWYW, which allows the customer to check this out and pay a price that’s considered to be appropriate. While, in my opinion, this is worth checking out, at least (particularly when contemplating Narcosa!), I still can’t rate this higher than 3 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Pusher Gnomes
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Dimensionist Hybrid Class
Publisher: Wayward Rogues Publishing
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/16/2017 06:37:55

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This hybrid class clocks in at 13 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 8 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

So, what is the dimensionist? Well, it is a hybrid class of kinteicist and witch; chassis-wise, it receives d8 HD, 4 + Int skills per level, proficiency with simple weapons and light armor and may cast dimensionist spells while in light armor without suffering arcane spell failure. The dimensionist gets spellcasting of up to 6th level and employs Intelligence as governing spellcasting attribute. As an Int-based caster, the dimensionist must prepare her spells in advance and spells are taken from custom spell list the class gets. The class gets ¾ BAB-progression as well as both good Fort- and Will-saves. The class gains a familiar and it is an important aspect of the class, acting similarly to the witch’s familiar, though with an even further increased potency.

You see, theme-wise, the dimensionist is about non-euclidean math, strange dimensional distortions The familiar gains a ½ natural armor progression and increases its Int by a whopping +15 over the course of the 20 levels of progression. The dimensionist gains the benefits of Skill Focus (Knowledge (Endgineering)) while the familiar is within arm’s reach and the familiar is creepy – as such, it takes no penalty to Intimidate checks due to its size and while within one mile of one another, both dimensionist and familiar receives a +4 morale bonus to Intimidate checks. Spells or wild talents with a target of “you” may be shared and provided as a touch spell to the familiar. Starting at 3rd level, the familiar may deliver touch spells and at 5th level, it is under constant blur (no CL given to suppress, though one can default to Su-standards…), which upgrades to displacement at 15th level. (Again, not italicized properly, again, CL would be appreciated.) 5th level yields speak with master, 13th level scry on familiar.

The familiar is btw. an aberration: Character level of the master is used for HD, it has ½ the dimensionist’s hit points (disregarding temporary hp) and uses the master’s BAB as well as either Str- or Dex-mod for BAB-purposes. The familiar uses its base saves (Will +2, others +0) or those of the master, whichever is better, but does not share the master’s ability score modifiers for saves. This section looks a bit weird to me – it references “new familiars presented here”, which are not included in the pdf. At first level, the dimensionist also chooses a patron from the witch patrons, adding a patron spells at 2nd level and every two levels thereafter to the spells known.

Now, the class has pretty much two defining signature abilities, the first of which would be Non-euclidean intrusion, which is gained at 3rd level and may be used 3 + ½ class level times per day, teleporting the familiar into enemies! Yes, this is cool! On an annoying side-note: It is not properly formatted, lacking the proper bolding for its header. This teleportation effect inflicts scaling bonus damage, inflicting the familiar’s primary natural attack plus +2d6 precision damage to the target, which increases every other level by +1d6. Touch spells the familiar holds are also delivered thus. In the aftermath, the dimensionist must succeed a CL-check versus DC 10 + the target’s CR – on a success, the familiar teleports to his side; on a failure, it remains adjacent to the target creature, placing it at risk – which is btw. the reason it gains these miss chance granting traits. Alas, there are a couple of issues with this ability. One, it should be defined as a conjuration [teleportation] effect. Two, the emergence of the familiar from the target creature – does this movement provoke AoOs? Three: What is the frickin’ range of the ranged touch attack? Four: How does this interact with the familiar’s action economy? Five: What action is this? RAW, it has no range and requires neither line of sight, nor line of effect. As a capstone, the dimensionist is always under the effects of blur (again, sans CL for suppression purposes), but it can be suppressed or activated as a standard action and automatically succeeds the callback CL-check and may instead port herself via non-euclidean intrusion, attacking with melee instead of being restricted to natural attacks. Combined with all the other tricks of the class, the ability, while damn cool in theory, may be a bit much.

Now, the second ability would be also what provides some differentiation between dimensionists: These abilities are called “Distortions” – any regular (I assume that means “non-patron-exclusive, non major/grand”) hex qualifies and so does any utility wild talent. However, the dimensionist does not gain Burn – instead, a spellslot may be expended for the use of a wild talent that requires Burn, with the spell-level being equal to or greater that the Burn required. In order to qualify for a utility wild talent, the dimensionist’s level must at least by twice that of the utility wild talent in question. Thirdly, the character may add a spell from the witch-list to her arsenal of spells known. A distortion is gained at 1st level, 2nd level and every even level thereafter. And at 5th level and every 5 levels thereafter, the dimensionist may replace a known distortion with a new one. A distortion’s save DC is 10 + ½ class level + Intelligence modifier, activation action is a standard action and several distortions modify non-euclidean intrusion – only one such modification may be added to a given use of the ability.

While we’re speaking of these: Included are the options to choose one of the 4 base energy types and changing the precision damage inflicted by non-euclidean intrusion to that energy type. This damage is btw. still not multiplied on a critical hit – kudos for catching that one! Not all distortions are interesting, though: Gaining Skill Focus (Profession) (I assume in a chosen profession) and being able to use Int instead of Wisdom as governing attribute for the skill doesn’t exactly make me holler with excitement. Unfortunately, this section is also where, obviously, some actual formatting would have helped the class. Spells are not italicized throughout the section, attribute-references are lower-caps…you get the idea. The rules-language here also does not reach the same level of precision as during the rest of the presentation of the class and sports some questionable decisions. There is, for example, a distortion that changes “cone” spells into a 10 ft.-line, increasing the save DC by +2, while also increasing the casting time by “one grade” – while the latter is at least explained, the issues should be evident nonetheless. Don’t get me wrong – I do actually like this – but I wished its rules-language had been tighter.

On a more positive side, making non-euclidean intrusions cause bleed damage is cool (though the Heal DC should imo scale). Adding the deadly special weapon quality as a standard action is cool, particularly with (thankfully non-stacking) threat range increase, but the pdf fails to specify how long the ability lasts – unless it’s permanent, as it RAW is, which is BROKEN. One dimensionist, infinite deadly weapons at no cost that also have better threat ranges…we need some serious restrictions here. This becomes particularly sad if we take a look at a high-level distortion that nets a variant of mage’s magnificent mansion in creepy, with an open door…a place that can be entered by anyone…and that nets the dimensionist phantasmal killer at-will as an SP while inside. Potent, yes, but at 18th level, I can live with this. Targeting foes with confusing mathematical conundrums (that can be solved via Knowledge (engineering)) makes for an interesting option, though not having to look up the action such a check take would have been nice. I am not really sure how a cone doubling in width, but not length, translates to the grid – an example would have been nice there. Adding blink to withdraws is also rather cool!

The pdf also includes a new feat, which nets +1 distortion and two archetypes. The first would be the Black Book Devotee, who transforms her “witch spells into divine spells” at certain levels. Problem here: The dimensionist does not have witch spells. It has dimensionist spells. Unless this is supposed to only apply to witch spells gained via distortions. Instead of taking a distortion, the black book devotee can choose 2 divination spells known she can cast and gain immunity to them. Yay? With the restricted spell-list, that’s tough. The devotee’s familiar also gains the chaotic and “entropic subtype” and features rebuild rules for that as well as scaling DR and acid/fire resistance, but loses the 1st, 6th and the 12th level distortion for this. In case you were wondering – there is no such thing as an entropic subtype, though there IS an entropic creature simple template.

The second archetype would be the hidden edge, who gains proficiency with martial weapons, but loses light armor proficiency. Instead of non-euclidean intrusion, weirdly at 1st level, the archetypes receives an ability to ignore one point of worn armor bonus or natural armor bonus when attacking a target within 30 ft. This increases by +1 bonus ignored at 5th level and every 5 levels thereafter, with 20th level adding free brilliant to all attacks thus performed – all in all, very clunky and yes, the quality is not italicized properly. Instead of 1st level’s distortion, the archetype gains the rogue’s fast stealth, with 4th level providing trackless step that instead works in urban and similar non-natural environments. This replaces 4th level’s distortion and 18th level’s distortion is replaced with Hide in Plain Sight. Not that impressive.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are the big issues of this pdf. On a plus-side, for the most part, the rules-language is precise in the basics; however, once you take a closer look, the lack of range for the distortion and similar rules-language issues start cropping up big time, requiring serious GM-fiat. Similarly, the formatting of the pdf is not good. Artworks are solid full-color stock pieces and the pdf sports a 2-column full-color standard. The pdf sports basic bookmarks and comes with a word document for copy purposes– which should be applauded, for the pdf has copy and pasting disabled.

Aaron Hollingworth’s dimensionist is a pretty cool class, idea-wise – the very “Dreams in the Witch House”-y vibe is fun and porting a familiar to rend foes asunder is one neat angle I really enjoy. At the same time, this pdf’s crunch would have needed a capable rules editor to polish it to the point where its more ambitious abilities work smoothly. For the most part, the material works, but closer examination yields some seriously nasty hiccups in core abilities, glitches that compromise how it works, which most definitely should have been caught. The formatting issues are also too many for such a brief pdf.

At the same time, the dimensionist, provided you’re willing to do the fixing, does feel rather unique and has some solid ideas and themes; it has its own identity. How to rate this, though, is a pretty big problem – you see, from the rules-integrity side of things, this is closer to 2 stars than 3…but concept-wise, if the abilities all worked as written, this would be at least a 4 stars-file. It depends on your tolerance for material that needs cleaning up. Ultimately, though, I can’t rate this higher than 2.5 stars with the issues it has – it simply doesn’t work as written and with the issues, I can’t round up.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Dimensionist Hybrid Class
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Pulpfinder: Fantasy Adventure in the Roaring 20s
Publisher: Charles Smith Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/15/2017 04:48:47

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This book clocks in at 65 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with 60 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

This review was sponsored by my patreons and moved up in my review-queue as a prioritized review.

So, first of all: What is this? In short, it is intended as a toolkit to create Pathfinder campaigns that take place in the roaring 20s, blending fantasy and pulp – a strange combo, but one that very well may work rather well. There are some considerations for such a game – unlike more far-out settings, Pulpfinder per default assumes a human-only version of the game; so no, unlike e.g. Hydra Cooperative’s almost system-neutral (and really impressive) Weird Adventures, you won’t have a full-blown blending of classic fantasy tropes with pulp. The other deviation from the base system would be classes. Unnecessarily complicated metrics for equipment: 1 gp = $2. This will sooner or later really be annoying when converting. It’s not hard, but just another step to consider, which is, from a game-design-perspective, simply not required...and provides no benefit.

A significant change, with everyone playing humans, would be that the book presents origins, serving the same purpose – they determine your attribute-modifications etc. The book does not clearly state whether this means that the standard human traits are not applied or not – while the answer is no, I think the book should have noted that in the start of the chapter. A total of 6 such origins are included...and they frankly don’t really constitute origins all the time – a bon vivant, to take the first example, doesn’t really say anything about that aspect...but that may be me. Anyways, the origins presented aren’t necessarily perfect: Take the bon vivant: +2 Cha and Int, -2 Wis, +4 to Diplomacy to influence NPC attitudes, +2 to Diplomacy and Sense Motive ( yep, that’s a total of +7 (+1 for the Cha-increase, +4 untyped bonus, +2 racial bonus) to influence NPC attitudes and +2 to saves to resist poisons, alcohol or drugs. In case you haven’t noticed, this is heavily lopsided and geared towards certain classes.

This extends to most of the others: Hermetic Study guys and gals get +2 Int and Wis, -2 Str, +2 (unytped) to all knowledge skills, 2 languages per rank of Linguistics and +2 to Will saves. Wildman get +2 Con and Wis, -2 Cha, +2 to AC when in a chosen terrain, +2 to Knowledge (nature) and Survival and +2 to initiative. Working Class folks get +2 Str and Con, -2 Int, +2 to all Profession and Craft skills (obviously, working class folks make the best lawyers, doctors, etc.) and +2 to Fort-saves as well as the option to continue fighting for 1 more round after being reduced below 0 hp, but not killed. Career criminals get +2 Dex and Cha, -2 Con, +1 to all saving throws, +2 to Escape Artist and Stealth and +2 to Perception. Finally, cosmopolitans (annoyingly referred to as „world travellers“ by the book, which may mean almost the same, but still irks me...) get the bonus feat, +2 to an attribute of choice and +1 skill per level.

As a whole, it is pretty clear that the origins all are geared towards specific classes and options. They, to me, are not really origins in the sense of the word, but more problematic would be that they, ultimate don’t really provide a nuanced array of options, instead very clearly gearing them to specific pursuits. This is a pity – for, as mentioned in my reviews of Xoth material, I do enjoy the notion of not using races to determine these types of rules. As presented, I am definitely not impressed.

Anyways, the next section depicts the cadre of classes and oddly switches layout style from a two-column-presentation to a 1-column-presentation.The classes generally fill a similar niche as those in the base class roster, though a scaling AC-bonus is baked into every one of the classes. This bonus varies by class, scales…and is only defined for the first class, as working only while unarmored and unencumbered, none of the other classes have a concise definition for this in the respective entry. The fact that the bonus only applies while unarmored and unencumbered is weird, considering the armor-proficiencies gained by characters. It also means that the math isn’t coming together too well at mid and high levels and enhances the importance of Strength – without it, your AC is not going to cut it as soon as you need to carry basically…anything substantial.

The classes, in all brevity, would be: The soldier, who gets full ABB-progression, 2 + Int skills per level, d10 HD, good Fort-saves and basically gains the gunslinger’s deeds plus weapon training a bunch of bonus feats. This would be, btw., as well a place as any to note that firearms act as martial weapons (oddly, armor proficiencies tend to be capitalized in a violation of formatting conventions). Firearms are reloaded as a move action, which botches interaction with the rapid reload feat, which explicitly states how it affects firearms. Oddly, firearms still suffer from misfire. While we’re at the subject – yes, there are rules for scattershots and automatic fire, both of which are very potent, ignoring e.g. concealment in the latter case. Also, strangely, line of effect does not feature in the rules-language, which may be a reason why these are so potent…and which can explain for some of the issues that can crop up here.

But let’s get back to the classes: Aristocrats get d8 HD, 8 + Int skills, ¾ BAB-progression and good Will-saves, being defined by their fortune (which can be gained with a 1 level dip), being defined further by bonus feats and aristocrat talents alternating. The talents btw. pretty exclusively pertain rerolls and social skill tricks as well as abilities that represent the power of status – but sans a status score or interesting mechanic there. Explorers gain d10 HD, 6 + Int skills (!!!), full BAB-progression and good Ref-saves – ability-wise, he basically gains Ranger abilities, that’s it. Scoundrels are rogue reskins, who gain d8 HD, ¾ BAB-progression, good Reflex-saves, 8 + Int skills as well as a ton of talents taken 1:1 from them rogue alongside some of its signature abilities…no sneak attack, though. Priests are basically clerics, with Cha-based channel and Wis-based spellcasting. Mystics are basically wizards. All of the classes have things in common: They are only recombinations of the classic classes; they diverge in power, wildly (aristocrat vs. mystic, explorer vs. soldier); their rules-language and bonus types are pretty concise in their presentation (since they are taken 1:1 from existing material), and they, as a whole, bring pretty much nothing new to the table clogging a ton of pages with information that does not really contribute anything interesting to the game. (At this point, we’re at page 32, fyi.)

A barebones feat for Mad Science (duplicating spell-lists for item creation) and 3 minimalist new skills (forget skill unlocks etc.) can be found. The weapon table of available items only covers one page, and most of the content has been presented before. Fun fact: Flame throwers inflict RAW untyped damage, unless they explode – then they suddenly inflict fire damage. The 4 armor types are pretty inadequate and their presentation ignores several formatting convention. The section contains notes on lifestyle costs, mad science services (i.e. duplicating spell effects) and the like – and it contains detailed vehicle rules, with various different cars – the fact that this presents these cars and vehicles in a concise and easy to grasp manner helps big time here and makes this constitute the first aspect of the pdf that actually has something to offer for me.

In fact, oddly, once the pdf stops duplicating basically copies and recombinations of previously published material, it begins being pretty much…interesting! The spell section has some really creative ideas: Using a spell to make an undead car? Broadcasting your thoughts via radio waves? There are some seriously cool and creative ideas here. I wish this brief chapter and the notes on existing spells were longer.

The pdf also features two alas, uninspired PrCs – the mad scientist at 10 levels and the 5-level private detective, both of which are utterly unremarkable. The pdf also offers a very brief and sketchy “The City” sample setting, which is nowhere near enough the level of detail where it’d make sense and the advice for pulp gaming is decent. I did enjoy the brief list of slang and the further research notes, though.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are weird: Due to the amount of content that was just copied and pasted and recombined, it is better than what you’d expect, but nowhere near as precise as it should be, with hiccups cropping up here and there. Layout adheres to a 1-column or 2-column standard – not sure why the pdf alternates there. The best aspect here would be the really cool b/w-artworks throughout the book, which are really, really nice. The pdf does not have any bookmarks, which represents an inexcusable comfort detriment for a rules-book of this size.

Charles Smith’s passion for pulp is evident. However, at the same time, this book doesn’t really succeed at what it sets out to do. From a crunch perspective, this is too brief and all of its classes are boring variants that are pretty much the epitome of bland filler. They would have been bad back in 2010, but nowadays? No dice.

I don’t get why we needed these, considering that, frankly, they are not internally consistently balanced and don’t bring anything new to the table. They are wasted space. The origins are problematic as well. The scarce setting information doesn’t really help that much to endear this book to the reader either.

Unfortunately, this means that there is no reason to get this book. There is literally nothing positive I can say about the book at hand as a whole; a few creative ideas buried in a ton of redundant filler does not make for a compelling book. While the craftsmanship formally isn’t bad, even the by now not too gracefully aged Xcrawl classes make for better options. More than half the pages of this book are useless, boring, bad variants (or straight reskins) and the lack of pages due to them clogging the pdf is evident everywhere. They btw. Lack FCOs. There are no traits or alternate origin traits.

And yes, playtest did show that the material plays just like I figured they would.

In short: I can’t really picture any scenario when this would be worth getting. Anachronistic Adventurers is infinitely better and the base system has a ton more to offer. While the craftsmanship is not bad per se, it’s also not excellent, showing a lack of experience with the more intricate components of design-work. In the end, I can’t really go higher than 2 stars for this pdf – it does not deserve a 1.5 rating for its craftsmanship, but it is pretty much obsolete and doesn’t have much to offer.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Pulpfinder: Fantasy Adventure in the Roaring 20s
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Mythic Minis 104: Horror Feats S-Z
Publisher: Legendary Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/15/2017 04:44:45

An Endzeitgeist.com review

All right, you know the deal by now, right? 3 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD/editorial, 1 page content, so let's go! It should be noted that the SRD page contains a feat, so don't miss that!

-Spawnlink: Passively observe what the spawn sees while maintaining your senses. You also don’t need to expend actions to retain the link while it’s established and aren’t blinded while looking through the spawn’s eyes, but take a penalty instead. Use mythic power to gaze through all spawns simultaneously. HECK YES. Undead overwatch. AMAZING.

-Spirit Speaker: Gain mythic tier to Diplomacy to get spirits absorbed to reveal intel. Spirits can be used to glean more information and mythic power to compel several answers, save to resist. Also, no longer take Wis-damage/sanity damage for using it. Really cool!

-Stubborn Curse: Increases Dc to remove curses; by expending 3 mythic power, you make it persistent and only removable by someone whose tier is equal to or greater than yours. Simple and neat!

-Touch of Evil: Gain a mythic tier based bonus to Sleight of Hand to prevent the touch being noticed. Nonmythic creatures only get a save upon being touched, while mythic creatures get both saves, but at a penalty to the second save. Also, the creature gains a bonus to mythic tier rolls in order to carry out the suggestion. Now this is one cool expansion of the feat!

-Twisted Love: Increase bonuses to +4 and, upon completion, learn automatically the nature of the effect resisted and, also after completion, use mythic power (amount depends on ½ spell level) to return the effect back to sender. Cool!

-Unyielding Ferocity: +4 Str and Con, -2 AC while under the effects of the feat. You also gain a single rage power you meet the prereqs for, + an additional one at 3rd, 6th and 9th tier. When reduced to 0 hp or below you can expend mythic power to gain access to one of these chosen rage powers. Really cool!

-Zealous Mind: When resisting a charm or compulsion from a chaotic source or one opposite your alignment of the good-evil-axis or when you get a secondary save, you gain a bonus to atk & damage versus the foe. When succeeding a save versus such an effect, you may use mythic power to render the target “staggered for dazed for 1 round”[sic!] – the “staggered for” here is redundant, for it should be 1 round dazed, 1d4+1 rounds staggered.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are pretty good, I noticed no significant hiccups apart from the slightly confusing guffaw in the last feat. Layout adheres to Legendary Games' two column full-color standard and it features the artwork on the cover; that's it - the one page content is solely devoted to crunch. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Alex Riggs‘ final array of mythic horror feats is the inspired one I’ve been waiting for – pretty much every single feat has one brilliant, cool tactical option and blew me away. The only issue was in the final feat and it is what costs this my seal of approval. That being said, this is still inspired and excellent, well worth a final verdict of 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mythic Minis 104: Horror Feats S-Z
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Mythic Minis 103: Horror Feats P-S
Publisher: Legendary Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/15/2017 04:43:19

An Endzeitgeist.com review

All right, you know the deal by now, right? 3 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD/editorial, 1 page content, so let's go! It should be noted that the SRD page contains a feat, so don't miss that!

-Protector of the People: Add the mythic simple template to the golem protector and ties it closely to the mission of protecting the people. Upon completion, the cost reduction benefit applies to any construct crafted and you gain a tier-based bonus. Nice boost!

-Purging Emesis: Purge of poisons as a standard actions and affect all types of poisons. Also reduces the negative condition incurred by saving down to sickened. Also nets the feat a cooldown, including the requirement for food, via mythic power. Finally, the full-round action use can let you create a cone of slippery area. While the base feat does not note the effects of standard slippery terrain, it would have been nice to see them, but that is just me being ultra-picky and will not influence the verdict.

-Putrid Summons: Increases stench-DC of the called creatures and the power of the effect. For mythic power, you ay use the spell’s normal list of creatures.

-Sacrificial Adept: Also add +1 DC, +2 Cl or a metamagic feat with a level-increase of 1 or less to the spell. Via mythic power expenditure, you can add all 3 options at once. Also increases daily uses to the highest of mental attribute modifiers. Really cool! Two thumbs up!

-Sacrificial Ritual: Bonus increases by ½ tier and for every 3 tiers, chose a trained skill of the creature, granting yourself and all secondary casters an additional +3 to complete it. When sacrificing a lot of creatures and using mythic power, you and all ritual casters can ignore backlash, explaining why evil cults go overboard. Two thumbs up!

-Shatter Control: Eliminates range caveat for shattering control over undead and increases save DC…and the control loss is permanent. Use mythic power to make the ability work with any attack, not just full-round attacks. Also manages to get the complex behavior repercussions for undead right. Kudos!

-Skin Suit: Only slashing, piercing, fire or acid damage potentially wreck the suit and destruction of the suit makes you only take ½ damage. Also: Skin Suit doesn’t dissolve on sundown. Using mythic power nets a new skin suit and, as a swift action when expending mythic power, you can deliver energy drain or ability damage with undead special attacks without destroying the skin. Neat!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no glitches. Layout adheres to Legendary Games' two column full-color standard and it features the artwork on the cover; that's it - the one page content is solely devoted to crunch. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Alex Riggs is back up to his game here – I noticed no hiccups, have no balance-concerns and the execution is precise, often rather creative. My final verdict will be 5 stars!

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mythic Minis 103: Horror Feats P-S
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