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Adversaries: Voidborn
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/19/2019 05:57:03

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This Galaxy Pirates supplement comes as two pdfs – one made for Pathfinder, and one for Starfinder. Both pdfs clock in at 4 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 2 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

The voidborn fast zombie presented for PFRPG clocks in at CR ½ and is a take on the infectious fast zombie. Slightly odd – while the type is undead, the statblock still reiterates basically a ton of the undead traits and calls them voidborn traits. This would usually not be an issue, but here, as they’re non-intelligent, the voidborn would usually fall under the undead clause of no natural healing, something that is not explicitly stated by the voidborn traits, which makes me think that they may be intended to heal. The CMD is unfortunately off, and the second attack routine looks like their slam attack may be intended as a secondary natural attack.

The voidborn also features some lore DCs, which is generally something I like – but “Medium Undead Knowledge check DCs” is not standard – first of all, this is a good place to note that the pdf italicizes stuff like “Knowledge” that shouldn’t be italicized. Secondly, PFRPG usually handles knowledge pertaining undead via Knowledge (religion). It’d have been nice to see variants of the virus codified as scaling hazards, but that may be me.

As unfortunate as aforementioned hiccups are, the pdf does have something to offer that really stoked the fires of my imagination: A lore section. The pdf discusses how the voidborn are the result of a nanotech virus designed to wipe out life in the Milky Way, and when the pdf talks about how the virus was seeded by sublight probes, how it feels to be infected, the behavior patterns of voidborn, their campaign role and how their predation works, I couldn’t help but smile. As underwhelming as the statblock was, as much did I enjoy this page of well-written and fun lore.

Now, for SFRPG, the voidborn also clocks in at CR ½, but uses the EAC and KAC values of a CR 1 creature from the combatant array. Instead of +2 to Ref-saves, we have +2 to Will, which is odd – as per the undead graft, the critter should have +2 in all saves. Similarly, the undead/unliving traits are nowhere to be found here, instead sporting the voidborn trait. The attack values provided are correct, but the damage values lack the modification bestowed by Strength. Furthermore, the line looks like the creature gets a secondary melee attack at low attack bonus, which is uncommon in SFRPG at low levels, where multiple attacks are usually relegated to CR 6 and above. The ability DC for their fever is off, and we, alas, get no proper track, though the disease practically screams for a custom disease track progression.

The statblock should also specify that they’re mindless, which would usually influence their skills. Here, they seem to be using the CR 1/3 values instead. While them having a master skill (Intimidate) violates mindless’s paradigm, I can live with that, though it’s odd when you think about it, as Intimidate requires a conscious effort that the creature is clearly incapable of undertaking. The statblock, as a whole, does not operate as a SFRPG-statblock does, lacking “other abilities”, the proper formatting of a couple of components, etc.

The table is properly codified regarding the skill employed, which is a plus, though considering the flavor, Life Science or Medicine notes to treat the disease (in Starfinder, much more dangerous than in PFRPG!) would have been nice. As an aside – this being a virus, this practically screams for its own subtype graft.

The flavor, as before, is nice.

Conclusion: Editing and formatting on a formal level are good, though the deviations from the default values irks me. On a rules-language level, there are quite a few issues and deviations from the standard, and, alas, this pdf doesn’t have much beyond the statblocks to rate in that regard. Layout adheres to a printer-friendly two-column b/w-standard, with the SFRPG-version having a nice, starry border. The pdfs have no bookmarks, but need none at this length. The artwork featured rocks.

Paul Fields and Jim Milligan have written, as loathe as I’m to say it, two deeply flawed statblocks here, with the SFRPG one feeling like it’s a pre-Alien Archive one. Particularly in SFRPG, the options of the system have not been realized, and there are, unfortunately, quite a few glitches in this brief file. This is all the more unfortunate, as the lore section is inspiring, to say the least, and oozes flavor. Still, as a whole, I can’t rate this higher than 2 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Adversaries: Voidborn
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Personas: Folio 1
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/15/2019 11:29:16

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This first collection of NPCs clocks in at 35 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 32 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

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

So, the first thing you’ll notice when opening this collection of NPCs would be that we do not get just NPC/Alien Archive-ish entries – this book depicts fully fleshed out characters. The second thing you’ll note would be that the presentation of said characters deviates somewhat from what we’re accustomed to see in Starfinder.

Take Jad Vanta, the first example NPC: We have a small box that lists her as a level 1 CG themeless android envoy; below that, we have listings for KAC and EAC, speed, HP and SP, Resolve, BAB, initiative, ability scores (including ability score modifiers) and saves all in one box. Below this box, the melee and ranged sections are noted before we get a summary of special abilities, feats and then, a skill-table, which denotes class skills with a check mark, as well as the relevant bonuses in those skills. (Nut not ranks invested or the like); finally, below that, we have the equipment section, which differentiates between combat and non-combat gear. While this may, at first, look a bit uncommon – I won’t lie, it elicited the ole’ “That’s not how it’s formatted usually”-response, I quickly began to see the value in this. As this page also contains the full-color artwork of the respective character, we have a pretty simple and handy one-page pregen-sheet here.

Yep, that’d be the first important thing – the characters presented within this book do work as pregens. But beyond that, they also are presented as either villainous or heroic NPCs, i.e. as potential adversaries or allies for the PCs. Now, we all know how Starfinder treats PCs and NPCs differently, and this is represented in the statblocks to follow as well – each of the NPC-iterations presented within comes in 5 different iterations: One for CR 5, CR 8, CR 10, CR 14 and CR 20. These statblocks generally adhere to the presentation conventions of Starfinder, though they do go a tad bit further – they list, for example, the armor worn with all upgrades in the defense-section, which is generally something I welcome. They are, in a way, slightly more transparent than most Starfinder statblocks when it comes to how they were made. Indeed, this “go one step further” mentality is mirrored in the presentation of the NPCs and made me recall one of my favorite series from the PF1-days, namely “Faces of the Tarnished Souk.” How? Well, the NPCs doe come with a tactics section that notes how the NPCs will fight, when they’ll spend Resolve, and there even is an investigate behavior pattern noted.

Beyond that, each of the NPCs has something that made me smile, namely the conceit that these characters may have a bounty on their head – each of them comes with a one-page “Wanted”-style bounty poster, and notes appropriate credits for the bounties for the respective iterations. These “posters” are in so far immersive, as they note physical descriptions of potential crimes and even a “tap to accept”-button. It’s a small touch, but one that really put a smile on my face. This mentality also shows in the details. Let’s take Jad Vanta to exemplify one thing here, namely how consistent this booklet is regarding its details. You see, each NPC comes with a detailed background story, and Jad Vanta awoke to these words:

“Your name is Jad Vanta,” the message on the data pad read. “And I am sorry for what I leave behind.” (Italicized for the purpose of the review and to set apart the text.) Jad came to consciousness brutally damaged, and the previous personality of the body, Gaff Vanta, was indeed wanted for a whole array of terrible crimes. While the background story notes how Jad was cleared of the charges by her previous personality’s partner, Adele. However, the bounty hunter poster mentioned, this handout, is looking for GAFF, not Jad, noting the crimes of personality cloning and erasure of one Jad Vanta! Did a Jad Vanta previously exist? Is this a Jekyll & Hyde-ish story? It depends on how you read it! The guidance for NPC-use indeed mentions several such angles, though certainly not all of them! There are so many way to use this android, it’s pretty impressive – and all courtesy of the interaction between a handout and a clever, well-written story.

Speaking of which: “Carvad Station” as a hub of sorts features in the stories, which allows you potentially to contextualize the respective NPC – or, well, to integrate the material within into a similar station-like hub like Absalom.

This also provides means to potentially connect the characters to a shared baseline of experiences – and potentially, ideologies. Take the second character, Kass Florentine (NEVER “Kassandra” – always Kass!). The spacefarer mechanic – somewhat traumatized by the Carvad Station Massacre, a rather traumatic incident in the station’s history, she is per se a good-natured and kind person. On the other hand, in her villainous iteration, she may have a connection to aforementioned Adele Gunn, which paints a rather…interesting picture. In her antagonist iteration, one could call her an excellent saboteur and terrorist.

Hierarch Massat, the icon vesk mystic with the overlord connection, would be a good chance to note a peculiarity of the statblock formatting that I did not like in an otherwise rather impressively tight book: Italicizations for spells etc. are not really implemented in the concise manner that they should be. O the other hand, ability names that shouldn’t necessarily be italicized sometimes are; I don’t object to the choice of the latter, particularly when this enhances first-glance readability/text-scanning for viable information, but yeah – it’s something to bear in mind.

Claiming to be a chosen of the Visual God, he has a bit of an inquisitor to him – claiming to divulge secrets and unearthing hidden agendas, he actually delivers and thus, he could be considered to be a divinely inspired detective/snoop of sorts, crossed with the rare exception of being, well, a televangelist with integrity and honest belief. I know, a radical concept that pushed my sense of disbelief, but in the infinity of space, why not? Kidding aside, I like this concept very much, and I genuinely believe that running him as the evil celebrity preacher dude, while certainly efficient, is the more obvious and less interesting route here. The hierarach and the mechanic covered so far also exemplify one thing that I haven’t talked about before. Those tactics-break-downs I mentioned? For characters like them that become significantly more efficient and versatile over the levels, the respective statblocks all have their own tactics etc. sections. Kudos for, once more, going the extra mile!

Kiron Maas would be a xenoseeker operative of the ysoki race with the spy specialization, comes with a vocal modulator, and actually has connections to Kass, as well as to the previously mentioned Adele Gunn – the slowly unfolding tapestry of connections between these folks and their surprisingly well-crafted background sections makes the book a fun experience to read indeed. Now, I haven’t commented on that, but the integrity of the statblocks, at least in the instances where I checked them, is actually commendable, managing to squeeze character and interesting combinations out of SFRPG’s rather tightly-wound math, so yeah – kudos! Special abilities have been employed in a sensible unobtrusive way, and while I personally would have liked to see a couple of custom abilities for the higher level builds, considering the focus on pretty straight NPCs, the book does a pretty nice job of helping them stand apart from their brethren.

Not all components of the statblocks are perfect, but as a whole, this book does a pretty good job. One example of a minor snafu would be found with the final character herein, who would be Voque, a kasatha mercenary soldier with the blitz style: Initiative for the pregen is off by +1 – it should be +5 (+4 blitz, +1 Dex-mod), not +4. These are not dealbreakers, but yeah… That being said, the character, designated as a nihilist, is actually pretty interesting: Plagued by survivor’s guilt, she is a great example for a character who, for once, is a nihilist without being depicted as a straight up psychopath. Since this is a philosophical leaning very close to my heart, I considered this to be a rather refreshing authorial choice. The trauma and how compassionate it has been rendered here certainly makes Voque a character that I’d certainly contemplate playing.

So yeah, there you have it – a compelling roster of characters, with surprisingly deep stories – and a teaser that hints at future products, where more the station and the mysterious Adele Gunn will be revealed.

Conclusion: Editing can be considered to be very good on a formal level and a rules language level; for a small operation, it is quite impressive to see a book this refined, particularly one as crunch-intense as this. Formatting is a bit of a tricky question: If you can live with e.g. spells not being properly italicized and minor deviations, as well as the unique presentation style for the pregen-builds, then you could judge this as impressive; if you consider the latter, for example, to be a downside, then this aspect might put you off. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. Layout adheres to a two-column full-color standard, and we get high-quality full-color artworks for every NPC featured within; the inclusion of the “wanted”-poster-style bounty alerts are a big plus and really helped lighten up the crunchy book.

Author Jim Milligan and editor Paul Fields have delivered a rather impressive compilation of NPCs that deserve being called “characters” here; the builds themselves are well-executed as a whole (I certainly have seen plenty less interesting/refined ones), but for me, it was the little touches that made this stand apart. From the tactics to the bounty alerts, this pdf has all those neat flourishes that show that the team CARED. There is passion in these builds, and the stories and how they interact with the characters, the webs they weave, make them ultimately more than just a collection of numbers. This is all the more impressive, considering how they do not resort to easy differentiation methods. Now, this may not be a perfect supplement, but it is one that is worth getting if you’re looking for a cadre of unique and flavorful characters to add to your Starfinder game. My final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded up for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Personas: Folio 1
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Ships: Eldred Heavy Cruiser
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/15/2019 13:01:06

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This supplement for SFRPG clocks in at 7 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

The Eldred Heavy Cruiser is a tier 10 ship with a total of 268 BP; as a Huge cruiser, it has a speed 0f 6 with average maneuverability, powered by a Nova Ultra core and studded with a signal basic drift engine, this cruiser also sports mk 4 armor and defenses as well as a mk 3 mono computer. With medium shields (200, equally distributed), this fellow has quite an arsenal: Mass driver and heavy torpedo launcher in the front, heavy laser cannons at port and starboard, as well as heavy plasma torpedo launcher turrets. As far as expansion bays are concerned, we have cargo and shuttle bays, a medical bay and 2 escape pods. Crew modifiers (suitable for tier) are provided. The pdf also provides a list of Computers check DCs that compartmentalizes the information the PCs can glean. Nitpick: It’s Computers, not Computer. The heavy cruiser also provides notes on how this ship came to be.

See that kickass cover? The cover is provided as a full, logo-less one-page version that makes for a great hand-out, and the pdf contains a full page of paper-mini-style versions that sport this fantastic artwork. Additionally, the beautiful and efficient statblock for the ships of this series comes fully filled out – print it, hand it to players, done. Really cool! Even cooler: We do get an absolutely gorgeous full-color map of the ship – numbers designate the amount of beds that can be found per quarter, and the detailed and gorgeous maps (with very light grid) means you can switch pretty seamlessly between Starship and regular combat. The map is damn awesome. The only thing I’d have loved to see is some notes on internal lore/descriptions, but one can’t have everything, I guess.

Conclusion: Editing and formatting are very good on a formal and rules-language level. Layout adheres to a two-column full-color standard, and the pdf’s artworks are original pieces that rock. The handout artwork, paper mini-style pawn images and the excellent full-color artwork add to this, as does the cool ship-sheet. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Paul Fields and Jim Milligan deliver a great job here, and artists Nicole Cardiff and Keith Curtis definitely deserve a shout-out here as well. The cruiser is a beautiful ship, and the map is damn awesome. If you’re like me and want transparency between starship and individual combat, and particularly if you’re as good at making maps as I am (read: not good at all), then this is a definite boon, a sight for sore eyes. My final verdict will clock in at 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ships: Eldred Heavy Cruiser
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Gear Book One: Armor and Weapons
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/15/2019 12:57:54

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This supplement comes with two 12-page pdfs. In these, we have 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC. In the PF-version, we have two pages of SRD, in the SF-version, just one, though that version does have half a blank page in the end. We thus clock in at 8 pages of content for PFRPG, 8.5 for SFRPG, so let’s take a look!

Both versions assume credits, unsurprisingly for a scifi supplement – but prices etc. have been adjusted individually. We begin both versions with a collection of 8 different types of armor/space suits.

In the pathfinder iteration, the table lists separate bonuses for non-proficiency with the armors, and one of the suits actually integrates into a flight suit, while another basically represents a massive powered armor-like piece that feels akin to the relatively obscure Gallowglass’ ultra-heavy armor from 3.X days of yore, with a weight of no less than 400 lbs. and a massive -7 armor (in PF) check penalty. Some of these suits have integrated life-support canisters and note as such, while the latter ultra-heavy armor notes that it has thrusters that allow for reliable short-distance (30 ft.) jumps, which succeed automatically. In SF, that is instead a 30 ft. flight speed – I assume, a supernatural one for functionality in vacuum, though the pdf does not explicitly state this.

A complaint that can be fielded against the Pathfinder version, but not against the Starfinder equivalent, would be that the table does not differentiate between armor class – light, medium and heavy. Indeed, the Starfinder table, to me, seems to be more refined, clearly categorizing aforementioned ultra-heavy Katar armors as powered armors, skin suits as light, etc. Appropriate item levels have been included for your convenience in the SF iteration. The pricing here has been carefully deliberated upon – jump suit + helmet represents, for example a cross between stationwear and estex suit, without the latter’s beneficial additional tricks. Still, it fills a nice niche in the lowest price-segment. On the less fortunate side of things, while the heavier Katar armors have been properly codified as powered armor, they do lack the appropriate capacity and usage values for their item class, and they also, alas, lack the damage value for attacks executed with them, making them, as presented, alas, not 100% functional.

The eldred skin suit variant is arguably close to the default skin suit by necessity and design space available, but here would be a good place to note a peculiarity of this supplement that is very much worth mentioning: Instead of just handing you a brief throwaway description, the respective item-classes do get a pretty detailed description in how they interact, can be upgraded, or pertaining their peculiarities. Eldred skin suits not specifically fitted for the respective person, for example, impose a nasty additional armor check penalty on the wearer. In these descriptions, though, something that works fine in the Pathfinder iteration…doesn’t work in SF. You see, human armor’s forte, if you will, is that the cushioning blue goo makes repair much easier – in Pathfinder, this is correctly codified with an equipment bonus and rules for easier use of Craft in conjunction with repairing these suits. In Starfinder, this section has, alas, unfortunately been retained, and as we all know, there is no Craft skill in Starfinder, nor are there equipment bonuses – in this case, that should probably be enhancement bonuses and a reference to Engineering’s capability of repairing tech items. This issue, alas, also extends to the human-manufactured Eldred Ferox guns later in the pdf, and in the Pathfinder-version, the bonus here is not properly codified. Ironically, the lack of mentioning a skill and bonus type means that in this instance, the Starfinder version is actually better.

The pdf also contains 7 analog guns spanning, in SF, item levels 1 – 15. Unpleasant oversight in the Starfinder-version: The table, alas, does not classify the weapons by type. The katar gyrojet rifle, for example, is most assuredly a heavy weapon, and one can assume pistols to be small arms, rifles to be longarms. This is particularly odd, since the descriptive text does note proper weapon categories – so yeah, it’s more of a cosmetic issue than anything else, but it is still a somewhat jarring one. All of them seem to be projectile weapons, so no complaints in that regard. As for the Pathfinder iteration, the weapons table properly codifies them with automatic/semi-automatic properties, and now also features them noting when they’re light, 2-handed, etc. As a minor complaint, the table does have a footnote to explain semi-automatic and automatic fire, which, while appreciated, does not encapsulate the entirety of the respective firing effects. A sidebar that provides the entirety of the rules, which btw. are fashioned after the Technology Guide, would have been appropriate here to avoid confusion.

Another thing bears mentioning, one aspect that may irk those among you who are keen on proper formatting conventions: In both versions, the names of mundane armors have been italicized and are capitalized in the flavor text. While this makes them easily discernible in the text-flow, it does contradict formatting conventions for both systems. On the plus-side, the descriptive text does an excellent job in properly describing how these items actually work – it may be a small thing for some, but personally, I really enjoyed how this made them come alive for me.

The second half of the pdf is devoted to enhancements – basically special weapon or armor properties (in PF) or weapon fusions/armor upgrades in SFRPG. However, in contrast to most supplements that present the like, we have a distinct table here that deviates from what you’d expect to find. Galaxy Pirates assumes that these enhancements actually are often mutually exclusive, which presents an interesting angle. Sure, you can get that sniping enhancement, but if you do, you won’t have active camouflage. This is a really interesting balancing tool, but it also limits the direct usability of these, at least until a big Galaxy Pirates item book has hit sites. Why? Because neither Pathfinder nor Starfinder supplements from other publishers do note such incompatibilities, which can make interaction somewhat challenging on the GM. Some guidelines for determining incompatibilities would vastly enhance the usefulness of this section.

Another aspect that is not entirely necessary for either system would be the battery/power cell rules presented, as they note explicitly two charge arrays (20 and 40), when e.g. Starfinder knows batteries with more charges. More severely, the pdf classifies two types of fusion, namely visual and energy fusions, which, while an apt differentiation, also notes that energy enhancements draw a total of 20 uses from a battery before depleting it – it is clear that this does not mean that one use costs 20 charges, but considering how batteries can have more than 20 charges, it’s still a direct contradiction to the main system rules AND the pdf’s internal text. Usage is RAW supposed to be part of the write-ups of the respective fusions, but the majority of them do not feature any notes, even when shields make it clear that there probably should be some sort of note there. Considering how thus the base engine leaves me with quite a few questions for these, I have a hard time judging them for their viability in Starfinder, which is a pity, as I per se enjoyed that, to name a few, the elemental resistance-themed armor upgrades actually differ from one another and don’t simply copy one another. Similarly, the writing for the respective fusions and upgrades is actually pretty consistent as a whole, and e.g. thankfully refrains from including crit-fishing options. On the downside, we do have references to obsolete bonus types (which also are formatted wrong – bonuses are not capitalized). A big plus: The latest iteration of this pdf got rid of a nasty keen-stacking bug, though the 2000 credit price is still pretty low. Nonetheless: Kudos for fixing this one!

While in Starfinder, the issues here present from obvious conversion hiccups, in pathfinder, they hail from assuming a set of setting realities that the reader is only partially privy to – in either iteration, the book could use a bit of further refinement, and I’m optimistic it’ll get that, as Evil Robot Games has been really good regarding the care and updating of their products.

Conclusion: Editing on a formal level, is very good, but the extent of the deviations from formatting conventions in both systems is somewhat jarring. On a rules-language level, the pdf has a couple of issues that hurt me more than I expected them to – because this gets it almost right in all instances, only to falter in the details. The latest update has already improved the pdf significantly in multiple cases. Layout adheres to a printer-friendly two-column standard with colored highlights and a surprisingly cool array of gorgeous full-color artworks. In Starfinder, we get a small, star-covered border, which is a nice touch. This is an aesthetically-pleasing pdf – slightly more so in the SF iteration. In both versions, we do not get any bookmarks. At this length, that’s barely okay, but not a reason to per se penalize the pdf.

The more I read of the Galaxy Pirates setting, the more intrigued I am – the attention to detail and emphasis on immersion enhancing strategies is something right up my alley, and indeed, it can be found here as well. Paul Fields and Jim Milligan tackle several complex concepts in this supplement, and I was surprised to note how the descriptions enabled me to picture the respective items and how they actually work. I hope this tendency will continue. That being said, this is also one of the earliest Galaxy Pirates supplements, and it shows. The rules, alas, contain an array of small issues in the details that accumulate over the course of this supplement. Much to my chagrin, quite a few of these do impede the direct functionality of the content within – and this, in different ways, holds true for the respective versions for both systems. While there have been improvements made, the pdfs still remain rather rough around the edges. As such, my final verdict cannot exceed 2.5 stars, rounded up due to in dubio pro reo.

Endeitgeist out.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Gear Book One: Armor and Weapons
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Gear Book One: Armor and Weapons
by Monica G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/10/2018 23:24:31

Enlightenment Gear Book One: Armor and Weapons is a part of the Galaxy Pirates series of supplements for Pathfinder and Starfinder. This is a series of options for each game that inclues things like futuristic weapons, space ships, and monsters for parties to encounter while on adventures. Some of the books in the series include rules for Pathfinder and Starfinder, where applicable. To some it might not seem that high-tech weapontry is applicable to Pathfinder's medieval fantasy setting, but there are several sci-fi settings for Pathfinder--and this would make a great addition to most advanced- technology settings. Though the book is narrow in scope, it offers some imaginative options for arms and armor. Most of the armor options are focused on space travel, of course. The armor described typically has a backstory that outlines its function and history. Some of the low-level armor is the sort of simple thing that makes for a nice alternative to the Second Skin armor from the Starfinder core rulebook. The higher-level armor options include cool things like Forced Entry and Boarding armor--heavy armor for smashing through enemy fortifications and for surviving in space as you attempt board enemy ships. This stuff that makes for some great loot for a GM to give their players. Of course, there is a small selection of weapons as well. They're largely similar to what you'll find in the Starfinder core rules, but it's nice have alternatives. If you're looking to add some futuristic weapons to a Pathfinder game, however, this book can provide what you need with weapons that you won't find anywhere in the core Pathfinder rules. What's more is that this book offers a lot of customization rules. Most are useful weapon and armor customizations that bring new things to the table. The book does a good job of avoiding overlap between its own rules and the standard armor enhancement rules in Starfinder. The book attempts to keep parity between the Pathfinder and Starfinder rules, as such there are some enhancement rules for Pathfinder that already exist in Starfinder. An example is the 'electrostatic field' armor enhancement, which is printed with the same rules as the Starfinder core rulebook. This means you can use these rules without having to worry about clashing with the base rules for Starfinder, even when the Pathfinder rules are already similar to the rules in Starfinder. This book does add some really nice armor and weapon options that add to the Starfinder rules, such as steath upgrades. Overall, definitely give this book a shot if you're running a futuristic Pathfinder game. It has some great material to build a world with advanced technology. For Starfinder, this might just give you something that you haven't found in the core rules or supplements. Whether you're a gamer or game master this offers some good alternatives to the standard equipment to add variety to your game.

Read the full review at geeksagogo.com!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Ships: Pirate Fighter
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/09/2018 12:13:29

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Ship-centric Galaxy Pirates supplements for Starfinder clocks in at 5 pages, 1 page front cover, leaving us with 4 pages of content – for the pdf that sports “demo” at the end. You see, this actually comes with a second version that I consider to be the true iteration of the pdf – that one clocks in at no less than 15 pages, of which 1 page is taken up by the front cover, 1 by the SRD.

So, how come? Well, the pdf is somewhat akin to the ship-pdfs by Evil Robot Games that I’ve covered so far: We get a fantastic artwork of the ship in question, presented as a damn cool 1-page artwork/handout. We also get a page of paper-mini-style small artwork versions of these.

HOWEVER, the pdf does also represent an evolution in several crucial components: The first, and most important evolution would be that the pdf does not simply present a single ship. Instead, there are no less than 7 (!!) ships, with full stats included. All of these are pirate fighters – the base version comes with a micron light power core, a gyrolaser and mk 3 armor and defenses, clocking in at a tier 1/3 interceptor with 30 BP. Like all the ships herein, we get proper crew modifiers for the pilot, and a little table of Computer Check DCs to glean information for it.

That would be the basic, stock pirate fighter – the pdf then proceeds to present an advanced gun-fighter, which, at 40 BP and tier ½ is powered by a micron heavy power core and comes with a coilgun – and a MK1 mononode computer! But perhaps you prefer raw power over mk 4 armor and defenses and a better computer? Well also at tier ½, there would be a variant that comes equipped with a micron light power core and a chain cannon instead – though, obviously, this means that compromises had to be made regarding defenses. On the other side of the spectrum, the heavy armored fighter would be a variant that has a gyrolaser and with mk 5 armor and mk 6 defenses certainly is…well, better defended! You get to choose! Really cool!

However, unlike in previous pdfs, there are variants provided – the ace pirate fighter, at tier 2 and 75 build points, for example, comes with a signal basic drift engine, a pulse black power core and forward-facing weaponry that includes a coilgun and a light torpedo launcher…oh, and aft? Actually defended in contrast to most fighters – a light laser canon is waiting for fools. With an MK 2 monode computer, as well as better armor and defenses, it certainly makes for a significantly more impressive vessel, as befitting of an ace pilot!

On the other side of things, you know how it can be. You’re stranded in some sucky desert cantina, with barely a credit to your name, and you know you need to get around? Well, sometimes beggars can‘t be choosers and for these instances, we get tier ¼ ships with a paltry 25 BP – the degenerate gun-fighter and the degenerate laser-fighter. The former comes with a flak thrower, the latter with a gyrolaser and a light laser at the aft. Big plus!

Anyhow, there is more to these: You see, in contrast to other pdfs, the respective ships do come with notes on famous units: For the tier ¼ vessel, we for example learn about how…certain…ahem… temperaments of pilots favor it; we learn about ace pilots and how Errad’s Roughriders favor the armored vessels – these little bits of flavor enhance immersion.

Now, here is the reason this pdf is so much larger than the previous ones – we get fully filled-in ship-sheets for ALL of these variants – you just need to print them out, and bam, you’re set to go. That is pure awesome, particularly considering how aesthetically-pleasing these sheets are.

There is one more aspect in this pdf that put a HUGE smile on my face, that sent my mind to the stars. It’s about 2/3 of a page long, and it has the rather unremarkable header “procedures.” It adds more to the sense of reality, to being plausible, than I imagined, and it made me very aware of how much I missed that type of information from Starfinder’s Core book. First of all, the external visual inspection section can provide some cool roleplaying cues and even adventure hooks for players and GMs alike.

Even cooler, and put a big smile on my face, though, were the detailed “Prepare for takeoff” instructions – they really let you visualize how it is to pilot them. It adds actual soul and detail to getting into your fighter, it makes the whole thing…more real, less of an abstraction. This may well have spoiled me for any scifi-RPG; it’ll now be something I’ll be looking for everywhere – and yes, “Takeoff Procedure” also is explained. You don’t see how amazing that can be? Okay, perhaps this is the otaku in me talking, but I still get goosebumps when my favorite heroes get in their fighters, are sent towards launch pads, hit the ignition switch and announce over intercom their names and that of their fighters, how they’re ready for takeoff. Perhaps it’s just me being a huge Gundam fanboy, but this section…oh boy, did it made me smile! It’s a small thing, but to me, it vastly enhances the pdf.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch on a formal and rules-language level, I noticed no issues. Layout adheres to a nice two-column full-color standard, and, as before, the artwork presented for the fighter is amazing. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length. While we do not get a map of the one-pilot interceptors, this is offset by the sheer amount of content we get.

Paul Fields and Jim Milligan deliver a pdf here that is insane. The amazing artwork alone is worth the asking price, of, get ready…a paltry BUCK. Yep. $0.99. You can’t buy ANYTHING even halfway significant for that nowadays (not sure how much a snicker bars is today in the US), but I know that you can’t even get a cup of joe for a buck! The artwork alone is worth the asking price; and then, you not only get a whole bunch of ships, ready for insertion into your game, you also get them already filled into ship-sheets…AND you get flavor galore! For a buck! This is one of the pdfs that really made me scratch my head regarding how it can…well, exist– honest passion is the only explanation feasible.

It really is. The evolution of the already impressive base of the series in this way further shows a willingness to listen to fans…oh, and that humble procedure section? It’s not something you’ll whip out all the time, obviously. But it adds an immense amount of soul, of plausibility, to the proceedings, and it helps reduce the disjoint between playmodes – it makes piloting feel less like “We hit the space combat mini-game”, and more like “I go into MY fighter. I start the sequence. I go out.” – this humble bit of fluff makes entering space combat feel like it’s a continuation of the game, not a hard-cut-abstraction, as modes shift.

Beyond roleplaying potential (My lucky safety harness…pictures of holiday planet xyz, etc.), this is so obvious now that I see it, it’s puzzling that I never realized how much I missed it before.

This is one little stroke of genius indeed, and I sincerely hope that SFRPG publishers take heed- this is how it’s done regarding ships. I am genuinely and thoroughly impressed by this offering, and if you even remotely have use for a couple of space pirate fighters (seriously, who hasn’t?), then get this ASAP. If you purchase this and end up genuinely thinking that this wasn’t worth the single buck of its asking price, then contact me. I’ll refund you. And no, I’m not affiliated with Evil Robot Games in any shape, way or form. I just believe this much in this humble, amazing little pdf. Final verdict? 5 stars + seal of approval. If these guys ever kickstart a big book of ships, get on board. Seriously – if this is the shape of things to come from the company, then consider me a fan!

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ships: Pirate Fighter
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Ships: Eldred Intermediate Cruiser
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/08/2018 05:22:15

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the ship-centric Galaxy Pirates-supplements clocks in at 7 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

On page numero uno, we get the stats for the intermediate cruiser of the Eldred, which clocks in as a tier 4 vessel with the suggested 115 BP. As far as frame is concerned, the intermediate cruiser uses the large destroyer and an arcus heavy power core. Interesting: It is pretty solidly armed with a light particle beam and a torpedo launcher as well as light laser cannons and a signal basic drift engine, but its energy consumption can theoretically exceed output (theoretically - it's more a flavor thing, to emphasize that once more), showing its status as a bridging model intended to test new designs. The ship comes with basic shields and slightly above average HP, at 170. Crew modifiers are provided for captain, engineer, gunners, pilot and science officer, and we do get a small table for Computers check DCs to know details about the ship. A brief flavor-text further contextualizes the ship, and the page containing these pieces of information sports a rather nice full-color artwork of a cockpit.

Amazing: We get a full, top-down map of the ship in full color, with every component explained…so if your PCs get one of these charming ships, they’ll know exactly where what is. The detailed labels really bring this ship to life and are super helpful. HOWEVER, it would have been amazing if the pdf had also featured an unlabeled version, for the instance where the PCs enter it without having a clue where they are. The ship encompasses three decks, btw. Also a huge comfort-plus: the pdf comes with an impressive one-page full-color artwork of the cruiser, perfectly-suitable as a handout. A whole page of paper-mini-style stand-ins is included as well, and if that weren’t enough, we get a surprisingly neat, lovingly crafted ship-sheet, already filled out for your convenience – now that is consumer-friendly!!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good on a formal and rules-language level. Layout adheres to a two-column full-color standard with a surprising amount of high-quality artworks. The cartography is very impressive and in full-color – add an unlabeled version and I’ll be in heaven; even at this point, though, this is beyond what I expected to fin. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Paul Fields and Jim Milligan honestly surprised me with this humble pdf – we get a ship with character here – a slightly overburdened one with its intentional flaws, but personally, as a fan of series like Firefly et al., this makes the intermediate cruiser actually more charming to me. The quality of the artwork and cartography, the added filled-in sheet, the paper mini-versions, the handout versions – these people have really put some thought into this supplement. The attention to detail and care must be applauded, and indeed, here’s the even better thing: This fellow is actually available for PWYW! Seriously, this is one cool, unpretentious premium-ship for any price you’re willing to pay! What’s not to love?? So yeah, I highly recommend checking this out and leaving a proper tip for it. My final verdict will clock in at 5 stars!

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ships: Eldred Intermediate Cruiser
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Ships: Interceptor
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/08/2018 05:16:47

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Galaxy Pirates supplements that focus on ships clocks in at 6 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 4 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

On the first page of this supplement, we get the stats for the eponymous interceptor, which clocks in as a Tiny tier ½ machine – which obviously has but one crew-member, namely the pilot. As far as defenses are concerned, we have basic 10 shields, mk 4 armor and defenses and a micron heavy power core fueling these. EDIT: Here, my review text may have been misleading for folks who don't know that gyrolasers can fire in broad arcs. I tried to state that the interceptor has only weapons facing the front firing arc. The interceptor has 2 fire linked gyrolasers, and gyrolasers have broad arc, which allows them to fire at -2 to an adjacent firing arc. The ship comes with a brief table of Computer check DCs to know something about the vessel and a VERY brief description of the craft, but not much about its story, design, etc – instead, about ½ of the first page is blank. Some additional fluff would have improved this little fellow and made it stand out.

On the second page, we get a massive, one-page artwork version of the interceptor, which is really neat; we follow this with a page of smaller versions suitable for e.g. paper-mini-construction, and we close the pdf with an aesthetically-pleasing ship-sheet that ahs the interceptor’s details already filled out for you.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good on a formal and rules-language level. Layout adheres to a full-color two-column standard with a white background, and, as noted, the artworks provided for the interceptor are great and compelling, and the handout-version, the mini-version and the filled-out sheet show that he authors thought about immediate usefulness at the table – a big plus. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length. However, unlike the larger ships, we don’t get a map of the insides of the interceptor, one of the things that really blew me away about e.g. the intermediate cruiser the Eldred manufactured.

Paul Fields and Jim Milligan deliver an interceptor with amazing artworks, ready to use at the table, and for the low price of just a buck, you indeed get your money’s worth. A map would have been sweet, but I don’t hold that against the pdf at this price point, particularly considering the quality of the artwork. That being said, I do hold against it that the interceptor is a bit pale – it could have really used some additional descriptive text to make it stand out more – on the first page, there is ample blank space that could have been used to make this vessel more interesting. As a whole, I consider this to be a solid offering, though personally, it didn’t excite me to the same extent the intermediate cruiser did. As such, my final verdict will clock in at 3.5 stars, rounded up due to in dubio pro reo.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Ships: Interceptor
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I Want To Be A WIZARD!
by David C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/27/2018 01:55:50

We had a couple of players in our regular group out of town this week, so we pulled out I Want To Be A WIZARD!

It was our first time with the system, but character creation was easy to understand and went smoothly. We quickly got a feel for the system and had a grand time. Minimal dice rolling, and no mechanism for character death, make this a great lighthearted game suitable for young players and old warhorses alike.

"The most important rules of the game: Never roll the dice if you don't have to, and This is a game, it's supposed to be fun." It's nice to have the explicit reminder that the goal is to have fun, not to 'win'.

10/10 Will play again.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
I Want To Be A WIZARD!
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Starship [BUNDLE]
by Jesper C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/12/2018 18:40:41

I personally liked this product alot. It contains 8 well designed deckplans of mixed military and civilian vessels. External design: I find the "looks" of the ships from the outside awesome, with the perfect mix of maritime and "spacey" layout. They have a conceptual design which combines both militant aggressiveness and a recognizable classic sci-fi look. They feel inspired and are a mixed breed from the best space movies and series and if I was a member of a crew getting them on my sensor monitors I would feel the same fear being in the ocean, spotting a great white shark 50 yards away. 5 of 5 stars.

Interior design: Looking at the interiors, the layout is well designed and everything has it´s purpose. It doesn´t feel cozy or snug, but has more of a functional touch. Some of the prints have a little dash of "home made" over them, but it didn´t bother me much. I prefer a good imagination on my and my players behalf, than an over worked schematic that doesn´t leave anything to your own imaginative power. Let alone being hard to change or adjust. This is better than many, well worth its money. 4 of 5 stars.

Contacts with publisher: I have been in touch with the publisher and they were both serious and accomodating regarding my concerns. They also answered quickly. 5 / 5 stars.

At last I can vouch for this product and would gladly pay it´s 30 - 40 USD price. This bundle will give me much inspiration and regarding my players: fear and wonder. I will also follow the development of Evil Robot Games and most certainly buy their deck plans when they publish more material.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Starship [BUNDLE]
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Ships: Eldred Intermediate Cruiser
by Jesper C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/12/2018 04:38:28

Nice deck plan / architecture and a great looking design. I like that they have a place on the map for life support and also the weapon spaces scattered over the layout. The product also contains a picture inside what I assume is the bridge, nice touch. I would gladly pay 4-5 USD for this product and similar ones. And of course more if it was a larger ship (more work is worth more money).



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Ships: Eldred Intermediate Cruiser
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Ships: Pirate Fighter
by Patrick J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/20/2017 13:28:02

I have removed my original review as this product has changed dramatically. At first I was unimpressed with this product as it left something to be desired. It was just a cover image and some internal stats... After a short conversation with the publisher, he responded immediately with open dialog to help make it better.

He added miniature tokens to use on the map. He added a full size image of the craft to use as a prop to show players.

I originally had this as a three star product. I upped it to a 4 star after the publisher and I had dialog. Less than a few hours later I get a notice that this product had been updated...

I origianlly bought 14 ships sight unseen. Thats all I was going to do after I saw the original content. Now after the tremendous response, and the hopes the other ships get updated the same way...the rest of the fleet is going into my wishlist and cart (after Christmas :) ).

I rate this a five star now. For a buck, saves much time. Publisher is outstanding.

Ship sheets would still be cool though. ;)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ships: Pirate Fighter
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Creator Reply:
Patrick thank you for taking the time to post a review, it means a lot to us. Ships sheets, that's a great idea, and fits our goal of making products that make your life easier when playing at the table. Deckplans, we do have deckplans for some of the larger Eldred ships. All of our products have full sized previews if you'd like to see them. We're working with our cartographer to do more deckplans for our other large ships, basically anything you could board. I don't think the fighters, interceptors and racers, anything that's just a single seat in a cockpit, will ever likely get their own deckplans. Would a clean version of the cover image at the same size as the one on the cover and a pawn sized image in the corner cover what you're thinking about as far as visual props and map tokens? Maybe two pawn sized images for front and back? I'd also be interested to hear what other ships you got from us and any other feedback you may have. Paul designer@evilrobotgames.com
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