As a fan of Planet of the Apes, Gorilla Grodd, and Grommam, I've always like ape-men. The Apelord by One Bad Egg intrigued me as soon as I saw it on drivethrurpg. Since I'm currently running 4E and not playing, I put off purchasing it for a long time. One Bad Egg no longer exists but it's products are still available from Highmoon Games.
Races of the Shroud: Apelord describes a new race for players. It includes several new feats to enhance the Apelord. Additionally it provides some Apelord monsters for the DM to throw at players. Finally it closes with several adventure ideas to use the race.
The apelord race seems fairly balanced to me. It does have a climb movement that might give some DMs pause. The product was released early in the life of 4E. Due to this it follows the early standard for races. The race has two bonus stats, Strength and Dexterity, unlike the one stat bonus with a choice of between two others as is the current approach. If you wanted to update them, I'd probably allow Constitution or Dexterity as a bonus stat.
An unusual ability of the apelord is Arms Like Clubs. An unarmed apelord uses the statistics of a club for their unarmed attacks. This includes both the damage and the proficiency bonus. While useful, most PCs would probably not rely of that too much since you can't get magic bonuses and a melee combatant probably wants something better. One possible solution for players wanting to make use of this is to allow them to use Ki Focus implements like Monks. There is a feat to increase the damage die size by one which could make it attractive enough for a class with only simple weapons.
The racial power relies on the Arms Like Clubs feature. As a standard action the apelord can make two attacks provided he is bare-handed. This makes it problematic to make use of the power as most characters will be holding something in their hands. Like most weapon powers, it doesn't increase the to-hit bonus. Unless your DM allows you to gain a magical enhancement it will become less effective over time.
Most of the feats enhance a feature of the race like Tall-Tree Tumbler which allows fall damage by 20 feet instead of 10 feet. The paragon tier feat is a power swap feat which have fallen out of favor in feat design. Using the power requires the character to be above the opponent. If a character can consistently use the power the 2[W] plus 3d10 bonus damage may make it a little unbalanced.
While the race can be easily used in other campaigns, the history for the race is based on the Shroud. What is the Shroud? One Bad Egg has prepared a pdf to provide a short explanation. In the frozen north, a huge chasm opens. From it's depths comes a warm mist that melts the ice. Everything is shrouded by the mist and fog. The sudden climate change wreaks the ecosystem. The strange mist alters some animals like the savage apes into the apelords. Concealed an undead force steps out of the chasm. The setting sounds very intriguing to me but it was designed as a seed for your games. One Bad Egg never intended to full fleshed out the setting.
Given the age of the product the monsters are the most problematic pieces to use of the supplement. They conform to the original monster creation rules. While they seem interesting and well done, you will probably want to adjust their damage. All the monsters are heroic tier and apelords (or at least were apelords). The early description of the apelords way of life and their conflict with necromancers gives plenty of hints about how to use the monsters. Many of the adventure ideas include moral dilemmas instead of simple good versus evil.
Overall I enjoyed the product and I'm tempted to collect the other Shroud material to build a more complete image of the setting.
[5 of 5 Stars!]