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#30 Haunts for Houses (PFRPG)
by Dio M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/07/2020 00:04:03

I bought all the haunt packs and as such the review will be identical between them. I loved it. I use all of them throughout my campaigns to add some mischief or punishing traps that can't merely be detected and disarmed. Some aren't for harming but just atmosphere. Some I use for neither and merely as an effect. The entries can be used in various ways for any number of creative purposes and as such adds a lot of fun that can be had.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
#30 Haunts for Houses (PFRPG)
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Heroes of the Jade Oath Preview #6: Shenxue (new race)
by Bruce G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/08/2020 09:00:51

A new player characrter race for the 'Jade Oath' universe. Does make for a unique race.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Heroes of the Jade Oath Preview #6: Shenxue (new race)
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Heroes of the Jade Oath Preview #5: Introduction
by Bruce G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/08/2020 08:59:23

Introduction the the "Jade Oath" setting. Did make me more interested in getting the whole setting.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Heroes of the Jade Oath Preview #5: Introduction
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Heroes of the Jade Oath Preview #4: New Rules
by Bruce G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/08/2020 08:58:15

Very interesting peek at a larger volume. Try a preview and see if you like it well enough to buy the full book.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Heroes of the Jade Oath Preview #4: New Rules
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Heroes of the Jade Oath Preview#2; Races: Mandrgoran
by Bruce G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/08/2020 08:57:42

Very interesting peek at a larger volume. Try a preview and see if you like it well enough to buy the full book.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Heroes of the Jade Oath Preview#2; Races: Mandrgoran
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Heroes of the Jade Oath Preview#1
by Bruce G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/08/2020 08:57:11

Very interesting peek at a larger volume. Try a preview and see if you like it well enough to buy the full book.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Heroes of the Jade Oath Preview#1
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Pathways #88 Tricks and Trickery
by Dustin K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/07/2019 16:34:31

Top quality material in here and totally worth the couple of bucks I tossed at it. I'm a big sucker for the trickster trope/archetype so it was hard for me to resist just putting 5 stars. I am disappointed there was no Second Edition material in the book, but I understand there will be from this point onward. That being said, this is a fabulous product and I'm sure I'll find use for the content if I find myself running a future game still using 1e.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Pathways #88 Tricks and Trickery
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101 Aquatic Spells (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/26/2019 05:17:26

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This massive collection of spells clocks in at 59 pages of content, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 54 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

This review was moved up in my reviewing queue as a prioritized review at the request of my patreon supporters.

The supplement kicks off with a brief introduction that acknowledges that the sub-aqueous environments may be hard to navigate, but also remain truly wondrous. As such, this book’s spells do not seek to per se normalize or negate the effects of adventuring beneath the waves (as there are options for that already), but to enhance the experience. This is a wise decision, as plenty of tables are using e.g. Alluria Publishing’s benchmark “Cerulean Seas”-book for PFRPG-rules, and this pdf thus retains optional compatibility with that book.

As far as the Paizo-books are concerned, we begin this supplement with an array of spells organized by spell-list; these lists take the classic classes as well as the magus and the Advanced Classes Guide classes into account, but the Occult Adventures classes are not covered in the spell-lists, which is a bit of a bummer if you’re like me and love them. But hey, with some luck we’ll have an update at one point…or a compilation.

But you’re here for the spells, right? So let’s take a look at what those spells do, and how they work in context. With an abaia’s gizzard’s fluid (nice touch as an exotic component!), you can cast activation transference, which is a gamechanger of a spell: It enables the subject to use spell-trigger items as though he were the caster – and the caster loses that ability! This is a super-potent spell in the right hands, but at 5th level, it also is a spell that is properly situated in the spell array. Aquatic Alacrity is probably a spell more in line with what you’d expect: The spell allows you to run when moving through water, even if you don’t have a swim speed, as though you had the Run feat, to boot. The spell has another brutal component: As a full-round action in aquatic terrain, which provokes AoOs, you can get an untyped +20 bonus to Stealth, seemingly disappearing. The spell, however, then ends after your next move action. Minor complaints regarding rules-language: RAW, only move actions trigger the end, and this should include full-round actions. Secondly, the spell should clarify whether this allows the target to hide, even when observed, which is a thing as far as Stealth rules are concerned. Now, granted, this is easy to houserule as a GM, but it’s still a minor flaw in an otherwise cool 2nd level spell.

The aqueous spell spells are really cool – they allow the caster to infuse spells in liquid, creating basically spell potions. The spells these can contain obviously cap at certain levels, but yeah – unique. Speaking of which – arcane anaesthetic is basically a spell-like injection that dulls the senses, and the spell halves the duration of magical consumables. Also interesting – the spell can be mitigated with the proper diet (salt-heavy), but this diet requires a save, and on a failure, the target is nauseated. We have aquatic aspect spells (porpoise and shark), and there is an interesting variant, namely body of water, which is a twist on greater invisibility: This one makes you invisible while completely submerged; outside of water, the spell loses 5 rounds per round spent outside. Considering how many fairy tale stories feature turning to foam and vanishing in water, this really struck a chord with me.

Blood snow, which is an option for blood subdomain casters, among others, creates a storm of swirling blood snow that also starts crystallizing the blood of those inside the cylinder, represented by Strength and Dexterity damage on a success, paralysis and nauseated (short-term both) on a successful one. Casting this spell in too warma climate reduces its duration and provides a bonus to saves. With a scale of an old or older bronze dragon, you can gain a short-range defensive aura. With drops of a bagiennik’s nasal spray, arcane casters can neutralize poisons and cure diseases in one fell swoop – though the spell does cause some fire and acid damage. As the pdf astutely observes, this does break a barrier between the arcane and divine divide, but I like how it does this – it feels like an arcane remedy – and yes, it may be used offensively! The way in which this pdf employs material components is pretty exemplary and helps render the magic herein more, well, magical.

Now, remember when I claimed that this was compatible with the most extensive underwater adventuring resource released for a d20-based game, Cerulean Seas? Well, I wasn’t kidding. Cerulean Seas features buoyancy rules, and e.g. the buoyant totem spell manages to retain perfect compatibility with these rules WITHOUT directly referencing or requiring them! Huge kudos! This spell is also a great example of a design-decision I very much enjoy – usually, bloodragers don’t get the spell. However, if you do have the greenrager archetype, you do get it added to your spell list! On the potentially funny side – if you want to reproduce the crab dance meme, there’s a spell for that – cast of crabs, which transforms you and your buddies. (Yep, there also is a dolphin-based spell, for example.) Okay, sure, it’s actually buff spell, but frankly, the crab dance thing was my first association, and it was hilarious. In my head. …yeah, I know, I’m weird. Bonus points if you follow up with the puntastic death by crabs that is BOUND to elicit some giggles, you can call forth crab swarms to slay your foes.

Alchemists, bards and sorcerer/wizards can now cast something that you’d usually associate with the divine – cone of holy water, which pretty much does what you’d expect. Here, I genuinely appreciated that the spell is focused on classes you usually wouldn’t associate with holy water, which, in a way, makes sense. There are plenty of transform into xyz/take on aspects of xyz type of spells. If you already have the excellent 101 Swamp Spells (And seriously, should get all of the author’s 101-spell-books), you’ll be delighted to hear that there are options building on the kin-engine, for example, defend the moor and its greater iteration. The latter btw. does use hero points, which is a nice touch as far as I’m concerned. Power of the electric eel is a winner – it presents a bonus, and allows for its discharging to enhance your electricity-infused touch attacks, which even arc towards the targets on misses. This is an interesting one. Spells for the creations or puddles or rain, calling forth different varieties of drakes and the like can be found.

Personally, I am rather partial to the low level spell that allows you to ingest poisons and spit them towards the targets. Kiss of death-assassin, anyone? :) If you like Risk of Rain, you may want to check out rusting rain, which, bingo, will probably make sweet player tears join the rain, as their precious metal-objects are compromised. Full of slapstick potential – slippery shoes. Duplicating a squid’s quick exit, transforming into a squall of ice and snow…and, nice touch, there is a spell to create supercooled water, and The Bends is a potent one that can make for an interesting chassis to create a rather brutal version of the well-known diver’s sickness.

Dispelling grasp is an exciting combat spell, which allows you to touch items and grasp them, subjecting them to greater dispel magic. Engine-wise, this is based on sunder, getting feat interaction done right. Many folks also associate swashbuckling with the waves, and as such, there are buffs to enhance your grace, options to breathe longer underwater, or spells that make the target’s equipment heavier – which, obviously, can be rather nasty in water. Faerie cold nets your body the option to generate a defensive nimbus that is particularly potent for casters of the fey bloodline. This enhances cold spells, and also the damage dice employed by frost or icy burst weaponry. Minor complaint – it’s resistance, not “resist” regarding energy types. A kind of combo flight/swim speed, that only allows you to fly a certain distance over water.

Gholdako’s darkness is a neat defensive spell that may be discharged in a blinding cone, and there is a language-dependent compulsion that forces the target to hold their breath until they pass out, which is a neat classic trope represented as a spell. Hydromantic insight is incredibly interesting, in that it represents a powerful buff that is contingent on having an uninterrupted pathway through water to the creature against which your defensive buff applies. It may sound like a small twist, but it is one that explains how the magic operates, and one that is entwined with roleplaying and tactics. Love it. Hydrophilia and hydrophobia do pretty much what you’d expect, and at the highest echelons of the power-scale, we have a localized and instantaneous level 9 ice age, which does melt if the climate is sufficiently warm, but yeah. And yep, you can also make instant icebergs. Your pirate foes will hate you. Luxury-liners will hate you even more. ;P

Reducing elementals to speed 0, protection versus ingested poison and diseases…and then there’d be the into the sea spell (mass version included), which includes bonuses to Constitution and Strength checks, adaption to the cold, low-light vision, etc. – basically, it’s the survive in water base package. Nice. Lightning on the sea is also really cool: Basically a misty cloud that is suffused with saltwater, making everything slippery, and the cloud does cause electricity damage. Manifest blizzard is hardcore and lets you generate truly fearsome storms, Mesopelagic pressure causes force damage, and the melt ice cantrip, well, does what it says on the tin. The pdf also includes the 4th level minor wish spell, which does pretty much what you’d expect it – the costly component accounts for the flexibility this offers.

Underwater scent, really good voice mimicry…and what about a low-level spell to entangle targets in water globules, potentially drowning them? Water runner is basically a follow-up better version of the classic water walking tricks, and on the curse-side, there is a water-breather curse. There also is a spell that allows you to make fires waterproof, GOT (or napalm)-style, and the pdf does include a variant of dimension door that focuses on jumping from wave to wave. Cone-shaped wave-battle-spells complement, finally, this massive supplement.

Conclusion: Editing and formatting re very good on both a formal and rules-language level. Considering the top-tier complexity many of these spells attempt in their operations, it’s surprising that almost no glitches have crept into this massive book. Layout adheres to Rite Publishing’s classic two-column full-color standard, and the pdf features quite a lot really nice full-color artworks from various sources. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

David J. Paul’s spellbooks, published by Rite Publishing, you know, all of the 101 spell-books that have a terrain or something like that in the title, are frankly my favorite series of spell-pdfs out there, it’s simple as that. The author understands complex rules-interactions, and the power-levels of the spells are suitable for the spell levels, showing a deep understanding of that aspect of game design. Beyond that, from taking domains, bloodlines and archetypes into account, these often allow for small differentiations. Clever use of material components and variants allow for some rather cool scenes, and more than that, there is an intrinsic understanding of something many a Pathfinder-supplement forgets: Magic, while somewhat arbitrary, does have some underlying rules and conventions; we all carry expectations about what magic does and how it operates with us, informed by fairy tales, fantasy literature, and the games we play.

His spells, ultimately, are cognizant of those unwritten rules, of these subtle nuances, and this makes them feel plausible and “real” - this manages to render even obvious variants as something creative beyond what you’d expect. Your consciousness may not notice it at once, but somewhere deep in your subconscious, you realize it. It’s a crucial component of the tangible appeal these sourcebooks have for me. If I had to choose a singular line of spells, and only use this one series in conjunction with my PFRPG-games to the exclusion of all others, this’d be the spell-series I’d choose. Unsurprisingly, my final verdict will account for this, clocking in at 4.5 stars, rounded up due to being closer to 5 than 4, and yes, this does receive my seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
101 Aquatic Spells (PFRPG)
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Fantastic Maps - Iconic Island
by Steve B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/16/2019 21:49:13

Download the file... Nothing......................



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Fantastic Maps - Iconic Island
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Rituals of Choice Adventure Path Preview
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/22/2018 11:38:02

I am a huge fan of Arcana Evolved so I loved the idea of getting more material especially a campaign. Unfortunately, the project was dropped but at least there is a framework within this product that you can develop it out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Rituals of Choice Adventure Path Preview
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Demiplanes: Valhalla
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/03/2018 05:17:07

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This Demiplanes-book clocks in at 59 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 54 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

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

So, the first thing I should note is this: I am super picky regarding my Norse lore; I have a degree in the field, can fluently read Norse, and I’m most of the time really pissed off when I see how adaptations to roleplaying games butcher the concept when trying to stay authentic. You see, the most common roleplaying games we play feature assumptions colored by the dichotomous thinking and values cultivated over the centuries, courtesy of Christianity and similar book-based religions. Without going into the finer philosophical details, a perhaps more easier to grasp analogue would be this: Do you know the “Vikings” TV-series, the one adapting Ragnars saga loðbrókar and the Ragnarssona Þáttr? I’m the annoying guy who’ll chew your ears off about the liberties taken with the source material, who’ll endlessly drone on about aspects not being correct. In my defense, I still enjoy the series, but yeah.

The more prudent and smarter way to adapt the concept of Valhalla, and thankfully the one taken within this book, is to distill the concept to its essence, and to create something new that takes the realities of the gaming world into account – you know, both regarding cosmology and the presence of the god-forsaken alignment system. So yeah, if you’re looking for yet another adaptation of Norse myth that will never properly fit your current campaign setting, then you won’t find that here.

Instead, Valhalla is depicted as an infinite Outer Plane – one roughly associated with the Chaotic Good alignment, and one central leitmotif: Heroism. While a contextualization within a smattering of Outer Planes is provided, it should be noted that actually integrating the material presented within this pdf is rather easy – the pdf does offer some guidance and, moreover, does account for the infinity presented by the Planes. In short, we begin with tantalizing ideas of how e.g. a draconic Valhalla might look – the morphic and subjective qualities of planar reality and values are employed rather admirably and set this apart from being just another take on the classic pseudo-accurate rehashing of the concept. This theme is also emphasized by the Greater Petitioner template, which, while lacking a CR-increase note, provides regeneration in the version presented for Valhalla. The idea is obvious – the eternal fighting of the einherjar warrior spirits obviously can be undertaken by such individuals. I am not going to penalize the pdf for the lack of CR-increase here due to the limited scale of the replenishment – the ability does have a cap, preventing abuse.

Now, beyond the general establishing of leitmotifs within the context of Valhalla, the majority of the book is devoted to a variety of different Demiplanes with ties to Valhalla; they all share themes in one way or another, but as a whole constitute an exceedingly smart angle, allowing, by means of compartmentalizing themes and concepts, for easy and seamless integration into the cosmology of an established game. I could e.g. integrate these into Midgard, Oerth or Golarion without much fuss. In a somewhat weird decision or oversight, the central hub of Valhalla, the grand metropolis known as “Champion’s Arena” (settlement statblocks provided) would be the only sub-section, the only one of the demiplane-like sub-sections that does not come with bookmarks.

Now, as a brief glance at the respective sub-chapters immediately makes clear, the respective entries do come with secrets noted for the GM to develop, and they do make excellent use of the planar nature of the locales. In short: They offer quite a bunch cool planar traits for each of the respective demiplanes, which really helps rendering the book more useful than its premise: Each of the chapters get crunchy rules for these, with e.g. Arena’s Oathbound property providing nasty penalties for oathbreakers, while the Forge of Destiny provides for much easier crafting, but also forges the destiny of the creator, inflicting a mighty curse (no, it can’t be broken as easily as usual) that takes the concept of Wyrd, the personal destiny, and makes it a leitmotif of sorts for the afflicted. That being said, the fact that this theme is divorced from the ideological components associated with the term does render it into a potent roleplaying catalyst. On the downside, layout botched in the aforementioned forge trait, adding a single, nonsensical bullet point that then becomes a regular text. That should have been caught in proofreading, it’s pretty obvious.

That being said, the traits do provide some really cool notions – in the region known as Training Grounds, for example, you can, provided you have the sufficient knowledge, conjure forth adversaries to battle, using the kenform template presented within. Similarly, there are quite a lot tables that feature e.g. alternate morphic mishaps and creature mishaps – and a table that is called “Fact of Fiction”. You see the book does feature a region called the “Unknown Expanse”, which is both every lost civilization and the yarns woven about them, but also every FICTIONAL civilization that never was! The latter is frankly phenomenal as an idea. Picture it: The BBEG is actually so smart that his plans can’t be fouled. They can’t. There is no refuge, no success possible anymore. And yet, the tale survives of a place that houses his downfall – and then, it becomes real, in a way. Of course, the same theme could easily be flipped. I adore this notion, and it is actually supported by thematic blessings for explorers and a mighty atlas that allows for basically fast travel in a tightly codified manner.

So yeah, there are more crunchy bits herein than just planar geography. But before we get to those, let us talk about connections and conjunctions – the former is pretty self-evident and-explanatory, but the latter represents something we know from mythweaving all too well – basically temporary planar overlaps. Full blown manifestation of segments of the respective planes are similarly noted. Most places also note important NPCs, though these only come with fluff-information, not full stats.

As previously mentioned, each segment also comes with a couple of supplemental rules that add some crunch to the respective write-ups. These do include the grudgeglass, an artifact created from the blood,s eqt and tears of the defeated, which allows for the tracking down of an enemy…and there would be Ekena, a CR 25/MR 10 monstrosity that can generate evil clones of those it faces – but, following the theme, it can be bested by bravery: the rules employed here allow for nonstandard skill use as part of attacks to bypass the creature’s defenses. Now, don’t get me wrong, I adore this notion, but I am not 100% happy with the very narrative implementation Slightly tighter rules would have been appreciated here. On the plus-side, anyone besting the monster does become mythic, so yeah – it’s a nice crucible for ascension. Unfortunately, my immediate association was obviously the comparison with Rite Publishing’s genius “Coliseum Morpheuon”, which is still, after all these years, one of my favorite roleplaying books. (If you don’t have it, get it asap!)

The cliffs of renewal allow for redemption for those with the faith to leap – once more, taking a classic image and codifying it; in the Eternal Tavern, bards can learn a new masterpiece, the First Hero’s Journey (and yes, the First Hero actually is in the bar…), and in an interesting take, this masterpiece does provide a take on the concept of the monomyth, with three stages that happen consecutively. Similarly, there is a minor artifact that does improve mythic power or make the owner count as mythic, which does come with narrative potential galore, particularly if you’re like me and love throwing mythic critters at regular characters… In the somber Gardens of Memoriam, those so inclined can live through the final moments of heroes, which once more sports narrative potential galore. A very potent mindscape-based trap and the notion of the norn’s curse/will is within these pages, while the tavern of unsung songs bestows a healthy dose of humility on the mightiest of mighty, including a rather impressive spellblight…and there obviously would the Well. A place where sacrifices can be made to gain basically any effects – but not even the gods can alter the finality of it or recover losses incurred here! Nice to for once see no divine intervention clause!

Oh, did I mention that there is a creature born from former-familiar ravens, so-called exensils, which actually may choose to become familiars once more?

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good on a rules-language level; on a formal level, I consider this to be only good; I noticed more hiccups than usual for Rite Publishing’s recent offerings. Layout adheres to the beautiful, new two-column full-color standard Rite uses, and the interior artworks, for the most part, are stunning, though they do not adhere to a unified aesthetic. For the most part? Yeah, the artworks are neat, but there is one really ugly CGI-piece herein. Not enough to tarnish the book, but it felt jarring to me. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience, with the weird oversight of one subchapter’s, namely Arena’s bookmarks missing.

Andrew Mullen, Jennifer Povey and Stephen Rowe have created something that I thoroughly enjoyed – a planar toolkit/gazetteer full of inspiring and interesting ideas and material, a great little GM-toolkit that has appeal far beyond the concepts one usually associated with the term of “Valhalla.” Indeed, that may be the biggest strength of this pdf – the fact that it does not waste time trying to rehash bits and pieces from mythology we already know. Instead, it focuses, precisely and in an inspired manner, on how ideas can be distilled, and how they can be applied to the realities within the campaign worlds we play in. This idea suffuses the whole pdf and makes this a very worthwhile supplement to have. In short, this is exceedingly “gameable”, to use that buzz word. It also provides what definitely is Valhalla, without requiring the whole Norse pantheon – it is a Valhalla to customize, to make your own. You could, theoretically, make a grippli-Valhalla, for example.

This pdf provides a lot of interesting ideas, both regarding fluff and mechanics, and while it does offer from a few proofing-level hiccups, that is not enough to truly tarnish it. As such, my final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded up due to in dubio pro reo. Additionally, the exceedingly clever and versatile notion that distills the essence of the plane and makes it generally useful for various cultures and settings also means that this receives my seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Demiplanes: Valhalla
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Gossamer Guilds: Praecons(Diceless)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/10/2018 04:05:55

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This expansion for Lords of Gossamer and Shadows clocks in at 17 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 13 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

This review was requested as a prioritized review by my patreons.

This supplement begins with preliminary notes, written in character by Shanya Talis, which establishes the praecones as wandering bards, storytellers and occasional spies that traverse the gossamer worlds. Membership of the organization is loose, to put it mildly: You need a drive for discovery, the ability to travel the gossamer worlds and a passion for storytelling. Oddly, juggler, acrobats and clowns don’t seem to qualify among the otherwise pretty bard-like praecones (singular praeco, fyi) – according to the teller of the story here, the praecones predate the Dwimmerlaik Wars, but, well – that’s a story in and of itself.

Joining the guild is pretty easy and superbly hard – basically, you have to be a virtuoso of sorts, and then, by talent or by being noticed, have the ability to travel the Grand Stair…and that’s pretty much it. The standard tale is obviously that of a praecox finding a talented teacher of the arts, but countless variants exist. Apprenticeship often lasts several years and both travelling and resident praecones are noted. The guild’s dens/houses are the so-called Storyhouses, which act as a mixture of guild house and information brokerage market place. Praecones that visit a Storyhouse for more than a brief stay are expected to have someone gifted in Wrighting create an Icon, to facilitate quick responses in times of crisis. At the top of the guild’s loose hierarchy are the librarians, who, among other things, use their knowledge to create cartas, you know, partial maps of the vastness of the Grand Stair and the realms beyond. Teachers and additional staff associated is noted, and while few praecones become Wardens of the Grand Stair, Exegesis and Opening and Closing Doors are wide spread among the more experienced praecones.

As befitting a guild of travelers, many use the Open cantrip to travel, and interestingly, the guild seems to take a pretty neutral stance towards the dichotomy of Umbra vs. Eidolon. They also use so-called travel watches, an item whose origin the guild guards – these watches allow for the creation of Doors and record the travels of their wearers. Praecones, loosely organized as they are, don’t really have organization-level foes, and the restriction that they are expected to refuse assassination requests also enforces this. Failure to comply will cause expulsion. Instead of violence, the guild employs its narrative talent and gathered secrets to destroy those that would harm its members.

We get 4 brief adventure hooks for the guild, and item-wise, three types of portable library 82, 5 and 8 points), as well as regular (4 points) and psychic translators. (5 points.)

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no undue hiccups here. Layout adheres to the two-column full-color standard of the LoGaS-supplements, and the pdf sports quite a few nice full-color interior artworks of different styles. The pdf has no bookmarks, which constitutes a comfort detriment.

John Snead’s praecones are good news for fans of Lords of Gossamer and Shadows – with some luck, we’ll see more supplements coming out, and when I think back to the Gossamer Worlds series, that makes me excited indeed! That being said, I wasn’t as impressed by this guild as I hoped I would be. It’s the trope of the vast guild focusing on arts, somewhat akin to the Pathfinder Lodge or the Harpers, just on a scale befitting the Grand Stair, down to the items (compass watches with magical properties – sounds a bit like wayfinders…) and the guild’s kinda-benevolent focus. As such, I found myself less inspired by this that I hoped I’d be. That being said, this pdf provides a lot of bang for buck –for just $1.49, you get quite a bit of content, which is why I will round up from my final verdict of 3.5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Gossamer Guilds: Praecons(Diceless)
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In the Company of Unicorns (5E)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/01/2018 07:25:30

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of Rite Publishing’s classic series clocks in at 19 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page advertisement, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 14 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

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

So, as always,w e begin this supplement with a latter, as the meta-narrative of this series assumes that a member of the respective race is writing a letter to sage Qwilion of Questhaven; This sets the series apart from the get-go – unlike most racial supplements, the prose and colored/unreliable in-character narration assures that the pdf is actually fun to read and not just a dry assortment of numbers. This is a big plus as far as I’m concerned. In this case Phaedra, a member of the equine race of re’em, (how the unicorns refer to themselves) begins the narration with a summary of how the race views their own physiological differences from most humanoids. The pdf then proceeds to grant us insight into re’em culture, their herds etc. – and here, Rite Publishing must be commended. Instead of just duplicating the flavor from the PFRPG-version, we get a rewritten version of the whole account, taking e.g. the presence of warlocks in 5e into account. You may consider that to be a small thing, but for me, it represents the difference between doing what’s required and going the extra mile. It was an impressive surprise.

There is an obvious and intended “The Last Unicorn”-vibe conveyed by the prose, as the noble courtier tells us about the importance of hope…and sorrow…and what they can d. Beyond this glimpse at the psychology of these noble beings, we also learn about interactions with humanoids, providing a perspective on such happenstances from an insider’s perspective. So yeah, the flavor aspect is excellent.

Now, let’s take a look at the crunch, shall we? First of all, re’em increase their Constitution by 2 and mature quickly; they never die of old age, and their type is governed by the subrace chosen. However, it should be noted that spells that affect humanoids, thankfully, still affect re’em. As quadrupeds, re’em are restricted to horse barding and somewhat limited in using many consumables, but they may cast spells with somatic components as usual. They have darkvision and their horn deals 1d8 piercing damage. When charging at least 20 ft. in a straight line and attacking with the horn, this damage is increased by +2d6 piercing damage, making them rather lethal at first level. Re’em also have hooves and may use either both front or rear hooves for a 1d6 bludgeoning damage attack. These natural weapons are considered to be magical for the purpose of overcoming resistance and immunity.

4 subraces are provided: Celestial re’em increase Wisdom by 1, get the celestial type and know the spare the dying cantrip. 3rd level nets cure wounds once per long rest interval, 5th level lesser restoration once per rest interval. These are governed by Wisdom. The race also gains resistance to poison damage and advantage on saves vs. the poisoned condition, and these benefits extend to creatures riding the celestial re’em. The second subrace would be the ki-rin, who increase Charisma by 1, are celestial, type-wise, and when not wearing armor, have an AC of 12 + Charisma modifier, minimum +0. The armor class of riders may not be less than 10 your Charisma modifier, unless they are riding the ki-rin against their will. The alicorn of the ki-rin nets resistance as a cantrip, and 3rd level provides bless, 5th level aid, both of which are usable once per long rest interval and are governed by Charisma.

Thirdly, we have the fiendish re’em, the dark unicorns, who increase Intelligence by 1, are, type-wise, fiends and gain resistance to fire, which may be extended to riders. Their alicorn nets produce flame as a cantrip, with 3rd level yielding hellish rebuke and 5th level darkness once per long rest interval. You guessed it: Governed by Intelligence. Finally, sylvan re’em increase Dexterity or Charisma by 1 (your choice) and have the fey type; they have advantage on saving throws versus the charmed condition and can extend this benefit to riders. Their alicorn nets minor illusion as the cantrip, and at 3rd level faerie fire, at 5th level calm emotions. As before, both of these latter spells are governed by Charisma. All subraces also grant languages appropriate for their themes.

We get a new paladin oath next, the oath of the greenwood, which comes with fully formulated tenets and two new fighting styles are noted: Impaling and Trampling. Both are concisely presented. The oath gets its own oath spells and the 3rd level nets two channel divinity options: One is really cool, as it laces thunder in your hooves allowing for quicker movement and more damage/better attacks. The second option is also AMAZING, as it emphasizes teamwork: Nearby allies may target additional beings with beneficial healing-based spells. Love these! Also at 3rd level, we get mystic link, which allows you to attune your horn to a weapon as part of attuning the weapon, allowing you essentially to keep fighting with your horn. At 7th level, we get an amazing aura – the horn sheds light that the unicorn can suppress, sure, but this light also cancels darkness…and enlightens metaphysically, suppressing blindness! I love the visuals here. 15th level nets an additional channel divinity option (which is, slightly oddly, formatted differently than the previous ones, but that is pure aesthetics): Here, we have wind striding, allowing you to run over any substance unharmed, up to 90 ft. away from the ground, and you can carry up to two Medium riders with gear, provided you do not exceed maximum encumbrance. You can also ascend on empty air. I love this. The two rider option made me recall the famous templar symbol…and the mythological link works, once you recall that unicorns were often used as a cipher for Jesus in occult Christian texts., 20th level allows you to call an ancestral unicorn to your side to aid you. Cool!

We also receive the elder unicorn sorcerous bloodline. From 1st level on, when learning spells, you can choose druid spells instead, up to half of your total of spells known. You also gain proficiency in Religion and Nature, and may use Charisma as governing attribute for them instead. 6th level has a cool trick: When you cast a druid spell, but it doesn’t do damage (even if you intended it to do damage!), you get to cast a cantrip as a bonus action. If the cantrip deals damage, it deals bonus damage equal to the level of the spell slot expend by the triggering spell. This makes “missing” with spells less of a bummer and nets a second chance. Love it! At 14th level, the character learns geas as well as the option to expend a spell slot: If the spell slot expended had a higher spell level than a curse, oath, etc., you can end the effect. The ability takes same level of curse and spell slot into account. Really cool! 18th level is also really cool, teamwork wise: After casting a spell with a spell slot of 1st level or higher on your turn, you may take a reaction to a nearby ally casting a spell. If you do, the spell is enhanced and treated as one level higher. Love this!

We also get the vile pact of the sundered horn for warlocks, accounting btw. also for re’em that sacrifice their own horn! Cool!

The pdf also sports a paragon/exemplar class, here, the Silvermane Exemplar, who comes btw. with quick build rules. Only re’em qualify and they get 1d8 HD; proficiency-wise, we get all armor, one type of artisan’s tools, Constitution and Charisma saving throws, and two skills chosen from Athletics, Insight, Nature, Perception, persuasion, Religion and Survival. Starting equipment is noted and the class begins play with the mage hand cantrip, which may be explicitly used with proficiency bonus, if any, when employed with artisan’s tools and ability checks. Ability scores increase at 4th level and every 4 levels thereafter, up to and including 16th level. A silvermane exemplar begins play with a pool of inner light, equal to the class level. This resource may be sued to cast the spells granted by the alicorn class feature additional times sans a low rest (1 point for 1st level spells, 2 points for 2nd level spells). Additionally, as an action, you can spend a point and touch a willing creature, granting the target Charisma modifier temporary hit points. Alternatively, as an action, you may heal 5 times the amount of inner light spent of the ability in hit points to a target creature.

2nd level provides one of my favorite class features of the class, Purity and Sorrow. When you hit a creature with an attack roll, you gain Sorrow. When you restore hit points to an ally or provide temporary hit points/end conditions for them, you gain Purity. When you restore it points or grant temporary hit points, you may expend Sorrow to add 1d6 to the hit points granted or restored. When you roll damage for an attack, you may expend Purity and add +1d6 radiant damage to the damage dealt. These fade after 1 minute if not used. The dice they employ increase to d8 at 5th, d10 at 10th and d12 at 15th level. I love this, though it should specify that e.g. hurting harmless kittens could not provide Sorrow. Anyways, this feature thus rewards alternating between offense and defense and encapsulates the flavor really well. 5th level provides multiattack, 6th level the oath’s mystic link for weapon-to-horn-attunement; additionally, 6th level lets you spend inner light to grant adjacent creatures resistance to one of several damage types, with more targets costing more points. 9th level yields an alternate, humanoid form. At 13th level, when moving or using Dash, you can spend 1 inner light to teleport the distance instead. Starting at 14th level, when gaining or ending Purity, you can use a bonus action to generate a breeze that ends harmful conditions for a creature nearby. This does not net you Purity. You can also end confusion or curses, within limits. 17th level lets you spend 4 inner light to grow glorious, feathered wings that last until you gain Sorrow. At 20th level, you regain 4 points of inner light after a short rest.

Obviously, the class also has some sort of choice baked in; that would be the noble orders. These define your class features gained at 1st, 3rd, 7th, 11th and 18th level. 4 orders are provided: Royals, Courtiers, Knights and Knaves. Royals gain fire bolt and may later heal a creature within 30 ft. when healing via inner light while they have Sorrow. Healing and aforementioned mystic link improvement as well as a high level sun-crowned form make for a cool choice here. The courtiers are more skillful and have, as befitting their title, charm/dominate-themed abilities and sanctuary effects. These are the more tricky ones. Knights get a fighting style, may grant allies the ability to move as a reaction and penalize foes with Purity/Sorrow dice. Finally, the order of knaves has a cool ability that allows them to disguise their horn – if a target doesn’t know your name, he fails to see it! Using abilities, obviously, can also reveal who you are, and the order focuses on establishing a bond with another character, which can be really rewarding, roleplaying-wise.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting on a formal level, are very good. On a rules-language level, the book is excellent and really interesting, providing a distinct array of complex rules-concepts. Layout adheres to Rite Publishing’s beautiful, new two-column full-color standard and the pdf sports quite a lot of interesting full-color artworks that diverge in styles employed. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

BJ Hensley’s original PFRPG-take on the playable unicorn was already rather cool; what Brandes Stoddard did with it, was inspired. The 5e.version of the playable unicorn is creative, distinct and provides a surprisingly concise take on the concept. The class options are well-crafted and the new class rocks, offering a playstyle that feels distinct, fresh and different. The fact that the lore reflects the mechanics is just the icing on an awesome cake. I love this supplement. The only blemishes I could find are exceedingly minor and represent only aesthetic gripes. Hence, my final verdict will clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
In the Company of Unicorns (5E)
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In the Company of Giants Revised (5E)
by Jared R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/10/2018 21:08:39

My full review can be found on my blog here:

http://knighterrantjr.blogspot.com/2017/11/what-do-i-know-about-reviews-in-company.html



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
In the Company of Giants Revised (5E)
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In The Company of Fey (5E)
by Christopher K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/05/2018 10:50:56

Great Concept, Poor Execution

For all that this says that it is a 5th Edition product, its really not a very good one as far as the mechanics are concerned. The mechanics were originally written for Pathfinder, but they were poorly ported to 5th, and it shows. The book makes several references to mechanics that simply don't exist in 5th. There are multiple references to Pathfinder class features, damage types, conditions, and mechanics that only exist in Pathfinder. It's as if the author simply assumed that they existed in 5th without actually double checking them first. The book also doesn't use a consistent formula for DCs and none of them ever use the 5th Edition DC formula for saving throw DCs. For instance, one of the racial features of the First Folk is Primal Healing, which grants and extra 2 hit points per die rolled from magical healing and doubles natural healing. There is no natural healing in 5E. It's possible the mechanic refers to rolling hit dice in a short rest, but that would be extremely high powered, and I don't think that was the intent. The inability to heal damage from cold iron naturally is tricky because the lack of natural healing in 5th, and I'm at a loss as to the right fix. Sadly, the mechanical issues just continue to compound from there. I really wanted this book to be a good one, and one of my players really wanted to play one. Considering how good I found In the Company of Dragons, I felt that maybe I could put in some quick fixes to the errors. However, as I started on this project, the list of issues began to get very large. After three handwritten pages, it was clear that this was turning into a virtual rewrite of the book. It would take too long and too much space in this review to show off every single error in it. If you want this to work for your 5th Edition game, you will have a lot of work ahead of you to make this race and the racial paragon class work for you. You will need to make decisions about the ability adjustements given that 5th doesn't use the Pathfinder formula. You are likely better off building subraces around the alternate racial traits. It appears the author was using the Advanced Race Guide for creating alternate options rather than using subraces. I'm not sure that subsitution mechanics are the right fit over subraces, but that decision is up to you. You will need to find substitute options for the mechanics that simply don't exist, either by picking a different class feature, adapating the Pathfinder one referenced, or possibly eliminting it altogether. For example, Wild Empathy, a druid ability in Pathfinder and 3.5 simply doesn't exist in 5th. It could be replaced with the gnome ability to speak to small animals keeping the spirit of the ability. Considering 5th generally doesn't use bonuses to skill checks, and the Nature skill can be used for many of the functions of Wild Empathy, providing Proficiency or Expertise to Nature is also a potentially good fit. DCs for race or class features of the Paragon class are a simple fix: start at 8 rather than 10, add in Proficiency bonus as normal, and eliminate any class level references. Remove any references to Ex, Su, and Sp since they simply don't exist. Damage type errors are usually easily corrected (Lightning for Electrial for example), but there is no non-lethal damage option to use. Conditions can be tricky in places. For example, 5th doesn't have a Shaken condition, but Frightened is the closest match. I would personally remove any bonus feats from the paragon class, given that feats in 5th are significantly more powerful than their Pathfinder equivalent. There is no damage resistance in 5th, but there are several references to using it. As you can see, there are a lot of issues with the mechanics, and that only covers the first half of the book. The concepts of the race and paragon class are sound. If the mechanical issues didn't exist, I'd happily give it four stars. However, the gross mechanical errors that litter the book, and the work it would require to fix them, remove at least two. I don't feel right giving this just one star. I cannot, in good conscience, recommend this book to anyone who isn't willing to spend the hours needed making the corrections required to make this a fully functional 5th Edition race and Paragon Class.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
In The Company of Fey (5E)
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