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Legendary IV: Legendary Shields $4.00
Average Rating:4.3 / 5
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Legendary IV: Legendary Shields
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Legendary IV: Legendary Shields
Publisher: Purple Duck Games
by Dark M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/20/2011 17:39:10
Legendary IV: Legendary Shields by Purple Duck Games

This product is 35 pages long. It starts with a cover, ToC, and credits. (2 pages)

Legendary Shields (30 pages)
These are magical shields that level with the PC, as in as the PC gets higher level they can access more and more of the shields power. Meaning you can give them away at low levels and the PC's will likely keep them for their career. They all have 10 levels worth of powers which are spread out over 20 levels. Each shield has a full item stat block, full description of all it's powers, creature stats if it summons something and a full well done histories. The shields in the book are as follows.
Black Raven
Blood Moon
Cockatrice Heart
Crusader’s Shield
Flame’s Death
Ganis’briel
Gauntlet
Golden Griffon
Grinning Skull
Nanroc
Scorpion Sting
Sovereign’s Shield
Trickster’s Shield
Wolf’s Howl

The shields are all very well done, they are often inventive and they make use of the new Rite Publishing book 101 armor and shield properties to help make these stand out even more. All the rules needed are copied into this book but if you like the properties you should check out their inspiration source.

It ends with a OGL, thanks, and contact info. (3 pages)

Closing thoughts. The artwork is black and white, there is a image for each shield as well as some additional images. The art work is good. Editing and layout was pretty good, there was a few minor editing errors here and there. I am a big fan of scaling magic items that make magic items more special, things PC's don't change and upgrade every couple of levels. But become items that help define them. Purple Duck Games has given us that with weapons and items already, now they give us shields. My only real compliant about this product is the lack of variety in the power. They are all 1-10 power level shields that range from 1-20 character levels. I would have liked to have seen a few 1-5 power level shields as well to add some variety. They would have scaled only 10 levels and could have been further tweaked to cover levels 1-10, 5-15 and 10-20 etc. A minor complaint but one I hope in future legendary products they do start to address some. So what's my rating? I am giving this one a 4 star review. It is good but could have used another editing pass, fix the editing and I would raise it to a 4.5 star review.

Trust me, I'm a Succubus.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Legendary IV: Legendary Shields
Publisher: Purple Duck Games
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/17/2011 07:35:53
This pdf is 35 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1/2 a page editorial/ToC, 3 pages SRD, leaving 30 1/2 pages of content, so let's check out those scaling shields!

Legendary items are a concept I generally like - the scaling items, which combat commoditization of magical equipment and offer a way for players to get attached to and rewarded for using signature weapons et al., are in my humble opinion one of the best approaches to magic items. The first 3 installments of the "Legendary..."-series have provided us with ample weapons and even with several neat miscellaneous items and while they all had their merits and come at very fair prices, they also had their minor points of criticism. So, how does Marc Radle's take on shields hold up?

On the narrative side, the shields come with several interesting, yet easy to insert background stories and most of them feature some interesting twist. From the shield of good rulers (Sovereign's Shield) which I somehow expected, over lycanthrope's shields to druid's shields that let you call Roc-like ravens at 20th level, shields that are rather geared towards paladins/cavaliers and even a shield for magi. Which is nothing new per se, but the series enjoys a definite improvement over its predecessors - the abilities tend to go beyond just adding standard qualities/ X times per day spellcasting/bonus feats, instead providing almost always at least one signature ability that is unique - especially the capstone abilities released at 20th level are often both ingenious and innovative.

It should also be noted that some of Rite Publishing's stellar "101 Magical Shield and Armor Qualities" have found their way into the creation of these magic items, providing some neat qualities that go beyond the rank and file of magic item qualities. While all necessary pieces of rules-information are provided herein, I nevertheless urge you to check out the RiP-file as well - if only for inspiration. Rules-information is a nice cue, as the pdf provides reprints of the respective spells the shields enable you to cast, making the items comfortable to hand out to your PCs and the pdf easy to use. Where applicable, statblocks (e.g. for afore-mentioned giant raven) are provided as well. all in all, we get 14 nifty magical shields, all of which might find their niche in my campaign.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are ok, but there are some glitches here and there: E.g. that the Sovereign's Shield's reprint of a spell features the text of Protection from Chaos, but the header of Protection from good. There also are some minor punctuation glitches and I noticed some wordings that could have been more precise. Layout adheres to the clean and concise 2-column standard and the b/w-artworks for the shields (also provided by author Marc Radle) are awesome and not something I would have expected at this low and fair price point. The pdf comes with bookmarks. The shields per se are nice additions to a given campaign and offer several iconic abilities that will enrich your game, both via their fluff and crunch. However, the minor editing glitches keep this pdf from being a truly stellar offering - as presented, it still remains a fair, cool purchase that is just short of being a 5-star-file. My final verdict will be 4.5 stars, rounded down to 4 for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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