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NeoExodus: A House Divided Campaign Setting (PFRPG) $11.99 $9.99
Average Rating:4.6 / 5
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NeoExodus: A House Divided Campaign Setting (PFRPG)
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NeoExodus: A House Divided Campaign Setting (PFRPG)
Publisher: LPJ Design
by Michael H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/04/2013 12:30:11
This is high fantasy in the grandest sense of the term and it will not disappoint your gaming table. The world of Neo Exodus is filled with unique and creative races, interesting spells and a number of feats that have been under the yoke of house rules worldwide for years (I found no less than four.)

What really strikes home is the feeling of authenticity behind the world of Neo Exodus itself. The history of the setting could be a study in sociopolitics and it grounds the truly amazing elements of the world into a reasonable context; in other words, there is no feeling that something has been integrated at random or without a strong rationale.

If you want something fiercely original look no further. Inside are a plethora of new races, feats, spells, magic items and creatures that satisfy curiosity while leaving just the right sense of estranged wonder. This was ten dollars well spent.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
NeoExodus: A House Divided Campaign Setting (PFRPG)
Publisher: LPJ Design
by Nathan C. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/01/2012 12:45:38
LPJDesign does not do anything by the books. When they set out to design a campaign world it is always something you have never seen before. Do not be mistaken, it is always fantasy. But the take is some mad man’s vision of fantasy. Whether it be a planet that has evolved in eternal darkness or a world where its adventurers take the skies, LPJDesign take the ideas of fantasy and turns them on top of their head. In NeoExodus: A House Divided Campaign Setting, the publishing house takes us back to one of their earlier settings, this time was a hundred more pages of detail and expansive new purpose.

NeoExodus started a few years ago as a 3.5 campaign setting, but did not have the detailed needed to sustain it for a long running campaign. In this revised Pathfinder edition, we finally get the detail needed to sustain the campaign for years to come.

With a detailed and richer history to begin the 190 page PDF, Neoexodus starts off on a great foot. The writing is immersive and draws you into the myths of the world. Neoexodus is a world that was once dominated by a vicious assortment of beings called the First Ones. They eventually disappeared from the world, but their reappearances sparks this new age of heroes. In the mean time, a volatile assortment of countries set the background for the politics of the world.

Among the many changes to the world is an introduction to a fantasy plane where magic is as common as a sneeze. Nine races set the tone for the world. There are plant people, magical golems, talking rats, tentacle monsters, felines and 4 other races that stretches your beliefs on what fantasy really means. These races interact like the lands claiming to be king in Game of Thrones. The writing on the politics of this world is very good and allows a DM to pick where he wants to begin a campaign. A mystery or political campaign is actually really viable in this world.

Equally as well written are the assortment of new feats, classes and spells, all of them centered around a world where magic is powerful, so the more uncommon the magic, the better results of catching your opponent off guard.

For the Player
LPJDesign does balance well. They hire very competent mechanical engineers to insure that you can take any of the material of their campaigns and use it in a normal campaign and it works just as find, so long as you can explain why you’re playing master splinter in Golorian you won’t have any problems transferring any of this information into your normal game world. IF you have this option, sneak in the Barbarian archetype: Fist of the Dragon. It’s an amazing version of the barbarian that gets its powers from one of the various dragons you choose.

For the Dungeon Master
The First Ones are some of the best written villains if you like dark fantasy. They are very dark, and border on that line between suitable and decrepit. I used them in my following campaign even after I finished my first NeoExodus campaign.

The Iron Word
This is a campaign setting for a group of players that just want a different type of fantasy. Neoexodus features strong elements of high-end magic and psionics and a touch of steampunk. This feels like what aliens play when they play Dungeons and Dragons.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
NeoExodus: A House Divided Campaign Setting (PFRPG)
Publisher: LPJ Design
by Alexander O. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 02/10/2012 20:20:58
You should pick up NeoExodus. It should matter to me that it's written for Pathfinder -- a game system I don't follow. But in the modern RPG era of D&D retroclones, neoclones, alterclones and the multiplicity of game systems that evolved from the D20 explosion, it shouldn't really matter. It's a setting that is both packed with history and detail in almost every corner of its universe, but has been constructed to allow minor additions and major game changers to its setting.

Quite possibly the first thing that should be read is not the history, but Page 24: Unique Elements of NeoExodus. It gives the broadstrokes approach that was taken for the creation of the setting, and it feels like they kept referring to it as they lovingly created every bit of it. Here they are in condensed form:

NeoExodus is...

... a world full of magic.
... a world built on epic adventures, heroic quests, and valiant expeditions into the unknown.
... is a setting of unique empires and nations with their own sovereign rights, powers, and issues.
... is a world that is rarely a peace for long.
... mixes traditional fantasy, horror, magic, modern politics, and science fiction.
... is full of all new unique races.
... is a world built on conspiracies, deception, and intrigue.

Everything has a place in NeoExodus.

In terms of production values, I compare it favorably to the Forgotten Realms 3E setting book and the Forgotten Realms supplement Lord of Darkness combined, but infused with the subversive fantasy settings like Talislanta, the over-the-top high magic terror of Arduin, the epic feel of the early Exalted line, and the anything-can-show-up vibe of Rifts.

The art is fantastic and yet labors to give a real sense of an alternative fantasy world without straying too much from what you look for in the genre. The stat blocks and data tables for character classes, races, nations, and other information necessary for making this setting your own are nicely laid out and are very readable.

This isn't something you skim over. This is a book you read from cover to cover -- though I obviously have opinions as to the best sequence to read the chapters -- to identify the things you want to emphasize, and craft your campaign around those elements, leaving the rest of extraneous campaign flavor.

I want to go on longer about specific races that I find cool, about the nations that really speak to me in terms of campaign potential, about historical elements that would have a wealth of plot devices to kick off any number of adventures -- but I think I'd go on too long.

This is one of my favorite type of kitchen sink settings (a term I tend to in my blog -- armchairgamer.blogspot.com -- to refer to settings that have been crafted to allow almost any type of element into it from its genre, or even from other genres). It is a kitchen sink setting that can manage to retain its own identity when other non-native elements are shoved in; any number of rationales -- from the Gates to the high magic running through the setting -- can be brought to bear.

And even if the setting isn't for you, you can mine it for monsters, races, and campaign ideas for years.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
NeoExodus: A House Divided Campaign Setting (PFRPG)
Publisher: LPJ Design
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/30/2012 09:25:07
This pdf is 166 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 4 pages ToC, 1 page SRD, 2 pages char-sheet, 2 pages mini-monster-sheets, 1 page condition tracker, 1 page combat & initiative tracker, 1 character advancement tracker, 4 pages of advertisements, leaving 148 pages of content, so let's check it out!

The NeoExodus campaign setting has been in the making for quite a long time and I've reviewed a lot of smaller pdfs related to the setting - from the Races-supplement to monsters and NPC-books as well as secret societies. If you don't know about the setting, I#ll try to rehash the basics for you: NeoExodus shares one distinct characteristic with many other fantasy settings - once, it was under the control of strange creatures that have been driven from the surface. These beings are collectively known as the First Ones and are by far no unified force or race, but rather enigmatic beings, races and creatures still plotting and scheming. They were defeated by their former slaves with the help of the Kaga, essentially a sentient conglomerate of thoughts of the most powerful arcanists/psionicists of the world that has become a kind of godlike sentient extranet - think sentient internet with an agenda for human dominion. (this, btw., can be considered one of the two dominant religions, with the other being a blood-magic using hardliner version of the Catholic Church that worships a kind of anima universalis in the blood of the Sanguine Lord, which constitutes the life-force of all that exists.
Ever since the First Ones have been driven underground, the lands have seen strife between large empires that have gone through the fantasy equivalent of massive wars bordering on World Wars and have only recently settled into a unified truce. Tensions still rise high, both from sources without and within and in this age of empires, conflicts might prove disastrous. Add to that the new races (more on them later) and we have a campaign setting that is very different from e.g. Golarion or similar straight medieval fantasy settings.

And this is only the beginning - in contrast to Obsidian Twilight, we get a more than aptly written, concise and cool history of the world of NeoExodus, its trials and tribulations and thus paints an imaginative, cool backdrop against which the crunch is set. It is only fitting that the first thing we'll read after the history of the world would be a list of unique elements that distinguish NeoExodus from other campaign settings and help you portray the differences in mood, themes and approaches. Major threats to the stability of NeoExodus, global threats so-to-speak, are mentioned and after that, we'll get into the write-ups of the different respective nations, which all come with basic information on settlements, forms of government, laws, population, currency etc. and even coats of arms. Fluff-only write-ups for the movers and shakers of the nations are provided alongside new hazards, detailed elaborations on how the land operates etc. - the complete opposite from the sketchy approach in OT and quite simply, an inspiring lecture that really made me want to set campaigns in these locations - the potential for global and local internal and external political strife serves to capture a rather enticing, cool setting that includes avenues for adventures galore, especially ones that go beyond standard crawling modules (though these might get a very different touch in NeoExodus...).

In the third chapter, the unique races of NeoExodus are portrayed - from the hive-mind-possessing, ratlike cavians, the crystalline cyneans, the mobile plants called Dalreans, the beast-like, mutating Enuka, the language-centered Prymidians, the cat-like P'Tan (as seen on the cover) and the secret-mongering Scorpion-people called Sassori, the races are unique indeed. The roster of races has a new-comer as well, the Kalisan. Seeing that I went into details in my review of "Races of NeoExodus", I'll only sum up the Kallisan here and some details. Kalisans are the civilized brothers of Calibans and get +2 Str, +2 Dex, -2 Int, proficiency with great-axes and falchions, the endurance feat and ferocity. If you own the Caliban-pdf, they can also take the iconic, yet disturbing Caliban racial traits and feats. It should also be noted that gevets (NeoExodus Tieflings) have their own entry - they get +2 Dex, +2 Int, -2 Wis, darkvision, outsider-blood, fire resistance 5 and males get +1d6 sneak attack damage while females get +1 caster level when casting healing spells. Generally, I liked the races and some abilities are downright awesome - Cavians for example can choose a racial trait that enables them to implant a kind of seed that makes it possible to spy on victims of their bite - neato!

Heroes of NeoExodus, chapter 4, focuses on the deities and new character options contained herein - we get a new archetype for the alchemist, the apothecary - this character is focused on creating healing salves, the Fits of the Dragon for the Barbarian, the Cleric of Kaga, the Peacekeeper fighter and the Jannissary Monk. New languages are also covered and no new setting would be complete without PrCs. NeoExodus is no exception and provides the following:

-High Guard: Personal guard of the Emperor of Caneus, 5 levels, d10, 4+ Int skills, good BAB, good fort and will - elite bodyguard class
-Imperial Man-at-arms: 5 levels, d10, 4+ Int skills, good BAB, good fort-save: Non-magical tougher-than-nails elite soldiers.
-Khalid Asad: Eternal Lions, anti-spellcaster elite assassins of the Donion. 5 levels, d8, 4+ Int skills, moderate BAB, good ref and will-saves, 2 sneak attack progressions.
-Panther Warriors: Feline-affine wild-shaping elite of the Reis Confederacy. 5 levels, d10, 2+Int skills per level, full BAB, good fort and will-saves. Pouncing death at the cost of spell progression.
-Protectorate Artillerist: 5 levels, d8, 6+Int skills, medium BAB, good fort-and will-saves. Very cool PrC that is extremely deadly against constructs and can call down artillery fire when near a battery. Awesome idea - whip out the big guns without being over-powered.
-Wyrdcaster: Spellcasting elite of the Dominion, d6, 2+ Int skills per level, 10 levels, apart from the first full arcane spell progression, bad bab, moderate fort and will saves. Learns kind of super-meta-magic via talents that is called wyrd and comes at a price.

That's it with the new PrCs. While they by no means felt weak, I didn't have any balance concerns with the PrCs and actually enjoyed their flavor and the fact that they are truly PRESTIGE classes - these specializations have to be EARNED. Two thumbs up!

Chapter 5 is the crunchy heart of the book for which the players have been clamoring - we get over 80 new feats and thus I'll refrain from commenting on each and every one of them. A lot of the feats center on modifying/improving racial abilities or adding area-specific fighting styles. While not all feats are made of awesomeness, I see the usability of most of them and didn't have any substantial gripes with them. The new spell-section includes a new subtype, spells that are corrupt and belong to the providence of the tainted First Ones - in the spell-list, some religions/factions are mentioned, thus making the respective spells rather rare and adding to the uniqueness of the factions by providing signature spells. The section comes with spell-lists for bards, druids, clerics, sorc/wizs and witches, but no new tools for alchemists, summoners or magi. It is unfortunately in this section where I noticed some major formatting glitches - the spell "Bitter Ashes" says "If the save succeedsfail, the target takes 3d6 15 points of negative energy damage per caster level, ."[sic!]
This is especially a pity due to this spell being one that felt overpowered in the beta-test version of the setting. Unfortunately, the amount of typos in the spell-section exceeds what I'd consider an amount to let slip: "Army and[sic!] swarms" and minor plural/singular glitches abound. Additionally, as much as I'm loathe to say it, while I do consider several of the spells cool, there are examples that are quite simply off with regards to balance, out-classing spells of similar levels by quite a bit. DMs should tread carefully with regards to them. Note that insta-death effects do not abound as much as they did in OT and there are enough intriguing spells herein to still make the chapter interesting, it's not as good as it could have easily been with another pass at editing and some additional scrutiny with regards to balance.

Of course, we also get a selection of new weapons, armor, magic and mundane, alchemical substances and similar pieces you'd expect from a book like this. MY favorite part of this section would be the new class of books, which comes with detailed information on the book, lore-DCs, spells, bonuses for referencing it, etc. - I hope to see more of these books in future publications.

Some creatures unique to the NeoExodus setting are presented as well: The Arcanebloat-template (CR +1) has creatures suffused with unstable magical energies and are, as the aspic creatures, created by the First Ones. We also get stats for Calibans, their hounds, crystalline cats, humanoids of draconic descent, mischievous, flame-dancing fey, stats for protectorate golems, mobile cannons, melted flesh oozes, the dread quickslavers, thermic vampires and many more.

The pdf closes by providing all the stat and form-sheets you might need, as I mentioned in the beginning of this review.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are mostly good - the section of spells being the unfortunate exception in a book that, in spite of its length feels like care was taken to make it feel professional. Layout, as I've coe to expect from LPJr Design, is BEAUTIFUL. The two-column style with the borders, in full color, highlighted by the GLORIOUS pieces of artwork is quite an eye-catcher and some of the portraits of rulers herein are on par with Paizo's best mug-shots. Kudos where kudos are due! The pdf is also EXTENSIVELY bookmarked - each spell, each section, each talent is bookmarked, making using the file rather easy. Seeing the length and full-color standard, the size of ~100 Mb is not that much. All right, let's get on with it: I think on the general the guys at LPJr Design have improved their editing over the course of 2011 and it really shows in this book. On the other hand, there still are some of the old glitches herein that could be caught with a bit more care. I have to be honest, I expected quite some recycling in this campaign setting, as several pdfs for NeoExodus have been released - I was quite positively surprised that both the races have been expanded and the fluff does not stop at the general history with which you might be familiar due to the "World of NeoExodus" free pdf.

Content-wise, I can't complain and indeed, the world of NeoExodus feels organic and makes sense - there are a lot of details and ideas herein that go far beyond the staple of fantasy to create a setting and options that feel fantastic again in an age where no-one is awed by yet another mystic elven nation in the woods. To cut a long ramble short - I really, really like the fresh ideas that are an integral part of NeoExodus and I'm all in favor of the diversity the world and its nations and unique focus lend towards gaming of a different style. However, rules-wise, the crunch can't always hold up to the fluff - while general balance problems are few and far between, several of the races feel rather geared towards specific classes. While the same could be said about some core-races, personally I'd prefer more broad approaches towards race-creation. My other minor point of criticism is another personal one - I would have loved to see the psionic variant of the Cavian race included as well, as I'm a big fan of psionics and enjoy NeoExodus embracing the powers of the mind. So, how do you rate a setting that features such iconic nations, a secret police focused on controlling psionics, sentient spells and a mostly benevolent blood magic religion? A setting that includes the coolest group of villains I've seen in quite a while with the Folding Circle? Were I to rate the ideas only, the uniqueness and the general guts it takes to release a setting so radically different from all other established settings I've read, I'd go for 5 stars.

On the other hand, though, the accumulation of editing glitches and minor balance concerns as well as the blatant class-focus of the races would usually make me settle on something along the line of 3 stars. In the end, both verdicts would not be justified - if you're in not only for the crunch, but mainly for the ideas and fluff, you should check this out. If you e.g. liked "The Folding Circle" or the "Annihilation Sphere", give this one a try. If you want rock-solid rules, you might want to read this book very closely and scrutinize some of its content, though. My final verdict, in spite of said minor blemishes, will thus be 4 stars, which is a bit of a pity, since it could easily have been 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
NeoExodus: A House Divided Campaign Setting (PFRPG)
Publisher: LPJ Design
by David B. S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/15/2012 01:13:23
First of all, I must say that, while reading through the first 24 pages of this product, I am impressed by the obvious amount of effort that went into deveoping the campaign. I have heard comparisons of NE to Rifts, but I must say that instead, I am reminded of the rebellious, no-holds barred feeling that I got when I was first exposed to the Talislanta rpg, ages ago. These guys have obviously jumped in with both feet!

NE is a rich setting, that attempts to meld many different rpg elements together, in one bowl. With the first 25 pages devoted to history and background, the stage is set for the reader's journey into the NE realm. It is a bit much to digest in one sitting, and personally, I never really utilize campaign history, but- the NE history explains the reasons that the world is the way it is- and that's important!

Next, the various nations are detailed. Plenty of info is give about the various cities, personalities and dangers of each region. I especially can appreciate the Character Options, Environmental Dangers and Plot Hooks that are given for the GM to use. There is alot of neat stuff to chew on and digest here, folks!

Chapter 3 provides a multitude of races to use in the campaign. From hive-minded rat-men, to regenerating plant-men, there's some new twists put on races who seem somewhat familiar- but not. One thing to note (I am sure I am dating myself here)- not every race has the same number or type of abilities. It appears to me that the races have abilities that make sense, from a campaign point-of-view; abilities and nuances aren't held in check just to make each race "balanced". This is something that I think, recent rpg's seem to get hung up on. (Say no to level adjustment!) The P'Tan are my favorite!

And I must say that the folks at LPD added a nice contingency that allows them to introduce as many new races as they want- and have it make sense! (No gnomes allowed!)

Included next is a too-quick summary of the gods of NE and their respective domains. I wanted even more detail about each god and even artwork showing the gods, or even their icons. But perhaps that will be in another supplement. And any GM worth his or her salt can easily fill in any blanks here. Other highlights include 6 presitge classes that are well-suited to the campaign.

A chapter of Feats that are flavorful, but not surprising. I think we have pretty much seen everything that can be done with feats. Mechanically they are redundant, its the feat fluff that makes them seem different.

Next, we are introduced to some inspired new spells, weapons and other equipment, including Tomes- a nice role playing mechanic that gives players something else to look foreward to, besides offensive items.

Wrapping up, a nice selection of creatures is provided to terrorize players. There are some nice new surprises included, along with twists to somewhat familiar enemies.

As far as "readability" this product stands head and shoulders above other LPD products I have read: The layout is logical, the artwork is wonderful, expressive and imagative, and the pdf is stuffed full of useful info. A big improvement has been made from previous books, and I am grateful for that (i.e. no unreadable fonts).

And, Mr. Porter, JR- if you are reading this review, please consider adding one more page to your future campaign products and add an index! The Table of Contents is nothing to sneeze at, but c'mon! With a product that's as ambitious and as detailed as this one, an index would be great.

Overall an inspired product that I would recommend as a new campaign or (as I plan to do) an add-on to an existing campaign. The rpg community needs fresh ideas and concepts, which push the bounds of the "norm". And this pdf does just that. A solid effort.


Note- As a reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThru RPG, I received this product for reviewing purposes from the publisher.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
NeoExodus: A House Divided Campaign Setting (PFRPG)
Publisher: LPJ Design
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/31/2011 22:12:46
NeoExodus is a fascinating and radical departure from the standard quasi-medieval fantasy setting. If you want a different sort of campaign world, this will fulfil that need. Equally, it is a great resource if you want to add some exotic and unexpected material to your campaign world.

NeoExodus: A House Divided Campaign Setting is a 166-page PDF (159-pages if you remove the cover, credits, OGL page and ads) designed by Jean-Philipe ‘JP’ Chapleau with Louis Porter, Jr and published by Louis Porter Jr Design. This is core setting book for the NeoExodus line.

The layout is a standard page in two columns with the strange NeoExodus font used as section headers. The cover is full color as is much of the interior art. It has no index but a comprehensive table of contents and is extensively book-marked.

It begins with 15-pages of history of the world which sets the grand backdrop for the setting. It then moves into describing the world itself, emphasizing the features that set NeoExodus apart from the mainstream of fantasy settings, such things as: magic is common and widely used and that the world is full of new unique races (more on them later). This section hits the pieces of NeoExodus that are inspiring for adventure and campaign, the transit network, nefarious organizations, places, unique hazards and plot hooks.

Next it moves into the mechanics, starting with the races unique to the NeoExodus setting and unique they are including: the rat-like Cavians who share a psionic hivemind, the crystal skinned-Cynean scholars, the humanoid plant Dalreans, and many more, providing a major contrast to the ‘traditional’ fantasy RPG races. Nine new races in all along with information on the various nationalities of humans provide a wealth of interesting play opportunities. But because some of the races are so far outside the norm, a Games Masters should familiarize themselves with the unusual traits of the races before allowing them in play.

The following chapter is Heroes of NeoExodus which covers the details needed for character creation, starting with the religions of the world. This is followed by class options and archetypes for the campaign. Languages of the world are noted. Then there are six Prestige Classes, four of which are extremely combat focused, but all are tied into the setting and help to flesh out how the world functions.

Feats and Magic comes next with a wealth of both. However, many of the feats are tied directly to the various races of NeoExodus making them less immediately useful for other settings but several interesting ideas there all the same. The spells include a new subtype, First Ones, that calls upon the inner darkness of the caster making them powerful but potentially corrupting to use. The Necromantic spells are especially interesting (and often creepy) though the power level on a few of the spells seems off, they are quite useful both as written and as inspiration (but again, a GM’s will want to review these spells before allowing them). This section concludes with new armor, weapons and equipment, alchemical items and poisons, magical items and books and tomes (which have a very clever mechanic associated with them).

The last section is Terrors of NeoExodus, an introduction to the monster and dangers of the world including a variety of templates. Some of them are quite intriguing including a set of battle golems fielded by the powers of the world.

Lastly there are a set of useful forms including NeoExodus framed character sheets, combat trackers and more.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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