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Scions of Evil $13.99
Publisher: Raging Swan Press
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/01/2012 05:40:26
This pdf is 201 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 3 pages of editorial/author bios, 2 pages of ToC/foreword, 3 pages of statblocks by CR, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving 189 pages of content, so what exactly do we get here?

Raging Swan Press has released a whole bunch of great adversary-pdfs and this pdf collects them for a total of 135 statblocks, for the first time in print. Let that sink in. Better yet, almost all of them get the "Raging Swan NPC"-treatment, i.e. they come with hooks, mannerisms, distinguishing features etc.

The pdf kicks off with the general minions collected from the pdfs, including gargoyle scouts and ghast hordelings and even unique creatures like an invisible stalker rogue, a quasit rogue or a master spy.

The very first villain presented makes already one thing clear to astute readers - this pdf not only collects the individual pdfs - it also includes new content, for the first foe is called "A Memory of Allwinter" and is essentially a demi-lich remnant of a prehistoric age - with the ice-age wiping out this ancient people and its gods, the souls bereft of an afterlife coalesced into this new form. Now if that is not a cool and original take on the demi-lich, I don't know what is. And he's not the only one: There's for example a vampire balor fighter with a cadre of graveknight antipaladin mariliths... The quality of the new NPCs herein is beyond reproach.

So, what about the components pdfs? I'll give you the run-down of the individual reviews I've done for them:
Villains I: 4 stars
Villains II: 5 stars + Seal of Approval
Villains III: 4.5 stars
Thanegar's Horde: 4.5 stars (A disillusioned goblinoid horde)
Kai's Scoundrels: 4 stars (A team of smugglers with internal struggles)
Fellowship of the Blackened Oak: 4.5 stars (Evil/neutral nature-themed adventurers serving a dragon)
Brethren of the Crimson Altar: 5 stars + Seal of Approval (A cabal of vampires)
Bandits of the Rampant Horror: 5 stars + Seal of Approval (Twist on the Camelot myth - Spriggan knights, baby!)
Antipaladins: 5 stars

It should be noted that web-enhancements like smuggling tactics for Kai's Scoundrels as well as gear and the like have been included in this collection and that the new content is AWESOME.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are top-notch - I noticed no glitches that jumped to my immediate attention - quite a feat at this length. Layout adheres to a 2-column b/w-standard and some new pieces of b/w-artworks are mixed with the ones you may already know from the individual pdfs. The compilation comes with extensive, nested bookmarks and a screen version as well as one optimized for being printed. Take a look at those ratings.

Then let me assure you that the new pieces of content, were they collected in a single pdf, would probably score 5 stars and perhaps even the seal of approval. Then, take a good look at the price. 14 bucks. For almost 200 pages of expertly done villains and characters, for 135 statblocks. That's probably a bang-to-buck ratio that will be hard to beat indeed. While no collated statblock-pdf for the Raging Swan statblock library is provided, at this ratio, I'm not going to complain about it. If you've been on the fence about the pdfs, get this. If you want dead tree, get this. And if you just want to see the new creatures, I'd also recommend this. If you already own all component pdfs, though, you have to weigh whether the 20 new villains and the new minions herein as well as having them all collected in one massive book/pdf will be worth it. On its own merit, this compilation can be considered a dark gem that will have many a GM out there cackle with glee. Since the new villains often deliver rather complex statblocks and cool ideas, I'll settle for a final verdict of 5 stars + Endzeitgeist seal of approval. If you haven't checked out what Raging Swan as to offer, get this selection of vileness!

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Scions of Evil
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